During Battle of Britain, Hitler made two big mistakes. What were they?

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During Battle of Britain, Hitler made two big mistakes. What were they?

-diverted bombing to civilian targets and gave the RAF time to regroup

-turned on Russia in 1941 and sent 3 million German troops across the Russian border
Why would Hitler want to invade Russia?

-largest country in the world with huge amounts of minerals, oil and gas, and other natural resources

-wanted for his war machine

-also wanted more “living space” that he had promised the German people

-conquest of Russia important for creation of German world empire

-Hitler hated Communism and Joseph Stalin

-thought blitzkrieg would be successful again

-not a student of history - not aware of Napoleon’s defeat in attempt to capture Russia in 1812

Invasion of Russia

-June 1941, 3 million German troops crossed border along a 1600 km front

-at first blitzkrieg was successful and Hitler came within 39 km Moscow.

Russians used a “scorched earth” policy - destroyed everything as they retreated - crops, supplies, machinery

-that winter (1941-1942) was very severe

-German troops only had summer uniforms and began to freeze

-Russian winter killed German’s as it had killed Napoleon’s french soldiers
Reasons/Goals of Dieppe Raid

1. Joseph Stalin put pressure on the allies to invade Europe to take pressure off the eastern front (U.S. had entered war by summer of 1942 as a result of Japanese invasion of Pearl Harbour) so that Hitler would have to fight on two fronts
-Stalin thought the allies might be waiting for Hitler to destroy the communists before attacking Germany
-Western leaders wanted to prepare for invasion and felt they weren’t ready
2. -in the meantime troops in England were getting restless - they wanted to fight and were tired of endless training - nothing to do since German invasion never took place

-Canadians were particularly complaining and leaders worried about their morale

3. -allied leaders decided to test the Nazi defenses in France by way of a hit and run raid

-part of agreed upon plan among the allies to concentrate on Europe and then fight Japan

-also an idea to conduct commando raids to harrass enemy and give experience to allied troops

-would also lure Germans into air battles - distract them from Russia

-Dieppe was an importantant port within the range of RAF and hoped to engage Luftwaffe
-also wanted to show Russians evidence of commitment to sharing burden of dealing with German army
Plans for the Dieppe Raid

-plan was a “combined operation” in which air force units would bomb German positions along the coast and naval guns on the ships would knock out fortifications

-Canadians underwent extensive training

-the troops would land on the beach and fight their way into town

-supported by Canadian artillery - plan was to use captured German weapons

Dieppe - What Happened
-resulted in raid of 6,000 soldiers on Dieppe, 5,000 of whom were Canadian

-Canadians were eager to be involved, particularly Canadian Ganerals - eager for glory - in fact, instrumental in pushing for raid, when some British generals wanted to abandon

-morning of August 19, 1942 raid began

-convoy of 237 ships

-plan called for five assaults over a 10 mile front

-Germans knew they were coming because spotted the ships and German ships opened fire on them at night

-noise of guns off shore alerted German soldiers and they were ready for the landing parties

-Canadian soldiers mowed down by machine guns and artillery shells when they hit the beaches

-heaviest Canadian losses of the war

901 Canadians killed

2,000 Canadians captured

only 2211 soldiers made it back to Britain

-only 50 U.S. soldiers involved but described in U.S. papers as an American attack

-costly but important learning experience for allied leaders

-a disaster

-serious mistakes in the planning of the raid and carrying out of the attack had cost lives unnecessarily

-planners had predicted only 10% casualties/actual loss was over 50%

Why did Dieppe raid fail?

-ships and planes scaled down - in the end there were four ships shelling the Germans

-almost no covering bombardment for troops

-grossly inadequate protection form the air

-scheduled, postponed, and scheduled again

-original commander, General Montgomery, famous British general, no longer involved (Montgomery had insisted that there be full air and naval support)

-plan was to take the town and scale surrounding cliffs

-few ever got off the beaches

-the germans were firing from the cliffs

-none of the allies really knew what they were doing at this point - were not thinking in terms of artillery which dominated their plans for the rest of the war

-after 1 P.M. they began to withdraw

-by 2 P.M. the battle was over

German Army analysis after the raid cited four reasons for failure:

