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Encyclopedia > Blitzkrieg
The defining characteristic of what is commonly known as “Blitzkrieg” is that it is a highly mobile form of mechanized warfare. This photo was taken during operations along the Terek River in 1942.
The defining characteristic of what is commonly known as “Blitzkrieg” is that it is a highly mobile form of mechanized warfare. This photo was taken during operations along the Terek River in 1942.

Blitzkrieg   (German, literally Lightning war or flash war) is a popular name for an offensive operational-level military doctrine which involves an initial bombardment followed by the employment of mobile forces attacking with speed and surprise to prevent an enemy from implementing a coherent defense. The founding principles of these types of operations were developed in the 20th century by various nations, and adapted in the years after World War I, largely by the German Wehrmacht, to incorporate modern weapons and vehicles as a method to help avoid the stalemate of trench warfare and linear warfare in future conflicts. The first practical implementations of these concepts coupled with modern technology were instituted by the Wehrmacht in the opening theatres of World War II. Blitzkrieg may refer to: Blitzkrieg, a military term Blitzkrieg (computer game), a World War II computer game Blitzkrieg (band), a heavy metal band Blitzkrieg (Blitzkrieg song), a song by said heavy metal band Blitzkrieg (song), a song by the band Excessive Force A song by the swedish metal band Deathstars... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1432x790, 208 KB)This image is believed to be in the public domain because it is a photograph originally published or taken over fifty years ago. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1432x790, 208 KB)This image is believed to be in the public domain because it is a photograph originally published or taken over fifty years ago. ... Terek River in North Georgia. ... Image File history File links De-blitzkrieg. ... Operational warfare is, within warfare and military doctrine, the level of command which coordinates the minute details of tactics with the overarching goals of strategy. ... Military doctrine is a level of military planning between national strategy and unit-level tactics, techniques, and procedures. ... In military science, defense (or defence) is the art of preventing an enemy from conquering territory. ... “The Great War ” redirects here. ... The straight-armed Balkenkreuz, a stylized version of the Iron Cross, the emblem of the Wehrmacht. ... Note: The following text was moved from Category:Modern weapons and should be improved to meet article standards. ... Trench warfare is a form of war in which both opposing armies have static lines of defense. ... For other uses, see Front line (disambiguation). ... Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000...


The strategy was particularly effective in the invasions of Western Europe and initial operations in the Soviet Union. These operations were dependent on surprise penetrations, general enemy unpreparedness and an inability to react swiftly enough to German offensive operations. In World War II, Battle of France or Case Yellow (Fall Gelb in German) was the German invasion of France and the Low Countries, executed 10 May 1940 which ended the Phony War. ... Combatants Germany Romania Finland Italy Hungary Slovakia  Soviet Union Commanders Adolf Hitler Wilhelm Ritter von Leeb Fedor von Bock Gerd von Rundstedt Heinz Guderian Günther von Kluge Franz Halder Ion Antonescu C.G.E. Mannerheim Giovanni Messe, CSIR Italo Garibaldi, ARMIR Iosef Stalin Kliment Voroshilov Semyon Timoshenko Fyodor Kuznetsov...

Contents

Definition and methods

The generally accepted definition of blitzkrieg operations include the use of maneuver rather than attrition to defeat an opponent, and describe operations using combined arms concentration of mobile assets at a focal point, armour closely supported by mobile infantry, artillery and close air support assets. These tactics required sheer speed, and the development of specialized support vehicles, new methods of communication, new tactics, and an effective decentralized command structure. Broadly speaking, blitzkrieg operations required the development of mechanized infantry, self-propelled artillery and engineering assets that could maintain the rate of advance of fast tanks. German forces avoided direct combat in favor of interrupting an enemy's communications, decision-making, logistics and of reducing morale. In combat, blitzkrieg left little choice for the slower defending forces but to clump into defensive pockets that were encircled and then reduced by slower-moving German infantry reserves. Maneuver warfare, is the term used by military theorist for a concept of warfare that advocates attempting to defeat an adversary by incapacitating their decision-making through shock and disruption brought about by movement. ... This article is about the military strategy. ... Infantry of the Royal Irish Rifles during the Battle of the Somme in World War I Infantry or footmen are very highly disciplined and trained soldiers who fight primarily with small arms(rifles), but are trained to use everything from their bare hands to missle systems in order to neutralize... For other uses, see Artillery (disambiguation). ... Military tactics (Greek: Taktikē, the art of organizing an army) are the collective name for methods for engaging and defeating an enemy in battle. ... In a military context, the chain of command is the line of authority and responsibility along which orders are passed. ... Mechanized infantry are infantry equipped with armored personnel carriers (APCs), or infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) for transport and combat (see also mechanized force). ... A U.S. M109A6 Paladin self-propelled howitzer Self-propelled artillery (also called mobile artillery or locomotive artillery) vehicles are a way of giving mobility to artillery. ... For the Bobby Womack album, see Communication (1972 album). ... Decision making is the cognitive process leading to the selection of a course of action among variations. ... Look up Logistics in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... Encirclement is a military term for the situation when one sides force or target is isolated and surrounded by other sides forces. ...


Once the point of attack was identified, the 'schwerpunkt' ('focus point', literally 'heavy point' or 'center of gravity'), tactical bombers, and motorized artillery units struck at enemy defenses. This avoided the setup time and revealing nature of field artillery setup. These bombardments were then followed by probing attacks to reveal defensive detail and allow most effective employment of the main armoured spearhead and combined arms groups. The goals were deepest possible penetration and minimal engagement, while avoiding an enemy counterattack. Once the main force broke through the designated strike area, motorized infantry would then fan out behind the armoured spearhead to capture or destroy any enemy forces encircled by panzer and mechanized infantry units, and to prevent flanking attacks. Less mobile infantry were designated for “mopping up” operations or to participate in the initial breakthrough. This is very effective because it catches the enemy unawere.Poop Poop Poop An armored spearhead is a formation of armored fighting vehicles, mostly tanks, that form the front of an offensive thrust during a battle. ... Combined arms is an approach to warfare which seeks to integrate different arms of a military to achieve mutually complementary effects. ... Closing the Falais-Argentan Pocket and the Mortain counterattack 6-17 August 1944 A counterattack is a military tactic used by defending forces when under attack by an enemy force. ... Panzer IV Ausf. ... “Flanking” redirects here. ...


Etymology and modern meaning

“Blitzkrieg” is a German compound literally meaning “lightning war” - but in context "blitz" is a synonym for rush, quick or fast. The word did not enter official terminology of the Wehrmacht either before or during the war, even though it was already used in the military Journal “Deutsche Wehr” in 1935, in the context of an article on how states with insufficient food and raw materials supply can win a war. Another appearance is in 1938 in the “Militär-Wochenblatt”, where Blitzkrieg is defined as a “strategic attack”, carried out by operational use of tanks, air force, and airborne troops. Karl-Heinz Frieser in his book Blitzkrieg Legende, who researched the origin of the term and found the above examples, points out that the pre-war use of the term is rare and that it practically never entered official terminology throughout the war.[1]


It was first popularised in the English-speaking world by the American newsmagazine TIME describing the 1939 German invasion of Poland. Published on September 25, 1939, well into the campaign, the account reads: A newsmagazine, sometimes called news magazine, is a usually weekly magazine featuring articles on current events. ... “TIME” redirects here. ... For the Soviet Unions military action against Poland under the same alliance, see Soviet invasion of Poland (1939). ... is the 268th day of the year (269th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1939 (MCMXXXIX) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...

The battlefront got lost, and with it the illusion that there had ever been a battlefront. For this was no war of occupation, but a war of quick penetration and obliteration—Blitzkrieg, lightning war. Swift columns of tanks and armored trucks had plunged through Poland while bombs raining from the sky heralded their coming. They had sawed off communications, destroyed animals, scattered civilians, spread terror. Working sometimes 30 miles (50 km) ahead of infantry and artillery, they had broken down the Polish defenses before they had time to organize. Then, while the infantry mopped up, they had moved on, to strike again far behind what had been called the front.[2]

Military historians have defined blitzkrieg as the employment of the concepts of maneuver and combined arms warfare developed in Germany during both the interwar period and the Second World War. Strategically, the ideal was to swiftly effect an adversary's collapse through a short campaign fought by a small, professional army. Operationally, its goal was to use indirect means, such as mobility and shock, to render an adversary's plans irrelevant or impractical. To do this, self-propelled formations of tanks; motorized infantry, engineers, artillery; and ground-attack aircraft operated as a combined-arms team. Historians have termed it a period form of the longstanding German principle of Bewegungskrieg, or movement war. Military history is composed of the events in the history of humanity that fall within the category of conflict. ... Interbellum redirects here. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Combined arms is an approach to warfare which seeks to integrate different arms of a military to achieve mutually complementary effects. ... Maneuver warfare, is the term used by military theorist for a concept of warfare that advocates attempting to defeat an adversary by incapacitating their decision-making through shock and disruption brought about by movement. ...


“Blitzkrieg” has since been extended to express multiple meanings in popular usage. From its original military definition, “blitzkrieg” may be applied to any military operation emphasizing the surprise, speed, or concentration stressed in accounts of the Invasion of Poland. During the war, the Luftwaffe terror bombings of London came to be known as The Blitz. Similarly, blitz has come to describe the “blitz” (rush) tactic of American football, and the blitz form of chess in which players are allotted very little time. Blitz or blitzkrieg is used in many other non-military contexts. Planning, calculating, or the giving or receiving of information. ... The Deutsche Luftwaffe or   (German: air force, IPA: ) is the commonly used term for the German air force. ... Terror bombing is a strategy of deliberately bombing civilian targets and strafing civilians in order to break the morale of the enemy and make its civilian population panic. ... This article is about the capital of England and the United Kingdom. ... For other uses, see Blitz. ... In American football, a blitz is a defensive maneuver in which one or more linebackers or defensive backs, who normally remain behind the line of scrimmage during a play, are instead sent across the line to the opponents side in order to try to tackle the quarterback. ... United States simply as football, is a competitive team sport that is both fast-paced and strategic. ... Blitz chess (also known as speed chess or blitzkrieg chess) is a game of chess where each side is given very little time to make all of their moves. ...


