World War II

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Transcript World War II

World War II
Rome-Berlin-Tokyo Axis
• Axis powers formed to—
– Fight communism
– Not interfere with each other’s territorial
• USA passed Neutrality Acts
– No selling arms to warring nations
– No traveling on ships of countries at war
• Don’t get involved with a European war, not to prevent
Axis Powers
• Benito Mussolini-Italy
• Adolf Hitler-Germany
• Tojo Hideki-Japan
• Giving into the demands of an aggressor to
keep the peace
– Japan attacked Manchuria
– Italy Invaded Ethiopia
– Germany rearms, moves troops into the Rhineland
• Politicians scolded these attacks, but that was it
– Axis viewed these moves as weakness
• Why?
– Many thought Fascism could be used as a defense
against communism
– France was still in bad shape with political turmoil
• Needed British help to take on Germany, which Britain
did not want to do
– Britain thought the Treaty of Versailles was too harsh on
Germany, and these were natural responses
– Great Depression had weakened the West
– Pacifism
• Idea of opposition to all war
• WWI destruction
Spain’s Civil War
• 1936, Nationalists led by Francisco Franco
(Fascists) vs the Loyalists of the Republic
(communists, socialists, pro-democratic)
• Micro-war
– Hitler, Mussolini supported Franco
• Hitler was able to test his new tech/tactics
German Expansion
• Annexation of Austria
– Anschluss-union of Austria and Germany
• Annexation of Czechoslovakian lands
– Germans in Sudetenland should have
– 1938, at the Munich Conference, British and
French appease Germany and persuade the
surrender of Sudetenland
• Hitler assured he won’t expand anymore
• Leaders were cheered on for avoiding war
– 1939, Hitler conquered Czechoslovakia
– Appeasement had failed
• Nazi-Soviet Pact
– Peaceful relations, and secretly…
• Not fight each other in war, and divide Poland
War Begins
• Blitzkrieg
– Division of Poland with the Soviets
– Norway and Denmark conquered
– France attacked through the Ardennes Forest
• Italy attacked in the south
• Both bypassed the Maginot Line
• June 22, 1940, Paris falls
– Vichy: puppet state in the south of France set up
by the Germans
Paris Today vs Paris 1940
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• “Free French” set up an exiled gov’t in Britain
– Charles de Gaulle
• Operation Sea Lion and the Blitz
– Plans to invade Britain, preceded by mass
bombings of London and major cities
– Failed to conquer London
• Failed to attain air superiority
• Made the Brits even more determined
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• Italy and Germany invade North Africa and the
– Gen. Erwin Rommel “Desert Fox”
– Most of Europe and North Africa was under Nazi
control by 1941
• Hitler sets his sights on the USSR
• “If I had the Ural Mountains with their
incalculable store of treasures in raw
materials, Siberia with its vast forests, and the
Ukraine with its tremendous wheat fields,
Germany under National Socialist leadership
would swim in plenty”
• Hitler
– Also crush his rival/enemy Stalin
Soviet Union
• 1941, Germany advances into Soviet Territory
– Soviets were weak from the Purges
• Lost many of their top officers
• When Hitler was ready to take Moscow and
Leningrad, “General Winter” arrived
– Millions of Germans froze to death
• 1942, Stalled outside of Leningrad/Moscow,
Germans attack oil fields of Stalingrad
Big Three
• Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin
– With Japanese expansion, Korean/Filipino
Americans wanted to fight
• Distrusted each other from the beginning
– General Eisenhower leads the allies to victory in
North Africa
• Rommel surrenders in May, 1943
• Allies advanced up Italy and overthrew
Mussolini in 1943
End of the European Theatre
• D-Day, June 6, 1944
– Allied invasion of Normandy, France
• Allies began round-the-clock bombing
– Targets of industry and morale
• Battle of the Bulge
– Last ditch attempt by Germany
– Support for Hitler was eroding
Yalta Conference
• V-E Day, May 8, 1945
– American and Soviet troops met at the Elbe River
• Axis armies began to surrender, Germany was
• Yalta Conference
– Soviets need Eastern Europe for defense
– Soviets would enter Pacific Theatre in 3 months
• Lands in Pacific would be given to Soviets
– Germany would be divided into 4 zones
• American, French, British and Soviet
Why did Hitler lose?
• Central location meant fighting on several
fronts simultaneously
• Hitler made several poor military decisions
– Underestimated the Soviet army
• US produced around twice as many materials
than the entire Axis combined
– Allied bombing destroyed German industry
– Germany ran out of oil before the war was over