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The United States in World War II. 1941-1945. Causes of WWII in Europe. 1. The rise of dictators: > Fascism: Mussolini takes control of Italy. A strong government controlled by a dictator. Very anti-communist, very nationalistic. > Communism: Stalin takes control of the USSR.

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causes of wwii in europe
Causes of WWII in Europe

1. The rise of dictators:

  • > Fascism: Mussolini takes control of Italy.
    • A strong government controlled by a dictator. Very anti-communist, very nationalistic.
  • > Communism: Stalin takes control of the USSR.
    • Communism/Socialism appeals to the working class
  • > Nazism: Hitler takes control of Germany.
    • The Nazi party is socialist in name only (National Socialist German Workers’ Party. It is anticommunist, and nationalistic (believing their country is better than all others).
  • > Militarists in Japan: Japanese military officers take control of the Japanese government.
    • These militarists assassinated the Prime Minister, and invaded China.
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Causes of WWII in Europe

2. American Isolationist policies

  • Many Americans were discouraged by the rise of dictators and military rule in Europe. It seemed like everything the Allies had fought for during WWI was useless.
  • Seeing growing aggression in Italy and Germany, Congress wanted to make neutrality standard.
  • > Congress passed the Neutrality Act of 1935.

-> This act made it illegal for Americans to sell any arms (weapons) to countries at war.

    • The hope was that the Neutrality Act would keep Americans from getting involved in international wars, and prevent a depression like what happened after WWI.
  • > This Neutrality Act was first tested in 1936, when the Spanish Civil War broke out.
    • Congress passed another Neutrality act – making it illegal to sell arms to either side of a Civil War.
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Causes of WWII in Europe

3. Alliances between fascist powers

-> Following the Spanish Civil War, Hitler (Germany) and Mussolini (Italy) signed an agreement.

  • > This agreement was called the Rome-Berlin Axis

-> The next month, Japan aligned itself with Germany and Italy as well – signing the Anti-Comintern Pact.

  • This pact required Japan and Germany to share information about communist groups.
  • Both Japan and Germany were concerned about the USSR – which was getting larger and more powerful.
  • The new dictatorships in Italy, Germany, and Japan, would not last if communist ideas spread in these countries.

-> The three countries – Japan, Germany, and Italy, became known as the Axis Powers.

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Causes of WWII in Europe

4. Germany Expands

  • Hitler took control of the German government, assuming first the Chancellorship, then becominga dictator.

-> Hitler and his gov’t passed the Enabling Acts.

    • > These acts gave Hitler and his cabinet the power to pass legislation without the approval of the Reichstag (German Parliament).
    • Hitler then had all of his political rivals assassinated. (Night of the Long Knives)

-> In September 1935, Hitler passed the Nuremburg Laws.

    • This stripped Jews of their citizenship, and forbade marriage between Jews and “Aryans”.
    • > Soon after, the first pogrom (Kristallnacht) began. 30,000 Jews were rounded up and sent to concentration camps.
    • This is the beginning of the Holocaust. (We will explore this in more detail later).
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Causes of WWII in Europe

5. Germany takes Austria

    • In late 1937, Hitler began calling for a unification of all German-speaking people, including those living in Austria and Czechoslovakia.
    • Hitler also used Lebensraum as an excuse – saying the German people needed more “living space”.
  • The Anschluss
    • In February of 1938, Hitler threatened the Austrian government. The Austrian Nazi party overthrew the Austrians.
    • Hitler sent troops in. Germany and Austria were now unified.
causes of wwii in europe5
Causes of WWII in Europe

6. Germany takes the Sudetenland (Czechoslovakia)

-> The Sudetenland

  • > Hitler wanted to take over the Sudetenland (land in Czechoslovakia that was ethnically German).
  • Great Britain and France mobilized their armies – France was an ally of Czechoslovakia, and if Germany invaded, they would have to declare war.
  • To avoid war, Mussolini suggested a conference to decided the fate of Czechoslovakia.

-> The Munich Conference opened in September of 1938.

  • Representatives from Britain, France, Italy, and Germany were present. The Czech government had not been invited.
  • > Britain and France ultimately caved to appeasement.
  • They were so worried about declaring war on Germany that they agreed to let Hitler take the Sudetenland as long as Germany stopped its advances.
  • > Instead, Germany quickly conquered the rest of Czechoslovakia.
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Causes of WWII in Europe

7. Germany invades Poland

  • Hitler next began making demands on Poland – asking for Danzig in October, 1938.
    • Hitler’s demands on Poland convinced the British and French that their policy of appeasement had failed.
  • On September 1, 1939, Germany invaded Poland.
    • France and Britain declared war on Germany. World War II had begun.
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Causes of WWII in Europe

8. Nazi-Soviet Nonaggression Pact

  • Hitler wanted to avoid a war on two fronts. He proposed a nonagressionpact between Germany and the USSR.
    • Stalin agreed. This way, Germany would go to war with Britain and France, but the USSR would not have to join the war.

