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A14:2 Notes

  1. Aug. ’41- FDR & British PM Winston Churchill met & signed the Atlantic Charter- an agreement on Allied principles & goals
  2. When the US entered the war, it did so with the initial strategy of stabilizing the situation first in Europe, then concentrating on the Pacific
    1. 1st goal was to establish safe passage over Atlantic- Battle of the Atlantic
      1. Allies deployed large convoys to defeat German U-boats
    2. The next focus of American activity was North Africa, where the Germans & Italians had been fighting the British
      1. Despite great initial success under the German Gen. Rommel (a.k.a. "The Desert Fox"), the British had finally won a major victory at El Alamein (Egypt) under Gen. Montgomery- This victory allowed the British to advance for the first time, & they were joined in this by the newly-arrived Americans under General Eisenhower
      2. German and Italian forces were eventually forced to surrender at Tunisia
      3. After this, FDR & Churchill met in Casablanca (Morocco) in Jan. ‘43, & planned their general strategy for the rest of the war- It was decided to continue to focus 1st on Germany, then move on to the war in the Pacific
    3. In June ‘43, the US invaded Sicily in Sn Italy under Gen. Patton
      1. Sicily fell in about 5 weeks, & this led to the overthrow of Mussolini
      2. Italian gov’t surrendered, although Germans held on to Nn Italy, reinstalling Mussolini as a puppet in the N
  3. War in the Soviet Union- When Hitler was unable to invade Britain, he instead launched an offensive into Russia, surprising Stalin completely
    1. The Germans attacked all along the border, from the Black Sea to the Baltic
      1. The Russians, under strict orders not to retreat, were slaughtered by the better-equipped, better-trained, & better-supported Germans
      2. Stalin changed strategies, adopting a scorched earth policy
    2. Stalin decided to make a stand at Stalingrad, a major industrial center
      1. Sep ’42- Germans began to bombard city, softening it up for two months before attacking, but instead of a deserted & defeated city, the Germans were forced to fight for every building, & the fighting was intense
      2. The winter that year was unusually harsh, & Germans were unprepared
      3. Russians counter-attacked, & surrounded German Army at Stalingrad
      4. German forces in Stalingrad surrendered in January of 1943
      5. Stalingrad turned the tide of the war in Russia, & led to Soviet counter- offensive that eventually drove out the Germans & liberated En Ep
  4. The Invasion of Western Europe
    1. An air war had been going on for years, with the RAF carpet bombing German cities at night, & the US doing so during the day
    2. Early in 1944, the Allies began massing troops in Britain for a land invasion into Normandy, & the Germans shored up their defenses all along the coast
    3. D-Day-On June 6, 1944, the largest sea-borne assault in history was launched, as Allied forces landed the D-Day invasion
      1. Over 4.5K ships ferried troops to the beaches and shelled land targets, while 1K British bombers softened up the defenses along the beaches
      2. Over 20K paratroopers had been dropped behind the front lines at night, & these were joined by about 150K troops who landed on the beaches
    4. Battle of the Bulge- By Aug ‘44, Allied forces had liberated Paris, were pushing through France toward Germany, & attacking Belgium & Holland
      1. Dec ’44- Germans launched a massive counter-attack along Belgian front, driving back Allied armies in what was known as the Battle of the Bulge
  5. The Yalta Conference- In Feb ‘45, Roosevelt, Churchill, & Stalin met at Yalta to discuss the post-war arrangements- They agreed to split up Germany into zones of control between the US, the UK, the USSR, & France
      1. Stalin promised to allow free elections in EnEp, as long as they were not anti-Soviet, & promised to aid the Americans against Japan
    1. In April of 1945, the Red Army entered Berlin, while American and Soviet forces linked up along the Elbe River
      1. On May 1st, Hitler shot himself rather than surrender, & the Germans surrendered on May 8, ending the war in Europe
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