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World War II


Welcome to the homepage of the Second World War. If you ever wanted to know something about this interesting time and its consequences then it is the best website for you.

Hitler's seizure of power


On the 30th of janury 1933, after the NSDAP (Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei) had taken the power in Germany, the President Paul von Hindenburg makes Hitler to the chancellor. At the beginning the national socialists only want to reborn traditional values and they are peaceful. Two affairs are very important for Germany since the last years. One is the high unemployment and the other are the hard restrictions of Versailles Agreement (1919). Some measures like building a highway should lower the unemployment. Germany fights against the Versialles Agreement. The Reichstag Fire on the 27th of february 1933 gives Hitler the pretext for an emergency decree. The emergency decree destroys all fundamental rights of the German population. Hitler also begins to fight against the Jews and many Jews are not allowed to work and different activities of the social life are forbidden for Jews. On the 20th of march 1933 the first concentration camp originates: Dachau next to Munich. Thousands of people who dislike the national socialist dictatorship are being arrested and hold in concentration camps. Noone of this people was condemned through acourt. On the 23rd of march 1933 Hitler gets the authorization act from the Reichstag. On the 10th of may 1933 books are burned in Berlin. On the 22nd of june 1933 the SPD is forbidden. 1934 the SA leader Ernst Roehm is going to build up the SA (Sturmabteilung) and it should replace the military. Roehm was very powerful and he could be dangerous for Hitler. The consequence was that on the 30th of june 1934 Ernst Roehm and other important SA men were killed. On the 1st of august 1934 Hitler becomes also president. On the following day Paul von Hindenburg dies. The Wehrmacht is not longer swear in up to the constitution, but up to Adolf Hitler. On the 19th of october 1934 Germany leaves the peoples federation. 1935 Germany offended against the Versailles Agreement, because it builds submarines. In the same year also other military ranges are build up and there is again military service in Germany and also work service. On the 15th of september 1935 there is another law which is against the Jews and gives them restrictions. In the same year the Italian dictator Benito Mussolini occupies Abessinia (Ethiopia). Hitler and Mussolini meets each other and the axle Berlin-Rome originates. In 1936 Hitler offended again against the Versailles Agreement, because he invade in the Rheinland. On the 19th of july 1936 the civil war in Spain begins. General Franco fought against the communism republican government. Germany and Italia helped General Franco with soldiers and weapons. Germany send the legion "Condor" to Spain. Here they were testing the German weapons and it was successful. On the 28th of may 1937 Neville Chamberlain becomes British prime minister. He is conservatively and endorse the appeasement policy. The appeasement policy means that Germany should not be restricted by the Versailles Agreement, because Great Britain and France are of the opinion that the restrictions are to hard for Germany. Germany produces many tanks now. Hitler wanted to integrate Austria into the German Reich. The Austrian chancellor Engelbert Dollfuss was against the national socialists. On the 25th of july 1934 the national socialists did a revolt in Austria. This revolt failed, but Engelbert Dollfuss was murdered. Kurt von Schuschnigg became his successor and he was alos against the national socialism. On the 12th of march 1938 Hitler occupied his homeland Austria and integrated it into the German Reich. Arthur Seyss-Inquart took the government in Austria. In september 1938 there is the Munich conference. Hitler, Chamberlain and the French Prime Minister Daladier meet on this conference. Hitler wanted to have the permission to take a part of Czechoslovakia. He said that only Germany people are living there and that before the First World War it belongs to the German Reich. Hitler insured Chamberlaind and Daladier that it will be his last occupation in Europe. Chamberlain was convinced of Hitler. He thought that Hitler is a honour man and after the Munich conference he was convinced that there will not be any war in Europe. Daladier was sceptically. Both countries agree and this part of Czechoslovakia was occupied in october 1938. on the 7th of november 1939 Herschel Grynszpan shots the ambassador Ernst vom Rath in the German embassy in Paris. Dr. Joseph Goebbels instigates the German population in the night from the 9th of november 1938 to the 10th of november 1938. The consequence is that Jewish synagogs, shops and flats were destroyed and burned. This was the "Reichskristallnacht". On the 15th of march 1939 Hitler occupies the rest of Czechoslovakia. The next target should be Poland. After the First World War East Prussia was enclosed of Poland. Great Britain and France saw that Hitler is not an honorable man, but they did not anything. In Great Britain mayn people bought gas masks, because they were afraid of chemical weapons which were used in the First World War. The people also built air protection shelter, because they were afraid of air attacks. In Great Britain there were some politician who liked Hitler and the German national pride. Great Britain did not want to fight together with the communists agianst Hitler and the problems of the British Empire were more improtant for them than the danger in Europe. The economic crisis in 1930 was an economic problem and France did not want to have another war and its territory. In the meantime there was a meeting between Germany and Japan. At the end Greatin Britain and France wanted to cooperate with the Soviet Union. Secretly Hitler and Stalin communicated with each other and they made a nonaggression treaty. Even when one of these countries begins a war then the other is not allowed to fight against it. So the last problem to attack Poland was eliminated. Great Britain and France were shocked that the Soviet Union signed an agreement with Germany and not with them. To have a reason to attack Poland Hitler took a few dead people and put them into Polish uniforms. Then they were placed in the radio transmitter Gleiwitz next to the Polish border. It should look like Poland had attacked Germany and Germany used it as a pretext to begin the war.


