Tank Pioneer

Ludwig von Eimannsberger was an Austrian military officer and armored theorist whose 1934 book “Der Kampfwagenkrieg” proved prescient (though as with everything else, there’s argument about just how influential he truly was).

Regular infantry divisions for the grinding, independent tank brigades designed to be attached to the infantry units for support, and a pair of specialized exploitation forces-divisions with hundreds of tanks to spearhead the exploitation and motorized infantry divisions with massive amounts of antitank artillery to guard the flanks of the tanks. The heavier artillery (Eimannsberger was an artillery officer) was intended to be multipurpose, able to be used for anti-tank, anti-air, and both direct and indirect support fire.

His armored division is a little (forgivably) tank-heavy and infantry light. The formations overall are, with hindsight a little too pure and over-specialized. More interestingly, Eimannsberger was a World War I artillery commander who still thought like a World War I artillery commander in terms of command and control. It’s an open question as to whether a more modest and stiff but doable system like his or a shoot-for-the-moon deep attack that the Soviets proposed at the same time, but were unable to meaningfully do in practice until after years of war and hard lessons was “better”.

Still, it’s an interesting historical footnote.

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