Military Review English Edition November-December 2015 - Page 47

MARNE army only organized its larger commands upon mobilization in response to an emerging crisis because of the great expenses involved. What is counterinsurgency? Should counterinsurgency be population- or enemy-centric? What is the proper acronym or designation for counterinsurgency?). Similarly, strident debates regarding military theoConclusions ries of strategy and tactics during the era before August On paper, the prewar German conception of mission 1914 were diverse and abstract, and war—before the command championed similar concepts as the principles actual war—had become very theoretical. Many prediscussed above. However, a combination of leader inwar theories were tested during the first six weeks after experience in leading large bodies of troops (which often war broke out, resulting in reality—which had someled to caution when audacity was required), overly pessi- times been ignored during prewar debate—creeping in. mistic and easily discouraged personalities at the highest As in all wars, reality forced change. level of German command, and the unreliable comIn the modern, technological age, such theoretical munications technology of the day led to a poor use of debates may also be leading to specious conclusions. several mission-command For example, the fog of principles and the eventual war is often now minwithdrawal of German imized in importance, forces to static lines. theoretically mitigated At the start of the war, by the concept of