Interwar years

Reichswehr

Blitzkrieg's immediate development began with Germany's defeat in the First World War. Shortly after the war, the new Reichswehr created committees, within the Truppenamt, of veteran officers to evaluate 57 issues of the war.[3] The reports of these committees formed doctrinal and training publications which were the standards by the time of the Second World War. The Reichswehr was influenced by its analysis of pre-war German military thought, in particular its infiltration tactics of the war, and the maneuver warfare which dominated the Eastern Front. Reichswehr flag (1921-1935). ... The Truppenamt or Troop Office was the cover organisation for the German General Staff from 1919 through until 1933 when the General Staff was re-created. ... The German General Staff, (Großer Generalstab, literally, Great General Staff) was an institution whose rise and development gave the German military a decided advantage over its adversaries. ... In warfare, infiltration tactics involve small, lightly-equipped infantry forces attacking enemy rear areas while bypassing enemy front-line strongpoints, isolating them for attack by follow-on friendly troops with heavier weapons. ... The Eastern Front refers to a theatre of war during the first World War in Central and, primarily, Eastern Europe. ...


German military history had been influenced heavily by Carl von Clausewitz, Alfred von Schlieffen and von Moltke the Elder, who were proponents of maneuver, mass, and envelopment. Their concepts were employed in the successful Franco-Prussian War and attempted “knock-out blow” of the Schlieffen Plan. Following the war, these concepts were modified by the Reichswehr in the light of WWI experience. Its Chief of Staff, Hans von Seeckt, moved doctrine away from what he argued was an excessive focus on encirclement towards one based on speed. Speed gives surprise, surprise allows exploitation if decisions can be reached quickly and mobility gives flexibility and speed. Carl Philipp Gottfried von Clausewitz (IPA: ) (June 1, 1780[1] – November 16, 1831) was a Prussian soldier, military historian and influential military theorist. ... Categories: Stub | 1833 births | 1913 deaths ... Graf Moltke Helmuth Karl Bernhard von Moltke (October 26, 1800 - April 24, 1891), who became Helmuth, Graf von Moltke in 1870, was a famous Prussian Field Marshal. ... Combatants Second French Empire North German Confederation allied with South German states (later German Empire) Commanders Napoleon III François Achille Bazaine Patrice de Mac-Mahon, duc de Magenta Otto von Bismarck Helmuth von Moltke the Elder Strength 400,000 at wars beginning 1,200,000 Casualties 150,000... Image:AlfredGrafVonSchlieffen. ... Hans von Seeckt Hans von Seeckt (22 April 1866 - 27 December 1936) was a German soldier. ... Encirclement is a military term for the situation when one sides force or target is isolated and surrounded by other sides forces. ...


Von Seeckt advocated effecting breakthroughs against the enemy's centre when it was more profitable than encirclement or where encirclement was not practical. Under his command a modern update of the doctrinal system called “Bewegungskrieg” and its associated tactical system called “Auftragstaktik” was developed which resulted in the popularly known blitzkrieg effect. He additionally rejected the notion of mass which von Schlieffen and von Moltke had advocated. While reserves had comprised up to four-tenths of German forces in pre-war campaigns, von Seeckt sought the creation of a small, professional (volunteer) military backed by a defense-oriented militia. In modern warfare, he argued, such a force was more capable of offensive action, faster to ready, and less expensive to equip with more modern weapons. The Reichswehr was forced to adopt a small and professional army quite aside from any German plans, for the Treaty of Versailles limited it to 100,000 men. Mission-type tactics (German: Auftragstaktik, also known as directive control in the US), are a central component of the tactics of German armed forces since the 19th century. ... Lebanese Kataeb militia A Militia is an army composed of ordinary [1] citizens to provide defense, emergency or paramilitary service, or those engaged in such activity. ... This article is about the Treaty of Versailles of June 28, 1919, which ended World War I. For other uses, see Treaty of Versailles (disambiguation) . The Treaty of Versailles (1919) was a peace treaty that officially ended World War I between the Allied and Associated Powers and Germany. ...


Bewegungskrieg required a new command hierarchy that allowed military decisions to be made closer to the unit level. This allowed units to react and make effective decisions faster, which is a critical advantage and a major reason for the success of Blitzkrieg.


German leadership had also been criticized for failing to understand the technical advances of the First World War, having given tank production the lowest priority and having conducted no studies of the machine gun prior to that war.[4] In response, German officers attended technical schools during this period of rebuilding after the war. This article is about the history of the tank. ... A machine gun is a fully-automatic firearm that is capable of firing bullets in rapid succession. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ...


Infiltration tactics invented by the German Army during the First World War became the basis for later tactics. German infantry had advanced in small, decentralised groups which bypassed resistance in favour of advancing at weak points and attacking rear-area communications. This was aided by co-ordinated artillery and air bombardments, and followed by larger infantry forces with heavy guns, which destroyed centres of resistance. These concepts formed the basis of the Wehrmacht's tactics during the Second World War. In warfare, infiltration tactics involve small, lightly-equipped infantry forces attacking enemy rear areas while bypassing enemy front-line strongpoints, isolating them for attack by follow-on friendly troops with heavier weapons. ... The straight-armed Balkenkreuz, a stylized version of the Iron Cross, the emblem of the Wehrmacht. ...


On Eastern Front of World War I, combat did not bog down into trench warfare. German and Russian armies fought a war of maneuver over thousands of miles, giving the German leadership unique experience which the trench-bound Western Allies did not have.[5] Studies of operations in the East led to the conclusion that small and coordinated forces possessed more combat worth than large, uncoordinated forces. Trench warfare is a form of war in which both opposing armies have static lines of defense. ...


Foreign influence

During this period, all the war's major combatants developed mechanized force theories. The official doctrines of the Western Allies differed substantially from those of the Reichswehr. British, French, and American doctrines broadly favored a more prepared set-piece battle, using mechanized forces to maintain the impetus and momentum of an offensive. There was less emphasis on combined arms, deep penetration or concentration. In short, their philosophy was not too different from that which they had at the outset of World War 1. Early Reichswehr periodicals contained many translated works, though they were often not adopted. Technical advances in foreign countries were, however, observed and used in-part by the Weapons Office. Foreign doctrines are widely considered to have had little serious influence.[6]


Col. Charles de Gaulle, in France, was a known advocate of concentration of armor and airplanes. His opinions were expressed in his book, “Vers l'Armee de Metier” (“Towards the professional army”). Like von Seeckt, he concluded that France could no longer maintain the huge armies of conscripts and reservists with which World War I had been fought, and sought to use tanks, mechanised forces and aircraft to allow a smaller number of highly trained soldiers to have greater impact in battle. His views little endeared him to the French high command, but are claimed by some to have influenced Heinz Guderian. [1] For other uses, see Charles de Gaulle (disambiguation). ... This article is about the World War II general Heinz Guderian. ...


British theorists J.F.C. Fuller and debatably Captain B. H. Liddell Hart have often been associated with blitzkrieg's development, though this is a matter of controversy. The British War Office did permit an Experimental Mechanised Force, formed on 1 May 1927, that was wholly motorized including self propelled artillery and motorised engineers. Major-General John Frederick Charles Fuller, CB, CBE, DSO, commonly J.F.C. Fuller, (September 1, 1878–February 10, 1966), was a British major-general, military historian and strategist, notable as an early theorist of modern armoured warfare, including categorising principles of warfare. ... Basil Henry Liddell Hart (October 31, 1895 _ January 29, 1970) was a military historian and is considered among the great military strategists of the 20th century. ... is the 121st day of the year (122nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... The Birch Gun was the worlds first really practical self-propelled artillery gun, built at the Woolwich Arsenal in 1925. ...


It is argued that Guderian, a critical figure in blitzkrieg's conception, drew some of his inspiration from Liddell Hart. This was based on a paragraph in the English edition of Guderian's autobiography in which he credits Liddell Hart. In opposition, it is argued that Liddell Hart, as editor of the autobiography's English edition, wrote that paragraph himself or, more broadly, that his influence on Guderian was not as significant as held. The paragraph is missing in other language versions. Fuller's influence is clearly recognised by Guderian. During the war, he developed plans for massive, independent tank operations and was subsequently studied by the German leadership. It is variously argued that Fuller's wartime plans and post-war writings were an inspiration, or that his readership was low and German experiences during the war received more attention. The fact that the Germans saw themselves latterly as losers may be linked to the root and branch review, learn and rewrite of all Army doctrine and training manuals by senior and experienced officers, the UK's response was much weaker.[7] General Heinz Guderian Heinz Wilhelm Guderian (17 June 1888-14 May 1954) was a military theorist and General of the German Army during the Second World War. ...


What is clear is the practical implementation of this doctrine in a wide and successful range of scenarios by Guderian and other Germans during the war. From early combined-arms river crossings and penetration exploitations during the advance in France in 1940 to massive sweeping advances in Russia in 1941, Guderian showed a mastery and innovation that inspired many others. This leadership was supported, fostered and institutionalised by his supporters in the Reichswehr General Staff system, which worked the Army to greater and greater levels of capability through massive and systematic Movement Warfare war games in the 1930s.


