Why did Hitler invade so many 'neutral' European countries?

All aspects including lead-in to hostilities and results.

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Why did Hitler invade so many 'neutral' European countries?

Postby Lamprecht » 7 months 3 weeks ago (Sat Apr 20, 2019 8:52 pm)

Someone sent me this link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Declarati ... rld_War_II

Asking "Why did Hitler invade so many countries if he wanted peace?"

Some of these events have been covered here (see "read more" links) but what about the other countries?

I'm talking mainly about:
- Denmark
- Norway
- Luxembourg
- Belgium
- Netherlands
- Greece
- Yugoslavia


I will quote a few from the table:

Outbreaks of war between nations during World War II
1939-09-01 -- Germany invaded Poland
1940-04-09 -- Germany invaded Denmark & Norway
1940-05-10 -- Germany invaded Belgium & Netherlands
1940-05-10 -- Germany invaded Luxembourg
1941-04-06 -- Germany declared war on Greece (after Italy invaded 1940-10-28)
1941-04-06 -- Germany & Bulgaria invaded Yugoslavia
1941-04-14 -- Germany invaded Egypt (after Italy invaded 1940-09-09)
1941-06-22 -- Germany, Italy & Romania declared war on & invaded Soviet Union
1941-12-11 -- Germany & Italy declare war against United States


Most of these were not real declarations, in the case of Netherlands Wiki says:
"It was not an actual declaration of war. The message was later interpreted by the Dutch as a declaration of war; however from the German side it was at the time seen as a mere warning, hopefully intimidating the Dutch enough to accept German military protection" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_de ... etherlands


I will do some more research on these and come back with some info after I have read. If you have any info that contradicts the "Hitler just wanted to conquer all of Europe/Earth" theory, please post it.


Some maps, from: https://imgur.com/a/fmdLHWT
ImageImageImageImageImage



For countries that have been covered -- Read more:

POLAND: 'Why Germany Invaded Poland', by John Wear / 'peaceful Poland' debunked
viewtopic.php?t=12331

CZECHIA: Why did Germany annex all of Czechoslovakia?
viewtopic.php?t=9569

USSR: Operation Barbarossa Was A Preventive Attack
viewtopic.php?t=7999

USA: Why Hitler Declared War on the United States
viewtopic.php?t=11338
"There is a principal which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments, and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance -- that principal is contempt prior to investigation."
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Re: Why did Hitler invade so many neutral European countries?

Postby Lamprecht » 7 months 3 weeks ago (Sun Apr 21, 2019 12:53 am)

To see a visualization the war in Europe, check these videos:





Buchanan has a good Chapter in his book "Churchill, Hitler and 'The Unnecessary War'" worth reading, called "Hitler's Ambitions" - It can be read here: https://archive.is/2aSzA

Buchanan, with many quotes and sources, shows that Hitler had no desire for war with France, England, or the USA and simply wanted to recover historical German lands taken at Versailles, and secondly to defeat Communism.

Here is a video of Buchanan discussing the book:


mirror: https://archive.org/details/ChurchillHi ... kJBuchanan





Now, I believe the purpose of the early conquests were to unite/reunite the ethnic German people. After that, the following invasions were carried out of military necessity. Hitler did not invade these countries for aggressive or imperialistic reasons (Hitler gave many peace proposals, see: Hitler's Peace Offers Vs Unconditional Surrender and Hitlers peace offer to Britain)


Some specific points, comments/corrections/additions welcome:


Denmark
- Primarily, Denmark was invaded to act as a staging ground for the invasion of Norway (discussed below) it only lasted 6 hours and was just unluckily "in the way" of Germany trying to enter Norway. The event was known as "Operation Weserübung." This also helped seal off the Baltic region and prevent a blockade by the British. Hitler had learned his lesson from WWI, official German government statistics attributed nearly 763,000 wartime deaths in Germany to starvation caused by the blockade. Read more about the WWI naval blockade: Starvation Blockade Of Germany also The Blockade and Attempted Starvation of Germany in World War I

