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World War II. The Battles. “The Phony War”. Once Germany invaded Poland under the fabricated reason that Poland had attacked a German border post, Britain along with Australia and New Zealand declared war on Germany.

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world war ii

World War II

The Battles

the phony war
“The Phony War”
  • Once Germany invaded Poland under the fabricated reason that Poland had attacked a German border post, Britain along with Australia and New Zealand declared war on Germany.
  • France, Canada, South Africa and Nepal would quickly follow and also declare war on the Nazis.
  • Allied troops gathered on the border of France and Germany but did not attack for seven months.
  • Leaders on both sides still hoped for peace.
  • This seven month period of was known as the “Phony War”.
  • Germany’s new war tactic was called the Blitzkrieg or “lightning attack”.
  • It was a fast-moving way of fighting.
  • Columns of tanks and armoured vehicles would smash through key defensive points while dive-bombers supported the attacks.
  • The idea was to hit the enemy hard and fast before they could mount an effective defense.
  • Germany used this “lighting warfare” when they attacked Poland.
war breaks out
War breaks out
  • On May 10, 1940, the Germans ended the “Phony War”.
  • Hitler invaded Norway, Belgium, the Netherlands and France.
  • The Blitzkrieg was employed to smash through French and British defenses.
  • Within weeks, the Germans had overrun the Netherlands, Belgium and France.
evacuation at dunkirk
Evacuation at Dunkirk
  • The British army had been force back to the sea at the French port of Dunkirk.
  • The ships on a rescue mission for the British were bombarded and machine gunned by Hitler’s troops
  • 300 000 British troops were safely ferried across the English Channel Britain.
  • The evacuation saved the British army.
  • France, however, could not be saved.
france surrenders
France Surrenders
  • On June 17 1940, the French government surrendered to the Germans.
  • The German army moved in directly controlling 3/5 of France.
  • The rest of France was controlled by a collaborationist government (Vichy France)
  • The Germans now occupied most of France.
british fight on
British Fight On
  • Hitler expected Britain to sign a peace treaty after France surrendered.
  • The new British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill would not submit to the Nazis.
  • He said Britain would fight on.
operation lion the battle of britain
Operation Lion & the Battle of Britain
  • The German plan to invade Britain was called Operation Lion.
  • Hitler ordered the Luftwaffe to attack Britain.
  • This air battle known as the Battle of Britain.
  • Hitler wanted to make invading Britain easier by first destroying Britain’s Royal Air Force (RAF).
  • On August 13, 1940, the Luftwaffe began attacking RAF airfields in southern England.
  • 1000 German bombers were attacking Britain each day by the end of August.
  • The RAF could not replace the pilots and planes being lost fast enough
battle of britain the blitz
Battle of Britain & the Blitz
  • The tide turned in favor of the British when the RAF bombed Berlin.
  • Furious Hitler began bombing London instead of the RAF airfields.
  • The German attacks on London and other British cities would be known as the “Blitz”.
  • The Blitz would drag on from September 7, 1940 until May 10, 1941.
  • 43 000 died in London and a million homes were destroyed.
blitz continued
Blitz continued…
  • Although the damage to British cities was devastating, the Blitz saved the RAF.
  • Now that airfields were not being attacked, the RAF had time to repair and replace damaged aircraft and train new pilots.
  • RAF Spitfires and Hurricanes were shooting down more and more German aircraft everyday
  • By the end of September 1941, Hitler realized his plan had failed. He had lost the Battle of Britain.
  • Operation Lion and the invasion of Britain had to be abandoned.
hitler invades the balkans
Hitler invades the Balkans
  • Once France had been captured, Hitler turned his attention to the Balkans.
  • Greece fell by April 27, 1941.
  • Hitler now controlled the Balkans and could turn to the USSR.
operation barbarossa
Operation Barbarossa
  • On June 22, 1941, Hitler invaded the USSR.
  • Hitler broke the Nazi-Soviet Pact once he had secured Poland and France.
  • Hitler attacked the USSR for two reasons

