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Who invented Blitzkrieg?


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Kryhavok #1 Posted 29 March 2013 - 01:11 PM

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On another forum post I mentioned that the British invented it and ended up in a really awful conversation with a guy who was not only ignorant, but I found out later he's a troll with loads of negative response - I should have figured.

Anyway - why do I say this?

If you read the latest research on the 100 days' Campaign of 1918 (this was the British campaign that basically kicked off at Arras and ended with the Armistice), you will see that the British plan and execution of attack is what we now identify with the word Blitzkrieg:

1) Tanks and Infantry operating in mutual support with a well laid artillery preparation and fire plan that was flexible and had the ability to be altered to a series of contingency fireplans with easy notification.

2) Artillery communication no longer reliant on telephone lines because attacking units now carried radio - so instant fire missions could be quickly called in.

3) Senior artillery FOs attached to attacking units in the front line and familiar with all their various assets.  In some cases even Air force observers.

4) Aircraft used in 3 distinct capacities:
    a) Air superiority or total dominance
    b) Reconnaissance and communication of targets to arty and ground troops
    c) Bombing and strafing in depth beyond the range of the artillery with special attention to command and control centres

5) Bypassing of strongpoints and follow-up units tasked with the subsequent reduction of these.

6) Any breakthrough to be immediately exploited with mobile forces - mounted infantry and cavalry (who by now were in fact mounted infantry)

7) Maintenance of TEMPO - keep the attack moving forward and keep the enemy on their heels.

At the end of the war two British ex-officers became well known historians - JFC Fuller and Basil Liddel-Hart - their books on armoured warfare and the 100 days campaign (which defeated the German Army soundly, by the way) were read enthusiastically by the German general staff and are the two main sources for Hans Guderian's 'Achtung Panzer', the German 'bible' for armoured warfare.

That's why I say the British invented it.  The name was coined not by the Germans but by British journalists.

The Germans expected the war against France to be difficult and slow - they knew they faced a determined enemy and they did not fancy fighting the French armoured forces.  Several factors mitigated for them - bad coordination and even mistrust between allied high commands; poor coordination; French armoured forces held back at the wrong time and when committed they were too little too late; the Germans were genuinely surprised at their own success, but were able to capitalize on it because of greater operational flexibility and a forward devolution of command decisions (calles Auftragstaktik).

There's more - but I'll let this sink in for now.

Some good books for this information are:

Through German Eyes: the British on the Western Front, by Dr Christopher Duffy
Mud, Blood, and Poppycock, by Gordon Corrigan
1918 The Unexpected Victory, by JH Johnson
Forgotten Victory, The First World War: Myths and Realities, by Dr Gary Sheffield
and
Forward into Battle, by the late, great Paddy Griffiths


I'm looking forward to discussing this with some intelligent people and not my little flamer friend (who's 19 going on 9 and hasn't read a book in his life, it seems - all he has is opinions that aren't thought through and have no basis in research)

jurjeskovici #2 Posted 29 March 2013 - 01:17 PM

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Sir, I salute you! You are the only man I saw on this forum who based his post on BOOKS, not Wikipedia. +10

Yamaxanadu #3 Posted 29 March 2013 - 01:20 PM

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Blitzkrieg was invented by Mongols during their Golden Age...

Estoni #4 Posted 29 March 2013 - 01:30 PM

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Thank you for that piece of information, i was unaware that the British had contributed to the idea of Blitzkrieg.+

+1

Arkhell #5 Posted 29 March 2013 - 01:30 PM

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Germans didn't invent it, they were the first to have a really massive succes with it though with much smaller and generally bad tanks vs an enemy that had superior equipment which made it famous.

but like Yama said the principle has been around for ages just in a different form

Dangerhamster #6 Posted 29 March 2013 - 01:39 PM

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There's also the excellent Blitzkreig by len deighton which covers the evolution of the concept after WW1 up to the end of the campaign in 1940.

Kryhavok #7 Posted 29 March 2013 - 04:36 PM

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View PostYamaxanadu, on 29 March 2013 - 01:20 PM, said:

Blitzkrieg was invented by Mongols during their Golden Age...
So many people have this silly notion that Blitzkrieg was invented before by the ancients - it's just not true - look at the descripion of blitzkrieg and tell me where the Mongols had artillery and aircraft and radios.
Please base your silly assertions on fact and historical research.

Edited by Kryhavok, 29 March 2013 - 04:37 PM.


Kryhavok #8 Posted 29 March 2013 - 04:38 PM

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View Postaircadet, on 29 March 2013 - 01:39 PM, said:

There's also the excellent Blitzkreig by len deighton which covers the evolution of the concept after WW1 up to the end of the campaign in 1940.
Thanks aircadet - yes that is also good.

Kryhavok #9 Posted 29 March 2013 - 04:43 PM

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View PostArkhell, on 29 March 2013 - 01:30 PM, said:

Germans didn't invent it, they were the first to have a really massive succes with it though with much smaller and generally bad tanks vs an enemy that had superior equipment which made it famous.

but like Yama said the principle has been around for ages just in a different form

You are wrong on both counts...
1) The British army had a really massive effect... they comprehensively defeated the Imperial German army in the First World War... a feat that no other army accomplished.
2) See my response to Yama and the definition of blitzkrieg and you will understand how silly your notion is - it is basically your opinion, but it is not supported by any research or historical evidence - unless you can show me how a Mongol radio operated or what kind of planes they flew.

Carb1de #10 Posted 29 March 2013 - 04:44 PM

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If you guys can, try and get Guderian's "Achtung-Panzer!". Paints IMO a really good picture of how WW2 german tank doctrine came to be, as well as a good analysis of the use of tanks in the Western Front during WW1.

