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Encyclopedia > History of Germany during World War II
History of Germany
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The history of Germany during World War II closely parallels that of Nazi Germany under Adolf Hitler. Adolf Hitler came to power in Germany in 1933. From that point onward, Germany followed a policy of rearmament and confrontation with other countries. During the war German armies occupied most of Europe; Nazi forces defeated France, took Norway, invaded Yugoslavia and Greece, and occupied much of the European portion of the Soviet Union. Germany also forged alliances with Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, and later Finland he invaded, Poland as well as collaborators in several other nations. The German defeat at the Battle of Stalingrad in 1942 turned the tide of the war against Germany. The Second World War culminated in Germany's unconditional surrender to the Allies, the fall of Nazi Germany, and the death of Adolf Hitler. The History of Germany begins with the establishment of the nation from Ancient Roman times to the 8th century, and then continues into the Holy Roman Empire dating from the 9th century until 1806 . ... Download high resolution version (976x718, 175 KB) Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Thor/Donar, Germanic thunder god. ... Human migration denotes any movement of groups of people from one locality to another, rather than of individual wanderers. ... Statue of Charlemagne (also called Karl der Große, Charles the Great) in Frankfurt, Germany. ... Eastern Francia were the lands of Louis the German after the Treaty of Verdun of 843. ... The Kingdom of Germany was a medieval state[1] which grew out of that of East Francia in the tenth century, when the term regnum Teutonicum first came into informal use. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... This article is about the medieval empire. ... Image File history File links Den_tyske_ordens_skjold. ... Evolution of German linguistic area from 700 to 1950 Settlement in the East (German: ), also known as German eastward expansion, refers to the eastward migration and settlement of Germans into regions inhabited since the Great Migrations by the Balts, Romanians, Hungarians and, since about the 8th century, the Slavs. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Kleinstaaterei, a German word for the occurence of (many) petty states is a polyvalent term, mainly used for the internal state of Germany (and neighbouring regions) during the Holy Roman Empire, especially in its late phase, when it was officially known as Heiliges Römisches Reich Deutscher Nation. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... The Confederation of the Rhine in 1812 Capital Frankfurt Political structure Confederation Protector Napoleon I Primate  - 1806-1813 Karl von Dalberg  - 1813 Eugène de Beauharnais Historical era Napoleonic Wars  - Formation 12 July, 1806  - Collapse 19 October, 1813 The Confederation of the Rhine or Rhine Confederation (German: ; French: ) lasted from... Image File history File links Wappen_Deutscher_Bund. ... The German Confederation (German: Deutscher Bund) was the association of Central European states created by the Congress of Vienna in 1815 to organize the surviving states of the Holy Roman Empire, which had been abolished in 1806. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Germany. ... Germany at the time of the Revolutions of 1848 had been a collection of 38 states loosely bound together in the German Confederation. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_the_German_Empire. ... Map of the North German Confederation Capital Berlin Political structure Federation Presidency Prussia (William I) Chancellor Otto von Bismarck History  - Constitution tabelled April 16, 1867  - Confederation formed July 1, 1867  - Elevation to empire January 18, 1871 The North German Federation (in German, Norddeutscher Bund) came into existence in 1867, following... Image File history File links Flag_of_the_German_Empire. ... This article is about the 1871 German Empire. ... The history of Germany is, in places, extremely complicated and depends much on how one defines Germany. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_the_German_Empire. ... For German colonial territories, see German Colonial Empire. