Battle of the Bulge
The Battle of the Bulge known as the Ardennes Counteroffensive, took place from 16 December 1944 to 25 January 1945, was the last major German offensive campaign on the Western Front during World War II. It was launched through the densely forested Ardennes region of Wallonia in eastern Belgium, northeast France, Luxembourg, towards the end of the war in Europe; the offensive was intended to stop Allied use of the Belgian port of Antwerp and to split the Allied lines, allowing the Germans to encircle and destroy four Allied armies and force the Western Allies to negotiate a peace treaty in the Axis powers' favor. The Germans achieved a total surprise attack on the morning of 16 December 1944, due to a combination of Allied overconfidence, preoccupation with Allied offensive plans, poor aerial reconnaissance. American forces bore the brunt of the attack and incurred their highest casualties of any operation during the war; the battle severely depleted Germany's armored forces, they were unable to replace them.
German personnel and Luftwaffe aircraft sustained heavy losses. The Germans had attacked a weakly defended section of the Allied line, taking advantage of overcast weather conditions that grounded the Allies' overwhelmingly superior air forces. Fierce resistance on the northern shoulder of the offensive, around Elsenborn Ridge, in the south, around Bastogne, blocked German access to key roads to the northwest and west that they counted on for success. Columns of armor and infantry that were supposed to advance along parallel routes found themselves on the same roads. This, terrain that favored the defenders, threw the German advance behind schedule and allowed the Allies to reinforce the thinly placed troops; the furthest west the offensive reached was the village of Foy-Nôtre-Dame, south east of Dinant, being stopped by the British 21st Army Group on 24 December 1944. Improved weather conditions permitted air attacks on German forces and supply lines, which sealed the failure of the offensive.
In the wake of the defeat, many experienced German units were left depleted of men and equipment, as survivors retreated to the defenses of the Siegfried Line. The Germans' initial attack involved 410,000 men; these were reinforced a couple of weeks bringing the offensive's total strength to around 450,000 troops, 1,500 tanks and assault guns. Between 63,222 and 98,000 of these men were killed, wounded in action, or captured. For the Americans, out of a peak of 610,000 troops, 89,000 became casualties out of which some 19,000 were killed; the "Bulge" was the largest and bloodiest single battle fought by the United States in World War II and the second deadliest battle in American history. After the breakout from Normandy at the end of July 1944 and the Allied landings in southern France on 15 August 1944, the Allies advanced toward Germany more than anticipated; the Allies were faced with several military logistics issues: troops were fatigued by weeks of continuous combat supply lines were stretched thin supplies were dangerously depleted.
General Dwight D. Eisenhower and his staff chose to hold the Ardennes region, occupied by the U. S. First Army; the Allies chose to defend the Ardennes with as few troops as possible due to the favorable terrain and limited Allied operational objectives in the area. They had intelligence that the Wehrmacht was using the area across the German border as a rest-and-refit area for its troops; the speed of the Allied advance coupled with an initial lack of deep-water ports presented the Allies with enormous supply problems. Over-the-beach supply operations using the Normandy landing areas, direct landing ships on the beaches, were unable to meet operational needs; the only deep-water port the Allies had captured was Cherbourg on the northern shore of the Cotentin peninsula and west of the original invasion beaches, but the Germans had wrecked, mined, the harbor before it could be taken. It took many months to rebuild its cargo-handling capability; the Allies captured the port of Antwerp intact in the first days of September, but it was not operational until 28 November.
The estuary of the Schelde river, that controlled access to the port, had to be cleared of both German troops and naval mines. These limitations led to differences between General Eisenhower and Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery, commander of the Anglo-Canadian 21st Army Group, over whether Montgomery or Lieutenant General Omar Bradley, commanding the U. S. 12th Army Group, in the south would get priority access to supplies. German forces remained in control of several major ports on the English Channel coast until the end of the war in May 1945; the Allies' efforts to destroy the French railway system prior to D-Day, were successful. This destruction hampered the German response to the invasion, but it proved hampering to the Allies, it took time to repair bridges. A trucking system nicknamed the Red Ball Express brought supplies to front-line troops, but used up five times as much fuel, to reach the front line near the Belgian border, as it delivered. By early October, the Allies had suspended major offensives to improve their supply lines and supply availability at the front.
