The Tide Turns on Two Fronts
In 1942, Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin planned
the Allies' strategy. Stalin wanted Britain and the
United States to open a second front against
Germany to relieve the pressure on his armies.
Stalin wanted the attack in France. Roosevelt and
Churchill agreed to a second front but chose to
attack German General Erwin Rommel in North
In late 1942, the British army led by General
Bernard Montgomery drove the Germans out of
Egypt and back to the west. Meanwhile, American
troops under the command of General Dwight D.
Eisenhower landed behind the Germans and
began moving east. The Germans were finally
forced out of Africa in May 1943.
At the same time, the Soviets gained a major
victory as well. German troops had invaded the
Soviet city of Stalingrad in 1942. The Red Army
forced the Germans to surrender in February
1943, ending the Battle of Stalingrad.
American and British soldiers next invaded Italy
and captured Sicily in August 1943. Mussolini was
driven from power and the new Italian government
surrendered. But Hitler did not want to give up
Italy. His army fought there until 1945.
How did the tide of war turn in favor of the Allies?
The Allied Home Fronts
While the Allies continued to fight, people at home
suffered. Some British and Soviet citizens died. In
the United States, citizens faced shortages. Goods
such as food, tires, gasoline, and clothing were in
short supply. The government rationed these
items. It limited how much a person could have so
there would be enough for the military.
Some Americans were even imprisoned. Bitter
feelings against the Japanese became widespread.
As a result, mistrust of Japanese Americans grew.
The U.S. government took thousands of Japanese
Americans who lived on the west coast and moved
them to relocation camps in the western United
States. Two-thirds of these people were American
What problems did people face at home?
(Requires Two Sentences)
Victory in Europe
In early 1944, the Allies built a massive force to
retake France. In June, an invasion of thousands of
ships, planes, and soldiers was launched. It was
called D-Day. The invasion force suffered heavy
losses but gained a foothold in northern France. A
month later, Allied forces began to pour through
German lines. In August, they marched in triumph
into Paris. By September, they had driven the
Germans out of France, Belgium, Luxembourg,
and much of the Netherlands.
At the same time, the Soviets were pushing the
Germans back in eastern Europe. In late 1944,
Hitler ordered his army to make one final, largescale attack in the west. In the Battle of the Bulge,
it punched through Allied lines until an Allied counterattack forced it back to Germany. By late April
1945, Soviet troops surrounded Berlin, Hitler’s
headquarters. Five days later, he killed himself. A
week later, the Germans surrendered. Roosevelt did
not live to see this victory, however. He had died in
early April. Harry Truman was now president.
What were the final battles in Europe?
Victory in the Pacific
In the Pacific, the Allies began to move toward
Japan in 1943. They landed troops in the
Philippines in the fall of 1944. In the Battle of
Leyte Gulf, in October 1944, the Japanese navy
As American troops moved closer to Japan, they
faced attacks by kamikaze. These Japanese suicide pilots sank Allied ships by crashing their
bomb-filled planes into them. In March 1945, U.S.
Marines captured the island of Iwo Jima, a strategic
Japanese stronghold. By June, they had won control of Okinawa, an island just 350 miles from
Japan was the next stop. But the U.S. military
feared that an invasion of Japan would cost half a
million Allied lives. In August, President Truman
ordered that an atomic bomb be dropped on the
city of Hiroshima to try to end the war quickly. A
second bomb was dropped on Nagasaki three days
later. Tens of thousands of Japanese died. Japan
surrendered in September.
What led to victory in the Pacific?