Presentation on theme: "D-Day to the End. What was the situation in 1944? The Russians have defeated the Germans and are advancing in the East The Allies are victorious in Africa."— Presentation transcript:
D-Day to the End
What was the situation in 1944? The Russians have defeated the Germans and are advancing in the East The Allies are victorious in Africa and launch an assault on mainland Italy through Sicily
The Russian Front On August 23 rd, 1939, Stalin and Hitler signed a “Non- Aggression Pact” which vowed not to interfere in each other’s business On June 22 nd, 1941, Germany invaded the Soviet Union Having purged his military of many of its best officers, Stalin and the Soviets were not ready for war
The Eastern Front Operation “Barbarossa” – began on June 22 nd, 1941 The early days saw the Germans drive into the Soviet Union almost reaching Moscow by October The German army besieged Leningrad for what was to become a two year struggle ending in the death of more than one million civilians When the severe Russian winter arrived the Nazi offensive broke down and the German attack was halted
The Tide Turns The Nazis needed supplies and resources to continue the war so victory in the Soviet Union was essential From Sept. 14 th, 1942 – Feb. 2 nd, 1943 – the Germans and Russians fought for the strategic city of Stalingrad on the Volga River Hitler and the Nazis lost the battle – German and other troops were killed or taken prisoner By the Autumn of 1943 the Germany army of 2.5 million soldiers faced an army of 5.5 million Soviet soldiers
Italy From July 10 th to August 17 th – the Allies including the Canadians fought and took Sicily from the German Army – Codenamed “Operation Husky” The Campaign of Italy was designed to take the pressure off their Russian Allies and pull German troops out of north- western Europe readying the area for Operation “Overlord” 9th September, 1943 the attack began on Italy The Canadians were forced to fight for every metre of the mountainous terrain as the Germans refused to give it up Italian Campaign Animated Map
The Italians Surrender On the 8 th of September, 1943, the Italian Government surrenders The Allied planners thought the Italian Campaign would be over in a matter of weeks. They were wrong. Italy would represent frustration and death for thousands of Allied soldiers in a bitter stagnated fight. It would be a year before Allied troops entered Rome, and the Invasion of France would overshadow that victory.
The Battle for Italy When Italy formally surrendered on September 8 th, the Italians separated into two camps, pro- Allied and pro-German factions. On September 9, the Allies landed Americans at Salerno and the British landed at Taranto By September 26 the Allies had built a force of 189,000 men and 30,000 vehicles. Following the Italian surrender, the German Army took control of the defence of Germany
Ortona Ortona is an ancient city that consists of narrow streets and connected houses Much of Ortona was reduced to rubble, making it difficult for the Canadians to use tanks The Germans barricaded themselves in houses and mined the streets The fighting was house-to-house- literally – the Canadians blasted their way through walls to get from building to building. The battle continued over Christmas Day, 1943 but three days later the Germans withdrew.
The Liberation of Rome Following the fall of Ortona the Allies ground to a halt due to blizzards and drifting snow at the end of December The Allied focus then turned to the western front where it was considered to have the best chance of a breakthrough towards Rome. It took four major offensives between January and May 1944 before the Allies including British, US, French, Polish, and Canadian Corps broke through Rome was declared an open city by the German army and the Allies took possession on June 4 th.
The Move on to France Having the Germans occupied in Italy allowed the allies to move forward with their plan to open up the long awaited western front in Europe
The Plan Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt agreed it was time to open up a new front in the West through the beaches of France The obvious choice for a landing area was the Pas de Calais so the Allies decided to attack in Normandy instead but believed they had to deceive the Germans they intended to attack elsewhere
Normandy It Is! Normandy is a peninsula on the French Coast It was chosen because the Germans expected the attack to be on the Pas de Calais
The Criteria 1.The enemy must remain ignorant of the proposed landing site 2.The enemy must be prevented from bringing up reinforcements quickly once the allies landed 3.Complete Allied air and naval superiority in the English Channel 4.Local defences must largely be destroyed by air and sea bombardment
Operation “Overlord” There would be five sectors that would be attacked: 1.Utah – American 2.Omaha – American 3.Gold – British 4.Juno – Canadian 5.Sword - British
The Attack – June 6 th, 1944 Operation Overlord Simulation
The Atlantic Wall The Atlantic Wall was an extensive system of coastal fortifications built by the Germans between 1942 and 1944 Built along the western coast of Europe to defend against an anticipated Anglo-American led Allied invasion of the continent from Great Britain. Fritz Todt, the designer of the Siegfried Line along the Franco- German border, was the chief engineer Thousands of forced laborers were forced to construct these permanent fortifications along the Dutch, Belgian and French coasts
The Atlantic Wall Early in 1944, Field Marshal Erwin Rommel was assigned to improve the defenses of the Wall. Rommel believed the existing coastal fortifications were entirely inadequate. A string of reinforced concrete pillboxes were built along the beaches to house machine guns, antitank guns, and light artillery. Minefields and antitank obstacles were planted on the beaches and underwater obstacles and mines were planted in the waters just off shore to destroy incoming craft By the time of the invasion, the Germans had laid almost 6 million mines in northern France.
The Atlantic Wall!
