A Conversation for Blitzkrieg ('Lightning War') - a Military Strategy

What about...?

Post 1

Master of Complete Tosh, Keeper of the Tea Money

There are several main elements that are missing from this. The main purpose of the air strikes was to isolate the area of battle. This would involve taking out communication centres or choke points such as rail yards, bridges, airfields and HQ's. This would give the attacker the advantage in being able to concentrate their forces at the point of attack whilst the defender is unable to move material into the area. Bear in mind that in 1940 blitzkrieg through France, Germany was the numerically inferior force.

Blitzkrieg was all about moving faster than the enemy could react using Shock to overcome local resistance. Tanks were ideal for this because they gave a commander the ability to concentrate firepower quickly. However, tanks travelling without infantry were extremely vulnerable to infantry assault. (Imagine driving your car looking through a hole the size of your rear view mirror and trying to spot a soldier hiding behind a bush with an anti-tank weapon). So the infantry had to travel with the tanks in their own armoured transport and were part of the main advance. If the enemy did manage to put up significant resistance, then the position would be bypassed and isolated from the battle.

Other big weaknesses of blitzkrieg were its dependence on supplies and the exposure of the flanks. The Ardennes offensive of 1944 failed because the Axis forces were unable to move enough supplies to the front. This was a huge failure because the Germans pushed large numbers of troops into the battle who where then cut off when the flanks were closed up by Allied reinforcements.


What about...?

Post 2

Orcus

The ardennes offensive also had a slight disadvantage in that they had no chance whatsoever due to allied air superiority and overwhelming forces on the ground for the allies. They may have advanced further had they been able to move their supplies but they would still have lost - lets face it they'd really already lost the war, this was the last bite of a dying animal.

The success of blitzkrieg in France 1940 was helped by the the allies fighting tanks with chariots in som cases! smiley - erm


What about...?

Post 3

The Average Joe No One EVER Suspects

Chariots? You mean the little Sherman tanks? In that case, then yeah that sounds right. I think the numbers were about 4 Shermans taken down to every 1 Tiger...


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Post 4

Orcus

No, in 1940 I am talking, there is even film footage of it. France particularly was fighting with often very obsolete weaponry.


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Post 5

Master of Complete Tosh, Keeper of the Tea Money

When the Ardennes offensive first started the weather was appaling and the allied air force was effectively grounded. By the time the weather cleared the initiative had already passed back to the allies.smiley - geek


What about...?

Post 6

Orcus

Yes, but it's sucess would have required almost permanent bad weather - an unlikely scenario.

What I reckon is basically the offensive had not a cat in hell's chance in any way shape or form no matter how well the Germans had pulled it off. The best they could have hoped would have been to delay the Allies (and thereby probably have condemned further stretches of Germany to Soviet control) for a while. Of course it actually accelrated their downfall.

BTW - did anyone see that Channel4 programme the other night about how Nazi doctrine was big time influenced by homoeroticism and that Rhoem and the entire SA leadership were homosexual (and possibly also Hitler himself)? What a smiley - weird programme.
I think it slightly undersold the genocidal maniac doctrine of Nazi philosophy myself.


What about...?

Post 7

Master of Complete Tosh, Keeper of the Tea Money

You're probably right, I couldn't think of a better example of when a blitzkrieg style attack more spectacularly failed.

I didn't see the programme on Channel 4. I do worry about this unhealthy obsession we seem to have with the Nazis. They were evil smiley - skull gits, lets just leave it at that.


What about...?

Post 8

Orcus

Yes, Channel 5 seem to have the biggest obsession. Hitler's Henchmen, The Most Evil Men in History blah blah.... *two months down the line* oh look, another documentary about Hitler ... smiley - winkeye


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