In the Battle for France, why did the Germans have the advantage in armor (tank) warfare?  

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The answer to this question has to do with the Germans adapting to new technology while the French relied on older styles of defense. In the 1930s, the French built a series of heavy defenses and fortifications along the German border known as the Maginot Line. The idea was that...

Unlock
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

The answer to this question has to do with the Germans adapting to new technology while the French relied on older styles of defense. In the 1930s, the French built a series of heavy defenses and fortifications along the German border known as the Maginot Line. The idea was that this line would be impossible for an invading army to cross and therefore prevents a repeat of the type of trench warfare stalemate that had occurred in France during World War I.

The Germans, for their part, used their fast-moving tanks to outflank the Maginot Line. At the time, the Germans actually had fewer tanks than the Allies. The difference, however, was that the German tank units were well coordinated. The French mostly used their armor for infantry support, whereas the Germans had entire tank platoons that could all attack together in a quick and coordinated fashion. Unlike French armor, German tanks were all equipped with wireless radio, allowing them to work together in coordinated units. With these radios, they could communicate directly between each other and also with air, artillery, and infantry units. This allowed them to mount coordinated attacks faster than the French could react.

German tanks used in the Battle for France were also smaller and lighter than the Allies's tanks. While this may seem like a disadvantage, they used it to their advantage in that they needed less fuel and were able to move more quickly than their French counterparts. Several times during the battle, German tank units simply passed by Allied armor that were unable to catch up with them to engage. German tanks were also better built and suffered fewer mechanical breakdowns.

All these advantages of strategy and technology meant that the Germans had major advantages of over French armor.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team