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World War II BEGINS . Munich Conference. Representatives from England, France, Germany, and Italy met in Munich, Germany to avoid war Britain and France followed appeasement , so they let Hitler have the Sudetenland, assuming he would not continue to annex/take/invade lands

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Munich conference
Munich Conference

  • Representatives from England, France, Germany, and Italy met in Munich, Germany to avoid war

  • Britain and France followed appeasement, so they let Hitler have the Sudetenland, assuming he would not continue to annex/take/invade lands

  • March 1939 – Hitler annexed the rest of Czechoslovakia

  • Britain and France warned him of war if he continued


German non aggression pact with the soviet union
German Non-Aggression Pact with the Soviet Union

  • August 1939 – Hitler signed a treaty (non-aggression pact) with the Soviet Union so he wouldn’t have a threat from the east

  • Publicly, the agreement said that neither country would attack the other.

  • The pact was meant to last ten years. It only lasted for two.

  • If the Germans invaded Poland, the USSR would not be allowed to intervene.

  • Therefore, if Germany declared war against Western Europe, the Soviets would not be allowed to enter the war.


1930s happenings around the world


1931- Japan invades Manchuria (China)

1935- Italy invades Ethiopia

Invasion of poland
Invasion of Poland

  • September 1, 1939: The German army invaded Poland, a country that Britain and France had pledged to support.

  • Due to the terms of the pact, the USSR couldn’t do anything about it.

  • September 3, 1939 (two days after German’s initial invasion of Poland): Britain and France (Allies) declared war on Germany, starting WWII.


  • Italy

  • Germany

  • Japan

Germany’s Invasion of Poland

* Blitzkrieg – “Lightening war” – a military tactic using planes and armored strikes to strike fast, before Poland could respond

* moved through Poland (Poland fell, and Germany took over it) in less than a month, while the Soviet Union (Joseph Stalin) attacked and seized eastern Poland

* After the fall of Poland, the war calmed down, a point that Germany referred to as “Sitzkrieg,” or “sit down war.”

Allied Powers




Maginot line
Maginot Line

  • At this point (after Poland fell), German troops sat and watched French forces on the Maginot Line, a massive system of forces that France had built along its border with Germany. –PHONY WAR

  • April 1940 – Germany attacked Denmark and Norway

  • May 1940 – Germans moved around the Maginot Line (through the Ardennes Forrest) and launched a blitzkrieg on Belgium, the Netherlands, and France

  • reached Paris by June 1940 and France surrendered

  • By mid-1940s, Hitler had conquered most of Western Europe, leaving Britain as the only Allied Power.


Battle of britain
Battle of Britain

  • After the fall of France, Hitler targeted Great Britain.

  • Winston Churchill – British Prime Minister

    • encouraged the British people by pledging defense at all costs

  • Hitler planned to take Britain with the Luftwaffe (German air force) – launched the greatest air assault yet, as over 1000 planes per day dropped bombs on Britain and eventually London


Battle of britain1
Battle of Britain

  • RAF = Royal Air Force

    • Greatly outnumbered

    • Pilots flew 6-7 missions per day

  • Huge losses due to death, fire, etc.

  • Despite the huge losses that London suffered, the RAF still defeated the German’s, marking one of the first military losses for the Germans.

Japan military monarchy
Japan (Military Monarchy)

  • Also discontent with their situation, just like Europe and Asia, and wanted to build an empire

    • Lacked sufficient raw materials and markets for its industries because it is a chain of small islands

    • needed land to support its growing population

  • 1931 – seized Manchuria

  • 1937 – invaded China, and controlled most of it by 1940

  • Turned to Southeast Asia and the Dutch East Indies

  • 1940 – became an ally of Germany and Italy

  • 1941 – signed neutrality pact with the Soviet Union

Axis Powers





The american response to japan s actions
The American Response to Japan’s Actions

  • 1938 – began building up the navy in the Pacific; moved fleet from San Diego to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii

The u s enters wwii
The U.S. Enters WWII

  • Initially…

    • America favored isolationism

  • Neutrality Act (1935)

    • Prevent the U.S. from being drawn into war

  • In a war b/w 2 or more foreign countries, the U.S. would not export arms, ammunition, or tools of war to those nations

  • But…

    • Manchuria, Ethiopia, etc. (events along road)

  • These actions bothered FDR – he did not want to be neutral

The u s enters wwii why
The U.S. Enters WWII…Why?

  • 1937 – FDR began to speak against events & aggression (i.e. Quarantine Speech)

1938 – FDR sought $ for navy

  • US signed Neutrality Acts in 1934,1935, 1937, 1939

  • Changed neutrality laws to “cash-and-carry” and the Lend-Lease Act

    • Cash and Carry

      • Allowed the US to supply arms to nations; those nations had to pay cash and transport the items on their own ships

  • Lend-lease Act

    • Allowed the US to send weapons to Britain regardless of their ability to pay

      • Resulted in the loss of two U.S. Ships by U-attack (Oct 1941)

        • USS Kearny

        • USS Reuben

Lend lease act 1941
“Lend-Lease” Act (1941)

Great Britain.........................$31 billionSoviet Union...........................$11 billionFrance......................................$ 3 billionChina.......................................$1.5 billionOther European.................$500 millionSouth America...................$400 millionThe amount totaled: $48,601,365,000

The u s enters wwii why1
The U.S. Enters WWII…Why?

  • The Atlantic Charter

    • FDR and Churchill proclaimed that Britain and U.S. shared the goal of opposing Hitler

  • German U-boats attacked the USS Kearny (all died) & USS Reuben James (100 died)

    • American vessels moving goods based on the Lend-Lease Act

Germany breaks the pact
Germany Breaks the Pact

  • The Germans and the Soviets stayed with the agreement until Germany invaded the USSR on June 22, 1941.

The u s enters wwii why2
The U.S. Enters WWII…Why?

  • Pearl Harbor, at the time, was about 22,000 acres in size

  • After the U.S. annexed Hawaii, construction began on Pearl Harbor, with intentions of it becoming a first-class naval base.

  • Repairs were being made in 1941

  • Pearl Harbor

  • Japan was continuing to attack Chinese territory

  • U.S., the Netherlands, and Britain froze Japanese assets

  • Japan had two options – concede to the U.S. or attack

The u s enters wwii why3
The U.S. Enters WWII…Why?

  • U.S. thought Japan would attack our base in the Philippines or SE Asia

  • U.S. did not want to fire the first shot; continued to negotiate with Japan and warned of possible Japanese attack

  • Japan was planning a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor

    • Spies on Oahu and Maui

    • Aircraft carriers would approach the harbor from the north, planes w/ bombs and torpedoes would take off from those ships and destroy U.S. ships and planes

    • About 360 Japanese attack planes had launched at dawn from aircraft carriers

The u s enters wwii why4
The U.S. Enters WWII…Why?

  • U.S. forces at Pearl Harbor were not ready to defend it

    • No single commander to prepare defense (i.e. no planes to watch for approaching ships)

  • Japanese attack on December 7, 1941

The aftermath
The Aftermath

  • 2,403 people killed, including 68 civilians

  • 1,178 wounded

  • 188 aircraft, 8 battleships, three destroyers, three cruisers, and one mine layer were destroyed or were sunk

  • However, of the ships destroyed, the U.S.S. Arizona was the only ship 100% non-recoverable and Japan did not sink any of the Pacific aircraft carriers and left most of the fuel that was needed to win the war in the Pacific.

Pearl Harbor

  • The Following Day, December 8th 1941, FDR will ask for a Declaration of WAR against Japan!

  • December 11th FDR will ask for a Declaration of War against Germany and Italy!