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
Heinz Wilhelm Guderian was a German general during World War II, noted for his success as a leader of Panzer units in Poland and France and for partial success in the Soviet Union. Guderian had pioneered motorized tactics in the army, while keeping himself well informed about tank development in other armies. In particular, he promoted the use of communication between tank-crews, and devised shock-tactics that proved highly effective. In 1940, he led the Panzers that broke the French defences at Sedan, France, in 1941, his attack on Moscow was delayed by orders from Hitler with whom he disagreed sharply. After the German defeat at the Battle of Moscow he was transferred to the reserve and this marked the end of his ascendancy. He was appointed Chief of the General Staff of the Army, from 1945-48, Guderian was held in U. S. custody, but released without charge. He advised on the re-establishment of military forces in West Germany, Guderian was born in Kulm, West Prussia, the son of Clara and Friedrich Guderian.
He entered the Army in 1907, on 1 October 1913 he married Margarete Goerne, with whom he had two sons, Heinz Günther and Kurt. At the outset of World War I Guderian served as a Signals Officer in the 5th Cavalry Division, on 28 February 1918 Guderian was appointed to the General Staff Corps. Like many Germans, he disagreed with Germany signing the armistice in 1918, early in 1919, Guderian was selected as one of the four thousand officers to continue on in military service for the reduced size German army, the Reichswehr. He was assigned to serve on the staff of the command of the Eastern Frontier Guard Service. In June 1919, Guderian joined the Iron Brigade as its second General Staff officer, the commanders of the regular German army had intended that this move would allow the army to reassert its control over the Iron Division, their hopes were disappointed. Rather than restrain the Freikorps, Guderians anti-communism caused him to empathize with the Iron Divisions efforts to defend Prussia against the Soviet threat, Guderian was assigned as a company commander for the 10th Jäger-Battalion.
Later he joined the Truppenamt, which was a form of the Armys General Staff which had been officially forbidden by the Treaty of Versailles. In 1927 Guderian was promoted to major and transferred to the command of Army transport and this placed Guderian at the center of German development of armoured forces. Guderian, who was fluent in both English and French, studied the works of British maneuver warfare theorists J. F. C, in 1931, he was promoted to Oberstleutnant and became chief of staff to the Inspectorate of Motorized Troops under Oswald Lutz. In 1933 he was promoted to Oberst or Colonel, Guderian wrote many papers on mechanized warfare during this period. Some of these trial maneuveres were conducted in Soviet Russia, in October 1935 he was made commander of the newly created 2nd Panzer Division
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
Kassel is a city located on the Fulda River in northern Hesse, Germany. It is the seat of the Regierungsbezirk Kassel and the Kreis of the same name and has 200,507 inhabitants in December 2015. The former capital of the state of Hesse-Kassel has many palaces and parks, including the Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe, Kassel is known for the documenta exhibitions of contemporary art. The citys name is derived from the ancient Castellum Cattorum, a castle of the Chatti, Kassel was first mentioned in 913 AD, as the place where two deeds were signed by King Conrad I. The place was called Chasella and was a fortification at a crossing the Fulda river. A deed from 1189 certifies that Cassel had city rights, in 1567, the Landgraviate of Hesse, until centered in Marburg, was divided among four sons, with Hesse-Kassel becoming one of its successor states. Kassel was its capital and became a centre of Calvinist Protestantism in Germany, strong fortifications were built to protect the Protestant stronghold against Catholic enemies.
Secret societies, such as Rosicrucianism flourished, with Christian Rosenkreutz’s work Fama Fraternitis first published in 1617, in 1685, Kassel became a refuge for 1,700 Huguenots who found shelter in the newly established borough of Oberneustadt. Landgrave Charles, who was responsible for this act, ordered the construction of the Oktagon. In the early 19th century, the Brothers Grimm lived in Kassel and they collected and wrote most of their fairy tales there. At that time, around 1803, the Landgraviate was elevated to a Principality, shortly after, it was annexed by Napoleon and in 1807 it became the capital of the short-lived Kingdom of Westphalia under Napoleons brother Jérôme. The Electorate was restored in 1813, having sided with Austria in the Austro-Prussian War to gain supremacy in Germany, the principality was annexed by Prussia in 1866. The Prussian administration united Nassau and Hesse-Kassel into the new Prussian province of Hesse-Nassau, Kassel ceased to be a princely residence, but soon developed into a major industrial centre, as well as a major railway junction.
