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World War II

Operation Crusader

on Thu, 08/18/2011 - 21:51

In November 1941, a lull in the year long battle between the Axis and British Commonwealth forces fighting across the North African desert finally allowed both sides to recover their strength. German General Erwin Rommel's command fielded 414 tanks, 173 German, and nine divisions (including two German divisions; the 5th Light - renamed the 21st Panzer Division on October and 15th Panzer Division) with 320 aircraft providing direct close air support.

October 1942 in Stalingrad

on Thu, 08/18/2011 - 21:48

In October of 1942 the German Sixth Army, under General Friedrich Wilhelm Ernst Paulus, came as close as perhaps it ever did to defeating the Soviet defenders of Stalingrad - led most prominently by General Vasily Ivanovich Chuikov's 62nd Army. At best, by October 1942 the 62nd Army numbered 50,000 men and 80 tanks. According to those present it was nowhere near these numbers and the Germans held overwhelming advantages in men and machines.

In an assault beginning on October 14th, five German divisions - over 90,000 men, 2,000 guns and mortars, 300 tanks, and waves of Stuka's forged a path

September 1938 - The Dismemberment of Czechoslovakia

on Thu, 08/18/2011 - 21:45

Following the Third Reich's Anschluss, or political union, with Austria Hitler looked to Czechoslovakia for his next conquest. As a pretext for war the German media, under Goebbels direction, emitted a constant propaganda stream heightening tensions in the area by calling for protecting the German minority in Czechoslovakia. Goebbels agitations focused on the Sudetenland, a Czechoslovakian region running along the German border and home to most of Czechoslovakia's ethnic Germans.

The Warsaw Uprising: August 1944

on Thu, 08/18/2011 - 21:41

Following the Red Army's stunning June-July 1944 defeat of Germany's Army Group Center, and the subsequent Soviet drive into Eastern Poland, one of the great tragedies of World War II unfolded in Warsaw. On August 1st 1944, the long-suffering Polish resistance and population, led by Polish Brigadier General Bor-Komorowski, launched a city wide uprising as the Red Army's 1st Belorussian Front approached Praga and crossed the Vistula.

Operation Cobra: The Plan and Opposing Forces

on Thu, 08/18/2011 - 21:37

Codenamed Cobra, the Allied breakout from the Normandy Beachhead finally began late in July 1944 after a brief but intense planning stage. In directing Cobra U.S. General Omar Bradley left nothing to chance; as Cobra's objective was nothing less than breaking out of the bridgehead in Normandy in which the Allied army's had been bottled up for the better part of two full months. Bradley's plan was two-tiered; he first sought to breakthrough the German defensive positions near the Norman town of St.

German Pre D-Day Defensive Efforts in Occupied France

on Thu, 08/18/2011 - 21:33

Initially Germany approached the problems inherent in defending occupied France as largely one of preventing special operations conducted by the British. Such a German approach was understandable given Britain's best units remained tied down in North Africa during 1941-43. Nonetheless, Hitler's declaration of war on the United States, coupled with Barbarossa's defeat and the Soviet Union's resilience meant it was only a matter of time before the Anglo-American armies struck Nazi occupied Western Europe.

May 1941 - Germany Invades Crete

on Thu, 08/18/2011 - 21:28

The wisdom of the two-week German campaign in Crete remains heavily debated to this day. On the one hand, there is no doubt the loss of Crete weakened Britain's position in the Eastern Mediterranean at a crucial point in the war. On the other hand, some have argued the Germans lost an opportunity to seal off the Central Mediterranean via attacking Malta, astride Axis supply lines to North Africa.

The April 1940 German Invasion of Denmark and Norway

on Thu, 08/18/2011 - 21:26

Scandinavia took on ample significance to both Germany and Britain late in the winter of 1939-1940. The subsequent events in Scandinavian waters during the spring of 1940 would prove even more strategically significant following France's capitulation in June of 1940. The following will explain why.

Following the outbreak of the Second World War, a politically weakened Neville Chamberlain had brought one of his leading dissenters, Winston Churchill, into his cabinet as First Lord of the Admiralty; in an attempt to silence Churchill's politically damaging critiques of Chamberlain's leadership.

Hube's Pocket

on Thu, 08/18/2011 - 21:20

Throughout the winter of 1943-1944 Stavka maintained a relentless pace, consistently ordering up sequential offensives that never allowed the Germans to effectively regroup and build up reserves. In the late winter and early spring of 1944 the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Ukrainian Fronts, in opposition to German forces situated in the Western Ukraine, launched a massive series of offensives that would run along the breadth of the German defensive line south of the Pripet Marshes all the way to the Black Sea.

Kasserine Pass - February 1943

on Wed, 08/17/2011 - 21:38

The Battle for Kasserine Pass represents one of the worst American military performances in the twentieth century. That said, as bad as the Battle for Kasserine Pass went it could have been a lot worse. Instead, and saving the Allies from a more significant defeat, the Germans undermined their own chances to create a significant operational and even strategic level success because, in part, and as was all too common during the Second World War, they failed to create a unified command with clearly defined and agreed upon objectives.

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