WHAP - MR. DUEZ                                                                                          WORLD WAR II “BATTLE PLANS”

UNIT 6 - Chapter 21 - The Collapse & Recovery of Europe                                            Battles of World War II


Blitzkrieg of Poland, 1939 - Nazi Germany introduction of a new rapid warfare using tanks, airplanes, & mobile infantry in a coordinated & strategically effective fashion. Poland falls in less than a month.

Miracle Evacuation at Dunkirk, 1940 - Great Britain is inspired & galvanized by the courageous recovery of a quarter of a million British & French soldiers off the shores of Northern France. Evacuated to Great Britain & form core of resistance to Germany during Battle of Britain.

Battle of Britain, 1940 - All of continental Europe conquered, Britain withstands destructive & heavy bombardments from Germany. Churchill inspires his country to ‘never surrender’ while Royal Air Force soundly defeated German Luftwaffe Air Force using new technology like radar & advanced war planning & battle tactics.

Operation Barbarossa, June 1941 - Frustrated by stubborn & capable British people who refuse to surrender & continue to destroy Hitler’s air force over the skies of Britain, Hitler turns his attention to USSR. Broke the Non-Aggression Pact & invaded Russia in June. Early success trumpets height of blitzkrieg, yet invasion is so late in year that Russian winter of 41-42 & incredible sacrifice of human life by Soviets doom operation to ultimate failure.

Operation Torch, Nov. 1942 - American & British invasion of Northern Africa occupied by Italian & Axis Power forces. North Africa: critical location for launching southern invasion of Europe & also blocking Axis connection to oil fields.

Battle of Stalingrad, 1942-1943 - Most fierce battle of the war, Russians defend their ‘Motherland’ with every last person. ‘No Step Back’ is Stalin’s decree. Entire 6th Army, greatest of Hitler’s forces, perish in winter of 1942-43. This is a major turning point of World War II.

Battle of Kursk, July-August, 1943 - Russians use city in Eastern Europe as a critical holding point on Eastern front in Europe against Germans. Remembered for intense tank & aerial battles, Kursk is where German counter-attack after Stalingrad is soundly destroyed by the Russians.  

Allied Invasion of Italy, Sept. 1943 - ‘Southern’ front in Europe: Allies make critical in-roads towards Germany & defeat Italian forces. After invasion: Italy switches sides in war. Allies controlled Mediterranean after invasion & begin to force Germany northward back towards Berlin.

D-Day Invasion Normandy, France, June 6, 1944 - Largest naval invasion in history of world, Allies launch from shores of Great Britain to Normandy beaches of Northern France. Large # of Casualties. ‘The Longest Day’ one of most celebrated victories for freely elected countries in World History & shows strength & resolve of ‘Atlantic Treaty’ & ‘Special Relationship’ of Britain & U.S. General Eisenhower: Allied commander on D-Day & his victory over the German fortified French coast helps to liberate France from Nazi control.

Operation Market Garden, Sept. 1944 - One of the few failed exercises of the Allied advance towards Berlin after D-Day. Market Garden dropped troops many miles behind German lines in Northern Europe: an attempt to capture bridges & end war before end of 1944. It fails.

Battle of the Bulge, Dec. 1944-Jan. 1945 - Decisive Allied victory put down a surprise counteroffensive as retreating Germans launch one massive attempt to break through Allied push to Berlin. Launched toward end of WWII through the densely forested Ardennes mountain region of Wallonia in Belgium. Allied reinforcements, including General George S. Patton's 3rd Army, & improving winter weather conditions, permitted air attacks on German forces & supply lines, sealed German failure of the offensive.

Battle of Berlin, April - May, 1945 - Battle of Berlin was won by the Soviet Union. Final major offensive of the European Theatre of World War II. Results in the suicide of Hitler, unconditional surrender of German forces, & an Allied victory in Europe.

Death of Mussolini: April 28, 1945 -- Death of Hitler: April 30, 1945 -- Victory in Europe, May 7-8, 1945


Japanese Invasion of Manchuria, Sept. 19, 1931 - Japanese military leaders glorified traditional Samurai beliefs of martial discipline & loyalty. Set Japan on a policy of expansion in Asia. Successful invasion of Manchuria set up a puppet government & launching point to invade rest of China, 1937. Army committed atrocities against civilians in Nanjing known as the “Rape of Nanjing.”

Sino-Chinese War, July 7, 1937 - Fought primarily between Republic of China & Empire of Japan. 1937 to 1941, China fought Japan with economic help from Soviet Union (1937–1940) & United States. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor (1941), war merged into the greater conflict of World War II as a major front of Pacific War. Second Sino-Japanese War was largest Asian war in the 20th century. It also made up more than 50% of casualties in Pacific War if the 1937–1941 period is taken into account.

Japanese Invasion of Thailand, December 7 & 8, 1941 - Japanese invasion of Thailand occurred, December 8, 1941. Fought between Thailand & Empire of Japan. Despite fierce fighting in Southern Thailand, Thai resistance lasted only a few hours before ending in a ceasefire. Some historians consider this the beginning of WWII in Asia.