Henschel & Son, the largest railway locomotive manufacturer in Germany at the end of the century, was based in Kassel. In 1870, after the Battle of Sedan, Napoleon III was sent as a prisoner to the castle of Wilhelmshohe above the city, during World War I the German military headquarters were located in the castle of Wilhelmshohe. In the late 1930s Nazis destroyed Heinrich Hübschs Kassel Synagogue, the most severe bombing of Kassel in World War II destroyed 90% of the downtown area, some 10,000 people were killed, and 150,000 were made homeless. Most of the casualties were civilians or wounded soldiers recuperating in local hospitals, Karl Gerland replaced the regional Gauleiter, Karl Weinrich, soon after the raid. The Allied ground advance into Germany reached Kassel at the beginning of April 1945, post-war, most of the ancient buildings were not restored, and large parts of the city area were completely rebuilt in the style of the 1950s
The German Empire was the historical German nation state that existed from the unification of Germany in 1871 to the abdication of Kaiser Wilhelm II in 1918, when Germany became a federal republic. The German Empire consisted of 26 constituent territories, with most being ruled by royal families and this included four kingdoms, six grand duchies, five duchies, seven principalities, three free Hanseatic cities, and one imperial territory. Although Prussia became one of kingdoms in the new realm, it contained most of its population and territory. Its influence helped define modern German culture, after 1850, the states of Germany had rapidly become industrialized, with particular strengths in coal, iron and railways. In 1871, it had a population of 41 million people, and by 1913, a heavily rural collection of states in 1815, now united Germany became predominantly urban. During its 47 years of existence, the German Empire operated as an industrial, Germany became a great power, boasting a rapidly growing rail network, the worlds strongest army, and a fast-growing industrial base.
In less than a decade, its navy became second only to Britains Royal Navy, after the removal of Chancellor Otto von Bismarck by Wilhelm II, the Empire embarked on a bellicose new course that ultimately led to World War I. When the great crisis of 1914 arrived, the German Empire had two allies and the Austro-Hungarian Empire, however, left the once the First World War started in August 1914. In the First World War, German plans to capture Paris quickly in autumn 1914 failed, the Allied naval blockade caused severe shortages of food. Germany was repeatedly forced to send troops to bolster Austria and Turkey on other fronts, Germany had great success on the Eastern Front, it occupied large Eastern territories following the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk. German declaration of unrestricted submarine warfare in early 1917 was designed to strangle the British, it failed, but the declaration—along with the Zimmermann Telegram—did bring the United States into the war. Meanwhile, German civilians and soldiers had become war-weary and radicalised by the Russian Revolution and this failed, and by October the armies were in retreat, Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire had collapsed, Bulgaria had surrendered and the German people had lost faith in their political system.
The Empire collapsed in the November 1918 Revolution as the Emperor and all the ruling monarchs abdicated, and a republic took over. The German Confederation had been created by an act of the Congress of Vienna on 8 June 1815 as a result of the Napoleonic Wars, German nationalism rapidly shifted from its liberal and democratic character in 1848, called Pan-Germanism, to Prussian prime minister Otto von Bismarcks pragmatic Realpolitik. He envisioned a conservative, Prussian-dominated Germany, the war resulted in the Confederation being partially replaced by a North German Confederation in 1867, comprising the 22 states north of the Main. The new constitution and the title Emperor came into effect on 1 January 1871, during the Siege of Paris on 18 January 1871, William accepted to be proclaimed Emperor in the Hall of Mirrors at the Palace of Versailles. The second German Constitution was adopted by the Reichstag on 14 April 1871 and proclaimed by the Emperor on 16 April, the political system remained the same.
The empire had a parliament called the Reichstag, which was elected by universal male suffrage, the original constituencies drawn in 1871 were never redrawn to reflect the growth of urban areas
Belgium, officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a sovereign state in Western Europe bordered by France, the Netherlands, Germany and the North Sea. It is a small, densely populated country which covers an area of 30,528 square kilometres and has a population of about 11 million people. Additionally, there is a group of German-speakers who live in the East Cantons located around the High Fens area. Historically, the Netherlands and Luxembourg were known as the Low Countries, the region was called Belgica in Latin, after the Roman province of Gallia Belgica. From the end of the Middle Ages until the 17th century, Belgium is a federal constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system of governance. It is divided into three regions and three communities, that exist next to each other and its two largest regions are the Dutch-speaking region of Flanders in the north and the French-speaking southern region of Wallonia. The Brussels-Capital Region is a bilingual enclave within the Flemish Region. A German-speaking Community exists in eastern Wallonia, Belgiums linguistic diversity and related political conflicts are reflected in its political history and complex system of governance, made up of six different governments.