The assault on Poland


On the 1st of september 1939 at 4.45 a. m. the ship "Schleswig-Holstein" begins to attack the Westerplatte in Danzig. It happens without a declaration of war. Hitler's main target is Danzig and the part between Germany and East Prussia which is Polish since 1919. For the first time the flash war begins here. It is a fast attack with much war equipment which leads to a fast victory. Tanks (Panzerkampfwagen I, II and III) and the Ju-87 Stukas (bomber) made many attacks. The Stukas can fly very low and so they can throw their bombs with a high precision. They began to bombard strategic things like bridges and railway rails. Hitler had not to fear an attack of the Soviet Union, because of the nonaggression treaty with Stalin. The German population do not liked this war as much as the First World War. Poland had only old war material and so they had not got any chance against Germany and the Polish defense was placed along the whole border and so they could not do anything. The border was broken through and Poland was rolled over by German tanks. Great Britain and France were shocked, but Chamberlain wanted to make another agreement with Hitler. The "House of Commons" do not agreed. On the 3rd of september 1939 Germany get an ultimatum from Great Britain to tighten their troops from Poland otherwise Great Britain will declare war. In the next hours they do not get a German answer and so Great Britain and France declared war to Germany. The SS came to the occupied Polish territories to kill everyone who is against the national socialist dictatorship. That were Jews and intellectual people. Poland had a strong resistance, but tthey had not got tanks. Poland had not got only infantryman, but also troops on horses. Despite all these efforts Warsaw (capital of Poland) became occupied at the end of september. The Allies do not helped Poland, but France tried to involve Germany in a war in the west. This attempt failed very fast. Thousands of Polish civilians and soldiers died in this assault and even more were imprisoned. Also in september the Soviet union attacked Poland, because Hitler and Stalin agreed that Poland cannot exist like it was signed in the Versailles Agreement. On the 30th of september 1939 General Sikorski escaped with thousands of Polish soldiers to the west to form there a government-in-exile. Later these soldiers fought together with the Allies. Germany and the Soviet union divided Poland. For Polish Jews Germany made ghettos like the famous ghetto in Warsaw. Many Polish people were transported to Germany into working camps. Stalin also transported many Polish people into working camps in the Soviet Union. In the forest of Katyn Stalin let kill thousands of Polish officers. After the victory in Poland Hitler was very happy.


The winter war in Scandinavia


Great Britain and France were prepared for a war in the own country, but at beginning there was not any war in the west. It was called "Phoney War", because the troops were prepared and could attack at any time. Great Britain send soldiers to France to strengthen them. Chamberlain wanted to make a sea-blockade against Germany and not be active in the war. France has since the First World War the Maginot line. It should protect France against German attacks. in this time there were food rationings in Germany and in Great Britain. Germany promoted the armaments industry and Great Britain has to do the same to defense themselves. So food cards were given to the population. At that time Winston Churchill was the first lord of the admiralty and he suggested attacks against Germany, but they were not done. 1939 Germany dsiturbed the ship traffic between the USA and Europe. After Poland Hitler wanted attack the west, but the bad weather do not let him do this attack. On the 30th of november 1939 Stalin attacked Finland without a declaration of war. Until 1917 Finland was governed by Russia and they do not want to repeat it. Stalin wanted strengthen his power. Many civilians died in the bomber attack on Helsinki (capital of Finland). Stalin hoped that it would be a fast victory against Finland. Finland had got less soldiers than the Soviet Union, but they were much better prepared for a winter war. They sabotaged the Russian. They could silent come near and destroy tanks. After this attack the Soviet Union was exclued from the peoples federation and Finland get help from the west. Despite all these facts Finland could not win. In march 1940 there was an agreement and Finland had to give some of his territories to the Soviet Union. Much more Russian have died than Finnish soldiers. On the 9th of april 1940 Hitler attacked Norway. The first units were parachutists. The reason were ice-freely ports and to secure the iron ore transports from Sweden to Germany. Germany's armaments industry depends on this ore. The Allied mined the Norwegian ports. Chamberlain was convinced that with this measure Norway cannot be occupied by Germany. Later it should be a calamity for him in the "House of Commons". On the 9th of april 1940 Hitler also attacked Denmark and they capitulated at the same day. Norway could defend some coasts, but later they had to retreat to the north. In Oslo (capital of Norway) Vidkun Quisling took the power. He was friendly towards Hitler. The allied troops that wanted to help Norway were bad organized. The "House of Commons" said that this desorganisation is irresponsibly and Chamberlain was set off. Winston Churchill became new prime minister. In the moment Norway could not be saved and the Norwegian king formed in London a government-in-exile.


The campaign in Western Europe


On the 10th of may 1940 the German campaign in Westrtn Europe. Hitler marched into France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. The invasion was very fast. Parachutists were one the important units and they occupied strategic places and fortresses. With thousands of tanks and airplanes Hitler wanted to make another flash war. Before the Africe campaign Erwin Rommel was involved in this flash war. British and French soldiers tried to defend themselves in Belgium, but it failed. It was hard to break through the Maginot line, but a part of the German army went trough Belgium. It was very easy to cross the Ardennes. The French strategists thought that the German will need much time to cross the Maas river, but they were very fast and France was not prepared for such a fast attack. The Netherlands were bombarded and capitulated. Winston Churchill traveled to Paris to see the situation, but the situation was very bad. Slowly France was preparing that Paris can be occupied. The French commander in chief could not do anything. Renaud, the successor of Daladier, made Philippe Pétain his successor. The German went more and more west and on the 21th of may 1940 they came to the English Channel. The French thought that Paris will be the target. The British troops were seperated from their supply. The British and French had to retreat more and more. Finally they were in the important French harbor Dunkirk. Here the British troops prepared an evacuation, because if the German attack Dunkirk then many British soldiers would be imprisoned. British soldiers supported Belgium and so the rest of the British soldiers had enough time for the evacuation. This evacuation in Dunkirk was very riskily, because the British troops were without protection against German troops. Belgium capitulated on the 28th of ma 1940. In the near of Dunkirk the German tanks had problems, because there are many sumps. The Luftwaffe attacked British troops, but the Royal Air Force could repel the attacks. Also many French soldiers were evacuated to prepare a counter attack. Hitler could continue the campaign in France without strong resistance. Great Britain did not helped, because they did not want to weaken their own defense. On the 15th of june 1940 Paris was occupied. Great Britain and France tried to include the USA into the war, but they stayed neutrally. The bad memories from the First World War decided that the USA werenot interested in another war. The USA send the Allies war material. The French government escaped. Mussolini tried to use this situation and he declared France war. On the 22nd of july 1940 Pétain and Hitler had an agreement and Pétain could govern the south of France. The seat of the government was now Vichy. Charles de Gaulle also escaped to Great Britain and there he tried to organize and resistance against the German in France and he organize a government-in-exile.


