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Conflict in Europe 1935-1945 look up and symptoms of tuberculosis.

Key features and issues: Causes of the Conflict: Nazi aggression, Hitlers nationalist and ideological aims were limitless and could only be stopped by force Failure of the Anglo-French appeasement. Hitler was a man who could never be appeased, so only fed his appetite for more Failure of the League of Nations and collective security Origins of the war in 1939 can be found in the peace settlement of 1919. Inter-war period revealed a growing contradiction between international system and the realities of power

Aims and strategies of both sides: Nazi strategy of Blitzkrieg Nazi occupation and administration of conquered territory by either puppet regimes or strict SS rule The Blitz Allied bombing of Germany Russian Steamroller campaigns Allied campaigns in North Africa, Italy and Western Europe War in the Atlantic

Turning Points (historians argue possible ones): Battle of Britain if Britain had fallen in 1940, nothing could have stopped Hitler. He would have been free to move east and a Nazi-controlled Britain would have made Us intervention impossible. Survival of Moscow December 1941 A Russian loss here would have guaranteed Nazi domination of Europe which even US intervention would have found difficult to counter. El Alamein, October 1942 Germanys defeat in North Africa turned the strategic balance in the allies favour, opened up a new front and denied Germany essential oil supplies German defeat at Stalingrad February 1943 a major defeat that turned the tide in favour of the USSR

Battle of Kursk July 1943 Hitlers failure at Kursk meant that the initiative on the Eastern Front was forever lost to the Red Army.

Impact of the war on civilians: Britain British civilians had to endure the impact of German bombing raids, the german U-boat campaign created severe shortages on the British Home Front, however morale was sustained and there was an effective total war effort Germany Hitler refuse to implement total war policies until 1943, allied bombing and later soviet attacks decimated the German Home Front, German civilians suffered far more than their British counterparts, Nazi repression increased enormously during the war years. USSR Stalin reverted to total war immediately, assisted by the centralized Soviet economy. The effort of Soviet civilians were nothing less than superhuman as conditions on the Russian Home Front were incredibly harsh due to both German attacks and the nature of Stalins regime. Leningrad had to withstand a Nazi siege for three years.

Origins, nature and impact of the Holocaust: The pursuit of Aryan superiority and anti-semitism were basic to Nazi foreign policy. Historians disagree about the nature of the Holocaust: Was it an inevitable development of the Nazi regime? Was it the result of the radicalization of the Nazi regime bought on by the extremes of war? Nazi persecution was not restricted to the Jews.

Reasons for the Allied Victory: The nature of the Nazi regime, with its inefficiency and inability to maximize its resources The eventual overwhelming Allied economic and military superiority Allied control of the air Allied control of the sea The superiority of Allied leadership compared to that of the Axis powers.

Growth of European Tensions (causes of the conflict) Dictatorships in Germany and Italy o Germany Nazi ideology Hitler absorbed a range of ideas that had appeared in Europe in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Hitler used foreign policy as a means to an end:

Revisionism This was the gradual process of tearing up the hated Treaty of Versailles o Ending reparations (achieved at the 1932 Lausanne Conference o Restoring German military might with conscription and rearmament o Recovering territories taken from Germany in 1919 o Regaining Germanys rightful place in Europe The creation of Grossdeutschland o Process of bringing all Germans in Europe into the Reich and under the control of the Nazi government o The union of Germany and German-speaking Austria (Anschluss) o Taking over German speaking territories currently under the political control of Czechoslovakia, Poland and Lithuania Self-sufficiency o Revision of the Versailles Treaty and the creation of GrossDeutschland would move Germany closer to economic self-sufficiency which would assist future expansion A reckoning with France o Inevitable war with France in which Germany would destroy France the main objectives were Objective 1: The achievement of Lebensraum Lebensraum roughly means living space The German Aryan race was a dynamic, vibrant race which was destined to comprise 250 million people by the end of the century This master race would need space to grow and this space would be found in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. This would involve war with the Soviet Union (Russia). Victory in this conflict would provide the expanded German empire with not only space but also grain and oil. Objective 2: Racial Aims Nazi ideology was racial in nature. Inferior races would naturally be overcome in a Darwinian conflict of the survival of the fittest. The inferior Slavs of Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union would become a future slave force for the master race. o Benito Mussolini

