Cover image for Poland 1939 : the birth of Blitzkrieg
Title:
Poland 1939 : the birth of Blitzkrieg
Author:
Zaloga, Steve, 1952-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Westport, Conn. : Praeger, [2004]

©2004
Physical Description:
96 pages : illustrations (some color), color maps ; 26 cm.
General Note:
Originally published: Oxford : Osprey, 2002.
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780275982782
Format :
Book

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D765 .Z325 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
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Summary

Summary

The German invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939, began World War II in Europe, pitting the newly modernized army of Europe's great industrial power against the much smaller Polish army and introducing the world to a new style of warfare: Blitzkrieg. Panzer divisions spearheaded the German assault with Stuka dive-bombers prowling ahead spreading terror and mayhem. This book demonstrates how the Polish army was not as backward as it is often portrayed and fielded a tank force larger than that of the contemporary U.S. Army. Its stubborn defense did give the Germans some surprises and German casualties were relatively heavy for such a short campaign.

The German invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939, began World War II in Europe, pitting the newly modernized army of Europe's great industrial power against the much smaller Polish army and introducing the world to a new style of warfare: Blitzkrieg. Panzer divisions spearheaded the German assault with Stuka dive-bombers prowling ahead spreading terror and mayhem. This book demonstrates how the Polish army was not as backward as it is often portrayed and fielded a tank force larger than that of the contemporary U.S. Army. Its stubborn defense did give the Germans some surprises and German casualties were relatively heavy for such a short campaign.

The outcome of the campaign was a foregone conclusion. 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 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.


Author Notes

STEVEN J. ZALOGA received his BA in history from Union College, and his MA from Columbia University. He has published numerous books and articles dealing with modern military technology.