-lack of artillary support

-poor intelligence that under-estimated German strength

-German’s weapons better

-landing craft almost all hit and sank - could not re-embark and get away

Outcome - What did Allies learn

-did learn that Germans were well prepared and fortified

-realized that any future invasion would have to be massive and well-organized to be successful (like blitzkrieg)
-started preparing for D-Day, the invasion of Europe by the allied forces
-1942 was worst year of the war for the allies

-German U-boats patrolled Atlantic and slowed down delivery of supplies and troops to Britain

-Germans moved deeper into Russia

-Japan continued to expand into the pacific conquering the Philippines and Malaysia

-German General Rommel controlled North Africa

The Axis powers- Germany, Japan and Italy had almost conquered the world

-winter 1943- allied fortunes changed

-Russians stopped the Nazis at Stalingrad

-staggering loss of life on both sides

-Hitler refused to allow German leaders to order a retreat

-ordered to fight to the last man

-330,000 German troops killed or captured

-more Russians killed at Stalingrad than all Americans in entire war

-Russian victory at Stalingrad a turning point in the war

-Russians now began to push the Germans back out of Russia
-British and Americans started massive bombing of German cities and factories

-Germany began to weaken

-Germany and Italy defeated in North Africa with surrender of 300,000 German troops
-July 10, 1943, Invasion of Italy - By end of August, British, American and Canadian troops had recaptured Sicily

-By September Italian government surrendered and changed sides, but Germany occupied mainland Italy - waiting to fight allies

-September 3, 1943, allies invaded toe of Italian boot

-by end of December, allies successful - had taken Ortona
-radar and depth charges were now being used successfully against u-boats and supplies were getting through
-by 1944, Japanese troops began to retreat
-world began to realize that defeat of Axis powers was just a matter of time
-June 6, 1944
Invasion of Europe under U.S. General Dwight D. Eisenhower
-learned from Dieppe - this time there was eighteen months of detailed planning

-this time there were fleets of bombers

-hundreds of ships

-dawn - 155,000 Canadian, British and U.S, forces landed in Normandy in France

-6,000 vehicles and 4,000 tons of supplies

-Americans were on the western end of invasion and British and Canadians were on eastern end

-fierce resistance from Germans

-in contrast to Dieppe, this time the landing was kept secret


massive support of 800 ships and 11,000 aircraft
-still some problems - could not get tanks ahead of soldiers

-soldiers would have to run ahead and put machine (sten) guns in to slits of bunkers and fire, then threw grenades into bunkers

-by end of day Canadians had advanced further than any other allied troops

-allies had complete command of the skies and as a result, the German army could not move quickly anymore and seldom during the day

-on D-Day, Canada suffered 1,000 casualties including 335 dead

-within one month there were more than a million allied troops in western Europe pushing the Germans back toward Germany

-British and Canadian advance was slow - in area where most Germans concentrated

-Caen taken by Canadians on July 8, 1944

-final stages of Normandy invasion were slower

-some errors including Canadian bombs landing on Canadian soldiers

-goal was to prevent Germans from retreating
-by August, 1945 a separate Canadian Army was established, The First Canadian Army ( a group of divisions with separate headquarters and special services)
-Canadians suffered the heaviest casualities in Battle of Normandy

-Canadians pursued Germans along French coast and into Belgium and Germans dug in at Antwerp

-battle of the Scheldt -river between Belgium and Holland

-over 6,000 Canadian casualties but 41,000 Germans surrendered

-1945- allied troops crossed Rhine river into Germany and invasion of Germany began

-4 million Russian troops were advancing on Germany from the east

-Germany was doomed
-This time the allies demanded an unconditional surrender

-Hitler refused

-German cities bombed 24 hours a day

1325 allied bombers in one night alone dropped 2300 tons of explosives on one German city - 50,000 civilians were killed

-also bombed Berlin and Hamburg
-April 17, 1945 Mussolini caught by underground and killed

-Hitler commit suicide on April 30, 1945

-May 7, 1945 - Germany surrendered unconditionally

-Germany surrendered to Canada in Holland and Canadians liberated dutch cities

-millions of people celebrated V-E Day (Victory in Europe)
-over a million Canadians had seved out of a population of 11.6 million

-of these, 986,000 were volunteers

-42,000 killed, many more wounded
Consider what has been happening in Asia for next class

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