Upon its independence, declared in 1830, Belgium participated in the Industrial Revolution and, during the course of the 20th century, possessed a number of colonies in Africa. This continuing antagonism has led to several far-reaching reforms, resulting in a transition from a unitary to a federal arrangement during the period from 1970 to 1993. Belgium is a member of the Eurozone, NATO, OECD and WTO. Its capital, hosts several of the EUs official seats as well as the headquarters of major international organizations such as NATO. Belgium is a part of the Schengen Area, Belgium is a developed country, with an advanced high-income economy and is categorized as very high in the Human Development Index. A gradual immigration by Germanic Frankish tribes during the 5th century brought the area under the rule of the Merovingian kings, a gradual shift of power during the 8th century led the kingdom of the Franks to evolve into the Carolingian Empire. Many of these fiefdoms were united in the Burgundian Netherlands of the 14th and 15th centuries, the Eighty Years War divided the Low Countries into the northern United Provinces and the Southern Netherlands.
The latter were ruled successively by the Spanish and the Austrian Habsburgs and this was the theatre of most Franco-Spanish and Franco-Austrian wars during the 17th and 18th centuries. The reunification of the Low Countries as the United Kingdom of the Netherlands occurred at the dissolution of the First French Empire in 1815, although the franchise was initially restricted, universal suffrage for men was introduced after the general strike of 1893 and for women in 1949. The main political parties of the 19th century were the Catholic Party, French was originally the single official language adopted by the nobility and the bourgeoisie
Freikorps were German volunteer units that existed from the 18th to the early 20th centuries, the members of which effectively fought as mercenaries, regardless of their own nationality. In German-speaking countries the first so-called Freikorps free regiments were formed in the 18th century from native volunteers, enemy renegades and deserters and these sometimes exotically equipped units served as infantry and cavalry or, more rarely, as artillery. Sometimes in just company strength, sometimes in formations up to several thousand strong, the Prussian von Kleist Freikorps included infantry, jäger and hussars. The French Volontaires de Saxe combined uhlans and dragoons and these units roamed the countryside, killing with impunity. They engaged in confrontations with republican loyalists and engineered some of the more notorious assassinations of the Weimar period. An entire series of Freikorps awards existed, the very first Freikorps were recruited by Frederick the Great during the Seven Years War.
On 15 July 1759, Frederick ordered the creation of a squadron of hussars to be attached to the 1st Regiment of Hussars. He entrusted the creation and command of new unit to Colonel Friedrich Wilhelm von Kleist. This first squadron was raised in Dresden and consisted mainly of Hungarian deserters and this squadron was placed under the command of Lieutenant Johann Michael von Kovacs. At the end of 1759, the first 4 squadrons of dragoons of the Freikorps were organised and they initially consisted of Prussian volunteers from Berlin, Magdeburg and Leipzig but recruited deserters. The Freikorps were regarded as unreliable by regular armies, so they were used as sentries. Even during the last Kabinettskrieg, the War of the Bavarian Succession, Hungarians, Poles and South Slavs, as well as Turks and Cossacks, were believed by all warring parties to be inherently good fighters. The nationality of many soldiers can no longer be ascertained with certainty as the origin was often described imprecisely in the regimental lists.