Background: October 1922, the leader of the Fascist Party, Benito Mussolini ordered thousands of his party members to march on Rome.

o 1922 he had been given full powers for one year o The electoral law of 1924 ensured total Fascist domination of the parliament o Laws were quickly passed which forbade strikes, abolished all political parties except the Fascist party and gave Mussolini the power to initiate all laws. Fascist Domestic Policy: No opposition allowed, death penalty was reintroduced, trial by jury was ended and a secret police was established Mussolinis domestic policy was directed at improving the economy, living conditions and reaching agreement with the church. Working conditions o 1927 charter of Labour o Fixed working conditions o Benefits provided by the National After-Work organisation The economy o Several hydro-electric schemes built o Expansion of manufacturing o Draining of the Pontine Marshes near Rome 1929: The Lateran accord o The Pope recognized the state of the state of Italy o The Vatican State was created o A concordant made Roman Catholicism the official state religion Social Policy o Compulsory primary and secondary education o Expansion of hospitals o Improved sanitation

Aims of Mussolinis foreign policy Longer term aims o Revival of the glory of the Roman Empire o The end of the perception of Italian weakness o The turning of the Mediterranean Sea into an Italian lake Medium Term Aims o Revision of the Paris Peace Settlement in Italys favour o Development of military preparedness The League of Nations and collapse of collective security, Abyssinia, the Spanish Civil War

o The League of Nations Fourteen Point Speech to the American Congress. Wilsons 14th point called for a League of Nations arguing that if it had existed before the Great War could have been avoided, the main purpose of the League was to avoid future conflict, though it also involves itself in a wide variety of non-political issues. League of nations comprised of: o An assembly o A council o A secretariat o Non-political organizations Achievements: o Yugoslavia accepted League demands to withdraw from Albania following its invasion of that country in 1921. o A potentially dangerous clash between Greece and Bulgaria was settled in 1925. Fundamental Flaws o Did not reflect balance of power in the world USA never joined o Dominant League powers were Britain and France By 1920s both were second rate military and economic powers Britain tried to limit its European involvement, preferring to look after its considerable imperial responsibilities France tried to use it to guarantee its own security, League tainted with Western efforts to uphold the 1919 Peace Settlement o Principle idea of internationalism o No military force only moral and or economic sanction to impose its will o Even before 1930s League failed in maintaining peace Failed to stop many nations intervening in the civil war in Russia that followed the Bolshevik Revolution Italy ignored the League over the Corfu Incident of 1923 o The Collapse of Collective Security Contained in article 10 of the covenant of the league collective security, main challenge to the authority of the League and the principle of collective security came from the Japanese actions in the Far East Refusal to admit Germany until 1926 Fear of Communist Russia Poor support for new nation states Failure to address ethnic rivalries e.g. Poland 1 mil germans, 6 mil Russian, 3 mil jews

Failure to extend disarmament Failure of the US to join 1924 Wilson died a broken disillusioned man, US withdrew from its European commitment Failure to act against aggression o Manchuria 1931-1933 Was a source of raw materials and food, a potential market and a convenient location for potential Japanese immigrants, 1932 Japan had attacked and turned it into the independent state of Manchukuo Some half-hearted attempts from the LoN but failed, Japan withdrew in March 1933 o Abyssinia 1935-1936 Mussolini launched a full scale attack on the East African nation of Abyssinia in October 1935, Mussolini wanted a fascist lake. By mid1936 the country was under Italian control. Abyssinia was of little economic use to Italy, apart from Mussolinis cronies misuse of government subsidies to build up their own fortune, Italian rule in Abyssinia was brutal, corrupt and inefficient. Italy showed contempt for the League, the sanctity of world agreements and the welfare of the Abyssinians A. appealed to the LoN various times before invasion, Britain and France could have acted but: They wanted to uphold the authority of the League which meant condemning Italy But they also wanted to maintain the Stresa Front against Germany. Paper tiger o The Spanish Civil War 1936-1939 Spain was gripped by a life or death struggle between supporters of the left wing Republican government and a coalition of Nationalists including the Fascist Falange, Catholics, monarchists and the army Germany gets involved why? Desire to prevent the Russian Bolshevism Need to acquire cheap raw materials from Spain The decision to test the battle-readiness of Germanys air force and equipment Need to divert and weaken Italy as it would make it less likely to seek new friendships with Britain or France

