United States Army
The United States Armed Forces are the federal armed forces of the United States. They consist of the Army, Marine Corps, Air Force, from the time of its inception, the military played a decisive role in the history of the United States. A sense of unity and identity was forged as a result of victory in the First Barbary War. Even so, the Founders were suspicious of a permanent military force and it played an important role in the American Civil War, where leading generals on both sides were picked from members of the United States military. Not until the outbreak of World War II did a standing army become officially established. The National Security Act of 1947, adopted following World War II and during the Cold Wars onset, the U. S. military is one of the largest militaries in terms of number of personnel. It draws its personnel from a pool of paid volunteers. As of 2016, the United States spends about $580.3 billion annually to fund its military forces, put together, the United States constitutes roughly 40 percent of the worlds military expenditures.
For the period 2010–14, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute found that the United States was the worlds largest exporter of major arms, the United States was the worlds eighth largest importer of major weapons for the same period. The history of the U. S. military dates to 1775 and these forces demobilized in 1784 after the Treaty of Paris ended the War for Independence. All three services trace their origins to the founding of the Continental Army, the Continental Navy, the United States President is the U. S. militarys commander-in-chief. Rising tensions at various times with Britain and France and the ensuing Quasi-War and War of 1812 quickened the development of the U. S. Navy, the reserve branches formed a military strategic reserve during the Cold War, to be called into service in case of war. Time magazines Mark Thompson has suggested that with the War on Terror, Command over the armed forces is established in the United States Constitution. The sole power of command is vested in the President by Article II as Commander-in-Chief, the Constitution allows for the creation of executive Departments headed principal officers whose opinion the President can require.
This allowance in the Constitution formed the basis for creation of the Department of Defense in 1947 by the National Security Act, the Defense Department is headed by the Secretary of Defense, who is a civilian and member of the Cabinet. The Defense Secretary is second in the chain of command, just below the President. Together, the President and the Secretary of Defense comprise the National Command Authority, to coordinate military strategy with political affairs, the President has a National Security Council headed by the National Security Advisor. The collective body has only power to the President
18th Infantry Division (Wehrmacht)
The German 18th Infantry Division was formed on 1 October 1934 as Infanterieführer III in Liegnitz and renamed 18. Mobilized in August 1939 it participated in the Invasion of Poland, after the French campaign the division was motorized and redesignated 18th Motorized Infantry Division on 1 November 1940 serving on the Eastern Front for the remainder of the war. In June 1943 the division was redesignated 18th Panzergrenadier Division, from September 1939 until May 1940 the division fought in Invasion of Poland and made up part of the occupation force. From May 1940 until November 1940 the division fought in the Battle of France, formed 1 November 1940 Part of the occupation force in France from November 1940 until June 1941. Fought on the Eastern Front, central sector from June 1941 until January 1942, fought on the Eastern front, northern sector from January 1942 until June 1943 when it was redesignated 18th Panzergrenadier Division. Fought on the Eastern front, northern sector from June 1943 until October 1943, fought on the Eastern front, central sector from October 1943 until September 1944.
It was devastated in the Soviet 1944 summer offensive, the remnants of the Division fought in Eastern Prussia and in the Battle of Berlin. The survivors tried to fight their way out of Berlin on 2 May 1945 when Berlin surrendered to the Soviets, hans Boelsen,6 July 1944 –1 January 1945 Generalmajor Josef Rauch,1 January –8 May 1945 Burkhard Müller-Hillebrand, Das Heer 1933-1945. Das Heer vom Beginn des Feldzuges gegen die Sowjetunion bis zum Kriegsende, Frankfurt am Main 1969, p.286. Georg Tessin, Verbände und Truppen der deutschen Wehrmacht und Waffen-SS im Zweiten Weltkrieg,1939 -1945, vol. Iv, Die Landstreitkräfte 15 -30
25th Panzergrenadier Division (Wehrmacht)
The 25th Panzergrenadier Division fought in the central sector of the Eastern front from June 1943 to July 1944. It was destroyed in the encirclement east of Minsk and reformed in October 1944 and it fought in France between October 1944 and January 1945 and in eastern Germany January to May 1945. Most of the survivors of the division surrendered to the western Allies, the 25th started as an infantry division formed from Swabians and Bavarians. It participated in the Polish Campaign and the Battle of France, in late 1940, it was reorganized as a motorized infantry division and took part in Operation Barbarossa, the invasion of the Soviet Union, in June 1941. It was attached to Army Group Center and fought in the Soviet Union for two years before being reorganized as the 25th Panzergrenadier Division in June,1943, in November 1944, the brigade was upgraded to divisional status at the Baumholder training area and re-christened the 25th Panzergrenadier Division. The new division moved to France in the area of the German / Luxembourg / French border at Sierck-les-Bains and it was moved to Bitche.
