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Blitzkrieg

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Blitzkrieg relied on close cooperation between infantry and panzers (tanks). Here, infantry use a panzer for cover during attack in Ukraine during September 1941.

Blitzkrieg (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. Originally conceived in the years after World War I, it was a new tactic developing from existing techniques of maneuver warfare and combined arms warfare. It was used by the German Wehrmacht in World War II.

Operations early in the war—the invasions of Poland, France, and the Soviet Union—were highly effective, owing to surprise, enemy unpreparedness and superior German military doctrines. The Germans faced numerically superior forces and technically superior vehicles in the invasion of France, proving the early effectiveness of their tactics and strategies. From this peak, the Wehrmacht's strength deteriorated, Allied forces learned to counter blitzkrieg tactics, and German operations could no longer be conducted as before. From 1943 on, German blitzkrieg operations were generally defensive counterattacks and a handful of mostly failed offensives.

Methods of blitzkrieg operations centered on using maneuver rather than attrition to defeat an opponent. The blizkrieg thus first and foremost required a concentration of armored assets at a focal point, closely supported by mobile infantry, artillery and close air support assets. This required the development of specialised support vehicles, new methods of communication, new tactics, and the presence of a decentralized command structure. Broadly speaking, blitzkrieg operations required the development of mechanised infantry, self-propelled artillery and engineering assets that could maintain the rate of advance of the tanks. German forces avoided direct combat in favour of interrupting an enemy's communications, decision-making, logistics, and morale. In combat, blitzkrieg forced slower defending forces into defensive pockets that were encircled and then destroyed by following German infantry.

Contents

Etymology and modern meaning

Though "blitzkrieg" is a German word meaning "lightning war", the word did not originate from within the German military. It was first used by a journalist in the American newsmagazine Time describing the 1939 German invasion of Poland. Published on September 25, 1939, well into the campaign, the journalist's account reads:

The battlefront disappeared, 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 stores, scattered civilians, spread terror. Working sometimes 30 miles 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.Template:Ref

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; motorised 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.

"Blitzkrieg" has since expanded into multiple meanings in more 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 Polish September Campaign. 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 usages.

Interwar period

Reichswehr

Blitzkrieg's immediate development began with Germany's defeat in the First World War. Shortly after the war, the new Reichswehr created committes of veteran officers to evaluate 57 issues of the war.Template:Ref The reports of these committees formed doctrinal and training publications which were standard into the Second World War. The Reichswehr was influenced by its analysis of pre-war German military thought, its infiltration tactics of the war, and the maneuver warfare which dominated the Eastern Front.

German military history had been influenced heavily by Alfred von Schlieffen and von Moltke the Elder. 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. Its Chief of Staff, Hans von Seeckt, moved doctrine away from what he argued was an excessive focus on encirclement. Rather, von Seeckt advocated effecting breakthroughs against the enemy's centre when it was more profitable then encirclement or where encirclement was not practical. He additionally rejected the notion of mass which von Schlieffen and von Molkte 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.

German leadership was also 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 war.Template:Ref In response, German officers attended technical schools after the war.

Infiltration tactics invented by the German Army during the First World War became the basis for later tactics. German infantry had advanced in small, decentralized groups which bypassed resistance in favor of advancing at weak points and attacking rear-area communications. This was aided by coordinated 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.

On the war's Eastern Front, combat did not bog down into trench warfare. German and Russian armies fought a war of maneuver over hundreds of miles, giving the German leadership unique experience which the trench-bound Western Allies did not have.Template:Ref Studies of operations in the East led to the conclusion that small and coordinated forces possessed more combat worth than large and uncoordinated forces.

Foreign influence

During this period, all the war's major combatants developed mechanized force theories. Theories of the Western Allies differed substantially from the Reichswehr's. British, French, and American doctrines broadly favored a more set-piece battle, less combined arms focus, and less focus on concentration. 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.Template:Ref

British theorists J.F.C. Fuller and B. H. Liddell Hart have often been associated with blitzkrieg's development, though this is a matter of controversy. In support of Hart's influence, it is argued that Guderian was a critical figure in blitzkrieg's conception who drew his inspiration from Hart. This has been attributed to a paragraph in the English edition of Guderian's autobiography in which he credits Hart. In opposition, it is argued that Hart, as editor of the autobiography's English edition, wrote that paragraph himself or, more broadly, that Guderian's influence was not as significant as held. Fuller's influence is less clear. 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 Reichswehr and Red Army collaborated in wargames and tests in Kazan and Lipetsk beginning in 1926. Set within the Soviet Union, these two centres 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.Template:Ref

Guderian into the Wehrmacht

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General Heinz Guderian, a theorist key to Germany's development of blitzkrieg.

