Jordan SimonMs. RappHonors English11 December 2017Introduction The esteemed mathematician and scientist, Albert Einstein, once quoted, “As long as there are sovereign nations possessing great power, war is inevitable.” World War II demonstrated how Albert Einstein’s theory was turned to become a devastating series of bloodbaths that resulted in victory and defeat amid death. The war in Europe began with Chancellor to Germany, Adolf Hitler, and his envision for a grand empire to provide lush living space for the people of Germany, and he would rather commit suicide than yield defeat. The Nazis continued to wage war until they opened another front in the East.
Hitler had become envious of the large Soviet empire and issued Operation Barbarossa, one of the largest operations in history, without regarding his general’s protests. Adolf Hitler once falsely remarked, ” When Operation Barbarossa begins, the world will hold its breath.” Many believed that this was the turning point of the war in Europe that led to the final outcome.
Section II World War II began when Adolf Hitler, Germany’s dictator, envisioned a vast empire. He had claimed that the German people need more Lebensraum, or living space. After signing the Nazi- Soviet Pact, in 1939, the Germans began World War II by invading Poland as the Soviets could not come to their aid by signing the neutrality pact. Within a month, the Germans had invaded and gained control of Poland. The French soon signed an armistice which allowed the Germans to occupy the northern half of the country as well as permit the establishment of the collaborated regime in the south in the city of Vichy. The Nazis went on to wage, and eventually lose, an air war against England, also known as the Battle of Britain.
By invading Yugoslavia and Greece, the Germans secured the Balkan region thus allowing them to invade the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941 therefore breaking the Nazi- Soviet Pact. “We only have to kick in the door and the whole rotten structure will come crashing down.” Hitler, while leaving for his new HQ in Rastenburg, East Prussia, June 22 1941 (“Voices of Barbarossa.” oocities.org.). The Germans had also come to occupying the Baltic states.
The Germans were able to carve their way through the Soviet Union, but the Red Army resistance had prevented the Germans from capturing major key cities of Leningrad and Moscow (“World War II in Europe.” ushmm.org ). On December 6, the Soviet Union launched a major counteroffensive attack that drove the Germans permanently out of Moscow. The day after, Japan bombed Pearl Harbor with the consequence of the U.S.
immediately declaring war on Japan after. Four days after on December 11, the military conflict heightened with Germany and Italy declaring war ong the U.S. In May 1942, thousands of bombers of the British Royal Air Force carried out a sudden attack on the German city of Cologne. This was highly significant as they were bringing the war to Germany for the first time. For the next three years, the air forces of the Allies continuously bombed industrial plants and cities leaving a great portion of urban Britain in rubble. Meanwhile on the eastern front, the Axis renewed their offensive forces in the Soviet Union now aiming to capture Stalingrad, the city of Baku, and Caucasian oil fields (“World War II in Europe.
” ushmm.org ). On November of 1942, the Soviet troops launched a counteroffensive therefore leaving the German Sixth Army with no choice but to surrender.
In July 1943, the Germans ordered one more offensive at Kursk which would be known as the tank battle in history. Soviet troops assumed military predominance that they would not relinquish again during the course of World War II. Meanwhile, the Allies at last arrived in Sicily after the Italian Fascist Part’s Grand Council got rid of the Italian premier Benito Mussolini, who happened to be an ally of Hitler. The Italian military took control and succeeded in negotiating a a surrender to the Allies. Although German troops stationed on Italy seized control of the northern half of Italy.
Mussolini, who had been arrested by the Italian authorities, was rescued by German commanders. Mussolini later went on to establish a neo- Fascist puupet regime in northern Italy where Germans took control. They continued to hold that part of Italy until the surrendered on May 2, 1945. On June 6, 1944, over 150,000 Allied soldiers landed in the newly liberated France for massive military operation also know as D- Day led by Gerneral Dwight Eisenhower.
The Allies were able to dupe the Germans with a fake army and surprise attack them. In this, they were able to successfully defeat them. In response, the Germans launched an unsuccessful attack to counter in Belgium and northern France, which became known as the Battle of the Bulge. The Soviets began to act offensively liberating western Poland and forcing Hungary, an Axis ally, to surrender January 12, 1945. The Allies went on to bomb the German city of Dresden.
