The Fall of France
Germany was able to quickly defeat the French forces in 1940 due to sheer strength and military strategy. Germany was able to defeat France’s powerful army within six weeks by first pushing back the Allied forces to the sea. Consequently, the British forces withdrew their British Expeditionary Force. The Germans took advantage of this and launched a second attack known as Fall Rot. This attack took the depleted French forces by surprise and they were unable to competently right back. The result was an armistice between France and Germany, with Germany and Italy taking control of major parts of the country (Jackson, 2003). The Germans were not able to replicate their victory when they tried to invade Britain. This is perhaps because Germany was unable to break the British air forces. This failure led Hitler to cancel Operation Sea Lion, an amphibious invasion of Britain. This failure to overpower Britain’s air superiority was a major turning point in the 1940 conflict.
Many people believe that Hitler invaded Russia or turned on Stalin because he wanted to spread German hegemony in the European continent. However, research indicates that Russia could be the reason behind Germany’s futile invasion. The socialist country believed that the only way to topple a capitalist regime in Europe would be by causing a major war. The evidence shows that the Russians were secretly hoping the Germans would continue to fight with the French and the British until these three countries were too exhausted to fight anymore. The Germans would finally defeat the Allied forces but would be too weak to fight Soviet forces. The Russians would then come in and take over the continent without much resistance (Glantz, 2011).
Operation Barbarossa was a complete failure. The Germans underestimated the will power of the Russian citizens to defend their homeland. The German army also took too long to invade Moscow, perhaps due to the cold. This gave Stalin’s army ample time to prepare a formidable counter attack against the Germans. The Germans were also taken by surprise by the extremely cold weather conditions as they marched towards Moscow. Many soldiers died because of the cold winter.
Climb Mount Niitaka
Japan attacked Pearl Harbor in order to negate America’s military force that could be used to recapture the Philippines in the Pacific Ocean. The Philippine Islands were a target for the Japanese but they were also controlled by the United States. The Japanese knew that the Americans could attack them through the Philippines because of the aggressive expansionist plan that the Japanese were conducing in Asia. The Japanese also wanted more oil resources in the region after the US embargoed oil exports to Japan. The Japanese decided that rather than invade the islands and wait for the imminent military response from the US, they could destroy the American army in the Pacific (Kline, 2006). This way, America could not hastily respond to the Philippine invasion and give more time to the Japanese to strengthen their army. The strategy did not make sense in the long-term because the world’s largest superpower was its enemy. America concentrated its efforts on destroying Japan leading to the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings that left japan utterly devastated.
Glantz, D. (2011). Operation Barbarossa: Hitler’s invasion of Russia, 1941. Stroud: History Press.
Jackson, J. (2003). The fall of France: The Nazi invasion of 1940. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Kline, R. (2006). Climb Mount Niitaka. Pittsburgh, Pa.: RoseDog Books.