In 1935, Adolf Hitler introduced conscription to the country, in preparation of his next move, of occupying Rhineland, a demilitarized zone from the Treaty of Versailles agreed upon by the Germans as part of the terms of surrender during World War I. Hitler accomplished his objective in 1936, with minimum casualties and international outcries. Within the next five years, Hitler completely rolled over most of mainland Europe. By the summer of 1941, Germany has laid claim to the continent, with the exception of the Soviet Union, the Iberian Peninsula, Sweden, Switzerland, and Turkey. And in the interim period, World War II commenced.

Nevertheless, their nemesis, the United Kingdom appeared to be virtually impregnable. However, the British Isle was only able to defend themselves, without being able to launch an offensive to the Germans, who have been preparing for a war over the past decade.

Contemporaneous European history provides no parallel for such a succession of German victories. Hitler in principle could have stopped at this point to consolidate his empire. Hitler could have brokered peace with a collaborationist-minded France. He could presumably have managed to wear the British down eventually by a long-drawn campaign, and in the process, attain complete control over Europe.

Yet Hitler, a man who considered himself as an emissary of fate, was a man in too much of a hurry, convinced that he would have to bring about German domination in his own lifetime. A child of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, he had an eye for land rather than sea warfare. He was also not qualified to objectively estimate the capability and might of great continental powers such as the U.S.S.R. and the U.S.A. And therein, lies his Achilles Heel.


Adolf Hitler in Paris - June 1940

The Holocaust 
© 2017