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May 07, 1945 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1945-05-07

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1 E

Big Three Snatch
Victory from Nazis
Brief History of War in Europe Gives
Thrilling Story of Hitler's Rise and Fall


(Continued from Page 1)

sliced through the Polish cavalry
divisions to the Wisla (Vistula),
trapped a huge army in the Kutno
area west of Warsaw and another
random in the south.
In 18 days Hitler boasted of Vic-.
tory in a speech at Danzig, though it
was Sept. 27 before Warsaw, battered
to a pulp, surrendered. Hitler
claimed 300,000 prisoners.
Taking cognizance of British pre-
dictions of a long war-three years--
Hitler declared he was ready for a
seven years' war.
The same day Joachim Von Rib-
bentrop arrived in Moscow and two
days later concluded with Russia the
fourth partition of Poland and an
agreement to bring pressure upon
Britain and France to make peace.
The Phoney War..
Great Britain and France served
an ultimatum on Germany on Sept.
1 and declared war on Sunday, Sept.
3, while London hastily evacuated
her children and waited breathlessly
for the bombs to fall. None fell.
This was the "phoney war,"
On Sept. 3 the French announced
that their army had come "in con-
tact" with the Germans, but the
French preferred to have the Ger-
mans throw themselves on the Mag-
mot Line and struck into German
territory only for a few thousand
yards near Saarbrucken. Their "of-
fensive" never developed.
The British were dropping leaflets
on Germany all winter long as Hit-
ler alternately threatened "total
war" and held out hopes of peace.
Norway and Denmark,+.
On April 9, 1940, the war broke
out with all its fury. Hitler's troops
slipped into Denmark and invaded
Norway by sea and air. A few goose-
stepping soldiers and a military band
mharched in and took Oslo. Soldiers
hidden in the holds of previously-
arrived ships seized Narvik, Bergen,
Stavanger, Trondheim and other
coastal points.
The British, caught napping, land-
ed a few thousand Allied troops on
both sides of Trondheim and later
at Narvik, but were forced to with-
draw. On April 30 Hitler proclaimed
a complete victory, and within a
short time Allied troops had with-
Battle of France ..
May 10 the great blow in the west
fell on Holland, Belgium, Luxem-
bourg and France. The fate of Ger-
many would be sealed for 1,000 years
by the outcome, Hitler told his sol-
Swarms of parachutists descended
on the airports near Rotterdam, the
Hague and Amsterdam, seized the
bridge at Moerdijk, south of Rodder-
dam. The vaunted Dutch "water
line" proved ineffectual. Holland fell
in four days.
The Nazis overwhelmed the Bel-
gien fort, Eden Emael, and rushed
their columns across the vaunted
Albert Canal near Maastricht.
In three days German tanks sur-
prised the French, seized Sedan and
were racing for the English Channel,
with fleets of motorcyclists spreading
fire and terror ahead of the armored
The Germans reached the Channel

at Abbeville on May 21 and King
Leopold announced the surrender of
his 300,000-man Belgian Army on
May 25.
Dunkerque, the British epic of
the war, in which a strange ar-
mada of 900 warships, skiffs, tugs
and yachts rescued an army of
337,000 men from the beaches, was
over by June 4.
For four years the Kaiser's armies
had fought to win control of the
Channel ports. Hitler got them in
less than a month.
In vain Gen. Maxime Weygand set
"mousetraps" for tanks along the
Somme. Turning south on June 6,
Hitler brushed aside the vaunted
French army. The Maginot Line was
turned. The French Government
evacuated Paris June 10, the same
day Mussolini committed his "stab
in the back" and sent troops into the
border area of France, where they
dug in without any attempt to help
Hitler clean up.
Taking over the French Govern-
meit, Marshal Petain announced on
June 17, "with a broken heart," that
he had been compelled to ask Hitler,
as one soldier to another, for an hon-
orable armistice.
The high point of the war-for
Hitler-came at Compeigne on
June 21 in the railway car where
Marshall Foch had dictated peace
terms to Germany in 1918, and
France signed an armistice.
Grandly pleased by this revenge
for the "dictates of Versailles," Hitler
visited the tomb of Napoleon.
Battle of Britain
Most popular song in Germany
was "We're Sailing Against Britain."
Britain seemed helpless. She had,
lost all but a few score guns and
tanks. The RAF was outnumbered.
She fell back on hastily organized
home guards to fight from haystacks
and hedgerows.
Hastily importing hunting rifles,
old tanks and World War guns from
America, Prime Minister Churchill
hunched his head down between his
great shoulders and declared, "We
will fight on the beaches and the
landing grounds, in the fields, in the
streets, on the hills, we will never
It was Britain's time for blood,
and sweat, and tears.
Grinuy, 700 Spitfires and Hurri-
canes opposed the entire German air

