The Continuation War was a conflict fought by Finland and Nazi Germany, as co-belligerents, against the Soviet Union from 1941 to 1944, during World War II. In Russian historiography, the war is called the Soviet–Finnish Front of the Great Patriotic War. Germany regarded its operations in the region as part of its overall war efforts on the Eastern Front and provided Finland with critical material support and military assistance; the Continuation War began 15 months after the end of the Winter War fought between Finland and the USSR. There have been a number of reasons proposed for the Finnish decision to invade, with regaining territory lost during the Winter War being regarded as the most common. Other justifications for the conflict included President Ryti's vision of a Greater Finland and Commander-in-Chief Mannerheim's desire to liberate Karelia. Plans for the attack were developed jointly between the Wehrmacht and a small faction of Finnish political and military leaders with the rest of the government remaining ignorant.
Despite the co-operation in this conflict, Finland never formally signed the Tripartite Pact that had established the Axis powers and justified its alliance with Germany as self-defence. In June 1941, with the start of the German invasion of the Soviet Union, the Finnish Defence Forces launched their offensive following Soviet airstrikes. By September 1941, Finland occupied East Karelia and reversed its post–Winter War concessions to the Soviet Union along the Karelian Isthmus and in Ladoga Karelia; the Finnish Army halted its offensive past the old border, around 30–32 km from the centre of Leningrad and participated in besieging the city by cutting its northern supply routes and digging in until 1944. In Lapland, joint German–Finnish forces failed to capture Murmansk or cut the Kirov Railway, a transit route for lend-lease equipment to the USSR; the conflict stabilised with only minor skirmishes until the tide of the war turned against the Germans and the Soviet Union's strategic Vyborg–Petrozavodsk Offensive in June 1944.
The attack drove the Finns from most of the territories they had gained during the war, but the Finnish Army halted the offensive in August 1944. Hostilities between Finland and the USSR ended with a ceasefire, called on 5 September 1944, formalised by the signing of the Moscow Armistice on 19 September 1944. One of the conditions of this agreement was the expulsion, or disarming, of any German troops in Finnish territory, which led to the Lapland War between the former co-belligerents. World War II was concluded formally for Finland and the minor Axis powers with the signing of the Paris Peace Treaties in 1947; the treaties resulted in the restoration of borders per the 1940 Moscow Peace Treaty, the ceding of the municipality of Petsamo and the leasing of Porkkala Peninsula to the USSR. Furthermore, Finland was required to pay $300 million in war reparations to the USSR. 63,200 Finns and 23,200 Germans died or went missing during the war in addition to 158,000 and 60,400 wounded, respectively.
Estimates of dead or missing Soviets range from 250,000 to 305,000 while 575,000 have been estimated to have been wounded or fallen sick. On 23 August 1939, the Soviet Union and Germany signed the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, in which the two parties agreed to divide the independent countries of Finland, Latvia, Lithuania and Romania into spheres of interest, with Finland falling within the Soviet sphere. Shortly after, Germany invaded Poland leading to the United Kingdom and France declaring war on Germany; the Soviet Union invaded eastern Poland on 17 September. Moscow turned its attention to the Baltic states, demanding that they allow Soviet military bases to be established and troops stationed on their soil; the Baltic governments signed agreements in September and October. In October 1939, the Soviet Union attempted to negotiate with Finland to cede Finnish territory on the Karelian Isthmus and the islands of the Gulf of Finland, to establish a Soviet military base near the Finnish capital of Helsinki.
The Finnish government refused, the Red Army invaded Finland on 30 November 1939. The USSR was expelled from the League of Nations and was condemned by the international community for the illegal attack. Foreign support for Finland was promised, but little actual help materialised, except from Sweden; the Moscow Peace Treaty concluded the 105-day Winter War on 13 March 1940 and started the Interim Peace. By the terms of the treaty, Finland ceded 11 per cent of its national territory and 13 percent of its economic capacity to the Soviet Union; some 420,000 evacuees were resettled from the ceded territories. Finland retained its sovereignty. Prior to the war, Finnish foreign policy had been based on multilateral guarantees of support from the League of Nations and Nordic countries, but this policy was considered a failure. After the war, Finnish public opinion favored the reconquest of Finnish Karelia; the government declared national defence to be its first priority, military expenditure rose to nearly half of public spending.
