FACTOID # 26: Delaware is the latchkey kid capital of America, with 71.8% of households having both parents in the labor force.
 
 Home   Encyclopedia   Statistics   States A-Z   Flags   Maps   FAQ   About 
   
 
WHAT'S NEW
 

SEARCH ALL

FACTS & STATISTICS    Advanced view

Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:

 

 

(* = Graphable)

 

 


Encyclopedia > Military history of Germany during World War II
History of Germany
Timeline
Germanic tribes
Migration Period
Holy Roman Empire
German Confederation
German Empire
Weimar Republic
Nazi Germany
World War II
Since 1945
East Germany
West Germany
German reunification

This page is intended to serve as a focal point for information pertinent to understanding German military activity during World War II. The Holy Roman Empire, dating from the 8th century AD until 1806, was the first German Reich, or empire. ... This is a timeline of German history. ... The term Germanic tribes applies to the ancient Germanic peoples of Europe. ... Human migration denotes any movement of groups of people from one locality to another, rather than of individual wanderers. ... This page is about the Germanic empire. ... The German Confederation (German: Deutscher Bund) was a loose 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. ... The term German Empire (Deutsches Reich) commonly refers to Germany, from its consolidation as a unified nation-state on January 18, 1871, until the abdication of Kaiser (Emperor) Wilhelm II on November 9, 1918. ... The period of German history from 1919 to 1933 is known as the Weimar Republic IPA (German Weimarer Republik). ... 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. ... After the beginning of the Cold War, following Germanys defeat in World War II, Germany was split for about 40 years, representing the focus of the two global blocks in the east and west. ... East Germany, officially the German Democratic Republic (GDR), German Deutsche Demokratische Republik (DDR), was a communist state that existed from 1949 to 1990 in the former Soviet occupation zone of Germany. ... German reunification (Deutsche Wiedervereinigung) took place on October 3, 1990, when the areas of the former German Democratic Republic (GDR - in English often called East Germany) were incorporated into The Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) (FRG). ... World War II was a truly global conflict with many facets: immense human suffering, fierce indoctrinations, and the use of new, extremely devastating weapons like the atom bomb. ...

Contents


Foreword

When in 1933 Hitler gained power, and set on a massive program of rearmament, no one could have predicted the scope, intensity, and duration of the armed conflict that would follow in just a few short years. The worst pessimists in the West predicted a fairly short war of extermination based on the use of poison gases, delivered by aerial bombardment or by other means. The optimists in the West also predicted a short war given what they thought to be the equality of forces of the nations surrounding Germany. When Panzer divisions struck out across the Polish frontier at dawn on September 1, 1939, the German Army then was fresh, vigorous, expansive, and Nazi party members and sympathizers saw it as obviously superior to its contemporaries. The Western democracies were shocked at the speed at which Poland fell, given that they had seen the Polish army defeat the vast Soviet Union less than a generation before at the Battle of Warsaw (1920). The democracies were even more shocked some months later when France also fell despite its superior tanks and its Maginot Line. The front line weapons of the German army were new and shiny, with the old stocks being deployed in lesser positions. Many of the German army tactics and techniques were untried but the office corps and the general staff were vigilant and speedy in their adaptations. The officers and men were young and full of enthusiasm, with considerable numbers of veterans of World War I besides them to supply experience and wisdom. After the initial triumphs against Poland, The Low Countries and France a career of easy conquest seemed to open up before it. But by 1945, after five and a half years of ever growing battle against ever stronger and wiser enemies, the German Army was a shadow of its former self. Overwhelmed on all sides and short of everything, it suffered appalling casualties and had to resort to old men, boys, disabled, and unreliable foreigners for its cannon fodder and to prizes of war and the dregs of its World War I stocks for its weapons and munitions. 1933 was a common year starting on Sunday (link will take you to calendar). ... Adolf Hitler Adolf Hitler (April 20, 1889 – April 30, 1945, standard German pronunciation in the IPA) was the Führer (leader) of the National Socialist German Workers Party (Nazi Party) and of Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1945. ... September 1 is the 244th day of the year (245th in leap years). ... 1939 was a common year starting on Sunday (link will take you to calendar). ... Heer is the German word for army. ... The Battle of Warsaw (sometimes referred to as the Miracle at the Vistula, Polish Cud nad WisÅ‚Ä…) was the decisive battle of the Polish-Bolshevik War (also known as the Polish-Soviet War), the war that began soon after the end of World War I in 1918 and lasted until... Maginot Line fortification, 2002 The Maginot Line was a line of concrete fortifications, tank obstacles, machine gun posts and other defenses which France constructed along its borders with Germany and with Italy in the wake of World War I. Generally the term describes either the entire system or just the... World War I was primarily a European conflict with many facets: immense human sacrifice, stalemate trench warfare, and the use of new, devastating weapons - tanks, aircraft, machineguns, and poison gas. ...


Start of the War

Enlarge
Nazi conquests in Europe during World War II.

