Germany's Poor Economy Lost Them The War Germany lost the second world war because the Allies were able to out produce them in the making of arms. Britain and the United States were able to produce huge numbers and far more aircraft. The false conclusion has been that Hitler's gamble in invading the USSR was the key behind Germany's defeat. That was sealed before Germany declared war. Germany Had Spectacular Gains But Nothing Conclusive Germany had lost the war before it invaded the USSR with its success up to 1941 being more down to luck. They had spectacular gains but nothing conclusive. Britain alone had a chance over time of developing a very large military force. Previously it was thought that Britain and France failed to re-arm in time to fight Hitler effectively. By 1940 Britain and France had armies that were superior in both numbers and equipment, with more and better tanks. France had armoured tank units. The allied navies were vastly superior to Germany's and their air forces at least equal. When France fell, although Britain lost 1/3 of its field army, the RAF was equivalent to Germany's in numbers and quality with the Royal Navy vastly superior to the German and Italians. Notably, the British were able to out produce the Germans in aircraft even prior to the German invasion of the Soviet Union. Never mind the 50,000 planes a year the USA were busy constructing and announced in May 1940 - they eventually made 86,000 a year. The Germans were running at about 17,000 per year of mainly pre-war designs. Allied Incompetence Lost France to the Germans The success of the German army in 1940 was due to the allied command failing to respond to the German strategy - allied incompetence. If the allies had been a bit more aggressive, and savy, they could have fought out at least a draw with Germany who not had the resources to fight anything more than a short war. The elevating of blitzkrieg was an invention of allied generals as an excuse for their appalling defeat to a smaller force, rather than a logical analysis of the failure. The French never even fully committed their air force to the struggle with much of it destroyed on the ground or captured. If the French air force had been concentrated on the German lines entering France and Belgium, the German advance would have collapsed. The German line relied on speed with a continuous unbroken chain of supply along the line. Drivers were on "speed" to keep them awake. The German fast strike blitzkrieg attack was a last minute plan as the one they were to go with got into allied hands, which was not so daring. If the older, less daring, plan had been executed, the war would have been very different. Blitzkreig was a one time plan. It only worked once. The Conquered Countries Were a Liability Despite Germany having access to the industrial plant of Northern Italy, France, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands they were not able to match either the Soviets or the British in war production. The success of the Royal Navy European blockade was much underrated. The French production of planes which went to Germany was minuscule. France had supplies of bauxite but was not able to produce in numbers. Before WW2, France imported coal from Britain for its electricity production. The British blockade meant the main source of coal became Germany - Germany had to export valuable raw materials and fuel to keep the conquered countries moving. Germany did not increase its production sufficiently to the UKs to overcome the short fall. The amount of food produced in Europe fell. Pre WW2 the production of meat and dairy products in countries such as Denmark had been dependent on the import of grain and animal feed from South America. The Royal Navy blockade prevented anything entering Europe via the North Sea, Atlantic coast and the Med. That was not available and the amount of food available for the dairy industry collapsed as did food production. European food production had been based on the use of chemical fertilizer. Huge volumes of the chemicals used for fertilizer production was diverted to the making of explosives in Germany. French workers were moved onto subsistence rations with no power available and the country had been dependant on motorized transportation. France's oil imports came from abroad and were cut off. At the outbreak of the war in 1939 the only available oil came from Romania or from low production, expensive synthetic oil made in Germany. This was barely enough for the needs of the German armed forces. There was not enough to keep the Italian Navy operational. France reverted to a pre-motorised transport economy. Hitler Thought He Needed the Resouces of The East This was the dire economic background that gave rise to Hitler's decision to invade the Soviet Union to confront the coming air war with 50,000 plane per year from the USA alone and the UK was also out producing Germany in aircraft. The Germans thought USSR had the natural resources that would enable European industry to compete with the UK and USA. Hitler knew that he could never develop the naval might to conquer Britain simply by the occupation of Western Europe. Apart from a small pendulum desert war, Britain could not get at Hitler - only by air. The large mustering of UK forces, Hitler knew would be unleashed on him when ready. Germany Got Japan in The War to Divert British Resources Germany gave assurance to the Japanese that Germany would declare war on the USA if they attacked the British in the Far East. Hitler wanted the UK occupied elsewhere to keep them and large parts of their resources away from him. Hitler's gamble was that by the time the USA was ready for a European war the USSR would be taken and the resources of the east used to counter the UK and USA. As German forces started to roll towards the USSR, German industry was already directed towards aircraft production to counter the massive air fleets being built by the UK & USA. Eliminate The Eastern Populations In Hitler's mind, the conquest of the USSR was a key step, and quite rational at how the war was viewed at the time. None of the German general staff thought that the USSR could stand up to an invasion of over 3 million men. The Germans never fully assessed the Soviet capability. However the Soviets did resists and were better able to marshal their resources, military and civilian, to outlast the Germans. Many German generals assessed and concluded there would no gain in taking the USSR as there was little surplus in the large population. So, the decision to eliminate most of the population was taken.