-> August 23, 1939 – Soviet and German representatives sign the Nazi-Soviet Nonagression Pact. (Molotov- Ribbentrop Pact).

    • Germany and USSR also agreed to split Poland in two – half going to the USSR, and half to Germany.
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Causes of WWII in Europe

8. Poland Falls

-> German blitzkrieg (lightning war) broke through the Polish lines. Warsaw is conqureed Sept 27, 1939. By October, the Polish army is defeated.

9. France Falls

    • The Nazi army first invaded Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands – this was to get around a barricade line between France and Germany.
  • The Nazis quickly took France. Their tanks outmatched the combined British and French army.

-> The Miracle at Dunkirk, however, allowed most British troops to evacuate back to Britian.

-> The French surrendered on June 22, 1940.

timeline assignment
Timeline Assignment
  • Your assignment for the rest of class:
  • Create a timeline of the first few years of WWII. Look to your notes to find at least 8 events to place on the timeline.
  • The events must be placed in correct order, including dates, and a summary of why each event is important. You may also include appropriate images/drawings.
  • You may work in pairs. You may listen to music.
  • Worth 50 points (quiz grade)
america s reaction
America’s Reaction
  • The United States faced a big decision.
  • Most people did not want to go to war in Europe – they did not want to get into debt again, and they did not want to risk American lives in another war overseas.
  • In contrast, many thought that it was the United States’ responsibility to assist the Allies in Europe – Nazi Germany was committing atrocities across Europe, and many Americans felt the Germans needed to be stopped.
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America’s Reaction
  • FDR had to make a decision:
    • The U.S. military wanted to keep weapons/tanks, etc. on American soil, to protect the country.
    • U.S. laws prevented the U.S. government from extending credit to countries that hadn’t paid their WWI debts.
    • Many Americans did not want to be in another European war.
    • However, FDR realized that the United States could not just stand by and allow Nazi Germany to conquer Europe.
  • He proposed the Lend-Lease Agreement.
lend lease agreement
Lend-Lease Agreement
  • The Lend-Lease Agreement allowed the United States to create weapons and send them to their allies in Europe, with the agreement that the Allies would do one of two things:
    • Return the undamaged/unused items
    • Replace the items if they were destroyed
  • This allowed FDR to get around the issue of selling arms to other countries. The USA was just loaning them.
battle of britain
Battle of Britain
  • By 1940, the Nazi army had conquered huge amounts of Europe.
    • Britain was the only significant hold out. Because of the Miracle at Dunkirk, most of Britain’s army had been able to flee across the channel.

-> However, in June of 1940, the Germany Luftwaffe (air force) began to attack British shipping in the channel, then tried to destroy the British air force. This battle – which lasted 3 months – was called the Battle of Britain.

-> August 23, 1940: German Luftwaffe bombs London by accident. Britain responded by bombing Berlin.

  • This crossed a new line – now both sides were bombing residential areas. Germany wanted to “terrorize the British people into surrendering”.
  • Britain didn’t surrender, however. Instead, they hid in the subway systems when the air raid sirens sounded.
  • Thanks in great part to the British air force (called the Royal Air Force), Germany was never able to conquer the British islands.
  • The French Resistance persisted in Paris, as well as in the French colonies – Morocco, Algeria, etc.
  • Although the United States had agreed to the Lend-Lease Agreement, the USA was still not formally engaged in war.
the holocaust why this is important
The Holocaust – Why this is Important
  • The Holocaust (Hebrew: Shoah)is perhaps the greatest single tragedy in human history.

-> During the Holocaust, the Nazis killed 6 million Jews, as well as millions of people from other groups that the Nazis considered to be “inferior”.

    • This included…Jews, Gypsies (Romany), anyone non-straight, African immigrants, East Asian immigrants, anyone physically or mentally handicapped, gays, lesbians, transsexuals, prisoners of war, communists, the Polish… plus many more.
    • 11 million people were killed, in total
the holocaust nuremberg laws
The Holocaust – Nuremberg Laws
  • One of the first steps that the Nazi Party implemented against the Jews was a series of laws called the Nuremberg Laws. (We mentioned them briefly earlier)

-> The Nuremberg Laws…

    • > Banned marriage between Jews and Christians
    • > Jews were no longer German citizens
    • > A “Jew” is defined as a person with at least one Jewish grandparent
    • > Jews could not hold public office, or vote
    • > Jewish passports were marked with a red J
    • > Jews were banned from certain jobs: law, medicine, owning businesses, working in government positions, teaching, or working as farmers.
  • By the 1936, half of Germany’s Jews were out of work.
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The Holocaust – Nuremberg Laws

- > Most Jews had been well integrated into German society

  • Why not leave Germany?

