D-Day and Other Major BattlesThe U.S. led the Allied forces in major victories against the Axis in 1944 and 1945.Turning the Tide of WarThe U.S. entered World War II in December 1941Had soldiers in Europe and the Pacific within a few months.From early 1942 to early 1944, American forces battled for control of strategic islands in thePacific, fought their way through North Africa to Sicily, and invaded and occupied Italy.Things seemed so bleak in late 1941 because the Axis powers of Germany and Italy controlled all of____________________and ____________________, and Germany had invaded hundreds of miles ofthe ______________________. The other Axis power, Japan, controlled the Pacific, occupying______________, the __________________, the Dutch East Indies, Korea, French Indochina.________________was the only Allied power that had not been invaded and occupied by the Axis.Led by the U.S., the Allies pushed Germany and Italy out of North Africa and occupied Italy itself, andstopped the Japanese advance toward Australia. In 1944, the Allies were ready to make the finalbreakthroughs that would turn the tide of the war against the Axis.Planning for D-DayThe Normandy invasion was complex as well as risky.Germany had overrun Europe in the first months of the war, so that by 1941 Britain was the only freeAllied nation left.Launching an invasion of Europe had been at the top of the Allies' wish list ever since then, butGermany was just too strong.Instead, the Allies had invaded North Africa in 1942Then landed in Italy, which was more weakly defended than western Europe.In 1942-1943, U.S.-led forces occupied Italy while the Soviets slowly drove the Germans out oftheir own country.U.S. bombing raids on German factories crippled German war production.By early 1944, the Allies felt that the time was finally right to invade western Europe.The invasion was code-named "D-Day," and its planning was led by U.S. General Dwight D. Eisenhower,Supreme Allied Commander in Europe.Hit the invasionwindow.Around 150,000 Allied soldiers would cross the English Channel from England'ssouth coast to land in___________________,a region on the north coast ofFrance. This would require hundreds of boats and amphibious vehicles (vehiclesthat can operate in water and on land). The invasion would have to be at night tosurprise the Germans. This meant the brief window of time when there was a fullmoon and a high tide right around midnight had to be used, or the invasion wouldfail.
Get the weatherforecast.The English Channel is notoriously stormy. Storms could blow up unexpectedly,when the forecast was for good weather. The invasion had to have good weather orit would not get its ships across the Channel during the short invasion window.Parachute menbehind enemylines.Around ________________Allied soldiers would fly across the Channel andparachute into enemy territory just after midnight. They would blow up bridges anddestroy railroad tracks so the Germans could not move troops to Normandy to stopthe invasion.