The Eastern Front


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The Eastern Front

  1. 1. THE EASTERN FRONT Essential Questions: • What was the Battle of the Atlantic? • Why was the Battle of Stalingrad important? • Why was the North Africa campaign important? • What was the Italian campaign?
  2. 2. The U.S. and Britain After Pearl Harbor Churchill  and Roosevelt meet Churchill arrived at the White  House in December 1941 They spent the next three  weeks working out war plans Churchill convinced  Roosevelt that Germany and Italy posed more of a threat to Japan  Churchill argued that Hitler should be attacked first
  3. 3. The Battle of the Atlantic After Pearl Harbor Hitler ordered  submarine attacks on America's east coast German aim was to prevent food  and resources from reaching Great Britain and the Soviet Union If he cut the lifeline to  England, Churchill would be forced into submission In the first 4 months of 1942, Germans  sank 87 ships off the Atlantic coastline To protect themselves American and  British ships organized themselves into convoys Escorted by battleships and planes 
  4. 4. The Battle of Stalingrad Germans had been fighting in the  Soviet Union since June 1941 The bitter cold had stopped them  in their tracks outside of Moscow and Leningrad When spring came German tanks  began moving Hitler hoped to capture Soviet oil  fields in the Caucasus Mountains He wanted to wipe out Stalingrad  Luftwaffe bombed the city nightly  For weeks the Germans attacked  Stalingrad, conquering it house by house
  5. 5. The Battle of Stalingrad Winter set in and the Soviets saw this  as an opportunity to bring in more tanks Soviet army closed around Stalingrad,  trapping the Germans and cutting off their supply line In January 1943 the German  commander surrendered  Two days later his starving troops surrendered In defending Stalingrad the soviet  soldiers lost a total of 1,100,000 soldiers  More than all American deaths during the entire war It was a turning point in the war   After this battle the Soviet army began moving westward towards Germany
  6. 6. North Africa While Stalingrad raged Stalin urged  Roosevelt and Churchill to launch a “second front” in Western Europe  Stalin felt it would divert German troops from the Soviet front Roosevelt and Churchill believed they  didn’t have enough troops to launch an invasion across the English Channel Instead they launched Operation Torch   An invasion on Axis-controlled North Africa  Led by American General Dwight D. Eisenhower In November 1942 Allied troops landed in  Casablanca, Oran, and Algiers, in North Africa  They chased the German Afrika Korps, led by General Erwin Rommel, the “Desert Fox”  Finally in May 1943 the Afrika Korps surrendered
  7. 7. Unconditional Surrender Roosevelt, Churchill,  and Stalin met in Casablanca and agreed to only accept the unconditional surrender of the Axis powers Meant Axis nations  would have to accept whatever terms of peace the Allies dictated
  8. 8. The Italian Campaign After North Africa the question  arose of where to strike next Americans argued for sending a  fleet over the English Channel Churchill, however, argued it  would be better to first attack Italy The Italian Campaign began well  capturing Sicily in the summer of 1943 Stunned by the capture of Sicily  the Italian government forced Mussolini to resign Italians cheered that the war was  over
  9. 9. The Italian Campaign Hitler was determined to stop the  Allies in Italy rather then fight on German soil Battle of Anzio “Bloody Anzio”  Lasted four months until the end  of May 1944 Left 25,000 Allied and 30,000 Axis  casualties Effort to liberate Italy did not  succeed until 1945 Germany itself was ready to  collapse The Allies turned their attention  to Fortress Europe