2World War IISeptember 1, 1939: World War II begins in Europe with the German invasion of Poland.
3BLITZKRIEG“Lightning War” – coordinated and rapid attacks of planes, tanks, artillerySoviets simultaneously took eastern half of PolandStalin then took the Baltic countries (Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia)
4The Winter War (Nov. 1939-March 1940) When Finland would not give the Soviets military bases on their territory, USSR invadedUSSR failed to occupy Finland, but gained territoryFinnish ski troops in Northern Finland Jan. 12, 1940.
5Fighting in Early 1940After invasion of Poland, Germany was idle for 7 months – “Phony War” or “Sitzkrieg”April 9, 1940: Germany invades Denmark and NorwayMay 10: German Army invades France, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands; Winston Churchill appointed British Prime MinisterFrench troops mass along Maginot Line
11Winston Churchill and the Battle of Britain Hitler’s 1st Fatal MistakeBritish RAF (Royal Air Force) pilots defeated the Germans – British had radarBattle fought over Great Britain from July 10, 1940 to October 31, 1940“The Blitz” begins on Sept. 7, 1940Germany never able to invade Great Britain
13Axis Power Expansion through Sept. 1942 Sept. 27: Tripartite alliance formed between Germany, Italy and Japan – become Axis PowersBy 1940, Axis powers control all of W. Europe except neutral Portugal, Sweden, SwitzerlandSpain technically neutral, but really pro-AxisAxis Power Expansion through Sept. 1942Hungary and Romania join Axis1941: Bulgaria joins AxisResistance movements set up in all occupied countries
14German Attack on USSR “Operation Barbarossa” Wanted oil and farmland Hitler’s 2nd fatal mistakeGenerals advised against itOpened up two-front warSoviet (“Red”) army not effective or preparedStalin had purged (removed) many officers in 1937Soviet’s “scorched earth” policySupply lines back to Germany too longWinter came and decimated both sides
16Siege of LeningradThe siege lasted for a total of 900 days, from September until JanuaryThe city's almost 3 million civilians (including about 400,000 children) refused to surrender and endured rapidly increasing hardships in the encircled city. Food and fuel stocks were limited to a mere 1-2 month supply, and by the winter of there was no heating, no water supply, almost no electricity and very little food.In January 1942 in the depths of an unusually cold winter, the city's food rations reached an all time low of only ¼ lb.of bread per person per day.In just two months, January and February of 1942, 200,000 people died in Leningrad of cold and starvation. 2,000,000 people total died in the siege.
18Allies Turn the TideU.S. joins the war after Pearl Harbor attacked (Dec. 7, 1941)1st place they attack was in North AfricaIn Spring of 1942, Allies gained victory in North Africa over Erwin Rommel, the “Desert Fox”, at the Battle of El Alamein – turning pointWinston Churchill: "Before Alamein we never had a victory, after Alamein we never had a defeat.”
19Allies Turn the Tide (cont.) Fall of 1942, Germans defeated by Soviets at StalingradMay of 1943, Germans in North Africa SurrenderKey British figure was Bernard MontgomeryFirst fighting by Americans on the European Front (Dwight D. Eisenhower)The Invasion of ItalyU.S. General George S. Patton takes SicilyMussolini overthrown“Bloody Anzio”Italy officailly joins the AlliesMussolini sets-up a quasi-government in Northern ItalyGerman soldiers continue to fight in Italy (hold up in the Alps)
21More about StalingradHitler ordered the taking of Stalingrad, and the Battle was waged from July 17, 1942 to Feb. 2, 1943.Stalingrad was a major industrial city and was on the Volga River, a vital transportation route in Russia that could be cut off if captured.Also important for propaganda purposesOne of the bloodiest battles/campaigns in history with about 2 million casualtiesUrban warfare – fighting took place in streets, from buildings, etc.; snipers usedBattle ended with German 6th Army either killed or capturedTurning point in the War in the EastVassili Zaitsev
26D-Day Preparation for Invasion D-Day (June 6, 1944) Buildup troops in EnglandGermany prepares the coast of France for invasionD-Day (June 6, 1944)Largest landing force in history invade Normandy24,000 para-troopers sent the night of June 5th175,000 troops land on the beaches5,000 ships involvedInvasion successful, though costlyWithin weeks all of France was under Allied control
33End of the War in EuropeApril 28th, 1945: Mussolini and his mistress executed by members of the Italian resistanceHitler was terrified by Mussolini’s fate and wanted to avoid a similar fate at all costs.
34End of the War in EuropeBy April of 1945, American units were approaching Berlin from the West, while Soviet troops were approaching from the EastHitler realized it was the end, and committed suicide on April 30th after marrying his long-time mistress, Eva BraunGermany surrendered on May 7, 1945 (V-E Day)Hitler’s Bunker