Nazi Germany’s Resources and Demise in World War II

Introduction

The Second World War (WWII) was a major global conflict that took place between 1939 and 1945. This upheaval ended after the Allied powers, comprised of the United States, France, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union, managed to destroy Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Germany. Historians agree that this war claimed the lives of many people in European. Similarly, the human rights abuse and the unprecedented mass murder of the Jews emerged as some of the major atrocities committed by the Germans. The efforts of different countries managed to deliver victory after Nazi Germany became unstable and incapable of supporting the ongoing war. Several factors determined the course and the future of this war, such as climatic conditions, national goals, and availability of different tools. The issue of resource mobilization remained critical and led to the eventual defeat and obliteration of Nazi Germany. This paper seeks to explain how the absence of adequate resources led to the demise of the Nazis towards the end of WWII.

Background Information

After the end of World War, I (WWI), many countries across Europe began to promote new policies that were aimed at minimizing the level of armament. On the contrary, the Germans chose to equip and modernize its military units as a response to the Treaty of Versailles. According to many people in this country, such a pact was harsh, impractical, and punitive. Towards the end of the 1930s, the country had managed to establish a strong army with more than adequate resources.i During the same period, most of the democracies in this continent were against such a practice. Consequently, the successful conquest of Norway, Belgium, Poland, Austria, and Luxemburg revealed that the majority of nations lacked adequate resources to protect their territories.

The turning point of WWII emerged after German troops lost heavily in Russia. Hitler had assumed that his trained soldiers would complete such a mission within less than five months. According to him, the Russian army was extremely inferior and incapable of repelling any form of attack. This move was also tactical in nature since it would make it easier for Nazi Germany to acquire sufficient resources to support and sustain its war effort. However, the Soviet resistance and desire to protect its territory changed Hitler’s grand plan. The terrains and climatic conditions of Russia played a significant role for the Soviet army since the Germans were unprepared for such extremes.ii Without adequate supply of materials, weapons, and food, the troops were unable to survive or continue to fight. By 1941, the Soviets had managed to push the Germans to a defensive battle.

After the infamous attack on Pearl Harbor and the developments recorded in Europe, the United States chose to join the war in attempt to protect its territories and support its allies. Within a few years, the rivals had managed to liberate different regions, including Warsaw in Poland and Auschwitz. Similarly, the success of D-Day and the subsequent invasion of Normandy forced German troops to remain on the defensive position. With the recorded defeats in different fronts across Europe, it had become hard for them to acquire adequate resources and equipment to support the ongoing war. Additionally, the combined efforts of the Allied powers and the availability of resources from the United States and other parts of the world made it easier for them to achieve meaningful results. By 1945, the Germans troops had been forced to retreat back to Germany.iii Between March and April 1945, the Allied Forces fought tirelessly in an effort to capture Berlin. This was the capital city of German and the home of Adolf Hitler. After the death of the Nazi leader on April, 30 the same year, the region fell into the hands of the Allied powers. This was followed by the subsequent surrender of all army commanders who reported directly to Hitler. This form of submission would eventually trigger the end of the WWII across the European continent.

Lack of Resources

Demise of Nazi Germany

Countries and empires that intend to launch new wars and succeed take a number of strategies seriously. Firstly, they consider the issue of command or leadership because such a practice has the potential to dictate the course of the upheaval. Armies that lack reasonable, practical, and pragmatic leaders will have reduced chances of achieving the outlined goals. The case of Nazi troops and the entire Nazism philosophy revolves around this kind of reality or argument. Adolf Hitler was interested in acquiring additional territories and spreading the Nazi ideology across Europe and beyond without considering the implications and preparedness of the identified countries. The successful defeat of France and Poland made this leader more greedy and impractical. He failed to consider the possible challenges that different soldiers would encounter after declaring war against the Soviet Union.iv Although the first attacks were successful, Hitler ignored the views different commanders presented and indicated to them that he only wanted positive results. The fuehrer’s dictatorial leadership made it impossible for different agencies and decision-makers to worker together and focus on the realities on the ground. This misbehavior made it easier for the Soviet troops to defeat the Germans. The same ideology continued to propagate and identify other countries as inferior and incapable of matching the military prowess and ingenuity of the German people. This kind of propaganda sealed the fate of Nazi Germany by ensuring that it lacked adequate leadership skills and ideas throughout the war period. Russell believes that management of war is one of the greatest resources or assets for delivering victory.v This lesson became a reality in the early months of 1945 when many soldiers and German commanders realized that they were fighting a losing war.

