The Nazi Regime and Rearmament of Germany is one clear subject that has been discussed over the years on a number of fronts. Starting in 1933, Hitler began the process of German rearmament and militarization that would eventually lead to World War II. Hitler’s plans for conquest consisted of four distinct wars. The first war would be against Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic and Slovakia). He was certain that the Czechs would put up little resistance and Czech territory and resources could then be used to further his continuing plans for conquest. Hitler’s second war would be against Britain and France. He expected this to be the most difficult conflict, as these countries had defeated Germany during World War I. Hitler prepared for this war during the 1930s.
The third war would be against the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), where Hitler planned to seize huge portions of territory for German settlement. However, Hitler badly miscalculated when he assumed the conquest of the USSR would be simple. His assumption was based on his belief that the Soviets, many of whom were of Slavic descent, were an inferior race controlled by the Jews under the guise of socialism. As a result, Hitler made no military preparations for that war and counted on a quick victory to provide Germany with the resources, especially the oil, needed for the fourth war, which was to be waged against the United States. Hitler felt that actually fighting the Americans would be easy, but technical preparations for the conflict had to be made well in advance because the United States was far away and had a large navy.
These military preparations with their enormous construction projects accelerated the economic recovery in Germany that had begun in 1932. Soon Germany faced a labor shortage instead of unemployment. As rearmament shifted into high gear, Hitler found he was short of money to buy foreign materials. This fact, combined with a desire to rely on domestic resources, led Hitler to inaugurate the Four-Year Plan in 1936. The plan called for Germany to be self-sufficient and ready for war in four years. Once the production of weapons for war against France and Britain was under way, Hitler in 1937 ordered the design and production of weapons for war with the United States. These arms included bombers that could reach America and a fleet of super battleships that Hitler planned to be the core of a dominant navy.
In response to Hitler’s call for German self-sufficiency, German steelmakers protested that the quality of domestic ores was too poor to use. When industry leaders refused to process the low-grade domestic ores, Hitler forced them to pay for a government-owned company that would. German industry was producing synthetic oil by 1933, and synthetic rubber and other substitutes followed. Hitler insisted that German workers be treated carefully and generously because he believed that domestic unrest caused by the hardships of war had brought about Germany’s defeat in World War I. During World War II, this policy required German armies to loot occupied territories, which resulted in the German people having the highest wartime rations in Europe. The Nazi Regime and Rearmament of Germany as discussed by historians is one that reminds us of a regime desperate to fight and kill just to be in control.