Montgomery and Bradley both pressed for priority delivery of supplies to their respective armies so they could continue their individual lines of advance and maintain
Western Front (World War II)
The Western Front was a military theatre of World War II encompassing Denmark, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, France and Germany. World War II military engagements in Southern Europe and elsewhere are considered under separate headings; the Western Front was marked by two phases of large-scale combat operations. The first phase saw the capitulation of the Netherlands and France during May and June 1940 after their defeat in the Low Countries and the northern half of France, continued into an air war between Germany and Britain that climaxed with the Battle of Britain; the second phase consisted of large-scale ground combat, which began in June 1944 with the Allied landings in Normandy and continued until the defeat of Germany in May 1945. The Phoney War was an early phase of World War II marked by a few military operations in Continental Europe in the months following the German invasion of Poland and preceding the Battle of France. Although the great powers of Europe had declared war on one another, neither side had yet committed to launching a significant attack, there was little fighting on the ground.
This was the period in which the United Kingdom and France did not supply significant aid to Poland, despite their pledged alliance. While most of the German Army was fighting against Poland, a much smaller German force manned the Siegfried Line, their fortified defensive line along the French border. At the Maginot Line on the other side of the border, French troops stood facing them, whilst the British Expeditionary Force and other elements of the French Army created a defensive line along the Belgian border. There were only some minor skirmishes; the British Royal Air Force dropped propaganda leaflets on Germany and the first Canadian troops stepped ashore in Britain, while Western Europe was in a strange calm for seven months. In their hurry to re-arm and France had both begun to buy large numbers of weapons from manufacturers in the United States at the outbreak of hostilities, supplementing their own production; the non-belligerent United States contributed to the Western Allies by discounted sales of military equipment and supplies.
German efforts to interdict the Allies' trans-Atlantic trade at sea ignited the Battle of the Atlantic. While the Western Front remained quiet in April 1940, the fighting between the Allies and the Germans began in earnest with the Norwegian Campaign when the Germans launched Operation Weserübung, the German invasion of Denmark and Norway. In doing so, the Germans beat the Allies to the punch. However, when the Allies made a counter-landing in Norway following the German invasion, the Germans repulsed them and defeated the Norwegian armed forces, driving the latter into exile; the Kriegsmarine, suffered heavy losses during the two-months of fighting required to seize all of mainland Norway. In May 1940, the Germans launched the Battle of France; the Western Allies soon collapsed under the onslaught of the so-called "blitzkrieg" strategy. The majority of the British and elements of the French forces escaped at Dunkirk. With the fighting ended, the Germans began to consider ways of resolving the question of how to deal with Britain.
If the British refused to agree to a peace treaty, one option was to invade. However, Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine, had suffered serious losses in Norway, in order to consider an amphibious landing, Germany's Air Force had to first gain air superiority or air supremacy. With the Luftwaffe unable to defeat the RAF in the Battle of Britain, the invasion of Great Britain could no longer be thought of as an option. While the majority of the German army was mustered for the invasion of the Soviet Union, construction began on the Atlantic Wall – a series of defensive fortifications along the French coast of the English Channel; these were built in anticipation of an Allied invasion of France. Because of the massive logistical obstacles a cross-channel invasion would face, Allied high command decided to conduct a practice attack against the French coast. On 19 August 1942, the Allies began an attack on Dieppe, France. Most of the troops were Canadian, with some British contingents and a small American and Free French presence along with British and Polish naval support.