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.

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 a 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 motorised, 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."Template:Ref Guderian additionally required that tactical radios be widely used to facilitate coordination and command.

Panzertruppe and Luftwaffe

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Organization of a 1941 German panzer division.

Blitzkrieg would not have been possible without modifying Germany's current military. Under the Treaty of Versailles its military was limited to 100,000 men, its air force disbanded, and tank development forbidden. After becoming head of state in 1933, Adolf Hitler ignored these provisions. A command for armored troops was created within the German Heer — the Panzertruppe, as it came to be known later. The Luftwaffe, or air force, was reestablished, and development begun on ground-attack aircraft and doctrines. Hitler was a strong supporter of this new strategy. He observed panzer field exercises and read Guderian's book Achtung! Panzer!Template:Ref Upon seeing exercises at Kummersdorf, he remarked "That is what I want — and that is what I will have."Template:Ref

Spanish Civil War

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PzKpfw I saw extensive use in most blitzkrieg operations

German volunteers tested aspects of blitzkrieg tactics during the Spanish Civil War of 1936. Panzer commitments consisted of Panzer Battalion 88, a force built around three companies of PzKpfw I's that functioned as a training cadre for Nationalists. The Luftwaffe deployed squadrons of fighters, dive-bombers, and transports as the Condor Legion.Template:Ref Guderian called the panzer employment "on too small a scale to allow accurate assessments to be made."Template:Ref More was gained by the Luftwaffe, which developed both tactics and aircraft in combat; it was here that the Stuka first saw combat. Eighteen thousand Luftwaffe troops also gained combat experience.

Methods of operations

Motorization and combined arms

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"Kiel und Kessel" (Wedge and Cauldron): forces achieve a breakthrough at the schwerpunkt (point of maximum effort), then fight a kesselschlacht (annihilation battle) against an encircled and disorganized enemy.

Blitzkrieg forces attained much of their advantages through superior speed. Moving faster than the enemy allowed German forces to upset enemy plans and cause uncertainty. This required the motorization of all forces. Accompanying the panzers came infantry mounted on trucks or half-tracks, artillery and anti-tank guns mounted on tank chassis or towed by their own mover, and fully motorized repair shops and logistics services. Never able to meet its own demands, the panzertruppe would use a wide variety of captured transportation throughout the war. Only with special priority did the panzertruppe possess what mobility it had. Throughout the war, most of Germany's combat forces would be unmotorised infantry.

Combined arms tactics was the chief reason for insisting that infantry and support operate with panzers. Guderian believed that "the effectiveness of the tanks would gain in proportion to the ability of the infantry, and other division arms to follow them in advance across country." Different arms of the military were complementary to each other.

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The Jagdtiger, one of the most formidable German tank destroyers. Such specialized panzers were essential in providing operational flexibility during blitzkireg operations.

Panzers were seen as the decisive weapon, and other arms operated primarily to aid them. Motorized infantry and, in smaller quantities, mechanized infantry (Panzergrenadier) provided protection against enemy infantry, especially in restricted terrain. Efforts were made to have armored infantry as mobile and well-protected as panzers to reduce the number of situations which would separate infantry from panzers (e.g., artillery fire on trucks). Jagdpanzers (tank destroyers) were used en masse to destroy enemy tanks, anti-tank guns, and fortifications.

Artillery consisted of self-propelled, indirect-fire howitzers and rocket launchers, and direct-fire Sturmgeschtz (StuG, assault gun). StuGs functioned as infantry support and ad hoc Jagdpanzers. Indirect-fire artillery was used in conjunction with ground-attack aircraft from the Luftwaffe, which were usually more substantial. Luftwaffe bombers attacked not only immediate targets but also infrastructure and staging areas, disrupting potential counterattacks.

Mid-war, the kampfgruppe (Combat group) developed in full as a self-contained tactical force. Attached to a panzer or panzergrenadier battalion command would be as many self-propelled artillery, engineer, and support units as necessary to attain a specific objective. Partly a tactic to minimize the effects of consistently understrength regular formations, this was nonetheless a significant development in improving combined arms cooperation.

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. Panzer 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 tickle, smash!)

To achieve a breakout, infantry or, less commonly, panzer forces themselves (otherwise preserved for maneuver beyond) would attack the enemy's defensive line, supported by artillery fire and Luftwaffe bombing. These forces created a breach in the depth of the enemy's line. Through this breach passed the panzer forces in their entirety, as the breaching force attacked to the flanks to increase security through distance. This point of breakout has been labeled a "hinge", for from it panzer forces manoeuvred forward and developed "leverage" against the defensive line's forces.