Image


Norway
- Norway was invaded out of the perceived need to prevent the British from landing there. Hitler wanted to have a "safe zone" and direct route from Germany to Norway and, like Denmark, to seal off the Baltic Sea from British naval interference/blockades of trade between Germany and Sweden.
- Churchill actually became Prime Minister in 10 May 1940 as a result of the Norway debacle. The Germans were using the Norwegian ports to ship iron ore from Sweden, since the Swedish ports were frozen in Winter. Churchill planned to violate the neutrality of Norway, this is known as Plan R 4. This plan was actually leaked (read it here: https://archive.is/XSu1h) and when Hitler learned of the plan (he actually wanted Norway to remain neutral) he decided that the Germans needed to move in first. The Germans took the ports a day before the British arrived. This entire situation led to Neville Chamberlain being replaced by Churchill. Read more about the "Narvik Debate" here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norway_Debate
also see: https://archive.is/Uoz3W


Benelux
- the Benelux countries (Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg) were invaded to defeat France. Also, the Netherlands and Belgium were not trusted to be neutral, the Germans were afraid that the British/French could invade the borders and ports of Holland and Belgium, and within 5 minutes of flying bomb the most important German industrial center, the Ruhrgebiet.
- Unfortunately for the Belgians, their neutrality was violated in basically every conflict between Germany and France. The French violated it twice in the 19th century (Napoleon Bonaparte and Napoleon II) the Battle of Waterloo is a famous example. In the 20th century the Germans also violated Belgian neutrality twice, for obvious tactical reasons: to avoid having to attack the Maginot-line directly.
- The strategic importance of Germany invading France by going through the Benelux countries was explained in the Schlieffen Plan, described here: https://archive.is/7hQAc#selection-2037.1-2139.4
- See also the thread Dutch/Belgian "Neutrality" In 1939-40 - suggesting that the Dutch and Belgians were secretly working with the British and French


Greece
- Greece was invaded because of Mussolini's failure to subdue them. The second Italy declared war on Greece, Greece could be expected to fight on Britain's side. Leaving Greece untouched could have had disastrous results, and the Axis would risk facing a Western Allied buildup in the Balkans while busy with Russia.


Yugoslavia
- Yugoslavia was initially planning to sign the Tripartite Pact, after Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria. Prince Paul of Yugoslavia signed on 25 March 1941, but 2 days later a coup d'etat ousted the prince and replaced him with a 17-year old Peter II. Hitler responded to the coup with "Fuhrer Directive No. 25" which declared Yugoslavia a hostile state. Yugoslavia also shared borders with the Third Reich and Greece, so there was also a geostrategic reason.
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Re: Why did Hitler invade so many neutral European countries?

Postby Lamprecht » 7 months 3 weeks ago (Sun Apr 21, 2019 7:11 pm)

A few John Wear articles on the topic I just found:

Germany’s Invasion of Norway and Denmark
https://codoh.com/library/document/6845/

Why Germany Was Forced Into Invading Greece, Crete, North Africa & Yugoslavia: It Was Not For Territorial Expansion
https://archive.is/J5jn5 or https://wearswar.wordpress.com/2018/03/ ... expansion/

How Britain Forced The Invasion of Norway & Denmark By Germany Then Blamed Hitler, Again.
https://archive.is/zrUIG or https://wearswar.wordpress.com/2017/10/ ... ler-again/

ImageImage

Wear explains why Hitler invaded Denmark, Norway, Greece, North Africa and Yugoslavia in these short articles (excerpts from his book).

Some more info on Czechoslovakia:

Hacha in Berlin, March 1939
viewtopic.php?t=8342

Also discussed in this thread:

When the USSR invaded Poland, Britain was silent
viewtopic.php?t=7556&hilit=czech#p56781
"There is a principal which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments, and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance -- that principal is contempt prior to investigation."
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Re: Why did Hitler invade so many neutral European countries?

Postby Hannover » 7 months 3 weeks ago (Sun Apr 21, 2019 10:28 pm)

Predictably it's never mentioned that:

- The newly created Czech Republic asked for Germany's help.

- Before the German attack on war mongering Poland, Poland threatened force against Lithuania with an ultimatum.

