The Second World War

War process in Europe (animation)
theater of war Europe: German soldiers in Stalingrad, 1942/43
theater Pacific: Muzzle flash of the cannons of the battle ship USS Iowa, 1944

the Second World War was the largest and bloodiest conflict in mankind history. It began in Europeat the 1. September 1939 with the German assault on Poland and in the Pacific and/or. in Asia with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor to 7. December 1941, whereby one sometimes also the outbreak of the second Japanese-Chinese war to 7. July 1937 as beginning in Asia assumes. It was terminated in Europe to 8. May 1945 and in Asia with the signing of the surrender of Japan to 2. September 1945.

The Axis powers in such a way specified German Reich, Italy and Japanconquest campaigns led against adjacent states, which wanted to subordinate them to their interests. Their military main opponents were at the beginning of France, Great Britain and the republic China. After the break of the Hitler Stalin pact committed from the German side in form of an invasion were alsothe Soviet Union and after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor also the USA into the fighting entangles.

The Second World War demanded approx. 50 million human life. It was coined/shaped by a strong racistic Ideologisierung, the too numerous war crimes and by force,mostly systematic encroachment on the civilian population led. The fact that the civilian population was directly affected in the comparison to the First World War still more strongly by the fighting in addition was because of the industrialization thrust in the armaments industry. This made possible not least wide bombardment more completelyPopulated areas in Europe and Asia.

After the war the alliance of winner powers broke apart. Under the guidance of the establishing superpowers Soviet Union and the USA the world-descriptive contrasts of the forming state blocks flowed into the cold war.

Table of contents

prehistory and war goals

major items: Prehistory of the Second World War


prehistory 1935-1939

in the 1920er and 1930er years attained meaning in far parts of Europe fascism as political direction increasingly. Benito Mussolini tore with the marchon Rome 1922 power in Italy actually. 1936 reached Italy, which maintained ever closer relations with Germany, Ethiopia on, into April 1939 Albania were conquered.

In Germany the national socialism one played ever more largely becoming role, the 1933 alsoa high point to the appointment of Adolf Hitler as the realm chancellor found. The goals with regard to foreign policy thereupon established dictatorship were the revision of the Versailler of contract, the establishment „of a largeGerman realm in such a way specified “and the conquest of so mentioned „Habitat in the east “. With the entry of the Saargebiets to the German Reich 1935, the invasion into the demilitarized Rhine country 1936, the connection of Austria and the separation of the Sudetenlandes of Czechoslovakia in Munich agreements 1938 those becamefirst two goals to a large extent fulfilled and were favoured by the English and French Appeasement politics, which aimed at a peaceful communication with Germany. Even after the invasion into „the Resttschechei “in March 1939 there were only protests on English andFrench side. Shortly thereafter Lithuania under the pressure of conditions returned the Memelland at Germany, which became Slowakei its own state and by a protection contract closely bound at Germany. It was obvious that Poland would be the next victim,therefore the governments of Poland, England and France signed assistance contracts.

In August 1939 Germany and the Soviet Union closed surprisingly a nonaggression treaty, late Hitler Stalin pact mentioned. In a secret supplementary protocol of the pact the allocation of Europe into geographically accurately specified became, but otherwisemore near did not define “spheres of interests " decided. This ran in the long run on the allocation from Poland between Germany and the USSR, as well as one-sided conquest and/or. Occupation of further areas (and. A. the Baltic states and Finland) outside.

The Japanese policy of expansionbegan into the 1930er years, when the influence of the military guidance on the imperial government continued to increase. One understood oneself as anti western protection and order-keeping power, which auserkoren in addition was, to control the other East Asian peoples. The raw material occurrences andthe reservoir at workers, which the neighboring countries offered, should benefit the Japanese economy. The principal interest applied first for the Republic of China, whose region Manchuria was already annektiert 1931 and explained as the protectorate Mandschukuo. Due to international protests Japan stepped 1933from the Völkerbund , 1936 followed it the Antikominternpakt . 1937 began the second Japanese-Chinese war. Den Ausbruch des Zweiten Weltkriegs in Europa nutzte Japan zur Besetzung von Französisch-Indochina und weiterer Regionen Südostasiens. In the consequence imposedthe USA and Great Britain an embargo and froze the financial means of Japan. Japan the three-power pact with Germany and Italy signed 1940. Due to the embargo imposed by Great Britain and the USA and resulting from it the missing raw material supplies of the European allied ones the empire in a war with the USA and Great Britain saw the only possibility of securing its imperialistic ambitions.

War goals

the Second World War Hitler was more released, a robbery and a conquest campaign motivated ideologically in Europe by of Germany dictator. Components of its strategic thought pattern

  • more anti-Semitic and anti was „a bolschewistischer “ destruction fight for the production of a German „habitat “ in the east (people without area): Here the destruction of the European Jews had highest priority
  • resources careful warfare („blitzkrieg “), that the German war guidance after successfulConclusion of the Poland campaign on almost all campaigns expanded, in order not to even give to the opponent the possibility for the development of its military strength.
  • a rapid and extensive space gain, in order to come appearing the superiority of the opposing armament before
  • Plundering thatoccupied territories and (particularly in the east) enslavement of their inhabitants in favor of the German Reich and its „arischen “population

final goal were achieving a German world powerful position. „Germany will be either world power or at all “, did not write Hitler in „My fight “.

The conquered Soviet Union should be divided into different areas under the direction of realm commissioners. Should be classified white Russians , Ukrainer and Baltic peoples as peoples worth living. The Russians against it should be quite held down „“(rose mountain).The conquered Eastern Europe should be settled of Germans as farmers and soldiers (military farmers “). After the will of the National Socialist guidance the peoples of Eastern Europe, after destruction of her civil elite , should, obedient and industrious land and assistant always ungebildeteits.

A further war goal was the extermination of the Judentums. Already in January 1939 Hitler in a realm tag speech had announced that the next world war would mean the end of the Judentums.

Before 1933 these ideas were hardly seriously taken. The revision of the Versailler of contract and the return of the German Reich to the circle of the great powers were aimed at also by the German generals and the economic elite. But for Hitler this was only a stage goal, even if he the German and international publicfor many years vorgaukeln could, it is a matter to it of the right of self-determination of the Germans under grant from „peace and welfare of the peoples “. Into truth it always went around the habitat production in such a way specified in the east. In the memorandum to the four-year plan of August 1936 plannedHitler the serviceability of the German army and the war ability of the economy in two different scenarios. First should be achieved to 1941/42 with unfavorable political and military development, the latter to 1944/45 with according to more favorable prospects. To 5. It specified November 1937its war goals before the German generals (Hossbach minutes).

War process

the German assault on Poland of 1939

major items: Poland campaign 1939

German troops exceed the Polish border. (Propaganda)
Poland campaign 1939

the Second World War became in Europe of the German Reich to 1. September 1939 around 04:45 clock by the attack of the German armed forces on Poland begun (against the well-known Hitler speech in the morning, in which of 05:45 clock is spoken).

In order to justify the attack on Poland, the fictitious German side severalIncidents. The most well-known is the assault of SS disguised as Polish resistance fighters - members on the transmitter Gleiwitz to 31. August. These announced the declaration of war of Poland in Polish language against the German Reich.

The German school ship began the military attack Schleswig-Holstein (on the Westerplatte in Danzig). The Polish army was the penetrating armed forces in terms of figures equal, but supported technical and in the kind of the war guidance. The Polish government counted on the support by France and Great Britain, which to 3. September due to „the declaration of guarantee of 30. March 1939 “ an ultimatum to the German Reich placed. It demanded the immediate retreat of all German troops from Poland. The English-French declaration of guarantee would have obligated these states, at the latest 15 days after a German attackto start an offensive in the west of Germany. Hitler hoped the fact that the two Western powers would let him grant just like with the invasion into the Resttschechei and had the west barrier only weakly occupied. An attack was missing, although both countries stillexplained the war to the German Reich on the same day.

To 17. September smashed itself Polish hope to be able to defend the east of their country. According to the secret supplementary protocol of the Hitler Stalin pact the Red Army marched into east Poland. A declaration of war of Englandand France at Russia did not take place. Still on the same day the Polish government fled to Romania. The military defeat of Poland was not to be stopped now no more.

To 28. September capitulated the Polish capital Warsaw, after it to 18. Septemberincluded by German troops and to 27. /28. an intensive bombardment had preceded. One day later the task of the fortress Modlin followed.

To 8. Octobers divided the German Reich and the Soviet Union in the agreement of Brest Litowsk the Polish areaby a demarcation line - the fourth division of Poland. The areas retired after the Versailler contract again into the realm were not only integrated, but Łódź widened ranges of central Poland including the city beyond that. The remainder of Poland became German Generalgouvernement.

The following crew time was coined/shaped of extreme Repressalien of the Germans against the civilian population. Deportationen to the hard labour were only most visible development, in particular the Polish Jews became a goal of the German race illusion. Similarly the Soviet Besatzer went against “class enemies” intoEast Poland forwards.

The fast victory over Poland coined/shaped the term blitzkrieg and the tactical war guidance of Germany to at the end of of 1941.

Position warfare at the west front 1939

at the 3. Septembers explained France and Great Britain Germany the war. Due to its began to 5. Septembera limited and rather symbolic offensive of the Frenchmen against the Saargebiet. The Germans offered no resistance and withdrew themselves to the strongly defended west barrier. Afterwards it remained calm at the west front. This phase is called seat war. Up to isolatedArtillery skirmishes did not take place further attacks. On German side a propaganda machine rolled. With posters and slogans over loudspeakers one called the Frenchman „why leads its war? “or „we will not first shoot. “too.

To 27. September took place an instruction of Hitlerto the supreme command of the army for the elaboration of an attack plan, „the case in such a way specified yellow “. Up to 29. October stood the plan. It planned that two army groups should advance by the Netherlands and Belgium, over thus all alliedTo smash forces north the Somme.

Last end did not take place however 1939 attack. Because of bad climatic conditions and many larger losses in Poland (22% losses with the combat aircraft, 25% with the tanks) than expected, Hitler shifted the attackaltogether 29 times.

The Finnish-Soviet winter war 1939/40

to 30. November 1939 run over Soviet troops under marshal Kiril Meretskow in the winter war so mentioned 950 km long border to Finland. The Red Army seized with 1.500 tanks and 3,000 airplaneson and expected a fast victory, but the Russians underestimated the fairings. The Red Army lost 200,000 men, the fairings however only 25,000 men. Sweden supported Finland, without giving however the neutrality up. An intervention of Great Britain and France against the Soviet Unionone planned, did not come off however, since these two states did not want to have still another war opponent. A peace treaty, to 12. March 1940 was signed, specified that Finland parts of Kareliens and the Fischer peninsula Kalastajansaarento at the North Sea to thoseSoviet Union transfer had. As direct reaction to the Soviet attack Finland participated 1941 in the continuation war in the German Russia campaign, in order to back-capture the lost areas.

