Invaded by Germany in World War Two
World War Two in Europe is largely the story of
German aggression and the response of the Allied nations and the
peoples of the nations occupied by the Germans.
Beginning with the German invasion of Poland on September 1,
1939, Germany invaded and occupied many nations in Europe as well as
intervening in North Africa and in the Middle East.
Below is a list of nations invaded and attacked by
Germany in World War Two, with dates and some detail as a
German Paratroopers in Belgium in
Invasions, Attacks, and Interventions During World War Two
*Unless indicated otherwise, Germany occupied the invaded
nations (or parts of nations) from
the date of the invasion to 1945.
German Invasion of Poland (Sept. 1, 1939). Germany had made a
pre-war deal with the Soviet Union, (Poland's hostile neighbor to the
East), to divide Poland between them. The German attack of September
1, 1939, was joined by Stalin's Red Army as the Soviets invaded
Poland from the East on September 22, 1939.
Battle of the Atlantic (beginning with an Allied blockade of
Germany, and then progressing to German submarine warfare on Allied
and Neutral shipping). Germany
attempted a repeat of their naval tactics from World War One, using a
powerful submarine fleet in an attempt to isolate and starve out
Great Britain. German surface vessels
attempted to raid Allied shipping, but most of those ships were
captured or destroyed by the middle of 1940.
German Invasion of Denmark and Norway (also involved combat
against intervening British and French forces in Norway). Germany
occupied Denmark and Norway until the end of the war in May,
German Invasion of Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, and
France (also involved combat against the British Expeditionary
Force in France). Germany occupied most of the so-called Low
Countries until Allied forces sweeping up from France after D-Day
drove out the Germans. Most of Belgium was liberated by the end of
1944. Large areas of the Netherlands
were still under German occupation when the war ended in May,
The Battle of Britain (July to October, 1940)-Following the
expulsion of British forces from Europe, Germany initiated a campaign
of aerial bombardment in an unsuccessful attempt to bomb the British
German Intervention in the North African Campaign (to save the
Italians from the British and Commonwealth forces based in Egypt.
The Americans would become involved in force in 1942. German
units would fight in Libya, Egypt, and Tunisia)
German Invasion of Yugoslavia and Greece (also involved combat
against intervening British forces in Greece)
German Intervention in the Anglo-Iraqi War (German warplanes
flew to Iraq to aid the Iraqi Army as it unsuccessfully fought the
German Invasion of the Soviet Union/Eastern Front Campaign
(June 22, 1941-this invasion would take German and Axis forces to
the gates of Moscow before the Soviets slowly began pushing the
Germans back toward Berlin)
Italian Campaign (German forces attempted to defend their Axis
ally Italy from the Allied -primarily American and British- forces
invading Sicily and Italy. Soon after the Allied invasion of mainland
Italy in the summer of 1943, the Italians deposed Mussolini and began
fighting against the Germans)
the Allied invasions of Italy and France, and after the Soviets
turned back Axis forces after the Battle of Stalingrad, German forces
were on the defensive.
Questions about countries invaded
and attacked by Germany in World War Two:
what about the European countries of Austria and Czechoslovakia? Weren't they under German
was occupied in 1938 by Germany and more-or-less voluntarily became
part of Germany. The Austrian complicity with
Hitler's regime was such that after the war, Austria was treated as a
member of the Axis and was occupied by Allied armies for ten years.
was invaded (without actual combat), and annexed by Germany in pieces
beginning in 1938 and extending into 1939. Though considered the
first foreign victim of German aggression, this took place prior to
the outbreak of the actual war.
that makes sense, but what about Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, and
Finland? They all had German troops
fighting on their territory in World War Two?
but Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria were all allies of the Germans and
actually joined Germany, Italy, and Japan in the Axis.
Finland never joined the Axis, but was a German ally beginning
in 1941 when they joined in the invasion of the Soviet Union. Finland's motivation was
purely one of revenge. The
Soviets had defeated Finland in the Winter
War of 1939-1940.