-> People are reluctant to leave their homes and the lives they had built there

- > Many lived in communities with many family members and friends, and did not want to abandon them

- > Most assumed that the conditions would surely improve over time – the harshness of Nazi rule was only temporary – it wasn’t worth leaving their homes and lives for

the holocaust emigration
The Holocaust - Emigration

- > Between 1933 and 1939, 350,000 Jews did escape Nazi Germany

  • Many DID try to leave!

-> Many fled to other European countries (including Otto Frank, father of Anne Frank, who fled to the Netherlands with his family). However, the Nazi army soon conquered these countries as well.

- By 1938. the American consulate (in charge of immigration) had a backlog of 100,000 applications for emigration

- > After the Anschluss, 3,000 Jews PER DAY applied to emigrate to the United States

- > Millions of Jews who tried to flee Germany and other countries in Europe simply couldn’t

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The Holocaust - Emigration
  • Why not go to the United States?
  • Several factors made this very difficult:
    • Nazi orders prevented Jews from taking more than $4.oo out of the country.
    • Many countries were anti-immigrant and/or anti-Jewish, and refused to allow Jews to immigrate there
    • In the USA, laws restricted granting a visa to “anyone likely to become a public charge” (live off the gov’t)
    • High unemployment rates in the USA also made immigration politically unpopular, so it was unlikely that policies would change.
      • These QUOTA ACTS limited immigration from all countries, with no exception for refugees
    • As time went on, more and more Jews tried to flee Europe, but many were turned away once they arrived in other countries, and forced to go back.
  • Ultimately, most Jews did not leave Europe simply because they could not go anywhere else.
america edges toward war
America Edges Toward War
  • In order to get support from the American people, FDR explained the role that America would have to take.
  • He said that Britain was fighting for democracy, and that it was the responsibility of the United States to help defend democracy.

-> FDR also mentioned the “four freedoms” that both the USA and Britain followed

    • > Freedom of speech, freedom to worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear.

DO NOW: 2 Minute Response / Warm Up (Participation)

How do these “freedoms” relate to the Holocaust? In what ways were the Nazis violating these freedoms?

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America Edges Toward War
  • FDR’s first step toward supporting Britain was the Lend-Lease Agreement. This was designed to support Britain as the “last man standing” to defend democracy in Europe.

-> FDR warned the American people that if Britain fell to the Nazis, an “unholy alliance” of Germany, Japan, and Italy would try to conquer the rest of the world, and eventually the United States.

  • Most Americans agreed with this, and supported the Lend-Lease Act.
ussr joins the allies
USSR Joins the Allies
  • After calling off the invasion of Britain, Hitler (Nazi Germany) looked to expand again in the East.

-> In June 1941, Hitler launched a massive invasion of the Soviet Union.

-> This was in direct violation of the Nazi-Soviet Nonaggression Pact

  • Winston Churchill (Prime Minister of Britain) was anti-Communist, and he thought Stalin was a harsh ruler.

-> However, Churchill stated that any person or country, “who fights against Nazism will have our aid”.

-> The USSR joined the Allies.

  • FDR expanded the Lend-Lease program to include sending aid to the USSR, as well as China
hemispheric defense zone
Hemispheric Defense Zone
  • With the USA now lending supplies to the Allies, there was a new problem: German U-Boats, sinking the supply ships, and British vessels.
  • Roosevelt could not order the U.S. Navy to protect British ships. The USA was still technically neutral.

-> Instead, FDR developed the idea of a hemispheric defense zone.

-> Roosevelt declared the entire western half of the Atlantic Ocean was part of the Western Hemisphere, and therefore neutral.

  • The U.S. Navy was then able to patrol the western half of the ocean and tell the British where the German subs were.
atlantic charter
Atlantic Charter
  • August 1941: Roosevelt and Churchill meet face to face on board American and British ships anchored near Newfoundland, Canada

-> During these meetings, the two men agreed to theAtlantic Charter

    • > Post-war world of democracy, non-aggression, free trade, economic advancement, and freedom of the seas.
  • Following this meeting, FDR told Churchill he planned to “force an incident” to give the USA an excuse to go to war with Germany.
  • By the end of 1941, Germany and the United States had a stalemate in the North Atlantic Ocean.
the united states and japan
The United States and Japan
  • 1937: Japan begins invasions of China, within four years, controls much of the Chinese coast

-> 1939: United States wants to help protect Britain’s colonies in the Pacific from Japan

    • USA puts economic pressure on Japan.