A substantial consequence of the winter war was that Stalin began with a reorganization of the Red Army,in their process also officers were rehabilitated, who had been banished with the cleanings 1936/37 to Siberia. This reorganization contributed substantially to the fact that the Red Army had 1941 a larger combat capability, than the Germans had expected it.

ThoseOccupation of Denmark and Norway of 1940

major items: Operation Weser exercise

Norway and west campaign 1940

for the end of the yearly 1939, after the loss of the French iron ore import, represented the supplies from neutral Sweden 40% of the iron ore need for Germany. A further more importantlyRaw material was Finnish nickel. Was by the ore course from Sweden to Narvik Norway for Germany of extraordinary economic and military importance. The British wanted to cut these important raw material supplies off, why to 5. February 1940 with the highest one franco British war council planningthe landing by four divisions in Narvik was agreed upon. The intended occupation of the Norwegian port by the British arranged the supreme command of the armed forces to set up an additional staff for Norway. To 21. February took place a direct instruction of Hitler for planningcertain operations in the Scandinavian area. At the 1. March was finally decided the operation Weser exercise. It planned to take Denmark and to use it as „jump board “for the conquest of Norway. In March it came to various attacks against British sea-units.

To 5. April took place the allied operation Wilfred, with which waters before Norway be mined and further troops should be brought in the country. One day later the operation Weser exercise started on German side. Nearly the entire German becameQuick one mobilizes and toward Narvik skillfully. To 9. April began the enterprise finally with the landing of a mountain hunter division before Narvik.

In Great Britain one considered a landing of the Germans quite improbable, which led to the fact that from allies side onlysmall counter measures were met. The Germans could expand their bridgehead without larger resistance, so that to 10. April already Stavanger, Trondheim and Narvik were occupied, after Denmark had been before already occupied combatless. Great Britain occupied for strategic reasons inNorth Atlantic the Danish Färöer to 12. April.

To 13. April came it to some heavy sea-engagements, whereby it succeeded to nine British destroyers and the battle ship HMS of being pits to sink in the Ofot fjord all German destroyers. The moreover one became uptheir way back sinks light German cruisers and some freighters of allied submarines and/or the Royal air Force.

Vidkun Quisling in Oslo 1942
Vidkun Quisling in Oslo 1942

to 17. The allied ones finally landed and brought April the troops of the armed forces also with solid bombardment throughthe Royal Navy under strong pressure. Up to 19. April extensive allied federations, among other things also Polish soldiers and remainder of the Fremdenlegion, in Norway were angelandet.

In the meantime, under the season, the weather in Norway improved, so thatthe armed forces their fronts to strengthen could. With heavy attacks of Luftwaffe 2 became to. May British and a French destroyer before the port a Namsos sinks.

Still in the same month Churchill decided that because of German successes in FranceDeparture of the allied ones from Norway. Before the 24,500 soldiers could be evacuated, it succeeded to them however still to penetrate in Narvik and to destroy an important port. To 10. June finally capitulated the remaining Norwegian soldiers, on which the operation Weser exercise finallywas.

Norway became Reichskommissariat, should have to be existed however after the will of Hitler as independent state and part of the German rule area be. In the further process Norway was strongly fastened, because Hitler in the constant fear of an invasion lived. InOne installed a puppet government under Vidkun Quisling for February 1942.

The west campaign of 1940

major items: West campaign 1940

during Germany the Siegfriedlinie for the defense of the front had, was located in France the strongly fastened magic emergency line. The Ardennen was considered to this as natural extensionnearly 130 kilometers are enough for line of defense. The French generals did not believe in a raid by this area, since it particularly applied to tank forces as insurmountable.

The plan for a campaign in the west became of lieutenant general Erich von Manstein with its twoCoworkers, Colonels Günther flower footstep and the major at that time i. G. Henning of Tresckow develops. It planned a fast raid by the Ardennen, in order to then force the allied ones in the north to a battle with wrong front. With the massthat to meeting and motorized divisions meant he here tank by „the hole in the Ardennen “to „the Sichelschnitt “- how Churchill designated him later - up to the channel coast to set.

West campaign and Norway 1940

to 10. May 1940the attack of German connecting (case yellow) with altogether seven armies on the neutral States of the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg began. 136 Germans stood against approximately 137 allied divisions. Already on this day became for Belgian fortress uneinnehmbar held Even Emael by German paratroopers taken. To 14. May crossed general Guderian with its group of tanks the Maas. The Royal air Force tried with desperate attacks to destroy the pioneer bridges over the river lost thereby however a majority of the airplanes. Onlyto 17. May stepped the French 4. Armored division under Charles de Gaulle to a counter attack on Montcornet on, which had to be broken off however, after initial successes, because of strong attacks of German dive bombers. To 17. May was combatless handed over Brussels.

The Dutchmenwere, under their neutrality in the First World War, still less than the Belgians to a war adjusted, so that its army could be relatively easily struck. The surrender of the Netherlands troops became after the bombardment of Rotterdam to 14. May introduced.One day later the Netherlands troops capitulated, and the government as well as queen Wilhelmina fled to London in the exile. As realm commissioner for the Netherlands Arthur Seyss Inquart was used.

To 19. May reached the German 6. Army the river Schelde and pushedto Abbeville forwards. The advance into these areas took place so fast that the British and French units were encircled with you churches. To 27. May began the operation direct current generator with the evacuation of over 338.226 allied soldiers, of it 110,000 Frenchmento 4. June 1940 was locked. The armoring riding forces of the army group A continued the attack on this day, after colonel general v. Rundstedt at the 24.Mai one of Hitler confirmed retaining instruction gave. The reasons for this notion instruction are in the historical researchuntil today disputed.

To 4. June was locked the evacuation, it took about 900 sea-vehicles to it to part. Over 337.000 soldiers, of it 110,000 soldiers of the French army, and thus nearly the entire British expedition corps could despite violent attacks by bomber thatLuftwaffe to be evacuated. From today's viewpoint the retaining instruction, which made the evacuation possible in this measure, represented a heavy tactical error. The ability to continue the war would be clearly more with difficulty, almost impossible by the loss of the British expedition army for Englandbecome, since beside the large number of soldiers also nearly the entire mass of the allied would be fallen war and war-important material into the hands of Germany.

Adolf Hitler in Paris 1940

as itself the British withdrew, prepared France for the defense. Case red, so the German pseudonym for the second offensive in France, also admits by general Weygands utterance, battle around France, began to 5. June with a German offensive to the Aisne and the Somme. To 9. June exceededSoldier of the 6. Infantry division the Seine. Mussolini decided at the 11. To occur June the war against the two westallied.

to 14. Juneoccupied parts of the 18. Army the French capital Paris. In order not to let the city become the theater of war, it was vacated before by the Frenchmen. At the same time the army group C broke through the magic emergency line and the symbol-pregnant fortress Verdun could likewiseare taken.

To 17. June explained Henri Philippe Pétain, Prime Minister of the again educated French government, the defeat of France.

To 21. June the French negotiators in the forest were received from Compiègne from Hitler. To the signing that, comparatively moderate, armistice terms cameit against evening 22. June 1940. The French-German armistice stepped only to 25. June around 01:35 clock into force. So that the French fleet could not fall into German hands, the British at the 3 took. July the Algerian port Mers el Kebirunder bombardment, in which a part of the French war fleet was stationed.

Only six weeks and three days the blitzkrieg in the west had taken. It demanded the life of over 135.000 allied and about 46,000 German soldiers. Switzerland could do theirIndependence true and became never a goal of a German offensive. France was divided into two zones: the north and the west of France were occupied of the Germans. Here important airfields and Marinebasen for the war were against Great Britain. The ports toAtlantic, in particular Brest became the most important operational base of the German submarines. The eastern and southern part of France remained under French control. Henri Philippe Pétain governed from Vichy the remainder of France as puppet state of the German Reich (marshal Pétain became asKollaborateur after the Second World War condemned to death, then however still begnadigt).

Charles de Gaulle (1890-1970) was supervisor of the resistance: „Leaders of the free France “of the exile in London out.

The air battle around England 1940/41

major item: Air battle around England

London duringthe air battle

a avowed goal of Germany in the air battle around England was the preparation of an invasion of England (enterprise Seelöwe), particularly by the destruction of the combat capability of the Royal air Force. Hitler hoped however, England for adjustment the fighting forcedto be able, without having to accomplish the invasion actually.

In the two years between the resident of Munich agreements and the air battle around England worked the British feverful on the structure of a modern hunting weapon. However in the three months before beginning of the air battlethe British factories could place over 1.400 fighters completely. In order to follow the urgent personnel requirements, pilots from the Commonwealth, France, the USA, Poland and Czechoslovakia under the instruction of the Royal air Force were used.

British airfields and aircraft factories becamefrequently of the Air Force bombards. Among other things also harbor facilities ranked among the priority goals. The German bombers received escort from fighters, in order to repel the British interceptors. This battle led on both sides to large material losses, on which itself the Air Forcestarting from October 1940 to Nachtbombardements limited to a large extent.

Crucially for the defeat of Luftwaffe among other things also the false evaluation of radar technology was in the air war by the commander in chief of the Air Force Hermann Göring. On its instruction the German bombers becameincreased against British cities assigned, in order to break the moral of the British population - an attempt, which catastrophic damage to civilian population and - for buildings caused, but just like the later bombardment of the allied ones against the German Reich in its goals unsuccessfullyremained, while the Royal air Force spares their to a large extent thereby remained radar stations for the precise and fast detection of German air forces use near the coast and this so substantially more efficiently fight could.

Air Force boss Göring regarded this as a defeat of Luftwaffe. ThoseGerman hunter pilot was accused of the cowardice in the consequence by him. Göring renewed this reproach in the further process of the war different marks, in order to explain and divert from its own failure than commander defeats of the Air Force.

With the Bombardements ofLondon and other English cities were killed over 32.000 civilians.

Yugoslavia and Greece 1940/41

major item: Balkans campaign (1941)

Mussolinis great power ambitions were already since 1940 toward the Balkans directed. To 28. Octobers seized Italian federations of the Italian colony Albania from Greeceon. Italy had tried before to win Bulgaria as allied one which however because of the rejecting attitude of king Boris III.failed. Hitler had not been informed before about the attack. Also it had not planned operations in the area at all,since it was probably its intention to prepare with Italy the invasion of England.

The goal of the Duce was it to conquer Greece in the storm. But already at the 3. The Greeks successfully ignored November to the counter attack. Up to 14. Turned out for Novemberthe Italians finally into the defensive, so that they were back-pushed even to over the borders of Albania. In view of such defeats of the axle partner Hitler issued to 13. December with the enterprise Marita instructions for a campaign on the Balkans.