The Reichswehr and Red Army collaborated in war games and tests in Kazan and Lipetsk beginning in 1926. During this period, the Red Army was developing the theory of Deep operations, which would guide Red Army doctrine throughout World War II. Set within the Soviet Union, these two centers were used to field test aircraft and armored vehicles up to the battalion level, as well as housing aerial and armored warfare schools through which officers were rotated. This was done in the Soviet Union, in secret, to evade the Treaty of Versailles's occupational agent, the Inter-Allied Commission.[8] For other organizations known as the Red Army, see Red Army (disambiguation). ... USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63) kicks off Exercise Valiant Shield, the largest war games of the United States Navy since the Vietnam War. ... This article is about the capital city of Tatarstan. ... Historic Coat of Arms of Lipetsk introduced in 1781 Lipetsk (Russian: ) is a city located in the Central Federal District of Russia. ... During the 1930s, Soviet military theorists introduced the concept of deep battle. ... Military Inter-Allied Commission of Control - Wikipedia /**/ @import /skins/monobook/IE50Fixes. ...


Some precursors of Blitzkrieg style were used in the First World War – most notably by General Alexei Brusilov in Russia's Brusilov Offensive of 1916 and Britain's General Allenby in the Battle of Megiddo in September 1918. Both relied on achieving surprise; Brusilov by merely omitting the usual clumsy preparations, Allenby by laboriously painting a false intelligence picture for the enemy commanders. Brusilov pioneered the use of infiltration by small groups of specially-picked infantry to dislocate enemy artillery and headquarters; the Germans themselves used a variation of such tactics in their 1918 Spring Offensive. Allenby used cavalry to seize railway and communication centres deep in the enemy rear, unhinging the entire defence, while aircraft disrupted enemy lines of communication and thwarted counter-moves. Aleksei Alekseevich Brusilov (Russian: Алексей Алексеевич Брусилов) (August 19, 1853 - March 17, 1926) was a Russian cavalry general most noted for the development of a military offensive tactic used in the Brusilov offensive of 1916. ... Combatants Russian Empire Austria-Hungary German Empire Commanders Aleksei Brusilov Conrad von Hötzendorf Alexander von Linsingen Strength 40+ infantry divisions (573,000 men) 15 cavalry divisions (60,000 men) 39 infantry divisions (437,000 men) 10 Cavalry divisions (30,000 men) Casualties 500,000+ men killed or wounded 975... Field Marshal Edmund Henry Hynman Allenby, 1st Viscount Allenby GCB GCMG GCVO (April 23, 1861 - May 14, 1936) was a British soldier and administrator most famous for his role during World War I, in which he led the Egyptian Expeditionary Force in the conquest of Palestine and Syria in 1917... Battle of Megiddo refers to one of three major battles fought near the ancient site of Megiddo in the Jezreel Valley of northern Israel. ... This article is about the First World War. ...


A comparatively less-discussed development was the recognition by Allied industrial and political figures (rather than military leaders), that maintenance of momentum required new methods and equipment. Realising that armies based on horsed transport and relying on telephones for communications were not able to maintain an advance faster than the defenders could move reserves to a threatened sector and construct new defensive lines, the British Ministry of Munitions under Winston Churchill was seeking in 1918 to develop mechanical means of achieving this. They planned to construct large numbers of vehicles with cross-country mobility, but the war ended before their efforts bore fruit.[9] Ministry of Munitions redirects here. ... Churchill redirects here. ...


Guderian into the Wehrmacht

Following Germany's military reforms of the 1920s, Heinz Guderian emerged as a strong proponent of mechanized forces. Within the Inspectorate of Transport Troops, Guderian and colleagues performed theoretical and field exercise work. There was opposition from many officers who gave primacy to the infantry or simply doubted the usefulness of the tank. Among them was Chief of the General Staff Ludwig Beck (1935–38), who was skeptical that armored forces could be decisive. Nonetheless, the panzer divisions were established during his tenure. This article is about the World War II general Heinz Guderian. ... Ludwig Beck General Ludwig Beck (June 29, 1880 – July 21, 1944) was Chief of Staff of the German Armed forces during the early years of the Nazi regime in Germany before World War II. Born in Biebrich in Hesse-Nassau, he was educated in the conservative Prussian military tradition. ...


Guderian argued that the tank was the decisive weapon of war. “If the tanks succeed, then victory follows”, he wrote. In an article addressed to critics of tank warfare, he wrote “until our critics can produce some new and better method of making a successful land attack other than self-massacre, we shall continue to maintain our beliefs that tanks—properly employed, needless to say—are today the best means available for land attack.” Addressing the faster rate at which defenders could reinforce an area than attackers could penetrate it during the First World War, Guderian wrote that “since reserve forces will now be motorized, the building up of new defensive fronts is easier than it used to be; the chances of an offensive based on the timetable of artillery and infantry co-operation are, as a result, even slighter today than they were in the last war.” He continued, “We believe that by attacking with tanks we can achieve a higher rate of movement than has been hitherto obtainable, and—what is perhaps even more important—that we can keep moving once a breakthrough has been made.”[10] Guderian additionally required that tactical radios be widely used to facilitate co-ordination and command by having one installed in all tanks.

Organisation of a 1941 German panzer division.
Organisation of a 1941 German panzer division.

After becoming head of state in 1934, Adolf Hitler ignored the Versailles Treaty provisions. A command for armored forces was created within the German Wehrmacht—the Panzertruppe, as it came to be known later. The Luftwaffe, or air force, was re-established, and development begun on ground-attack aircraft and doctrines. Hitler was a strong supporter of this new strategy. He read Guderian's book Achtung! Panzer! and upon observing armored field exercises at Kummersdorf he remarked “That is what I want—and that is what I will have.”[11] Download high resolution version (821x380, 22 KB)Ideal/illustrative table of organization and equipment for a German 1941 Panzer Division. ... Download high resolution version (821x380, 22 KB)Ideal/illustrative table of organization and equipment for a German 1941 Panzer Division. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Panzerwaffe. ... Hitler redirects here. ... The straight-armed Balkenkreuz, a stylized version of the Iron Cross, the emblem of the Wehrmacht. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Panzerwaffe. ... The Deutsche Luftwaffe or   (German: air force, IPA: ) is the commonly used term for the German air force. ... Kummersdorf is the name of an estate near Luckenwalde at 52°05 N and 13°20 E, around 25km south of Berlin, in the Brandenburg region of Germany. ...


Guderian's Blitzkrieg


Heinz Guderian probably was the first who fully developed and advocated the principle of blitzkrieg. He summarized the tactics of blitzkrieg as the way to get the mobile and motorized armored divisions to work together and support each other in order to achieve decisive success. In his book, Panzer Leader, page 13, he said, This article is about the World War II general Heinz Guderian. ...

“In this year of 1929 I became convinced that Tanks working on their own or in conjunction with infantry could never achieve decisive importance, My historical studies; the exercises carried out in England and our own experience with mock-ups had persuaded me that the tanks would never be able to produce their full effect until weapons on whose support they must inevitably rely were brought up to their standard of speed and of cross country performance. In such formation of all arms, the tanks must play primary role, the other weapons beings subordinated to the requirements of the armor. It would be wrong to include tanks in infantry divisions: what was needed were armored divisions which would include all the supporting arms needed to fight with full effect” For other uses, see England (disambiguation). ...

Guderian believed that certain development in technology must be developed in conjunction with Blitzkrieg to support the entire theory; especially in communications with which the armored divisions, and tanks especially should be equipped (Wireless Communications). Guderian insisted in 1933 to the high command that every tank in the German armored force must be equipped with radio.[12]


Spanish Civil War

German volunteers first used armor in live field conditions during the Spanish Civil War of 1936. Armor commitments consisted of Panzer Battalion 88, a force built around three companies of PzKpfw I tanks that functioned as a training cadre for Nationalists. The Luftwaffe deployed squadrons of fighters, dive-bombers, and transports as the Condor Legion.[13] Guderian called the tank deployment “on too small a scale to allow accurate assessments to be made.”[14] The true test of his “armored idea” would have to wait for the Second World War. However, the German Air Force also provided volunteers to Spain to test both tactics and aircraft in combat, including the first combat use of the Stuka. Not to be confused with the Spanish Civil War of 1820-1823. ... The Panzerkampfwagen I, or Sonderkraftfahrzeug (SdKfz) 191, abbreviated PzKpfw I and more commonly referred to as the Panzer I, was a light tank produced by Germany in the 1930s. ... An A-10 Thunderbolt II, F-86 Sabre, P-38 Lightning and P-51 Mustang fly in formation during an air show at Langley Air Force Base, Virginia. ... A dive bomber is a bomber aircraft that dives directly at its targets in order to provide greater accuracy. ... Hermann Göring delivering an honour (likely to be the Spanienkreuz, Spanish Cross) to a member of the Legion Condor (April 1939) The Condor Legion was a unit of Nazi Germanys air force which was sent as volunteers to support the right wing Nationalists (i. ... Stuka redirects here. ...


Methods of operations

Schwerpunkt

Blitzkrieg sought decisive actions at all times. To this end, the theory of a schwerpunkt (focal point) developed; it was the point of maximum effort. Ground, mechanised and Luftwaffe forces were used only at this point of maximum effort whenever possible. By local success at the schwerpunkt, a small force achieved a breakthrough and gained advantages by fighting in the enemy's rear. It is summarized by Guderian as “Nicht kleckern, klotzen!” (“Don't fiddle, smash!”) The Deutsche Luftwaffe or   (German: air force, IPA: ) is the commonly used term for the German air force. ...


To achieve a breakout, armored forces would attack the enemy's defensive line directly, supported by their own infantry (Panzergrenadiers), artillery fire and aerial bombardment in order to create a breach in the enemy's line. Through this breach the tanks could break through without the traditional encumbrance of the slow logistics of a pure infantry regiment. The breaching force never lost time by “stabilising its flanks” or by regrouping; rather it continued the assault in towards the interior of the enemy's lines, sometimes diagonally across them. This point of breakout has been labeled a “hinge”, but only because a change in direction of the defender's lines is naturally weak and therefore a natural target for blitzkrieg assault.