Finland purchased and received donations of war materiel during and after the Winter War. Finnish leadership wanted to preserve the spirit of unanimity, felt throughout the country during the Winter War; the divisive White Guard tradition of the Finnish Civil War's 16 May victory-day celebration was therefore discontinued. The Soviet Union had received the Hanko Naval Base, on Finland's southern coast near the capital Helsinki, where it deployed over 30,000 Soviet military personnel. Relations between Finland and the Soviet Union remained strained after the signing of the one-sided peace treaty
South West Pacific theatre of World War II
The South West Pacific theatre, during World War II, was a major theatre of the war between the Allies and the Axis. It included the Philippines, the Dutch East Indies, Borneo and its mandate Territory of New Guinea and the western part of the Solomon Islands; this area was defined by the Allied powers' South West Pacific Area command. In the South West Pacific theatre, Japanese forces fought against the forces of the United States and Australia. New Zealand, the Netherlands, the Philippines, United Kingdom, other Allied nations contributed forces; the South Pacific became a major theatre of the war following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941. US warplans called for a counteroffensive across the Central Pacific, but this was disrupted by the loss of battleships at Pearl Harbor. During the First South Pacific Campaign, US forces sought to establish a defensive perimeter against additional Japanese attacks; this was followed by the Second South Pacific Campaign. The U. S. General Douglas MacArthur had been in command of the American forces in the Philippines in what was to become the South West Pacific theatre, but was part of a larger theatre that encompassed the South West Pacific, the Southeast Asian mainland and the North of Australia, under the short lived American-British-Dutch-Australian Command.
Shortly after the collapse of ABDACOM, supreme command of the South West Pacific theatre passed to MacArthur, appointed Supreme Allied Commander South West Pacific Area on 30 March 1942. In the other major theatre in the Pacific region, known as the Pacific Ocean theatre, Allied forces were commanded by US Admiral Chester Nimitz. Both MacArthur and Nimitz were overseen by the US Joint Chiefs and the Western Allies Combined Chiefs of Staff. Most Japanese forces in the theatre were part of the Southern Expeditionary Army, formed on November 6, 1941, under General Hisaichi Terauchi; the Nanpo gun was responsible for Imperial Japanese Army ground and air units in Southeast Asia and the South Pacific. The Combined Fleet of the Imperial Japanese Navy was responsible for all Japanese warships, naval aviation units and marine infantry units; as the Japanese military did not formally utilize joint/combined staff at the operational level, the command structures/geographical areas of operations of the Nanpo gun and Rengō Kantai overlapped each other and those of the Allies.
