The "Third Reich" is one of the unofficial names given to Germany as it was during the years 1933 - 1945. Formally the name of Germany from 1871 onward to 1945 was the German Empire (Deutsches Reich).
Germanys role in the Second World War is commonly known. The drive to conquer other nations was already apparent when Hitler took over in 1933. With the invasion of Poland in September 1939, Germany opened the way for a total war. After successes in the West (May and June 1940), North-Africa (1940-1941) and the Soviet Union (1941-1942) the tide turned slowly. The almost endless resources and supplies the Soviets and Americans could put into the War effort, forced the Germans to retreat from the Eastern Front, North-Africa (1942), Italy (1943), France (1944) and finally into Germany (1945) after which the war ended with the unconditional surrender in May 1945.
On this website we state German decorations that were awarded during the reign of Adolf Hitler from 1933 until the total surrender in May 1945, decorations awarded or instituted after May 1945 and have a direct relation to the Second World War and decorations instituted before 1933 that have a direct...