WWII and Its Beginnings

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Transcript WWII and Its Beginnings

•Failure of Treaty of Versailles (WWI) to settle
differences to secure peace
•After WWI many new independent nations adopt
•these elected leaders tried to pay off a war debt while there
was widespread hunger, homelessness, and unemployment in
their countries.
•Totalitarianism- Democracies fail in Europe because of
the reasons listed above and new radical dictatorships
spring up all over Europe.
•Some of these dictatorships do nothing more than collect
taxes and keep order while others had much grander
•Joseph Stalin becomes the leader of the Soviet Union
•Benito Mussolini becomes leader of Italy
•Adolf Hitler becomes leader of Germany
Fascist Italy
Nazi Germany
Soviet Union
Benito Mussolini
Adolf Hitler
Joseph Stalin
•Charismatic leader
•Private property
with strong
government controls
nationalism and
•Strong leader
•Private property
with strong
government controls
•Worldwide spread
of communism
•Revolution by
•Eventual rule by
working class
•State ownership of
• Hitler took over Austria and in 1938 and then took over
Czechoslovakia by promising the French premier Daladier
and British Prime Minister Chamberlain that it would be his
“last territorial demand.”
• Germany on August 23rd 1939 signs a non-aggression pact
with the Soviet Union and then another second secret pact
agreeing to divide Poland between them.
• Blitzkrieg in Poland (September 1st, 1939)- tanks rumbled
across the Polish countryside, spreading terror and
confusion. The new tactics enabled the Germans to take
the enemy by surprise and then quickly crush all opposition
with overwhelming force.
• Britain and France declare war on Germany on September
3rd but it is too late as Poland falls in just 3 weeks. The
Soviet Union also attacks Poland to snag about half of its
territory before Germany took it all.
• Late 1939 Stalin invades the small nations that were lost in
WWI when Russia surrendered to Germany shortly after the
Bolshevik Revolution. (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Finland)
• April 9, 1940 Hitler invades Denmark and Norway. He said it
was necessary “to protect those countries’ freedom and
• Then they attacked the Netherlands, Belgium, and
Luxembourg and overran them by the end of May.
• France would be next as both French and Britain tried to hold
off the German tank brigades to no avail.
– 330,000 British troops flee back across the British Channel to safety.
– In the meantime Italy joins the war on the German side and declares
war on the French and attacks them from the south as the Germans
attack them from the north.
– Paris fell on June 17, 1940 to the hands of the Germans.
• Germany then attacks the British by air. But the RAF, radar
system, and blackouts (Churchill) forced the Germans and
Hitler to stop the attacks by September 1940.