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Jul 08 2007 14 mins   3

Blitzkrieg (lightning war) was the military doctrine of Germany during the first half of WWII. It consisted of an all-mechanized army blowing through the enemy lines (via air support and artillery support) so fast that the enemy would be overwhelmed and defeated. Blitzkrieg relied on a highly mobile and highly professional army. It was developed after WWII by Heinz Guderian, author of Achtung: Panzer.

Blitzkrieg warfare was applied in five major places: Spanish Civil War, Invasion of Poland, Battle of France, North Africa Campaign, Operation Barbarossa. Each time, Germany's enemy was too surprised to effectively defend itself. However, as the German war machine ran out of resources and technical superiority, blitzkrieg methodology began to disappear (at least in the German form).

However, German blitzkrieg was neither the first nor the last use of maneuver tactics in a combined arms fashion. Other examples include: German Schlieffen Plan in WWI, Russian Deep Operations in WWII, Operation Shock and Awe in Iraq War.

For more information, read:
Infantry Attacks by Erwin Rommel
Illustrated History of WWII by Reader’s Digest
Dictionary of Battles by David Chandler

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