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Osprey Campaign 107 : Poland 1939 : The Birth of Blitzkrieg

The German invasion of Poland on 1 September 1939 began World War II in Europe. The outcome of the campaign was a foregone conclusion. It pitted the newly modernized army of Europe's great industrial power against the much smaller Polish army. To further tip the scales, Germany signed a pact with the Soviet Union by which the Red Army would invade Poland two weeks after the German attack. If the outcome was predictable, its conduct was not. The Polish campaign introduced the world to a new style of warfare - Blitzkrieg. The first campaign using modern combined arms tactics, the German assault was spearheaded by panzer divisions with Stuka dive bombers prowling ahead spreading terror and mayhem. But the Polish army was not as backward as is often portrayed, and fielded a tank force larger than that of the contemporary US Army. Its stubborn defence did give the Germans some surprises and German casualties were relatively heavy for such a short campaign. The Polish campaign revealed significant shortcomings in the German army which it corrected prior to its greatest challenge - the assault on France in 1940. In addition the Polish campaign demonstrated the woeful state of the Red Army. The Wehrmacht's contact with the Russians in Poland in 1939 left them with little but contempt for their erstwhile Soviet allies, and strongly influenced Hitler's decision to invade Russia in 1941. Text by Steven Zaloga with illustrations by Ramiro Bujeiro.

    Contents
  • Introduction
  • Chronology
  • Opposing Commanders
  • Opposing Armies
  • Opposing Plans
  • The German Assault
  • The Battle of Warsaw
  • The Soviet Invasion
  • The Aftermath
  • The Battlefield Today
  • Further Reading
  • Index

 

Osprey Campaign


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