veryone sees Germany during the Second World War as the heart of evil which they should with no mistake. However, they forget that the Soldiers are only casualties that follow orders or, how the Russians liked to call their soldiers, cannon meat. These Soldiers have not been themselves but have been brainwashed by the dreams of a maniac who did not understand humanity. An important factor during the 1940s and even before was patriotism which was respected to death. Real patriotism does not really exist around us as we consolidate to more complex lifestyles, which makes us foreign to true patriotism.
For the German soldiers, as well as the soldiers of any nation they were all fighting on the “right side” as in their mind the right side is fighting for their nation. This goes further on developing the brainwashing process as Hitler made them believe that they are a superior race, therefore, they have the right to conquer more land and banish those who, in their eyes were not worthy of life for various reasons. Interestingly enough, Hitler has never given a concrete reason as to why he committed genocide on the Jewish population. Different historians have their own speculations, but the important reason why I mention this point is to understand that these Soldiers had no hate for the Jewish population.
An important note I need to make in order to set the scene right is to mention that this article focuses specifically on normal German soldiers and not on any SS troops.
German soldiers during 1938–1941
During this period, the German Soldiers saw themselves just as they had been breaded by Hitler. A superior type of soldier that by utilizing the blitzkrieg strategy to conquer Europe during this period of time made them believe that they are truly unstoppable despite the power that the Allies were presenting. Since their Roman ancestors, the Germans have presented to be excellent in combat despite what type of war they are facing, however, the mindset that they have fallen because of the Nazi regime brainwashing them will bring their defeat.
Their training and preparation for the Second World War was a major cause of their success in the first half of this war, they had over an 8-year period of time to mentally and physically prepare for what is ahead, however, their major mistake was not preparing for defeat. They thought that their mechanized troops will always diminish the poorly prepared allies with the Blitzhkirg tactic as if the Allies were not smart enough to adapt.
German soldiers during 1942–1944
As the German troops have persuaded to advance further into the Soviet Union, their tactic was really slowing down because of the poor weather conditions, which were actually affecting the transport of supplies and the performance of tanks. At the same time, we need to take into consideration that these soldiers have been fighting for over 4 years and 4000 kilometers, so they were getting quite tired. In 1942 at Stalingrad, the Red Army had put up a good defense as well as fight as it was the turning point of the Second World War where for the first time, the Germans were being pushed back.
This created a major alert in the minds of German soldiers as, for the first time, their plans were not working out, leading them to lose and discover for themselves that they are not unstoppable. From this point onward, they kept being pushed back because of the sheer numbers the Red army was presenting. For many German soldiers on the eastern front, it was more of a last stand as the retreat was not really in their nature, but it would certainly become one. A doubt factor was forming around the German troops on the eastern front, which was making them ask questions if what they have done all along with their campaign in the eastern front has been right and that, after all maybe they are not superior.
Exhaustion has definitely set in very well at this point. As further they were getting pushed back by the Soviet Union, more troops were realizing that they were fighting a losing battle and that Germany was never truly able to win the Second World War, although they gave it a good try. Other soldiers realized that they are not fighting for the right cause or they are not on the right side. However, even with this in mind, they could not turn on their nation, family, or fatherland.
By the end of 1944, when they were pushed back into Hungary, the German troops were absolutely fed up with this war to the point where some soldiers would choose to shoot themselves in the head rather than lift another finger for their Fatherland which has brought upon the World an unnecessary war. At the same time, the Germans were taking major casualties on the western front, which was building so much pressure on them. Many German troops that were either exhausted or fed up chose to surrender, which was also risky business as the hate of the Red army for all the damage caused in the motherland would have them either shot on the spot (knowing it is a war crime) or torture them to death.
German soldiers during 1945
Near the last period of the War, when the enemies were only 100 kilometers away from surrounding Berlin, the German soldiers were mostly made up of old veterans of World War I and children, as these were the only armed forces left to protect the fatherland. These were also the only people of German descent that were still brainwashed by the Nazi regime, knowing that even if they were surrounded by enemies, they would still find some way to win the war.
At this point, you can see how the German soldiers are devolving not only in their performance but in their age and strength. All the soldiers who have not been categorized as old veterans or children that are part of Hitler’s youth knew that the war was lost. Another factor that influenced their mindset was Hitler’s denial of losing the war as he thought with a good counter-attack plan and 5000 SS troops, things could turn around. Still, it would be impossible to defeat over 2 million Allied troops.
As much of an unbelievable fact, it may be these children in the role of soldiers actually have killed, thinking it was the right thing to do or at least the patriotic thing to do. It is actually quite frighting how simply some of these children saw killing another person as they were not affected by such an action but actually proud to kill for Hitler. Those that were forced to take action with arms have received the worst experience of their lives; a good example is Hans George Henke, who was only 16 years of age in 1945. Absolutely terrified of the cruelty of humankind, he has refused to fight.
The last report of German casualties has counted up to 5,318,000 soldiers which also counts veterans and children. It would not take them long to see the truth about war. In war, there are no winners, only survivors.
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