The History of World War II

In the fall of 1939, the relative tranquility that Europe had enjoyed since the end of World War I was interrupted when the leader of Nazi Germany, Adolf Hitler, ordered the invasion of Poland on September 1st. The pandemonium continued as tanks invaded the border, crushing anything in their path, and bombs streaked across the sky, unleashing chaos, destroying cities and towns and spreading terror to all who ran below.

Source: anti tank ACES.

Thousands of men, women and children were killed in this merciless attack, and although many fought valiantly to defend Poland’s capital, Warsaw, on September 17, the German-allied Soviet army began to enter the Republic’s northern border. Polish. It soon became clear that the battle was futile, and while Poland waited for the help that France and Great Britain had promised, it could no longer fend off the inevitable occupation of their country.

And on July 6, as the Nazis spread across Warsaw, the Polish people were preparing to face their worst fears. The invasion of the 2nd Polish Republic would be an event that would change the history of the world. And while Germany, a nation embittered with poverty and disgrace born of its defeat in World War I, took territories it considered its rightful. The glory days of the French and British empires were over.

And as Hitler’s forces furiously crossed the continent, it was clear that the devastating power of the Third Reich now wrote a terrifying new chapter in the pages of history. Stalin’s Red Army and the German Viermart, took ground in Europe without resistance, as it took a considerable time for the Allies to gather forces to fight the advance of the invaders. The months from January to March 1940 would be marked by cautious movement and maneuvers.

Although this period of World War II is generally described as the “War of Lies”, the storms now brewing at sea and on land and in the political arena would have vital significance as hostilities between European nations grew. From the terror faced in occupied Poland and the bitter fighting in Finland, the battles on the high seas and the rising tensions on the internal fronts, this program will show how the first battlefronts were defined and a conflict that would be the most devastating in the history of the country. humanity.

Source: Warsaw Ghetto (1940-1943) during the German occupation of Poland: Construction of Ghetto wall across Świętokrzyska street near intersection with Marszałkowska street. In the back “Magazyn Bławatny” store of Jan Tarnowski & Co. at Marszałkowska 133 street. This is not the final location of the wall on Świętokrzyska street, according to book “Getto Warszawskie”[1] in 1941 the wall was a block farther between Zielna and Bagno streets.  Barbara Engelking; Jacek Leociak (2001) Getto Warszawskie – Przewodnik po nieistniejącym mieścieWarsaw: Wydawnictwo IFiS PAN, pp. 241ISBN 83-87632-83-x Invalid ISBN

Adolf Hitler believed that for his homeland to once again emerge from the economic abyss, a terrible and violent struggle would be necessary. According to the Nazi Führer, since the French Revolution, the world was moving towards great conflict, and it was Germany’s duty to ensure its own existence in every possible way. He promised the Germans a better economy, the demand for territory lost after World War I, and justice for the humiliation the country had faced because of the Treaty of Versailles. Hitler also harbored personal feelings including a deep hatred of Jews and Communists.

Source: he German-soviet Invasion of Poland, 1939
Soviet Commissar Borovensky and one of his soldiers standing beside a BA-I armoured car in the captured town of Brześć Litewski (Brest-Litovsk) where two invading, German and Russian, armies met. German officers can be seen in the background. Planet News photographer, 2021.

Although his uneasy alliance with the Soviets during the invasion of Poland forced him to tolerate communism, he immediately put into practice the plans to exterminate the Jews. With a zealous determination for revenge, Hitler was willing to show the mute that any attempt at argumentative diplomacy would be futile. The events leading up to the declaration of war proved that Hitler was unreliable, with a seemingly invincible military machine taking what the Nazis believed to be theirs, any nation that tried to stand in their way was destined to be destroyed.

Polish genocide

Hitler’s star was on the rise, Czechoslovakia had been occupied, Austria had been forced to annex Germany, and towards the end of the 1930s, Poland was now the third nation to see Nazi soldiers marching across its borders. With the Anglo-Polish pact signed, Great Britain allied with France had no choice but to go to war against the Third Reich. But how they would arrest the supremacy of Hitler’s troops was not yet known.