Japanese Attack/Bombing of Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941 - Occurs after & as a result of US intervention & trade sanctions against Japan. Surprise military strike conducted by Imperial Japanese Navy against United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on morning of December 7, 1941. The attack was intended as a preventive action in order to keep U.S. Pacific Fleet from interfering with military actions Empire of Japan was planning in Southeast Asia against overseas territories of United Kingdom, Netherlands, & United States. Instead it galvanized people of United States & US entry into WWII is a major turning point for the Allies.

Battle of Midway, June 1942 - Tide turned against the Japanese in the Pacific at this battle. After this US victory, they began an “island-hopping campaign” - liberating Pacific islands from Japanese control one islands at a time. Japanese armies were slowly forced to retreat back to their home islands. After German defeat in 1945, the US centered its full strength, attention & will on defeating the Japanese.

Guadalcanal, November 1942 - Fought on & around the island of Guadalcanal in the Pacific theatre of World War II. It was the first major offensive by Allied forces against the Empire of Japan.Philippines, 1944-1945. An allied victory resulted in a strategic launching point to continue ‘island-hopping’ strategy.

Iwo Jima, Feb. 1945 - A major battle in which the United States fought for & captured the island of Iwo Jima from the Empire of Japan. The U.S. invasion, charged with the mission of capturing the 3 airfields on Iwo Jima, resulted in some of the fiercest fighting in the Pacific Campaign of World War II.

Okinawa, April-June 1945 - Fought on the Ryukyu Islands of Okinawa & was the largest amphibious assault in the Pacific War of World War II. The 82-day-long battle lasted from early April until mid-June 1945. After a long campaign of island hopping, the Allies were approaching Japan, & planned to use Okinawa, a large island only 340 mi away from mainland Japan, as a base for air operations on the planned invasion of Japanese mainland.

A-Bomb Detonation in Japan at Hiroshima Aug. 6, 1945 & Nagasaki, Aug. 9, 1945 - A German Jewish physicist, Albert Einstein, played a key role in developing the atom bomb. President Roosevelt authorized the ‘Manhattan Project’ set to coordinate leading scientists gathered in New Mexico to develop the weapon. In August 1945, after the sudden death of Roosevelt, President Truman authorized the use of the new atomic bomb against Japan. Truman hoped to prevent the high casualties expected in a land invasion of Japan.

Japan's Unconditional Surrender, Aug. 15, 1945 - The War in the Pacific & WWII comes to an end.

US Occupation of Japan (1945-1952) - American General Douglas MacArthur, had led the Pacific campaign, assigned task of rebuilding post-war Japan. Under his leadership, important reforms made Japan less imperialistic & less aggressive. Japan lost overseas empire & stripped of its army & navy. Its leaders put on trial & punished for war crimes: Tojo executed. Meanwhile, Japan’s people were given democratic constitution. Emperor Hirohito allowed to remain on the throne, but his powers were dramatically reduced.

WWII Leaders, with important quotes:

USA: Franklin Delano Roosevelt “December 7th, 1941... a date that shall live in infamy.”

USA: Harry S. Truman “The Buck Stops Here.”

Great Britain: Neville Chamberlain “This agreement will bring peace for our time.”

Great Britain: Winston Churchill “We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds... We shall never surrender!”

USSR: Joseph Stalin “Not one step back!” was officially Order Number 227 issued by the Soviet High Command & signed by Joseph Stalin on July 28th, 1942.

China: Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek

Japan: Hideki Tōjō, Prime Minister

Japan: Emperor Hirohito

Germany: Adolf Hitler “Without consideration of traditions & prejudices, Germany must find the courage to gather our people & their strength for an advance along the road that will lead this people from its present restricted living space to new land & soil, & hence also free it from the danger of vanishing from the earth or of serving others as a slave nation.”

Italy: Benito Mussolini

Key Terms:

Lebensraum, Blitzkrieg, Holocaust (or Final Solution)


Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact.

Rosie The Riveter

Munich Conference, Yalta Conference

Rape of Nanjing

Key Concepts:

What are Hitler’s Two Great Mistakes?

How do the Axis Powers lose after controlling so much of Europe, Asia & Africa in 1942?

How was World War II different from WWI?

What was the impact of WWII on Communism in the world?

Which 2 major nations have institute communist governments by 1949?

Compare fighting in France during the Trench Wars of WWI with the German Blitzkrieg in 1940.

How were women impacted by WWII? In the US? In Japan?

Compare the impact on civilians during both World Wars.

How did the world react to the Jewish Holocaust? What is total war?

What happened to many of the European colonies after WWII?

What was the world like after WWII?

Understand these organizations:

        The Marshall Plan

        International Monetary Fund

        The United Nations

        NATO (& Member Nations)

What two nations are poised to lead the world (one in the West & one in the East)?

What enables the Japanese to recover so well that it is deemed a ‘miracle?’

What enables Western Europe to recover so well after World War II destroys most of its production capacity?