In the First World War many battles on the Western Front had lasted weeks or months.
All too often they degenerated into glacial and indecisive campaigns of attrition.
By the 1930s, however, military science had recreated the possibility of a decisive battle.
An unprecedented rate of technological change meant that a stream of new inventions were readily at hand for military innovators to exploit.
Aircraft, armoured vehicles and new forms of motorised transport became available to make possible a fresh style of offensive warfare when the next European war began in 1939.
A belief in the importance of effective war fighting was vital to the Nazi vision of Germany's future.
Nazi Germany's political and military leaders aimed for rapid and decisive victory in battle.
From 1939-45 new ideologies and new machines of war carried destruction across the globe.
Alan Warren chronicles the sixteen most decisive battles of the Second World War, from the Blitzkrieg of Poland to the fall of Berlin.