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2BB3 Readings Oct 15-17.docx

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Peace Studies

2BB3 Readings Gray 10-13 Ch.10 –WWII 1. The war was a struggle between societies a. Everybody was at war b. The casualties of civilians exceeds those of the military c. Bombings of cities d. Since blockades etc. brought the civilians into the war, the distinction between combatants and non-combatants eroded e. Germans immune to persecution for attacks on enemy civilians f. POWs taken by the Germans neglected to death 2. The Russo-German war was the core of WWII and decided the final outcome of WWII a. Germany wanted to take land from Russia and destroy the unworthy people in Russia 3. By remaining a belligerent into 1941, Britain ensured that American military power, once mobilized, could be projected into continental Europe a. Famous “halt order” allowed BEF to escape after disastrous battle at Belgium b. If the BEF had been caught, Churchill would have probably fallen from power – the negotiation of an armistice with London would have become easy for Germany c. If that happened, America probably would not have entered into the war d. America needed British territory to move troops into 4. The armed forces of Germany and its allies were not numerically sufficient to conquer the Soviet Union – this ineptitude was compounded by Germany’s logistical ineptitude and lack of operational focus a. Underestimated the intelligence of the enemy – racial superiority complex b. Underestimated how many troops Russia would have c. Took far longer than estimated d. Winter came e. Failure on the Eastern front cost the German army experienced men and machines 5. It is unhelpful to try to identify a turning point in the Russo-German warfare. German military (strategic) momentum was lost in three battles: Moscow 41-42, Stalingrad 42-43, Kursk 43 a. Attempts by Germany to accomplish too much too fast b. Kursk – Russians knew Germans were coming and set up preparations 6. The holocaust was strategically irrelevant to the war. It was, however, central to the values of the Nazi state and the relative moral standing of Nazi Germany in history. a. War provided both the political and ethical cover for the genocides Ch.11 1. Nazi Germany had to wage war if it were to fulfil its ideologically mandated purpose. a. Russian territory needed for Aryan immigration inhabited by Slavs, therefore war would be necessary to remove them 2. Despite extensive, though still very incomplete, mechanization, 1939-45 was another great war of attrition a. Germany was worn down by constant casualties until it literally could not fight anymore 3. Air power did not win the war, but the war could not have been won without superiority in the air a. Air power of an enemy had to be defeated before ground troops could be 4. Allied maritime dominance was a crucial enabler of victory in global war a. Maintained allied communication and bound allies together b. Hitler’s landlocked-ness cut Germany off from supply routes 5. For the second time in the twentieth century, Germany was as proficient at warfare as it was incompetent in the conduct of war a. British broke German codes and knew much information about German military plans b. Germany exacted more casualties than it sustained c. Beaten by attrition 6. The verdict remains open on whether Germany could have won the war in 194
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