"Sieg im Osten?" Part 4 of The 12-Year Reich
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"Sieg im Osten?" Part 4 of The 12-Year Reich

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This presentation develops Hitler's fateful war against "Jewish Bolshevism" 1941-1942 (Stalingrad)

This presentation develops Hitler's fateful war against "Jewish Bolshevism" 1941-1942 (Stalingrad)

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  • 1. The 12-Year Reich Session 4 Hitler Victorious; Sieg in Osten? 1941-1942
  • 2. The 12-Year Reich Session 4 Hitler Victorious; Sieg in Osten? 1941-1942 Stalingrad
  • 3. Once again, Hitler’s junior partner requires a rescue first, in North Africa then, in the Balkans although Hitler had once looked up to the Duce, those days are long gone
  • 4. with Barbarossa, the struggle reaches its climax
  • 5. with Barbarossa, the struggle reaches its climax German surprise is complete initial massive victories seem to vindicate Hitler’s daring once again but by winter, doubts begin
  • 6. el Alamein 23 Oct-5 Nov 1942 the end of Axis expansion in North Africa
  • 7. Operation Torch a beginning of the American ground presence, 8 November 1942
  • 8. Operation Uranus 19-22 Nov 1942 Soviet counter offensive pincers encircle the German VI Army at Stalingrad
  • 9. By the end of 1942 Montgomery had the Afrika Corps and the Italians in full retreat. Paulus’ Sixth Army was encircled and doomed. The high point of Hitler’s success had been reached.
  • 10. Designing a “war of annihilation” winter, 1941
  • 11. 19 January 1941 accompanied by his officers, Hitler greets the Duce for two days meeting at the Berghof
  • 12. still tactful with his weak ally Hitler offers aid in Greece. Two days after the Duce leaves comes word of the fall of Tobruk.
  • 13. Hitler’s answer to North Africa 13 September 1940- 200,000 Italians invaded Egypt from Libya by January 35,000 British had counterattacked, captured Tobruk and the entire Italian 10th Army, some 130,000 one of the best commanders from Case Yellow, Erwin Rommel, was sent in February with a light Panzer division to block further British advances the famous Deutsches Afrikakorps (DAK) would do far more than that for the next 18 months
  • 14. Mussolini stumbles in Greece October 1940-jealous of Hitler’s triumph in the west, Mussolini gives the Greeks an ultimatum Prime Minister Metaxas, οχι! (ouki) winter in the mountains, the Italians are halted, then thrown back as British troops from Egypt and Palestine come to the aid of Greece, Hitler reluctantly orders German troops to finish the job
  • 15. Balkanfeldzug Campaign in the Balkans
  • 16. Balkanfeldzug Campaign in the Balkans
  • 17. Yugoslavia complicates things
  • 18. Yugoslavia complicates things to prepare for the Italian bailout in Greece, Hitler pressures the other Balkan states Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Slovakia join the Tripartite Pact, Nov 1940 Yugoslavia holds out until 25 March 1941 within hours of the signing, Serb officers overthrow the Croat government Hitler is furious. He had paid a high price, now he is spurned. He orders the army to invade, supported by his Balkan allies the Soviet invasion is set back a month and vital forces are stripped from the southern front
  • 19. Gebirgsjäger in Bulgarien Mountain troops in Bulgaria Greek partisans in EDES
  • 20. Yugoslav partisans Josip Broz Tito
  • 21. TANKS DRIVE THROUGH THE SERBIAN CITY OF ZARIBROD there was no doubt of the outcome, but the unequal struggle seriously strained German maintenance and cut into readiness for Barbarossa
  • 22. practice for the war of annihilation against Jewish Bolshevism partisans in Pancevo Serb POWs in Belgrade normalizing death
  • 23. Fall Merkur 20-30.v.41 Operation Mercury 20-30 May 1941
  • 24. Fall Merkur 20-30.v.41 Operation Mercury 20-30 May 1941
  • 25. dead Fallschirmjäger sign in Greek and German explaining the destruction of Kandanos
  • 26. The cost to the Germans of Operation Merkur was high. Of the 22,000 men committed for the operation approximately 6,000 were casualties. Key figures killed during the battle: Generalleutnant Süssmann, Major Braun, Major Scherber, and Oberleutnant van Plessen. The mountain troops lost 20 officers and 305 other ranks, killed in action; the missing- most of them drowned when the Royal Navy sunk the boats transporting them, numbered 18 officers and 488 other ranks. Of the nearly 500 transport aircraft involved, 271 had been lost. 
