The second world war
its causes and main
Causes of the war
1 The treaty of Versailles
very harsh terms
lopsided and biased
Not properly negotiated
2 The failure of league of nations
had no power
had no army of its own
was a toy in the hands of the victorious countries
The rise of dictatorships
People developed faith in one man one party rule
3 The Rearmament of
German rearmament began after Hitler left
1932-4 Geneva Disarmament Conference
stating that as the powers would not
disarm to his level, he would rearm
Germany to their level.
By 1935 rearmament was well underway. This
involved conscription and munitions factories.
First term of the treaty was broken
4 The Remilitarization of the
Hitler marched 30,000 troops into Cologne
on 7th March 1936.
France, with 250,000 troops mobilised,
remained passive because Britain would
not support her.
Britain took the view that Germany was
‘marching into her own back yard.’
5 The Rome- Berlin Axis
Originally Mussolini did not want to be
The Rome-Berlin Axis in 1936. Mussolini
and Hitler strengthened their alliance
a. The Anti-Commintern Pact (1937) with
The Pact of Steel (May 1939).
The axis powers were formed.
6 Britain’s policy of
Appeasement (May37- March
Chamberlain became British Prime Minister
He followed the policy of appeasing
believing that all Hitler wanted to do was
unite German speaking people.
Chamberlain had misinterpreted Hitler’s
aims. (We have the benefit of hindsight.)
7 Munich Agreement (29th
Hitler could take the Sudetenland
the following day without a
Hungary and Poland could take
border districts from Czechoslovakia
Britain and Germany would never go
HITLER GOING FOR THE
SIGNING OF MUNICH PACT
8 Hitler Gained the
Sudetenland (29th September,
Hitler Gained the Sudetenland (29th
The Sudetenland was lost by Austria in the
Treaty of St. Germain
Czechoslovakia gained 3 million German
The Sudeten German leader, Konrad
Henlein, demanded a union with Germany
9 The Fall of Czechoslovakia
So far Hitler had only taken German
speaking territory, so Chamberlain could
still appease Hitler.
In March 1939, Hitler threatened to bomb
Prague, so the Czechs surrendered.
Chamberlain realised appeasement had
failed, so he began to rearm Britain and
guarantee peace in Poland.
Nazi – Soviet pact August 1939
Secret negotiations by Stalin
Hitler suddenly announced the pact
The non-aggression pact was surprising. Hitler and Stalin were seen
as natural enemies.
When Hitler talked of taking over new land for Germany, many
thought that he meant Russia.
Hitler also hated Communism, the form of government in Russia
German Invasion of Poland
(1st September, 1939)
German tanks invaded West Prussia and
Posen on the 1st September 1939 using
(This is a lightning, sudden attack coordinating air, then land forces).
Poland was in a danger of being removed
from the map of europe.
German army marching into
Europe in 1938
Germany attacks Poland
Sept 1st 1939 attack on Poland beginning
of the 2nd world war
April 9th 1940 the phony war ended when
Hitler attacked Denmark
German forces move to
Poland ,France and Austria.
By June 1940, France had
surrendered to the Germans
Battle of Britain
September 1940-May 1941: the Blitz
For the following nine months, the
German air force (Luftwaffe)
launched repeated bombing raids
on British towns and cities. This
was known as the BLITZ and was
an attempt to bomb Britain into
DEC 7 1941 THE JAPANESE FORCES
RAIDED THE AMERICAN NAVAL BASE AT
2300 Americans died
Dec 8 the American congress declared
war on Japan.
BIG BLOW TO AXIS POWERS
Battle of Stalingrad
The extent of Axis controlled
Second front opened up