World War II - A History Thread

Discussion in 'Writers' Corner' started by SoulPunisher, Sep 28, 2018.

  1. so i'm just gonna bookmark this
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  2. Part X: Bless The Rains Down In Afrika

    The United Nations, a coalition consisting of the United Kingdom, the United States, the Soviet Union, and China was formed in Washington D.C on January 1st, 1942. The British dominions (Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa, kind of India), some governments-in-exile (Norway, The Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Greece, and Yugoslavia), Costa Rica, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama joined it on January 2nd.

    They quickly moved to set up ABDA, a combined force of American, British, Dutch, and Australian forces in the south-west Pacific. The Philippines and Singapore were attacked by the Japanese - Singapore, under the control of the United Kingdom, nicknamed 'the impregnable fortress', fell in just a week; 80,000 British Commonwealth soldiers were taken prisoner by the Japanese when the attack was over. The Japanese began to launch air raids on Australia. ABDA attempted to hold the Japanese off the Dutch-held island of Java, but they were unsuccessful - the Dutch East Indies fell to Japanese invasion on March 8th. The American forces in the Philippines, under the command of General Douglas MacArthur, were moved to Australia. The Philippines fell to Japanese invasion soon after.

    Meanwhile, back in Europe, Germany launched their assault on the British-held island of Malta on March 20th. 800 axis aircraft attacked the 140 British aircraft that were stationed at the island - the British tried to send more, but they were all destroyed before anything could be done with them. Reinhard Heinrich, the Reichsprotektor of Bohemia and Moravia (modern day Czechia) and one of the main men behind the Holocaust, was assassinated by Czechoslovak soldiers acting under orders from the Czechoslovakian-government-in-exile and the United Kingdom. Hitler directly responded by killing all of the men in the Czech village of Lidice, putting all of their women in concentration camps, and dragging their children off into German educational institutions. The village was completely wiped out.

    At the same time, the United States found success in the Pacific Theatre. In April, Japanese and American aircraft carriers faced eachother in battle - they'd pretty much accidentally bumped into eachother, which must have been quite the shock, and that was the first time that had ever happened. America won. When the Japanese attempted to capture Midway Island, they were completely repelled by the American forces. By August, they had reached the Solomon Islands.
    The British were not so lucky. The Germans were still coming at Malta with everything they had. Canadian troops attempted to take Dieppe, a port in North France. The Luftwaffe didn't take the bait, losing only 48 planes, compared to the British and Canadians losing 237. It was an utter humiliation for the British. However, they did gain some intelligence that would later be used in North Africa and the Normandy landings.

    In Russia, the Germans had reached Stalingrad. The Russians had also reached Stalingrad. The Axis had one million men left to spare for the battle. The Soviet Union also had one million. They fought until February. Hitler ordered the Axis to fight until the last man. Some days saw Germans, Italians, Romanians, Hungarians and Russians shooting at eachother in individual building's corridors, and that building changing hands multiple times over the course of the day. The Axis forces got completely kicked out of Russia by the end of it and lost over 800,000 men. The Soviets lost 400,000 men and had a further 650,000 get injured. Hitler was furious that his general had decided to surrender and not immediately kill himself.

    In October, the British attacked El Alamein in Egypt, forcing the Germans to retreat from the town. It caught them completely off-guard. What caught them even more off-guard was when soldiers started landed on the beaches of Casablanca, Morocco; Oran, Algeria; Algiers, Algeria. This was the start of Operation Torch, a full-scale invasion of Axis-occupied North Africa masterminded by the British, using American and British soldiers, with Australians, Canadians, and what was left of the Dutch Navy providing naval support. Whereas the United States had wanted to go in guns-blazing to retake France, using the island of Great Britain as a launching point, the British thought it would be better to push them out of Africa, allowing the Allies to invade Italy and France from the south at the same time. It would take longer but would cost less lives. The Afrika Korps was now stuck with nowhere to go between Anglo-American forces invading from both the West and the East. They were done for.
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  3. Cool! My family came from the Canadian view:
    My great grandfather fought in the war on behalf of Canada. He was caught in one of those terror camps but ended up escaping with a fellow soldier and one of the Jews in the camp. Fun fact: to repay my great grandfather he married his daughter :p
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  4. Part XI: The Year of Conferences

    President of the United States Franklin D. Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and Free France leader Charles De Gaulle flew out to the newly-retaken Casablanca in Morocco on January 14th. Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin was invited, but he declined, citing his needed presence within the Soviet Union as the Battle of Stalingrad raged on. Talks were held for ten days at the Anfa Hotel - they discussed the allocation of resources, renewed strategy, and more. This was the Casablanca Conference, where the Allies decided to let the Eastern Front drag on, invade Italy, postpone the Normandy landings further, have the British allocate more troops to Burma to reinforce China's defence from the Japanese, and that they would accept nothing less than the absolute, unconditional surrender of the Axis.