And as the Allies watched the events, January 1940 showed a year full of uncertainty, no action had been taken to intervene in the Soviet Nazi invasion, and in the war-torn streets of Poland there was little to celebrate. What’s more, after the terror of the initial attack, the German occupation proved to be even more devastating. Hitler had no respect for the Polish people, whom he considered to be little better than subhumans, and it soon became apparent that this was the country he wanted.

For some time, Hitler had advocated creating more space for German civilians, and had planned to wipe out all of Poland’s inhabitants, allowing only a certain number to remain to work as slaves. The crisis Poland now faced was appalling, and in January, plans were made to build prison camps on Polish territory similar to those that already existed in Germany. The best known of them was located on the edge of the village of Auschwitz, and to this day, just the mention of its name evokes all the horrors of World War II.

Many Poles were systematically sent there to die, among them several men, women and children of Jewish descent, Hitler’s persecution of Jews was gaining momentum. But these prototype concentration camps were the beginning of Hitler’s plans for the Polish nation, he wanted the vestiges of Polish culture to be erased.

Source: The Nazi-soviet Invasion of Poland, 1939
Women and children were among the victims when German aircraft bombed working class districts of Warsaw. Photo shows: A woman being helped away after an air raid on a Warsaw suburb. Press Agency photographer, 2021.

Universities were closed or destroyed and teachers and intellectuals were arrested and executed, teenagers were picked up and sent to Germany to work in factories, while children with fair hair, blue eyes and other Aryan features were ripped from their parents to be raised German and daughters of the Third Reich. There is no doubt that the war created by Hitler against Poland, is of complete and total annihilation, and by the end of the war in 1945, around a fifth of the country’s citizens were dead, the highest death rate of all. countries involved in World War II.

3 million dead were Jews, and as Nazi forces headed west, the events in Poland became one of the greatest tragedies in human history. And it wasn’t just the Nazis that the Poles had to deal with, while western Poland was in the darkness of German occupation, to the east, terrified citizens faced the threat of Russian invasion. Unlike the furious fighting in the east, Stalin’s Red Army had, at first, met with little resistance, due to the great success of Soviet propaganda aimed at many Ukrainians, Belarusians and pro-Communists in the country.

They were convinced that the Soviets were there for their good, and welcomed the invaders with open arms, in the confusion, many Poles believed that Russian soldiers planned to fight the Nazis. But it soon became clear that despite their differences, Germany and the Soviet Union were now working together, and the Poles would suffer at the hand of the Russians as much as they had suffered under Hitler’s commanders.

Soviet Union signed a non-aggression pact with Hitler

In August 1939, the Soviet Union signed a non-aggression pact with Hitler, which ensured that in the face of German belligerence, the Russians would remain on peaceful terms with the Nazis. But there was also a secret protocol, only discovered after the end of World War II, which revealed that Stalin and Hitler had made plans to devastate Eastern Europe, dividing the spoils between Nazi Germany and the Communist Soviet Union.

In exchange for Stalin’s help in conquering Poland, Hilter agreed to leave the east to the Soviets. The Russians could occupy Estonia, and Latvia and Lithuania without opposition from Germany. Also occupying valuable territory in Finland. Meanwhile Hilter marched west, securing valuable raw materials for the economy of the Third Reich. Militarily, the relationship of Soviet and German forces appeared to be beneficial. But in fact, behind the smiling faces, it was clear that the alliance was fragile, and in the face of completely different political ideologies, the agreement was not supposed to last.

In Russian plans, Stalin would build an intermediate zone between his country and the West, and soon began pushing troops into ports around the small Baltic countries, which collapsed under Soviet pressure. In early October 1939 Stalin began to make demands on Finland, he wanted to secure land near Leningrad, Islands in the Gulf of Finland and the use of the naval base. In return, it offered Soviet territories to the Finns on its eastern border. But they weren’t convinced.

Winter war

Finland and the Soviet Union had a complicated history. In the early 19th century, Finland was part of Sweden, until Russian Tsar Alexander I led troops across the freezing Baltic Sea to fight alongside the Finns in 1808. A year later, Sweden lost an eastern part of his country, which was established as the Grand Cado of Finland, part of the Russian Empire. Little changed until more than a century later, revolutionary ideas began to enter the consciousness of thousands of Russian workers, and the borders of the empire began to crumble.

