Adolf Hitler was born on 20 April,1889 in Braunau am Inn, Austria-Hungary, close to the border with the German Empire.
He was a German politician and leader of the Nazi Party. When Germany was suffering economically after the end of WW1 and it needed a leader who could control the country by bringing its economy levels back up and getting it out of depression. For people of Germany Adolf Hitler seemed to fit this bill. Being a powerful speaker, Hitler found support among the growing ranks of unemployed and disillusioned people. With this type of support, Nazi Party in 1933 had became the largest party holding 288 of 647 seats.
Hitler then started to form alliances with smaller parties to gain control of the Reichstag. After becoming the Chancellor of Germany (Highest political position) in 1933, he took over Germany and became the “Fuhrer” (“Leader”) of Nazi Germany in 1934.After becoming the Fuhrer, Hitler began to bring Germany back from Depression by decreasing unemployment and creating more jobs for people.
By 1935 Germany was out of depression period. Hitler also started to rebuild the military.After building a strong military,The Nazi party started expanding its territories rapidly from 1935 to 1941 by invading other countries.
They took one of the major countries which were France and Poland. Poland fell in ? weeks and France in 6 weeks.Germany was on the verge of winning the war but Hitler’s three militaristic mistakes, extreme hatred against the Jews and not listening to his experienced generals resulted in Hitler’s downfall and a defeat for the Nazis in WW2.
On 10 May 1940, Germany attacked France. During the 1930s, France had constructed a series of Fortifications called the Maginot Line along the French-German border. This line was designed to stop a German invasion from the French-German border and divert an attack into Belgium, which could then be faced by the best divisions of the French Army.
The area to the North of the Maginot Line was covered by intensely wooded called Ardennes region and French General Philippe Petain called the area “impenetrable”. The initial plan for the German invasion was called for an encirclement attack through Netherlands and Belgium but Adolf Hitler approved the plan known as “Manstein Plan” in which Army Group A would invade through the Ardennes in southern Belgium. Army group B would execute a attack in the North to mislead Allied armies forward into Belgium and pin them down there. The attack at West was made the main effort by the use of Blitzkrieg. On 10 May, German forces invaded the Netherlands and Belgium. Army Group B attacked into Belgium and three Panzer corps of Army Group A went around to the South and drove for the Channel.
The BEF moved from the Belgian border to River Dyle within Belgium and fought elements of Army group B. On May 14, on Scheldt River Belgian and French troops failed to hold off German troops and the BEF at River Dyle were withdrawn to Scheldt River. On May,19, John Vereker, 6th Viscount Gort saw that the best option was to order the allied soldiers to evacuate across channel and he began planning a withdrawal to Dunkirk after hearing that French had no troops between the Germans and the sea. On 21 May, Allied troops were trapped by German forces. Allies troops then retreated to the port of Dunkirk.
On May 24, Hitler makes his first mistake by approving a halt order by Gerd von Rundstedt and Gunther von Kluge for the Blitzkrieg when they were 10 miles short off Dunkirk and instead giving Luftwaffe (German Air Force) the job to eliminate the trapped Allied troops. On May 26-27 a huge cyclonic storm came over the Flanders which saturated the areas and making the area swampy which was unfavourable for tanks. Hitler then made a decision of removing all the tanks and finishing off the allied forces through air. On May,28 the Atlantic storm had lingering effects at Dunkirk and these effects created a low ceiling which became an obstacle for the German air attacks through May 30. By June 1st bulk of troops had been evacuated and in the end 338,000 soldiers were saved. All the soldiers that were evacuated gave Britain a chance to still win the war.
France fell in 6 weeks and an war Armistice was signed by France and Germany on June 22. After conquering France, The Battle of Britain began on 10 July,1940. The battle of Britain was “The Air Battle for England” . Operation Sea Lion was the German invasion plan of United Kingdom and for the plan to work the Luftwaffe must first dominate the skies of Britain. The first phase (Kanalkampf) of battle commenced on July 10 and lasted for a month.
During this phase Luftwaffe attacked convoys in English Channel and Channel Ports. Also attacking on radar stations on the south coast of England began. The second phase (Adlerangriff) of the battle was the main assault and it was the further attacks on the radar stations and intense attacks against the airfields in order to destroy Great Britain’s fighter capability both in the air and on the ground. The launch of main assault took place on August 13 and was known as the Adlertag (Eagle Day). On this day Luftwaffe came out with immense force destroying radar stations, airfields and aircraft factories. The attacks continued throughout the entire month and into the month of September.
During this period the situation in RAF “11 Group became desperate”. The third phase (The Blitz) of the battle began on August 1, 1940 in which Luftwaffe started destroying industries and air force targets. Later in the month the Luftwaffe was winning until the battle of Britain took an unexpected turn. On the night of August 24-25 a Luftwaffe bomber accidently dropped its bomb on the city of London. In return, the RAF raided Berlin with 80 British Bombers. Hitler became very angry with raid on Berlin.
Hitler after the raid on Berlin makes his 2nd mistake by changing its targets from military to civilian targets. The shift in targets gave 11 Group in southeast England a chance to repair their airfields and radar sites and rearm. German raids were now heading for London and were in the range of 12 Group. On September 15, Germans launched a huge attack on London with 123 bombers and 650 fighter planes.