The raid was a disaster two-thirds of the attacking force became casualties. However, much was learned as a result of the operation – these lessons would be put to good use in the subsequent invasion. For two years, there was no land-fighting on the Western Front with the exception of commando raids and the guerrilla actions of the resistance aided by the Special Operations Executive and Office of Strategic Services. However, in the meantime, the Allies took the war to Germany, with a strategic bombing campaign the US Eighth Air Force bombing Germany by day and RAF Bomber Command bombing by night; the bulk of the Allied armies were occupied in the Mediterranean, seeking to clear the sea lanes to the Indian Ocean and capture the Foggia Airfield Complex. Two early British raids for which battle honours were awarded were Operation Collar in Boulogne and Operation Ambassador in Guernsey; the raids for which the British awarded the "North-West Europe Campaign of 1942" battle honour were: Operation Biting – Bruneval, St Nazaire, Operation Myrmidon – Bayonne, Operation Abercrombie – Hardelot, Dieppe (19 Augus
Nazi Germany is the common English name for Germany between 1933 and 1945, when Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party controlled the country through a dictatorship. Under Hitler's rule, Germany was transformed into a totalitarian state that controlled nearly all aspects of life via the Gleichschaltung legal process; the official name of the state was Deutsches Reich until 1943 and Großdeutsches Reich from 1943 to 1945. Nazi Germany is known as the Third Reich, meaning "Third Realm" or "Third Empire", the first two being the Holy Roman Empire and the German Empire; the Nazi regime ended. Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany by the President of the Weimar Republic, Paul von Hindenburg, on 30 January 1933; the NSDAP began to eliminate all political opposition and consolidate its power. Hindenburg died on 2 August 1934 and Hitler became dictator of Germany by merging the offices and powers of the Chancellery and Presidency. A national referendum held 19 August 1934 confirmed Hitler as sole Führer of Germany.
All power was centralised in Hitler's person and his word became the highest law. The government was not a coordinated, co-operating body, but a collection of factions struggling for power and Hitler's favour. In the midst of the Great Depression, the Nazis restored economic stability and ended mass unemployment using heavy military spending and a mixed economy. Extensive public works were undertaken, including the construction of Autobahnen; the return to economic stability boosted the regime's popularity. Racism antisemitism, was a central feature of the regime; the Germanic peoples were considered by the Nazis to be the master race, the purest branch of the Aryan race. Discrimination and persecution against Jews and Romani people began in earnest after the seizure of power; the first concentration camps were established in March 1933. Jews and others deemed undesirable were imprisoned, liberals and communists were killed, imprisoned, or exiled. Christian churches and citizens that opposed Hitler's rule were oppressed, many leaders imprisoned.
Education focused on racial biology, population policy, fitness for military service. Career and educational opportunities for women were curtailed. Recreation and tourism were organised via the Strength Through Joy program, the 1936 Summer Olympics showcased Germany on the international stage. Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels made effective use of film, mass rallies, Hitler's hypnotic oratory to influence public opinion; the government controlled artistic expression, promoting specific art forms and banning or discouraging others. The Nazi regime dominated neighbours through military threats in the years leading up to war. Nazi Germany made aggressive territorial demands, threatening war if these were not met, it seized Austria and Czechoslovakia in 1938 and 1939. Germany signed a non-aggression pact with the USSR, invaded Poland on 1 September 1939, launching World War II in Europe. By early 1941, Germany controlled much of Europe. Reichskommissariats took control of conquered areas and a German administration was established in the remainder of Poland.
Germany exploited labour of both its occupied territories and its allies. In the Holocaust, millions of Jews and other peoples deemed undesirable by the state were imprisoned, murdered in Nazi concentration camps and extermination camps, or shot. While the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941 was successful, the Soviet resurgence and entry of the US into the war meant the Wehrmacht lost the initiative on the Eastern Front in 1943 and by late 1944 had been pushed back to the pre-1939 border. Large-scale aerial bombing of Germany escalated in 1944 and the Axis powers were driven back in Eastern and Southern Europe. After the Allied invasion of France, Germany was conquered by the Soviet Union from the east and the other Allies from the west, capitulated in May 1945. Hitler's refusal to admit defeat led to massive destruction of German infrastructure and additional war-related deaths in the closing months of the war; the victorious Allies initiated a policy of denazification and put many of the surviving Nazi leadership on trial for war crimes at the Nuremberg trials.
