Germany in 1944

By 1944 Germany was being regularly bombed by the Allies, and the life of your average German citizen had degraded significantly. Certainly by this time the German military knew they were losing the war and the Russians wouldn’t stop until they reached Berlin.

Why was there no popular uprising during this time, that would have had to have included the German military, in early 1944? How was Hitler able to keep the war machine going, and how were the military elite able to keep the German military from falling apart?

Simple, brainwashing and thus high morale among people, there’s a stereotype that no one actually liked Hitler in Germany and that everyone only lied about liking Hitler and then a few days after the war everyone hated Hitler, yeah right… Germans first of all brought Hitler to power, he didn’t magically appear there one day and took over power, proof? He tried that before with his small group and that’s when he finished in jail after he of course failed with the coup, so he simply got a bigger and bigger number of followers and after he took power he had a strong propaganda and that propaganda is not something that only poor mountain people fell victim to, highly educated people did too. Now that’s not something that lasted for a few days, it lasted year after year after year and the end result solves your question, people really believed that they will win, that everything will be ok and so on and after Hitler fell there were still a lot of people that were nazis, there were even guerrila groups that fought the allies after they occupied Germany, although very little is known about them for obvious reasons.

Sure, they were suffering, but it was all the fault of the Jews/the Soviets/the Americans/the boogieman of the day, and so it was all the more important to teach those villains a lesson, to get revenge and to give Germany a chance to become great again.

Pick any reason you want:

Conditioned obedience to the State
Fear of communism/the Soviet Union
Faith in “superweapons” that would turn the tide
A still intact internal security apparatus that would give you such a thwack if you misbehaved
Hitler confiscated all the guns so there was nothing to resist with :smiley:
Make trouble, and no Volkswagen for you.

I seem to remember a German military plot to seize power that didn’t work out so well.

German forces were well-trained and sometimes well-led, and capable of putting up fierce resistance once their backs were to the wall.

I remember reading about a man who had been a teenager during the war, and was fully aware that things were going badly. Hitler made a radio speech where he declared that “superweapons” would soon turn the tide. The teenager scoffed at the idea, which shocked his true-believer mother, who couldn’t believe that the fuhrer would lie to his people at such a critical time.

That would be the July 20th plot, sometimes known as “Operation Valkyrie”.

I get all that, but at some point you cut your loses and give up. Nobody wants to die for a hopeless cause. I guess the key is that the civilians had no weapons, so even if they organized they couldn’t fight the internal police, let alone the organized military, plus most of the men and boys were already in the military. That’s why I asked about the military. They above all knew when they were beat, yet they kept fighting til the bitter end. Perhaps the hope of a Superweapon is what kept them going even though they knew they likely wouldn’t win the war by that time.

What if the July 20 plot had been successful? Would the Allies have negotiated a peace that kept Germany (and its gains) intact? Somehow I doubt the Russians would have gone for that…

When you drop bombs on a civilian population, they get angry at you, the people dropping bombs on them and rally against those attacking.

Germany is hardly an anomaly in that respect. Japan felt the same way, as did North Vietnam during the Vietnam War.

I’m pretty sure you’re living in a different reality than the rest of us. People not only die for helpless causes, they fight more fiercely because they hate the thought of what will happen next.

Besides, what was the military going to do? Surrender to the tender mercies of the Soviets? They were far better off waiting until the Americans and British were physically in Germany.

Germany was in a state of total war. There was hardly a sizable balanced populace in the cities in 1944. All men of military age have been mobilized. By early 1945, Berlin was basically a city of women. The only male Berliners living there were either wounded or exempt from military service. Only within the armed forces or ministry-level governments could you possibly foment an uprising.

Strategic bombing had very little effect on morale, especially compared to pre-war expectations; at best it produced apathy and fatalism. There had been predictions by proponents of strategic bombing prior to the war that bombing would so terrorize the civilian morale that it would break country’s wills to fight, but that turned out to simply not be the case. One can’t surrender to a bomber in any event. You’ve pretty much answered your own question in your second sentence: the Russians weren’t going to stop until they reached Berlin; assuming one was possible, what good would a popular uprising have done to prevent this? The Nazis had just spent three years committing mass murder in the East. The few peace feelers sent out to the West without Hitler’s knowledge and those behind the July 20th plot suffered under the delusion that they would be able to come to a separate peace with the Western Allies and continue the war in the East.