  • 27. British cruiser York one of 3 cruisers and 6 destroyers lost. Damaged: 1 aircraft carrier,3 battleships, 6 cruisers & 9 destroyers
  • 28. • The British and Dominion (NZ & Aus) casualties were 1.742 killed, 1,737 wounded and 11,835 taken prisoner. 15 k were evacuated. • For the  Royal Navy the battle cost the Mediterranean fleet: Over 2,000 men killed and almost 500 wounded. 
  • 29. Bier krug beer mug to the victors of Crete per usual Hitler emphasises the positive but he would never again stage another major airborne operation
  • 30. Special actions as OKH, Brauchitsch and Halder, began the military planning for an attack in mid-May Hitler met with his RKFdV Himmler building on the Polish experience, Hitler knows the army will resent SS and Einsatzgruppen executions in their areas of operations again, the primary targets are not the Jews but the leadership elements, especially the military commisars Jews are to be dealt with harshly, but exactly how is not clear in his 30 January speech, Hitler had repeated the threat/prophecy of two years before--the Vernichtung of European
  • 31. Transportation -- the final solution? Der ewige Jude was released Nov 1940 after the fall of France the colony of Madagascar was considered as a place for relocating Europe’s Jews under SS supervision Hans Frank bitterly resists the use of the Polish General Government as a dumping ground Adolf Eichmann, head of the Jewish section of the SD, once favored Palestine, now looks to the east, the Pripet marshlands, the arctic wastes 2 February--Hitler reviews past plans and future options “...not exactly more friendly”
  • 32. The thinking was now moving way beyond what had been contemplated under the Madagascar Plan, inhumane though that itself had been. In such an inhospitable climate as that now envisaged, the fate of the Jews would be sealed. Within a few years most of them would starve, freeze, or be worked to death. The idea of a comprehensive territorial solution to the “Jewish problem” had by now become effectively synonymous with genocide. Kershaw, ii, p. 351
  • 33. the Führer cult--Soviet style LYUBEMIE STALIN--SCHASTʼYE NARODNOYE! Beloved Stalin--the people’s good fortune!
  • 34. Stalin’s “purges”-- 1936-1938 traditionally thought to stem from the assassination of Sergei Kirov, Dec, 1934 “show trials” beginning in March, 1937 first focused on political elites, “Old Bolsheviks” July 1937-Oct 1938-- “kulaks”, saboteurs in agriculture and industry, military officers 3 of 5 marshals, 13 of 15 army commanders, 8 of 9 admirals, 50 of 57 army corps commanders, 154 of 186 division commanders, 16 of 16 army commisars, 25 of 28 army corps commisars In total, 30,000 members of the armed services are executed or sent to labor camps
  • 35. Commisars beginning with the Civil War, 1918-1920, the Red Army attached political officers to each unit these commisars “educated” and policed the officers and men to ensure their communist orthodoxy Hitler’s order of 6 June identified these officers for “maximum severity”
  • 36. The “Commisar Order” 6 June 1941 In the struggle against Bolshevism, we must not assume that the enemy’s conduct will be based on principles of humanity or of international law. In particular, hate-inspired, cruel, and inhumane treatment of prisoners can be expected on the part of all grades of political commisars, who are the real leaders of resistance…. As a matter of principle they will be shot at once whether captured during operations or otherwise showing resistance. Kershaw, ii, p. 358
  • 37. a strange distraction on 10 May Hess flew to Scotland with a harebrained peace plan. Hitler went ballistic Rudolf Heß the wreckage of his Me 110
