The Italian Campaign: July 10, 1943-May 2, 1945 By 1943 the Soviet leader, Joseph Stalin, asked for help from the other Allied leaders to ease the pressure of the German attack on the Soviet Union. The Allies agreed to help and decided to use Italy (which was aligned with Germany) as a platform to attack enemy territory in Europe and help divert German resources from the Eastern Front. This effort became known as the Italian Campaign. When the Allies invaded Southern Italy, Italians turned against Mussolini and he was executed Italians wanted to surrender but Hitler sent German troops to occupy Italy and continue fighting Gradually, the Allies fought their way north
One of the fiercest battles was for the port of Ortona which finally fell after 1375 Canadians had died The Germans were not ready to give up, deciding to fight to the last man J.Penney 2014 Italians wanted to surrender, Germans did not The invasion of Sicily forced the Axis members to mainland Italy Italy has mountainous terrain (was tough to cross); defending a position was much easier than advancing on it
Canadians advanced northward The fight to liberate Italy was long, hard, and costly J.Penney 2014 American Sherman Tanks Ready to Invade Italy Battle of Ortona: Bloody December German troops were prepared for the invasion by Canadians A week (December 20-28, 1943) of intense, close-quarters combat
The depleted German troops lacked reinforcements and finally withdrew from the town Ortona was won by Canadian troops, but the city was left in shambles The Italian Campaign was meant to take pressure off the Soviets on the Eastern front It was important to keep the Axis forces occupied on MULTIPLE fronts If Allies took control of Italy, Allied troops could advance on Germany from the south Western=France, Eastern=USSR, Southern=Italy
Allies won Sicily, southern Italy, and Ortona Estimated 60,000 Allied and 50,000 German soldiers died in Italy from September 1943-April 1945 No campaign in Western Europe cost more than Italy in terms of lives lost and wounds suffered by infantry 30,000 Canadians were killed or wounded in the fight to liberate Italy (highest death and injury suffered in Italy) SUCCESSFUL in terms of land and troops captured Also successful because it pulled German troops away from both the Western and Eastern Fronts Italy is virtually knocked out of the war, leaving Hitlers army alone
The invasion of Italy helped weaken Germanys line of defense on the coast of France because German troops were taken from their positions to fortify the south This allowed the Allies to invade France on June 6, 1944 (D-Day) Casualties Allies: 186,000 Axis: 311,000 The Battle of the Bulge: December 1944-January 1945 Last major Nazi offensive against the Allies. Last ditch attempt by Hitler to split the Allies in two in their drive
towards Germany, and destroy their ability to supply themselves. Hitler had convinced himself that the alliance between Britain, France and America in the western sector of Europe was not strong and that a major attack and defeat would break up the alliance. Therefore, he ordered a massive attack against what were primarily American forces. The plan was: The Sixth Panzer Army, led by Sepp Dietrich, was to lead the attack and to capture Antwerp The Fifth Panzer Army, led by Manteuffel, was to attack the centre of the American forces, capture the strategic road and rail centre of St Vith and then drive on to Brussels.
The Seventh Army, led by Brandenberger, was to attack in the southern flank, as designated by Hitler, and to create a buffer zone to prevent American reinforcements from attacking the Fifth Panzer Army. The Fifteenth Army was to be held in reserve to counter any Allied attack when they took place. Hitler believed that his forces would be able to surround and cut off Canadas First Army, Americas First and Ninth Armies and Britains Second Army. On paper, it was a seemingly absurd plan especially as Germany had been in retreat since D-Day, her military was depleted of supplies and was facing the awesome might of the Allies. However, Hitler, as commander-in-chief of the military, decreed
that the attack should take place. The Allies were surprised by the attack. They had received little intelligence that such an attack would take place. Before the attack started, English speaking German soldiers dressed in American uniforms went behind the lines of the Allies and caused havoc by spreading misinformation, changing road signs and cutting telephone lines. Those who were caught were shot after a court martial. The weather was also in Hitlers favour. Low cloud and fog meant that the superior air force of the Allies could not be used especially the tank-busting Typhoons of the RAF or Mustang fighters from the USAAF which would have been used against the German tanks.
Though the weather was typical for the Ardennes in winter, the ground was hard enough for military vehicles to cross and this suited the armoured attack Hitler envisaged. However, the success of the Germans lasted just two days. Despite punching a bulge into the Allies front line, the Germans could not capitalise on this. The Germans had based their attack on a massive armoured onslaught. However, such an attack required fuel to maintain it and the Germans simply did not possess such quantities of fuel. Casualties Americans: 89,500 casualties
19,000 killed 23,000 captured or missing 47,500 wounded British: 1408 casualties 200 killed 239 missing 969 wounded German: 67,459-125,000 casualties Iwo Jima: February 19-23, 1945 The island of Iwo Jima, covering only eight square miles and dominated by Mt. Suribachi, was part of the Japanese homeland.
Despite the islands small size, twenty-two thousand Japanese army and navy troops were stationed there during World War II. An intricate complex of tunnels, gun positions, and caves made the island especially formidable. As a result, before the American marines could land on February 19, 1945, Iwo Jima had to be bombed from the air for seventy-two consecutive days and bombarded from American ships for three days. Although far from the mainland, the loss of Iwo Jima was a severe psychological blow to the Japanese. The capture of Iwo Jima was one of the most costly battles of the Pacific Theater, but it was an important victory. With Iwo Jima in American hands, Tokyo was within the range of the
American fighter planes used to accompany and protect American bomber planes that were damaged or running out of fuel. The first thing I saw to my left was a guy cartwheeling about 15 feet into the air. It was either a near miss or hit by an artillery shell, or something.But he was just flying. Just as I stepped off the ramp. Man, I thoughtholy cripes, you know, this is not a nice place. -Don Newbold Among the Americans serving on Iwo island, uncommon valor was a common virtue.
-Admiral Chester A. Nimitz Casualties Americans: 6821 killed, 2 captured but recovered, 19,217 wounded Japanese: 17,845-18,375 dead and missing, 216 taken prisoner, ~3000 in hiding Okinawa: April-June, 1945 Okinawa was the last stop in American island-hopping campaign before invading Japan itself (563km south of Japanese mainland).
By the end of the 82-day campaign, Japan had lost more than 77,000 soldiers and the Allies had suffered more than 65,000 casualties including 14,000 dead. Casualties Japanese: 110,000 (half the army) Americans: 7203 dead (army) 31,000 wounded (army) 5000 dead (navy) 500 wounded (navy)
WWII Total Casualties Country Military Deaths Civilian Deaths Total Soviet Union 13,600,000
7,700,000 21,300,000 China 1,324,000 10,000,000 11,324,000 Germany
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