u.s. in world war ii

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U.S. in World War II. U.S. Alliance w/ G.B & USSR. The alliance b/t the Big Three was uneasy because of ideological differences, but it was created out of necessity . The Allies decided on a strategy of defeating Hitler first and then defeating Japan . - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • U.S. in World War II

  • U.S. Alliance w/ G.B & USSR

    The alliance b/t the Big Three was uneasy because of ideological differences, but it was created out of necessity.The Allies decided on a strategy of defeating Hitler first and then defeating Japan.Stalin wanted the Allies to put pressure on Hitler by launching a direct attack on the main force of German troops in western Europe (this would take the pressure off the Soviet Union which had been Hitlers main focus for a couple years).On the Eastern Front, the war took a terrible toll on the USSR population (millions died because we waited). The U.S. and Britain decided to attack through North Africa and then up Italy.This affected East-West relations later.

  • Key Battles in Europe

  • Battle of the AtlanticFrom start to finish of war, Allies fought Axis @ sea. Germany vs. UK, Dutch & FranceGermany & Italy vs. UK & USGerman u-boats sank Brit ships carrying suppliesMost successful using wolfpacks of subsUS began escorting convoys w/ destroyers by 9/41Fighting went back & forth, but tech finally won battleConvoys, radar, & sonar proved the end of German subs

  • The Battle of BritainFrom July 40 thru the end of the year, German Luftwaffe (air force) began a bombing campaign against their sole enemy in the West: England@ 1st, the Luftwaffe targeted ships and ports near the English Channel, then they shifted to airfields along the coast.Finally, they targeted British towns & cities, especially London

  • Battle of Britain- The BlitzThroughout fall of 40, Luftwaffe carried out sustained bombing campaign against Brit citiesDesigned to Destroy their industrial centersDemoralize British1st worked, but second failedThe Battle of Britain is a key battle b/c:1st aerial war of WWIIFailure of Germany to break Brits, forced Hitler to postpone a land invasion of Britain & focus on USSR

  • Battle of StalingradFrom July 17, 42- Feb 2, 43, bloodiest battle in WWII (& possibly in history of war) took place on Russian soil.Germany wanted Stalingrad for 2 reasons b/c:It was on Volga R. & was key to getting supplies to n. Russia.Was key to getting into the oil-rich lands of Caucasus Mtns.& Hitler needed oil to keep his war machine goingGermany invaded USSR in Operation Barbarossa w/ 4.5 mill troops in June, 41W/in 3 months, Germany controlled 90% of city

  • Battle of StalingradThen the remarkable happenedSoviet forces (fighting literally door-to-door) slowly took back the city & Army encircled itGerman forces were finally strangled from their support and were forced to surrender Battle of Stalingrad is considered a turning point battle in WWII1st defeat by the German armyBy time fighting ended over 2 million had been killed

  • Battle of El Alamein@ same time Stalingrad was raging, another battle started & finished in North AfricaGermany wanted control of the Middle East (oil)They invaded N. Africa in early 41 after Italians were defeated by Brits.Under command of Ernst Rommel, the Afrika Korps took back all that the Brits had won as he pushed across Libya and made it almost to Alexandria in EgyptThen came the Allied counterattack

  • Under Gen. Bernard Montgomery, the British forces (including Aussies, Kiwis, Gurkhas, & Scots) began a massive counterattack. The Germans were outnumbered in troops, tanks, & artillery.Montgomery retook all lands previously gained by Germans & eventually forced Axis powers to retreat & surrender (Rommel fled to Germany)El Alamein is a turning point battle in that it allowed the Allies to leapfrog from Africa into Axis-controlled Italy

  • Invasion of ItalyAfter our victory in N. Africa, the Allies were ready to fight the axis on their turf .It was decided to invade Europe via Italy (the underbelly of Europe according to Churchill)The Invasion of Italy began in 9/43 with Brit & US troops landing in Sicily and moving north.Germany was our main opponent @ this pointB/c Itals had lost confidence in BM & arrested himEven when Germany rescued from prison in the Italian Alps & reinstated him, he only lasted a couple of months

  • Italy (contd)Germany fought back (under Rommel) against Allied forcesThen Italy declared war on Germany & they were forced to fight a retreating war back into German controlled lands.This operation did take SOME of the pressure off the soviet forces, but not as much as they hoped

  • Allied Invasion of NW Europe Allies planned amphibious attack on Normandy coast in France.Code named Operation Overlord- came to be known as D-Day, which stands for 2 mill soldiers stationed in GB for attack, as well as thousands of airplanes, ships, and tanks.D-Day began on June 6, 1944, with troops pouring onto the beaches, aircraft dropping both bombs & paratroopers from air; ships unloaded men & fired ammunition from sea, It was the largest sea-borne invasion in history.Allied troops faced heavy resistance from German troops occupying the high ground above the beaches, and the first waves of invaders faced high casualty rates.By Fall of 44, Allies had pushed inland, liberated Paris and Belgium.

