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Blitzkreig Coursework Essay, Research Paper

Before the importance of Blitzkrieg in the German runs of 1939 and 1940 can be evaluated, Blitzkrieg must foremost be defined. Translated Blitzkrieg means? ightning war? it was a new method of contending runs with the purpose of: defeating states rapidly to avoid a two-front war and avoiding the attritional conflicts that had finally lost the Germans the First World War. The consequences of Blitzkrieg were intended to be fewer casualties, no demand to call up the economic system for war because the war would be over before production capablenesss could do any difference to the result of the war. Blitzkrieg was the consequence betterments in engineering in the 20? and the 30? . This had given the Stormtroopers the mobility that they had lacked in the First World War. Where this mobility most improved the German armed forces was in the efficient motorisation of dependable armored combat vehicles and support vehicles, this resulted in a important betterment in the velocity at which German divisions could travel. Besides the betterment in wireless communicating meant that the correspondence between these new fast traveling ground forcess was besides improved and that these ground forcess could have new orders throughout a conflict. Possibly the most critical point was the development of airpower, the Germans had developed a new divebomber, a Stuka, that was both powerful and accurate.

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In order to accomplish its aims, Blitzkrieg combined the undermentioned elements: surprise, paralyzing the enemy? defences while they were of guard. Speed, because of the Panzer IV? , the new German armored combat vehicle? , supported by other armoured vehicles, combination of armour and heavy weapon with velocity allowed the German armoured divisions to go on to progress despite enemy fire. Continuous promotion meant that the onslaughts were more hard to defy and highly hard to counter onslaught. Combined weaponries, the coordination between onslaughts from land, air and sea. Organizing these forces could maximize the consequence of an onslaught doing them harder to defy than earlier. A German Panzer division consisted of reconnaissance aircraft ( Stukas ) , heavy weapon and motorized foot ; these divisions could besides work in concurrence with the German naval forces. The usage of air power was cardinal in German runs and the advanced air trade heightened the effectivity of this scheme. Concentration of firepower, in order to take points critical to a state or her defensive program or to direct a big scale onslaught on a peculiarly weakly defended point in the enemy line in order to transgress the line and move military personnels in behind it. Besides the Germans massed their armoured vehicles together in armoured divisions instead than utilizing armored combat vehicles as retainers to the foot and distributing them sparsely throughout the ground forces, this formed fast traveling and effectual divisions the like of which had ne’er been encountered before. The German tactical manoeuvres every bit good as their methods were a new type of warfare, Blitzkrieg one of these schemes was known a thee? incer motion? this involved the invasion of an enemy by several different ground forcess from assorted points on a state? boundary line. The ground forcess would progress at velocity and their waies would run into at predetermined points ensuing in the blockade of cardinal points, or ground forcess, of the resistance, for illustration possibly a capital metropolis or a first ground forces, and insulating it from the remainder of the state and any military assistance therefore rendering it defenseless.

Blitzkrieg tactics were used to different grades in the German invasions of Poland, Norway, Holland, Belgium and eventually France from 1939 and 1940. The Germans obtained triumphs much more rapidly in the runs in Poland and the Low Countries and France than in Norway. After occupying Poland on September 1st the capital, Warsaw, had surrendered by September 27th and the last Polish military personnels cease contending on October 6th taking a sum of merely 36 yearss to busy Poland. It took the German ground forces merely 5 yearss to get the better of the Dutch ground forces after occupying Holland on May tenth 1940. After occupying Belgium on May tenth 1940 from the eastern frontier of Luxembourg the Germans had advanced across Northern Luxembourg, through the natural defences of the Ardennes Forest to Sedan in France and advanced Norths to the English Channel, busying Abbeville on May 20th, a sum of 240 stat mis, in11 yearss. After this initial discovery, in the early proceedingss of June 25th after the remainder of France had been invaded due souths and the Gallic authorities has withdrew to North Africa and had asked for an cease-fire on June 17th France lay prostratThe German ground forces was good equipped in footings of heavy weapon, work force, air strength, armoured vehicles and work force. This itself made the German ground forces more successful nevertheless this was non an component of Blitzkrieg tactics. The deployment of the resources into concentrated groups, the concentration of firepower, was and attributed well to the Germans & # 180 ; success in winning speedy triumphs in their Polish and Gallic runs. Army groups were used in both these runs. In Poland Army Groups North and South were used to occupy the Poland from the different foreparts in the North and South of the state as has been antecedently. Massing work forces, armored combat vehicles, armoured vehicles and heavy heavy weapon together instead than administering them thinly and equally throughout the foot combined with considerable force from the air, the Lutwaffe made these army groups more acute and lay waste toing in onslaught and much more hard to defy. Army Groups A and B were used in France with similar consequence. Army group B invaded France via a farther north portion of Belgium at Liege while Army Group A made up the chief invasion through the Ardennes Forest in the South of Belgium. Both of these groups because of the concentration of firepower were able to perforate Gallic defences with comparative easiness. Army groups were non deployed in the Norse run as the chief invasion was by sea and air, this was possibly a contingent factor in the long sum of clip that was taken for the German ground forces to busy Norway in comparing with the much quicker triumphs in Poland and France. I believe that the concentration of firepower used in the Polish and Gallic runs was more of an influential factor in deriving the Germans a speedy triumph in the Gallic run instead than the Polish as Polish defences due to their inferior armed forces and their flawed defence program would hold been breached by the Germans without the concentration of firepower. However the Gallic defences were much better equipped, despite their flawed defence program, and may non hold been breached so easy without the concentration of firepower. Though due to the flawed Gallic defensive program and other factors the Germans may hold breached Gallic opposition finally without the concentration of firepower is a possibility it is reasonably certain that they would non hold done so as rapidly had it non been for this component of Blitzkrieg. The quicker successes in Poland and France where this maneuver was used compared to the drawn-out run in Norway when it was non is suggests that this component of Blitzkrieg was a contingent factor in German speedy triumphs.

