Military Campaigns of WWII PPT

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Transcript Military Campaigns of WWII PPT

of World War II
Operation Torch: 1942-1943
 After deciding to eliminate Hitler first, the Allies attacked
German controlled North Africa.
 British and American troops led by D. Eisenhower landed
on the coast of Algeria and Morocco in Nov. 1942.
 The invasion caught German high command by complete
surprise—Hitler then ordered the occupation of all France.
 After pushing the Axis powers east from Egypt, the
Germans surrendered in Tunisia.
1942: Rommel's Afrika Korps had a strong hold in unoccupied
Northern Africa
Known as the Desert Fox
• Erwin Rommel was a German Field
• He was a skilled commander of desert
• His Afrikakorps was never accused of
war crimes.
• He was linked to a conspiracy to kill
• Hitler chose to eliminate him quietly.
• In trade for the protection of his family,
Rommel agreed to commit suicide in
El Alamein Oct.-Nov. 1942
 The battle for this small port in Egypt lasted from October 23 to November 3,
 Rommel's German and Italian troops were outnumbered two-to-one and were
short reinforcements and supplies.
 After ten days of repeated attacks, the Allies finally broke through the enemy
lines during an intense night battle and the Axis forces retreated as far back as
 When the Allies secured El Alamein they held North Africa and the Suez
Canal – the gateway to the East and to British oil supplies.
 The Battle of El Alamein was the first major Allied victory. Churchill later said:
“We had neither a victory before it, nor a defeat after it.”
Approximately 350,000 Axis soldiers killed, wounded or captured.
Allies, about 70,000 casualties.
Operation Husky: Sicily July-Aug. 1943
 Operation Husky, was a major World War II campaign, in which
the Allies took Sicily from the Axis.
 It was a large amphibious and airborne operation, followed by six
weeks of land combat. It launched the Italian Campaign.
 Husky began on the night of July 9-10, 1943, and ended August
 The Allies drove Axis air, land and naval forces from the island;
the Mediterranean's sea lanes were opened and Italian
dictator Benito Mussolini was toppled from power. It opened the
way to the Allied invasion of Italy.
Benito Mussolini: Il Duce
• Mussolini became the Prime Minister of Italy in
1922 and began using the title Il Duce by 1925.
•He remained in power until he was replaced in
1943. The Allied invasion of Italy prompted his
being deposed and subsequent arrest.
• Soon after his incarceration began, Mussolini was
rescued from prison by German special forces. In
late April 1945, with total defeat looming,
Mussolini attempted to escape to Switzerland, only
to be quickly captured and then executed by Italian
•His body was then taken to Milan where it was
hung upside down at a petrol station for public
viewing and to provide confirmation of his demise.
Invasion of Italy 1943-1945
• On Sept. 3, 1943, the British crossed the
Strait of Messina.
• The Allies conducted a multi-pronged
invasion of Italy.
• Italy became a co-belligerent and
declared war on Germany, Oct. 13th.
• The struggle up the Italian boot proved
slow due to a large German army (Gothic
line in northern Italy and the Gustav line
in central Italy), floods, mud, the
Apennines Mountains, and winter cold.
Fall of Rome: June 4, 1944
 In World War II, Churchill
thought he could keep casualties
down by attacking Germany
through the 'soft underbelly' of
 Liberated - On June 4, American
forces, under the command of
General Mark Clark, entered
Rome, from which the Nazis were
quickly retreating.
 The capture of Rome marked the
first Axis capital captured by
Allied forces.
The Invasion of Europe: Operation
Overlord: D-Day, June 6, 1944
Supreme Allied Commander U.S. Army Gen.
Dwight D. Eisenhower speaks with 101st Airborne
Division paratroopers before the invasion.
 June 6, 1944, 160,000 Allied troops
landed along a 50-mile stretch of
heavily-fortified French coastline to fight
Nazi Germany on the beaches of
Normandy, France. General Dwight D.
Eisenhower called the operation a
crusade in which “we will accept nothing
less than full victory.”
 More than 5,000 Ships and 13,000
aircraft supported the D-Day invasion,
and by day’s end on June 6, the Allies
gained a foot- hold in Normandy.
 The D-Day cost was high -more than
9,000 Allied Soldiers were killed or
wounded -- but more than 100,000
Soldiers began the march across Europe
to defeat Hitler.
June 1944 was a major turning point of World War II, particularly in
Europe. Although the initiative had been seized from the Germans
some months before, the western Allies had been unable to mass
sufficient men and material to risk an attack in northern Europe.
The Battle of the Bulge: Dec. 16, 1944-January 1945
 The battle was fought on an 80-mile
front running from southern Belgium
through the Ardennes Forest, and
down to Ettelbruck in the middle of
 The Battle of the Bulge, so named
because of the westward bulging
shape of the battleground on a map,
lasted from mid-December 1944 to the
end of January 1945. It was the largest
land battle of World War II in which
the United States directly
 More than a million men fought in the
battle — 600,000 Germans, 500,000
Americans, and 55,000 British.
Eastern Front: Leningrad & Stalingrad
 Operation Barbarossa was the
codename for the 1941 invasion of
the Soviet Union.
 The German plan to capture
Leningrad was motivated by its
status as the former capital of
Russia, the symbolic capital of the
Russian Revolution, its military
importance as a main base of the
Soviet Baltic Fleet, and its industrial
 The battle began on July 10, 1941 and
lasted over 3 years.
 During that time 641,803 people
died of starvation.
