Plan of Investigation:
How did Sherman’s march to the sea during the American Civil War influence the tactic of Blitzkrieg used by the Germans during World War II? To conduct this research, I am going to look into the march by Sherman and the tactic of Blitzkrieg. By consulting books that outline the tactics used in both events, I will be able to draw connections between the two and, also, be able to contrast the two. In studying the tactics, I will look at the troop size, the speed of the attack, and how the attacks took place. In addition, similarities and differences will be pointed out in the Analysis section. In stating the similarities and differences, I will be able to uncover connections and will be able to draw a conclusion on whether Blitzkrieg was influenced by Sherman’s March to the Sea.
Word count: 140 words
Summary of Evidence:
In the bloodiest war in American History, there is a march that is equally as bloody, General William T. Sherman’s march to the sea. This march occurred from November 15, 1864 to December 21, 1864 and was one that wrought havoc and destruction. The only things spared in the path of destruction, created by Sherman, were churches, courts, and private residences. Overall, the objective of this march was to break the Southern morale. In doing this, Sherman also crippled the South’s industrial economy, as demonstrated by the destruction of the railroad system. In this 62 day campaign, the 62,000 soldiers lived off the land and literally demolished everything in their path.
In the duration of this march, Sherman used a lot of deception to gain an advantage over the Confederate forces. Sherman was able to utilize four corps of soldiers. These soldiers were split into two columns. This method of using two columns to march assisted Sherman in confusing the enemy forces. Not knowing which column would attack first, the confederates had to gamble and pick a column. Once engaged in battle, the other column would flank the enemy forces, effectively boxing them in. However, there is more to what happened on the march to the sea. Sherman also used a method called “scorched earth.” This method is essentially what it mean, burning the earth. The troops would burn everything that they would come into contact with. By creating a path of destruction, Sherman exacerbated the lowering morale of the Confederates and helped push the Union towards victory. Overall, Sherman’s march to the sea is an example of total war. Another example is the method of blitzkrieg.
Blitzkrieg is the method of lightning warfare. This tactic is designed to achieve a swift victory through overwhelming force. Blitzkrieg is accredited to Heinz Guderian but, in fact, blitzkrieg was advanced and improved by Hans von Seeckt. This method was used by Germany during World War II and is also a type of total war.
Germany’s utilization of blitzkrieg ensured a quick victory with the least amount of causalities on the side of Germany. The main aspect of...