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356 43552 hours ago
This picture shows the celebration of Hitlers 50th birthday via a parade on April 20th of 1939.
Hitler was 50 years old when World War Two was about to begin. He had lived those years growing up, traveling, attempting to become an artist, fighting for the German Empire in the Great War, and rising to power in that same nation in the interwar period.
Hitler had unchained Germany from the Treaty of Versailles and also from the global economic depression that had impacted the country since the early thirties. He had done what he said he would. He brought jobs back, stabilized the economy, pushed back against the allies and steadily built Germany’s military back up. It was not seen as a horrible deed to like Hitler in the 30’s if you were a regular German citizen.
Hitler wanted to bring Germany back to its former greatness, and expand even further than this. If possible, he would do this peacefully, and examples of this are shown in the remilitarization of the Rhineland in 1936, absorption of the Saarland via popular vote, the annexation of Austria and the German-speaking Sudetenland of Czechoslovakia, and the unopposed invasion of the rest of the country.
His ambitions in the east and the west were what brought him open warfare. Poland did indeed fall, but it resulted in France and Britain declaring war on Germany.
Hitlers fame was probably at its height, or at least his power, after the fall of France. This point his army and airforce as the dominant force in Europe, and with u-boat wolf packs ravaging Britain, it would seem as though the war would indeed be lost.
Then he invaded the USSR, and thus then fighting on 3 fronts, ruined his odds of being victorious. He had stated in Mein Kampf how a two front war would be catastrophic for German as it was in World War One, and thus his decision to fight on 3 and later be forced into 4 at one point proved that he did not play the game right.
Personally, I believe Hitler should have used the troops he used for Operation Barbarossa to heavily reinforce Rommel in North Africa and thus drive the British out of Egypt, seize the Suez Canal and also the Middle East. Let’s be happy he didn’t.