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The End of WWII


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An overview of the final months of the war, including the battle of Tarawa in the Pacific, the dropping of the atomic bombs, and the fate of the major characters of WWII.

Published in: Education, News & Politics
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The End of WWII

  1. 1. Part One: Battle of Tarawa Part Two: Atomic Bombings and Surrender Part Three: The Fate of the Commanders
  2. 2.   Invade the home islands and engage the Japanese Armed Forces in battle until they have no choice but to surrender Pacific Area Division of Responsibility    North and Central: Adm. Chester Nimitz Southwest: Gen. Douglas Macarthur Trident Conference (1943)  Decides on a central drive because a southern drive would take too long
  3. 3.   First battle fought by Americans in the Central Drive First time American soldiers met serious opposition against Japanese during an amphibious landing    Japanese had defenses and bunkers set up to attack the soldiers as they landed on the beach Crucial mistake: NO cover fire and NO demolition teams sent to destroy obstacles Result: Victory for US but not without heavy casualties
  4. 4.  From now on, during any amphibious assault landing, the army must provide: Underwater Demolition Teams (UDT) organized to destroy beach defenses before troops land  Close gunfire support must be carried out until the soldiers actually capture the beach  Improved landing craft with better armor that has a way for troops to walk directly onto the beach without having to jump off and swim  Supplies already loaded onto landing craft and sent to the beach with the troops 
  5. 5.     After years of declining health, President Franklin Roosevelt died in office on April 12, 1945 This came as a shock to the nation as it was completely unexpected Suffered a stroke just days before he was supposed to speak at the opening of the United Nations Died in the middle of sitting for a portrait painted by Elizabeth Shoutmatoff
  6. 6.   FDR’s vice president who took over as President There was very little exposure for vice presidents at the time, so very few people in the country even knew who he was     Was only VP for 82 days Never discussed foreign policy with FDR Completely in the dark about the situation Upon FDR’s death, he inherited a war with no end in sight, and also a lingering idea which would change the course of history
  7. 7.    Research and development program of the United States to create an atomic bomb Extremely top secret Truman did not even know about it as Vice President   Fun fact: through spying, Joseph Stalin knew about the atomic bomb program before our own vice president Top scientists and military commanders planned to create a weapon that would cause devastation and force Japan to surrender
  8. 8.  Though the bomb would cause many deaths, was it still worth it?   Had the US not dropped the bomb, they would have had to invade the Japanese mainland (which they were planning even as the bombs were being dropped) and that would have caused the war to drag on for many more years and result in many thousands dying YOU DECIDE
  9. 9. To be continued…
  10. 10.     A plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler, created by his own commanders that lost all hope for winning the war Led by Ludwig Beck, Henning von Tresckow, and Claus von Stauffenberg One of more than 30 attempts to kill Hitler throughout his career as a politician. The plan was to plant a bomb inside the meeting room at the Wolf’s Lair (headquarters in the German countryside)
  11. 11.   Stauffenberg brought the bomb inside a briefcase At the last moment, the meeting was moved to an outside building with open windows   These open windows would cause the impact to be weakened, thus the bomb failed and only wounded several people Had it occurred in the bunker’s meeting room, the small, concrete-walled room, Hitler and several top generals would have been killed
  12. 12.     Stauffenberg and all those involved were arrested and executed immediately The Nazis executed nearly 5,000 people and arrested 7,000 more Included in the plot was Erwin Rommel, who was forced to commit suicide What we learn from this: not every Nazi had blind obedience to Hitler. Some wanted to try to change things for a better Germany
  13. 13.     The Russian Army was closing in on Berlin, which was in ruins from bombardment With all hope lost, Hitler and his top leaders retreated to the Fuhrer Bunker, a massive underground structure located near the Reich Chancellery Even near certain defeat, Hitler still had dreams for German victory and Jew-free society He gathered his generals around maps and ordered movements of troops that did not exist
  14. 14.    Shortly before he killed himself, Hitler found out that SS leader Heinrich Himmler was negotiating with American soldiers. He called him a traitor, and shortly after, married his long-time mistress Eva Braun in a small ceremony in the bunker He then knew that all was lost. He gave final orders for his body to be burned Many of his generals also committed suicide
  15. 15.    On the afternoon of April 30, 1945, Hitler and Braun walked into a private room and closed the door Braun bit a cyanide capsule while Hitler shot himself in the head while taking the cyanide His body was removed and set on fire but never fully burned before Russian troops arrived (they then cremated him and scattered the ashes at unknown locations, so people in the future could never gather there to pay tribute to him)  There are many conspiracies saying that Hitler escaped or the Russians captured him alive, but they have never been proven
  16. 16.    With the end of the war in sight, Mussolini went to the German army and borrowed a uniform in an attempt to escape Italy with them However, he was identified by Italian Resistance Soldiers, and he and his mistress were executed by firing squad the next day, on April 28, 1945 Their bodies were then hung upside-down so people could beat and spit on them
  17. 17.    Japan and the US were now the only nations still at war, and Truman finally had to decide on dropping the atomic bombs The first one was dropped on Hiroshima on August 6. Truman then warned the Japanese to surrender or they would drop another one. They refused, so Nagasaki was bombed on August 9 Result: 300,000 dead (combination of soldiers AND innocent civilians)
  18. 18.     Failed to eliminate or severely cripple US naval base at Pearl Harbor Underestimated the will of the US to fight and wage war Failed to develop a system to adequately supply its forces far away from home islands Failed to use submarine fleet at an offensive force
  19. 19.      No combined chiefs of staff for coordinate and organize the war effort Did not plan for a long-term war Poor leadership Politics came before military tactics Did not think the allies would fight a war under the bitter end
  20. 20.    Emperor Hirohito: cleared of all blame by the US government and would become a top ally of ours in years to come Prime Minister Hideki Tojo: put on trial for war crimes and executed, his ashes scattered over the Pacific Dr. Joseph Mengele and Adolf Eichmann: escaped to South America along with many other war criminals, who lived in Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay     They were hunted for many years. Eichmann was captured/executed in the 1960’s, but Mengele was never found Heinrich Himmler: suicide Herman Goering: suicide Dwight D. Eisenhower: placed in command of US forces during the Korean War and eventually became president in the 1950’s