With thousands of Russian soldiers dying on the battlefields of World War I, and appalling food rations on the home front, revolution was slowly engulfing the country in 1917. Soon the Red Army was marching through the streets of St. Petersburg, spreading the Bolshevik cause, it was not long before the tsarist regime and its mighty empire collapsed, leaving the country in a bloody civil war. There were upheavals that affected everyone who was part of the empire. And while in Russia the Red Army and communism prevailed, civil war engulfed Finland, and the White Army, supporting the monarchy, was victorious. While Vladimir Lenin held the reins of power and the Soviet Union rose from the old regime, Finland became an independent state and freed itself from the clutches of the Russian Empire.

But there is no doubt that the Soviets were still a dangerous adversary just outside Finland’s eastern border. The man who had led the White Army to victory, Baron Karl Mannheim, wanted to march to St. Petersburg to drive off the Bolsheviks, but in the end the Finns built large fortifications near the Soviet border. Called the “Mannheim Line”, after the Baron, it would be vital in Finland’s defense as World War II was raging. In late November 1939, while negotiations continued between Finland and the Soviet Union, Stalin became impatient and the Red Army was ordered to invade.

Baron Mannheim was once again called to take command, this time against Soviet general Vertsov, who had predicted that his men would reach the Finnish capital Elcinq in ten days. But as Soviet commanders turned over maps and worked out strategies, they couldn’t imagine how difficult the fight against the Fins would turn out to be. Without winter uniforms and needing provisions for a long campaign, Soviet troops marched towards the Mannhein Line during the second coldest winter in more than a century in Europe. Though outnumbered and poorly equipped, the Finns were used to fighting in the cold, and soon managed to prevail.

Wearing white camouflage and speeding across familiar icy territory on skis, they had considerable advantage, and Soviet losses were mounting. As January 1940 wore on, one of the most famous battles of the winter war, the Battle of Suomussalmi, was about to end. Advancing north and south, two Russian divisions planned to meet in the village of Suomossalmi before heading west to the city of Oulu, dividing the country in half. With the prospect of facing the Russians attacking on two fronts, the Finns fought back determinedly.

Ski troops made maneuvers around flanks and took the back and middle of the northern division by surprise. And meanwhile, to the south, frozen lakes have become fatal traps. After crossing the frozen lakes, the Soviet’s dark uniforms made them easy targets in the white snow, and Finnish troops with snipers could hit one by one, with Finnish Simo Hayha standing out as the most accurate marksman in history , killing more than 500 soldiers.

Meanwhile, despite a lack of sophisticated anti-tank weapons, the Finns improvised deadly bombs, called Molotov Cocktails, in honor of the Russian foreign minister, destroying nearly 2,000 tanks during the war. Faced with strong opposition, the Red Army was forced to retreat, once again becoming easy prey for Finnish ski troops. Suffering from freezing temperatures, Russian armies split into isolated groups. And when they gathered around fires, they were quickly surrounded and eliminated.

The forests, ice-covered lakes and roads of Finland were soon filled with the frozen bodies of Russian soldiers, who were increasingly victims of the cold and constant attacks by the Finns. On January 8, it was clear that the Russians had lost the Battle of Suomossalmi. Finland had not only achieved a decisive victory, but was also able to collect Soviet ammunition and tanks abandoned by the fields. But this was just a battle in the uphill war.

And Finland could not stand it for long without the help of the allies. In Britain and France, emotions were running high, and while brave Finnish soldiers filled the public imagination. Even in the United States, still neutral, there were many who supported the Finns and would like to help, some even went to Finland to fight as volunteers. But as winter continued, Hitler knew well that the Allies could help the Finns, and the idea of ​​British and French soldiers moving closer to the Nazi sphere of conflict was cause for concern.

Finland was uncomfortably close to the neutrals, Sweden and Norway, countries that were vitally important to the Nazi war machine, providing the precious iron ore. If they decided to send troops to Finland, the Allies would have to cross these two countries, and with a secure foothold in the area, they could invade ports and stations vital to the economy of the Third Reich. It was clear that the Allies needed to stay on the sidelines, and German commander Ghered Forn Rousted urged the Führer to seize strategic bases in Scandinavia before the British and French got there.

