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War In Africa And Europe


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War In Africa And Europe

  1. 1. War in Africa and Europe America’s Role, 1941-1945
  2. 2. Mobilizing for war <ul><li>Like with World War I, the United States worked quickly to prepare for war! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Millions volunteered for service in response to the attack on Pearl Harbor </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Others were drafted under the Selective Service Act </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Contributors to the war effort <ul><ul><li>Mexican Americans </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Native Americans </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>African Americans </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The 99 th fighter squadron (aka Tuskegee Airmen), a group of African American pilots, served in North Africa and Italy </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Asian Americans – even Japanese! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Women </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Served in non-combat roles in the Navy and Coast Guard </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Also served in the Army and Navy Nurse Corps or the Women’s Army Corps (WAC) </li></ul></ul></ul>Volunteers for the war effort cut across race and gender lines…
  4. 4. Allied Strategy, 1942-1943 <ul><li>The United States wanted to land in France as soon as possible </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Stalin agreed, Churchill did not….why? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Allies agreed that the best strategy would be to invade/conquer North Africa, creating opportunity to invade Europe through Italy </li></ul>
  5. 5. Africa and Italy (cont’d) <ul><li>British forces had been fighting Axis forces in North Africa since 1940! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Goal: hold on to Egypt (need access to resources in Middle East) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Major opponent: Erwin Rommel, aka “The Desert Fox </li></ul></ul><ul><li>American troops led by Dwight D. Eisenhower land in northern Africa in November 1942, help British forces drive Rommel back and take back the region...Rommel is defeated by May 1943 </li></ul><ul><li>From northern Africa, Allies launch attack on Italy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>By September 1943, the Allies controlled southern Italy and (very) slowly made their way up the peninsula </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Germany grows weaker… <ul><ul><li>Stalingrad (winter 1942-43): thousands of Nazis freeze or starve to death, but not allowed to retreat! Forced to surrender by February 1943 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>After loss at Stalingrad, Soviet forces start to push the Germans out of Russian territory </li></ul></ul>In addition to losses in North Africa and Italy, German forces suffered greatly in the Soviet Union…
  7. 7. D-Day <ul><ul><li>Largest seaborne invasion in history: 130,000+ soldiers! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The surprise invasion took place across five beaches in Normandy, just across the English Channel </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Despite more than 10,000 casualties, Allied forces are successful…marks beginning of the end for Hitler </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>By August, Allies had liberated Paris </li></ul></ul></ul>American, British, and Canadian forces launched their invasion of France on June 6, 1944
  8. 8. End of the Third Reich <ul><li>By the end of 1944, Germany is virtually surrounded: Italy (south), the Soviet Union (east), and now France (west) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>As Allies close in on Berlin, they discover and liberate concentration camps </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Nazis make a last ditch effort to beat the Allies at the Battle of the Bulge (Belgium and Luxembourg, December 1944) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Heavy losses: more than 120,000 German and 80,000 American casualties </li></ul></ul><ul><li>April 1945: Russians reach Berlin! Hitler commits suicide rather than surrender </li></ul><ul><li>May 2: Soviets capture Berlin </li></ul><ul><li>May 7: Germany surrenders </li></ul><ul><li>May 8: War in Europe is officially over! May 8 declared “V-E Day” (aka Victory in Europe) </li></ul>
  9. 9. The Big Three Visit Yalta <ul><li>Even before Germany’s surrender, Allied leaders FDR, Churchill, and Stalin (aka the Big Three) decide to meet and discuss plans for the end </li></ul><ul><li>of the war and the future of Europe…result is the Yalta conference (February 1945) </li></ul><ul><li>What happens at the conference? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Stalin promises to declare war on Japan after Germany’s surrender </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Agreement to create an international peacekeeping organization (now known as the United Nations) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Discuss how to deal with Eastern Europe after war’s end </li></ul></ul>