To avoid any confusion, salesie, I am saying that you adopt a simplistic reductionist view of anything 'German'. The issues are more complex than you wish to make them (just to pre-empt another usual response, I know that Germany lost the war
). For example, I never said, or implied, that Zuber ignored fundamentals.
That's rather churlish of you, Robert - you know as well as I do that Germany losing the war was much more to do with long-term strategic reasons not short-term tactics, and thus, in many ways, is irrelevant to Zuber's conclusions about the early fighting in the Ardennes.
There are those who see immense complexity as being more "truthful" than simplicity, and thus are never satisfied until they have complexity, and this school tends to be more theoretical than pragmatic, yet one of the most prominent theorists that ever lived, Albert Einstein, summed it up thus, "If you can't explain your theories in simple terms then you don't fully understand your own theories".
And, it seems to me, that we are in one of those situations when discussing Zuber's conclusions, and the fairly recent trend that in many ways eulogises the German army of 1914.
Those who support this trend tend to point to German pre-war training as being superior, and point to this superiority manifesting itself on the battlefield. But when reminded of the fact that in war, more than in any other field of human endeavour, it is results that count more than any other facet, they seem to automatically reach for the "it's more complex than that" argument, especially when it's pointed out that the German army never achieved any of its objectives in the west in 1914. Their answer seems to be almost universal i.e. it's a simple matter of "training and application" when discussing German tactical success, but "it's much more complex than that" when asked about allied tactical successes shortly afterwards in the same campaign. Come off it, Robert, do you seriously expect us to accept that load of old flannel?
It may be over-simplified to you, Robert - but to me it seems quite valid to ask the question I asked earlier. Because, if this oh so simple question is not adequately answered then this whole premise of Zuber's is seriously undermined i.e. how can “superior training and application” of the Germans be used as a fundamental cause for tactical success if just afterwards the, by definition, “inferior training and application” of the French turned the tables on the previously superior Germans?
It's not a case of complexity, Robert, it's a matter of logic i.e. if this theory of Zuber's is valid then why did the superior suddenly become the inferior shortly afterwards? And whether the answer is complex or simple, it must surely also apply equally to the earlier assumption of superiority, because, as sure as eggs is eggs, Joffre can't have given his army enough extra training in two weeks, or the German army can’t have forgotten all their training in a fortnight?