The usage of ground forces groups allowed the tweezer motion to be used by the German ground forces, this was used in both the Gallic and the Polish runs nevertheless non in the Norse run, where ground forces groups were non used. In Poland Army Groups A North and South and the assorted ground forcess of which they were comprised encircled Warsaw and combined with the barrage by the lutwaffe inflicted Warsaw & # 180 ; s resignation. In France the tweezer motion was employed to pin down the French & # 180 ; s strongest ground forces, that had been placed in the Gembloux spread at vassal in Belgium by the Gallic, in Belgium prevented them unifying with Gallic military personnels in the South and rallying considerable opposition to the German invasion. This was done by Army group A that had invaded at Sedan being joined by Army group B that had invaded through Liege and so driving due norths to the English Channel. In France this gambit was really influential in the French & # 180 ; s failure to utilize their considerable armed to good consequence in defying the German invasion ; Warsaw would most likely have fell to the Germans despite the tweezer motion but no uncertainty the tweezer motion attributed well to how rapidly the Polish capital fell. The pin downing f the Gallic military personnels in the pocket nevertheless was wholly due t the German tweezer motion nevertheless merely attributed in portion to the speedy licking of the Gallic. In the Polish and Gallic runs where the tweezer motion was employed the Germans won quicker triumphs than in the Norse run where it was non suggests that the tweezer motion helped the Germans to win speedy triumphs in which it was employed.

Having evaluated the importance of each component of Blitzkrieg in each run the interim decision is that Blitzkrieg was a much more of import factor in the speedy triumphs in France and Poland, where it was to the full employed, than in the Norse runs where merely certain elements of the Blitzkrieg tactics were used. However in Norway it took the Germans much longer to procure a triumph than it did in Poland and France where Blitzkrieg was more outstanding. It is noteworthy that each component entirely contributed in a manner to the accomplishment of speedy triumphs in the runs, particularly Poland and France, but combined as a method of contending Blitzkrieg, as a method of combat was a major factor in the speedy triumphs won. There were more elements of Blitzkrieg used in the Gallic and Polish runs than in Norway and hence their effects combined together to roll up into a major factor in the German speedy success, this partially explains the quicker success that the Germans achieved in Poland and France compared to Norway.

Blitzkrieg tactics are non the lone factor that attributed to the speedy triumphs achieved by the Germans in these runs. Other conducive factors have to be considered to measure the importance of Blitzkrieg in these runs to the full.

