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"World War Ii" Study Notes Essay

1142 words - 5 pages

Hitler meant to go far beyond Germany's 1914 boundaries, which were the limit of the vision of his predecessors. He meant to bring the entire German people - the Volk - understood as a racial group, together into a single nation. The new Germany would include all the Germanic parts of the old Habsburg Empire, including Austria. The new Germany would be "purified" by the removal of the Jews, another inferior race in Nazi theory. The plans required the conquest of Poland and Ukraine as the primary areas for the settlement of Germans and for the provision of badly needed food. All of this was Hitler's goal to conquest the entire west as well as return Germany to its original boundaries of 1914, however not limited to that.Britain and France adopted the policy of appeasement b/c they had been scared of another war. They didn't want another war, potentially worse than the first Great War to erupt. And the Prime Minister Chamberlain was a fan of appeasement, which he saw as better than war and able to settle differences. One main feature of France and Britain was the fact that they were eager to appease Mussolini in order to offset the growing power of Germany. They were prepared to allow him the substance of conquest if he would only maintain Ethiopia's formal independence. If the French and the British had been willing to attack Germany from the west while the Czechs fought in their own defense, their efforts might have been successful. If, moreover, the West ever had a chance of concluding an alliance with the Soviet Union against Hitler, the exclusion of the Russians from Munich and the appeasement policy helped destroy it. Munich remains an example of shortsighted policy that helped bring on war in disadvantageous circumstances b/c of the very fear of war and the failure to prepare for it. So in hindsight the Munich events did not buy the West any time.The fall of France had left Britain isolated. The reason Germany was able to keep control of France, however, was the result of German control of the air, or at least attempted control. The only reason the air war was a failure was b/c Germany stopped strikes against airfields and fighter planes and switched main attacks to London. Germany might soon have gained control of the air and, with it, the chance of a successful invasion if only they continued their original objective. The defeat of Russia and the conquest of the Ukraine to provide Lebensraum, or "living space," for the German people had always been a major goal for Hitler. Even before the assault on Britain, he had informed his staff of his intention to attack Russia as soon as conditions were favorable. In December 1940, even while the bombing of England continued, he ordered his generals to prepare for an invasion of Russia by May 15, 1941. He apparently thought that a Blitzkrieg victory in the East would also destroy any further British hope of resistance. The Russians put up a good fight, but b/c Hitler, for a short time stopped his...

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