Europe at War. The 1939 invasion of Poland by Germany took just four weeks. The speed and efficiency of the German army stunned the world.  Called blitzkrieg.

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Slide 1Europe at War Slide 2 The 1939 invasion of Poland by Germany took just four weeks. The speed and efficiency of the German army stunned the world.  Called blitzkrieg…


Slide 1Europe at War Slide 2 The 1939 invasion of Poland by Germany took just four weeks. The speed and efficiency of the German army stunned the world.  Called blitzkrieg (“lightning war”), the Germans used panzer divisions (strike forces of about 300 tanks and soldiers) that were supported by airplanes.  On September 28, 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union divided Poland Slide 3 Slide 4 In the spring of 1940, Hitler invaded Denmark and Norway In May, Germany attacked the Netherlands, Belgium, and France.  The German armies broke through French lines and moved across northern France.  The French had fortified their border with Germany along the Maginot Line, but the Germans surprised them by going around it. Slide 5 Slide 6 Slide 7 Slide 8 Slide 9 The Germans trapped the entire British army and French forces on the beaches of Dunkirk. The British navy and private boats were able to evacuate 338,000 Allied troops, barely averting a complete disaster. Slide 10 Slide 11 Slide 12 Slide 13 On June 22, the French signed an armistice with the Germans, who occupied three-fifths of France.  An authoritarian French regime under German control was set up to govern the rest of the country.  Led by Marshal Henri Pétain, it was named Vichy France.  Germany now controlled western and central Europe.  Only Britain remained undefeated. Slide 14 On June 22, the French signed an armistice with the Germans, who occupied three-fifths of France. An authoritarian French regime under German control was set up to govern the rest of the country. Led by Marshal Henri Pétain, it was named Vichy France. Germany now controlled western and central Europe. Only Britain remained undefeated. Slide 15 Slide 16 The British asked the United States for help. The United States had a strict policy of isolationism.  A series of neutrality acts passed in the 1930s prevented the United States from involvement in European conflicts.  Though President Franklin D. Roosevelt denounced the Germans, the United States did nothing at first. Slide 17 Roosevelt wanted to repeal the neutrality acts and help Great Britain. Over time, the laws were slowly relaxed, and the United States sent food, ships, planes, and weapons to Britain. Slide 18 Slide 19 Hitler understood that he could not attack Britain by sea unless he first controlled the air. In August 1940, the Luftwaffe–German air force–began a major bombing offensive against military targets in Britain.  Aided by a good radar system, the British fought back but suffered critical losses. Slide 20 In September, Hitler retaliated to a British attack on Berlin by shifting attacks from military targets to British cities. He hoped to break British morale. However, the shift in strategy allowed the British to rebuild their air power and inflict crippling losses on the Germans. Britain would be lead through this trying time by the man that replaced Nevell Chamberlain-Winston Churchill. Having lost the Battle of Britain, Hitler postponed the invasion of Britain indefinitely at the end of September. Slide 21 Slide 22 We shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and the oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender. Winston Churchill Slide 23 “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.” Winston Churchill (speaking about the Royal Air Force) “Today we may say aloud before an awe-struck world: "We are still masters of our fate. We are still captain of our souls." Winston Churchill “Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that if the British Empire and Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, This was their finest hour.” Winston Churchill Slide 24 Slide 25 Hitler was convinced that the way to defeat Britain was to first smash the Soviet Union. He thought that the British were resisting only because they were expecting Soviet support. He also thought that the Soviets could be easily defeated. He planned to invade in the spring of 1941 but was delayed by problems in the Balkans. Slide 26 After the Italians had failed to capture Greece in 1940, the British still held air bases there.  Hitler seized Greece and Yugoslavia in April 1941. Slide 27 Then Hitler invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941. The attack on the Soviet Union stretched out for 1,800 miles.  German troops moved quickly and captured two million Russian soldiers by November.  