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Blitzkrieg Of The West

Blitzkrieg Of The West

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Blitzkrieg Of The West

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  1. Blitzkrieg Of The West Overview of Nazi Germany’s Push into Western Europe 11-12 GradeBy: Mike Graziano

  2. S1. Title Slide S2. Content Menu S3. Objectives S4. Panzer Divisions S5. Mechanized Inf. S6. The Luftwaffe S7. Airborne Inf. S8. Erwin Rommel S9. Heinz Guderian S10. Erich von Manstein S11. Invasion of France S12. The 5 Main Points to Blitzkrieg S13. The End Content Menu

  3. Objectives • Summarize “Blitzkrieg” and how it was used during the Invasion of France. As well as the key men behind its success. • State the weapons that were used, their individual purpose during the Invasion, and just how effective they were in combat. Weapons to look for: 1. Panzer Division (Tanks) 2. Mechanized Infantry (Infantry) 3. Luftwaffe (Air Force) 4. Airborne Infantry (Fallschirmjager) Figures/Tactics to look for: 1. Erich von Manstein 2. Heinz Gudarian 3. Erwin Rommel 4. Encirclement and linking up Content Menu

  4. Panzer I Panzer II 38t Panzer III Panzer Divisions • The German Panzer Divisions had roughly 300 to 600 tanks in them and were used to punch holes through enemy lines. • “Concentrated tank unit’s breakthrough main lines of defense and advance into enemy territory…” Blitzkrieg of France Video Content Menu

  5. Sd.Kfz 232 Opel Blitz Sd.Kfz 251 Mechanized Infantry • After the gap is formed by the concentrated armored units, the Mechanized Inf. Moved in and stopped the enemy from establishing a defensive position. • “…While following Mechanized units pursuit and engage defenders preventing them from establishing defensive positions…” Content Menu

  6. Me-109 E Ju-87 Stuka The Luftwaffe Luftwaffe Stuka Video Luftwaffe Me-109 Video • German air superiority was maintained by the Luftwaffe in their Me-109E’s. So that their larger counterparts could pave the way for German Armor. This is where the Ju-87 “Stuka” got its reputation. • “Airforce attacked enemy front-line and rear positions, main roads, airfields and communication centers.” Content Menu

  7. Fallschirmjager Patch Air Drop in France, 1940 Ju-52 The Fallschirmjager Fallschirmjager Video German paratroopers were essential in confusing the French/BEF and other Allied forces during the initial attack on France. They also captured numerous key installations and bridges to help the Panzer Divisions move on faster. As well as cause the French/BEF/and other Allied forces to be completely baffled as to where the enemy was coming from and in what numbers. The name itself means “Airborne Hunter”. Content Menu

  8. Erwin Rommel • “After the Polish Campaign, Hitler allowed Rommel to choose what he would like to command and Erwin Rommel asked for a Panzer Division. On February 15th of 1940, Rommel received the command of 7th Panzer Division, although he had no practical experience in Panzer warfare. In preparations for German Invasion of Low Countries and France, codenamed Fall Gelb, Rommel's 7th Panzer Division became the part of 15th Panzer Corps, which was positioned, in the central sector. On May 10th of 1940, Germany invaded the Western Europe. On May 13th, after heavy fighting crossed the River Meuse…On May 21st, Rommel reached the area of Arras, where his forward units where counter-attacked by two British Tank Regiments (70 tanks). After inflicting heavy losses among German infantry and anti-tank gun crews, British tanks advanced and were stopped by few 88mm Flak (anti-aircraft) guns deployed in the rear. It was the first time ever, that 88mm Flak guns were used against ground targets and soon became well known and feared ‘tank killers’.” Erwin Rommel was given command of the 7th Panzer Division after the fall of Poland. He knew nothing about tank tactics but became a quick thinker and innovative tactician. Content Menu

  9. Heinz Wilhelm Guderian • Guderian was commander of the XIX Army Corps during the Invasion of France. He was the far southern flank that was advancing into France during the campaign. Just south of him was the southern army known as Army Group C. His objective was to drive as far west as possible and turn the north-western part of France into a pocket. After that the German armored units would then crush anything inside that pocket before turning their attention southward to take over the rest of France. He was credited with driving the fastest and furthest compared to anyone else during the Invasion. Although Erwin Rommel also held that title. Heinz Wilhelm Guderian was commander of the XIX Army Corps during the invasion of France. His Corps pushed the farthest west of all the invading German units. Content Menu

  10. Erich von Manstein • “He proposed his own new plan of the attack on France based on his experiences in Poland, where he mastered the technique of Blitzkrieg. He completely ignored originally intended Schlieffen Plan dating back to 1914 and devised his own plan named Operation Sichelschnitt (sickle-stroke/cut/slice). The main idea of his plan was to attack using a concentrated Panzer force through the Ardennes Forest to seize the bridges over the River Meuse before striking westwards, while outflanking the Maginot Line and cutting off French Armies in the North. First his plan was rejected by the German Army's High Command (OKH), but once it was brought to Hitler's personal attention on February 7th, it was quickly accepted.” Erich von Mansetin was the creator of the “Sichelschnitt” Plan. This plan was a combination of the Schlieffen plan and also had some new innovative tactical advantages intertwined into it. Content Menu

  11. The Invasion of France • The lessons that were learned during the invasion of Poland were applied in every aspect to the invasion of France. The plan that was also originally intended to be used was scrapped for a far more decisive, yet risky plan. This was something that Hitler himself appointed to be the official plan. His barging paid off as the slower and less organized French/BEF and other Allied forces were not properly prepared for this attack. The “Sichelschnitt” Plan unfolded right in the way it was suppose to, although there were a few minor problems with unit movements and supplies from the rear, this was to be expected with the abnormally fast face of the mechanized units the Germans were using. Content Menu

  12. The 5 Points of Blitzkrieg There were five general points that were followed to perform “Blitzkrieg”, there are as follows: 1. “Air force attacks enemy front-line and rear positions, main roads, airfields, and communication centers. At the same time infantry attack on the entire frontline (or at least at main places and engage enemy. This retrains the enemy from knowing where the main force will attacks and makes it impossible to prepare any defense.” 2. “Concentrated tank unit’s breakthrough main lines of defense and advance deeper into enemy territory, while following mechanized units pursuit and engage defenders preventing them from establishing defensive positions. Infantry continued to engage enemy to misinform and keep enemy forces from withdrawing to establishing effective defenses.” 3. “Infantry and other support units attack enemy flanks in order to link up with other groups to complete the attach and eventually encircle the enemy and/or capture strategic positions.” 4. “Mechanized groups spearheaded deeper into enemy territory outflanking the enemy positions and paralyzing the rear, preventing withdrawing troops and defenders from establishing effective defensive positions.” 5. “Main force linked up with other units encircling and cutting off the enemy.” Content Menu

  13. The End

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