How much did Guderian learn from The Brusilov Offensive when he developed Blitzkrieg tactics?

It’s amazing just how different WW1 and WW2 were tactically, and a big part of the reason why was the general absence of Blitzkrieg in WW1. Still, the Brusilov Offensive definitely anticipates many of the concepts of Blitzkrieg and is definitely the closest WW1 came to seeing Blitzkrieg-style tactics. How much did Guderian study the Brusilov offensive though? I think the evolution of Blitzkrieg tactics was inevitable because of the rapid improvement in tanks and radio.


Guderian gets more credit for being the father of blitzkrieg than he deserves. He’s one of the German generals who published a lot after the war and in a way that was self aggrandizing. (See Mannstein’s Lost Victories as the genre definition of this kind of work. A brilliant guy but the book is very self promoting. Achtung, Panzer is very similar)

If you go back to the Great War and watch the episode on stormtrooper tactics, that will answer the question as most of the lessons of Brusilov had already passed into the German army by 1918.


To corroborate what @matthew.godfrey.rein said, Military History Visualized has done a 13min video on Guderian:

Guderian did play a significant role in the development of both the panzer division concept and a doctrine of mechanized offensive warfare but not a central one.

Although not specifically in terms of armor use, his seniors and predecessors were already into it way before him. Notably Oswald Lutz (Guderian was his chief-of-staff in the Inspectorate of Motorized Troops) , Ludwig Ritter von Eimannsberger, Willy Rohr, Hans von Seeckt, etc. Heck, one can argue that in strategic thinking von Clausewitz, von Moltke the Elder, and von Schlieffen were into manoeuvre warfare (Bewegungskrieg and its associated Auftragstaktik) way before most if not anyone else in German military.

And here is the The Great War Special on Stormtrooper:

Note that Calsow Assault Detachment (Sturmabteilung) was deployed experimentally in March 1916 in the Western Front and Brusilov Offensive took place from 4 June 1916 to 20 September 1916. While Willy Rohr’s Assault Detachment was already known for their shocktroop tactics since 1915.

And yes, radio or, in general, communications is paramount to the success of fast-paced missions/operations. To quote Indy in the above Stromtrooper episode: “precise operational timing is the key for maximum effectiveness.” Thus the evolution of blitzkrieg, using that term broadly also known as combined arms today, is inevitable.


I forgot about that Great War video. It basically answered the rest of my question. Thanks guys!