- Poland invaded and annexed parts of Czechoslovakia.

- Norway, who claimed "neutrality", in fact aided & abetted Britain by refusing to mobilize it's armed forces against the British who were mining their ports & sea lanes.

- "Neutral" Belgium actually aided & abetted France & Britain by allowing France to position 2 million if it's soldiers within Belgium territory, and also allowed the British to base another half million troops within it's territory.

- France and England were also allowed to use Belgium and Holland's airspace for their military aircraft.

- Of course, the “neutral” US had been attacking German U-boats & shipping, while supplying both Britain & the USSR long before Germany’s declaration of war on the US.

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Re: Why did Hitler invade so many 'neutral' European countries?

Postby Lamprecht » 7 months 3 weeks ago (Mon Apr 22, 2019 12:52 am)

Interesting points, Hannover. I have also seen this article, discussing how the USA violated Swiss neutrality, as well as the British, and less so by the Germans and French:

Wartime bombings of neutral Switzerland
https://codoh.com/library/document/2719/

There is also a good documentary video here:

Mirror: https://archive.org/details/HitlersWarW ... tToMention or https://www.bitchute.com/video/BRXUAVXD4uYH/



k0nsl also discusses this topic in his blog:
In 2004 somebody asked me:

„I wonder, if Hitler was such a peace lover, why did he attack us Dutchies and the Belgians, Danes, French, Czechoslovakians, Norwegians etc.?“

My Reply

First, you are mistaken about the so-called Czechoslovakians. He never attacked them. Secondly there are no Czechoslovakians, only Czechs and Slovaks. The Slovaks seceded from a country they never asked to join, run by a people they hated; it was a dictatorship, just like pre-Anschluss Austria and 1939 Poland. Perhaps you recall that they did the same thing in 1991, at the first possible opportunity. The Czechs and Slovaks both asked for German protection, chiefly against the Poles, but also against the Hungarians, Roumanians. Every neighbouring country hated the Czechs because they were the only pro-Communists in Eastern Europe, and hogged huge pieces of land stolen from other countries at the so-called 1919 Peace Conference. Beneš was hated by everyone who ever dealt with him; he was not a sainted martyr as the Americans like to pretend.

The Germans derived nearly all their iron ore from Sweden, shipped through the Baltic. The British intended to invade Norway to interdict these shipments, i.e., Sweden would have been next. The British made one invasion attempt, which failed, they also sank a German ship in Norwegian territorial waters, the Altmark [1], and machine gunned German shipwreck survivors as they attempted to escape over the ice, which of course is in violation of international law. It is a basic principle of warfare that if you know your enemy is going to occupy a strategic position from which he can inflict damage on you, you must occupy the position first. Incidentally the violation of neutral territory was never much of an issue until the British made it a big propaganda issue in 1914. The Russo-Japanese war was fought almost entirely in China, which was neutral, and nobody cared. The British invaded the Boer Republics and killed 10-20% of the country by putting them in concentration camps, in 1900-1902, then in 1914, presto! Britain becomes the champion of the independence and neutrality of small countries, i.e., Belgium, and, in 1939, Poland. Belgium was never a neutral country anyway and the degree of British hypocrisy may be judged by what happened to Poland in 1945. More or less the same story for Denmark, it was to prevent British violation of Danish territory; same with Luxembourg, where there were already French tanks.

Belgium was invaded in 1940 because the Belgians permitted the British to fly over Belgian air space for 6 months to bomb Germany. Hitler protested in writing 120 times. Same for Holland, more or less. It’s not like checkers, where you can just leave a square and hope the other player won’t occupy the square. There wouldn’t have been any war if Britain and France hadn’t declared war; people forget that. In 1914, Germany declared war on France first, but the situation was different. Once the Russians and French mobilized, the Germans had no choice but to go on the offensive and knock the French out of the war before the Russians could mobilize completely; otherwise the whole war would have taken place in Germany; Germany would have been invaded by combined armies of over 5 million men. That’s 1914, but 1939 was very similar, except that Hitler delayed for 6 months making peace offers that were ignored, just as he made dozens of disarmament proposals that were ignored before he decided to rearm. Then the British claimed they had to arm (even more than before) in self-defense to keep Germany from “conquering the world”, and all their other lies.

