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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

The Attack in Trench Warfare

Uncle George

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by Captain Andre Laffargue. As an infantry officer in 1915, he wrote the influential pamphlet 'Étude sur lattaque dans la période actuelle de la guerre' ('Study of the attack in the current period of the war'). It advocates a form of attack by infiltration, and is published here in translation:


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Very interesting Uncle George, thanks for posting.

Nice to see that at least someone was trying to employ some inventiveness.

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Did the Germans read his book and use the technique successfully at Verdun the next year ?

According to the Wikipedia article on 'Infiltration tactics' (which credits inter alia Bruce Gudmundsson's 'Stormtroop Tactics: Innovation in the German Army, 1914-1918' [1989]), "The crucial distinction between the forms of infiltration advocated by French headquarters and Laffargue as against those under development in the German army was that the French remained firmly wedded to the use of the attack by waves, despite the high casualties which could ensue ... The claim that the Germans translated and used Laffargue's pamphlet as a training manual has been refuted by Gudmundsson. The Germans were already developing their own form of infiltration tactics: an experimental Pioneer unit commanded by Hauptmann Willie Rohr had been formed in the spring of 1915, over two months before Laffargue's pamphlet was published."


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