• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How far did developments in command and control of armies determine the outcome of battles in the period from 1792 to 1945?

Extracts from this document...


´╗┐How far did developments in command and control of armies determine the outcome of battles in the period from 1792 to 1945? The command and control of armies developed throughout the 1792 -1945 period. In the Napoleonic era, Napoleon seldom delegated command to his subordinate officers, developing the logistics of battle himself. Granted, he did begin to develop a General Staff but mainly for reconnaissance purposes and to ensure his orders were communicated to other generals. However, by the end of WWII Dwight Eisenhower had been appointed as the supreme allied commander of the Allied forces in Europe to influence co-operation between various heads of the army, navy and air force operating in that theatre. Each power in WWII had their own general staff who facilitated correspondence between a commanding officer and subordinate military units. They also had to compose contingency plans for future battles accounting for defensive or offensive conditions. I think the developments in the command and control of armies were necessary for success in battle in this period. Without an extensive organisation to aid, help foresee and incite the process of war armies wouldn?t have been able to successfully employ tactics and take advantage of technological developments. ...read more.


Development in Technology and communications had a great influence on the command and control of armies. For example the successful mobilisation and co-ordination of troops on the battlefield could be attributed to the development of radio, aircraft and tanks. This enabled infantry, planes and tanks to quickly co-ordinate their movements on a large scale, known as the Blitzkrieg tactic. Germany?s early successes in WWII could be related to their innovation of radio-equipped tanks, allowing them to co-ordinate their movements more efficiently than the Allied armies. The Prussian army in the wars of the mid-19th century also benefitted from advances in technology by the mobilisation of its military by railway: The Prussian General Staff had a railway department. During the Austro-Prussian war the Prussian army of 250,000 men was deployed using 5 separate railways across 300 miles to organise and converge quickly on enemy positions. However in the Franco-Austrian war of 1859 poor organisation and planning led to unfulfilled utilisation of railway. For example when the Austrian reserve force used railway they managed to get lost and miss the battle. Similarly, when travelling by rail, despite successfully reaching the battlefield, the French army left their guns and ammunition behind. This shows a direct correlation between careful planning and the control of armies, and the exploitation of developments in technology. ...read more.


Alliances evolved into having their own command structure as in WWI the Allied armies were under the control of Supreme Commander Ferdinand Foch. Along with the British commander Field Marshal Haig, Foch planned the Grand Offensive, opening on 26 September 1918, which led to the defeat of Germany. The decision was made to strike on the Somme, east of Amiens, which marked the boundary between the British Expeditionary forces and the French armies, allowing the two armies to cooperate. Alliances could also be proved a hindrance. For example in WWI the German army?s view of its alliance with Austria-Hungary was that they were "shackled to a corpse." Supply shortages, low morale, and the high casualty rate seriously affected the operational abilities of the Austro- Hungarian troops, as well as the fact the army was of multiple ethnicity, all with different race, language and customs. Finally, in WWII Dwight Eisenhower was appointed Supreme Allied Commander acting as more of a diplomat, admitting that his strategic knowledge was minimal In conclusion, Essentially command and control of armies was more important than generalship in successful war campaigns. Conscription and the forging of alliances led to mass armies so it wasn?t just about being a great tactician and strategist, such as Napoleon, political skill and diplomacy were essential to properly control armies in the most effective way. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Modern European History, 1789-1945 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Modern European History, 1789-1945 essays

  1. Reasons for Napoleon's Success (to 1807).

    formation made up of both line and column, moving around the battlefield as required, firing at will, and following up, in Revolutionary tradition, with a massed bayonet charge when needed, and supported by the cavalry. * Napoleon, on the march, dispersed his forces into self contained groups advancing simultaneously at

  2. Why did the Franco-Prussian war happen and why were the Prussians able to defeat ...

    and more equipment than the French and could also deploy men quicker using their advanced railway network. The Franco-Prussian war is relatively important due to the modern use of transport, railways. Molke was known to be a brilliant strategist and during this war he was able to use railways in

  1. To what extent did victory or defeat in war in the period 1792-1918 depend ...

    then the Danube to envelop the Austrians at Ulm, leading to an Austrian surrender as they were surrounded and could not unite with the Russians. The importance of Napoleon's generalship in relation to tactics should not be undermined as he used different tactics for different battles making predicting the course of attack difficult for the enemy.

  2. "To what extent was French defeat at the battle of Waterloo due to Napoleons ...

    Shoult reportedly said, "Sire, l'infanterie anglaise en duel c'est le diable" (Sire, in a straight fight the English infantry are the very devil). Napoleon didn't like this type of defeatist talk. He said to the entire of his staff, "Now I tell you Wellington is a bad general, that the English are bad troops..."

  1. Consequence of WWI

    The troops were starving and weaponless. February Revolution began with the uprising of females. They quickly attracted the support of large numbers of workers, as well as soldiers at the front finally. The Russia military collapsed. One month later, the Central Powers and Russia signed the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk on March 3, 1918.

  2. Describe the D-day landings and evaluate their importance in the allied victory in WW2.

    The allies build the pipe line Pluto across the channel which supplied a million tonnes of fuel daily. The Germans were exhausted from the long war and they also had to fight against Russia. On the 26th June, the Americans reached and with difficulty captured the important port of Cherbourg

  1. The Somme Offensive Failure - analysis of the sources.

    It was published in Europe and written by a European author who has written other successful historical books in the past. As an un-bias opinion with facts embedded within, it proves to be useful for a historian researching the issues surrounding the failure of the Somme Offensive and the strategies that rendered it hopeless.

  2. Evaluate the significance of the use of tanks had in the outcome of WW1

    Sir Douglas Haig had acted in haste and even the men who were supposed to lead the tanks into battle were not able to live up to the high expectations set upon them. The tanks which were able to be led into battle either broke down or were captured by

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work