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When did WW2 start?
1st September 1939
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When was the evacuation of Dunkirk?
May 27th 1940
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How many allied forces were evacuated?
Over 300,000
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Why can the evacuation of Dunkirk be considered a success?
Britain only expected to save 1/5 of men
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Why can the evacuation of Dunkirk be considered a failure?
Heavy weapons and transport abandoned, troops demoralised, Churchill: Wars are not won by evacuations
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When was the fall of France?
22nd June 1940
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What were British and French perspectives on the fall of France?
Britain: French political and military leaders to blame - French: Britain should have fought at Dunkirk
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When was the Battle of Britain?
August 1940
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What was the ratio in British to German aircraft at the start of Battle of Britain?
Luftwaffe 4550 - - - RAF 3000
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What advantages did Britain have in the Battle of Britain?
British aircraft production expanding, fight took place over Britain, chain of radar stations along coast meant British planes could rise late and effectively
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What Germany disadvantages were there in the Battle of Britain?
German planes had a fight time of 30 mins, Me110 was inflexible, Stuka bomber was slow and weakly armed
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What impressive statistics did Britain claim in the Battle of Britain?
15th August - Britain took out 182 German Planes for a loss of 34 ___ 15th September - 52 German planes shot down for 26 British
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Which day was the biggest German offensive in the Battle of Britain, what happened?
15th August 1940, all three luftwaffe fleets attacked simultaneously, German air force couldn't believe RAF's determination
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What did Churchill say regarding the Battle of Britain?
"Never (...) was so much owed by so many to so few"
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Why was the Battle of Britain so significant for Germany?
Hitler wanted to ensure that aerial defence of Britain was not an option before he enacted 'Operation Sea Lion' - a planned amphibious invasion of Britain
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What quote from Hitler shows that the Battle of Britain determined whether or not he would invade England?
Hitler said he would only carry out a cross channel offensive “if we have the impression that the English are smashed”
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When was the Blitz?
September 1940 - May 1941
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How many nights was London consecutively bombed for in the Blitz?
76 Nights
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Which British cities were focused on in the Blitz?
London, Coventry, Plymouth
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How many British citizens were killed during the Blitz?
Over 45,000
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When did Rommel take Tobruk? Why was it significant?
June 1942 - allowed Rommel to advance into Egypt and attempt to take El Alamein
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What, and when, was Operation Lightfoot?
October 1942, allied counter offensive at El Alamein led to Rommel's forces being pushed back through Libya to Tunisia
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What was the Norway Campaign?
Plan to stop Swedish Ore reaching Germany by laying mines off the Norwegian coast
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Why was the Norway Campaign a failure?
Germany occupied Denmark and Norway?
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Why did Chamberlain resign?
Failure of Norway Campaign, vote of No confidence, Labour wouldn't serve under him
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Name 3 reasons Britain and France didn't do much to help Poland?
Geographical difficulties, French wary of ww1 casualties
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What was the 'Phoney War?'
A time between the invasion of Poland and the beginning of the Blitz where there was no fighting
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Why didn't Britain do more during the 'phoney war'
Nobody wanted to be the first to attach/launch aerial raids on civilians
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What happened in November 1939 which ultimately made the prospect of an Anglo-Soviet alliance even more difficult?
USSR invaded Finland
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When did the USSR invade Finland
November 1939
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What, and when, was the Lend-Lease Act?
USA provided Britain with economic support in the form of: military equipment, raw materials, food stuff. This was done in exchange for British naval bases in the Caribbean. Passed March 1941
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Who was sent to Moscow in 1940 to try and gain an alliance with the soviets?
Sir Stafford Cripps. Failed because Britain had nothing to offer besides war with Germany.
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What successes did Britain have in the Mediterranean in late 1940?
Helped Greece Repel italian invasion, successfully defended Egypt then occupied Italian African Empire
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Where did Britain send troops to, from North Africa in 1941. And why
Reinforce Greece, because it was now threatened by German troops
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Which German General was sent to take control of Axis forces in the desert? What was the outcome?
General Rommel, British troops sent back to Egyptian border, no British victories until October 1942.
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What significant loss did the British incur in June 1942?
Lost Tobruk - town on Egyptian/Libyan border
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What significant battle did Operation Lightfoot lead to in October 1942?
Battle of El Alamein, pushed Axis troops back to Tunisia
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What was Operation Torch?