Balkans campaign 1941

Beginning of the yearly 1941 tried to obtain the German Reich in the Balkans conflict. Thus one submitted the suggestion to Yugoslavia to step the three-power pact which was however rejected. Greece did likewise without each switching attempt, there his army the Italian soldiers at each frontto the retreat to force could. An Italian large offensive to 9. March turned out to the disaster. To 27. March joined Yugoslavia finally the three-power pact. The result were demonstrations and a Putsch against the government of the prince regent Paul, on which the entry again retrogressiveone made.

Now the Balkans campaign was not to be stopped any longer. To 6. Armed forces federations the border exceeded April to Yugoslavia, and the Air Forces of the Axis powers began to put Belgrade with heavy Bombardements in debris and ash. The further advance took place as inManeuver. Already to 10. April was occupied the Croatian capital Zagreb. Belgrade fell two days later under the pressure of German armored units. To 17. The Yugoslav commanders finally signed April the unconditional surrender.

Likewise to 6. April began the GermanCampaign against Greece. Differently than in Yugoslavia the Greek resistance was expressed in parts hard. Particularly in the mountain situations and in the area of the strongly defended Metaxas line the soldiers pushed only slowly and under high losses by the hilly north Greece into thatInterior forwards. To 9. April fell Saloniki. At the same time the Greek armies in east Macedonia were cut off and the Metaxas line was more strongly pressed. The Greek reinforcement of the Albanian front became with their advance by the gebirgige landscape and from Germans andItalian tank units as well as air raids obstructs. To 21. April had to capitulate 223,000 Greek soldiers.

The British, who were likewise stationed in Greece, develop meanwhile a defense at the Thermopylen. This became to 24. April run over, on which the allied ones an amphibiousEvacuation operation to introduce had, in which 50,000 soldiers were shipped to Egypt. To 27. April engaged the armed forces finally in Athens .

To 25. April decided the leaders of the Axis powers to an air landing invasion of the island Crete (enterprise Merkur).On the invasion day, that 20. , 593 transport aircrafts the German air landing units over Crete brought May 1941. These formed an easy goal for the air defense by their parachutes, so that many paratroopers were already killed or wounded in the flight. The landed units could first also no airfields for supply and reinforcement (in particular artillery and vehicles) conquer. In addition there was no radio communication to German headquarters in Athens, since the radios were destroyed with the landings. Only with intensified employment of the Air Force and successful uniteLandings on contested airfields stabilized the situation for the aggressors. The allied ones, among them also New Zealander and Australian, defended Crete one week long, until they set off then with approximately 17,000 men. Due to the high losses Hitler decided, inTo accomplish future no more airborne landings.

The assault on the Soviet Union

major item: Russia campaign 1941-1945

memorial place to the FE storage of Leningrad (pc. Petersburg).
Russia campaign 1941-1942

the Balkans campaign had shifted the attack time for an assault on the Soviet Union by four weeks. The attackfound now only to 22. June 1941 instead of. This delay and an unusually early using winter led to the fact that the advance could not to be run off as planned and the operational goal, which was not achieved reaching the line Archangelsk Astrachan. Although oneon German side that the supply could be made possible for the armed forces only up to a line, those calculated Pskow, Kiew and the Krim along ran, required Hitler the conquest of Moscow in the context of a only one, continuous campaign. For the assaultthree army groups (north, center, south) were available. The army group north (of Leeb) should conquer the Baltic states and advance then to Leningrad. On the army group center (of support) lay the main load. It should advance to Moscow and was accordingly strongprepared. The army group south (of Rundstedt) should conquer the Ukraine. Likewise involved in the campaign were federations from friendly and conquered countries of the Axis powers. Also from occupied Norway attacks against the Soviet Union were undertaken. They aimed in particular at Murmanskand the there railway connection, „the Murman course “, as well as the port.

In the early morning hours 22. June 1941 began the advance of 149 divisions (under it all motorized and armored German forces) over the Soviet border. Two divisions operated from Finland,eight divisions were stationed in Norway, a division were located in Denmark, 38 remaining in the west. Two divisions fought in North Africa and seven divisions were located in the Balkans. Despite many references the lower and middle guidance of the Soviet Union was not on oneAttack adjusted. Many of the Russian soldiers at the border resulted without resistance, while the motorized German troops could before-march first briskly. The ability of the Soviet armed forces to be able to lead to the time at that time an attack or a war against Germany,must be strongly doubted however even after newer realizations. Besides historical recordings show that neither with Hitler nor at the generals considerations played to want to forestall a hypothetical attack of the Soviet Union a role. The assault on the Soviet Union was inSubstantial ones ideologically verbrämter a war of extermination and conquest with before the goal of the production of „habitat in the east, formulated by Hitler already years, “. In addition the urgent desire belonged to acquire itself industrielle and agrarian potential of Russia, the Ukraine and white Russia by force,in order to increase and for the population at „the homeland front “a satisfying standard of living secure the always critical impact force of the armed forces.

Only to 29. June seized itself the Soviet leadership and proclaimed „the Great Patriotic War “. Briefly before already were Minsk enclosed in the boiler battle occupied with Minsk and Bialystok and a little later. To 26. September found the battle of Kiew their end. But in October it already began to snow and rain. Thereupon the offensive remained inMud put and only few area gains were to be registered. The attack on Moscow remained putting because of bending the Soviet Gegenwehr. To 5. December used a Soviet Gegenoffensive with fresh units from Siberia under general Schukow, whereby onan income of the capital no more to think was not.

After that Soviet attack to 25. June tried Finland to back-conquer in the continuation war with German support, those in the winter war to the Soviet Union of lost areas in Karelien. After it this goal in the summerFinland had reached, did not remain however not defensive 1941, but continued into December, disputed, never before occupying but which were Finnish karelische areas.

The Red Army had again organized itself. War production became unattainable, for Luftwaffe,behind the Urals shifts. New soldiers came now from the far countries of the Soviet “realm”. To 16. December gave the instruction to Hitler for holding. Up to the end of the yearly the armed forces were however back-continued to push.

German troops fight in Russia

In the spring battles of the new yearly could do to 28. May Charkow in a destruction victory to be conquered. Between 15. and 21. The fights their end found May. To 2. June began the actual battle on the Krim around Sewastopol, itsDefenders embittered resisted, and ended to 5. July. To 21. German forces the Don exceeded July, whereby the first steps for the advance on Stalingrad were introduced. Two days later Rostow could be conquered. Altogether the operations ran,which concerned the space gain in the Caucasus, within fewer weeks off. To 4. August was taken Stavropol, to 9. August Krasnodar and the Kuban exceeded. It, the Soviet defense at the east coast of the Asow sea of the north succeeded to the Romanian allied one to roll up ago and to ago open the Taman peninsula of „backwards “. Also the Elbrus massif was taken, to 21. August blew high summit the realm war flag on that 5,633 m. To 26. August attack begun on Tuapse became after twoDays continue, but 31 became to. August and to 6. September after heavy fights the ports Anapa as well as Novorossijsk, most important base of the Black Sea fleet, taken. In the high mountains German troops had taken and temporarily the most important passport transitions on broad front to the southexceeded - they stood for 20 km before the coast of the black sea with Gudauta. East the Elbrus were located the German and Romanian troops in the river sections of the Baksan and the Terek to Naurskaja. North of it those lost itselfFront to the Kuma, in the Nogajer quilts and in the Kalmykensteppe.

Despite the strained strength and supply situation Hitler instructed a second attack goal against the partial resistance of the generals parallel to the southern offensive toward Caucasus: Stalingrad. To23. About thousand airplanes incendiary bombs began to throw August 1942 on the city, at the same time could German tanks for the first time into the outlying districts penetrate. In embittered single fights in the houses and roads of the city the Germans came only under highVictims in front. Finally the armed forces controlled about 90% of the city, which had become the heap of rubble, the complete appropriation failed however. In particular a narrow bank strip of the Volga, at which permanently new troops were angelandet, became from the Soviet defendersat the eastern outskirts of a town under high losses bit held.

Soldier of the Soviet Red Army 1941

to 19. November began the Gegenoffensive of the Red Army, whereby the Romanian lines in the south could be broken through. Few the Soviet troops united time laterin Kalatsch with federations, which broke through the German positions from the north. Thus was the 6. Army encircled. The air supply promised by Göring was completely insufficient and led quite soon to the immobility of the federations and to complete weakening of the soldiers.A relief attack of the 4. Tank army under Hoth, which advanced kilometers up to 60 to the city, failed. General Paulus felt bound to the retaining instruction of Hitler and could not struggle through itself not to give the instruction to the outbreak. To 10.Seven Soviet armies with 1.000.000 soldiers in a large-scale Gegenoffensive attacked January 1943 the German troops in the boiler of Stalingrad. The 6. Army had been split in the meantime into two boilers, in which catastrophic conditions prevailed. To 2. FebruaryPaulus, remained in the meantime promoted to general field marshal in view of which layer offering no prospects only the possibility of the surrender, on which scarcely 100,000 soldiers came into shank, from which only about 6,000 returned to the war to their homeland. The battle of Stalingrad marked onepsychological turning point in the war. Starting from this time the faith in „the final victory was hardly still present “in the German population.

Gegenoffensive 1943-1945

in the morning 16. February became the city Charkow of troops of the armed forces and weapon SS against the instructionHitler given up, in order to escape a threatening encircling. To 21. February began however a German Gegenoffensive. Up to 5. March was back-conquered the area up to the middle Donezk. Thereby substantial ground gains were obtained, taught to the opponent high losses andagain a closed front manufactured. In the spring 1943 a potentially which is approaching collapse of the east front was prevented in such a way.Charkow became to 14. March under losses by troops of the weapon SS back-conquers. A further offensive in the summer, the operation citadel, should thatFront balcony with Kursk eliminate and large parts of the Red Army encircle and destroy. The operation culminated in the largest tank battle of history. The attack had been foreseen however by the Red Army, which had prepared by deep defense positions, andremained put. It was broken off on the high point of the battle because of the Soviet Gegenoffensive with Orel, which pursued the goal for its part, parts of the army group center to encircle and the landing of the allied ones on Sicilies, taken place in the meantime. After several Soviet Gegenoffensiven inthe following months had the armed forces at the whole front the retreat to begin, whereby also the peninsula Krim had to be vacated. Up to the end of the yearly Kiew was again in the hand of the Soviet Union. With the operation the citadel lostTank reserves could not be replaced from the Germans to end of war, which meant a foreseeable victory of the Soviet Union.

To 14. January 1944 began the Soviet attack on the German FE storage ring around Leningrad. The Soviet Union placed behind: Their spring offensive brought further area gains,and the armed forces had to withdraw themselves further up to the Peipus lake. To 12. May was again firm the Krim in Soviet hand. To 9. June began the offensive at the Finnish front on the karelischen land tightness. At the end of June came theseAttack on height of the old border of 1940 to the stop. In June 1944 smashing the army group center succeeded to the Soviet Union, whereby their armies stood briefly now before Warsaw and East Prussia. At the 3. July conquered the Red Army Minsk back,south continued to penetrate starting from that 13. July in Galizien a further Soviet offensive to Lemberg to the Weichsel forwards.