Mussolini and Hitler both send supplies, planes, men, mustard gas to General Francisco Franco, the Nationalist Commander-in-Chief of the military junta. By the time Hitlers forces had reoccupied the Rhineland region, the League of Nations had proved itself incompetent to counter aggression, especially violence perpetrated by its own members, collapse of collective security encouraged Nazi regime to continue with its demand for territorial adjustments Britain, France and the policy of appeasement; an assessment o Origins and Definitions of Appeasement Policy of inaction against aggressors and concessions to avoid outright violence May 1937 Chamberlain replaces Stanley Baldwin as prime minister and sought Lord Halifaxs advice on foreign policy despite Anthony Eden his foreign secretary since 1935, Eden retired in 1938 and Halifax stepped in but he did not believe Hitler could be contained through diplomacy alone. Italy invaded Albania on 1st Sept 1939 and Hitler invaded Poland the same month o Appeasement France and Britain abandoned Czechoslovakia to Nazi Germany, Munich Conference results: Czechoslovakia lost 800,000 people, 17, 600 square kilometers of territory (including Teschen to Poland and South Ruthenia to Hungary) and 70 per cent of its iron and steel capacity to Germany. 35 divisions of the Czech army were neutralized Germany emerged as the most powerful state in Europe, Hitler had humiliated Britain and France by forcing the complete dismemberment of a state created at the Versailles Conference in o The Munich Conference After the Munich conference, opinion in Britain swung drastically against Germany. Chamberlain introduced a new arms Bill in Parliament, accelerating the rearmament program. The Bill at least assured the country the country a fair measure of protection against both the Luftwaffe and the likelihood of invasion during the autumn of 1940. On the 21 October 1938, he ordered the German troops to prepare to control the remainder of Czechoslovakia, by 16 th March German occupation of the Bohemia was complete

o The End of Appeasement Hitler concluded that Western statesmen were unlikely to oppose him or be drawn into war on any other territorial problem in Europe Soviet Union realized that Britain and France were too weak to resist Hitler. Stalin began to plan a pact with Germany to avert confrontation, at least until Soviet forces could be strengthened Significance of the Nazi-Soviet Non-aggression pact o Role of the Soviet Union By 1939, Chamberlain and Daladier realized that an alliance with the Soviet Union was the only effective guarantee to prevent German aggression against Poland. Soviet dictator (Josef Stalin), was now in a powerful position, but suspicious of the non-Communist world. He had earlier been willing to cooperate with the Western powers in April 1939, yet they were fearful of communism. o A Secret Pact Ribbentrop and Molotov were conducting own secret diplomacy, on the 23rd August 1939, the Nazi-Soviet Non-aggression Pact was signed in Moscow, news of which shocked the world. This was a diplomatic bombshell, Stalins motivation; to gain much needed breathing space in which Soviet rearmament could proceed, having gained control over Finland, Estonia, Latvia and Bessarabia. Hitler gained Lithuania, and central and western Poland, and had secured the neutrality of the Soviet Union. Bolshevism, however still remained Hitlers enemy. At the time of the pact, he commented to Carl Burckhardt, Swiss Commissioner to the League of Nations Everything that I undertake is directed against Russia. The pact also freed Hitler to pursue his plans to attack Poland, and the invasion date was set for 26th August 1939. Britain ignored the Pact by concluding a military alliance with Poland. Hitler now offered to moderate his terms, but the ploy to undermine British support for Poland. Hitler offered to moderate his terms, but the ploy to undermine British support for Poland failed.