Battle of the Philippines Battle of Bataan Battle of Corregidor Dutch East Indies campaign, 1941–42 Battle of Badung Strait 19–20 February 1942 Battle of the Java Sea 27 February 1942 Battle of Sunda Strait 28 February – 1 March 1942 Second Battle of the Java Sea 1 March 1942 Solomon Islands campaign 1943–45 New Georgia Campaign, June–August 1943 Battle of Kula Gulf 6 July 1943 Battle of Kolombangara 13 July 1943 Battle of Vella Gulf 6–7 August 1943 Naval Battle of Vella Lavella 6–7 October 1943 Battle of Empress Augusta Bay 2 November 1943 Battle of Cape St. George 25 November 1943 New Guinea campaign, 1942–45 Battle of Rabaul, January–February 1942 Invasion of Salamaua–Lae, March 1942 Battle of the Coral Sea 4–8 May 1942 Invasion of Buna-Gona, July 1942 Kokoda Track campaign, July–November 1942 Battle of Goodenough Island, October 1942 Battle of Buna-Gona, November 1942 – January 1943 Battle of Wau, January 1943 Battle of the Bismarck Sea 2 March 1943 Operation Chronicle 1943 Landing at Nassau Bay 1943 Salamaua-Lae campaign, April–September 1943 Finisterre Range campaign, September 1943 – April 1944 Huon Peninsula campaign, September 1943 – March 1944 Bougainville Campaign, November 1943 – August 1945 New Britain campaign 26 December 1943 Admiralty Islands campaign 29 February 1944 Invasion of Hollandia 22 April 1944 Battle of Biak 27 May 1944 Battle of Noemfoor 2 July 1944 Battle of Morotai 15 September 1944 Aitape-Wewak campaign November 1944 Battle of Timor 1942–43 Philippines campaign Battle of Leyte, October–December 1944 Battle of Leyte Gulf, 23-26 October 1944 Battle of Mindoro, December 1944 Battle of Lingayen Gulf, January 1945 Battle of Luzon, January–August 1945 Battle of Manila, February–March 1945 Battle of Corregidor, February 1945 Invasion of Palawan, February–April 1945 Battle of the Visayas, March–July 1945 Battle of Mindanao, March–August 1945 Battle of Maguindanao, January–September 1945 Borneo campaign, 1945 Battle of Tarakan, May–June 1945 Battle of North Borneo, June–August 1945 Battle of Balikpapan, July 1945 American-British-Dutch-Australian Command Cressman, Robert J..
The Official Chronology of the U. S. Navy in World War II. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-149-1. Dull, Paul S.. A Battle History of the Imperial Japanese Navy. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. Potter, E. B.. Sea Power. Prentice-Hall. Silverstone, Paul H.. U. S. Warships of World War II. Doubleday and Company. Sulzberger, C. L.. The American Heritage Picture History of World War II. Crown Publishers. Drea, Edward J.. In the Service of the Emperor: Essays on the Imperial Japanese Army. Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press. ISBN 0-8032-1708-0. Eichelberger, Robert. Our Jungle Road to Tokyo. New York: Battery Press. ISBN 0-89839-132-6. Griffith, Thomas E. Jr.. MacArthur's Airman: General George C. Kenney and the War in the Southwest Pacific. Lawrence, Kansas, U. S. A.: University Press of Kansas. ISBN 0-7006-0909-1. Krueger, Walter. From Down Under to Nippon: Story of the 6th Army in World War II. Zenger. ISBN 0-89201-046-0. United State
Latin America during World War II
The history of Latin America during World War II is important because of the significant economic and military changes that occurred throughout much of the region as a result of the war. The war caused a lot of panic in Latin America over economics, because they depended on the European investment capital, shut down. Latin America tried to stay neutral but the warring countries were endangering their neutrality. Most countries used propaganda to turn the neutral countries to their side, while Berlin wanted Latin America neutral. In order to better protect the Panama Canal, combat Axis influence, optimize the production of goods for the war effort, the United States through Lend-Lease and similar programs expanded its interests in Latin America, resulting in large-scale modernization and a major economic boost for the countries that participated. Strategically, Panama was the most important Latin American nation for the Allies because of the Panama Canal, which provided a link between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, vital to both commerce and defense.
Brazil was of great importance because of its having the closest point in the Americas to Africa where the Allies were engaged in fighting the Germans and Italians. For the Axis, the Southern Cone nations of Argentina and Chile were where they found most of their support, they utilized it to the fullest by interfering with internal affairs, conducting espionage, distributing propaganda. Brazil was the only country to send troops to the European Theater. Mexico sent a fighter squadron of 300 volunteers to the Pacific, the Escuadrón 201 were known as the Aztec Eagles; the Brazilian active participation on the battlefield in Europe was divined after the Casablanca Conference. The President of the U. S. Franklin D. Roosevelt on his way back from Morocco met the President of Brazil, Getulio Vargas, in Natal, Rio Grande do Norte, this meeting is known as the Potenji River Conference, defined the creation of the Brazilian Expeditionary Force. In 1940, after he expressed his concern to President Franklin D. Roosevelt over Nazi influence in Latin America, Nelson Rockefeller of the famous family was appointed to the new position of Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs in the Office of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs.
