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France, Holland and Belgium 1940-1941 (Blitzkrieg S.) Paperback – 14 Nov 2002
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The theory of Blitzkrieg - lightning war - developed during the interwar years, but its true potential was only to be revealed in the autumn of 1939 when the German forces swept into Poland. For the next three years, in all theatres of the war, the German forces proved supreme, as their superiority of equipment, training and strategy resulted in a rapid series of victories that culminated in them reaching the very gates of both Moscow and Cairo. Victory in either of these theatres would, probably, have resulted in ultimate German triumph. Hindsight, however, now enables us to see that, at the moment of these triumphs, the might of the German military machine was so overstretched that the final victory eluded them. The second volume in the series examines in detail the events of May and June 1940 when the German forces swept westwards, bypassing the French forces in their supposedly impregnable defensive line along the border, rapidly defeating Belgium and Holland before forcing the British and allied troops into the ignominious retreat that resulted in the Dunkirk evacuation. The campaign in the west emphasised the divergent military strategies of the interwar years.The Allied forces, wedded to their belief that any future would replicate the stalemate of the World War 1 trenches and concerned about the lack of manpower resulting from the generation lost as a result of that war, were hopelessly outmanoeuvred by the rampant German forces for whom complete victory in the west came in just six weeks. Using contemporary photographs, juxtaposed with line drawings and detailed analysis, the author explores how the strategy evolved during this critically important campaign.
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