One other factor is the inferior armed forces of the states invaded. This was an of import in the licking of Norway, the Norse armed forces were bantam compared to the German forces. Besides the Gallic force that was put ashore at Nasmos to help the Norwegians in their defence as ill equipped as the ship incorporating their equipment was excessively big to dock in the seaport at that place. The Gallic force did non even have snowshoes allow alone armored combat vehicles or guns. The Germans high quality in footings of equipment was of import in Norway and meant that they would likely hold been successful at that place whether Blitzkrieg had been employed or non the Germans were besides superior in footings of equipment than the Polish ground forces, the Germans had 10 armored combat vehicle divisions to the Polish 1, 850bombers and dive bombers compared to the Polish 210 and 400 combatant planes to the Polish 15. However by no agencies every bit markedly as they were compared to the Norse ground forces, the gloss had one of the most advanced anti-tank arms in the universe at that clip which was effectual against the German Panzer IV & # 180 ; s and the narratives of Poles on horseback being scythed down by German armored combat vehicles was more German propaganda than substance. Because the poles were non every bit inferior as the Norwegians were compared to the Germans this factor is non as of import in the invasion of Poland which means that the usage of the German weaponries, Blitzkrieg, was more of import. Holland had tiny armed forces and the Belgian ground forces lacked modernization which was an of import ground why the Germans advanced through these states with such easiness. However the Gallic in fact outnumbered the Germans in footings of foot, armored combat vehicles and heavy weapon with the Germans merely basking existent high quality in the air, the acknowledgment of the importance of which was an component of Blitzkrieg, hence this is non a valid ground why the Germans defeated the Gallic so rapidly and so easy

The German & # 180 ; s scheme sing international dealingss in readying for these runs is besides a notable factor in the successes of Germany in both Poland and France. The Nazi-Soviet treaty that Hitler had signed with Stalin resulted in the Soviet Union fall ining the invasion of Poland on September 17th 1939. This was after the Germans had appealed to the Soviets to step in ; the first entreaty on September 3rd had been declined with the Russian ground forces claiming that they were non reading. However the Soviets hurried to come in the run after the 2nd petition on September 10th as the Germans were get the better ofing the Poles so rapidly that they feared that the Germans would get the better of the poles before they could come in and hence non give up Polish district to the Soviets up to the limit line as were the footings of the treaty. However this factor was non truly a major factor as merely 2 Russian division entered the eastern half of Poland where the Poles were in a minority and due to the German onslaught the Polish province had already disintegrated so the Soviet intercession was non a major contributory factor in the German triumph. Alternatively the Russians concentrated their attempts on shepherding the Germans out of their zone. Before the runs the Germans had made an confederation with Mussolini & # 180 ; s fascist Italy. Mussolini invaded France after declaring war on France and Britain. More important was the menace of fascist Italy on France & # 180 ; s southern boundary line during the German invasion that meant that the French were non able to perpetrate all their forces to the country under menace from the Germans. The intercessions of Stalin in Poland and Mussolini in France both occurs after the German had about ensured success entirely and are non major grounds why the Germans won speedy triumphs in these runs. However it is besides evident that in Norway where the state that was invaded by the Germans was non under menace from another hostile neighbou

r the Germans took longer to procure a triumph. Though militarily the intercessions of Stalin and Mussolini were non a key cause the consequence that their menace had upon the defensive program of the states invaded did property to there being less opposition to the Germans. Combined with Blitzkrieg tactics that were really effectual in transgressing opposition this was amore of import factor in the German success in these runs.

Another factor in the German success was the geographics of the states that were invaded. The geographics of Poland was peculiarly important, the separation of East Prussia from Germany under the footings of the Treaty of Versailles gave Germans district on each side of the Polish corridor to the sea. The Germans attacked from these two foreparts Pomerania to the West and East Prussia to the E to busy the Polish corridor which was indispensable to the supply of the Polish population and more significantly the ground forces. Silesia and the late occupied, by the Germans, Czechoslovakia gave the Germans district to the South of Poland from which they could establish an onslaught from a 3rd forepart. This three front onslaught combined with the Russian menace on her eastern frontier made Poland highly hard to support whether German Blitzkrieg tactics were employed or non. In add-on to her place among hostile neighbours more geographical factors made Poland hard for her little ground forces to support: she had really long frontiers of which for every inch of these to be defended by the limited capablenesss of the Polish armed forces was implausible. Besides all of her of import industrial countries were on these frontiers which were the first countries that would be captured by the Germans and hence doing the supply of her already limited ground forces even more hard. Poland & # 180 ; s difficult and level terrain was suited really good to armored combat vehicles, the usage of which was cardinal to the German war program. Hard and level terrain in Holland and besides aided the German promotion and resulted in them making France faster to take the Gallic by surprise, level terrain besides suited the German armored combat vehicles. France bordered Italy to the South and the Gallic authorities & # 180 ; s concern over this led to the Gallic ground forces non being concentrated on defence against the Germans as has been antecedently explained. Though geographics did assist the Germans well in the Polish run and less significantly in the Gallic run the geographics of Norway did non accommodate the German manner of warfare with undulating landscape and Norse conditions. The geographical place of Norway made a direct land onslaught by the Germans impossible, the meant that other elements of Blitzkrieg like the concentration of firepower or the tweezer motion impossible to implement. However the Germans were successful in Norway despite the jobs that her geographics posed, this suggests that the geographics of the states that Germans invaded was non the most of import factor in the German speedy triumphs nevertheless the Germans achieved speedy triumphs where geographics favored them proposing that it did lend to their success. The geographics in itself would non hold been as of import but for the manner the Germans exploited it, this was no more evident than in the Polish run where the three front onslaught was a cardinal ground why Poland fell so easy.