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... During World War I, the German Empire was one of the Central Powers that ultimately lost the war. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Germany_(2-3). ... Anthem Das Lied der Deutschen Germany during the Weimar period, with the Free State of Prussia (in blue) as the largest state Capital Berlin Language(s) German Government Republic President  - 1918-1925 Friedrich Ebert  - 1925-1933 Paul von Hindenburg Chancellor  - 1919 Philipp Scheidemann(first)  - 1933 Kurt von Schleicher (last) Legislature... Image File history File links Flag_of_Germany_1933. ... Nazi Germany, or the Third Reich, commonly refers to Germany in the years 1933–1945, when it was under the firm control of the totalitarian and fascist ideology of the Nazi Party, with the Führer Adolf Hitler as dictator. ... Image File history File links War_Ensign_of_Germany_1938-1945. ... Following Germanys defeat in World War II and the beginning of the Cold War, Germany was split, representing the focus of the two global blocs in the east and west. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Germany_(1946-1949). ... The C-Pennant Occupation zones in Germany (1945) Capital Berlin (de jure) Political structure Military occupation Governors (1945)  - UK zone F.M. Montgomery  - French zone Gen. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Poland. ... Former eastern territories of Germany (German: ) describes collectively those provinces or regions east of the Oder-Neisse line which were internationally recognised as part of the territory of Germany after the formation of the German Empire in 1871. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Germany_(1946-1949). ... Germans expelled from the Sudetenland // The expulsion of Germans after World War II refers to the forced migration of people considered Germans (Reichsdeutsche and some Volksdeutsche) from various European states and territories during 1945 and in the first three years after World War II 1946-48. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Germany. ... West Germany was the informal but almost universally used name for the Federal Republic of Germany from 1949 until 1990, during which years the Federal Republic did not yet include East Germany. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_East_Germany. ... “East Germany” redirects here. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Germany. ... This article is about the 1990 German reunification. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Germany. ... Image File history File links Bundeswehr_Kreuz. ... While German-speaking peoples have a long history, Germany as a nation-state dates only from 1871. ... // Part of the motivation behind the territorial changes are based on events in the history of Germany and Europe, especially Eastern Europe. ... This is a timeline of German history. ... The history of German as separate from common West Germanic begins in the Early Middle Ages with the High German consonant shift. ... Nazi Germany, or the Third Reich, commonly refers to Germany in the years 1933–1945, when it was under the firm control of the totalitarian and fascist ideology of the Nazi Party, with the Führer Adolf Hitler as dictator. ... Hitler redirects here. ... Year 1933 (MCMXXXIII) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Yugoslavia (Jugoslavija in the Latin alphabet, Југославија in Cyrillic; English: South Slavia, or literary The Land of South Slavs) describes three political entities that existed one at a time on the Balkan Peninsula in Europe, during most of the 20th century. ... Belligerents Germany Romania Italy Hungary Soviet Union Commanders Adolf Hitler Friedrich Paulus # Erich von Manstein Wolfram von Richthofen Petre Dumitrescu Constantin Constantinescu Italo Gariboldi Gusztáv Vitéz Jány Josef Stalin Vasiliy Chuikov Aleksandr Vasilyevskiy Georgiy Zhukov Semyon Timoshenko Konstantin Rokossovskiy Rodion Malinovskiy Andrei Yeremenko Strength Army Group B... Year 1942 (MCMXLII) was a common year starting on Thursday (the link will display the full 1942 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Look up ally in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Nazi Germany, or the Third Reich, commonly refers to Germany in the years 1933–1945, when it was under the firm control of the totalitarian and fascist ideology of the Nazi Party, with the Führer Adolf Hitler as dictator. ... Hitler redirects here. ...

