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World War Two
Why did the Allies win?
What were the consequences of
the war?
• Another possibility for Wars and Warfare,
paper 2
• Comparison of ending / consequences WW1
compared with WW2
• Gives you another option
• Sample question:
• Analyse the results of either WW1 or WW2
WW1 vs WW2
• Huge significance of both war
• Both Total Wars - mobilising all resources,
affect on civilians
• Both had USA as crucial factor determining
the result
• 1914 and 1940-1 Germany had huge initial
successes but could not hold out against
resources of opponents
• Also differences: combatants; WW2 more
global - especially Pacific War 1941-5
• WW1 total deaths = 17 million
• WW2 total death (excluding Holocaust)
= 37.6 million
• WW1 proportion of civilians killed =15%
• WW2 proportion of civilians killed =35%
Brief overview of WW2
• You will not answer a question on the
course of WW2
• Difficult to summarise a massively
complex war, this is just an overview to
give you context for the ending of the
* Hitler invades Poland on 1 September. Britain
and France declare war on Germany two days
* Rationing starts in the UK.
* German 'Blitzkrieg' overwhelms Belgium, Holland
and France.
* Churchill becomes Prime Minister of Britain.
* British Expeditionary Force evacuated from
* British victory in Battle of Britain forces Hitler to
postpone invasion plans.
* Hitler begins Operation Barbarossa - the invasion
* The Blitz continues against Britain's major cities.
* Allies take Tobruk in North Africa, and resist
German attacks.
* Japan attacks Pearl Harbor, and the US enters
the war.
* Germany suffers setbacks at Stalingrad and El
* Singapore falls to the Japanese in February around 25,000 prisoners taken.
* American naval victory at Battle of Midway, in
June, marks turning point in Pacific War.
* Mass murder of Jewish people at Auschwitz
* Surrender at Stalingrad marks Germany's first
major defeat.
* Allied victory in North Africa enables invasion of
Italy to be launched.
* Italy surrenders, but Germany takes over the
* British and Indian forces fight Japanese in
* Allies land at Anzio and bomb monastery at
Monte Cassino.
* Soviet offensive gathers pace in Eastern Europe.
* D Day: The Allied invasion of France. Paris is
liberated in August.
* Guam liberated by the US Okinawa, and Iwo
Jima bombed.
* Auschwitz liberated by Soviet troops.
* Russians reach Berlin: Hitler commits suicide and
Germany surrenders on 7 May.
* Truman becomes President of the US on
Roosevelt's death, and Attlee replaces Churchill.
* After atomic bombs are dropped on Hiroshima
and Nagasaki, Japan surrenders on 14 August.
The Ending of WW2
Why were the Allies victorious?
Why did the Allies win?
• Any ideas?
Main cateories
Strength & unity of victors:
Role of USSR
Role of USA
Dwight D. Eisenhower - Supreme
Commander of Allied Forces in Europe from
• Britain
• Women
• Resistance movements working with Allies
Disunity of Losers:
Hitler lack of consultation
German morale breakdown by 1945
Resistance movements
Foreign Aid:
Empires of UK and France (less so)
Military aid
USSR; Leningrad, Stalingrad, dedication
D-Day; aerial bombing of Germany
Mistake and interference of Hitler
Allies greater strength
• Problems with allies:
• Sicily 1943 - beginning of end for Mussolini;
poor ally, lacking resources and poor military
• Italy then joined Allies
• Romania surrendered August 1944; Bulgaria
September 1944
• Japan - key ally. Didn’t consult Hitler re. Pearl
Harbour - furious. Brought in USA
• Internal Economy:
• Italy - huge problems, lacked raw materials,
Hitler had to bail out
• Germany economy couldn’t cope - shortages
• Food issue by 1945, esp. Berlin. Inflation.
General Reasons why
Germany was defeated
• Hitler’s bad decisions
• Germany was overextended
– Had to rescue Mussolini - late into Russia
– Long war
– Eastern front took resources from N. Africa - El
Alamein 1942
• Huge resources of USA
• Capacity of USSR to resist and fight back
– Industrial might - 5 year plans
– Unity due to invasion - ‘Great Patriotic War’
– Stalin used patriotism well
– Inability of Hitler to exploit divisions - e.g. Ukraine,
• Much debate over reasons for Germany’s
• Much criticism directed at Hitler
• Did make serious errors but quite rational
until latter stages
• Other reasons cited: failure to command sea
and air - short war
• Most important: overwhelming economic
superiority of USA and USSR; Red Army
• After 1941 (Stalingrad; USA) unlikely Axis
could win
• Symbolic of end of dominance of Europe;
new order
• Read 13.7, 13.8, 13.9 and 13.10 in your
textbook - deals with defeat and effects
of the war
• No deadline but please do this - its
about 8 pages