Slavs were often referred to as Hungarians or Croats, and Muslim recruits as Turks, for Prussia, the Pandurs, who were made up of Serbs and Croats, were a clear model for the organization of such free troops. They were often used to ward off Maria Theresas Pandurs, in the era of linear tactics, light troops had been seen necessary for outpost and reconnaissance duties. Because, with exceptions, they were seen as undisciplined and less battleworthy, they were used for less onerous guard. In the so-called petty wars, the Freikorps interdicted enemy supply lines with guerrilla warfare, in the case of capture, their members were at risk of being executed as irregular fighters. In Prussia the Freikorps, which Frederick the Great had despised as vermin, were disbanded and their soldiers were given no entitlement to pensions or invalidity payments
Macedonia /ˌmæsᵻˈdoʊniə/ is a geographical and historical region of the Balkan peninsula in southeastern Europe. Its boundaries have changed considerably over time, however it came to be defined as the geographical region by the mid 19th century. Nowadays the region is considered to include parts of six Balkan countries, Greece and it covers approximately 67,000 square kilometres and has a population of 4.76 million. Its oldest known settlements date back approximately 9,000 years, from the middle of the 4th century BC, the Kingdom of Macedon became the dominant power on the Balkan peninsula, since Macedonia has had a diverse history. The definition of Macedonia has changed several times throughout history, expansion of Kingdom of Macedon,1. Kingdom of Perdiccas I, Macedonian Kingdom of Emathia consisting of six provinces Emathia, Bottiaea, Eordea, Kingdom of Alexander I, All the above provinces plus the eastern annexations Crestonia and the western annexations Elimiotis and Lynkestis. Kingdom of Philip II, All the above plus the appendages of Pelagonia and Macedonian Paeonia to the north, Sintike and Edonis to the east.
In the 2nd century, Macedonia covered approximately the area where it is considered to be today, for reasons that are still unclear, over the next eleven centuries Macedonias location was changed significantly. The Roman province of Macedonia consisted of what is today Northern and Central Greece, much of the area of the present-day Republic of Macedonia. Simply put, the Romans created a larger administrative area under that name than the original ancient Macedon. In the Byzantine Empire, a province under the name of Macedonia was carved out of the original Theme of Thrace and this thema variously included parts of Thrace and gave its name to the Macedonian dynasty. Hence, Byzantine documents of this era that mention Macedonia are most probably referring to the Macedonian thema, during medieval and modern times, Macedonia has been known as a Balkan region inhabited by ethnic Greeks, Vlachs, Bulgarians and Turks. Today, as a region where several very different cultures meet. Macedonian Greeks self-identify culturally and regionally as Macedonians and they form the majority of the regions population.
They number approximately 2,500,000 and, smaller Greek minorities exist in Bulgaria and the Republic of Macedonia, although their numbers are difficult to ascertain. Ethnic Macedonians self-identify as Macedonians in a sense as well as in the regional sense. They are the second largest ethnic group in the region, because of their primarily Slavic origin they are known as Macedonian Slavs and Slav Macedonians. They form the majority of the population in the Republic of Macedonia where according to the 2002 census, according to the latest Bulgarian census held in 2001, there are 3,117 people declaring themselves ethnic Macedonians in the Blagoevgrad Province of Bulgaria
French Third Republic
It came to an end on 10 July 1940. Harsh reparations exacted by the Prussians after the war resulted in the loss of the French regions of Alsace and Lorraine, social upheaval, and the establishment of the Paris Commune. The early governments of the Third Republic considered re-establishing the monarchy, but confusion as to the nature of that monarchy, the Third Republic, which was originally intended as a provisional government, instead became the permanent government of France. The French Constitutional Laws of 1875 defined the composition of the Third Republic and it consisted of a Chamber of Deputies and a Senate to form the legislative branch of government and a president to serve as head of state. The period from the start of World War I to the late 1930s featured sharply polarized politics, Adolphe Thiers called republicanism in the 1870s the form of government that divides France least, politics under the Third Republic were sharply polarized. On the left stood Reformist France, heir to the French Revolution, on the right stood conservative France, rooted in the peasantry, the Roman Catholic Church and the army.
The Franco-Prussian War of 1870–1871 resulted in the defeat of France, after Napoleons capture by the Prussians at the Battle of Sedan, Parisian deputies led by Léon Gambetta established the Government of National Defence as a provisional government on 4 September 1870. The deputies selected General Louis-Jules Trochu to serve as its president and this first government of the Third Republic ruled during the Siege of Paris. After the French surrender in January 1871, the provisional Government of National Defence disbanded, French territories occupied by Prussia at this time did not participate. The resulting conservative National Assembly elected Adolphe Thiers as head of a provisional government, due to the revolutionary and left-wing political climate that prevailed in the Parisian population, the right-wing government chose the royal palace of Versailles as its headquarters. The new government negotiated a settlement with the newly proclaimed German Empire. To prompt the Prussians to leave France, the government passed a variety of laws, such as the controversial Law of Maturities.
