The European Theatre Battles of WWII In your notebook discuss the origin, value, purpose and limitation of the picture. 1940 Germany
Invasion of Poland The Fall of France North Africa Battles Stalingrad Battle of the Bulge D-Day
Hitler demanded the Baltic Sea port which was in Polish control Alleged allies such as Britain & France were going to back Poland’s refusal for the sea port Danzig Germany turned to the USSR for support in invasion of Poland Germany attacked from the west and the USSR from the east as agreed in the Nazi-Soviet Pact The warfare became known as blitzkrieg – “lightening war” using tanks & aircraft(Luftwaffe) Poland Fell to German forces on October 5 th 1939
The Maginot line were bunkers built in protection against Germany Hitler simply went around the Maginot line and invaded through the Netherlands,Belgium & Luxembourg France was caught by surprise leaving the French & British forces trapped in Belgium A miracle occurred at a port called Dunkirk when German forces halted giving time for evacuation & saved the country from complete defeat by Hitler France surrendered in June 1940
The Battle of Britain Hitler expected Britain to make peace, however, Britain, led by a new Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, refused to surrender. Hitler proceeded with invasion plans. The Luftwaffe began massive attacks on Britain to destroy its air defenses. Britain held firm during the Blitz despite devastating destruction to English cities. The British resistance convinced Hitler to postpone the invasion but he continued the bombing attacks.
The Eastern Front Hitler had strategic and ideological reasons for invading Russia –Strategically he knew that the Soviet Union and the US were critical to Britain’s willingness to keep fighting –He also felt he needed the agricultural and raw material resources of Eastern Russia –Ideologically he viewed the Soviet Union as an amalgamation of his greatest enemies, the Jews and the Slavs
Operation Barbarossa Hitler based his plan on the assumption he could destroy the Soviet Union within one year Critical to his success would be to catch and destroy the Soviet Army at the border areas If that did not occur, the Russians could use their vast territory to trade space for time and cause the Germans huge logistical problems
Operation Barbarossa On June 22, 1941, Hitler invaded Russia in Operation Barbarossa The operation encompassed a total troop strength of about 4 million men, making it the biggest single land operation ever Benefiting from initial surprise, by the end of July Hitler had occupied a portion of Russia twice the size of France
Operation Barbarossa Battle of Moscow With the Germans’ successes in the north and south, Hitler assumed that Stalin’s regime was on the verge of collapse He authorized an advance on Moscow before the onset of winter Already however the Germans were suffering from serious supply shortages Because of the cold tempratures they had to retreat..
Operation Barbarossa : Battle of Moscow As the Russians pushed forward, Hitler refused to allow a retreat and relieved or court-martialed generals who did so Hitler named himself commander-in-chief of the army –Each military service began to operate increasingly independently and Germany suffered from a lack of an overall strategy
Why Soviet Defeated Germans Germans not prepared for long campaign- supplies and inadequate equipment Hitler took control of army Germans were brutal to civilians which inflamed Russian resistance Heavy German losses
Strategic Situation On Dec 7, 1941, Japan attacked the US at Pearl Harbor In spite of his troubles in Russia, Hitler decided to support Japan and also declare war on the US Now the US would join with Britain to adopt a “Europe First” strategy that would destroy Hitler
US president Roosevelt invaded Morocco & Algeria to aid Britain in the fight against Germany in Egypt. During The Battle of El Alamein General Erwin Rommel who lead the German forces planned to trap US and British forces in between Tunisia and Libya US forces did not fare well up against German force causing 7,000 casualties and losing 200 tanks Luckily Both American and British Forces forced Germany to surrender in North Africa
One last desperate attempt by Hitler involved blocking supplies coming through Belgium Germany caught Americans surrounding them General Patton and troops saved the Americans by attacking German forces Germany lost the battle with 100,000 casualties
President Roosevelt and Churchill planned the invasion of France which was lead by General Eisenhower The US forces were going to surprise Germany using rubber tanks,and dummy landing craft. This completely fooled Germany while they attacked through Normandy 100,000 soldiers by boat 23,000 paratroopers
Soviet troops began a massive attack on German Troops sending German forces back to Poland The Soviets had Germany by the Eastern border and America had attacked German forces by the Western border This crushed the German forces causing the suicide of Hitler The Surrender of Germany was on May 8 th 1945
Key Battles In what ways, and with what results for twentieth century wars, did tactics change?