Battle of Belgium
It took place over 18 days in May 1940 and ended with the German occupation of Belgium following the surrender of the Belgian Army. On 10 May 1940, Germany invaded Luxembourg, the Netherlands, the Allied armies attempted to halt the German Army in Belgium, believing it to be the main German thrust. The German Army reached the Channel after five days, encircling the Allied armies, the Germans gradually reduced the pocket of Allied forces, forcing them back to the sea. The Belgian Army surrendered on 28 May 1940, ending the battle, the Battle of Belgium included the first tank battle of the war, the Battle of Hannut. It was the largest tank battle in history at the time but was surpassed by the battles of the North African Campaign. The battle included the Battle of Fort Eben-Emael, the first strategic airborne operation using paratroopers ever attempted, the German official history stated that in the 18 days of bitter fighting, the Belgian Army were tough opponents, and spoke of the extraordinary bravery of its soldiers.
The Belgian collapse forced the Allied withdrawal from continental Europe, France reached its own armistice with Germany in June 1940. Belgium was occupied by the Germans until the autumn of 1944, the Belgian strategy for a defence against German aggression faced political as well as military problems. In terms of strategy, the Belgians were unwilling to stake everything on a linear defence of the Belgian–German border. Such a move would leave the Belgians vulnerable to a German assault in their rear, such a strategy would rely on the French to move quickly into Belgium and support the garrison there. Politically, the Belgians did not trust the French, marshal Philippe Pétain had suggested a French strike at Germanys Ruhr area using Belgium as a spring-board in October 1930 and again in January 1933. Belgium feared it would be drawn into a war regardless, the Belgians feared being drawn into a war as a result of the French–Soviet pact of May 1935. The Franco-Belgian agreement stipulated Belgium was to if the Germans did.
The Belgians much preferred an alliance with the United Kingdom, the British had entered the First World War in response to the German violation of Belgian neutrality. But the British government paid little attention to the concerns of the Belgians, the lack of this commitment ensured the Belgian withdrawal from the Western Alliance, the day before the remilitarisation of the Rhineland. The lack of opposition to the served to convince the Belgians that France and Britain were unwilling to fight for their own strategic interests. The Belgian General Staff was determined to fight for its own interests, the French were infuriated at King Leopold IIIs open declaration of neutrality in October 1936. The French were dependent on how much cooperation they could extract from the Belgians, the French considered invading Belgium immediately in response to a German attack on the country
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
Hermann Hoth was a German army commander and war criminal during World War II. He fought in the Battle of France and as a commander on the Eastern Front. Hoth commanded the 3rd Panzer Group during Operation Barbarossa in 1941, following the encirclement of the 6th Army in the Battle of Stalingrad in November 1942, Hoths panzer army unsuccessfully attempted to relieve it during Operation Winter Storm. After Stalingrad, Hoth was involved in the Third Battle of Kharkov, the Battle of Kursk in the summer of 1943, Hoth implemented the criminal Commissar Order during the invasion of the Soviet Union. After the war, Hoth was convicted of war crimes and crimes against humanity in the High Command trial and he was released on parole in 1954. Born in 1885, Hoth joined the army in 1903 and was awarded both classes of the Iron Cross during World War I and he remained in the Reichswehr in the interwar period. Following the reorganization of the German military into the Wehrmacht in 1935, Hoth was promoted to Lieutenant-General and given command of the XV Motorised Corps in 1938, leading it in the invasion of Poland the following year.
During the invasion of France in May 1940, his corps was on Guderians right flank during their advance through the Ardennes. Hoth was promoted to Generaloberst in July 1940, in Operation Barbarossa in 1941, Hoth commanded the 3rd Panzer Group which captured Minsk and Vitebsk as part of Army Group Centers operations. In mid July, the 3rd Panzer Group was subordinated to Army Group North to shore up the flanks, the divisions attack ran into fortified Soviet lines and was repulsed with the loss of 30 tanks. As all German armies on the Eastern Front, Hoths Panzer Group implemented the criminal Commissar Order, according to reports from the subordinate units, the order was carried out on a widespread basis. In October Hoth was appointed commander of the 17th Army in Ukraine, Hoth was an active supporter of the war of annihilation against the Soviet Union. He called upon his men to understand the need for punishment of Jewry. These circles are the supports of Bolshevism, the bearers of its murderous organisation.
