Presentation on theme: "The War in Europe. The Phony War (October-April, 1939- 1940) Stalin and Hitler divided up Poland Nazi death squads roamed Poland killing Jews Stalin’s."— Presentation transcript:
The War in Europe
The Phony War (October-April, ) Stalin and Hitler divided up Poland Nazi death squads roamed Poland killing Jews Stalin’s buffer-zone Invasion of Finland – 200,000 Soviet soldiers – Hitler’s response to the invasion of Finland…
Invasion of France (May 10-June 25, 1940) May 10, 1940 German forces invade Belgium & Netherlands. – tanks pushed through the Ardennes Forest. The fall of Belgium gave Germany air bases close to England. – Hermann Goering began planning the air assault on Britain.
The French Surrender French forces unprepared for attack – Nearly 2 million French soldiers captured. German forces seized Paris on June 14 – Full surrender on June 25 Nazi Occupied France & Vichy Regime Nazi Occupied France: North Vichy France: South Vichy France claimed neutrality but… Philippe Petain: became the leader of Vichy France. Charles De Gaulle - led the French resistance from England
The Battle of Britain July – November, 1940 Battle is revolutionary – Why air bombardment? WWI Dunkirk Luftwaffe initially bombed airfields, airplane factories and radar installations. German pilots flew from France and Belgium to Britain British response – 500 planes a month. – Dogfights to defend against the Luftwaffe
Battle of Britain: London Blitz September 1940: Tactic changes civilians “London Blitz”: sustained bombing of Britain September 1940 and May 1941 – London attacked for 57 consecutive nights. By May 1941 over 43,000 civilians, half of them in London – Did not break the will Operation Sea Lion –German invasion of Britain – was cancelled. – Hitler plans war against the Soviet Union
Operation Barbarossa: German Invasion of Russia Operation Barbarossa : Code name for Germany’s invasion of the Soviet Union Planning began in December 1940 – Why??? Hitler, Russia, Great Britain… GOAL: rapid conquest of the European USSR
Barbarossa Invasion began in June of 1941 – Problem? 4.5 million Axis troops invade – Largest military offensive in history By January 1942 – Barbarossa fails – Red Army halts the blitz – BUT USSR’s situation remained dire.
Barbarossa’s Failure Barbarossa’s failure led to – Hitler demands more fighting in USSR All operations fail Barbarossa turning point for Third Reich – opens the Eastern Front Some of largest battles Highest casualties Influences World War II & Cold War
Battle of Stalingrad July 1942-February 1943 – Vital battle on the Eastern Front. – Red Army held off the German assault – Turning point on the Eastern Front. – Casualties = approx 1.5 million. Germans invaded & seize the city in July of ‘42 – Difficulties… November Red Army counter attack – Brutal winter fighting – German leader surrenders despite Hitler’s orders.
When Allies Attack: Africa and Italy OPERATION TORCH- The North Africa Campaign November 1942-May 1943 USSR pressure for a second front in Europe After North Africa …what to do? Churchill invasion of Italy (“the underbelly of Europe”) Churchill saw victory in Italy as vital. – Opens the Mediterranean to supply USSR
When Allies Attack: France 1943 Air campaign against Germany Successful in doing what…? The American army battle hardened Hitler losing ground on the Eastern Front Anglo-American generals plan the invasion of France Hitler realized the vulnerability of France – Rommel took command of the Atlantic Wall in December Operation Overlord - code name for the invasion of Western Europe
When Allies Attack France: D-Day - June 6, 1944 The Normandy Landings had two phases: – Air Assault landing of 24,000 (American, British, Canadian, French) shortly after midnight – Amphibious landing: On the coast of France commencing at 6:30 AM. Five Beaches: Utah (US), Omaha (US), Juno, Gold, Sword
D DAY June 6th, 1944: D-Day Americans suffered over 4,500 casualties on D-Day. Advantage to the Allies – Quick supply for Allies, slow for Axis
Disaster for the Germans: The East June, 1944 – Red Army six weeks of relentless armored attack the Soviets drove 300 miles west towards the German frontier. The Germans lost a further 350,000 men killed, wounded and captured.
The Battle of the Bulge (December, 1944 – January, 1945) By the end of ’44 – Allies had taken back Paris by August. – The Red Army reached the suburbs of Warsaw by August. __________ Battle of the Bulge :Germany’s last major counter offensive – Initially successful – But…end of January Germans pushed out of Ardennes The Allies suffered heavily – Heaviest losses for Americans of World War II. Germans had lost 100,000
Yalta, Yalta, Yalta Yalta Conference: February 1945 – Stalin, Roosevelt, Churchill – Discuss post-war plans for Germany. Germany to be – demilitarizied, and de-Nazified. – divided into zones for control and reconstruction. USSR agrees to enter war against Japan 90 days after the surrender of Germany.
The End in Europe February 1945: – Western Allied forces entered Germany – Soviets pushed furthern into Poland March, 1945 – Western Allies crossed the Rhine. – Soviets advanced to Vienna April, 1945 – Western Allies pushed up through Italy and through Germany – Soviet forces stromed Berlin. Elbe River - April 25 th
The End in Europe Roosevelt dies on April 12 – Replaced by Harry Truman Mussolini killed on April 28 April 30th Hitler committed suicide. MAY 8 th, VE Day – Germany officially surrenders