What was Churchill's role in the war? 1939-1945

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  • What was Churchill's role in the war? 1939-1945
    • Battle of Britain
      • Churchill: 'the battle of France is over, the battle of Britain is about to begin'
      • 10th July 1940
      • Sir Hugh Dowding refused to comit 10 squadrons to assist France. He also refused to launch an all out attack on the Luftwaffe
        • September 1940 - Germans changed tactics and began aerial bombardment of london (black Saturday)
          • The RAF were in tact due to Sir Hugh Dowding and able to withstand the German attacks.
    • Bombing
      • Sir Harris AKA 'Bomber Harris'
        • Sir Arthur Harris  believed this would lower morale in Germany
      • Was seen as extreme and immoral
      • 1943 - bombing on Ruhr and Hamburg
        • took key Luftwaffe aeroplanes away from Russian borders
        • had an effect on war production
      • 1,000,000 tonnes of Bombs dropped by British and American Air forcers
      • Half a million died
      • 1945 - Bombing on Dresden
        • Dresden seen as industrial region but about 40,000 died.
          • Military value of bombing questioned by Churchill
      • Had an effect on German economy
      • Wasn't enough to win the war alone.
      • Revenge seeking
      • More than 55,000 bomber commanders were killed in action
    • D-Day
      • North Africa Campaign ended in 1943
      • america and Britain turned attention towards France
      • Largest seaborne invasion launched - led by Eisenhower
      • 150,000 troops, 12,000 aircraft, 7000 ships
      • Huge losses anticipated but never materialised
      • German army were strong but had to report commands back to Hitler and therefore were delayed and Allies were victorious
      • Churchill was apprehensive to launch attack on northern France under USA Command due to memories of Gallipoli
        • He stalled which allowed German's to increase troops and fortify their position in France
    • Dunkirk
      • May 1940: collapse of French army: retreated
      • Churchill sent Alan Brooke to continue the fight in France and create a second front
        • Brooke refused as this would be impossible
      • Blitzkreig - Lightening war tactic of Germnas - Annihilated allies
      • Britain retreated and withdrew from Dunkirk and it was seen as a victory for Churchill
      • Was a sign that Germany were stronger in Europe
    • Mediterranean and Far East
      • South East Asia
        • did not think Japan was a threat
        • 1942 - Singapore had been surrendered and the British had been overrun in Asia
        • believed superiority of British navy and army would be enough to hold Singapore and Malaya
        • they were sunk in December 1941
      • North Africa
        • Battle of El Alamein
          • First and Second battle successful
          • Second Battle delayed by Montgomery but was successful - 1942 - victory for british
          • Auchinleck successfully defeated Rommel and Africa Korps in first battle of El Alamein in 1941 - due to his meticulous planning and use of secret information/intelligence
            • Churchill had disapproved of Auchinleck's planning and believed he was too cautious
          • Wavell had initial failed advance on Africa Korps in Somaliland and was fired and repalced by Auchinleck in 1941
            • This attack came after a successful attack in which British troops pushed back Italians hundreds of miles: they had been driven out in 1940 but against Churchill's will Auchinleck launched the successful counter-attack
            • Wavell had wanted to rebuild the army and get more supplies before launching a second attack but Churchill had pushed for it leading to failure. 1941
        • Wanted to protect vital trading routes such as the Suez Canal


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