• 1941 Operation Barbarossa Play all

    Operation Barbarossa was the codename for Nazi Germany's invasion of the Soviet Union during World War II that commenced on June 22, 1941.It was the largest military operation in WWII.Over 4.5 million troops of the Axis powers invaded the USSR along an 1,800 mile front. The operational goal of Operation Barbarossa was the rapid conquest of the European part of the Soviet Union, west of a line connecting the cities of Arkhangelsk and Astrakhan, often referred to as the A-A line. At its conclusion in December 1941, the Red Army had repelled the strongest blow of the Wehrmacht. Hitler had not achieved the victory he had expected, but the situation of the Soviet Union remained critical. Tactically the Germans had won some resounding victories and occupied some of the most important economic areas of the country, most notably in Ukraine. Despite these successes, the Germans were pushed back from Moscow and were not able to mount an offensive simultaneously along the entire strategic Soviet-German front again.
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  • 1940 Operation Weserübung Play all

    Operation Weserübung was the German codename for Nazi Germany's assault on Denmark and Norway during World War II and the opening operation of the Norwegian Campaign. The name comes from the German for Operation Weser-Exercise, the Weser being a German river. In the early morning of April 9, 1940 — Wesertag — Germany invaded Denmark and Norway, ostensibly as a preventive maneuver against a supposed planned Franco-British occupation of Norway. After the invasions, envoys of the Germans informed the governments of Denmark and Norway that the Wehrmacht had come to protect the countries' neutrality against Franco-British aggression. Significant differences in geography, location and climate between the two countries made the actual military operations very dissimilar
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  • 1940 North Africa/Mediterranean Front Play all

    During World War II, the North African Campaign, also known as the Desert War, took place in the North African desert from June 10, 1940 to May 16, 1943. It included campaigns fought in the Libyian and Egyptian deserts (Western Desert Campaign) and in Morocco, Algeria (Operation Torch) and Tunisia (Tunisia Campaign).The campaign was fought between the Allies and Axis powers. The Allied war effort was dominated by the British Commonwealth and exiles from German--occupied Europe. The United States entered the war in 1941 and began direct military assistance in North Africa, on May 11, 1942.Fighting in North Africa started with the Italian declaration of war on June 10, 1940. On June 14, the British Army's 11th Hussars (assisted by elements of the 1st Royal Tank Regiment) crossed the border into Libya and captured the Italian Fort Capuzzo. This was followed by an Italian offensive into Egypt and then in December 1940 by a Commonwealth counteroffensive, Operation Compass. During Operation Compass, the Italian Tenth Army was destroyed and the German Afrika Korps, commanded by Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, was dispatched to North Africa, during Operation Sonnenblume, to bolster the Italian forces and prevent a complete Axis defeat.A back-and-forth series of battles for control of Libya and parts of Egypt followed, climaxing in the Second Battle of El Alamein when British Commonwealth forces under the command of Lieutenant-General Bernard Montgomery, delivered a decisive defeat to the Axis forces and pushed the Axis forces back to Tunisia. Following the Allied landings in North West Africa, Operation Torch, in late 1942 under the command of General Dwight Eisenhower, and after Allied battles against Vichy France forces (which subsequently joined the Allies), the combined Allied forces encircled the Axis forces in northern Tunisia and forced their surrender.By making the Axis powers fight on a second front in North Africa, the Western Allies provided some relief to the Soviet Union fighting the Axis on the Eastern Front. Information learned from the British Ultra codebreaking operation was a major contributor to Allied success in the North African campaign.
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