Event Title

The Development of the Blitzkrieg: How Germany failed to invade France in 1914 and how it succeeded in 1940

Location

Taylor 405, Madison Union, JMU

Start Date

4-6-2019 9:00 AM

Description

During the 19th and 20th centuries, two major types of warfare were characterized by the World Wars fought between 1914-1918 and 1939-1945: static and mobile. The failure of the Wehrmacht to rapidly surround and systematically destroy the French army in 1914 resulted in the drawn-out trench warfare that remained static until the end of the war in 1918. The failure of the Wehrmacht to expedite troop movement to maneuver around the French troops resulted in the creation of a new plan that would enable the German troops to enact a style of warfare popularized by Carl von Clausewitz: limited and rapid. The improvements to armored vehicles, mechanized infantry, and aeronatuics throughout the interwar years allowed the Third Reich government of Germany to create a highly mobile army along with an offensive style of combat known as Blitzkrieg. To enable this style of warfare, units of combined arms utilizing armor, artillery, infantry, and airplanes had to train specifically to advance as fast as possible through enemy territory. The Blitzkrieg tactic was extremely successful in the invasion of Poland in late 1939, which allowed the Wehrmacht to conquer the country in a matter of weeks; however, to enable the tactic to work against the French, the Wehrmacht needed a way to surpass the Maginot line which would hinder the rapid maneuvers of the army. To surpass the French border in 1914, the German army had attacked through Belgium and this strategy was once again used in addition to the Blitzkrieg to render the Maginot line obsolete, resulting in the fall of France within six weeks.

Presentation Type

Poster

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Apr 6th, 9:00 AM

The Development of the Blitzkrieg: How Germany failed to invade France in 1914 and how it succeeded in 1940

Taylor 405, Madison Union, JMU

During the 19th and 20th centuries, two major types of warfare were characterized by the World Wars fought between 1914-1918 and 1939-1945: static and mobile. The failure of the Wehrmacht to rapidly surround and systematically destroy the French army in 1914 resulted in the drawn-out trench warfare that remained static until the end of the war in 1918. The failure of the Wehrmacht to expedite troop movement to maneuver around the French troops resulted in the creation of a new plan that would enable the German troops to enact a style of warfare popularized by Carl von Clausewitz: limited and rapid. The improvements to armored vehicles, mechanized infantry, and aeronatuics throughout the interwar years allowed the Third Reich government of Germany to create a highly mobile army along with an offensive style of combat known as Blitzkrieg. To enable this style of warfare, units of combined arms utilizing armor, artillery, infantry, and airplanes had to train specifically to advance as fast as possible through enemy territory. The Blitzkrieg tactic was extremely successful in the invasion of Poland in late 1939, which allowed the Wehrmacht to conquer the country in a matter of weeks; however, to enable the tactic to work against the French, the Wehrmacht needed a way to surpass the Maginot line which would hinder the rapid maneuvers of the army. To surpass the French border in 1914, the German army had attacked through Belgium and this strategy was once again used in addition to the Blitzkrieg to render the Maginot line obsolete, resulting in the fall of France within six weeks.