Ride the Lightning…

Given the topic we’re about to invade, listen to this video while reading.

Germany during the time of WW1 had substandard tank production due to the fact that they were focusing on anti-tank weaponry and tactics (such as the K bullet), but still lost.

However, Germany learned from their mistake and would in 12 years re-arm to modernize the way tanks were used on the battlefield, quickly becoming a mechanized forced to be reckoned with up until US intervention.

When Hitler came to power in 1934, he violated the Treaty of Versailles by remilitarizing and occupying the Rhineland industrial region of Germany and had the factories begin to produce war material, namely tanks such as these two examples which would later serve a founding role as part of the Blitzkrieg style of warfare and would also serve as the basis for a new type of tank when their use as a conventional tank was rendered obsolete, the Tank Destroyer or Assault Gun.

These were both light tanks, and would form the initial point of the Blitzkrieg spear, supplemented by other elements such as reconnaissance vehicles, infantry, air support…even tanks from countries Germany had annexed, such as Czechoslovakia.

 

1024px-panzerkampfwagen_i_ausf_a
A Panzerkamfwagen I Ausf. A, produced 1934-1945
panzeriisaumur
A Panzerkamfwagen II or Panzer II, produced 1936-1945

 

 

The first 3 divisions of Germany’s Panzerwaffe–the German tank regiments–were formed in 1936, and was used alongside the Luftwaffe–the German air force–as a testbed for tactics during the Spanish Civil War, when they were deployed to swat down any opposition to Francisco Franco’s rise to power as dictator. The tactics used were “shock and awe” in nature, whereby one were to attack with such swiftness and ferocity so as to quickly destabilize an enemy before they could retaliate. In the case of the Wehrmacht and Luftwaffe, the latter would quickly bomb out an area while the former rushed in with fast vehicles and heavy armor to lock down vast ranges of territory.

Much of these tactics were designed by General Heinz Guderian (pictured below), who had a vision of an army of combined arms–where all of the elements of a military, such as infantry, naval, and air forces and not just tanks, would be utilized. However, the Panzer would still serve as the primary force to perform the Blitzkrieg.

Bild 101I-139-1112-17
Heinz Guderian

 

 

 

So, you may be wondering, “So how well did this tactic work early on?”

Well, here is what happened in history.

  • Spain: Lasted from 17 June 1936 – 1 April 1939 (according to Wikipedia: 2 years, 8 months, 2 weeks, and 1 day.)
    • Note that Germany was not directly involved in this fight, but was involved through  the Condor Legion, which comprised of Luftwaffe and Wehrmacht volunteers
  • Poland: Lasted from 1 September 1939-October 6 1939 (according to Wikipedia, 1 month and 5 days)
    • Did not help that Poland was torn apart from both sides by Germany (west) and the Soviet Union (east) due to the Non-Aggression Pact
  • France: Lasted May 10 1940- 25 June 1940 (according to Wikipedia, 1 month and 15 days)
    • The French thought they could delay the Germans long enough through the construction of the Maginot Line, the Germans responded by storming through the Ardennes and completely bypassing the French lines.
    • Britain was forced to cross back across the English Channel in panic, leaving behind equipment

 

 

Now that I have your attention….

417

 

So you want to start a Blitzkrieg eh? Well take a gander at this step by step instruction on how to quickly become the most feared man/woman/entity in Europe.

 

How To Blitzkrieg aka “How do I start a War with Style ?”

You need to have these before hand:

  1. Communications, communications, communications!
    • In order to make this work, you need to have complete, clear, and precise communications with all commanders in the German army, everyone has to be on the same page.
  2. Be fast and have the element of surprise (be very sneaky)
    • Its called a Lightning War for a reason, dummkopf.
  3. Military assets and party favors to wage war with!
    • This includes infantry divisions, air support (Stukas Divebombers), fast vehicles, and tanks….you know, the military.

Procedure:

  1. Put several squads of your infantry on fast vehicles, such as motorcycles, Kubelwagens, and or armored cars with good radios and maps.
    • These will be your scouts, the eyes and ears of your Blitzkrieg
    • Supplement these scouts with artillery or air support spotters
  2. Send your scouts into enemy territory
    • If your scouts see any threats, have them report it and get them to move deeper and deeper into enemy territory, no bathroom breaks (that means no stopping)
      • It is imperative that your scouts do not stop moving forward otherwise the Blitzkrieg will not occur
  3. Have your back-line commanders assess the threats reported by the forward scouts
    • Their only 2 choices should be: Destroy or Ignore, before moving on
    • If a threat is considered large enough to attack, then proceed to step 4
  4. Attack!
    • Using the combined forces of your military force, move forward, apply overwhelming firepower upon target and steam-roll it
    • After you punch a hole in the enemy line, have another part of your military force attack the rear line, avoiding all main threats and creating havoc, use your mechanized troops to wipe up any resistance.
  5. Put your army back on its original course and repeat until victory
    • Remember, DO. NOT. STOP.

Congratulations, you have succeeded in becoming feared in all of Europe. Let’s hope your friend doesn’t screw up the moment somewhere in Africa.

 

 

Sources used:

http://tanks.net/tank-history/tank-development-between-two-world-wars.html

http://tanks.net/tank-history/german-panzer-heydays-of-world-war-two.html

http://www.history.com/topics/world-war-ii/blitzkrieg

http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/worldwars/wwtwo/blitzkrieg_01.shtml

Some images courtesy of Know Your Meme and Wikipedia

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s