Blitzkrieg and War Crimes in World War II

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Blitzkrieg and Hitler's Motives

What is the Blitzkrieg? Why did Hitler use the Blitzkrieg? Blitzkrieg were shock tactics. Its aim was to paralyse the enemy by a devastating use of the most up-to-date technology. Hitler used Blitzkrieg tactics for two reasons:

  • Many people in Germany didn't share Hitler's enthusiasm for the war. Blitzkrieg would deliver quick victories that would get people to support it.
  • Germany's economy couldn't support long-drawn-out campaigns. Blitzkrieg allowed the army to seize territory quickly and plunder the resources Germany needed.

Can you explain the turning point of the Second World War and why did it happen? If the war was going to last for long, Hitler thought that Germany would need oil. Then, he turned his eyes to Soviet Russia. His plan was that once the backward Russia was defeated, Germany would have access to the rich oil regions and it would become self-sufficient in raw materials. Hitler considered himself to be a genius and confused his wishes with actual facts. Nazis considered Slavs to be an inferior race just like Jews so they unleashed a war of extermination against the population. This provoked a self-defence reaction and it made it difficult for the Germans to advance. Stalingrad was the first and most important defeat of the Nazis and marked a turning point in the war. It was the beginning of the end of the Russian campaign for the Nazis.

Success of Blitzkrieg and War Crimes

The success of Blitzkrieg depended on two things: a better use of technology than your enemy and greater mobility. And Germany had them both.

Do you remember the war crimes committed in the war? Who did them? Why is the moral issue involved in war crimes?

  • Concentration camps built for the Jewish population by Nazis in order to exterminate them.
  • Atomic bombs which the USA used to bomb Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
  • Saturation bombing in British cities by the Germans and in German cities by the USA.
  • War of extermination unleashed in the Eastern front by Germany.

Hitler's Invasion of the Soviet Union

Why did Hitler invade the Soviet Union? Hitler wanted to have access to the rich oil regions of Caucasus in Soviet Russia so he wanted to believe that Soviet Russia would be an easy prey and that in a short campaign the whole old regime would collapse. Germany would become self-sufficient in raw materials after they defeated the backward Russia. His plans failed and the Soviet resistance fighters disrupted the German war efforts.

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