The Germans were within 25 miles of Moscow. Slide 28 However, winter came early in 1941 and, combined with fierce Russian resistance, forced the Germans to halt. This marked the first time in the war that the Germans had been stopped.  The Germans were not equipped for the bitter Russian winter.  In December, the Soviet army counterattacked. Slide 29 Why did Hitler decide to attack the Soviet Union after the two countries had signed a nonaggression pact? Slide 30 On December 7, 1941, the Japanese attacked the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. They also attacked the Philippines and the British colony of Malaya.  Soon after, they invaded the Dutch East Indies and other islands in the Pacific Ocean.  In spite of some fierce resistance in places such as the Philippines, by the spring of 1942, the Japanese controlled almost all of Southeast Asia and much of the western Pacific. Slide 31 Slide 32 Slide 33 Slide 34 Slide 35 Slide 36 bor/ax/frameset.html bor/ax/frameset.html Slide 37 Videos Slide 38 The Japanese created the Greater East-Asia Co-prosperity Sphere, which included the entire region under Japanese control. Japan announced its intention to liberate colonial nations in Southeast Asia, but it first needed their natural resources.  The Japanese treated the occupied countries as conquered lands. Slide 39 The Japanese thought that their attacks on the U.S. fleet would destroy the U.S. Navy and lead the Americans to accept Japanese domination in the Pacific. However, the attack on Pearl Harbor had the opposite effect. It united the American people and convinced the nation that it should enter the war against Japan. Slide 40 Slide 41 Slide 42 Slide 43 Hitler thought that the Americans would be too involved in the Pacific to fight in Europe. Four days after Pearl Harbor, he declared war on the United States. World War II had become a global war. Slide 44 How did the Japanese miscalculate the response of the United States to the bombing of Pearl Harbor? Slide 45 A new coalition was formed called the Grand Alliance. It included Great Britain, the Soviet Union, and the United States.  The three nations agreed to focus on military operations and ignore political differences.  They agreed in 1943 to fight until the Axis Powers–Germany, Italy, and Japan– surrendered unconditionally. Slide 46 At the beginning of 1942, the Germans continued to fight the war against Britain and the Soviet Union. The Germans were also fighting in North Africa. The Afrika Korps under General Erwin Rommel broke through British lines in Egypt and advanced on Alexandria. During the spring, the Germans captured the entire Crimea in the Soviet Union. Slide 47 Slide 48 By the fall of 1942, the war had turned against the Germans. In the summer of 1942, the British in North Africa had stopped the Germans at El Alamein.  The Germans retreated.  In November, British and American forces invaded French North Africa and forced the German and Italian troops to surrender by May. Slide 49 videos Slide 50 Slide 51 In his diary Joseph Goebbels recorded how he expected a quick victory in the Soviet Union (July 1941)Joseph Goebbels The Führer thinks that the action will take only 4 months; I think - even less. Bolshevism will collapse as a house of cards. We are facing an unprecedented victorious campaign. Cooperation with Russia was in fact a stain on our reputation. Now it is going to be washed out. The very thing we were struggling against for our whole lives, will now be destroyed. I tell this to the Führer and he agrees with me completely. Slide 52 On the Eastern Front, Hitler decided to attack Stalingrad, a major Soviet industrial center. Between November 1942 and February 1943 the Soviets counterattacked. They surrounded the Germans and cut off their supply lines. In May, the Germans were forced to surrender.  They lost some of their best troops.  Hitler then realized that he would not defeat the Soviet Union. Slide 53 Statistics on Stalingrad German Army Led by Paulus 1,011,500 men 10, 290 artillery guns 675 tanks 1,216 planes Russian Army Led by Zhukov Zhukov 1,000,500 men 13,541 artillery guns 894 tanks 1,115 planes Slide 54 Slide 55 Slide 56 Slide 57 Slide 58 Slide 59 Slide 60 Slide 61 Slide 62 Slide 63 Slide 64 "My hands are done for, and have been ever since the beginning of December. The little finger of my left hand is missing and - what's even worse - the three middle fingers of my right one are frozen. I can only hold my mug with my thumb and little finger. I'm pretty helpless; only when a man has lost any fingers does he see how much he needs then for the smallest jobs. The best thing I can do with the little finger is to shoot with it. My hands are finished." Anonymous German soldier Slide 65 Why was this battle so important? The failure of the German Army was nothing short of a disaster. A complete army group was lost at Stalingrad and 91,000 Germans were taken prisoner. With such a massive loss of manpower and equipment, the Germans simply did not have enough manpower to cope with the Russian advance to Germany when it came. Slide 66 Despite resistance in parts – such as a Kursk – they were in retreat on the Eastern Front from February 1943 on. In his fury, Hitler ordered a day’s national mourning in Germany, not for the men lost at the battle, but for the shame von Paulus had brought on the Wehrmacht and Germany. Paulus was also stripped of his rank to emphaisze Hitler’s anger with him. Hitler commented: Slide 67 "The God of War has gone over to the other side.