The Time Has Come On the evening of June 5 th paratroopers dropped in to secure bridges for the allied advance Heavy bombers dropped their payloads on what was supposed to be the beach defences In the early morning the largest armada of ships left Britain for the French coast
The Canadians on D-Day Of the nearly 150,000 Allied troops who landed or parachuted into the invasion area, 14,000 were Canadians The Royal Canadian Navy contributed 110 ships and 10,000 sailors in support of the landings while the R.C.A.F. had helped prepare the invasion by bombing targets inland Canadians suffered 1074 casualties, including 359 killed.
The Battle for Normandy For the first month following the D- Day landings, a stalemate developed during which the Allies built up their forces In July Canadian troops helped capture Caen and then turned towards Falaise where they aimed at joining an American advance from the south to encircle the German forces in Normandy. By August 21, the Germans had either retreated or been destroyed between the Canadian-British and American pincers The ten-week Normandy Campaign cost the Canadians alone more than 18,000 casualties, 5000 of them fatal.
The Liberation of Northwest Europe September 1944 the British captured the Belgian port of Antwerp It was a key victory for the allies because they desperately required its docking facilities to bring in supplies. The problem was that the Germans occupied both banks of the 70-kilometre long Scheldt River estuary linking Antwerp to the sea. Realizing the value of Antwerp to the Allied supply line, the 2nd Canadian Army under the command of Lieutenant-General Guy Simonds was assigned to the task of securing the Scheldt EstuaryRealizing the value of Antwerp to the Allied supply line, the 2nd Canadian Army under the command of Lieutenant-General Guy Simonds was assigned to the task of securing the Scheldt Estuary
Liberating The Scheldt Estuary The Battle of the Scheldt, was a series of military operations which took place in northern Belgium and southwestern Netherlands from October 2 to November 8, 1944 By September, 1944, it had become urgent for the Allies to clear both banks of the Scheldt Estuary in order to open the port of Antwerp to Allied shipping, thus easing logistical burdens in their supply lines stretching hundreds of miles from Normandy. The British captured Antwerp on September 4 th, 1944 but the Germans still controlled the Scheldt Estuary making the port useless
The Scheldt Con’t After five weeks of difficult fighting, the First Canadian Army with support from other countries was successful in securing the Scheldt Estuary It took numerous amphibious assaults, crossing of canals, and fighting over open ground. Both land and water were mined, and the Germans defended their retreating line with artillery and snipers. The Allies finally cleared the port areas on November 8, but at a cost of 12,873 Allied casualties (killed, wounded, or missing), half of them Canadians.
The Battle of the Bulge The Ardennes Offensive known to the general public as the Battle of the Bulge, started on December 16, 1944 Three powerful German armies plunged into the semi- mountainous, heavily forested Ardennes region of eastern Belgium and northern Luxembourg. Their goal was to reach the sea, trap four allied armies, and impel a negotiated peace on the Western front.
The Battle of the Bulge Thinking the Ardennes was the least likely spot for a German offensive the line was thin with American manpower concentrated north and south of the Ardennes. Even though the German Offensive achieved total surprise, the American troops did not give ground without a fight Within three days the Americans, assisted by the arrival of powerful reinforcements insured that the Germans would not achieve their goal.
Battle of the Bulge Outcome The German losses in the battle were critical The last of the German reserves were now gone The Luftwaffe had been broken The German Army in the West was being pushed back. Most importantly, the Eastern Front was now ripe for the taking and the German Army was unable to halt the Soviets German forces were sent reeling on two fronts and never recovered.
The Final Days In April 1945, the battle is coming to a close. On the 30th April, Hitler commits suicide together with his mistress Eva Braun hours after they were married. Hitler gave strict orders for his body to be burned, so that his enemies wouldn't do what they had done to Mussolini, who was publicly displayed hanging upside down.
The Soviets Arrive – Berlin Falls By 2 May, the Reichstag, the old German parliament falls and Berlin surrenders to Marshall Zukhov, who receives the honour of being the conqueror of Berlin. The battle for Berlin cost the Soviets over 70,000 dead. Many of them died because of the haste with which the campaign was conducted.
VE-Day The major Allied ground offensive from the west against German territory began on 8 February 1945 In April, Canadian troops liberated most of the Netherlands The Germans formally surrendered on 8 May 1945, known as Victory-in-Europe, or ‘V-E’ Day
Hiroshima and Nagasaki Following FDR’s death, Harry Truman becomes President of the United States Truman decided to use the bomb on Japan because he believed that it was the only way to get the Japanese to surrender and save American lives On August 6 th, 1945 a lone B-29 Superfortress called the Enola Gay by its crew took off and headed for Hiroshima Video
Fat Man and Little Boy At 8:15am the atomic bomb nicknamed “Little Boy” was dropped on Hiroshima Within seconds two thirds of the city was flattened and thousands were dead On August 11, a bomb called “Fat Man” was dropped on Nagasaki at 11:02 am At noon, August 15 th, 1945 – Emperor Hirohito spoke directly to his people to tell them Japan had surrendered
Why Did the Allies Win? Complete material superiority – weapons etc. More soldiers Better Strategy Technology Morale Material and financial Wealth