There it fought on the Maginot line fortifications at Forts Ouvrage Simserhof and Ouvrage Schiesseck, under the command of the XIII SS Corps and Obergruppenführer Max Simon. After the US Seventh Armys offensive operations were halted in December as a result of the German Ardennes Offensive and it took part in Operation Nordwind, along with the 21st Panzer Division. General der Infanterie, Anton Graßer Generalleutnant Dr. Fritz Benicke Generalleutnant Paul Schürmann Generalleutnant Paul Schürmann Generalleutnant Arnold Burmeister Division Staff 25, Panzergrenadier Regiment Staff Company Panzerjäger Platoon Motorcycle Platoon Signals Platoon Pioneer Platoon 3 x Battalions Battalion Staff 3 x Companies Machine Gun Company Infantry Gun Company 25. Panzer Reconnaissance Battalion Battalion Staff Light Armored Car Company 3 x Motorcycle Companies Heavy Company Pioneer Platoon 2 x Panzerjäger Platoons Light Infantry Gun Section 125, Panzerjäger Battalion 3 x Panzerjäger Companies Flak Company 8. Panzer Battalion Staff Company Flak Platoon 3 x Sturmgeschütz Batteries Panzer Maintenance Platoon 25, artillery Regiment Staff Battery 3 x Battalions Staff Battery 3 x Batteries 25.
Pioneer Battalion Battalion Staff 3 x Companies Light Pioneer Column 25, entwicklung des organisatorischen Aufbaues, Vol. III, Der Zweifrontenkrieg
Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a federal parliamentary republic in central-western Europe. It includes 16 constituent states, covers an area of 357,021 square kilometres, with about 82 million inhabitants, Germany is the most populous member state of the European Union. After the United States, it is the second most popular destination in the world. Germanys capital and largest metropolis is Berlin, while its largest conurbation is the Ruhr, other major cities include Hamburg, Cologne, Stuttgart, Düsseldorf and Leipzig. Various Germanic tribes have inhabited the northern parts of modern Germany since classical antiquity, a region named Germania was documented before 100 AD. During the Migration Period the Germanic tribes expanded southward, beginning in the 10th century, German territories formed a central part of the Holy Roman Empire. During the 16th century, northern German regions became the centre of the Protestant Reformation, in 1871, Germany became a nation state when most of the German states unified into the Prussian-dominated German Empire.
After World War I and the German Revolution of 1918–1919, the Empire was replaced by the parliamentary Weimar Republic, the establishment of the national socialist dictatorship in 1933 led to World War II and the Holocaust. After a period of Allied occupation, two German states were founded, the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic, in 1990, the country was reunified. In the 21st century, Germany is a power and has the worlds fourth-largest economy by nominal GDP. As a global leader in industrial and technological sectors, it is both the worlds third-largest exporter and importer of goods. Germany is a country with a very high standard of living sustained by a skilled. It upholds a social security and universal health system, environmental protection. Germany was a member of the European Economic Community in 1957. It is part of the Schengen Area, and became a co-founder of the Eurozone in 1999, Germany is a member of the United Nations, NATO, the G8, the G20, and the OECD.
