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Road to the conclusion of WWII 1943-1945 Questions to think about… ■What role did the U.S. play in winning the wars in Europe & the Pacific? ■How did.

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Presentation on theme: "Road to the conclusion of WWII 1943-1945 Questions to think about… ■What role did the U.S. play in winning the wars in Europe & the Pacific? ■How did."— Presentation transcript:


2 Road to the conclusion of WWII 1943-1945

3 Questions to think about… ■What role did the U.S. play in winning the wars in Europe & the Pacific? ■How did the relationship between the Soviets and US become tense and uneasy at the conclusion of the war?

4 When the U.S. entered WW2 in late 1941, victory seemed remote Germany controlled almost all of Europe Axis armies controlled Northern Africa & threatened the Suez Canal Germany pressed into Russia Japan dominated the western half of the Pacific Ocean But…over the next 2 years, the U.S. & the Allies began to win the wars in Europe & the Pacific

5 The Liberation of Europe ■FDR: Liberate Europe first and pursue an “active defense” in the Pacific ■Battle of Atlantic: Hitler’s “Wolf Packs” vs. Allied Navies ■Clear Germany from North Africa ■Late 1942: Only Tunisia was controlled by Axis Powers Erwin Rommel, the “Desert Fox”

6 Europe 1941-1943 To win the European campaign, 2 different plans were proposed The U.S. wanted to attack across Nazi-controlled France by 1943 England wanted to attack Italy from Northern Africa in 1942 In 1942, U.S.-Anglo troops began the Italian campaign & Stalin was ANGRY In 1943, the Soviet army won at Stalingrad; Germany was never again on the offensive The USSR “freed” Poland, Hungary, Romania

7 The Allies began to win the Battle of the Atlantic in 1941 with Lend-Lease aid, but took control in 1943 with America’s entry into the war

8 Allied Advances in Europe (1943-1944) ■January, 1943: Allies agree to fight until they win “unconditional surrender” ■February 1943: SU takes back Stalingrad and moves westward ■Same time, Allied victory in Tunisia secures Africa

9 Allied Advancements Cont… ■July 10, 1943: The invasion of Italy. ■Fighting continues from July 1943 to June 1944 (70,000 Allied troops killed) ■Separate peace was signed with new Italian government in September, 1943

10 The long-awaited 2 nd front came on June 6, 1944 with D-Day U.S. & British troops landed at 5 strategic points, pushed through France drove towards Germany Europe 1944-1945

11 Unconditional Surrender in Europe (1944-1945) ■Britain and U.S. air raid strategic sights in Germany (Flying Fortresses) ■June 6, 1944: D-Day and the Allied invasion of Normandy ■Battle at Normandy lasted from June 6-July 24 ■August 25, 1944: France liberatedAugust 25, 1944: France liberated

12 Hedgerows in Normandy Allied ingenuity helped win the war: U.S. soldiers were trained to problem-solve rather than wait for orders

13 YALTA CONFERENCE (February 1945) ■Plans for German surrender ■Stalin agrees to hold free elections and help with Japan ■Broken promises, USSR’s position strengthened ■Initiated Cold War Churchill, Roosevelt, Stalin

14 Yalta Conference in February 1945 ■The “Big 3” met at Yalta to discuss post-war Europe given the eminent defeat of Germany: –Stalin refused to give up Eastern Europe but he did agree to “self-determination” –Stalin agreed to send Soviet troops to the Pacific after the German surrender if the USSR could keep Manchuria To recognize the independence & sovereignty of nations in Eastern Europe


16 Soon after the Yalta Conference in Feb 1945, FDR died…and Harry Truman became president

17 Germany’s Last Gasp Effort ■Hitler was caught between Allied troops coming from the West and Stalin’s forces coming from the East. ■December 1944: Battle of the Bulge ■April 25, 1945: Russia and Allied Forces meet at the Elbe River ■May 8, 1945: Germany surrenders (V-E DAY)

18 In late April 1945, the Allies broke through the Eastern & Western Fronts forcing both Italy & Germany to surrender

19 What about the war in the Pacific?

20 The Doolittle Raid on Tokyo on April 18, 1942 was a morale boost U.S. victory at Midway in 1942 gave the Allies naval supremacy “Island-hopping” allowed the Allies to win strategic islands without investing precious time, resources, & American lives

21 Allied Military Strategy in the Pacific (1941-1945) ■By 1942, Japan had controlled almost the entire area of the Pacific ■Allies were able to hold on to Hawaii and Samoa ■“Active defense” campaign: -Battle of the Coral Sea (May,1942) -Battle of Midway (June, 1942) -Battle of Guadalcanal (Aug. 1942- Feb. 1943)

22 The Japanese refused to play by according to the Geneva Convention “rules” of war

23 The Pacific Theatre Cont… ■The Allies took control of several islands in the Pacific under the leadership of General Douglas MacArthur -Iwo Jima (1945) -Okinawa (1945) ■The recapture of the Philippines was the highlight (Oct. 1944- March 1945)

24 World War II in the Pacific Victories at Saipan in 1944 & Iwo Jima & Okinawa in 1945 allowed for bombings on Japan The German surrender in May 1945, allowed the U.S. to turn its full attention towards Japan

25 The Decision to Drop the A-Bomb ■With no definitive end it sight, how would the Allies defeat Japan? –The U.S. military favored a full- scale invasion of Tokyo by 1946 –The Japanese refused to surrender & were arming civilians for an Allied invasion –At the Potsdam Conference in July 1945, Truman gave the order to use the atomic bomb

26 Enrico Fermi at the University of Chicago

27 The Potsdam Conference July 1945 ■Truman, Stalin, and Churchill met to discuss Post War Europe and Japanese Surrender ■Tension over decisions about Post-War Eastern Europe ■Allies not as willing to give in to Stalin –No longer needed him in Japan –Could throw around their “might” Churchill(Later Clement Attlee), Truman, and Stalin

28 Triumph & Tragedy in the Pacific ■In August 1945, the USA forced Japan to surrender by dropping 2 atomic bombs ■Effect of the atomic bomb: –Saved hundreds of thousands of American (& Japanese) lives –Revenge for Pearl Harbor –Showed the USSR that the USA had the ultimate weapon (began the Cold War nuclear arms race)

29 The Potsdam Conference July 1945 ■Truman stated that the US had a “powerful and destructive new weapon”, but did not say specifically that it was a nuclear bomb. ■Appeared Stalin did not grasp the significance of the weapon

30 Excerpt from the Potsdam Declaration: ■“We call upon the government of Japan to proclaim now the unconditional surrender of all Japanese armed forces, and to provide proper and adequate assurances of their good faith in such action. The alternative for Japan is prompt and utter destruction. “

31 Japan’s Response ■Japanese premier wanted to accept, could not convince military leaders ■Hint from Tokyo that government might surrender, in return that Japan could keep their emperor. ■US insisted on unconditional surrender, ie. No emperor, because believed these hints were coming from people who did not have power to follow through. (May have been right) ■Officially - Japan refuses to surrender and announces that it will “ignore” the Declaration.

32 Consider this… "As long as America and England insist on unconditional surrender our country has no alternative but to see it through in an all-out effort for the sake of survival and the honor of the homeland." - Japanese prime minister Shigenori Togo in turning down surrender demand, July 11, 1945.

33 Two part debate tomorrow… Silent Partner and Class ■What you need to do…. –Read through primary sources –Demonstrate proof by highlighting and notes in margins(WBG) –Watch video (MBC) –Complete handout for debate

34 Hiroshima Nagasaki


36 WW2 Timeline (Allies, Axis, USSR)

37 Its Finally Over!

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