Video WW2 - OverSimplified (Part 2)

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15:34   |   Mar 15, 2018


WW2 - OverSimplified (Part 2)
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  • So, what else is happening?
  • Well, when I said Britain was all alone,
  • that wasn't entirely true.
  • Many commonwealth nations and other allied colonies
  • had joined the war in Britain's support.
  • They would play a key role throughout the war.
  • Particularly in the African, and Italian Campaigns
  • On the Axis side,
  • Germany, Italy and Japan
  • signed the defensive Tripartite Pact, (Axis Powers)
  • bringing their military alliance even closer together.
  • The Soviet Union's war against Finland (Winter War) should have been an easy victory,
  • but it became a humiliating struggle,
  • and their military ineptitude was put on full display.
  • In the end, they did force the Fins to sue for peace.
  • Then, they continued their honourable campaign of pushing around much smaller countries
  • by annexing the Baltic States,
  • and part of northern Romania.
  • France's colonies in Equatorial Africa were like, 'Heck no! We're not going to join the Germans!'
  • and they all pledged their alliegance to Free France.
  • Except for Gabon, which had to be taken by military force.
  • The Allies also tried to capture the strategic port of Dakar,
  • but that ended in failure.
  • Mussolini had seen Hitler's successes,
  • and he thought now it was Italy's time to shine.
  • So he tried to take British Somaliland,
  • and that went pretty well.
  • Then he tried to take Egypt,
  • and that went less well.
  • Then he tried to take Greece,
  • and that went really badly.
  • Churchill began referring to Italy as 'Europe's Soft Underbelly'.
  • He began favouring a military campaign from the south,
  • and started sending British troops to Greece.
  • All of this had Hitler pretty concerned,
  • and he moved to protect his southern flank.
  • He had been getting friendly with Hungary,
  • and had twisted their arm into signing the Tripartite Pact,
  • and joining the Axis powers.
  • Romania was also eager to join for protection against the Soviet Union.
  • The Tripartite Pact was designed to stop any other countries from joining the Allies.
  • Specifically, Britain's old ally the pesky United States of America.
  • When the war first broke out, American public opinion was strongly against joining in.
  • In 1940, there was an election.
  • The Republican candidate said, 'I will not send any young Americans to die in Europe.'
  • And sitting President Franklin D. Roosevelt said, 'I will also not send any young Americans to die in Europe.
  • Unless I have to.
  • Then I might.'
  • And Roosevelt won.
  • Churchill asked him to join the war,
  • but Roosevelt said,
  • 'No can do, Winston.
  • But you know what?
  • Here, have some weapons.'
  • America began supplying the Allies with food and munitions,
  • but there was one problem.
  • German u-boats were sinking thousands of Allied supply ships in the Atlantic,
  • including American ones.
  • If the Germans could sever Britain's supply line,
  • the UK would starve.
  • Throughout the war, the Allies had to come up with better technology to fight the u-boats.
  • Improved radar,
  • aircrafts with longer range,
  • better weaponry and convoy tactics,
  • at one point, a man even called a meeting and said, 'Pykrete.
  • You take some wood. You take some ice.
  • You put them together.
  • You get pykrete.'
  • And then he pulled out a gun and shot some wood and it shattered,
  • and then he shot some pykrete and the bullet ricotcheted off and hit someone else in the conference room.
  • [applause]
  • And then they tried to make a pykrete aircraft carrier,
  • but that idea was scrapped
  • because that's a really dumb idea.
  • In the end, Alan Turing and his team of code-breakers
  • cracked Germany's enigma code
  • and the u-boats gradually became less and less of a threat.
  • Back in Africa,
  • Britain decided to push Italy out of Egypt.
  • 'Hey, that was pretty easy!'
  • So they kept going.
  • Hitler realised he was going to have to finally step in and do something.
  • He went to Bulgaria and Yugoslavia and said,
  • 'Hey. I'm going to move troops through you to get to Greece,
  • so either join us, or, you know, be invaded.'
  • Bulgaria opted to join them.
  • Yugoslavia opted to be invaded.
  • Then Greece finally fell to the joint German-Italian invasion.
  • The British had moved troops from North Africa to fight in Greece,
  • which helped Rommel and his tank divisions push the British back to Egypt.
  • And they could have kept going,
  • but a small, mostly Australian force
  • held out under siege for 8 months in Tobruk,
  • denying the Germans a strategic port city and disrupting their supply line.
  • Despite having some success in the Middle East,
  • the British didn't seem like any real threat for now.
  • 'Hey. Soviet Union.
  • Look out.'
  • With 3 million troops, Hitler launched the largest ground invasion in history, (Operation Barbarossa)
  • and Stalin was far from ready.
  • Both Churchill and Roosevelt had warned him of an impending attack,
  • but he dug his head in the sand and the Soviets didn't stand a chance.
