Lesson 3: The Blitzkrieg Canadian History
1939 March 1939- Hitler takes all of Czechoslovakia September 1, 1939- Germany Invades Poland September 3, 1939- France and Britain declare war September 10, 1939- Canada joins Britain and France by declaring war on Germany
1940 Within six months, Hitler’s army takes Denmark Norway Luxembourg Belgium France
The Blitzkrieg German word meaning “lightning war” In order for it to work, you needed to use: Luftwaffe (stukas) Panzer (tanks) Shock troops Main troops (Wehrmacht)
LUFTWAFFE Was the German Air Force (Air weapon) It had dive bombers called stukas Small aircraft (with one engine) that could easily move toward a target and effectively take it out. Precise weapon
PANZER (Tanks) • Panzer were used to crash through enemy lines.
SHOCK TROOPS Their purpose was to lead an attack They were also known as assault troops who would push through (penetrate) the enemy’s vulnerable (weak) areas
MAIN TROOPS Would invade quickly in motorized transports as soon as the other units of the blitz had gone through enemy lines
HOW THE BLITZKRIEG WORKED The Luftwaffe dive bombers (stukas) would drop bombs on enemy units and areas with a lot of people (populated areas) in order to cause panic The Stukas were really loud (on purpose) in order to cause fear, panic and confusion.
2. Then the panzer tanks would crash through enemy lines and push forward as fast as possible.
3. Then Shock troops would drop behind enemy lines to destroy communication and transport sites.
4. Then the main troops (Wehrmacht) invade quickly in motorized transports.
Effects of the Blitzkrieg The effects of the Blitzkrieg were shattering In 1939, Poland was stunned by how fast the attack happened. Polish troops fought back with cavalry units (Soldiers who fought on horseback) They also had outdated equipment. Poland was defeated in less than one month.
The goal was to get behind the enemy, capture key cities and transportation connections and then let the slower moving infantry finish off trapped enemy forces.
This "lightning war" provoked panic in millions and led to the downfall ofentire nations: Poland, Denmark, Norway, Belgium, Holland and, one of the greatest military powers of the day, France.