-> USA refuses to sell oil (80% of Japanese oil came from USA), scrap metal, and airplane fuel

-> 1940: Japan officially joins the Axis

  • 1941: USA begins sending Lend-Lease Aid to China, hoping China would be able to defeat Japan

-> July 1941: Japanese aircraft are positioned to attack British colonies in the Pacific

    • Roosevelt responds by enforcing American presence in the Philippines

-> November 26, 1941: six Japanese aircraft carriers, two battleships, and several other warships set sail for Hawaii…

the united states and japan1
The United States and Japan
  • November 27, 1941: American commanders at Pearl Harbor, HI receive a warning from Washington that Japan was militarizing.
    • However, Hawaii was not mentioned as a possible target.
    • Most assumed Japan would attack the Philippines
    • No one thought Japan would try to launch such a long range attack
  • Pearl Harbor was attacked, December 7, 1941
japan attacks pearl harbor
Japan attacks Pearl Harbor
  • December 7th, 1941
  • 6:45 AM: An American destroyer sinks a Japanese submarine near the entrance to the Harbor
  • 7:02 AM: Army radar picks up a cloud of aircraft. Officers assume it’s a flight of planes due in from California
  • 7:49 AM: The first wave of 183 Japanese planes is ordered to attack
    • The force includes planes armed with torpedoes, as well as machine guns. The target is the fleet of American ships. Other bombers attack the airfields
  • 8:55 AM: The second wave of 167 planes continues the attack

-> Ultimately, Japan’s surprise attack is devastating:

-> 21 American ships sunk or damaged

-> 188 airplanes destroyed

-> 2,403 Americans are killed

-> 1,178 are injured

  • Japan lost 29 aircraft, and five midget submarines. 65 Japanese soldiers were killed/injured.
  • In response to the attack on Pearl Harbor, FDR delivers a speech, asking Congress to declare war.

-> The Senate voted 82 to 0; the House, 388 to 1. The United States declares war on Japan.

america mobilizes for war
America mobilizes for war…

-> The United States developed a new system to help American companies: cost-plus contracts.

    • > The gov’t agreed to pay for the cost of a product, PLUS a guaranteed percentage of the cost as a profit.

->This meant that the more a company produced and the faster it did the work, the more money it would make.

  • This system was expensive but it ensured that war materials were produced quickly and in high quantity.

-> The Reconstruction Finance Corporation was also established.

    • > This government agency helped companies that were not making military goods convert their production to help the war effort.
building the u s army
Building the U.S. Army
  • Even before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Roosevelt wanted to expand the U.S. Army

-> In June 1940, after the fall of Poland, the gov’t introduced the Selective Service and Training Act.

    • > This was a peacetime draft - the goal of the SSTA was to train new recruits before they were needed in any battles.
  • Many Americans were against a peacetime draft at first, however, opinions changed once France fell to Germany.
a segregated army
A Segregated Army
  • Although basic training for the Army promoted unity, there were still problems.

-> Many recruits were rushed through training so quickly that they didn’t remember what to do

  • There was also a lack of supplies – troops practiced using sticks instead of rifles, and with trucks labeled “tank”.

-> At the start of WWII, the U.S. military was completely segregated.

    • African-American troops had separate barracks, latrines, mess halls, and recreational facilities.

-> Once trained, African-Americans were organized into their own military units, led by white officers.

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A Segregated Army

-> To combat this inequality, the National Urban League set two goals:

    • >1. To promote effective participation of African Americans in all aspects of the war effort
    • > 2. “To formulate plans for building the kind of United States in which we wish to live after the war is over”

-> This led to the Double V campaign

    • > VICTORY over Hitler’s racism abroad
    • > VICTORY over racism and segregation at home
  • Many African-Americans who joined the military hoped that, if the United States wanted to show itself as a defender of democracy, then it would have to deal with its own inequalities.
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A Segregated Army
  • Despite this segregation, many African Americans distinguished themselvesin combat
  • The Tuskegee Airmen (99th Pursuit Squadron) were a squadron of African-American fighter pilots who helped win the Battle of Anzio in Italy.
  • The all African-American 761st Tank Battalion was commended for its service during the Battle of the Bulge.
  • Although the military did not end all segregation by the end of the war, it did eventually integrate military bases. The military was fully integrated in 1948.
women in the military
Women in the Military
  • Women served in most branches of the military during WWII, but in non-combatant positions
    • Women worked in administrative and clerical positions – jobs usually filled by men – allowing these men to train for combat.

