posted on Dec, 3 2018 @ 08:33 AM
One parallel is that both men came to power with armies that were newly reformed, and and contained lots of open-minded junior officers.
The republican reforms of the French army were put in place as Napoleon was coming to power. The French uniform was simplified, social class was no
longer the key to an officer's post, the French had begun industrializing cannon and gunpowder production. In addition, French regimental command
was willing to adopt a fighting column, rather than in 4 rows of men lined up parallel to the main line of resistance like a Greek phalanx. And the
army developed new categories of cavalry units, based on Hussars, that were allowed to operate independently of infantry support, allowing for deep
encirclement and disrupting enemy supply.
The German army of the 1930s had undergone its own reform, forced upon it by the Treaty of Versailles. The German army had two parallel command
structures, with the non-coms elected by their own men. small unit commanders were given total control, and were issued objectives, rather than being
commanded as to HOW to accomplish the larger objectives.
The army was also experimenting with new weapons and tactics. In response to the disastrous trench warfare of WWI, ( which Von Hindenburg
developed after studying the US Civl war battles of Fredricksburg, Gettysburg, and Second Manassas.), the wehrmact had mechanized units that overcame
the limits imposed by horse-drawn supply wagons for forward units. The germans were experimenting with different types of tanks, lighter and more
mobile than French tanks which were basically tractor-mounted cannons. The Germans developed bicycle-mounted forward troops, motorcycle infantry,
and seriously specialized engineering units.
They also used small unit communications that had never existed before. Ever since Napoleon, the order of battle was infantry in collumns in the
center, with artillery on the flanks, guarded by cavalry looking to envelop the enemy flank. In the nazi Wehrmacht, artillery was spread out and
could be requested by local unit commanders, who could call in objectives. The 88mm, which was originally an anti-aircraft cannon, was so useful the
germans put it on everything, from submarines to railroad cars to anti-tank tracked vehicles (in effect, the first armored troop carriers).
Rommel, Guderian and Hoth were all new commanders of mechanized units, who understood in ways no one else did, how powerful tank formations could be
when coordinated with heavy artillery.
Hitler and Napoleon were both commanders of the leading army of their age, and their enemies had to play catch-up and learn to imitate the new
technologies and organization of the more efficient belligerent.