Yugoslavia was invaded because Hitler had to protect his supply lines to Greece; the country had just had an anti-German coup d’etat. Russia was invaded because the Russians had 300 divisions and 24,000 modern tanks on the Polish border; they were moving millions of men to the front, demolishing protective fortifications for 50 miles inside Russia. It was obviously a pre-emptive strike, which in fact saved Europe from Communism. Except for Poland, etc…

I am not sure of the strategic importance of a country like Denmark but in the case of Holland and Belgium it is obvious that if the British were going to continue to bomb Germany then the Germans had to shorten the distance involved in order to bomb back at better advantage, i.e., they could take off from air fields in Holland or Belgium. I assume they occupied Denmark to protect the Baltic, after all they had major submarine bases at Kiel and places not far away. In any case it did the Danes very little harm; one person was killed, that’s all. People forget that Britain and France declared war on Germany, not the other way around. Hitler made 20 peace proposals in the first year of the war; all he ever got was insults. The British have rightfully been called “a country so peace-loving that for 1000 years they never let a generation go by without engaging in warfare someplace else in the world.”

Incidentally the British would have gone to war in 1914 even without a violation of Belgium neutrality because they had secret agreements with the French; Prime Minister Grey lied to Parliament about this. The French had plans to violate Belgian neutrality and openly admitted this.

Another thing, there are no natural barriers between Belgium and northern Germany so if the French had been allowed to violate Belgian neutrality and invade Germany the whole war would have taken place in Germany and Germany would have been wrecked. Belgium was never a neutral country: they had agreements with the British and French against the Germans, but no agreements with the Germans against the British and French. Their manner of resistance (guerilla warfare) proves they were never neutral. Anyway, the Germans were accused of violating two treaties relating to Belgian neutrality: one dated 1838 and one dated 1870 (I believe). The latter expired in 12 months. The 1838 treaty no longer applied partly because of the incorporation of the Belgian Congo into Belgium proper. Under international law, a colony was considered part of the mother country. Hence the Germans and all other parties to the 1839 treaty were supposed to respect the neutrality of the Belgian Congo as well! But they were never asked. A French general said that if anybody on the French General Staff had suggested respecting Belgian neutrality he would have sacked, if not accused of treason. The French moved their entire navy into the Mediterranean on the basis of a secret agreement with the British in 1907, I believe, that the British would protect the French Atlantic sea coast. So Belgium was just an excuse.
Another point is that the Germans were never prepared for a lengthy war, only a war of 2 or 3 months duration. They invaded Poland with a two-week ammunition supply, and when it came time to invade Western Europe, they found they had no war plans for Western Europe whatsoever, everything had to be improvised last moment. German armaments production in 1939 was 8% what it was in 1944. One source on this is John Kenneth Galbraith, who was an official expert on strategic bombing, he drew up an official report on it for the US government after the war,and one of his conclusions was not only that, but that the mass bombings of population centres actually helped the German war effort because everything bombed was of no importance,when the British bombed all the restaurants and hotels the workers all went to work in the armaments industries. Many writers have remarked on this, strategic bombing was a failure. Another source is C.P. Snow, SCIENCE AND GOVERNMENT. Hitler always thought he could reach a political settlement. This is in complete contradiction even with his own (occasionally) expressed philosophy of peace through strength and preparedness. Of course, this was interpreted as planning to conquer the world. Not only did he not intend to destroy Poland, he WANTED a strong, independent Poland as a buffer state against Russia. The Poles destroyed themselves and so did the Czechs. Rest in peace and good riddance.

Hitler wanted a Europe of independent nations working together in peace and to obtain peace he gave up all claim to Alsace-Lorraine, for example. It was the 1919 Allies who created a dozen Alsace-Lorraines in the form of so-called Czechoslovakia.

