European Theater Objectives: Student will discover the major battles that were fought in the European Theater. Students will begin designing a poster to illustrate those battles.
Theater During a time of war, the military uses the term “theater” to refer to a specific geographical area. WWII had two theaters: European and Pacific.
Fronts The European Theater was broken up into the Western and Eastern Front because the European Theater was so big.
Germany Invades Poland September 1, 1939
What happened? • 1st use of “Blitzkreig” • Polish Army defeat in a matter of weeks • Britain and France declared War on Germany to honor their agreement to protect Poland’s borders
Importance Beginning of WWII
Germany invades France May 10-22 1940
What happened? • 3 days after Germany invades France, the Germans break through the lines of defense • German Army captures Paris • French government agrees to disband Army and turn over all Jews to Germany
Importance Britain is now the only member of the Allies in Europe and the invasion also helped strengthen the Nazi hold over Europe
Battle of Britain July 1940
What happened? • Air Raids by Germany against London & other major cities • Germany wanted to destroy the Royal Air Force (RAF) & force Great Britain to surrender • Germany believed they couldn’t carry out an assault on Great Britain until the RAF was taken down
Importance First defeat of Hitler’s military forces
Battle of Stalingrad Begins August 1942, Ends February 1943
What happened? • Germany invaded the Soviet Union and bombed the city of Stalingrad • Soviet Union sent 1 million well supplied soldiers to Stalingrad • Germany moves into city and was unable to receive food and supplies. They were forced into hand-to-hand combat and surrendered
Importance Turning point of the Eastern Front of the war: Soviet Union beings to push Germany back
D-Day June 6, 1944
What happened? • Paratroopers invaded the coast of Normandy, France and were followed by a landing by the marines • After sustaining heavy losses, Allied forces gained control of the coast
Importance Turning point of the Western Front of the war: Great Britain and U.S. began to push Germany back
Battle of Midway June 1942
What happened? • U.S. surprise bombing on Japanese cities • Japan sent all of their military to Midway to launch attack on U.S. Fleet • U.S. Fleet was waiting for the Japanese to show up • U.S. defeated the Japanese in battle
Importance Turning point of war in the Pacific: America begins to push Japan back