Mein Kampf My Struggle Hitler outlined how he wanted to fight the war – get a treaty with Brits, fight Russians first. – Equated the Russians and Communism with Jews and ethnic minorities. Brits wouldnt sign treaty – Stalin did. Forced Hitler to fight the west first.
Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact Signed in 1939 – Russians signed non- aggression pact. As part of secret agreement – they divided Poland after invasion in 1939. Russians also took Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Finland.
Operation Barbarossa By spring of 1940, Hitler Reneges on agreement. – French, Danes, Belgians, Dutch, Poles, Norwegians, all conquered – Brits disaster: Dunkirk, Bombing of London – US – Still neutral despite Lend Lease Turns Blitzkrieg on Russia and decimates them initially, however could not start until June. Stalin shocked (thought he had till 42) Germans decimate Russian Red Army – get to within 19 miles of Moscow
Why it all fell apart… 1. German Tanks stopped by mud / cold 2. Hitler not ready for how large Russia was 3. Hitler ignored his commanders 4. Supply lines too long – German soldiers fighting in summer jackets
German Advance Scorched Earth Policy Russian Civilians frequent casualties By late 1941 Russians signed non-aggression pact with Japanese Russians counter offensive in winter of 1941 pushed the Germans back.
Siege of Leningrad and Stalingrad Germans lay siege to Leningrad in the winter of 1941 – Russians hold out for 900 days until reinforcements arrive Stalingrad the turning point of the war – Hitler invades Stalingrad in 1942-43 – Caucasian Oil Fields Russians hold out despite desperate street fighting. Each side loses about ½ million soldiers, but Russians hold the line.
Hitler Repulsed Germans attack at Kursk in final desperate offensive – Russians destroy the majority of their Tanks. Over the next three years, the Russians slowly push them out Hitler – no surrender order – raised casualties 1944 – Belorussian Offensive.
Battle of Berlin Russian surround the city (other allies still pushing there) Shell city for days and invade street to street Both sides lost about 300,000 Germans surrender on May 2 nd (April 30 th – Hitler commits suicide) Russians punish city by destroying it and raping thousands of women.
The Cost of the War Deaths – Germans – 4.9 Million (7 Million total) – Russians – 9.1 Million (19-23 Million total) – upwards of 10 million civilians were killed in the war including 1 million Russian Jews. By Comparison – Poland 6.8 Million – Japan 2 Million – France – 810,000 – U.S. – 500,000 – U.K. – 388,000
The Reasons Hitler Lost 1. Not enough materials – oil especially 2. Allowed the British to escape at Dunkirk 3. Stopped bombing military institutions, bombed London in 1940. 4. Attacked Russia without finishing British. 5. Made a pact with Japanese – brought the US into the war. 6. Attacked Stalingrad without regard for strategy – ignored generals. 7. Allies decoded German codes (Enigma)
Russian Expansion At Yalta – Churchill, Stalin, Roosevelt met Divided Germany up Russians gain territory in Poland and promise free elections. Begin a sphere of influence in Eastern Europe Eastern Bloc Established of Communist governments
The Other Side to the Holocaust Always mentioned – 6 million Jews killed Often forgotten – 5 million more people died. – 1 Million Russians – 2.5 Million Poles – ½ Million Gypsies – 200,000 Disabled – 5-15,000 Homosexuals – Unknown number of political opponents More than one kind of camp – work camps / death camps / concentration camps / POW camps