1)Hatred of communism

2)Living space or lebensraum

  • The code name for this attack was “Operation Barbarossa”
  • The Soviets were caught by surprise.
  • Millions of soldiers and were killed or captured.
  • By the end of the year the German armies were only 30 km from the capital of Moscow.
operation barbarossa continued
Operation Barbarossa continued…
  • The Germans were stopped in their tracks by the bitter Russian winter.
  • Heavy rains turned the ground to mud preventing the tanks and large artillery from being easily transported.
  • Snow and ice followed, freezing the German soldiers who were not properly equipped for the conditions. Their clothes could not keep them warm and their guns froze.
  • Russian armies bolstered by fresh troops began a counter-attack and by the end of 1941 the German advance had been stopped.
battle of stalingrad 1942 1943
Battle of Stalingrad 1942-1943
  • In 1942, Germany launched another attack; the Russians were ready.
  • Hitler wanted to gain the area of the Caucasus. This area was rich in oil in the south of the USSR.
  • The German Sixth Army would need to pass through the city of Stalingrad to reach their target.
  • The Battle lasted 5 straight months. The Russians fought for every house and every street.
  • In Nov 1942, two Russian armies closed around Stalingrad in a pincer maneuver.
  • 250 000 German soldiers were trapped in the city. Thousands died as Hitler refused to allow them to escape.
  • On February 2, 1943 the last German soldiers surrendered.
enemy at the gates
“Enemy at the Gates”

united states enters the war
United States Enters the War
  • Following the attack on Pearl Harbor by Japan, the United States joined the war ending its policy of neutrality.
  • US President Roosevelt and British PM Churchill met at the Arcadia Conference.
  • Both decided that Germany and the Nazis were the immediate threat.
  • In order to relieve pressure on the Soviet Union who was under attack by the Germans, the Allies agreed to attack Axis forces in North Africa.
the battle of el alamein 1942
The Battle of El Alamein, 1942
  • Churchill and Roosevelt were not prepared for a major assault on Hitler’s “Fortress Europe”. They decided to focus first on North Africa and Italy.
  • Germany led by Rommel had been fighting the British under General Montgomery in the deserts of North Africa.
  • Rommel was forced to retreat at the battle of El Alamein in November 1942 in Egypt.
  • American troops under General Eisenhower came to aid the British and finished off the Germans.
  • In May 1943, the Germans surrendered and the desert war was over.
invasion of italy 1943
Invasion of Italy 1943
  • The British and American armies moved on to Italy in July 1943.
  • The Italian people turned on their dictator Mussolini and overthrew him.
  • In September 1943, the new Italian government made peace with the Allies.
  • Hitler had lost his Italian ally.
  • Hitler tried to plug the Italian gap as quickly as possible.
  • By spring of 1944 Hitler was defending Germany from the USSR in the east and the Allies in Italy to the south.
  • He knew another attack would soon becoming from the west
operation overlord and d day
Operation Overlord and D-Day
  • The invasion of Normandy in German occupied France would be known as Operation Overlord.
  • The invasion would begin in the early morning of June 6, 1944. This day was known as D-Day.
  • It had originally been scheduled for June 5 but had been postponed due to bad weather.
  • Hundreds of landing-craft nosed onto the Normandy Beaches (Sword, Juno, Gold, Omaha, Utah Beaches and Pointe du Hoc)
  • German soldiers fought hard to repel the Allied invasion but they failed. By the end of July 1944 Allied soldiers had crossed the beaches of Normandy and were pushing their way across Europe.
saving private ryan
“Saving Private Ryan”
the battle of the bulge ardennes offensive
The Battle of the Bulge(Ardennes Offensive)
  • Fought over the winter 1944-45, it was the last major German offensive in Europe.
  • The battle was a last ditch attempt by Hitler to split the Allies in two in their drive towards Germany and destroy their ability to supply themselves.
  • The massive attack was primarily against the Americans.
  • However, the success of the Germans lasted just two days. Despite punching a bulge into the Allies front line, the Germans could not capitalise on this.
  • The Germans had based their attack on a massive armoured onslaught. However, such an attack required fuel to maintain it and the Germans simply did not possess such quantities of fuel.
battle of the bulge continued
Battle of the Bulge continued…
  • The Germans had advanced 60 miles in two days but from December 18th on, they were in a position of stalemate
  • By mid-January 1945, the effect of lack of fuel was becoming evident as the Germans had to simply abandon their vehicles
  • The Battle of the Bulge was the largest battle fought by the Americans in World War II. 600,000 American troops were involved in the battle. The Americans lost 81,000 men while the Germans lost 100,000 killed, wounded and captured.