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Path to War 1933-1939
World War II 1939-1945
Put these events in chronological order
and include any dates you can find
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European powers accept German rearmament
Germany invades Poland
Hitler declares himself President of Germany
Hitler demands port city of Danzig, Poland
Hitler demands self-determination for Germans in Austria and
Czechoslovakia
Hitler given Sudetenland (NW Czech.)
Hitler threatens to take Czechoslovakia by force
Munich Conference
Nazis and Hitler (Chancellor) control Germany
Nazis seize Austria
Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact
Rhineland occupied by German military
Path to War
1933-1939
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1933-Nazis and Hitler (Chancellor) control Germany
August 1934-Hitler declares himself President of Germany
1935-European powers accept German rearmament
March 1936-Rhineland occupied by German military
February 1938-Hitler demands self-determination for Germans in
Austria and Czechoslovakia
March 1938-Nazis seize Austria
September 27, 1938-Hitler threatens to take Czechoslovakia by
force
September 29, 1938-Munich Conference
October 1938-Hitler given Sudetenland (NW Czech.)
April 1939-Hitler demands port city of Danzig, Poland
August 1939-Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact
September 1939-Germany invades Poland
Questions?
Discuss and Write your answers on the back of your
timeline
• Why did European powers accept German
rearmament and continue to meet Hitler’s
demands?
• Why did Chamberlain and the other
countries accept the promises Hitler made
at Munich?
• Why did the European powers final act in
1939? Was it to late? Why or why not?
World Leaders-1933
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Germany-Adolph Hitler
Italy-Benito Mussolini
Japan-Hideki Tojo
Great Britain-Neville Chamberlain
France-Albert Lebrun
United States-Franklin D. Roosevelt
Adolf Hitler
• Goal to create the Third Reich (German Empire)
• Hitler as Fuhrer (leader) of the Nazi party
• Believed Germans were descended from the
Aryan race
– Decedents of the Greeks and Romans
– Superior to all others
• Needed more land to support population
– Looked East
– Austria, Czech, Poland, Russia
– Must be prepared to take rightful lands
• Lebensraum (living space)
• By force if necessary (militarism)
German rearmament
• Treaty of Versailles prohibited a German army
• League of Nations could not enforce treaty
– Distracted by the Great Depression
– Not prepared to use force
• March 1935
– European powers accept German rearmament
• Hitler knew the West was not prepared to use force to
enforce the Treaty of Versailles
• Luftwaffe-German Air Force created
• Military draft-100,000 men to 550,000 men
Rhineland
• March 1936
– Germany invades the Rhineland (part of
Germany)
– Should remain demilitarized according to the
Treaty of Versailles
– France had the right to use force, but did not
act because they did not have British support
– Britain viewed move as a reasonable act
• “going into their own back garden”
• Begins policy of appeasement
Appeasement
• European policy toward Hitler and Nazi
Germany
• Belief that the satisfaction of reasonable
demands would maintain peace in Europe
• Neville Chamberlain
– British Prime Minister
– Practiced appeasement to maintain peace
New German Allies
• 1936
– Benito Mussolini-Fascist leader of Italy
• Il Duce- “The Leader”
• Germany and Italy send troops to Spain to support
Francisco Franco
• Form Rome-Berlin Axis
– Hideki Tojo-Japan
• Anti-Comintern Pact
– Pledge a common front against communism
Anschluss
“connection”
• March 1938
– Hitler’s goal to join Austria (his birth land) and
Germany
– Austria annexed March 1938
– Great Britain and France continue
appeasement policy
Sudetenland
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Northwest Czechoslovakia
Large German population
Land Hitler demanded
Threatened to wage war to get it
