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Battle of Britain
“Where Napoleon failed, I shall succeed. I shall
land on the shores of Britain.” - Hitler
• Lasted from August 1940 – May 1941
– The British were now being led by Winston Churchill
– Hitler’s plan was to destroy the British Royal Air
Force (RAF) to make it possible to invade Britain
– Needs to destroy the RAF before ships can safely land
troops on British soil
• In WWII, planes sink ships
– Would be mostly an air battle
• Operation Sea Lion
– Soften up Britain for invasion
– The Luftwaffe attacks British ports and shipping
• 70% of RAF destroyed
• Operation Eagle
– The Luftwaffe attacks RAF airfields and factories
• British inflict heavy losses on the Germans
• Have something the Germans don’t: radar
– Bomb London in September
• British repay by bombing Berlin
– Lend-Lease Act
• Britain can no longer pay for the military
equipment it needs due to the war
• The U.S. “leases” Britain the military aid it needs
and under the program, the weapons would be
returned at the end of the war
• London Blitz
– More than 70 attacks against the city, ends in May
– At one point London is bombed for 57 consecutive
• The goal is to terrorize the British people and
cause them to lose their will to fight
• 1300 Londoners killed in one week
– Thousands of civilians are killed and large parts of
London and other cities are destroyed
• Hitler calls off the operation, even though Britain was
– Too many losses: Luftwaffe lost 1400 planes to RAF’s
– The RAF shot down German planes faster than
German factories could build them
• Britain survives: “Never in the field of human
conflict was so much owed by so many to so
few.” - Churchill
Warm Up (WWII 1&2)
What treaty does Hitler ignore?
What is living space for the Germans?
Which 2 countries are “friendemies”?
German air force:
Three waves of blitzkrieg:
How do the French lose in WWII?
What invention saves England?
Invasion of the Soviet Union
• In preparing for his next attack, Hitler decided to gain
new allies
– He succeeded in getting Hungary, Romania, and
– When Yugoslavia resisted, Germany invaded and
captured it eight days later
• Operation Barbarossa – German invasion of the
Soviet Union – June 22nd, 1941
– Hitler hates communism and views the Russian
people as just a step above Jews
• Has no respect for the Russian army
• Orders the execution of Russians wearing the
Communist insignia
– Attacks with 3 million soldiers and at first the
German blitzkrieg is highly effective
• German troops and tanks race across the Soviet
• The Soviet army has lots of soldiers, but they are
poorly trained and equipped
– Within six weeks one German army group is 220
miles from Moscow
• Expect to win before winter arrives
• By winter the Germans are deep into Soviet
territory, but have not captured Moscow or
– As winter sets in, German progress slows and then
• Were unprepared for the Russian winter
• The Soviets rebuild their armies and get ready to
fight back
• The Germans commit horrible atrocities against the
Russian people: murder, torture, cities starved or
completely wiped out
– The Russians knew this would be a fight to the death
and they fought with a sense of desperation
Pearl Harbor – Dec. 7, 1941
• Why the Japanese attack
– Island nation – need resources and raw materials, so
they have an expanding empire
– Feel provoked by the U.S.