This event killed approximately 35,000 civilians (“World War II in Europe.” ushmm.org ). A final Soviet offensive allowed Soviet forces to encircle the German capital, Berlin.
The Soviet troops fought their way to the Reich Chancellory only to find Adolf Hitler had committed suicide April 30, 1945 in Berlin. Germany surrendered to the Allies at Reims in Berlin. Section III The war in the Pacific covered the Pacific Ocean, East Asia, Souteast Asia, northern Australia, and the Aleutian Islands. The war plan of the Japanese focused on the American, British, and Dutch territories in the Pacific and in Southeast Asia.
The first draft of the war plan was submitted by the Chiefs of Army nad Navy General Staff in September 1941. The draft was formed late due to the debates and indecision over going to war with such powerful countries. The army and the navy had its own Supreme Command in Imperial Japan. Both of them, under the Constitution of 1889 had become dependent on civil government.
This was also another reason planning had retaken so long. When Imperial Gerneral Headquarters was established as commanded by Emperor Hirohito, a constitucional supreme commander. Command system was vaguely followed. Since 1907, Japanese military planners considered powerful enemies to be Russia, the United States, and France. While the United States was still struggling to come out from the Great Depression, Japan had emerged from its own period of depression, which had begun in 1926, by the mid-1930s (“Japan’s Quest for Power and World War II in Asia.
edu ). The Japanese believe their army would play a crucial role against Russia and the navy against the United States. With the exception of few, minor changes, the flow of the war plan was hardly changed until 1936.
That was until France was removed from the list of enemies and China and Britain were included being allies of the US. In 1941, the Japanese held the impression that they would be fighting one enemy at a time, not two or three. The plan called for the Japanese navy to crush the enemy’s. Then to occupy Luzon and Guam with the army. Then to intercept and destroy the enemy fleet when it sailed to eastern waters. The assumption was that the US would have to come to the Western Pacific eventually to confront the Japanese.
In this case, it would be meeted with Japanese submarines, air forces, and be reduced to ash once and for all by the main fleet. Many of the other Japanese strategies followed this specific pattern. On December 7, 1941, Japan launched a surprise attack on the US Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii with about 360 aircrafts. The US ships at Pearl Harbor included 70 combat vessels, 24 auxiliaries, 300 planes, and all 8 US battleships. Overall, 5 battleships were sunk with 1 being heavily damaged, 3 destroyers sunk and 9 other ships were severely damaged or sunk. In addition, 140 aircrafts were destroyed and 9 other ships were sunk. A great number of people were affected with 2,330 military personnel killed and 1,145 wounded alongside 100 civilian casualties.
In 1945, Japan began to fret as the Allies drew closer and closer and closer to the Japanese home islands. The Japanese had begun to use kamikaze attack in the Philippines. On April 17, X Corps began to land in central Mindanao, second largest island in the Philippines, and moved to seize the center of the island. Filipino resistance fighters proved to be great help to the X Corps but some isolated pockets of Japanese resistance were still holding out at the end of the war. The US focused on Iwo Jima as the location was convenient and there was no native population. The Japanese were determined to either hold Iwo Jima or make the invaders pay a high price for it.
The Japanese went to great lengths to produce underground defenses. Nearly every weapon was carefully placed and massively protected by bombardment. They dug underground passageways with their main underground command post having a concrete roof 10 feet thick.
Under the command of Lieutenant General Kuribayashi Tadamichi, the garrison was about 20,000 strong. The island was officially controlled by the US on March 16. It’s conquest cost the lives of nearly 6,000 marines. Okinowa was the largest of the Ryukyu Islands and was selected as an objectective with plans made for attacking it. The first use of a weapon called baka was at Okinowa. It was a glider stuffed with explosives, powered by rockets and guided to its target by a single pilot who plunged to a death along with his glider.
The men used this machinery knowing they will die in the process. Ushijima committed suicide on June 22 as it was considered shameful to surrender. On April 5, the Japanese Cabinet head, Prime Minister Koiso Kuniaki had resigned. On the same day, the Soviet Union had announced that it would not renew its treaty of neutrality with Japan. On April 12, President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Total U.
S. casualties for the campaign included naval and air unit casualties, which were at least 12,000 killed and 36,000 wounded. 34 U.S. ships were sunk and 368 ships damaged.
It was estimated that Japanese losses were over 100,000 (” Pacific War.” britannica.org ). Naval losses to suicide attacks were at a large, as were losses of U.S. aircrafts.