force. British fighting planes mount-
ing eight guns, and radar, which
gave warning of coming raids, prob-
ably saved the British in the aerial
battle that lasted from August
through May. But 50,000 Britons
died from bombs. Sept. 13, 1940
when the Germans lost 185 planes
and were forced to switch to night
bombing, has been called one of the
decisive battles of the war-a Water-
loo or Trafalgar.
In September and October the
Germans were assembling their in-
vasion fleet of 3,000 barges and
4,000,000 tons of ships. Not until
1944 did Churchill disclose the rea-
son why the Germans never invaded
England-the invasion fleet was
smashed by the RAF bomber com-
mand before it could leave port,
The Balkans . .
Mussolini believed the Greek gen-
erals had been bought off and in-
vaded Greece from Albania on Oct.
28, 1940, three hours after a 3 a.m.
ultimatum, and thereupon came one
of the big surprises of the war. In-
stead of wilting, the Greeks fought.
Not merely did they ambush and
slaughter thousands of Italians a
few miles inside Greek territory, but
they captured Corriza and other
strongholds in a counter-invasion.
Hitler, who had not been informed
of Mussolini's plans, let his partner
sweat in his trouble through the win-
ter, oie by one, Hungary, Romania
and Bulgaria had fallen into the
Hitler lineup--Romania on Oct. 8,
1940, when German troops moved in
following the iron guard's ouster of
King Carol, Hungary on Nov. 20 when
she joined the Axis alliance, and
Bulgaria on March 1, 1941, when
she signed the Rome-Berlin-Tokyo
Pact. Now the screws were pul, tQ
But an uprising upset the Yugo-
slav pact with Hitler, and on Sun-
day morning, April 6, the German
dictator launched his Balkan cam-
paign with a ferocious bombing of
Striking from Bulgaria, the Ger-
mans in three days had broken
across the Vardar Valley severing
the links between Greece and Yugo-
slavia, and had reached the Aegean,
seizing Salonika. In vain a tiny
British force which had been rushed
in from Africa, made a stand at
Thermopylae. The Nazi mechanized
divisions marched into Athens on
April 27 and again the British car-
Tied out a costly evacuation, this
time from the Peloponnesus.
The. Swastika had floated over the
Acropolis only about three weeks
when Hitler struck his most auda-
cious air-borne blow, invading Crete
on May 20. Ten days later the Brit-
ish admitted the loss of the island,
The battle of Africa really started
in the tragic event of July 3, 1940,
when the British attacked the French

fleet at Mers-El-Kebir to prevent
warships of their former allies from
falling into enemy hands.
Six times the battle swept back
and forth across the rim of North
Africa, but in the end' the Germans
could not win because they did not
control the Mediterranean. The Ital-
ian fleet soon was driven into hiding.
Marshal Rudolfo Graziani began an'
attack on Egypt on Aug. 6, 1940,
simultaneously with an invasion of
British Somaliland. He got no far-
ther than Sidi Barrani, where the
British under Wavell started a light-
ring comeback in December which
reached beyond Bengasi. But the
British fell back even faster in the
spring when they were forced to send
troops to Greece. Again in Novem-
ber, 1941, the British launched an
offensive which relieved Tobruk
shortly before the last Italian strong-
hold 'in Ethiopia surrendered.
Not long thereafter came Pearl
Harbor, and Hitler declared war on
the United States. His ultimate ex-
tirpation began to loom on the hori-
zon then, for he had turned the
spigot which was to produce a flood
of allied war material and men.

