Who Were The German Sturmtruppen?

1350 WordsApr 28, 20176 Pages
Who were the German Sturmtruppen (Stormtrooper), and how did they affect modern combat? The German Stormtrooper were an elite force of soldiers trained to fight a fast-paced style of combat. In 1915, WW1 had come to a halt, with miles of trench structures set all over Europe. Both Allied and Axis forces were weary of fighting this war of attrition and were desperate to try new and diverse types of warfare to break these lines. As explained by Citino, “After much trial and error, the German army developed a new method of fighting. Stormtrooper (Stosstupp) or infiltration tactics was the solution to the trench warfare stalemate. Infantry could once more cross “no man’s land” and come to grips with the enemy” (16). Consequently,…show more content…
Nevertheless, these luxuries didn’t come free, Stormtroopers were subjected to vigorous, and sometimes brutal training well more than a regular soldier, and subsequently had an extremely high training death rate (“TheGreatWar”). Once at the front, they utilized their small squad tactics with swift and violent attacks, punching holes in allied lines for the main army to advance. The use of these unprecedented tactics almost allowed the Axis Powers to turn the tide and claim victory in WW1. On March 21, 1918 is when the stormtroopers made their claim to fame, as the Axis Powers launched the Spring Offensive. After five hours of constant artillery and the firing of over 1 million shells what came next was described as “an attack by elite stormtroopers. These soldiers travelled lightly and were skilled in fast, hard-hitting attacks before moving on to their next target” (Trueman 1). Charging up and over the trenches these soldiers wreaked havoc on the British with their flamethrowers and grenades, subsequently capturing 21,000 prisoners on the first day alone. This was a major blow to the British, because for the first time in four years’ lines had been shifted and they incurred a major territory loss. Used to the static style of combat, the British were unprepared to fight this modern style of soldier, and were forced to retreat and regroup. The saving grace for the Allies was the Stormtroopers moved so quickly

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