From Versailles via Paris to Moscow
Strategic Options and Perspectives of the German Empire with a View to National Power Policy (Part 2)
The Third Reich was, exactly as the German Empire, geared towards war. The period from 30 January 1933 to the beginning of World War II was marked by preparations for war. In this process, two ideological fundamental principles played a particular role: The first principle was about the drawing of – supposed – lessons from the ‘stab-in-the-back-legend'.
The second aspect dealt with the fact that everything, ranging from the establishment of a totalitarian state on the basis of the National Socialist ideology through the re-attainment of the position of a major power by the German Reich by breaking the Versailles Treaty to the build-up of the armed forces, and was geared towards preparing a war 'to conquer new living space in the East, including the reckless Germanisation of the new territories', as Adolf Hitler put it in his first speech as Reich Chancellor to the assembled leaders of the Reichswehr in utter honesty already on 3 February 1933. This ensured that Hitler and the German Generals shared, in parts, the same objectives.