Key Events During World War 2


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Covering Battle of Britain, the North African Campaign, Battle of Normandy and Battle of Midway.

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Key Events During World War 2

  1. 1. Key Events In The Second World War
  2. 2. <ul><li>Battle Of Britain </li></ul><ul><ul><li>10 July 1940 – 31 October 1940 </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Battle Of Britain (1940) ‏ <ul><li>Battle Of Britain is a sustained strategic effort by the German Luftwaffe to gain air superiority over the Royal Air Force (RAF)‏ </li></ul><ul><li>The Battle of Britain was the first major campaign to be fought entirely by air force </li></ul><ul><li>The failure of Nazi Germany to destroy Britain's air defence or to break British morale is considered its first major defeat. </li></ul><ul><li>Had it been successful, the planned amphibious and airborne forces landings in Britain would have followed </li></ul>
  4. 4. Battle Of Britain <ul><li>“ We shall go on to the end, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender...” </li></ul><ul><li>Winston Churchill, Prime Minister Of Britain (1940)‏ </li></ul>
  5. 5. Battle Of Britain <ul><li>Allied Powers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Britain </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Axis Powers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Germany </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Italy </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Battle Of Britain <ul><li>British strength </li></ul><ul><ul><li>754 single-seat fighters </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>149 two-seat fighters </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>560 bombers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>500 coastal </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1,963 total </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Battle Of Britain <ul><li>Axis strength </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1,107 single-seat fighters </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>357 two-seat fighters </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1,380 bombers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>428 dive-bombers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>569 reconnaissance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>233 coastal </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>4,074 total </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Battle Of Britain <ul><li>British casualties and losses </li></ul><ul><ul><li>RAF; Pilots and Aircrew Killed (Fighter Command): 544 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Aircraft Losses : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Fighters: 1,023 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>
 Bombers: 376
 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Maritime: 148 aircraft (Coastal Command) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Total: 1,547 aircraft destroyed </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Battle Of Britain <ul><li>Luftwaffe casualties and losses </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pilots and Aircrew Killed: 2,500. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Aircraft Losses : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Fighters: 873 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>
 Bombers:1,014 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>
 Total: 1,887 aircraft destroyed </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Battle Of Britain <ul><li>Reasons for German defeat: </li></ul><ul><li>Tactical errors: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The German Luftwaffe, under direct command of Hermann Goering and overall command of Hitler, committed tactical errors despite gaining an advantage over the RAF </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Goering and Hitler ordered an intensified aerial blitz on London in September after the RAF performed a retaliatory air raid on Berlin on late August. </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Battle Of Britain <ul><li>Tactical errors: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Berlin air-raid struck Hitler's ego that he ordered the London blitz </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>However, more planes were lost during the blitz and they were not replaced nor repaired immediately </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Whereas for the British, the RAF was very quick to repair damage air defence installations as well as planes that were downed. </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Battle Of Britain <ul><li>Logistical problems </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Despite having more planes than the RAF, the Luftwaffe did not have a responsive system to repair damaged planes and make them battle-ready within a short duration </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Aircraft adjustments were also not made for the planes to last the air-raid on Britain </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A Messerschmitt Bf.109 had only enough fuel to remain over England for 20 minutes and bombers were often left unescorted </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Battle Of Britain <ul><li>Poor intelligence </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Luftwaffe intelligence sources said that radar stations were unimportant and should not be targets. Eventually it was the radar station in Britain that detected the incoming German fighters and alerted the air defence system to knock out the fighters </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It also misreported strength, weapons, and losses. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>At one point, Hitler complained to Goering that &quot;you have apparently shot down more aircraft than the British ever possessed.