  • 38. Einsatzgruppen final briefing (unique/special task groups) each = 600-1,000 men recruited from various police organizations augmented by the Waffen-SS each divided into 4-5 Einsatzkommanden or Sonderkommanden top leadership was either SiPo or SD, middle ranking officers were educated, academics, civil service, lawyers, a Protestant pastor, even an opera singer like the RSHA, these leaders were university educated, of the generation too young for WW I, who had bought the völkisch ideals in the 1920s Heydrich, unlike Hitler, considered Jews, not commisars, their primary target from mid May until D-Day these 3,000 men were ideologically prepared for their “special task”
  • 39. At 0530 [22 June 1940], just over two hours after the German guns had opened fire on all borders, the new Liszt fanfares sounded over German radios. Goebbels read out Hitler’s proclamation….The most destructive and barbaric war in the history of mankind was beginning. It was the war Hitler had wanted since the 1920s -- the war against Bolshevism. Kershaw, ii, pp. 387-88
  • 40. as war begins Hitler moves east
  • 41. as war begins Hitler moves east
  • 42. Barbarossa, 22.vi.1941
  • 43. Barbarossa, 22.vi.1941
  • 44. the Emperor Frederick Barbarossa 1122-1190
  • 45. military build-up as we saw in session 1, the Soviets had been alarmed by German aggression
  • 46. GLORY TO THE GREAT STALIN! he had received intelligence reports about the German build-up on his borders he believed it was only a response to his own build-up initiated when Germany sent troops into the eastern Balkans for the Greek campaign as initial reports poured in of massive German attacks he refused to believe them--провокацыий (provokatsieyee) “provocations” to get him to begin a war then, when denial proved impossible he became depressed and refused to deal for several days
  • 47. partisans behind German lines Stalin recovers, calls for a Great Patriotic War with partisans attacking the German rear
  • 48. SOVIET CITIZENS AND CITIZENS OF THE GERMAN OCCUPIED DISTRICTS! Help the partisans in their struggle against the Germans. You struggle against the Germans. Death to the German occupiers!
  • 49. Hitler reacts to partisan war he tells Goebbels that this announcement “had the advantage of allowing the extermination of anyone who got in the way die Möglichkeit auszurotten, was sich gegen uns stellt The wide interpretation of “partisans” by the Security Police ensured that Jews were particularly prominent among the increasing numbers liquidated” Kershaw, ii, p. 395
  • 50. the “final” plan “No battle plan survives contact with the enemy” Hitler had insisted and continued through the summer to insist that Moscow was not the primary target as initial successes seemed to offer opportunities to wrap things up well before winter, the generals argued for adding strength to the center Hitler continued to insist on the southern front to cripple the Soviet economy and bring vital resources to Germany
  • 51. Wolfsschanze Wolf’s Lair (Adolf, from edel Wolf)
  • 52. Führerhauptquartier Fritz Todt was ordered in October, 1940 to build a hardened HQ in East Prussia to be ready by spring, 1941
  • 53. present remains A model of the original Führerbunker the wooden huts alongside are typical of the less gloomy spaces used prior to air raids
  • 54. Führer, Duce & generals gathered around the map table in the briefings hut at FHQ Wolfsschanze
  • 55. here stood the barracks in which on 20 July 1944 Claus Schenk Count von Stauffenberg undertook an attempt to end ...