In this, the opening phase of an operation, the Luftwaffe sought a coup against enemy air forces. It attempted to strafe and bomb landed aircraft and runways, disabling them, or deploy in fighter sweeps to clear the skies in large battles. From the beginning, air superiority was a goal; to operate as designed, the panzer force required that reconnaissance aircraft, ground-attack aircraft, and in some cases transport aircraft all be able to fly. With the Luftwaffe itself driven from the sky in the war's later years, operating under Allied air superiority would be a hindrance (See below).

Paralysis

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Panther Ausf. D, one of the more advanced German panzer designs.

Having achieved a breakthrough into the enemy's rear areas, German forces attempted to paralyse the enemy's decision-making and implementation process. Moving faster than enemy forces, panzer 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, panzer forces could take action on a situation sooner than forces opposite them.

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.

Kesselschlacht

An operation's final phase, the Kesselschlacht (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.

Operations in the Second World War

Poland and France, 1939–40

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In Poland, panzer divisions created numerous pockets of Polish forces (blue circles) that were destroyed by following infantry.

Despite the term blitzkrieg being coined during the Polish September Campaign 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 unmotorized infantry which followed. The Luftwaffe gained air superiority early in the campaign.

The invasion of France consisted of two phases, Operation Yellow and Operation Red. Yellow opened with a feint conducted against Holland and Belgium by two panzer corps and paratroopers. Three days later, the main panzer effort of Panzer Group von Kleist attacked through the Ardennes and achieved a breakthrough with Luftwaffe air support. The group raced to the coast of the English Channel, dislodging the British Expeditionary Force, Belgian Army, and some divisions of the French Army. Panzer forces were halted at the port city of Dunkirk, being used to evacuate the Allied forces, and it was left to the Luftwaffe; its bombing did not prevent the evacuation of most personnel, some 330,000 troops. Operation Red then began with XV Panzer Corps attacking towards Brest and XIV Panzer Corps attacking south, east of Paris, towards Lyon, and XIX Panzer Corps completing the encirclement of the Maginot Line. The defending forces were hard pressed to organize any sort of counterattack. The French forces were continually ordered to form new lines along rivers, often arriving to find the German forces had already passed them.

Soviet Union: the Eastern Front: 1941–45

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After 1941–42, panzer forces were increasingly used as a mobile reserve against Allied breakthroughs.

Use of armoured 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 panzer 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."Template:Ref 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 Eastern Front can generally be considered to have had the last successful major blitzkrieg operations.

After Germany's failure to destroy the Soviets before the winter of 1941, the limits of blitzkrieg became visible. Although the German attack took huge areas of Soviet territory, the overall strategic effect was more limited. The Red Army was able to regroup far to the rear, and eventually defeat the German forces for the first time in the Battle of Moscow. In the following summer of 1942, when Germany launched another Blitzkrieg offensive in southern Russia against Stalingrad and the Caucasus, the Soviets again lost tremendous amounts of territory, just to counter-attack again when they stopped in front of the city.

The Battle of Stalingrad shows both the good and bad points of the blitzkrieg concept. The battle opened with a German attack in an unexpected location, sending the defending Soviet forces reeling back over hundreds of kilometres in a matter of days. The movement ended when Hitler became increasingly interested in capturing Stalingrad itself, allowing the Soviet forces to regroup and counterattack.

The subsequent Soviet victory depended on the application of increasingly sophisticated combined arms units. This, coupled with German forces attrition, logistics and production problems, eventually resulted in the German defeat.

Western Front, 1944–45

As the war progressed, Allied armies began using tactics somewhat resembling the blitzkrieg tactics of Germany. Many 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 tactics were also decisive in Western Front operations after Operation Overlord.

After the Allied landings at Normandy, Germany made attempts to overwhelm the landing force with panzer divisions, but this failed for lack of coordination and Allied air superiority.

Blitzkrieg was attempted next in counterattack against Operation Cobra, U.S. 12th Army Group's breakout from the Normandy area at St.-L. German Seventh Army attacked towards the coast at St.-L, attempting to cut-off U.S. Third Army (Patton) in Operation Lttich. It was unable to achieve a breakthrough against defending infantry and, stalled, was encircled and effectively destroyed by U.S. 12th Army Group.

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 blitzkrieg. Patton acknowledged that he had read both Guderian and Rommel before the war, and his tactics shared their emphasis on speed and attack. A phrase commonly used in his units was "haul ass and bypass".

Germany's last offensive on its Western front, Operation Autumn Mist, was a blitzkrieg offensive towards the vital port of Antwerp during the winter of 194445. Launched in poor weather against a weakened Allied sector, it achieved surprise and initial success. Allied air power was obviated by cloud cover. However, defense along the Ardennes few serviceable roads caused delays. Allied forces deployed to the flanks of the German penetration, and Allied aircraft were again able to attack panzer columns. German forces were routed.

