The Blitzkrieg Legend: The 1940 Campaign in the West

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Naval Institute Press, 2005 - History - 507 pages
7 Reviews
Here, for the first time in English, is an illuminating new German perspective on the decisive Blitzkrieg campaign of 1940. Karl-Heinz Frieser's account provides the definitive explanation for Germany's startling success and the equally surprising and rapid military collapse of France and Britain on the European continent. In a little over a month, Germany decisively defeated the Allies in battle, a task that had not been achieved in four years of brutal fighting during World War I. First published in 1995 as the official German history of the 1940 campaign in the west, the book goes beyond standard explanations to show that German victory was not inevitable and French defeat was not preordained. Contrary to the usual accounts of the campaign, Frieser illustrates that the military systems of both Germany and France were solid and that their campaign planning was sound. The key to victory or defeat, he argues, was the execution of operational plans-both preplanned and ad hoc-amid the eternal Clausewitzian combat factors of friction and the fog of war. Frieser shows why on the eve of the campaign the British and French leaders had good cause to be confident and why many German generals were understandably concerned that disaster was looming for them. This study explodes many of the myths concerning German Blitzkrieg warfare and the planning for the 1940 campaign. A groundbreaking new interpretation of a topic that has long interested students of military history, it is being published in cooperation with the Association of the U.S. Army.
  

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Review: The Blitzkrieg Legend: The Campaign in the West, 1940

User Review  - Tripp - Goodreads

With the title as is, most people are going to say no to this book from the get to. That's fair, this one is not for everyone. But if you like reading military history and enjoying interesting ... Read full review

Review: The Blitzkrieg Legend: The Campaign in the West, 1940

User Review  - Mike Harbert - Goodreads

Karl-Heinz Frieser offers a well written and well researched account of Germany's 1940 campaign in France and the genesis of the form of warfare that came to be known as "blitzkreig". Frieser's ... Read full review

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Contents

The Miracle of 1940
1
The Background of the Cam
12
Armed Forces High Command May 1940
14
Trained Soldiers of the German Army Autumn 1939
24
Steel TipWooden Shaft
33
Germany Great Britain
40
Bombers and Fighters
50
Comparison of Forces 10 May 1940
56
The Collapse of the Meuse Front
198
Organization of 7th Panzer Division May 1940
225
Advance Attack of 1st Battalion 1st Panzer Regiment to Bouillon 11 May 1940
226
CrazyQuilting Deployment of French Units in the Sedan Sector until 13 May 1940
226
Gallery C
249
The Push to the Channel Coast and the Problem of
252
The Miracle of Dunkirk
291
The End of the Campaign in the West
315

The Struggle over the Sickle Cut Plan
60
Encirclement Battle at Cannae 216 B C
83
The 1940 Ardennes Offensive
100
Organization of Army Group A 10 May 1940
101
Differing Ideas for the Employment of Panzer Group Kleist on the Four Roads
113
Organization of 1st Panzer Division 10 May 1940
120
Organization of French 5th Light Cavalry Division
128
Transport of 1st WavePlanning
130
The Breakthrough of Panzer Corps
145
Organization of the French 55th Infantry Division 13 May 1940
147
Organization of Infantry Regiment GroBdeutschland 10 May 1940
163
Breakthrough by the 6th Panzer Division at Montherme 1315 May 1940
322
The Montcornet Halt Order for 17 May 1940
322
Moltkes Battle of Encirclement at Sedan 1 September 1870
322
Summary and Epilogue
347
Notes
357
Maps
411
Bibliography
439
Index of Personalities
485
Index
497
Copyright

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About the author (2005)

Karl-Heinz Frieser was a colonel in the Germany Army and head of the Department of World Wars I and II at the Military History Research Institute of the Bundeswehr in Potsdam. He is retired and lives in Germany.



John T. Greenwood, retired Chief of the Office of Medical History, Office of the Surgeon General, U.S. Army, is the author of "Medics at War: Military Medicine from Colonial Times to the Twenty-first Century "and "Milestones of Aviation,"

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