Hitler became Chancellor on January 30, , striking a deal with the conservative intriguer Franz von Papen. Only two other Nazis were included in the cabinet.
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It was understood, however, that he would be named minister of aviation once Germany built up an air force. Prussia at this time, though a constituent state of Germany, included over half of the country. He moved quickly to Nazify the police and use them against the Social Democrats and Communists. He also detached the political and intelligence departments from the Prussian police and reorganized them as the Gestapo, a secret police force. On February 28, , the Reichstag building was gutted by fire.
The Reichstag fire was arson , and the Nazis blamed the Communists. Hitler agreed. The next day, the Reichstag Fire Decree suspended civil liberties. Hundreds of other prominent anti-Nazis were also rounded up. He proposed to her in Weimar in February The wedding took place on April 10, in Berlin and was celebrated like the marriage of an emperor. Actually, Edda was named after a friend of her mother. His police forces included the Gestapo, which he converted into a political spy force.
He gained great influence with Hitler who placed a high value on rearmament.
He never seemed to accept the Hitler Myth quite as much as Goebbels and Himmler did, but remained loyal nevertheless. They had welcomed Hitler's accession in , but then annoyed him by criticizing his plans for expansionist wars. Fritsch was accused of homosexual activity, and though completely innocent, resigned in shock and disgust.
Schuschnigg collapsed, and the German army marched into Austria without resistance. But his preferences in foreign policy were different. This group wanted to restore the German frontiers of , regain the pre overseas empire, and make Eastern Europe Germany's exclusive sphere of influence. This was a much more limited set of goals than Hitler's dream of Lebensraum seized in merciless racial wars. Furthermore, the "Wilhelmine Imperialists" expected to achieved their goals within the established international order.
While not rejecting war as an option, they preferred diplomacy, and sought political domination in eastern Europe rather than the military conquests envisioned by Hitler. And they rejected Hitler's mystical vision of war as a necessary ordeal for the nation, and of perpetual war as desirable. This resulted in the Wannsee Conference. In , he became the first Generalfeldmarschall Field Marshal of the Luftwaffe this promotion also made him the highest ranking officer in Germany.
Within a few years, Germany produced large numbers of the world's most advanced military aircraft. By the Luftwaffe was the most advanced and one of the most powerful air forces in the world. Meier in several spelling variants is the second most common surname in Germany.
By the end of the war, Berlin's air raid sirens were bitterly known to the city's residents as "Meier's trumpets," or "Meier's hunting horns. These formations eventually grew to over 30 divisions, which almost never operated as airborne troops. About half were "field divisions," that is, plain infantry. Many of these divisions were led by officers with little or no training for ground combat, and performed badly as a result.
His personal luxuries might be endangered, too. So he made contacts through various diplomats and emissaries to avoid war. Initially, decisive German victories followed quickly one after the other. The Luftwaffe destroyed the Polish Air Force within two weeks. German air-to-ground attacks served as the "flying artillery" of the panzer troops in the blitzkrieg of France. He personally directed the first attacks on Britain from his private luxury train. But the Luftwaffe failed to gain control of the skies in the Battle of Britain. This was Hitler's first defeat.
And Britain withstood the worst the Luftwaffe could do for the eight months of "the Blitz. After trying, completely in vain, to convince Hitler to give up Operation Barbarossa , he embraced the campaign. Hitler still relied on him completely. On June 29, Hitler composed a special 'testament', which was kept secret till the end of the war.
The Luftwaffe shared in the initial victories in the east, destroying thousands of Soviet aircraft. But as Soviet resistance grew and the weather turned bad, the Luftwaffe became overstretched and exhausted. That duty was left to incompetent favorites such as Udet and Jeschonnek. Aircraft production lagged. He asserted that the Luftwaffe would deliver tons per day of supplies to the trapped force. In fact no more than tons were ever delivered in a day, and usually much less. This proved to be an almost total failure, and little of the available potential was effectively harnessed for the service of the German military machine.
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Fallschirmjager: German Paratroopers from Glory to Defeat, 1939-1945 (Warrior Series)
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Fallschirmjäger German Paratroopers From Glory To Defeat Concord
I've seen movies of the germans para s during WW2 perform different type of exits on the T. Where they jumping reserves? The documentary showed the paras allegedly jumping into crete with what looked like a single point connection from their suspension lines to the rear of their harness is that true or just serious line twists?
Hell of a way to go to work for both sides. Some of us older folks dont go to SC. One Jump Wonder. Thanks for the interesting read I have several zombie guns, but not that one. I think the only long gun I ever jumped was an M We'd let the sling way out and jump it over the shoulder, or use a weapons carrier. I never thought much of that weapon. It was not very accurate and was meant for short range use only. I loved shooting the M-1 garand, if only it wasn't so heavy. I guess, that before weapons carriers some soldiers jumped the M with the muzzle up.
I heard of a few cases where the static line might wrap around the muzzle causeing trouble. Some soldiers even jumped with skiis on their side. It seems like that would be really asking for trouble Being a rigger, I'll bet you have seen all kinds of equipment being jumped, and dropped. Hi Peter, Quote. Thanks PC fot the pic. The student looks real serious and has great form.
When the paras landed all they carried was a knife, pistol, and maybe some grenades. Then they went looking for their long guns. Steve: we dropped some guys a Bragg around 67 one guy was a little confused and jumped with the barrel up instead of down. For some reason the barrel penatrated his shoulder. I guess he forgot pointy side down. Hell of a way to go to work One Jump Wonder. I think that was the big deal about the T -- it had a deployment bag on the static line.
The T didn't appear until the early s? Every British parachuting publication of the old days commented on how antiquated the US's deployment system was, canopy first vs. Which is one reason the Brits stuck with no reserve until, what, the early '50s? Which in turn was antiquated! While having a staged deployment is great, we certainly know now that it doesn't guarantee no mals. I don't have proven authoritative sources handy, but the following from someone's website on old military parachutes matches what I've heard before: Quote. I guess the openning shock on a T-7 was awful compared to the T deployment system.
I think the old paratroops had to be made of tough stuff. I think jump school was tougher then too. The 'older' guys on the dz when I started all ex-military, paratrooper guys always said that the T-7 was a 'hurting' rig to jump. That classic film footage is of Russian paratroopers jumping from a 4-engined bomber. Early Russian paratroopers freefell with parachutes that were only slightly modified form pilot emergency parachutes. Most of them wore Irvin pattern 4-pin back packs and clipped on 2-pin chest reserves. Notice that Russian paratroopers did not even try to fall stable and pulled their main ripcords before they passed the rudder.
Before the Second World War, the French e.
Leo Valentine developed a similar program, but bragged less. Thanks for posting that photo of a German paratrooper hanging in a suspended harness.
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Like many early parachute harnesses, the Fallschirmjager harness was based on a wide belt. Shoulder and leg straps were almost an after-thought. The German harness was based on the earlier Salvatore harness worn by Italian paratroopers. Hitler was so impressed by Musillini sp? Russian, French and Italian paratroopers all predated German paratroopers.
While that harness reduce the hassle of line twists at low altitudes, it created other problems, most notably how to carry weapons. Most German paratroopers jumped into battle with only the pistols, grenades and knives in their pockets. All their long guns Mauser K98, MGs and mortars were dropped separately in tubes about 2 metres long by less than a metre in diameter.
During the invasion of Crete many German paratroopers died before they could grab their long guns. Heavy losses during the invasion of Crete forced Luftwaffe generals to invent new ways to jump with weapons.