"The Path to Blitzkrieg" a Book by Robert Citino | Free Essay Example

“The Path to Blitzkrieg” a Book by Robert Citino

Words: 1227
Topic: Literature


In history, there are a number of books that have been written depicting the wars of the past centuries. The books have mainly been centered towards numerous interests on military forces and the way that they organized their war plans chiefly regarding their ammunitions and leadership. Military excellence is something that is not easy to achieve but is worth the struggle for each leader, and that is the reason as to why there are always references in the past to make the future better.

Therefore, military officials look upon history to find out if they can come out with cure-all tactics and technologies that would help to create military benefit towards them. Subsequently, it then means that military history is something of concern to all parties. The greatest focus is usually laid on the successful militaries in the world that have changed rapidly and have had military advantage, for example, the German army at Blitkrieg. The paper reviews the book Path to Blitzkrieg in order to find out its weak and strong points, and ideas that make it outstanding.


The tradition around the book in question is related to the topic discussed above of military excellence. For a long period, it has been assumed that Blitzkrieg was an outcome of a select few, but no books have been written to prove the assumptions. The most notable assumptions of the leaders involved were Guiderian, and Von Mainstein. The works of Liddell Hart guided the leaders. In order to comment on the book, it is imperative that the history to the area of focus is analyzed.

The eccentric, the tradition suggests, focused on the tank and airplane technology, and influenced the technology to produce maximum effect. Consequently, they came out with a plan that was unbreakable during that era (Citino, 1999, p. 34). The myth additionally refers to a ferocious struggle that was witnessed between the officers aforementioned and those of the inflexible general staff who refused to accept their ideas.

Through this in depth information, the writer creates a vivid picture that is quite helpful in coming out with a clear understanding of the challenges that the generals faced that is something that has rarely been analyzed priory. Whether facts or opinions, the author clearly brings out a scenario that can be said to be true in all essence.

The logic that the author puts in play is one that cannot be disputed since it has some real strong back up points from other credible sources and that is what is clearly needed when there is the need to make an argument that may not be viewed as a flawed. The emotional appeals are additionally not too much to surpass the outlook that the author is trying to put in place. A good case in the example is the way he writes that Hitler had to be the one to commission the plan but still yet he tries to focus more on the plan rather than he resolve that was given forth by the leader.

The worth of the book by Citino lies with the way that he creates his argument he dispels the myth, and in return, it discredits all myths like it. The author argues persuasively that the way the German army won the war was not through new tactical method, technology, or tactic but was because of institutional excellence that was utilized through a number of ways of sustained efforts. The book fills the gap that is in historical research on the German army from the year 1920 to 1939 (Citino, 1999, p. 2).

There have been numerous books that have been written on the role of Reichswehr in the Weimar Republic and Wehrmacht in the Nazi army. Additionally, there have also been books on the excellent army commanders of the World War period. However, few books focus on the development of the Second World War Despite the fact that the book by Citino stretches from the year 1920 to 1939, the scope of his focus are primarily on the era of von Seeckt that is 1920 to 1926. The author writes convincingly that the roots of Blitzkrieg lie in the early period of von Seeckt’s doctrine of Bewegungskrieg also known as the war period.

In reality, the Versailles treaty had limited the way the German army operated regarding the tank and combat plane production. The book is excellent since it also delves on this matter as the author writes that von Seeckt was able to impart in his miniature army a penchant for tactical offensive operations via mobility that was aided by motorization and further supported by airplane (Citino, 1999, p. 4). This in depth view is one that previous authors had failed to put into focus, and hence the author delves deeper than they did. However, a point of correction is that the author would have made the analysis even deeper since up to this point, it is evident that he has more information than he gave out.

The author writes that von Seeckt continued to emphasize the role of combined arms that was led by a small leadership. With that in mind, it seems that the author was true in his writing since he made it clear that the leadership of the army was made better using small leadership, and that is a factor that cannot be ignored and gives the book a plus. The author further covers the beginning of von Seeckts Bewegungskrieg from the doctrine of the 1914 German Army through to the year 1921.

The writer utilizes other credible materials to analyze the post of the Chief of the Army command. From the resources, the author writes about the attaches of the military and additionally the writings by the military body. Citino also analyzes excellently the influence of von Seeckt on the reichswher. Additionally, the author informs the reader how every officer received the observation’ that was utilized in the subsequent years of the war.

Citino makes excellent use of the works that have been unpublished but are quite influential in the subject matter. The report in discussion includes the American military intelligence reports from the year 1919 to 1941. In addition to that, there is the German High Command, and the ones of Generals Seeckt and Groener. The footnoting of the author aids in instilling confidence in information.

For a historian, there is fantastic value of the information on the period, and the detail is further useful in substantiating the arguments that he makes. The author further helps to give relevant information at the end of the book when he writes about the Case Yellow that was the offensive that was launched on the Low Countries and France that was effective example of the way the doctrine was quite effective (Citino, 1999, p. 90).


Overly, the book by Citino is outstanding since it aids in delving to issues behind Blitzberg. The author gives an inside analysis as to the ongoing before the war and the people who were involved in giving out infamous tactics that made the army seem quite strong and the struggles that they had to go through. Consequently, the book is one of a kind since it touches on points that previous authors had filed. However, the book lacks some basic points that if input would have made the book even better.


Citino, R. M. (1999). The Path to Blitzkrieg: Doctrine and Training in the German Army, 1920-1939. Hamburg: Lynne Rienner Publishers.