Germany's Use of Blitzkreig

Germany's Use of Blitzkreig
Germany defeated 6 countries in the space of 9 months between September 1939 and June 1940. They managed to occupy Norway, Denmark, Belgium, France, Holland and Poland. They used a tactic known as Blitzkreig. Blitzkreig was a new method of war that Germany used against their opposition in World War two. It was based on speed and it means ?lightning war? it was designed to take a short amount of time and concentrate on putting their troops into small areas. It involved using their planes, which they had many more of and they would hit the enemy weak points, which would give them a strong advantage. Poland was the first country that fell to this new method of war.
They had many problems defending Blitzkreig because Poland?s terrain was relatively flat which suited Blitzkreig. This meant that the first bombers could see their targets easily and could therefore be much more accurate in hitting their targets. They aimed to destroy bridges to stop movement of supplies; they then bombed towns to cause panic amongst the civilians this would hopefully lower morale around Poland, The paratroopers were then dropped in to capture strong points such as bridges that they may need in future attacks, Then the tanks came out to smash though the front line of the enemy before moving onto the roads to stop any supplies that may be heading that way this meant it was very difficult for the Poles to get anywhere or do anything as the tanks and the paratroopers had cut down communication lines. Poland was very difficult to defend, as it was prone to attack from three sides Slovakia, East Prussia and Pomeranian. The polish troops were not sufficient enough to cover two thousand kilometres effectively. Their commander Marshall Edward Rydz-Smingly who deployed his troops in Danzig and around Poznan although he received accurate information that there were massive forces against him did not help this problem. On September 1 1939 17 divisions, 3 infantry brigades and 6 Calvary brigades despite their being no real adequate command structure defended their huge front. Hitler?s objective was to hit Poland with swift crushing blows so he used Blitzkreig for the first time. There was no active response from the allied forces as they were preparing for war themselves. The Germans first real challenge was to destroy the Polish airforce and hopefully make them completely inactive this would give them complete superiority in the aerial battle. They achieved this on September 3rd. Panzer divisions then took control of Poland but mainly along the border, which expanded two thousand kilometres surrounding the polish army. The Polish armies were not fully trained or were they prepared when the Nazis invaded them. Hauds of Polish refuges got in the way and stopped 13 of the polish tank divisions. The Germans could move much faster than the Poles this resulted in the capture of many prisoners of war that again lowered morale. The German tanks could travel at 50km a day. By late September the Germans has taken nearly one million prisoners of war. Germany used Blitzkreig to their advantage exploiting the polish weakness of not being able to cope with the sheer pace of it. The Germans also had a major element of surprise on Poland and they had no time to prepare. Germany had recently signed a peace treaty with Russia the Nazi-Soviet pact Germany hoped this would prevent a repeat of World war one were there was a war on two fronts it was also a key reason for Germany?s success. The Germans did not have the men or the resources to fight a war on two fronts. This created time for the use of Blitzkreig. By using Blitzkreig less men and resources were used. The allies had five hundred and twelve thousand more men but had three hundred less aircraft than the Germans. The allies had to spread their troops while Germany also had better range on their guns and all-round had better tactics. They then moved across Europe and invaded Denmark. This was necessary to stop Poland gaining their supplies. The invasion of Denmark was less than twenty-four hours and there was not a shot fired this was because there was no resistance from the Danes as they were completely under prepared for an attack of any decent size. They invaded Norway at the same time but this time rather than Poland it was much easier as Norway had not been at war for over one hundred years and they were as under prepared as the Danes. They asked the allies for some assistance with men and ammunition. When the allies did join they were disjointed and had a lack of ambition and will to fight. They also had a lack of co-ordination amongst the ranks. They had poorly thought out tactics for the number of experienced troops they had in the troops. The weather in Norway was a big factor giving them very little hope of going fast enough to cope with the commands that they received. There was no point in trying to fly in supplies, as Germany was so dominant in the air. They could not match the speed of the German attacks on the air and on the ground. Britain did have more success in the sea and that did help when it came to morale. Norway then surrendered but Germany was one step ahead of the allies as they had already planned their next attacks on Holland, Belgium, France and Britain. Germany made themselves 3 armies with the focus of them going through the Ardennes to cause a surprise this was because the allies would assume that the land would not be good enough for their tanks and they would not be completely effective. The allies thought that the Germany would do the same as in world war one so they moved their troops that where mostly Britons north. It was clear that the allies had not learned any lessons and were not clear on the immense pace of Blitzkreig warfare. The French were so sure of the invincibility of the Maginot line that they did very little apart from making their tactics very defensive to try to protect it. This resulted in the Maginot line becoming very ineffective. The numbers were still even but the Germans had more tanks and planes than the allies they also used their men and tanks to better effect. The allies spread their tanks out more and did not use any formations and that would be more effective they also did not use there armoured formations very well, as they were not up to standard. The allies were not any were near as organised as the Germans were and they subsequently fell behind in terms of numbers and technology. In conclusion I think that Blitzkreig was one of the main reasons for Adolf Hitler?s Military success between 1939-1941. In the above I have stated some of the reasons why Hitler had military success away from Blitzkreig and one of the reasons would be the sheer incompetents of their opposition and their opposition?s allies. The men on the German side were very similar to those on the allies but it showed that Germany was more technologically advanced compared to the allies. Germany used their strengths to their opposition?s weaknesses for example the speed of Blitzkreig to the in-ability for their opposition to mobilise. The use of Blitzkreig by Germany was a Very good indication of how they thought militarily thinking and that the use of it at the right times proved unbeatable. Hitler did have lots of military success between those years of 1939-41; inpart some of the sheer scale of Hitler?s success is a result of the allied weaknesses but what my essay shows is that Blitzkreig was the main contributor to German military success.

Germany's Use of Blitzkreig 8.3 of 10 on the basis of 2122 Review.