Blitzkrieg: The Long Armistice to the Fall of France is one of the more fun to read books I’ve read about World War II. From the vast number of firsthand accounts to the plethora of action shots of German and Allied troops, it’s a quick to read and exciting summary of the first months of World War II.
Even better, Blitzkrieg: The Long Armistice to the Fall of France was written by Abraham Rothberg in 1970, so it was written before everyone felt the need to apologize for certain aspects or continually express their horror of the Nazi regime. So, instead of reading nonsense that strays from the subject matter, you’ll just read about the facts of the war. Rothberg doesn’t editorialize or stray from his point, unlike many other authors. In that respect, it’s similar to Lee’s Lieutenants and Carrying the Fire.
Summary of Blitzkrieg: The Long Armistice to the Fall of France
As you might guess from the title, Blitzkrieg: The Long Armistice to the Fall of France begins with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles and ends with the French capitulation in 1940. Or, as Rothberg puts it, the book begins and ends in the same rail car. That’s because the Nazis found the rail car in which the German Army signed a ceasefire at the end of World War I and forced the French to sign their surrender documents in World War II in that same rail car.
However, Rothberg does not focus exclusively on Franco-German rivalry and hatred. He covers what was happening in most of the world as World War II began. The Japanese were bogged down in a merciless war in China, the Soviets were launching human wave attack after human wave attack at Finland’s Mannerheim Line, and, of course, German aggression was on full display in Central and Eastern Europe. Brownshirts had taken over Austria, German troops dismembered and occupied Czechoslovakia, and Britain and France just stood by. Their cowardice and pacifism created the conditions necessary for World War II to become the destructive conflict it was.
In Blitzkrieg: The Long Armistice to the Fall of France goes over those conflicts and many more. Although he doesn’t spend too much time on any one subject, most of what you need to know is included. The details of the Spanish Civil War, Germany’s invasion of Poland, the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, the invasions of Denmark and Norway, and the Phoney War are all discussed.
Analysis of Blitzkrieg: The Long Armistice to the Fall of France
In my opinion, Blitzkrieg: The Long Armistice to the Fall of France is a nice summary of the early war and the conditions that created it. It’s not full to the brim with detail, but it is a nice starting point for someone who wants to learn about World War II.
While it lacks the detail of Inferno by Max Hastings, the many, soldier-driven accounts of D-Day by Stephen Ambrose, or the political analysis of American Betrayal by Diana West, it is a well-written synopsis.
Also, the pictures in it are amazing. Normally, I just glance over the pictures in books when reading them. They often feel out of place and not particularly relevant to the section of the book that they’re included in. However, in Blitzkrieg: The Long Armistice to the Fall of France, that is not the case. Rothberg inserted photos just where they are needed to help prove his point. The blitz through Poland is complemented by pictures of German troopers and panzers racing across the border. His comments on the bombing of Rotterdam are accompanied by photos of the bombed-out city and civilians trying to survive in it. And so on for each and every subject discussed.
Overall, Blitzkrieg: The Long Armistice to the Fall of France is an excellent book. What it lacks in detail it makes up for in the quality of the first-hand accounts, well-placed pictures, and quality writing.
Blitzkrieg: The Long Armistice to the Fall of France isn’t a book that everyone needs to read. I only read it because I found it at a gun show years ago and it looked interesting. Someone who is already well-versed in the early days of World War II might not get too much out of it.
However, if you are just starting to learn about the war and want a good base from which to proceed, then this is the book for you. There aren’t too many details or discussions of battle plans to be bored by. Just stories, summations, and excellent photos. It will be a quick read, but certainly a worthwhile one.
By: Gen Z Conservative