Challenges faced by the Allies in their Germany Advance
The establishment of empires and the countries that exist today was not an easy undertaking. There were always battles associated with this, and this led to bloodshed and destruction of cities. The world has always had incidences of wars, which most of the times are initiated by the strong countries, as they try to win the smaller ones.
From the colonization battles to the wars like the First and Second World Wars, there have always been defeats and conquests. Even the strongest leaders have at times surrendered because of the extremes of the war.
However, those who win are also affected, as their conquest is most of the times associated with several difficulties. The advancing of the allies into Germany in 1945 will be discussed with close reference to the scale and the nature of the problems that they faced. The crossing of the Rhine The Allies had targeted Germany after they conquered in the Battle of the Bulge. All the citizens were aware that once the Allies set foot in Germany, it would be the end of war. However, the Allies faced great challenges from some fanatical Nazis; Hitler included.
Throughout the second and third months of 1945, there was a great battle by the allies in a bid to pass the Siegfried lane. They were faced with a great problem because the Germans had set up antitank fortifications, artillery and pillboxes which stretched from the western German border. This was quite a big hindrance to the allies as they sought for the best way to enter Germany. Additionally, this was an area which was always manned by old men and young boys, so that they could ensure that no enemy passed that point.
Since time immemorial, the allies had not had the ability to pass through the Siegfried Line because of these hindrances. However they managed to conquer this small town in 1945 through the use of gasoline aids (World War II, 2010). When they set in, they advanced to Cologne, which was considered as the major German city. However, they were faced with a challenge because the US Army commander referred to as General Dwight D. Eisenhower gave orders to the allied forces to instead advance towards Ruhr. This is after he had realized that if Berlin was captured, then the industrial machine of Germany could be destroyed.
There was a conflict between the leaders because the desire of Churchill was for the allies to overcome Berlin, but Eisenhower ordered the Allies to advance towards the Ruhr after crossing the Rhine (World War II, 2010). Crossing the Rhine for the Allies was quite an achievement because for the past one hundred and forty years before this time, there is no single group which had successfully crossed it. Hitler considered the Rhine as one of the important symbols of Germany. The only time the Rhine was crossed successfully was during the times of Napoleon, in 1805.
This is because all the people who tried to do so would be shot down (World War II, 2010). However, the allies succeeded crossing the Rhine, amidst the challenges, because all the bridges had been blown up to restrict their advance. This also happened before they managed to capture Cologne city. This was indeed a great challenge. They had to cross the Rhine on special bridge units, which were often segregated. They also went ahead and constructed a bridge whose depth was twelve miles and thirty five miles width. Even though they managed, all these crossings were most of the times on fire, which was lit by the German forces.
All this happened before March 23, 1945 (World War II, 2010). The Allies had set up an undertaking referred to as Operation Varsity which took place in 1945. It was considered as the last operation of the allies in Europe, and although the allies conquered, they were still faced with challenges. The Germans had prepared themselves as there were anti aircrafts units which were set strategically against the allies. All the bridges were blown up again, and Hitler was unable to restrict the allies who had settled in the west. The Red army had targeted Berlin, and it set forth to the West (World War II, 2010). Blitzkrieg
Since time immemorial, Germany had always been known for using the trick known as ‘Blitzkrieg’. This was also referred to as the lightning war. This was an operation which involved the constant use of mass planes which would be ordered to break through the defenses of the enemy on a very close range. The enemy could not be allowed at any moment to invade Germany. Ordinarily, the German forces would successfully surround the opposing troops, where they would be forced to surrender (USHMM, 2010). This trick had proved effective since in the previous years, Germany had defeated Poland, Belgium, France and the Netherlands.
However, they had never managed to defeat Great Britain. The allied forces also faced the same challenge, as the Germans tried to oppose their entrance to their territory. However, the allied forces managed to cross the Rhine, and consequently, the Nazi Germany surrendered (USHMM, 2010). When the war had advanced, it reached a point where the Germans felt defeated and they were therefore looking for ways in which they could surrender. This was indeed what the allies wanted. However, it was not an easy task, as there was a major challenge. There were so many deaths associated with the march.
The last important German unit, which was referred to as Army Group B has all its men surrender, which totaled to two hundred thousand on April 24. The Germans were trying their best to ensure that the refugees were not a distraction so that they could surrender to the Allies from the west. Therefore, there was a delay in the Germans surrendering as most of the refugees refused to give way (World War II, 2007). German secret dealings The allied forces were constantly attacked by the refugees. There were guards who were assigned so as to force the people to move away from the fighting ground.
However, most of the refugees resisted the orders and as a result, there were so many deaths which resulted. The guards continued to kill these people secretly (World War II, 2007). There was the collaboration of the allies and the Russians on the concentration camps. However, they faced another challenge as the Germans had tried to conceal their crime by hiding the bodies of the people who had been killed. They were presented with very horrific facts, as there were very many corpses which had been piled in a large heap. This revealed how the Germans had continued killing the people.
In one of the camps, referred to as the Ohrdruf Concentration Camp, all the civilians of this place were ordered by Eisenhower to see what used to happen in secret. This proved a great challenge to the Allies because they had to first search for all the guards that were hiding in all their ranks (World War II, 2007) As a result, the Gestapo officers and the guards realized that their dirty dealings had been revealed by the Allies. Therefore, they tried all they could so as to escape. However, most of them, including some Nazis of the high ranks were captured as they were escaping.
Some of these included Fritz Von Papen, Herman Goering, and Albert Speer. There had looted art treasures which were later discovered. Additionally, there were very many hidden caches of jewelry and gold which were found in all parts of Germany. These had been stripped off from different countries and had been sent to Germany (World War II, 2007) Persecution of collaborators All the German leaders who tried to make secret alliances with the allies were persecuted and this was another problem that the allies encountered. One of these leaders was Heinrich Himmler, who tried to make a separate armistice with the allies from the west.
However, he was too unfortunate because as soon as Hitler realized this, he ordered his soldiers to execute him. Additionally, Goering also tried to do the same, and even tried to take over from Hitler, but did not succeed. Therefore, the allies were in constant wrangle with Hitler as he never allowed any of his men to collaborate with them. All the same, this did not prevent the allies from excelling (World War II, 2007) When the then U. S. President, Franklin D. Roosevelt died Hitler had hopes, that this would affect the operations of the allies.
However, this was not the case, as the allies continued with their resolve, unaffected by anything. As a result, Hitler became a very depressed man, and vowed to fight the allies the best he could. He started by ensuring that the sewers were flooded, in a bid to stop both the Russian and the Western allies to continue their advance in Germany. The allies were constantly threatened by his actions. However, his efforts proved fruitless because most of the people who were wounded and killed were the refugees. He set battles by moving trapped or nonexistent armies. All the commanders that defied his orders were executed.
Even though he tried all this, the Allies still won the battle, and the Nazis surrendered (World War II, 2007). Conclusion Though the allies were faced with great challenges as they tried to invade Germany, they successfully won. However, they were constantly faced with the German attacks through the tricks that it had used over the years so as to defend itself from its enemies. Some of the leaders of the German armies collaborated with the allies so that they could defeat Hitler and his forces. Eventually, the might of the Allies only left Hitler a depress man, who even chose his successor before he committed suicide.
USHMM. (2010).World War II in Europe. Retrieved from http://www.ushmm.org/outreach/en/article.php?ModuleId=10007681
World War II. (2007).The German surrender April 25-May8, 1945. Retrieved from http://worldwar2database.com/html/germanysurrender.htm
World War II. (2010). Crossing the Rhine. Retrieved from http://worldwar2database.com/html/rhine.htm