In this, the opening phase of an operation, air forces sought to gain superiority over enemy air forces by attacking aircraft on the ground, bombing their airfields, and seeking to destroy them in air to air combat.


A final element was the use of airborne forces beyond the enemy lines in order to disrupt enemy activities and take important positions (such as Eben Emael). While the taking of the position does not constitute part of blitzkrieg, the disruptive effect this can cause in combination with earlier elements would fit well. Airborne Military parachuting form of insertion. ... ...


Paralysis

Having achieved a breakthrough into the enemy's rear areas, German forces attempted to paralyze the enemy's decision making and implementation process. Moving faster than enemy forces, mobile forces exploited weaknesses and acted before opposing forces could formulate a response. Guderian wrote that “Success must be exploited without respite and with every ounce of strength, even by night. The defeated enemy must be given no peace.”


Central to this is the decision cycle. Every decision made by German or opposing forces required time to gather information, make a decision, disseminate orders to subordinates, and then implement this decision through action. Through superior mobility and faster decision-making cycles, mobile forces could take action on a situation sooner than the forces opposing them. Decision cycle refers to the continual use of mental and physical processes by an entity to reach and implement decisions. ...


Directive control was a fast and flexible method of command. Rather than receiving an explicit order, a commander would be told of his superior's intent and the role which his unit was to fill in this concept. The exact method of execution was then a matter for the low-level commander to determine as best fit the situation. Staff burden was reduced at the top and spread among commands more knowledgeable about their own situation. In addition, the encouragement of initiative at all levels aided implementation. As a result, significant decisions could be effected quickly and either verbally or with written orders a few pages in length. Mission-type tactics (German: Auftragstaktik, also known as directive control in the US), are a central component of the tactics of German armed forces since the 19th century. ...


Kesselschlacht

An operation's final phase, the Kesselschlacht (literally translated as “cauldron battle”), was a concentric attack on an encircled force. It was here that most losses were inflicted upon the enemy, primarily through the capture of prisoners and weapons.


Effect on civilians

Blitzkrieg tactics often affected civilians in a way perceived by some to be negative — sometimes intentionally, and sometimes not. Whereas more traditional conflict resulted in a well-defined, slow moving front line, giving civilians time to be evacuated to safety, the new approach did not provide for this luxury.


Operations in history

Poland, 1939

In Poland, fast moving armies encircled Polish forces (blue circles), but the “blitzkrieg” idea never really took hold – artillery and infantry forces acted in time-honoured fashion to crush these pockets.
In Poland, fast moving armies encircled Polish forces (blue circles), but the “blitzkrieg” idea never really took hold – artillery and infantry forces acted in time-honoured fashion to crush these pockets.

Despite the term blitzkrieg being coined during the Invasion of Poland of 1939, historians generally hold that German operations during it were more consistent with more traditional methods. The Wehrmacht's strategy was more inline with Vernichtungsgedanken, or a focus on envelopment to create pockets in broad-front annihilation. Panzer forces were deployed among the three German concentrations without strong emphasis on independent use, being used to create or destroy close pockets of Polish forces and seize operational-depth terrain in support of the largely un-motorized infantry which followed. The Luftwaffe gained air superiority by a combination of superior technology and numbers. Download high resolution version (1256x956, 402 KB)Polish Campaign - Operations - September 1-14 Source: US ARMY License: US Government document. ... Download high resolution version (1256x956, 402 KB)Polish Campaign - Operations - September 1-14 Source: US ARMY License: US Government document. ... For the Soviet Unions military action against Poland under the same alliance, see Soviet invasion of Poland (1939). ... Vernichtungsgedanke, meaning the concept of annihilation in German, is a Prussian / German tactical doctrine, dating to Frederick the Great. ... Polish Army (Polish Wojsko Polskie) is the name applied to the military forces of Poland. ...


The understanding of operations in Poland has shifted considerably since the Second World War. Many early postwar histories incorrectly attribute German victory to “enormous development in military technique which occurred between 1918 and 1940”, incorrectly citing that “Germany, who translated (British inter-war) theories into action...called the result Blitzkrieg.”[15] More recent histories identify German operations in Poland as relatively cautious and traditional. Matthew Cooper wrote that

“...(t)hroughout [the Polish Campaign], the employment of the mechanized units revealed the idea that they were intended solely to ease the advance and to support the activities of the infantry....Thus, any strategic exploitation of the armored idea was still-born. The paralysis of command and the breakdown of morale were not made the ultimate aim of the ... German ground and air forces, and were only incidental by-products of the traditional maneuvers of rapid encirclement and of the supporting activities of the flying artillery of the Luftwaffe, both of which had has their purpose the physical destruction of the enemy troops. Such was the Vernichtungsgedanke of the Polish campaign.”[16]

He went on to say that the use of tanks “left much to be desired...Fear of enemy action against the flanks of the advance, fear which was to prove so disastrous to German prospects in the west in 1940 and in the Soviet Union in 1941, was present from the beginning of the war.”[17] John Ellis further asserted that “...there is considerable justice in Matthew Cooper's assertion that the panzer divisions were not given the kind of strategic mission that was to characterize authentic armored blitzkrieg, and were almost always closely subordinated to the various mass infantry armies.”[18] Vernichtungsgedanke, meaning the concept of annihilation in German, is a Prussian / German tactical doctrine, dating to Frederick the Great. ... John Ellis may refer to: John Ellis, 18th century scientist John Willis Ellis (1920–1961), North Carolina governor John Ellis, a baseball player John Ellis (born 1952), founding member of the 1970s punk band The Vibrators John Ellis, a drummer for the band Judas Priest John Ellis (born 1930), British...


In fact, “Whilst Western accounts of the September campaign have stressed the shock value of the panzers and Stuka attacks, they have tended to underestimate the punishing effect of German artillery on Polish units. Mobile and available in significant quantity, artillery shattered as many units as any other branch of the Wehrmacht.”[19]


France 1940

Main article: Battle of France

The German invasion of France, with subsidiary attacks on Belgium and the Netherlands, consisted of two phases, Operation “Yellow” (Fall Gelb) and Operation “Red” (Fall Rot). Yellow opened with a feint conducted against the Netherlands and Belgium by two armoured corps and paratroopers. The Germans had massed the bulk of their armoured force in “Panzer Group von Kleist”, which attacked through the comparatively unguarded sector of the Ardennes and achieved a breakthrough at Sedan with air support. Combatants  France  United Kingdom  Canada  Czechoslovakia  Poland  Belgium  Netherlands  Luxembourg Germany Italy Commanders Maurice Gamelin, Maxime Weygand Lord Gort (British Expeditionary Force) Leopold III H.G. Winkelman Gerd von Rundstedt (Army Group A) Fedor von Bock (Army Group B) Wilhelm von Leeb (Army Group C) H.R.H. Umberto di... In World War II, Battle of France or Case Yellow (Fall Gelb in German) was the German invasion of France and the Low Countries, executed 10 May 1940 which ended the Phony War. ... In World War II, Battle of France was the German invasion of France and the Low Countries, executed 10 May 1940 which ended the Phony War. ... An American USMC Paratrooper using a MC1-B series parachute Paratroopers are soldiers trained in parachuting and generally operate as part of an airborne force. ... The Ardennes (IPA pronunciation: ) (Dutch: Ardennen) is a volcanic region of extensive forests and rolling hill country, primarily in Belgium and Luxembourg, but stretching into France (lending its name to the Ardennes département and the Champagne-Ardenne région). ...


The group raced to the coast of the English Channel at Abbéville, thus isolating the British Expeditionary Force, Belgian Army, and some divisions of the French Army in northern France. The armoured and motorized units under Guderian and Rommel initially advanced far beyond the following divisions, and indeed far in excess of that with which German high command was initially comfortable. When the German motorized forces were met with a counterattack at Arras, British tanks with heavy armour (Matilda I & IIs) created a brief panic in the German High Command. The armoured and motorized forces were halted, by Hitler, outside the port city of Dunkirk which was being used to evacuate the Allied forces. Hermann Göring had promised his Luftwaffe would complete the destruction of the encircled armies but aerial operations did not prevent the evacuation of the majority of Allied troops (which the British named Operation Dynamo); some 330,000 French and British were saved. For the Thoroughbred racehorse of the same name, see English Channel (horse). ... The British Expeditionary Force (BEF) was the British army sent to France and Belgium in World War I and British Forces in Europe from 1939–1940 during World War II. The BEF was established by Secretary of State for War Richard Haldane following the Second Boer War in case the... Flag of Belgium The Land Component, formerly the Belgian Army, is the land-based armed force of the Belgian Armed Forces. ... The French Army, officially the Armée de Terre (Army of the land), is the land-based component of the French Armed Forces and the largest. ... Combatants United Kingdom Germany Commanders Major-General Harold Franklyn Generalmajor Erwin Rommel Casualties About 100 killed or wounded 300 killed or wounded, 400 Captured. ... For other uses of Dunkirk or Dunkerque, see Dunkirk (disambiguation). ... French troops rescued by a British merchant ship at Dunkirk British evacuation on Dunkirk beach Operation Dynamo (or Dunkirk Evacuation, the Miracle of Dunkirk or just Dunkirk) was the name given to the World War II mass evacuation of Allied soldiers from May 26 to June 4, 1940, during the...


