Impact of the war 39-45

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  • Created by: Muy
  • Created on: 23-04-13 00:35

Changes in attitudes 39-41

Nazis overaran Poland in 4 week, using Blitzkreig, a phoney war followed this... This ended once Germany invaded Scandinavia in 1940 and Brit troops fought at the coast of Norway

Conquered low countries before taking control of France, failed at Battle of Britain, early successes bolstered morale

Shortages of meat but meat rations were reasonable til 42, early victories helped morale, propaganda may have helped

Shortages of labour and goods due to conscription, large quantities of raw materials consumed, workers wages reduces and bonuses/overtime banned, resentment meant by Oct 39 wage levels were restored

Married women w/ children managed the home with shortages of food, Nazism emphasised womens role as mothers but labour shortage left Hitler in a dilemma, National Socialist Workers League helped women economise and organised women to help with war effort, families of conscripted men recieve benefits, women made up 27% of workers in industry

Hitler Youth membership was compulsory, young wern't conscripted, emphasis on training boys to become future soldiers, young people were evacuated from cities, youth opposition increase i.e. White Rose Movement

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Invasion of USSR

Prior to war a non-aggression pact was signed with USSR, so Nazis wouldnt be fighting two fronts

1941 fighting on Western front ceased, hence Hitler confidently started war on East

Hitler invaded USSR as they were Communists, and class war represented everything Hitler detested ... It would allow Hitler to destroy Soviet Communism 

Lebensraum in the East - invasion would also allow Hitler to subjugate the Slavs who were considered an inferior race or 'untermenschen' ... Access to Russias materials e.g. oil

Operation Barbosa - launched invasion on USSR in 41, Germany was fighting two fronts, 3.9 mil axis soldiers - Soviet air force was almost destroyed and USSR territory was being gained on, Hitler underestimated strength of USSR armies and the Red Army repelled the Germans in Leningrad (first major defeat), harsh winter set in, 65% of allied casualty on Eastern Front, 95% of subsequent German casulties on Eastern Front, many atrocities committed such as  ****, Operation Barbosa saw the start of the Holocaust - mass killings of ideological/racial enemies

Reactions to OB - lack of propaganda preceding the invasion, many recognised war on Soviets was necessary, human cost was huge with 200,000 October dead, conscription age widened, crisis in arms production  due to invasion causing double shifts, propaganda against Jews intensified, influx of slave labour, rationing increase and began for fruitsm vegetables and potatoes  in 41, originary Germans suffered most, working class moms juggled employment and home life

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Military defeats 43-45

1942 Germany was overstretched, by 43 in retreat... Pearl Harbor attack meant Germany declared war on the USA, the USA supplied troops and assissted the allies

Stalingrad - entire German sixth army of 300,000 was surrounded and surrendered to the Red Army in 43, poor German command, effective Soviet tactics and Russian winter contributed

Mass bombings - Birtish bombed industrial/military targets in 1940, this was extended to civilian targets by 43 which hindered the war effort... Alied bombings killed 305,000 people and destroyed 2 mil homes

Battle of the Atlantic - Marchant shipping convoys protected by Allied navies/air forces - were sometimes destroyed by German U boats... in 43 allied forces started to win this battle through improvements in range of aircraft, use of radar, increased Allied warships

Anzio and Monte Cassino - victory in El Alamein, allied forces took control in N.Africa, invasion of Sicily in 43, invaded Italy succesfully and pushed northwards, path to Romen opened in 44, 1 month if fighting out of their beachead to advance on Rome and break trhough a vital German strongpoint

D-Day and Operation Bagration - US, Canadian and British forces opened up a third front in Northern France, and pushed Germans back from the West, USSR were successful against Germans in Operation Bagration, total defeat for Germany loomed

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Germany in 45

War was lost by 45, Soviets reached border of Germany while American army crossed the Rhine, as they crossed paths at Elbe - the Soviets closed in on Berlin

Germany refused to surrender, the Battle of Berlin was the largest yet - Hitler committed suicide and 8th May Germany surrendered

The refusal to surrender left Germany in ruins, Germans call this 'zero hour', the allied powers divided Germany into 4 zones of occupation

Millions were left homeless, 12 million ethnic German refugees forced westwards by the Soviets from Russia, 10 million former forced labourers/prisoners of war and concentration camp survivors, 7.7 milliion returning German prisoners of war

Holocaust survivors were homeless, some stayed in Germany as situation of Jews in Eastern Europe was uncertain, many also emigrated to Palestine

Many German cities were in ruins such as Berlin, 20% of housing completely destroyed

Most infastructure inc. roads, railways etc broke down, economy was shattered, German marks worth barely anything, food/fuel in short supply - rations were 50% of reccomended level

Refusal of Hitler to surrender, Allied demands for unconditional surrender preventing peace negotiations, fear of the Russias and fanatical/ruthless Nazis who executed defeatists, patriots, hope of miracle weapon, faith in Hitler and Nazism -> Reasons to continue fighting regardless of the looming inevitable defeat

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Total war

Eastern front meant all effort was aimed towards winning the war, the government effort to direct the whole resources of the economy to war production

By 41, 55% of the workforce were involved in war related projects, but productivity was low compared to Allies - Britain produced twice as many aircrafts in 41, and USSR 2000x tanks, Eastern Front demanded an efficient/total contribution to the war economy

Hitler demanded increased productivity, Speer the Minister for Armaments and Production took measures known as total war - central planning board to co-ordinate economic organisation, Speer encouraged employment of women, concentration camp prisoners as labour, prevention of skilled workers being conscripted, Armaments Commission establed to encourage standardisation of production

Speers measures meant - ammunition production rose 97%, tank production rose 25%, total arms production rose 59%, 42-44 war production tebled, productivity per worker increased 60% in munitions

Productivity still lagged behind enemies, SS often acted against economic efficiency...