Rockefeller was charged with overseeing a program of U. S. cooperation with the nations of Latin America to help raise the standard of living, to achieve better relations among the nations of the western hemisphere, to counter rising Nazi influence in the region. He facilitated this form of cultural diplomacy by collaborating with the Director of Latin American Relations at the CBS radio network Edmund A. Chester. Anti-fascist propaganda was a major U. S. project across Latin America, was run by Rockefeller's office. It spent millions on radio broadcasts and motion pictures. Madison Avenue techniques generated a push back in Mexico where well-informed locals resisted heavy-handed American influence. Mexico was a valuable ally in the war. A deal was reached whereby 250,000 Mexican citizens living in the United States served in the American forces. In addition to propaganda, large sums were allocated for economic development. On the whole the Roosevelt policy was a political success, except in Argentina, which tolerated German influence, refused to follow Washington's lead until the war was over.
According to author Thomas M. Leonard, World War II had a major impact on Latin American economies. Many countries were raising prices on their exports so that they could support themselves economically. Following the December 7, 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, most of Latin America either severed relations with the Axis powers or declared war on them; as a result, many nations found that they were now dependent on the United States for trade. The United States' high demand for particular products and commodities during the war further distorted trade. For example, the United States wanted all of the platinum produced in Colombia, all of Chile's copper, all of Peru's cotton; the parties agreed upon set prices with a high premium, but the various nations lost their ability to bargain and trade in the open market. Shortages of consumer goods and other products were a problem during the war years; the demands of the American war industry and a scarcity of shipping caused many goods to be unavailable in Latin America, so the prices for what was available increased.
Gasoline and other oil products were difficult to obtain. Food shortages were a problem in the cities. All of these factors resulted in inflation. Most of Latin America used the war to their advantage by siding with the United States and receiving aid. Peru, was an exception. In Peru, the government placed price controls on various products. Argentina, despite its pro-German leanings and its hostility towards the United States, did well as trade increased rapidly. Panama benefited economically because of increased ship traffic and goods passing through the canal. In Puerto Rico, the alcohol industry boomed. Petroleum-rich Mexico and Venezuela benefitted from the elevated price of oil. Mexico used this commodity to force a deal on its terms with American and European oil companies for
Cherepovets is a city in Vologda Oblast, located in the west of the oblast on the banks of the Sheksna River and on the shores of the Rybinsk Reservoir. As of the 2010 Census, its population was 312,310; the origin of the word "Cherepovets" is a subject of much debate among the local historians. According to one version, the city received its name from the word "skull". In antiquity, a pagan sanctuary was there in honor of the god Veles on the hill at the confluence of the Sheksna and Yagorba Rivers; the top of the hill was called the "skull." Another version suggests that the word "Cherepovets" originates from the name of the tribe "Ves", who inhabited the Sheksna's banks. According to some legends, "Cherepovets," in the language of local indigenous Veps, means "Veps' fish hill." The city is in the crossroads of the major Volga-Baltic waterway, west-east railroads, gas pipelines, between two Russian federal cities—Moscow and St. Petersburg; the foundation of Cherepovets is traditionally ascribed to two orthodox monks Afanasy.
In 1362, they founded the Cherepovets Resurrection Monastery, in the vicinity of which a small village of Fedosyevo was founded. Historians consider the former village of Fedosyevo to be in the center of modern Cherepovets. Several centuries were needed to develop the small village into a prominent trade and transportation regional center. Cherepovets was granted city status in 1777 by Catherine the Great and became the center of a separate uyezd in the administrative structure of the Novgorod Governorate. Construction of Mariinsk canal system in 1810 made a significant impact on the development of the city; the Mariinsk Canal System connected Cherepovets with Volga River to the south and the Baltic Sea to the west. At that time, the city was still in the early stage of development with the population of 3000 residents by 1863. For a long time, the city brickworks with seven workers was the sole industrial enterprise in Cherepovets; the development of city became more dynamic after Emancipation Reform happened in 1861 and appearance of the shipbuilding industry.
