World War II: 1939-1945. Nazi Troops march through Warsaw, Poland September, 1939. Steps to WWII. 1. March 1936: German troops take Rhineland; allies don’t respond (appeasement). 2. March 1938: German troops take Austria (Anschluss); allies continue appeasement.
Nazi Troops march through Warsaw, Poland September, 1939
1. March 1936: German troops take Rhineland; allies don’t respond (appeasement)
2. March 1938: German troops take Austria (Anschluss); allies continue appeasement
3. September 1938: German troops take Sudetenland (part of Czech); continue appeasement (Munich Conference: Chamberlain, “Peace in our time.”
4. March 1939: German troops take all of Czechoslovakia; continued appeasement
5. August 1939: Nazi-Soviet nonaggression pact; Germany and Soviet Union agree to not fight each other and to divide Poland.
1. Germany unleashed its Blitzkrieg (lightning war) on Poland; September 3rd, England and France declared war on Germany. WWII had begun. The Soviets invaded on 9/17/39
German troops advancing through Polish towns on September 1, 1939. Poland fell in about 3 weeks.
After Poland fell in September 1939, there wasn’t much fighting. Britain and France were mobilizing their armies and Hitler’s army was consolidating their gains. Germans called it the sitzkrieg (sitting war), but this peace wouldn’t last. In April 1940, Hitler cranked up the blitzkrieg again as his armies quickly moved into Denmark and Norway—Denmark fell in 4 hours and Norway in 2 months. By May 1940, Hitler was ready to invade Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg, and he did; they quickly fell. His prize was now in site… France.
1. Germany invaded across the flat land in the north… just like WWI
2. German troops made quick work of the French and pushed them to Dunkirk
3. At Dunkirk, 338,000 French and British soldiers were rescued and taken to England
4. France fell on June 22, 1940 (6 weeks). Hitler had the prize! Only England was left
Evacuation at Dunkirk: 1940 1939. Poland fell in about 3 weeks.
London ablaze during the Blitz
2. The Luftwaffe (German air force) began bombing English cities inflicting terrible damage, but England never surrendered.
3. The British Air force, although badly outnumbered, put up a heroic effort and were aided by two new devices: radar and enigma.
Destruction of London during the Blitz up a heroic effort and were aided by two new devices: radar and enigma.
“We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets…. We shall never surrender.”
“The gratitude of every home in our Island, in our Empire, and indeed throughout the world… goes out to the British airmen who, undaunted by odds… are turning the tide of the World War by their prowess and by their devotion.Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.All hearts go out to the fighter pilots….”
4. Winston Churchill: Inspirational Leader of England during WWII helped save the country during “the Blitz”
5. By May, 1941 Hitler was fed up with British resistance and ended his plan to take England. The British had survived, but Hitler turned his attention elsewhere. WHERE??
Why North Africa? and ended his plan to take England. The British had survived, but Hitler turned his attention elsewhere
1. The goal was to gain control of Egypt as it was the gateway into the Middle East and the rich oil fields.
2. Italian forces quickly pushed the British back and had a foothold in Egypt (September 1940)
3. In December, the British counter attacked and the Egyptians back nearly 500 miles. Hitler was alarmed and sent in help.
4. Erwin Rommel (the desert fox), and his tank corps were sent to aid Mussolini.
5. The British fought the Italians and the Germans to a stalemate (neither side had a decisive advantage)
1. June 22, 1941 Germany violated the Nazi-Soviet pact and invaded the Soviet Union.
2. Goal was Lebensraum: living space; and this area was found in the east.
3. Germany quickly advanced hundreds of miles into the Soviet Union as the Soviets were ill equipped and ill trained.
4. As the Soviets retreated, they adopted the scorched earth policy (just like they did when Napoleon invaded)
5. At the major cities of Stalingrad, Leningrad, and Moscow, the Soviets began to defend themselves. As the temps fell and winter set in, the German advance began to slow.
Prior to the war beginning, America had passed a series of Neutrality Actsmaking it illegal to sell arms or lend money to nations at war. President Franklin D. Roosevelt knew that if war erupted, America would be drawn into it. In September 1939, he asked Congress allow the Allies to buy war goods from the US. Next, America passed the Lend-Lease Act, which allowed America to lend or lease war goods to any country it wanted. This lead to the Atlantic Charter(agreement between Britain and America for free trade and the right for people to pick their own government), American Naval ships began escorting British ships carrying American goods and they became prime targets for German Subs. In September 1941, German Subs began firing on American warships, and Roosevelt gave the order to shoot any German warships on sight. America was secretly fighting the Germans Navy.
In 1931, Japan began its expansion with the invasion of Manchuria. For the rest of the 30’s Japan continued to expand and when they reached French Indochina (Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos) the US decided it was time to act. America cut off oil shipments with Japan in July 1941. This forced the Japanese to act.
1. Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto devised a plan that would keep America out of the Pacific.
2. On 12/7/41, Japan attacked American Navel forces at Pearl Harbor; >2,300 Americans died, 19 ships were damaged or destroyed, and America was now at war.
3. President F. D. Roosevelt called 12/7/41, “a date which will live in infamy.”
4. Admiral Yamamoto said, “I fear all we have done is awaken a sleeping giant.”
Yamamoto was right, American quickly rebounded for the surprise attacks at Pearl Harbor. By early 1942, we were looking to take the fight to Japan and began out push toward the Japanese mainland. It would be a long 3 years of fighting and cost thousands of lives to reach the destination of Japan.
Shortly after the “victory” at Pearl Harbor, the Japanese continued their attacks in the Pacific. The small island of Guam fell, as did Wake Island; thousands of Americans were lost or taken Prisoner of War (POW) during these campaigns. The next major target was the Philippines, and they fell in January of 1942. Japan took nearly 70,000 American POWs. This led to the Bataan Death March
1. 70,000 American POWS were forced to march 50 miles up the Bataan Peninsula; Japanese considered surrender dishonorable so the POWs were beaten, tortured, and murdered along the route.
2. It is estimated that 1 in 4 men that began the march were killed (roughly 18,000)
3. At the end of WWII, Japanese military personal were charged with Human Rights Violations because of this.
Japanese officers, like this one, often showed their power by beheading POWs. Any POW could be killed by any Japanese soldier for no reason…. Death was sport to the Japanese.
American POWS during the Bataan Death March by beheading POWs. Any POW could be killed by any Japanese soldier for no reason…. Death was sport to the Japanese.
The March up Bataan to a POW Camp by beheading POWs. Any POW could be killed by any Japanese soldier for no reason…. Death was sport to the Japanese.
1. April 1942, 16 B-25 bombers attacked Tokyo and other major Japanese cities.
2. Little damage was caused, but it was the first time in the war that the Japanese mainland was struck.
3. Psychological victory for America after Pearl Harbor.
General James Doolittle: Commander of the Raid
1. May 1942, Japan was pushing on Australia and threatening the country.
2. American and Australian ships tried to cut off the Japanese advance.
3. Both sides (America and Japan) used a new style of Navel Warfare…. Aircraft carries.
4. Although the Allies lost more in ships and troops, it was a victory…. They had stopped the Japanese advance.