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49

I'm not sure there is any direct evidence that it was strategically a bad idea. Strategically it made sense to attack the Soviet Union while they were weak and unprepared for war. Hitler knew that as he made progress on the Western front that Stalin grew more and more nervous everyday about the growing power of Nazi Germany. What must be remembered is ...


38

To a certain extent there's a wider question to ask - why did German armies fight so well in WW2? I say that because the answers to both questions overlap. The effectiveness of ordinary German soldiers made their generals look good, and good generalship made the soldiers effective. But to restrict this answer specifically to the senior officers I'd say the ...


32

To sum it up: The costs simply outweighed the benefits. You have to consider that Germania at this time was essentially one huge forest, which was very, well empty. No cities to conquer, the first German cities were actually founded by the Romans, like e.g. Aachen, Cologne or Trier. The Germans were primitive tribesmen and had little to offer to the Roman ...


27

By this time, Germany controlled the entire European peninsula, and it was very hard to see the Allied forces coming back from that. Hitler told one of his generals in June 1940 that the victories in western Europe "finally freed his hands for his important real task: the showdown with Bolshevism" [from here]. Reasons to attack the Soviet Union ...


26

There actually was an 88-minute long speech from Hitler in the Reichstag on December 11th, 1941, which was four days after the japanese attacks on Pearl Harbor, where he officially declared that Germany would join Japan in the war against the USA. In this speech, he mentioned a few of his personal reasons for this decision. I think this would be an ...


22

Germany–Poland The initial border was drawn during the Potsdam Conference in the aftermath of the second world war, on 1945-08-02. The border was finalised by a joint East German-Polish commission in the aftermath of the Treaty of Zgorzelec on 1951-01-27. The last change happened on 1989-05-22 with redrawing of the sea border north of Usedom, gaining (then) ...


21

The pre WWII border between Poland and Germany was defined in the Treaty of Versailles, more specifically Part II, Article 27, point 7: From the point defined above to a point to be fixed on the ground about 2 kilometres east of Lorzendorf: the frontier as it will be fixed in accordance with Article 88 of the present Treaty; thence in a northerly ...


21

I remembered talking about this in a history class but couldn't quite remember what the first two Reichs were. A quick search on Wikipedia redirects the first to the Holy Roman Empire (962 to 1806) and the second to the brief German Empire (1871 to 1918). Between the second and third is the Weimar Republic (1918 to 1933).


20

As Shmuel Brill points out, there really wasn't a way around the trenches, the only choice was through, and that was a tough proposition. We're talking about ground troops who do not have significant body armor other than a helmet, armed primarily with bolt action rifles and bayonets, advancing on foot over significant distances of open ground against ...


20

This is a pretty big question; entire books have been written on the subject of postwar Germany. You might want to narrow it down. I'll take a shot at the discrimination portion: While there was a lot of resentment towards the Axis peoples, the growing rivalry between Russia and the western Allies changed the dynamics a lot. American leaders took a more ...


20

According to Arthur D. Jacobs, author of the autobiographic book "The Prison Called Hohenasperg: An American boy betrayed by his Government during World War II", by the end of the war, 11000 persons of German ancestry were interned, both immigrants and visitors. Also, under the pressure of US Government, Latin American countries arrested more than 4000 ...


19

Germany isn't alone in having committed a genocide. Sadly, this is normal human behavior. However, the Shoah is probably is the best documented case, having occurred smack dab in the middle of the most literate society on earth. So what you are asking isn't really a Germany question, but a human behavior question (with Germany as the best of sadly too many ...


18

Very unfavorable. While the Treaty of Versailles doesn't explicitly call it a surrender, Germany did surrender and was forced to accept all responsibility for the war (while obviously not being the only party responsible). I will refer to the text of the treaty in the following. In particular: Germany lost the Saar Basin to France "as compensation for the ...


18

Let me answer as a German with an analogy. You can compare the German speed limit to weapon ownership in US. Any party suggesting introduction of a general speed limit would conduct political suicide and face serious debates with the automobile lobby and voters (most workplaces here come from this branch). Most rational arguments points towards a speed ...


16

Germany always wanted to attack and defeat Soviet Russia. There is an ideological battle between Fascism and Communism. Germany really thought that Russia was the enemy of the world. Some Germans believed, such was the evil of Communism, that when they started the eastern front, the English would come over to there side to fight Communism rather than ...


