Trot off and read some accounts by people who fought against them, it might give you a clue. They might not have won a war and as Tony says the praise might get a bit overdone sometimes, but as he also says they nonetheless took some beating at the operational level. Even when taking on half the world virtually single handed.
I think it is on a dedication page of Russ Weigley's Eisenhower's Lts
there appears quoted passage of the British Army: "One cannot claim to have seen modern warfare until one has fought the German Army" or words to that effect.
Back to the thread:
Tradition counts. It dates from Prussian victories under Frederick II [the Great], reinforced by Bluecher & Company and the 1813-15 campaigns in Germany, France and Belgium, then the striking series of victories in the three wars of German Unification, 1864-71 [well, not so striking 1864!].
While WWI did not bring final victory, the Germans did the heavy lifting for the Central Powers and the performance of their armies [aided by the postwar myth that they were never defeated in the field, "just stabbed in the back by the liberals" -- a popular rightwing notion that seems international] means that the army of 1939 is poised to fignt and win. It then goes on to accomplish just that, until late 1942.
Edited by Ken Estes, 06 January 2007 - 0540 AM.