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On 1 September 1939, Nazi Germany launched the invasion of Poland, employing a new type of offensive warfare: Blitzkrieg. Based on speed, maneuverability, and concentration of firepower, the strategy saw startling success as the panzer divisions, supported by Stuka dive-bombers spread terror and mayhem, reaching Warsaw in just one week; the campaign was over by early October. This was followed by Operation Weserübung, the invasion of Denmark and then Norway in 1940, the first joint air-sea- land campaign in the history of warfare.

Even more striking an achievement was the swift and conclusive defeat of France in 1940. Refusing to let its forces dash themselves against the fortifications of the Maginot Line, Germany instead sent its divisions through neutral Belgium and northern France, destroying Allied resistance and pursuing the remnant of the British and French forces to Dunkirk in an audacious and devastatingly effective assault.

Though the dominance of the Blitzkrieg method was to be challenged in the latter part of the war, as Allied forces found methods of disrupting the attacks and dominating the battlefields, its unparalleled success in the early years of the conflict brought Europe to
its knees.

Illustrated throughout with detailed maps and contemporary photographs, Blitzkrieg: The Invasion of Poland to the Fall of France tells the story of these first breakneck attacks, analyzing the technology, planning, and execution as well as the challenges faced by the Germans in the pursuit of this new and deadly form of warfare.