However, the British government was still reluctant to take any position, preferring to remain on the defensive. The lonely voice of Winston Churchill, the first lord of the Admiralty, continued to warn of Hitler’s evil intentions. He praised the bravery of the Finnish troops, and was in favor of sending help as soon as possible. He also criticized Norway and Sweden for remaining neutral, saying: “Everyone hopes that if you feed the crocodile well, it will eat them last.”

But Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, who had worked hard to secure peace in Europe before the start of the war, following a moment of conciliation until Hitler marched to Poland, was hesitant to help Finland. In diplomatic terms, this would not only mean a hostile act against Nazi Germany, but against the Soviet Union as well, and the Allies simply lacked the military strength to fight both.

Since Poland was invaded, British prepared for war by increasing military production and recruiting men for the forces. But the Germans had challenged years of building their military strength and were far superior. The more the British could enrich the army, navy and air force, the better chance they had of surviving a long war. Training days were held so that people were at the peak of their physical condition when sent to battle or to defend their home front.

There were also allied troops going to Great Britain from countries all over the globe. From Australia, New Zealand and Canada, soldiers left the boats to take up arms and fight for the allies. Along with preparation for battle, precautions were also taken against a Nazi bombing of British lands. Gas masks were distributed to allay fears of the gas attacks that were carried out on the battlefields of the First World War.

Searchlights were installed in major cities to illuminate enemy aircraft, and night blackouts became common. After the damage caused by the attack by German zeppelins in World War I, every effort was made to protect the British national treasures. Sandbags were used to protect important buildings, stained glass windows were removed, paintings were taken from the National Gallery, and along with them, unappreciated manuscripts from the British Museum were stored in bomb shelters. There was also the civilian population to consider.

Many children had already been taken safely from British cities to the countryside the previous autumn. But in January 1940, with little evidence of immediate threat, they returned to their homes, leaving many to doubt whether a real war would ever take place against Hitler and Nazi Germany. Although there was no fighting on the home front, the citizens of Great Britain were beginning to feel the effects of a European war. The nation imported 55 million tons of food a year, and the German government believed that if it could cut off the food supply, and destroy trade, the country would come to its knees.

Nazi submarines and warships had been attacking British merchant ships since the fall of 1939, and even with an escort system in place to protect ships, there were still heavy losses. Hundreds of British merchant seamen had to jump from sinking ships in those first few months of “Lie Wars.” And those who didn’t die at sea were taken prisoner by the Nazi aggressors. It was a conflict that would become the longest military campaign of World War II, and would be called by Churchill “The Battle of the Atlantic”.

Meanwhile, on dry land, food stocks were beginning to decline in Britain. The government decided that rationing would have to be introduced in the first weeks of January 1940. Everyone received ration cards, and as lines formed in front of the stores, people patiently waited their turn to receive their carefully weighed portions of butter, bacon and sugar.

As the months passed, more and more products were added to the ration books as imports dropped to less than a quarter of the normal amount. This was just the beginning of the dramatic changes people would have to get used to in wartime Britain. But if Hitler hoped to crush the British spirit, he would quickly see that he would need far more than personal hardship to achieve morale. It was inevitable that the situation deteriorated as the war progressed. And in a

In an attempt to prepare for a future decline in imports, the British government called on every man and woman in the country to grow their own food, even if it meant turning their gardens, sports fields, and even manicured public gardens into vegetable gardens. Flowers were replaced by cabbage.

And while politicians made their passionate calls for the people to do their part, British land used for food production grew by 80 percent. Signs were soon seen everywhere, from subway stations to offices, encouraging everyone to “dig for victory” and many other catchy slogans were used. But even as home food production increased, it was evident that after decades of migration to urban factory work, Britain was in dire need of rural labor. There was a shortage of up to 50,000 workers, and with more and more men being recruited into the war, it was now British women who needed to do their part.

The women’s army in the countryside was soon mobilized to keep the plantations going, and this would mark a major turning point for women in the 20th century as they left their traditional role in society and moved into positions generally occupied by men. And it was not only the work on the land that women were encouraged to take on, as the war continued, they would also be recruited to work in factories, and even to join the army, navy and air force, becoming important like their parents. , husbands and children, fighting for king and country.