-> May 1942: Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps is established, but women are not part of the regular army

-> 1943: WAAC is replaced by the Women’s Army Corps - an official branch of the military.

    • Director Colonel Oveta Hobby explained to the female recruits: “You have a debt and a date – a debt to democracy, a date with destiny”.
  • Women also served as nurses, and as air service pilots.
early battles in the pacific
Early Battles in the Pacific

-> Only a few hours after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Japanese also attacked American airfields in the Philippines.

-> The American forces in the Philippines were badly outnumbered, so the American commander Douglas MacArthur decided to retreat with his troops to the Bataan Peninsula.

    • The Americans were held outfor more than three months
    • However, gradually, the lack ofsupplies and the spread of malaria, scurvy, and dysentery took their toll.
  • The American forces at Bataan finally surrendered(though MacArthur managedto escape to Australia, underRoosevelt’s orders).
bataan death march
Bataan Death March

->Nearly 78,000 American prisoners of war were taken at Bataan.

-> They were forced to march 65 miles to a Japanese prison camp.

-> Thousands died – it became known as the Bataan Death March

    • “[The Japanese] would halt us in front of these big wells, so we could see the water…anyone who would make a break for water would be shot or bayonetted.” (Leon Beck)
  • The Philippines had fallen by May of 1942
doolittle raid
Doolittle Raid
  • April 18th, 1942 – American bombs fell on Japan for the first time.

-> This is called the Doolittle Raid. (Named after James Doolittle, who was in charge of the mission)

  • FDR wanted to bomb Tokyo, but the Japanese navy prevented any American aircraft carriers from getting close enough to launch short-range bombers

-> Instead, long-range B-25 bombers were sent out

    • These could take off from an aircraft carrier, but couldn’t land on it. Instead they landed in China.
japanese response
Japanese Response
  • In response to the Doolittle Raid, the Japanese forces prepared a two-pronged attack:
    • > The Japanese navy planned to attack American-Australian supply lines in New Guinea
    • > They would also attack Midway.
  • Both attacks were unsuccessful
    • > American code-breakers had already broken and translated the Japanese code.
    • > American ships and planes were able to prevent the Japanese from damaging the supply lines (Battle of the Coral Sea)
battle of midway
Battle of Midway

-> American Admiral Nimitz set up an ambush for the Japanese fleet.

-> The Japanese attacked Midway on June 4, 1942

  • > The Japanese planes ran into a blizzard of antiaircraft fire, and many of the planes (38) were shot down

-> While the Japanese regrouped, the Americans launched a counter-attack

  • American bombers sank 4 Japanese aircraft carriers.
  • The Japanese navy was forced to retreat
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Battle of Midway

-> The Battle of Midway was a huge turning point in the War in the Pacific.

  • It provided a boost in morale to the Americans – they had proven that they could still “hold their own”.

-> The Japanese navy lost four of its 6 aircraft carriers – the fleet was now crippled

  • Japanese casualties: 3,057
  • American casualties: 362
paper assignment
Paper Assignment
  • Ultimately, the Pacific War between the United States and Japan would come to an end when President Truman made the decision to drop the Atomic Bomb on Japan.
  • His actions have been both criticized and defended by historians for the past half-century
  • Your assignment – write a persuasive essay answering the following question:“Was dropping the atomic bomb the right decision?”

-> In spring of 1942, Hitler was sure he would be able to win the war.

  • Rommel, the “desert fox” was pushing British forces back in north Africa.
  • German submarines were sinking American ships rapidly, and preventing American troops and supplies from reaching Europe

-> Hitler thought that one last offensive in Russia would push the USSR back. The rest of the Allies would fall soon after.

  • Hitler wanted to focus on attacking the Soviet economy. The Nazi army captured oil fields, industries, and farmland.

-> The key to Hitler’s attack, however, was the city of Stalingrad.

-> If the Nazis took Stalingrad, the Soviets would be cut off from the resources they needed to stay in the war.

  • Stalin ordered his troops to hold the city at all cost.
  • The Nazis were forced to fight from house to house

-> On November 23, 1942, Soviet reinforcements surrounded the city - trapping 250,000 German troops.

    • Only 5,000 of those captured would survive the Soviet prison camps.

-> The battle of Stalingrad was a huge turning point in the war in Europe - it put the Germans on the defensive.

casablanca conference
Casablanca Conference

-> At the Casablanca Conference in North Africa, Churchill and Roosevelt came up with a plan to defeat the Axis in Europe.