• The U.S. has placed embargoes on resources, such
as oil, and has frozen Japanese bank accounts
• Other defensive measures due to the Japanese
invasion of China
• Why Pearl Harbor
– Need a quick win
– Center for the U.S. Pacific Fleet
– Destroy fleet, take colonies, and sue for peace
US Casualties
• TOTAL: 2,403
• 188 Aircraft destroyed
Battleships that were hit
USS Arizona (BB-39)
USS Oklahoma (BB-37)
USS California (BB-44)
USS West Virginia (BB-48)
USS Nevada (BB-36)
USS Pennsylvania (BB-38)
USS Maryland (BB-46)
USS Tennessee (BB-43)
USS Utah (AG-16)
Pearl Harbor Memorial
• The attack
– Was a two prong attack
• Planes bombed airfields and ships at Pearl Harbor
in three different waves
– Lasted just under two hours
• 200 aircraft destroyed all 8 battleships were either
damaged or sunk in the harbor
– Casualties
• 2,403 dead and 1,100 wounded
• 1,177 men die aboard the U.S.S. Arizona
– At the same time the Japanese attack U.S. colonies of
Wake Island and the Philippines
• The Philippines fall and General Douglas
MacArthur leaves with a promise to returne
• Bataan Death March
–70,000 prisoners march towards a distant
prisoner camp
–Thousands die due to lack of food, water, and
violence from their Japanese captors
–Many more will die at the prisoner camp
– They also attack Hong Kong, Thailand, Burma,
Malaya, Guam, and French Indochina
• Why fails
– Didn’t eliminate the fuel tanks or other ships (didn’t
launch the third wave)
• Beheadings, cut throats and casual shootings were
the more common and merciful actions — compared
to bayonet stabbings, rapes, disembowelments,
numerous rifle butt beatings and a deliberate refusal
to allow the prisoners food or water while keeping
them continually marching for nearly a week (for the
slowest survivors) in tropical heat. Falling down,
unable to continue moving was tantamount to a
death sentence, as was any degree of protest or
expression of displeasure.
– All aircraft carriers not in port – they were sent out to
sea a week before
• Aircraft carriers are crucial to battles at sea since
they are able to launch planes
– U.S. reaction
• U.S. Congress declares war on Japan on Dec. 8
• Three days later Germany and Italy declare war on
the U.S.
• The U.S. and the Soviet Union are now part of the
Allied Powers
• Revenge – Doolittle’s raiders bomb Japanese cities
– Bring war home to the Japanese
War in the Pacific
• The Japanese start off with an advantage as the U.S.
works to overcome the damage from Pearl Harbor
• Battle of Coral Sea – May 1942
– Japanese and Americans meet in battle off the coast
of Australia as the Japanese were getting ready to
invade British-controlled New Guinea
– Both sides lose an aircraft carrier, which hurt the
Americans more
– Japan claims a victory, although it was the first time
that the Japanese advance was stopped
• Battle of Midway Island – Turning Point *
– June 1942 – Japanese want to capture this American
military base
• Japan wants to lure the Americans into battle and
finish what they started at Pearl Harbor by
destroying their fleet
– The U.S. had broken the secret Japanese code and
knew of the attack – U.S. ready and waiting
• They destroy four aircraft carriers in five minutes,
only lose one of their own
– The Americans now have the advantage
• Island-hopping = take islands that are not as well
defended and cut off supply lines to Japanese
– Bypass strongholds and capture weaker targets,
which are then used as bases for the next attack
– Will “hop” from one island to another as they
advance towards Japan
• Battle of Guadalcanal – summer 1942
– Japanese are building an airstrip there
– Brutal series of battles that lasts for six months
– Thousands of Japanese die or kill themselves to avoid
• women and children jump off cliffs, soldiers carry
out old samurai traditions, suicide charges
• Tarawa
– It takes the Americans three days to capture the 8
square mile island
– 17 out of 5,000 Japanese survive
– 3,000 American casualties
• From 1942 to 1944 the Allies capture the Solomon,
Gilbert, Marshall, Caroline, and Mariana islands
• MacArthur returns to the Philippines in fall of
– Battle of Leyte – largest naval battle ever fought
• First major use of a new Japanese weapon, the
kamikaze attack
• Kamikazes = Japanese pilots who load their planes
with explosives and deliberately crash into Allied
ships, sacrificing their own lives
• Battle ends in victory for the U.S.
– America recaptures the Philippines
• Iwo Jima – Feb. 1945
– Want to capture the island to make the regular
bombing raids on Japan easier for U.S. pilots
– The Japanese decide to make the Americans think
twice about invading Japan
• Takes 25 days to capture the five mile island
• Approximately 7,000 Americans dead and 20,000
– Out of 21,000 Japanese, only 216 surrender
• Fought to the death
– Raising the flag
• Okinawa
– Many casualties, war of attrition
• 82 days of combat
• Kamikazes sank or damaged 245 ships
• U.S. casualties = 75,000, with 12,000 dead
• Approx. 120,000 Japanese killed, along with
150,000 Okinawan civilians
• Now at Japan’s doorstep