Bonjour mes amis, hello my friends. As promised I will now dive deeper into the invasion of Poland by taking a closer look at the German’s point of view. The plan was devised by a German General by the name of Franz Halder. However the plan was executed by General Walter Von Brauchitsch. He was given the role of commander in chief of the preceding campaign. This plan called for aggressive action to take place before war was declared. It also called for a strategy known as mass encirclement. this meant that German forces, along with their allies from the Soviet Union and Slovakia, to isolate sections of the polish army. They would then surround and destroy the enemy.
The German speed of accomplishments are most likely credited to the way in which they outfitted their battalions. They used Infantry divisions which were equipped with fast moving artillery pieces, as well logistical support. The infantry was also supported by soon to be famous German tanks known as Panzers. They would become famous through the German technique of Blitzkrieg. The infantry was also supported by truck mounted infantry known as Schützen regiments. These regiments allowed rapid movement of troops as well as allowing concentration on localized points of the enemy’s front. The original plan called for the above mentioned Blitzkrieg, to punch holes through the front lines and penetrate deep behind the enemy. However, the armor that would have been poking holes was actually suck alongside the infantry units due to conservatism among the German high command.
Although slightly more sporadic than an all out frontal assault with everything they had, an armor division could have made a very nice opening for infantry to move in behind them. This could have possibly led to more ground being covered in a shorter amount of time.
The Main plan was entitled Fall Weiss. Which in German means “Case White.” It was developed, for the most part, by Güther Blumentritt and Eric Von Manstein. It was developed while they served under General Gerd Von Rundstedt in Silesia, Germany. In this plan, The First attack would come from the German mainland through the western polish border. The Second would come from Eastern Prussia. The final Invasion force would come from German and allied Slovak forces. This attack would come from Slovakia. The main attack was to be carried out by Army Group South. In German it would translate too Heeresgruppe Süd. They were under the command of General Gerd Von Rundstedt. (Remember him?? and by the way you would not believe the amount of red squiggly lines all over the place… Ug its driving me crazy!!!) Anyway, He attacked from Silesia and also from Moravian and Slovakian borders. To complete these goals, several generals serving under the command of General Gerd Von Rundstedt were given tasks to complete. General Johannes Blakowitz’s eighth army was ordered to attack eastward and drive toward the city of Łódź which is the third largest city in Poland. Along with Blakowitz, General Wilhelm List’s 14th army blasted their way to Kraków and turned the poles Carpathian flank. Lastly, General Walter Von Reichenau’s Tenth army, along with Army Group South’s Armor units, was to inflict a northeastern blow to deep into the heart of Poland.
The second area of the German attack comes from northern Prussia. General Fedor Von Bock was in command of Army Group North. In German it is spelled Heeresgrouppe Nord. Serving under Von Bock are the third and fourth armies. General Georg Von Küchler’s Third Army attacked southern Poland from East Prussia. General Gütmer Von Kluge’s Fourth Army attacked to the east, crossing the base of the Polish Corridor. The Third and final attack came from combined German and Slovakian forces from Slovakia. Along with this group minority Germans from within the Polish border assisted by running sabotage and diversion operations.
All of these assault groups were to converge on the city of Warsaw. This is where the Main polish army was was located, here they were to be Encircled and eliminated. Fall Weiss was initiated on September 1, 1939. This operation came to be known as the first operation of World War 2. My next article will Include details of the Polish Defensive Campaigns and a later article will include the phases of the invasion as well as the outcome of the Fall Weiss plan.