But there still were black days in
store for the Allies, and Sunday,
June 2, 1942 ranks with blackest
of them all.
On that day Marshal Erwin Rom-
mel's Africa corps took Tobruk in a
surprise thrust which carried him to
within 60 miles of Alexandria. A
junction of German and Japanese
forces on the shores of the Indian
Ocean was threatened. The Germans;
were preparing the summer offensive
which might break the Soviet Union
and which was to take them from
Kharkov to Stalingrad. The Allies'
had lost Singapore, The Philippines,
Burma, the Dutch East Indies and
parts of the Aleutians. Australia still
was -menaced, despite two Japanese
air-sea defeats in the Coral Sea and
at Midway in May and June,
Almost the brighest spot in the
Allied picture was that only three
weeks before the British had car-
ried out their first 1,000 bomber
raid against Cologne.
Air and tank forces rushed to Af-
rica eventually turned the tide, per-
mitting Gen. Sir Bernard L. Mont-
gomery's Eighth Army to score its

greatest victory at El Alamein in Karelia,
Egypt on Oct. 23, 1942, and begin its White R
march to meet the American and Befor
British forces of Gen. Dwight D. donefH
Eisenhower which landed in Morocco "kettle
and Algeria on Nov. 7. anotle
Trapped on Cap Bon in Tunisia, Leningr
the Germans and Italians finally sur- Moscow
rendeted on May 12, 1943, ending the Russia
battle of Africa, and the stage was declared
set for the invasion of Italy. Axis "final as
casualties in Tunisia were placed final ass
341,000. ber. M
the righ
. offensiv
Rusia I mans w
Until Sunday morning, June 22, sian win
1941, everything went well with Hit- waslonbegt
ler's war. That was the day he loosed wsbg
his invasion of Russia. In A
Joined by Finland, Romania, Hun- reached
gary and Italy, Hitler boasted of the conquest
greatest front in history-2,000 miles nderwa
from the Arctic to the Black sea. Offici
Stories from Berlin said the Nazis be- sian dea
lieved they would crush Russia in 5,300,000
three to six weeks. at 7,801
Swiftly the German armies sliced claimed
through Russian-annexed territories casualtic
of Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania,

Bessarabia, swept across
ussia and the Ukraine.
re the summer campaign was
litler had trapped one huge
of Soviet soldiers after
r, thrown an iron ring about
;ad, reached the suburbs of
w, captured Kharkov.
"never again will rise," he
in October, launching a
ssault" on Moscow. Another
sault was ordered in Novem-
oscow did not fall. Then, at
t time, the Russian counter-
e was launched. The Ger-
ere caught in the worst Rus-
ater in years, and the retreat
he Napoleonic Roal disaster
ugust, 1943, the Germans
their highwater mark of
t at Stalingrad. It has been
ay ever since, with pauses.
al Russian figures place Rus-
ad, captured and wounded at
0. German dead and captured
0,000. The Germans have
as high as 10,000,000 Russian
(Continued on Page 5)




P' .


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.:}e: f

... ... _ .; . .. ., r

44 . v*

OUR TRAIN of fighting men, backed by our unceasing
war effort, has steamed to its destination in Europe.
Now that FRITZ IS BLITZED, let's finish the job
and make the NEXT STOP TOKYO.






P~onz 60 1 9




We thank Thee, our Heavenly Father, for the
viclory Thou hast brought. We thank Thee
that Thou in Thy wisdom hast perinitted right.
and freedot to prevaiL.

f 14"ll

" ,::



First you saw Mussolini "bite the dust"
and now your ally Adolf and his
cohorts are reaping the reward of all
-bii would enslave people by tyranny.
The ' fillnmight of liberty-loving nations
is foe used upon you with a determina-
tion to teach you your lesson with
shall do all in our power to hasten that
day when you, too, shall pay for your
greed, your injustice, your devilish doc-
trine of militarism.



This is the day history will rememb
ber! The day for which we have
prayed, the day wherein we dedicate
ourselves to finishing swiftly the
greater war that lies ahead.
Let us not forget our solemn obli-
gation to our fighting heroes . .. and
those who have died in the name of
freedom. Each name is a reminder of
the awful cost of victory. Each name
should be a prayer so that the things
they fought and died for will not be
forgotten, but will be cherished by a
grateful United Nations.




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