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(German, ‘lightning war’)

A military tactic employed by the Germans in World War II, which was especially successful in campaigns against Poland, France, Greece, and the Soviet Union. It employed fast-moving tanks and motorized infantry, supported by dive-bombers, to throw superior but slower enemy forces off balance and thereby win crushing victories rapidly and with small expenditure of men and materials. In Britain, where it was known as ‘the Blitz’, it consisted of an air assault on British cities in 1940. After 1941, Germany's enemies were better prepared and new battlefields in the Soviet Union and Africa were less suited to the technique.

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