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Pushing the Axis Back

Pushing the Axis Back. Striking Back at The Third Reich. After the first large Allied invasion of the war in North Africa were very successful, Roosevelt decided it was time to meet with Churchhill again to plan the next phases of the war

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Pushing the Axis Back

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  1. Pushing the Axis Back

  2. Striking Back at The Third Reich • After the first large Allied invasion of the war in North Africa were very successful, Roosevelt decided it was time to meet with Churchhill again to plan the next phases of the war • At the Casablanca Conference, Roosevelt and Churchhill agreed to step up the bombing of Germany. The goal of this bombing was to destroy the infrastructure of Germany and crush the peoples morale. Churchill called Italy the “soft underbelly” of Europe and was convinced the Italians would surrender if their homeland was invaded.

  3. Strategic Bombing • The allies had been bombing Germany for three years by this point in the war dropping 2,300 tons of explosives every month-the United States joined and dropped an additional 1,500 tons by the end of the year • This bombing was minor compared to the new campaign. Between January 1943 and May 1945, the Royal Air Force and the United States dropped approximately 53,000 tons of explosives on Germany every month. It did not destroy the economy or the peoples morale, but it did cause oil shortages and destroyed so many aircraft factories that Germany was unable to re-supply its airforce-this would create air supremacy for the allies

  4. Striking at the Soft Underbelly • 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 causalties. A new vehicle the DUKW an amphibious truck-proved to very effective at bringing in supplies nad artillery to troops on beaches

  5. Striking at the Soft Underbelly • 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 • Soon the Italian government collapsed-Mussolini was arrested-in September the Italian government announced their surrender • However Hitler was not ready to surrender and his troops attacked from the North taking Rome and putting Mussolini back into power • 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.

  6. 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

  7. Landing in France • Churchill and Roosevelt met in Egypt to plan the invasion-the first decision was to chose the leader of the campaign. Most expected George Marshall to lead the invasion, however Roosevelt depended on him for military advice. Dwight D. Eisenhower was chosen to lead the greatest military invasion in history. This invasion would be named Operation Overlord

  8. Planning Operation Overlord • The Germans realized that eventually the Allies would invade-they heavily fortified the coast of France • However the allies advantage was surprise-the Germans did not know when or where the invasion would be-they considered the most reasonable place was Pas-de-Calais-the area closest to France-to convince the Germans they were right the allies placed inflated tanks, tents and landing craft along the coast of Calais-to German spy planes the decoys looked real-the Germans were fooled and would not realize the actual target was Normandy

  9. Planning Operation Overlord • By the spring of 1944 everything was ready-over 1.5 million soldiers, 12,000 airplanes and more than 5 million tons of equipment had been sent to England. • The only thing left was to pick the date and give the command to go. The invasion would begin at night and arrive at low tide so that beach obstacles could be seen. The low tide had to come at dawn so the gunners bombarding the coast could see their target. Before the landing paratroopers would be dropped behind enemy lines. A date would have to be chosen when all of the conditions could be met. Bad weather would be disastorous to the mission.

  10. Planning Operation Overlord • Given all of these conditions there were only a few days each month that the mission could be launched. The first opportunity was between June 5-7, 1944. Eisenhower’s staff referred to any day that a mission began by the letter D. The date for invasion became known a D-Day. Bad weather made June 5th impossible, the next day the weather improved slightly. Eisenhower had to make a difficult decision and finally decided to move forward with the invasion.

  11. The Longest Day • Nearly 7,000 ships carried more than 100,000 troops torwards the beaches, while 23,000 paratroopers were dropped behind enemy lines on June 6, 1944. Allied bomber and fighter planes raced up and down the coast hitting bridges, bunkers, and radar sites. As dawn broke warships let loose with a massive barrage of shells down on five beaches code named-Gold, Omaha, Juno, Sword, Utah • The landing went well at Utah with only 200 troops being lost-within three hours the beach had been taken-however at Omaha things went horribly wrong-An evacuation was almost ordered at this beach as men were killed by the thousands-Amazingly the tide slowly turned and when reinforcements arrived the German defenses broke and the beach was taken. By the end of the day over 100,000 allied troops had landed and the invasion was a major success.

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