Their extermination is a dictate of our own survival, under Hoths command, units of the 17th Army took part in the hunt for and murder of Jews in its territory of control. During the Soviet winter offensives of early 1942, the army was back in the Second Battle of Kharkov. In June 1942, he took over from General Richard Ruoff as commander of 4th Panzer Army, as part of Operation Blue, the German offensive in southern Russia, the army reached the Don River at Voronezh. Hoth was ordered to drive to Rostov-on-Don and it advanced to the north in support of the Sixth Armys attempt to capture Stalingrad
Prisoner of war
A prisoner of war is a person, whether combatant or non-combatant, who is held in custody by a belligerent power during or immediately after an armed conflict. The earliest recorded usage of the prisoner of war dates to 1660. The first Roman gladiators were prisoners of war and were named according to their ethnic roots such as Samnite, typically, little distinction was made between enemy combatants and enemy civilians, although women and children were more likely to be spared. Sometimes, the purpose of a battle, if not a war, was to capture women, a known as raptio. Typically women had no rights, and were legally as chattel. For this he was eventually canonized, during Childerics siege and blockade of Paris in 464, the nun Geneviève pleaded with the Frankish king for the welfare of prisoners of war and met with a favourable response. Later, Clovis I liberated captives after Genevieve urged him to do so, many French prisoners of war were killed during the Battle of Agincourt in 1415. In the Middle Ages, a number of religious wars aimed to not only defeat, in Christian Europe, the extermination of heretics was considered desirable.
Examples include the 13th century Albigensian Crusade and the Northern Crusades, the inhabitants of conquered cities were frequently massacred during the Crusades against the Muslims in the 11th and 12th centuries. Noblemen could hope to be ransomed, their families would have to send to their captors large sums of wealth commensurate with the status of the captive. In feudal Japan there was no custom of ransoming prisoners of war, in Termez, on the Oxus, all the people, both men and women, were driven out onto the plain, and divided in accordance with their usual custom, they were all slain. The Aztecs were constantly at war with neighbouring tribes and groups, for the re-consecration of Great Pyramid of Tenochtitlan in 1487, between 10,000 and 80,400 persons were sacrificed. During the early Muslim conquests, Muslims routinely captured large number of prisoners, aside from those who converted, most were ransomed or enslaved. Christians who were captured during the Crusades, were either killed or sold into slavery if they could not pay a ransom.
The freeing of prisoners was highly recommended as a charitable act, there evolved the right of parole, French for discourse, in which a captured officer surrendered his sword and gave his word as a gentleman in exchange for privileges. If he swore not to escape, he could gain better accommodations, if he swore to cease hostilities against the nation who held him captive, he could be repatriated or exchanged but could not serve against his former captors in a military capacity. Early historical narratives of captured colonial Europeans, including perspectives of literate women captured by the peoples of North America. The writings of Mary Rowlandson, captured in the fighting of King Philips War, are an example
World War I
World War I, known as the First World War, the Great War, or the War to End All Wars, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. More than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, were mobilised in one of the largest wars in history and it was one of the deadliest conflicts in history, and paved the way for major political changes, including revolutions in many of the nations involved. The war drew in all the worlds great powers, assembled in two opposing alliances, the Allies versus the Central Powers of Germany and Austria-Hungary. These alliances were reorganised and expanded as more nations entered the war, Japan, the trigger for the war was the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary, by Yugoslav nationalist Gavrilo Princip in Sarajevo on 28 June 1914. This set off a crisis when Austria-Hungary delivered an ultimatum to the Kingdom of Serbia. Within weeks, the powers were at war and the conflict soon spread around the world.