Great Britain, France, Italy, and Germany
meet in Munich to negotiate a peace
Munich Conference
• Met all of Hitler’s demands
– Promises not to make anymore demands
• Height of appeasement
• Neville Chamberlain
– “peace for our time”
Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact
August 1939
• Hitler and Stalin
• Peace between Germany and Russia for
10 years; promise not to attack each
another during war
• Soviet Union was the only country capable
of stopping a Nazi takeover of Europe
• Last obstacle to Hitler’s decision to wage
war
Germany Invades Poland
September 1, 1939
• Split Poland with the Soviet Union
• Great Britain and France give Hitler an
ultimatum-withdraw or prepare for war
• September 3-Great Britain and France
declare war on Germany
• World War II had begun
blitzkrieg
• Form of attack that
used tank
(panzer)divisions
supported by air
attacks; “lightning
war”
• Poland-one month
• Denmark, Norway,
Netherlands, Belgium
Maginot Line
• Series of fortifications
along France’s
German border
• Hitler went around
through
Luxembourg
Dunkirk
• Site of heroic efforts
by the British Royal
Navy and civilians in
private boats to
evacuate 338,000
Allied troops
Vichy France
• June 22, 1940-French
sign armistice
• Unoccupied France,
governed by
authoritarian regimes
under German control
Luftwaffe
• German Air Force
• Battle of Britain
• August 1940-Begins
bombing British
military targets
• September 1940begins bombing
civilian targets
Germany invades Soviet Union
• June 22, 1941
• German success at
Leningrad, pushing
toward Moscow
• German advance
stopped by Soviet
resistance and an
early winter
isolationism
• Policy that initially
kept the U.S. from
becoming involved in
the war against
Germany
History of Isolationism in the
U.S.
• Fear Alliances
– 1776-Thomas Paine
– 1796-George Washington
• “steer clear of permanent alliances”
– 1801-Thomas Jefferson
• “Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all,
entangling alliances with none”
History of Isolationism in the
U.S.
• Unilateral conflicts
– War of 1812, Mexican War, Spanish American
War
• U.S. was an “associated power” during
World War I
• League of Nations
• (7) Neutrality Acts-1935, 1936, 1937
History of Isolationism in the
U.S.
• Building insecurity as Hitler marches
through Europe
• Selective Service Act-1940
• “steps short of war”
– Lend-Lease Act
– Cash and Carry program
– Relax neutrality acts
– Economic sanctions on Japan
Path to War-Japan
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Japanese expand to gain natural resources
1931-Japanese soldiers seize Manchuria
Japan attacks China
December 1936-Chiang Kai-shek turns his focus to the
Japanese threat
• July 1937-Clash between Japanese and Chinese forces
• December 1937-Japanese capture Nanjing
• Summer 1940-Japan demanded resources of IndoChina;
US threatens economic sanctions (restrictions)depended on US for oil and scrap iron
Japanese/U.S. Relations
• Economic Sanctions1940
• Pacific fleet at Pearl
Harbor
• Japan believed war
was inevitable
December 7, 1941
• Japan launches a
surprise attack on the
U.S. Pacific Fleet at
Pearl Harbor
• Franklin Roosevelt
– “a day that with live in
infamy”
December 7, 1941
U.S. Loses
• (10) 2430 killed
• 1178 wounded
• 187 aircraft
• 8 battleships
• 3 cruisers
• 3 destroyers
• 2 auxiliary craft
• 1 minelayer
• 1 target ship
Japanese Loses
• 64 killed
• 29 planes
• 6 submarines
USS Arizona
• 1,103 soldiers
entombed still today
• 1.4 (11) million
gallons of fuel on
board
– 6 quarts rise to the
surface each day
“soft” Americans
• Japan thought the
U.S. would accept
Japanese domination
of the Pacific after
Pearl Harbor
• “Remember Pearl
Harbor”
Hideki Tojo
• Military ruler of Japan
• Gave the order to attack Pearl Harbor
Franklin D Roosevelt
• President during the attack on Pearl
Harbor
Alliances-1941
• Allies
– United States
– Great Britain
– Soviet Union
• Allies will accept
nothing less than
unconditional
surrender
• Axis
– Germany
– Italy
– Japan