Course of the European War (Aims and strategies of the Allied and Axis powers and turning points of the war) German Advances: the fall of Poland, the Low Countries and France o Blitzkrieg Main strategy of lightning war, timetable war, quick fast and devastating for the other side before they could mount an effective resistance. Hitler was confident of Germanys military superiority. There were no plans to fight a prolonged war which ended up lasting 6 years. Blitzkrieg was therefore paramount, a coordinated attack of motorized infantry, parachutists, tanks and waves of dive-bombers mostly Stukas which could make precision attacks, also equipped with sirens, activated during the descent towards the target to demoralize civilian populations. In the early months of the war which worked well against weak or ill-prepared opponents such as France or Poland. o Hitlers military philosophy Possessed unusual insight into military strategy which bordered on the genius, in the early stages of the war against France, Hitlers overruled his generals in favour or bold, imaginative action, which resulted in victory but boosted Hitlers ego to the point where he made decisions illconsidered and misinformed. He drew more introvert and had delusions of grandeur. He no longer heeded his advisors. 1938 Hitler appointed himself Supreme Commander of the armed forces. In addition he became Commander-in-Chief of the army 1941, giving him complete charge over all army operations. The German and Italian High Commands were not linked, consequently Hitler and Mussolini fought parallel wars and were determined not to give each other a voice in strategic planning. o War is declared Nazi attack on Poland (Operation Case White) commenced 1 st Sept, 1939, With reprehension Britain and France declared war on Germany on the 3rd Sept. According to American journalist, William Shirer when it was announced in Berlin, there was no excitement, no hurrahs, no cheering There is not even any hate for the French and British o The Fall of Poland 1st Sept 1939, the Luftwaffe struck at Polish airfields, destroying nearly all the planes before they could leave the ground. Then transport and

communication were attacked, before the day was over the Polish leadership was helpless, mobilization of the Polish army had been prevented. In the campaign, German forces took 694, 000 prisoners although an estimated 100, 000 men escaped into neighbouring Lithuania, Hungary and Rumania. Of the German forces, 14 000 were killed and 30 000 wounded, the number of Polish dead were never recorded o Germany Attacks the Low Countries The invasion and occupationof Norway and Denmark in early April 1940 were precursors to an all-out attack on France, and the Netherlands and Belgium (the Low Countries). Bad weather repeatedly forced postponement of the invasion scheduled for November1939. Difference between the opposing forces was not the numbers of men or quality of equipment, rather the approach to modern warfare. The rapid German attack, using formations of tanks and armoured vehicles, heavy artillery and close air support caught the Allies by surprise. The Netherlands Commenced early on 10 May 1940, preliminaries included thousands of German paratroopers. Dutch Nazi sympathizers and German nationals succeeded in capturing vital bridges and communications. On the 14th of May the business centre of Rotterdam was destroyed by a Luftwaffe raid, inflicting 30 000 civilian casualties It took only 5 days to defeat 400 000 strong Dutch army who surrendered on the 14th May The Attack on Belgium Coordinated to start with the invasion of the Netherlands. Before dawn, the 6th army of army group B, under General Walter von Reichenau, attacked across the River Meuse and the Albert Canal, North of Liege, Belgian King Leopold II appealed to the Allies for aid. On 27th May Leopold met for an armistice, the next day 400, 000 Belgian troops. Allied leaders were appalled at his defection as it made British and French troops more vulnerable, Leopold was detained in Brussels, while his government fled to London. o Invasion of France

