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Hitler's Wehrmacht, 1935-1945$
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Rolf-Dieter Müller

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780813167381

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813167381.001.0001

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The Wehrmacht and Operations

The Wehrmacht and Operations

(p.155) 7 The Wehrmacht and Operations
Hitler's Wehrmacht, 1935-1945

Rolf-Dieter Müller

, Janice W. Ancker
University Press of Kentucky

This chapter examines the intentions and strategic reasoning behind significant German offenses during the Second World War, with a general description of unit movements and outcomes. Emboldened by success in France, Hitler was confident in attacking Russia, Ukraine, and the Caucasus. The intent was to plunder oil and other resources and obtain access to ports, thereby providing support for his “new order.” Wehrmacht leaders were shocked by the Russian response, having vastly underestimated the enemy. The Wehrmacht’s once powerful U-boat fleet and air force were eclipsed by the Allies. Fortress Europe could not stand. With Churchill’s determination, the US entry into the war, and Operation Overlord, the anti-Hitler coalition inexorably gained ground. Ultimately, Müller notes, it was Allied air superiority that helped defeat the Wehrmacht on land, on water, and in the air. The last bonds between Hitler and his Wehrmacht dissolved with Hitler’s suicide on 30 April 1945. The actual dissolution of the Wehrmacht came soon after, with its leaders’ unconditional surrender.

Keywords:   new order, Maginot Line, miracle at Dunkirk, Operation Sea Lion, Fortress Europe, Atlantic Wall, submarine warfare, strategic bombing, Manstein Plan

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