The most astonishing really is that Hitler waited six months to do anything. The British declared war fully believing that London would be bombed with gas bombs immediately. Instead they had to bomb Germany for six months to get any reaction. Even then Hitler refused to occupy all of France or any part of French North Africa (which would probably have permitted him to win the war); he refused to destroy or even capture the British expeditionary forces at Dunkirk, he warned the Belgians 120 times, as I said, he made repeated offers to the Poles, repeatedly putting off his “surprise attack”; he even offered to stop the invasion of Poland on the spot, if the Poles would negotiate. This was a terrible risk, because if the Poles had stalled, the whole German army would have gotten stuck in the mud a few weeks or a month or two later. He was told by his generals that if the attack didn’t begin by September 1, that the whole country would be a morass of mud just a few weeks later; almost none of the roads in Poland were paved. Hitler turned the other cheek more times than any other statesman in history. This is true whether people believe it or not. He could have destroyed France much more easily if he had done so immediately after the Polish campaign, instead he waited, making peace proposals. He even refused to ask for any monetary settlement. He treated all his enemies with respect. In Belgrade the Germans put up a monument “To the Great Serbian Enemy” and made many similar comments about the bravery of the French, etc, hopes of friendship with the British, Poles, Czechs, everyone. He hated Edvard Beneš, but that was because of Beneš actions in politics. During the war there were fewer acts of sabotage in Bohemia-Moravia (Prague, etc.) than in Germany itself. He admired the Poles and wanted nothing but a peace settlement with them, which would have been in the interests of both countries. They were natural trading partners, and could have formed a very powerful bulwark against Bolshevism in Europe.

Have I forgotten anything?

Notes

1. “I have seen nothing yet to confirm the shooting of men on the ice when Altmark was boarded”
https://archive.is/4uaYE or https://k0nsl.org/blog/responses/i-wond ... ace-lover/


Quite a lot of damning information there... :)
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Re: Why did Hitler invade so many neutral European countries?

Postby Mortimer » 7 months 2 weeks ago (Tue Apr 23, 2019 3:58 am)

Another good book on the lead up to hostilities is 1939 The War That Had Many Fathers. It is available in English and German editions and there is a thread about it here - viewtopic.php?f=20&t=7456

I would also point out that in World War Two it was France that invaded Germany first with their Saar Offensive of 1939 - viewtopic.php?f=20&t=11241
There are 2 sides to every story - always listen or read both points of view and make up your own mind. Don't let others do your thinking for you.

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Re: Why did Hitler invade so many neutral European countries?

Postby Mortimer » 3 months 2 weeks ago (Mon Aug 26, 2019 11:55 am)

John Wear the author of Germany's War on why that country invaded Denmark and Norway.
https://codoh.com/library/document/6845/
Britain was the first to violate Norwegian neutrality by mining the waters near that nation.
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Re: Why did Hitler invade so many neutral European countries?

Postby Lamprecht » 1 month 3 weeks ago (Sun Oct 20, 2019 8:29 pm)

Another article by John Wear, I guess an excerpt from his book "Germany’s War". He explains why Germany invaded Greece, Yugoslavia and North Africa during WWII. I will quote the introduction and conclusion here:
The question is often asked: If Hitler wanted peace, why did he invade so many countries? My book Germany’s War analyzes why Germany united with Austria absorbed portions of Czechoslovakia and Poland and invaded the Soviet Union and other European countries. This article will explain why Germany invaded and occupied Greece, Crete, Yugoslavia as well as several areas in North Africa. It will also discuss some of the effects of Germany’s invasion and occupation of these areas.
...
Mussolini’s unbidden invasion of Greece and Italian military ineffectuality were the sole reasons why Germany invaded Greece. Hitler had wanted the Balkans to remain quiet, but he could not ignore the threat posed by intensified British military involvement in Greece. Germany was forced to invade Greece and later Crete to remove the strategic threat posed by the British Army.

Italian military incompetence also moved Hitler to send Gen. Erwin Rommel to North Africa to rescue the collapsing Italian army. Although Rommel was eventually forced out of North Africa, he succeeded in tying up superior British forces. British historian David Irving writes: “History will not forget that for two years he withstood the weight of the entire British Empire on the only battlefield where it was then engaged, with only two panzer divisions and a handful of other ill-armed and undernourished forces under his command.”