Countermeasures and limitations

Terrain

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. 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, panzers would be vulnerable to infantry in close-quarters combat and unable to breakout at full speed. As well, units could be halted by mud (thawing along the Eastern Front regularly slowed both sides) or extreme snow.

Air superiority

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

Allied air superiority became a critical 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 attacks were so great following the lead-up to Operation Overlord that panzer crews deployed from the Western to Eastern Front showed reluctance to moving en masse during daylight. Indeed, the final German blitzkrieg operation in the west, Operation Autumn Mist, was planned to take place during poor weather which grounded Allied aircraft. Under these conditions, it was difficult for German commanders to employ the panzer arm to its envisioned potential.

Counter-tactics

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Stanisław Władysław Maczek, one of the early developers of anti-blitzkrieg tactics

Blitzkrieg was very effective against static defence doctrines that most countries developed in the aftermath of the First World War. Early attempts to defeat the blitzkrieg can be dated to Polish September Campaign 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. 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.

During the Battle of France in 1940, De Gaulle's 4th Armor Division and elements of the British Armor Brigade in the British Expeditionary Force both made probing attacks on the German flank, actually pushing into the rear of the blitzkrieging armored columns at times. This may have been a reason for Hitler to call a halt to the panzers' advance. Those attacks combined with Maxime Weygand's Hedgehog tactic would become the major basis for responding to blitzkrieg attacks in the future: deploy in depth, roll into a ball and let them slide past you, rely on your anti-tank guns, build strong sides to the blitzkrieg incursion, then cut if off at the base and destroy in detail. However, Allied forces in 1940 were unable to successfully develop those tactics before they sustained heavy losses and France capitulated.

By 1944 Allied armies' 90 mm anti-tank guns and the Germans' famous 88s were very successful in blunting tank attacks, especially those with little infantry support. By that time the Allies had also developed their own version of both offensive and defensive strategies using armoured forces.

Logistics

Although effective in quick campaigns against Poland and France, blitzkrieg could not be sustained by Germany in later years. 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. Tank and vehicle production was a constant problem; indeed, late in the war many panzer "divisions" had no more than a few dozen tanks.Template:Ref 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. 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 were abandoned for lack of fuel.Template:Ref

Influence

Blitzkrieg's widest effects were against 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, then cut-off and disrupt enemy forces prior to their flight. In his comments of the time, he credited Guderian and Rommel's work, notably Infantry Attacks, for insight.

Blitzkrieg has had partial influence on subsequent militaries and doctrines. The Israeli Defense Forces may have been influenced by blitzkrieg in creating a military of flexible armored spearheads and close air support.Template:Ref The 1990's United States theorists of "Shock and awe" claim blitzkrieg as a subset of strategies which they term "rapid dominance."

See also

References

  1. Template:Note"Blitzkrieger" in TIME Vol. XXXIV No. 13, 25 September 1939. http://www.time.com/time/archive/preview/0,10987,761969,00.html
  2. Template:NoteJames S. Corum, The Roots of Blitzkrieg: Hans von Seeckt and German Military Reform (Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 1994), 37
  3. Template:NoteCorum, op. cit., 23.
  4. Template:NoteCorum, op. cit., 7.
  5. Template:NoteArgued by Corum, Edwards, and House. This is not to include theories which were not adopted as actual doctrine, on which there are varied views.
  6. Template:NoteRoger Edwards, Panzer: A Revolution in Warfare, 1939-1945 (London: Brockhampton Press, 1998), 23.
  7. Template:NoteGuderian'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.
  8. Template:NoteHeinz Guderian, trans. Constantine Fitzgibbon, Panzer Leader (New York: De Capo Press, 2002), 46.
  9. Template:NoteEdwards, op. cit., 24.
  10. Template:NoteEdwards, op. cit., 145.
  11. Template:NoteEdwards, op. cit., 25.
  12. Template:NoteAlan Clark, Barbarossa: The Russian-German Conflict, 1941-45 (New York: Quill, 1965), 78.
  13. Template:NoteRichard Simpkin, Race to the Swift: Thoughts on Twenty-First Century Warfare (London: Brassey's, 2000), 34
  14. Template:NoteCharles Winchester, "The Demodernization of the German Army in World War 2", Osprey Publishing. http://www.ospreypublishing.com/content2.php/cid=68
  15. Template:NoteJonathan 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

Further reading

  • 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.
  • Template:Book reference
  • House, Jonathan M. Toward Combined Arms Warfare: A Survey of 20th-Century Tactics, Doctrine, and Organization (http://cgsc.leavenworth.army.mil/carl/resources/csi/House/House.asp). 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.

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