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Tough Old Gut. Part I. North Africa Hitler’s Victories (against France, but also in keeping Britain pinned down during the Battle of Britain and the Battle.

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Presentation on theme: "Tough Old Gut. Part I. North Africa Hitler’s Victories (against France, but also in keeping Britain pinned down during the Battle of Britain and the Battle."— Presentation transcript:

1 Tough Old Gut

2 Part I. North Africa Hitler’s Victories (against France, but also in keeping Britain pinned down during the Battle of Britain and the Battle of the Atlantic) allowed Mussolini the opportunity to ‘rebuild the Roman Empire’ Luftwaffe (and Italian air force) controlled the air over the Mediterranean, and so for a good spell it was mostly closed to allied shipping Italians already held colonies in North Africa

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4 Italian Advantages 215 k troops versus 50 k British troops Don’t forget, the British were desperately guarding their home island, the Middle East, Asia, etc. Reading from Churchill (page 401) = England’s greatest hour

5 Egypt/Suez Canal

6 British Torpedoed Italian Fleet at Taranto Gave the British naval superiority in the Mediterranean (if only they could win the air) Inspired the Japanese to consider Pearl Harbor attack

7 British Beat Back the Bad Battling Italians I don’t know much about how this happened Hitler, worried about prestige, sent the Afrikakorp and Rommel (the Desert Fox) – Gained fame during the Blitzkrieg into France Clip from Churchill (page ) Unique aspects of desert warfare

8 The Afrikakorp Battered the British Fortress at Tobruk Holds Out Made it hard for Rommel to fully attack into Egypt Eventually, Tobruk fell to a smaller German army (despite being fortified

9 Impact of Barbarossa Drains off some of Hitler’s manpower and focus from North Africa – for example, Germans lose air domination of Mediterranean and North Africa Stalin wants a 2 nd front in France – Allies agree only to step up their fighting in North Africa Operation Torch- an Anglo-British landing in North West Africa (Morocco) – Churchill argued for another ‘2 nd front’ in Norway Compares his model to Britain’s left and right claws grabbing at Hitler, while the fangs prepare for a later frontal assault – There was an attack on Dieppe, in France, which was a much smaller D-Day Had the advantage of a practice run, but pretty darn costly

10 After the Fall of Tobruk, Rommel Wants to Pierce Egypt and take Suez and the Middle East British commander in North Africa is relieved and replaced by Montgomery (Monty) Anecdote about Montgomery’s pity for Rommel (page 613 and 614 in Churchill) – Morale grows under Montgomery

11 Pause as Both Sides Prepare A Decisive Battle in Egypt Eventual Battle will be at El Alamein Problem for Rommel – Qattara Depression Allies planted a phony map showing only one good route North of this depression – Then they super-fortified this route Rommel ‘bit’ – His attack was beaten back with heavy losses – He also started to have major supply problems as the allied air forces started to own the Mediterranean – Rommel himself was very ill at this point

12 Allied Counterattack is Delayed to Wait for the perfect Moment Clip on page of Churchill talking about the connection between luck and fate in world events

13 El Alamein British built up a 2-1 numerical advantage in force No opportunity for a fancy maneuver against the Germans… they had a solid wall of resistance – ‘blast a hole in their lines’ in broad daylight See pages for the action

14 Operation Torch American and British attack into Northwest Africa – 1 st time American ground forces would engage the Axis U-boat danger in assembling a strike force – British ships sailed from England – U.S. ships from the U.S. – Allies managed to remain undetected since they increasingly controlled the skies French forces put in a very awkward position – Their commanding officers are Vichy appointed, and thus collaborationist – To go against their commanders is treason -  death – As a result, many French soldiers and officers died fighting the Americans and British despite wanting the French and British to win – Churchill- “We may all be thankful if our lives have not been rent by such dire problems and conflicting loyalties”

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16 Part II- Italy

17 Sicily Largest Amphibious invasion before D-Day – Argument among allied commanders A) We should stop with our complete victory in North Africa and wait until next year (1944) with all of our forces for a direct assault on France B) We cannot let our army sit useless for a year… Russia needs us. Attack Italy. Allies bombarded lots of places before invading Sicily to hide their intentions – Example, Sardinia Bad weather on the day of the attack, which might have been a nightmare, but probably caused the defenders to let down their guards

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19 Sicily (cont.) Glider forces sent in to capture a key bridge on Sicily – Over a third of them got lost and landed in the water- much drowning – Of the 65 soldiers who got to the bridge (and held it until they were relieved over a day later), 19 survived Sicily has a great mountain in the middle of it, so Axis could watch allied troop movements Nonetheless, Axis quickly decided to retreat to Italy – Sicily captured

20 The Fall of Mussolini Rome was bombed after Sicily fell Hitler couldn’t send many reinforcements because of his Eastern front problems (we are now post-Stalingrad) High ranking Italians removed Mussolini – They signed a treaty with the allies ending Italian resistance to the invasion of Italy Hitler decided to defend Italy – Churchill called this a horrible blunder – By trying to hold all of his gains, he made it certain that he would lose all of them – “He [Hitler] could, for instance, have met the British and Americans at the 40 th or 50 th day after their landing in Normandy a year later with fresh and greatly superior forces. There was no need to consume his strength in Italy and the Balkans, and the fact that he was induced to do so must be taken as the waste of his last opportunity.”

