Nazi Germany's Conquest of Western Europe

Nazi Germany's Conquest of Western Europe : The Negotiations and Campaigns That Let Hitler Conquer the Continent Before and During World War II

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*Includes pictures *Includes accounts of the negotiations and fighting *Includes online resources and a bibliography for further reading *Includes a table of contents One of the most famous people in the world came to tour the city of Paris for the first time on June 28, 1940. Over the next three hours, he rode through the city's streets, stopping to tour L'Opera Paris. He rode down the Champs-Elysees toward the Trocadero and the Eiffel Tower, where he had his picture taken. After passing through the Arc de Triomphe, he toured the Pantheon and old medieval churches, though he did not manage to see the Louvre or the Palace of Justice. Heading back to the airport, he told his staff, "It was the dream of my life to be permitted to see Paris. I cannot say how happy I am to have that dream fulfilled today." Four years after his tour, Adolf Hitler would order the city's garrison commander, General Dietrich von Choltitz, to destroy Paris, warning his subordinate that the city "must not fall into the enemy's hand except lying in complete debris." The fact that Hitler set foot in Paris in June 1940 was remarkable in its own right and the culmination of Nazi Germany's lightning advance across most of Western Europe, beginning even before the war with the annexations of lands, some of which was made possible by the now widely reviled Munich agreement. Other negotiations with the Soviet Union allowed Germany to invade Poland with few consequences in September 1939, and the military superiority built up over the two decades between the world wars made it possible for the Germans to push aside their opponents when they found them. Of course, Paris was not destroyed before the Allies liberated it, but it would take more than 4 years for them to wrest control of France from Nazi Germany after they took the country by storm in about a month in 1940. That said, it's widely overlooked today given how history played out that as the power of Nazi Germany grew alarmingly during the 1930s, the French sought means to defend their territory against the rising menace of the Thousand-Year Reich. As architects of the most punitive measures in the Treaty of Versailles following World War I, France was a natural target for Teutonic retribution, so the Maginot Line, a series of interconnected strongpoints and fortifications running along much of France's eastern border, helped allay French fears of invasion. The true flaw in French military strategy during the opening days of World War II lay not in reliance on the Maginot fortifications but in the army's neglect to exploit the military opportunities the Line created. In other words, the border defense performed as envisioned, but the other military arms supported it insufficiently to halt the Germans. The French Army squandered the opportunity not because the Maginot Line existed but because they failed to utilize their own defensive plan properly; the biggest problem was that the Germans simply skirted past the intricate defensive fortifications by invading neutral Belgium and swinging south, thereby avoiding the Maginot Line for the most part. Nazi Germany's Conquest of Western Europe: The Negotiations and Campaigns that Let Hitler Conquer the Continent Before and During World War II chronicles the background leading up to World War II and Germany's quick success in the first year of it. Along with pictures of important people, places, and events, you will learn about Nazi Germany's conquest of Western Europe like never before, in no time at all.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 160 pages
  • 152.4 x 228.6 x 9.4mm | 299.37g
  • Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1514792613
  • 9781514792612