mechanized warfare

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mechanized warfare,

employment of modern mobile attack and defense tactics that depend upon machines, more particularly upon vehicles powered by gasoline and diesel engines. Central to the waging of mechanized warfare are the tank and armored vehicle, with support and supply from motorized columns and aircraft. Automobiles were of great use in World War I. The tanktank, military,
armored vehicle having caterpillar traction and armed with machine guns, cannon, rockets, or flame throwers. The tank, together with the airplane, opened up modern warfare, which had been immobilized and stalemated by the use of rifled guns (see mechanized
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 was introduced at Cambrai in 1917, and its use was enthusiastically endorsed by the British general J. F. C. FullerFuller, John Frederick Charles,
1878–1966, British soldier. In World War I, he recognized the importance of mechanized warfare and, as general staff officer of the tank corps, planned the stunning tank attack at Cambrai in 1917 (see tank, military).
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. The need for air protection and support was emphasized by the American general William MitchellMitchell, William
(Billy Mitchell), 1879–1936, American army officer and pilot, b. Nice, France. He enlisted (1898) in the U.S. army in the Spanish-American War and received a commission in the regular army in 1901, serving with the signal corps.
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. Although the basic essentials of mechanized warfare were thus established early, it was not until Germany attacked Poland at the start of World War II that its full potentials were revealed. German armored (Panzer) divisions, supported by aircraft, proved their worth in Poland and France and later won spectacular successes in the Balkans, the Soviet Union, and Africa. Outstanding among the German proponents of this type of warfare were Heinz Guderian and Erwin RommelRommel, Erwin
, 1891–1944, German field marshal. He entered the army in 1910 and rose slowly through the ranks. In 1939, Adolf Hitler made him a general. Rommel brilliantly commanded an armored division in the attack (1940) on France. In Feb.
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. The German triumphs brought recognition to other advocates of mechanized warfare, e.g., Liddell Hart and Charles de Gaulle. The British and American armies also created armored divisions, and they developed weapons for defense against mechanized attack, e.g., the antitank gun and the tank destroyer. The Germans used their mechanized forces for deep penetrations into enemy territory but were ultimately beaten by superior use of artillery and aircraft as shown by the Allies in the battle of El Alamein and other engagements. The Allies themselves developed the use of mechanized warfare with brilliant success, as in the overrunning of Western Europe (1944–45) by Allied forces under such leaders as Gen. George S. PattonPatton, George Smith, Jr.,
1885–1945, American general, b. San Gabriel, Calif. A graduate of West Point (1909), he served in World War I and was wounded while commanding a tank brigade in France. Subsequently he served in the cavalry and the tank corps.
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. The Israeli desert offensives of 1956 and 1967 involved close coordination of motorized infantry units with air and parachute forces; in the Vietnam War helicopters helped to increase the mobility of troops and equipment. Mechanized warfare has been augmented by technological developments to such an extent that the concept has become largely superfluous.
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References in periodicals archive ?
In Poole's telling, Wegener's The Golem (1920) is saturated in the war's terror, with its monster created of mud (think of trenches) and acting as a remorseless, inhuman killing machine (think of mechanized warfare).
But in another sense, the mechanomorphism also reflects the newly mechanized warfare of the day: the cavalry's transformation into artillery, the wide bore of Big Bertha, the sudden emergence of the long-distance cannon, the massive destructive power of modern ordnance.
It was born of an era of Industrial Age mechanized warfare fever, though, and so it seems to have been abandoned as we transitioned against the new foe posed by a global insurgency.
He also remembers him being attached with School of Armour and Mechanized Warfare, as an instructor, even before doing his basic course.
The re-emergence of armor on the modern battlefield swings the pendulum back towards mechanized warfare. This has two primary implications for Infantrymen--the necessity to reinvest in anti-armor operations (mounted and dismounted, increasing proficiency with the Bradley Fighting Vehicle [BFV]) and to reemphasize the role of mechanized battle.
Far from a bow-and-arrow affair carried out by local tribes, it has become a kind of mechanized warfare, featuring gangs equipped with AK-47s, electronic tracking gear and even helicopters.
Civilization was soon engaged in a horrific conflict marred by mechanized warfare previously unimaginable: tanks, subs, battleships, air power, machine guns with names like "the Devil's paint brush,'' and legions of poison gas -- the largest-scale use of chemical weapons in history.
"Our original goal was to enlighten people about the tank destroyer forces of World War II," says executive director Sam Johnson, "but it's expanded over the years to cover mechanized warfare since the beginning of the 20th century."
Moran also offers a nuanced examination of everyone's favorite superficial example of transformation, the German development of mechanized warfare in the 1930s, pointing out that what appeared revolutionary in France turned out to be tactical suicide in Russia.
In Pius XII's phrase, it has turned man into "a more perfect tool in industrial production and a perfected tool for mechanized warfare." The result of this, as noted by Lewis Mumford, is that "never before have machines been so perfect, and never before have men sunk so low." Antoine de Saint-Exupery grieves that the voice we hear is that of the "propaganda robot," and Arnold Toynbee that we have become "a race of technician-morons." Tradition frees us from serving the machine by restoring our sense of mystery and wonder.
The horrors of mechanized warfare in World War I, she argues, reminded people of the crowded and sordid public cemeteries before the 19th-century reforms.

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