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Hitler

The Background Behind German Defensive Dispositions in France on the Eve of D-Day

on Wed, 06/06/2012 - 00:21

As we celebrate yet another anniversary of the tremendous Allied victory of June 6, 1944, or D-Day, let us take a closer look at the role played by German command decisions as one element in enabling the Allied establishment of a lodgment in France. From the beginning, Germany's approach to defending against an Allied liberation of Western Europe was overshadowed by the war waged in Eastern Europe. In particular an early focus of the Wehrmacht's defensive efforts revolved around preventing special operations conducted primarily by the British.

The End of the Bloodiest War in History: Part IV

on Sat, 05/19/2012 - 20:16

This final part in our series on the human cost of the Second World War in Europe will look at the nation most responsible for plunging humanity into global warfare: Germany. Though in the United States of America the Second World War is often cast today as the last "good war", in reality there were few nation's that participated in the war, willingly or not, and emerged from the war with entirely clean hands.  

I make this observation because the people of Germany were both the perpetrators and, in some cases, victims of the violence Adolf Hitler's Nazi regime unleashed across all of

The End of the Bloodiest War in History: Part III

on Thu, 05/17/2012 - 20:14

Part II of our series on the human cost of the Second World War in Europe detailed Eastern Europe and Poland’s immense suffering. Part III now turns to the country that bore perhaps the worst of Nazi Germany's aggression; the Soviet Union and its Red Army.

Beginning with military losses, the Red Army suffered 29 million casualties during the Second World War; including 11,444,100 killed, missing, or captured with 8,668,400 killed in action.  These figures utterly dwarf those of any other of the war’s major military establishments. Even capture meant death for much of the War.

The End of the Bloodiest War in History: Part II

on Fri, 05/11/2012 - 11:48

This is the second in a series of posts detailing the human cost of the Second World War in Europe. Today we take a closer look at the toll in Eastern Europe.

In spite of the staggering human loss and destruction across all of Western and Southern Europe it could barely compare to the horror of Eastern Europe’s devastation. For example, Romania lost 500,000 people, 200,000 of which were civilians, or more people than the United States lost during the entire war but with a population a fraction of the American's size.

The End of the Battle for the Ukraine

on Sun, 04/15/2012 - 15:29

During the spring of 1944 the Red Army finally began wrapping up its enormously expensive eight month campaign to evict German forces from the Ukraine. The linchpin of this effort came against Army Group South's left wing - defended by its First and Fourth Panzer Armies. On March 4th Marshal of the Soviet Union Georgy Zhukov's 1st Ukrainian Front, spearheaded by the 3rd Guards Tank Army and 4th Tank Army, attacked German Army Group South's left wing. Zhukov's men forged numerous penetrations in German defensive lines already heavily weakened following the battle for the Korsun pocket.

This Day in 1939: The Spanish Civil War Ends

on Sun, 04/01/2012 - 16:21

On April 1, 1939 the Spanish Civil War finally ended after three bloody years that had left the idea of post World War I European peace, such as it was, in tatters and only further destabilized a continent that had never really put the ghosts of the First World War behind it.

The Spanish Civil War had begun on July 17, 1936, when rebels in Spanish Morocco, calling themselves The Nationalists and led by Francisco Franco, initiated an insurgency designed to overthrow the Popular Front government of the Spanish Republic.

Paving the Way for Lebensraum: The Anschluss

on Mon, 03/12/2012 - 21:12

Austria, nestled between Germany and Italy, possessed a long history as a dominant European power. However, after the First World War, the Austro-Hungarian Empire had been dissolved with Austria remaining as a small, central European state; a shadow of its former imposing Imperial greatness. Austria therefore represented a ripe target for a predator such as Hitler.

In February 1938, Hitler coerced Austrian Chancellor Kurt Schuschnigg into placing Nazi sympathizers in important government positions. Hitler also laid the groundwork for an Anschluss, political union, through delivering a series

Hitler's Art Collection Discovered

on Mon, 02/27/2012 - 22:48

A hidden stash of Hitler's private art collection has been found. What's more, and rather uniquely, this time it appears the seven discovered paintings may have included items he might have actually bought. Normally, Hitler and his cronies were more likely to have stolen whatever it is they acquired. Massive looting ranked among the signature activities of the Third Reich during its sweep across Europe, that is once one gets past genocide, mass enslavement, and other such core Nazi values and pursuits.

Even more noteworthy is that the art appears to have been found in a Czech convent not far

The Fall of the Soviet Union: December 25, 1991

on Sat, 12/24/2011 - 14:22

If in 1919 the question arose regarding which of the Great European Powers stood destined to drive Europe’s twentieth century fortunes, few candidates would have stood out as more unlikely than the Soviet Union. Russia had not only been forced into the Treaty of Brest-Litvosk, but had been occupied by a foreign power from 1917-1921, was in the throes of a Civil War that would kill between three and five million Russian citizens, and had foreign armies again fighting on its soil far beyond the First World War’s end. Then, in 1922 Josef Stalin.

The Battle of the Bulge Begins: December 16, 1944

on Fri, 12/16/2011 - 19:54

In World War Two’s waning days, during the fall of 1944, Adolf Hitler ordered up one last role of the dice designed to stave off final defeat. This plan sought to punch through the densely forested, hilly, but lightly guarded Ardennes and reach Antwerp – thereby cutting off numerous Allied armies in a massive pocket similar to what his armies had accomplished four years prior.

German plans called for Sepp Dietrich’s Sixth SS Panzer Army to lead the assault through the Ardennes; as the northern army of the three German assault army’s.

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