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Chapter 14: Section 4 (Part I) Eastern Europe, the Mediterranean, and the Soviet Union.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 14: Section 4 (Part I) Eastern Europe, the Mediterranean, and the Soviet Union."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 14: Section 4 (Part I) Eastern Europe, the Mediterranean, and the Soviet Union

2 What was the official start of the war in Europe?  In the fall of 1940, Hitler held almost all of Western Europe  Controlled the Atlantic coastline from tip of Norway to Southern France  In September, Japan joined the Rome- Berlin Axis, allying itself with Hitler and Mussolini


4 Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean  Mussolini was hoping to build a Mediterranean Empire for Italy (like Rome)  Sent troops into Egypt and Greece  This turned out to be unsuccessful; British stopped advances into Egypt and the Italians were driven out of Ethiopia as well  Hitler then turned his attention to the Balkans, and Axis fortunes improved

5 Cont’d  By November 1941, Romania, Bulgaria, and Hungary had allied with Germany  Later, the Germans took Yugoslavia and Greece  Germany controlled the Balkan Peninsula, this set the stage for Hitler’s bigger goal of invading the Soviet Union

6 Cont’d  Axis forces were now in position to threaten the Middle East as well; control of rich oil fields would give Hitler a considerable advantage  Allies had to pay close attention to this area, especially North Africa

7 Cont’d  Erwin Rommel, nicknamed “Desert Fox”, had moved the German troops into Libya in 1941  His forces were able to inflict several defeats on the British, driving them back into Egypt



10 Cont’d  Fighting continued through 1941 and 1942, however, the British were able to stop the Germans in the air and sea, allowing them to build up troops and equipment while cutting off Axis’ supplies  October, Rommel’s forces were defeated at the Battle of El Alamein (Egypt), Axis forces retreated to Tunisia


12 Germany’s Attack on the Soviet Union  Soviet Union was alarmed at the Balkan victories for Germany; Russia considered the Balkans, especially Romania and Bulgaria, to be within their sphere of influence  At a Soviet-German conference in 1940, the Soviets declared that certain areas should be retained in their sphere of influence

13 Cont’d  Instead, Germany said that Soviet Union should go to Asia to expand… they rejected this idea!  June 22, 1941, German armies invaded the Soviet Union without declaring war! British and U.S. gave aid to the Soviets (even though it was difficult to do)

14 Soviet Defense  Initial thrust by the Nazis was devastating  When the Nazis reached Moscow and Leningrad, however, they bogged down  Soviets used the scorched-earth policy again… worked again – The territory the Germans now gained was more a hindrance than a help!

15 Cont’d  Hitler expected the Soviet Union to surrender quickly, this disrupted his timetable  Germans now had to face a new enemy, the Soviet winter and a Soviet counterattack  The Germans were forced to retreat  In the spring of 1942, Hitler ordered a new offensive to the south

16 Stalingrad  Baku and the Caspian Sea (in Azerbaijan today) would be the goal of this new offensive  However, the Germans had to attack Stalingrad first to cut off Soviet troops  Soviet resistance grew stronger because Stalin ordered to hold the city at all costs  Battle of Stalingrad had begun… a major turning point of the war!



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