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Major Events of World War II

Major Events of World War II

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Major Events of World War II

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  1. Major Events of World War II European Theater

  2. Major Events of World War II

  3. Major Events of World War II

  4. Major Events of World War II

  5. Erwin Rommel • 1891 – 1944 • Highly decorated hero from WWI, became Germany’s top officer during WWII • Commanded German forces in the invasion of France, in North Africa, and against the Allied invaders at Normandy • Implicated in an assassination plot against Hitler, Rommel quietly committed suicide to spare Germany and his family from his public disgrace

  6. Dwight D. Eisenhower • 1890 – 1969 • Master strategist who helped devise the US plans for winning the war against both Germany and Japan • Placed in charge of US forces in North Africa and, later, over all Allied forces in Europe • Would go on to be elected President of the United States in 1952

  7. George Patton • 1885 – 1945 • Outlandish and outspoken (but highly effective) US general • Played a pivotal role in the US invasions of North Africa and Italy, but was removed from command after slapping a soldier for cowardice • Returned after the D-Day invasion, helping with the final push of Allied forces into Germany • Killed in a car crash shortly after the end of the war

  8. Casablanca Conference • Jan. 1943 • FDR and Churchill met in Morocco to determine the next steps to take in the war • Decided on an increased bombing campaign in Germany and the Allies would only accept an unconditional surrender • Also decided to attack mainland Europe through Italy, rather than France

  9. Invasion of Italy • July – Aug. 1943: Allied forces invaded and captured Sicily. • The Allies easy conquest of Sicily was disheartening to the Italian army and alarming to the King of Italy. • German forces still controlled Italy. Series of battles occurred as Allied fought up the peninsula. June 4, 1944 Allied march in Rome and liberated them from Nazi control.

  10. Germans Defend Italy • The German army seized control of northern Italy, freed Mussolini from prison, and forced the Allies to fight a long and costly campaign in Italy • Particularly bloody battles took place at Monte Cassino (Jan. – May 1944) and Anzio (Jan. – June 1944) • Took Allies until May 1945 to gain complete control of Italy and cost them over 300,000 casualties

  11. The Tehran Conference • Nov. 1943 • Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin met in Tehran, Iran • US and Britain agreed to invade France, providing relief to the Soviets by dividing Germany’s troops along several fronts • Agreed to break up Germany after the war to permanently remove them as a threat to peace • Stalin agreed to help fight Japan once Germany was beaten • Stalin agreed to the creation of an international organization to help keep world peace after the war

  12. The Normandy Invasion • Operation Overlord • General Eisenhower commanded forces • Allies created fake camps along one section of the British coast to trick Germany into believing that the Allied attack would be farther north on the French coast than was actually planned • Allies then had to wait for a perfect combination of weather, tides, and moonlight to launch the real invasion, aimed at Normandy

  13. Major Events of World War II

  14. Major Events of World War II

  15. Major Events of World War II

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  17. Major Events of World War II

  18. Major Events of World War II

  19. Yalta Conference • Feb. 1945 • Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin met in the Soviet Union to discuss postwar plans • Agreed to reestablish Poland • Issued the Declaration of Liberated Europe: agreement to let all the peoples of Europe to choose their own forms of government through free elections • Agreed to strip Germany of its industrial machinery as war reparations • Agreed to divide Germany (and its capital city of Berlin) into four zones, one each for the US, France, Britain, and USSR • United Nations was created

  20. Roosevelt Dies • After months of noticeably declining health, Roosevelt died of a cerebral hemorrhage on April 12, 1945 • He was replaced by his Vice-President Harry S. Truman

  21. Benito Mussolini Dies • Mussolini was captured by Italian communists on April 28, 1945 • He and his entourage were shot • Bodies were then hung from meat hooks, stoned by an angry crowd, and left to rot (Mussolini’s corpse was later stolen by loyalists and not recovered until August!)

  22. Adolf Hitler • Committed suicide on April 30, 1945 • Took cyanide and shot himself (along with his newlywed wife Eva Braun) • Body was then burned by his secretary • No verifiable remains have ever been recovered; “Hitler lives” theories circulated for many years after the war

  23. Major Events of World War II