    On March 3rd, the Germans launched a renewed offensive against the Russians. Within five weeks, they'd made some serious gains but were held back by the spring thaw, all wet and muddy as it were. On April 13th, presumably to sow discontent among the allies (who all hated eachother before the war), the Germans let their discovery be known of a mass grave of Polish soldiers, intelligentsia (artists, teachers, writers, and journalists), spies, landowners, factory owners, lawyers and priests that was created by the Soviet Union and ordered by Joseph Stalin. They also found that the Soviet Union was mass executing Polish Jews, Ukrainians, and Belorusians. The Polish government, now based in London, was furious and asked the Red Cross to launch an investigation - the Soviet Union... left the Red Cross and denied that they'd done the killings, blaming it on the Germans instead. They would continue to deny it until 1990.

    On May 7th, the Afrika Korps surrendered to the allies. Erwin Rommel went home to Germany, enshrined in the public consciousness as a national hero. This allowed Operation Husky to go ahead - a fruit of the Casablanca Conference. It was an invasion of the island of Sicily, undertaken on July 10th by British, American, Free French, Canadian and Australian troops. The Italian Grand Council of Fascists initiated a no confidence vote in Mussolini, granting the Prime Ministerial office to King Victor Emmanuel III, and arresting Mussolini - ending twenty-one years of fascist rule. The Sicilian Invasion ended on August 17th with the Allies completely driving the Italians from the island - the Mediterranean shipping lanes were fair game for the allies now and Hitler cancelled a major operation at the Russian city and Oblast of Kursk to divert troops to Italy. The city of Rome, the home of the pope and the capital of Italy, was now being bombed. Italy hinted that it wanted to surrender - the Germans rolled into it and pretty much said "no, or we'll kill you all."

    During April, the Jews in the Warsaw ghetto revolted against the Nazis. They were being gradually moved out into the Treblinka extermination camp - over 243,000 people were moved into it during the summer of 1942. They revolted, and they were crushed. The Germans, after a few weeks of putting down the revolt, burned the ghetto to the ground in May. During the course of the ghetto's history, at least 300,000 Polish Jews were shot or gassed, and a combined number of 92,000 died of hunger and the uprising. 900,000 people were killed at Treblinka.

    The Warsaw Uprising, led by the Polish Underground State began on August 1st in the largest military effort undertaken by a resistance movement in the war. The Polish wanted to assert control of Warsaw before the Soviet Union could and assist the allies in defeating Germany. They initially gained lots of ground, having street fights with the Wehrmacht, but they needed help to keep it. They tried to get some off the Soviet Union, who were now just outside the city - they didn't move. At all. They had an air base close by, five minutes flying time, but gave extremely little support. The British begged America to help, but the United States did nothing either. The United Kingdom, without getting permission off the Soviet Union, began the Warsaw Airlift - a combined effort of the British, South African, and Polish air forces (the Polish air force escaped to the UK after Poland fell and are a big reason the British defended the Blitz) delivered over two-hundred supply drops to the Polish in Warsaw. The United States did one big one after gaining permission from the Soviets. 200,000 Polish civilians were killed, mostly in executions by the Germans, 16,000 Polish resistance fighters were killed, Jews being hidden by Polish people were exposed when the Germans did renewed house sweeps and all of them were killed, and a large portion of the city was destroyed. The Polish resistance surrendered on October 2nd. The Germans accepted the surrender, and then levelled the city - just... bombed the living crap out of a 645 year old city as a punishment. Combined with the 1939 Polish invasion, the ghetto uprising, and this, over 85% of the city was completely destroyed.

    On September 9th, the main portion of the Italian Campaign was launched - the allies landed at Salerno, a town in Naples (a region that encompasses much of South Italy). They expected to have the element of surprise - they did not. They were greeted by a loudspeaker telling them to come in and give up. They attacked anyway. After fierce fighting up the beaches, being rained on by German artillery, the Allies secured the town on September 19th after sustaining 2,000 losses. On September 27th, the people of city of Naples rose up in rebellion against the Germans occupying their city - they drove the Germans out by September 30th. On October 1st, the British arrived in the city and were welcomed by the civilians with open arms.

