“During the period 1939-45 opponents within the army posed a greater threat to Hitler and the Nazi regime than any other opposition group.” How far do you agree with this statement?
The Nazi’s arguably faced a lot of opposition between the years 1939-45 and not only from the army; who had the power of keeping up the morale of the citizens due to their military strengths and integrating part of the Nazi regime. However Hitler and the Nazi’s also faced other oppositions, such as the church which again was a source of opposition based on morale. The threats from the left and the right continued, as an on-going conflict of extremist behaviour. The youth of the country also posed a threat to Hitler and the Nazi’s due to boycotting and attacking the Hitler youth regimes. Firstly, the army was a major threat between the period 1935-49, due to the attempt of preventing war by several serving military officers, including Head of the General Staff, Franz Halder. Hitler and the Nazi’s are argued to have wanted as a means of showing Hitler’s power as a dictator, showing the significance of this threat to his regime. At the start of the period 1939, Hitler achieved a victory at Blitzkreig, which was followed by his momentous victory in Europe a year later, both of which led to the portrayal of Hitler as a military genius. However despite this title he had embarked, there were at least 6 assassination attempts of Hitler during the period 1943-44, including the two major attempts; Operation Flash and Operation Valkyrie, all of which failed for several different reasons. Operation Flash was an attempt to assassinate Hitler in March 1943, in which the bomb planted on his plane to Rastenburg failed to explode. There are several arguments explaining the failure of this attempt including the fact that the plane was too hot and the timed device therefore did not go off. Operation Valkyrie was another significant attempt on Hitler’s life, known as The Stauffenberg bomb plot. This was argued to as the last realistic attempt and also the closest attempt at that, due to several minor movements of the suitcase planted by Beck. These assassination attempts increased the suspicion of the Gestapo against future army plots, and therefore Hitler’s protection was also increased. In terms of Hitler’s life protection the threat from the military was seen as a serious nationwide opposition in 1943, and therefore the fact that it was a nationwide opposition highlights the fact that it was the most significant opposition that Hitler faced between 1939 and 1945. The army did not only hold power over the assassination attempts but also held power over the morale of the public. The involvement of the USA in the war in 1941, along with military failures including the defeat at Stalingrad in 1942 and also the failure to defeat Russia made it evident that Germany were losing. These failures in wartime not only meant that Germany were seen as the losing party in the war, but it also meant that people were beginning to see flaws in Hitler’s strategic leadership. Similarly it was not only the army which posed threat to Hitler and the Nazi’s regime, the church was another opposition which they faced. Dietrich Bonhoeffer opposed Hitler and the Nazi’s and although the dictatorship meant that free speech had been abolished, he vocally fought against the Nazi’s. Such a brave decision meant that he did in fact stand alone, but it didn’t mean that others did not agree with his view that “what Germans have done to the Jews, they’ve also done to God’s people”. This was significant as it made him a role model for Christians and he regarded the Jews and Christians all as one. It was due to the African-American situation that he has witnessed in America which encouraged Bonhoeffer to stand up and protest against the Nazi’s, as in hindsight he saw it as the same thing. This was not regarded as a major threat though as on July 20th 1944 Bonhoeffer was imprisoned in Gestapo...
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