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The European Theater, 1939- 1945 The Mediterranean The Campaign for Italy The Invasion of Fortress Europe.

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Presentation on theme: "The European Theater, 1939- 1945 The Mediterranean The Campaign for Italy The Invasion of Fortress Europe."— Presentation transcript:

1 The European Theater, The Mediterranean The Campaign for Italy The Invasion of Fortress Europe

2 The Mediterranean April 6, 1941, Germany invades Greece and overwhelms it in six weeks May 1941 sees Germany launch the largest paratrooper drop in history in Crete, it is a success but comes with a heavy loss of life for the Germans Germany now has a foothold in the Mediterranean

3 The Mediterranean 5 Italian divisions will invade Egypt and fail to make any headway Italians are being pushed back to Libya Germany will be forced to now send forces to North Africa to support the Italians The Italians will now be a liability to Germany by losing control of Ethiopia, Somalia and Egypt

4 The Mediterranean 1940, General Erwin Rommel, a superior tactician is sent to turn tide back in Germanys favor Combing German and Italian forces Rommel pushes the British back to Alexandria, Egypt Called the Desert Fox due to his uncanny ability to use terrain to his advantage and his use of deception

5 The Mediterranean Rommel brings victory after victory for the Germans (Knightsbridge and Tobruk) Rommels Afrika Corps need 6,000 tons of supplies daily but Germany cannot meet the need Hitler refuses to provide forces necessary for victory and orders the Corps to continue fighting as opposed to retreating


7 The Mediterranean Rommel refuses to follow Hitlers order Defend every inch of ground and escapes the American and British landings of the Moroccan coast 1942 Operation Torch, called for the seizure of North African coast Americans engage German forces for the 1 st time at the battle of Kasserine Pass Feb , 1943

8 The Mediterranean Americans provide needed men and support to Allies in North Africa Hitler will remove Rommel for disobeying his orders and for asking to retreat from North Africa By late 1943 Germany will lose North Africa and control of the Mediterranean Sea

9 The Campaign for Italy Allied forces are not strong enough to act Europe but can attack a softer target July 10, 1943, Operation Husky is the invasion of Italy by airborne and amphibious assault Generals Bernard Montgomery and George Patton race and take Messina in August 1943

10 The Campaign for Italy General George S. Patton, brilliant tactician, flamboyant but an aggressive commander who takes fight to enemy Placed on inactive duty for an incident involving a slapping in Sicily Germans will be lucky he is inactive for the Italian campaign

11 The Campaign for Italy British General Bernard Montgomery, a cautious commander who tends to over exaggerate opponents Egotistic and competed with American leadership for headlines Caution hindered at times advancements of Allied forces in North Africa and in Europe

12 The Campaign for Italy Germans will put up massive resistance to Allied invasion of Italy The Germans make three major stands against Allies Italian geography (mountain valleys) provides excellent defensive positions for Germans but it is still not enough and Italy is lost in 1945


14 Battle Of The Atlantic Plan Z was Germanys hope for a great fleet that would dominate the seas Germany again relied on a fleet of u-boats to encounter merchant ships carrying cargo to Britian and Allies U.S. provided destroyers to Allies on condition that they would be paid later under the Lend-Lease Act of 1941

15 Battle Of The Atlantic U.S. destroyers were engaged in tracking and engaging u- boats prior to joining WWII Greatest naval battle occurred when Germanys flagship Bismarck was hunted down by British ships May 23, 1941-May 26, 1941 U.S. Navy will begin to use sonar and use hunter-killer groups sonar escort and u- boat destroyer to end Nazi dominance of seas


17 The Invasion of Fortress Europe Raid on Dieppe, August 18, 1942 was first time British attempted to invade occupied France Over 3,600 men are killed in 8 hours because of no air support and naval bombardment General Dwight Eisenhower will command the Normandy invasion (Operation Overlord) it will involve 3 million men, 8,00 planes and 50,000 military vechiles


19 The Invasion of Fortress Europe General Dwight Eisenhower, born in Denison, Texas 1890 and brought up valuing education, honesty, dedication and integrity He excelled in administration and organization command during WWII Planned meticulously on how to avoid defeat and how to defeat the Germans during Operation Overlord

20 The Invasion of Fortress Europe June 6, 1944 D-Day, over 160,000 Americans and British land and parachute into France American forces will take heavy casualties but with air superiority and determination take the beaches of Normandy, France Some landing zones meet with strong resistance like Omaha Beach were American forces suffer 5,000 casualties

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22 American losses will be 1 out every 10 killed or wounded The Germans had a crack tank battalion near Normandy but did not call them up Germans had a breakdown in communications and Hitler believed that this was not the real assault on France

23 The Invasion of Fortress Europe American armor will face bocage, checker boarded fields surround by hedgerows and sunken lanes which provide cover for German forces The Germans will turn every field into a battlefield by hiding tanks or anti-tank teams in the hedge groves After 75 days pf fighting the Allies seize Normandy as a beachhead

24 The Invasion of Fortress Europe

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