in this article we will talk about that why was the German Army so Effective in World War 2 after the end of the great war and after an unsatisfactory peace huge inflation and an unprecedented economic crisis germany was on its knees germany was still a country with huge economic potential due to the factories and companies that still existed there germany was however only a shadow of the former monarchy but from 1933 to 1941.
germany achieved what it had not realized in the previous war it had a new army that was considered unstoppable acting with precision speed and communication taking by surprise the great european powers thus at the end of 1941 almost all of europe was controlled by germany and its allies german soldiers could see the buildings of moscow from a distance almost all predictions led to a total german victory but how did this all happen was it just the efficiency of the german army or was it a multitude of reasons including sound planning or even luck the end of world war.
one brought about a time of chaos for the germans and what the rest of europe likely believed would prevent a near future containing a powerful german military they were wrong the ability of germany to rebuild its military might generally came with the rise of the third reich but before this rise was a fall brought about by the events of the weimar republic after the end of the first world war kaiser wilhelm ii became the target of intense backlash and pressure from both the general public and his own military on november 9 1918.
wilhelm was forced to abdicate and a provisional government made up of members of the social democratic party and the independent social democratic party of germany was established in his place the following day by spring the weimar republic had been formed with frederick ebert as the first president shortly into ebert’s term the treaty of versailles was signed reducing the german military to a mere 100 000 men furthermore germany was compelled to take responsibility for world war one paying hefty reparations and giving up some of its territorial possessions.
this treaty was a huge blow to the newly established weimar republic and was quickly followed by a new obstacle this time in the form of hyperinflation and the great depression this was the turning point for many working class germans and the moments in which adolf hitler and his party suddenly became a beacon of hope with a building concerned that the weimar republic could soon be overrun by the communists the german people turned to this new alternative which quickly became the largest political party in parliament by 1932.
the following year adolf hitler was elected as the new chancellor of germany the first few weeks of his term were hugely influential and brought about a drastic shift in germany’s projected rebuilding the new chancellor and his party had a plan as could be anticipated from his speeches and from his book it had to start from the inside and the new party tried to consolidate its power through propaganda and normative acts then the rebuilding of the army had to begin ignoring the treaty of versailles with the next phase being to annex the german-speaking territories.
through diplomacy influence or military intervention meanwhile with increased production and a larger army the focus was to be on defeating their biggest rival in the region france first article 48 was invoked which largely reduced the progress that had been made on the grounds of civil rights and put a strong lid on the communist party next hitler established the enabling act which gave him the ultimate authority to pass any law.
he wished without the approval of the president or parliament one of the main goals was now aimed at bringing back germany’s prior military might and building upon it one of the new chancellor’s most famous changes to the armed forces was the establishment of the vermact this was the unified military of the third reich beginning in 1935 and was made up of land marine and air forces.
the new military might was much larger than the treaty of Versailles had allowed and brought about a radical increase in defense spending hence the reinstatement of conscription the chancellor had solidified his self-proclaimed role as the ultimate authority over the armed forces and required every commander to now be at the beck and call of his orders.
in spite of internal opposition and skepticism from some of the commanders the army was able to reoccupy the rhineland a very industrialized region that was vital for the future war machine the annexation of austria the sudetenland and czechoslovakia strengthened the german economy and production lines the goal of the allies was appeasement and all those within the vermax who had questioned the chancellor had been proven wrong thus far the overall approval rating from the german people concerning the new regime had vastly skyrocketed and any opposition was essentially silenced the handful of generals and troops.
who had been on the fence about the new chancellor were now willing to back his plans for war after his territorial successes and with a fully equipped and prepared military germany was ready to invade poland with an already building momentum the goal beyond wanting to regain territory that had been lost from the treaty of versailles and expand further was to avoid a long war at all costs to accommodate this lofty aim the germans adopted.
