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Blitzkrieg: From the Rise of Hitler to the Fall of Dunkirk

4.06  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,035 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
Len Deighton brings to bear all the skills of a best-selling novelist in this compelling study.

In Blitzkrieg, Len Deighton turns a searchlight on the rise of Hitler, the lightning dash of his armies to the Channel coast in 1940 and on the debacle of Dunkirk, where — in a mistake that was to trigger his eventual downfall — a quarter of a million British troops were allowed
Paperback, 304 pages
Published February 27th 2007 by Pimlico (first published September 3rd 1979)
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'Aussie Rick'
Nov 28, 2009 'Aussie Rick' rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-military, ww2

I read this book in 1980 not long after it was first published in 1979 and I found it to be a very easy to read account of Hitler and the German Army during the early period of World War Two. As mentioned in the earlier review, the author offers a general overview of this period but covers such things as Hitler and his relationship with the German Army and its commanders, Hitlers 'style' of warfare, the concept of 'Blitzkrieg' and the weapons & tactics involved and finally the camapign in Fr
A great history - I've been studying World War II for decades and I learned a fair amount about this particular phase of the war from this book (for example, the extent of Rommel's recklessness and how lucky he was to survive this campaign.)
Deighton uses extensive references and makes his points in a clear, ordered, meticulous way. He cites many primary sources as well as the works of other historians. It made me wish the book had covered a broader scope - Deighton did write about other parts of
Sep 03, 2012 Checkman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: military history buffs
Good easy read. Breaks down the twenty-five years of German history leading up to the beginning of World War II (political & military) and shows how the theory of Blitzkrieg came about and evolved into reality.Deighton writes for the layman and therefore does an excellent job of explaining things in detail. His writing is easy to follow, but there is never the feeling that Deighton is "dumbing down" either. In addition the book is lavisly illustrated with line drawing, maps and photos.

I am
Mar 23, 2015 Mike rated it it was amazing
Blitzkrieg is just what I was looking for - a tightly written, easily understood entre into WWII history. The book spends some time running through the primary and ancillary causes of the war, the rise of Hitler, and the development of British, German, and French thinking on the employment of armor. It then goes into the history of the invasion of Poland, the battle for the Low Counties and France, and the reasons why the Germans were able to accomplish such an audacious task (and how tenuous th ...more
Chuck Heikkinen
Before reading this, I had associated "Blitzkrieg" with aircraft, but it turns out more to refer to the use of tanks. Perhaps necessary for a historian, the author stippled the pages with facts and figures of armament, type of aircraft, and tanks. Maps were provided in this edition, but were nonetheless hard to see on my android. Then, again, I tire easily with war maps - the same effect as when I see diagrammed football plays. The book appears quite competent, and I did learn a lot about World ...more
Chris Passingham
Aug 23, 2014 Chris Passingham rated it really liked it
Shelves: re-read, non-fiction
Not in the same league as "Fighter" but a superb work of non fiction anyway.
Nov 24, 2015 Betsy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I suppose this book is somewhat dated, considering that so much has been written since its publication, but it is a very interesting book, especially about tanks, which I know little about. The photos at the end are also interesting. Deighton does mention the controversy over the German Army's "pause" which allowed the rescue of 300,000+ allied soldiers. This "What if..." probably has no definitive answer, but it certainly was fortuitous for the Allies.
Chris Kuehl
Jan 23, 2016 Chris Kuehl rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting book elsewhere about the battles and a inside look at the NAZI war machine.

It brings you into the battles and you learn about the different men who were in the war. Lot of detail but well worthate
Tim Brown
Jan 16, 2016 Tim Brown rated it really liked it
Comprehensive account of the evolution of "lightning" warfare. Not only focuses on Hitler and generals and tactics, but also on the design and manufacture of tanks, tank cannons, and Stuka dive bombers.
Mar 19, 2015 Nathan rated it it was ok
Fairly straightforward account of how the Nazi regime (and the German army) developed the weapons and tactics of the one pure Blitzkrieg operation - the fall of France.

It was written by a novelist, and written a fair while back now, so it is starting to show both age (homosexual Ernst Rohm stacked the SA with "fellow perverts" for instance) and lack of detailed awareness of some of the more technical sides to things, but because it was a novelist, the prose is quite fresh and breezy.