- labour shortages held economy back, woment wernt fully mobilised, reliance on foreign workers who were treated badly and underfed slave labours, foreign labour productivity was 60-80% lower than average German workers, shortages of raw materials e.g. oils/coal, Stalins Scorched Earth Policy hindered Nazis, allied bombing reduced capacity of German economy to expand, industry was diverted, 44 bombing of transport disrupted day-to-day lives of Urban Germans

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Impact of invasion of USSR + Total War

Aim of wartime propaganda was to maintain morale, and that the war could be won, it stereotyped Russians as brutal, weak figures and attacked communism

During Operation Barbarosa, propaganda promised final victory i.e. Hitler ensured the capture of Stalingrad would be completed in 42

Optimistics tone of propaganda in 42 went against the general mood, many Russian slave labourers were well educated/civilised - going against the image propaganda represented... many lost faith in this 'final victory'

In 43 Russians started winning the war, propaganda changed as Hitler was associated with defeat, and made fewer public appearances... Goebbels became prominent, and propaganda enthesised 'heroic death' ... Nazi geronmented refused to admit of the Stalingrad defeat

Defeat at Stalingrad was the turning point in propaganda, it was announced on radio followed by 3 min silence and national Anthem of axis being played, cinemas/theatres closed

Defeat started Total War, linked to Speers changes - he called on the Germans to support this in a speech

Total War speech demanded self sacrifice, Goebbels admitted Germanys possible defeat, hopes to create 'strength through fear', made a great deal of UK/USA demands of unconditional surrender - allies wanted total destruction of Germany

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Opposition during wartime

Most people didn't actively challenge the Nazis, strains of war hoever increased opposition

Christians - Catholic Church protected its interests/values, protests against cruxifices being removed in Bavarian schools (this caused a reversal), Bishop Galen attacked euthanasia programme, individual Protestant churchmen spoke out against the regime

Youts - Edelweiss Pirates became more active working w/ communist underground helping to smuggle out escaped prisoners of war, leaders of Pirates publicly hanged in 44, White Rose student movement formed in 42 urged the rejection of Nazis value/ethics/morals through leaflets, leaders Sophie & Han Scholl executed in 43

Left wingers - invasion of Russia increased communist activity w/ communist propaganda leaftlets increasing, activist Uhrig established resistance cells in factories, active socialist groups in cities - establishing national underground leadership and The Freedom Fight established, Kapelle distrubuted anti-Nazi leaftlet and created a communist network - this was destroyed in 42

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Opposition during wartime II

Conservative - sought a restoration of the rule of law, wanted end to war, Kreisau Circle was a conservative group which had contact with left wing/military opponents to regime, diverse members of Kreisau Circle and disagreements on goals affected its effectiveness, Army officers led by von Staffenber carried out 44 bomb plot although this failed

44 bomb plot - many thought Hitler was leading Germany to destruction and likelihood of communist takeover by the USSR, others were concerned with Ethics such as holocaust of the East, pragmatic reasons such as better negotiation with Allies if Hitler was dead, many saw a leader losing touch with reality, belief of consensus was declining

Opposition failed to overthrow regime - lack of support - support of Nazis declined yet membership numbers were small, terror state - resistors were imprisoned or executed, they acted after Nazi had complete control such as the conservatives, few shared goals within oppisition groups

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Impact on people of military defeat/total war

In 43, military defeats and pressure of Total War led to a decline in moral - 

- deteriorating working conidtions, alled bombing of German cities, Societ advance from 43 worried the Germans, V1/V2 Rocket Campaign on SE England and Ports failed to have a decisive impact

Workers - total war regime attempted to mobilied labour efficiently, government created register for male & female workers and reassigned workers in non essential industries, war in 44 worsened workers condition, holidays banned and working hours increased, employers could fine absenteeism, workers organised into groups and kept in line by loyal Party members

Women - Hitler still wouldnt sanction full mobilisation of women workers, efforts made to get married-childless women to work, 130,000 sent to armament factories, working class resented middle class women exampt from working, Jan 43 women aged 17-45 had to register to work - exemptions for pregnant women and farmers wives, Hitler increase age limit to 50, 45' 60% of workers were women

Youth - total war saw youngers caught directly in the war effort, 2 mil youths organised to help with 42 harvest, conscription reduced to 17 at 43, Waffen SS trained some Hitler Youths and 16-18 year olds drafted into the organisation from 43, by 45 certain areas of armed forces conscription lowered to 16, boys as young as 12 deployed in front line in 45'

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