Germany Second World War

Notes on the Second World War under the Nazi party, :)

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  • Created on: 01-05-12 14:21
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Germany in the Second World War
It is important to remember that, at least from Germany's point of view, the Second World
War can be divided into two distinct phases. The first runs from 19391942, when Germany
experienced a series of military successes, and that the general population were not greatly
affected by the hardships of war. Key to the German battle plan was a great deal of support
from the folks at home, but this was not immediately forth coming at the outbreak of war.
Many people had memories of the horrors that had come during the First World War, and
were concerned about a second war. However, the success of the Blitzkrieg tactics helped
boost people's feelings.
The second of these phases, from 1942 to 1945, was less successful ­ a series of military
defeats, misery for the German population and economic crises. Germany had overstretched
itself, and was now fighting too many enemies on too many fronts. In addition, these enemies
had now started to bomb the civilian populations of Germany, and by 1945 the country was
close to collapse.
Phase One, 19391941
Rearmament ­ Key Dates
1934 ­ Hitler orders rearmament on a massive scale, which directly went against the Treaty
of Versailles.
1935 ­ Military Service becomes compulsory
1938 ­ The Wehrmacht had swollen to 900,000 men, the Kriegsmarine had also massively
expanded and the Luftwaffe was back.
1939 ­ Many of the most modern and technologically advanced weapons belonged to
Germany.
The Economy
Göring introduced his Four Year Plan in 1936. Its aim was autarky. While Germany
expanded it's boarders in the war, they were able to take resources from new parts of the
Reich, sending back the luxury items to Germany itself to help with morale.
Rationing
This was brought in from the very beginning of the war in Germany, and every effort was
made to make sure people had a balanced diet. For things that couldn't be gotten, there were
ersatz materials, for things like coffee. Clothes were rationed, and toilet paper was impossible
to get hold of. Hot water was only available two days in the week, and soap was also
rationed. But the Black Market flourished, and people started to barter.
Evacuation
Like in Britain, children were evacuated, but many returned home when the immediate attacks
did not arrive. It was 1943 before the mass evacuation occurred. Most children were sent to
Austria and Bavaria.
The Second Phase ­ Total War
Total war was the phrase used by the Nazis which involved all sections of the economy and
society contributing to the war effort. It was an attempt to stop the Allied advance on
Germany.

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Problems with workers
As men went into the army, the Nazis began to rethink their attitudes to women, and their
position in the work place. But their efforts to recruit women were unsuccessful. The fact
that only 1 million of the 3 million women between the ages 1745 accepted the jobs was one
of the reasons Germany was defeated. Instead the Nazis were forced to use foreign workers,
and those from concentration camps.…read more

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Map showing positions of different camps.
Resistance to Nazi Rule
Resistance to the Nazi Party comes under three main headings:
Young People and Students
The Edelweiss Pirates and Swing Youth tended to get into fights with members of the Hitler
Youth, as these groups didn't like the strict rules the Nazis had for young people. The Swing
Youth listened to banned Jazz music and danced in secret clubs, and the head of the Cologne
Edelweiss Pirates was hanged in November 1944.…read more

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Defeat of Germany and the end of the Third Reich
Hitler began to direct the war effort from his bunker in Berlin from January 1945. The Allies
crossed the Rhine on 24th March 1945, and the Russians entered Berlin from the east on 22nd
April. Over 2 million refugees died from cold, hunger, disease and exhaustion as they fled
from the incoming forces.
Hitler married his mistress in late April, before killing himself on 30th April.…read more

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