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Tide Turns for the Allies. Sicily and Italy July 10 1943, 250,000 British and American troops landed on Sicily Fresh of their victory in North Africa.

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Presentation on theme: "Tide Turns for the Allies. Sicily and Italy July 10 1943, 250,000 British and American troops landed on Sicily Fresh of their victory in North Africa."— Presentation transcript:

1 Tide Turns for the Allies

2 Sicily and Italy July , 250,000 British and American troops landed on Sicily Fresh of their victory in North Africa August 17, entire island was under Allied control 40,000 Germans escaped to the mainland Success in Sicily ended Mussolini’s 20 years of fascist rule July , Italy’s King Victor Emmanuel III dismissed Mussolini as prime minister A new regime startled the Allies Offered not only to surrender but to switch sides in the war Mutual suspicions prolonged talks until September 3 rd Meanwhile Germans poured reinforcements into Italy In the meantime the Italian army disintegrated and most of the navy escaped to Allied ports and a few joined the Allied effort Mussolini was plucked from prison by a daring German air raid and placed at the head of a puppet government in Northern Italy In spite of success fighting stalled in the Apennine Mountains June 1944, the US 5 th Army finally entered Rome Provided only a brief moment of glory Long awaited cross-Channel landing in France came two days later

3 The Strategic Bombing of Europe While waiting on the finalization of plans for cross channel attack the US Air Force and The British Royal Air Force began attacking German controlled areas Early 1943, Americans launched their first air raid on Germany itself RAF confined itself mostly to night raids AAF preferred high level precision attacks during the day Still failed to devastate German industrial production nor break civilian morale Heavy allied air losses persisted until the invention of jettisonable gas tanks which permitted fighters to escort the bombers all the way to Berlin and back Allies secured air supremacy, able to concentrate on primary urban and industrial targets and when the time came provide support to the landings on Normandy April , General Eisenhower assumed control of the Strategic Air Forces for the invasion of German-controlled France

4 The Tehran Meeting 1943, Churchill and Roosevelt finally had their first joint meeting with Joseph Stalin in Tehran, Iran Churchill and Roosevelt agreed to cross channel invasion and Soviets pledged to enter the war with Japan after the defeat of the Germans November 22-26, (before Tehran) FDR and Churchill met in Cairo with China’s Chiang Kaishek Declaration of Cairo, December affirmed the war against Japan would continue until an unconditional surrender of Japan all Chinese territories taken by Japan would be restored to China Japan would lose the Pacific Islands acquired after 1941 Korea shall become free and independent November 28 – December 1, Big three leaders conferred in Tehran Chief subject the invasion of France and a Russian offensive timed to coincide with it Stalin agreed to enter war with Japan after defeat of Germany Agreed to international organization to prevent war, United Nations

5 The Plan… 1944, General Eisenhower arrived in London to take command at the Supreme Headquarters of the Allied Expeditionary Force Faced the daunting task of planning and conducting Operation Overlord The cross channel assault on Hitler’s “Atlantic Wall”, the seemingly impregnable wall of fortifications created along the French Coastline that German forces had created using captive European laborers Allied planner uneasy about single huge amphibious assault Eisenhower gave it a 50/50 chance of success Prevailed largely because it was most carefully planned operation in military history and Allies surprised the Germans Thought it was going to take place on Pas de Calais on the French-Belgian border Landing occurred instead on Normandy, 200 miles to the south April and May 1944, Allied air forces disrupted the transportation networks of France, by June all was ready

6 June ; D-Day June 5, Eisenhower visited some of the 160,000 American paratroopers preparing to land behind the German lines in France to create chaos and disrupt communications Very emotional message Said to his driver as their planes left “Well, it’s on.” Airborne forces dropped behind the beaches while planes and battleships pounded coastal defenses At dawn the invasion fleet of some 4,000 ships carrying 150,000 men (57,000 Americans) Thousands of Allied planes supported the invasion force At first Germans thought the Normandy invasion was a diversion before the real attack at Pas de Calais Hitler welcomed the attack, “Now we have them where we can destroy them”

7 Cont. In spite of meticulous planning, almost failed Thick clouds and German anti-aircraft fire caused many of the paratroopers and glider pilots to miss their landing zones Oceangoing landing craft delivered their troops to the wrong locations Low clouds led the Allied planes to drop their bombs to far inland The naval bombardment equally ineffective Rough seas made soldiers seasick and capsized dozens of landing craft 1,000 men drowned Utah Beach saw light opposition, Omaha beach failed to take out the German defenders Americans caught in heavily mined water First units ashore lost over 90% of their troops One rifle company lost 197 killed or wounded of the 205 members within ten minutes