  • Germany made staggering progress,
  • with huge encircling movements capturing mind-boggling numbers of Russian troops.
  • A quarter million at Bialystok-Minsk,
  • 300,000 at Smolensk,
  • nearly 700,000 at Kiev,
  • and again at Vyazma and Bryansk.
  • Leningrad was put under a siege that would last an insufferable four years.
  • The invasion of Russia had been Hitler's main ideological goal from the beginning,
  • and his hatred for the ethnic peoples there was now unleashed
  • in all its fury.
  • The Eastern Front of the Second World War
  • was brutal for all that endured it.
  • The Germans were now inside of Moscow,
  • and that's it, it's all over.
  • But then, it happened.
  • It got cold.
  • Stupid cold.
  • Hitler had hoped the Soviets would give up before winter, but they kept fighting.
  • His commanders came to him and said, 'Can we please dig in for the winter and wait until spring?'
  • 'No. Keep going.'
  • 'But oil is literally freezing inside our vehicles.'
  • 'That's fine. Keep going.'
  • 'We're having to leave the corpses of our frozen horses by the side of the road
  • so we can still find our way in the snowdrift.'
  • 'Perfectly normal. Keep going.'
  • Hitler hadn't given his millions of men winter clothing and supplies,
  • because he thought he really should have won by now.
  • Then, Stalin called in troops from the Siberian front,
  • specially trained to fight in the extreme cold,
  • and the Germans were no match.
  • They were now being pushed back.
  • They had no choice but to dig in and wait for winter to end.
  • Germany's victories were staggering,
  • and Japan was eager not to miss the victory bus.
  • Their war in China had come to a standstill,
  • but they wanted to keep expending their sphere of influence and getting those sweet, sweet raw materials.
  • They began making plans to expand southward, (Nanshin-Ron Doctrine)
  • but there was a problem.
  • South-East Asia was heavily colonised by America and Great Britain.
  • It was also full of ocean.
  • Ocean meant naval combat,
  • and there was no way the Japanese navy could stand up to the US and the UK.
  • So they thought, 'Wouldn't it be nice if we could destroy their navies before we begin our conquest?'
  • And so it was.
  • On December 7th 1941,
  • the Japanese launched a surprise air raid on the US Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor,
  • and inflicted a huge amount of damage.
  • They also attacked British colonies in South-East Asia.
  • Roosevelt had no choice but to declare war on Japan,
  • and so did Churchill.
  • Hitler then declared war on America,
  • even though he totally didn't have to.
  • The attack on Pearl Harbor seemed like a big Japanese victory,
  • but they didn't attack any of the naval repair yards,
  • fuel storage tanks, or the submarine base.
  • Meaning the Pacific Fleet would be up and running again pretty soon.
  • In the meantime though, the Japanese were able to begin their conquest.
  • They took Guam, the Gilbert Islands,
  • Wake Island,
  • Hong Kong and the Philippines,
  • they forced Thailand to join them so they could march their troops through to Malaya,
  • they swept through Singapore,
  • North Borneo,
  • the East Indies,
  • New Guinea,
  • the Solomons,
  • and they were now threatening northern Australia, (Bombing of Darwin)
  • and the borders of India.
  • Japan's victory had been as staggering as the Germans',
  • and it reinforced the Japanese idea that this was a divine war which they were destined to win.
  • But their victories had been based on speed,
  • not power.
  • And power would eventually catch up with them.
  • For now though, in all occupied nations,
  • the people suffered.
  • Persecution, forced labour, harsh punishments for any who spoke out against their occupiers.
  • In Europe, the Nazis were rounding up ethnic minorities
  • and other unwanted groups and individuals.
  • In particular,
  • millions of Jewish people would suffer through the terrible events of the Holocaust.
  • Brave resistance movements rose up in defiance of their invaders,
  • while the people held out for hope.
  • And hope was coming.
  • Winter was over, and Hitler could continue his push eastward.
  • But this time, he switched up his strategy.
  • He wanted to focus on the south.
  • His plan was to cut off the Russian armies in the Caucasus,
  • an area full of oil,
  • and then invade the Caucasus,
  • and take all the oil.
  • His forces moved across the north with ease, and Hitler got cocky.
  • He rerouted the 4th Panzer Army south early,
  • leaving the 6th Army to complete the encircling movement alone.
  • To do so, the 6th army had to reach and take the key Soviet city
  • of Stalingrad.
  • The Russians defended it fiercely,
  • and Stalingrad saw some of the harshest fighting of the entire war.
  • The Soviets held up the German advance for five months,
  • as they battled in the war-torn city,
  • which bought them valuable time.
  • When the Germans had first launched their invasion a year earlier,
  • the Soviets had moved their factories to the east.
  • Those factories had been building a butt ton of tons and aircraft,
  • and getting the Soviet army up to scratch.
  • Now,
  • it was ready.
  • Stalin gathered his new and improved forces around the city,