The following repression of the communards would have consequences for the labor movement. The Orléanists supported a descendant of King Louis Philippe I, the cousin of Charles X who replaced him as the French monarch in 1830, his grandson Louis-Philippe, Comte de Paris. The Bonapartists were marginalized due to the defeat of Napoléon III and were unable to advance the candidacy of any member of his family, the Bonaparte family. Legitimists and Orléanists came to a compromise, whereby the childless Comte de Chambord would be recognised as king, consequently, in 1871 the throne was offered to the Comte de Chambord. Chambord believed the monarchy had to eliminate all traces of the Revolution in order to restore the unity between the monarchy and the nation, which the revolution had sundered apart. Compromise on this was if the nation were to be made whole again
The Axis powers, known as the Rome–Berlin–Tokyo Axis, were the nations that fought in World War II against the Allied Powers. The Axis agreed on their opposition to the Allies, but did not completely coordinate their activity, the Axis grew out of the diplomatic efforts of Germany and Japan to secure their own specific expansionist interests in the mid-1930s. The first step was the treaty signed by Germany and Italy in October 1936, Mussolini declared on 1 November that all other European countries would from on rotate on the Rome–Berlin axis, thus creating the term Axis. The almost simultaneous second step was the signing in November 1936 of the Anti-Comintern Pact, Italy joined the Pact in 1937. At its zenith during World War II, the Axis presided over territories that occupied parts of Europe, North Africa. There were no three-way summit meetings and cooperation and coordination was minimal, the war ended in 1945 with the defeat of the Axis powers and the dissolution of their alliance. As in the case of the Allies, membership of the Axis was fluid, at the time he was seeking an alliance with the Weimar Republic against Yugoslavia and France in the dispute over the Free State of Fiume.
The term was used by Hungarys prime minister Gyula Gömbös when advocating an alliance of Hungary with Germany, when Mussolini publicly announced the signing on 1 November, he proclaimed the creation of a Rome–Berlin axis. Italy under Duce Benito Mussolini had pursued an alliance of Italy with Germany against France since the early 1920s. He believed that Italy could expand its influence in Europe by allying with Germany against France, in early 1923, as a goodwill gesture to Germany, Italy secretly delivered weapons for the German Army, which had faced major disarmament under the provisions of the Treaty of Versailles. General Hans von Seeckt supported an alliance between Germany and the Soviet Union to invade and partition Poland between them and restore the German-Russian border of 1914. The discussions concluded that Germans still wanted a war of revenge against France but were short on weapons, however at this time Mussolini stressed one important condition that Italy must pursue in an alliance with Germany, that Italy must.
Tow them, not be towed by them, the French government warned Italy that it had to choose whether to be on the side of the pro-Versailles powers or that of the anti-Versailles revanchists. Grandi responded that Italy would be willing to offer France support against Germany if France gave Italy its mandate over Cameroon, France refused Italys proposed exchange for support, as it believed Italys demands were unacceptable and the threat from Germany was not yet immediate. In 1932, Gyula Gömbös and the Party of National Unity rose to power in Hungary, Gömbös sought to alter Hungarys post–Treaty of Trianon borders by forming an alliance with Austria and Italy, knowing that Hungary alone was not capable of challenging the Little Entente powers. At the meeting between Gömbös and Mussolini in Rome on 10 November 1932, the question came up of the sovereignty of Austria in relation to the rise to power in Germany of the Nazi Party. Mussolini was worried about Nazi ambitions towards Austria, and indicated that at least in the term he was committed to maintaining Austria as a sovereign state.
Italy had concerns over a Germany which included Austria laying land claims to German-populated territories of the South Tyrol within Italy, Mussolini said he hoped the Anschluss could be postponed as long as possible until the breakout of a European war that he estimated would begin in 1938
Case Blue, renamed Operation Braunschweig, was the German Armed Forces name for its plan for the 1942 strategic summer offensive in southern Russia between 28 June and 24 November 1942. Initially, the offensive saw gains, with an advance into the Caucasus capturing large areas of land, the Red Army defeated the Germans at Stalingrad, following Operations Uranus and Little Saturn. This defeat forced the Axis to retreat from the Caucasus, only the city of Kursk and the Kuban region remained tentatively occupied by Axis troops. On 22 June 1941 the Wehrmacht had launched Operation Barbarossa with the intention of defeating the Soviets in a Blitzkrieg lasting only months, the Axis offensive had met with initial success and the Red Army had suffered some major defeats before halting the Axis units at Moscow. Although the Germans had captured vast areas of land and important industrial centers, in the winter of 1941–42 the Soviets struck back in a series of successful counteroffensives, pushing back the German threat to Moscow.
