Presentation on theme: "American Soldiers Major Turning Points Victory in Europe Victory in Asia How did Truman arrive at the decision to use nuclear weapons?"— Presentation transcript:
American Soldiers Major Turning Points Victory in Europe Victory in Asia How did Truman arrive at the decision to use nuclear weapons?
American Soldiers More than 16 million men served in the military during WWII. Millions of soldiers were children of immigrants. This turned out to be a great advantage. In any large group of soldiers at least one could speak German, Russian, Italian, French, Spanish, or Japanese.
Major Turning Points The battle of Midway was a major turning point in the war against Japan. Japan hoped to destroy the remaining US ships in one major battle. Japan chose to attack Midway Island, located northwest of Hawaii.
American code breakers discovered Japan’s plan to attack at Midway. Americans knew where the Japanese aircraft carriers would be. This knowledge helped Americans destroy four Japanese aircraft carriers. After the battle at Midway, Japan’s navy was no longer strong enough to keep capturing islands.
Americans soon began taking back territory from Japan. The Battle of Stalingrad was another major turning point. When Germany invaded the Soviet Union, the main goal was to capture the industrial city of Stalingrad.
The Soviet army fought desperately to hold onto Stalingrad. Soon the entire city was destroyed and the Soviets began gaining ground. After a long battle, the German army surrendered. After Stalingrad, the Soviet army forced the German army to retreat.
Victory in Europe The Soviet army had pushed back the German army and the Allies defeated the Axis forces in North Africa and Italy, but the war was far from over. The Allies knew they had to invade Western Europe and the Germans knew this too and were preparing.
Dwight D. Eisenhower, commander of the Allied forces, chose the coastal region of Normandy, France for the Allied invasion. On June 6, 175,000 soldiers invaded France. This would be the largest invasion by sea in world history and become known as D-Day.
American, British, and Canadian soldiers jumped from boats and began wading up to the land. Facing deadly blasts from German guns, Allied soldiers fought their way onto the beach. By the end of the day, Allied forces had captured the beaches of Normandy, France.
Allied troops battled their way toward Germany. Allies liberated towns that were under German control. German forces made one final attack called the Battle of the Bulge. This turned into the biggest battle ever fought by US forces. General George S. Patton helped lead the Allies to victory and soon crossing the border into Germany.
The Soviet Union was invading Germany from the east. When Soviet forces closed in on the German capital Berlin, Hitler killed himself. On May 8, 1945, Germany surrendered and this day became known as V-E Day, “Victory in Europe”
Victory over Asia General Douglass MacArthur planned to fight his way to Japan by using a strategy called “island hopping”. The Allies would keep capturing islands closer and closer to Japan.
The US Marines invaded a small Pacific island of Iwo Jima, Japan. American forces then attacked Okinawa. Nearly 50,000 Americans were killed or wounded before Japan was defeated at Okinawa. Military leaders began planning an invasion of Japan, but feared that it might cost Millions of American lives.
The new president Harry S. Truman had the biggest decision of his life. American scientists had successfully tested the world’s first atomic bomb. Truman had to decide whether or not to use the bomb against Japan.
Truman decided to use the bombs forcing Japan to surrender. Air Force bomber named Enola Gay dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan on August 6. The bomb killed more than 80,000 people in a few seconds. Three days later another atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, killing nearly 60,000 people.
Japan surrendered on August 14. This was called V-J day for “Victory in Japan”. WWII was finally over.