The city soon became a prominent shipbuilding and logistics center tying major regional rail- and waterways. The population had grown to 10,000 by 1915. After the revolution, in March 1918, eastern uyezds of the Novgorod Governorate were renamed to separate Cherepovets Governorate centered around Cherepovets; the new governorate existed for less than 10 years. In 1927, it was merged with Leningrad, Novgorod and Murmansk Governorates into a single Leningrad Oblast. In September 1937, most of the former Cherepovets Governorate territories were transferred to the newly established Vologda Oblast; the subsequent development of the city is tied to the completion of construction of the Cherepovets metallurgy plant in 1955, the second-biggest in the country. Unlike the majority of the most important metallurgy centers in the former Soviet Union, the location of the future steel plant was selected far away from the actual mineral resources and deposits; the reason for, the logistic advantage of having well-developed infrastructure that allowed connection of the north and northwest of the country by rail and waterways into a single operation system.
It connected such remote mining centers as Olenegorsk, Murmansk Oblast. The rapid growth of industry center drastically changed the city, by the early 1960s, its population exceeded 100,000 residents. By 1970, Cherepovets had become the most populated city in Vologda Oblast. Within the framework of administrative divisions, Cherepovets serves as the administrative center of Cherepovetsky District, though it is not a part of it; as an administrative division, it is incorporated separately as the "city of oblast significance of Cherepovets" —an administrative unit with the status equal to that of the districts. As a municipal division, the city of oblast significance of Cherepovets is incorporated as Cherepovets Urban Okrug. Cherepovets is an important industrial center in northwestern Russia known for country's largest steel manufacturing plant, with exports going to more than 50 countries around the world; the city began growing with the construction of the metallurgical works in the late 1930s.
The first works' blast furnace was put into operation in 1955. The first Cherepovets iron was produced in August 1955 and steel in May 1958. In February 1959, the first ingot was rolled in a blooming mill, in November of the same year, the first hot-rolled plate was produced. Nowadays, complex production processes of iron- and steel-making are mechanized and automatically operated; the works' shops have been modernized according to the latest achievements of engineering and technology of metal production. The joint-stock company'Severstal' is a global exporter of ferrous and nonferrous metals: iron, hot-rolled plates, cold roll-formed shapes, other products; the second largest industry in the city is the chemical industry. Its main production area is concentrated in mineral fertilizers. PhosAgro is the largest producer of phosphate-based fertilizers and phosphoric and sulfuric acids in Europe, it is one of the leading producers of NPK fertilizers and ammonium nitrate in Russia. As an outcome of the high volume of metallurgical and chemical production, Cherepovets is one of the most polluted cities in the world.
According to 2011 assessment, the city ranked second only to Russia. Che
Home front during World War II
The home front covers the activities of the civilians in a nation at war. World War II was a total war. Life on the home front during World War II was a significant part of the war effort for all participants and had a major impact on the outcome of the war. Governments became involved with new issues such as rationing, manpower allocation, home defense, evacuation in the face of air raids, response to occupation by an enemy power; the morale and psychology of the people responded to propaganda. Women were mobilized to an unprecedented degree. All of the powers involved had learned from their experiences on the home front during World War I, their success in mobilizing economic output was a major factor in supporting combat operations. Among morale-boosting activities that benefited combat efforts, the home front engaged in a variety of scrap drives for materials crucial to the war effort such as metal and rags; the major powers devoted 50–61 percent of their total GDP to munitions production. The Allies produced about three times as much in munitions as the Axis powers.
