20-4 I. Striking Back at the Third Reich



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20-4

I. Striking Back at the Third Reich

A. In January 1943, President Roosevelt met with Prime Minister Churchill to plan the next stage of war. During the Casablanca Conference, the decision was made to increase the bombing of Germany in an effort to destroy its military, industrial, and economic system and to hurt the German morale. They decided to attack the Axis on the island of Sicily.
B. The new massive bombing campaign by the United States and Britain against Germany did not destroy the German economy or undermine its morale. However, the bombing caused a severe oil shortage and destroyed irreplaceable railroad and aircraft in Germany. As a result, Allies landing in France had total control of the air and could not be bombed.
C. General Dwight D. Eisenhower was the overall commander of the invasion of Sicily.

General Patton and British General Montgomery were in charge of the forces on the ground. By August 18, Germans had evacuated the island. Mussolini was placed under arrest by the king of Italy. On September 8, 1943, the Italian government announced Italy’s surrender. Hitler sent German troops to seize control of Italy and put Mussolini back in power. In May 1944, the Germans retreated.


D. Roosevelt, Stalin, and Churchill met in Tehran, Iran, and reached several agreements about the plans for the rest of the war and after the war.

II. Landing in France

A. Operation Overload was the code name for the planned invasion of France by the Allies. General Eisenhower was selected to command the invasion.
B. The Allies had the advantage of surprise—the Germans did not know when or where they would strike. The Germans were fooled into thinking the attack would occur in Pas-de-Calais, when in fact the invasion was planned to take place in Normandy.
C. The date for the invasion became known as D-Day because Eisenhower’s planning staff referred to the day of any invasion with the letter D.
D. The invasion of Normandy began shortly after midnight on June 6, 1944. The Allied forces had little trouble capturing the Utah Beach and moving inland. The American forces at Omaha Beach met intense German fire. American commander General Omar Bradley planned an evacuation of Omaha Beach, but the American troops moved forward against the Germans. The invasion succeeded.

III. Driving the Japanese Back

A. American military leaders created a plan to defeat Japan that called for a two-pronged attack. Admiral Nimitz and the Pacific Fleet were to hop from island to island to get close to Japan. General MacArthur’s troops would advance through the Solomon Islands, capture the north coast of New Guinea, and retake the Philippines.
B. The island-hopping campaign began in the central Pacific in the fall of 1943. Although many U.S. Marines died while wading ashore at the Tarawa Atoll, the LVT—a boat with tank tracks, also called an amphtrac—was able to cross the reef and get troops to shore.
C. The attack on Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands went much smoother, with all troops getting to shore via amphtracs. U.S. Marines captured the island.

D. B-29 bombers were used to invade three of the Mariana Islands, which were captured by American troops by August 1944. A few months later, the B-29 bombers began bombing Japan.

E. General MacArthur’s troops began a campaign in the southwest Pacific with the invasion of Guadalcanal in August 1942. In early 1944, MacArthur’s troops had captured enough islands to surround Rabaul, the main Japanese base in the region.
F. MacArthur ordered his troops to travel 600 miles past Rabaul to capture the Japanese base at Hollandia in New Guinea. Securing New Guinea, the troops headed to the Philippines to take it back.
G. Japanese warships headed through the Philippine Islands into Leyte Gulf and ambushed American ships. The Battle of Leyte Gulf was the largest naval battle in history and the first time the Japanese used kamikaze attacks. Kamikaze pilots deliberately crashed their planes into American ships, killing themselves and causing severe damage to the ships.
H. The Japanese commander ordered a retreat; fearing additional American ships were on the way.
I. The battle to recapture the Philippines left Manila in ruins and over 100,000 Filipino civilians dead.


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