Lightning War: Blitzkrieg in the West, 1940

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9780785820970: Lightning War: Blitzkrieg in the West, 1940
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This is the dramatic story of the German defeat of the Allies in northern France and the Low Countries in 1940. Covering the campaign as a whole, it examines the issues from all sides, including those of the French, British, German and other involved nations.

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From the Inside Flap:

In the early days of World War II, a Messerschmitt-108 "Typhoon" carrying two men crashed in a snow-covered thicket in Belgium. On board that plane were top secret plans for Adolf Hitler’s invasion of Western Europe. Despite attempts to destroy the documents, enough pieces survived to reveal to the Allies significant elements of a German offensive across neutral Holland, Belgium, and Luxembourg. An enraged Hitler, fearing that his invasion plan had been compromised, decided to postpone the German offensive until a new plan of attack could be drawn up. This decision would produce his greatest military triumph of the war. It was also destined to be his last significant victory.

Lightning War is an authoritative examination of the crushing German victory over the Western Allies in May and June 1940. Based on extensive archival research using German, French, British, Belgian, and Dutch sources and incorporating materials not available to previous historians of the campaign, this engrossing book is the first to cover this significant, audacious operation as a whole, examining the issues from all sides.

History professor and author Ronald Powaski focuses on those who fought the conflict–– from politicians and generals to foot soldiers, sailors, and airmen–– and the dramatic events they shaped and witnessed. He raises and answers important and intriguing questions about the blitzkrieg victory, such as:

  • Did Hitler allow the British to escape at Dunkirk?
  • Why was France–– which possessed one of the most powerful military machines in Europe–– defeated in only six weeks?
  • Why was Hitler’s victory in the West destined to be his last?

Featuring page after page of rich detail and remarkable insight into military strategy and tactics, Lightning War offers a compelling and thorough look at the events of those uncertain, crucial days.

From the Back Cover:

"So long as the English tongue survives, the word Dunkerque will be spoken with reverence. For in that harbor, in such a hell as never blazed on earth before, at the end of a lost battle, the rags and blemishes that have hidden the soul of democracy fell away. . . . This shining thing in the souls of free men Hitler cannot command, or stain, or conquer. . . . It is the great tradition of democracy. It is the future. It is victory."
–– The New York Times, June 1, 1940

In Lightning War, historian Ronald Powaski tells the dramatic story of the German defeat of the Allies in northern France and the Low Countries in 1940. This is the first book to cover the campaign as a whole, examining the issues from all sides–– those of the French, British, German, and other involved nations. From the Battle of the Meuse to the German drive to the English Channel, from the Weygand Plan to Operation Dynamo, Powaski relates the events through the eyes of the generals, politicians, and servicemen who witnessed and forever shaped history.

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