The national military expenditure is the 9th highest in the world, the English word Germany derives from the Latin Germania, which came into use after Julius Caesar adopted it for the peoples east of the Rhine. This in turn descends from Proto-Germanic *þiudiskaz popular, derived from *þeudō, descended from Proto-Indo-European *tewtéh₂- people, the discovery of the Mauer 1 mandible shows that ancient humans were present in Germany at least 600,000 years ago. The oldest complete hunting weapons found anywhere in the world were discovered in a mine in Schöningen where three 380, 000-year-old wooden javelins were unearthed
The Wehrmacht was the unified armed forces of Nazi Germany from 1935 to 1946. It consisted of the Heer, the Kriegsmarine and the Luftwaffe, after the Nazi seizure of power in 1933, one of Adolf Hitler’s most overt and audacious moves was to establish the Wehrmacht, a modern armed forces fully capable of offensive use. In December 1941, Hitler designated himself as commander-in-chief of the Wehrmacht, the Wehrmacht formed the heart of Germany’s politico-military power. In the early part of World War II, Hitlers generals employed the Wehrmacht through innovative combined arms tactics to devastating effect in what was called a Blitzkrieg, the Wehrmachts new military structure, unique combat techniques, newly developed weapons, and unprecedented speed and brutality crushed their opponents. Closely cooperating with the SS, the German armed forces committed war crimes and atrocities. By the time the war ended in Europe in May 1945, only a few of the Wehrmacht’s upper leadership were tried for war crimes, despite evidence suggesting that more were involved in illegal actions.
The German term Wehrmacht generically describes any nations armed forces, for example, the Frankfurt Constitution of 1848 designated all German military forces as the German Wehrmacht, consisting of the Seemacht and the Landmacht. In 1919, the term Wehrmacht appears in Article 47 of the Weimar Constitution, establishing that, from 1919, Germanys national defense force was known as the Reichswehr, a name that was dropped in favor of Wehrmacht on 21 May 1935. In January 1919, after World War I ended with the signing of the armistice of 11 November 1918, in March 1919, the national assembly passed a law founding a 420, 000-strong preliminary army, the Vorläufige Reichswehr. The terms of the Treaty of Versailles were announced in May, the army was limited to one hundred thousand men with an additional fifteen thousand in the navy. The fleet was to consist of at most six battleships, six cruisers, submarines and heavy artillery were forbidden and the air-force was dissolved. A new post-war military, the Reichswehr, was established on 23 March 1921, General conscription was abolished under another mandate of the Versailles treaty.
The Reichswehr was limited to 115,000 men, and thus the armed forces, under the leadership of Hans von Seeckt, though Seeckt retired in 1926, the army that went to war in 1939 was largely his creation. Germany was forbidden to have an air-force by the Versailles treaty and these officers saw the role of an air-force as winning air-superiority and strategic bombing and providing ground support. That the Luftwaffe did not develop a strategic bombing force in the 1930s was not due to a lack of interest, but because of economic limitations. The leadership of the Navy led by Grand Admiral Erich Raeder, officers who believed in submarine warfare led by Admiral Karl Dönitz were in a minority before 1939. By 1922, Germany had begun covertly circumventing the conditions of the Versailles Treaty, a secret collaboration with the Soviet Union began after the treaty of Rapallo. Major-General Otto Hasse traveled to Moscow in 1923 to further negotiate the terms, Germany helped the Soviet Union with industrialization and Soviet officers were to be trained in Germany
A division is a large military unit or formation, usually consisting of between 10,000 and 20,000 soldiers. Infantry divisions during the World Wars ranged between 10,000 and 30,000 in nominal strength, in most armies, a division is composed of several regiments or brigades, in turn, several divisions typically make up a corps. In the West, the first general to think of organising an army into smaller units was Maurice de Saxe, Marshal General of France. He died at the age of 54, without having implemented his idea, victor-François de Broglie put the ideas into practice. He conducted successful practical experiments of the system in the Seven Years War. The first war in which the system was used systematically was the French Revolutionary War. It made the more flexible and easy to manoeuvre. Under Napoleon, the divisions were grouped together into corps, because of their increasing size, napoleons military success spread the divisional and corps system all over Europe, by the end of the Napoleonic Wars, all armies in Europe had adopted it.
In modern times, most military forces have standardized their divisional structures, the peak use of the division as the primary combat unit occurred during World War II, when the belligerents deployed over a thousand divisions. With technological advances since then, the power of each division has increased. Divisions are often formed to organize units of a particular type together with support units to allow independent operations. In more recent times, divisions have mainly been organized as combined arms units with subordinate units representing various combat arms, in this case, the division often retains the name of a more specialized division, and may still be tasked with a primary role suited to that specialization. For the most part, large cavalry units did not remain after World War II, in general, two new types of cavalry were developed, air cavalry or airmobile, relying on helicopter mobility, and armored cavalry, based on an autonomous armored formation. The former was pioneered by the 11th Air Assault Division, formed on 1 February 1963 at Fort Benning, on 29 June 1965 the division was renamed as the 1st Cavalry Division, before its departure for the Vietnam War.
