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The Blitzkrieg, meaning "lightning war" in the German language, was an ambitious, large-scale military campaign in World War II launched by Nazi Germany in 1940. Its goal was to swiftly neutralise the Allied powers in Western Europe following the British and French declaration of war on 3 September 1939. (PROSE: Timewyrm: Exodus)
On 1 September 1939, Poland was invaded by Germany. The United Kingdom and France had guaranteed aid to Poland in the event of an attack. On 3 September, the two nations issued an ultimatum demanding that Adolf Hitler withdraw the German forces from Polish territory. Hitler refused and prepared for a showdown in Western Europe after the Polish campaign was concluded.
Hitler had hoped to avoid a confrontation with the Western powers. His main intention had been to attack the Soviet Union in the East and he had hoped Britain and France would back down, as they had done during the crises generated by the annexations of Austria and Czechoslovakia in 1938. Hitler also admired the British, considering them an Aryan people. However, he was more than prepared to face those who stood in the way of his ambitions.
Additionally, Hitler had learned to control the Timewyrm, who had become trapped in his mind. This control allowed him to amplify his own abilities and helped him make very sound strategic decisions, which had proven their worth in the early stages of the Polish campaign. The War Chief and the War Lords in the Black Coven had also produced a winning strategy which ironed out much of the strategic errors Germany was known to make during the war effort. However, the Coven was wiped out by the Seventh Doctor in the early hours of the war. (PROSE: Timewyrm: Exodus)
Poland capitulated in a month, (PROSE: Illegal Alien) and in October, the Germans offered to negotiate peace terms with the Allies. Britain and France refused, which Nazi propaganda weaponised to paint them as the aggressors (PROSE: Just War, AUDIO: Just War) although some calls were made in Britain to accept the offer. (PROSE: Inferno)
In May 1940, the war finally turned westward. (PROSE: Timewyrm: Exodus) Occupying Denmark (AUDIO: Human Conflict) and Norway, (AUDIO: Their Finest Hour) the Germans proceeded to face Britain, France, Belgium and the Netherlands all at once. They were led by Generals Heinz Guderian and Erwin Rommel, as well as Hitler from his command post at Felsennest, near Aachen, back in Germany. Hitler's control of the Timewyrm was to serve his forces well. (PROSE: Timewyrm: Exodus)
The British Expeditionary Force, made up of almost half a million men, (AUDIO: The Nemonite Invasion) together with the other Allies were swiftly swept aside by Hitler's armies. (PROSE: Timewyrm: Exodus) They were quickly cut off by the Wehrmacht (TV: Co-Owner of a Lonely Heart) who captured the towns of Abbeville, Boulogne and Calais in quick succession, trapping their enemies at the last remaining port town of Dunkirk. (PROSE: Timewyrm: Exodus)
Battle of Dunkirk and Operation Dynamo Edit
The British forces were effectively besieged at Dunkirk as Guderian's Panzers advanced. Fighting on to the bitter end, they faced total destruction. However, in a confrontation at his command post in late May, the Seventh Doctor freed the Timewyrm from Hitler's mind. He then convinced Hitler to let the British escape, so they could later be convinced to make peace with Germany and join forces against the Soviet Union. Hitler issued a controversial order to Guderian, ordering his forces not to advance on Dunkirk. Rommel secretly called the order "utter madness". (PROSE: Timewyrm: Exodus)
British estimates calculated that the German halt granted them a window of six days to organise an evacuation. Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Vice Admiral Bertram Ramsay organised Operation Dynamo, the use of civilian ships to aid the Royal Navy vessels in getting the men off the beaches and back across the English Channel. Ramsay was initially reluctant to put civilians in danger but the Tenth Doctor convinced him of the need. In the early hours of 26 May, Ramsay, the HMS Brazen and Churchill all gave confirmation that they were ready to execute Dynamo. That morning, 850 civilian ships took off from England towards Dunkirk to rescue as much of the 400,000 men trapped there as possible. (AUDIO: The Nemonite Invasion)
The first evacuations took place on 27 May. (AUDIO: Neverland) Stuka dive-bombers continued to harass the soldiers assembling on the beaches. (PROSE: Timewyrm: Exodus) By the conclusion of the evacuation on 4 June, 10,000 men had died, 40,000 were captured, and 50,000 vehicles, 9 destroyers, 200 marine vessels and 77 aircraft were lost, generating a lot of controversy. (TV: Co-Owner of a Lonely Heart) However, 338,000 men of 400,000 were safety brought back to England. The evacuation's success became known as the Miracle of Dunkirk. (AUDIO: The Nemonite Invasion)
Operation Sealion and aftermath Edit
With continental Europe under control (AUDIO: The Ultimate Adventure) and only Britain remaining, the Germans began planning the conclusion to the Blitzkrieg campaign in the form of Operation Sealion, the cross-Channel invasion of England. It remained postponed on Hitler's orders. (PROSE: Timewyrm: Exodus) However, the British continued to prepare to face the invasion. (PROSE: Losing the Audience, Made of Steel, et al.) The Germans also continued to prepare, demonstrated in two aerial campaigns in particular, intended to cripple Britain before the invasion of to force an early armistice.