On 25 July Russia began mobilisation and on 28 July, the Austro-Hungarians declared war on Serbia, Germany presented an ultimatum to Russia to demobilise, and when this was refused, declared war on Russia on 1 August. Germany invaded neutral Belgium and Luxembourg before moving towards France, after the German march on Paris was halted, what became known as the Western Front settled into a battle of attrition, with a trench line that changed little until 1917. On the Eastern Front, the Russian army was successful against the Austro-Hungarians, in November 1914, the Ottoman Empire joined the Central Powers, opening fronts in the Caucasus and the Sinai. In 1915, Italy joined the Allies and Bulgaria joined the Central Powers, Romania joined the Allies in 1916, after a stunning German offensive along the Western Front in the spring of 1918, the Allies rallied and drove back the Germans in a series of successful offensives. By the end of the war or soon after, the German Empire, Russian Empire, Austro-Hungarian Empire, national borders were redrawn, with several independent nations restored or created, and Germanys colonies were parceled out among the victors.
During the Paris Peace Conference of 1919, the Big Four imposed their terms in a series of treaties, the League of Nations was formed with the aim of preventing any repetition of such a conflict. This effort failed, and economic depression, renewed nationalism, weakened successor states, and feelings of humiliation eventually contributed to World War II. From the time of its start until the approach of World War II, at the time, it was sometimes called the war to end war or the war to end all wars due to its then-unparalleled scale and devastation. In Canada, Macleans magazine in October 1914 wrote, Some wars name themselves, during the interwar period, the war was most often called the World War and the Great War in English-speaking countries. Will become the first world war in the sense of the word. These began in 1815, with the Holy Alliance between Prussia and Austria, when Germany was united in 1871, Prussia became part of the new German nation. Soon after, in October 1873, German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck negotiated the League of the Three Emperors between the monarchs of Austria-Hungary and Germany
Friedrich Wilhelm Ernst Paulus was an officer in the German military from 1910 to 1945. The battle ended in disaster for Nazi Germany when Soviet forces encircled and defeated about 265,000 personnel of the Wehrmacht, their Axis allies, of the 107,000 Axis servicemen captured, only 6,000 survived captivity and returned home by 1955. Soviet troops took Paulus by surprise and captured him in Stalingrad on 31 January 1943, Hitler expected Paulus to commit suicide, repeating to his staff that there was no precedent of a German field marshal ever being captured alive. While in Soviet captivity during the war, Paulus became a critic of the Nazi regime. He moved to the German Democratic Republic in 1953, Paulus was born in Guxhagen and grew up in Kassel, Hesse-Nassau, the son of a treasurer. He tried, unsuccessfully, to secure a cadetship in the Imperial German Navy, after leaving the university without a degree, he joined the 111th Infantry Regiment as an officer cadet in February 1910. On 4 July 1912 he married the Romanian Elena Rosetti-Solescu, the sister of a colleague who served in the same regiment.
When World War I began, Pauluss regiment was part of the thrust into France, after a leave of absence due to illness, he joined the Alpenkorps as a staff officer, serving in Macedonia, France and Serbia. By the end of the war, he was a captain, after the Armistice, Paulus was a brigade adjutant with the Freikorps. He was chosen as one of only 4,000 officers to serve in the Reichswehr and he was assigned to the 13th Infantry Regiment at Stuttgart as a company commander. He served in staff positions for over a decade and briefly commanded a motorized battalion before being named chief of staff for the Panzer headquarters in October 1935. This was a new formation under the direction of Oswald Lutz that directed the training, in February 1938 Paulus was appointed Chef des Generalstabes to Guderians new XVI Armeekorps, which replaced Lutzs command. Guderian described him as clever, hard working and talented’ but already had doubts about his decisiveness, toughness. He remained in that post until May 1939, when he was promoted to general and became chief of staff for the German Tenth Army.