After the end of the Vietnam War, the 1st Cavalry Division was reorganised and re-equipped with tanks, the development of the tank during World War I prompted some nations to experiment with forming them into division-size units. Many did this the way as they did cavalry divisions, by merely replacing cavalry with AFVs. This proved unwieldy in combat, as the units had many tanks, instead, a more balanced approach was taken by adjusting the number of tank, infantry and support units. A panzer division was a division of the Wehrmacht and the Waffen-SS of Germany during World War II
Russia, officially the Russian Federation, is a country in Eurasia. The European western part of the country is more populated and urbanised than the eastern. Russias capital Moscow is one of the largest cities in the world, other urban centers include Saint Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, Nizhny Novgorod. Extending across the entirety of Northern Asia and much of Eastern Europe, Russia spans eleven time zones and incorporates a range of environments. It shares maritime borders with Japan by the Sea of Okhotsk, the East Slavs emerged as a recognizable group in Europe between the 3rd and 8th centuries AD. Founded and ruled by a Varangian warrior elite and their descendants, in 988 it adopted Orthodox Christianity from the Byzantine Empire, beginning the synthesis of Byzantine and Slavic cultures that defined Russian culture for the next millennium. Rus ultimately disintegrated into a number of states, most of the Rus lands were overrun by the Mongol invasion. The Soviet Union played a role in the Allied victory in World War II.
The Soviet era saw some of the most significant technological achievements of the 20th century, including the worlds first human-made satellite and the launching of the first humans in space. By the end of 1990, the Soviet Union had the second largest economy, largest standing military in the world. It is governed as a federal semi-presidential republic, the Russian economy ranks as the twelfth largest by nominal GDP and sixth largest by purchasing power parity in 2015. Russias extensive mineral and energy resources are the largest such reserves in the world, making it one of the producers of oil. The country is one of the five recognized nuclear weapons states and possesses the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction, Russia is a great power as well as a regional power and has been characterised as a potential superpower. The name Russia is derived from Rus, a state populated mostly by the East Slavs. However, this name became more prominent in the history, and the country typically was called by its inhabitants Русская Земля.
In order to distinguish this state from other states derived from it, it is denoted as Kievan Rus by modern historiography, an old Latin version of the name Rus was Ruthenia, mostly applied to the western and southern regions of Rus that were adjacent to Catholic Europe. The current name of the country, Россия, comes from the Byzantine Greek designation of the Kievan Rus, the standard way to refer to citizens of Russia is Russians in English and rossiyane in Russian. There are two Russian words which are translated into English as Russians
90th Light Infantry Division (Wehrmacht)
The 90th Light Infantry Division was a light infantry division of the German Army during World War II that served in North Africa as well as Sardinia and Italy. It was re-constituted in 1943 and deployed to Sardinia and when the expected Allied invasion of Sardinia failed to materialise and it was engaged in actions against the Allies in Italy from 1943 to September 1944 when the division was listed as destroyed south of Bologna. On 26 June 1941, the OKH ordered the creation of a Division HQ staff for Kommando zbV Afrika in Germany, the planned division was intended for deployment to Africa to re-balance, and add infantry troops to the DAK deployed in the Western Desert. The formation headquarters was sent to Africa between late August and mid September 1941 and deployed to command the Sollum area with the first units being attached on 15 October 1941. On 20 October more units were attached and the troops were expanded to full strength with the division becoming known as Division z. b. V. This unit was formed in Potsdam in 1941 from specialist soldiers with experience in the deserts of the Middle East.
Two battalions from Sonderverbande 288 and one locally recruited Arab battalion were amalgamated to form the 155th Rifle Regiment within the division. The 361st Regiment contained 300 legionnaires were had been selected by the Germans from the French Foreign Legion, training was completed in the Bardia area and the division was earmarked by Rommel to lead the attack on Tobruk. On 28 November 1941, the formation was renamed 90. leichte Afrika Division and it fought for the remainder of the North African Campaign, finally surrendering to the Allies in the end of the Tunisia Campaign in May 1943. It was regarded apparently by the 2nd New Zealand Division, commanded by Lieutenant-General Sir Bernard C, freyberg VC, as their special foe, as the two formations faced each other on several occasions. General Graf von Sponecks 90th Light Division insisted on giving up to the New Zealanders, as with the other units of the Afrika Korps, replacement units were quickly raised from available troops stationed in Western Europe.
