Lsn 15 blitzkrieg

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World War II in Europe: 

World War II in Europe Lsn 15: Blitzkrieg

The Plans: 

The Plans Allied plans expected the Germans to attack using a variant of the WWI Schlieffen Plan The French expected the Germans to attack through the north part of Belgium and planned to counter it with the Dye Plan Instead the Manstein Plan called for an attack further south and anticipated the French plan.

Maginot Line: 

Maginot Line A line of concrete fortifications, tank obstacles, machine gun posts and other defenses which France constructed along her borders with Germany and Italy The fortifications did not extend through the Ardennes Forest which was considered “impassable”

Types of Defenses: 

Types of Defenses Mobile Concentrates on the destruction of the enemy through a decisive attack by a striking force

Types of Defenses: 

Types of Defenses Area Concentrates on denying enemy forces access to designated terrain for a specific time rather than destroying the enemy outright

What type of defense was the Maginot Line?: 

What type of defense was the Maginot Line?

French and German Plans for the Battle of France 1940 : 

French and German Plans for the Battle of France 1940

Blitzkrieg: 

Blitzkrieg Principles of War Surprise Maneuver Mass

The Panzer Corps Outflank the Allied Defenses Battle of France: May 12-13, 1940 : 

The Panzer Corps Outflank the Allied Defenses Battle of France: May 12-13, 1940

Surprise: 

Surprise The armored weight of the German attack on France struck westward in the Ardennes region, in the weakly held center of the Allied front. Penetration, then envelopment This was an unanticipated move and it led to a serious crisis for the Allied armies.

Maneuver: 

Maneuver German interwar doctrine emphasized: decentralized, mission-oriented orders (Auftragstaktik) speed and exploitation of enemy weaknesses maximized by troop commanders taking the initiative (understand commander’s intent) close integration and cooperation between combat branches (mobile warfare required armor, infantry, and artillery) leadership from the front

Mass: 

Mass Opposing armies had relatively equal numbers of troops Allies had more tanks Germans had more aircraft How did the Germans achieve mass under these conditions? Germans had a cohesive operational doctrine and conception; Allies did not Germans achieved local superiority using penetration form of maneuver French piecemealed their response rather than launching a decisive counterattack

Penetration: 

Penetration

Hoth Breaks Through at Dinant Battle of France: May 14-15, 1940 : 

Hoth Breaks Through at Dinant Battle of France: May 14-15, 1940

Penetration: 

Penetration Hermann Hoth's 15th Panzer Corps broke through the French line at Dinant. The French 1st Armored Division counterattacked on May 15th, engaging Erwin Rommel's 7th Panzer Division, but to no avail. French paralyzed by speed of German attack Gamelin replaced by Weygand as commander

Guderian Breaks Through at Sedan Battle of France: May 14, 1940 : 

Guderian Breaks Through at Sedan Battle of France: May 14, 1940

Penetration: 

Penetration The panzer divisions of Heinz Guderian's 19th Panzer Corps broke through French defenses at Sedan and pressed forward as rapidly as possible to prevent the French from reforming a new defensive line.

The Panzer's Race To The Channel Battle of France: May 14-24, 1940 : 

The Panzer's Race To The Channel Battle of France: May 14-24, 1940

Envelopment: 

Envelopment

Exploitation: 

Exploitation With Hoth’s and Guderian’s successes, the Germans had a 40 mile breakthrough from Dinant to Sedan Pushed through seven armored divisions toward the English Channel Dunkirk was the last evacuation port available to the Allies.

Allied Defeat in the North: Retreat to Dunkirk, Battle of France, May 25-31,1940: 

Allied Defeat in the North: Retreat to Dunkirk, Battle of France, May 25-31,1940

Moving in for the Kill: 

Moving in for the Kill German forces pressed the Allied armies trapped in the north, from south and east, into the English Channel. Meanwhile, German infantry divisions reinforced the southern flank of the German penetration. But….

Halt Order: 

Halt Order Hitler halts German armor German armor had suffered heavy losses and would be needed to conquer the rest of France Luftwaffe called upon to finish the job Luftwaffe unable to destroy the British and French Bases in western Germany were further away from Dunkirk than British planes were from their bases on the British Isles 340,000 Allied troops were evacuated

Culminating Point: 

Culminating Point That point in time and space where the attacker’s effective combat power no longer exceeds the defender’s or the attacker’s momentum is no longer sustainable, or both FM 3-0, p. 5-9 Why did the Germans reach their culminating point?

The Weygand Line Collapses Battle of France: June 4-14, 1940 : 

The Weygand Line Collapses Battle of France: June 4-14, 1940

Consolidation: 

Consolidation Once the Allied forces in the north were eliminated, German forces regrouped and attacked southward, breaking through the Weygand Line the French had built up. On 16 June French ask for an armistice. Battle of Britain begins.

Review: 

Review Discuss the Blitzkrieg in terms of surprise, maneuver, and mass. What is Auftragstaktik? Discuss the Blitzkrieg as a penetration and an envelopment?

Homework: 

Homework Read Doughty, pages 496-498, 514-517

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