The unit was renamed the Sixth Army, and engaged in the offensives of 1940 through the Netherlands. Paulus was promoted to lieutenant general in August 1940, the following month he was named deputy chief of the German General Staff. In that role he helped draft the plans for the invasion of the Soviet Union. However, he took over his new command on 20 January
Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross
The Knights Cross of the Iron Cross, or simply the Knights Cross, and its variants were the highest awards in the military and paramilitary forces of Nazi Germany during World War II. Presentations were made to members of the three branches of the Wehrmacht, as well as the Waffen-SS, the Reichsarbeitsdienst and the Volkssturm. The award was instituted on 1 September 1939, at the onset of the German invasion of Poland, a higher grade, the Oak Leaves to the Knights Cross, was instituted in 1940. In 1941, two grades of the Knights Cross with Oak Leaves were instituted, the Knights Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords. At the end of 1944 the final grade, the Knights Cross with Golden Oak Leaves, over 7,000 awards were made since its first presentation on 30 September 1939. Analysis of the German Federal Archives revealed evidence for 7,161 officially bestowed recipients, the German Federal Archives substantiate 863 awards of the Oak Leaves to the Knights Cross, along with the 147 Swords and 27 Diamonds awards.
The Golden Oak Leaves to the Knights Cross was verifiably awarded only once, the Prussian king Friedrich Wilhelm III established the Iron Cross at the beginning of the German campaign as part of the Napoleonic Wars. The design was a silver-framed cast iron cross on 13 March 1813, Iron was a material which symbolised defiance and reflected the spirit of the age. The Prussian state had mounted a campaign steeped in patriotic rhetoric to rally their citizens to repulse the French occupation. To finance the army, the king implored wealthy Prussians to turn in their jewels in exchange for a mens cast-iron ring or a brooch, each bearing the legend Gold I gave for iron. With the outbreak of World War II on 1 September 1939, a new grade of the Iron Cross series was introduced, the Knights Cross of the Iron Cross. The Knights Cross of the Iron Cross, without distinction, was awarded to officers and soldiers alike, conforming with the National Socialist slogan, One people, one nation, the renewal for the first time had created an honorary sign of the entire German state.
The Knights Cross of the Iron Cross instituted on 1 September 1939 and its appearance was very similar to the Iron Cross. Its shape was that of a cross pattée, a cross that has arms which are narrow at the center and broader at the perimeter, the most common Knights Crosses were produced by the manufacturer Steinhauer & Lück in Lüdenscheid. The Steinhauer & Lück crosses are stamped with the digits 800, indicating 800 grade silver, the Knights Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves was instituted on of 3 June 1940. Before the introduction of the Oak Leaves only 124 members of the Wehrmacht had received the Knights Cross, prior to Case Yellow, the attack on the Netherlands and France, just 52 Knights Crosses had been awarded. In May 1940 the number of presentations peaked, the timing for the introduction of the Oak Leaves is closely linked to Case Red, the second and decisive phase of the Battle of France. Like the Knights Cross to which it was added, the Oak Leaves clasp could be awarded for leadership, the Oak Leaves, just like the 1813 Iron Cross and Grand Cross of the Iron Cross, was not a National Socialist invention
Erich von Manstein
Fritz Erich Georg Eduard von Lewinski, known as Erich von Manstein, was a German commander of the Wehrmacht, Nazi Germanys armed forces during the Second World War. He attained the rank of field marshal and he rose to the rank of captain by the end of the war and was active in the inter-war period helping Germany rebuild her armed forces. In September 1939, during the invasion of Poland at the beginning of the Second World War, adolf Hitler chose Mansteins strategy for the invasion of France of May 1940, a plan refined by Franz Halder and other members of the OKH. Attaining the rank of general at the end of the campaign, he was active in the invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941 and the Siege of Sevastopol and he participated in the Siege of Leningrad. Germanys fortunes in the war began to take a turn in 1942, especially in the catastrophic Battle of Stalingrad. He was one of the commanders at the Battle of Kursk. His ongoing disagreements with Hitler over the conduct of the war led to his dismissal in March 1944 and he never obtained another command and was taken prisoner by the British in August 1945, several months after Germanys defeat.
