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WWII: The US War in Europe. War on Two Fronts After Pearl Harbor, Germany and Italy declared war on the United States. The USA now had to fight a war.

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Presentation on theme: "WWII: The US War in Europe. War on Two Fronts After Pearl Harbor, Germany and Italy declared war on the United States. The USA now had to fight a war."— Presentation transcript:

1 WWII: The US War in Europe

2 War on Two Fronts After Pearl Harbor, Germany and Italy declared war on the United States. The USA now had to fight a war on two fronts… –Develop a “Europe First” policy with Great Britain.

3 War in North Africa November Allied troops land in Morocco and begin pushing east. Under US General Dwight Eisenhower. Why North Africa? –Gain Experience –Help British 240,000 Italian and German troops surrender. –Rest flee to Italy.

4 Meanwhile: War in the USSR Frustrated by the stalemate in the Battle of Britain, Hitler turned his attention to the East. –June 22, 1941: Germany launches a Blitzkrieg on Russia. German troops advance east. Soviet army retreats to interior of USSR. –Stalin orders troops to destroy supplies the Nazis may find useful. –German advance is stalled between July 1942 to January 1943 at Stalingrad. 90,000 German surrender 330,000 Germans dead Over 1 million Soviets dead –Stalin pleads with his new allies (US, British) to open a new front in Europe…

5 The Invasion of Italy “The soft underbelly of Europe” – Churchill. –Why? July to September Allies invade Sicily followed by Italy. –As Allied forces invade, Italy declares war on Germany! Mussolini is removed and arrested by King Victor Emmanuel. –Germans smuggle him to N. Italy as they retreat. Progress stalls north of Rome - Allies will not take all of Italy until April, –Mussolini killed, 1945

6 Where to launch an invasion? 1943: The Soviets are still pleading with the USA and Britain to open up a second front against “Fortress Europe.” The Allies want to launch an attack, but where?

7 Operation Overlord Late 1943 – June, 1944 –Allies built up forces in southern England in preparation of a massive invasion. Utilize carpet bombing –Scattering a large number of bombs over a large area. –Germans fortified the French coastline with machine-gun nests, barbed- wire fences, land and water mines, and underwater obstructions.

8 Where should an invasion be launched from?

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11 The Invasion of mainland Europe June 6 th, 1944 – “D-Day” –Operation Overlord –Establish foothold in mainland Europe. Midnight: –Warships depart from Southern England »1,000 RAF aircraft begin pounding German forces on Normandy coast. »23,000 British and American “airborne” parachute behind enemy lines. Dawn: –150,000 Allied troops come ashore. –Intense fighting ensues.

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19 Paris Liberated! Within a week, 2 million Allied forces were in Normandy. –Allied forces quickly moved south-east. Paris was liberated, August 25 th, 1944.

20 Operation Market Garden September 1944 – British plan to end the war by Christmas. –Drop paratroopers in Netherlands, capture bridges and move army quickly ahead. –Fails miserably.

21 Battle of the Bulge December Last-ditch effort by Germany to turn back the Allied advance. –Invade sections of Allied controlled Belgium. –Largest battle of the War. 100,000 German loses 80,000 Allied loses

22 The Invasion of Germany and Battle of Berlin Spring 1945 – –Allied forces invade Germany –Soviet Union takes Berlin. Hitler commits suicide, April 1945.

23 V-E Day: May 8 th, 1945


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