4. Defeating Germany

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Slide 2:

Identify the various groups of Americans who mobilized to go to war. Explain the significance of: the Battle of the Atlantic, Hitler’s decision to invade the Soviet Union, the invasion of Normandy, the Battle of the Bulge, and the Yalta Conference. Analyze the events surrounding the D-Day invasion. Describe how Hitler made several questionable decisions that led to Germany’s downfall. Lesson Objectives

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Before the US entered the war, thousands of young men received official notices that they had been drafted into service. After Pearl Harbor (1941), thousands more volunteered to fight. The Giant is Awake By the war’s end, 15 million G.I. were in uniform. “Government Issue” which was stamped on most items they were given.

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Despite discrimination, men of all backgrounds fought in World War II. 1,000,000 African Americans 300,000 Mexican-Americans, 25,000 Native Americans, 17,000 Japanese Americans Diversity in the US Military Tuskegee Airmen However, the U.S. military was still segregated by race until the 1950’s. Navajo Code Talkers

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After Pearl Harbor, the British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, arrived at the White House and spent three weeks working out war plans with FDR. War Preparations They decided to focus on defeating Hitler first and then turn their attention to Japan.



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German U-boats attacked American merchant ships coming across the Atlantic Ocean. As an island nation, the British depended on these goods for their survival. Hitler knew that he faced know serious threat as long as a naval blockade was successful. Battle of the Atlantic

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The Allies used convoys with naval vessels and planes to protect shipments. Destroyers used sonar to track U-boats. Gaining the Upper Hand Airplanes scouted for U-boats on the ocean surface.

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The real U-571 was never captured by the Allies, nor was her Enigma Machine ever taken. The events in the film are loosely based on the British capture of U-110 and her Enigma and cipher keys.

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Battle of the Atlantic 30, 264 Merchant Marines 3,500 Merchant Marine Vessels 175 War Ships 119 Airplanes 28,000 Sailors 783 Submarines Casualties & Losses Allies Axis

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In June 1942, Hitler ordered an invasion of the Soviet Union. Exterminate Communism. Generate Lebensraum. Russia was rich with oil and other resources. After two months of fierce battles, the German Army was on the verge of consuming the Soviet Union. Hitler turns on the Soviets

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Operation Barbarossa

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The Battle of Stalingrad Between July 1942 and February 1943, the Germans attempted to take control of this industrial and symbolic city. The fighting that raged in the urban setting, ultimately reduced it to rubble. The German military was not prepared for the Soviet winter. By stopping the German advance, the Soviet military altered the tide of the war.

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Vasily Zaytsev was a Soviet sniper during the Battle of Stalingrad. Between October 1942 and January 1943, he had 242 verified kills. Vasily Zaytsev

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The Battle of Stalingrad Casualties & Losses Germany Soviet Union 750,000 killed or wounded 91,000 captured 900 Planes (including bombers) 478,741 killed or missing 650,878 wounded or sick 40,000 + civilians dead 4,341 tanks and 2769 combat planes

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Allied Success Eisenhower North African Campaign : In late 1942, General Dwight Eisenhower, commander of the Allied forces encircled the Axis forces and forced their surrender. Italian Campaign: In 1943, the Allies invaded Italy. To ease the German attack on the Soviet Union. To eliminate an ally of the Germans.

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After the successful invasion of Southern Italy, in 1943, Mussolini essentially became Hitler’s puppet dictator until his capture and execution by Italian partisans in 1945.

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Despite Allied success in Italy, the Germans still had a stranglehold on most of Europe.

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Codename for the Allied invasion of German-occupied Western Europe. The operation involved months of preparation, development of new technology, and several deception operations. D-Day - The operation commenced on June 6, 1944 with the Normandy Landings. Operation Overlord

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“The Eyes of the World are upon you.”

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Normandy Landing Sites

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Invasion of Normandy

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D-Day Obstacles Belgian Gate Czech Hedgehogs Log Ramps S -Mine Strong Point -Concrete Bunker

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An invasion force of 5,000 vessels carried 150,000 troops and 30,000 vehicles across the English Channel. Another 13,000 men parachuted behind German lines. D-Day Before the invasion, 300 planes dropped over 13,000 pounds of bombs on the German positions. By the end of the day, 9,000 Allied soldiers were casualties, but they had established a landing zone for troops and supplies.

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Normandy Beachhead

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Within a month, the Allies had landed 1 million troops, 567,000 tons of supplies and 170,000 vehicles.

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Bitter fighting faced the Allies as they pushed from Normandy towards Paris. Onward to Paris German troops took defensive positions in villages and hedgerows. Large partitioned fields separated by rows of dense trees and shrubs.

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Hedgerow Fighting

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Normandy Invasion

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By August 1944, Americans had liberated Paris. By September, the Netherlands and Belgium were liberated as well. Liberating Paris The good news led Americans to re-elect Roosevelt to an exceptional 4 th term

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Presidential Election of 1944

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To protect the “Motherland,” Hitler launched a counter-attack known as the Battle of the Bulge in December of 1944 . For a month, the Germans pushed the US back and cut off many units from the rest of the army. Battle of the Bulge U.S. General George Patton rushed to the front, with 250,000 troops and stopped the last major German offensive of the war.

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Battle of the Bulge

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Battle of the Bulge Casualties & Losses U.S. British German Casualties Losses 89,500 (19,000 killed, 45,500 wounded, 23,000 captured or missing) 1,408 (200 killed, 12,000 wounded or missing) 100,000 700 tanks and assault guns, 1,600 aircraft 800 tanks, 300 aircraft Malmedy Massacre During the Battle of the Bulge, 84 US prisoners of war were executed by their German captors

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The bloodiest single battle, of World War II, for US troops. US losses could be replaced where German losses could not. Battle of the Bulge Results Many high-level German officers realized that the end of Nazi Germany was near.

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On Germany’s Eastern Front Early in 1944, the Soviets made a serious push for Berlin. They discovered many death camps that the Germans had built in Poland. The US encountered similar death camps in Germany. Killed on the Eastern Front: 3 million Germans Soldiers 13.6 million Soviet Soldiers 27 million Soviet Civilians.

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Yalta Conference In February of 1945, Roosevelt (US), Churchill (UK), and Stalin (USSR) met to decide the fate of Germany. Germany was split into four zones, each one controlled by a major allied power. Berlin was also split, between the U.S. and the Soviet Union.

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With the fall of Berlin within site, the fate of postwar Germany was decided.

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President Roosevelt did not live to see V-E Day. After his death on April 12, 1945, Vice President Harry S. Truman became president. Harry S. Truman

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German Conquest & Defeat

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Prophesy of a Madman “ I shall stand or fall in this struggle. I shall never survive the defeat of my people.” Adolf Hitler Hitler committed suicide on April 30, 1945.

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With Berlin in rubble, Germany surrenders on May 8, 1945. Americans celebrated V-E Day . Victory in Europe Day. Germany Surrenders

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Now that the Germans are defeated, we can focus entirely on the Japanese.