    • 1. They would step up the bombing of Germany - aiming to destroy military and industrial targets as well as “undermining the morale of the German people.”
    • 2. Attacking Italy via the island of Sicily. Churchill called Italy the “soft underbelly” of the Axis.
  • Churchill believed that if the Allies invaded Italy, the Italians would quit the war.
1 strategic bombing
1. Strategic Bombing
  • Between January 1943 and May 1945, the Royal Air Force (Britain) and the United States Eighth Army Air Force dropped 53,000 tons of explosives on Germany.

-> The Allied offensive did NOT destroy the German economy or undermine morale.

-> However, it did cause a severe oil shortage, and wrecked the railroads.

  • The bombing also destroyed so many aircraft factories that Germany’s air force could not replace those planes lost in combat.

-> By the time the Allies landed on the French beaches, they had ensured that the Nazis would not be able to attack them from the air.

the soft underbelly
The “Soft Underbelly”

->The invasion of Italy began before dawn on July 10, 1943.

  • The Allied troops made it ashore on Sicily with few casualties.

-> A new vehicle called the DUKW - an amphibious truck – was effective in bringing supplies to the troops.

  • 8 days after the troops came ashore, American tanks led by Gen. Patton smashed through enemy lines and captured half of the island.

-> By August 18th, the Germans had evacuated the island.

  • The Allied invasion of Sicily also created a crisis within the Italian government.
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The “Soft Underbelly”

-> The King of Italy, Victor Emmanuel, and a group of Italian generals wanted to remove Mussolini from power.

-> July 25, 1943, the King invited Mussolini to the palace and had him arrested.

  • At this point, the Italian government began secretly negotiating with the Allies.

-> September 8, 1943 - Italy officially surrendered to the Allies.

  • Hitler, however, was not ready to lose Italy.

-> German troops invaded and took most of North Italy - it would take the Allies 5 months to break through the German lines.

-> The Italian Campaign became one of the bloodiest of the war – costing the Allies more than 300,000 casualties.

  • The Allies had broken the Axis - the final push would be an Allied invasion of France - Operation Overlord.
the big three
The Big Three
  • Roosevelt wanted to meet with Stalin before the Allied troops launched their invasion of France

-> Stalin agreed, and the two met in Tehran, Iran. The two leaders reached several agreements:

-> Stalin would launch a full-scale offensive against the Germans when the Allies invaded France

-> Roosevelt and Stalin would break Germany into pieces when the war was over - to prevent it from becoming powerful again

-> Stalin promised that once Germany was beaten, the USSR would help the USA defeat Japan

-> Stalin became a member of the “Big Three” – the three powerful leaders of the Allies

Joseph Stalin

Franklin Roosevelt

Winston Churchill

planning operation overlord
Planning Operation Overlord
  • Hitler had fortified the coast of France
  • The Germans believed that the Allies would land in Pas-de-Calais – the area of France closest to Britain
    • The Allies wanted Hitler to believe this false information
    • They placed empty tents, rubber tanks, and fake landing craft along the coast close to Calais
  • These fake tents and tanks looked real to German spy planes, and fooled the Nazis.
  • The real landing targetwas Normandy.
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Planning Operation Overlord
  • By the spring of 1944, the Allies were ready to invade.
    • 1.5 million American soldiers had been sent to England
    • 12,000 airplanes
    • 5 million tons of other equipment

-> The only thing left to do was pick the date for the invasion:

-> The date had to have several criteria:

-> The invasion had to begin at night (to hide the ships)

-> The ships had to arrive at low tide (to see the beach obstacles)

-> The low tide had to arrive at dawn so the gunners could see their targets

-> Paratroopers had to be dropped behind enemy lines – that meant the night before had to be moonlit

-> Plus, the weather had to be good!

  • This meant there were only a few days each month when the invasion was possible.
    • General Eisenhower made the final decision – after seeing a weather report for June 6, 1944, he said, “OK, we’ll go.”
d day june 6 1944
D-Day – June 6, 1944
  • Nearly 7,000 ships carrying more than 100,000 soldiers set sail for the coast of Normandy.
  • 23,000 paratroopers were dropped inland, to scout the beaches
  • Allied fighter-bombers raced up and down the coast – targeting bridges, bunkers, and radar sites.
  • Thousands of shells fell on the beaches. The beaches were code-named:

-> Utah

-> Omaha

-> Gold

-> Sword

-> Juno

“D-Day” – What does it mean?

= D was a code letter used for any important invasion day. “D” stood for day.

