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In Poland in 1939 and in Western Europe in 1940, the German army defeated its enemy’s quickly. Was this only because of the Blitzkrieg tactics used?

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Introduction

History Coursework essay. Nicky Fincham. In Poland in 1939 and in Western Europe in 1940, the German army defeated its enemy's quickly. Was this only because of the Blitzkrieg tactics used? In the early months of the war Hitler and the German army rapidly conquered many countries, there were many different reasons to as why he was able to do this so successfully, one of these, was naturally, the tactics which he used: firstly they would send in large squadrons consisting entirely of tanks to smash their way through specific enemy positions, thus creating holes in vital points in the enemy line. After this they would send in squadrons of dive bombers to hit enemy communication points, bridges and air force bases, to invoke confusion into their enemies, as they wouldn't be able to communicate with each other to see what was happening, also paratroopers were dropped behind enemy lines, to attack them from behind. All this led towards a very fast victory for Hitler and the German army, this is how it came to be known as Blitzkrieg, or "Lightning War". The first country that Germany used these tactics on in the second world war was Poland, in September 1939, the Polish army were taken completely by surprise, as they were expecting a war similar to that of 1914, I.e. ...read more.

Middle

First they invaded Denmark, Blitzkrieg was also used here and the Danish army gave up fighting after only 2 days, this just goes to show how successful Blitzkrieg could be. Norway however took 3-4 weeks to conquer. The Norwegians, all though took longer to be conquered, were still very much overwhelmed by the German assault, their armies were unprepared for such an attack, as has been the case throughout the whole war, the Norwegian leaders had ignored warnings that Hitler would attack them, which would have given them valuable time to prepare for a battle, news on how Hitler attacked Poland could have proven vital in Norway's tactics, but alas their leaders didn't listen, making for another reason why the were defeated. However, due to these two battles taking around 4 weeks, other countries such as Britain and France had more time to prepare themselves for a German assault, this would prove vital for the allies success. The next few countries on Hitler's agenda was Holland and Belgium, once again Hitler used Blitzkrieg tactics to accomplish this, and was once again helped along by their far superior army and air force, and also how unprepared the other countries were, even though they had had all this time to prepare for a battle with Germany, also Britain and France did nothing to help them in the battle, so once again Germany had a quick victory. ...read more.

Conclusion

if Hitler hadn't had the time to plan such a war, something which could have been prevented if the League of Nations had done something to stop him as soon as they realised he was breaking the terms of the treaty and re building his army. But alas they just stood by and watched as the German army gradually became a very powerful foe. Another reason for German success was how unprepared the conquered nations were for such an attack, mainly because they had had much less time then Germany to prepare for a war, so most of their military tactics and machinery were out of date and unchanged since WW1. So overall I believe that the main reason for Germany's early success was due to the major difference between the times the countries had to prepare for a war. Consequences of this success was that other countries, like Britain for example now had a lot more time to prepare for a war which they would know how would be fought, this proved very helpful as it allowed Britain enough time to rebuild its army to resist the forthcoming German attack. Other consequences could have been that this made Hitler to overconfident about his army's ability which could have led to bad decisions like the invasion of Russia, something which turned the tide of the whole war. ...read more.

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