Overall, “Yellow” succeeded beyond almost anyone's wildest dreams, despite the claim that the Allies had 4,000 armoured vehicles and the Germans 2,200, and the Allied tanks were often superior in armour and calibre of cannon.[20] It left the French armies much reduced in strength (although not demoralised), and without much of their own armour and heavy equipment. Operation “Red” then began with a triple pronged panzer attack. The XV Panzer Corps attacked towards Brest, XIV Panzer Corps attacked east of Paris, towards Lyon, and Guderian's XIX Panzer Corps completed the encirclement of the Maginot Line. The defending forces were hard pressed to organize any sort of counter-attack. The French forces were continually ordered to form new lines along rivers, often arriving to find the German forces had already passed them. Brest is a city in Brittany, or the Bretagne région, north-west France, sous-préfecture of the Finistère département. ... This article is about the French city. ... The Maginot Line (IPA: [maÊ’inoː], named after French minister of defence André Maginot) was a line of concrete fortifications, tank obstacles, machine gun posts and other defences which France constructed along its borders with Germany and with Italy, in the light of experience from World War I, and...


Ultimately, the French army and nation collapsed after barely two months of blitzkrieg operations, in contrast to the four years of trench warfare of the First World War.


North Africa, 1940–43

When Italy entered the war in 1940, a large Italian force faced the British Western Desert Force under Richard O'Connor on the frontier between Egypt and Libya. The British force included a substantial mechanised contingent, the Mobile Force (Egypt). The concepts of operations of the Mobile Force had been worked out by its former commander, Percy Hobart, a comparatively little-known theorist of armoured operations. The British Commander in Chief in the Middle East, General Archibald Wavell, had been a staff officer under Allenby in Palestine and had extensively analysed his operations. The Western Desert Force, during World War II, was a British Commonwealth Army unit stationed in Egypt. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Composed of regular British Army units, the famous Desert Rats division was originally formed as the Mobile Division or Mobile Force (Egypt) and was one of two training commands used by the British before World War II to develop armoured warfare techniques. ... Major-General Sir Percy Cleghorn Stanley Hobart (14 June 1885-19 February 1957) was a British military engineer and commander of the 79th Armoured Division during World War II. He was responsible for many of the specialised armoured vehicles (Hobarts Funnies) that took part in the invasion of Normandy. ... Archibald Percival Wavell, 1st Earl Wavell (May 5, 1883 _ May 24, 1950) was a British General and the commander of British Army forces in the Middle East during World War II. He led British forces to victory over the Italians, only to be defeated by the German army. ...


In Operation Compass, launched in December 1940, O'Connor's forces effectively destroyed the Italian armies in Libya. The British mobile force several times outflanked and isolated the Italian front line troops, and ultimately drove across the desert to intercept and capture the retreating Italians at Beda Fomm. At this point, British forces were diverted to campaigns in Greece and elsewhere, being replaced by comparatively inexperienced units, and German armoured forces under Erwin Rommel landed in Africa to reinforce the Italians. Rommel improvised a Blitzkrieg riposte which destroyed many British armoured formations and drove the remaining forces back into Egypt, except for the besieged fortress of Tobruk. Combatants Western Desert Force Italian Tenth Army Commanders Richard OConnor Rodolfo Graziani Pietro Maletti † Strength 50,000 soldiers 120 guns 275 tanks 100,000 soldiers 1,600 guns 600 light tanks Casualties 494 dead 1,225 wounded 3,000 dead 115,000 captured 400 tanks 1,292 guns Operation... Combatants Western Desert Force Italian Tenth Army Commanders Richard OConnor Rodolfo Graziani Pietro Maletti † Annibale Bergonzoli Strength 31,000 soldiers[1] 120 artillery pieces 275 tanks 60 Armoured cars 200,000 soldiers 1,600 guns 600 tanks Casualties 494 dead 1,225 wounded 3,000 dead 115,000 captured... Erwin Johannes Eugen Rommel ( ) (15 November 1891 – 14 October 1944) was one of the most famous German field marshals of World War II. He was the commander of the Deutsches Afrika Korps and also became known by the nickname “The Desert Fox” (Wüstenfuchs,  ) for the skillful military campaigns he... Combatants Australia United Kingdom South Africa Poland Czechoslovakia Germany Italy Commanders Leslie Morshead Erwin Rommel Strength 14,000 35,000? Casualties Britain: 9009 killed 941 captured estimated 12,000 total 8,000 The Siege of Tobruk was a lengthy confrontation between Axis and Allied forces, mostly Australian, in the North...


From this point onwards, pure blitzkrieg operations played less part. The resulting battles in the open desert terrain have been compared to naval encounters, rather than land battles. The great distances involved imposed logistical limitations on movements, and made it difficult to seize any objective which would cripple the enemy ability to resist.


The large British armoured force which mounted Operation Crusader, the final attempt to relieve Tobruk in late 1941, had a vague mission which amounted to seeking out and destroying Rommel's armoured forces. Rommel, having temporarily knocked out many British armoured formations, did launch an armoured raid into the British rear areas in an attempt to induce a strategic collapse among his opponents but this did not occur and he was forced to withdraw. Once again, British forces were diverted from the Middle East (on Japan's entry into the war), and once again the German Afrika Korps mounted a small-scale blitzkrieg counter-attack which recovered most of the ground lost in Crusader. Rommel's subsequent attack against the British rear at the Battle of Gazala failed, and nearly left his forces stranded and isolated. In the event, Rommel was able to restore his position, capture Tobruk and advance far into Egypt as a result of British failures at a tactical, rather than strategic level. Supply problems and stiff resistance at the El Alamein position, the last defensive line before Alexandria and the Nile, halted Rommel's forces. Rommel's last attempted blitzkrieg operation in Egypt, the Battle of Alam el Halfa, failed because the Allies had plenty of warning of his intentions through ULTRA decryption of German signals, and even “canalised” his advance into a head-on attack against dug-in British forces. Combatants United Kingdom Australia New Zealand Poland Germany Italy Commanders Claude Auchinleck Alan Gordon Cunningham Neil Ritchie Erwin Rommel Ludwig Crüwell Strength 8th Army comprising XIII Corps, XXX Corps and 70th Division. ... The seal of the Deutsches Afrikakorps. ... Combatants Panzer Army Afrika Italian Army Eighth Army Commanders Erwin Rommel Claude Auchinleck Neil Ritchie Strength 80,000 390 tanks 175,000 949 tanks Casualties 32,000 dead, wounded, or captured 114 tanks destroyed 98,000 dead, wounded, or captured 540 tanks destroyed The Battle of Gazala was an important... Combatants Allies: United Kingdom New Zealand Axis: Germany Italy Commanders Bernard Montgomery Erwin Rommel Strength XIII Corps (Eighth Army): 4 Divisions Panzer Armee Afrika: 6 Divisions Casualties 1750 killed, wounded or captured 67 tanks 67 aircraft[1] 2930 killed, wounded or captured 49 tanks 36 aircraft 395 other vehicles The... Ultra (sometimes capitalized ULTRA) was the name used by the British for intelligence resulting from decryption of German communications in World War II. The term eventually became the standard designation in both Britain and the United States for all intelligence from high-level cryptanalytic sources. ...


Most of the subsequent Allied offensives were set-piece battles, with little attempt at pursuit. Rommel had one final opportunity to use Blitzkrieg methods in Tunisia, when a spoiling attack launched at Kasserine resulted in the collapse of the American front. Denied reinforcements to exploit the opening, the Germans rejected the option to advance deep into the Allied rear. The Americans were reinforced and were able to rally, and subsequent German attacks were indecisive. The North African campaign ended with a final Allied set-piece attack which broke through the lines in front of Tunis. Combatants Germany Italy United States United Kingdom Free France Commanders Erwin Rommel Lloyd Fredendall Strength 22,000 30,000 Casualties 2,000 10,000 (including 6,700 Americans) The Battle of Kasserine Pass took place in World War II during the Tunisia Campaign. ...


Soviet Union: the Eastern Front: 1941–42

After 1941–42, armoured formations were increasingly used as a mobile reserve against Allied breakthroughs. The black arrows depict armoured counter-attacks.

Use of armored forces was crucial for both sides on the Eastern Front. Operation Barbarossa, the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941, involved a number of breakthroughs and encirclements by motorized forces. Its stated goal was “to destroy the Russian forces deployed in the West and to prevent their escape into the wide-open spaces of Russia.”[21] This was generally achieved by four panzer armies which encircled surprised and disorganized Soviet forces, followed by marching infantry which completed the encirclement and defeated the trapped forces. The first year of the Eastern Front offensive can generally be considered to have had the last successful major blitzkrieg operations. Download high resolution version (595x803, 41 KB)DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY PAMPHLET NO. 20-233 GERMAN DEFENSE TACTICS AGAINST RUSSIAN BREAK-THROUGHS October, 1951. ... Download high resolution version (595x803, 41 KB)DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY PAMPHLET NO. 20-233 GERMAN DEFENSE TACTICS AGAINST RUSSIAN BREAK-THROUGHS October, 1951. ... Combatants Germany Romania Finland Italy Hungary Slovakia  Soviet Union Commanders Adolf Hitler Wilhelm Ritter von Leeb Fedor von Bock Gerd von Rundstedt Heinz Guderian Günther von Kluge Franz Halder Ion Antonescu C.G.E. Mannerheim Giovanni Messe, CSIR Italo Garibaldi, ARMIR Iosef Stalin Kliment Voroshilov Semyon Timoshenko Fyodor Kuznetsov... The Eastern Front was the theatre of combat between Nazi Germany and its allies against the Soviet Union during World War II. It was somewhat separate from the other theatres of the war, not only geographically, but also for its scale and ferocity. ...


After Germany's failure to destroy the Soviets before the winter of 1941, the strategic failure above the German tactical superiority became apparent. Although the German invasion successfully conquered large areas of Soviet territory, the overall strategic effects were more limited. The Red Army was able to regroup far to the rear of the main battle line, and eventually defeat the German forces for the first time in the Battle of Moscow. For other organizations known as the Red Army, see Red Army (disambiguation). ... Combatants Nazi Germany Soviet Union Commanders Fedor von Bock, Heinz Guderian Georgy Zhukov, Aleksandr Vasilevsky Strength As of October 1: 1,000,000 men, 1,700 tanks, 14,000 guns, 950 planes[1] As of October 1: 1,250,000 men, 1,000 tanks, 7,600 guns, 677 planes[2...