But while Britain was content to live with diminished food supplies, and prepared for war, the Nazi threat was coming closer than they could have imagined. Valuable raw materials in Scandinavia were not Hitler’s only interest, because west of Germany, and within easy reach from France, is what the Führer described as the Achilles’ heel of the Third Reich, the Ruhr Valley. After Germany’s defeat in World War I, France occupied this territory, which with its valuable production of coal, iron and steel, was the richest region in all of Germany.

The French occupation of the Ruhr contributed to Germany’s economic collapse in the late 1920s. And despite the fact that a decade later French troops had already left the Rhineland in 1936, Hitler made sending Nazi troops into the territory a priority. save wait for it. The progress of the war depended on the Ruhr’s possession, and one of Hitler’s greatest fears was that it would be taken from him again. In a speech to his supporters, he warned that if England and France invaded Belgium and Holland through the Ruhr, they would be in great danger.

As a result, he was ready to act by declaring: – I must attack France and England at the most favorable and fastest time, the breaking of the neutrality of Belgium and Holland is meaningless, no one will question it when we have won. What Hitler proposed would be a well-rehearsed battle plan, as German troops invaded Belgium just two decades earlier during World War I, and the end result was far from satisfactory in Hitler’s view.

With a strong desire for revenge, Hitler prepared to send the German army back to Belgium to achieve the goals set by the 1918 armistices. With the daily growing fear of losing the precious Ruhr Valley, Hiler ordered the conquest of countries lows was executed as quickly as possible to prevent France from occupying them first. A Nazi presence in Belgium and Holland would also provide the basis for a long and successful campaign by air and sea against Great Britain, a nation that Hitler feared. Although he was not afraid of Chamberlain, who still avoided acting as prime minister, it was the first lord of the admiralty, Winston Churchill, who gave the Führer the most cause for concern.

Hilter was undoubtedly relying on an element of surprise. But while Britain did not act, German plans were unexpectedly revealed. On January 10, 1940, a German reconnaissance plane took off from Berilm with Hilter’s invasion plans on board, and proceeded to a meeting in colony. The plane would never reach its objective, and its destination, according to some, would change the entire outcome of the war.

Lost in the fog, the pilot confused the River Meuse, which runs through Belgium, with the River Rhine, and when the plane suddenly ran into difficulties, it was way off course. Forced to make a crash landing in the outskirts of Medellin, Belgium, the pilot was far from home. As the two officers on board emerged from the wreckage, Belgian border guards discovered the documents, and when they were passed to Allied intelligence, plans to attack Belgium and the Netherlands were revealed.

Within hours, the shocking news was passed to military leaders, and relevant politicians who were in the Nazi line of fire. Once informed of Hilter’s plans, King Leopold III of Belgium immediately telephoned the Dutch queen, using the code phrase: Beware, the weather is dangerous. And then the Queen of Luxembourg said to be careful with the feathers. The strange words indicated that a German attack was imminent.

More importantly, he also informed the French supreme commander, Maurice Gamelin and his army commanders to decide their actions. While there were doubts about whether the documents were the work of counterintelligence, Gamelin decided it was the perfect opportunity to pressure neutral Belgium into allowing France to advance into their country. The French, as Hilter had predicted, intended to launch an offensive against Germany as soon as they had sufficient military strength. Just days before the planned invasion, Gamelin ordered the first army grouping and the third army to march towards the Belgian border.

News came from Lord Gort, commander of the British expeditionary force, already installed in France, who was awaiting the warning. Meanwhile, in Germany, word spread in Berlin that the precious documents might have fallen into enemy hands. Hilter was furious and removed from their posts everyone he believed to be irresponsible. And while his chief of operations, General Alfred Youldon, concluded that the situation was catastrophic. The Belgians, however, did an excellent job of keeping their knowledge secret, as the Germans had no idea of ​​the whereabouts of their documents and had fallen into enemy hands.

In the allied camp, there were complications in return for allowing French and British troops to cross their borders, the Belgians wanted assurances that in the event of war, the integrity of their territory and colonies in Africa would be protected, and that they would receive financial help. Although French Premier Daladier confirmed the assurances, the British government was not prepared for this. With the weather in Belgium worsening, and heavy snow beginning to cover the border territory, it seemed less and less likely that the Germans would attack.

