Why take on Germany first?• Better technology than Japan (rockets, jet airplanes, etc)• Germany was a threat to the Soviet Union, our ally for the time being• Germany could win without Japan – Japan could NOT win without Germany THIS WAS CALLED THE “EUROPE FIRST” STRATEGY (very creative name)
The Allies Invade North Africa in Operation Torch• Despite Stalin begging for an attack in France to take pressure off of the USSR, the Allies decide to head to North Africa• Churchill feared the Allies were not yet ready to attack France• FDR was the man who made the final decision, but it still made Stalin angry
The Invasion of France• Takes place on Normandy Beach• 1.5 million Allied troops (5,000 ships – that’s a lot of boats)• Germans thought that Allies would not attempt to land there due to tidal currents and Hitler’s Atlantic Wall (defense system)• By August France is liberated from Nazi control
The Soviets defeat the Nazis• At Stalingrad, the Soviets capture a large portion of the German army (2 million casualties from both sides combined)• Worst defeat for the Nazis• At Kursk the Soviets destroyed the Nazis ability to wage an offensive war, and they begin to push the Nazis back into Poland and then Germany
YALTA CONFERENCE• Churchill, Stalin, and FDR meet to discuss what will be done after the war ends• Churchill wants all nations to be FREE• Stalin wants the USSR to be able to control Eastern Europe and Poland• FDR wants Soviet help in fighting against Japan, since we had been fighting them alone
Churchill, FDR, and Uncle Joe…Why was he called Uncle Joe?!?!?!?
THE RESULTS• Soviets agree to help fight Japan three months after whenever Germany finally surrenders• Soviets get to keep control of Eastern Europe and Poland• Many people feel FDR “sold out” to Stalin in order to gain his help vs Japan… hatred of communism continues to rise
VE DAY: Victory in Europe• In the Battle of the Bulge the Americans hold off one last desperate attempt by Hitler to succeed• By March of 1945 the Nazis were being pushed all the way back into Berlin (The US and England from the west, the Soviets from the east)• April 12 – FDR dies unexpectedly – Harry Truman takes over• April 30 – Hitler commits suicide• May 8 – Germany surrenders unconditionally