In September of 1939 Germany's invasion of Poland (see Polish September Campaign) led Britain, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa and France to declare 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 and France in May (see Battle of France). All of the invaded countries swiftly capitulated and the forces of Britain 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). Britain 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. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1090x1000, 160 KB) Description: second world war europe 1941-1942, map de Source: own map, based on the maps of the University of Texas Libraries Author: Joes, 17. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1090x1000, 160 KB) Description: second world war europe 1941-1942, map de Source: own map, based on the maps of the University of Texas Libraries Author: Joes, 17. ... September is the ninth month of the year in the Gregorian Calendar and one of four Gregorian months with the length of 30 days. ... 1939 was a common year starting on Sunday (link will take you to calendar). ... The Polish September Campaign — also known as Polish-German War of 1939, in Poland often as Wojna obronna 1939 roku (Defensive War of 1939), in Germany as Polish Campaign (Polenfeldzug), codenamed Fall Weiss (Case White) in the German General Staff — was the invasion of Poland by the armies of Nazi... The Phony War, or in Winston Churchills words the Twilight War, was the phase of World War II marked by no military operations in Continental Europe, that followed the collapse of Poland. ... 1940 was a leap year starting on Monday (link will take you to calendar). ... 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. ... This article is about the month of May. ... In World War II, Battle of France was the German invasion of France and the Low Countries, executed 10 May 1940 which ended the Phony War. ... 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 The Battle of Dunkirk (French: Bataille de Dunkerque) was a major battle during World War II which lasted from around May 26 to June 4, 1940. ... Operation Sealion (Unternehmen Seelöwe in German) was a World War II German plan to invade Britain. ... A major campaign of World War II, the Battle of Britain is the name for the attempt by Germanys Luftwaffe to gain air superiority of British airspace and destroy the Royal Air Force (RAF). ... The   Luftwaffe? (German: air force, IPA: [luftvafÉ™]) is the commonly used term for the German air force. ... Air superiority is defined in the NATO Glossary as That degree of dominance in the air battle of one force over another that permits the conduct of operations by the former and its related land, sea, and air forces at a given time and place without prohibitive interference by the...


The western democracies had been so shocked at the fast victories of the German army because, on paper, the Germans had defeated opponents which were vastly superior to them in numbers and, in some cases in the quality of armements. The democracies slowly realized that German victory had come through what they termed Blitzkrieg, totally or partly mechanized warfare where logistics on trucks and decentralized control with radios counted as much as the number of tanks and men in the field. The Germans had been preparing for this type of war as early as the 1920s, when the Reichswehr under the command of general Hans von Seeckt recreated the forbidden German General Staff under the cover of the Truppenamt and began planning the complex interactions of mechanized warfare. Blitzkrieg relied on close cooperation between infantry and panzers (tanks). ... Inside Nexus Distribution, a United States logistics provider. ... The Reichswehr (literally National Defence or National Militia) formed the military organization of Germany from 1918 until 1935, when the government rebranded it as the Wehrmacht (Defence Force). ... Hans von Seeckt Hans von Seeckt (22 April 1866 - 27 December 1936) was a German soldier. ... The German General Staff or Großer Generalstab was the most important German weapon for nearly two centuries. ...


North Africa

After Italy's declaration of War on Britain and France in June of 1940 Italian forces in Libya came under punitive attack from the British in Egypt. The Italian forces soon took the initiative by occupying British Somaliland in August and invading Egypt in September. The British and Commonwealth forces initially lost ground but managed to turn the situation around after reinforcements were sent to the region in December. In February of 1941 the Afrika Korps were sent to the Libya to reinforce their Italian allies and a hard fought campaign ensued. This theatre of war is known as the North African Campaign The British Somaliland Protectorate was a British protectorate in the north part of the Horn of Africa, later part of Somalia. ... Note: as an adjective (stressed on the second syllable instead of the first), august means honorable. ... September is the ninth month of the year in the Gregorian Calendar and one of four Gregorian months with the length of 30 days. ... 1941 was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will take you to calendar). ... The Deutsches Afrikakorps (often just Afrika Korps or DAK) was the corps_level headquarters controlling the German Panzer divisions in Libya and Egypts Western Desert during the North African Campaign of World War II. Since there was little turnover in the units attached to the corps the term is commonly... The North African Campaign, also known as the Desert War, of World War II took place in the North African desert during 1940-1943. ...


South Eastern Europe

The Italian invasion of Greece in December of 1940 was a disaster and Italian forces were driven back into Albania which Italy had occupied in 1939. Germany attacked Yugoslavia and Greece in May of 1941 to assist their allies and prevent any possibility of disruption to the production of oil from their oilfields of by hostile forces. The Kingdom of Yugoslavia was a Balkan state which existed from December 1, 1918 to mid-April 1941. ...


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. Sources made available after the collapse of the Soviet Union reveals the Kremlin strategy to provoke Europe's capitalist powers into war against each other to facilitate Communist revolutions by their war-ravaged proletarians. Stalin counted on Hitler to avoid a two-front war. As long as the war with Britain wasn't concluded, Stalin was in no hurry to make defensive preparations, and was rather preparing his army for offensive to take over the wrecked Europe. Molotov (lower left), Ribbentrop (in black) and Stalin (far right) The Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, also known as the Hitler-Stalin pact or Ribbentrop-Molotov pact or Nazi-Soviet pact and formally known as the Treaty of Nonaggression between Germany and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, was in theory a... The rise of Gorbachev Although reform stalled between 1964–1982, the generational shift gave new momentum for reform. ... The Moscow Kremlin The Moscow Kremlin ( Russian: Московский Кремль) is the best known kremlin ( Russian citadel). ...