The official name of the state was Deutsches Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Großdeutsches Reich from 1943 to 1945, while common English terms are "Nazi Germany" and "Third Reich". The latter, adopted by Nazi propaganda as Drittes Reich, was first used in Das Dritte Reich, a 1923 book by Arthur Moeller van den Bruck; the book counted the Holy Roman Empire as the German Empire as the second. Germany was known as the Weimar Republic during the years 1919 to 1933, it was a republic with a semi-presidential system. The Weimar Republic faced numerous problems, including hyperinflation, political extremism, contentious relationships with the Allied victors of World War I, a series of failed attempts at coalition government by divided political parties. Severe setbacks to the German economy began after World War I ended because of reparations payments required under the 1919 Treaty of Versailles; the government printed money to make the payments and to repay the country's war debt, but the resulting hyperinflation led to inflated prices for consumer goods, economic chaos, food riots.
When the government defaulted on their reparations payments in January 1923, French troops occupied German industrial areas along the Ruhr and widespread civil unrest followed. The National Socialist German Workers' Party (National
1st Mountain Division (Wehrmacht)
The 1st Mountain Division was an elite formation of the German Wehrmacht during World War II, is remembered for its involvement in multiple large-scale war crimes. It was created on 9 April 1938 in Garmisch Partenkirchen from the Mountain Brigade, itself formed on 1 June 1935; the division consisted of Bavarians and some Austrians. The 1st Mountain Division fought in the Invasion of Poland as a part of Army Group South and distinguished itself during fighting in the Carpathians and at Lwów, it subsequently took part in the Battle of France and was selected to take part in the planned operations against the United Kingdom and Gibraltar but both operations were cancelled. With Felix cancelled, the division took part in the Invasion of Yugoslavia in April 1941 as part of the 2nd Army; the 1st Mountain Division participated in Operation Barbarossa. On 30 June, the division captured Lvov. There, the Germans discovered several thousand bodies of prisoners, executed by the NKVD, as they could not be evacuated.
The 1st Mountain Division continued its advance into the Soviet Union, participating in the breakthrough of the Stalin Line and the advance to the Dniepr and Mius rivers. In May 1942, the division fought in the Second Battle of Kharkov and participated in the offensive through southern Russia and into the Caucasus. In a symbolic propaganda move, the division sent a detachment to raise the German flag on Mount Elbrus on 21 August. Although the feat was publicized by Goebbels, Hitler was furious over what he called "these crazy mountain climbers," his rage lasting for hours. After the Caucasus campaign the division was posted to Yugoslavia, where it participated in the anti-Partisan offensive named Case Black, Greece where it took part in anti- partisan operations. In November 1943, the division returned to Yugoslavia, where it took part in operations Operation Kugelblitz and Waldrausch. In March 1944, the division was engaged in the Operation Margarethe. After Operation Rübezahl in Yugoslavia in August 1944, the division took part in defensive fighting against the Red Army in the Belgrade Offensive, suffered severe losses.
During the operation, the division commander, General Stettner, was killed in the battle on 17 October on Avala mountain near Belgrade. In late November, it was transferred to the most endangered spot of the German defense, it was renamed 1. Volks-Gebirgs-Division in March 1945, its final major operations were near Lake Balaton against the 3rd Ukrainian Front. Two months the division surrendered to the Americans in Austria. During the Invasion of Poland, soldiers from the division assisted in the round-up of Jewish civilians from Przemyśl for forced labour, photos of this were printed in newspapers. Photos 7 and 8 During the Case Black operation in Yugoslavia, the division and other units committed crimes against prisoners of war and civilians. In the after-battle report on 10 July, the division reported that it took 498 prisoners, 411 of whom were shot. On 6 July 1943 a unit from the division attacked the village of Borovë in Albania. All of the houses and buildings were burned or otherwise destroyed.
Among the 107 inhabitants killed were five entire families. The youngest victim was aged four months, the oldest 73. On 25 July 1943, soldiers from the division attacked the village of Mousiotitsa in Greece after a cache of weapons was found nearby, killing 153 civilians. On 16 August 1943, the village of Kommeno was attacked on the orders of Oberstleutnant Josef Salminger, the commander of GebirgsJäger Regiment 98. A total of 317 civilians were killed. Divisional soldiers took part in the murder of thousands of Italians from the 33 Acqui Infantry Division in September 1943 on the Greek island of Cefalonia after the Italian surrender. Divisional soldiers killed 32 officers and an estimated 100 soldiers from the Italian 151st Perugia Infantry Division in Albania after the Italian surrender. After the killing of Oberstleutnant Josef Salminger by Greek partisans, the commander of XXII Gebirgs-Armeekorps General der Gebirgstruppe Hubert Lanz ordered, on 1 October 1943, a “ruthless retaliatory action” in a 20 km area around the place where Salminger had been attacked.