Air battle over Great Britain


Great Britain had fight alone against Germany. Winston Churchill motivated the population to fight. But there were Chamberlain and other politicians and they could not imagine a victory against Germany. They wanted to make peace with Hitler. Soldiers which escaped from Dunkirk were discouraged and they had to leave or destroy many of their weapons in Dunkirk. Hitler was of the opinion that Great Britain has not got any chance and so he offered them a peace treaty. Great Britain ignored this treaty and so in july 1940 Hitler began the operation "Seeloewe" - the air battle over Great Britain. The Royal Air Force was powerful and the English Channel was also an advantage for Great Britain. Herrmann Goering wanted to show that the Luftwaffe is enough for an invasion and that he did not need the Wehrmacht and the Kriegsmarine. Hitler hoped that he can defeat Great Britain in a few months. The most famous British figther was the "Spitfire". The main German figther during the air battle over Great Britain was the Messerschmitt Bf 109. The German figthers had to escort bombers. The German airplanes need many bombs. The disadavantage of the German fighters was that they could not be over Great Britain as long as the British fighters, because they had to return to the French airports. At the beginning ships, factories and civilians were bombarded. New radar stations helped to make the British air defense better and Great Britain had modern airplanes. Great Britain built more and more airplanes so they had got more airplanes than Germnay. Now Germany wanted to fight against the Royal Air Force and so the bombarded their airbases. Great Britain lost many airplanes and the pilots were faster educated. On both sides many airplanes wee shot down. Many pilots had to fly many times a day. On the 7th of september 1940 Germany ahd a new strategy. Germany attacked London to win this war. On this day London was attacked by many German bombers. The Royal Air Force was not prepared and London was without protection. These attacks persisted until 1941. The invasion in Great Britain was not the main German target, because the Royal Air Force had a strong resistance. The population of London organized themself. They used the subway as air protection shelters. For the home use there were steel boxes and protect the people. Man important industry cities of Great Britain were bombarded. In the middle of 1941 the attacks were over.


Campaign in South-east Europe


After the defeat of France Benito Mussolini decided to extend his influence in the Mediterranean. He planned a campaign in South-east Europe and in North Africa. Libya was before this campaign Italian. On the 2nd of september 1940 Mussolini marched in Egypt. The Suez Channel was strong guarded by British troops, because this channel was very important for transport of the colonies of the British Empire. Italy was not sucessful in this campaign and lost many soldiers. British airplanes could sink several Italian ships. The Italian were back urged to Lybia and Great Britain could occupy many parts of Lybia. On the 28th of october 1940 Mussolini attacked Greece. He do not want only to depeand on Hitler's vitories and he thought that Greece would not resist strong. From Albania which was occupied from Italy Italian troops marched into Greece. Hitler warned Mussolini of a campaing in South-east Europe and he was right. Greece has got many mountains and the temperature in these months was very low. the Italian troops were not prepared for a winter war. They had not got winter uniforms. Many soldiers froze to death. Bulgaria did not help Italy in this invasion and Great Britain helped Greece and so the Italian had to retreat very fast. Hitler felt threaten by the Royal Air Force in Greece and he feared that they can attack neighboring countries. He was very angry, because of Mussolini's campaign. Hitler expected Hungary, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia and Romania to join the three-power pact between Germany, Italy and Japan. Hungary and Romania joined at once, but Bulgaria had to be occupied before it joined. Yugoslavia did not want to join and so Hitler decided not only to occupy Greece, but also Yugoslavia. On the 6th of april 1941 the invasion in Yugoslavia began, but the Yugoslav soldiers could not do much, because they were not well equiped. At the same time the German invasion in Greece began. More British troops helped Greece. This was not enough and so the British troops had to retreat. On the 21st of april 1941 Greece capitulated. The Greek island Crete had to be occupied. Despite the allied resistance Crete was occupied from Germany. Mussolini got parts of Greece and Yugoslavia. In Greece and Yugoslavia there were resistance activities. For Italy it was a problem. Mussolini was very cruel and let execute many resistance fighters. Both campaigns were a disaster for Italy and a humiliating. Once Mussolini was Hitler's idol, but with all these defeats he depends on Hitler.