Nothing te
Thomas Shears
Mar 02, 2015 Thomas Shears rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A nice overview of the Nazi's rise to power, and subsequent development of the blitzkrieg techniques used so effectively against France.
Edmond Barrett
Feb 24, 2012 Edmond Barrett rated it liked it
Okay but not as good as FIGHTER. One gripe I did have was in regards to a couple of the diagrams. One was of the crew lay out of a Pz III and a Renault FT, which since the latter was a WW1 tank* seemed absolutely meaningless. Still it was a good overview of the campaign.

* Granted there were still some kicking around but they weren't first line units any more.
Joshua Logan
Mar 18, 2010 Joshua Logan rated it really liked it
Shelves: finished
Ive always loved a good non-fiction for it gives you insight to history some were not alive for and this reading the man behind the great wars is even nice because even when everybody hates hitler some may ask such as my self what caused this great dramatic dream to purge the war and have a supreme race, still on my favorites list :)
Jul 18, 2013 GlenK rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Relatively brief and very readable account of Hitler's rise to power and World War II up to Dunkirk.

A great deal of the focus is on development of tanks, artillery, and other instruments in the service of blitzkrieg but this potentially dry material comes to vividly to life due to, I believe, Deighton's great skill as a novelist.
Jun 15, 2012 Mark rated it really liked it
This is an interesting book, a good introduction to Hitler's rise to power, and the methodology of Blitzkreig.

As a general overview of the start of World War II I found it very interesting, and helpful with developing a list of sources.
May 28, 2012 Mike rated it really liked it
*** 1/2 Love Len Deighton. This wasn't one of my favorites by him, but it is interested to see the beginning of the war from the eyes of the Germans. "Bomber" was amazing and epic storytelling.
Fredrick Danysh
Jan 22, 2016 Fredrick Danysh rated it liked it
Shelves: history, world-war-ii
A historical account of Hilter's rise to power to the invasion of France and the fall of the British army at Dunkirk. Deighton puts a different spin on these historic events.
This was a good read. Touched on the subject of logistics (especially fuel) keeping up with the Panzers during their "schwerpunkt" movements.
Jun 25, 2011 John rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1history, box3
Slow read but a good one. A good discussion of the evolution of armored warfare and it's equipment from about 1920 to the Fall of France in1940.
Archie Becker
Sep 19, 2007 Archie Becker rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: people interested in WW2, tank warfare, Nazi Germany, battlefield tactics & strategy
More that you ever wanted to know about tank warfare in WW2 & WW1. I found it very interesting, but acknowledge that I have odd tastes . . .
Aug 13, 2012 Tim rated it really liked it
Another in the projected series of twelve factual books on WW2. Deightons views coupled with his research always interesting.
Apr 02, 2012 James rated it really liked it
Shelves: military-history
This was an enjoyable read & a good taste of the German approach to early WWII
Vikas Datta
Dec 29, 2015 Vikas Datta rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant introduction to the first phase of the Second World War..
Geoff Howe
Sep 29, 2013 Geoff Howe rated it it was amazing
Deighton at his best.
Neil rated it really liked it
Jul 20, 2016
elizabeth eber
elizabeth eber rated it really liked it
Jul 19, 2016
Keith Treadway
Keith Treadway marked it as to-read
Jul 19, 2016
Mike marked it as to-read
Jul 16, 2016
Bernd Wagegg
Bernd Wagegg marked it as to-read
Jul 16, 2016
Mark Jenner
Mark Jenner rated it it was amazing
Jul 16, 2016
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Deighton was born in Marylebone, London, in 1929. His father was a chauffeur and mechanic, and his mother was a part-time cook.After leaving school, Deighton worked as a railway clerk before performing his National Service, which he spent as a photographer for the Royal Air Force's Special Investigation Branch. After discharge from the RAF, he studied at St Martin's School of Art in London in 1949 ...more
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“The established German Army no longer had the physical power to overcome the uniformed private armies of Left and Right. This weakness was not due to a lack of rifles, machine guns, or artillery, or even to a lack of men, but to a shortage of trucks. The vital role of the truck had already been recognized by some military experts. In England Captain B. H. Liddell Hart greeted the six-wheel truck as a landmark in military evolution.” 0 likes
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