North Africa
• First US troops fight in North Africa
Dwight D. Eisenhower
• Leading US General in Europe
• Led troops in North Africa
Bernard Montgomery
• Leading British General in the North Africa
campaign
Erwin Rommel
• Known as the Desert Fox
• Led the Afrika Corps-German forces
• Victories in North Africa during the first half
of the war
El Alamein
• Allied victory
• Rommel is defeated
• Germany and Italian troops surrender May
1943
Eastern Front-European Theater
• Germany attacks Soviet Union
• Soviet Union-allowed women to serve in
battle
Battle of Leningrad
Sept 1941-Jan 1944
• 900 day seige
• Soviets refused to surrender
Battle of Stalingrad
Nov 1942-Feb 1943
• Turning point of war of Eastern Front
• Soviet Union defeats the entire German
Sixth Army
Battle of Kursk
July 1943
• Greatest tank battle in history, a
remarkable Soviet victory
• Soviets begin moving West toward
Germany
Pacific Theater
• Battle of the Coral Sea
• Battle of Midway
Battle of the Coral Sea
May 1942
• American naval forces stop Japanese
advance
• Saved Australia from capture
Midway Island
June 1942
• Turning point of the war in the Pacific
• US Navy destroys 4 Japanese aircraft
carriers
• US establish superiority in the Pacific
Douglas McArthur
• Leading US General in the Pacific
• Led campaign to capture Japanese
islands of the Pacific
• “Island hopping” all the way to Japan
Western Front-European Theater
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Sicily
Normandy (D-Day)
Paris
Germany
The Big Three Conferences
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Tehran- Nov 1943
Yalta- Feb 1945
PotsdamUS
– FDR-Tehran, Yalta
– Harry s. Truman-Potsdam
• Great Britain-Winston Churchill
– British Prime Minister through the majority of World
War II
• Soviet Union-Joseph Stalin
Tehran Conference
Nov 1943
• Discuss opening a Second Front in
Europe to coincide with Soviet campaign
• Allies agreed to the establishment of a
United Nations organization after the war
Sicily
• Axis powers defeated in North Africa
• Sicily was the first Allied invasion of
Europe in efforts to regain control from the
Nazis
• “soft underbelly” of Europe
• Mussolini removed from power
D-Day
June 6, 1944
• Allied invasion of France (Normandy)
• Turning point of the war on the Western
front of the European Theater
• Allies break through German defenses
and create a foothold in Europe
• Paris liberated-August 1944
Battle of the Bulge
December 1944
• Last Germany offensive before Allies take
Berlin
• Named for the bending “bulge” of the
Allied lines, but not breaking
Yalta Conference
Feb 1945
• Stalin, Roosevelt, and Churchill agree to a
partition of post war Germany
• Stalin promises to enter the war against
Japan after the surrender of Germany
Germany surrenders
• April 30, 1945-Hitler commits suicide
• Allied forces from the west meet Soviet
troops from the east in Berlin
• May 7, 1945-Germany surrenders
The Holocaust
• Begins with Slavic resettlement-1942
• Slavic
– Czech, Polish, Serbo-Croatian, Slovene,
Ukrainian
• Germans saw the inhabitants of Eastern
Europe as inferior to the Aryan race
• Removed Slavic people from conquered
areas to make way for German people
Heinrich Himmler
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In charge of resettlement plans
Nazi leader of the Schutzstaffen (SS)
Replace Slavic people with Germans
Slavs become slave labor for Germany
The Final Solution
• Nazi plan to eliminate all Jews from
Europe
• Schutzstaffen(SS) given responsibility to
enact the Final Solution
• Genocide of the Jewish people
Einsatzgruppen
• Special strike forces to carry out Nazi
plans
• Mobile killing units
• Reinhard Heydrich- leader of the
Einsatzgruppen
Death Camps
• Nazis believed the Einsatzgruppen was too slow
• Jews rounded up and sent to ghettos
– Crowded, designated Jewish containment or holding
areas within cities
• Germany built death camps in Poland in 1942
– Auschwitz-largest extermination camp in Poland
– Belzec
– Treblinka
Death Camps (Cont.)