Contents

The Invasion of Poland

On September 1, 1939, Germany invaded Poland (see Invasion of Poland). In return, the Germans agreed not to make any advancements on European lands. The invasion led to World War II and the United Kingdom and France to declare war on Germany, in accordance with the agreement that they had with Poland. Following Britain, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, and India also declared war on Germany. After the end of the campaign in Poland the war entered a period of relative inactivity known as the Phony War. This ended when Germany invaded Denmark and Norway in April of 1940 (see Operation Weserübung) and the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg and France in May (see Battle of France). All of the invaded countries swiftly capitulated and the forces of the United Kingdom and its allies suffered a humiliating defeat in Norway (see British campaign in Norway) and a near-disastrous retreat from France (see Battle of Dunkirk). The United Kingdom was threatened with an amphibious invasion (see Operation Sealion) but during the Battle of Britain the Luftwaffe failed to achieve air superiority and the invasion was postponed indefinitely. Although one piece of British territory namely the Channel Islands was occupied by Germany right until the end of the war. is the 244th day of the year (245th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1939 (MCMXXXIX) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... For the Soviet Unions military action against Poland under the same alliance, see Soviet invasion of Poland (1939). ... Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000... British Ministry of Home Security Poster of a type that was common during the Phony War The Phony War, or in Winston Churchills words the Twilight War, was a phase in early World War II marked by few military operations in Continental Europe, in the months following the German... Year 1940 (MCMXL) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display the full 1940 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Combatants Germany Denmark Norway Operation Weserübung was the German codename for Nazi Germanys assault on Denmark and Norway during World War II and the opening operation of the Norwegian Campaign. ... Belligerents France United Kingdom Canada Czechoslovakia Poland Belgium Netherlands Luxembourg Germany Italy Commanders Maurice Gamelin, Maxime Weygand Lord Gort (British Expeditionary Force) Leopold III H.G. Winkelman WÅ‚adysÅ‚aw Sikorski Gerd von Rundstedt (Army Group A) Fedor von Bock (Army Group B) Wilhelm von Leeb (Army Group C) H... The Allied campaign in Norway took place from April 1940 until early June 1940. ... This article is about a Second World War battle in 1940, for the 1658 battle of the same name see Battle of the Dunes (1658) Combatants United Kingdom France Belgium Germany Commanders Lord Gort General Weygand Gerd von Rundstedt (Army Group A) Ewald von Kleist (Panzergruppe von Kleist) Strength approx. ... Operation Sealion (Unternehmen (Undertaking) Seelöwe in German) was a World War II German plan to invade the United Kingdom. ... This article is about the World War Two battle. ... The Deutsche Luftwaffe or   (German: air force, IPA: ) is the commonly used term for the German air force. ... Air superiority is the dominance in the air power of one side air forces of another side during a military campaign. ... This article is about the British dependencies. ...


North Africa

In June of 1940, after the Battle for France was all but over, Italian dictator Benito Mussolini finally joined Germany in the war and Italy declared war on the United Kingdom and France. In August, Italian colonial forces took the initiative in Italian East Africa by occupying British Somaliland. In September, Italian colonial forces in Libya staged a limited invasion of Egypt. The British and Commonwealth forces, despite being outnumbered by 500,000 available troops to 35,000 (of whom 17,000 were non-combatants), made a fighting withdrawal and after reinforcements were sent to the region in December, counterattacked. The British soon dealt out several humiliating defeats to the Italians and captured over 130,000 prisoners in a two-month campaign in eastern Libya. In January of 1941 the Afrika Korps were sent to Libya to reinforce their Italian allies and a hard fought campaign ensued. This theatre of war is known as the North African Campaign. Combatants United States United Kingdom Canada Free France Poland Germany Commanders Dwight Eisenhower (Supreme Allied Commander) Bernard Montgomery (land) Bertram Ramsay (sea) Trafford Leigh-Mallory (air) Omar Bradley (US 1st Army) Miles Dempsey (UK 2nd Army) Harry Crerar (Canadian 1st Army) Gerd von Rundstedt (OB WEST) Erwin Rommel (Heeresgruppe B... Mussolini redirects here. ... Map of Italian East Africa Italian East Africa or Empire of Italian East Africa (Italian: Africa Orientale Italiana, AOI) was a short-lived (1936-1941) Italian colony in Africa consisting of Ethiopia (recently occupied after the Second Italo-Abyssinian War) and the colonies of Italian Somaliland and Eritrea. ... Flag Capital Aden Religion Islam Political structure Protectorate History  - Established 1884  - Independence June 26, 1960  - Somaliland established 18 May, 1991 Currency British pound British Somaliland was a British protectorate in the north part of the Horn of Africa, and later part of Somalia and presently the unrecognized Republic of Somaliland. ... For other uses, see 1941 (disambiguation). ... The seal of the Deutsches Afrikakorps. ... During World War II, the North African Campaign, also known as the Desert War, took place in the North African desert from September 13, 1940 to May 13, 1943. ...