At the 1. August began the Warsaw rebellion of the Polish homeland army. In August the Red Army in the operation Jassy Kischinew marched in Romania, on which to 23. August king Michael of Romania the fronts changed and to Germany the war explained. Successes of the Soviet Union forced the armed forces to the retreat from Greece, to 13. Octobers engaged British units in Athens. To5. September took the Red Army Bulgaria; there the Soviet Union produced to 9. September a communist coup d'etat. Finland closed to 19. September an armistice with the Soviet Union. To 20. Octobers conquered Soviet units and Yugoslav partisans under Tito the capital Belgrade. In the north the army group north pulled itself to 13. October from Riga to cure country back. Into East Prussia the offensive of the Soviet Union came in October to initial successes to succumbing. The Hungarian capital Budapest was besieged, could but only at the 11. February 1945 by the Red Army to be taken.

The Red Army pushed at the beginning of of 1945 of Warsaw (release to 17. January) out northward forwards and cut thereby East Prussia off of the remainder of the realm. The German populationfled in crowds, partially over the frozen Baltic Sea. Altogether arrived over 2 million refugees over the sea after the west. The KdF ship William Gustloff, which transported refugees and German troops as well as material from East Prussia, was sunk by Soviet torpedoes.Up to the end of war humans came over the Baltic Sea to the west. King mountain fell to 9. April finally to the Soviet Union. To 27. January achieved the Red Army the concentration camp Auschwitz Birkenau, which had been before already given up however of the SS.On the same day first Soviet units reached Küstrin and thus the or.

After the Soviet winter offensive the Red Army at the end of stood January 1945 along the or and Neisse from Stettin to Görlitz of scarcely 80 kilometers before Berlin. The heights ofSeelow formed thereby a steeply ascending, natural obstacle, and around these heights became one of the largest battles 2. World war struck. The battle around the Seelower heights began to 16. April, in the course 18. April achieved those in terms of figures farthe superior Red Army the upper hand. Meanwhile the Soviet FE storage ring became around Breslau to 15 in the south. February closed, which however only to 6. May into the hands of the Red Army fell. To 25. April closed the FE storage ring at Berlin, to 28. April failed the attempt of the 12. Army under general roll ago Wenck to frighten the capital to 30. April killed itself Adolf Hitler in the shelter under the Reichskanzlei. To 2. May capitulated the last defenders ofBerlin before the Red Army.

After the failure of the disk sea-offensive in the spring 1945 Hungary was to 4. April of the Red Army conquers completely. Vienna fell to 13. April, of the east out became also Lower Austria, the castle country and the Steiermarkconquered. To 8. May achieved the Red Army Graz. To 8. May 1945, the day of the unconditional surrender of the German armed forces, occupied the Red Army Dresden, to 10. Soviet units engaged May also in Prague .

The guerilla warfare

already soon after the invasion of German troops began the “re-organization” in the different states of Europe. Among them the National Socialist leaders essentially understood the extermination of the Jews ( the Holocaust), the pursuit of the Sinti and Roma, extinctionthe intellectual ones, the suppression of the political resistance and the exploitation of the respective population (see: Master planner east and commissioner instruction). North and Western European states with their “Germanic” population should become “attached” the realm. For the Balkans states and particularly for The Nazis other plans had Eastern Europe. Particularly the population of Poland, Serbia, the Ukraine, white Russia and Russia should be quite held down “”. Therefore the higher schools were closed, forced laborer to Germany brought and on the nutrition of the native ones becameno consideration taken. These measures encountered soon resistance. In the Netherlands for example the police and the railroadmen struck. Into France it came to armed attacks from the ambush. Particularly in the Balkans states and in Eastern Europe was the resistancemost strongly. In former Yugoslavia even individual closed areas could be released from insurgent ones (Tito), in Greece fought to partisans and in Russia formed communist and anarchist groups, which accomplished the work of the Germans sabotaged and assaults. ThatGuerilla warfare in the Soviet Union had been planned however by the Red Army before the war, it appropriate units was set up, which should accomplish the resistance against the Besatzer after the conquest of an area in the hinterland of the front. The procedure thatPartisans was characterized, prisoner usually were not made by numerous offences against the martial law.

War entrance of the USA 1941

Zerstörte Flugzeuge nach dem Angriff
of destroyed airplanes after the attack

the United States in the conflict first neutrality had formally protected. The isolationist basic tendency inpopulation of US did not make it for president possible Roosevelt to intervene directly at the side of Great Britain and the Soviet Union in the war. The congress created however with the borrowing and lease law of the 11. March 1941 the legal basis for practiced the before alreadySupport of Great Britain. The country became, as also the Soviet Union supplies later, to large extent with weapons and auxiliary goods from the USA.

After the assault of Japan on the American Pacific fleet in Pearl Harbor to 7. December 1941 and to 11. Decembers took place declaration of war of Germany were the country also officially in the state of war with the Axis powers. Despite the Japanese attack the governments of the USA and Great Britain agreed on the principle „Germany roofridge “, D. h. on the Niederringung Germany asan urgent war goal. To first fighting between US-American and German troops it came at the end of of 1942 into North Africa.

The theater North Africa of 1940-1943

major items:

The Italians in North Africa heavy setbacks had had to accept Africa campaign something similar as on the European theater against the British.An Italian offensive for the end of the yearly 1940 led to the destruction of the own federations in Libya.

General Rommel on the travel between Tobruk and Sidi Omar.

The German general Erwin Rommel received therefore in February 1941 the instruction,weak federations, the Africa corps, to support the unsuccessful ally with its defense.

Rommel considered a defensive attitude inappropriate, instead he wanted to attack. To 31. March began Rommel the advance. Its main raid was directed toward Mersa Brega, over thusto up-push the gate to the Cyrenaika. The offensive led to success, so that soon also Bengasi could be occupied. To 10. German tanks before the eastLibyan port and fortress Tobruk, those stood for April developed by the Italians briefly before stilland then vacated was almost combatless. Up to 13. April undertook Rommel of three attacks on the fortress, which however all failed. Rommel had to reset conquest Tobruks for the time being. Also further raids could not be accomplished due to of bottlenecks,so that both sides changed into a position warfare.

Into November the British reached then. To 26. November took place a second attack, whereby now finally the outbreak from the FE storage ring succeeded to the crew of Tobruk. To 7. December pulleditself the Africa corps to the Gazala line back. After Tobruk was apparently before a conquest of the Africa corps protected, Rommel reached into January 1942.

To 26. May began Rommel enterprise Theseus with the goal of conquering Tobruk. At heavy tank engagements succeededit the Axis powers, beer hooking home to 10. To take June, in order to then introduce the advance on Tobruk. To 20. June city and fortress were occupied, thereupon Rommel was promoted to general field marshal.

The further advance should take place now via Egypt. The city Alexandria should fall and occupy the Sueskanal. Briefly before El Alamein had the British a 65 kilometer are enough for defense belt been constructing. The German offensive remained putting. The new British commander Berne pool of broadcasting corporations Montgomery started to 23. October to the counter attack. The Africa corpswas in terms of figures underlaid and had the retreat to begin.

The situation became completely hopeless, as to 8. November (operation Torch) American troops in Casablanca and Algiers landed and thus the two-front war in North Africa introduced. To 13. November fell Tobrukagain into British hand.

1943 remained Rommel only the retreat. To 23. The British Tripoli occupied January. In March and April the Axis powers were finally included (Tunesien campaign). Only at the Mareth line still embittered resistance was offered. To13. May had to capitulate the Axis powers in North Africa.

Italy 1943 and 1944

to 10. The allied ones landed July in Sicily (operation Husky), on which the large fascist advice accused Mussolini failure. The Duce became thereupon on instruction of the ItalianKing arrests. As new Prime Minister Pietro Badoglio was used.

To 22. July could be occupied the Sicilian capital Palermo of the allied ones. At the 3. Septembers landed two British divisions with only minimum resistance of the defenders on the Italian mainland. FiveThe new Italian government an armistice with the allied ones closed days after the landing, on which the case axle was introduced, into German all Italian federations disarmed and at the same time Rome occupied. To 12. September succeeded it unites to German paratroopers,To release Mussolini out its shank in the hotel Campo Imperatore. Mussolini was brought to East Prussia to continue in order a puppet government a little later in north Italy to lead to be able (republic of Salò) and the fight at German side. After itself thoseon the Greek island Kephalonia stationed Italian soldiers of their disarmament opposed, became between that 18. and that 23. Septembers of about 5,000 Italians imprisoned taken and of German mountain hunter troops shot.

To 13. October explained to the German Reich the war the Badoglio government.At the side of the official Italian federations operated a powerful partisan army of 256.000 women and men, whom 1944 with their fighting ten armed forces divisions bound.

240mm howitzer of the Americans in close proximity to Mignano, Italy (January 1944).

The advance of the allied ones took place only very slowly. The Germans defended their positions up to the extreme one, while in the hinterland the next defense positions were already dug. Only if the pressure became too strong, they pulled themselves back, in order to entrench itself again again.

The decisionthe allied one to land in Sicilies and not directly with Rome extended the war possibly substantially. There are estimates that the Italian federations could have released and partisans with a landing of the allied ones with Rome South Italies.

During itselfthe allied ones heavy engagements with the troops of the armed forces supplied, could do them the Germans after a landing with Anzio (operation Shingle, 21. January) in trouble continue to get, on which these were forced to shift additional divisions to Italy. ThoseAllied established in Italy a second front, did not use however the opportunity to advance to Rome.

To 15. February was heavily bombarded with the battle around Monte Cassino the mountain monastery Monte Cassino and two days later by artillery resolution completely in oneHeap of rubble transforms. The German defenders, former paratroopers of the landing on Crete, entrenchd themselves in the rubble and let the ruins of the monastery the fortress become. Only three months later, to 18. May, took that to 2. Polish corpsunder guidance of general Wladyslaw differently under inconceivable losses after several days the monastery Monte Cassino, after all preceding attacks of the allied ones had pitifully failed.

After the obstacle Monte Cassino was overcome, the advance on Rome began. To 25.The allied forces their two fronts united and pushed May the German troops on „the Green line “between La Spezia and Rimini back.

General field marshal Albert Kesselring, Oberbefehlshaber of the army federations in Italy, leaned it off, in „the eternal city “toofights and instructed to its units, to Rome to 4. To leave June without resistance. The hope of the allied ones to drive the armed forces into the alps back became with the Apennin - line of defense destroys for the time being, so that 1944 still no decision in Italytook place.

Into this period likewise allied considerations of a further advance fall over the Balkans, however, in order to avoid tensions with the USSR, were rejected.