  • The Battle of the Bulge In Dec of 44, Germ was squeezed b/t Soviet Army in East & US troops in West.Allied bombers rained bombs on German cities (10s of 1000s of civilians were killed in Dresden, Berlin and Hamburg)Hitler launched a last surprise attack, marching into a weak point in Allied lines- Ardennes region in Belgium.German offensive created a huge bulge in Allied lines before reinforcements arrived & Germans were pushed back.Outnumbered US troops held off German troops for 8 days in bitterly cold conditions until reinforcements arrived.By March,1945, the Americans had crossed the bridge over the Rhine River at Remagen and were into Germany.

  • The Allied Victory in Europe After the Bulge, Allies closed in on Berlin from E & W.Hitler delayed sending reinforcements East until it was too late to stop the Soviet Red Army.Allies met at Yalta to discuss post-war termsIke stopped 50 miles west of Berlin; ensuring city would end up in Soviet control.4/25/45, US & Brit troops met Soviet troops at Elbe River & rejoiced on their hard-fought victory.Defeated, Hitler committed suicide, & his replacement Karl Donitz surrendered on May 7, 1945.One day after surrender, Allies celebrated V-E DayV-E joy was dampened by news & film footage of concentration & death camps

  • The HolocaustAfter Kristallnacht, Hitler escalated his policies.Forced Jews into concentration camps in GermanyAnd made them move into ghettoes in the eastIn 1940, Einsatzgruppen (mobile killing units) were sent into Poland & USSR to find and murder Jews.At 1st using machine guns & death squads, their success using gas vans, led to the creation of gas chambers in death camps set up in Poland under the control of the SS (formerly Hitlers personal bodyguard)

  • Jews not only group singled out for extermination. Others included:Gypsies (Roma)Mentally/Physically handicappedOther groups placed in camps, but not specifically targeted for deathSlavs & PolesFreemasons Auschwitz: largest death camp, but not only oneMajdanekSobiborBy wars end, +11 million people dead as a result of Nazi policies (most from disease & starvation) 6 million JewsJWsHomosexuals

    Mentally ill /Insane


  • Nazis accelerated the Final Solution (their term for the genocide) even as certainty of defeat grew (instead of quitting and sending SS troops to fight)After Hitlers suicide & German surrender, Allies set up trials for the Nazi leaders for their crimes at Nuremberg (where the original anti-Semitic laws started)After the ShoahOne problem: what they charged them with was a new crime (created AFTER the events)Nuremberg Trials set a precedent for bringing those responsible for war crimes to international justice & is still used today

  • After Pearl HarborJapans attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, in December 1941 launched the Pacific war.

    In April 42, U.S. Air Force bombed key Japanese cities in the Doolittle Raid- targeting anything: industrial complexes hospitals, schools,, even fishing boats. 52 killed & 100s of civilians were injured as a result.

  • U.S. Strategy in the Pacific War1000s of Ams died in the Bataan Death March after our hold of the P.I fell.U.S. mil & pol leaders adopted an island hopping strategy to defeat the Japanese.

    Taking possession of one island before moving on to the next strategic one as they moved ever closer to Japan.

  • Battles of Coral Sea & Midway Key to winning Pacific war was establishing control over skies & waters of Pacific Ocean.1st major battle fought b/t U.S. & Japanese fleets was Battle of Coral Sea- fought by aircraft carriers, fighters, & bombers in May, 1942. (Technically a Japanese victory by # of ships lost, its considered a victory for us b/c it forced Japanese to abandon their invasion & their losses here had huge impact on next)U.S. intelligence decoded a plan to attack island of Midway, & subsequently forced the Japanese to retreat. Japans losses of aircraft carriers at Coral Sea meant they were at a disadvantage (in addition to being surprised and ambushed!)Battle of Midway became turning point in war for US, giving us the upper hand in naval war. It was a naval battle that was fought exclusively w/ aircraft. Now Japan was on the defensive.

  • Island Campaigns of the Pacific

  • Battle of GuadalcanalAfter Midway, combined land/sea forces fought Japanese for control of central Pacific islands.Island-hopping campaign to reclaim strategic islandsGuadalcanal: Brit protectorate & close to