Rarely is a military success won due merely to the actions of the master ; errors made the resistance are frequently besides important. The Polish, Norse and Gallic runs were no exclusion, errors made by the Allies were really of import in the German successes. The Gallic and British period of inaction until they finally mobilised their ground forcess on a big graduated table when the German invaded in May 1939 known as the & # 8220 ; phony war & # 8221 ; was but one of these errors. This led to the Allies non establishing the large-scale operation to support Poland as had been promised prior to the German invasion in 1939. Such an intercession may hold prolonged or even prevented the German business, this suggests that Britain and France & # 180 ; s position that they were contending a & # 8220 ; phony war & # 8221 ; was an of import factor in the German speedy triumph won in Poland. Another Allied error that was of big effect in the German triumph over the Poles was the Polish defensive program which was based on principals opposite to those that the successful Blitzkrieg tactics were based upon. Alternatively of massing their forces together in divisions that may hold stood a opportunity of defying the Germans and doing usage of natural defences like the Vistula and San rivers ; the Poles spread their forces thinly over Poland & # 180 ; s long frontiers in forward places that were rapidly overwhelmed by the fast moving German ground forcess. The Polish defence program complimented the German onslaught and the consequence was the velocity and effectivity with which the Germans occupied Poland. The Polish defensive program was a considerable contributory factor in the German speedy triumph in Poland. Allied errors were besides influential in the German triumph in Norway, the merely helped offered to the bantam Norse forces was that which was put ashore at Nasmos and Andalsens. British, Gallic and Polish forces were beaten easy as they fought against heavy odds. A Gallic force was put ashore at Namsos with no equipment or ammo, a force that was so withdrawn in the first hebdomad of May, after many different defensive programs to set down at Narvik and the Trondhjem fiord. This disorganization was partially due to the surprise tactic employed by the Germans and partially due to the & # 8220 ; phony war & # 8221 ; outlook and the incompetency of the Gallic. At this clip the British had an highly strong naval forcess and British naval assistance to Norway may hold prevented the business of Norway, hence the errors made by the Allies in Norway contributed mostly to the German triumph. Gallic incompetency was an of import factor in the deficiency of assistance given to the Poland and Norway but in their licking to Germany. The Gallic had failed to utilize the 8 months they had had between the declaration of war and the German invasion to fix for military confrontation with Germany. All the readying that the Gallic had made at readying for a possible German through the spread that existed in the Magint Line was the excavation of a shallow anti-tank ditch. This is how the & # 8220 ; phony war & # 8221 ; outlook effected the Gallic. The Allies had besides underestimated how much more advanced the German forces had become since the terminal of the First World War, they had attributed the unbelievable business of Poland to the failing of the Poles instead than the strength of the Germans. This misconception added to the surprise that was a cardinal ground why the Gallic were defeated so rapidly. One of the chief adequatenesss of the Gallic ( and British ) was that they had non appreciated the demand for modernization the manner that the Germans had. The Gallic administration resembled that of World War One: armored combat vehicles were seen as foot retainers and were spread thinly throughout the foot instead than massed together in effectual divisions like the Germans, the French did non appreciate the effectivity of combined weaponries and their and unmanageable motion and administration compared to the Blitzkrieg velocity was a factor in the unexpected velocity with which the Germans invaded France. This out-of-date awkwardness was epitimised by the 5 yearss scheduled for Corap & # 180 ; s Ninth Army to travel to the Meuse with merely horse protecting it on the other side. The Gallic were besides unqualified in footings of their administration their equipment was besides out dated as much of the Gallic arms dated from World War One, they had besides failed to appreciate the significance of air power in modern warfare. The awkwardness of the Gallic motion and administration combined with their out-of-date equipment and method were a cardinal cause of their speedy licking to the Germans. The Gallic & # 180 ; s defects may non hold caused the licking entirely as these tactics were sufficient for the Gallic to win the First World War. If the Germans had fought in the same manner as the Gallic the business of France may hold been prolonged or even prevented. But as the Germans had adopted new tactics, Blitzkrieg, as opposed to the Gallic out-dated methods made the contingent factor of the German speedy triumph in their Gallic run. Another error by the French was a false sense of security that was instilled in the war-weary state by the Maginot Line. This was known as the & # 8220 ; Maginot Line outlook & # 8221 ; , the Gallic believed that the Maginot Line, a line of defensive munitions running up the Gallic Eastern frontier to Longuyon, would protect them from any invasion on their eastern frontier. The spread in the Maginot Line from Longuyon to the English Channel was important as this is where the Germans entered France. The French did non anticipate an enemy to occupy her through this spread in the Maginot Line as it was partially filled by the natural defences of the Ardennes Forests. As the French did non see this country as a important menace their attempt to strengthen defences at that place when war was declared were minimum and their surprise when the Germans invaded through the Ardennes was heightened. The Gallic & # 180 ; s complacence refering to the Maginot Line enabled the Germans to utilize with arresting consequence the surprise component of Blitzkrieg, this was a important contributory factor in the German initial discovery which attributed to their success. Another error made by their Allies was their failure to collaborate to do important their numerical advantage over the German Army. This was true in Poland and Norway where British and Gallic forces sent failed to organize to good consequence with the Polish and Norse forces. If this had been the instance so the Germans successes would likely hold been nowhere near as remarkable. However the failure of the Allies to collaborate was peculiarly important in the Gallic run. The failure of France ( and Britain ) to verify defence inside informations with Belgian forces was an of import factor in the speedy promotion of the German ground forces through Belgium. The Gallic had assumed that the Belgian ground forces would hold been capable of detaining the German promotion significantly because of the strong fortresses at Liege, Eben-Emael and the natural defences provided by the Albert Canal, the Meuse and the Ardennes Forest. However in existent fact the Belgians ( and the Dutch ) were keeping a policy of neutrality that these hoped would forestall their states from falling under Nazi regulation. This confusion led to the Germans rapidly progressing through the Low Countries leting the Gallic to rally merely a fraction of the opposition of which they were capable. The failure of Britain and France to collaborate in the formation of any counter-attacks after the initial German discovery was besides a factor in the success of the Germans. A antagonistic onslaught formulated by Lord Gort on May 2nd, to drive due south from Arras in an effort to unite the military personnels in the pocket with forces in the South, was promised considerable Gallic aid was merely helped by 60 armored combat vehicles and the Germans easy get the better of them. This is but an illustration of Britain and France neglecting to collaborate in the defence of France. Had Britain and France been able to unite their forces efficaciously they could hold opposition the Germans much more efficaciously therefore this is a important factor in the German speedy triumph won in France.