The German invasion of Yugoslavia was made necessary by a Soviet-sponsored coup which established military control of Yugoslavia. Germany was forced to invade Yugoslavia to eliminate this strategic threat. Similar to Greece, Crete and North Africa, Hitler sent German troops into a country in which he had never wanted to be militarily involved.
The Reluctant Conqueror: Germany’s Invasions of Greece, Yugoslavia and North Africa
https://codoh.com/library/document/6936/ or http://inconvenienthistory.com/11/4/6936
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Re: Why did Hitler invade so many 'neutral' European countries?

Postby HMSendeavour » 1 month 2 weeks ago (Thu Oct 24, 2019 2:48 pm)

In regards to the Netherlands the 'Venlo Incident' where Germans caught British spies in the Netherlands which was a violation of neutrality is an important point. Hitler used this to justify the invasion of the Netherlands which is mentioned on the wikipedia

Hitler used the incident to claim that the Netherlands had violated its own neutrality. The presence of Klop, a Dutch agent, whose signature on his personal papers was gratefully misused by the Germans, provided sufficient "proof of cooperation between British and Dutch secret services, and justify an invasion of The Netherlands by Germany in May, 1940".[29]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venlo_incident

Everything indicated an extremely well prepared action by the Germans. Of course in The Netherlands a shockwave was caused by this violation of its neutrality. The government called on General Van Oorschot to report and he was forced to resign. In November 1940 Lemmens was released as he was only the driver. Payne Best and Stevens would eventually end up in concentration camp Dachau. The kidnapping of the British secret agents and the presence of the Dutch agent Klop, whose signature on his personal papers was gratefully misused by the Germans, provided sufficient “proof” to suspect cooperation between British and Dutch secret services. In concrete form there was nothing, but Klop’s signature was misused to prove that the neutral Netherlands collaborated in secret with the allies, which would justify an invasion of The Netherlands.

https://www.tracesofwar.com/articles/2452/Venlo-incident.htm?c=gw

I'm not sure how exactly this was 'misused' but I suppose it's whatever mental gymnastics these people need to perform to avoid saying 'Hitler was right'.

The Wiki for Dirk Klops is revealing also

In the Buick car with him and Dutch driver Jan Lemmens were two British agents, Captain Sigismund Payne Best and Major Richard Henry Stevens.

Their objective was a promised meeting with a German general who was a leader of the German resistance to Hitler, following on from three previous meetings with what they believed were more junior officers opposed to Hitler, one of whom was in fact Walter Schellenberg of the Reich Central Security Office.[1]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dirk_Klop

So these British agents thought they were meeting with German resistance. Yeah. Not shady at all guys. No collusion here.

On the Wiki for the Battle of the Netherlands it's revealed that while in public the Netherlands were 'adhering to strict neutrality' during the phoney war they were actually colluding with France and Belgium.

During the Phoney War the Netherlands officially adhered to a policy of strict neutrality. In secret, the Dutch military command, partly acting on its own accord,[82] negotiated with both Belgium and France via the Dutch military attaché in Paris, Lieutenant-Colonel David van Voorst Evekink to co-ordinate a common defence to a German invasion.[83] This failed because of insurmountable differences of opinion about the question of which strategy to follow.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_the_Netherlands

Much of this info comes from Dutch official recorder of the Netherlands during ww2 historian De Jong, who isn't unknown for his admissions of the false Dutch neutrality (https://forum.codoh.com/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=7999&p=94210&hilit#p94210) which doesn't seem to be quoted in this Wiki....Very interesting. And because his books are in Dutch it's unlikely we'll know the full extent of the problem.

It's not as if it's particularly important. The British had no problem planning to invade neutral Norway, in which they used the German preemptive strike to then blame Germany for neutrality violations. And we cannot forget the neutrality violations of the USA, or the Netherlands again when Britain after Churchill comes to power flies their planes over that 'neutral' country to bomb Germany. Surely that isn't disputed? If not it's not taken very seriously, because after all, we all know that allied violations of neutrality were all justified to fight the Nazi menace, thus they cannot be spoken about at all! And if they are, only in the most positive of lights.
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