What was the strategy of the Germans?

The early strategy of the Germans was to secure their physical borders and improve their economic situation. Thus the Germans occupied Bohemia to lock down the southeast border. Poland added some resources and food production but mainly secured a military buffer zone against the expantionist Soviets. Actions to the north in Norway were taken to stop aggression by the British who had designs on blockading German iron ore imports from Sweden. In the west, German efforts were to defeat the large armies of France and Britain and thus secure that border area. Once these quick and decisive actions were accomplished, Germany was relatively secure border-wise and had greatly improved her economic position. The German national strategy then becomes much more problematic. Supposedly the war with the Soviets was to further strengthen eastern border security while obtaining large new economic benefits. However, the methods by which the war was conducted led to a long drawn out affair with high attrition, thus negating the potential benefits. Actions in the so called "battle of Britain" and the north African campaign are so puny in comparison that they had no real 'strategic' value. They were mainly diversionary, tactical actions, to keep the British tied up. The British history book writers love to play up these two tactical arenas and as such they typically take up about half of any 'history' account provided by the English. IMO they played zero strategic importance as to the outcome of the war. As the war expanded to include the USA, the German strategy becomes even more muddled. Supposedly, Germany hoped to stalemate the Russians into a position favorable to Germany, probably along the Volga River. This was within reach by late 1941 and possibly could have been done in 1942. By the spring of 1943 however, it was impossible. Against the west, the best that could be obtained was another stalemate along the English channel and in the Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean. This was to be accomplished by a strong strategic initiative involving Atlantic Ocean submarines. On land, occupation troops and a competitive air force in the north of France would prevent British/American invasion. In the event, the British largely defeated the German submarine force and the Americans destroyed the German air arm over France and western Germany. The large German occupation army in France was incapable of stopping the western Allies by itself. Thus a successful strategic Allied invasion via Normandy and a quick end to the war (about ten months). The lack of a long term coherent strategy by Germany is one of the reason she lost the war.