The Beginning of World War II

The Peace Treaty of Versailles concluded after Germany’s defeat in World War II seemed to have made major armed conflicts impossible in Europe. What threat could Germany present being deprived of heavy weaponry and operational technical armament, being forced to pay out reparations to the winners under the Treaty of Versailles?

Actually, a humiliating situation which the Germans got into after concluding peace only urged them forward to revenge. Under the circumstances the popularity of Adolf Hitler, who appealed to the revival of Germany’s greatness, was easily explained. The majority of professional officers being still of Kaiser endurance and tested by World War II took his side too. Despite the severe restrictions imposed on forming the Reichswehr (Realm Defence) they managed to study the new specimens of  military weaponry and  up-to-date methods of waging war.  These servicemen constituted the backbone of the Wehrmacht Officer Corps afterwards.

By that time, when Hitler began outspokenly to ignore the terms of the Treaty of Versailles he had already had a quite serious military machine. Instead of punishing the aggressor, England and France chose the tactics of his “appeasement”.

The Anschluss of Austria and the Annexation of Czechoslovakia became Hitler’s first not-yet-bloody victories. Unfortunately, Europe was watching his actions in silence.

 Germany’s invasion of Poland on September1,1939 marked the beginning of World War II. The Polish state ceased to exist less than two months later and was divided between the Reich and Soviet Union.

The invasion of Poland became that event after which Great Britain, France and their Allies had to declare war on Germany at least officially.  All this was happening from September 1939 to April 1940 on the Western Front and was named “The Strange War” because of the extreme inactivity of the fighting countries.

On April 9 ,1940 The Germans troops began the Operation Weser- Exercise (Weserubung), having seized Denmark and Norway for nearly a month. And in May 135 German divisions invaded Belgium, Holland, Luxemburg and then France. The French Army and the British Expeditionary Corps didn’t yield to the Wehrmacht in number and technically but the Germans demonstrated the war of a new type-the blitzkrieg. The Allied Forces turned out to be powerless against it. The French Army had to capitulate and the British one had to flee for safety from the continent cross Dunkirk.

The blitzkrieg showed the inability of any army of the world to resist the Wehrmacht at that moment. Nevertheless, Britain still remained supreme navally.

But soon the German military machine suffered the first defeat. The Battle of Britain was a strategic air offensive aimed to destroy the British industry. The Luftwaffe defeated in it. The English withstood and continued the war. On March2,1941 the British forces disembarked in Greece. The Italian dictator Mussolini, Hitler’s ally, had occupied Greece before it. The British and Greek forces drove the Italians out of Balkan Peninsula and Hitler had to interfere with it. In the course of the Operation “Marita” the German forces occupied the whole territory of Greece. The British Corps managed to evacuate itself on Crete Island which was soon occupied by the Germans. At this time, the German African Corps was inflicting a number of defeats on the English in Libya…

But all these events tell us just about the beginning of World War II.

On June 22, 1941, the Operation “Barbarossa”, the invasion of the Soviet Union will begin in our game. The irresistible blitzkrieg shows its effectiveness but the terrible “General Frost”, the Russian winter is on the horizon, due to the severe frosts, the well-oiled machine of the German army will crash for the first time.

The valuable weeks lost by Hitler on the actions in Greece will turn out to be fatal for the offensive at Moscow and for the whole outcome of the war. The Soviet capital won’t be conquered till the terrible winter colds. On the contrary, in December 1941 the Wehrmacht will suffer a great defeat from the Red Army for the first time. All this will put an end to the blitzkrieg and Hitler’s plans as to the revival of Great Germany.

In the game Panzer Strategy:Blitzkrieg you will be able to run all the above-described operations. It depends on your military leader skills whether the Germans will manage to turn the scales of history on their side or the Third Reich will be smashed and disappear forever!