Source: Goldsmith data in Harrison p. 172 Source: Jerome B Cohen, Japan's Economy in War and Reconstruction p 354 The Allies called themselves the "United Nations", pledged their support to the Atlantic Charter of 1941. The Charter stated the ideal goals of the war: no territorial aggrandizement; the sudden German invasion of neutral Belgium in May 1940 led in a matter of 18 days to the collapse of the Belgian army. The King refused the government's demand; the Belgian bureaucracy remained in place and cooperated with the German rulers. Two pro-German movements, the Flemish National Union comprising Flemish separatists and the Walloon Rexists led by Léon Degrelle, supported the invaders and encouraged their young men to volunteer for the German army. Small but active resistance movements Communist, provided intelligence to the Allies. During the Holocaust in Belgium, the Nazis hunted down the 70,000 Jews living in Belgium, most of them refugees, killed 29,000 of them; the Germans expected to exploit Belgium's industrial resources to support their war machine.
Their policies created severe shortages for the Belgian people, but shipped out far less than Germany had expected. They set up the "Armaments Inspection Board" in 1940 to relay munitions orders to factories. However, factory production fell after 1942. Although collaboration with the Nazis among the Flemish, was evident in 1940, it soon faded in importance. Labor strikes and systematic sabotage slowed production, as did the emigration of workers to rural areas, Allied bombing, food shortages, worker resentment of forced labor; the Allies retook all of Belgium in September 1944. They reappeared during the hard fighting of the Battle of the Bulge in December 1944, but were expelled in January 1945; the London‐based government‐in‐exile returned, but had to confront the resistance movements that demanded radical political change. China suffered the second highest number of casualties of the entire war. Civilians in the occupied territories had to endure many large-scale massacres, including that in Nanjing.
In a few areas, Japanese forces unleashed newly-developed biological weapons on Chinese civilians, leading to an estimated 200,000 dead. Tens of thousands died when Nationalist troops broke the levees of the Yangtze to stop the Japanese advance after the loss of the Chinese capital, Nanjing. Millions more Chinese died because of famine during the war. At the end of the war Japan was bombed with 2 atomic bombs and surrendered these bombs fell on Nagasaki and Hishiroma. Japan captured major coastal cities like Shanghai early in the war, cutting the rest of China off from its chief sources of finance and industry. Millions of Chinese moved to remote regions to avoid invasion. Cities like Kunming ballooned with new arrivals. Entire factories and universities were relocated to safe areas. Japan replied with hundreds of air raids on the new capital of Chongqing. Although China received much aid from the United States, China did not have sufficient infrastructure to properly arm or feed its military forces, let alone its civilians.
China was divided into three zones, with the Nationalists in the southwest and the Communists led by Mao Zedong in control of much of the northwest. Coastal areas were occupied by the Japanese, civilians were treated harshly. After the stunningly quick victory in June 1940, France was knocked out of the war. A powerful Resistance movement sprang up, as the Germans fortified the coast against an Allied invasion and occupied the northern half of the country; the Germans captured 2,000,000 French
North African Campaign
The North African Campaign of the Second World War took place in North Africa from 10 June 1940 to 13 May 1943. It included campaigns fought in the Libyan and Egyptian deserts and in Morocco and Algeria, as well as Tunisia; the campaign was fought between the Allies, many of whom had colonial interests in Africa dating from the late 19th century, the Axis Powers. The Allied war effort was dominated by the British Commonwealth and exiles from German-occupied Europe; the United States entered the war in December 1941 and began direct military assistance in North Africa on 11 May 1942. Fighting in North Africa started with the Italian declaration of war on 10 June 1940. On 14 June, the British Army's 11th Hussars crossed the border from Egypt into Libya and captured the Italian Fort Capuzzo; this was followed by an Italian counter-offensive into Egypt and the capture of Sidi Barrani in September 1940 and again in December 1940 following a British Commonwealth counteroffensive, Operation Compass.
