Presentation on theme: "World War II in Europe Chapter 32 World War II September 1, 1939: World War II begins in Europe with the German invasion of Poland."— Presentation transcript:
World War II in Europe Chapter 32
World War II September 1, 1939: World War II begins in Europe with the German invasion of Poland.
BLITZKRIEG “Lightning War” – coordinated and rapid attacks of planes, tanks, artillery Soviets simultaneously took eastern half of Poland Stalin then took the Baltic countries (Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia)
The Winter War (Nov March 1940) When Finland would not give the Soviets military bases on their territory, USSR invaded USSR failed to occupy Finland, but gained territory Finnish ski troops in Northern Finland Jan. 12, 1940.
Fighting in Early 1940 After invasion of Poland, Germany was idle for 7 months – “Phony War” or “Sitzkrieg” April 9, 1940: Germany invades Denmark and Norway May 10: German Army invades France, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands; Winston Churchill appointed British Prime Minister – French troops mass along Maginot Line
Nazi Invasion of France, Netherlands, & Belgium
Evacuation of Dunkirk (May-June 1940) Britain rushed every ship (military or otherwise) to Dunkirk Saved approx. 338,000 troops, including “Free French”
June 22, 1940: France Surrenders Germany occupied Northern France Set up puppet government known as Vichy France Britain now left to fight in Europe alone
Winston Churchill and the Battle of Britain
Hitler’s 1 st Fatal Mistake British RAF (Royal Air Force) pilots defeated the Germans – British had radar Battle fought over Great Britain from July 10, 1940 to October 31, 1940 “The Blitz” begins on Sept. 7, 1940 Germany never able to invade Great Britain
Battle of Britain Cartoon
Axis Power Expansion through Sept Sept. 27: Tripartite alliance formed between Germany, Italy and Japan – become Axis Powers By 1940, Axis powers control all of W. Europe except neutral Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland Spain technically neutral, but really pro-Axis Hungary and Romania join Axis 1941: Bulgaria joins Axis Resistance movements set up in all occupied countries
German Attack on USSR “Operation Barbarossa” Wanted oil and farmland Hitler’s 2 nd fatal mistake – Generals advised against it – Opened up two-front war Soviet (“Red”) army not effective or prepared – Stalin had purged (removed) many officers in 1937 Soviet’s “scorched earth” policy – Supply lines back to Germany too long – Winter came and decimated both sides
Siege of Leningrad The siege lasted for a total of 900 days, from September until January The 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.
Allies Turn the Tide U.S. joins the war after Pearl Harbor attacked (Dec. 7, 1941) – 1 st place they attack was in North Africa In Spring of 1942, Allies gained victory in North Africa over Erwin Rommel, the “Desert Fox”, at the Battle of El Alamein – turning point –Winston Churchill: "Before Alamein we never had a victory, after Alamein we never had a defeat.”
Allies Turn the Tide (cont.) Fall of 1942, Germans defeated by Soviets at Stalingrad May of 1943, Germans in North Africa Surrender – Key British figure was Bernard Montgomery – First fighting by Americans on the European Front (Dwight D. Eisenhower) The Invasion of Italy – U.S. General George S. Patton takes Sicily – Mussolini overthrown – “Bloody Anzio” Italy officailly joins the Allies – Mussolini sets-up a quasi-government in Northern Italy – German soldiers continue to fight in Italy (hold up in the Alps)
Attack on Stalingrad (1942-3)
More about Stalingrad Hitler ordered the taking of Stalingrad, and the Battle was waged from July 17, 1942 to Feb. 2, 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 purposes One of the bloodiest battles/campaigns in history with about 2 million casualties Urban warfare – fighting took place in streets, from buildings, etc.; snipers used Battle ended with German 6 th Army either killed or captured Turning point in the War in the East Vassili Zaitsev
Operation Overlord: D-Day, June
D-Day Preparation for Invasion – Buildup troops in England – Germany prepares the coast of France for invasion D-Day (June 6, 1944) – Largest landing force in history invade Normandy – 24,000 para-troopers sent the night of June 5 th – 175,000 troops land on the beaches – 5,000 ships involved Invasion successful, though costly Within weeks all of France was under Allied control
Normandy Beaches Assaulted
Cost of the Battle
Paris liberated on August 25, 1944 Hitler made one, last desperate counterattack in what became the Battle of the Bulge from Dec. 16, 1944 – Jan. 28, 1945
Battle of the Bulge
End of the War in Europe April 28 th, 1945: Mussolini and his mistress executed by members of the Italian resistance Hitler was terrified by Mussolini’s fate and wanted to avoid a similar fate at all costs.
End of the War in Europe By April of 1945, American units were approaching Berlin from the West, while Soviet troops were approaching from the East Hitler realized it was the end, and committed suicide on April 30 th after marrying his long-time mistress, Eva Braun Germany surrendered on May 7, 1945 (V-E Day) Hitler’s Bunker