The interim decision after measuring the other conducive factors of the German triumphs won in Poland, Norway and France is that the Blitzkrieg tactics used were non the lone ground why the Germans won speedy triumphs.

In Poland Blitzkrieg tactics were of import as all the elements were implement successfully: surprise, combined weaponries, the usage of ground forces groups utilizing the tweezer motion, the usage of airpower and the rule of velocity. The Blitzkrieg tactics employed was the lone factor that made the triumph in Poland so speedy nevertheless Blitzkrieg was non the lone ground why the Germans won. This is because of the Polish flawed defensive program, the deficiency of aid from Britain and France for their little armed forces together with the geographics of Poland that meant she was surrounded by hostile neighbors and that she was able to be attacked by the Germans from three foreparts meant that the Germans would hold likely defeated the poles irrespective of the usage of Blitzkrieg tactics. In the Norse run the errors made by the Allies and the huge military high quality that the Germans held over the Norwegians were plenty to get the better of the Norwegians regardless of the Blitzkrieg tactics employed. This seconded by the fact that the elements of Blitzkrieg tactics that were employed were non every bit successful as the elements employed in the other two runs as the Norse run was a batch longer than the other runs. This meant that the blitzkrieg tactics employed was non the lone ground why he Germans were successful in Norway. In France where military high quality could non be said to be the contingent factor as the ground forcess were reasonably equal in footings of work force and equipment. The geographics of France was non conclusive to the German triumph and the menace of the Italians on the Gallic southern boundary line was non truly a major factor in the triumph either. Though the errors made by Britain and France was a major factor these errors were merely made important because of the far superior German tactics used. The Gallic scheme can non truly be said to be the contingent factor as the same scheme had beaten the Germans in the First World War. The lone alteration that had occurred between the First World War and the Second was the tactics used by the Germans. The Gallic tactics that had been plenty to crush the Germans before they developed the Blitzkrieg tactics but were non after the Germans began to contend in this manner. This suggests that though Blitzkrieg was non the lone factor that caused the German speedy triumph but it was decidedly the contingent factor