As German forces streamed into Belgium, the main attack on France was launched where it was least expected through the wooded valleys and forests of the Ardennes Intention was to trap French, British and Belgian forces in a pocket, the French High Command failed to appreciate the speed of the new type of warfare being waged by Germany. 20th May Germany had taken the town of Abbeville 40 Allied divisions were trapped due to severed communications. French Premier, Paul Reynaud sacked General Gamelin, replacing him with a new Commanderin-Chief, General Maxime Weygand. Gamelins dismissal made little difference to the military situation, which was already hopeless o The evacuation from Dunkirk Fighting a rearguard action, the BEF, French and Belgium divisions retreated to Dunkirk, the only serviceable port still in Allied hands. Labelled as one of the most spectacular rescue attempts of the entire war, they assembled for evacuation across the English channel to England, called Operation Dynamo, mustered almost 900 British, Dutch, Belgian and French ships of all sizes, including destroyers, ferries and private motorboats. For nine days the operation continued on unusually calm conditions on the English Channel, assisted the return of nearly 340, 000 men. o The fall of France 11th June French forces were pushed back behind the River Marne. To avoid the destruction of historic architecture and treasures, the government declared Paris an open city, retreating to the Tours and then Bordeaux. 16th June Premier Reynauds Cabinet voted to request an armistice, Reynaud resigned Rapid collapse of France was due to: German superiority in manpower, air power, leadership and fighting spirit Failure of the French General Staff during the interwar years to adopt strategies based on mobile warfare, forcing them to rely on static lines of defence such as the Maginot Line The failure to prepare defensive positions along the frontiers in the Ardennes Political and economic turmoil in France during 1930s, which sapped the will to resist; there were as many Nazi sympathizers

among conservatives as there were defeatists among the left wing. Operation Barbarossa, the Battle of Stalingrad and the significance of the Russian campaign o Why did Hitler invade Russia? Hitlers long-standing antagonism towards Bolshevism Lebensraum in the east at the expense of the Slavic people Need to secure the oil fields in the Caucasus region To neutralize Great Britain; to achieve this, British interests in Iran and the Near East would be attacked from nearby Russian bases following the conquest of the Soviet Union. December 18th 1940, Hitler issued secret Direction 21 (Operation Barbarossa) for the invasion of Soviet Union. Meanwhile Stalin, unaware of Hitlers true intentions, concluded a joint economic agreement on 10 Jan 1941, recognizing Germanys newly created authority in the Balkans. o Hess defects 10th May 1941, Rudolf Hess, Deputy Fuhrer and leader of the Nazi party defected to Britain in an effort to make peace. He never divulged the plans to attack the Soviet Union but for the remainder of the war he was in custody then transferred for the Nuremburg War crimes trial. o Germany Attacks: June-August 1941 On the eve of the invasion, 4 million men, 3300 tanks and 5000 aircraft were poised for attack. 22 June SU was invaded without any declaration of war. Rumania, Italy, Slovakia and Hungary assisted the attack. First 48 hours 2000 Soviet aircraft destroyed, by mid-July Smolensk had been captured, more than two-thirds of the way to Moscow. Damage wrought by Stalins army purges of 1937 and 1938 were plain to see, incompetent Generals chosen for their political views lost approx. 2.5 million mean, killed, wounded or captured, from a total of 4.5 million, tanks from 15000 to 700 o Stalins response Warned by British and American intelligence that Hitler had been preparing for such an attack, Stalin refused to believe the reports until the fighting commenced. Four hours after German invasion he was still denying his armies the right to return German fire. Despite his own spy intelligence he still refused to believe it o The Establishment of the Stavka

23rd June 1941 Stalin formed the General Headquarters of the High Command (Stavka). This comprised himself, Molotov, Malenkov, Beria and Voroshilov. Army commanders to fight using delaying tactics whilst vital undustrial plants were dismantled and moved to the east of the Ural Mountains, in an angry mood, Stalin ordered the execution of General DG Pavlov the commander of Soviet forces on the main route from Warsaw to Moscow. 27th June German troops reached Minsk, reality sunk in and Stalin retired to his dacha (country house) 1 July Stalin returned to the Kremlin and two days later made a public broadcast explaining the war. 3rd July 1941 he called Soviet people o scorch the earth before the invaders Battle of El Alamein and the significance of the conflict in North Africa to the European War o The Significance of Italy o Afrika Korps o Significance of El Alamein o Anglo-American Operations o The Death of Rommel o Allies invade Italy

Civilians at War (Impact of war on civilians and origins, nature and impact of the Holocaust) Social and economic effects of the war on civilians in Britain and either Germany OR the Soviet Union o Britain o Germany Nazi racial policies: the Holocaust and the persecution of minorities o The Holocaust o The Persecution of Minorities End of the Conflict (reasons for the Allied Victory) DDay and the Liberation of France Russian counter offensives 1944 Final defeat 1944-45 Neuremburg War Crimes trials