And when Prince Leopold, a neutralist, received the answer, he decided on a new strategy. He ordered the troops on the Belgian border to stop removing obstacles and forcibly expel any foreign unit that violated the Belgian unit, regardless of nationality. Gamelin was furious, and urged him to force the Belgians to face their responsibilities, but for now Belgium remained neutral.

In Germany, Youldon, was surprised to learn that Allied forces were suddenly on alert, and realized that the Belgians must have had access to the invasion plans captured in Merlin. The element of surprise had been lost and on 16 January Hitler was persuaded to cancel. For the time being at least, the “War of Lies” would continue. The Merlin incident was far from being a total disaster for the Nazis. They now knew how the allies would react to an attack.

Hitler insisted that new invasion plans be made, and his more experienced commanders began to develop a new offensive that would involve invading not just the north, but marching his troops farther south through the Forest of Ardennes. What became known as the “Scythe Cut” plan would see the elimination of all Allied existence and lead to the inevitable downfall of France.

Back in the Allied camp, the commanders were glad the danger had passed, and turned their attention from the Belgian border to Finland. After the disastrous defeat the Russians faced in January, Stalin demoted and shot most of the responsible commanders, and placed the entire operation in the hands of Marshal Semium Timochenco. Finland had to be defeated at all costs, and colossal reinforcements were sent to western Karelia.

A 1-million-man Soviet army began advancing with the support of its air force. And by early February, the Finns came under fire as Russians began a bombing campaign aimed at taking down civilian and military targets. Globally, emotions were running high as the world watched the Finns struggle. And British politician Anton Idle condemned the Soviet attacks by saying:
– Not only Russia, but also Germany, has a terrible responsibility in what is happening in Finland right now. But only Hitler and Ribbentrop, these men and their policies, made Stalin’s aggression possible.

Finally in Paris, on February 4, 1940, help appears to be close at hand as the Allied Council of War makes plans to send Anglo-French forces to Finland. However, they still had the problem of Norway and Sweden’s neutrality to resolve. Troops were to land at the Norwegian port of Narvik and support Finland through Sweden, while securing supply routes through Carinho.

And while Allied politicians deliberated, and the Finns found themselves almost out of ammunition, the Soviets used a massive concentration of artillery to destroy Finland’s defensive position, until on February 14 it was forced to retreat. As the Nazis perfected their attack plans for the invasion of France, they were also aware of events in Scandinavia. It all came to a point in mid-February when a German tanker called the Altmark passed through Norwegian waters.

On board were hundreds of prisoners from merchant ships sunk in the previous months. Unfortunately, the Norwegians did not inspect the cargo and allowed the ship to pass. But a British plane soon located the tanker that raised the alarm. The British Navy went on full alert and one of their ships, the Cossacks, began to pursue it.

Then on February 16 the Royal Navy managed to board the German ship. Armed with bayonets and after a melee fight, he managed to defeat the crew. After months of imprisonment, the British sailors were finally released. And even though Norway’s icy weather was waiting for them, they were happy to get out of their floating prison. But they would soon be back at sea, and the next day the Cossacks approached a Scottish harbor with its decks full of rescued British sailors.

The navy had achieved a rare victory for Britain in the months of the “Lie Wars”, but it was destined to propel the Nazis to take a step towards the complete domination of Western Europe. Hitler had been warned that Britain had no intention of respecting Norwegian neutrality, and two days after the rescue he made the invasion of Norway and Denmark, called “Operation Weserübung” a priority.

And for now, the invasion of France would have to wait. Britain’s blatant entry into the territorial waters of a neutral country also had more repercussions, infuriating the Norwegians. And when the Allies asked for right of way so that he could help Finland, on March 2, they refused. The Swedish king was also concerned that his country would become a battleground between Germany and the allies.

He also refused the Allies right of way to help the Finns. Despite Allied promises of help, it seemed clear to Finnish Commander Mannheim that the longer aid delayed in arriving, with troops and ammunition running out, the worse the losses to the nation. By March 5, the Soviet army had advanced 10 to 15 kilometers beyond the Mannheim Line, and had entered the suburb of Viipuri.

