The War in Europe

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Transcript The War in Europe

German Plan - Schleiffen plan meets
 subdue Fr (via Belgium)
▪ Avoid Maginot line
 Subdue Br via air and land invasion
▪ Attack Africa as a diversion to occupy Br troops
▪ Threaten access to India via Suez Canal
 Prepare for main event – Eastern Europe and
Japanese Plan –
 Secure large resource base for Japan and her
 Systematically eliminate all major opposition in
SE Asia
 Believe W interests in defending SE Asia was
Italy’s plan –
 Glory, loot, and tribute
Soviets (USSR)
 Seize Baltic States
 Maximize the participation of the Allies
 Finland, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania (1939)
 Subdue Germans and free Allies
 Maximize use of Russian military against Germany
 Create additional fronts to relieve Eastern fronts
 Subdue Japanese and Germans and free Allies
August, 1941
Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt met in secret
to discuss the war’s aims and agree on a set of principles
to guide them in the yrs ahead.
 They seek no enlargement of territory
 No territorial changes that go against the expressed wishes of those
people concerned
 Respect the right of those people to choose their own govt
 Final destruction of the Nazi tyranny
 All nations of world must come to the abandonment of the use of
****Becomes the Basis for the United Nations!!!***
Defeating the Axis
depended on
controlling the sea
 It was the only way the
U.S. could get supplies
to Europe
 If the seas could not be
protected, the Axis
would quickly win the
In WWI the Allies
fought U-Boats by
using convoys
 At the start of WWII
there was not enough
ships to form convoys
“Wolf Pack”- U-Boats
hunted in groups and
attacked at night
1940-1942- “Happy
 German U-Boats sent
hundreds of ships to
the bottom of the sea
 In a few months
German U-Boats sent
360 American ships to
the bottom of the sea
U.S. entry into the war helped turn the tide
of the war
American shipyards started producing ships
at an amazing rate
Envoys and aircraft with radar started to
destroy U-Boats
Developed after WWI, the
Enigma was used to encode
German military
After considerable time, the
Allies were able to crack the
The breaking of the code,
along with American entry,
started to close the door on
U-Boat success
“Iron Coffins” 70% of German
military who served on UBoats died
*Battle of the Atlantic is the
longest battle of the war*
Summer of 1941 Hitler sent troops into the
Soviet Union
 Breaks his non-aggression agreement
For the first few months the Germans
storm the Russian countryside  apparent
Russian winter came and the invasion
City of Leningrad
 200,000 residents died in January and February
Spring returned and
Germans renewed
their assault
 Germans attacked
Stalingrad in August
of 1942
 Some of the bloodiest
fighting in history
 Despite German
progress, Soviets
would not let it fall
Soviet counter attack 
250,000 Axis soldiers were
trapped and forced to
surrender: Feb 2, 1943
 Soviets started to push back
 Statistics from the Battle of
 2 million dead Germans
 12 million dead Soviets soldiers
 Millions of civilians
The Soviet Union had
 **Turning point of the war
in the east!!**
Control of northern Africa was important for
Mediterranean shipping
 British oil through the Suez canal
Italian forces tried unsuccessfully to drive the British out
of Egypt
Feb 1941, Hitler had to send troops to support the Italians
▪ Gen Erwin Rommel (Desert Fox)
Offensive failed when Allies won at Battle of El Alamein
 Germans forced to retreat W.
▪ Gen Bernard Montgomery (Br)
Casablanca Conference
FDR wanted to make a contribution to the
Allies soon after joining the war
Stalin wanted the Allies to invade Europe
right away but the other leaders resisted
 Wanted to wait for invade Europe until fully
Invasion of Africa was the logical start
Plan: Invade Morocco and Algeria then go
up through the “soft underbelly” of Europe
May 1943- Allied forces defeated German forces in Africa
 20,000 Americans were killed in 6 months of fighting
Allied Strategy: Focus on Mediterranean and knock the
Italians out of the war
July 1943- Invasion of Sicily (Gen George Patton)
 September, 1941 Italy’s govt surrenders
 Oct 13, new govt declares war on Germany
▪ German soldiers continue to fight
 May 1944 Allies finally break through German defenses
 April, 1945 Germans in N. Italy surrender
▪ Mussolini shot trying to escape
The fighting in Italy was slow and difficult
partly because the Allies had to devote some
of their resources to the invasion of France
“Operation Overlord”
To end the war as quickly as possible, the
Allies wanted to launch a large invasion of
mainland Europe
Careful planning was necessary the
beaches of Normandy, France
By early June 1944, the Allied force of 3.5
million soldiers were ready
After being delayed by weather, D-Day began
on June 6, 1944
The success of Operation Overlord came
down to the courage of the individual soldier
By the thousands, the soldiers stormed the
beach and raced to find something to hide
August 25, 1944 Paris was liberated.
 Gen Charles De Gaulle
 About the same time, American troops cross the western border to
Battle of the Bulge (Belgium)
 the last German offensive on the Western Front, an unsuccessful
attempt to divide the Allied forces and prevent an invasion of
▪ The "bulge" refers to the wedge that the Germans drove into the
Allied lines.
▪ In December 1944, Allied forces were caught unprepared by a
German counterthrust in southern Belgium. The German drive was
initially successful but was halted by Allied resistance and
reinforcements led by George Patton.
▪ Largest battle in W Europe during WWII and largest battle ever
fought by US Army
April, 1945 Soviets captured Berlin and
continued E
Connected with Allied troops on April 25,
Hitler committed suicide in his bunker on
April 30
May 8, 1945, Ger remaining troops surrender
 V-E Day
Churchill, Roosevelt, Stalin met in Yalta
(SU) in Feb 1945
Planned final defeat of Ger and postwar
 Ger split into four zones each under major
control of one of Allies, including Fr
▪ Similar division of Berlin
▪ Stalin promises elections to nations in E Eur that his
army had liberated from Ger and to enter war against
Japan within 3 mos
▪ Did not honor promise