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On September 1 1939 the German military forces invaded Poland to begin World War II This invasion was very successful because of its use of a new military strategic theory called blitzkrieg Blitzkrieg literally lightning war involved the fast and deadly coordination of two distinct forces the Wermacht and the Luftwaffe The Wermacht advanced on the ground while the Luftwaffe destroyed the enemy air force attacked enemy ground forced and disrupted enemy communication and transportation systems This setup was responsible for the successful invasions of Poland Norway Western Europe the Balkans and the initial success of the Russian invasion For many years after the first of September the air war in Europe was dominated by the Luftwaffe No other nation involved in the war had the experience technology or numbers to challenge the Luftwaffes superiority It was not until the United States joined the war effort that any great harm was done to Germany and even then German air superiority remained unscathed It was not until the advent of the North American B-17 Flying Fortress and later the P-51 Mustang fighter and all their improvements benefits and side effects that it brought with it that the Allies were able to achieve air superiority over the GermansThe continued domination of the European skies by the Luftwaffe was caused by two factors the first of which was the difference in military theory between the Luftwaffe and the Royal Air Force The theories concerning the purpose and function of the Luftwaffe and RAF were exactly opposite and were a result of their experiences in World War I During WW I Germany attempted a strategic bombing effort directed against England using Gothas biplane bombers and Zeppelins slow moving hot air balloons which did not give much of a result This plus the fact that German military theory at the beginning of WW II was based much more on fast quick results Blitzkrieg meant that Germany decided not to develop
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