For Finland, there was little point in continuing to fight. They admitted defeat on March 12, signing a peace treaty and handing over the valuable territory. Military troops were dispersed, and thousands of civilians began the long journey to start new lives on their own. Barbed wire marked the new borders between Finland and Russia, and Churchill angrily wrote:

Now the ice will melt, and the Germans are the masters of the north. Churchill had once again proved right about Hitler and the dangers facing the world. But as First Lord of the Admiralty, despite having well-founded opinions, he had no powers. Prime Minister Chamberlain was hesitant as ever to take a stand against Hitler, but public confidence in him vanished and his reputation took a terrible blow.

French Prime Minister Daladier was also considered to have been wrong not to help Finland and he was forced to resign. What happened in Finland was extremely worrying for the Allies, and while events in Europe and Scandinavia gathered speed, across the Atlantic, in the Americas, the people of the United States were also watching to see what would happen next. At this stage, relations were strained between the American president and the British prime minister.

However, Franklin Delano Roosevelt made every effort to strengthen the ties between these two countries. Months before the outbreak of war, he had invited King George VI and Queen Elizabeth to pay an official visit that certainly helped him improve public relations. But Roosevelt’s concerns about Hitler’s activity in Europe went far beyond a feeling of goodwill with Britain. It was thought that with conflict in Europe, a new world order might not favor American interests. With such concerns in mind, Roosevelt decided to send emissary Sander Ueltze to the mainland to see if anything could be done to secure peace before the “War on Lies” escalated to global conflict.

Sander Ueltze’s first destination was Italy on February 1st, when he tried to stop Mussoline from going to war on the side of the Germans. The Italian foreign minister, who was also Mussoline’s son-in-law, disliked the Germans, and gave reasons for Ueltze to hope that the Italians could break the alliance with Berlin. But Mussoline did not want to condemn his German friends, and it seemed difficult to convince the dictator who wanted to recreate the Roman Empire, of a peaceful solution.

On March 10, Ueltze arrived in London where he had several meetings with statesmen, an audience with King George VI and the prime minister. Ueltz was surprised by the anger Chamberlain displayed against the Germans. But his policy had always been to avoid conflict, and Ueltze was excited that the prime minister was considering calming Berlin with concessions of colonies in Africa. A visit was also made to the Admiralty for a meeting with Winston Churchill, but this one was less successful.

For Churchill, the only possibility for the Allies was to fight to the end. And he promptly rejected any peaceful solution that did not have the elimination of Hitler at its core. It turns out that Winston Churchill’s comments came just in time, because during the American emissary’s visit, Nazi bombers crossed the North Sea to the coast of Scotland where the British fleet was secretly anchored at Scapaflow.

And on March 18, 100 bombs were dropped in 25 minutes, hitting warships, injuring navy personnel and killing a man who would become the first civilian to die on British soil during World War II. Haarp pilots sprang into action and flew to Germany to retaliate. It seemed that as long as the “Lie War” continued, peace was far from the thoughts of those living in Europe. Flying over enemy territory, Haarp targeted the German air base on the island of Syft. The damage was minimal, but it was clear that the peace Roosevelt hoped to bring about was just an impossible dream. In fact, on the same day that the air strikes took place in Germany and Britain, Hilter was talking to Mussoline in the Austro-Italian Brenero Alps.

It was the first meeting since Munich in 1938, and contrary to American hopes that Italy would refuse aid to Germany, Mussoline informed Hitler that he was ready to join Germany and its allies in the war against Britain and France in the decisive moment. All attempts to promote peace were in vain, and while the political arena was increasingly agitated, France and Britain began to discuss the invasion of Norway and Sweden to cut off Germany’s iron ore supply.

On March 28, the Anglo-French war council decided to start mining Norwegian waters but it was too late. Hitler had given command and the German warships were already on their way. The “War on Lies” was about to come to an abrupt end and the battle was about to begin. With the spring of 1940, it was known that the coming conflict would be long, difficult and bitter. All hopes that anyone would make peace with Adolf Hitler were at an end. And when he gathered the Axis partners around him, a global war became inevitable. What happened before in Austria, Czechoslovakia and Poland would change the course of history. Mere observation had ended in the theater of war in Europe. The battle fronts were defined.


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