&quot; </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Battle Of Britain <ul><li>Effectiveness and high morale </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It should also not be forgotten that the effectiveness of the RAF in repairing their planes and key installations quickly ensured the longevity of Britain in the battle, despite being 3 weeks away from defeat </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The people of Britain who had to endure the incessant bombings were able to rise up to the government's call to defend Britain and help out in the restoration of damaged military and civilian buildings </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Battle of Britain <ul><li>Significance of Battle of Britain to Britain </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Displayed courage and strong resolve of its people and leadership to defend the empire, despite it being the only Allied Power remaining </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>At the same time, resources from colonies and Commonwealth channeled to this effort, draining the wealth of the Empire </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Battle Of Britain <ul><li>Significance of the Battle of Britain to Germany </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Exposed the frailties of German air force, unable to carry an operation on its own accord (most of the times, the air force supported land and naval troops)‏ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Failure to remove Britain as a major threat to German ambitions allowed Britain to recover and rebuild itself as a strong base to launch future assault on Germany </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Battle Of Midway ‏ (4 June to 7 June 1942) ‏
  18. 18. Battle Of Midway <ul><li>The Midway operation, like the attack on Pearl Harbor , was not part of a campaign for the conquest of the United States, but was aimed at its elimination as a strategic Pacific power, thereby giving Japan a free hand in establishing its Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere . </li></ul><ul><li>It was also hoped another defeat would force the U.S. to negotiate an end to the Pacific War with conditions favorable for Japan. </li></ul><ul><li>Japanese plan was to lure America's few remaining carriers into a trap and sink them. </li></ul><ul><li>The Japanese also intended to occupy Midway Atoll to extend their defensive perimeter. </li></ul>
  19. 19. Battle Of Midway <ul><li>Both sides sustained significant losses. Four Japanese aircraft carriers and a heavy cruiser were sunk in exchange for one American aircraft carrier and a destroyer . </li></ul><ul><li>The heavy losses permanently weakened the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN), in particular the four fleet carriers and over 200 experienced naval aviators. </li></ul><ul><li>Japan was unable to keep pace with American shipbuilding and aircrew training programs in providing replacements. </li></ul><ul><li>By 1942, the United States was three years into a massive ship building program intended to make the navy larger than Japan's. </li></ul><ul><li>As a result of Midway, strategically, the U.S. Navy was able to seize the initiative in the Pacific and go on the offensive. </li></ul>
  20. 20. Battle Of Midway <ul><li>Midway dealt Japanese naval aviation a heavy blow. </li></ul><ul><li>The pre-war Japanese training program produced pilots of exceptional quality but at a slow rate.This small group of elite aviators were combat hardened veterans. </li></ul><ul><li>At Midway, the Japanese lost as many of these pilots in a single day as their pre-war training program produced in a year. </li></ul><ul><li>Japanese planners failed to foresee a long continuous war, and consequently their production failed to replace the losses of ships, pilots, and sailors begun at Midway; by mid-1943, Japanese naval aviation was decimated. </li></ul>
  21. 21. The North Africa Campaign 10 June 1940 – 16 May 1943
  22. 22. North African Campaign <ul><li>Allies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Britain </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Australia </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>New Zealand </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Commonwealth countries </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>US (joined the Allies later in the campaign) ‏ </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Free French exiles </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Axis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Italy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Germany </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Vichy France </li></ul></ul>
  23. 23. North African Campaign <ul><li>Fighting in North Africa started with the Italian declaration of war on June 10 , 1940 . </li></ul><ul><li>On June 14 , a division of the British army and armoured regiment crossed the border into Libya and captured the Italian Fort Capuzzo . </li></ul><ul><li>This was followed by an Italian offensive into Egypt and then in December 1940 by a Commonwealth counteroffensive, Operation Compass . </li></ul><ul><li>During Operation Compass, the Italian Tenth Army was destroyed and </li></ul><ul><li>German Afrika Korps , commanded by Field Marshal Erwin Rommel , was dispatched to North Africa, during Operation Sonnenblume , to bolster the Italian forces and prevent a complete Axis defeat. </li></ul>
  24. 24. North African Campaign <ul><li>Allied Casualties </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Free French </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>16,000 Killed, Wounded or Captured </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>
 British Empire </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>
 33,000 Killed, Wounded, or Captured </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>United States </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>2,715 killed,
 8,978 wounded
6,528 missing </li></ul></ul></ul>
  25. 25. North African Campaign <ul><li>Germany: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>12,808 killed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Numbers wounded
 unknown </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>101,784 captured </li></ul></ul><ul><li>
 Total Axis: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>950,000 total casualties
 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>8,000 aircraft destroyed or captured
 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>6,200 guns destroyed or captured </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2,500 tanks destroyed or captured </li></ul></ul>