The west front 1944/45

major item: German west front 1944/1945

with beginning of the year took over Erwin Rommel the supreme commandthe German army group B at the west front north the Loire. To 21. January 1944 began Luftwaffe again with attacks on London, which were continued by April.

While the allied ones were busy to accumulate mountains of supplying material,strengthened the Germans their coastal attachments at the Atlantic barrier.

Americans land with Omaha Beach at the D-Day.

To 6. The allied ones in normandy landed June 1944. The plan for operation Overlord was based on starting from 1941 prepared invasion plans and was from the BritishLieutenant General (lieutenant general) Sir Frederick E. Morgan in its final version compiled. It planned to land with four armies and advance then fast into the interior. The Germans were badly adjusted to the invasion. The German planning staffand Hitler always expected the landing in the Pas de Calais, the closest place of the English Channel. The area of Calvados, where the allied ones finally went ashore, became only in parts with some meters Stacheldraht and a few mg nestsdefended. But everywhere, because despite wrong expectations of the OKW over the place of the invasion the normandy coast was not nevertheless quite heavily fastened. The invasion area was divided into five landing sections with the pseudonyms Juno, gold, Sword (British/Canadian landing sections),as well as Utah and Omaha (US-American landing sections). Bombardments of the coast from air and of lake ran according to plan, missed with Omaha however the first German line, and which led, together with the fact that the Germans in unawareness of the allied ones a second division there had, too much heavy losses of the first wave (approx. 70 %).

At the D-Day so mentioned Neptune during the operation, which takes part actual invasion enterprises, nearly 6,700 ships and over 13.000 airplanes, were. On the early morning of the6. Several air landing units (the 82 started June. and 101. US airborne division) to their employments in the hinterland. Because of navigational errors and surprisingly strong German Flakfeuer many machines did not achieve the intended jump zones, so that the paratroopers over far parts of the peninsula Cotentin were distributed.

A soldier looks out for snipers in violent contested Caen

although the allied ones enormous forces quantities had, advanced her only in parts sluggishly. But succeeded to destroyed French course track not least by the allied air superiority andit the German side not to shift as fast as possible additional units into the combat area of normandy. Cherbourg in the north of the Cotentin peninsula under commander of fortress Karl William of Schlieben fell to 26. June after strong American artillery bombardment and violent road fights (→ battle around Cherbourg).

The income of Caen, a primary goal first landing-daily, proved for the allied troops of the British and Canadians at the eastern side of the normandy bridgehead as much more difficult (→ battle around Caen). Only after six weeks of involving heavy losses fights could the city to 19. July to be completely occupied.

To 15. August began a second invasion in Southern France at the Côte D' Azur between Toulon and Cannes (→ operation Dragoon). At the landing 880 allied sea-going vessels, under it 4 aircraft carriers, were 6Battle ships, 21 cruisers and over 100 destroyers, altogether 34 French ships and 1,370 landing boats as well as approx. 5,000 airplanes takes part. Three American divisions educated the attack troops. The Frenchmen and American could advance without crucial resistance briskly into the interior.

In thatThe Americans undertook normandy to 25. July an attempt to escape from their bridgehead sector (→ operation Cobra), which led Avranches in the subsequent days in the west to the cutting off of the Cotentin peninsula until. In the east US-American units could with Saint Lô after initial delaybreak through fast the German front. To 6. August the Germans started under the leading WHETHER west, general field marshal Günther of intelligent one, a countering attack with Mortain (→ enterprise Lüttich). It was however already stopped after two days again,which finally led with the help of the British, Scots and Canadians fighting north to the boiler of Falaise.

American troops with the parade march in Paris to 29. August 1944

to 25. August was released Paris (→ battle around Paris). The German commander of cityGeneral Dietrich von Choltitz refused Hitler's instruction to destroy the city and arose with his troops combatless. German accumulations of troop could be smashed by the enormous material abundance and absolute air rule and came the allied ones in the future at each timequite briskly in front. They overstretched their supplying lines with their fast raid to the German west barrier, but by the structure of new, fast supply routes (→ talk ball express), it succeeded to place above all the fuel needed in large quantities ready.Already at the 3. September fell Brussels and on the day after could Antwerp be occupied. Only with the air landing operation Market guards could do II. SS-Panzerkorps the Britisher and Americans in Arnheim again a heavy defeat teach.

With the loss thatThe German navy their submarine war from Norway continued Atlantic ports at the English Channel and particularly in Brittany (→ battle around Brittany). Up to the 1. Septembers reached the Germans of launching pads into north France out with rockets (V1, V2) London on. With work on the project „should be worked against to Friesenwall the direct penetration of the allied ones at the German North Sea Coast.

To 21. Octobers conquered the allied ones after violent fights with Aachen the first GermanCity. To 22. Far reached November south US-American forces Metz and Strasbourg. In December the Germans with the Ardennen offensive tried to win the upper hand in the west. The aim of operation to split the lines of the allied ones and in broad front afterBelgium to advance, failed however.

Two antitank defense infantrymen 101. US infantry regiment duck themselves the explosion of a German gasoline tank trailer on the market place of crown oh.

Allied troops reached to 7. March 1945 the undestroyed Rhine bridge of Remagen. They established bridgeheads on rechtsrheinischemAnd circled to area the Ruhr district. The army group B of the armed forces under field marshal Model became at the 1. April enclosed in the Ruhr boiler so mentioned and capitulated to 18. April. On the same day the US troops Magdeburg took , one day late Leipzig.

To 25. US-American and Soviet troops met April in gate gau at the Elbe (Elbe Day); the last sphere of influence of the Germans disintegrated now into two parts. To 26. April continued to fall Bremen to the British, those afterNortheast drew. In rapid consequence they took to Luebeck (2. May) and Hamburg (3. May), while the US army marched into Wismar, probably, to advance in order to prevent the Red Army from it, to Schleswig-Holstein.

To 5. May capitulated colonel general Blaskowitz, its troopsin Holland were encircled. While the British units conquered Northern Germany, the Americans turned after the south. They occupied to 30. April Munich. Stuttgart fell to 22. April to the French army, which penetrated to the south to Vorarlberg. The US armyturned to the alps and met at the 3. May at the burner passport with their compatriots together, who had occupied upper Italy from the south.

In Italy Bologna fell to 19. April to the US troops, during Genova to 27. April was conquered;later Italian partisans in Dongo the fallen „Duce “Benito Mussolini seized and shot one day it. To 2. May capitulated the German units in Italy, on the same day marched the British army into Triest .

The end of war in Europe 1945

General field marshal Keitel signs the unconditional surrender of Germany in Berlin Karl refuge to 9. May 1945.

After the death of Hitler large admiral Karl Dönitz became in accordance with testamentary order at the 1. May realm president. Dönitz wanted to bring the German soldiers into American-British shank and it forwardsthe Russian shank save. At the same time it called however to resume the war in the east. It struck its headquarters to 2. May in the Flensburg held by Germans up and designated a realm government under the realm Minister of Finance count Schwerin von Krosigk. To 4. May capitulated the armed forces itsnesses under the again appointed commander in chief of the war navy general admiral Hans-Georg von Friedeburg, who had fought in the northwest against the British field marshal Montgomery. To 7. All German troops surrendered May in the context of a total surrender inForm of an unconditional surrender opposite the westallied, the colonel general Alfred Jodl in Reims opposite general Dwight D. Eisenhower signed (8. May: VE Day). To 9. May repeated itself this act in Berlin Karl refuge in relation to the Red Army, upGerman side signed general field marshal Wilhelm Keitel. To 9. May 1945 came into force the total surrender.

To the end of war to 8. May were in the west still the channel islands and the cities Lorient, pc. Nazaire and La Rochelle in thatHand of the armed forces. Also in Denmark the German rule up to the surrender remained unquestioned. Germany was to a large extent occupied, only the alpine region and Schleswig-Holstein still under control of German troops.

To 8. and 9. Nearly 2 million German soldiers fled Mayfrom the Soviet sphere of influence into the areas, particularly from at first the not occupied Böhmen, controlled by the westallied.

The war in Asia and in the Pacific

major item: Pacific war, Pacific war/chronological war process

Japan already were before the Second World War at severalWars takes part been. Under Tennō Yoshihito fought to Japan at the side of the allied ones in the First World War, in which Japan colonies of the German empire could transfer, like for example Tsingtau. About ten years before it died because of disputesManchuria to the Russian-Japanese war (1904-1905).

After it did not succeed to contain the economic crisis starting from 1929 in the context of the world-economical situation strengthens voices loud, which saw a territorial expansion as solution of the problems.

Starting from the 1930er - years attained military strengthenedControl of the government, including the office prime minister, political opponents were pursued, media were censored. The aggressive employment for a re-organization of the Pacific region had vorgeblich as a goal, the hegemony of the asiatic countries and colonies by western, European states tooterminate and they by a Japanese to replace (Panasiatismus).

The principal interest of the Japanese expansion applied for the area of the Republic of at that time China. After the Mukden incident to 18. September 1931, which was probably produced by the Japanese themselves,it came to Manchuria - crisis and the Guandong army occupied, allegedly without larger consultation with the Japanese government, Manchuria. At the 1. March 1932 was proclaimed there the puppet state Mandschuko, whose official president and later emperor Pu Yi were. Due to more internationalProtests over the procedure in China Japan withdrew 1933 from the Völkerbund , 1936 followed it the Antikominternpakt .

Pacific war 1937-1942

to 7. Japanese troops at the coast of China and it landed July 1937 came to the incident at thatMarco Polo bridge. Consequently began after a brief armistice to 25. July 1937 the second Japanese-Chinese war, which should persist to 1945 and whose outbreak is regarded of some historians even as the actual beginning of the Second World War.

China stoodat this time before a crossroad, since the communists fought among Mao Zedong and the nationalists of the Kuomintang under Chiang dock shek for the supremacy in the country. The communists had withdrawn themselves after being enough march into the interior and reachedwith the fight against the Japanese only isolates. Thus achieved in the battle of Pingxingguan a small tactical victory, which entered as „the large victory of Pingxingguan “history of the communist party. After the hundred-regiment offensive from center to end1940 came it to internal discord into the party and Mao completely decided the fight against the Japanese the nationalists to left and the own troops for late again breaking out class warfare restrainable.

Around the 8. Decembers 1937 reachedthe Japanese troops Nanking, the capital of the Kuomintang and encircled them. With the evacuation of American citizens from Nanking the Japanese fired at on the same day from combat aircraft on the Jangtsekiang load up driving gunboat USS Panay (→ Panay incident). The boat was sunk. Three humans died and 48 were hurt. The Japanese government for the incident apologized, but together with reports on cruelties of Japanese soldiers, who came now to the public, it ensuredbecause the picture of Japan in the USA began to change. To 13. Decembers occupied the Japanese troops Nanking. In massacres of Nanking, continuous on it the following, three weeks, were murdered probably more than 300,000 Chinese civilians andrapes about 20,000 women. Chiang dock shek left thereupon the capital into the distant Chongqing to shift.