Simon Buckner, the commander of U.S. ground forces, was killed on June 18 while visiting a forward observation post. He was the highest-ranking U.S. officer killed by enemy fire during World War II. In 1939, United States’ physicists had learned of German experiments dealing with nuclear fission.
On August 2, 1939, Albert Einstein wrote to Roosevelt warning him of the dangerous results that might come about if Nazi Germany developed such a weapon before the other nations. Roosevelt did not seem phased by this warning, but further evidence so moved him to change his standpoint on the topic. Roosevelt created the Office of Scienfic Research and Developement to develop new weapons. Engineers and scientists had finally succeeded in making a testable atomic bomb which they set off in deserted Alamogordo, New Mexico.
The explosive power was between 15,000 and 20,000 tons of TNT with the burst being visible form 50 miles away and shattered a window 125 miles distant. There were many debates over the use of the atomic weapons , but eventually dropped a bomb over Hiroshima, Japan. The area was instantly reduced to cinders with fires breaking out due to high winds. 4.4 square miles were burned out with 70,000 dead and between 70,000 and 80,000 injured with some having radiation poisoning. The second bomb was dropped over Nagasaki, Japan with around 35,000 and 40,000 dead and equal number injured (” Pacific War.
” britannica.org ). After all the horrific scenes of death, the Japanese surrendered to the United States.
The war was costly with 2,000,000 Japanese and 700,000 dying in action. While hundreds of thousands succumbed to disease or starvation. The US had 100,000 men killed in action and 6,000 civilians killed in action.
27,000 Filipinos, 45,000 Australian casualties, and 17,500 killed. New Zealand suffered 12,000 casualties, 2,6000 Dutch men killed, and nearly 17,000 Dutch civilians died as prisoners of the war. (” Pacific War.” britannica.org ) However in San Francisco 1951, delegates from 49 governments arrived to accept or reject a peace treaty. Of the 49 governments, only the Soviet Union, Polan, and Czechoslovakia refused to sign it. Section IV Operation Barbarossa was a key event in the defeat of the Germans. Germany suffered a devastating loss when they tried to invade present- day Russia.
The crushing defeat led to the loss of numerous aircrafts, artillery pieces, men, and tanks. Operation Barbarossa led the Germans to open another battlefront in addition to the front they had with Britain. The Germans ultimately ended up focusing on the Soviet Union, which caused them to stop bombing major facilities in Britain. This led to Britain being able to stablely produce weapons and attack Germany.
Overall, Operation Barbarossa was a crucial event in conclusion of World War II. The Nazi Soviet Pact was not an expected event given the ideological difference between the two (“Operation ‘Barbarossa’ Amd Germany’s Failure In The Soviet Union.” iwm.org). As an outcome, Germany benefitted economically from the arrangements by exporting grain and oil in return for manufactured goods. Operation Barbarossa, formerly Operation Otto then Operation Fritz, opened up another battle front in the midst of being at war with Britain.
The Soviet occupation of the Baltic state, Bessarabia, and of the northern Bukovina in June 1940 put Soviet forces in close proximity to the Romanian oil fields that Germany depended on which led Hitler to the brink of attacking the Soviets. Hitler had wanted to see the German expansion to gain Lebensraum or living space for its people. Essentially, to see the Germans to have conquered the whole European part of Russia and Ukraine west of a line stretching from Arkhangelsk, Archangel, to Astrakhan. In April 1941, the necessity of invading Yugoslavia and Greece became apparent. The German set the Wehrmacht, or German Army, to invade the U.S.S.
R. for mid- May, but due to Yugoslavia and Greece, the Soviet campaign was postponed to June 22, 1941. Operation Barbarossa was named after the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick Barbarossa, who reigned from 1151- 1190, who fought to establish German predominance in Europe. Despite the Nazi-Soviet Pact, on December 18, 1940, Hitler issued the Führer Directive 21, an order for the invasion of the U.S.
S.R. Stalin, the leader of the Soviet Union during this time period, had 87 different warnings of the German Invasion, but trusted none. Warnings came from all over Europe and even Japan.
In fact, Churchill .and Roosevelt had tried sto warn him, but Stalin saw no reason to trust either. In addition, German ambassador, Graf von der Schulenberg, also warned Stalin. Hitler and the Oberkommando de Heeres, German Army High Command, were convinced the Red Army could be defeated with ease. They were even under the impression that it would take 2-3 months to invade.
