A-Level Notes > University Of Oxford A-Level Notes > Edexcel A-Level History; Kaiser to Fuhrer; Germany 1900-45 Notes
Wartime Germany 1939 45 Notes
This is a sample of our (approximately) 7 page long Wartime Germany 1939 45 notes, which we sell as part of the Edexcel A-Level History; Kaiser to Fuhrer; Germany 1900-45 Notes collection, a A* - 100% package written at University Of Oxford in 2014 that contains (approximately) 86 pages of notes across 18 different documents.
The original file is a 'Word (Docx)' whilst this sample is a 'PDF' representation of said file. This means that the formatting here may have errors. The original document you'll receive on purchase should have more polished formatting.
Wartime Germany 1939 45 Revision
The following is a plain text extract of the PDF sample above, taken from our Edexcel A-Level History; Kaiser to Fuhrer; Germany 1900-45 Notes. This text version has had its formatting removed so pay attention to its contents alone rather than its presentation. The version you download will have its original formatting intact and so will be much prettier to look at.
What was life like in wartime Germany, 193945?
Events of the war (background): Broadly, 193941 was a period of success for Germany in the war. They had control of much of
Europe and were launching a Russian invasion. Late 194143, the tide turned + Germany started
struggling. Defeated in North Africa + massively at Stalingrad in Russia, the Red Army started
advancing instead. 19445, DDay + the Russian advance led to German defeat.
• Sep 1939, Poland invaded by Germany
• By end of 1940, France, Belgium, Holland, Denmark, Norway + Luxembourg had been invaded
• Only Britain managed to hold out, defeating the Luftwaffe in 1940 Battle of Britain
• Germany invaded Russia June 1941, Operation Barbarossa on 3 fronts
• Initial rapid progress, but unprepared for extreme weather, and defeat at Stalingrad in 1943 an
important turning point
Allied forces captured Rome June 1944 US + UK invaded France June 1944 'Operation Overlord', outnumbering Germans Paris liberated August, then Brussels and Antwerp in September Battle of the Bulge + German advance halted, Allied advance resumed US troops crossed Rhine March 1945 + 320,000 German troops surrendered Soviets drove back Germans + Western Russia liberated by July 1945 Soviets invaded Berlin + Hitler committed suicide Germany surrendered in May 1945
Morale on the Home Front (HF): Consumer on HF:
• V.few Germans wanted war, but still a considerable bedrock of Nazi support in 1939
• Nazis v.sensitive to issues of rationing + shortages on HF + wanted to avoid widespread
shortages + unrest that had occurred in WWI
• Rationing system introduced in 1939, but considerable sacrifices not made by consumers until
• Rationing 193942 generally fair + sufficient + above minimum calorie levels needed, although
quality admittedly declined
• Greater rationing flexibility in Germany than GB w/extra rations for those undertaking strenuous
tasks + Christmas bonuses for everyone to boost morale
• Most serious ration reduction in April 1942 when meat ration cut to 300 grammes/person,
considerable disquiet caused
• By 1942, shortages of soap + permits introduced for furniture in Aug 1942 + for household
goods in Jan 1943
• In comparison to WWI, hardship or inflation levels not nearly as severe though. Until even early
1944, rations about 10% above minimum calorific standard, adequately fed population, although diet boring + restricted. War + concerns:
• War against USSR caused concern + failure to win outright victory led many to question Nazi
leadership + ideology for 1st time
• Despite bleak military fortunes (notably after huge Stalingrad defeat), propaganda could exploit
+ inspire patriotic defiance, EG Goebbels' 'total war' speech in Feb 1943 rallied many to fight
war to the end
• German defeats in North Africa, USSR, Atlantic + Italy increased contempt + discontent with
• Difficult working conditions, long hours + particularly the increased double burden for women
increased discontent + lowered morale.
• BUT, majority remained silent + loyal still (so maybe discontented but not openly disloyal +
vocally critical in vast majority of cases), although Stalingrad a turning point in morale Bombing:
• Bombing campaign by RAF + USAF aimed to destroy German war industry + undermine morale on the HF
• Caused widespread destruction, EG 305,000 killed + 2M homes destroyed + EG particularly
brutal bombings in Hamburg + Dresden killed 80,000 between them + EG 20% of total German
• But 'Blitz' spirit + morale still sustained among many, although by 1943, populations of heavily
bombed areas like Rhineland had been demoralised
• Goebbels fairly effectively offered hope with promises of a secret weapon or calls for
• After became clear V1+V2 bombs at London not going to have required impact, morale sank
further to a low ebb
• Goebbels continued to use propaganda to attempt to raise morale w/blockbuster escapist films,
EG 'The Adventures of Baron Munchausen' or EG 'Kolberg' but they had a v.minimal impact on
• As defeat edged closer, propaganda became less effective, reality of war overrode propaganda
****************************End Of Sample*****************************
Buy the full version of these notes or essay plans and more in our Edexcel A-Level History; Kaiser to Fuhrer; Germany 1900-45 Notes.