The German Blitzkrieg, or Lightning War, was an innovative tactical doctrine employed by the German armed forces during aggressive military operations early in World War II, particularly against Poland in 1939 and France and the Low Countries in the spring of 1940. The concept of Blitzkrieg involved artillery bombardment, rapidly advancing armored spearheads punching holes in opposing lines and striking deep in the enemy rear as infantry followed to exploit any breakthrough. Tactical air support, particularly that of dive bombers acting as airborne artillery, weakened the enemy’s ability to concentrate troops and coordinate a response to a Blitzkrieg assault. The Blitzkrieg utilized speed and coordinated firepower to achieve great success on the battlefield early in World War II.
Brian G. Horrocks survived a grievous wound and led the British forces in North Africa and Western Europe.
In World War II, total war served as ideological vindication for competing nations of dramatically different political systems. More »
General Heinz Guderian led German armored formations and fell in and out of favor with Hitler. More »
SS tanker Michael Wittmann became the most famous armor ace of World War II and died in the process. More »
Panzer Group 4 of German Army Group North dashed for Leningrad during the opening weeks of Operation Barbarossa. More »
Buried underneath a Nazi training camp, the 82-year-old capsule offers a glimpse into the story of a small Polish town and a regime’s propaganda machine. More »
General George C. Marshall shaped the wartime U.S. Army and advised President Franklin D. Roosevelt throughout World War II. More »
The Luftwaffe sent the Me-262 jet fighter aloft in the final months of World War II in a vain effort to challenge Allied air superiority.
Sergeant Red Erwin’s courage in a burning B-29 over Japan saved the lives of his crewmen and earned him the Medal of Honor.
The African Americans of the 54th Massachusetts stood up to the guns of Charleston’s Fort Wagner in a bloody assault in 1863. In so doing, they proved themselves worthy Union soldiers.