As the Kriegsmarine was unable to establish the superiority over the Royal Navy in the Channel to launch the invasion, the Luftwaffe took the initiative. They launched a campaign against British industrial and military targets, causing the Royal Air Force to fight back in defence. (AUDIO: Their Finest Hour) The result was the Battle of Britain during the summer of 1940, in which the RAF was victorious. (PROSE: /Carpenter/Butterfly/Baronet)
Luftwaffe operations switched towards bombing British cities in September in a campaign known as the Blitz. (PROSE: The Shadow in the Glass) Cities suffered aerial attacks until the end of the European war, but the British population still withstood the period of intensified bombing which characterised the Blitz until it wound down in July 1941. (PROSE: Illegal Alien)
Far from being beaten after the Blitzkrieg, Britain and her imperial allies continued to face the Germans on numerous fronts. In April 1941, they fought the Germans in Greece, ending again in an evacuation, (PROSE: Just War) continued operating the Royal Navy in the Mediterranean Sea (PROSE: The Christmas Presence) and battled against Rommel in North Africa (COMIC: The Instruments of War) to deny Benito Mussolini his ambitions of forming an Italian empire in Africa. (PROSE: Warlords of Utopia)
By the end of 1941, the Germans had still failed to launch Operation Sealion. It was officially cancelled in December following setbacks in the campaign against the Soviet Union and the entry of the United States into the war. In doing so, they also signalled the official end of the Blitzkrieg, (PROSE: Just War) although in practise it had ended with the Battle of Dunkirk. (PROSE: Timewyrm: Exodus)
The Western Front (PROSE: Warchild) was later reopened by Britain, America and their allies and the Blitzkrieg was reversed. After invading the Normandy coast and re-establishing themselves in France in 1944, (PROSE: The Taint, The Shadow in the Glass) the Allies liberated Paris, (COMIC: Trust) brushed aside German attempts to replicate the Blitzkrieg's success (PROSE: Autumn Mist) and invaded Germany. (PROSE: Made of Steel, Cabinets of Curiosities) The Nazis surrendered nearly five years after their great victory, in early May 1945. (PROSE: Just War, AUDIO: Just War)
Alternate timeline Edit
In an alternate timeline in which Hitler never lost the power of the Timewyrm, he never issued the order for Guderian to halt outside Dunkirk. The British Army had no time to evacuate and was destroyed in a final confrontation with the Panzer forces. Hitler then used the power of the Timewyrm to summon a storm to sink most of the Royal Navy in the Channel and the Luftwaffe defeated the RAF in the Battle of Britain and crippled Britain's war-making capacity.
Afterwards, they launched Operation Sealion, with General Strauss's 19th Army establishing a beach head on the south coast between Folkestone and Worthing. The following German forces arrived and, enjoying superiority on land, in the air and at sea, faced negligible resistance as advanced on London conquered the capital after just six days. This concluded the Blitzkrieg as the Germans began the process of incorporating Britain into the New Order of the Third Reich. (PROSE: Timewyrm: Exodus)
Behind the scenes Edit
The term Blitzkrieg more accurately refers to the method of warfare employed by Nazi Germany during the Second World War rather than the campaign against France and the Low Countries itself; Blitzkrieg tactics were also employed against Poland, the Soviet Union and other campaigns until economic and logistic demands made it untenable. In the Doctor Who universe, however, the term is repeatedly used to refer to the campaign in the West by the Virgin New Adventures novel Timewyrm: Exodus.