Amphibious invasion of Algeria from USA + Britain. Planned to crush Rommel's forces collaboratively with the troops already in North Africa
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What made American's more enthusiastic about Operation Torch?
Rommel's success in 1942 that threatened the Suez
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When did Operation Operation Torch materialise?
November 1942: Anglo-American landings in Morocco and Algeria
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When were the Axis forces in North Africa defeated? How many surrendered?
May 1943. 250,000 Axis forces surrendered.
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Why did Churchill push for a Mediterranean strategy?
Believed French invasion was too costly, there were troops already in the Mediterranean. Opportunity for victory 'on the cheap'
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Operation Husky - what was it, what was the result?
Invasion of Sicily. Took longer than anticipated due to poor supplies. Resulted in the overthrow of Mussolini and subsequently the occupation of Italy by German forces
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Why was the Italian invasion much harder than the 'soft underbelly' Churchill expected it to be?
Occupation by German forces meant much better fight
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When was the Battle of the Atlantic?
1940 - 1945
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Name 3 reasons why the Atlantic was so important to Britain?
Trading/defensive links with Empire, Supplies from USA, couldn't build up equipment and men needed for Operation Torch/Overlord without Atlantic
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What increased at an alarming rate during 1941?
Merchant shipping tonnage sunk - Over 1 million tons sunk in 1941
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Name 3 reasons why German U-boats were so successful?
Superior intelligence, used radio to form wolfpacks. Increased production meant that 80/90 were operational at any one time. They surfaced at night when they couldn't be detected
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How did the Battle of the Atlantic deteriorate for the allies in 1942?
Concentrated on increased shipping from Eastern seaboard; lived in 'Atlantic Gap'; 5.4 million tons sunk in 1942; January 1943 Navy had 2 months of oil remaining.
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When was the Battle of the Atlantic won?
April/May 1943
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Name 3 reasons why the allies won the Battle of the Atlantic?
Better intelligence (dedicated tracking room/new radar systems); Better weapons (Hedgehog Mortars) Better escorts (training and tactics; 'support' groups; long ranged aircraft and carriers)
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What did Churchill offer Stalin as a second front in August 1942?
Bombing of Germany
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What did the Singleton inquiry show? When was it?
Less than 1/4 of bombs fell within 5 miles of their target. Only 30% of bombs hit built up areas.
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What did the Butt Report show? When was it?
Published in 1941, showed that between 1939-41 only 30% of British bombers arrived within target area, with just 10% arriving within the Ruhr
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Name 3 reasons allied pursued with the bombing campaign?
Wanted to avoid attrition of WW1, belief of airmen and politicians that it would 'deliver knockout blow', damaged morale and german production
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What was 'strategic bombing'?
Targeting German home population and economy
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Why were German air defences so good?
Radar, AA guns, 492 planes lost in 1940, 1034 in 1941
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What was the dambusters raid?
An attack on German dams. Known as 'Operation Chastise'
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When did the dambusters raid happen?
May 1943
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What statistic shows that the Dambusters raid was costly for British airmen?
Only 11/19 of the lancaster planes that left had returned
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Who conducted the dambusters raid?
Guy Gibson, Squadron 617 of the RAF
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What statistics shows that the dambusters raid was effective at stunting German production?
The bombing of the Mohnesee dam resulted in 11 small factories and 114 factories being damaged. Water production in the Ruhr fell from 1 million tonnes to a quarter of this figure
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Which two statistics show that German industry performed exceptionally well, especially in terms of munitions and the Ruhr, despite the bombing campaign?
German munitions production doubled from 1942-43 and continued to rise throughout the war, and production rose by 25% in the Ruhr from 1942-43
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What statistic shows that British bomber pilots had difficulty differentiating between civilians and soldiers in Germany?
800,000 German civilians dead
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What happened in Hamburg, July 1943?
In an attempt of radar jamming, British bombers inadvertently caused fires which destroyed ¾ of Hamburg, killing 40,000 and leaving over a million homeless.
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Between 1942 and 1944, at what rate did German war production change?
It trebled
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Who was Hugh Trenchard and what policy did he have with regard to bombing?
First Chief of Air Staff, Daylight raids on large industrial cities resulted in a large amount of absenteeism
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What percentage of British war production did the bombing campaign consume throughout WW2?
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How many allied airmen were killed during the bombing campaign throughout the war?
Over 120,000 allied airmen
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What do some post-war studies say regarding the British war production spent on the bombing campaign?
That it was more like 7% rather than 25%
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What changes did Bomber Harris make in Spring 1942?
Large long-range bombers ordered (Lancasters); Better navigation systems; radar jamming techniques
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What impact did the Americans have on the bombing campaign?
