From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Former featured article Blitzkrieg is a former featured article. Please see the links under Article milestones below for its original nomination page (for older articles, check the nomination archive) and why it was removed.
Main Page trophy This article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on September 29, 2005.
          This article is of interest to the following WikiProjects:
WikiProject Military history (Rated B-Class)
MILHIST This article is within the scope of the Military history WikiProject. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the project and see a list of open tasks. To use this banner, please see the full instructions.
B This article has been rated as B-Class on the quality assessment scale.
WikiProject Germany (Rated C-class, Top-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Germany, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Germany on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the project's quality scale.
Checklist icon
 Top  This article has been rated as Top-importance on the project's importance scale.
Version 0.5
Peer review This Socsci article has been selected for Version 0.5 and subsequent release versions of Wikipedia.

Main picture[edit]

Is the current main picture in the article a fitting one? It is set in 1943 depicts Panzergrenadiers and a heavy Tiger I tank. I suppose a heavy tank and the year 1943 are not exactly classic with Blitzkrieg, even a Stuka wing would represent the subject better. Any ideas? --Pudeo' 20:52, 27 January 2013 (UTC)

Absolutely. The ideal picture would be one of German armoured formations massing to attack in Poland, 1939 or France, 1940. I have looked around but have not yet found a good one in the commons. I think the picutre chosen is attempting to illustrate a combined arms assault, which is part of a blitzkrieg assault, certainly, but not the most important part. Kursk, though, is definitly not a good choice to depict a blitzkrieg. Gunbirddriver (talk) 05:41, 16 September 2013 (UTC)

On the use of the term Blitzkrieg[edit]

The term was used during the war in German publications --Bentaguayre (talk) 00:06, 9 January 2014 (UTC)

American Civil War and Blitzkrieg?[edit]

Notable recent additions by User:Harold Knudsen assert Blitzkrieg had origins in the American Civil War during the Battle of Chickamauga. Interesting, but it's not as much stated in the Chickamauga article, just the following:

"Historian Harold Knudsen has described this deployment on a narrow front as similar to the style of the German Schwerpunkt in World War II, achieving an attacker/defender ratio of 8:1."

I would think most of what's been added to Blitzkrieg would belong there, but apparently it was added there, but reduced to just this by other Wikipedians.

As brilliant as Longstreet actions may have been, I don't see this as recognized as leading to Blitzkrieg, even by a minority of historians, other than Knudsen.

Until these ideas become echoed by other notable historians, I don't think Longstreet belongs in this Blitzkrieg article. --A D Monroe III (talk) 16:31, 18 March 2014 (UTC)

We are really talking about maneuver warfare, where Blitzkrieg as practiced by the Germans in 1939-41 was a type. It seems to me the term Blitzkrieg should not be used in conjunction with the Civil War, as that is rather far afield from the Panzerwaffe and those men that developed its methods, which I believe is where this article should be focused. The maneuver warfare material would be better placed in its own article, where mentioning Longstreet's effort to disrupt and collapse a defensive position and exploit a breakthrough would not be out of place.Gunbirddriver (talk) 16:55, 18 March 2014 (UTC)

Mr. Monroe, I agree with you that Longstreet's use of a schwerpunkt at Chickamauga did not lead to "Blitzkrieg" and I say that clearly in the addition I made in that section. But Blitzkrieg is really a slang term that probably encompasses a lot of aspects of combined arms warfare 1939-1941. As a military professional that trained with combined arms maneuver warfare for two decades, I would say many things since WWII would probably be labeled Blitzkrieg if the word was applied more liberally after WWII. American combined arms warfare of the 1970-90s is an updated version of many things often considered Blitzkrieg. I don’t see any real connection between the American Civil war and the word Blitzkrieg, but there are modern aspects of the American Civil war that carried forward in maneuver warfare, which are or were loosely termed Blitzkrieg. One such is Sherman’s March to the sea, and how his corps moved on spread out axis of advance. This is similar to how the German armies moved in their wheel into France in 1914, and also 1870. Cavalry tactics evolved from the Civil War into modern missions for the cavalry arm once it changed into a motorized arm – the missions of guard, screen, and reconnaissance are distinct roles for cavalry evolved in the Civil War. Aspects of these things were part of German operations 1939-1941 as well, and so fell under this larger label.