  26. 26. North African Campaign <ul><li>Reasons for Axis defeat </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ineffective Italian forces (Mussolini rushed Italian participation into the war after being pressed by Hitler despite Italy not being ready for war, due to its previous involvement in Abyssinia) ‏ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The entry of the United States into the war added more firepower to the Allies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Despite early success of Rommel in the desert front, lack of logistical and armour support contributed to the Axis defeat (lack of support due to Operation Barbarossa in the Soviet Union) ‏ </li></ul></ul>
  27. 27. North African Campaign <ul><li>Reasons for Axis defeat </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Despite Rommel receiving reinforcements from the German High Command, the North African Campaign was later split into 2 fronts: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In Tunisia (Battle Of Tunisia, 1943) ‏ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In Egypt (Battle Of El Alamein, 1942) ‏ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Axis forces were totally out-stretched, out-gunned and out-flanked by the Allied powers consisting of troops from Britain, Australia, NZ, South Africa, Free French forces, United States and British India </li></ul></ul>
  28. 28. Battle Of Stalingrad 21 st August 1942 to 2 nd February 1943
  29. 29. Operation Overlord (Battle Of Normandy) (D-Day: The Normandy Landings) ‏ 6 th of June 1944 - 30 th of August 1944
  30. 30. Battle Of Normandy <ul><li>Operation Overlord was the codename giveven to the planned invasion of northwest Europe during World War II by Allied forces </li></ul><ul><li>The operation began with the Normandy Landings on June 6, 1944 (commonly known as D-Day), among the largest amphibious assaults ever conducted. </li></ul><ul><li>Nearly 160,000 troops crossed the English Channel on 6 June, landing more than 3 million troops by the end of August. </li></ul>
  31. 31. Battle of Normandy <ul><li>Allied land forces that saw combat in Normandy on D-Day itself came from </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Canada </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Britain </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>United States of America </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Substantial Free French and Polish forces also participated in the battle after the assault phase </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Contingents of resistance fighters from Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Greece, the Netherlands, and Norway. </li></ul></ul>
  32. 32. Battle Of Normandy <ul><li>Objectives of Battle Of Normandy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>To secure the five beaches along the coast of Normandy (codenamed: Gold, Sword, Juno, Omaha, Utah) ‏ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The five beachheads would be the launching pad to launch the full-scale invasion of German-occupied Western Europe and of Germany itself </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A the five beachheads, artificial harbours (Mulberry harbours) were built to act as the entry point of military logistics, crucial to the operation. </li></ul></ul>
  33. 33. Battle Of Normandy <ul><li>While the Germans anticipated the invasion, there was disagreement between the generals and Hitler over how fortification and defences should be built. </li></ul><ul><li>Generals like Rommel and Guderian were in favour of putting tanks alongside the bunkers protecting the coastline but Hitler wanted more focus on stemming the Soviet advance </li></ul><ul><li>Though the Atlantic Wall was planned, the fortifications were not completed </li></ul>
  34. 34. Battle Of Normandy <ul><li>Allied troops strength: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1,452,000 (by July 25 1944) ‏ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>3,000,000+ (by end August 1944) ‏ </li></ul></ul><ul><li>German troops strength: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>380,000 (by July 23 1944) ‏ </li></ul></ul>
  35. 36. Battle Of Normandy <ul><li>Allied casualties: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>46,000 dead, 173,000 wounded and missing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>12,000 French civilian and Resistance dead or missing </li></ul></ul><ul><li>German casualties: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>400,000 casualties (50,000 dead, 150,000 wounded and 200,000 captured) ‏ </li></ul></ul>
  36. 37. Battle Of Normandy <ul><li>The invasion of Normandy would eventually lead to the liberation of France with the surrender of Paris in 25 August 1944 </li></ul><ul><li>From that point onwards, Belgium and Netherlands were liberated and a full-scale invasion of Germany began </li></ul><ul><li>The Normandy landings not only signalled the beginning of the end for Nazi Germany, it heralded in the start of the race for Europe, which some historians consider to be the start of the Cold War (The Race To Berlin) ‏ </li></ul>
  37. 38. The End Of World War 2
  38. 39. The End Of WW2 in Europe <ul><li>The war in Europe ended with the occupation of Germany by the four Allied nations; US, USSR, Britain and France </li></ul><ul><li>As Berlin was sieged by the Soviet army, Hitler committed suicide in his bunker on the 30 th of April 1945 </li></ul><ul><li>German forces officially surrendered to the Allies on 7 th May (Western Europe) and 8 th May (Eastern Europe) ‏ </li></ul>
  39. 40. The End Of WW2 in Asia-Pacific <ul><li>In an attempt to weaken Japan, American bombers destroyed Japanese cities and American submarines cut off Japanese imports. </li></ul><ul><li>Potsdam declaration (July 11 1945): The Allied leaders reiterated the demand for unconditional surrender by Japan, specifically stating that “the alternative for Japan is prompt and utter destruction.” </li></ul><ul><li>Japan rejected the Potsdam terms and US dropped the atomic bombs on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki </li></ul>
  40. 41. The End Of WW2 <ul><li>On August the 15th, 1945, Japan surrendered and therefore ending the Second World War </li></ul><ul><li>The end of WW2 also led to the creation of the United Nations </li></ul><ul><li>The end of WW2 saw the emergence of the United States and the Soviet Union as world superpowers (bipolar world order)‏ </li></ul><ul><li>Creation of spheres of influence in Europe (West vs East) which eventually ushered in the Cold War period (1945-1989) ‏ </li></ul>
