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HI136 The History of Germany Lecture 14 The Second World War.

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1 HI136 The History of Germany Lecture 14 The Second World War

2 German Foreign Policy, Oct Germany leaves League of Nations and Disarmament Conference Jan Non-Aggression Pact with Poland Jan The Saar votes to return to Germany March Hitler announces reintroduction of conscription April 1935 Stresa conference, Britain, France, and Italy protest against German infringement of Versailles June 1935 Anglo-German Naval Agreement on an enlarged German Navy Oct Italy invades Abyssinia January 1936 Mussolini ends Italian guarantee of Austrian independence March 1936 German troops reoccupy the demilitarised Rhineland July 1936 Germany sends military to help the nationalist rebels in Spain Nov Rome – Berlin Axis announced; Anti-Comintern Pact with Japan Nov Italy joins Anti-Comintern Pact

3 German Foreign Policy March 1938 Invasion of Austria (Anschluss) Sept Munich conference of Germany, Italy, France, Britain Oct Germany takes Sudetenland, Teschen to Poland March 1939 Germany occupies Czechoslovakia March 1939 Germany occupies Memel March 1939 Britain and France guarantee Poland One woman’s reaction to the German entry into the Sudetenland, Sept

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5 The Nazi-Soviet Pact, 23 August 1939 Article I. Both High Contracting Parties obligate themselves to desist from any act of violence, any aggressive action, and any attack on each other, either individually or jointly with other Powers. Article II. Should one of the High Contracting Parties become the object of belligerent action by a third Power, the other High Contracting Party shall in no manner lend its support to this third Power. Secret Additional Protocol: Article I. In the event of a territorial and political rearrangement in the areas belonging to the Baltic States (Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania), the northern boundary of Lithuania shall represent the boundary of the spheres of influence of Germany and U.S.S.R. In this connection the interest of Lithuania in the Vilna area is recognized by each party. Article II. In the event of a territorial and political rearrangement of the areas belonging to the Polish state, the spheres of influence of Germany and the U.S.S.R. shall be bounded approximately by the line of the rivers Narev, Vistula and San. The question of whether the interests of both parties make desirable the maintenance of an independent Polish States and how such a state should be bounded can only be definitely determined in the course of further political developments. In any event both Governments will resolve this question by means of a friendly agreement. Article III. With regard to Southeastern Europe attention is called by the Soviet side to its interest in Bessarabia. The German side declares its complete political disinterestedness in these areas. Article IV. This protocol shall be treated by both parties as strictly secret. “Rendezvous”, by David Low, The Evening Standard, 20 September 1939

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7 Blitzkrieg Germany had only begun to rearm in 1935 – they needed tactics to offset their numerical inferiority. Emphasis on speed and movement – use of modern technology (tanks, air power, paratroops etc.) to avoid the long drawn-out war of attrition. Break through enemy lines, seize key objectives, present the enemy with a fait accompli before they can react. Schwerpunkt (focal point) – concentrate forces to break through enemy lines at a single point. Speed of movement would then allow the Germans to paralyse the enemy’s decision-making and limit their freedom of action.

8 The Polish Campaign, 1-28 Sept Source: R. Overy, The Penguin Historical Atlas of the Third Reich Right: Campaigns in western Europe and the Mediterranean, April 1940-April 1941 Source: The Encyclopaedia of the German Army in the 20 th Century

9 The Battle of Britain Air superiority necessary if Germany to mount an invasion of the British Isles. Reasons for failure to do so: German aircraft have limited range & were designed to support land forces. British fighters superior. Britain building more fighters more quickly than the Germans. Radar. Change of tactics. Source: R. Overy, The Penguin Historical Atlas of the Third Reich

10 The ‘Blitz’

11 Operation Barbarossa The largest land invasion ever seen. Three Army Groups made up of German, Italian, Hungarian and Romanian troops aim to capture key strategic areas: the Baltic coast and Leningrad (North), the Ukraine & Moscow (Centre) and the oil fields of the Caucuses (South). Intended to be a repeat of the successful Blitzkrieg in the West. Armies covered vast distances but didn’t achieve their objectives. Flaws: Operation started too late = armies at the mercy of the Russian winter. Deep penetration into Russia left supply lines exposed. Source: R. Overy, The Penguin Historical Atlas of the Third Reich (1996)