Secondly, the economy of a country that is at war should remain productive and provide the required resources if positive results are to be recorded. The established sectors should collaborate and work synergistically to identify the needs at the war front and support the manufacturing of the right equipment for fighting and meeting the demands of the soldiers. While the German troops might have performed fairly in this area during the first few years, those in charge failed to pursue the same model and to protect critical infrastructures against any form of attack.vi This new development complicated the situation for many people on the war front. Within the last months of WWII, German troops had to fight without adequate supplies of effective machinery and equipment throughout the last few years of the ongoing war.vii This challenge emerged at a time when the Allied powers had joined hands to streamline their manufacturing industries and focus on additional ways to achieve their aims. Coupled with the absence of effective leadership, the Germans were aware that they were not going to win the war. Consequently, some commanders and soldiers targeted to rebel and associate with the allies. These occurrences were a clear indication that German would be defeated.

Thirdly, supply chain and logistical operations remain essential throughout the period of a given war. Countries pursue such a model to ensure that finished materials and products aimed at supporting the effort are available to the targeted military units. During this period, the United States and Britain were keen to allocate less than 60 percent of their respective gross domestic products (GDPs) to the war. The remaining amount of financial resources would be used to run other sectors that would prove critical towards supporting the entire war. On the other hand, the government of Germany chose to devote over 75 percent of its total GDP to the ongoing war.viii With this kind of a model, it later became impossible for the other sectors of the economy to run effectively. Consequently, the food and coal industries lacked the right resources and tools to meet the needs of the citizens who were not involved in the upheaval. Similarly, those on the frontlines lacked the required supplies to focus on Hitler’s expectations. This failure affected the effectiveness of this country’s logistical operations and the successful delivery of various materials. Consequently, the Allied powers observed this form of malpractice and went further to destroy the existing railways systems and roads. Such a move was essential since it disoriented the operations of the Nazis, thereby setting the stage for a possible defeat. Those who were not involved in the war lacked adequate support systems to produce additional materials to meet the changing demands of different soldiers throughout the war.

Fourthly, wars tend to require detailed analysis and planning from the beginning. Such a practice is essential since there are goods and resources that commanders and soldiers require throughout the period. Contingency plans are also powerful tools for ensuring that a given war does not result in the loss of more lives or obliterate the economy. Majority of the countries involved in this upheaval understood the power and effectiveness of such a concept.ix For instance, the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki compelled the leaders of Japan to surrender before more damages could be recorded. Similar attacks were capable of claiming the lives of more Japanese citizens. The case of Nazi Germany was different since Hitler wanted his troops to fight continuously even without the required support. This kind of thought or reasoning proved dangerous since it forced the people to continue fighting even when there were on the defensive position. From the very beginning, the country’s leaders had failed to prepare for a war that had the potential to last for more than four years. According to Hitler, the Nazis were superior and could win the war within months and spread the ideologies of Nazism and socialism within the shortest time possible.x This kind of misinterpretation explains why Nazi Germany failed to acquire numerous resources that could support the entire war throughout the 1930s. By the year 1943, the Germans lacked adequate oil, natural gas, electricity, and coal to continue sustaining the war. The shortage of these items was the true determinant of the fate of Nazi Germany. Most of the tankers, fighter jets, and boats were no longer able to operate without fuel. The Allied powers used intelligence techniques to acquire more information about the realities on the ground and went further to complicate the manner in which the scanty resources could be delivered to the frontline soldiers. This ingenious move would eventually force German troops to retreat and forget about their higher ambitions.

Fifthly, the Germans applied their skills to innovate and produce magnificent machines and equipment that were capable of supporting the entire war and eventually make the country victorious. This form of ingenuity resulted in the production of many Tiger tankers and heavily armored vehicles that made it easier for the troops to fight for prolonged periods.xi However, most of the engineers and designers had failed to consider the fuel consumption rates of such machines and their sustainability indexes. Within a few years, the Germans realized with shock that such equipment required huge oil and fuel suppliers. Unfortunately, the available resources were limited and incapable of supporting the ongoing war for more years. The introduction of superior jets and U-boats meant that the consumption rates of fuel would increase exponentially.xii Hitler’s plan for the Soviet Union had also failed to materialize. The end result was that Germany would be unable to get additional supplies for coal and petroleum. These developments would jeopardize the ambitions of all Nazi troops and eventually led to the demise of the entire country.

From this analysis, it is evident that the Nazis were unable to defeat Russia and Britain due to the unavailability of adequate resources for supporting the war effort and sustaining the domestic economy. Different suppliers were limited for the better part of the war, including oil, coal, natural gas, and fuel. Hitler should have conceived and ingenious strategy to crush its key enemies at the beginning of the war in an attempt to acquire additional resources, such as steel, aluminum, and petroleum. However, the inability to defeat the United Kingdom encouraged Hitler to focus on Russia. Such a move was necessary since it would make it possible for him to acquire more than enough resources and continue to support the ongoing war. Unfortunately, such a decision would disorient the possibilities of victory in the ongoing upheaval. The harsh weather conditions claimed many soldiers and left others incapable of fighting. The country had utilized most of the available resources to support this attack. With these events and the United States’ decision to get involved in the war, Germany’s chances of winning and propagating the Nazi ideology reduced significantly.xiii The inhumane acts of the Nazis and the Holocaust became powerful reasons for the United States and its strategic partners to move swiftly and ensure that Germany was no longer a threat to global peace and the posterity of any cultural group.