• Jews were starved or worked to death
• Sent to gas chambers
• Used for medical experimentation
The Holocaust
• Slaughter of European civilians,
particularly European Jews by the Nazis
• Death Toll:
– 6 million Jews (1.2 million children)
– 9-10 million Non-Jewish
– 4 million Poles, Ukranians, Belorussians
– 3-4 million Soviet prisoners of war
How could this happen?
• Disbelief
– WWI propaganda exaggerated German
atrocities
• Pretend not to notice
• Collaborators
• Allies focused on ending the war
V-E Day
May 8, 1945
• Victory in Europe
• Official day of German defeat
Grand Alliance
• Phrase coined by Churchill to describe the
relationship between the US, Great Britain,
and the USSR
• Leaders who would direct the post war
world
“island hopping” to Japan
• Battle for Iwo Jima-19 February 1945
– US expected to take island in 14 days
– Took 36 days
– Allied casualties-5,931 Killed; 17,372
wounded
“island hopping” to Japan (Cont.)
• Okinawa-1 April 1945
– Essential air base to Allies in planning
invasion of Japanese mainland
– Fierce fighting
– Japanese use kamikaze pilots to attack fleet
• Suicide missions
– Allies capture island
– Casualties
• 12,513 killed
• 36,631 wounded
New President
Harry S. Truman
• FDR dies 12 April 1945
• Truman becomes President and leader of
the war against Japan
Soviet Aggression
• Threat to the Grand Alliance
• Truman believed USSR violated Yalta
agreement concerning treatment of Poland
during march on Berlin
• Would lead to conflict at Potsdam
Conference
• Beginnings of the Cold War
Potsdam Conference
Codename: Terminal
17 July-2 August 1945
• Truman, Churchill, Stalin
• Churchill lost General Election in Great
Britain; replaced by Clement Atlee as
Prime Minister-July 28
• Potsdam Declaration-Allies will only
accept unconditional surrender of Japan
New Confidence
• Churchill said Truman stood up to the
Russians at Potsdam
• Truman demanded freely elected
governments throughout Eastern Europe
• 16 July 1945-First successful atomic bomb
test in Alamogordo, NM
• Atomic bomb was a military weapon, but
also a political weapon
Nuclear physics glossary
• Radioactivity-Spontaneous emission of energy through
the disintegration of atomic nuclei
• Nuclei-central portion of an atom that compromises
nearly all the atomic mass including protons and
neutrons
• Neutrons-uncharged particle present in all known atomic
nuclei except hydrogen
• Bombard-subject to rapidly moving particles
• Isotope-two or more atoms with the same atomic number
with differing atomic mass
• Fission- Using neutrons to split a heavy atom; does not
occur naturally
Nuclear physics glossary (Cont.)
• Fusion-fussing two or more lighter atoms together;
occurs in nature
• Chain reaction-self sustaining nuclear reaction yielding
energy or products that cause further reactions
• U238-natural state of uranium isotope; contains U235
• U235-more unstable uranium isotope
• 1 Kiloton-explosive measurement-equivalent to 1000
tons of TNT
• 1 Megaton-equivalent to 1000 Kilotons or 1,000,000 tons
of TNT
Discovery of Atomic Energy
• 1896-French scientist Henri Becquerel discovers
radioactivity
• 1903-British scientists Ernest Rutherford and
Frederick Soddy conclude atoms contain
massive stores of energy in their nuclei
• 1920-Arthur Eddington discovers the fussing of
hydrogen nuclei would release massive amounts
of energy
• 1932- James Chadwick discovers the neutron
Discovery of Atomic Energy (Cont.)
• 1934-Leo Szilard patents term “chain reaction”
• 1938-Otto Hahn and Fritz Strassmann study the effects
of bombarding uranium with neutrons; notable energy
release
• December 1938-Hahn and Strassmann discovered
neutrons were penetrating the uranium, splitting the
nuclei while producing smaller particles. These particles
could be used to create a chain reaction
• 1939-Niels Bohr and John Wheeler find natural Uranium
contains a ratio of 140:1 U238 and U235 isotopes
respectively; U235 isotopes split when bombarded with
neutrons
Discovery of Atomic Energy (Cont.)