During Operation Compass, the Italian 10th Army was destroyed and the German Afrika Korps—commanded by Erwin Rommel, who became known as "The Desert Fox"—was dispatched to North Africa in February 1941 during Operation Sonnenblume to reinforce Italian forces in order to prevent a complete Axis defeat. A fluctuating series of battles for control of Libya and regions of Egypt followed, reaching a climax in the Second Battle of El Alamein in October 1942 when British Commonwealth forces under the command of Lieutenant-General Bernard Montgomery inflicted a decisive defeat on Rommel's Afrika Korps and forced its remnants into Tunisia. After the Anglo-American landings in North-West Africa in November 1942, subsequent battles against Vichy France forces, the Allies encircled several hundred thousand German and Italian personnel in northern Tunisia and forced their surrender in May 1943. Operation Torch in November 1942 was a compromise operation that met the British objective of securing victory in North Africa while allowing American armed forces the opportunity to engage in the fight against Nazi Germany on a limited scale.
In addition, as Joseph Stalin, the leader of the Soviet Union, had long been pleading for a second front to be opened to engage the Wehrmacht and relieve pressure on the Red Army, it provided some degree of relief for the Red Army on the Eastern Front by diverting Axis forces to the North African theatre. Over half the German Ju 52 transport planes that were needed to supply the encircled German and Romanian forces at Stalingrad were tied up supplying Axis forces in North Africa. Information gleaned via British Ultra code-breaking intelligence proved critical to Allied success in North Africa. Victory for the Allies in this campaign led to the Italian Campaign, which culminated in the downfall of the fascist government in Italy and the elimination of Germany's main European ally. On 10 May 1940, the Wehrmacht had started the Battle of France. One month it was plain to see that France would have to surrender within two weeks. On 10 June 1940, the Kingdom of Italy aligned itself with Nazi Germany and declared war upon France and the United Kingdom.
British forces based in Egypt were ordered to undertake defensive measures, but to act as non-provocatively as possible. However, on 11 June they began a series of raids against Italian positions in Libya. Following the defeat of France on 25 June, Italian forces in Tripolitania—facing French troops based in Tunisia—redeployed to Cyrenaica to reinforce the Italian Tenth Army. This, coupled with the degrading equipment of the British forces led General Archibald Wavell to order an end to raiding and placed the defence of the Egyptian border on a small screening force. Italian dictator Benito Mussolini ordered the Tenth Army to invade Egypt by 8 August. Two days no invasion having been launched, Mussolini ordered Marshal Graziani that, the moment German forces launched Operation Sea Lion, he was to attack. On 8 September, the Italians—hampered by the lack of transport and enfeebled by the low level of training among officers and weakened by the state of its supporting arms – were ordered to invade Egypt the following day.
The battle plan was to advance along the coastal road, while limited armoured forces operated on the desert flank. To counter the Italian advance, Wavell ordered his screening forces to harass the advancing Italians, falling back towards Mersa Matruh, where the main British infantry force was based. Positioned on the desert flank was the 7th Armoured Division, which would strike the flank of the Italian force. By 16 September, the Italian force had advanced to Maktila, around 80 mi west of Mersa Matruh, where they halted due to supply problems. Despite Mussolini urging that the advance carry on, Graziani ordered his force to dig in around Sidi Barrani, fortified camps were established in forward locations. In response to the dispersed Italian camps, the British planned a limited five-day attack, Operation Compass, to strike at these fortified camps one by one; the British Commonwealth force, totalling 36,000 men, attacked the forward elements of the 10-division-strong Italian army on 9 December.
Following their initial success, the forces of Operation Compass pursued the retreating Italian forces. In January, the small port at Bardia was taken, soon followed by the seizure of the fortified port of Tobruk; some 40,000 Italians were captured in and around the two ports, with the rem
American Theater (World War II)
The American Theater describes a series of minor areas of operations during World War II within mainland North America and South America. This was due to both North and South America's geographical separation from the central theaters of conflict in Europe, the Pacific, Asia. Thus, any full-scale threat by the Axis Powers to invade the continental United States or other areas within mainland North and South Americas was considered negligible, allowing for American resources to be deployed in overseas theaters; this article includes attacks on continental territory, extending 200 miles into the ocean, today under the sovereignty of Canada, the United States and several other smaller states. The best known events in North America during World War II were the Aleutian Islands Campaign, the Battle of the St. Lawrence, the attacks on Newfoundland; the first naval battle during the war was fought on December 13, 1939, off the Atlantic coast of South America. The German "pocket battleship" Admiral Graf Spee encountered one of the British naval units searching for her.