= Days leading up to “D-Days” would be coded + or – to say how much time had passed/needed to pass.

= D-Day means “Day Day”

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D-Day – June 6, 1944

-> The American landing at Utah beach was a huge success

    • The German defenses were weak
    • American troops took the beaches in less than 3 hours
    • Americans lost less than 200 people
  • The British and Canadian landings at Gold, Juno, and Sword went well too

-> Omaha Beach was a different story…

-> Americans faced intense German fire

    • The American assault almost disintegrated – the American General (Omar Bradley) was planning a retreat.
    • Slowly, the Americans took the beach

-> More landing craft arrived, ramming their way through obstacles

-> Ultimately, Omaha Beach was also a successful landing

d day june 6 19442
D-Day – June 6, 1944
  • By the end of the day, the Allies had successfully landed troops in France:
  • 35,000 American troops landed at Omaha, with another 23,000 at Utah Beach.
  • Over 75,000 British and Canadian troops had successfully landed as well.
  • Although D-Day was a success, it was only the beginning

-> Allied troops had to make their way throughhedgerows – dirt walls, several feet thick, covered in shrubbery

  • The hedgerows had been built to control cattle, but also allowed Germans to easily defend their positions.

-> The Battle of the Hedgerows ended on July 25,1944 when American bombers were able to blast a large hole in the German lines.

-> Allied forces liberated Paris on August 25, 1944

battle of the bulge
Battle of the Bulge

-> Hitler decided to stage one last offensive.

-> He planned to cut off Allied supplies coming through the port city of Antwerp, Belgium.

  • The German forces moved quickly and caught the American defenders by surprise.

-> As the German troops raced west, their line bulgedoutward – giving the battle its name: the Battle of the Bulge.

  • The German army ran to Bastogne – a major Allied stronghold. However, the Americans arrived first.
  • When the Germans demanded the Americans surrender, the American commander sent back a one-word reply: “Nuts!”
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Battle of the Bulge

-> Eisenhower ordered General Patton to rescue the Americans | holding Bastogne.

-> Three days later, through a snowstorm, Patton’s troops slammed into the German lines.

-> On Christmas Eve, the German troops were forced to halt.

  • Two days later, Patton’s troops broke through the German lines and rescued Bastogne.
  • Although fighting continued for three more weeks, the United States had won the Battle of the Bulge.
v e day the war ends in europe
V-E Day: The War Ends in Europe
  • By the time the Battle of the Bulge ended, the Soviets had driven Hitler’s forces out of Russia and across Poland.
  • Soviet troops liberated concentration camps on the way
  • By February 1945, the Soviets were only 35 miles from Berlin
  • Meanwhile, American troops had crossed the Rhine River, and soon they were within 70 miles of Berlin.

-> On April 21, Soviet troops reached Berlin.

-> Hitler knew he couldn’t win the war, and committed suicide in his Berlin bunker.

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V-E Day: The War Ends in Europe
  • Hitler’s successor, Grand Admiral Karl Doenitz wanted to surrender to the Americans and British, but to continue fighting the Soviets.
  • Eisenhower insisted on unconditional surrender.

-> On May 7, 1945, Germany surrendered. The following day (May 8) was proclaimed “V-E Day” for Victory in Europe.

island hopping in the pacific
Island Hopping in the Pacific
  • While Eisenhower’s and Patton’s troops were planning their invasion of France, Admiral Nimitz planned America’s strategy in the Pacific.

-> This strategy was called “island hopping” – where the American Navy would “hop” from island to island, getting closer and closer to Japan.

  • In the meantime, Gen. MacArthur would re-take the Solomon Islands, New Guinea, and the Philippines (rescuing those in the Japanese prison camps)
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Island Hopping in the Pacific
  • At first, the Island Hopping campaign didn’t work as planned.
  • Many Pacific islands were surrounded by huge coral reefs, which made it difficult for ships to reach the shore.

-> At Tarawa Atoll, the Navy’s first objective, there were big problems

-> 20 ships ran aground. The Marines had to wade in shoulder-deep water to get to the island.

-> The entire time, they were shot at by Japanese soldiers.

-> Over 1,000 U.S. Marines died at Tarawa alone

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Island Hopping in the Pacific
  • One vehicle had been successful at Tarawa, however, and soon the U.S. Navy was producing them quickly.

-> The amphtrac (amphibious tractor) was a boat with tank treads – nicknamed the “Alligator”.

  • It was originally developed to help people stranded in Florida swamps.

-> Because of the “Alligator” the U.S. assaults on later Pacific islands – the Marshall Islands and later Mariana Islands – were much more successful.