Staggering loses on the Eastern Front
 The Battle of Stalingrad was a major
battle of World War II in which Nazi
Germany and its allies fought the Soviet
Union for control of the city of Stalingrad
(now Volgograd) in southwestern Russia.
 The battle took place between July 17, 1942
and February 2, 1943 and was among the
largest on the Eastern Front, and was
marked by its brutality and disregard for
military and civilian casualties.
 It was amongst the bloodiest battles in the
history of warfare with the higher estimates
of combined casualties amounting to
nearly 2,000,000 deaths.
 The outcome was disastrous for Germany,
proving to be turning points in the tide of
war in favor of the Allies, making a German
victory in the East impossible.
Soviet soldier waving the
Red Banner over the central
plaza of Stalingrad in 1943.
The Pacific Theater 1941-45
Pacific strategy: Island Hopping
Major goals:
 Recapture the Philippines
 Cut Japan’s lines of
 Set up bases from which to
attack Japan’s main islands
Coral Sea: May 4-8, 1942
The Battle of the Coral Sea, fought during
May 4–8, 1942, was a major naval battle in the
Pacific Theater of World War II between Japan
and Allied forces from the United States (U.S.)
and Australia.
The battle was the first fleet action in which
aircraft carriers engaged each other.
It was also the first naval battle in history in
which neither side's ships sighted or fired
directly upon the other.
Although a tactical victory for the Japanese in
terms of ships sunk, the battle would prove to
be a strategic victory for the Allies.
Japanese expansion, seemingly unstoppable
until then, had been turned back for the first
Midway: June 4-6, 1942
 Adm. Chester W. Nimitz knew
 The Battle of Midway, fought over
and near the tiny U.S. mid-Pacific
base at Midway atoll, represents the
strategic high water mark of Japan's
Pacific Ocean war.
 Prior to this action, Japan possessed
general naval superiority over the
United States and could usually
choose where and when to attack.
 After Midway, the two opposing
fleets were essentially equals, and
the United States soon took the
about Yamamoto’s plans as codes
were cracked before Pearl Harbor.
 It ended Japanese threats to Hawai’i
and the U.S.
Guadalcanal: Aug. 7 1942-Feb. 8, 1943
Control of the Solomon Islands, of which
Guadalcanal was a part, was considered
militarily vital by both sides. Allied and
Japanese forces won some battles in the area
but both sides were overextended and a
hostile physical environment hampered the
abilities of the combat forces to operate.
In the end Guadalcanal was a major
American victory as the Japanese inability to
keep pace with the rate of American
reinforcements proved decisive.
Bataan Death March: 1942
•The Bataan Death March took place
in the Philippines in 1942 and was later
accounted as a Japanese war crime.
•The 60 mi. march involved the forcible
transfer of 75,000 American and Filipino
prisoners of war, was characterized by
wide-ranging physical abuse and
murder, and resulted in very high
•The exact death count is impossible to
determine, but some historians have
placed the minimum death toll between
6,000 and 11,000 men.
Leyte Gulf: October 23-26, 1944
 Leyte Gulf was the biggest naval
engagement in history from the
point of naval tonnage involved.
 It was a decisive victory for the
 Japan lost 3 battleships, 4 carriers,
10 cruisers, and 9 destroyers.
 The Japanese began to strike with
kamikazes or suicide planes.
Philippines Campaign 1944-45
 The Philippines were invaded by
Japan in December 1941 shortly after
Japan's declaration of war upon the
U.S. The combined AmericanFilipino army was defeated by Japan
in April 1942.
 Due to the huge number of islands,
the Japanese did not occupy them
all. Japanese control over the
countryside and smaller towns was
often tenuous at best.
 MacArthur was ordered by
Washington to relocate to Australia.
His famous speech which made
headlines stated, "I came through
and I shall return."
General Douglas MacArthur,
President Osmeña, and staff
land at Palo, Leyte on 20
October 1944.
Iwo Jima: Feb. 19-March 16, 1943
•Located 750 miles from Tokyo.
•On Feb. 23, 1943, the Marines hoisted
the American Flag on Mount Suribachi.
•Chester Nimitz remarked “Uncommon
valor was a common virtue.”
•20,000 enemy troops were killed at the
cost of 6,000 U.S. troops
Okinawa: April-June 1945
 The Battle of Okinawa was the largest
amphibious assault in the Pacific War.
The battle lasted 82 days.
 After a long campaign of island hopping,
the Allies were approaching Japan, and
planned to use Okinawa, a large island
only 340 miles away from mainland
Japan, as a base for air operations on the
planned invasion of Japanese mainland.
 The battle resulted in one of the highest
number of casualties of any World War
II engagement. Japan lost over 100,000
troops killed or captured, and the Allies
suffered more than 50,000 casualties of
all kinds. Simultaneously, tens of
thousands of local civilians were killed,
wounded, or committed suicide.
Victory in Europe and Japan
•Victory in Europe Day (V-E Day)
commemorates May 8, 1945, the date
when the World War II Allies
formally accepted the unconditional
surrender of Nazi Germany.
•Hitler had committed suicide on
April 30th.
 V-J Day in Times Square is a
photograph by Alfred
Eisenstaedt that portrays an
American sailor kissing a
young woman in a white dress
on V-J Day in Times Square on
August 14, 1945.
 The official United States
celebration is not on this date,
however. V-J Day is instead
celebrated on September 2, the
date of the formal signing of
the surrender.