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Transcript
World War II
European Theatre
War in Europe

Much of war planning was joint BritishAmerican strategy
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American in favor of immediate offensive against
the continent
British favored a more conservative approach
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Scarred by 3 hard years of war
Go after the “softer underbelly” of the enemy
Dieppe Raid
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Reinforced British view
August 1942- Raid by Canadian forces to
test strength of German defenses in France
Disastrous results
Canadians incur over 3,000 casualties
Good lessons
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Improved amphibious attack strategies
Not prepared for French invasion yet
Offensive in North Africa
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Combined British and American force attacks
Heavy resistance around Casablanca
Race for control of Tunisia
Kasserine Pass-American inexperience
shows against Afrika Corps
Ultimately able to push by Rommel’s forces
Battle of the Atlantic
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Allied strategy:
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Land-based air patrols
Escort Carriers
Escort vessels
Increasingly German undersea activities
became a useless drain on resources
Sicily/Italy
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Next step after North Africa
Massive Force-160,000 troops
Quickly overrun Island
Move on to Italy
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Two landings
Germans had taken over most of Italian
defenses
Italy would be a long and bloody campaign
European Air War

British campaign used night-time mass bombing
raids
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American strategy was to fly precision, daytime
raids— B-24’s, B-17’s
Schweinfurt-October 1943
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Disrupt economy
Lessen will of German people to fight
Need for long-range fighter
Impact of air campaign often overrated
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Accuracy limited-bombsights marginally accurate
Bomb loads relatively small
Psychological impacted limited—Battle of Britain
Ground support role was very effective
Invasion of France

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Russians had pressed for 2nd front since
1942.
Germans expecting attack in 1944
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Normandy-5 beaches

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Pas de Calais region
Germans have strong beach defenses
3 Airborne divisions dropped before dawn
5 divisions—resistance light, except Omaha
Beach
D-Day
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Germans initially mistake invasion for a
diversion.
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Unable to prevent beachhead
Within 2 weeks, over 1 million men ashore
Quickly turned from battle for Normandy to
Battle for France
By August 25th, Paris fell
By Autumn 1944, German position looks
hopeless
Marketgarden
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September 1944
Allies make “leapfrog” German defenses
Dropped three airborne divisions behind
German lines to secure bridges over Meuse,
Waal, and Rhine rivers.
Fails British 1st airborne unable to hold
Arnhem
British armor unable to punch through
German lines
Battle of Bulge

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Hitler’s final gamble-Counteroffensive
through weak center of Allied line in Ardennes
Forest
Winter allows for secret troop buildup
Germans strike December 16
Inflict heavy losses-Encircle Bastogne
Uses up German reserves
Final Offensive


British and American forces move into
Germany
Meet up with Russian forces heading West.