  • and in an attack that resembled Hitler's own encirclement tactics,
  • they began surrounding the 6th army.
  • Hitler's commanders came to him and said,
  • 'Hey.
  • Maybe we should retreat.'
  • But Hitler said,
  • 'No, no.
  • You stay.'
  • The entire 6th army was trapped and had to surrender.
  • With complete air superiority,
  • the Soviets started pushing westward.
  • For Stalin, it was a resounding victory.
  • For Hitler, an absolute catastrophe.
  • Things also weren't looking too good for Hitler elsewhere.
  • With America now in the war,
  • Allied bombing over German cities reached devastating levels.
  • In Africa, the British had pushed Rommel back again,
  • then they were pushed back again,
  • then finally, after a decisive battle at El Alamein,
  • and with American and British troops arriving in the west,
  • the Germans and Italians were squeezed out of Africa.
  • Japan was also seeing its rapid success being turned around.
  • They attempted to take the island of Midway,
  • but the US Navy was ready of the attack,
  • and they sank Japan's carrier.
  • Actually, they sank a lot of them.
  • It was a battle from which the Japanese Navy would never recover.
  • British and Chinese troops held the line in the harsh jungle terrain of Burma,
  • and the Japanese suffered losses in the Solomon Islands and New Guinea.
  • They began to realise they were not invincible.
  • With the Axis out of Africa,
  • the Allies had to decide their next move.
  • Churchill still wanted to attack from the south,
  • while the Americans preferred a full sea invasion in northern France.
  • 'Alright,' said the Americans. 'We'll do it your way.'
  • Allied forces successfully landed in Sicily,
  • and began moving north.
  • They also carried out bombing raids over Rome.
  • The thing was,
  • many of the people in Sicily had relatives living in America,
  • and they greeted the American troops quite warmly.
  • With the war reaching home territory,
  • most Italians just weren't that into it,
  • and Mussolini was suddenly very unpopular.
  • He was voted out from his own fascist grand council and was toppled from power.
  • Italy immediately began negotiations for surrender.
  • Hitler wasn't surprised, and had already sent reinforcements southward.
  • In an operation he ironically called Operation Axis,
  • German troops quickly disarmed Italian troops in the north.
  • The Allies continued fighting the Germans up through Italy,
  • but then winter set in,
  • meaning mud, and everything slowed to a halt.
  • 'Alright,' said the Americans. 'Let's do it our way as well.'
  • Germany had made itself a lot of enemies,
  • and millions of Allied troops had been gathering in England
  • as factories worked around the clock
  • producing the war material needed for a super crazy massive
  • the likes of which the world has never seen before invasion of Europe.
  • The Germans new an Allied invasion would come,
  • but they didn't know where it would land.
  • Thanks to Allied deception tactics,
  • they thought there was a pretty good chance it would come at Calais.
  • But the Allies were really going to land in Normandy,
  • because it was less fortified
  • and the beaches were nicer.
  • Under the careful planning of General Dwight D. Eisenhower,
  • the invasion that had been long in the making was just about ready to go.
  • Just one thing was preventing the launch.
  • The British weather.
  • For a short while, everyone sat around waiting for a decent day.
  • And then, it came.
  • On the night of June 5th,
  • over a thousand bombers took off and raided coastline defences,
  • while paratroopers were dropped inland in a bit of a chaotic operation,
  • tasked with sabotaging defences
  • and capturing key bridges to stop any German reinforcements
  • from reaching the beaches.
  • Early the next morning,
  • the barrage came,
  • as Allied ships fired a huge number of shells
  • at the German fortifications.
  • And then, the landings.
  • The Americans at Utah and Omaha,
  • the British at Gold and Sword,
  • and the Canadians at Juno.
  • It was a tremendous struggle with a great loss of life,
  • particularly at Omaha,
  • but the Allied troops captured the beaches
  • and the landings were a success.
  • Then they began their movements inland.
  • They took the port of Cherbourg,
  • and the city of Caen.
  • The Americans moved south to capture Brittany.
  • Then, in a massive disaster for the Germans,
  • British and Canadian troops from the north and Americans from the south
  • trapped the German 7th Army
  • in a near-wipeout encircle movement.
  • In August, Allied troops landed in the south of France to little resistance.
  • On one beach, all they found was a French man handing out champagne.
  • Paris was liberated,
  • and the Germans were pushed out of France
  • as the Allies entered Belgium.
  • In the far east,
  • the Allies started to push the Japanese out of Burma,
  • as the Americans launched a two-pronged offensive in the Pacific.
  • In the south,
  • General MacArthur lead the push to liberate the Philippines,
  • while General Nimitz oversaw the brutal island-hopping campaign.
  • American forces had to make hard-fought landing after hard-fought landing
  • on fiercely defended small islands,