Composed of three Royal Navy cruisers, HMS Exeter and Achilles, the unit was patrolling off the River Plate estuary of Argentina and Uruguay. In a bloody engagement, Admiral Graf Spee repulsed the British attacks. Captain Hans Langsdorff brought his damaged ship to shelter in neutral Uruguay for repairs. However, British intelligence deceived Langsdorff into believing that a much superior British force had now gathered to wait for him, he scuttled his ship at Montevideo to save his crew's lives before committing suicide. German combat losses were 28 wounded. Two Royal Navy cruisers had been damaged. U-boat operations in the region began in autumn 1940. After negotiations with Brazilian Foreign Minister Osvaldo Aranha, the U. S. introduced its Air Force along Brazil's coast in the second half of 1941. Germany and Italy subsequently extended their submarine attacks to include Brazilian ships wherever they were, from April 1942 were found in Brazilian waters. On 22 May 1942, the first Brazilian attack was carried out by Brazilian Air Force aircraft on the Italian submarine Barbarigo.
After a series of attacks on merchant vessels off the Brazilian coast by U-507, Brazil entered the war on 22 August 1942, offering an important addition to the Allied strategic position in the South Atlantic. Although the Brazilian Navy was small, it had modern minelayers suitable for coastal convoy escort and aircraft which needed only small modifications to become suitable for maritime patrol. During its three years of war in Caribbean and South Atlantic, alone and in conjunction with the U. S. Brazil escorted 3,167 ships in 614 convoys, totalling 16,500,000 tons, with losses of 0.1%. Brazil saw three of 486 men killed in action. American and Brazilian air and naval forces worked together until the end of the Battle. One example was the sinking of U-199 in July 1943, by a coordinated action of Brazilian and American aircraft. Only in Brazilian waters, eleven other Axis submarines were known sunk between January and September 1943—the Italian Archimede and ten German boats: U-128, U-161, U-164, U-507, U-513, U-590, U-591, U-598, U-604, U-662.
By fall 1943, the decreasing number of Allied shipping losses in South Atlantic coincided with the increasing elimination of Axis submarines operating there. From the battle in the region was lost for Germans with the most of remaining submarines in the region receiving official order of withdrawal only in August of the following year, with the last Allied merchant ship sunk by a U-boat there, on 10 March 1945. Before the war, a large Nazi spy ring was found operating in the United States; the Duquesne Spy Ring is still the largest espionage case in United States history that ended in convictions. The 33 German agents who formed the Duquesne spy ring were placed in key jobs in the United States to get information that could be used in the event of war and to carry out acts of sabotage. One man used his position to get information from his customers; the ring was led by Captain Fritz Joubert Duquesne, a South African Boer who spied for Germany in both World Wars and is best known as "The man who killed Kitchener" after he was awarded the Iron Cross for his key role in the sabotage and sinking of HMS Hampshire in 1916.
William G. Sebold, a double agent for the United States, was a major factor in the FBI's successful resolution of this case. For nearly two years, Sebold ran a secret radio station in New York for the ring. Sebold provided the FBI with information on what Germany was sending to its spies in the United States while allowing the FBI to control the information, being transmitted to Germany. On June 29, 1941, six months before the U. S. declared war, the FBI acted. All 33 spies were arrested, found or plead guilty, sentenced to serve a total of over 300 years in prison. After declaring war on the United States following the attack on Pearl Harbor, Adolf Hitler ordered the remaining German saboteurs to wreak havoc on America; the responsibility for carrying this out was given to German Intelligence. In the spr