    November 28th saw the start of the Tehran Conference. This was the first time that Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill met Joseph Stalin. It was hosted in Tehran, the capital of Persia (modern day Iran). Here, they all agreed on the opening of a Western Front, to draw German forces away from the Eastern Front. As well, they discussed what would happen in Yugoslavia, to Japan, the relations with Persia and Turkey, and began to envisage what the post-war world should look like.
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  5. Part XII: The Eleventh Hour

    1944 began with successive victories on the Eastern Front. The Russians recaptured the city of Novgorod from the Germans on January 20th, and the railway line between Leningrad (modern day Saint Petersburg) and Moscow reopened, effectively ended the German siege of Leningrad. By March 26th, they had advanced into Romania for the first time - this was the beginning of the Iron Curtain. On May 9th, Sevastopol was retaken and the Germans were entirely kicked out of the Crimea.

    Meanwhile, in Italy, the United Kingdom and United States took the town of Cassino and American troops began their drive to Rome. On June 3rd, Hitler ordered the German forces stationed in Italy to withdraw from Rome - the Americans arrived the next day.

    Two days later, on June 6th, American, British, Canadian, Australian, Czechoslovakian, French, Norwegian, and Polish forces sent their boats out across the English Channel in the largest seaborne invasion in history. The Germans had been deceived as to where the Allied forces were going to land, choosing to build the Atlantic Wall, a massive coastal network of fortifications. The Allies landed on the beaches of Normandy - the Germans rained hellfire upon them, under the command of Erwin Rommel. On top of that, they had to wade through mines in the beach, pieces of metal and wood, tripods, and barbed wire, all while being bombed by planes from above. The German defence was good - none of the Allied objectives for the first day were achieved, and only two of the five beachheads were linked. 10,000 Germans were killed or injured, compared to the Allied losses of 4,000 (10,000 injured). Eventually, however, the Germans pulled back from France and the Allied nations began achieving their objectives.

    On July 20th, multiple high-ranking German military officials, including Erwin Rommel, had grown to hate Hitler. They knew he was leading them to certain defeat, wasting German lives, and if the Soviet Union got to them first they only dreaded to think. They set a bomb off in a Nazi conference room where Hitler was present. Only one person was killed by the bomb - Hitler was scratched and bruised. He met with Mussolini later that day and gave the former Italian dictator a tour of the room and even said that this is further proof that God is on his side. The organisers were captured and executed. Rommel, being a national hero, was given two options: suicide or a public trial in which he got his legacy destroyed and was killed at the end. Rommel elected to swallow a cyanide pill - he was given a state funeral and the German public were told he tragically died after being shot and wounded in his car by the Allies in Normandy.

    On July 22nd, the Russians were deep inside Poland. In almost complete control of it, they announced that they would be installing an authoritarian, communist regime as the legitimate government of Poland. The government-in-exile in London was still recognised as the legitimate government by the Allies until December, when they decided that there was no way they would get Poland back themselves.

    On August 15th, the Allies began their invasion of Vichy France. This distracted them from retaking the Balkans, allowing Yugoslavia to fall into the communist liberation movement's hands and for the Soviet Union to reach Vienna instead of the Allies. On August 25th, Paris was retaken by the Allies. They marched on - Brussels, the capital of Belgium, was liberated by the British on September 3rd; Antwerp, an important Belgian port, was retaken on . The German troops in Bolougne and Calais surrendered. The British Navy sank the flagship, the Tirpitz, of the German Navy.

    In retaliation, Germany started launching V-2 rockets at London. The designs of these rockets would eventually be used as the basis for NASA rockets. They and the V-1 rockets killed over 22,000 Londoners. Hitler was later informed that Antwerp and Brussels were impossible to be retaken. On December 16th, the Battle of the Bulge, the German's final effort to try and destroy the onslaught of allied troops coming from France, began.
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  6. Part XIII: The Clock Strikes Twelve 1945

    On January 28th, the Battle of the Bulge ended in an Allied victory. Almost 90,000 American soldiers were killed, captured, or wounded, compared to Germany's almost 100,000 and the UK's meagre 1,000. It was the second deadliest battle in American history. Their efforts paid off - the Germans were depleted of men, resources, weapons, and were forced to retreat to the Siegfried Line, a line of fortifications opposite the Maginot line. France and Luxembourg were now completely liberated with no chance for the Germans to take them back.

    On February 13th, the Allies bombed the German city of Dresden, the capital of Saxony, with incendiary and highly explosive bombs. This caused a firestorm to consume the city, burning and choking approximately 22,000 civilians alive. Until the 1950s, the United States and United Kingdom kept the bombing's goals and existence a mystery - they would go on to claim that it was to 'destroy communications lines', however no communications infrastructure was bombed and the city had no important industry. This has led many people to believe that the bombing of Dresden was unjustified and is a heinous war crime. Kurt Vonnegut, an American soldier inside of Dresden at the time as a prisoner of war, would go on to write about the firestorm in Slaughterhouse 5. He was of the stance it was done for revenge.

