in this article we will talk about what was the Role of Austria as part of Germany in WW2? even though an independent country named Austria didn’t exist at the start of the Second World War it’s important to mention that the Austrian territory existed as part of Germany after a political unification with the German state so if Austria had a pretty big role during the First World War what was the role of Austria or more precisely the Austrian people that were part of Germany.
in the Second World War while the Austrian people were predominantly supportive of the German actions in world war ii considering the fact that austria was always one of the german-speaking realms and speaking the same language the Allies considered Austria to be victims of German aggression in reference to the latter’s annexation of the smaller power just before the war.
nonetheless Austria was still intimately responsible for their participation alongside the Germans and other Axis powers even though Austria was not an autonomous state during World War two it was not a part of a big unified Germany before looking all the way back to medieval times by the end of the 10th century the Bavarian babban Berg family had come to ruled over.
the domain expanding their power and officially becoming a Duchy in 1156 even as the babban burg dynasty died out and was replaced by the Habsburgs the territory and power of the austrian region continued to expand by the modern age in 1522 the Habsburg dynasty separated.
into two lines Spanish and Austrian and the Austrian side would later seize Hungary after the death of the last YAG along King in 1526 after conflicts with the Ottoman Empire and shifting borders over the centuries Austria itself was advanced from a Duchy to its own empire although this singular sovereignty was short-lived in centuries they created an identity and became the most powerful german-speaking Kingdom in 1867.
the current monarch Emperor Franz Josef moved to establish the austria-hungary Dual Monarchy after was defeated by Prussia that will form Germany in the future austria-hungary would last until after World War one this decision came after the austro-prussian war in 1866 where Austria was ultimately expelled from the German Confederation not even a century later austria-hungary split and Austria was deemed its own Republic in 1918.
the time between this declaration and the German annexation of Austria in 1938 was a struggle for the young nation as most of Europe was still recovering from the effects of the First World War as Austria navigated its path through these circumstances some members particularly those of the Austrian Social Democrats actually considered the idea of uniting with Germany the debate seemed to shift with the birth of the Third Reich in Germany but there were still some Austrians and Germans who strongly wished to revitalize the proposal a coup was attempted in July of nineteen thirty four but the venture was unsuccessful leading to a new Ithorian government.
in Austria that did its best to subdue and silenced any further protests in February of 1938 the chancellors of Austria and Germany met with kurt von Schuschnigg the Austrian leader hoping to resolve the issue of German pressure for him to submit instead the German Chancellor was able to persuade shoe snake to appoint several of the rebellious Austrian who supported unification to his cabinet.
still on March 9th the Austrian Chancellor called for a plebiscite on the question on what to do about Germany two days later before the nationwide vote could even occur shoo snake gave in to German coercion and resigned insisting to the Austrian army the day withhold from resisting any German advances on March 12th.
the Germans invaded Austria and were met with a notable amount of enthusiasm from the Austrian people the following day the annexation known as Ashlyn was made official and Austria became a federal state of Germany when world war ii began in 1939 Austria did not necessarily make a decision to enter the war with Germany’s invasion of Poland.
it was essentially implied that Austria would give their support to the cause and they did hundreds of thousands of Austrians fought for Germany during World War two though there was no specific Austrian brigades or divisions formed unlike the Germans had done with their Italian Hungarian and Romanian allies initially Austria’s place.
on the map also enhanced their ability to remain relatively casual throughout the war since Germany and Russia had signed a non-aggression agreement and the rest of the Allied forces were on the far side of Germany which sat between Austria and its western enemies the Austrian state remained well protected by the triumphant German military action thus far this matter changed slightly in June of 1941.
when Germany decided to scrap the german-soviet non-aggression pact and invade Russia though the majority of Austria still supported Germany’s actions until the Battle of Stalingrad spanning from August of 1942 until February of 1943 the Battle of Stalingrad was one of the most vicious and long-running clashes of modern military history and a turning point for Austria and Germany in World War two over 2 million troops fought.
this lengthy conflict and nearly that many were either wounded or killed in the process some of the casualties even included Russian civilians with the numbers of such reaching the tens of thousands while the Soviet leaders had chosen to move their stores of goods such as grains out of the major industrial city they opted not to evacuate the more than 400,000 residents believing that it would inspire their troops.
in the battle dozens of German Luftwaffe airstrikes killed civilians and dish Zoid multiple Russian commercial vessels during the extent of the battle and gave Germany control over Stalingrad skies by September of 1942 undeterred the Soviets issued the famed order number 227 which stated panic makers and cowards must be liquidated on the spot not one step backward without orders from higher headquarters commanders.
who abandon a position without an order from higher headquarters are traitors to the motherland taking advantage of the Russian winter and slowly starving enemy troops due to the Soviets working to cut off their supplies the Russians began to push in even further against the weakened axis armies whilst also striking outward at the surrounding German and Italian forces giving up hope the German generals outside of the city accepted defeat.
in terms of their attempts to reach the trapped armies within Stalingrad by February of 1943 the Soviets had officially retake in the city and captured roughly 100,000 axis soldiers most of whom would later die in prison camps Germany was now forced to acknowledge this devastating loss marking the start of a major shift in Austria support not only of the war but of the Anschluss.
as a whole shortly after the conclusion at Stalingrad the Allied nations Austria with yet another reason to withdraw their association to Germany despite previously approving the unification the Allies issued the Moscow declaration in November of 1943 urging the re-establishment of the independent Austrian nation referring to the current state as the first victim of German aggression though they still placed blame on the Austrians for their role.
as a united force with Germany while the ideology of the Germans as in other countries that were born due to nationalism was that there should be a Germany for all the Germans at that time and this created the urge for annexation / unification the German unification of 1871 didn’t incorporate Austria due to the politicians and movements at that time.
even though that was the initial goal and unification movements in both countries where people were speaking the same language and had the same traditions this is also a more detailed topic regarding ethnicity and language a topic that changed history and the borders of Europe and will probably make a video about that in the future but let’s come back to the subject at hand no longer protected by the non-aggression pact nor the now crumbling German military strength.
Austria became a direct target of the Soviets and the remaining allies that had moved towards Italy even with Germany attempting to repel advances into Austria the Russian Red Army made its way through at the end of March in 1945 seizing the city of Vienna on April 13th a few weeks later on April 30th the United States and later.
France and the United Kingdom followed suit beginning they’re minimally protested entry into the Austrian borders Germany surrendered on May 8th 1945 and Austria was once again an independent republic nonetheless the Allied troops remained in Austria cautious not to allow the new provisional government to make any attempts at establishing a communist system until 1955 once the government was fully formed in the November 1945.
general election Austria decided to revert to the Constitution of 1920 with its amendments from 1929 as opposed to drafting a new one in June of 1946 an agreement was signs that limited further Allied interference in the nation and Austria could now begin working to economically recover from the aftermath of the war finally on July 27th 1955.
the state treaty which was signed by the four occupying allied countries confirms the Second Republic of Austria as a sovereign independent and democratic state and banning any future unification with Germany still being possible due to their close ties regarding ethnicity language and history the United States United Kingdom France and the Soviet Union all withdrew their troops from the Austrian territory that same year Austria joins the United Asians and would become a member of the Council of Europe in 1956.
even though Austria can be seen as a partial victim of Germany whilst also a partial voluntary participant Austria managed to get through the Second World War without having to face a vast amount of conflict within its own borders though hundreds of thousands of Austrian soldiers fought and died during their unified approach with Germany they all fought with and under the Germans as Germans still the role of the annexation and Austria’s supporting position throughout World War Two were notably important regardless of their sovereignty or lack thereof.
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