By 1939 Adolf Hitler had been in power for six years in Germany.
Domestically, he had already started to achieve his aims, beginning his ethnic cleansing, and changing government policies on many issues. It was well known at the time that Hitler planned to have lebensraum – living space – for his citizens. He started off by occupying Austria, and convincing France and Britain that the status of Austria was an internal affair. Hitler then invaded the Sudetenland in what was known as Czechoslovakia. Even though Russia already had a protection pact with the Czechs, Neville Chamberlain, the British Prime-minister at the time, stuck with the policy of appeasement, meaning that Europe gave the Germans what they wanted in order to avoid war.
The last straw came when, on September 1st 1939, the first German armies marched into Poland, with plans to invade. On September 3, the British and French surprised Hitler by declaring war on Germany. The Anglo-French military plan was based on France remaining on the defensive behind the heavily guarded Maginot Line while Britain built up its military potential for a long war. The French were not prepared to take the risk of attacking even the lightly defended German Siegfried Line while the German army was engaged in defeating Poland.
This may have been a big mistake, because once Germany finished with Poland, it turned its attention to France. Using Blitzkrieg (Lightning war) tactics, the German army swept Europe. They had great early success, but eventually lost the war. There are not many events in World War II that can be denied, whatever side of the story a witness is on, but there are many possible arguments as to why the Germans lost, such as Operation Barbarossa or the declaration of war on the USA, and this essay will try to find out which were the most important.
The first argument as to why Germany lost the war is its axis. Germany was allied with two countries, Japan and Italy. Japan were not really fascist, but they did want to expand their empire, and so set about invading China and many small Pacific islands. So how did Japan hinder Germany? On 7th December 1941, the Japanese attacked a US naval base at Pearl Harbour, hoping to take out the American fleet before the Americans entered the war.
The Americans at the time were undecided whether to join the Alliance or not, but this certainly made their mind up for them. The US declared war on Japan immediately. Then came what some call one of Hitler’s worst decisions. On the other hand it can also be said that the USA were always going to come into the war anyway, so this decision was not necessarily a bad one. The day after Pearl Harbour, Hitler declared war on the States.
This declaration not only made America form the Grand Alliance with Britain, France and Russia, it gave the allies thousands more fresh troops, vehicles and equipment.
Italy was not much help either. Hitler’s involvement in the Spanish Civil War of 1936 - 1939, (he used his ...