Despite these setbacks, Hitler wanted a solution, for which he required the oil resources of the Caucasus. By February 1942 the German Army High Command had begun to develop plans for a campaign to the aborted Barbarossa offensive – with the Caucasus as its principal objective. On 5 April 1942, Hitler laid out the elements of the now known as Case Blue in Führer Directive No.41. The main focus was to be at the capture of Caucasus region, the Caucasus, a large, culturally diverse region traversed by its eponymous mountains, is bounded by the Black Sea to the west and the Caspian Sea to the east. South of the lay the densely populated region of Transcaucasia, comprising Georgia, Azerbaijan. This heavily industrialized and densely populated area contained some of the largest oilfields in the world, the capital of Azerbaijan, was one of the richest, producing 80 percent of the Soviet Unions oil—about 24 million tons in 1942 alone. The Caucasus possessed plentiful coal and peat, as well as nonferrous, manganese deposits at Chiaturi, in Transcaucasia, formed the richest single source in the world, yielding 1.5 million tons of manganese ore annually, half of the Soviet Unions total production.
The Kuban region of the Caucasus produced large amounts of wheat, sunflower seeds and these resources were of immense importance to Hitler and the German war effort. Of the three tons of oil Germany consumed per year,85 percent was imported, mainly from the United States, Venezuela. An indication of German reliance on Romania is evident from its oil consumption, in 1938, in late 1941, the Romanians warned Hitler that their stocks were exhausted and they were unable to meet German demands. Whereas in 1941 most units fought on the central front supporting Army Group Centre,1,610 aircraft, initially commanded by Löhr, on 20 July 1942, Wolfram Freiherr von Richthofen took command of Luftflotte 4. Blau II, Sixth Army, commanded by Friedrich Paulus, would attack from Kharkiv and move in parallel with Fourth Panzer Army, to reach the Volga at Stalingrad. Blau III, First Panzer Army would strike south towards the lower Don River, with Seventeenth Army on the western flank, the strategic objectives of the operation were the oilfields at Maykop and Baku
Major general is a military rank used in many countries. It is derived from the rank of sergeant major general. In the Commonwealth, major general is equivalent to the rank of rear admiral. In some countries, including much of Eastern Europe, major general is the lowest of the officer ranks. In the old Austro-Hungarian Army, the general was called a Generalmajor. Todays Austrian Federal Army still uses the same term, see Rank insignias of the Austro-Hungarian armed forces General de Brigade is the lowest rank amongst general officers in the Brazilian Army. AGeneral de Brigada wears two-stars as this is the level for general officers in the Brazilian Army. In tha Brazilian Air Force, the two-star, three-star and four-star rank are known as Brigadeiro, Major-Brigadeiro, see Military ranks of Brazil and Brigadier for more information. In the Canadian Armed Forces, the rank of major-general is both a Canadian Army and Royal Canadian Air Force rank equivalent to the Royal Canadian Navys rank of rear-admiral, a major-general is a general officer, the equivalent of a naval flag officer.
The major-general rank is senior to the ranks of brigadier-general and commodore, prior to 1968, the Air Force used the rank of air vice-marshal, instead. In the Canadian Army, the insignia is a wide braid on the cuff. It is worn on the straps of the service dress tunic. On the visor of the cap are two rows of gold oak leaves. Major-generals are initially addressed as general and name, as are all general officers, major-generals are normally entitled to staff cars. In the Estonian military, the general rank is called kindralmajor. The Finnish military equivalent is kenraalimajuri in Finnish, and generalmajor in Swedish and Danish, the French equivalent to the rank of major general is général de division. In the French military, major général is not a rank but an appointment conferred on some generals, usually of général de corps darmée rank, the position of major général can be considered the equivalent of a deputy chief of staff. In the French Army, Major General is a position and the general is normally of the rank of corps general