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Did You Know. Some historians think that Hitler was a great military commander – for the Allies! During the course of the war, he was responsible for several major blunders. For example, he seriously underestimated the strength of the Soviet Union, and made a huge mistake by attacking.

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did you know
Did You Know
  • Some historians think that Hitler was a great military commander – for theAllies!
  • During the course of the war, he was responsible for several major blunders.
  • For example, he seriously underestimated the strength of the Soviet Union, and made a huge mistake by attacking.
  • Prior to D-Day, the Allies fooled Hitler into thinking the invasion would be in Calais, which weakened the German response
europe at war

Europe at War

Major Events of World War II (1939-1941)

objectives
Objectives
  • Describe the major events of World War II from 1939-1941
  • Identify Roosevelt, Churchill, Stalin, & Hitler as major leaders
  • Explain the goals pursued by Germany during 1939-1941
big question
Big Question
  • What were some of the turning points that helped the Allies during the first couple of years of World War II?
german invasion of poland
German invasion of Poland
  • Invasion took only 4 weeks
  • Blitzkrieg (“lightning war”)
  • Sept 28, 1939 – Germany & USSR divided Poland
other invasions
Other Invasions

Norway

Denmark

  • Spring 1940 - Invaded Denmark & Norway
  • May 1940 – Attacked Netherlands, Belgium, & France

Netherlands

Belgium

France

Maginot Line

miracle of dunkirk
Miracle of Dunkirk
  • Germans trapped entire British army & French forces on the beaches of Dunkirk
  • British navy & private boats able to evacuate 338,000 Allied troops
fall of france
Fall of France
  • Maginot Line - Germany simply went around it
  • June 22, 1940 – Armistice signed
  • Germany now controlled 3/5 of France
  • French puppet gov’t set up under German control – Vichy France

Maginot Line

battle of britain august 1940
Battle of Britain (August 1940)
  • Hitler had to control the air before attacking Britain by sea
  • Luftwaffe (German air force) bombed military targets
  • British was aided by a good radar system
battle of britain sept 1940
Battle of Britain (Sept 1940)
  • Hitler shifts targets from military to civilian
  • Hoped to break British morale
  • Shift in Hitler’s strategy actually helped British to rebuild their air power
  • Germany postponed the invasion of Britain indefinitely at the end of September
battle of britain sept 19401
Battle of Britain (Sept 1940)

Headline from 16 Sept. In fact, only about 69 enemy planes were destroyed. Does this mean that this newspaper is a useless source to historians?

german invasion of the soviet union
German invasion of the Soviet Union
  • Hitler convinced to defeat Britain was to first smash the USSR
    • He thought Britain was expecting Soviet support
    • Also thought USSR could be easily defeated
    • Wanted to crush communism
    • Wanted USSR’s rich natural resources
german invasion of the soviet union1
German invasion of the Soviet Union
  • Invasion took place June 1941
    • captured 2 million soldiers by Nov
    • within 25 miles of Moscow
  • Winter set in
    • First time Germany forced to a halt
    • Germany not equipped for Russia’s harsh winters
growing american involvement
Growing American Involvement
  • Strict policy of isolationism
  • Neutrality Acts (1930s)
  • Roosevelt wanted to repeal the neutrality acts
  • Lend-Lease Act (1941)
    • Laws were slowly relaxed, US sent food, ships, planes, and weapons to Britain
closure
Closure
  • What were some of the major events that were the turning points during the first couple of years of World War II?