Why? Because I just read a memo using the term in a context that leads me to suspect that the memo’s author believes the Second World War was fought between the armies of Mordor and Persia. I would have thought that every college-educated adult in the United States–hell, every middle school graduate in the US–would know at least the basics of the term, but perhaps I was wrong. Or perhaps the memo-writer is the rule-proving exception.
Anyway: without checking any reference source other than your own brain, what does the word “blitzkrieg” mean, what language does it come from, and what is its historical significance?
Refers to a tactic of rapid advance by armored vehicles with infantry support intended to keep opposing forces off-balance, and was emplyed with considerable success by Germany during the early stages of World War II.
“Lightning war” Coined by Hans Guderian, I believe. Combined arms tactic designed to punch through the enemy lines rather than conducting a front long assault. Devastatingly effective in the early days of WW2.
German, something like “lightning attack,” referencing I think tank invasions of other countries by the Nazis (Poland, maybe?) and used more broadly to talk about sudden, massive, coordinated efforts. Learned from my eighth grade English teacher.
Blitzkrieg was the German operational concept embodying the use of fast-moving armored spearheads to break through enemy lines and rapidly penetrate into rear areas, destroying lines of communication, supplies and generally wreaking havoc. Developed by Heinz Guderian, based on his interpretation of B.H. Liddell Hart’s earlier works about mobile warfare. Practiced most successfully by the German Army up through 1943, and then notably by George Patton and Norman Schwartzkopf.
I’d add that spreading terror was a major element as well. Blitzkrieg was as much about convincing the other side that no defense was possible as anything else; at least, that’s what I remember being taught by the Christian Brothers, back in the day.
It was something like “We are going to follow the example of Stonewall Jackson and blitzkrieg our customers to meet our revenue goals this quarter.”
“Lightning strike” or “lightning attack” or something similar, of German origin. Was the tactic used by Germany in the early part of WWII to make rapid advances through Europe. Basically just plowing ahead with fast moving tanks and pushing your way past (or around) the defenses until you were well into the heart of it all.