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Island Hopping in the Pacific

-> As the forces under Admiral Nimitz hopped across the Pacific, Gen. MacArthur began his campaign to re-take the Philippines.

-> The campaign began in August, 1942 – and continued into 1944

  • MacArthur’s troops, supported by the U.S. navy, captured Japanese bases in New Guinea, then moved to Leyte Gulf.
  • Landing in Leyte (the first step toward taking back the Philippines), MacArthur said, “People of the Philippines, I have returned!”
  • Trying to stop the American invasion, the Japanese dispatched aircraft carriers, and ambushed the American ships in Leyte Gulf.

-> The Battle of Leyte Gulf was the largest naval battle in history.

-> It was also the first use of the Japanese kamikaze.

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Island Hopping in the Pacific
  • Luckily for the Americans, the commander of the Japanese fleet ended up retreating – believing that American reinforcements were on their way.

-> Although the Japanese force retreated, the campaign to recapture the Philippines was long and grueling.

-> Over 80,000 Japanese were killed – less than 1,000 surrendered.

  • MacArthur did not capture Manila, the capital, until March of 1945.

-> During the battles, 100,000 Filipino civilians were killed.

-> The remaining Japanese soldiers in the Philippines were still fighting when word came in August, 1945, that Japan had surrendered.

japan is defeated
Japan is Defeated
  • Roosevelt suffered a stroke and died, April 12, 1945. His Vice-President, Harry Truman, was left as Commander in Chief for the rest of the war.

-> American bombers were facing a problem – they were unable to successfully bomb Tokyo.

    • Even the larger bombers would not have enough fuel to accurately correct their positions and hit the city.

-> To counter this, the U.S. military decided to invade the nearby island of Iwo Jima.

-> February 19, 1945, 60,000 U.S. Marines invaded Iwo Jima.

  • Using the amphtracs, flamethrowers, and explosives, the Marines took the island from the occupying Japanese, but not without suffering 6,800 casualties.
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Japan is Defeated

-> During the attacks on Japan, American planes also engaged infirebombing.

-> Firebombing was controversial –

-> The bombs were filled with napalm – jellied gasoline

-> Even if the bombers missed their targets, the fires would still spread

-> However, the fires would also kill civilians

    • Some fires would get so intense that they sucked the oxygen from the air – asphyxiating thousands of people
    • General Curtis LeMay decided to use firebombs, as they would hopefully destroy Japanese production plants, and therefore end the war more quickly.
  • The firebombing of Tokyo killed over 80,000 people

-> By June 1945, Japan’s six biggest industrial cities had been firebombed – destroying half of the urban area in each.

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Japan is Defeated

-> Despite intense firebombing, Japan refused to surrender.

  • Many American officials believed that, if Japan was invaded, the Japanese would surrender.

-> The Americans invaded Okinawa Island in order to use it as a base from which to attack Japan.

  • Shortly after the capture of Okinawa, theJapanese emperor – Hirohito – urged his government to find a way to end the war.

-> Many Japanese leaders were ready to surrender, but with acondition – the Emperor had to remain in power.

  • The Americans refused to accept anything but unconditional surrender, and sent Japan one final warning.
the atomic bomb
The Atomic Bomb

-> Since the late 1930s, America had been developing atomic weapons technology. This project was code-named the Manhattan Project.

  • On July 16, 1945, the first atomic bomb was detonated in New Mexico – a successful test.
    • President Truman was briefed about the Manhattan Project, and the possibility of using the Atomic Bomb in war.
    • Truman said he, “regarded the bomb as a military weapon and never had any doubts it should be used.”

-> Two Atomic Bombs were used, both dropped by a B-29 Bomber called the Enola Gay:

-> Little Boy – 16 kilotons – uranium based – dropped August 6, 1945 at 8:15 AM on Hiroshima

-> Fat Man – 21 kilotons – plutonium based – dropped August 9, 1945 at 11:02 AM on Nagasaki


Nagasaki before bombing

Nagasaki after bombing

Hiroshima after bombing

Hiroshima before bombing

v j day
V-J Day
  • Losses - Hiroshima: August 6, 1945
    • 76,000 buildings (63% of the city)
    • Between 80,000-120,000 died instantly, thousands more died later from burns and radiation sickness
  • Losses - Nagasaki: August 9, 1945
    • 40% of the city was destroyed
    • Between 40,000 – 75,000 died instantly, thousands more died later

-> The same day as the Nagasaki bombing, the USSR declared war on Japan.

-> August 15, 1945: Japan surrenders

-> This day is known as V-J Day (Victory in Japan)

  • The war had ended. The Allies had won.