Best Defense

Thomas E. Ricks' daily take on national security.

Wait a minute, it wasn’t ‘Time’ magazine that invented the term ‘blitzkrieg’?

I’d been taught that “blitzkrieg” was a pseudo-German term invented by the Anglo-American press to describe the emerging Nazi way of war.

Russland-S¸d, Panzer III, Sch¸tzenpanzer, 23.Pz.Div.
Russland-S¸d, Panzer III, Sch¸tzenpanzer, 23.Pz.Div.

I’d been taught that “blitzkrieg” was a pseudo-German term invented by the Anglo-American press to describe the emerging Nazi way of war.

Not so, avers Gerhard Gross, in The Myth and Reality of German Warfare: Operational Thinking from Moltke the Elder to Heusinger. He writes that, it “was not coined in the Anglo-Saxon world, as often claimed, but actually appeared in German military publications as early as the mid-1930s. It was, however, never introduced into the official terminology of the Wehrmacht.”

That said, I found the rest of the book pretty dang dull. And I’m interested in this subject.

I’d been taught that “blitzkrieg” was a pseudo-German term invented by the Anglo-American press to describe the emerging Nazi way of war.

Not so, avers Gerhard Gross, in The Myth and Reality of German Warfare: Operational Thinking from Moltke the Elder to Heusinger. He writes that, it “was not coined in the Anglo-Saxon world, as often claimed, but actually appeared in German military publications as early as the mid-1930s. It was, however, never introduced into the official terminology of the Wehrmacht.”

That said, I found the rest of the book pretty dang dull. And I’m interested in this subject.

Meantime, in another history book, I learned that Hitler was coked up in the summer of 1944, inhaling a 10 percent solution twice a day.

Photo credit: Bild Bundesarchiv/Wikimedia Commons

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. Twitter: @tomricks1

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