World War II By: Emily Solem

Operation Torch:

  • An Allied invasion of northwest Africa in the hopes and goal of removing the Axis presence on the continent
  • Marked the first time that British and American forces worked together on an invasion plan and would take place from November 8-16, 1942
  • The Allied landings triggered the German occupation of the unoccupied zone of France and the rapid dispatch of German troops to Tunisia

Significance to Allies: Operation Torch allowed the Allies to clear North Africa of Axis forces and control, but more importantly, it gave them a dry run of an invasion before the real thing in Italy and France

Significance to Axis powers: Invasion cut off the supplies from Tunisia to Germany and also it closed the Mediterranean sea (major ports cut off)- eventually would lead to limited supplies/help for Axis powers

Battle of Bulge

  • the largest battle fought on the Western Front in Europe during World War II- last major offensive move by Germany
  • was a surprise German offensive that took place between Trier and Monschau in late 1944 to early 1945
  • intended to split the Allied forces into two to help negotiate a peace on the Western Front

Significance to Axis powers: battle resulted in vital losses of personnel and equipment for the Germans, that would lead to eventual defeat- didn't have enough manpower and supplies to attack again- end of Nazi Germany reign

Significance to Allies: American forces were able to contain the battle and inflict heavier losses on the German forces (end of reign)- impact felt: was the also the horrendous experience and memories for the soldiers

Battle of Coral Sea

  • Took place four days (4-8 May 1942) and marked the first air-sea battle in history
  • The Japanese were seeking to control the Coral Sea with an invasion of Port Moresby in southeast New Guinea, but their plans were intercepted by Allied forces.
  • Attacks during the battle were solely conducted by aircraft and the battle would become the largest naval battle fought near the coast of Australia.

Significance to Axis powers: results had an important impact upon the Battle of Midway a month later, reducing Japanese forces available at that key battle

Significance to Allies: important turning point in the Pacific Campaign- for the first time, the Allies had stopped the Japanese advance and damage felt by Japan would eventually lead to Allied victory later at Midway

Iwo Jima

  • A major battle from February 19th and March 26th 1945 in which the United States Marine Corps landed on and eventually captured the island of Iwo Jima from the Japanese Imperial Army
  • American amphibious invasion stemmed from the need for a base near the Japanese coast
  • First American attack on the Japanese Home Islands and the Imperial soldiers defended their positions tenaciously

Significance to Allies: the battle showed the Americans was how far the Japanese would go to defend their country – a decision that was to influence the use of the atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki; and control of Iwo Jima allowed for more air strikes against Axis

Significance to Axis power: loss of Iwo Jima meant loss of an air base for Japanese fighter planes to intercept long-range B-29 Superfortress bombers and a haven for Japanese naval units in dire need of support

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