Campaign in the Soviet Union


For a long time Hitler planned this campaign. This should give more habitat to Germany and new ressources. Hitler thought that he will win after a few months. He was convinced that a flash war will be also successful here. on the 22nd of june 1941 the operation "Barbarossa" began. The German armed force which contained a few million soldiers was supported by Italian, Hungarian, Croatian and Romanian divisions. Finland wanted to use this chance to back-conquer the parts of their country which were occupied by the Soviet Union. They came from the north. The German armed force was divided in several army groups. The Soviet Union was very surprised. Because of the nonaggression treaty and the trade Stalin was very surprised of the German invasion. The Soviet army was not organized and so Hitler could very fast run over the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union had more soldiers, more tanks and more airplanes than Germany, but many of them very to old and not organized. At the beginning Soviet soldiers marched without a plan against German soldiers. The consequence was that thousands of them died. This campaign seemed to be inexorably. Throgh the radio Stalin requested the population to fight. So the population destroyed their houses when they had to leave them. The German could capture many tanks in this campaign. Stalin had weaken the Soviet army himself, because he has executed many officers which were against him. Other opponents of his dictatorship were imprisoned like in Germany. Churchill was of the opinion that Great Britain should help Stalin against this German attack. Hitler should be attacked together. Parts of the Russian polpulation were against the dictatorship of Stalin and so thes helped the German. Officially every adult Soviet citizen had to defend the Soviet Union against Germany. Like Poland the SS marched into the Soviet Union and killed thousands of Jews and many Russian were transported into concentration camps. Hitler said that the Russian are an inferior race. Because of this German brutality more and more Russian resisted and they sabotaged the German troops. At the end of 1941 the Russian winter began. Temperatures of -30 degrees were normal. Much German war equipment was not prepared for such a strong winter. Thousands of German soldiers froze to death. The Russian soldiers were prepared for such a winter. So the war lasted longer and longer and the German soldiers were not motivated. The Soviet Union built tanks very fast and the Allies helped them. Many Soviet factories were transported to the east and so they could produce without danger. At the end of 1941 the Russian attackes were better organized. The German could hold their positions. On the 7th of june 1942 a very interesting battle on the Crimea Peninsular began under the command of Generaloberst Erich von Manstein. On this day the German attacked Sevastopol the strongest fortress of the world. In the Crimea war (1853-1856) the heaviest cannons were used against Sevastopol. It is not only a city which is surrounded by walls, but it is a territory with mountains. The city is surrounded by many fortresses with cannons, very long contactor ditches, sniper holes and machine guns. The sea side (black sea) is also defended very strong. A few German and Romanian divisions were ready to conquer Sevastopol. In this battle the German used their both giant guns. These two guns will be described later together with other weapons. On the 1st of july 1942 the German occupy Sevastopol and Erich von Manstein is promoted to Generalfeldmarschall on the same day.


The assault on Pearl Harbor and the war entrance of the USA


It is important to know something about the prehistory. Japan has annexed Korea in 1910, in 1931 Japan has occupied Manchuria and 1937 Japan has occupied parts in the north of China. This increased the political tension between the USA and Japan. The high point was reached in 1940 when Japan occupied Indochina (Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam). Then the American President Franklin Delano Roosevelt put an oil embargo over Japan. The tension intensified and a war was possible. Japan says a few times that an assault on Pearl Harbor, the American Pacific Air Force Base, is not impossible. The USA knew that Japan will attack Pearl Harbor, but not so fast. That was the reason why it was a bad surprise for the USA, when Japanese combat aircrafts start to bombard Pearl Harbor on the 7th of december 1941. The whole assault took 3 hours. 3300 Americans died and many American airplanes and ships have been destroyed. The leader of this operation was Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto who was commander in chief of the Japanese fleet. After this attack Japan was very happy, because it had a projection of 2 years to the USA. In this time Japans fleet was much bigger than the fleet of the USA. Japan also had the biggiest battle ship of the world, the Yamato. The only person which was sceptical was Admiral Yamamoto, because he was a realistic man and he knew that the USA are very strong and that Japan must conquer other countries very fast. Like Hitler wanted to build up a great German Empire in Europe and Mussolini wanted restore the old Roman Empire in the Mediterranean, also Japan wanted to build up an Empire in Asia. Japan wanted to have a bigger habitat and more ressources. For the USA Pearl Harbor was a real disaster, because damages were very big. The Japanese Prime Minister General Hideki Tojo wanted to fight against nations which have got colonies in Asia. On the 7th of december 1941 after the attack on Pearl Harbor the American President Roosevelt declared Japan war. After the attack on Pearl Harbor the Japanese marched over Thailand to the Malay Peninsula which was British. British ships tried to defeat the Japanese, but the Japanese sink them. In february 1942 the British had to retreat from the whole Malay Peninsula and also Singapore. Hong Kong was aslo occupied by the Japanese. On the 22th of december 1941 the Japanese invasion on the Philippines began. General Douglas MacArthur did not defend Manila (capital of the Philippines) and so the Japanese could occupy it. He retreat into a Philippine fortress. 1942 he got instruction to leave this fortress, but he wanted to come back. This Philippine fortress was also occupied by the Japanese. The Japanese did not treat the prisoners of war well, because they were of the opinion, that the prisoners of war should commit suicide. Traditional Japanese commited suicide ("Harakiri") when they were imprisoned.


