This video was made possible by Skillshare, an online learning community. Stick around until the end of the video to learn how you can get an exclusive deal just for OverSimplified viewers. So, what else is happening? Well, when I said Britain was all alone, that wasn’t entirely true. Many commonwealth nations and other allied colonies had joined the war in Britain’s support. They would play a key role throughout the war. Particularly in the African, and Italian Campaigns On the Axis side, Germany, Italy and Japan signed the defensive Tripartite Pact, (Axis Powers) bringing their military alliance even closer together. The Soviet Union’s war against Finland (Winter War) should have been an easy victory, but it became a humiliating struggle, and their military ineptitude was put on full display. In the end, they did force the Fins to sue for peace. Then, they continued their honourable campaign of pushing around much smaller countries by annexing the Baltic States, and part of northern Romania. France’s colonies in Equatorial Africa were like, ‘Heck no! We’re not going to join the Germans!’ and they all pledged their alliegance to Free France. Except for Gabon, which had to be taken by military force. The Allies also tried to capture the strategic port of Dakar, but that ended in failure. Mussolini had seen Hitler’s successes, and he thought now it was Italy’s time to shine. So he tried to take British Somaliland, and that went pretty well. Then he tried to take Egypt, and that went less well. Then he tried to take Greece, and that went really badly. Churchill began referring to Italy as ‘Europe’s Soft Underbelly’. “OHHHHHH” He began favouring a military campaign from the south, and started sending British troops to Greece. All of this had Hitler pretty concerned, and he moved to protect his southern flank. He had been getting friendly with Hungary, and had twisted their arm into signing the Tripartite Pact, and joining the Axis powers. Romania was also eager to join for protection against the Soviet Union. The Tripartite Pact was designed to stop any other countries from joining the Allies. Specifically, Britain’s old ally the pesky United States of America. When the war first broke out, American public opinion was strongly against joining in. In 1940, there was an election. The Republican candidate said, ‘I will not send any young Americans to die in Europe.’ And sitting President Franklin D. Roosevelt said, ‘I will also not send any young Americans to die in Europe. Unless I have to. Then I might.’ And Roosevelt won. Churchill asked him to join the war, but Roosevelt said, ‘No can do, Winston. But you know what? Here, have some weapons.’ America began supplying the Allies with food and munitions, but there was one problem. German u-boats were sinking thousands of Allied supply ships in the Atlantic, including American ones. If the Germans could sever Britain’s supply line, the UK would starve. Throughout the war, the Allies had to come up with better technology to fight the u-boats. Improved radar, aircrafts with longer range, better weaponry and convoy tactics, at one point, a man even called a meeting and said, ‘Pykrete. You take some wood. You take some ice. You put them together. You get pykrete.’ And then he pulled out a gun and shot some wood and it shattered, and then he shot some pykrete and the bullet ricotcheted off and hit someone else in the conference room. [applause] And then they tried to make a pykrete aircraft carrier, but that idea was scrapped because that’s a really dumb idea. In the end, Alan Turing and his team of code-breakers cracked Germany’s enigma code and the u-boats gradually became less and less of a threat. Back in Africa, Britain decided to push Italy out of Egypt. ‘Hey, that was pretty easy!’ So they kept going. Hitler realised he was going to have to finally step in and do something. He went to Bulgaria and Yugoslavia and said, ‘Hey. I’m going to move troops through you to get to Greece, so either join us, or, you know, be invaded.’ Bulgaria opted to join them. Yugoslavia opted to be invaded. Then Greece finally fell to the joint German-Italian invasion. The British had moved troops from North Africa to fight in Greece, which helped Rommel and his tank divisions push the British back to Egypt. And they could have kept going, but a small, mostly Australian force held out under siege for 8 months in Tobruk, denying the Germans a strategic port city and disrupting their supply line. Despite having some success in the Middle East, the British didn’t seem like any real threat for now. ‘Hey. Soviet Union. Look out.’ With 3 million troops, Hitler launched the largest ground invasion in history, (Operation Barbarossa) and Stalin was far from ready. Both Churchill and Roosevelt had warned him of an impending attack, but he dug his head in the sand and the Soviets didn’t stand a chance. Germany made staggering progress, with huge encircling movements capturing mind-boggling numbers of Russian troops. A quarter million at Bialystok-Minsk, 300,000 at Smolensk, nearly 700,000 at Kiev, and again at Vyazma and Bryansk. Leningrad was put under a siege that would last an insufferable four years. The invasion of Russia had been Hitler’s main ideological goal from the beginning, and his hatred for the ethnic peoples there was now unleashed in all its fury. The Eastern Front of the Second World War was brutal for all that endured it. The Germans were now inside of Moscow, and that’s it, it’s all over. But then, it happened. It got cold. Stupid cold. Hitler had hoped the Soviets would give up before winter, but they kept fighting. His commanders came to him and said, ‘Can we please dig in for the winter and wait until spring?’ ‘No. Keep going.’ ‘But oil is literally freezing inside our vehicles.’ ‘That’s fine. Keep going.’ ‘We’re having to leave the corpses of our frozen horses by the side of the road so we can still find our way in the snowdrift.’ ‘Perfectly normal. Keep going.’ Hitler hadn’t given his millions of men winter clothing and supplies, because he thought he really should have won by now. Then, Stalin called in troops from the Siberian front, specially trained to fight in the extreme cold, and the Germans were no match. They were now being pushed back. They had no choice but to dig in and wait for winter to end. Germany’s victories were staggering, and Japan was eager not to miss the victory bus. Their war in China had come to a standstill, but they wanted to keep expending their sphere of influence and getting those sweet, sweet raw materials. They began making plans to expand southward, (Nanshin-Ron Doctrine) but there was a problem. South-East Asia was heavily colonised by America and Great Britain. It was also full of ocean. Ocean meant naval combat, and there was no way the Japanese navy could stand up to the US and the UK. So they thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be nice if we could destroy their navies before we begin our conquest?’ And so it was. On December 7th 1941, the Japanese launched a surprise air raid on the US Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor, and inflicted a huge amount of damage. They also attacked British colonies in South-East Asia. Roosevelt had no choice but to declare war on Japan, and so did Churchill. Hitler then declared war on America, even though he totally didn’t have to. The attack on Pearl Harbor seemed like a big Japanese victory, but they didn’t attack any of the naval repair yards, fuel storage tanks, or the submarine base. Meaning the Pacific Fleet would be up and running again pretty soon. In the meantime though, the Japanese were able to begin their conquest. They took Guam, the Gilbert Islands, Wake Island, Hong Kong and the Philippines, they forced Thailand to join them so they could march their troops through to Malaya, they swept through Singapore, North Borneo, the East Indies, New Guinea, the Solomons, and they were now threatening northern Australia, (Bombing of Darwin) and the borders of India. Japan’s victory had been as staggering as the Germans’, and it reinforced the Japanese idea that this was a divine war which they were destined to win. But their victories had been based on speed, not power. And power would eventually catch up with them. For now though, in all occupied nations, the people suffered. Persecution, forced labour, harsh punishments for any who spoke out against their occupiers. In Europe, the Nazis were rounding up ethnic minorities and other unwanted groups and individuals. In particular, millions of Jewish people would suffer through the terrible events of the Holocaust. Brave resistance movements rose up in defiance of their invaders, while the people held out for hope. And hope was coming. Winter was over, and Hitler could continue his push eastward. But this time, he switched up his strategy. He wanted to focus on the south. His plan was to cut off the Russian armies in the Caucasus, an area full of oil, and then invade the Caucasus, and take all the oil. His forces moved across the north with ease, and Hitler got cocky. He rerouted the 4th Panzer Army south early, leaving the 6th Army to complete the encircling movement alone. To do so, the 6th army had to reach and take the key Soviet city of Stalingrad. The Russians defended it fiercely, and Stalingrad saw some of the harshest fighting of the entire war. The Soviets held up the German advance for five months, as they battled in the war-torn city, which bought them valuable time. When the Germans had first launched their invasion a year earlier, the Soviets had moved their factories to the east. Those factories had been building a butt ton of tons and aircraft, and getting the Soviet army up to scratch. Now, it was ready. Stalin gathered his new and improved forces around the city, and in an attack that resembled Hitler’s own encirclement tactics, they began surrounding the 6th army. Hitler’s commanders came to him and said, ‘Hey. Maybe we should retreat.’ But Hitler said, ‘No, no. You stay.’ The entire 6th army was trapped and had to surrender. With complete air superiority, the Soviets started pushing westward. For Stalin, it was a resounding victory. For Hitler, an absolute catastrophe. Things also weren’t looking too good for Hitler elsewhere. With America now in the war, Allied bombing over German cities reached devastating levels. In Africa, the British had pushed Rommel back again, then they were pushed back again, then finally, after a decisive battle at El Alamein, and with American and British troops arriving in the west, the Germans and Italians were squeezed out of Africa. Japan was also seeing its rapid success being turned around. They attempted to take the island of Midway, but the US Navy was ready of the attack, and they sank Japan’s carrier. Actually, they sank a lot of them. It was a battle from which the Japanese Navy would never recover. British and Chinese troops held the line in the harsh jungle terrain of Burma, and the Japanese suffered losses in the Solomon Islands and New Guinea. They began to realise they were not invincible. With the Axis out of Africa, the Allies had to decide their next move. Churchill still wanted to attack from the south, while the Americans preferred a full sea invasion in northern France. ‘Alright,’ said the Americans. ‘We’ll do it your way.’ Allied forces successfully landed in Sicily, and began moving north. They also carried out bombing raids over Rome. The thing was, many of the people in Sicily had relatives living in America, and they greeted the American troops quite warmly. With the war reaching home territory, most Italians just weren’t that into it, and Mussolini was suddenly very unpopular. He was voted out from his own fascist grand council and was toppled from power. Italy immediately began negotiations for surrender. Hitler wasn’t surprised, and had already sent reinforcements southward. In an operation he ironically called Operation Axis, German troops quickly disarmed Italian troops in the north. The Allies continued fighting the Germans up through Italy, but then winter set in, meaning mud, and everything slowed to a halt. ‘Alright,’ said the Americans. ‘Let’s do it our way as well.’ Germany had made itself a lot of enemies, and millions of Allied troops had been gathering in England as factories worked around the clock producing the war material needed for a super crazy massive the likes of which the world has never seen before invasion of Europe. The Germans new an Allied invasion would come, but they didn’t know where it would land. Thanks to Allied deception tactics, they thought there was a pretty good chance it would come at Calais. But the Allies were really going to land in Normandy, because it was less fortified and the beaches were nicer. Under the careful planning of General Dwight D. Eisenhower, the invasion that had been long in the making was just about ready to go. Just one thing was preventing the launch. The British weather. For a short while, everyone sat around waiting for a decent day. And then, it came. On the night of June 5th, over a thousand bombers took off and raided coastline defences, while paratroopers were dropped inland in a bit of a chaotic operation, tasked with sabotaging defences and capturing key bridges to stop any German reinforcements from reaching the beaches. Early the next morning, the barrage came, as Allied ships fired a huge number of shells at the German fortifications. And then, the landings. The Americans at Utah and Omaha, the British at Gold and Sword, and the Canadians at Juno. It was a tremendous struggle with a great loss of life, particularly at Omaha, but the Allied troops captured the beaches and the landings were a success. Then they began their movements inland. They took the port of Cherbourg, and the city of Caen. The Americans moved south to capture Brittany. Then, in a massive disaster for the Germans, British and Canadian troops from the north and Americans from the south trapped