For the Nazis, 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 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 strong leadership behind the common goal to fight Communism. This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... The Winter War (also known as the Soviet-Finnish War or the Russo-Finnish War) broke out when the Soviet Union attacked Finland on November 30, 1939, three months after the start of World War II. As a consequence, the Soviet Union was expelled from the League of Nations on... This article is about the medieval Crusades . ... Bolshevik Party Meeting. ... Original German plan Operation Barbarossa (Unternehmen Barbarossa) was the German codename for Nazi Germanys invasion of the Soviet Union during World War II that commenced on June 22, 1941. ...


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 a 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 a very harsh winter. The following years, however, were less successful on the Eastern Front. June 22 is the 173rd day of the year (174th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 192 days remaining. ... 1941 was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will take you to calendar). ... Saint Basils Cathedral and Spasskaya Tower of Moscow Kremlin at Red Square. ... 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. ...


The first major defeats

Germany declared war on the United States immediately after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December of 1941. The USA had been supplying and offering increasing non-combative support to the British since the outbreak of the war and now the full force of the American military and immense war production capability were brought to bear in the conflict against Germany. The first major defeat was in North Africa at the second Battle of El Alamein in 1942. Around about the same time the tide was turning for the Germans in Russia. The defeat at the Battle of Stalingrad shocked many in the German High Command and the realisation that the German forces were not invincible began to permeate through the minds of the German people. Satellite image of Pearl Harbor. ... The Battle of Alamein, or more correctly the Second Battle of El Alamein, marked a significant turning point in the Western Desert Campaign of World War II. The battle lasted from October 23 to November 3, 1942. ... This article is about the year. ... The Battle of Stalingrad was a major turning point in World War II, and is considered the bloodiest and largest battle in human history. ...


Italian Armistice

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 (Sicilia in Italian) is an autonomous region of Italy and the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, with an area of 25,700 sq. ...


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

In the east the Germans had been steadily withdrawing in the face of increasingly capable Red Army offensives. While the Battle of Kursk in July 1943 was not an overwhelming victory for the Soviets it seriously depleted the Germans arsenal 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 stretched thinly on three fronts. By August, Soviet forces had crossed into eastern Germany. Allied forces crossed 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 through to lack of fuel and supplies. By the beginning of 1945 the regime was beginning to disintegrate, and a feared last-ditch defense from a "National Redoubt" never happened. In April, Hitler committed suicide and Germany finally surrendered in the first week of May. Red Army flag The short forms Red Army and RKKA refer to the Workers and Peasants Red Army, (Рабоче-Крестьянская Красная Армия - Raboche-Krestyanskaya Krasnaya Armiya in Russian), the armed forces organised by the Bolsheviks during the Russian Civil War in 1918. ... The Battle of Kursk was a significant battle on the Eastern Front of World War II. It remains the largest armored engagement of all time, and included the most costly single day of aerial warfare in history. ... 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. ... June 6 is the 157th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (158th in leap years), with 208 days remaining. ... 1944 was a leap year starting on Saturday (link will take you to calendar). ... The Second Battle of the Ardennes1, also known as the German Ardennes Offensive1 and popularly known as the Battle of the Bulge, started in late December 1944 and was the last major German offensive on the Western Front during World War II. The German army had intended to split the... 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...


See also

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. ... The North African Campaign, also known as the Desert War, of World War II took place in the North African desert during 1940-1943. ... 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. ... Wehrmacht   listen? was the name of the armed forces of Germany from 1935 to 1945. ... Heer (   listen?) is the German word for army. ... The Kriegsmarine (or War Navy) was the name of the German Navy between 1935 and 1945, during the Nazi regime, superseding the Reichsmarine. ... Waffen-SS recruitment poster; Volunteer to the Waffen-SS The Waffen-SS was the armed wing of the Schutzstaffel. ... Listing of German divisions and division-sized units operational during World War II. Formation dates are provided where known. ...

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

External links

  • German military uniforms


Military history of World War II by nation
China | Egypt | Finland | France | Germany | Greece | India | Italy | Japan | Poland | Soviet Union | United Kingdom | United States | Australia | Canada | New Zealand | Brazil

  Results from FactBites:
 
Kriegsschule - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (179 words)
A Kriegschule was a General Military School used for basic officer training in Germany up until the defeat in 1945.
All Wehrmacht officers in World War II had passed through a Kriegsschule during their training.
This World War II article is a stub.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

COMMENTARY     


Share your thoughts, questions and commentary here
Your name
Your comments

Want to know more?
Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:

 


Press Releases |  Feeds | Contact
The Wikipedia article included on this page is licensed under the GFDL.
Images may be subject to relevant owners' copyright.
All other elements are (c) copyright NationMaster.com 2003-5. All Rights Reserved.
Usage implies agreement with terms, 1022, m