As such, the Africa Division was reconstituted as the 90th Panzergrenadier Division in Sardinia during July 1943, evacuated from Corsica with the Sturmbrigade Reichsführer SS to the Italian mainland in October 1943, the division appeared opposite both the Americans and British as they pushed north. It was nearly wiped out in the bitter fighting with the 1st Canadian Infantry Division along the Moro River in late November 1943. A short time it was withdrawn into reserve at Frosinone, shifted southeast from the Franco-Italian border in September 1944, 90th Grenadier was finally listed as destroyed in the fighting south of Bologna. The remainder of its personnel surrendered to the Brazilian Expeditionary Force in Italy in April 1945, the division formed part of the Afrika Korps during its deployment to North Africa. Foreign Legions of the Third Reich, Volume 1, Denmark, Western Desert Campaign List of German divisions in World War II
88th Infantry Division (United States)
The 88th Infantry Division was an infantry division of the United States Army that saw service in both World War I and World War II. It was one of the first of the Organized Reserve divisions to be reactivated, created nearly from scratch after the implementation of the draft in 1940, previous divisions were composed of either Regular Army or National Guard personnel. Much of the experience in reactivating it was used in the subsequent expansion of the U. S. Army, by the end of World War II the 88th Infantry fought its way to the northernmost extreme of Italy. In early May 1945 troops of its 349th Infantry Regiment joined the 103d Infantry Division of the VI Corps of the U. S. Seventh Army, part of the 6th Army Group, which had raced south through Bavaria into Innsbruck, commanders, Maj. Gen. John E. Sloan Maj. Gen. Paul W. Kendall Brig. Gen. James C. Fry Maj. Gen. Bryant Moore Inactivated,24 October 1947 in Italy First Entered combat, First Organization Committed to Line, 2nd Battalion, 351st Infantry Regiment plus attachments First combat fatality,3 January 1944 Began post war POW Command,7 June 1945.
Responsible for guarding and repatriating 324,462 German POWs, the 88th Infantry Division was one of the first all-draftee divisions of the United States Army to enter the war. Destined to spend the war fighting on the Italian Front, the 88th Division arrived at Naples, Italy on 6 February 1944, a period of defensive patrols and training followed. The 88th formed part of Major General Geoffrey Keyes II Corps, fifth Army, under Lieutenant General Mark W. Clark. An element of the 88th is credited with being first to enter the Eternal City, after continuing across the Tiber to Bassanelio the 88th retired for rest and training,11 June. The division went into defensive positions near Pomerance on 5 July, laiatico fell on the 11th, Villamagna on the 13th, and the Arno River was crossed on the 20th although the enemy resisted bitterly. The enemy counterattacked savagely and heavy fighting continued on the line toward the Po Valley, the strategic positions of Mount Grande and Farnetto were taken on 20 and 22 October.
From 26 October 1944 to 12 January 1945, the 88th entered a period of patrolling in the Mount Grande-Mount Cerrere sector. From 24 January to 2 March 1945, the defended the Loiano-Livergnano area. The drive to the Po Valley began on 15 April, monterumici fell on the 17th after an intense artillery barrage and the Po River was crossed on 24 April, as the 88th pursued the enemy toward the Alps. The cities of Verona and Vicenza were captured on the 25th and 28th, the 88th was driving through the Dolomite Alps toward Innsbruck, Austria where it linked up with the 103rd Infantry Division, part of the U. S. Seventh Army, when the hostilities ended on 2 May 1945, the end of World War II in Europe came six days later. Throughout the war the 88th Infantry Division was in combat for 344 days, designated TRUST, the command served as the front line in the Cold War from 1947 to 1954, including confrontations with Yugoslavian forces
The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was a socialist state in Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. It was nominally a union of national republics, but its government. The Soviet Union had its roots in the October Revolution of 1917 and this established the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic and started the Russian Civil War between the revolutionary Reds and the counter-revolutionary Whites. In 1922, the communists were victorious, forming the Soviet Union with the unification of the Russian, Ukrainian, following Lenins death in 1924, a collective leadership and a brief power struggle, Joseph Stalin came to power in the mid-1920s. Stalin suppressed all opposition to his rule, committed the state ideology to Marxism–Leninism. As a result, the country underwent a period of rapid industrialization and collectivization which laid the foundation for its victory in World War II and postwar dominance of Eastern Europe. Shortly before World War II, Stalin signed the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact agreeing to non-aggression with Nazi Germany, in June 1941, the Germans invaded the Soviet Union, opening the largest and bloodiest theater of war in history.