The sea-battles in the Pacific ocean


After Pearl Harbor Yamamoto made two plans for the expandation of the Japanese Empire. In the first Japanese General offensive Midway, Guam, Birma, the Phillipines and Papua should be occupied. The USA could decode the Japnese radiograms and so they knew what Japan will do. For the USA Papua was very important, because there was Port Moresby and the American General Douglas MacArthur wanted to make an air force base of Port Moresby. The other danger was that Japan could conquer Australia and then the USA would lose the Pacific. So the commander in chief of the US Navy, Admiral Cester Nimitz, decided to send ships and aircraft carriers into the coral sea (on the east of Papua). He was not the direct leader of this operation. The direct leader was Rear Admiral Frank Fletscher. He got the aircraft carrier Yorktown and other ships. Rear Admiral Fitch had got another aircraft carrier, the Lexington. The direct leader on the Japanese side was Admiral Takagi. On the 7th of may 1942 a Japanese Reconnaissance plane has seen American ships for the first time. This was the begin of the battle in the coral sea. Admiral Takagi sent to many combat aircrafts, because these ships were only a tanker and another unimportant ship. When he heard that he was afraid that the Americans could attack him and he has not got a defence. Another reconnaissance plane saw the real American ships now. The USA have done the same mistake when one of their reconnaissance plane saw Japanese ships, because there were only battle ships. The combat aircrafts which were send sank this battle ship nad returned. Another American Reconnaissance plane saw the real Japanese ships. Japan wanted a night attack, but they had not the technical possibilty for this attack. Now both sides had got the position of the other side and they waited for the next day. On this day Rear Admiral Fitch was the direct leader on the American side and Admiral Hara was the direct leader on the Japanese side. The high point of the battle was on the 8th of may 1942. A part of a Japanese aircraft carrier has been destroyed by an American bomb and so no Japanese airplanes could start. The Lexington was damaged very strong and she sank. The Yorktown was also damaged very strong and had to be repaired. Japan return, because it has also lost much ships and airplanes. This was the first battle where the opponents never saw each other and the attacks were only made by combat aircrafts. Admiral Yamamoto was confident with this art of war and he wanted to expand the air force. The first general offensive has failed so Yamamoto had got the idea on the 10th of may 1942, but the USA could decode it again. Japan wanted occupy the US Air Force Base Midway. Midway was for Japan important, because it could strengthen Japans force in the Pacific. Japan could refuel theier submarines and Midway could be also a defence line. Admiral Yamamoto wanted to distract the US Navy. A part of the Japanese fleet should attack the Aleutes. He thought that American ships will go from Hawaii to the Aleutes to help there. Admiral Nagumo should destroy the denfence of Midway throught bombs and then Admiral Kondo should land there with troups. Yamamoto who was on the Yamato was 500 kilometres behind Kondo. Because the USA knew this plan they have repaired the Yorktown in two days and not three months as it would take normally. Nearly the whole Japanese fleet was in this operation. On the 4th of july 1942 Nagumo began to attack Midway. The defence of Midway was much better than Japan thought. So the japanese combat aircrafts had to return and they must be refueled and must be armed. Because Japan was sure that the American ships are with the Aleutes the reconnaissances were not very good, but one reconnaissance plane could saw American ships. Because of these American ships Admiral Nagumo had to prepair his combat aircrafts for an air battle. In this air battle many American bombers and torpedo airplanes which came from Rear Admiral Spurance's Hornet and Enterprise were shot. After that, combat aircrafts started from Vice Admiral Fletscher's Yorktown started and after a short time they sank three Japanese aircraft carrier. A fourth aircraft carrier was damaged so strong that he sank after a few hours. But the Yorktown sank, too. Nagumo sent a radiogram to Yamamoto that the battle is over, but Yamamoto who did not know that all four Japanese aircarft carriers sank gave the command to Admiral Kondo. When he heard that he declared on the 5th of july 1942 that he surrenders. He gave the order to return, but he left a few ships as a denfence. These ships were not aircraft carriers and it was easy for the USA to sink them, but Spurance did not followed the Japanese ships. After this battle Japan had to get better, because it have losed four aircraft carriers and other ships. So the USA could stop Japan's plan to conquer the Pacific. On the 18th of april 1943 Admiral Yamamoto wanted to see a training on the Salomons and he flies from one island to the other. The USA knew when and where this flight will take place and they started the operation Vengeance. Yamamoto flew with a bomber and he was escorted by 6 fightern, but the USA could shoot him without any problems. In 1944 the USA wanted to reconquer the territories which they have administrated und which were now Japanese. They started to reconquer pacific islands like Wake and Guam. But the USA wanted to have a place from where they can attack Japan. First they thought about Taiwan, but then they decided to reconquer the Phillipines. The American General Douglas MacArthur had this idea, because when Japan conquered the Phillipines he promised that once he will return. President Roosevelt agreed and he let the army and the navy cooperate. In this time the army and the navy were enemies and everyone wanted to be the best. in october 1944 the USA begin to bombard the Japanese positions. When man positions had been destroyed General Douglas MacArthur landed with soldiers on the Phillipines. The Japanese navy came and on the 23th of october 1944 the battle in the Luzon Gulf began. It was the biggiest sea-battle in history. The new commander in chief of the Japanese navy was Admiral Toyoda. He wanted to surround the Americans, but it failed. Both opponents had losses, but not many. The following day where the Japanese tactic refused the USA had got a better position. In the night of the 25th of october 1944 Admiral Kinhaid and Admiral Oldendorf made a trap where many Japanese ships were sank. On this day there was another fight where American and Japanese ships were sank. The USA won this battle on the 26th of october 1944. This battle was the end for the Japanese fleet. On the 3rd of march 1945 Manila (capital of the Phillipines) was again American territory. It was also the last sea-battle in history, because today we have got submarines which are in the oceans and we have got aircraft carriers to attack positions on earth.


