"The Lightning War"

hitler_stalin.pngSo Far...
As we've learned in the previous section, a nonaggression pact was signed between Joseph Stalin and Hitler on August 23rd. Although the Treaty of Versailles claimed no secret treaties and invasion of other countries, Hitler agrees to let Soviet Union take over Finland and the Baltic Countries and part of Poland. Hitler demanded that Polish Corridor be returned to Germany. Polish Corridor was originally German territory before WW1. However After the WW1, this piece of land was given to Poland so they could have their own access to the sea. This pact got rid of threat to Germany of Soviet Union attacking from the east. Unlike the WW1, it was an one front war for Germany.

This cartoon at the left shows the "nonaggression pact" or marriage between Stalin and Hitler. On the bottom of the picture it says, "Wonder how long the honeymoon will last?" or in other words, "How long would the nonaggression pact last?". In contract, it was signed to last ten years. (source)

Blitzkrieg--Hitler's Experiment on Poland

pol81270.gifHitler quickly tries to conquer Poland. He sends 1.5 million soldiers along the Polish Border. This Polish invasion had unleashed World War 2. Now, France and Great Britain declares war on Germany. Attack on Poland was a test of Germany's new war strategy called "Blitzkrieg" (lightning war in German). It involved fast-moving aircrafts, tanks and infantry forces surprise attacking opposition with overwhelming force. And it had worked successfully on Poland.

Map of invasion routes of Soviet Union as well as Germany. Remember? Germany promised Eastern Poland to USSR.
(Doesn't this look similar to the two front war Germany went through in WW1?)

The below video shows Hitler's "blitzkrieg" from 1939 to 1940. Hitler's forces were very powerful and fast moving. video source

Maginot "sitzkrieg"

maginot.jpgAlmost seven months after the fall of Poland, a face-to-face encounter occurred along the border lines of France, the "Maginot line" and border of Germany "Siegfried line". France and Great Britain had mobilized their army, prepared for the German attack. The French and English troops that were stationed along the border, in boredom stared eastward toward their enemies. Germany, bored as well stares back at the Allied troops. On April 9, 1940 right after this "sitzkrieg"- the sitting war ended, Hitler strikes Denmark and Norway to form bases along the two countries coast to attack Great Britain.

(left) A picture of Maginot line, which was built to deter Germany's invasion after WW1(source)

Germany fights the Western Front, The Beginning of the One-Front War

Hitler strikes through Holland, Belgium and Luxembourg. This was a strategy to strike at France. By having Allies focus on those countries, Hitler was able send larger tanks, and troops trucks through Ardennes forest in northeastern France and Luxembourg. From the northern border of Germany, and the Ardennes Forest Germany literally squeezed the Maginot Line. Within ten days, Germany moves across northern coast.

Map of Germany's military force into Maginot line, northern border of France.(source)

France is defeated

fra86100.gifTroops in Belgium and northeastern coast of France come together trapping the Allies' troops along Dunkirk on May 26th. Allies literally on the edge of the cliff is now trapped. With nowhere to go, Great Britain comes to rescue the army through out May 26th to June 4th. 850 ships, yachts, lifeboats, paddle steamers, motorboats brought back and forth Dunkirk to Britain- battle worn out soldiers. However the rescue did not save "France". On June 10th, Italy's Benito Mussolini seeing the victory of Hitler joins him and declare war. France was attacked from both South and North France. France is again squeezed and trapped. On June 22nd 1940, France surrenders.

This map (right) shows German invasion routes. As you can see, Germany is literally squeezed by Germany from the North, and Italy from the South. (source)

The below video from Britannica will show you the bypassing of the Maginot Line and the invasion of France. video source

Charles de Gaulle, a French general moved to London, set up a government in exile to reconquer France. Although he was in London, he broadcasted to France to never to give up. He encouraged

Picture of Charles de Gaulle broadcasting to French citizens. (source)

Britain--Hitler is Stoppable

ilw0092.gif France, an Allied nation, has fallen to Nazi control.
As you can see in the following cartoon (source), Hitler has fought the,
  • Czechs
  • Austria (Austria was never really "invaded" because Austria was already a German culture-ized country.
  • Poland
  • Denmark
  • Norway
  • Holland
  • Belgium
  • France
    And now, it is Winston Churchill's turn to fight Hitler.

Now only Great Britain is left to fight against Germany. Hitler's plan against Great Britain was the "Operation Sea Lion"- which was to knock out the Royal Air Force first. German air craft Luftwaffe out numbered RAF by 1,600 planes. (2,900:4,500). Smart guy Hitler started attacking the airfields and air craft factories first. Although Great Britain only had two thirds of what German had, their two secret weapons brought them to victory. A "Radar" which measured the speed and distance of other air crafts, and "Enigma" which was a secret message opener. By using these weapons they were able to predict Hitler plans.

Below left is enigma source Below right is radar. source
external image enigma.jpgexternal image 8.gif

Now Hitler seeing themselves starting to lose, starts night bombing- so they could get away with RAF- however the RAF were still powerful enough to make Hitler call off. Battle of Britain ended on May 10th of 1941. It was important to Europe because for the first time, it was proved that Hitler could be blocked.

