Lecture Outline I. Operations Barbarossa and Torch II. The Battle of Stalingrad III. D-Day IV. Assault on Germany V. Yalta Conference
Key Terms Operation Barbarossa Operation Torch Jean Darlan Battle of Stalingrad D-Day Battle of the Bulge Yalta Conference
Operation Barbarossa The German invasion of the Soviet Union was planned for mid-May 1941 but it was postponed until June 22 because of Greece. April—Hitler sent troops to Greece and took over Yugoslavia on the way. The severe Russian winter arrived before Germany could completely take over the USSR. German strategy was to launch a blitzkrieg that would bring the invasion force to the Volga River before winter.
Operation Barbarossa East of the Volga was to be left to the Russians. Hitler than intended to take over the Middle East and North Africa. The goal was a war of extermination with the goal of eliminating the “inferior races” of Eastern Europe for future German settlement. 3 million German troops along with more than 50,000 soldiers of countries allied with Germany (and over 600,000 horses) invaded the Soviet Union.
Operation Barbarossa By December the Germans reached the suburbs of Moscow. By mid-January 1942 the Germans had been pushed a 100 miles to the west of Moscow. Hitler assumed personal command of the Eastern Front. 3 million Soviets were sent to Germany to work as slave labor.
American Contributions to the Allied Cause Early 1942 it was decided that the Allies would give priority to the European theater. 1 year after Pearl Harbor the US production of armaments equaled that of Germany, Italy, and Japan put together, and by 1944 it was double that. During WWII the Soviet Union received from the US over 400,000 trucks, 12,000 tanks, 14,000 planes, and large quantity of other good totaling 17.5 million tons.
American Contributions to the Allied cause The Soviets built approximately 100,000 tanks, 100,000 aircraft, and 175,000 artillery pieces during the war. About 2/3 of this material was destroyed in the fighting and 20 million Russians died. Soviets had discovered that the solution to the German blitzkrieg was to make miles deep zones of defense with successive belts of trenches, mine fields, bunkers, gun positions, and tank traps to slow the Germans.
American Contributions to the Allied Cause Countries from Germany eastward lost about 10% of their population while the US lost ½ of 1% of its population. 1943 and 1944 Soviet army’s casualties were 80% of the forces engaged. Churchill wanted to fight Germany on the periphery. US opposed this. US was not fully mobilized nor fully equipped and its troops were green so Roosevelt chose to invade French North Africa first.
Allied invasion of North Africa Some of the French military were loyal to the Vichy regime, while others supported the Allies. After France’s defeat the French navy had sailed to North Africa and Petain had refused to assure Britain that the fleet would not fall into Germany hands. In July 1940 the British navy attacked and severely damaged the anchored fleet, killing over 1,200 French sailors in the process. Charles de Gaulle had created the Free French Government in London.
Operation Torch Began on November 8, 1942. 117,000 Allied troops were committed to the operation and 75% were American. Admiral Jean Darlan, commander of all the Vichy France forces was captured after the invasion of Algiers. He was the only Frenchman with the prestige and authority to stop the French from resisting the British and Americans. In return for arranging an immediate cease-fire, Darlan would be named the military governor of French North Africa.
Effects of Operation Torch The Germans reacted by occupying and taking control of Vichy France. In July 1943 Sicily was invaded, Mussolini was replaced by as head of state, and Italy surrendered to the Americans and British. Italy was immediately occupied by German troops. The Italian fighting delayed the invasion of Western Europe by another year and did not contribute to any significant destruction of German power.
February 3--Why do you think Germany lost WWII?
Battle of Stalingrad The Soviets lost more soldiers in the battle than the US lost in combat the entire war. On November 19-20 1942, the Soviets launched a powerful counter-attack. At the end of January 1943, the German Sixth Army surrendered. The Soviets captured 91,000 prisoners, 1,500 tanks, and 60,000 vehicles.
Battle of Stalingrad In July 1943 the Germans attempted 1 major offensive with 17 armored divisions. The Soviets repulsed the attack, and pushed the German army back 200 miles. The Soviets had twice the manpower, and 2-3 times the weapons and equipment.
D-Day Preparation Between April 1 and June 5, 1944, the Allies lost 2,000 aircraft and 12,000 air crew killed in action. On June 6, 1944, D-Day, the Allied invasion of France through Normandy occurred under the command of General Dwight D. Eisenhower. The Allies landed 8 divisions (156,000 men) on the first day, 5 divisions ( 2 American, 2 British, and 1 Canadian) from the sea, and 3 airborne divisions (1 British, 2 American) from the air.
D-Day The operation required 5,000 ships and 12,000 planes. Allied D-Day casualties probably exceeded 10,000 although the exact number has never been established. Germans had 60 divisions, 11 of them armored but their preparations were hampered by miscalculations and disagreements.
D-Day One week after D-Day the Allies had more troops in France than did the Germans. They also had complete mastery of the air. By the end of the Normandy campaign the Allies were supporting more than two million soldiers on the Continent. After D-Day the Allied air forces concentrated all their resources on the destruction of Germany
Liberation of France On August 15, 1944 151,000 American, British, Canadian and French troops landed on the Mediterranean coast of France. In late August the Allies took Paris.
Assault on Germany Beginning in April 1942 the British, and later Americans, began “carpet bombing” almost every major city in Germany: 593,000 German civilians were killed and over 3.3 million homes were destroyed. 46,000 men of the British Bomber Command were killed and as much as 1/3 of British military and civilian manpower and industrial resources was devoted to supporting strategic bombing in the later years of the war.
Assault on Germany July 1943 an Allied air-raid on Hamburg started a firestorm that killed 40,000 people in about 2 hours. Another firestorm occurred in Dresden in 1945 killing 135,000. Over the entire war, the average result of a single British bomber sortie with a 7 man crew was less than 3 Germans dead and after an average of 14 missions the bomber crew would be shot down.
German military industrial production continued to increase until late 1944. Hitler focused on new weapons like jet airplanes and V-1 and V-2 cruise missiles. 22,400 V-1 missiles were launched. Beginning in September 1944, V-2 missiles, 1,115 fell on London, began causing severe damage. Over 15,000 people were killed and more than 45,000 wounded from these rocket attacks. Assault on Germany
Allies were supporting more than 2 million soldiers with more men arriving daily. A WWII combat division (there were 38 on the continent) required an average of 700 tons of supplies per day during periods of continued combat. The fighting units committed in September 1944 required at least 1 million gallons of fuel per day.
Battle of the Bulge The Allied invasion was stopped only once at the Battle of the Bulge in December 1944. The Allies crossed the Rhine River on March 7, 1945. The Soviet Army was thirty-five miles from the eastern suburbs of Berlin. General Eisenhower’s concern over a collision with the Red Army so it was decided upon as the place for both armies to stop at the Elbe River.
Yalta Conference In February 1945, the Allies had decided that Berlin and Germany would be divided into 4 separate sectors, each to be administered by one of the 4 Allied powers. During the Battle of Berlin (April 16-May 7, 1945) The Red Army suffered 361,367 casualties.
The End April 30 Hitler committed suicide. On May 7, 1945 Germany surrendered.