In the village of Lyngiades, 92 of its 96 residents were executed. The Division's war crimes are described in H. F. Meyer's book Bloodstained Edelweiss: The 1st Mountain Division in the Second World War. General der Gebirgstruppen Ludwig Kübler General der Gebirgstruppen Hubert Lanz Generalleutnant Walter Stettner Ritter von Grabenhofen Generalmajor August Wittmann Generalleutnant Josef Kübler Generalleutnant August Wittmann 98. Mountain Infantry Regiment 3 Battalions 99. Mountain Infantry Regiment 3 Battalions 100. Mountain Infantry Regiment 3 Battalions 4. Panzerabwehr Battalion 79. Mountain Artillery Regiment 4 Battalions 54. Signals Battalion 54. Pioneer Battalion 54. Supply Troops Service Troops 98. Mountain Infantry Regiment 3 Battalions 99. Mountain Infantry Regiment 3 Battalions 54. Field Medical Battalion 44. Panzerabwehr Battalion 79. Mountain Artillery Regiment 4 Battalions 54. Signals Battalion 54. Pioneer Battalion 54. Supply Troops Service Troops 98. Mountain Infantry Regiment 3 Battalions 99.
Mountain Infantry Regiment 3 Battalions 44. Panzerjäger Battalion 79. Mountain Artillery Regiment 4 Battalions 54. Mountain Jäger Battalion 54. Reconnaissance Battalion 54. Mountain Signals Battalion 79
Curt Haase was a general in the Wehrmacht of Nazi Germany during World War II. Haase was promoted to Generalleutnant on 1 August 1937, he became commander of III. Armeekorps on 16 November 1938. During World War II, Haase was promoted to Generaloberst on 19 July 1940, in mid November 1940, he was relieved of his command of III. Armeekorps and reassigned to the Führer-Reserve to wait for a command. In early 1941 he was made commander of 15th Army, serving until December 1942, when he was transferred to the Führer-Reserve for the remainder of his career. On 9 February 1943, he died at the age of 61 from advanced heart disease. Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 8 June 1940 as General der Artillerie and commanding general of the III. Armeekorps
German occupation of Czechoslovakia
The German occupation of Czechoslovakia began with the German annexation of Czechoslovakia's border regions known collectively as the Sudetenland, under terms outlined by the Munich Agreement. German leader Adolf Hitler's pretext for this action was the alleged privations suffered by the ethnic German population living in those regions. New and extensive Czechoslovak border fortifications were located in the same area. Following the Anschluss of Austria to Nazi Germany, in March 1938, the conquest of Czechoslovakia became Hitler's next ambition; the incorporation of the Sudetenland into Germany that began on 1 October 1938 left the rest of Czechoslovakia weak, it became powerless to resist subsequent occupation. Part of the borderland region known as Zaolzie was occupied and subsequently returned to Poland after Czechoslovakia annexed it from Poland prior during the Polish-Soviet War. On 15 March 1939, the German Wehrmacht moved into the remainder of Czechoslovakia and, from Prague Castle, Hitler proclaimed Bohemia and Moravia the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia.
The occupation ended with the surrender of Germany following World War II. Sudeten German pro-Nazi leader Konrad Henlein offered the Sudeten German Party as the agent for Hitler's campaign. Henlein met with Hitler in Berlin on 28 March 1938, where he was instructed to raise demands unacceptable to the Czechoslovak government led by president Edvard Beneš. On 24 April, the SdP issued the Karlsbader Program, demanding autonomy for the Sudetenland and the freedom to profess National Socialist ideology. If Henlein's demands were granted, the Sudetenland would be able to align itself with Nazi Germany. I am asking neither that Germany be allowed to oppress three and a half million Frenchmen, nor am I asking that three and a half million Englishmen be placed at our mercy. Rather I am demanding that the oppression of three and a half million Germans in Czechoslovakia cease and that the inalienable right to self-determination take its place; as the tepid reaction to the German Anschluss with Austria had shown, the governments of France, the United Kingdom and Czechoslovakia were set on avoiding war at any cost.
