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Extra resources for British Armour Theory and the Rise of the Panzer Arm: Revising the Revisionists

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After 1940 Liddell Hart stressed that the Germans had applied the doctrine of armoured warfare which Fuller, himself and the other British armour pioneers had evolved from the 1920s. As we shall see, this was quite true. However, was not this fact much depreciated by Liddell Hart's loss of faith in the late 1930s in sweeping armoured offensives? Here, too, the answer is much more complex, and intriguing, than recent critics of Liddell Hart have allowed. In the first place, it ought to be made clear that Liddell Hart's advocacy of the strength of defence by no means involved a withdrawal from the idea of armoured warfare.

The official British historian who cites this wonders where Chamberlain found the inspiration for these views. B6 Responsibility for the collapse of France could at least partly be laid at Liddell Hart's door. Consequently, his prestige suffered heavily and justly. s? ss He Liddell Hart's Theory of Armoured Warfare 25 argued, for example, that he had been obliged to conceal his real views about the Allies' weakness in order not to assist the enemy and that he had developed his preference for the defensive before the war because he had known that the Allies possessed no real offensive weapon in the form of large mechanized forces.

Contrary to lingering popular images, serious attention was given in France during those years to operational planning for mobile defence in depth. To be sure, French tank production was lagging, and the British armoured contribution failed to be ready in time for the Battle of France. Nevertheless, by the time of that battle, the French had been hastily creating their third and beginning to create their fourth DCR (Division Cuirassee de Reserve), which as their title indicate, were specifically intended for the counter-offensive role against the Panzer divisions and destined for deployment as a strong mobile Liddell Hart's Theory of Armoured Warfare 29 reserve in the area of Laon, Rheims, and Chalons-sur-Marne, at the centre of the French line.

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