Wehrmacht History 1935 to 1945


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1935 to 1945

Heer 1935 to 1945 Information on the German Army (Heer) during WWII, such as the Tiger I Ausf. E, Kettenkraftrad, Schwimmwagen, Opel Blitz, Panzers Variants, Self-Propelled Artillery and Small Arms, development history, combat service, technical data and photos.

Blitzkrieg (German, literally lightning war) is a popular name for an offensive operational level military doctrine which employed mobile panzer forces attacking with speed and surprise to prevent an enemy from implementing a coherent defence. The doctrines resulting in the blitzkrieg effect were developed in the years after World War I as a method to help prevent trench warfare and linear warfare. Blitzkrieg was first used on any serious scale by the German Wehrmacht in World War II. While operations in Poland were rather conventional later operations early in the war particularly the invasions of France, The Netherlands and initial operations in the Soviet Union were effective owing to surprise penetrations of Panzer Formations, general enemy unpreparedness and an inability to react swiftly enough to the superior German military doctrines. The Germans faced numerically superior forces and technically superior vehicles in the invasion of France, proving the early effectiveness of their tactics and strategies. From this peak, the Wehrmacht's cohesion deteriorated. Heinz Guderian, an early implementor of blitzkrieg, was relieved of command on 25 December 1941, for ordering a withdrawal in contradiction of Hitler's "standfast" order. This showed a fundamental doctrinal difference between Hitler's view of military strategy and the Wehrmacht's proven system. This event undermined confidence and military effectiveness from that point onwards. After this point, German offensive operations were severely limited; the last major blitzkrieg style operation in the East was at Kursk in July 1943, and the last in the west was the Ardennes Offensive in December 1944. By this period, the Allies had developed effective defensive tactics to deal with these operations. Methods of blitzkrieg operations centered on using manoeuvre rather than attrition to defeat an opponent. The blitzkrieg thus first and foremost required a combined arms concentration of mobile assets at a focal point, Panzers closely supported by mobile infantry, artillery and close air support assets. These tactics required the development of specialised support vehicles, new methods of communication, new tactics, and an effective decentralised command structure. Broadly speaking, blitzkrieg operations required the development of mechanised infantry, self-propelled artillery and engineering assets that could maintain the rate of advance of the tanks. German forces avoided direct combat in favour of interrupting an enemy's communications, decision making, logistics and of reducing morale. In combat, blitzkrieg left little choice for the slower defending forces but to clump into defensive pockets that were encircled and then destroyed by following German infantry.
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This website is NOT meant to promote Nazism, the politics of Adolf Hitler, or any other political ideology. It deals with the subject of German military during a particular period of history nothing else.

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