Youre My Sunshine - Jimmie Davis

Chattanooga Choo Choo - The Glenn Miller Orchestra

The Fall of France, The Battle of Britain, The Conflict in The Mediterranean and on The Eastern Front

Further Gains
Seven months after Poland was defeated, the German armies attacked the west. On May 10, 1940 Germany started invading the Netherlands, Luxembourg, and Belgium and would later conquer them. All of them were neutral during the war (Thompson 79).
The Germans started attacking the Netherlands using parachute troops. They also had glider-carried units landing behind the Dutch lines that would carry materials. These were let down from planes in the air and glided down to the ground. Once these were stationed on the battle zone the armored men ran over the lines to meet them. The Dutch army was overwhelmed and did not see that coming. They surrendered the next day and the queen and the rest of the government fled to England (Feldman 47-48).
Next the Germans reached the French coast and were attacking Belgium. The Allies believed that this would be the German's main attack against France.
The French thought that since they greatly out numbered the Germans it would lead to victory but the Germans had many new advances in armor and speed. The Germans would try to move farther south and cut off the Allied troops in Belgium. Before the Ardennes Forest started the French had the Maginot line to stop any German attack. It was stocked with cannons and machine guns. Since the Ardennes Forest had very rough terrain they thought it would be too hard to get through the steep hills and roads. This is why the French side of the border was only defended by a few second-rate troops (Feldman 48-49).
All of this didn't matter to the Germans because they sent 7 divisions of troops and 1, 800 tanks through the Ardennes Forest to attack France. The French were getting overwhelmed and could not come up with a plan of how they were going to defeat the Germans. This defeat of the French army was recognized as a "defeat of the Generals" because of their poor leadership (Feldman49-50).

Rescue Mission
The German army traps the British and French in Dunkirk. The Allies knew that they had no chance to win the battle so they began to evacuate all troops. The evacuation from Dunkirk lasted from May 26th, 1940 until June 4th, 1940. This whole event was considered a miracle. Ships from all over came to get all of the soldiers. Not only did navy and merchant vessels come to the rescue but so did small fishing boats and pleasure boats. These ships came to save the French and British. While the boats kept coming, the British and French fought Germany long enough so that the soldiers could get out safely. The British Air Force provided protection to the boats that would take the soldiers to safety and come back once more. The evacuation saved 300,000 Allied troops and 2/3 of the soldiers saved were British.They were not able to take very much of their equipment back so they had to leave it all in order to leave safely. The citizens of Britain thought this event to be a miracle because so many got out alive, however the prime minister felt differently. Prime minister or head of government, Winston Churchill, was quoted saying " Wars are not won by evacuations". While everyone celebrated, he was not happy at all(Feldman 45)

Soldiers being rescued from Dunkirk in a vessel.
Soldiers being rescued from Dunkirk in a vessel.

All boats available came to help with the rescue.
All boats available came to help with the rescue.

external image 180px-Bundesarchiv_Bild_101I-126-0350-26A,_Paris,_Einmarsch,_Parade_deutscher_Truppen.jpg

France Falls
Even though the Allies outnumbered the Germans in previous battles, the Germans now had 46 more divisions than the French and 7 more armored divisions. This was bad news for the French but they fought with even more determination than before to try and win. The French generals came up with defensive strategies but even doing this would still not work against the strength of the advancing Germans. Hundreds of thousands of people were already fleeing France trying to escape. Roads everywhere were blocked with refugees trying to get out making it even harder for the French troops to get stationed where they wanted (Feldman 53).
The French government now elected a new Prime Minister named Marshal Phillippe Petain who was a hero of WW1 and knew how to fight wars. As soon as he assumed this new position he asked Germany for an armistice to end the fighting. While he was coming up with these plans the Germans were still advancing farther into France. On June 22, 1940, the French agreed to an armistice which would become effective on June 25 and would surrender them to Hitler. Once Hitler was able to get the French to sign it, he did a little jig outside the railroad car (Feldman 54).
After the armistice France was divided into 2 parts. The Germans occupied the northern half and the Italians occupied the south-eastern part. Only the rest of the southern part of France was still run by Petain's government. There were huge debts that the French still had to pay the Germans. They requested millions of dollars each day to be payed back. Still, the Germans would not let 2 million captured solders go. From May 10-June 25 France had lost 90, 000 people and there was an estimated of 2, 000 people dying each day. The Germans only lost 27, 000. Six weeks ago the French army had been one of the strongest on the world and now it was shattered (Feldman 54-55).
German troop riding horses through the streets in France.
external image hitler.jpg

Adolf Hitler in Paris

Charles de Gaulle was a little- known French general
. After a lot of debate he was accepted as France's leader and was able to organize the government. He fled to London and he thought that France should keep trying to fight Germany. With the support of the British he organized they Free French to keep fighting alongside with the British (Feldman 213).
The puppet government that Germany set up was also known as the Vichy government. The ideas of this government were to abolish democracy. Most of the French were opposed to this. Resistance groups emerged that published illegal newspapers, hid people that the Nazis were trying to arrest and tried to organize disagreements to the Vichy government. Some French were not opposed by the Vichy government at the beginning. A few pro-Nazi French were happy that Germany defeated France and thought that the Vichy government was how France as a country should be run (Feldman 146).