His sentence of eighteen years in prison was reduced to twelve. As a military advisor to the West German government in the mid-1950s, Manstein died in Munich in 1973. Manstein was born Fritz Erich Georg Eduard von Lewinski in Berlin, the son of a Prussian aristocrat and artillery general, Eduard von Lewinski. His fathers family had Kashubian ancestry and was entitled to use the Brochwicz coat of arms, Hedwig von Sperling, Helenes younger sister, was married to Lieutenant General Georg von Manstein, the couple was unable to have children, so they adopted Erich. They had previously adopted Erichs cousin Martha, the daughter of Helenes, Mansteins biological and adoptive fathers were both Prussian generals, as were his mothers brother and both his grandfathers. Sixteen relatives on each side of his family were military officers, Paul von Hindenburg, the future Generalfeldmarschall and President of Germany, was his uncle, Hindenburgs wife, was the sister of Hedwig and Helene. Manstein attended the Imperial Lyzeum, a Catholic Gymnasium in Strasbourg, in March 1906, after six years in the cadet corps in Plön and Groß-Lichterfelde, he was commissioned into the Third Foot Guards Regiment as an ensign.
He was promoted to lieutenant in January 1907 and in October 1913 began the three-year officer training programme at the Prussian War Academy. However, Manstein only completed the first year of the programme and he never completed the remainder of his general staff officer training. During the First World War, Manstein served on both the German Western and Eastern Fronts, at the beginning of the war he was promoted to lieutenant and participated in the invasion of Belgium with the 2nd Guard Reserve Infantry Regiment. In August 1914 he took part in the capture of Namur, in September, Mansteins unit was one of two transferred to East Prussia and attached to the Eighth Army, commanded by Hindenburg
Battle of Stalingrad
Marked by fierce close quarters combat and direct assaults on civilians by air raids, it is often regarded as one of the single largest and bloodiest battles in the history of warfare. German forces never regained the initiative in the East and withdrew a vast military force from the West to replace their losses, the German offensive to capture Stalingrad began in August 1942, using the German 6th Army and elements of the 4th Panzer Army. The attack was supported by intensive Luftwaffe bombing that reduced much of the city to rubble, the fighting degenerated into house-to-house fighting, and both sides poured reinforcements into the city. By mid-November 1942, the Germans had pushed the Soviet defenders back at great cost into narrow zones along the west bank of the Volga River. On 19 November 1942, the Red Army launched Operation Uranus, the Axis forces on the flanks were overrun and the 6th Army was cut off and surrounded in the Stalingrad area. Adolf Hitler ordered that the stay in Stalingrad and make no attempt to break out, attempts were made to supply the army by air.
Heavy fighting continued for two months. By the beginning of February 1943, the Axis forces in Stalingrad had exhausted their ammunition, the remaining units of the 6th Army surrendered. The battle lasted five months, one week, and three days, the war had been progressing well, the U-boat offensive in the Atlantic had been very successful and Rommel had just captured Tobruk. In the east, they had stabilized their front in a running from Leningrad in the north to Rostov in the south. There were a number of salients, but these were not particularly threatening, neither Army Group North nor Army Group South had been particularly hard pressed over the winter. Stalin was expecting the main thrust of the German summer attacks to be directed against Moscow again, with the initial operations being very successful, the Germans decided that their summer campaign in 1942 would be directed at the southern parts of the Soviet Union. The initial objectives in the region around Stalingrad were the destruction of the capacity of the city.
The river was a key route from the Caucasus and the Caspian Sea to central Russia and its capture would disrupt commercial river traffic. The Germans cut the pipeline from the oilfields when they captured Rostov on 23 July, the capture of Stalingrad would make the delivery of Lend Lease supplies via the Persian Corridor much more difficult. On 23 July 1942, Hitler personally rewrote the operational objectives for the 1942 campaign, both sides began to attach propaganda value to the city based on it bearing the name of the leader of the Soviet Union. The expansion of objectives was a significant factor in Germanys failure at Stalingrad, caused by German overconfidence, the Soviets realized that they were under tremendous constraints of time and resources and ordered that anyone strong enough to hold a rifle be sent to fight. If I do not get the oil of Maikop and Grozny I must finish this war, Army Group South was selected for a sprint forward through the southern Russian steppes into the Caucasus to capture the vital Soviet oil fields there
Adolf Hitler was a German politician who was the leader of the Nazi Party, Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and Führer of Nazi Germany from 1934 to 1945. As dictator of the German Reich, he initiated World War II in Europe with the invasion of Poland in September 1939 and was central to the Holocaust, Hitler was born in Austria, part of Austria-Hungary, and raised near Linz. He moved to Germany in 1913 and was decorated during his service in the German Army in World War I and he joined the German Workers Party, the precursor of the NSDAP, in 1919 and became leader of the NSDAP in 1921. In 1923 he attempted a coup in Munich to seize power, the failed coup resulted in Hitlers imprisonment, during which he dictated the first volume of his autobiography and political manifesto Mein Kampf. Hitler frequently denounced international capitalism and communism as being part of a Jewish conspiracy, by 1933, the Nazi Party was the largest elected party in the German Reichstag, which led to Hitlers appointment as Chancellor on 30 January 1933.
