From Sitz to Blitz

Panzers were an art form, like the ‘German way of war’ itself – their structure and employment defy logical analysis. Blitzkrieg controversy connected to concept of operational art and place of panzers in it. German victories of 1939-40 were not consequences of doctrine or planning. They developed from a series of accidents and coincidences reflecting operational improvisation born of necessity to avoid a drawn-out war of attrition and responding to strategic imperatives generated by essentially random nature of the National Socialist regime.

Blitzkrieg was certainly not a structure of concepts like AirLand Battle or counter-insurgency, expressed in manuals, taught in schools and practised in manoeuvres. The word appeared in German military writings not in a specific case, but to refer to the kind of quick, complete victory that was at heart of the army’s operational planning. Blitzkrieg is a manifestation of the war of movement, that was a historical focus of Prussian-German military planning.

Source: J. Olsen, M. van Creveld. “Evolution of Operational Art”.