Japanese fight with Guandong, 1938

in March 1938 discharged Japan the national mobilization law, which all economic and social aspects on a more efficientWar guidance concentrated and in April into force stepped. Hopes for a peaceful solution of the conflict with China arose, when Ugaki Kazushige, a former general and opponent of further escalations became, in the May of the same yearly minister of foreign affairs. But instead ofa calming of the situation to reach, came it to renewed disputes with the Soviet Union around Manchuria and in the consequence to the Russian-Japanese border conflict.

Since of Japan depended economic future particularly on raw material supplies from colonies of Great Britain and France, usedit the outbreak of the war in Europe and extorted the blockage of the Burmastrasse from Great Britain, in order to cut the Chinese troops off of the supply. In addition Japan began in Nanking Wang Ching wei as a boss of a puppet government (Panasiatismus) and receivedof the Vichy regime the agreement for the occupation of Viet Nam, at that time still French Indochina. In the consequence the USA and Great Britain imposed an embargo and froze the financial means of Japan.

To 27. September 1940 signed Japan the three-power pact with Germany andItaly, which extended the existing Antikominternpakt by mutual military support. Thus the Japanese emperor still rejected its to 5. September 1939 announced neutrality and underlined its aggressive foreign policy particularly opposite China.

The American government called thereupon to 8. Octoberall civilians in the far east up to return to the USA there it to an indifferent situation in this area would come and imposed to 23. October a total export prohibition for iron and Stahlschrott to Japan. To 23. Octobers left three Passagierdampferto evacuate the USA around all Americans from China and Japan.

In April 1941 president Roosevelt signed a secret instruction, it reserve officers permitted the military to leave and as a Freiwillige to China go. As consequence Captain Claire Lee basedChennault in Kuming the American Volunteer Group (also Flying of tiger called), an US-American flier relay, that was set starting from 1942 into the active service of US air Force.

1941 began intensified efforts of the USA and Japan, around the threatening war tooprevent. At the same time the war and conquest plans of the Japanese for Southeast Asia took concrete forms. The demands of the USA to leave China Japan did not follow however. Because of the embargo of Great Britain and the USA and because Japan of the raw material supplies that, remained a war with the USA and Great Britain the only alternative to the loss of the realm was cut European allied one off.

After Japan had sensitively met the USA with the attack on Pearl Harbor and these had explained the war to them, penetratedthe Japanese further to the south forwards and occupied European and American colonies under propaganda „Asia the Asian “such as Hong Kong, the Philippines and Netherlands India.

Gegenoffensive 1943-1945

within four months (December March) had Japanese troops far parts of Southeast Asia anda majority of the Pacific with approximately 450 million humans under their control. This was the largest expansion in the history of Japan.

The most important conquest of the Japanese found to 23. January 1942 instead of, as the small Australian garrison in Rabaul onthe northeast point on new Britain to be overwhelmed and the port taken knew. Thus the Japanese had a outstanding starting point for further penetrating toward east Pacific and the South Seas, those in the following years to a proper fortress one developed.

In the middle of 1942, after which battle in the Korallenmeer as well as the battle changed around Midway, with which the Japanese of four aircraft carriers lost and thus its fleet was sensitively weakened, however the situation. With the landing on that Salomonen - island Guadalcanal to 7. The Americans the operation Watchtower , one of the most involving heavy losses and verbissendsten battles began August during the Pacific war. It persisted in the next year and marked a further turning point in favor of the Americans. They could the further penetrating of Japan prevent. Thus an isolation of Australia of America was defeated and US troops could further on Japanese occupied area advance.

American landing on Rendova Iceland on the Salomonen to 30. June 1943.

The hardest fights raved from at the end of of 1942to in the middle of 1944 on again Guinea, in the South Seas on the Salomonen, the Gilbert islands, Marshall Islands and the Marianen. A successful tactical means was thereby „the island jumping in such a way specified “, with that the Americans thosestrong Japanese bases, in the special one the important location Rabaul with its port and the airfields, went around and island for island toward Japanese territory took.

At the beginning of the yearly 1943 it succeeded to the Americans in increased measure, Japanese radio codes toodecode. One of the most important codes was the Ultra - code of the Kommandantur of the Truk Atolls. Thus the basis for the naval warfare was put against the Japanese freight and supply ships by US submarines, whose constantly rising sinking rates had a substantial portion of the victory.

To the American radio clearing-up in the middle of succeeded April the decoding of a radiogram, after admiral Yamamoto Isoroku, commander in chief of the imperial Japanese navy wanted to visit, the base on Bougainville. To interception of its airplane 18 started to. April 16 Lightning hunters of thatnew second runway of the Henderson Airfields on Guadalcanal and took course northward. With its own loss the firing of three of the nine Japanese chase planes and the two transportation machines succeeded to them. In one of it Yamamoto was, thereby aroundLife came. From the loss of this strong guidance personality the Japanese navy in the consequence could recover hardly.

Signing of the Japanese surrender document to 2. September 1945

at 1944 began the success time of the American task Forces. The two large carrier fleetsTask Force 38 and 58 alternated with the raids against Japanese occupied Inselgruppen and continued to penetrate constantly toward the Japanese islands, although the Japanese began with the use of Kamikaze fliers. Of the Japanese high expectedLoss rates with the American ships were missing however. Likewise successes of the manned Kaiten were missing - torpedoes.

To the bloody battle around Saipan, begun at in the middle of June , came it at the end of of Octobers to at the beginning of November 1944 during the landings on Leyte in the Philippines to the sea and air battle in the gulf of Leyte, with which the Japanese with 4 aircraft carriers, 3 battle ships, 10 cruisers and 9 destroyers lost nearly their complete sea-armed force.

After the fights on the Japanese islands Iwo Jima and Okinawa threw the Americans to 6. August 1945 the first atom bomb on Hiroshima. Shortly thereafter, to 9. August was ignited second over Nagasaki. Later the Japanese Tennō in the broadcast announced six days the surrender of Japan, thoseto 2. September in the bay was signed of Tokyo on the USS Missouri.

Special forms of the war guidance

air war

major item: Air war in the Second World War

Dresden 1945: Blick auf die Altstadt
Dresden 1945: View of the old part of town

Luftwaffe received its first test in the Spanish civil war. In the Poland campaign she attained fast the sovereignty in the air, since the Polish fighters become outdated to a large extent could offer little resistance.

An attack on Moenchengladbach in May 1940 by the Royal air Force (RAF) remained relatively insignificant. In the air battle around England (August1940-Mai 1941) suffered Luftwaffe however a defeat against the RAF. The Air Force flew 1940 substantial bomb attacks starting from September against English cities, among them also Coventry and London. In the Russia campaign („enterprise Barbarossa “) the Air Force played an importantRole, could decide however neither the battle around Moscow nor around Stalingrad for the German side. Starting from 1942 also the American Air Force of attacks flew a bomb attack to Europe and in April 1942 also on Tokyo.

Likewise in thisYear became Arthur Harris Commander-in-Chief of the RAF bomber COMMAND. In May the surface bombardment of German cities with an attack on Cologne, which reached its first high point in July 1943 with the operation Gomorrha against Hamburg, began. Here for the first time deception techniques becamebegun. However there were also considerable losses of the American day bomber formations, for example with attacks on pig ford and meal.

Straight ones in the last war months were wide destroyed numerous German cities, among them Braunschweig, Dresden, Heilbronn, Pforzheim and Würzburg.With the development of the rockets V1 and V2 the German side hoped for „the miracle weapon “, their use was however limited. Between June 1944 and March 1945 with them goals in Western Europe were attacked, under it London. Tokyo became inFebruary/March 1945 with American attacks substantially destroys, under simultaneous immense people losses. The sad point of conclusion the American atom bomb releases set on Hiroshima and Nagasaki to 6. and 9. August 1945.

Atlantic and submarine war

major item: Submarine war (the Second World War), enterprise Rhine exercise

to 14. October 1939 succeeded it to U-47 with captain second lieutenant Günther Prien to penetrate into the bay of Scapa flow, the main base of the British navy and to sink the warship HMS Royal Oak with 1.400 men crew. This was for the time beingonly one propaganda impact, planned by Kommodore Karl Dönitz, but the beginning of the submarine war. Mainly if actions took place by individual submarines up to the center of the yearly 1940, Lorient could after the conquest of France to the Biskaya in Brest , Sp-Nazaire and La Rochelle provisional submarine bases to be established for the time being. The submarines could reach the areas of operations on the western approach road ways to the English Channel owing to these new ports substantially faster. The allied convoys were only weakly secured from lack of escort ships. In addition setthe commanders of submarine the new tactics of a nocturnal surface attack, which let only the underwater goals of locating allied sonar devices (ASDIC) become ineffective.

The now following victories of the German submarine weapon were cannibalized from National Socialist propaganda in the latter and many commanders tooHeroes high-stylizes. 1940 was lost approximately 4.5 million to BRT tonnage with the allied ones and 1941 approx. 4 million BRT.

Battle ship Bismarck - nose opinion

by the pressure to the British supply transportation to increase and by the submarine war support, ran inMay 1941 a squadron from Gotenhafen with a goal Atlantic out. It consisted of that straight only activated battle ship Bismarck, that likewise only few months in the service finding heavy cruiser prince Eugen and agrees destroyers. ThoseAction got the pseudonym enterprise Rhine exercise, led to the fall of the British battle cruiser HMS Hood and ended with sinking Bismarck to 27. May.

After the entrance of the USA into the war and the connection of large American forces inPacific set admiral Dönitz long-distance submarines for operation bass drum impact to America in march, where they arrived in the first January days 1942. First the badly organized US coastal defense faced the attacks on the trading vessel travel helplessly. When the defense increased in the spring, widenedthe submarines their operational area into the Karibik and the south Atlantic out. More briefly handing boats operated at the same time in the North Atlantic in herds and could maintain so the pressure on the convoys. It came in the course of the yearly to several largeEscort course battles. In the autumn 1942 successes of the submarines continued to increase still, since the escort forces were needed for the safety device in North Africa. 1942 could be sunk over 8 million BRT tonnage.

At the end of of 1942 succeeded it to the allied ones, the code thatto break German Enigma Verschlüsselungsmaschine. In May 1943 the allied ones could use their air superiority and their escort forces in full measure, so that in this month 43 German submarines were sunk. Dönitz placed thereupon the submarine war temporarily in and left the submarinesrecall. The battle in the Atlantic had thus finally turned.

With the invasion in France in June 1944 soon also the submarine bases at the French Atlantic coast were run over. The submarines were on the bases at north and Baltic Sea and inNorway back-pushed and operated now more before the English coast. With admits will of the surrender became to 4. May 1945 the operation rainbow started: All submarines lying in the ports sank themselves. The submarines, which were still in use,8 ran after that. May English or American ports on.

