The Wehrmacht at the Outbreak of War
In the early hours of the morning of i September 1939 German troops marched into Poland. By the end of the month Poland had been defeated. This seemed to confirm the judgement of foreign experts as to the strength and offensive capacity of the Wehrmacht, whose six and a half year period of armament had been without precedent. In extensive operations German Army units had engaged and eliminated the enemy. The armoured divisions in particular had completely fulfilled expectations placed in them. Within the first few days of the war the Luftwaffe succeeded in destroying the bulk of the Polish air force. Consequently the Luftwaffe, now in complete command of the air, was able to give effective support to the Army’s military operations. In April 1940, a few months after Poland’s defeat, the three services occupied Denmark and Norway in a combined operation which relied heavily on the Navy.
KeywordsIndividual Service Military Leadership General Staff Armament Measure Separate Service
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