Germany is one of several nations in Steel Division: Normandy 44 and the principal Axis nation. Compared to the Allies, Germans have a very varied arsenal, combining weapons and vehicles produced in the Reich with whatever they could scavenge, steal, or capture from nations all over Europe, from France to the Soviet Union.
Historical background[edit | edit source]
Germany was a vital part of Europe and its culture for centuries, from the age of Rome, when Germanic tribes remained a persistent threat on the frontiers, to the 19th century, when the warring, disparate states unified into the German Empire following the disastrous defeat of the French Empire and Napoleon III at Sedan in 1870. Its cultural legacy encompassed countless scientists, artists, philosophers, and political leaders, who left an indelible mark on Europe and the West. However, the nation of Goethe and Beethoven would leave behind a terrifying historical legacy, not a century after unification.
The defeat in the war of the empires hit Germany hard. Though it defeated the Tsar and battled the British and the French into a stalemate, American troops turned the tide and the Kaiser was toppled in November 1918 by Germans, tired of war and hardship. The Weimar Republic that followed struggled to survive, beset by revolutionaries and reactionaries, economic turmoil, and political infighting. Its democracy would peter out in 1931, when President Hindenburg decided to rule by decree. Humanity would soon follow as conservatives struck a deal with the devil, giving Hitler chancellorship thanks to behind the doors machinations of Franz von Papen.
Never able to secure more than a third of the popular vote, Hitler's NSDAP seized the opportunity given to them in 1933, turning a multi-cultural, colourful German tapestry into a floor mat in brown and black. They destroyed any political opposition, dismantled labor unions, murdered the sick, persecuted and extorted Jews, using what they could steal to buy favor with the German population - and intimidated those that refused to support them. Encouraged by the weakness of the West, Hitler would annex Austria, dismantle Czechoslovakia, and after allying with the Soviet Union, its nominal foe, touch off the most devastating conflict in the history of mankind.
Through a combination of tenacity, clever commanders, and sheer luck, Nazi Germany would soon rule over much of the Europe, subjugating Poland and Norway, conquering France, invading the Balkans, and allying itself with Italy, Romania, and Hungary. Unable to defeat Great Britain and desperate for resources to prepare for the confrontation with the United States, Hitler would turn on his former ally, changing the face of the war. The Eastern Front was where the Nazis committed their most heinous atrocities, unleashing genocide on Jews, Slavs, Roma, and anyone else they wanted to exploit and destroy as part of their great colonization projects. It was there that the Nazi war machine was broken, stopped at Stalingrad in 1942 and exhausted at Kursk in 1943.
The long agony of the Nazi regime was hastened by the Normandy landings in 1944 and the collapse of its fascists allies. Despite seeing the writing on the wall, Nazis would still draw volunteers from all over Europe, lured by the anti-communist rhetoric and the atrocities of the Eastern Front - the whirlwind reaped by the Nazis' inhuman actions.
The collapse of the Nazi empire and the last European colonization project rippled across the world, becoming a dirge for European imperialism and paving the way for a new chapter in global history: The Cold War.
Divisions[edit | edit source]
Steel Division: Normandy 44[edit | edit source]
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