Political aspects

war crime

major item: Crime of the armed forces

was led to a large extent there the Second World War from Germany for ideological reasons, occurred in its process numerous war crimes, itself against Jews,Sinti and Roma and in particular against as „Untermen “regarded east Europeans arranged. In addition, England became by bomb attacks on the civilian population the scene of German war crimes. All this contributed to a radicalization of the climate, and so become the English in particularFlächenbombardierungen deutscher Städte und das Verhalten derRoten Armee in den von ihr eroberten Ländern Osteuropas kritisch gesehen.

Japan proceeded in particular against Chinese with large brutality. It came to war crimes of Japanese soldiers into China (massacre of Nankingas well as cruel medical experiments at prisoners). According to Chinese data Chinese civilians are to have been killed between 5 and 10 million. Bombardment Shanghais 1937 sets the prelude of the Japanese conquest campaign by Southeast Asia. It cost altogether about 20 until 1945Millions humans the life. The unit 731 accomplished cruel experiments at prisoners in camps. There is Japanese people attempts with biological pathogens at Chinese admits become.

After the end of the Second World War the German war crimes in the Nürnberger processes becamenegotiated, and numerous persons from the National Socialist guidance, physicians, lawyers and prominent persons from the economy and the supreme command of the armed forces condemns.

Also Japanese main war criminals were far east sentenced by internationally military the tribunal for the (Tokioter of processes).

The Holocaust

major item: Holocaust

such as Hitler already in „my fight “had described, operated the LV guidance since 1933 systematically the Entrechtung and discrimination of the Jews. Since it gave to the Reichspogromnacht also protests over the crime, one decided,To deportieren and murder Jew in the occupied Eastern Europe. Thus developed in Poland with the KZ Auschwitz Birkenau the largest concentration camp of that time, the concentration camps in Germany played against it only a subordinated role.

KZ-prisoners in beech forest

also in the conquered countriesall Jews were seized and deportiert in concentration camps. In particular in Eastern Europe murdered special of the security agency (SD) and the state police created groups of employments systematically all Jews, Sinti and Roma as well as communist functionaries. To at the end of 1941 became in such a way over one half million humansmurdered, ninety per cent of it were Jews. The German military administration would logistically tolerate these crimes, at many places supported armed forces itsnesses the groups of employments. Thus units of the armed forces secured for example the city Babi Jar and helped the SS thereby, for there approximately 100,000 humans toomurder. In some countries however the government or the population of the Deportation and murder opposed, for example in Denmark.

Since 1941 had to carry all Jews in the German Reich the Jew star, it came to massive Deportationen into Ghettos, above allin the Generalgouvernement Poland. In January 1942 to the when sea-conferencethe final solution of the Jew question was decided “, whereupon the extermination camps developed. By the time of the National Socialist seizure of power up to the end of war about 6 million Jew were murdered.

Beside the Jews becamealso still different subpopulations pursue, as for instance Sinti and Roma as well as spirit patient, homosexual one, so-called „Asoziale “, witnesses Jehovas and political opponents. The National Socialist destruction politics fell altogether over 10 million humans to the victim.

To what extent the German population and the allied ones of that Genocide knew, is disputed. Auschwitz became the synonym for the genocide and for the German crimes in the Second World War.

Surface bombardments

major items: Surface bombardment

during itself the air war in the first months still approximately excluding military goals such as tank, ships and upachieving the sovereignty in the air arranged, radicalized themselves the climate, after German bombers had attacked and had devastated in May 1940 Rotterdam.

Also in England Luftwaffe attacked first only military goals. In September 1940 Hitler instructed however, as reactionon an attack on Berlin to bombard London. Also Coventry was attacked and destroyed wide.

Despite point-exact attacks at day it did not succeed the British Royal air Force to destroy military goals in Germany durably; therefore the British went andAmerican in the further process of the war over to bombard both populated areas and industrial centres. The RAF at night and the USAAF at day. A goal was to be broken the moral of the population. The reaching of this goal large cities became such as z.B.Cologne and numerous cities of the Ruhr district, in addition, Hamburg, Braunschweig, Heilbronn, Magdeburg, Pforzheim, Schweinfurt and Würzburg wide destroy, whereby ten thousands were killed. The high number of the victims with the air raids on Dresden of13. to 15. February 1945, which was overcrowded with schlesischen refugees, arranged vienna clay/tone Churchill to question the Bombardements of German cities in principle.

Altogether are killed according to different estimations between 664.000 and 780.000 civilians in Germany by allied air raids.

Civilian population

for the German civilian population had the beginning of war first no direct consequences. Contrary to the First World War there were no hunger emergencies, although in the course of the war nearly all goods of the daily need were rationed. This was above all because of it,that the occupied areas were inconsiderately exploited, in order to be able to supply the German population. The culture enterprise upright received, in particular films like „the Feuerzangenbowle “served for to the scatter and diverson of the war everyday life. After 1942 the allied air raids took upGerman large cities too, and after proclaiming the total war 1943 were called up increasingly ever recent classes of German young people into the service in the homeland front.

During the last war months the engaging Englishmen and American became nearly predominant with easement in the westover the end of war by the German population welcomes, while humans in the east in enormous treks of refugees fled out from the German propaganda of geschürter fear of encroachments of the Red Army.


German propaganda

after after short time all media were coordinated,the realm propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels had all instruments of the opinion steering element in his hands. It uses this power from the outset, in order to produce oneleader cult “around Hitler and stir up with the German population hate in particular on Jews. Sodeveloped under Goebbels ′ influence anti-Semitic propaganda films like „Jud sweet “and „the eternal Jew “. The high point of this anti-Semitic propaganda was 1938 the Reichspogromnacht organized by it.

During the war Goebbels swore to the final victory and glorifizierte successesthe armed forces, by representing future positions of the German army as already partly reached. Also it prognosticated the income of cities, which were taken few days later actually. The moreover one verhöhnte Goebbels the opponents of Germany, then for example vienna clay/tone became Churchillas Trunkenbold represented.

1941 had to find the National Socialist leaders a justification for the campaign against the Soviet Union. They justified the attack with „the defense of the evening country against the bolshevism “and against „Jewish bolschewistischen Untermen “. Accordingly the SS gavethe brochure „the Untermensch “out, which represented the Russians with inflammatory articles and fratzenhaften pictures as inferior.

When the advance of the German army came into Russia 1942 however finally in coming to a hold and threatened to tilt the tendency in the population, setGoebbels increasingly on exhortations to hold out. After the disaster in Stalingrad it called the German population in the sport palace speech to the total war. Many Germans decided afterwards for the mobilization of their last reserves and supported further warfare. In the further process kindledLV propaganda the resistance will of the population „up to the final victory “, against which „advanced angloamerikanischen bomb terror “and „the racing Rachsucht “of the Red Army ever more strongly, the more near the allied ones on the realm borders.

English propaganda

English propaganda poster

also in England became against thatWar opponent tendency made. Thus it succeeded to Churchill for example to win the English population 1940 for a war against Germany although Hitler had before made numerous offers in a speech in Reichstag England.

Broadcast propaganda

with the search for a suitable means,in order to address fast a broad mass, the choice fell on the broadcast, since it is a reliable and medium functioning without noticeable time delay. Particularly during the war increased the number of propaganda transmissions in all countries involved fast.On German side English and American immigrants, who were course-bent the German policy, were used, in order to be able to address the war opponent perfectly in his native language. The most well-known host was „Axis Sally “, their transmissions of radio Berlin were radiated.

The British soldier transmitter Calais was so well organized that it was regarded during a long period by the German population as its own armed forces transmitter.

Also in the Pacific area the Japanese set starting from 1943 strengthened on propaganda against thoseAmerican, by radiating its transmission The Zero Hour over radio Tokyo. For those predominantly female moderators, the American with a Japanese accent spoke, were patriated in the GI - linguistic usage the term Tokyo rose in.

Resistance against the national socialism

major item: Resistanceagainst the national socialism

the white rose - v. l. Hans Scholl, Sophie Scholl and Christoph rehearses

the German civilian population faced the beginning of war first sceptically, let themselves however afterwards from the victory messages be dazzled. From fear of punishments dared onlyfew humans to express itself actively against the war. Centers of the civilian resistance were „the white rose “, „the Kreisauer circle “or „the red chapel “.

Although the armed forces behind Hitler's ideas stood in principle and its warfarecarried, then some generals saw the inevitable defeat clear before eyes and set on an armistice in order to give the armed forces and the German population time for the regrouping of the army and reorganisation of the state starting from 1943. To 20. July1944 committed some Widerständler an assassination attempt on Hitler in its headquarters in East Prussia. The attempt to kill Hitler failed however just like the following attempt of a coup d'etat in Berlin. The assassins were executed. Some few soldiers leaned the war alsofor ideological reasons off and tried to shorten it by sabotage measures. The predominant majority continued to fight however up to the conclusion. Numerous German soldiers and auxiliary federations (police reserve etc.) took part in war crimes, which the resistance of the population in the occupiedAreas far provoked.

In Denmark the population felt the German crew after the words of the king as „Alpdruck “. In the Netherlands the Germans had to disarm the there police, because they feared a rebellion. The per-German movement of the Vidkun Quisling inNorway did not follow a mass movement of the population, the majority rejected the Germans. The sharpest forms of the resistance arose in France, where the Résistance, under it the Maquis (after the mediterranen Buschgestrüpp „maquis “designated), against which German crew fought.

InRussia, in the Ukraine, in Greece (see: ELAS) and in Yugoslavia (under marshal Tito) fought to partisan armies, partly were communist, partly nationalistic them. The Polish „homeland army “however could hope only for little support from the outside. From the constant guerilla war approximatelythe German army came out partisans frequently as winners. Toward end of the war larger areas could be released from the German Besatzern.

International block building

with the signing of the Antikominternpaktes between Germany and Japan became already 1936 the foundation-stone forthe later axle Germany Japan Italy put. By the Hitler Stalin pact the relationship to Japan worsened first, since Japan expected however access to the colonies in Asia, occupied by England and Holland, became 1940 by the three-power pact a new contractfor military co-operation closed, which numerous Eastern European states joined.

England however opposed 1940 a German alliance and trusted instead on economic and military support by the USA. In particular the American president Franklin D. Roosevelt wanted the USA outa crucial military adversary of the expansion plans of Germany make for power-politics, strategic and economic reasons. Although the USA remained officially neutral, they support England since March 1941 by substantial arms supplies. In August the heads of state von England and the USA met,in order to specify principles of its common war and postwar politics. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December occurred the USA officially the war.