Video clip in German (With English subtitles) of Battle of Britain. Look at the details words can not describe. (source)

For more great films about the Battle of Britain, click the following link:
More films

First Up...North Africa

another_pic..jpgThe resistance against Germany, made Hitler move on with his plan with Europe. He would come back to Britain later, and move on to invading the Easter Fronts and the Mediterranean region. Germany first decided to invade the northern part of Africa because of their ally Italy. In the beginning of the war Italy was neutral, but then Mussolini thought that if they didn't get into action then, they wouldn't get the share of lands that Germany had won. So Italy attacks the Northern part of Africa wanting to get the British- controlled Egypt and sends his troops there. And thats what they did, and ally fall down so he told General Erwin Rommel to go to Libya, and form a tank corps called the pushed the British back and both countries just dug holes and waited for each other to attack each other. Then at last British attacked and won over the Italians. British had 130,000 Italian prisoners and had gone 500 miles across the land of North Africa. Hitler couldn't just watch his Afrika Korps. Rommel had the confidence to take control f the Suez Canal, so what he did was attacked the British in Aghelia. This was a surprise attack so British were force to go back 500 miles toward Tobruk. But this victory didn't last long because the British drove the Italians back to where they had began. But that didn't last long either because Rommel pushed them back and regained Tobruk.

This is a picture above is General Rommel that came to help the Italians when they needed help (//source//)

Balkans fall

While all of that was happening in Northern Africa, Hitler was trying to gain the lands of the Balkans. His plans were that after he set up bases in the Southeastern part of Europe, he would go and attack the USSR. So he first invaded Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary. And these countries didn't resist the Germans, and agreed to join the Axis powers. But other countries like Yugoslavia and Greece, were pro-British countries, so Germany had to attack them and make them surrender themselves. And both of those countries fell within 3 weeks. And now Hitler was ready to attack the Soviet Union.

This map on the right shows the lands of the Germans and which lands cooperated with Germans, and which lands Germany actually had to conquer. (//source//)


(left) This is a cartoon that shows that Hitler "backstabbed" Stalin by attacking the Soviets after they had signed the nonaggression pact. (Source)

Hitler was ready to attack Soviet Union with his plan called Operation Barbarossa. They rolled into the Soviet Union with their tanks and airplanes which began the beginning of the blitzkrieg invasion. The Soviets were not ready to fight against the Germans, even though the Soviets had a large amount of soldiers, they were not equipped and were not trained to fight. After about a week the Germans had pushed 500 miles inside the Soviets. While walking through the lands of the Soviets , the Germans killed and burned anything that was in their pathway. Then by early September the Germans had the city Leningrad captive, and made sure that no one could get out of that city. Hitler made the people starve and bombed all of warehouses, which made all the people starve to death. The people of Leningrad ate the cow and horse food, and cats, dogs, and even crows and rats. People were that hungry to even eat the dirty little animals that run around in sewers, and could have germs. About a million people or more had died in the winter of the city Leningrad, but the city still didn't want to fall.

Hitler saw that the city Leningrad would not fall so he went to the capital, Moscow and started to attack there. By winter the Germans were in the capital, but the Soviet General Zhukov attacked back. This was because he had 100 Siberian divisions and the bad winters were there to back him up. When the temperatures had fell the Germans could not get used to it, because they were in their summer uniforms. The Germans ended up having useless weapons, tanks, trucks, and frozen oil and fuel. That winter Moscow was saved from the Germans, and the Germans lost 500,000 lives.
This map on the right shows which cities the Germans attacked and how they had gotten there. (//source//)

The picture below are people that are trying to drink water by melting snow.(//source//)


This video clip above shows the invasion in the USSR, and shows the harsh
winters that soldiers went through, and all the bombing there were in the war.

U.S. and its Allies

Since the United States has already been involved with World War I they did not wanted to get involved into this war. So the United States passed something called the Neutrality Act, which made illegal for people to sell or lend money to any country that was in war. Then later on there was a Lend- Lease Act which was made by President Roosevelt begging to the Congress. So this Lend-Lease Act allowed the president to lend or lease weapons to the country that was important to the United States. So the British was now sailing with U.S. goods in their ships, and when Hitler heard that, he said to bomb any cargo ships that passed him by. The United States and Britain secretly met and made a Atlantic Charter, which said that free trade with other nations and the rights of people to choose their own governments should be allowed. When WWII ended this Atlantic Charter was used as a peace treaty. Even though the United States didn't declare themselves into the war, they put themselves into war because when a German ship attacked the United States naval, the U.S. stroked back. Without knowing U.S was now into war,but not with Germany but with Japan.

The cartoon the right shows Winston Churchill and President Roosevelt agreeing on the Atlantic Charter, and how the Liberty stands for freedom, and you can see Europe in the background chained to the floor, because they cannot do anything about it.//(source)//

Leslie and Il-jee (E period)
Apd. Hitler's Lightning War-John Lee. Hyung Mo Choi