  • 56. “THIRST” - SCULPTURE the defense of Brest fortress one of a few Soviet points of pride in the opening weeks PRINCIPAL MONUMENT & ETERNAL FLAME THEY RESISTED TO THE DEATH GLORY TO THE HEROES
  • 57. Kesselschlachten (cauldron battles)
  • 58. Kesselschlachten (cauldron battles) Bialystok & Minsk--26 juni-9 juli Smolensk --16 juli-5 august Kiev --15-26 september Vyazma & Bryansk --2-20 oktober
  • 59. http://english.pobediteli.ru/
  • 60. Bialystok Belarus (White Russia) German infantry advance the old fashioned way deutschen Panzerwagen blitzschnell
  • 61. destroyed Russian A-20 tanks Soviet POWs awarding of Iron Crosses at Bialystok
  • 62. victory isn’t cheap German tanks artillery, the king of battles (a propaganda postcard) soldiers pass a burning village outside Smolensk (another propaganda postcard)
  • 63. a frame from the new propaganda film Sieg im Osten
  • 64. on to the Dnieper River and Kiev September crossing the Bug River Western Ukraine August
  • 65. Soviet POWs being fed by a “babushka” and a German soldier Soviet troops defending Kiev KIEV--”The greatest battle in history”-- Hitler
  • 66. Kiev (Ukr. sp.) “hero city”? May, 1945-Stalin designates four “hero cities” Leningrad, Stalingrad, Sevastopol & Odessa in 1961 Kiev is added when I was there in 1972 Kievans were embarrassed to be included
  • 67. Kremlin wall in 2005--60th anniversary 80% of males born in 1923 didn’t survive WW II
  • 68. город герои ленинград (gorod gyeroi Leningrad) Hero city Leningrad 900 days from August, 1941 to January, 1944 unparalleled famine through disruption of utilities, water and energy supply deaths of 1.5 million civilians and evacuation of 1.4 million more, mainly women and children, many of whom died during the evacuation due to starvation and bombardment economic destruction and human losses in Leningrad on both sides exceeded those of the battle of Stalingrad or the battle of Moscow or the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
  • 69. The 900 days of the siege caused unparalleled famine through disruption of utilities, water, and energy supply. This resulted in the deaths of 1.5 million civilians, and evacuation of 1.4 million more, mainly women and children, many of whom died during evacuation due to starvation and bombardment. Of 1.5 million total Soviet casualties, one cemetery in Leningrad has half a million civilian victims of the siege interred. Economic destruction and human losses in Leningrad on both sides exceeded those of the Battle of Stalingrad, or the Battle of Moscow, or the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
  • 70. Vyazma & Bryansk 2-20 October
  • 71. the last great success 673,000 POWs destroyed Soviet AAA
  • 72. грязь ж. dirt, filth, mud Our peasants must have the wings of angels to travel over this гряжём Nikolai Alekseevich Nekrasov (1821-1877)
  • 73. • before General Winter, Stalin committed Marshall Mud. But by late October the temp dropped & frostbite began • at least when the mud froze the army could move once more
  • 74. WINTERSCHLACHT IM OSTEN Winter Battle in the East medal (obverse and reverse) and citation
  • 75. Happy Moskvichanki dig an anti-tank ditch
  • 76. snow-covered anti-tank devices We defend Moscow!
  • 77. mercilessly we grind down and annihilate the enemy! sleazy Hitler is poking through the non- aggression pact
  • 78. part of Hitler’s problem Soviet strength had been drastically underestimated
  • 79. there’ll be this no more if there were no Hitler Soviet propaganda leaflet
  • 80. detail from the previous map Marshall Zhukov directs the counteroffensive
  • 81. Hitler’s reaction
  • 82. Hitler’s reaction 16-17 Dec--”no retreat” order 19 Dec-- CinC of the Army, Walther von Brauchitsch relieved of command. Hitler assumes command himself 20 Dec-- appeal to the German people to send warm winter clothing for the troops. Panzer hero Guderian opposes Hitler’s “no retreat” order in 5 hour audience. 26 Dec-- Guderian informed of his dismissal. Five other generals were relieved and one died of a stroke.