  41. 42. Post-War Landscape <ul><li>Emergence of United States as a superpower </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Strength of the American economy allowed US to sustain its war effort as well as financing the reconstruction of Europe after WW2 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>American involvement in WW2 and its newfound military and economic power gave US more clout to promote democratic ideals in Europe and UN concept (as compared to post-WW1)‏ </li></ul></ul>
  42. 43. Post-War Landscape <ul><li>Emergence of Soviet Union (USSR) as a superpower </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Soviet resistance to Nazi Germany and military strength to push the German army back to Berlin signaled the arrival of USSR as a superpower </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Soviet Red Army advance in Eastern Europe and the ensuing occupation of these territories would put them under Soviet influence (these countries would turn Communist)‏ </li></ul></ul>
  43. 44. Post-War Landscape <ul><li>The beginning of Cold War (Clash between the two emerging superpowers)‏ </li></ul><ul><ul><li>First point of conflict was over the future of occupied Germany and divided Berlin </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Under Soviet influence, countries occupied by the Soviets rejected Marshall Plan for Europe reconstruction </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Eastern European countries established Communist regime even though under pretext of “free elections” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Korean War (proxy war between Communism and Democracy)‏ </li></ul></ul>
  44. 45. Post-War Landscape <ul><li>The formation of United Nations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>To replace League of Nations as a supranational organization that would ensure collective security </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Victorious Allied Powers in WW2 given permanent seats in UN Security Council </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>UN given powers to establish multinational defence forces for peace-keeping mission in flashpoint areas. </li></ul></ul>
  45. 46. Post-War Landscape <ul><li>Decline of Empires </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Despite given permanent seats in the UN Security Council, traditional Great Powers like Britain and France fell into decline </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>War involvement ruined their economies, required Marshall Plan to aid and finance their countries' reconstruction </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To relinquish economic burden and to follow the US demands of nations' right to self-determination, UK and France began the gradual process of decolonization of their empires </li></ul></ul>
  46. 47. Post-War Landscape <ul><li>The Ultimate War Deterrent </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hiroshima and Nagasaki provided a grim reminder to the world of the devastating effects of the nuclear bomb </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Both US and USSR had nuclear weapons in their arsenal </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It's MAD to start another WW3 so both superpowers either engage in proxy wars or diplomacy to engage each other </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>MAD = Mutually Assured Destruction </li></ul></ul>
  47. 48. Post-War Landscape <ul><li>Sowing the seeds of European Union </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The destruction and massive reconstruction of Europe brought about by WW2 convinced 2 European politicians to suggest the formation of a bloc that would prevent future wars in Europe </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>European Coal and Steel Community -> European Economic Community -> European Community -> European Union </li></ul></ul>
  48. 49. Post-War Landscape <ul><li>Recall what contributed to this new post-war landscape </li></ul><ul><ul><li>American involvement in WW2? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Soviet strength of recovery and its advance in Eastern Europe? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Decline of the British Empire due to British sustained involvement in WW2? (Note: Britain is the only Allied power to fight the war from the beginning till the end)‏ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The factor of economic and military strength? </li></ul></ul>
  49. 50. Post-War Landscape <ul><li>American involvement in WW2 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What caused the Americans to be able to sustain its involvement in WW2? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Economy? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Military? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ideology? (Democracy can prevent the rise of belligerent authoritarian regimes)‏ </li></ul></ul></ul>
  50. 51. Post-War Landscape <ul><li>Soviet strength of recovery and its advance in Eastern Europe? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What enabled the Soviets to recover from the initial German invasion and then repel the Germans back to their own territory? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Economy? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Military? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Size of the country? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ideology? (Spread Communism)‏ </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Security? (Need to create buffer zone for Soviet Union)‏ </li></ul></ul></ul>
  51. 52. Post-War Landscape <ul><li>British decline </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What caused the decline of the British empire? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Drained resources due to prolonged war involvement? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Massive reconstruction after WW2, dependent on American aid? </li></ul></ul></ul>
  52. 53. Post-War Landscape <ul><li>The factor of economy and military </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How much role did the state of economies of the countries involved in WW2 play in the outcome of WW2 and hence the creation of a new post-war landscape? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How much role did military play in this context and how much was the military factor co-related with the economic strength factor? </li></ul></ul>