South Eastern Europe

The Italian invasion of Greece in November of 1940 was a disaster and Italian forces were driven back into Albania which Italy had occupied in 1939. Nazi Germany attacked Yugoslavia and Greece in April of 1941 to assist their allies and prevent any possibility of disruption to the production of oil from their oilfields by hostile forces. Motto: One nation, one king, one country Anthem: Medley of Bože pravde, Lijepa naÅ¡a domovino, and Naprej zastava slave Capital Belgrade Language(s) Serbo-Croato-Slovenian (see: Serbo-Croat and Slovenian) [1] Government Value specified for government_type does not comply King  - 1918-1921 Peter I  - 1921-1934 Alexander...

German conquests in Europe during World War II.
German conquests in Europe during World War II.

Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1090x1000, 220 KB) Summary A map of the Eastern front of the Second World War circa 1941-1942. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1090x1000, 220 KB) Summary A map of the Eastern front of the Second World War circa 1941-1942. ...

Soviet Union

The Soviet Union had in 1939 invaded Poland together with Nazi Germany in accordance with the secret part of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, and remained outside the main conflict for two years, Stalin assuming that he was safe from an attack from Hitler, not wishing to fight a war on two fronts. Molotov signs the German-Soviet non-aggression pact. ...


For the Germans, however, the war in the West was seen as only the overture to the great operations against Communist Russia. The successful campaigns against Poland, Scandinavia and France, and the bad standing of the Red Army after the Great Purge in the 1930s, as indicated by the fiasco of the Winter War, made Hitler believe the power relations between Nazi Germany and Russia would not again become as favorable. The crusade against Bolshevism, codenamed Operation Barbarossa, was to be launched sooner rather than later. It was planned to unite Western Europe behind Nazi Germany's leadership for the common goal to fight Communism. The Great Purge (Russian: , transliterated Bolshaya chistka) refers collectively to several related campaigns of political repression and persecution in the Soviet Union orchestrated by Joseph Stalin during the 1930s, which removed all of his remaining opposition from power. ... Combatants Finland Soviet Union Commanders Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim Kliment Voroshilov Semyon Timoshenko Strength 250,000 men 30 tanks 130 aircraft[1][2] 1,000,000 men 6,541 tanks [3] 3,800 aircraft[4][5] Casualties 26,662 dead 39,886 wounded 1,000 captured[6] 126,875 dead... Bolshevik Party Meeting. ... Combatants Germany Romania Finland Italy Hungary Slovakia  Soviet Union Commanders Adolf Hitler Wilhelm Ritter von Leeb Fedor von Bock Gerd von Rundstedt Heinz Guderian Günther von Kluge Franz Halder Ion Antonescu C.G.E. Mannerheim Giovanni Messe, CSIR Italo Garibaldi, ARMIR Iosef Stalin Kliment Voroshilov Semyon Timoshenko Fyodor Kuznetsov...


The German campaigns in Greece and North Africa delayed the planned invasion by several weeks, and a great deal of the good summer weather was already lost by the time the invasion was launched on June 22, 1941. The massive attack still turned out to be an initial success, conquering whole areas of the Soviet Union's western region. Their only significant strategic failure was the advance on Moscow, which was halted by stiff resistance, and subsequently driven back by a Russian counter-attack. The following years, however, were less successful on the Eastern Front. is the 173rd day of the year (174th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... For other uses, see 1941 (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Moscow (disambiguation). ... The Eastern Front was the theatre of combat between Nazi Germany and its allies against the Soviet Union during World War II. It was somewhat separate from the other theatres of the war, not only geographically, but also for its scale and ferocity. ...


Italian armistice and loss of allies

The German and Italian defeat in North Africa allowed the Allied forces to contemplate opening up a new theatre of war in the south. Sicily was invaded in July of 1943 leading to the overthrow and imprisonment of Mussolini. In September the Italian mainland was invaded. Shortly afterwards an armistice was signed and Italian troops found themselves arrested and imprisoned by the Germans. The Germans fought on in Italy and in October the new Italian government declared war on Germany. The campaign in Italy eventually bogged down as the focus of attention for the Western allied was drawn to opening up a new front. Sicily ( in Italian and Sicilian) is an autonomous region of Italy and the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, with an area of 25,708 km² (9,926 sq. ...