Hitler aimed to eliminate Jews from Germany and establish a New Order to counter what he saw as the injustice of the post-World War I international order dominated by Britain, Hitler sought Lebensraum for the German people in Eastern Europe. His aggressive foreign policy is considered to be the cause of the outbreak of World War II in Europe. He directed large-scale rearmament and on 1 September 1939 invaded Poland, resulting in British, in June 1941, Hitler ordered an invasion of the Soviet Union. By the end of 1941 German forces and the European Axis powers occupied most of Europe, failure to defeat the Soviets and the entry of the United States into the war forced Germany onto the defensive and it suffered a series of escalating defeats. In the final days of the war, during the Battle of Berlin in 1945, Hitler married his long-time lover, on 30 April 1945, less than two days later, the two killed themselves to avoid capture by the Red Army, and their corpses were burned. Hitler and the Nazi regime were responsible for the killing of an estimated 19.3 million civilians, in addition,29 million soldiers and civilians died as a result of military action in the European Theatre of World War II.
The number of civilians killed during the Second World War was unprecedented in warfare, Hitlers father Alois Hitler Sr. was the illegitimate child of Maria Anna Schicklgruber. The baptismal register did not show the name of his father, in 1842, Johann Georg Hiedler married Aloiss mother Maria Anna. Alois was brought up in the family of Hiedlers brother, Johann Nepomuk Hiedler, in 1876, Alois was legitimated and the baptismal register changed by a priest to register Johann Georg Hiedler as Aloiss father. Alois assumed the surname Hitler, spelled Hiedler, Hüttler, the Hitler surname is probably based on one who lives in a hut. Nazi official Hans Frank suggested that Aloiss mother had been employed as a housekeeper by a Jewish family in Graz, and that the familys 19-year-old son Leopold Frankenberger had fathered Alois. No Frankenberger was registered in Graz during that period, and no record has been produced of Leopold Frankenbergers existence, Adolf Hitler was born on 20 April 1889 in Braunau am Inn, a town in Austria-Hungary, close to the border with the German Empire.
He was one of six born to Alois Hitler and Klara Pölzl
Invasion of Poland
The campaign ended on 6 October with Germany and the Soviet Union dividing and annexing the whole of Poland under the terms of the German-Soviet Frontier Treaty. German forces invaded Poland from the north and west the morning after the Gleiwitz incident, as the Wehrmacht advanced, Polish forces withdrew from their forward bases of operation close to the Polish–German border to more established lines of defence to the east. After the mid-September Polish defeat in the Battle of the Bzura, Polish forces withdrew to the southeast where they prepared for a long defence of the Romanian Bridgehead and awaited expected support and relief from France and the United Kingdom. While those two countries had pacts with Poland and had declared war on Germany on 3 September, in the end their aid to Poland was very limited. The Soviet Red Armys invasion of Eastern Poland on 17 September, in accordance with a protocol of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact. Facing a second front, the Polish government concluded the defence of the Romanian Bridgehead was no longer feasible, on 6 October, following the Polish defeat at the Battle of Kock and Soviet forces gained full control over Poland.