I am referring to Longstreet having arranged an attack formation that is similar to what transpired in the tactical level in the 20th century. That is a fact simply through comparison of where the units were placed, how by doing so created a force ratio advantage, which is what a schwerpunkt does, and so there is great similarity.

If there are sections, such as schwerpunkt, that provide some detail of parts of what came under the term, I think it is appropriate to show this 1863 comparison of a schwerpunkt in the schwerpunkt section of the article, because it is a large scale example of one from the 19th century. There were followers of the American Civil war in later decades that paid attention to successful tactics, operations, and strategies which were brought forward and tried at later times. I do not know if there is a thread we can connect from Longstreet to other military thinkers in Europe that eventually arrived in the minds of Hutier and Guderian for example, but aside from a link, it is still significant and worth showing this early one happened.

I think this article of Blitzkrieg should include the maneuver warfare trends of the time and where they came from in earlier periods, as part of the organization of the article. It’s a slang word that was not a hard fast doctrinal word in the German military, as the author of the Blitzkrieg Legend argues, so encompassing aspects that could fall under it as not too much of a stretch. I too have had the opportunity in my life to discuss with German WWII vets about the word, and they told me there was no such thing in military terminology in their training. It was something the media created.Harold Knudsen (talk) 13:55, 21 March 2014 (UTC)

Blitzkreig is not not only maneuver warfare, it is a slang word for offensive armored warfare mostly. It is an operational level type thinking mostly that harnesses the mobility and range of tanks, and supports tanks with fire support from air and artillery, and also motorized infantry to take distant objectives. It uses maneuver warfare, schwerpunkt, and other components, and all the components have earlier origins. In my opinion, it might be a good thing to have examples of the components.Harold Knudsen (talk) 14:26, 21 March 2014 (UTC)

I am in no way criticizing your connection between Longstreet and Blitzkrieg; I'm not a qualified authority; it doesn't matter if I like your rationalization or not, or even if I understand it or not. It doesn't matter if anyone else on this talk page likes or understands it. Such debates belong in proper peer-reviewed publications on military science and history, not here.
Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, reporting the current, prevailing sourced information, not championing new theories. My only concern is about the prominence of this asserted connection between Longstreet and Blitzkrieg in this article. I don't see that it appears in any historical references beyond the single source. Unless new sources are given that echo this, showing it is at least a notable minority view, I don't think it belongs in the article, or at least not at such length and emphasis. --A D Monroe III (talk) 16:55, 21 March 2014 (UTC)
I'm looking for some consensus on the status of this CW/Blitzkrieg section — Remove, reduce, ignore, counter, expand? Thoughts? ----A D Monroe III (talk)
Remove. The term Blitzkrieg does not conjure up images of James Longstreet and the Civil War. Mobile warfare, or maneuver warfare, is a broad subject. IMO, Blitzkrieg should not be nearly so broad. Gunbirddriver (talk) 00:24, 5 April 2014 (UTC)
After several months, no sources beyond the single one supporting this viewpoint have been provided. Per what consensus we have, and per WP:UNDUE, I will now removing the stated American Civil War connection with Blitzkreig. --A D Monroe III (talk) 20:18, 29 September 2014 (UTC)

Need for editing[edit]

Currently, the section on General Longstreet and the Battle of Chickamauga contains this sentence fragment: "Demonstrating a level of operational thinking in selecting a target in the rear area of the Union Army with further pursuit that would effect both Union wings." This sentence no verb. Alas, I'm not sure just how to fix it, unless it started, "General Longstreet demonstrated..." If anybody knows just what the author intended, please make the correction. — Preceding unsigned comment added by JDZeff (talkcontribs) 01:35, 10 July 2014 (UTC)

