The Success Of Blitzkreig by Anonymous
The Blitzkrieg tactic was a tactic developed by the Germans but more specifically by Hanz Guderian. He produced a book, Achtung Panzer. He said, Strike hard, strike quickly, and do not disperse your forces. Hence the name, Blitzkrieg, which means, lightning war.
Blitzkrieg tactics definitely played a very big part in the defeat of Germany's enemies. The Germans definitely had superior air power with their Ju-87 Stuka dive bombers. The Luftwaffe did rule the skies with majority in numbers, and more effective aircraft. On the ground however, it was a different matter. The Panzers (German tanks) were outnumbered by the British and French tanks. The tactic in which they deployed made them superior. The British and French spread their tanks out. They gave each infantry platoon a certain number of tanks. Maybe a pair, maybe a few more but the basic message is that their tanks were more or less independent and fought alongside infantry. The difference with the German tanks, was that they moved in divisions. They had Panzer armoured divisions of about three or four hundred tanks which were much more powerful than an infantry section with a few tanks. The massing of tanks was also a part of Blitzkrieg and that helped immensely. The object of surprise played a major role in the war. Poland had more men and if they knew the Germans were coming, Germany still would have won but they would have suffered a great deal more of losses.
Blitzkrieg was an ingenious war tactic yet it wasn't the only reason for which Germany defeated its enemies. Germany also tactfully new where to attack and knew the areas where they would not be expected to come through. The maginot line was a series of really strong forces along the French-German border. It was 93 miles long but it was 250 miles short of the sea. The French began building extensions but they weren't finished in time. The French had 400,000 men on the Maginot line and both the French and the Germans knew that attacking the Maginot line would be suicidal to attack. The Allies predicted that the Germans would attack from northern Belgium. They thought this because southern Belgian was home to the Ardennes, a hilly region covered in woodland.The Allies predicted that if the Germans attacked from there, and a big IF at that, then it would take them 2 weeks at least to break through the dense woods and even then only in small numbers.Well, the Germans attacked from there and the French only had 100,000 unequipped, badly trained men, there.The Germans broke through the hills in 3 days, and they broke through by the hundreds of thousands 1800 Panzers broke through and infantry sections came through by the thousands.
They entered France and trapped the Allied troops in Belgium. The fact that they got through in 3 days played a major role. If it had taken them longer, the outcome would have been different as the 500,000 troops up north could have gotten back to help. The breakthrough was thanks to German military engineers, road builders, and demolition squads. They blew up trees, lay roads and paved ways through to allow the Germans to get through. This was another tactic used other than Blitzkrieg to help the Germans destroy their enemies. Hitler's sheer genius helped the situation a lot. he used the first wave of his army to circle around and trap the 500,000 allied troops in Belgium. The first wave trapped them there as the rest of the German troops invaded France. They covered 200 miles in 7 days and very soon, there were 12,000,000 refugees walking the streets of France.The Luftwaffe made random passes at the refugees killing as many as possible. The fact that the French government and military leaders changed at that time didn't help.The Commander in Chief was Gamelin.
He was clever but he had no guts.Also, he was 62.He rarely set foot outside of the French headquarters at Vincennes (which didn't have any radio communications which couldn't make the situation any better).He was replaced by Weygand who was 73.He was a little old for the job.The Premier was replaced by Marshal Petain who was 83.Holland was attacked at this time as well and they were decimated.They surrendered on the 14th of May and Belgium surrendered on May the 27th.May 25th, Bologne fell, 26th Calais.Hitler had won.Dunkirk was defeated on the 4th of June and the Allies returned home bruised and battered.They had been pinned on the beaches being shot at waiting for an evacuation that was being put together as hastily as possible. The English squandered any boats that they could find and sent them in to evacuate the poor soldiers.The battle of Dunkirk was described by Hitler as one of the greatest German victories of all times.Germans were celebrating all over Germany on that night.
Mussolini joined the war as Hitler's ally on the 10th of June.He was somewhat helpful to Hitler as he had some of Northern Africa and Greece under his control.However,the Allies moved in and swept through the Italian forces extremely fast.Hitler went to his Italian compatriot's rescue and fought the Allies away by using paratroopers (the first time they had been used effectively ever).Hitler took the land back in a few weeks.He didn't know this at the time but his move to help Mussolini proved fatal to his main goal, the taking of Russia.If he had moved in on Russia just a few weeks (how long it took to help Mussolini) then it is thought today that he might have beaten Russia. After all, it wasn't the Russian army that destroyed the Germans. It was the Russian winter.Hitler's taking over of his enemies wasn't just because of Blitzkrieg (although it did play a major role) but also because of Hitler's sheer genius.He convinced Germans that they could defeat their enemies by speech, that was what he was on the outside, a great speaker.What he was on the inside however, unfortunately for the opposition, was a genius.He could tactfully place his troops to make a nearly, in some cases, unstoppable force.France, Belgium, Holland, Poland, and all of the other countries which he spread hiscarnage through, suffered great losses and were harshly hammered.
Even if he was one of the bad guys, Hitler had one of the greatest war minds of the century, ranking high with the likes of Machiavelli and Julius Caesar. Hitler and his Blitzkrieg were truly devastating.
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