  • 83. frames from a film urging Volksgenossen to donate winter clothing for the Ostfront the logistics to get them to the troops was another matter
  • 84. Vernichtung
  • 85. Vernichtung
  • 86. FULFILLING THE ‘PROPHECY’ I already stated on 1 September 1939 in the German Reichstag -- and I refrain from over hasty prophecies-that this war will not come to an end as the Jews imagine,with the extermination of the European-Aryan peoples, but that the result of this war will be the annihilation of Jewry.For the first time the old Jewish law will now be applied: an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. Hitler speaking in the Sportpalast, Berlin, 30 January 1942 A judgement is being carried out on the Jews which is barbaric, but fully deserved. The prophecy which the Führer gave them along the way for bringing about a new world war is beginning to become true in the most terrible fashion...Here, too, the Führer is the unswerving champion and spokesman of a radical solution. Goebbels, diary entry, 27 March 1942
  • 87. the compulsory identification mark 23 November 1939 the Jews of occupied Poland 1 September 1941 the Jews of the German Reich
  • 88. public reaction was mixed some wanted it applied to Mischlinge as well as Volljuden others were disgusted still others openly sympathized with the victims
  • 89. Goebbels and others were eager to transport “their” Jews to the east. [Goebbels was Gauleiter of Berlin as well as Propaganda Minister] But this awaited final victory, the Entsieg
  • 90. transportation “to the east” first German Jews arrive in Lodz, 16 Oct 41
  • 91. transportation “to the east” first German Jews arrive in Lodz, 16 Oct 41 in autumn 1941, pressure from below forced Hitler to agree to begin moving Jews out of the “Old Reich” Himmler and Heydrich began to view Poland as the best place for the Entlösung (final solution) the Einsatzgruppen were overworked shooting “dangerous elements” and “partisans” in occupied CCCP the crowded Polish ghettos were so unhealthy that deaths from sickness and starvation there seemed to be doing the work for the Nazis
  • 92. acts like this led to policy change German police torment a Polish Jew while an army officer looks on with obvious amusement
  • 93. the last Jew in Vinnitsa
  • 94. the last Jew in Vinnitsa as this picture from autumn, 1941 shows, the army was as implicated in the “action” as were the Einsatzgruppen Himmler was becoming concerned about the morale of his killers some were showing remorse as well as fatigue experts from the “Euthanasia Action”, T-4, were consulted about their use of gas it was “more efficient, less public, and less stressful (for the murderers, that is)
  • 95. Death camps begin, late 1941 gassing experts from T-4 were brought in to advise on the construction
  • 96. Chelmno, 7 December 1941 three gas vans were put in operation • victims included Roma (Gypsies) as well as Jews
  • 97. “Castle”
  • 98. Belzek the second extermination camp Purim, 3 March 1942 deportation from Lodz to Belzek, March, 1942 Jews from Lublin, Poland to Belzek
  • 99. Wannsee Conference, 20.i.42 here, with Heydrich as chair, the rival organizations of the government machinery are given their orders
  • 100. Heydrich’s aims “...to inculcate relevant government ministries in the RSHA’s plans to deport to the east all the Jews within Germany’s grasp throughout Europe. “...he was keen to ensure...that his primacy in orchestrating the deportations was recognized by all parties involved.” Kershaw, ii, p. 486
  • 101. Heydrich’s aims “...to inculcate relevant government ministries in the RSHA’s plans to deport to the east all the Jews within Germany’s grasp throughout Europe. “...he was keen to ensure...that his primacy in orchestrating the deportations was recognized by all parties involved.” Kershaw, ii, p. 486
  • 102. • Göring had given him the job at his own request that July • Hitler not there, may not even have known about the meeting, probably did • Eichmann, the transportation expert, kept notes • the Soviet “wastelands” no longer the vague scene of the final solution--no sense they’d be available soon enough. Poland the principal scene.
