Skip to Main Content
We are working to upgrade the research experience by making ongoing improvements to our Research Guides.
You may encounter changes in the look and feel of the Research Guides website along with structural changes to our existing guides. If you have any questions or concerns about this process please let us know.

Primary Sources: America in World War II

European and African Theatres of World War II

The United States' involvement in the African and European theaters during World War II played a pivotal role in the defeat of Nazi Germany and its allies. Following the attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941, the U.S. committed significant military resources to both theaters, contributing to the broader Allied effort to liberate Europe from Axis control.

In North Africa, American forces, under the command of General Dwight D. Eisenhower, joined British Commonwealth troops in a campaign against Axis forces led by Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, also known as the "Desert Fox." The North African campaign began in late 1942 with Operation Torch and aimed to secure control of crucial territories like Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia. Despite initial setbacks, Allied forces achieved decisive victories at battles like El Alamein, ultimately driving the Axis out of North Africa by May 1943.

Simultaneously, in the European Theater, the U.S. contributed troops, equipment, and logistical support to the Allied campaign against Nazi Germany. The invasion of Sicily in July 1943 and the subsequent landings at Salerno and Anzio in Italy marked the beginning of the U.S. Army's direct involvement in mainland Europe. These operations aimed to weaken Axis control over the Mediterranean and pave the way for the eventual invasion of Western Europe.

However, the most significant American contribution to the European Theater came with the invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944, also known as D-Day. Operation Overlord saw American, British, Canadian, and other Allied forces land on the beaches of Normandy in the largest amphibious assault in history. This pivotal moment they marked the beginning of the end of Nazi Germany's grip on Western Europe.

Throughout the war, American troops displayed courage, resilience, and determination in the face of formidable challenges. Their contributions in the African and European theaters were instrumental in securing victory over Nazi Germany and liberating Europe from tyranny, cementing the United States' role as a global superpower and champion of freedom and democracy.

Online Sources: European and African Campaigns Theater 

Book Sources: European and African Campaigns Theater 

  • Click the title for location and availability information.

Video Sources: European and African Campaigns Theater  

The Following Links are to videos from the FAU Libraries' Database Collection - You must log in using your FAU Username and Password.