the German 7th Army in a near-wipeout encircle movement. In August, Allied troops landed in the south of France to little resistance. On one beach, all they found was a French man handing out champagne. Paris was liberated, and the Germans were pushed out of France as the Allies entered Belgium. In the far east, the Allies started to push the Japanese out of Burma, as the Americans launched a two-pronged offensive in the Pacific. In the south, General MacArthur lead the push to liberate the Philippines, while General Nimitz oversaw the brutal island-hopping campaign. American forces had to make hard-fought landing after hard-fought landing on fiercely defended small islands, as they moved steadily towards the Japanese mainland. The Japanese believed that the greatest thing a person could do was to die in battle. And the most dishonourable act was to surrender. As a result, they fought ferociously to the very end. And the closer the Americans got to the mainland, the more ferocious the resistance became. In February 1945, the Americans captured the island of Iwo Jima, and an intense fire-bombing campaign of Japan’s wooden cities began. The Allies suffered some setbacks trying to liberate the Netherlands. But they were making progress, and were now threatening the industrial heartland of Germany. Hitler’s health, both mentally and physically was rapidly deteriorating. Things were looking bad, and he was desperate. He said, ‘We need to turn this thing around. And I have just the trick. Remember a few years back when we Blitzkrieged through the Ardennes and trapped the Allied forces in Belgium? Well I’m going to do the exact same thing. Again.’ He gathered his forces, and tried to pound them through the Ardennes. He used up the remainder of Germany’s strength and resources, and he managed to create quite a nice bulge. He also trapped some American forces in the Belgian town of Bastogne. The Germans sent the trapped Americans a message, saying, ‘Surrender or be annihilated.’ When it was read out to the commanding officer, he said, ‘They want to surrender?’ ‘No sir, they want us to surrender.’ ‘Nuts!’ And that’s what they sent off as their official reply. General Patton’s 3rd Army then managed to break the siege from the south-west, and the Germans were pushed back. Hitler’s last-ditch attempt had failed, and what followed was a total collapse of the German forces. The Allies pushed into Germany from both sides. The Soviet Union took Warsaw, and kept pushing to Berlin. In his bunker, Hitler realised all hope was lost. Berlin fell, and with it, Hitler’s dreams of a great German empire. Two of the Axis nations had been knocked out – one to go. The Americans began their assault on Okinawa, the last island before they would reach the Japanese mainland. The desperate Japanese fought hard, launching kamikaze attacks on the US ships. The citizens of Okinawa suffered through the terrible fighting, but in two months, the island was captured. The Allies now had to make a choice. Either continue the devastating struggle up the Japanese mainland, (Operation Downfall) or they could try to coerce the Japanese into surrendering now. In July, the first successful atomic bomb test took place in New Mexico, and the destructive weapon was ready for use. America and the UK were also seeing the Soviet Union not so much liberating as occupying its captured territory, and so they wanted to put on a show of force. On August 6th, the A-bomb fell on Hiroshima. Then, on the 9th, Nagasaki. The cities were reduced to rubble, and for the people living there, it was a terrible fate. But for the Allies, it achieved their main aim. In September, the Emperor announced Japan’s surrender, saying, ‘The war situation has developed not necessarily to Japan’s advantage.’ After six years, war was finally over. The Allies occupied Japan for eight years. The Emperor was allowed to keep his position, but General MacArthur made sure this picture was printed in the Japanese press, to display to the Japanese people that their Emperor was not the divine, powerful being they had believed. Germany was divided between America, the UK, France, and the Soviet Union. In 1949, the Allied sectors were united into West Germany. The Second World War had been more terrible and destructive than the First. In its aftermath, two major superpowers with two very different ideologies had come out victorious. And the tension between the two of them would create a new kind of war. A very, very cold one. ‘Wow, Churchill. That looks just like me. And your app is doing really well. And this quesidilla you made is to die for. 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