Those are some of the historic landing sites for World War II invasions, legendary names that should never be forgotten. There were at least two mini-landings in America, engineered by Germans, of course, not Allies. In the midst of World War II, two German submarines actually put men ashore at both of those locations.
Italian dictator Benito Mussolini had sentsoldiers into the Balkans, and had lost 63, in the first six months of his effort. High elevations and mountain passes covered with snow until April and even May hindered German supply convoys and placed a great strain on mechanized units.
Reinforcements could not be deployed as readily as needed.
Rivers and streams had to be crossed, wounded soldiers and prisoners needed to be evacuated, airfields had to be captured or constructed, and lines of communication needed to be established.
Victory sometimes depended on a secured, viable supply line more than a superior military force. The intense fighting for the Balkans was unlike any that the Wehrmacht had previously faced.
This was its first encounter with guerrilla fighters, winter fighting and mountainous terrain. All the key objectives had to be taken quickly, and cities were the primary targets. The Germans expected Greece to capitulate, placing the capital of Athens and Greek ports in German hands. Greek bases for the Luftwaffe and Kriegsmarine would solidify German control over the northeastern Mediterranean and assist in supplying the Afrika Korps.
Greece would also serve as a staging area for interdiction of British shipping and would position German arms just a little closer to the Suez Canal. Meeting with Arthur Bliss Lane, the American ambassador, Paul stated that, if he did not join the Axis, he could not count on Croat support in the invasion that was sure to come.
They signed the agreement on the 25th, then returned home. In Belgrade, they learned of a coup that had been initiated on the evening of the 26th. Military officers and anti-fascist troops seized air bases, aircraft and government buildings, toppling the weak Yugoslav government overnight.
The revolutionary forces seized radio and telephone exchanges, the ministry of war building, police headquarters and the main post office. Prince Paul was captured in Zagreb, where he was traveling by train, and was forced to abdicate, leaving the young King Peter as a puppet monarch.
The new government announced that it would remain faithful to the Tripartite Pact after realizing that Britain and the United States, although supportive, were in no position to assist them against a German attack.
Hitler was not appeased, however. On the very day the coup took place in Yugoslavia, he ordered his high command to plan a full-scale invasion of the country. Bulgaria was already allied to and occupied by the Germans, and many divisions passed through that country on their way to invade the countries to the south.
In order for the Germans to secure their left flank and the supply routes necessary for further conquest, Yugoslavia had to be subjugated quickly. Belgrade, the Yugoslav capital, was the most important objective, and to weaken the city the German high command planned a two-week bombardment followed by massive artillery and armored attacks.
The Germans intended to employ five infantry divisions to occupy the city after its capture.
Events proved, however, that even the best laid battle plans are sometimes pre-empted — and sometimes under most unusual circumstances. Belgrade did suffer through several days of artillery attacks and three days of aerial bombardment, which served to soften up the Yugoslav capital.
But the city was taken on April 12, — much earlier than the high command had anticipated — by a handful of troops low on ammunition and high on morale, led by a man who was not afraid to seize an opportunity when he saw it.
The highly unorthodox assault was a product of the military judgment, audacious courage and sheer luck of Waffen SS Captain Fritz Klingenberg. Klingenberg was not a hearty drinker or talker and never boasted of his accomplishments.
He was awarded the Iron Cross Second Class for heroism during that action. His platoon was pinned down by effective machine-gun fire when a Panzerkampfwagen Mark II light tank that had been supporting them struck a mine.
The crew was trapped in the burning vehicle and raked by machine-gun fire. While his men rescued the tankers, Klingenberg raced across meters of open ground, taking out the three-man French position with grenades. He did not receive so much as a scratch.
Once, during the French campaign, he even called deadly 88mm fire down on his own position to rout an enemy counterattack.
That action allowed the entire German column to press forward, taking advantage of confusion among the French. During another engagement, he called Junkers Ju Stuka dive bombers down on his position to stop the enemy from retreating, which resulted in the capture of 55 prisoners.
For that action, the acting battalion commander, Lt. Whatever his men needed — ammunition, food, water, etc. Klingenberg even held a school for scroungers, teaching men to steal essentials for survival. Soon after arriving in Yugoslavia, he was promoted to captain and given command of a motorcycle reconnaissance unit, which was responsible for gathering intelligence quickly and maintaining communications with rear units.
His men held the division record for complaints and theft reports.Introduction. World War II was the mightiest struggle humankind has ever seen. It killed more people, cost more money, damaged more property, affected more people, and caused more far-reaching changes in nearly every country than any other war in history.
Normandy Invasion: Normandy Invasion, during World War II, the Allied invasion of western Europe, which was launched on June 6, , with the simultaneous landing of U.S., British, and Canadian forces on five separate beachheads in Normandy, France.
6/12/ • World War II When Germany’s forces slammed into the Balkans during the early spring of , they encountered not only armed resistance but also difficultterrain and horrendous weather. During World War II (), the Battle of Normandy, which lasted from June to August , resulted in the Allied liberation of Western Europe from Nazi Germany’s control.
Codenamed. The military history of Canada during the Second World War begins with the German invasion of Poland on 1 September While the Canadian Armed Forces were eventually active in nearly every theatre of war, most combat was centred in Italy, Northwestern Europe, and the North Atlantic.
Over the course of the war, more than million Canadians served in the Canadian Army, Royal Canadian . Operation Barbarossa: The History of Nazi Germany's Invasion of the Soviet Union during World War II [Charles River Editors] on initiativeblog.com *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers.
*Includes pictures *Includes soldiers' accounts of the fighting *Includes online resources and a bibliography for further reading In the warm predawn darkness of June