21 The Invasion of Italy In the confusion of the surrender, the allies managed to land on the toe and heel of Italy without much opposition They started to fight their way North – Very difficult fighting- fast rivers, high mountains Argument between Churchill and the Americans about how much force to focus on Italy – Churchill- “Overlord (D-Day) isn’t scheduled for 5 months. Let’s use our forces to push in Italy’ – Americans – “We can’t do ANYTHING that will jeopardize Overlord” – Central shortage- LSTs (landing craft, tanks)

22 A DARING RESCUE AT Gran Sasson! Mussolini was rescued by Hitler’s special forces – Glider, planes, no shots fired, etc. Put ‘in charge’ of the German held part of Italy – Why the quotes around in charge?

23 Not a Super Fun Time To Be Italian Chaos – One day you’re with Hitler, then with the allies, then with Hitler again – If you accidentally showed too much enthusiasm for one side, when the other side took over you got shot – Large groups of Italian soldiers were shot by angry German soldiers for surrendering

24 Anzio To break stalemate south of Rome, amphibious invasion launched at Anzio Surprise was achieved – The landing was virtually unopposed Surprise was squandered – According to Churchill, his generals were too tentative in advancing inland and gave the Germans time to surround and contain (but not destroy) the landing group – ‘I had thought we were unleashing a wildcat on the beaches at Anzio, but what we got instead was a beached whale’

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27 Rome and the rest of 1944 After months of stalemated battles, the allies broke through at both Anzio and Monte Cassino and took Rome For the rest of 1944 (until winter made progress impractical), the allies inched northwards After D-Day, ‘Anvil’/’Dragoon’, an attack from Italy into the southern French Riviera to support the D-Day invasion further weakened the allied effort in Italy – Churchill thought Dragoon was basically a waste

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29 In Spring, 1945, the final Axis defensive line in Italy was pierced and the Germans surrendered in Italy, 6 days before their general European surrender

30 Mussolini’s Death During the final allied breakthrough, Mussolini and some followers tried to drive north in the hopes of finding a safe place to continue the resistance They were taken prisoner by Italian ‘partisans’ The next day they were executed and driven to a central square in Milan – A crowd mangled their dead bodies and then they were hung up on meat hooks as a symbol of dishonor – (American newsreel coverage of the death)

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32 HansenName ________________ WWII Tough Old Gut Part I. North Africa Hitler’s Victories (against France, but also in keeping Britain pinned down during the Battle of Britain and the Battle of the Atlantic) allowed ________ ______________________________________________________________ Luftwaffe (and Italian air force) ___________________________________, and so for a good spell it was mostly closed to _______________________ Italians already held colonies in _____________________ Italian Advantages – _______ troops versus _________ British troops – Don’t forget, the British were desperately guarding __________ ____________________________________________________ – Reading from Churchill (page 401) = England’s greatest hour Egypt/Suez Canal- _____________________________________ British Torpedoed Italian Fleet at ___________ – Gave the British naval superiority in the Mediterranean (if only they could win the air) – Inspired the _____________________________________________ British Beat Back the Bad Battling Italians – I don’t know much about how this happened – Hitler, worried about prestige, sent the ______________ and Rommel (the ___________________) – Gained fame during the ____________________________________ – Clip from Churchill (page ) Unique aspects of desert warfare The Afrikakorp Battered the British – Fortress at ____________________ – This fortress Made it hard for Rommel to ______________________ – Eventually, Tobruk fell to a smaller German army (despite ______________________________ ) Impact of Barbarossa- – Drains off ___________________________________________ _______________________________________________from North Africa for example, Germans lose _____________________________ of Mediterranean and North Africa Stalin wants a 2 nd front in ______________ – Allies agree only to step up their ___________________________ ____________________- an Anglo-British landing in North West Africa (Morocco) – Churchill argued for another ‘2 nd front’ in _________ Compares his model to Britain’s ____________________ ________________________________, while ___________ prepare for a later frontal assault – There was an attack on _________, in France, which was a much __________________________ Had the advantage of a ____________, but pretty darn costly After the Fall of Tobruk, Rommel Wants to Pierce __________________ _______________________ and the Middle East – British commander in North Africa is relieved and replaced by ____________________________________ – Anecdote about Montgomery’s pity for Rommel (page 613 and 614 in Churchill) – Morale _____________ under Montgomery Pause as Both Sides Prepare A _________________________________ – Eventual Battle will be at _______________________ – Problem for Rommel ________________________________ – Allies planted a ___________________________________ only one good route North of this depression Then they ______________________ this route – Rommel ________________ His attack was beaten back __________________________ He also started to have ____________________________ as the allied air forces started to own the Mediterranean Rommel himself was very _______ at this point Allied Counterattack is Delayed to Wait for the perfect Moment – Clip on page of Churchill talking about the connection between luck and fate in world events El Alamein – British built up a _______ numerical advantage in force – No opportunity for a fancy maneuver against the Germans… they had a solid wall of resistance ________________________________________________ – See pages for the action Operation Torch – ________________________________ attack into Northwest Africa 1 st time American _______________ would engage the Axis – ________________________ in assembling a strike force British ships sailed from England U.S. ships from the U.S. Allies managed to remain undetected since they ________________________________________________ – French forces put in a very awkward position Their commanding officers are ____________________ __________________, and thus collaborationist To go against their commanders is ______  ________ As a result, many French soldiers and officers died fighting ________________________________________________ despite wanting the French and British to win Churchill- “We may all be thankful if our lives have not been rent by such dire problems and conflicting loyalties”