The French government did not wish to face Germany alone and took its lead from the British government and its prime minister, Neville Chamberlain. Chamberlain contended that Sudeten German grievances were justified and believed that Hitler's intentions were limited. Britain and France, advised Czechoslovakia to concede to the German demands. Beneš resisted, on 20 May 1938 a partial mobilization was under way in response to possible German invasion, it is suggested that mobilization could have been launched on basis of Soviet misinformation about Germany being on verge of invasion, which aimed to trigger war between Western powers. On 30 May, Hitler signed a secret directive for war against Czechoslovakia to begin no than 1 October. In the meantime, the British government demanded. Not wishing to sever his government's ties with Western Europe, Beneš reluctantly accepted; the British appointed Lord Runciman and instructed him to persuade Beneš to agree to a plan acceptable to the Sudeten Germans.
On 2 September, Beneš submitted the Fourth Plan, granting nearly all the demands of the Karlsbader Programm. Intent on obstructing conciliation, the SdP held demonstrations that provoked police action in Ostrava on 7 September; the Sudeten Germans broke off negotiations on 13 September, after which violence and disruption ensued. As Czechoslovak troops attempted to restore order, Henlein flew to Germany, on 15 September issued a proclamation demanding the takeover of the Sudetenland by Germany. On the same day, Hitler met with Chamberlain and demanded the swift takeover of the Sudetenland by the Third Reich under threat of war; the Czechs, Hitler claimed, were slaughtering the Sudeten Germans. Chamberlain referred the demand to the French governments; the Czechoslovak government resisted, arguing that Hitler's proposal would ruin the nation's economy and lead to German control of all of Czechoslovakia. The United Kingdom and France issued an ultimatum, making a French commitment to Czechoslovakia contingent upon acceptance.
On 21 September, Czechoslovakia capitulated. The next day, Hitler added new demands, insisting that the claims of Poland and Hungary be satisfied. Romania was invited to share in the division of Carpathian Ruthenia, but refused, because of being an ally of Czechoslovakia; the Czechoslovak capitulation precipitated an outburst of national indignation. In demonstrations and rallies and Slovaks called for a strong military government to defend the integrity of the state. A new cabinet—under General Jan Syrový—was installed, on 23 September 1938 a decree of general mobilization was issued; the Czechoslovak army—modern and possessing an excellent system of frontier fortifications—was prepared to fight. The Soviet Union announced its willingness to come to Czechoslovakia's assistance. Beneš, refused to go to war without the support of the Western powers. Hitler gave a speech in Berlin on 26 September 1938 and declared that the Sudetenland was "the last territorial demand I have to make in Europe", he stated that he had told Chamberlain, "I have assured him further that, this I repeat here before you, once this issue has been resolved, there will no longer be any further territorial problems for Germany in Europe!"On 28 September, Chamberlain appealed to Hitler for a conference.
Hitler met the next day, at Munich, with the chiefs of governments of France and Britain. The Czechoslovak government was neither consulted. On 29 September, the Munich Agreement was signed by Germany, Italy
Focus (German magazine)
Focus is a German-language news magazine published by Hubert Burda Media. Established in 1993 as an alternative to the Spiegel weekly news magazine, since 2015 the editorial staff has been headquartered in Germany's capital of Berlin. Alongside Spiegel and Stern, Focus is one of the three most circulated German weeklies; the concept originated from Hubert Burda and Helmut Markwort, who went from being Editor-in-chief to become publisher in 2009 and since 2017 has been listed in the publication's masthead as Founding Editor-in-chief. The current Editor-in-chief of Focus as of March 2016 is Robert Schneider. Under the code name "Zugmieze", work commenced on Focus in the summer of 1991. In October 1992, Hubert Burda Media announced plans for a new weekly news magazine. Observers gave the project only little chance for success. Several attempts of other publishers to establish a competitor to Spiegel and Stern magazines had failed; the first edition arrived on the newsstands on January 18, 1993 and was sold out on the next day.
