What is so important about this? Namely the major ASSUMPTION that took hold of the consciousness of military strategists. That assumption was, ATTACK IS SUPERIOR TO DEFENCE. Despite the check on Napoleon in Russia, this assumption was not seriously shaken.
It is so vital that one regularly challenges assumptions. As I shall briefly discuss, holding on to unchallenged assumptions can lead to horrendous, and needless loss of life. I will even go so far as to say that deeply held, unconscious assumptions are rarely shaken except by trauma.
I intend to look at three examples: the strategy at the Battle of Gettysburg; the foolhardiness of the conflict at Passchendaele during the First World War; and the final shaking of the the 'attack is better than defence' assumption, ironically once more in Russia. Commenting on the virtual destruction of the Wehrmacht in the attack on Russia, from 1941 onwards, I shall propose a reason why the Napoleonic assumption was exposed as faulty.