Question #8b50b

1 Answer
Oct 24, 2017

This is a short question but it could have a book as an answer.


When Hitler invaded Poland on September 1st 1939 he did not think that France and Britain would come to Poland's aid, given the ease with which he had previously seized territories such as the Rhineland, Sudetenland and Czechoslovakia.

However two days later much to Hitler's surprise and fury they declared war on Germany. The opening months of the war in the West involved very little action, what became known as the Phoney War. Then in May 1940 the Germans attacked France. They bypassed the Maginot Line, France's defensive structure and swept through the Ardennes. They cut off the British Expeditionary Force which was evacuated at Dunkirk.

Within weeks France had fallen to the German Blitzkreig and only Britain now stood alone. Goering assured Hitler that his Luftwaffe could destroy Britain so as to allow a German invasion, Operation Sea Lion. However the RAF decisively defeated the Luftwaffe in the Battle of Britain and the invasion was indefinitely postponed.

Therefore the Nazis attacked these countries because they were at war with them. Their invasion of France was very fast and comprehensive. However they failed in their attempt to invade Britain.