8 Cont. By nightfall 5000 killed or wounded Allied soldiers strewn across the sand and surf on Normandy German losses even more incredible, entire units were decimated or captured Operation Overlord the greatest military invasion in history Climactic battle of WWII Beachhead secured, Allied leaders knew that victory was now in their grasp Within two weeks the Allies had landed 1 million troops, 556,000 tons of supplies, 170,000 vehicles

9 Allies continued to press deeper through the marshes and hedgerows A stubborn Hitler gave orders to contest every inch of land General Rommel, fearing all was lost, hoped for a separate peace July , other like minded officers conspired to assassinate Hitler but he avoided the bomb blast meant to do so Conspirators captured and tortured, Rommel given the option of suicide which he took

10 Fuhrer’s tactics brought calamity to the German forces in western France July 25, American units broke out westward into Brittany and eastward toward Paris August 15, American-French invasion force landed on the French Mediterranean coast and raced up the Rhone valley German resistance in France collapses August 25, French resistance forces aided by the Americans able to liberate Paris German troops retreated to Germany, by September most of France and Belgium was free of enemy troops

11 Slowing Momentum Allies moving faster than their supply lines were able to keep up General Bernard Montgomery and British-Canadian force moved into Belgium September 4, take Antwerp Montgomery argued that a quick thrust toward Berlin could end things General George Patton was sure he could take the American Third Army all the way to Berlin Eisenhower reasoned that a swift, narrow thrust into Germany would be cut off, counter attacked, and defeated Advocated advancing along a broad front Knew he had to clear out German forces and open supply lines to Antwerp first – a long hard battle that lasted until November, 1944

12 Leapfrogging to Tokyo

13 Japan relegated to a lower priority in the face of defeating Germany Allied forces brought the war within reach of the enemy’s homeland by the end of 1944 The Pacific War’s first American offensive had been in the southwest Pacific Japanese had been stopped at the Coral Sea and Midway US captured the southern Solomon islands and were building an airstrip on Guadalcanal August , two months before the North African landings the First Marine Division landed on Guadalcanal and seized the airstrip

14 MacArthur in New Guinea American and Australian forces under General Douglas MacArthur began to push the Japanese out of their positions on the northern coast of New Guinea Fought through some of the hottest, most humid, and most mosquito-infested swamps in the world Brought advances at heavy cost January 1943, eastern tip of New Guinea had been secured The egotistical MacArthur proposed to move westward along the northern coast of New Guinea toward the Philippines and ultimately Tokyo Admiral Chester Nimitz argued for a sweep through the islands of the central Pacific to Formosa and China March 1943, combined chiefs of staff agreed to pursue both plans

15 March , Battle of the Bismarck Sea American bombers sank eight Japanese troopships and ten warships carrying reinforcements Thereafter the Japanese did not risk sending transports to reinforce points under siege Allies able to use the tactic of neutralizing Japanese strongholds with air and sea power and leaving some to “die on the vine” Tactic known as leapfrogging, Japanese later acknowledged it as a major factor to allied victory

16 Death of Admiral Yamamoto April 1943, US fighter pilots shot down Japanese plane known to be carrying Admiral Yamamoto Japan’s naval commander Planner of the Pearl Harbor attacks Death shattered Japanese morale

17 Nimitz in the Central Pacific Invasion of the Marshall Islands Next step up the ladder to Tokyo Began January June 15, American forces took Saipan in the Marianas Bringing the American B-29 bombers within striking distance of Japan itself June 19-20, Battle of the Philippine Sea Fought mostly in the air Japanese lost 3 more aircraft carriers, 2 submarines, and over 300 planes Secured the Marianas and B-29’s were able to bomb the Japanese mainland Defeat in the Marianas convinced General Tojo that the war was lost July , he and his cabinet resigned

18 The Battle of Leyte Gulf July , FDR met with General MacArthur and Admiral Nimitz in Honolulu Decided next to liberate the Philippine Islands October 20, MacArthur’s troops made their move into the Philippines, landing first on the island of Leyte MacArthur proclaimed: “People of the Philippines, I have returned… Rally to me… Let no heart be faint” Japanese new the loss of the Philippines would cut them off from the essential raw materials of the East Indies Brought in fleets from three directions all directions October , convergence collectively known as the Battle of Leyte Gulf Largest naval engagement in history Japanese lost most of their remaining sea power and the ability to defend the Philippines Brought the first use of the suicide attacks from Japanese pilots Crash-dived into American carriers Known as “kamikaze” – meaning “divine wind” which had saved Japan from Mongol invasions and inflicted considerable damages


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