Citino, Robert M. 1958–
Citino, Robert M. 1958–
(Robert Michael Citino)
Born June 19, 1958, in Cleveland, OH; son of John D. (a purchasing agent) and Mildred R. (a secretary) Citino; married Roberta J. Peters (a homemaker), August 24, 1979; children: Allison, Laura, Emily. Ethnicity: "Italian-American." Education: Ohio State University, B.A., 1978; Indiana University, M.A., 1980, Ph.D., 1984.
Home—Ypsilanti, MI. Office—Department of History, Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, MI 48197. E-mail—[email protected].
Lake Erie College, Painesville, OH, professor, 1984-91; Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, MI, professor, 1991—.
The Evolution of Blitzkrieg Tactics, Greenwood (Westport, CT), 1987.
Germany and the Union of South Africa in the Nazi Period, Greenwood (Westport, CT), 1991.
Armored Forces: History and Sourcebook, Greenwood (Westport, CT), 1994.
The Path to Blitzkrieg, Lynne Rienner (Boulder, CO), 1999.
Quest for Decisive Victory: From Stalemate to Blitzkrieg in Europe, 1899-1940, University Press of Kansas (Lawrence, KS), 2002.
Blitzkrieg to Desert Storm: The Evolution of Operational Warfare, University Press of Kansas (Lawrence, KS), 2004.
The German Way of War: From the Thirty Years' War to the Third Reich, University Press of Kansas (Lawrence, KS), 2005.
Death of the Wehrmacht: The German Campaigns of 1942, University Press of Kansas (Lawrence, KS), 2007.
Writer, educator, and historian Robert M. Citino earned his undergraduate degree at Ohio State University, then went on to earn both his master's degree and his doctorate from Indiana University. He spent a number of years on the faculty at Lake Erie College in Painesville, Ohio, before taking a position in the department of history at Eastern Michigan University. His primary areas of research and academic interest are German history and military history, with a particular focus on the military strategies of World War II and how those battles affected future military tactics and situations. He is the author of a number of works of history, including The Evolution of Blitzkrieg Tactics, Blitzkrieg to Desert Storm: The Evolution of Operational Warfare, and The German Way of War: From the Thirty Years' War to the Third Reich, among others.
Blitzkrieg to Desert Storm addresses the ways in which operational practices during wartime have evolved since 1940. Citino uses a number of combat operations as examples, analyzing each one and describing the advances that have taken place over time. He looks at the strengths of various means of attack and formations, explaining why even those tactics that appear strong and solid may not always provide the best option. In addition, although he focuses primarily on forms of warfare practiced in the West, he stresses that these are not the only procedures available, and that soldiers seeking to gain an advantage over any potential threat should train more broadly and investigate nontraditional sources for new strategies. Gregory Fontenot, in a review for Parameters, commented that "soldiers who take the time to read Robert Citino's book carefully will find themselves sometimes irritated, sometimes embarrassed as they recall their own short-comings, but always stimulated by Citino's fast-paced narrative and logical argument." Joseph Robert White, writing for History: Review of New Books, concluded that "Citino presents a carefully drawn picture of German military developments in the 1920s and 1930s."
In The German Way of War, Citino analyzes the strategies that the Germans have favored over the years, which relied heavily on short bursts of action and a willingness to allow regional level commanders to make decisions and to initiate their own tactics. He looks at the origins of these practices, and also considers how alterations from them frequently led to less than favorable results. Michael J. Zeps, in a contribution for History: Review of New Books, discussed the ways in which Citino might have carried this theory too far, overly simplifying certain military decisions, such as Hitler's discontinuation of the policy that allowed more freedom for initiative among regional leadership. He went on to conclude, however, that "there are so many wonderful details and insights in this book that it is hard to criticize it too strongly. Experts and buffs alike will enjoy it."
Citino once told CA: "I find that writing makes me a better classroom teacher, and that teaching makes me a more effective writer. Writing and teaching are not mutually antagonistic activities."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
History: Review of New Books, fall, 1999, Joseph Robert White, review of The Path to Blitzkrieg, p. 22; spring, 2006, Michael J. Zeps, review of The German Way of War: From the Thirty Years' War to the Third Reich, p. 89.
Parameters, winter, 2004, Gregory Fontenot, review of Blitzkrieg to Desert Storm: The Evolution of Operational Warfare, p. 152.