Sunday, June 15, 2008

The Origins of Mechanized Warfare

The Origins of Mechanized Warfare: Achtung - Panzer! is a book by long-standing German General Heinz Guderian. First published in 1937, the book remains stalwart in the face of contemporary military strategy whereby the deployment of mechanized, armored divisions is central. The prospect of marrying army divisions with tanks, mortars, and other forms of mechanized artillery was a rather novel concept at the outset of World War II in Europe. Similar calls for mechanization were asserted by French commander Charles de Gaulle in the 1930s, but those calls were not heeded in France like they were in Germany. And it is fair to say that these innovative war tactics, embraced by the Germans, were a major reason why the Battle of France (Fall Gelb) lasted a mere two months in May and June 1940. As a result of Guderian's treatise on mechanized warfare, the German Army fashioned a series of Panzer Korps in order to bring his war theories to fruition. These Panzer Korps were outfitted with German Panzer and Tiger tanks which relied more on speed and nimbleness instead of armor and defense like the French FT-17.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

The Ripples of Divine Revelation

The Ripples of Divine Revelation: The penultimate Pastoral Constitution to originate from the Second Vatican Council in November 1965 was Dei Verbum (Word of God). And in this fundamental Catholic document, the Church discussed the nature of God's Word, as revealed to man in the form of Sacred Scripture. Karl Barth, who was a Protestant theologian of Swiss heritage, explicated much about the nature of divine revelation in his thirteen-part volume Church Dogmatics. For the most part, Barth claims that theology itself is NOT the Word of God, but rather Christ-in-the-world embodies the Word of God. To him, the Church was the eyewitness of Christ-in-the-world, or what Kierkegaard referred to as "The Instant." From the moment Christ set foot on the Earth, divine revelation began rippling outward in all directions, like when somebody throws a rock into a pond. In reference to Dei Verbum, the Catholic Church saw the existence of Christ in human form (and in history) as the glowing beacon to which all people ought to aspire. But this Christlike model depends on the fact that it was God with whom man was communicating. And like Barth said, "The goal of human life is not death, but resurrection." This statement blissfully encompassed all there ever was and all there is to be in this world.