    On March 7th, the Rhine river was crossed. Germany had retreated even further from the Siegfried Line. They stopped bombing the United Kingdom on March 29th. And on April 1st, Japan no longer held any of the Pacific islands they had gained throughout the war - they were firmly in the hands of the United States.

    Franklin D. Roosevelt, the American President, died of a stroke on April 12th. He was succeeded by his Vice President, Harry S. Truman. Adolf Hitler viewed this as his 'Frederick II moment' - in the Seven Year's War, Prussia was under siege by Austria and Russia, barely managing to hold onto the city of Berlin. Somehow, they staved off the attack long enough for Empress Elizabeth of Russia to die. Her successor was a German, who pulled Russia out of the war and granted Prussia use of some Russian armies, allowing the Prussians to launch an offensive against Austria. As it turned out, Truman didn't switch sides or pull the United States out of the war.

    A day later, the Soviet Union captured the Austrian capital of Vienna. A few days later, the Ruhr, Germany's industrial centre, surrendered and almost 400,000 Germans were taken captive by the Allies. On April 20th, Hitler's birthday, the Soviet Union launched an artillery bombardment on Berlin and had its infantry start invading through the city's suburbs. The Nazis assembled a few regiments of exhausted Wehrmacht soldiers, Schutzstaffel soldiers, Hitler Youth members (literally just boys under the age of 16), poorly trained Volkssturm soldiers, and threw them at the Red Army soldiers. The Soviet Union killed most of them and closed in on the Fuhrerbunker. With the Red Army just five-hundred metres away from him, Hitler killed his dog by feeding it cyanide capsules - his wife then took the same capsules, and he shot himself in the head. On May 2nd, Berlin surrendered to the Soviet Union. Karl Dönitz, a German admiral who served in the Great War and World War II, the acting President of Germany, issued Germany's unconditional surrender to the Allies on May 7th. On May 8th, 1945, the war ended in Europe.

    Upon hearing of this news, Winston Churchill asked his Deputy Prime Minister and coalition partner, Clement Attlee, if he wanted to remain in coalition until Japan surrendered. Attlee and the Labour Party said no. An election was called on June 15th. It was held on July 5th. Churchill was the favourite to win by a landslide. He ran on a campaign that focused on his victory in the war, defending the British Empire and keeping all of the colonies whether they wanted to stay or not, and said that Attlee would develop a British equivalent of the Nazi secret police. Attlee ran on a campaign of hope - implementing universal healthcare that was free-at-the-point-of-use, maintaining full employment, nationalising struggling industries and public transport, maintaining positive relations with the United States and the Soviet Union, and decolonisation. In a shock result, the Labour Party gained its first ever majority government, stealing 10% of the national vote from Churchill (the most ever recorded), and had a majority of 145 seats over the Conservative Party (393 versus 197). Clement Attlee, the quiet little socialist man who was dwarfed by Churchill's natural charisma, became the Prime Minister. He formed his government with the approval of King George VI on July 12th and took the bus to Downing Street.

    On August 6th, a plane took off in the Pacific Islands that the US had captured from the Japanese. Aboard it was a bomb, expertly crafted in New Mexico by top British, Canadian and American scientists. It was dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima, killing 200,000 people. Three days later, a second bomb was dropped upon Nagasaki, killing a further 200,000 people. They were atomic bombs. Japan surrendered on September 2nd, 1945.

    The war was over.
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  7. This part always hits the heart for me. I wish it could have ended before so, so many people died.
  8. Me too. The civilian deaths all throughout the war are staggering and I will never justify them in my head. However, the Soviet Union had already occupied most of Japanese-held Manchuria and Korea - if Japan hadn't surrendered when they did, Japan would likely be cleaved in half the same way Korea was. More civilians would die in the fighting and communist states in the cold war were not kind to their civilians. I don't see any other way it could have went unfortunately.
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  9. Part XIV: Post-War Resolutions

    When the war was over, the Potsdam Conference was held in August. British Prime Minister Clement Attlee, American President Harry S. Truman, and Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin met to discuss the fate of post-war Europe.

    Sitting: Clement Attlee (British Prime Minister), Harry S. Truman (American President), Joseph Stalin (Soviet Premier).
    Standing: William D. Leahy (American Admiral), Ernest Bevin (British Foreign Secretary), James F. Brynes (American Secretary of State), Vyacheslav Molotov (Soviet Deputy Premier and Minister of Foreign Affairs).

