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German armoured forces were a key component of the Wehrmacht's Blitzkrieg ('Lightning War') tactics that quickly conquered Poland, the Low Countries and France in 1939 and 1940. Germany introduced a new style of mechanised warfare that surprised the Allies and allowed the German forces to overwhelm often numerically superior forces in France and Russia. However, as the war progressed the Allies learned how to counter the German tactics, and in the final years of the war German armour was on the defensive.