• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

In Poland in 1939, and in Western Europe in 1940, the German army defeated its enemies quickly. Was this only because of the blitzkrieg tactics used? Explain your answer.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

In Poland in 1939, and in Western Europe in 1940, the German army defeated its enemies quickly. Was this only because of the blitzkrieg tactics used? Explain your answer This essay will look at the German invasion of Poland and Western Europe from 1939-40 and its rapid success. It will look at all the factors that helped the Germans to be so successful during this period, the superb German blitzkrieg tactics and the factors that effected the opposing nations. Blitzkrieg 'lightning war' was a new form of warfare used by the Germans in World War II. This involved the use of artillery and dive-bombers, which caused a mass state of panic among civilians, who fled, clogging up the roads needed by the military to bring in reinforcements. This caused a general state of confusion. Then tanks and motorised infantry (soldiers in trucks or on motorbikes) and normal infantry picked up the rest of what was left. The keys to blitzkrieg were speed and surprise. The Germans could destroy an airforce before it got off the ground, as they did to the Poles and later the Russians. ...read more.

Middle

The French did better, they sent soldiers with skis, but the skis had no straps, so they were useless. Unsurprisingly the allies achieved nothing, and soon went back home again. So the help from the allies was again useless. There were many reasons why the Germans were successful in France. One of which was down to the brilliant quality of the German troops, who were very well trained and dedicated. But most of which were caused by France's own ignorance. They were very overconfident and complacent. To start with the French sent forty of its best divisions in the wrong direction. These were sent to cut a German attack through north-west Belgium, which never happened. Instead the Germans attacked through the Ardennes forest in the south of Belgium, which lead to a part or the French boarder with no Maginot line and only ten of the worst divisions to defend it, it was certainly the weakest defended point of the boarder. It was defended so poorly because the French refused to believe that a whole army with tanks and artillery could pass through the Ardennes forest. ...read more.

Conclusion

Another reason that the Germans were so successful was the small amount of help supplied by the British. France mobilised six million men, and we only supplied just over two hundred thousand, which was simply just not enough. This confirmed France's fear, that Britain wasn't taking the war seriously. This essay has shown that the German army was a large, well-trained and organised machine, with dedicated soldiers. Also it has shown that the blitzkrieg tactics were good and very effective. This is supported by Russia's poor attempt to invade Finland in 1940, not using blitzkrieg tactics. But they did eventually win due to superior numbers, which the Germans also had, compared to their opponents at any one place and time. Also the speed of the German attacks throughout Europe took did help to defeat armies, who were surprised by it the speed and opportunism of the attacks. But also it has shown that their opponents were unprepared, with out of date tactics and equipment, and out of touch leaders. Germany on the other hand was well prepared, with modern tactics and equipment, and had strong leaders with modern ideas. So after all of this, it is clear that blitzkrieg tactics helped the Germans a lot, but were not the only reason for their success. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 essays

  1. Why did tension increase in Europe between 1900 and 1914?

    * The Allies believed that if they gave in Stalin would behave as Hitler had in the 1930s. More and more countries would be taken over. * The Allies began to bring supplies into West Berlin by air. 4,000 tonnes were needed every day.

  2. Why was Germany Defeated in the First World War?

    "Gentlemen, we act in self-defence. Necessity knows no law... We have broken the law of nations. The French Government has indeed declared that it will respect the neutrality of Belgium, so long as its enemies do likewise. But we know that France is ready to invade us.

  1. The Battle of Britain as a turning point in the Second World War.In the ...

    So because of the success of the Normandy landings weeks later in August Paris was liberated. Though you have to wonder if Normandy would have been a success if we had not won the Battle of Britain ensuring that we could have those 12,000 aircraft for support.

  2. Considering the changes in warfare 1845-1991 how far can Blitzkrieg be considered a turning ...

    Blitzkrieg was a turning point with regards to the use of technology in a more efficient way than had previously been displayed. Britain's debut of the tank in World War One had left a lot to be desired, they were slow, inefficient and subject to an unprecedented amount of mechanical difficulties, leaving their potential overlooked by many.

  1. How important was Haig's tactics on the Western Front in bringing an end to ...

    After this wave of attack was finished, he followed by sending in the cavalry, to finish off his opponents and rise to another victory. On paper, it looked like an unstoppable plan that would ensure an Allie victory, however, Haig, or rather his men, came across many problems along the way.

  2. World War Two broke out on the 3rd September 1939, when Nazi Germany invaded ...

    Source A2 of the booklet informs us that J.B. Priestley, a BBC radio broadcaster of the time, declared on national radio, 'It so happens that this war, whether those at present in authority like it or not, has to be fought as a citizens' war'.

  1. War was raging in Europe in 1940 and Britainwas in big trouble.

    Germany took no time to defeat the Low Countries. It attacked the weaker central part of the Maginot Line. The Germans easily defeated the First World War style French troops and drove on to capture Paris. Incredibly, although the French had a bigger army than Germany, they were defeated in just six weeks.

  2. Blitzkrieg: Lightning Warefare

    The strategy included 5 parts: 1. Intence aircraft bombing of the front line, the rear, all supply routes, and communication outposts, 2. tank units along with the infantry and other mechanized units attack the side defense areas with no break in the conflict (this allows no time for reinforcements to arrive); when the defense is wiped

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work