Sunday, February 14, 2016

Documentary Review: World War II In Colour 2: Lightning War

Lightning war refers to a tactic employed by the Germans.  Blitzkrieg, or lightning war referred to moving fast with armored columns, bypassing the strongest positions, and letting the infantry follow and mop up.  Such was the strategy used by the Germans in Poland in 1939.  Germany used its superiority in air power and in tanks to take territory quickly.  And so it was that Poland was conquered quickly.  With this the British and French troops prepared for invasion of France, thinking the Germans would use similar tactics to the invasion in WWI, through Belgium.  In this they were fooled.  First the Germans attacked north rather than into France.  They conquered Norway, and then other Scandinavian countries, one after the other using similar tactics.  When it came to France, the expected attack was along the coastal areas.  However Germany attacked with their panzer division south and just north of the heavily defended areas considered impenetrable.  The attack was not expected over the rough terrain.  The German's were able to get behind the French and English forces, forces them back so as to avoid being cut off.  German air superiority again played a key roll.  The French and British armies were able to fight their way to Dunkirk, but there they were cut off.  The only hope for the forces was removal.  Churchill mustered a flotilla of any available vessel, but these were kept from the port by the many dive bombers.  He then recruited even smaller vessels who could go and gather the men, and take them to the larger vessels for transportation to Great Britain.  In this way the British Arm was save, as well as many of the French.   However the country of France was lost, and the Germans marched almost unopposed into Paris.

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