33 Part II- Italy Sicily – _________________________________________ before D-Day Argument among allied commanders – A) We should stop with our complete victory in North Africa and wait until next year (1944) with all of our forces for a direct assault on France – B) We cannot let our army sit useless for a year… Russia needs us. Attack Italy. – Allies bombarded lots of places before invading Sicily to ____________________ Example, Sardinia – Bad weather on the day of the attack, which might have been a nightmare, but probably _________________________________________________________ – _____________________ sent in to capture a key bridge on Sicily Over a third of them got lost and landed in the water- much drowning Of the 65 soldiers who got to the bridge (and held it until they were relieved over a day later), ___________________ – Sicily has a great __________________ in the middle of it, so Axis could watch allied troop movements – Nonetheless, Axis quickly decided to retreat to Italy ____________________________ The Fall of Mussolini – Rome was __________________ after Sicily fell – Hitler couldn’t send _________________________________________________ __________________ (we are now post-Stalingrad) – High ranking Italians removed Mussolini They signed a treaty with the allies ending Italian resistance to the invasion of Italy – Hitler decided ____________________________ Churchill called this _________________________________ By trying to hold all of his gains, he made it certain that he ___________ ____________________________________________ of them “He [Hitler] could, for instance, have met the British and Americans at the 40 th or 50 th day after their landing in Normandy a year later with fresh and greatly superior forces. There was no need to consume his strength in Italy and the Balkans, and the fact that he was induced to do so must be taken as the waste of his last opportunity.” The Invasion of ___________ – In the confusion of the surrender, the allies managed to land on the _________ ___________________ of Italy without much opposition – They started to fight their way North Very difficult fighting- _______________________________________ – Argument between Churchill and the Americans about how much force to focus on Italy Churchill- “Overlord (D-Day) isn’t scheduled for 5 months. ___________ ___________________________________________________________ Americans – “We can’t do ____________________________________” Central shortage- LSTs (________________________________________) A Daring __________________ at Gran Sasso! – Mussolini was rescued by Hitler’s special forces _____________________________________________ – Put ________________ of the German held part of Italy Why the quotes around in charge? Not a _____________________Time to Be Italian – Chaos One day you’re with Hitler, then with the allies, then with Hitler again If you _________________________________________ _______________, when the other side took over you got shot Large groups of Italian soldiers were ____________________ ____________________________________ for surrendering Anzio – To break _________________________________________________, amphibious invasion launched at Anzio – Surprise was achieved The landing was virtually unopposed – Surprise was ___________________________ According to Churchill, his generals were too tentative in advancing inland and gave the Germans time to surround and contain (but not destroy) the landing group ‘I had thought we were unleashing a ___________ on the beaches at Anzio, but what we got instead was a ___________’’ Rome and the Rest of 1944 – After months of stalemated battles, the allies broke through at both Anzio and Monte Cassino and took Rome – For the rest of 1944 (until winter made progress impractical), the allies __________________________ – After D-Day, ‘Anvil’/’Dragoon’, an attack from Italy into the southern ______________________________ to support the D-Day invasion further weakened the allied effort in Italy Churchill thought Dragoon was basically _______________ In Spring, 1945, the final Axis defensive line in Italy was pierced and the Germans surrendered in Italy, _________________________________________________ Mussolini’s ______________ – During the final allied breakthrough, Mussolini and some followers tried __________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ – They were taken prisoner by Italian ‘______________’ – The next day they were _______________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ A crowd _____________________________________________ ____________________________________________________ as a symbol of dishonor


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