Absolutely not; that the unconditional surrender of Germany was the only acceptable outcome for the Western Allies had been made very clear. In the final days of the war when the Dönitz government tried dickering around to negotiate what amounted to a seperate peace with the West,

Very little is known about them because they didn’t exist. The Werewolf’s scarcely existed during the war, and certainly didn’t fight on against the Allies after they occupied Germany:

I just read *Germany 1945 *which covers the final period of the war and then the initial six plus months of the occupation.

As the 1945 dawned, it still seemed possible for Germans to hope the war could be fought to a standstill. Almost all of ‘Greater Germany’ and a fair amount of foreign territory was still in German hands. The German army was capable of mounting some tactical successes and so the leaders were out of touch with reality. Both the Battle of the Bulge and a similar offense in Hungary in February 1945 were planned with the idea that German successes would bring the Allies to the negotiating table.

The people didn’t really feel the effects as strong in 1944 as they would in '45. As an example, he author uses coal which was the main fuel for both German industry and domestic heating. In May 1944 monthly extraction of anthracite was 13.2 million tons but by January 1945 it had dropped to 6.6 million tons and then by April it was down to 715,000 tons.

The Allied bombing campaign was become larger and larger as time went along, so even by the end of 1944, they weren’t as crippled as they would be by the surrender. This is in contrast to Japan which was hurting much earlier in the war.

One preoccupation among the leaders was to ensure that another 1918 didn’t happen, that Nazi Germany didn’t suffer from the same popular protests and mutinies which plagued them at the end of WWII. They accomplished that very well.

It wasn’t until 1945 that the fighting came to Germany itself. The collapse came relatively quickly and by then it was too late for alternatives.

In a way there was when you consider the plot, or should we say plots, to kill Hitler. I saw a video on Netflix and I think there were over 50 plots to kill him. The Valkarie plot had some of Germanys top generals like Rommel involved. Personally I wonder if the western allies had tried to support such a plot it might have worked.

The Nazis last strategy was to pull back into the bavarian mountains and hope the USSR and the western allies would start fighting.

In 1945 you were seeing German troops quickly surrendering to western forces, especially American. No German wanted to surrender to the Russians.

One reason the Germann army continues to fight when even the lowliest private knew the jig was up was fear of the Russians. I’ve read many books written by Germann soldiers and almost all have mentioned that they would do anything to keep the Russians from their homeland.

It should be further noted that Germany was, after all, a fascist police state in which defeatism was grounds for being sent to a concentration camp.

Or shot, at it started to happen more frequently as the end neared.

For those of us who have never lived in a police state, it’s just impossible to really understand how different it would be. Most people just kept their heads down and tried not to draw attention to themselves.

The Western Allies had reached agreement with the USSR that no one would sign any separate peace, and stuck to it. Every minor leader contemplating a coup that sent out feelers looking to surrender to the West and not the East was rebuffed. The attitude of the West towards Germany is really summed up in this video for occupation troops, I think a lot of people today see the Germany that hasn’t started a war in 70 years and not the one that had started two world wars in just over two decades.

Thanks everyone! I finally got a chance to talk to my father about this subject. He fought in WWII in 1945 and was posted in Germany for a year after the surrender. He said that it’s easy now to look back and realize how it was going to end, but at the time the Germans were fighting hard to keep the Allies out of Germany, and rumors of a German Superweapon were commonly heard. He reminded me that almost nobody knew about the Manhattan Project and there was some doubt about what the Russians would do in the end. As my father likes to say, hindsight in always 20-20, so while late 1944 and early 1945 turned out to be the beginning of the end, nobody knew that at the time. The war could have dragged on for many more years… at least a lot of people thought it would.

There was no conceivable way life under Soviet oppression would be better than life under the Reich, and history proved them right.