• August 1939-Szilard, Eugene Wigner, and Edward Teller
approach Albert Einstein about concerns over the
development of atomic weapons in Germany
• October 1939-Einstein’s letter to President Roosevelt,
dated August 2, 1939 is delivered to Roosevelt. Outlines
the potential of atomic energy and the danger if other
countries, especially Germany, develop the technology.
• 1940-Otto Frisch and Rudolph Peierls work to isolate U
235 isotope
• 1940-Hans von Halban and Lew Kowarski bombard
natural uranium to create plutonium-U 239 (fission)
Discovery of Atomic Energy (Cont.)
• 1941-American scientists visit the UK to study
current atomic research
• 1941-US begins the Manhattan Project;
codename for development of the atomic bomb
• May 1942-USSR begins massive espionage
program to uncover atomic energy secrets from
the US
• 16 July 1945- First successful nuclear explosionAlamogordo, NM known as “Trinity”
Manhattan Project
• Los Alamos, NM-main bomb development and
assembly
• Oak Ridge, TN-separate U235 from U238
• Hanford, Washington-Plutonium manufacturing
• Robert J. Oppenheimer-Nuclear physicist; head
of bomb development in NM
• General Leslie R. Groves-military engineer;
head of Manhattan Project
• Project cost: $2,000,000,000
• Employees: 600,000
Should the bomb be used?
• Humanitarian
– Countless number of lives lost
– Scientists were unsure of the affects of a nuclear explosion in an urban
environment
• Military
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The destructive power of the bomb could lead to an end to the war
Save soldiers lives
Was not central consideration
Some argue decision was made to use the bomb before Roosevelt’s
death
• Political
– The successful detonation of an atomic weapon would give the US the
ability to control post war decision making
– Limit role of Soviet Union
Decision
• Truman gives the order to use the atomic
bomb in Japan
• Hiroshima-6 August 1945
• Nagasaki-9 August 1945
Hiroshima
• 6 August 1945
• Uranium (U235) fission bomb-“Little Boy”reference to Roosevelt
• 9ft 9in long
• 8000 lbs.
• 12.5 Kilotons (.125 Megatons)
• Targeted because it had not been bombed by
Allies-wanted to get an accurate assessment of
the damage
• Dropped by B29 bomber-”Enola Gay”
Destruction of Hiroshima
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5 mile radius reduced to ashes
62.9 % of buildings destroyed
50% death rate within ¾ mile
118,661 deaths by August 10
82,000 injured
Long term effects
– Radiation sickness
– Genetic and chromosome injury
– Unborn children experienced stunted growth and
mental disabilities
Nagasaki
• 9 August 1945
• Plutonium (U239) fission bomb-“Fat Man”reference to Churchill
• 11ft long
• 9000 lbs.
• 22 Kilotons (.22 Megatons)
• Secondary target- Primary target of
Kokura was aborted due to heavy cloud
cover
Destruction of Nagasaki
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2.6 mile radius reduced to ashes
22.7 % of buildings destroyed
73,884 deaths
74,909 injured
Long term effects
– Radiation sickness
– Genetic and chromosome injury
– Unborn children experienced stunted growth
and mental disabilities
Japan Surrenders
• 14 August 1945-Emperor Hirohito announces
the “unconditional surrender” of Japanese forces
(Military government)
• Terminology is important in this case because
Japanese were allowed to keep their Emperor
(Imperial government); some viewed this fact as
a condition
• Believed the Japanese would have never
surrendered had the Emperor been removed
from power as part of “unconditional surrender”
V-J Day
• 15 August 1945
• Victory over Japan
• 2 September 1945 is also known as V-J
Day
– Japanese sign surrender aboard the USS
Missouri in Tokyo Bay
– Accepted by General Douglas MacArthur
Cold War
• Period of political tension following World
War II
“iron curtain”
• Winston Churchill speech
• Reference to the divide between the
communist Soviets and the democratic
West