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Blitzkrieg and Lightning War - German Tactics

Blitzkrieg means lightning war. The name Blitzkrieg was created in 1939, when Germany invaded Poland in World War II, where journalists used the word blitzkrieg. Blitzkrieg is exactly what its definition says it is - a lightning fast invasion.
Blitzkrieg and the Invasion of Poland
What happens in Blitzkrieg is an attacking force with a high concentration of infantry formations, normally tanks, forces a breakthrough into the enemy's back.

The attack is backed up by airplanes. As soon as its in the rear, the infantry dislocates them by using speed and surprise and encircles them. The blitzkrieg tries to unbalance the enemy by making it difficult for them to respond effectively to the continuously changing front.

Blitzkrieg used a traditional German tactics of deep penetration and bypassing of enemy strong points to encircle and destroying the enemy force, as shown in the Franco-Prussian WarThe blitzkrieg operations capitalized on surprise penetrations, general enemy unpreparedness, and an inability to react swiftly enough to the attacker's offensive operations.

During the Battle of France, the French, who made attempts to re-form defensive lines along rivers, were constantly frustrated when German forces arrived there first and pressed on with their Blitzkrieg.

On the other hand, one cannot assume that the Blitzkrieg was used everywhere. While many tanks were deployed for the German invasion of Poland, horses and slower transport mechanisms were also used.


Part of the World War II Series
Spanish Civil War - Back                                                                        Next - German Invasion of Poland

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