The subline of the Focus was "the modern news magazine", Helmut Markwort became the magazine's first Editor-in-chief. The lead story on the alleged comeback of Hans-Dietrich Genscher as the successor of Richard von Weizsäcker in the office of the Federal President was proven to be a canard. There was an equal mix of positive and negative reviews: Whereas journalists tended to take a critical view towards Focus, advertisers had favorable responses. Observers saw in Focus above all a challenger of Spiegel, whereas the publisher viewed US magazines such as Newsweek and Time as its role model. After five issues, Focus had some 15,000 subscribers, with circulation of over 300,000 copies sold, it was a commercial success from the beginning; the magazine played a decisive role in the expansion of Hubert Burda Media's market position. In mid-1994, a Dutch court ruled that due to brand disputes, Focus was no longer allowed to be sold in Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. Unfazed by this, Focus continued its growth strategy even eclipsing Spiegel in advertising sales.
Burda further enhanced its international profile, for example, through a cooperation agreement with the US media group, Ziff Davis. The year 1996 saw the launch of the Internet portal, Focus Online, under the name of Focus TV, the group entered into production of TV content. Focus developed into one of the leading German news magazines. In 1997, its publisher, Hubert Burda, was lauded for the magazine's "creative and groundbreaking innovations", among other accolades. Over the first five years of its existence, Focus created a sensation with its interviews of key celebrities, e.g. in 1996 with real estate mogul Jürgen Schneider after his arrest, or in 1997 with Leo Kirch in the aftermath of his media group's collapse. The Focus concept was successfully adapted outside of Europe, e.g. in the form of Época magazine by the Brazilian media house Grupo Globo. At the beginning of 1999, Focus for the first time achieved higher readership than Spiegel, in the years to follow, managed to further expand its lead position.
The year 2000 saw the launch of Focus Money, an off-shoot of the news magazine, dedicated to business and financial topics. In 2001, a division for Internet topics was created at Focus, in addition to pooling Internet activities of Focus Digital in the joint venture, Tomorrow Focus. Thus, the Focus magazine publishing company was once again responsible for printed publications, yet participated in Tomorrow Focus. In 2004 the first personnel changes occurred at Focus: In addition to his duties as Editor-in-chief, Helmut Markwort assumed the position of publisher, Uli Baur was promoted from Deputy Editor-in-chief to Editor-in-chief. Under the new leadership, in 2005 Focus teamed up with Hörverlag, an audio publisher, to create the download portal Claudio for audio books. In 2006, Focus became embroiled in the journalist scandal of the Bundesnachrichtendienst, the German Intelligence Services. In exchange for money and benefits in kind, several journalists had offered the intelligence agency to collect and disclose information on investigative journalists and their sources.
The German Intelligence Services in turn put Focus journalists under observation as informants. Irrespective of the public debate surrounding the affair, Focus continued its development, yet like all news magazines, was grappling with declining circulation. At the end of 2009, it was announced. Wolfram Weimer, founder of the political magazine Cicero, was appointed as his successor. Observers saw in Markwort's departure a fundamental "change in direction". Prior to Weimer's taking up his duties, the publisher staged a relaunch of Focus. After only one year, Weimer left Focus and his position was left unfilled, which lead to Baur becoming the sole Editor-in-chief. According to media reports, publisher Markwort and Baur had "rejected" the new direction of the Focus and "ultimately obstructed it more and more heavily". Weimer was said to have wanted to position the magazine as "more up-market and more political"; the paid circulation of single copies "more and more heavily" declined under Weimer's and Baur's leadership, dropping below the 100,000 mark.
In 2013, Jörg Quoos took over as Editor-in-chief of the magazine, Baur became publisher. Quoos gave Focus a more political orientation and, in particular, reduced the share of practical tips. For example, the magazine ran an exposé on soccer manager Uli Hoeness's voluntary disclosure of his tax evasion and landed the scoop on the so-called "Nazi-era treasure trove" of art collector Cornelius Gurlitt. In 2014, Ulrich Reitz followed as new Editor-in-chief, as the publisher and Quoos had