In the summer of 1942, when Germany launched another offensive in the southern USSR against Stalingrad and the Caucasus, the Soviets again lost tremendous amounts of territory, only to counter-attack once more during winter. German gains were ultimately limited by Hitler diverting forces from the attack on Stalingrad itself and seeking to pursue a drive to the Caucasus oilfields simultaneously as opposed to subsequently as the original plan had envisaged. Stalingrad is the former name of two cities: Volgograd, Russia Karviná-Nové Město, near Ostrava, Czech Republic Other uses: The Battle of Stalingrad (a major turning-point of World War II and arguably the bloodiest battle in human history) Stalingrad (German film set during the above battle) Stalingrad... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Caucasus Mountains. ... Adolf Hitler Adolf Hitler (April 20, 1889 – April 30, 1945, standard German pronunciation in the IPA) was the Führer (leader) of the National Socialist German Workers Party (Nazi Party) and of Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1945. ...

The Jagdtiger, one of the most formidable German tank destroyers. These specialised vehicles traded mobility for firepower and protection, reflecting the defensive and non-blitzkrieg nature of German operations in the second half of the war.
The Jagdtiger, one of the most formidable German tank destroyers. These specialised vehicles traded mobility for firepower and protection, reflecting the defensive and non-blitzkrieg nature of German operations in the second half of the war.

Image File history File links Jagdtiger-Aberdeen. ... Image File history File links Jagdtiger-Aberdeen. ... The Panzerjäger Tiger Ausf. ... A self-propelled anti-tank gun, or tank destroyer, is a type of armoured fighting vehicle. ...

Western Front, 1944–45

As the war progressed, Allied armies began using combined arms formations and deep penetration strategies that Germany had used in the opening years of the war. Many Allied operations in the Western Desert and on the Eastern Front relied on massive concentrations of firepower to establish breakthroughs by fast-moving armoured units. These artillery-based tactics were also decisive in Western Front operations after Operation Overlord and both the British Commonwealth and American armies developed flexible and powerful systems for utilizing artillery support. What the Soviets lacked in flexibility, they made up for in number of multiple rocket launchers, cannon and mortar tubes. The Germans never achieved the kind of response times or fire concentrations their enemies were capable of by 1944. The Battle of Normandy was fought in 1944 between the German forces occupying Western Europe and the invading Allies. ...


After the Allied landings at Normandy, Germany made attempts to overwhelm the landing force with armored attacks, but these failed for lack of co-ordination and Allied air superiority. The most notable attempt to use deep penetration operations in Normandy was at Mortain, which exacerbated the German position in the already-forming Falaise Pocket and assisted in the ultimate destruction of German forces in Normandy. The Mortain counter-attack was effectively destroyed by U.S. 12th Army Group with little effect on its own offensive operations. This article is about the assault phase of Operation Overlord. ... Combatants Allied Powers Nazi Germany Commanders General Omar Bradley Field Marshal Günther von Kluge Strength 5 infantry divisions 3 armoured combat commands 3 Panzer Divisions 2 infantry divisions 5 panzer/infantry battlegroups During World War II, Operation Lüttich was a counterattack launched by German forces on the left... Combatants North:  United Kingdom  Canada Polish forces South:  United States  Free French Nazi Germany Commanders Omar Bradley Harry Crerar Philippe Leclerc StanisÅ‚aw Maczek Bernard Montgomery George Patton Günther von Kluge Walter Model Strength ~at least 500,000 Casualties Canadian: 1,470 killed Polish: 325 killed ~50,000 killed...


The Allied offensive in central France, spearheaded by armored units from George S. Patton's Third Army, used breakthrough and penetration techniques that were essentially identical to Guderian's prewar “armoured idea.” Patton acknowledged that he had read both Guderian and Rommel before the war, and his tactics shared the traditional cavalry emphasis on speed and attack. A phrase commonly used in his units was “haul ass and bypass.” George Patton redirects here. ... Erwin Johannes Eugen Rommel ( ) (15 November 1891 – 14 October 1944) was one of the most famous German field marshals of World War II. He was the commander of the Deutsches Afrika Korps and also became known by the nickname “The Desert Fox” (Wüstenfuchs,  ) for the skillful military campaigns he...


Germany's last offensive on its Western front, Operation Wacht am Rhein, was an offensive launched towards the vital port of Antwerp in December 1944. Launched in poor weather against a thinly-held Allied sector, it achieved surprise and initial success as Allied air power was stymied by cloud cover. However, stubborn pockets of defence in key locations throughout the Ardennes, the lack of serviceable roads, and poor German logisitics planning caused delays. Allied forces deployed to the flanks of the German penetration, and Allied aircraft were again able to attack motorized columns. However, the stubborn defense of US units and German weakness led to a defeat for the Germans. For the 1965 film, see Battle of the Bulge (film). ... For other uses, see Antwerp (disambiguation). ... The Ardennes (IPA pronunciation: ) (Dutch: Ardennen) is a volcanic region of extensive forests and rolling hill country, primarily in Belgium and Luxembourg, but stretching into France (lending its name to the Ardennes département and the Champagne-Ardenne région). ...


Asia 1942–1945

The terrain and logistical infrastructure in the areas of Asia in which Japanese forces were engaged presented far fewer opportunities for wide-ranging mechanised operations, but a few battles were noted for fast-moving attacks which resulted in the dislocation of the defences.


In the Battle of Malaya in early 1942, Japanese forces with air superiority and spearheaded by a tank regiment, rapidly drove British Commonwealth forces back down the length of the peninsula, aided by outflanking operations launched from the sea. The rapid Japanese offensive into Burma spearheaded by tanks and motorised forces in the same year also caused the Allied defence to collapse, although disunity of Allied command was also a factor. Combatants Malaya Command: Indian III Corps Australian 8th Div. ... The Commonwealth of Nations as of 2007 Headquarters Marlborough House, London, UK Official languages English Membership 53 sovereign states Leaders  -  Queen Elizabeth II  -  Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma Appointed 24 November 2007 Establishment  -  Balfour Declaration 18 November 1926   -  Statute of Westminster 11 December 1931   -  London Declaration 28 April 1949  Area  -  Total...


In the Battle of Central Burma in 1945, the British Fourteenth Army (enjoying air supremacy) launched an armoured and mechanised offensive which captured the major communication centre of Meiktila behind the Japanese lines by surprise. There was no strategic collapse, but the attempted Japanese counter-attack was made at a strategic and tactical disadvantage. The Japanese were forced to break off the battle and withdraw from most of Burma. It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Battle of Meiktila. ... The British Fourteenth Army was a multinational force comprising units from Commonwealth countries during World War II. Many of its units were from the Indian Army as well as British units and there were also significant contributions from East African divisions within the British Army. ... MEIKTILA is in Mandalay division of Myanmar; population (1901) 252,305, and is located at 20°53N, 95°53 E. It is situated on the banks of magnificent Lake Meiktila, an ancient irrigation and drinking water reservoir, and at the junction of the Bagan-Taunggyi and Yangon-Mandalay roads. ...


In Operation August Storm, the Soviet invasion of Japanese-occupied Manchuria, the Russians made their major attack via a route the Japanese had thought impossible for armoured forces to traverse. The Russians very rapidly overran vast areas, and surrounded most Japanese forces in besieged towns. The Japanese were thinly stretched in static garrisons, and had very few resources with which to counter the Russian attacks. Combatants Soviet Union Peoples Republic of Mongolia Japan Manchukuo Mengjiang Commanders Aleksandr Vasilevsky Otsuzo Yamada Strength Soviet Union 1,577,225 men, 26,137 artillery, 1,852 sup. ...


Countermeasures and limitations

Environment

The concepts associated with the term “Blitzkrieg” – deep penetrations by armour, large encirclements, and combined arms attacks – were largely dependent upon terrain and weather conditions. Where the ability for rapid movement across “tank country” was not possible, armoured penetrations were often avoided or resulted in failure. Terrain would ideally be flat, firm, unobstructed by natural barriers or fortifications, and interspersed with roads and railways. If it was instead hilly, wooded, marshy, or urban, armour would be vulnerable to infantry in close-quarters combat and unable to break out at full speed. Additionally, units could be halted by mud (thawing along the Eastern Front regularly slowed both sides) or extreme snow. Artillery observation and aerial support was also naturally dependent on weather. It should however be noted that the disadvantages of such terrain could be nullified if surprise was achieved over the enemy by an attack through such terrain. During the Battle of France, the German Blitzkrieg-style attack on France went through the Ardennes. There is little doubt that the hilly, heavily-wooded Ardennes could have been relatively easily defended by the Allies, even against the bulk of the German armoured units. However, precisely because the French thought the Ardennes as unsuitable for massive troop movement, particularly for tanks, they were left with only light defences which were quickly overrun by the Wehrmacht. The Germans quickly advanced through the forest, knocking down the trees the French thought would impede this tactic. Melting - Wikipedia /**/ @import /skins/monobook/IE50Fixes. ...