The Battle of Britain and the Threat to Britain
Between August and September of 1940 The Battle of Britain took place. This war was part of World War II. The war was fought between Great Britain and Germany. On the British side, a man named Winston Churchill, who was the Prime minister at the time led Great Britain to victory against the Germans (Thompson 79). The Germans were trying to control the English channel to make sure that the British were not able to get their navy through. There was also a battle in the air going on. Germany had many more planes in the air but luckily for the British they developed a radar to detect enemy planes near theirs. This helped the Royal Air Force to take down about 2,700 German planes. This battle was a major turning point in WWII because France had just fallen and if Germany would have won they would have got most of the control over great Britain which would of gave Germany a good chance of winning WWII. Later on August 23,1940 Hitler responded to the British Resistance by him stating that Paris was not to fall in the hands of the enemy (Battle of Britain).external image winsto4.jpgexternal image image.pict
The Mediterranean, the Eastern Front, and the Axis Forces Attack North Africa

Benito Mussolini was an Italian politician who led the national fascist party and is responsible for helping create fascism. After gaining power in 1921, along with 35 other fascists, he started promoting fascism in Italy. He became leader in 1922 after the march in Rome. Mussolini waited to join World War 2 because he was neutral, but when France fell to Germany, he joined the axis. His first plan was to declare war on Britain and France after the German victory. Mussolini then attacks the British in their North African colony on September 1940.( Beck, Black 476).

Britain Strikes Back

In December of 1940,
Great Britain planned an attack to create the British 1st Airborne Division whose distinctive mark was to maroon beret and shoulder patch with the Bellerphon astride the winged horse Pegasus (Paratroopers in World War Two). Erwin Rommel was one of Germany's best and well respected military leaders in World War Two. Rommel took a major part in two huge battles during the war, El Alamein in North African and D-Day. Later, in 1942 Rommel will first retreat against the British but later succeed in battle (Erwin Rommel).
external image erwin_2.gif
The Mediterranean, the Eastern Front and the War in the Balkans

Adolf Hitler was granted dictatorial powers after the 1933 election. This election was between the Nazi and the NSDAP ( National Socialist German Workers Party). The NSDAP actually got the majority of the peoples votes, it was just they only got 288 seats out of the possible 647. Hitler was now in power and his first move was to take control of trade unions and send all previous leaders to concentration camps.
Another one of his thoughts was to attack the USSR and the Balkans. To start this off this attack he plans Operation Barbarossa. Other countries catch word of this attack and worn the USSR, but they refuse to believe this because of the previous treaties between the countries. When Germany attacked the USSR was completely surprised and lost a large number of their air crafts. Hitler also attacked the Balkans during this attack. World War Two was now starting to come together. Once is started it was not slowing down. Yugoslavia and Greece fell quickly in April of 1941 to the German Juggernaut. Operation Barbarossa was a huge success for Germany, but they did lose one pretty powerful Ally (Beck, Black 477-478).

Hitler Invades the Soviet Union
June 22nd, 1941 Adolf Hitler entered the Soviet Union to conquer all of the eastern front. Hitler created the plan of Operation Barbarossa, that was the largest military operation of World War II, to begin to take over the U.S.S.R. The operation was mainly to lead the German military in quickly, so that they could have a fast takeover. Although the Soviets were no where near ready for the attack, they fought fiercely. Tens of thousands ended up having to surrender because they had run out of food and ammunition. “We have only to kick in the front door and the whole rotten Russian edifice will come tumbling down" Hitler states.(Truman) Germany continued to move deep into the Soviet Union, stopping in Leningrad, the second
Germany begins the takeover of Russia with Operation Barbarossa. <>.
Germany begins the takeover of Russia with Operation Barbarossa. <>.
largest city in the U.S.S.R. They governed Leningrad for two years, using it as a route straight to Moscow, the largest city in the U.S.S.R. When only 15 miles outside of Moscow, the Germans took on a battle with the Soviets. The Soviet army fought diligently in this battle. In the end the Germans had to surrender due to not being properly equipped for the cold and snowy weather. The last of the Germans surrendered on February 2nd, 1943.(Operation Barbarossa)

Works Cited
Beck, Roger, and Linda Black. Modern World History. 1st ed. Evanston, IL: McDougal Littel, 2005. Print.

Feldman, George. World War 2 Almanac. 1. New York City: The Gale Group, 2000. Print.

Simkin, John . "Operation Barbarossa." Spartacus Educational. 15 May 2009

Thompson, Richard. Great Britain. 1. New York: Facts on File, 2003. Print.

Trueman, Chris. "Operation Barbarossa." History Learning. 2000. 15 May 2009 < htm>.

White, David. "The Dunkirk Evacuation." Social Studies For Kids. 2002. 15 May 2009 < dunkirkevacuation.htm>.

Slideshow URL's: Rescue from Dunkirk. Dunkirk Evacuation. Operation Barbarossa.(Multiple pictures from this website). Operation Barbarossa. Nazi logo. Nazi Swastika. Adolf Hitler. Battle of Britain. Fall of France. Hitler in France.(Multiple pictures from this website).