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The Allies Turn The Tables 1942-45
Transcript of The Allies Turn The Tables 1942-45
World War 2
In June 1940 Mussolini's Italian army joined the war by invading southern France in an effort to help the German war effort.
But Mussolini was more interested in spreading his empire in North Africa.
However, British troops based in Egypt easily defeated the Italian army.
Hitler then sent one of his best generals Rommel and German soldiers, to help the Italians.
He wanted to help the Italians to capture the Suez Canal, a vital link to India.
The Desert War in North Africa
Rommel's troops the Afrika Corp pushed the British back into Egypt.
But in late 1942 at the Battle of El Alamein, the British army led by Montgomery, defeated Rommel, who retreated to Tunisia.
This battle was one of the turning points of the war.
El Alamein: A Turning Point
Hitler looked on Communist Russia as his test enemy and he planned to destroy it.
He also wanted to create lebensraum in Eastern Europe for the Third Reich.
He ordered the German army to attack Russia on 22 June 1941 in Operation Barbarossa.
Hitler again used blitzkrieg tactics in a three pronged attack directed towards the important Soviet cities of Leningrad, Moscow and Kiev.
The Luftwaffe took control of the air and German tanks and infantry moved quickly into Russia as the Soviet army retreated.
The Great Patriotic War
However, Stalin called on Russians to fight the 'Great Patriotic War' against Germany.
He made preparations by moving heavy industry east of the Ural Mountains.
The Great Patriotic War
As the Soviets retreated they used a scorched earth policy.
They destroyed crops and communication lines so that the Germans could not use them.
Then Hitler's early progress was halted by the Russian winter of 1941-42.
Lorries, tanks and aeroplanes seized up, and soldiers froze to death on duty.
The Germans captured Kiev, but failed to capture Moscow or Leningrad.
The Battle of Stalingrad: A Turning Point
In 1942, Hitler's armies advanced towards Stalingrad and the oil fields of the Caucasus.
Their advance was stopped at the Battle of Stalingrad.
The German army, under von Paulus, fought viscious street battles with the Russian army defending the city.
Russian reinforcements and supplies were ferried across the river Volga each night to hold on to the city.
Those who were regarded as 'cowards' were executed as an example.
The Russians then attacked from the sides in a pincer movement and cut off the German army in the city from their supplies.
Hitler continued to supple them with air drops but the army suffered greatly in the winter of 1942-43.
Eventually over 100,000 German soldiers were forced to surrender in February 1943.
This was another major turning point.
America Joins the War
Events in the Pacific Ocean caused the United States to join the war.
Japan wanted to create its own empire and relations between America and Japan worsened in the 1930's.
In December 1941, Japan attacked Pearl Harbour in Hawaii, where the American Pacific fleet was based.
Fortunately for America the main part of the fleet was at sea when the attack occurred.
The War at Sea: The Battle of the Atlantic
Even before America entered the war they supplied food, military goods and industrial products for Britain.
All the supplies came to Britain across the Atlantic Ocean, so Germany used its U-boats or submarines to sink Allied shipping.
Fleets of U-boats called wolfpacks left the French and Norwegian coasts and raided Allied convoys crossing the sea.
In 1942 U-boats sank over 6million tons of shipping.
The Allies were eventually able to defeat the U-boats by increasing shipbuilding, using radar and sonar.
Lastly, through using Ultra, the code breaking operation that deciphered messages sent to U-boats at sea.
The Allies could then direct convoys away from the path of wolf packs.
War in the Air
Just as Germany bombed Britain during the Battle of Britain and the Blitz, the British and Americans organised bombing raids on Germany.
Their targets were large German cities such as Berlin as well as industrial centres such as the Ruhr.
One of the largest attacks was on the city of Dresden in February 1945 it resulted in 25,000 people being killed.
Even though the bombing failed to dstroy German morale, war production was disrupted.
Germany tried to counter attack by using V1 flying bombs and V2 rockets to bomb British cities.
However they were only used later in the war.