  • as they moved steadily towards the Japanese mainland.
  • The Japanese believed that the greatest thing a person could do
  • was to die in battle.
  • And the most dishonourable act
  • was to surrender.
  • As a result, they fought ferociously to the very end.
  • And the closer the Americans got to the mainland,
  • the more ferocious the resistance became.
  • In February 1945,
  • the Americans captured the island of Iwo Jima,
  • and an intense fire-bombing campaign of Japan's wooden cities began.
  • The Allies suffered some setbacks
  • trying to liberate the Netherlands.
  • But they were making progress,
  • and were now threatening the industrial heartland of Germany.
  • Hitler's health, both mentally and physically
  • was rapidly deteriorating.
  • Things were looking bad, and he was desperate.
  • He said, 'We need to turn this thing around.
  • And I have just the trick.
  • Remember a few years back when we Blitzkrieged through the Ardennes
  • and trapped the Allied forces in Belgium?
  • Well I'm going to do the exact same thing.
  • Again.'
  • He gathered his forces,
  • and tried to pound them through the Ardennes.
  • He used up the remainder of Germany's strength
  • and resources,
  • and he managed to create quite a nice bulge.
  • He also trapped some American forces in the Belgian town of Bastogne.
  • The Germans sent the trapped Americans a message,
  • saying, 'Surrender or be annihilated.'
  • When it was read out to the commanding officer,
  • he said,
  • 'They want to surrender?'
  • 'No sir, they want us to surrender.'
  • 'Nuts!'
  • And that's what they sent off as their official reply.
  • General Patton's 3rd Army
  • then managed to break the siege from the south-west,
  • and the Germans were pushed back.
  • Hitler's last-ditch attempt had failed,
  • and what followed was a total collapse of the German forces.
  • The Allies pushed into Germany from both sides.
  • The Soviet Union took Warsaw,
  • and kept pushing to Berlin.
  • In his bunker, Hitler realised all hope was lost.
  • Berlin fell,
  • and with it, Hitler's dreams of a great German empire.
  • Two of the Axis nations had been knocked out -
  • one to go.
  • The Americans began their assault on Okinawa,
  • the last island before they would reach the Japanese mainland.
  • The desperate Japanese fought hard,
  • launching kamikaze attacks on the US ships.
  • The citizens of Okinawa suffered through the terrible fighting,
  • but in two months, the island was captured.
  • The Allies now had to make a choice.
  • Either continue the devastating struggle up the Japanese mainland, (Operation Downfall)
  • or they could try to coerce the Japanese into surrendering now.
  • In July, the first successful atomic bomb test took place in New Mexico,
  • and the destructive weapon was ready for use.
  • America and the UK were also seeing the Soviet Union
  • not so much liberating as occupying its captured territory,
  • and so they wanted to put on a show of force.
  • On August 6th,
  • the A-bomb fell on Hiroshima.
  • Then, on the 9th,
  • Nagasaki.
  • The cities were reduced to rubble,
  • and for the people living there,
  • it was a terrible fate.
  • But for the Allies,
  • it achieved their main aim.
  • In September,
  • the Emperor announced Japan's surrender,
  • saying, 'The war situation has developed not necessarily to Japan's advantage.'
  • After six years,
  • war was finally over.
  • The Allies occupied Japan for eight years.
  • The Emperor was allowed to keep his position,
  • but General MacArthur made sure this picture was printed in the Japanese press,
  • to display to the Japanese people that their Emperor
  • was not the divine, powerful being they had believed.
  • Germany was divided between America,
  • the UK,
  • France, and the Soviet Union.
  • In 1949,
  • the Allied sectors were united into West Germany.
  • The Second World War
  • had been more terrible
  • and destructive
  • than the First.
  • In its aftermath,
  • two major superpowers
  • with two very different ideologies
  • had come out victorious.
  • And the tension between the two of them
  • would create a new kind of war.
  • A very, very cold one.
  • 'Wow, Churchill.
  • That looks just like me.
  • And your app is doing really well.
  • And this quesidilla you made is to die for.
  • How'd you learn to do all this stuff?'
  • 'I used the link in the description to get two months of Skillshare for just 99¢.'
  • 'Wow, tell me more.'
  • 'Okay.'
  • Skillshare is an online learning community,
  • with more than 19,000 classes in design,
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  • So you can improve your skills,
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  • If you'd like to give it a try first,
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Flag of Newfoundland by Lrenhrda

“Personnel operating Asdic equipment in H.M.C.S. 'Acadia'. Nov. 1940” by Library and Archives Canada

Block of Pykrete by CyranoDeWikipedia

After Bombing by Boris Kudoyarov / RIA Novosti archive

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German Cross by Lyon Cyborg

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Hiroshima Dome by Oren Rozen

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