By Kenneth Macksey
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Germany will of its own accord never break the peace,’ he told the journalist G. Ward Price of London’s Daily Mail in February 1935, for example, but a few days later he decided that the Wehrmacht needed to be increased from twenty-one to thirty-six divisions as soon as possible. 5 The tempo of Hitlerian aggression increased exponentially during the second half of the 1930s, as the German dictator gained in confidence and the generals absented themselves from political decision-making. Hermann Göring’s official announcement of the existence of the Luftwaffe took place in March 1935, the same month that Germany publicly repudiated the disarmament clauses of the Versailles Treaty, clauses that she had been secretly ignoring ever since Hitler had come to power.
The views or opinions expressed in this book and the context in which the images are used, do not necessarily reflect the views or policy of, nor imply approval or endorsement by, The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum) 26 Corpses at the Dachau concentration camp, 29 April 1945 (Getty Images) 27 Destruction in Stalingrad, late 1942 (Getty Images) 28 Russian artillery in Stalingrad, early 1943 (RIA Novosti/Topfoto) 29 President Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and others at the Casablanca Conference, January (Getty Images) 30 General Charles de Gaulle and General Henri Giraud in Algiers, 30 May 1943 (Bettmann/Corbis) 31 A convoy of merchantmen crossing the Atlantic, June 1943 (The Mariners’ Museum/Corbis) 32 The captain of a U-boat at his periscope (Cody Images) 33 The battle of Kursk, July 1943 (Cody Images) 34 Russian soldiers pass a burning Soviet tank at Kursk (Getty Images) 35 General Sir William Slim in Burma, 1944 (Getty Images) 36 Major General Orde Wingate (Bettmann/Corbis) 37 General Tomoyuki Yamashita (Getty Images) 38 General George S.
Yet what made it irresistible was not German preponderance in men and arms, but above all the new military doctrine of Blitzkrieg. Poland was a fine testing ground for Blitzkrieg tactics: although it had lakes, forests and bad roads, it was nonetheless flat, with immensely wide fronts and firm, late-summer ground ideal for tanks. Because the British and French Governments, fearful that Germany was about to invade at any moment, had given their guarantee to Poland on 1 April 1939, with the British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain formally promising her ‘all support in the power’ of the Allies should she be attacked, Hitler was forced to leave a large proportion of his hundred-division Army in the west, guarding the Siegfried Line, or ‘West Wall’ – a 3-mile-deep series of still-incomplete fortifications along Germany’s western frontier.
Afrika Korps by Kenneth Macksey