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13 The Home Front Hitler convinced that the collapse of the home front had led to defeat in 1918 – determination to avoid a similar situation in WWII. Hitler convinced that the collapse of the home front had led to defeat in 1918 – determination to avoid a similar situation in WWII. Continued provision of leisure & entertainment. Continued provision of leisure & entertainment. “A reluctance to ask the public to bare sacrifices” (Craig), initially led to limited state interference in the economy & a failure of mobilize the full resources of the state. “A reluctance to ask the public to bare sacrifices” (Craig), initially led to limited state interference in the economy & a failure of mobilize the full resources of the state. Women not brought into the war effort on ideological grounds. Women not brought into the war effort on ideological grounds. Surveillance of the population – the security forces on the look-out for signs of defeatism. Surveillance of the population – the security forces on the look-out for signs of defeatism. Intensification of propaganda & cult of the Führer. Intensification of propaganda & cult of the Führer. Exploitation of occupied territories and forced labour. Exploitation of occupied territories and forced labour.

14 Albert Speer ( ), Minister of Armaments, Fritz Todt ( ), Minister of Armaments,

15 Source: R. Overy, Russia’s War (1997) Source: R. Overy, The Penguin Historical Atlas of the Third Reich

16 The ‘New Order’ in Europe By 1942 Germany dominated Europe – even those states that remained neutral had to keep on good terms with the Germans. Germany ruthlessly exploited occupied territories, expropriating assets, raw materials, art treasure etc. Use of foreign workers to solve the labour shortage – 7 million foreign workers in Germany, and a further 7 million in the occupied territories by Ambitious plans to colonize the east – ghetoization & ‘liquidation’ of Jews, slavs etc. to make way for colonists. Poster inviting Dutchmen to join the SS

17 ‘The Turning of the Tide’, Dec. 1941: Japan attacked the US naval base at Pearl Harbour. 7 Dec. 1941: Japan attacked the US naval base at Pearl Harbour. 11 Dec. 1941: Hitler declared war on the USA, globalizing the conflict. 11 Dec. 1941: Hitler declared war on the USA, globalizing the conflict. 5 Sept. 1942: German forces reached the Russian city of Stalingrad. 5 Sept. 1942: German forces reached the Russian city of Stalingrad. 23 Oct. – 5 Nov. 1942: Battle of El Alamein – the British 8 th Army defeated the Germans in North Africa and pushed them into retreat. 23 Oct. – 5 Nov. 1942: Battle of El Alamein – the British 8 th Army defeated the Germans in North Africa and pushed them into retreat. 8 Nov. 1942: Anglo-American forces invaded Morocco & Algeria, cutting off the German retreat and trapping them in Tunisia. 8 Nov. 1942: Anglo-American forces invaded Morocco & Algeria, cutting off the German retreat and trapping them in Tunisia. July-August 1943: The British & Americans invade Sicily. July-August 1943: The British & Americans invade Sicily. Sept. 1943: Anglo-American forces move onto the Italian peninsula. Germany occupies Italy. Sept. 1943: Anglo-American forces move onto the Italian peninsula. Germany occupies Italy.

18 Stalingrad Confrontation between the two dictators over the ‘City of Stalin’ – neither would give in. Russian counter-attack in November 1942 encircled the German 6 th Army. The Germans lost 750,000 men (killed or missing) and 91,000 were captured. A turning point in the war – after Stalingrad the Germans did nothing but retreat on the eastern front.

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20 Source: R. Overy, The Penguin Historical Atlas of the Third Reich

21 Aerial view of Dresden after allied bombing Allied troops enter Berlin, 1945

22 Russian soldiers wave the ‘Hammer & Sickle’ flag from the roof of the Reichstag building, Berlin, May 1945

23 Reasons for Defeat The role of Hitler. The role of Hitler. Fighting on multiple fronts. Fighting on multiple fronts. The failure to fully mobilize the population and the economy. The failure to fully mobilize the population and the economy. Flexibility. Flexibility. Morale. Morale. Key texts: Key texts: Richard J. Evans, The Third Reich at War (2008) Richard J. Evans, The Third Reich at War (2008) Richard Overy, Why the Allies Won (2006) Richard Overy, Why the Allies Won (2006)


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