Hitler Takes on the West episode 2: May 1940. France is in chaos. The French people take to the roads, trying to escape. The government signs an armistice as Germans take over half the country. The French and the English retreat desperately. In Dunkirk, there are more than 300,000 troops waiting to be transhipped in hundreds of ships, which perform a heroic back and forth trips to England. Thousands of men perish at the sea, struck down by German bombs.
Celebrated as heroes throughout Britain, the soldiers of Dunkirk were saved by the sacrifice of French soldiers. To take advantage of the booty, Mussolini’s Italy attacked in turn in the Alps. Paris is emptying of millions of refugees who experience a desperate exodus on the roads, and the government surrender. The entry of two major figures does not change anything: on June 17 Petain was appointed head of state and calls for an end to the fight, when de Gaulle urges, on June 18, to resist. But the armistice was signed, in a ceremony desired by Hitler to reverse the humiliation of the Germans in 1918. Half occupied by the Germans, the other subject to the Vichy regime, France offered its coasts and airfields to the Germans who want to invade England. Will she be able to survive this Apocalypse better than France?
Hitler Takes on the West episode 2
Blitzkrieg is a word used to describe a surprise attack using a rapid, overwhelming force concentration that may consist of armoured and motorised or mechanised infantry formations, together with close air support, has the intent to break through the opponent’s lines of defense, then dislocate the defenders, unbalance the enemy by making it difficult to respond to the continuously changing front, and defeat them in a decisive Vernichtungsschlacht: battle of annihilation.
During the interwar period, aircraft and tank technologies matured and were combined with systematic application of the traditional German tactic of Bewegungskrieg (manoeuvre warfare), deep penetrations and the bypassing of enemy strong points to encircle and destroy enemy forces in a Kesselschlacht (cauldron battle). During the Invasion of Poland, Western journalists adopted the term blitzkrieg to describe this form of armoured warfare.
The term had appeared in 1935, in a German military periodical Deutsche Wehr (German Defence), in connection to quick or lightning warfare. German manoeuvre operations were successful in the campaigns of 1939–1941 and by 1940 the term blitzkrieg was extensively used in Western media. Blitzkrieg operations capitalized on surprise penetrations (e.g., the penetration of the Ardennes forest region), general enemy unreadiness and their inability to match the pace of the German attack. During the Battle of France, the French made attempts to re-form defensive lines along rivers but were frustrated when German forces arrived first and pressed on.