“ Adolf Hitler Slide 68 Slide 69 In 1942, the Allies had their first successes in the Pacific. In the Battle of the Coral Sea in May, American naval forces stopped the Japanese and saved Australia from invasion.  In June, the Battle of Midway Island was the turning point in the Pacific war.  U.S. planes destroyed four Japanese aircraft carriers and established naval superiority. Slide 70 Slide 71 VIDEOS Slide 72 Why was the Battle of Midway Island so important? U.S. planes destroyed four Japanese aircraft carriers and established naval superiority in the Pacific. Slide 73 By the fall of 1942, Allied forces were about to begin two major operation plans against Japan. One, led by General Douglas MacArthur, would move into the Philippines through New Guinea and the South Pacific Islands.  The other would move across the Pacific, capturing some of the Japanese-held islands and ending up in Japan.  By November 1942, after fierce battles in the Solomon Islands, the Japanese power was diminishing. Slide 74 Island Hopping in the Pacific To defeat the Japanese the United States would have to take back Japanese controlled islands one by one. This strategy was referred to as island hopping. Fighting in the Pacific Theater was terrible and extremely costly. One reason was the terrible weather conditions-at times weeks of monsoon like rain, volcanic ash on islands, and thick rainforests. On each island we faced an enemy that had been preparing defenses for years and that refused to surrender. Often fighting did not end until almost every Japanese soldier was killed or committed suicide. Slide 75 Islands like Peleliu and Guadalcanal were death traps. Allied forces would fight for weeks and months to control the island only to develop a false sense of security before fighting would erupt after short periods of stoppage. Civilian casualties were high in many of these locations and soldiers were faced to make gut-wrenching decisions during combat. Slide 76 videos Slide 77 Last Years of the War By early 1943, the tide had turned against the Axis forces. In May, the Axis forces surrendered in Tunisia. The Allies then moved north and invaded Italy in September. Winston Churchill called Italy the “soft underbelly” of Europe. Slide 78 As the bombing campaign increased against Germany, the invasion of Sicily moved ahead as well. General Dwight D. Eisenhower was placed in overall command of the invasion. General Patton and General Montgomery of England controlled the troops on the ground. In July of 1943, despite bad weather the Allied troops made it ashore with few causualties. A new vehicle the DUKW an amphibious truck- proved to very effective at bringing in supplies and artillery to troops on beaches Slide 79 Eight days later Patton’s troops smashed through enemy lines and captured the western half of the country-while his troops advanced Montgomery’s took the southern half-by August the Germans had evacuated Slide 80 After the Allies captured Sicily, Mussolini was removed from office. The king arrested him. A new Italian government offered to surrender to the Allies. However, the Germans rescued Mussolini and set him up as dictator of a puppet German state in northern Italy. Slide 81 The allies would have to take this territory back. Allied troops landed behind enemy lines in Anzio. The German troops were not surprised and surrounded the allies. It took five months to break through the German lines at Cassino and Anzio. Fighting would continue until May of 1945. This campaign was one of the bloodiest of the war costing the allies 300,000 lives. Slide 82 The Germans established a strong defense south of Rome. The Allies had very heavy casualties as they slowly advanced north. They did not take Rome until June 4, 1944. Slide 83 Slide 84 Roosevelt Meets Stalin at Tehran Roosevelt met with Stalin before the invasion of France. In late 1943 Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin met in Tehran, Iran They agreed to several things-Soviets would attack German’s after invasion of France; Break up Germany after the war; Defeat Japan; create organization to keep peace.


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