Other sea-battles


On the 3rd of september 1939 after Great Britain's declaration of war a German submarine sink a British ship. The main target were the Atlantic ocean and the English Channel. The British mined the Englsih Channel. Great Britain has got a bigger sea-fleet than Germany. Great Britain depends on the ship traffic, because it was the only way to transport ressources to Great Britain. The ressources came from the Birtish colonies and the USA helped Great Britain. The German also mined some parts around Great Britain. In the first months of the war German battle ships sink several British trading ships. The rear admiral Karl Doenitz was responsible for this submarine war. He was of the opinion that submarines are very effectively and supported building much more submarines. The British tried to escort the trading convoies better and they should fast change their direction. The German submarines could drive over great distances. After Germany has occupied France they could also use the French harbors which were nearer to Great Britain than the German harbors. During the night submarines could come very close to trading ships and a hit was nearly sure. Many trading ships were sink with this method. There were also commercial routes to the Soviet Union. The main north harbors were Murmansk and Archangelsk. Ships were also here in danger. Big German ships like the "Bismarck" and the "Tirpitz" were also very dangerous for British trading ships. They had got 38 cm-cannons. In this sea war thousands of British sailors lost their lifes. In march 1941 several German submarines could be sink. On the 27th of may 1941 the "Bismarck" sink, because of torpedos from British ships. At the end of 1941 the USA also defended a part of the Atlantic distance. When the USA began to use their ships against the Japanese in the Pacific ocean more British ships were sink in 1942. After the invention of the radar Great Britain could be better defended against attacks. With news technics and water bombs Great Britain could better fight against German submarines and so 1943 less British were sink. The "Tirpitz" was sink by British Lancaster bombers.

38 cm ship cannon
38 cm ship cannon on the "Tirpitz"

Battle ship Bismarck
Battle ship "Bismarck"


The desert war in North Africa


After the Italian have failed In North Africa Germany had to help. In february 1941 on of the best German strategists arrived in North Africa - Erwin Rommel. The enemies gave him honourful name "Desert fox", because they also thought that he is a great strategist. Italy is displaced by Great Britain from Africa, like from Ethiopia which was occupied from Italy in 1935. On the 30th of march 1941 Rommel begins an attacks against the British from Lybia. They could be push back to Egypt and the Cyrene now was German. Romme could not occupy Tobruk. In this battle even a British genereal could be arrested. Rommel's raid was very fast. For the axis powers it would be important to occupy the Suez Channel and to prevent the ships traffic between Great Britain and its colonies. The British fleet in Alexandria was in danger. Tobruk was besieged by the German Africa corps. In june 1941 the British wanted to end the siege of Tobruk, but the German tanks were better. The German also had got their 8.8 cm anti aircraft cannon. It was an anti aircraft cannon, but it fought better against tanks. At the end of 1941 the British had conquered the Cyrene and the German could be displaced. In the middle of 1942 the British had to defend the island Malta against a German invasion and it was successful. On the 10th of june 1942 Rommel has occupied Bir Hacheim and on the 21st of june 1942 he has occupied Tobruk. For the victory in Tobruk Rommel was promoted to Generalfeldmarschall. Rommel had got problems with the supply and also the climate and the desert made it to a hard war. Rommel marched to Egypt. On the 23rd of october 1942 he has to fight in the Egyptian town El Alamein. His opponent was the British General Montgomery and he has studied Rommel's tactics. Rommel lost this battle and for the British it was an important victory. Rommel had to reatreat. After that the Allies planned an invasion in Algeria and Morocco. These both countries were governed by the French government in Vichy. On the 8th of november 1942 this operation began under the command of the US General Eisenhower. Everywhere Allies go onto the beach, but there was resistance. An agreement between the Allies and the admiral Darlan who was from the Vichy government could end the French resistance. Hitler wanted to prevent it and he marched in South France (Vichy). The allied troops went to Tunisia. The American had not any fight experience and without British help Rommel would have defeat them. General Patton could stop Rommel and at the beginning of 1943 he has to return to Germany. The German Africa corps was in a very bad situation and in the middle of 1943 they had lost.


The German defeat in the Soviet Union


In the middle of 1942 the German invasion in the Soviet Union continued. Germany wanted to have more ressources and another important target was Stalingrad. Stalingrad is an industrial town. This attack should paralyze the industry. Then the Soviet Union would have less war equipment. In august 1942 the attack on Stalingrad began. This attack was lead by General Friedrich Paulus. Hitler was sure that he will win. The Soviet General Tschuikow involved the Germnn soliders in house fights and so the Luftwaffe could not bombard the town, because then Russian and German soldiers would die. There were only infantry fights and they were very hard. This battle should last for several months. german tanks had problems with moving in Stalingrad and Russian snipers were very dangerous. At the end of 1942 German troops came from the south. The Russian winter made the German supply very difficult. In november 1942 the Soviet General Shukov could include Stalingrad with a big amred force. The German instructions to hold this twon, because it was very important for the victory in the Soviet Union. Hitler has forbidden to retreat. The German Generalfeldmarschall Erich von Manstein should help the German soldiers in Stalingrad, but the Russian could stop him earlier and he had to retreat. Only the Luftwaffe could supply the German. Many German without winter uniforms froze to death. At the beginning of 1943 the Soviets could back-conquer some parts of Stalingrad. Then the German soldiers surrendered. Hitler was very angry about this fact. It was very hard for him and for along time he could not forget about is, because Stalingrad was a turning point. Now the German and the Italian army could be displaced from the Soviet Union. Now the Russian saw the extent of the German occupation. Many people had been killed by the SS. In march 1943 the German could advance for a next time. In july 1943 they tried to occupy the town Kursk and they thought that it is a chance to subject the Soviet Union. The German had mayn tanks in this battle. It was the biggest tank battle in history. In august 1943 the Soviet Union had won this battle and a German defeat was sure. The Soviets advanced west and Hitler reatreated his army from the Soviet Union. In 1944 Leningrad was back-conquered by the Soviet Union. In the same year Sevastopol was also back-conquered and the German had to escape through the black sea like the British had to reatreat from Dunkirk. In this year the German was completely displaced from the Soviet Union.


