USM Open Source History Text: The World at War: World History 1914-1945Main MenuIntroduction: A Mural as WindowOn Diego Rivera's Detroit IndustryThe World Around 1914, Part I: the Journey of Young GandhiThe World Around 1914, Part II: The Era of Nationalism and Imperialism (1848-1914)The First World WarThe Long Russian Revolution (1917 – 1929)The Decline of the West? Europe from 1919 – 1929A New Middle East: The Rise of the Middle East State SystemChina Between Qing Collapse and WWIILatin America Between Boom and Bust (1911-1929)Africa Under Colonial Rule: Politics and Race from 1914‐1939The United States from The First World War to the Great DepressionThe Great DepressionThree Varieties of Radicalism in the 1930s: Nazi Germany, Stalinist Russia, and Imperial JapanThree Responses to Modernity: Ho Chi Minh, Ibn Saud, and Getulio VargasThe Second World WarSeth Rogoff5f001fc099cd635507b143be056702764af6929c
Soldiers in Front of a Section of the "Atlantic Wall" in Belgium/ Northern France (1943)
12017-09-20T03:49:39-07:00Seth Rogoff5f001fc099cd635507b143be056702764af6929c192371"To prevent an Allied invasion of what Hitler called “fortress Europe,” the Organization Todt (OT) began construction in the summer of 1942 on a 1,600 mile-long defensive fortification along the Atlantic coast. Upon completion, this fortification (which was referred to as the “Atlantic Wall” [Atlantikwall] in Nazi propaganda) was to stretch from the Netherlands to the Spanish border. Its completion, originally scheduled for May 1943, was delayed by shortages in building materials. By the time the Allies invaded Normandy on June 6, 1944, only a small section of it had been finished. In addition to German and French soldiers, forced laborers and POWs were also used in the wall's construction. The Allies kept a close eye on construction, periodically disrupting it through air raids. These bombings caused heavy collateral damage, leaving towns like Lorient, St. Nazaire, and LaPallice, where German military bases had been established, completely destroyed. This image shows a bunker at a section of the “Atlantic Wall” near the French/ Belgian border." http://germanhistorydocs.ghi-dc.org/sub_image.cfm?image_id=3157plain2017-09-20T03:49:39-07:00Seth Rogoff5f001fc099cd635507b143be056702764af6929c
The successful allied landing in Normandy France in June of 1944 and the opening of the western front in Europe ensured Nazi defeat. The entry of the United States meant a radical transformation of the warring coalition against the Nazis. President Franklin Roosevelt struck deals with U.S. industrial powers and the United States transformed itself from a sluggish civilian economy to a robust wartime manufacturing behemoth. By 1944, the allies were far out-producing the Axis powers in all major war materiel, foremost in tanks, aircraft, ships, and artillery pieces and shells.
Late spring and summer 1944 saw the German armies collapsing in all theaters of war. The Russians pushed through Romania and Hungary, into Slovakia and the Protectorate, and deep into German-occupied Poland. The Western allies pushed the Germans out of France and into Belgium. Unlike in 1918, the Nazi command and Hitler especially was not considering a surrender that might save Germany proper from seeing war on its territory. Indeed, war was coming to Germany in any case in the form of massive allied aerial bombing campaigns of German cities, the most famous of which was the bombing of the city of Dresden in February of 1945. In the fall and winter of 1944, the Nazis carried out one final counter-attack. Though it wasn’t without localized successes (producing the “bulge” on the Western front) it was ultimately yet another useless expenditure of life. Allied offensives began again in early 1945 as the Western powers and the Stalin’s Red Army raced to capture Berlin.