    At the Potsdam Conference, it was agreed to split Germany into four zones: one administered by the British, another by the French, yet another by the Americans, and a fourth administered by the Soviets. By the 1950s, the British, French and American zones would unite into an independent West Germany and the Soviet zone would become the Soviet satellite known as East Germany. All of the zones would be disarmed and the German military would be eradicated; the education system would be purged of Nazis, and any Nazis rounded up would be tried for war crimes. All racial laws would be repealed.

    The Soviets wanted further punishment, insisting that Germany pay them reparations for the damage done to Russia during the war. The British and Americans declined on the basis that they did not want a repeat of the Treaty of Versailles, which caused Hitler's rise to power in the first place. The Soviets then requested that they inherit a large portion of the German Navy and gain control of Italy's colonies in Africa - Winston Churchill, when he attended at the beginning, especially thought this to be an unacceptable demand. Churchill was also diagnosed with depression during the conference, stressed over the election on his leadership and missing the thrill of guiding the nation through war. The British as a whole got very angry at Poland being forced under communist rule, having fought for the democratic Polish government and housed them in London for six years, but the Soviets would not budge.

    Berlin was also split into occupied zones. More on that later.

    On October 24th, 1945, the Allies set up the United Nations - this was an intergovernmental organisation aimed at fostering international peace and security, the development of friendly relations among nations and international co-operation, and protecting human rights. It was designed with the failures of the League of Nations kept in mind, and it was made sure that the United States didn't abandon it as they had with the League of Nations. It began with 51 nations, the big four being the US, the Soviet Union, the UK, and China, being included, and would grow to encompass every single country in the globe.

    The United Kingdom and many other allies felt that the United States and the Soviet Union, whose relations had begun deteriorating as soon as their alliance began, was inevitable. The world started to pick sides - at first, however, the United Kingdom tried to remain neutral and co-operated with the Soviet Union and the United States. There were many within the Labour Party who wanted Attlee to go so far as to ally with the Soviet Union. In March 1946, Winston Churchill delivered a speech that said the Soviet Union had wedged an 'Iron Curtain' between East and West Europe. Stalin responded to the speech personally, stating that the West could not co-exist with the Soviet Union. The United States drew up invasion plans of Russia, expecting World War III to break out in 1957.

    At the same time as the speech, Greece broke out into civil war. The British attempted to help the Kingdom of Greece put down the Soviet and Yugoslav-backed communist rebellion, but the soldiers were tired and British resources were stretched. The United States had to intervene, but they would not do so until 1947. In the end, three years later, the communists were beaten because they started infighting thanks to the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia suddenly beginning to hate eachother. Greece ended up with an Allied-backed fascist military junta.

    In 1948, the Berlin Blockade happened after the Soviet Union blocked the Allies way into their occupied zones of Berlin, hoping that they would give their zones of Berlin to Soviet-occupied Germany (it was right in the middle of East Germany). The Allies instead began to airlift food and supplies into Berlin, using the American, British, French, Canadian, Australian, Kiwi and South African air forces. The Soviets knew they couldn't shoot down the planes as this would lead to war. They eventually stopped their blockade. This was the opening of the cold war.

    As well, the United States gave the European nations affected by the war $12 billion ($100 billion in 2016 USD), with the United Kingdom being the largest receiver of aid. Prime Minister Attlee described it as the most generous thing ever done by a nation. Attlee went on to found the National Health Service, a tax-funded healthcare service that is now held as dearly to the British as guns are to Americans, funded the construction of one million state-owned houses for the poor to replace those destroyed in the war, decolonised India, Pakistan, Israel and more, and nationalised over 20% of British industry. He convinced President Truman to help him found the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) in 1949, thus firmly allying the United Kingdom with the United States. He won the popular vote with the most votes in British electoral history in 1951, but lost his parliament seats to Winston Churchill and resigned as Prime Minister. Attlee is ranked as the greatest British Prime Minister of all time. Churchill went on to have a stroke caused by his bad drinking and smoking habits and the stress of being Prime Minister and stepped down before his five year term was over - he died in 1965.

    The European Coal and Steel Community was founded in 1952 by West Germany, France, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg - the United Kingdom was invited, but declined. The organisation's goal was to pool resources and not allow another European war to ever break out. This would eventually evolve into the European Union in 1992. West Germany would go on to become an economic miracle, got her military back, became a loyal ally of the United States until the 2010s, has a well-functioning democracy, while East Germany floundered, became a communist dictatorship, and eventually broke out into near revolution. The West and East would reunite in 1990, but East Germany continues to be poorer than the West and still turns to extremist beliefs often.

    I guess that's a wrap.
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