The note about Fanning (from my article "The Origin of the Term 'Blitzkrieg': Another View,' Journal of Military History) has the following, somewhat inaccurate statement. "He asserts it was not used by German military theorists or by the German army prior to 1939." I mentioned in my article two separate instances: In the December 1938 issue of Militaerwochenblatt, Lt.Col. Viktor Braun contributed the article "Der strategische Ueberfall." The opening sentence reads as follows: "Nach den Zeitungsnachrichten hatten die diesjaehrigen franzoesischen Manoever den Zweck, die Bedeutung des strategischen Ueberfalls--auch 'Blitzkrieg' genannt--zu pruefen." The other was an address by General Georg Thomas, head of the War Economy and Armaments Office of the High Command of the Armed Forces, to members of the German foreign service on 24 May 1939. Thomas said: "Es ist nicht meine Aufgabe Ihnen Ausführungen zu machen über die Möglichkeiten und das Gelingen oder Nichtgelingen eines solchen Blitzkrieges. Ich persönlich glaube nicht daran, dass eine Auseinandersetzung zwischen den Achsenstaaten und den Westmächten eine Frage des Blitzkrieges—also eine Frage von Tagen und Wochen sein wird." This comes from the Nuremberg Documents (IMT, vol. 36 No. 122 (Doc. 028-EC).

I have actually found more than forty instances of the use of "Blitzkrieg" prior to WW II, but only the two above in a German context. (talk) 21:02, 6 May 2015 (UTC)William J. Fanning, Jr. ("The Origin of the Term 'Blitzkrieg': Another View," The Journal of Military History 61 (April 1997): 283-302.


@ EyeTruth ?Keith-264 (talk) 15:21, 18 May 2015 (UTC)

I'm sorry that my response of undoing much of your copyedit came off as a bit too heavy handed. It was just that trying to correct the issues at that moment looked like a lot of work. One of the major issues is that some of the new statements are not quite correct. It's not just "some historians" that consider Blitzkrieg not to be a formal doctrine or concept of the Wehrmacht; but to put it more correctly, anyone will have a very hard time finding any works authored by a reputable historian within the past two or three decades that claims otherwise. Also there were some orphaned wiki-markups and long chains of square brackets that rather interfered with the read. In deed, all of these could have been fixed without the need for an undo, but it would have required a copyedit that is at least half as intense as the one you did. EyeTruth (talk) 04:24, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
Dispute the details by all means but most of the changes were of grammar and punctuation. Let's go through them and separate the ones you didn't agree with from the ones that you did, that way the improvements won't be lost. RegardsKeith-264 (talk) 06:40, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
True. Your copyedit made the lead cleaner. I admit fault for acting lazily. I'll restore it and then fix any issues. EyeTruth (talk) 06:58, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
I only saw one citation with red on (I have a few add ons User:Keith-264/common.js) but sometimes they don't show up straight away and I'm useless at harvnb notations. It's a rather good article and it won't take much to reach B class, perhaps we could do that? Keith-264 (talk) 07:25, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
Ahem! It's already B class.... (sheepish grin).Keith-264 (talk) 07:27, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
Does anyone know who Taylor 1974 is?Keith-264 (talk) 07:36, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
I've altered a few citations which had red on them but found 17 which I fear I created inadvertently and don't know why they're showing up at the bottom of the page. Does anyone else? RegardsKeith-264 (talk) 00:55, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
Fixed. EyeTruth (talk) 06:10, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
Thanks babe, has there been a discussion here about agreeing a common system of citation? There are <> <abbreviated> harvnb and sfn at the moment and I'm only really sure about sfn, which may have bearing on me causing more problems than I've solved.Keith-264 (talk) 07:45, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
CE the Operations section, which seems to be a cross between a narrative and a case study of Blitzkrieg without any criteria. It seems to me that this is an inherent problem when combining a concept and a description of events in an article, particularly when the concept is vague and has changed since the term was coined. Tooze called Barbarossa the only Blitzkrieg of the war if it is understood to be a "synthesis of campaign plan, military technology and industrial armaments programme all premised on the assumption of lightning battlefield success. No such grand synthesis had been conceivable prior to the campaign in France...." p. 430 Tooze Wages of Destruction (2006)Keith-264 (talk) 09:35, 25 May 2015 (UTC)

Edit in picture description[edit]

Under the section "Use of Air Power" in the description for the image of the Ju 87 "Stuka" dive bombers, I edited the link to read as 'Ju 87 "Stuka"', as the previous link only read '"Stuka"', which I felt could be better expressed as the designation of the aircraft in addition to the "nickname" of the craft; is this appropriate? It is my first edit of an article and I don't yet have a feel for what is appropriate and what isn't, even after reading the editing guidelines. If my explanation wasn't clear I can expand on it, if needed. SygerrikJenrys (talk) 12:20, 29 May 2015 (UTC)