Soviet war casualties accounted for the highest proportion of the conflict in the effort of acquiring the upper hand over Axis forces at battles such as Stalingrad. Soviet forces eventually captured Berlin in 1945, the territory overtaken by the Red Army became satellite states of the Eastern Bloc. The Cold War emerged by 1947 as the Soviet bloc confronted the Western states that united in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in 1949. Following Stalins death in 1953, a period of political and economic liberalization, known as de-Stalinization and Khrushchevs Thaw, the country developed rapidly, as millions of peasants were moved into industrialized cities. The USSR took a lead in the Space Race with Sputnik 1, the first ever satellite, and Vostok 1. In the 1970s, there was a brief détente of relations with the United States, the war drained economic resources and was matched by an escalation of American military aid to Mujahideen fighters. In the mid-1980s, the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, sought to reform and liberalize the economy through his policies of glasnost.
The goal was to preserve the Communist Party while reversing the economic stagnation, the Cold War ended during his tenure, and in 1989 Soviet satellite countries in Eastern Europe overthrew their respective communist regimes. This led to the rise of strong nationalist and separatist movements inside the USSR as well, in August 1991, a coup détat was attempted by Communist Party hardliners. It failed, with Russian President Boris Yeltsin playing a role in facing down the coup. On 25 December 1991, Gorbachev resigned and the twelve constituent republics emerged from the dissolution of the Soviet Union as independent post-Soviet states
Nazi Germany is the common English name for the period in German history from 1933 to 1945, when Germany was governed by a dictatorship under the control of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party. Under Hitlers rule, Germany was transformed into a fascist state in which the Nazi Party took totalitarian control over all aspects of life. The official name of the state was Deutsches Reich from 1933 to 1943, the period is known under the names the Third Reich and the National Socialist Period. The Nazi regime came to an end after the Allied Powers defeated Germany in May 1945, Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany by the President of the Weimar Republic Paul von Hindenburg on 30 January 1933. The Nazi Party began to eliminate all opposition and consolidate its power. Hindenburg died on 2 August 1934, and Hitler became dictator of Germany by merging the powers and offices of the Chancellery, a national referendum held 19 August 1934 confirmed Hitler as sole Führer of Germany. All power was centralised in Hitlers person, and his word became above all laws, the government was not a coordinated, co-operating body, but a collection of factions struggling for power and Hitlers favour.
In the midst of the Great Depression, the Nazis restored economic stability and ended mass unemployment using heavy military spending, extensive public works were undertaken, including the construction of Autobahnen. The return to economic stability boosted the regimes popularity, especially antisemitism, was a central feature of the regime. The Germanic peoples were considered by the Nazis to be the purest branch of the Aryan race, millions of Jews and other peoples deemed undesirable by the state were murdered in the Holocaust. Opposition to Hitlers rule was ruthlessly suppressed, members of the liberal and communist opposition were killed, imprisoned, or exiled. The Christian churches were oppressed, with many leaders imprisoned, education focused on racial biology, population policy, and fitness for military service. Career and educational opportunities for women were curtailed and tourism were organised via the Strength Through Joy program, and the 1936 Summer Olympics showcased the Third Reich on the international stage.
Propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels made effective use of film, mass rallies, the government controlled artistic expression, promoting specific art forms and banning or discouraging others. Beginning in the late 1930s, Nazi Germany made increasingly aggressive territorial demands and it seized Austria and Czechoslovakia in 1938 and 1939. Hitler made a pact with Joseph Stalin and invaded Poland in September 1939. In alliance with Italy and smaller Axis powers, Germany conquered most of Europe by 1940, reichskommissariats took control of conquered areas, and a German administration was established in what was left of Poland. Jews and others deemed undesirable were imprisoned, murdered in Nazi concentration camps and extermination camps, following the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941, the tide gradually turned against the Nazis, who suffered major military defeats in 1943