During World War 2 The German army and particular Hitler adopted a number of strategies in order to seek victory. In the first two years of the war the German army took control of most of Europe using a tactic commonly referred to as the “Blitzkrieg” (Lightning War).
Following the successful use of the Blitzkrieg strategy within Poland, Norway was seen as a country with strategic importance to Hitler to allow him to complete aerial attacks of Britain. In one of the most famous statements from the War at the time British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain exclaimed that Hitler had ‘Missed the boat’ however this was far from the truth.
Four days later German vessels began escorting troops towards the Norwegian ports of Kristiansand, Stavanger, Bergen, Trondheim and Narvik. This was to be the second time we would see the Blitzkrieg strategy in use and certainly not the last.
This tactic continued to be successful for the German army over the span of two years where it was used in Denmark, Norway, Belgium, The Netherlands, France, Yugoslavia and Greece. This spanned a two year period where Germany took a strong hold across Europe.
How does the Blitzkrieg Tactic work?:
The Blitzrieg as a tactic is a clever one which was initially tested by the Germans in Spanish CIvil War in 1938 and of course against Poland in 1939. The tactic combines both land and air action and is focused around the speed and mobility of the attack.
The combination of forces would drive a breach in enemy defences and let the German tank division quickly enter the breached area. This would naturally cause shock within the opposition ranks and as they tried to regroup the Germans would follow this up with calculated, measured air strikes.
The subsequent lack of coordination from the opposition allowed the Germans to then seize the initiative in the battle. Any reinforcements were then circled by the German army which would give opposite no alternative than to surrender.
Success & Failure of Blitzrieg:
Initially within the Soviet Union of June 1941 the tactic again worked with tremendous loss to the people of the Soviet Union (Mentioned within our WW2 Facts page). The tactic drove the Soviet Union army back some 600 miles to the gates of Moscow.
However in 1942 a second offensive commonly known as the Battle of Stalingrad was met by a counteroffensive from the Soviet Union with devastating effect on the German army. Its said that an entire German army were destroyed within Stalingrad.
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