The success of Germany’s military in the first two years of World War Two can be attributed to Adolf Hitler’s political stratagems and the overwhelming superiority of German army. Hitler’s ingenious manipulation of the German people and the European powers allowed him to not only build an army, but this highly motivated Werhmact was able to use their modern weapons and tactics to concentrate their forces on only one target at a time. There are several reoccurring themes throughout the first two years of the Second World War. Political ‘bully’ tactics were used boldly and in rapid succession against Germany’s neighboring countries. Hitler would offer peace terms to the targeted country, then launch a lighting attack. This formula would give Germany victory in Austria, Czechloslovakia and Poland. The Warsaw pact, which was essentially a non-aggression pact between Germany and the Soviet Union, was essential to Germany’s quick defeat of the Poles. The Allies failure to react to Hitler’s “Anchuless” movements would play a major role in Germany’s unopposed conquests. If the allies had mobilized their forces earlier Hitler’s victories may have not been so swift. Even when the major fighting had begun, it was quite clear that the allies were soon to feel the full effect of the new Blitzkreig or lighting war. This new type of warfare was essentially the creation of mechanized units and panzer units (tank units), that could cover long distances and stay on the offensive longer than ever thought previously possible. “… A campaign that revealed the potential of joint operations, and thus represented a paradigm shift in warmaking. German skills interacted with Allied deficiencies in a manner that provided opportunities for bold command decisions: the Germans both took these and could give successful effect to them.”1
Deutschuland Erwache! (Germany Awake)!
By the time Hitler eventually assumed power of Germany the state of the German people was already doomed. 1930’s Germany was defined by a sense of hope amongst the people. That sense of hope came in the form of socialism, which was the Nazi party led by Adolf Hitler. Hitler used his charisma and propaganda machines of symbolism and slogans to sell the people on his ideals. Creations of the SA, SS and the Hitler Youth were all built on military ideology. These ideals would soon become the ideals shared by all the people of Germany. “Hitler had managed to link the heroic appeal of self-sacrifice for the community with a system of elitism and privilege”2 Blitzkreig It is important to realize that the strength for most of the men who fought for the Third Reich were fanatical in their Nazi beleifs. This gave them a clear advantage in the first two years as they were a highly motivated force. Hitler’s great seizure of power was so great he managed to captivate all of Germany and brought them out to vote in droves, he brought 95.7% of eligible voters to the polls, but got 89.3 % yesses.3 Germany was finally united under one common goal, to return it back to being a great power on the world stage. Having united Germnay under the Nazi umbrella he used this propaganda engine to break the Treaty of Versailles and begin to create a highly motivated fighting force. Hitler began to build up his Werhmact (war machine). These were the unified armed forces of Germany from 1935 to 1945. It consisted of the Heer (army), the Kriegsmarine (navy) the Luftwaffe (air-force) and the Schutzstaffel(protection squadron). The successful build-up of these forces enabled the early victories of the war to be accomplished. He began to increase the strength of the once dismal German army force which only totalled 100,000 men in 1934. In 1935 Hitler ordered conscription. This enabled the German Army to train 300,000 conscripts a year. By 1938 it had 36 infantry divisions of 600,000 men (3) Stephen Roberts, The House that Hitler Built (1938) The inter-war build up of the Navy was not as productive. “The...
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