The "soft underbelly of Europe" was a phrase used by British Prime Minister Winston Churchill to describe the country of Italy during World War II. Popular support for the war was decreasing in Italy, so Churchill advocated an invasion of the region to curb axis influence.
An invasion of Italy had the potential to remove that country from the war and ease Allied supply concerns in the region. However, Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin wanted the Allies to attack from the east to relieve his forces from the attacking Germans. Churchill predicted that if Italy could be taken quickly, then the Allied troops there could aid in the Normandy invasion. Operation Husky began on July 10, 1943, and the country fell quickly, just as Allied forces hoped.Learn More
More than 400,000 Americans died during World War II. The vast majority of these casualties were military personnel. Only about 1,700 American civilians died during the course of the war.Full Answer >
According to the National World War II Museum, 45 million civilians and 15 million combatants died during World War II. The number of soldiers wounded in battle was 25 million. These are estimates, and they are most likely low estimates.Full Answer >
Emperor HIrohito had a big role in Japan's attacks on not only other Asian countries during World War II, but against the United States as well. The most notable of these attacks was the Pearl Harbor attack on Dec. 7, 1941.Full Answer >
By the end of World War II in 1945, 407,316 American servicemen had been killed. The largest number of losses were in the U.S. Army, with 318,274 American soldiers killed in action.Full Answer >