  • 103. “… without Hitler, and the unique regime he headed, the creation of a programme to bring about the physical extermination of the Jews of Europe would have been unthinkable.” Kershaw, ii, p. 495
  • 104. while riding in this car without a bodyguard Heydrich is assassinated, May 27th. He is given two state funerals and the town of Lidice is destroyed
  • 105. 1942 Showdown
  • 106. 1942 Showdown
  • 107. with spring, lots of good news war in the Atlantic: U-boat losses way down while the wolf pack strategy dramatically increased allied sinkings Kesselschlacht for Kharkov (Kharkiv), 240,000 POWs 21 June--news that Rommel had taken Tobruk; 33,000 POWs and a huge amount of valuable supplies Manstein takes Sevastopol and the entire Crimea is now in German hands 28 June--Operation Blue, the drive to the Caucasus, the great summer offensive begins well
  • 108. Blow after blow until the enemy is destroyed. the fine print lists the “score” 1,044,741 POWs, 6,271 tanks &c
  • 109. Vorstoß in den Kaukasus Raid on the Caucasus in August, after the summer offensive, the 1st Panzer Army, under General Kleist began the Caucasus drive the objective was the Maikop oilfield. When captured, it had been expertly sabotaged by the retreating Soviets. problems of fuel and munition supply limited the endurance of the successful drive gains in the Caucasus would be abandoned the next year
  • 110. СТАЛИНГРАД Stalingrad
  • 111. СТАЛИНГРАД Stalingrad
  • 112. initial plans for Stalingrad Halder: male population to be destroyed (vernichtet), female to be deported 11 September--Genl. von Weichs: attack on the inner city could begin immediately & be completed in 10 days end Sept--intense fighting, block by block, house by house
  • 113. the war of rats German troops assault a factory. At least, this winter, in proper uniforms.
  • 114. view from the Soviet side of the Volga by November the city was a bombed out ruins lacking strategic value, only a symbol
  • 115. There might indeed have been something to be said for choosing the protection of even a ruined city to the open, exposed steppes over the winter had the supplies situation been as favorable as Hitler evidently imagined it to be, had the supply lines been secure, and had the threat of a Soviet counter-offensive been less large. Kershaw, ii, p.537
  • 116. film clip from “Enemy at the Gates” this 2001 film centers on Soviet sniper Vassili Zaitsev, a real hero of the “War of Rats”
  • 117. screen shot from “Pobediteli” the sort of detail available on this admirable tribute to CCCP’s “Greatest Generation”
  • 118. Deutsches Afrikakorps
  • 119. Deutsches Afrikakorps
  • 120. North Africa, 1940 the Duce begins the see-saw battle with his attack from Libya towards British controlled Egypt
  • 121. Italian failure 35,000 British troops, half non-combat, take 200,000 prisoners
  • 122. DAK to the rescue within 3 months of receiving the assignment, Rommel restored matters with one light division
  • 123. the Desert Fox British and German press alike contributed to his charismatic image
  • 124. Italians view their saviors with mixed feelings Rommel’s orders make his independent command clear
  • 125. initial German victories sea supply and air control in the Mediterranean are vital for the maintenance of German gains
  • 126. as Rommel had advanced his supply problems had increased and so it would prove for Auchinleck
  • 127. now the DAK drives east Japan’s entry caused Australian and British forces to be shifted to the Pacific--Rommel’s “go”
  • 128. Britain feared loss of Suez as German tanks drove eastward they threatened the “lifeline to India”
  • 129. British Crusader passes Pzkw Mk IV El Alamein, 23 Oct-5 Nov 1942 marks the turning point in North Africa
  • 130. UK Ger KIA 10,227 KIA 12,808 WIA 71,000 WIA 116,000 MIA 25,132 MIA 90,052 casualties Hitler couldn’t afford
  • 131. after El Alamein but that’s part of next year’s story, America’s “blooding” and preparation for the Italian campaign
  • 132. Operation Torch 8 November 1942
  • 133. unopposed landings in Algiers not so lucky in Morocco and Oran