Rather than a completely new form of warfare, the strategy Germany followed in May and June 1940 had much in common with the strategy it employed at the outset of World War I, when strategists like Alfred von Schlieffen determined Germany should aim to defeat its enemies quickly and decisively, as it was ill-suited to win a long and drawn-out conflict against larger, better-prepared forces. [134], Living standards were not high in the late 1930s. Though German fighter presence over Normandy increased over the next days and weeks, it never approached the numbers the Allies commanded. [149], During World War I, Fuller had been a staff officer attached to the new tank corps. Against these 600 sorties the Luftwaffe on average flew 1,500 sorties a day. Both used the term to mean a swift strategic knock-out, rather than a radical new military doctrine or approach to war. The German General Staff was abolished by the treaty but continued covertly as the Truppenamt (Troop Office), disguised as an administrative body. Fast-moving mobile forces seized the initiative, exploited weaknesses and acted before opposing forces could respond. Blitzkrieg (German, "lightning war") is an anglicised term, describing a method of warfare, whereby an attacking force spearheaded by a dense concentration of armoured and motorized or mechanized infantry formations with close air support, breaks through the opponent's line of defense by short, fast, powerful attacks and then dislocates the defenders, using speed and surprise to encircle them. In the 1930s, Guderian summarised this as "Klotzen, nicht kleckern!" ‘During World War II, the German blitzkrieg demonstrated a major change in the conduct of warfare.’ ‘The idea of lightning strikes, blitzkriegs, and selective engagement per se is nothing new, going way back into military history.’ ‘The Germans attacked in the best blitzkrieg style, armour supported by aircraft.’ His opinions appeared in his book Vers l'Armée de métier (Towards the Professional Army, 1933). Mechanization of the army was considered a means to avoid mass casualties and indecisive nature of offensives, as part of a combined-arms theory of war. These new tools, combined with an emphasis on speed, mobility, focused attacks and encirclements, enabled the Wehrmacht to turn traditional military tactics into a devastatingly modern brand of warfare. Fighter-bomber attacks on German formations made movement during daylight almost impossible. Guderian met with opposition from some in the General Staff, who were distrustful of the new weapons and who continued to view the infantry as the primary weapon of the army. [124] Despite its later disappointments as German troops extended their lines at too great a distance, the very specter or armored Blitzkrieg forces initially proved victorious against Polish, Dutch, Belgian, and French armies early in the war. During the Polish campaign, the performance of armoured troops, under the influence of Guderian's ideas, won over a number of skeptics who had initially expressed doubt about armoured warfare, such as von Rundstedt and Rommel. [97][98], In the summer of 1942, Germany launched another offensive in the southern USSR against Stalingrad and the Caucasus, the Soviets again lost tremendous amounts of territory, only to counter-attack once more during winter. [41], Norman Stone detects early blitzkrieg operations in offensives by the French generals Charles Mangin and Marie-Eugène Debeney in 1918. The Germans, aware of the errors of the First World War, rejected the concept of organising its economy to fight only a short war. Through superior mobility and faster decision-making cycles, mobile forces could act quicker than the forces opposing them. This focus on mobile warfare was in part a response to Germany’s relatively limited military resources and manpower, as a result of the strictures imposed on it by the Treaty of Versailles. ), from Proto-Germanic *blikkatjan, from PIE root *bhel- (1) "to shine, flash, burn." Staff burden was reduced at the top and spread among tiers of command with knowledge about their situation. [141], J. P. 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