The invasion of the Allies in Italy


In 1943 the Allies thought about an invasion in Europe. This should relieve the Soviet front. With a cunning the Allies lured the German to Greece, but the invasion should take place in Italy. On the 10th of june 1943 Allied troops with General Montgomery and General Patton landed in Sicily. Sicily was defended bei German and Italian troops. After this landing the trailers of Benito Mussolini took the power and he became powerless. He was imprisoned. Hitler has released him later. The new Italian government capitualted, but the wait to get good conditions from the Allies. Attacks of the Allies forced the Italian government to a unconditionally capitulation. Germany occupied Italy at once and so the resistance against the Allies grows. The Allied invasion could advance and until october 1943 they had got mayn victories. On the 13th of october 1943 Italy declared war to Germany. Germany wanted to stop the Allies in the Apennines. The central point was the mountain Monte Cassino with its old monastery. It was the onl way to go north. This battle lasted very long and on both sides many soldiers died. At the beginning of 1944 the monastery was bombarded, but the German hide in the ruins. A few months later the Allies could win. On the 4th of june 1944 the Allies had conquered Rome. The German had to retreat. Slowly the Allies made a government in Italy und tried to restore the infrastructure. Italian that fought together with the Allies were executed when they were found in territories which were occupied from Germany. Sometimes whole villages were destroyed and burned. in the winter 1944/45 the Allied march was stopped, but the Italian sabotaged the Wehrmacht. In april 1945 the Allies marched again and together with the Italian they had more and more successes. on the 2nd of may the Wehrmacht in Italy had capitulated. Mussolini tried to escape to Switzerland with his loved one. In a village they were executed by some Italian. Hundred thousands soldiers died in this campaign.


The invasion of the Allies in France


This invasion also should relieve the Soviet Union. The Allies thought about different places from Norway to France where thy could do an invasion. They chose the Normandy. They also thought to land in Calais, because it is nearer to Great Britain than the Normandy. The German also feared an invasion in Calais and so they defended it very strong. With many cheats the Allies tried to convince Germany that the invasion will be in Calais. On the 6th of june 1944 at night the Allies bombarded the Normandy and parachutists were dropped. In the morning in the Normandy the biggest landing in history began - operation "Overlord". Over one hundred thousand soldiers were involved. The beaches of the Normandy were not as well defended as Calais. The good strategist Rommel was convinced of an invasion in the Normandy. He advised to defend better the Normandie, but Hitler has not done so. All the troops from this invasion were stationed in Great Britain. The German soldiers could not believe it that thousands of ships landed there. The Allies landed in five beach parts with the names: "Gold", "Juno", "Omaha", "Utah" and "Sword". Some ships transported tanks, but the problem was that not every ship was near to the beach and some tanks and soldiers sink. This invasion was very riskily and in "Omaha" many Allied soldiers died. The German were shooting the Allied soldiers with machine guns and so the Allied soldiers had to leave the beaches fast. The beaches were adjusted with obstacles and so the tanks had got problems to move. The Allies could advance in France and back-conquer France. In Caen there was a battle with thousands of dead soldiers. The Allies had win this battle. French soldiers from this invasion could free Paris now.


The end for Germany and the end of the war in Europe


Now the Allies were inexorably. After the invasion in the Normandy Generalfeldmarschall Gerd von Rundstedt was convinced that Germany would lose. On the 17th of september 1944 the German could win a battle in Arnhem in the Netherlands, but this could not stop the Allies. The Soviet Union went through Poland. To produce weapons in Germany also women were used and young children were sent as soldiers. The Allies bombarded the German industry. Now the German population saw the war themself. In every big German city there were damages, because of the Allied bomb carpets. Dresden was damaged very strong. This bambs killed also hundred thousands of civilians and so for the Allies the bombs were disputed. Hitler wanted retaliation and he gave the Peenemunde science team instructions to build rockets. The main person in this science team was Wernher von Braun. In the middle of 1944 the V1 rocket was ready and later the V2 rocket. Both were used against Germany's neighboring countries. These rockets could not help Germany. In Germany there was resistance against Hitler, but all attempts to kill Hitler failed. On the 20th of july 1944 a bomb exploded in Hitler's headquarter in Rastenburg which should kill him. It failed and Oberst Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg and the other who organized this assassination attempt were killed on the same day. Many officers were involved in this assassination attempt and so Hitler wanted to restructure the Wehrmacht. Also Erwin Rommel has supported this assassination attempt. Hitler offered him to commit suicide oder otherwise he will be condemned by a people's court. On the 14th of october 1944 he commited suicide in Herrlingen. There were also other oppositional groups like the "Weisse Rose" which was formed from students. It consists of the brothers and sisters Hans and Sophie Scholl and a few other students. The caretaker of the Munich university had discovered them and betrayed them to the Gestapo. The Scholls were executed. With many speeches Goebbels tried to explain the German population that the Russian are unmen and that they should fight against them. At the end of 1944 Hitler began the Ardennes offensive, but the Allies won at the beginning of 1945. Russian came close to Berlin. Many German were afraid of them and they escaped. Hitler was disappointed of the German and the defeat and give instruction to destroy Germany, but nobody makes it. On the 4th of february 1945 there was a conference in Yalta on the Crimea Peninsular between Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin. Europe was divided here. First of all Berlin should be only administrated by the Russian. In 1943 Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin also had a conference in Teheran where they discussed the new structure of Europe. In april 1945 Russian came to Berlin. Hitler thought that he can win when Roosevelt died on the 12th of april 1945. Reichsfuehrer SS Heinrich Himmler escaped, but the British arrested him and he commited suicide. Hitler made Grossadmiral Karl Doenitz to his successor. In April 1945 Hitler also rejected Goering and Himmler from the NSDAP, because they made peace negotiations with the Allies. On the 29th of april 1945 Hitler shot himself in the shelter of the Reichskanzlei and his loved one Eva Braun took poison. On the 30th of april 1945 Joseph Goebbels poisoned his children and after that himself and his wife. On the 8th of may 1945 Germany capitulated. The war in Europe was now over, but not in Japan.