The German Army lashed out 3 million men, 3,000 tanks, 7,000 artillery pieces, and 2,500 aircraft in the initial attack. In response, the Soviets fought back with more fire power. The Soviets had far more equipment as well as people. The Germans had exhausted and overworked men whereas the Soviets were constantly producing fresh soldiers. Although, the Germans did have some Soviet help.
Due to Stalin’s strict rule, some Soviet viewed the Germans as liberators and peasants even provided them with food and clothing for winter. Many were willing to aid the Germans through the devastating winter, but the Germans considered some of them sub- human and refused their gracious help. The scope of the invasion was one of greatest in warfare history. Germany’s initial attack had around 150 divisions which is equal to around 3 million men, 3,000 tanks, 7,000 artillery pieces, and 2,500 aircrafts (“Operation Barbarossa.
” school.eb.com ). The Soviet Union was estimated to have almost three times the number of air crafts. “If somebody had told me a nation could start with 35,000 tanks, then I’d have said, ‘You are crazy!'” once said Hitler (“What Stalin Knew: The Enigma of Barbarossa.” cia.
gov ). This shows the extensive amount of armory and weaponry the Soviets had started out with. Operation Barbarossa began when Germany initially launched a heavily armed attack to quickly and effienctly invade the Soviet Union. Operation Barbarossa was the plan, created by the Germans, to invade and control the Soviet Union. It resulted in a series of battles that left both sides with significantly important losses. Ultimately, Operation Barbarossa failed and the Germans were forced to yield defeat. They falsely believed the Soviets could be defeat in 2-3 months.
The Germans had looked over the fact that the Soviet Union was vast and had a large population. In the winter, the tiresome, exhausted, and freezing Germans were met by fresh, healthy soldiers every time they fought. The Red Army had the numbers to continuously produce fresh soldiers whereas the Germans were in poor health due to the temperatures. The Germans thought the Soviets to be like the French in the sense that they were clumsily handled and wasted away their tank strength like the French in 1940. The Soviets had the numbers and fought with stubbornness the French had not shown.
Overall, there were 730,000 German casualties. There were 5.7 million Russian prisoners with 4.
7 million dead. Germans started shouting all refugees. In fact, the Germans marched the peasants into woods or fields at 40º, stripped of clothes, left them to die (“Operation Barbarossa: The Failure of Nazi Ideology at the Eastern Front.” loyno.edu ). This was a devastating event that showed the unjust, cruel treatmeant that innocent peasants were rewarded with.
Another casualty was that the Germans did not prepare for the winter properly, because they were convinced that the campaign would be a short one. Due to the effects of Russian winter, sub- zero temperatures of which were the most severe in decades, the Germans resulted to stealing winter necessities from the Soviets. Mechanized transport, tanks, artillery, and aircrafts were paralyzed and frozen due to the harsh temperatures. The outcome of Operation Barbarossa left the Germans in a crushing defeat.
The Germans lost tons of weapons and men. With Germany’s main focus on the U.S.
S.R., the other front in Britain was slowing down. Britain was no longer vulnerable to the bombings and attacks of the Germans. The Germans stopped bombing factories and crucial, vital buildings which allowed Britain to produce manufactured weapons. Britain then attacked Germany.
Some historians believe that had the Germans not grown impatient and invaded the Soviet Union, Germany could have won World War II.Conclusion Adolf Hitler once assumed, ” When Operation Barbarossa begins, the world will hold its breath.” Many historians believed that Operation Barbarossa was the turning point of the war in Europe that led to the final result of World War II. Adolf Hitler, Chancellor to Germany, had imagined a grand empire to provide extensive Lebensraum for the people of Germany.
In his conquest to rule vast territories, he plagued many countries with blood and death. One of the largest attacks of the entire war was the initial attack of Operation Barbarossa. Despite refusals of his generals, Hitler launched Operation Barbarossa to invade the envious Soviet empire thus opening another front to the war. The traumatizing series of cold blooded battles resulted in the victory of the Allies in the midst of the stained images of war. The esteemed Nobel Prize recipient, Albert Einstein, once remarked, “As long as there are sovereign nations possessing great power, war is inevitable.”