Luftwaffe suffered huge losses on this day. The Luftwaffe had failed miserably to destroy the RAF and after 2 days Hitler suspended Operation Sea Lion. Germany had the best chance of winning the Battle of Britain if Hitler did not switched targets. After failing to conquer Britain, Hitler focused on invading Soviet Union.
Operation Barbarossa was the German invasion plan of Soviet Union. On June 22, 1941, Hitler launched his armies eastward for a huge invasion of Soviet Union. There 3 million German soldiers, 150 division and 3 thousand tanks involved in this operation. In the operation’s opening month, German armies pushed deep into the Soviet Union territory. Moscow looked to be lay open for the German advance, but during this point, Russian weather interrupted the advance with heavy rains turning roads into morasses. In November, the frosts made the mud solid which enabled the drive to resume.
But there was an another problem for the German soldiers which was that they had no winter clothes or supply dumps for the winter but the generals convinced Hitler to continue. By the spring of 1942, Operation Barbarossa had failed which was to defeat Soviet Union in a single campaign but despite its failure the German Army had captured vast territory of Soviet Union including Ukraine, Belarus and the Baltic republics. With these initial operations being successful, the German Army decided that campaign in summer of 1942 would be to focus at the Southern parts of Soviet Union.
On July 23, 1942, Hitler personally rewrote the objectives of the operation for the campaign of 1942, stating to include the occupation of the city of Stalingrad. It was anticipated that the fall of Stalingrad would strongly secure the Northern and Western flanks of the German armies as they will push towards Baku, with the aim of conquering petroleum resources for Germany. On September 3, 1942 the German Army had reached the outskirts of Stalingrad and they were expecting to take capture the city in short period of time.
But the Russian had made their defences strong and they kept bringing in reinforcements. In mid-November, Germans were running short of men and supplies and the red army launched its counteroffensive by surrounding the enemy. At this point Hitler makes his third mistake by not allowing the Germans to retreat/surrender or fight their way out and ordered them to hold their ground at all costs.
On February 2,1943, General Paulus surrendered to Red Army. About 150,000 German soldiers had died in the fighting. The battle of Stalingrad proved to be the turning point of the war as it was Germany’s first defeat in WW2.Jews in the Nazi Germany faced extreme hatred.
Jews before Nazi Germany was formed made up 1% of the population of Germany. Hitler during this time period noticed politicians using Jews for political gain. Jews despite being the smaller share in the possible were dominating in fields such as scientific research where they even got nobel prize. Hitler started hating Jews for his political gain and used them as a perfect scapegoat for all of Germany’s problems. Hitler blamed Jews for Germany’s shameful defeat in WW1. He also said that Jews were responsible for the downfall of the monarchy and ruination in Germany.
All these reasons helped in his political gain and helped him become the Fuhrer of the Nazi-Germany. Once he became the Fuhrer in 1933, conditions for Jews in Nazi-Germany got worse. Following Hitler’s rise to power in 1933, the government passed laws which excluded Jews from the civil. In the same year, Nazis constructed a network of concentration camps in Germany for political opponents and people who were considered “undesirable” which included Jews.
On September 15, 1935, the Nazi government introduced the Nuremberg Laws. Nuremberg Laws consisted of two laws. The first Law was for the protection of German Blood banned marriages and extramarital intercourse between the Jews and Germans.
The second law was the Law for German Honour which required the employment of German females under 45 in Jewish households. The Reich Citizenship Law also declared that only people who were German or related blood were eligible to be Reich citizens and rest of the people were classed as state subjects and had no citizenship rights. After invading Poland in 1939, the Germans formed ghettos to Confine Jews. The Ghettos were closed off from the outside world at different times and for several reasons.Over 42,000 camps,ghettos and other detention sites were constructed.
The Ghettos were ran by a “Judenrat” who was a Jewish Council. In the year of 1942, the Final Solution to the Jewish Question was introduced. It was a Nazi plan for the extermination of the all the Jews in Europe during WW2. As the German forces pushed forward to the East and captured territories, all anti-Jewish protocols were in effect.
Under the command of the SS, killings took place within Germany and throughout German-occupied Europe. Paramilitary units known as Einsatzgruppen were killing squads who murdered approximately 1.3 million Jews in mass shootings between 1941 and 1945. By the mid-1942 victims were being removed from ghettos and were sent to extermination camps also known as death camps.
They were transported in sealed freight trains without any food or water. The trains also did not have any washrooms in them which created unhealthy conditions for the Jewish. Barely any Jewish person survived the train ride to the extermination camps. If someone did survive, they were killed in gas chambers. This much hatred of Jews by Hitler also resulted in his downfall because Jews were being forced to work at factories without any pay. This meant that the military supplies that were being manufactured at those factories were of poor quality and did not last for a long time.
The biggest loss for Hitler for his Hatred against the Jewish People was that Jewish Scientists living in Germany and Germany occupied Europe fled to North America. For example, Albert Einstein who was a German-born Jewish scientist who left Europe after Hitler came into power. Albert Einstein along with other Jewish scientists who left Europe contributed in the Manhattan Project of making the atomic bomb which was later dropped on Japan during WW2.
If Hitler did not have this extreme hatred against the Jews, he would have easily made the atomic bomb earlier than other nations and could have used it to win WW2.