One by one, Germany's other allies left the war. Throughout 1944, the governments of Romania, Bulgaria, and Finland found ways to switch sides.


Defeat in the East, the invasion of Normandy and final defeat

German forces surrender to Canadians at Courseulles-sur-Mer.
German forces surrender to Canadians at Courseulles-sur-Mer.

In the east the Germans had been steadily withdrawing in the face of increasingly capable Red Army offensives. After the Battle of Kursk in July 1943 the Germans' arsenal was depleted of much needed armoured vehicles and Germany was unable to launch another serious offensive in the east. By the time of D-Day invasion on 6 June 1944, German forces were thinly stretched across three fronts. By August, Soviet forces had crossed into parts of eastern Germany. Allied forces reached the Rhine a month later. In December of 1944 a last ditch effort to strike a blow to the western allies (the Ardennes Offensive) ground to a halt due to lack of supplies and bitter allied opposition. By the beginning of 1945, the German regime was beginning to disintegrate. A threatened last-ditch defense from a "National Redoubt" never happened. In late April, Hitler committed suicide during the Battle for Berlin. Karl Dönitz, designated President (Reichspräsident) by Hitler in his last testament, ordered the unconditional surrender of Germany in the first week of May. Image File history File links Group_of_prisoners_who_surrendered_to_Canadians_in_Courseulles. ... Image File history File links Group_of_prisoners_who_surrendered_to_Canadians_in_Courseulles. ... Courseulles-sur-Mer is a commune of the Calvados département, in the Basse-Normandie région, in France. ... For other organizations known as the Red Army, see Red Army (disambiguation). ... Belligerents Nazi Germany Soviet Union Commanders Erich von Manstein Günther von Kluge Hermann Hoth Walther Model Hans Seidemann Robert Ritter von Greim Georgiy Zhukov Konstantin Rokossovskiy Nikolay Vatutin Ivan Konyev Strength 2,700 tanks 800,000 infantry 2,109 aircraft[1] 3,600 tanks 20,000 guns[2] 1... Land on Normandy In military parlance, D-Day is a term often used to denote the day on which a combat attack or operation is to be initiated. ... is the 157th day of the year (158th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1944 (MCMXLIV) was a leap year starting on Saturday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... For the 1965 film, see Battle of the Bulge (film). ... A 1945 U.S. Army map showing the possible extent of the National Redoubt The National Redoubt was the English term used to describe the possibility that Adolf Hitler and armed forces of Nazi Germany would make a last stand in the alpine areas of Austria, Bavaria and northern Italy... This article is about the capture of Berlin in 1945. ... Karl Dönitz (IPA pronunciation:  ) (born 16 September 1891; died 24 December 1980) was a German naval leader, who commanded the German Navy (Kriegsmarine) during the second half of World War II. Dönitz was also President of Germany for 23 days after Adolf Hitlers suicide. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with President of Germany. ... The last will and testament of Adolf Hitler was dictated by Hitler to his secretary Traudl Junge in his Berlin Führerbunker on April 29, 1945, the day he and Eva Braun married. ...


Sources

  • WAR DEPARTMENT TECHNICAL MANUAL TM-E 30-451, Handbook on German Military Forces, US WAR DEPARTMENT, 15 MARCH 1945.
  • Calvocoressi, Peter and Guy Wint. Total War New York, New York Penguin press, 2001
  • Keegan, John. The Second World War. New York Penguin press, 1990
  • Lubbeck, William and David B. Hurt. "At Leningrad's Gates: The Story of a Soldier with Army Group North.", Philadelphia, PA: Casemate, 2006 (ISBN 1-932033-55-6).


Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Image File history File links Wikibooks-logo. ... Image File history File links Wikiquote-logo. ... Image File history File links Wikisource-logo. ... Image File history File links Commons-logo. ... Image File history File links WikiNews-Logo. ...


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