a new military tactic known as the blitzkrieg or lightning war this wasn’t a completely new form of warfare the strategy that germany followed had much in common with the strategy that existed in the first war when the idea was the same to defeat its enemies quickly and decisively as the country was ill-suited to win a long and drawn-out conflict against larger better prepared forces the german army had the benefit of new military technology that included better and more rapid tanks motor vehicles aircraft and radios these new tools combined with an emphasis.
on the element of surprise speed mobility focused attacks and at the end encirclements enables the army to turn traditional military tactics into a devastatingly modern brand of warfare not only did the blitzkrieg tactic sound good in theory but it also genuinely worked the germans utilized this new strategy when they invaded poland and subsequently set off world war ii and then again when they faced off with enemy lines from denmark norway belgium the netherlands luxembourg france yugoslavia and even greece throughout the first two years of the war the blitzkrieg was an extremely profitable tactic and played a hugely significant role in germany’s immediate success.
this strategy worked to quickly disorganize and throw off the enemy troops by using a narrow line or formation of concentrated offensive forces to break through enemy lines the germans would first locate a weak point in their opponent’s defenses to create a breach permitting armored tank divisions to penetrate rapidly and roam freely behind enemy lines causing shock and disorganization among the enemy defenses as their counterpart struggled to reorganize.
the front line and prepare new lines of defense the air force prevented additional help from reaching their adversary and sending reinforcements to seal breaches on the front as the gap widened the flow of german troops would continue to rapidly file through that area and a focus would be put on preventing the enemy from refilling the gap that had been created the tanks were followed by motorized divisions who form solid flanks protecting the military convoys.
in the middle the corridor was supplied continuously with more and more equipment and soldiers by doing this the enemy didn’t have much time to react as more piercing movements were created at the same time in different spots eventually any enemy troops who were unable to fall back or escape in time would be encircled by the germans this made it easy for the latter to now seize a dominant role in the battle and compel their opponent to surrender this tactic worked quite well against.
the french who were shocked by the speed of the german army and their attack through the Ardennes forest after France was conquered the main goals were achieved and the soviet union seemed to be the last chapter of their conquest and domination of Europe on June 22 1941 operation was launched with the goal of occupying the western portion of the soviet union at first the german lightning war was severely damaging to the Russians the latter was pushed back towards the gates of Moscow.
as their attackers were yet again carrying out an aggressively strong assault the situation was made worse for the Soviets since joseph Stalin had initially had a hard time believing that the attack was going to happen even after receiving intel that a german attack might happen by the time the Russians had realized the true gravity of the danger they were in the germans had already gained.
the upper hand thanks to their lightning war strategy within a single week german forces advanced 200 miles into soviet territory destroying nearly 4 000 aircraft and taking out of action around 600 000 red army troops as before the strategy combined with the element of surprise worked and would prove deadly for a medium-sized country.
as the land service would allow the german army to move fast to conquer the important cities and to force the other country into surrender within a few weeks against the soviet union the situation was different after three months of warfare the blitzkrieg tactic was no longer the deciding factor for a german success it had worked at the start of the conflict but now the situation had changed mainly due to the huge size of the ussr the winter and the better defense lines created by the soviets the counter-attack of the soviets was well thought out and executed.
but it also proved triumphant since the germans had been fighting longer than they had anticipated on a huge front they lost the element of surprise and momentum and they were fighting against a more populated country with high capabilities of production which was also aided by other allies and from that point.
on the war turned against the germans the reason behind why the german army was so effective in world war ii is a combination of many factors the plan and fanaticism of a party to dominate a continent the process of rearmament and warm material production and the expansion against austria and czechoslovakia which was not followed by major reactions combined with the preparation of invasions against other countries created.
the scenario for this efficiency to happen additionally the work that had been done to rebuild the german military might despite the constraints of the treaty of versailles and the execution of the lightning war strategy by competent officers consolidated with the mistakes of their counterparts proved to be an almost unstoppable combination.
although germany lost the war its initial success can be attributed to a multitude of factors and we can talk about them more in detail in some future videos in this one we tried to oversimplify for you the major agents that led to the effectiveness of the german army in the second world war so make sure you subscribe to our history channel and press the bell button for more animated world war ii.
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