The end for Japan and the end of World War II


Dispite the Japanese defeat in Midway they tried to conquer Port Moresby (capital of Papua New Guinea) to fight against Australia. The Americans wanted to drive out the Japanese from the Salomons and on the 8th of august 1942 they started an offensive in the Guadalcanal on the Salomons. Here was an important Japanese airport. In october 1942 the Japanese wanted to back-conquer the Guadelcanal and it was heavy battle. American and Japanese ships also fought against each other. At the beginning of 1943 the Japanese retreated. At the end of 1942 the Japanese were driven out from Papua New Guinea. After these victories the USA was convinced that they can win. The USA occupired many islands which Japan has conquered to defeat Japan. In the sea-battles I have mentioned that the USA could back-conquer the Phillipines in the battle in the Luzon Gulf. In march 1945 Tokio was bombarded. On the 1th of april 1945 the USA began the invasion on the Japanese island Okinawa. On the 24th of july 1945 the USA win this battle. In 1948 the Japanese Prime Minister General Hideki Tojo was executed. The USA wanted to accelerate the war and so the American President Harry Truman decided throw to atom bombs on Japan. The development was in Los Alamos in New Mexico. The name was "Manhattan" projet. The leader of this project was the atomic physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer. This weapon was unknown until this time. The temperature during the explosion was about 15 million degrees (as hot as the core of the sun). on the 6th of august 1945 the first atom bomb was thrown on Hiroshima. Japan did not want to capitulate and so the USA had thrown another atom bomb on Nagasaki on the 9th of august 1945. Over one hundred thousand people died at once. Many people suffered from the radiation damages and died caused by them. On the 2nd of september 1945 Japan capitulated. This was the end of the Second World War.


The Nurnberg trials and the escape of many nazis


On the 20th of november 1945 in the Nurnberg the main trial against the important nazi leaders began. 24 persons were accused. There were four charges: conspiracy against the world peace, planning and execution of a war of aggression, offences against the martial law, crimes against the humanity. It was an international court and the judges came from Great Britain, France, the USA and the Soviet Union. On the 30th of september 1946 and on the 1st of october 1946 the judgements were announced. The following 12 persons got a death penalty: Bormann, Frank, Frick, Goering, Jodl, Kaltenbrunner, Keitel, von Ribbentrop, Rosenberg, Sauckel, Seyss-Inquart and Streicher. Martin Bormann escaped in 1945 and when the trial happened it was not sure if he is not submerged anywhere. In absence he also got the death penalty. Later it was possible to prove that he died during his escape. Funk, Hess and Raeder got lifelong imprisonment punishes. Doenitz, von Neurath, von Schirach and Speer got imprisonment punishes of different duration. Fritzsche, von Papen and Schacht were acquited. On the 16th of october 1946 the condemned were executed. On the day beforce Hermann Goering commited suicide with potassium cyanide. Except the main trial in Nurnberg there were more trials in Germany, but also in other countries were NS people worked. Many of these trials also ended with death judgements which were executed. Rudolf Hoess, the commander of the KZ Auschwitz, for example was condemned and executed in Poland. Less famous NS persons tried to escape to other countries and partially with success. Long time after the Second World War there were private nazi hunters who had found many NS people. These NS persons were also condemned. There were also persons which were never found or not delivered. The Vatican also helped many escaping nazis. In 1950 Adolf Eichmann escaped to Argentina. The Israeli secret service found him a few years later and kidnapped him from Argentina in may 1960. In december 1961 in a trial in Israel he was condemned to death and on the 1st of june 1962 he was executed. In 1949 Josef Mengele escaped to Argentina. He was never arrested. On the 2nd of july 1979 he died in a swimming accident in Brazil. Argentina and Brazil did not want to deliver Eichmann and Mengele. In 1983 Klaus Barbie, the boss of the Gestapo of Lyon, was found in Bolivia and he was delivered at France. In 1987 he was condemned to a lifelong imprisonment punish and he died in 1991. The whereabouts of Gestapo boss Heinrich Mueller and many others is unclear until today.


NS ideology, propaganda, Jew persuit and concentration camps

Ranks of the Wehrmacht and the SS

SS, SA and Gestapo

Persons in the Third Reich


Weapons of the Wehrmacht

80 cm cannon "Dora"

60 cm mortar "Karl"

Panzerkampfwagen I to IV

Panzerkampfwagen V "Panther"

Panzerkampfwagen VI "Tiger"

Panzerkampfwagen VI "Tiger II"

Self-propelled howitzer "Hummel"

Light field howitzer 18

8.8 cm Flak 37

Karabiner 98k

MP 40

MG 42


Author and Webmaster: Lukas Czarnecki

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Last Update: 15.12.2004