Accurate aiming, B-17 well armed - could fly in the day
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What main problem did the RAF face in trying to successfully bomb Germany? How did they solve this?
RAF Large bombers against small, quick Me's. Solved by escorting bomber planes with fighter planes, fitted with larger fuel tanks
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What difference had the bombing campaign made by 1944?
Deprived other theatres of airpower (Only 300 planes for Overlord; 500 planes for the Soviet front); disrupted aircraft production; debilitated railway system
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Did bombing help the war?
Only reduced German production by 14% in 1944, but, it was never intended to single handedly end the war
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What was Operation Overlord? When was it?
Join allied invasion of Northern France - 6th June 1944
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What was the significance of Operation Ironclad?
Invasion of Madagascar in 1942 nearly a disaster; highlighted importance of maintaining momentum of supplies
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Why was Churchill so reluctant to endorse Operation Overlord?
Believed it would be too costly; couldn't afford another evacuation like Dunkirk due to it destroying morale
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Why couldn't Operation Overlord go ahead in 1943?
Not enough US troops in England or landing craft available (most in Med/Pacific); other military priorities
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Explain the difference in attitudes towards Operation Overlord between Britain and USA
Britain - strategy of looking for enemies weak point and exploiting naval power. Only wanted to fight short, winnable campaigns. USA: Massive rolling front - where enemy is strongest, hadn't experience failure, could invade twice.
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What was the significance of the Teheran Conference in November 1943?
First time 'big 3' had met together, First meeting of Roosevelt and Stalin. Roosevelt finalised Overlord by informing Stalin, Churchill realised he was a junior Member.
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Who was Chosen to lead Operation OVerlord?
General Eisenhower, General Montgomery
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Name 3 reasons why Normandy was chosen?
Natural Shelter, less well defended, valuable port of Cherbourg
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Where did allies particularly struggle at Operation Overlord?
Pointe Du Hoc - Omaha beach
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How did the allies ensure the invasion maintained the momentum of supplies?
Invention of 'floating harbours' (Mulberries), ensure supply of equipment and reinforcement of over 1 million men by mid july
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How did allies restrict German reinforcement of the invasion area?
Heavy bombing of bridges, railways and tunnels in prior months. Bombing over Germany had depleted Luftwaffe. Paratroopers landed in early hours of morning to secure important communication links
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Which bridge did allied forces take at the start of Operation Overlord?
Pegasus Bridge
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How did the allies hide the direction and timing of the invasion from Germany until last minute?
Operation Bodyguard: Germans led to believe Calais would be attacked (15th German army remained there until August). Concealed forces in the South West. Fictional division FUSAG created situated in South east (1 million Strong) Dummy Camps set up
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What were German military weaknesses during Operation Overlord?
Only 1 division every 120 miles for Normandy section of Atlantic Wall; mainly older/wounded soldiers
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What were the German strategic weaknesses?
Failed to agree on a strategy (Rommel: initial defence; von Rundstedt: Counter-attack); Hitler split troops between two strategies
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What were the 5 landing beaches codenamed?
Omaha, Utah, Gold, Juno, Sword
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What was Operation Cobra?
An attempt to break through the Normandy line into Germany
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Why was Operation Cobra a success?
Reinforcement of troops; Sherman tanks; German troops couldn't be reinforced sufficiently; not allowed to retreat until too late
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What was Operation Barbarossa?
German invasion of Russia in June 1941
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Name 3 reasons why Stalingrad was significant?
Major industrial centre, last gateway to rich oil fields, trade junction, historical battle fought in civil war meant it was named after Stalin
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What was Operation Uranus?
General Zhukov's plan to defend Stalingrad. Isolated German troops in Stalingrad by attacking from North and South
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What was Operation Citadel?
German attack on Kursk; designed to get them on the front foot again. Successfully defeated by Red Army
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List 5 reasons why the Soviets defeated the Germans at Stalingrad and Kursk
Better central planning, great technological improvements and tactics, ability to deploy huge number of soldiers without losing control, transformed a demoralised population and shattered economy, violent emotional hatred of enemy
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What was Order 227? When was it issued?
Autumn 1942 - "Not a step back!" -Stalin
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What did Operation Uranus result in for German troops?
240,000 German troops trapped
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How many men did Russia have attacking Germany at Operation Citadel?
1,000,000 men
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Card 2


When was the evacuation of Dunkirk?


May 27th 1940

Card 3


How many allied forces were evacuated?


Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4


Why can the evacuation of Dunkirk be considered a success?


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


Why can the evacuation of Dunkirk be considered a failure?


Preview of the front of card 5
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