Battles of WWII

Jamie Powell

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European/African Front

African Front

On the African front, U.S. General Dwight Eisenhower and British General Bernard Montgomery were trying to push Germany out of their positions in North Africa and the Mediterranean. The Allied forces finally took North Africa from Germany by May in 1943. The Allies' next target was the island of Sicily because the U.S.-British forces needed to occupy the island in order to attack Italy. George Patton was a U.S. General who helped lead the Allied powers to victory in the invasion of Sicily.

European Front

In Europe, the allied powers came up with a strategy to stop Hitler known as "closing the ring", this strategy meant closing in on Hitler from three sides in an effort to stop Germany. On June 6, 1944 the Allied powers invaded Normandy, France in an effort of liberate France from German control. This invasion has become known as D-Day, and after this invasion, Northern France was liberated.


General Omar Bradley, also known as the "Soldier's General", commanded the U.S. First Army in the invasion of Normandy. General George Patton commanded the Third U.S. army in the invasion of Normandy. George Marshall was a highly decorated American military leader who played a big part in the planning of Operation Overlord or the Invasion or Normandy. Although Marshall wasn't engaged combat, he was still an instrumental leader in the war.


In December of 1944, Germany launched a counterattack in Belgium known as the Battle of the Bulge. This was a surprise blitzkrieg attack that caught the Allies off guard, however the Americans were able to regroup and continue advancing into Germany. General George Patton and the U.S. Third Army played a major role in the successful defense of the Allied Powers.


Berlin fell in April of 1945 in the Battle of Berlin. The Soviets surrounded Berlin and invaded the city, bringing an end to Hitler's control. Germany's defense fell quickly due to the overwhelming force of the Soviets. Hitler committed suicide on April 30, 1945 in his underground bunker as his "one thousand year" Reich fell above him.

Other

Navajo Code Talkers- These were American Indians who were enlisted in the military who sent coded messages in their native language to ensure secrecy.


Tuskegee Airmen- These men were part of an African American group of military pilots. The Tuskegee Airmen were trained at Tuskegee Army Air Field in Tuskegee, Alabama.

Pacific Front

After the U.S. surrender of the Bataan Peninsula on April 9, 1942, the American and Filipino troops were forced to march to Japanese prison camps. Many men died due to the harsh treatment by the Japanese and the horrid conditions the men were forced to march in.
The Battle of Midway was a major and decisive naval battle in WWII. For this battle, the U.S. broke the Japanese code that was being used to communicate battle plans so Admiral Chester W. Nimitz was able to counter the planned attack by the Japanese. This breakthrough in intelligence played a major role in the U.S. victory. After the Battle of Midway, Admiral Chester Nimitz and General Douglas MacArthur launched their "Island Hopping" campaign, this plan was to attack and capture Pacific islands one at a time making their way through resistance and to Japan. The men planned a "Two-Pronged Attack", this meant that the U.S. would attack Japan from two sides. General MacArthur planned to go northwest along the coast of New Guinea, to the Bismark Archipelago, and finally the Philippines. Admiral Nimitz would go across the central Pacific and go through the Gilbert, Marshall, Caroline, and Marinas islands.


The Battle of Iwo Jima was the first strike on Japanese home islands in WWII. In February of 1945, U.S. Marines landed on the Island of Iwo Jima. The Japanese fought using a complicated network of tunnels, caves, and dugouts, despite the hard conditions, after a month of fighting, the U.S. Marines beat out the Japanese forces.


The Battle of Okinawa was the last yet largest of the Pacific island battles in WWII. Okinawa became not only a land battle, but also a battle at sea. This battle resulted in thousands of casualties for both the Americans and the Japanese, included were almost 100,000 civilian casualties. Both commanding generals from each side died in Okinawa. The Japanese surrendered and Okinawa fell to the Allied forces after 82 days.

World War II in HD: Okinawa | History

Other

The Flying Tigers- This was a small group of American fighter pilots who flew for China in early 1942. The Flying Tigers were called the "American Volunteer Group" (AVG) and they were led by Colonel Claire Chennault. Despite their small size, the AVG were actually successful in their battles with the Japanese.