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The European theatre, a familiar site where some of the major events of the Second World War took place, was divided into two fronts: the Eastern Front and the Western Front. While the Eastern Front, called by the people in the Soviet Union as the Great Patriotic War, saw most of the damage in terms of military casualties, the Western Front, which encompassed Denmark, Norway, Luxembourg, Belgium, the Netherlands, France and the western part of Germany, was no less significant.
See the fact file below for more information on the Western Front or alternatively, you can download our 21-page Western Front worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- After losing the First World War, Germany’s economic state greatly suffered due to reparations, as they were forced to sign the Treaty of Versailles.
- During this time, Adolf Hitler was slowly gaining power until he became a dictator, eventually invading other European countries such as Austria and Czechoslovakia.
- In 1939, Nazi Germany launched an attack against Poland, which marked the beginning of the Second World War in Europe.
- Shortly after, Germany had built a stronger military capacity through its European allies such as Italy, Hungary, Bulgaria, and Romania, also known as the Axis Powers. These European countries were at war against the Allied Powers, composed by Great Britain, France, and the Soviet Union, and later joined by the United States.
- However, before eventually invading Poland, Germany agreed with the Soviet Union. As a result of this deal, Poland, after its defeat, was divided between Germany and the Soviet Union.
- Following this, Germany went on a series of invasions. It attacked Norway and Denmark on April 9, 1940. They also invaded Belgium, France, and the Netherlands.
- In addition, Germany took over the northern half of France through a deal that they made on June 22, 1940.
- But everything changed when Germany attempted to attack the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941, thus making the Soviet Union part of the Allies Alliance.
KEY BATTLES IN THE WESTERN FRONT
- The first phase of the battles in the Western Front took place between May to June 1940 when Germany seized control of Belgium, France, and the Netherlands, as previously mentioned.
- On May 10, 1940, on what was known as “blitzkrieg,” or lightning war, Germany took control of Belgium and the Netherlands.
- Three days after the lightning war, German forces pushed through the Meuse River and assaulted French troops at Sedan, which was located along the northern end of the Maginot Line, an impenetrable military defence.
- As France was nearing its collapse, Italy’s Benito Mussolini joined forces with Hitler, followed by a declaration of war against France and Great Britain on June 10, 1940. Four days later, German forces invaded France, dividing the country into two zones.
- The second phase of the battles in the Western Front was known as the Battle of Britain, where German air fighters launched a bombing attack on Great Britain throughout the summer of 1940.
- This battle that targeted London resulted in a huge number of civilian deaths and damages. However, Germany did not succeed to invade the country as Britain’s Royal Air Force (RAF) defeated the Luftwaffe (German Air Force).
- Moreover, Great Britain had received military aid from the United States after the passing of the Lend-Lease Act in early 1941.
- The third phase of the battles in the Western Front began in 1942 up until 1945 when the Allied Powers fought back.
- The Allies Alliance was able to take control of northern Africa. It also invaded southern Italy and managed to push back the Germans after Russian troops defeated them on the Eastern Front.
- On June 6, 1944, the Invasion of Normandy, also known as D-Day, took place when Allied forces attacked the German army on the Western Front. As a result, Germany was pushed out of France.
- For this reason, Hitler carried out a major counterattack aimed at splitting the Allied forces, known as the Battle of the Bulge. It commenced on December 16, 1944, but Germany rendered no success, as thousands of US troops were able to stop them.
END OF WWII IN EUROPE
- On April 30, 1945, Hitler committed suicide, knowing that Nazi Germany would eventually lose the war.
- On May 7, 1945, the German forces surrendered to the Allied Powers.
- A day later, the Allies Alliance celebrated the victory, naming it the V-E Day or “Victory in Europe” day.
- After the events of the Second World War, Germany has been divided into two zones: the Western side was under the Allies occupation and the Eastern side was controlled by the Soviet Union.
- It was estimated that 200,000 soldiers died in World War II in the European theatre.
WWII: Western Front Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the WWII: Western Front across 21 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use WWII: Western Front worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the European theatre, a familiar site where some of the major events of the Second World War took place, which was divided into two fronts: the Eastern Front and the Western Front. While the Eastern Front, called by the people in the Soviet Union as the Great Patriotic War, saw most of the damage in terms of military casualties, the Western Front, which encompassed Denmark, Norway, Luxembourg, Belgium, the Netherlands, France and the western part of Germany, was no less significant.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- WWII: Western Front Facts
- The Western Front in a Map
- Find the Words
- Fact or Bluff
- The Western Front in a Timeline
- The Battles in the Western Front
- Key Personalities
- Today’s Headline: The V-E Day
- The Aftermath
- The Western Front: Then and Now
- In a Nutshell
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Link will appear as WWII: Western Front Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, July 3, 2020
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.