The Ju 87 "Stuka" dive-bomber was used in blitzkrieg operations
Foreign Affairs From The Anthology: The World at War
Explore the Anthology

Blitzkrieg [Excerpt]

"BLITZKRIEG" or lightning war is not a German term for just any kind of quickly waged and violent war. It is a name for a special kind of quickly waged and violent war which has a technique of its own. The ideas which lie back of this technique began taking shape in Germany in the period after the failure of either the Allies or the Germans to break through on the Western Front during 1915 and 1916, and they matured after the outbreak of the civil war in Spain.

While some of the guiding conceptions of the Blitzkrieg were tried out in Ethiopia, the results were not considered conclusive. The Ethiopians were a semi-savage people, and they lacked the modern armament and equipment necessary to offer the Italian invaders the kind of resistance essential if Blitzkrieg were to receive a real and complete battlefield test. But Spain furnished a fine proving ground. Then Albania was a dress rehearsal. And in Poland the system was put to the final proof.

The technique of Blitzkrieg is based on the principle of surprise as opposed to an effort to crush an enemy by bringing an overwhelming superiority in numbers and armament to bear against him. It can be likened to the swift and deadly thrust of a rapier as opposed to the crushing blow of a battle-axe or a war club. The objective is not the enemy civilian population but the enemy armed forces, both ground and air. . . .

. . . The suppression of the Polish Republic proved that a brave, well-armed, well-equipped and well-trained army, according to ordinary standards, is incapable of resisting a Blitzkrieg attack. True, the Poles made strategic errors in trying to defend all of Poland, instead of accepting the invasion of the western part of their territory as a necessary evil and concentrating their army where it could have made the most effective resistance. But even if they had adopted this correct strategical procedure they would have been beaten. The reason for this statement

Loading, please wait...

Related Articles

This site uses cookies to improve your user experience. Click here to learn more.