[Lone Sentry: The Development of German Defensive Tactics in Cyrenaica, WW2 War Department Publication]
[Lone Sentry: Photos, Articles, and Research on the European Theater in World War II]
Home Page | Site Map | What's New | Contact: info@lonesentry.com

The Development of German Defensive Tactics in Cyrenaica—1941
Military Intelligence Service, Special Series No. 5, October 16, 1942
[DISCLAIMER: The following text is taken from the wartime U.S. War Department publication. As with all wartime intelligence information, data may be incomplete or inaccurate. No attempt has been made to update or correct the text. Any views or opinions expressed do not necessarily represent those of the website.]



Conditions existing in the North African Desert are very different from those in the training areas of Germany; therefore, German defensive practices have developed largely from actual combat experience in the desert. Commanders have kept in close touch with the situation and constantly striven to improve their tactical methods. They have never appeared to be satisfied with their defensive positions, and have continually put forth every effort to make them more impregnable.

German defensive theory emphasizes that stützpunkte are not simply positions from which an attack can be checked, but localities from which to launch a powerful armored counterattack. All supporting units are instructed to be prepared to move forward on short notice.

Dummy positions and other ruses are habitually used by the Germans to deceive the opposing army as to the location of their main line of resistance. Keeping the enemy guessing is an important part of their doctrine, both on the offensive and the defensive.

[Back to Table of Contents, WWII German Tactical Doctrine] Back to Table of Contents