Conclusion

The above discussion has identified WWII as a major global conflict that claimed lives and changed the world forever. Hitler’s Nazi Germany wanted to take full control of Europe and get a new opportunity to promote the ideologies of Nazism. While the original plan might have appeared practical on paper, experts have identified the ineptness and inability of Nazi Germany to amass and manage adequate resources to support the war effort as powerful factors that sealed its fate. After realizing that his chances of winning were slim, Hitler chose Russia as the next target in an attempt to acquire additional supplies and continue pursuing his ambitions. These miscalculations would affect the success of Nazi Germany in the ongoing war. The Allied powers went further to capitalize on such a weakness and absence of resources to defeat the Nazis and set free all Jews in Europe.

Bibliography

Primary Sources Constantine, Murray. Swastika Night. London: Victor Gollancz Ltd, 1937.

Gómez-Jurado, Juan. The Traitor’s Emblem. Madrid: Atria, 2011.

Ball, Philip. “Science and Ideology: The Case of Physics in Nazi Germany.” Mètode Science Studies Journal 7, no. 1 (2017): 69–77.

Keilson, Hans, and Damion Searls. 1944 Dairy. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2017.

Kerr, Judith. Out of Hitler Time Trilogy. London: Puffin Books, 1978.

SS Prison Guards Being Forced to Load Their Victims onto Trucks for Burial. Digital image. Ranker. 2020. Web.

Secondary Sources

Hanson, Victor D. The Second World Wars: How the First Global Conflict Was Fought and Won. New York: Basic Books, 2020.

Hastings, Derek. “Nation, Race, and Religious Identity in the Early Nazi Movement.” Religions 9, no. 10 (2018): 303-316.

Nagorski, Andrew. 1941: The Year Germany Lost the War: The Year Germany Lost the War. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2019.

Russell, Nestar. “The Nazi Regime—Ideology, Ascendancy, and Consensus.” Understanding Willing Participants 2, no. 1 (2018): 23-64.

Stargardt, Nicholas. The German War: A Nation under Arms, 1939-45. New York: Random House, 2015.

Steizinger, Johannes. “The Significance of Dehumanization: Nazi Ideology and its Psychological Consequences.” Politics, Religion & Ideology 19, 2 (2018): 139-157.

Voigtländera, Nico, and Hans-Joachim Voth. “Nazi indoctrination and anti-Semitic beliefs in Germany.” PNAS 112, no. 26 (2015): 7931-7936.

Endnotes

  1. Nico Voigtländera and Hans-Joachim Voth, “Nazi indoctrination and anti-Semitic beliefs in Germany,” PNAS 112, no. 26 (2015): 7934.
  2. Johannes Steizinger, “The Significance of Dehumanization: Nazi Ideology and its Psychological Consequences,” Politics, Religion & Ideology 19, 2 (2018): 147.
  3. Judith Kerr, Out of Hitler Time Trilogy (London: Puffin Books, 1978), 65.
  4. Philip Ball, “Science and Ideology: The Case of Physics in Nazi Germany,” Mètode Science Studies Journal 7, no. 1 (2017): 71.
  5. Nestar Russell, “The Nazi Regime—Ideology, Ascendancy, and Consensus,” Understanding Willing Participants 2, no. 1 (2018): 24.
  6. Murray Constantine, Swastika Night (London: Victor Gollancz Ltd, 1937), 69.
  7. Derek Hastings, “Nation, Race, and Religious Identity in the Early Nazi Movement,” Religions 9, no. 10 (2018): 306.
  8. Nicholas Stargardt, The German War: A Nation under Arms, 1939-45 (New York: Random House, 2015), 67.
  9. Hans Keilson and Damion Searls, 1944 Dairy (New York, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2017), 43.
  10. SS Prison Guards Being Forced to Load Their Victims onto Trucks for Burial, digital image, Ranker. Web.
  11. Victor D. Hanson, The Second World Wars: How the First Global Conflict Was Fought and Won (New York: Basic Books, 2020), 83.
  12. Juan Gómez-Jurado, The Traitor’s Emblem (Madrid: Atria, 2011), 22.
  13. Andrew Nagorski, 1941: The Year Germany Lost the War: The Year Germany Lost the War (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2019), 56.

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