Friday, July 23, 2010


"Germany in 1940, as New York University professor Clay Shirky points out in his provocative book Here Comes Everybody, was not the invincible power 'etched in communal memory.' Germany teetered near bankruptcy; its army was smaller and its tanks inferior to France's. So why did the German blitzkrieg succeed? Because its tanks were equipped with technology the French tanks lacked: radios. These radios allowed Panzer commanders to share intelligence and make quick decisions, leaving French commanders standing still and guessing while German tanks moved in concert. Even if the French had radios, Shirky writes, the Germans held another advantage: 'The French regarded tanks as a mobile platform for accompanying foot soldiers. The Germans, on the other hand, understood that the tank allowed for a new kind of fighting, a rapid style of attack ...' The technology advantaged Germany, but so did a superior strategy that allowed Germany to prevail."
- Ken Auletta, Googled: The End of the World as We Know It, p.295