Air superiority

Ilyushin Il-2, formidable Soviet ground attack aircraft that specialized in destroying German armor
Ilyushin Il-2, formidable Soviet ground attack aircraft that specialized in destroying German armor

Allied air superiority became a significant hindrance to German operations during the later years of the war. Early German successes enjoyed air superiority with unencumbered movement of ground forces, close air support, and aerial reconnaissance. However, the Western Allies' air-to-ground aircraft were so greatly feared out of proportion to their actual tactical success, that following the lead up to Operation Overlord German vehicle crews showed reluctance to move en masse during daylight. Indeed, the final German blitzkrieg operation in the west, Operation Wacht am Rhein, was planned to take place during poor weather which grounded Allied aircraft. Under these conditions, it was difficult for German commanders to employ the “armoured idea” to its envisioned potential. Image File history File links An Ilyushin Il-2 Sturmovik ground attack aircraft. ... Image File history File links An Ilyushin Il-2 Sturmovik ground attack aircraft. ... The Ilyushin Il-2 Shturmovik (Russian: ) was a ground attack aircraft of World War II, and was produced by the Soviet Union in huge numbers; in combination with its successor, the Ilyushin Il-10, a total of 36,163 were built. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Air superiority is the dominance in the air power of one side air forces of another side during a military campaign. ... The Battle of Normandy was fought in 1944 between the German forces occupying Western Europe and the invading Allies. ... For the film based on this event, see Battle of the Bulge. ...


Counter-tactics

General Stanisław Maczek, Polish general, one of the early developers of anti-blitzkrieg tactics
General Stanisław Maczek, Polish general, one of the early developers of anti-blitzkrieg tactics

Blitzkrieg was very effective against static defense doctrines that most countries developed in the aftermath of the First World War. Early attempts to defeat the blitzkrieg can be dated to the Invasion of Poland in 1939, where Polish general Stanisław Maczek, commander of 10th Motorized Cavalry Brigade, prepared a detailed report of blitzkrieg tactics, its usage, effectiveness and possible precautions for the French military from his experiences.[citation needed] However, the French staff disregarded this report (it was captured, unopened, by the German army). Later, Maczek would become one of the most successful Allied armoured forces commanders in the war. Stanisław Władysław Maczek. ... Stanisław Władysław Maczek. ... Gen. ... For the Soviet Unions military action against Poland under the same alliance, see Soviet invasion of Poland (1939). ... Gen. ... The 10th Cavalry Brigade (Polish: ) was a Polish military unit, the only fully operational Polish motorized infantry unit during the Invasion of Poland of 1939, at the onset of World War II. Commanded by Col. ...


During the Battle of France in 1940, De Gaulle's 4th Armour Division and elements of the British 1st Army Tank Brigade in the British Expeditionary Force both made probing attacks on the German flank, actually pushing into the rear of the advancing armored columns at times (See Battle of Arras (1940) ). This may have been a reason for Hitler to call a halt to the German advance. Those attacks combined with Maxime Weygand's Hedgehog tactic would become the major basis for responding to blitzkrieg attacks in the future: deployment in depth, permitting enemy forces to bypass defensive concentrations, reliance on anti-tank guns, strong force employment on the flanks of the enemy attack, followed by counter-attacks at the base to destroy the enemy advance in detail. Holding the flanks or 'shoulders' of a penetration was essential to channeling the enemy attack, and artillery, properly employed at the shoulders, could take a heavy toll of attackers. While Allied forces in 1940 lacked the experience to successfully develop these strategies, resulting in France's capitulation with heavy losses, they characterized later Allied operations. For example, at the Battle of Kursk the Red Army employed a combination of defense in great depth, extensive minefields, and tenacious defense of breakthrough shoulders. In this way they depleted German combat power even as German forces advanced. In August 1944 at Mortain, stout defense and counterattacks by the US and Canadian armies closed the Falaise Gap. In the Ardennes, a combination of hedgehog defense at Bastogne, St Vith and other locations, and a counterattack by the US 3rd Army were employed. Combatants  France  United Kingdom  Canada  Czechoslovakia  Poland  Belgium  Netherlands  Luxembourg Germany Italy Commanders Maurice Gamelin, Maxime Weygand Lord Gort (British Expeditionary Force) Leopold III H.G. Winkelman Gerd von Rundstedt (Army Group A) Fedor von Bock (Army Group B) Wilhelm von Leeb (Army Group C) H.R.H. Umberto di... For other uses, see Charles de Gaulle (disambiguation). ... Combatants United Kingdom Germany Commanders Major-General Harold Franklyn Generalmajor Erwin Rommel Casualties About 100 killed or wounded 300 killed or wounded, 400 Captured. ... General Maxime Weygand Maxime Weygand (January 21, 1867 - January 28, 1965) was a French military commander in both World War I and World War II. // Weygand was born in Brussels. ... Hedgehog defence - Wikipedia /**/ @import /skins/monobook/IE50Fixes. ... Combatants Nazi Germany Soviet Union Commanders Erich von Manstein Günther von Kluge Hermann Hoth Walther Model Georgiy Zhukov Konstantin Rokossovskiy Nikolay Vatutin Ivan Konyev Strength 2,700 tanks 800,000 infantry 2,000 aircraft 3,600 tanks 1,300,000 infantry and supporting troops 2,400 aircraft Casualties German... For other organizations known as the Red Army, see Red Army (disambiguation). ...


The US doctrine of massing high-speed tank destroyers was not generally employed in combat since few massed German armor attacks occurred by 1944. A self-propelled anti-tank gun, or tank destroyer, is a type of armoured fighting vehicle. ...


Logistics

Although effective in quick campaigns against Poland and France, blitzkrieg could not be sustained by Germany in later years. Blitzkrieg strategy has the inherent danger of the attacking force overextending its supply lines, and the strategy as a whole can be defeated by a determined foe who is willing and able to sacrifice territory for time in which to regroup and rearm, as the Soviets did on the Eastern Front (as opposed to for example the Dutch). Tank and vehicle production was a constant problem for Germany; indeed, late in the war many panzer “divisions” had no more than a few dozen tanks.[22] As the end of the war approached, Germany also experienced critical shortages in fuel and ammunition stocks as a result of Anglo-American strategic bombing and blockade. Although production of Luftwaffe fighter aircraft continued, they would be unable to fly for lack of fuel. What fuel there was went to panzer divisions, and even then they were not able to operate normally. Of those Tiger tanks lost against the United States Army, nearly half of them were abandoned for lack of fuel.[23] Supply lines are roads, rail, and other transportation infrastructure needed to replenish the consumables that a military unit requires to function in the field. ... For other uses, see Fuel (disambiguation). ... Ammunition, often referred to as ammo, is a generic term meaning (the assembly of) a projectile and its propellant. ... The city heart of Rotterdam after being terror bombed by Germany in 1940, the ruin of the (now restored) Laurens Kerk is the only building that reminds people of Rotterdams medieval architecture. ... Tiger I ( ) is the common name of a German heavy tank of World War II. The initial official German designation was Panzerkampfwagen VI Ausführung H (abbreviated PzKpfw VI Ausf. ...


Influence

Blitzkrieg's widest influence was within the Western Allied leadership of the war, some of whom drew inspiration from the Wehrmacht's approach. United States General George S. Patton emphasized fast pursuit, the use of an armored spearhead to effect a breakthrough, and then cutting off and disrupting enemy forces prior to their flight. In his comments of the time, he credited Guderian and Rommel's work, notably Infantry Attacks, for this insight. He also put into practice the idea attributed to cavalry leader Nathan Bedford Forrest, “Get there firstest, with the mostest.” (Get there fastest, with the most forces). Look up ally in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... George Patton redirects here. ... For the World War II general, see Nathan Bedford Forrest III. Nathaniel Bedford Forrest (July 13, 1821–October 29, 1877) was a Confederate Army general during the American Civil War. ...


Blitzkrieg also has had some influence on subsequent militaries and doctrines. The Israel Defense Forces may have been influenced by blitzkrieg in creating a military of flexible armored spearheads and close air support.[24] The Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 is also considered as a modern example of blitzkrieg style assault by Indian forces that ended in a swift defeat of Pakistan, within a fortnight.[25] The 1990s United States theorists of “Shock and awe” claim blitzkrieg as a subset of strategies which they term “rapid dominance”. Emblem of the IDF The Israel Defense Forces are part of the Israeli Security Forces. ... An Apache attack helicopter provides close air support to United States Army soldiers patrolling the Tigris River southeast of Baghdad, Iraq during the Iraq War. ... Combatants India Mukti Bahini Pakistan Commanders Sam Manekshaw J.S. Aurora A. A. K. Niazi # Strength 500,000+ troops 400,000+ troops Casualties 3,843 killed[1] 9,851 wounded[1] c. ... Shock and awe, technically known as rapid dominance, is a military doctrine based on the use of overwhelming decisive force, dominant battlefield awareness, dominant maneuvers, and spectacular displays of power to paralyze an adversarys perception of the battlefield and destroy its will to fight. ...


It may also be argued that Napoleon Bonaparte used some form of blitzkrieg tactic when conquering Europe a century prior to the invasion of Poland by Adolf Hitler. Bonaparte as general Napoleon Bonaparte ( 15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821) was a general of the French Revolution and was the ruler of France as First Consul (Premier Consul) of the French Republic from November 11, 1799 to May 18, 1804, then as Emperor of the French (Empereur des...


In John Knowles' book A Separate Peace, the boys, specifically Finny, spontaneously invents a game entitled, “Blitzball” which derived its name from blitzkrieg. The boys wished to name their game this because it had to do with the war that was taking place during the time. A Separate Peace is John Knowles first published novel, released in 1959. ...


Changing interpretation

Beginning in the 1970s, the interpretation of Blitzkrieg, particularly with respect to the Second World War, has undergone a shift in the historical community. John Ellis described the shift: John Ellis may refer to: John Ellis, 18th century scientist John Willis Ellis (1920–1961), North Carolina governor John Ellis, a baseball player John Ellis (born 1952), founding member of the 1970s punk band The Vibrators John Ellis, a drummer for the band Judas Priest John Ellis (born 1930), British...