The success of the invasion marked the end of the Second Polish Republic, the Soviet Union incorporated its newly acquired areas into its constituent Belarusian and Ukrainian republics, and immediately started a campaign of sovietization. In the aftermath of the invasion, a collective of underground resistance formed the Polish Underground State within the territory of the former Polish state. Many of the exiles that managed to escape Poland subsequently joined the Polish Armed Forces in the West. On 30 January 1933, the Nazi Party, under its leader Adolf Hitler, as part of this long-term policy, Hitler at first pursued a policy of rapprochement with Poland, trying to improve opinion in Germany, culminating in the German–Polish Non-Aggression Pact of 1934. Earlier, Hitlers foreign policy worked to weaken ties between Poland and France, and attempted to manoeuvre Poland into the Anti-Comintern Pact, forming a front against the Soviet Union. The Poles feared that their independence would eventually be threatened altogether, the so-called Polish Corridor constituted land long disputed by Poland and Germany, and inhabited by a Polish majority.
The Corridor had become a part of Poland after the Treaty of Versailles, many Germans wanted the city of Danzig and its environs to be reincorporated into Germany. Danzig was a city with a German majority. It had been separated from Germany after Versailles and made into the nominally independent Free City of Danzig, the series of border violations, which are unbearable to a great power, prove that the Poles no longer are willing to respect the German frontier. Poland participated with Germany in the partition of Czechoslovakia that followed the Munich Agreement and it coerced Czechoslovakia to surrender the region of Český Těšín by issuing an ultimatum to that effect on 30 September 1938, which was accepted by Czechoslovakia on 1 October. This region had a Polish majority and had been disputed between Czechoslovakia and Poland in the aftermath of World War I, the Polish annexation of Slovak territory served as the justification for the Slovak state to join the German invasion. Poland rejected this proposal, fearing that after accepting these demands, it would become subject to the will of Germany
Leutnant is the lowest Lieutenant officer rank in the armed forces of Germany, Austrian Armed Forces, and military of Switzerland. The German noun (with the meaning “Stellvertreter” from Middle High German «locum tenens» Platzhalter was derived from the French word «Lieutenant» about 1500, in most German-speaking armies it is the lowest officer rank (in German-speaking navies «Leutnant zur See». In the German Bundeswehr the ranks Leutnant OF1b and Oberleutnant OF1a belong to the Leutnant rank group, in some other armed forces there is the lower grade of Unterleutnant. From about 1500 until the middle of the 17th century the designation of «Leutnant» was commonly used for any deputy to a commanding officer. So at the level there was the appointment of General-Leutnant, at the regimental level there was that of Oberst-Leutnant. With the formation of standing armies in the half of the 17th century. In the 18th and 19th century, at the unit level several Leutnants served as platoon leaders, at that time the ranks of Premier-Lieutenant and Seconde-Lieutenant came into existence.
With effect from January 1,1899 in the German Empire these ranks were renamed as Oberleutnant and Leutnant, the term «Leutnant» has been used in German armed forces since 1899. In the Bundeswehr today the «Leutnant» will be appointed as platoon leader. However, the rank of «Leutnant» might be held while an officer is studying at the University of the German Federal Armed Forces or at another training or education establishment. The «Leutnant» of the Bundeswehr belongs to the Leutnant’s rank group, in Germany Leutnant is the designation of a soldier of the lowest officer rank. The equivalent in the German Navy is the Leutnant zur See, in the GDR National Peoples Army the OF1b-rank «Leutnant» was the second lowest commissioned offer rank until 1990. This was in reference to the Soviet military doctrine and in line to other armed forces of the Warsaw pact, the equivalent rank of the Volksmarine was the Leutnant zur See, simple Leutnant. However, internal the wording Leutnant zur See was used continuously, in reference to the Soviet armed forces and to other armed forces of the Warsaw pact Leutnant was the second lowest officer rank until 1990.
In Nazi Germany, within the SS and Waffen-SS, the rank of SS-Untersturmführer was considered to be the equivalent of an Leutnant in the German Army, however, in the SA the equivalent to Leutnant was SA-Sturmführer. In Austria the Leutnant is the second lowest CO rank, mandatory to be promoted to that OF1b-rank is a six-month course of high school studies with 180 ECTS points on the Theresian Military Academy in the Wiener Neustadt. The studies are focused on “Military Command and Control” and the graduate to Bachelor. The career in the Militia is structured in a different way, here the modular education comprises the so-called one-year volunteer year as well as several courses and exercises with a final aptitude test