Guderian's ideas take a lot from the british (Fuller mainly, but also Liddell-Hart), the soviets and there is even a reference to this french guy, called de Gaulle...

Kryhavok #11 Posted 29 March 2013 - 04:45 PM

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View PostEstoni, on 29 March 2013 - 01:30 PM, said:

Thank you for that piece of information, i was unaware that the British had contributed to the idea of Blitzkrieg.+

+1
You are entirely welcome Estoni, glad to help and ty for the +1

Edited by Kryhavok, 29 March 2013 - 04:47 PM.


Kryhavok #12 Posted 29 March 2013 - 04:47 PM

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View Postcamelurso, on 29 March 2013 - 04:44 PM, said:

If you guys can, try and get Guderian's "Achtung-Panzer!". Paints IMO a really good picture of how WW2 german tank doctrine came to be, as well as a good analysis of the use of tanks in the Western Front during WW1.

Guderian's ideas take a lot from the british (Fuller mainly, but also Liddell-Hart), the soviets and there is even a reference to this french guy, called de Gaulle...
Yes, camelurso - great book.  Also the Russians were strides ahead of the Germans in tank doctrine and equipment/armour theory.

Kryhavok #13 Posted 29 March 2013 - 04:49 PM

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View Postjurjeskovici, on 29 March 2013 - 01:17 PM, said:

Sir, I salute you! You are the only man I saw on this forum who based his post on BOOKS, not Wikipedia. +10

Thank you jurjeskovici - nice to get good feedback

Panzcrackerz #14 Posted 30 March 2013 - 08:45 PM

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View PostYamaxanadu, on 29 March 2013 - 01:20 PM, said:

Blitzkrieg was invented by Mongols during their Golden Age...
LOL - what an asenine statement Yama - you don't know the first thing about what blitzkreig is if you think that - you also don't know anything about their 'golden age' because you are mixing it up with the Golden Horde - try reading siome books like OP suggest

PieperPig #15 Posted 30 March 2013 - 08:52 PM

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+10 Panz

The_Challenger #16 Posted 01 April 2013 - 01:19 AM

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My comment from your other thread, as I am guessing you want to continue this here. :smile:


Apologies, only just got around to this thread. Have I missed something (probably !) but has no-one mentioned "James Monash" whom many would consider the "father" of Blitzkrieg (Battle of Hamel).

He was Australian but of German Parents.

As mentioned Guderian is considered by many to have developed and put more flesh on the  Blizkreig tactical doctrine, "Panzer leader" is good proof of this.

And yes the principles (to a degree) are still taught today as part of Armoured Doctrine. I recall having to write a very dull essay on my Armoured tactics Course !!

Edited by The_Challenger, 01 April 2013 - 01:24 AM.


Kryhavok #17 Posted 01 April 2013 - 02:14 AM

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Thanks The_Challenger. (I replied in both places)
Nice comment and good observation about Monash (ANZAC c-inc) - his first name was John, though.
But then we would also have to acknowledge Arthur Currie, the commander of the Canadian Corps and Henry Rawlinson, Commander of 4th Div, then 4th Corps and eventually 4th Army.  Both these men did as much as Monash to develop the BEF's offensive capability in the First World War.  Not only these men, but many others, all under the exceptional leadership of Douglas Haig.
Cheers  :smile:

Edited by Kryhavok, 01 April 2013 - 02:15 AM.


adam4472 #18 Posted 01 April 2013 - 04:16 AM

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Posted Image

How i see this post.

sheep6665 #19 Posted 01 April 2013 - 08:19 AM

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View PostKryhavok, on 29 March 2013 - 04:36 PM, said:

So many people have this silly notion that Blitzkrieg was invented before by the ancients - it's just not true - look at the descripion of blitzkrieg and tell me where the Mongols had artillery and aircraft and radios.
It's not that silly.
The whole "inventing blitzkrieg" thing is about adapt old and good tactics too modern technology(cavalry couldn't make and exploit breakthroughs in WW1 because of massive amount of MG's and artillery, so they needed new kind of mobile forces).

Edited by sheep6665, 01 April 2013 - 08:19 AM.


Kryhavok #20 Posted 01 April 2013 - 10:39 AM

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View Postsheep6665, on 01 April 2013 - 08:19 AM, said:

It's not that silly.
The whole "inventing blitzkrieg" thing is about adapt old and good tactics too modern technology(cavalry couldn't make and exploit breakthroughs in WW1 because of massive amount of MG's and artillery, so they needed new kind of mobile forces).
You are reciting popular myth and fiction, sheep.  Please do some reading and you will see that it wasn't artillery and MGs - they had those on the Eastern Front and cavalry breakthroughs too.  It was the trench system that mitigated against cavalry breakthroughs.  Actually it was never the cavalry's job to make the breakthrough  it was their job to exploit it.
Opinions are easy, sheep.  How about a reasoned and researched answer instead?  (In books and not on Wikipedia).
This whole 'blitzkrieg was invented before WW1' is really silly - you are grasping at one or two elements of blitzkrieg.  Of course SOME elements existed before - but that isn't the point.  It was the creation of a method and the means to carry it out that the British Army produced in mid 1918.  Claiming that 'X' is an element of blitzkrieg and so the Romans (for one idiot's example) invented it is about as silly as claiming that the first caveman to bash in the head of a rival caveman invented blitzkrieg, because fighting is an element of blitzkrieg.

Edited by Kryhavok, 01 April 2013 - 10:45 AM.





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