Allied conferences of war

at the beginning of 1943 agreed in Casablanca Roosevelt and Churchill to fight Germany up to the unconditional surrender. End of the yearly found a first conference in Teherantogether with the Soviet Union instead of, which was likewise supported by substantial arms supplies of the USA, on which the post-war period after a victory Germany one debated. There however the allied ones to no concrete warranties or agreements with the Soviet Union forthe postwar order in Europe were ready, gave it already 1944 first tears in the anti-Hitler coalition. The Soviet Union began therefore to partly establish in its sphere of influence by force per-Russian communist governments. The change of government in the USA 1945 led also to onePolitics change, Harry S. Truman hit a strictly anticommunist and anti-Russian course and supported themselves thereby by the economic superiority and later by the nuclear weapon monopoly.

These conflicts led in the consequence to the cold war between the USA and the Soviet Unionand to the division of Germany.

Victim numbers and aftereffects

the victim numbers

of major items: Dead war graves during

the Second World War,

American in the Second World War, found according to to estimations approx. 50 million humans death, under it not only many soldiers, but - characteristically of that„modern war “- also many civilians (so for example in the battle around Stalingrad. The Soviet Union with approximately 20 million of killed civilians and soldiers (Hildermeier, Manfred was most strongly concerned: The Soviet Union 1917-1991, Munich 2001 - Oldenbourg sketch of history -,S. 53). In the total number also the many are politically or racistic pursued Russians, Serben, Juden, the Sinti and Roma, who contain homosexual ones and „the Asozialen in such a way specified “as well as „the Wehrkraftzersetzer “and the clergymen, those in the destruction and concentration camps(KZ) of the Germans died. Altogether 5 million prisoners of war of the Soviet army were murdered, 3.3 million of them in the concentration camps. This means that 56% of the Soviet prisoners of war died in German shank, while the number in German war shank westallied diedPrisoner of war approx. 3% amounted to. From the 3.1 million German soldier in Soviet war shank died approximately 1.3 million, that is 42%. In these 50 million humans also the German soldiers pleased in the German war of aggression are contained of the moreover one.

To the many wounded ones also numerous soldier condemned as deserters must be added, who was nevertheless depressive or spirit-ill incapable of the military service and were condemned, in order „the moral of the troop “to keep upright. Probably it came to it in large numbernot only in Germany and with the Axis powers but also at the other states war-involved.

There were also many dead civilians by bombardments of the large cities (Cologne, Duesseldorf and the Ruhr district, Hamburg, Warsaw, Dresden, London), the FE storage of Leningrad, the Aushungerung of Charkow, sinking of refugee ships (Gustloff, Goya, Steuben), the hardness of the winter, the punishing camps in the Soviet Union and driving out by force of humans after the war (z.B. as consequence of the Beneš decrees).

Many humans was not possible it to flee, because states partly closed like the USA or Switzerland the borders and back into the areas controlled by the German Reich sent also Jewish refugees.

Thosedirect and indirect victims of the atom bomb releases on Hiroshima and Nagasaki amount into the hundredthousands.

Prisoner of war

major item: Prisoner of war in the Second World War.

Altogether 11 million German soldiers were in war shank, of it 7.7 millions on sides of the Western powers and 3,3Million on sides of the USSR. About 3.6 millions Soldiers of the armed forces were in British camps in Great Britain, Germany, Canada, Malta, Madagascar, Ethiopia and other countries. Among them were also 58,600 Austrians. Approximately 3.1 millionsGerman prisoners of war were in American camps, mostly in the United States.


by the Second World War separated Germany, Italy and Japan from the circle of the military great powers. The Western European States of (France, the Netherlands, Great Britain) were so far weakened,that they had to give their colonial empires up after the war. To their place the USA and the Soviet Union stepped as new world powers, by the atomic armament then even as so-called superpowers.

After the end of the Second World War in Europe those advised Winner powers in July/August 1945 to the Potsdamer conference over the further future of Europe and Germany. The objective of the calm resolutions had already suggested itself to the conference of Jalta in February 1945.

Germany was divided according to it in four zones of occupation; itsEast areas (Pommern, Schlesien, East Prussia) were subordinated subject to a final peace regulation of the administration of Poland and the Soviet Union (Mueller, Helmut M.: Impact lights of German history, Bonn 1990 - federal center for political education -, S. 305; Thurich, kind of hitting a corner: ThoseWinner in Germany, in: The division of Germany 1945-1955, in: Information for the political education No. 232 (1991), S. 9). The Sudetenland annektierte by the regulations Munich agreements of 1938 of Germany dropped back to Czechoslovakia, there the Annexionby the German Reich for futile one explained. Poland received thereby a new border in the west (or Neisse line) and in the east. Austria was again created as neutral state and likewise divided in four zones of occupation. Japan had the occupied PacificIslands at Australia and Great Britain return; it lost further Korea, Formosa (Taiwan), Südsachalin and the Kurileninseln, and in a part of the British mandated territory Palestine the State of Israel was created. Due to the reduction of area of Germany decided by winner powers became after differentData between 12 and 14 million Germans (Sudeten Germans, Schlesier, Pommern, Poland and East Prussia) from their traditional homeland drove out. Further 3.5 million Poland lost its homeland by the following west shift of the Polish borders. The German and Japanese war crimes becameduring several processes (and. A.Nürnberger of processes) negotiates.

The mostly destroyed cities and the lack of food provided with the population for a life in poverty. Because many men were fallen in the war or turned out in war shank,eliminated „rubble women “the debris in the cities. Food was to be had only over food marks or from own cultivation, therefore city dwellers drove in great quantities on the country, in order to exchange against special goods food. This situation became only 1948 with the currency reform andby and often rapid economic recovery into the 1950er, the called using soon thereafter, Wirtschaftswunder , years differently.

Later it came increasingly to tensions between the former allied one, the western allied one on the one and the Soviet Union on the other side.While the Western powers would install the parliamentary democracy in their zones of influence, the Soviet Union in the states of Eastern Europe established Volksdemokratien so mentioned under guidance of the communists. In the consequence the tensions were intensified and led to an irreconcilable opposition of the formerAllied, for the division of Germany and Europe and the beginning of the cold war. With the collapse of the Eastern European dictatorships and the self-determination exerted by it of humans further aftereffects of the Second World War were eliminated.

The occupation of the European and the GermansPublic with the Second World War continues further; it experienced greater importance in the last years. See in addition Martin Walser, monument for the murdered Jews of Europe (Berlin), heavy luggage (literature).

The transition to the cold war

secondWorld war changed both in Europe and into Asia relatively smoothly into the cold war. Already during the war there were differences between the Soviet Union and the western allied ones, those in favor of the common goal not to the foreground posedbecame. At these differences alone the Soviet Union was not debt. In this sense Hiroshima and Nagasaki were not only the last bombs of the Second World War, but also the first bombs of the cold war.

The German Satiriker Wolfgang Neuss 1949 asked,whether “we lived still in the post-war period or already again in the Vorkriegszeit”.



  • Winfried tree-refines among other things (Treatment): Source customer for the German history of the modern times from 1500 to the present scientific book company, Darmstadt,
    • 6/2 - Weimar Republic,National socialism, the Second World War (1919-1945), 2003. ISBN 3-534-07659-1
  • vienna clay/tone S. Churchill: The Second World War. With a Epilog on the postwar years. Fischer, Frankfurt/M. 2003. ISBN 3-596-16113-4
  • Jörg Echternkamp (Hrsg.): The German Reich and the Second World War, DVA, Munich,
    • 9/1 - The German war company 1939-1945. Politicalization, destruction, surviving, 2004, ISBN 3-421-06236-6
    • 9/2 - the German war company 1939-1945. Exploitation, interpretations, Ausgrenzung, 2004, ISBN 3-421-06528-4
  • Manfred Hildermeier: The Soviet Union 1917-1991, Munich 2001 - Oldenbourg sketch of history
  • David Jordan, AndrewPointed:Atlas of the Second World War, Tosa, Vienna 2005. ISBN 3-854-92972-2
  • John Keegan: The Second World War. Rowohlt, Reinbek 2004. ISBN 3-871-34511-3
  • James Lucas: The armed forces of 1939-1945. Tosa, Vienna 2004. ISBN 3-854-92880-7
  • Rolf Dieter Mueller: The Second World War,Klett Cotta, Stuttgart 2004. (Manual of German history; Bd. 21) ISBN 3-608-60021-3 (important manual; also as “the last German war” in shortened and worked on version appeared. Review with POINTS OF SEEING)
  • the reports of the supreme command of the armed forces 1939-1945, Verl. for military science,Munich, 2004.ISBN 3-893-40063-X
    • Bd.1. - September 1939 to 31. December 1940
    • Bd.2. - 1. January 1941 to 31. December 1942
    • Bd.3. - 1. January 1942 to 31. December 1943
    • Bd.4. - 1. January 1944 to 31. December 1944
    • Bd.5. - 1. January 1944 to 9. May 1945
  • Birgit Morgenrath (Hrsg.): Our victims do not count. The third world in the Second World War, association A, Berlin 2005. ISBN 3-935936-26-5
  • smelling pool of broadcasting corporations Overy: The roots of the victory: Why the allied ones thatThe Second World War won. rororo, Reinbek 2002. ISBN 3-499-61314-X
  • Gerhard writer: The Second World War, Beck, Munich 2002. ISBN 3-406-44764-3 (relatively short however per finds an overall display. Reviews - bead diver)
  • Michael Sontheimer (Hrsg.): Pictures 2. World war. DVA, Munich2005.ISBN 3-421-05872-5
  • Hedley Paul Willmott, the Second World War, Gerstenberg publishing house, 2005, ISBN 3806725616
  • Christian hundredweight (Hrsg.): The Second World War. An encyclopedia, Tosa, Vienna 2005. ISBN 3-854-92818-1


  • Michael Armitage among other things: World was II Day by Day, DC Publishing, London 2004, ISBN 0-756-60296-3
  • Robin CROSSes: World was II, DC Adult, New York 2004, ISBN 0-756-60521-0
  • Jon E. Lewis: The Mammoth Book OF Eyewitness World was II, Carroll & count, London 2002, ISBN 0-786-71071-3
  • KellyS. Tunney (Hrsg.):MEMORies OF World was II. Photographer from the archives OF the Associated press, Abrams, New York 2004, ISBN 0-810-95013-8
  • Gerhard L. Vineyard: A world RK of arm. A global history OF World was II., University Pr.,Cambridge 2005, ISBN 0-521-85316-3 (important and detailed overall display.)


  • global was - the Second World War
    • part of 1: Fascism spreads, 2005
    • part of 2: Restoring the forces, 2005
    • part of 3: Release, 2005
  • secondWorld war - the encyclopedia, 2003
  • second world war/Stalingrad box, 2003
  • the Second World War in original color photographs 1-3, 2002
  • the fall, 2004
  • volume OF Brothers (Tom Hanks among other things), to 2005
  • the soldier James Ryan, 1998

see also

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Commons: Article WorldWere II - Pictures, videos and/or audio files
Commons: Category World was II with Unterkategorien - pictures, videos and/or audio files
Wiktionary: The Second World War - word origin, synonyms and translations

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