Our perception of land operations in the Second World War has...been distorted by an excessive emphasis upon the hardware employed. The main focus of attention has been the tank and the formations that employed it, most notably the (German) panzer divisions. Despite the fact that only 40 of the 520 German divisions that saw combat were panzer divisions (there were also an extra 24 motorised/panzergrenadier divisions), the history of German operations has consistently almost exclusively been written largely in terms of blitzkrieg and has concentrated almost exclusively upon the exploits of the mechanized formations. Even more misleadingly, this presentation of ground combat as a largely armored confrontation has been extended to cover Allied operations, so that in the popular imagination the exploits of the British and Commonwealth Armies, with only 11 armored divisions out of 73 (that saw combat), and of the Americans in Europe, with only 16 out of 59, are typified by tanks sweeping around the Western Desert or trying to keep up with Patton in the race through Sicily and across northern France. Of course, these armored forces did play a somewhat more important role in operations than the simple proportions might indicate, but it still has to be stressed that they in no way dominated the battlefield or precipitated the evolution of completely new modes of warfare.[26]

Ellis, as well as Zaloga in his study of the Polish Campaign in 1939, points to the effective use of other arms such as artillery and aerial firepower as equally important to the success of German (and later, Allied) operations. Panzer operations in Russia failed to provide decisive results; Leningrad never fell despite an entire Panzer Group being assigned to take it, nor did Moscow. In 1942 panzer formations overstretched at Stalingrad and in the Caucasus, and what successes did take place – such as Manstein at Kharkov or Krivoi Rog – were of local significance only.


See also

AirLand doctrine was first adopted by the US Army in 1982 as Field Manual 100-5, and has been the driving military doctrine of the last 20 years. ... Armoured warfare in modern warfare is understood to be the use of armoured fighting vehicles as a central component of the methods of war. ... This article is about the military strategy. ... For other uses, see Blitz. ... The Deutsche Luftwaffe or   (German: air force, IPA: ) is the commonly used term for the German air force. ... This article is about the capital of England and the United Kingdom. ... Combined arms is an approach to warfare which seeks to integrate different arms of a military to achieve mutually complementary effects. ... Do you dream of elephants at night? Are they battling? In somewhere deep? YES THEY ARE! You have been warned of the elephants. ... Maneuver warfare, is the term used by military theorist for a concept of warfare that advocates attempting to defeat an adversary by incapacitating their decision-making through shock and disruption brought about by movement. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Shock and awe, technically known as rapid dominance, is a military doctrine based on the use of overwhelming decisive force, dominant battlefield awareness, dominant maneuvers, and spectacular displays of power to paralyze an adversarys perception of the battlefield and destroy its will to fight. ... Vernichtungsgedanken, meaning annihilation thoughts in German, is a Prussian / German strategic doctrine, dating to Frederick the Great. ... Mission-type tactics (German: Auftragstaktik, also known as Directive Control in the US), have (arguably) been a central component of the tactics of German armed forces since the 19th century. ...

References

  1. ^ Frieser, K.H. 'The Blitzkrieg Legend: The 1940 Campaign in the West'
  2. ^ “Blitzkrieger” in TIME Vol. XXXIV No. 13, 25 September 1939. http://www.time.com/time/archive/preview/0,10987,761969,00.html
  3. ^ James S. Corum, The Roots of Blitzkrieg: Hans von Seeckt and German Military Reform (Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 1994), 37
  4. ^ Corum, op. cit., 23.
  5. ^ Corum, op. cit., 7.
  6. ^ Argued by Corum, Edwards, and House. This is not to include theories which were not adopted as actual doctrine, on which there are varied views.
  7. ^ The Roots of Blitzkrieg, James Corum, 1992, p39
  8. ^ Roger Edwards, Panzer: A Revolution in Warfare, 1939–1945 (London: Brockhampton Press, 1998), 23.
  9. ^ Winston Churchill, The World Crisis 1911–1918, Vol. 2, Odhams Press, UK.
  10. ^ Guderian's remarks are from an unnamed article published in the National Union of German Officers, 15 October 1937 as quoted in Panzer Leader, pp. 39–46. Italics removed — the quoted sections are all italics in the original.
  11. ^ Heinz Guderian, trans. Constantine Fitzgibbon, Panzer Leader (New York: De Capo Press, 2002), 46. See also Edwards, op. cit., 24.
  12. ^ Panzer Leader, page 20
  13. ^ Edwards, op. cit., 145.
  14. ^ Edwards, op. cit., 25.
  15. ^ Pitt, Barrie. The Second World War. (BPC Publishing 1966)
  16. ^ Cooper, Matthew. The German Army 1939–1945: Its Political and Military Failure 1976
  17. ^ Cooper, Ibid.
  18. ^ Ellis, John. Brute Force (Viking Penguin, 1990)
  19. ^ Zaloga, Steven and Majej. The Polish Campaign 1939 (Hippocrene Books, 1985)
  20. ^ Panzer Leader, Heinz Guderian, 1996, Penguin London, p94
  21. ^ Alan Clark, Barbarossa: The Russian-German Conflict, 1941–45 (New York: Quill, 1965), 78.
  22. ^ Richard Simpkin, Race to the Swift: Thoughts on Twenty-First Century Warfare (London: Brassey's, 2000), 34
  23. ^ Charles Winchester, “The Demodernization of the German Army in World War 2”, Osprey Publishing. http://www.ospreypublishing.com/content2.php/cid=68
  24. ^ Jonathan M. House, Toward Combined Arms Warfare: A Survey of 20th-Century Tactics, Doctrine, and Organization. (U.S. Army Command General Staff College, 1984; reprint University Press of the Pacific, 2002). http://cgsc.leavenworth.army.mil/carl/resources/csi/House/House.asp
  25. ^ Makers of Modern Strategy: From Machiavelli to the Nuclear Age By Peter Paret, 1986, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0198200978 pp802
  26. ^ Ellis, John. Brute Force 1990.

Look up time in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... is the 268th day of the year (269th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1939 (MCMXXXIX) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 288th day of the year (289th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1937 (MCMXXXVII) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... This article is about the World War II general Heinz Guderian. ... Robert Louis Constantine Lee-Dillon Fitzgibbon (Massachusetts 8 June 1919 - Dublin 25 March 1983) was a notable historian and novelist. ... John Ellis may refer to: John Ellis, 18th century scientist John Willis Ellis (1920–1961), North Carolina governor John Ellis, a baseball player John Ellis (born 1952), founding member of the 1970s punk band The Vibrators John Ellis, a drummer for the band Judas Priest John Ellis (born 1930), British... Brute Force is a controversial book by historian John Ellis which proposes that the Allied Forces won World War II not by the skill of their leaders but by brute force. ... Alan Kenneth Mackenzie Clark (13 April 1928 - 5 September 1999) was a British Conservative politician, historian and diarist. ... Richard Evelyn Simpkin (1921 - 1986) was a British Army officer, attaining the rank of brigadier. ... John Ellis may refer to: John Ellis, 18th century scientist John Willis Ellis (1920–1961), North Carolina governor John Ellis, a baseball player John Ellis (born 1952), founding member of the 1970s punk band The Vibrators John Ellis, a drummer for the band Judas Priest John Ellis (born 1930), British... Brute Force is a controversial book by historian John Ellis which proposes that the Allied Forces won World War II not by the skill of their leaders but by brute force. ...

Further reading

  • Chrisp, Peter. Blitzkrieg! 1990
  • Deighton, Len. Blitzkrieg: From the rise of Hitler to the fall of Dunkirk. 1981.
  • Corum, James S. The Roots of Blitzkrieg: Hans von Seeckt and German Military Reform. University Press of Kansas, 1994.
  • Edwards, Roger. Panzer: A Revolution in Warfare, 1939–1945. London: Brockhampton Press, 1998.
  • Guderian, Heinz (1952). Panzer Leader, Da Capo Press Reissue edition, 2001, New York: Da Capo Press. ISBN 0-306-81101-4. 
  • House, Jonathan M. Toward Combined Arms Warfare: A Survey of 20th-Century Tactics, Doctrine, and Organization. U.S. Army Command General Staff College, 1984. Reprinted by University Press of the Pacific, 2002.
  • Manstein, Erich von. Lost Victories. Trans. Anthony G. Powell. Presidio, 1994.
  • Mosier, John. The Blitzkrieg Myth: How Hitler and the Allies Misread the Strategic Realities of World War II. HarperCollins, 2003.
  • Sinesi, Michael P. Modern Bewegungskrieg. German Battle Doctrine, 1920–1940. Thesis submitted to Columbian School of Arts and Sciences of The George Washington University, May 2001.
  • Bruce Condell (Ed.), David T. Zabecki (Ed.). On the German Art of War: Truppenführung (Literal Trans: 'Troop Leading'). Lynne Rienner Publishers, Inc., 2001

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  Results from FactBites:
 
Blitzkrieg - definition of Blitzkrieg in Encyclopedia (2175 words)
Blitzkrieg was a fast and open style of warfare, heavily reliant on new technologies.
Blitzkrieg is not without its disadvantages; there is a danger of the attacking force overextending its supply lines, and the strategy as a whole can be defeated by a determined foe who is willing to sacrifice territory for time in which to regroup and rearm.
Blitzkrieg: From the rise of Hitler to the fall of Dunkirk
NodeWorks - Encyclopedia: Blitzkrieg (4387 words)
Blitzkrieg, from the German for "lightning war", was an operational-level military doctrine which employed mobile forces attacking with speed and surprise to prevent an enemy from organizing a coherent defense.
Blitzkrieg was largely dependent upon terrain and weather conditions; where the ability for rapid movement across "tank country" was not possible, blitzkrieg was often avoided or resulted in failure.
Blitzkrieg strategy has a constant danger of the attacking force overextending its supply lines, and the strategy as a whole can be defeated by a determined foe who is willing to sacrifice territory for time in which to regroup and rearm, which is exactly what Soviets did on the Eastern Front.
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