16

The US was already in a naval war with Germany (and not doing real well), was supplying all sorts of arms, supplies, and even warships to Britain, and was flagrantly violating the laws of war applicable to neutrals. Hitler was expecting war at some time in the near future, and chose to declare war first. Hitler was also counting on the Japanese Navy to at ...


16

This isn't quite accurate. After WWI Germany was saddled with two kinds of war debts. The first kind, reparations, were payable to the aggrieved parties. The value of this was set via the Treaty of Versailles in Gold Marks, which are gold backed, and thus cannot inflate or deflate relative to gold. The second kind was in loans the German government took ...


15

The moral justification isn't hard to find. Russia was the only Allied power to enter the war "on its own". If you look at the stated reasons of other countries: Germany declared war on France because it expected France to ally with Russia. Great Britain joined the war because Germany violated Belgian neutrality. And USA joined the war because of German ...


14

The answer is apparently: this border isn't defined anywhere. As you correctly noted, the result of the Potsdam Conference was the Oder-Neiße-line as Poland's western border, without any exception for Stettin. The sources that I looked at agree that the Soviet Union violated that agreement and gave the area around Stettin to Poland in July 1945. It is ...


14

My parents, uncles and aunts grew up in Nazi Germany. The following is purely anecdotal based on their personal accounts. It's not researched and I can't vouch for all statements being factually true (although I believe them to mostly accurate). The Nazis were extremely good at controlling information. Joseph Goebbels, the minister of "propaganda" was one ...


13

Your assumption is wrong, there was the Uprising of 1953 in East Germany And the Fall of the Iron Curtain was also initiated by the East German mass protests.


12

The government of the Third Reich evolved and subverted the institutions of the parliamentary Weimar Republic established in 1919. Before the ascension of the Nazi party in January 1933 the legislative branch of the government was comprised of the Reichsrat, representing the various Länder (German states) and the Reichstag, a parliament elected according to ...


12

The case of Eduard Bloch is relevant if untypical in humanity considering Hitler's character: Eduard Bloch (30 January 1872 – 1 June 1945) was a Jewish-Austrian doctor practicing in Linz (Austria). Until 1907 Bloch was the doctor of Adolf Hitler's family. Hitler later gave Bloch special protection after the Nazi annexing of Austria ... The ...


12

There is a German Wikipedia entry for it, but I found no entry for this specific 'Schwedenschanze'. It is a military Sconce (fortification) (German: Schanze) or Hill fort, the name is based on the Thirty Years' War. Sweden (German: Schweden) was a participant during the war. It is not necessary, that the Schwedenschanze you found is a real Swedish sconce. ...


11

There weren't "countless" border crossings between East and West. The checkpoints Alpha, Bravo and Charlie were the designated checkpoints for use by allied forces personnel (there were others which only West Berlin citizens could use). Alpha and Bravo are less famous because Alpha was the main crossing for the "inner German border" dividing East and West ...


11

It's unclear if you mean whether it was (1) a ruse by Wilson against the American public, or (2) Germany against the USA, or (3) Germany against Mexico, or (4) British against USA? As far as being a ruse by Wilson (e.g. he made up the telegram to present to Congress), this can likely be discounted since there is documentary evidence - in 2005, an ...


11

Yes they did. The Treaty of Good Neighbourship and Friendly Cooperation qualifies as a "peace treaty"; see preamble and article 1 of the Polish text of the treaty. The treaty was signed in 1991 and went into force on 16 January 1992. It did not say specifically "we have had a war until today, but until tomorrow we are at peace", but it would hardly make ...


11

The Daily Express just took the caption from Getty Images without substantial modification. Regarding Pohlberg, see the german wikipedia on "Pöhlberg". The Pöhlberg is a mountain in saxony; according to wikipedia, the name was applied by the german soldiers from saxony also to a mountain near Reims / Moronvilliers (maybe this one - there's still a "Camp ...


10

During World War II, American aid to the Allies fell under three categories: Lend-lease aid to Britain and Russia, of an amount roughly equal to the whole of the German war production, Fighting Japan, Germany's major ally, and the introduction of ground troops into western Europe. American "Lend Lease" efforts had troubled Hitler and his admirals all ...



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