World War 2 Yanni Vines


World War 2 was the most significant war in history. It involved more than Thirty Countries, and drastically changed the world as we see it today, From the United Stated becoming a world superpower, and leading to the Cold War (1947-1991), and the invention of nuclear power. Surprisingly it ended the world wide Great Depression providing many people from all countries with jobs industry as well as military.

Beginning of the War

In 1933 a new leader rose up in Germany known as Adolf Hitler he strictly enforced laws on certain religious groups within the country , and had a large territorial demand over land. In 1938 Hitler annexed Austria and was supported all over Austria. Later that same year he did the same with Sudetenland a region in Northern and Western Czechoslovakia consisting of many German speaking people, and it was simply handed over to him. Finally by 1939 Hitler ordered the neighboring nation of Poland to give up the German speaking city if Gdansk, but the Poles refused. So Hitler decided to take all of Poland by force. Great Britain and France warned Hitler that If he was to attack Poland they would declare war, Although Hitler ignored the warnings and invaded Poland followed by war declared. Nazi Germany quickly swept through Poland with new Blitzkrieg tactics, and in only a few weeks had already taken the countries capital Warsaw. Hitler signed a non-aggression pact with Joseph Stalin leader of the Soviet Union and gave them most everything of Poland that was East of Warsaw.

Invasion of France & Battle of Britain

After the invasion of Poland Hitler turned himself towards Western Europe, and invaded the neighboring countries of Belgium, Holland, Denmark, Norway, Luxembourg, Yugoslavia, and Greece. After these precise victories Nazi Germany tried to take France. The French knew the Germans would invade, but prepared for a war such as world war one involving trench warfare, and because of this it left them retreating along with a British Expeditionary Army to the coast to hopefully get to Great Britain. One of these retreats were in the French coastal city of Dunkirk more than 300,000 Allied troops were evacuated, but suffered terrible losses. When Nazi Germany successfully invaded France they started an Air War over Britain against the British Air Force Fortunately they were able to hold off the Germans, as well as the first ones to do so, but threat of a German invasion was still feared.

Operation Barbarossa

In early late June Hitler decided to invade the USSR which at that time he had a peace treaty with. Hitler felt that If the Soviet Union entered the war it would give the English a hope of winning. The invasion of the USSR code named "Operation Barbarossa" worked out as planned and within five and a half months they had already reached the Gates of Moscow ( The Soviet Capital), But Soviet determinations along with extreme weather conditions which the Wehrmacht did not plan out, caused the Germans to retreat, the first ever massive retreat of German soldiers of the War.

North Africa Campaign

Great Britain and its Commonwealth had been opposing axis forces in Northern Africa since June,10 1940, when Italian forces invaded Abyssinia & Libya and continued advancing throughout Northern Africa. As of this the British launched a counteroffensive known as "Operation Compass" which nearly destroyed the Italian tenth army. When the Wehrmacht saw of this they put an army known as the Afrika Korps whom were commanded by Erwin Rommel to help the Italians. In October 1942 the Afrika Korps were defeated in the second Battle of El Alamein and the Allies slowly forced them back to Tunisia were many surrendered, but many as well retreated to the Italian mainland.

Last German Offensive on the Eastern Front

When fighting in the north towards Moscow became a stalemate The Wehrmacht advanced south towards the Caucasus to take control of the Oil Fields which helped rely most of the USSR. When doing this they came across the major industrial city of Stalingrad were many Soviet & German troops fought in the largest Battle in History. Both sides in the beginning had about 200,000 soldiers on each side but as it dragged on they increased,and by the Soviet counteroffensive both sides had nearly 3,000,000 fighting. The Soviets managed to defeat the Germans in late winter 1943 and nearly annihilated the German sixth army as well as the bulk of the German Air force or Luftwaffe.

Normandy Invasion

On June 6, 1944 the Allies which included Great Britain, The United States, Canada, and the Free French Army were about to start a second front in the west. Hitler knew that the Allies would invade somewhere on the West coast so he lined the entire French Coast with Defenses. When the allies invaded 156,000 soldiers invaded on five different beachheads and within the first day the allies had captured them and launched a drive towards Paris and the city was taken by August.

Battle of the Bulge

On Dec 16, 1944, 400,000 German troops, and 1,500 tanks launched an offensive on the Allies in the Arden forest in Eastern Germany, and Belgium. The Germans wanted to drive the allies back fast and recapture Antwerp in Belgium before the weather cleared and allied planes could join in. Although they did drive the allies back it only created a huge Bulge which named the Battle "Battle of the Bulge". When the Weather cleared the Germans were pushed back to were they started the invasion. Many troops surrendered, but as many from 67,000-125,000 were killed or missing in action, and this was the last German Offensive of the entire war.

Last days of the War

During the end of the war when the Soviets were advancing deep into German controlled territory and faced the last obstacle capturing Berlin the Capital of Nazi Germany. During these last few months Hitler became desperate and was running low on soldiers so he put Hitler youth members as well as old men to fight against the Soviets it did little to no good. When the Soviets started shelling the city Hitler along with his Generals as well as his wife were took retreat in an underground bunker. Fighting went on around the city for about a week until Soviet soldiers advanced deep into the city and Hitler along with his wife and some of his Generals committed suicide on April 30, 1945, but Fighting and resistance continued until May 8, 1945. During the whole war both sides combined suffered somewhere from 35-65 million deaths (Civilian & Soldiers). This war also gave the USSR control over most Eastern Europe countries and spread Communism which Eventually lead to the Cold War, and ultimately left a big scar in the Worlds History.

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"World War II." Britannica School, Encyclopædia Britannica, 30 Sep. 2015. Web. 28 Apr. 2017.

"World War II." HistoryNet. Web. 28 Apr. 2017.

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