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World War II Begins 1939 - 1941. Causes of World War II. Political instability and economic devastation in Europe resulting from World War I Rise of Fascism in several countries Fascism is a type of government where total power is given to a dictator and freedoms are denied to people.

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causes of world war ii
Causes of World War II
  • Political instability and economic devastation in Europe resulting from World War I
  • Rise of Fascism in several countries
    • Fascism is a type of government where total power is given to a dictator and freedoms are denied to people
1 economic devastation
1. Economic Devastation
  • Worldwide depression (even though the depression began in the U.S., its effects were felt throughout Europe)
  • Massive unemployment throughout the world like in Italy, Germany, and Japan

Economic Devastation (cont.)

  • High inflation was occurring in countries like Germany and Italy
    • Inflation means that money was not worth as much as it used to be, and the prices of items were higher
  • Reparations – Germany owed a high war debt of $33 billion from World War I
  • Both the Allies and the Central Powers from WWI owed huge debt from the cost of the war
appeasement at munich
Appeasement at Munich:
  • Hitler was taking over many weaker countries around Europe.
  • A meeting was called between Britain, France, and Germany (Hitler) in the German city of Munich.
appeasement at munich continued
Appeasement at Munich:Continued
  • In the end, Germany was allowed to have the countries it took over without a fight.
  • This was known as the Munich Pact.
  • This agreement between the countries was known as appeasement (pleasing someone to avoid a fight or war), which did not work
allied powers
Allied Powers
  • Democratic nations were known as the Allies.
  • These nations included the United States, Great Britain, and Canada.
  • The Soviet Union joined the Allies after being attacked by Germany.
allied powers1
Allied Powers
  • Great Britain (led by Winston Churchill)
  • United States (led by Harry S. Truman)
  • Soviet Union (after Germany attacks) (led by Joseph Stalin)
  • Canada
world war ii begins
World War II Begins

Germany Starts the War:

  • Hitler soon broke the agreement he made in Munich and conquered (took control of) Czechoslovakia.
  • He also said he was going to invade Poland.
  • GreatBritain and France warned that an attack on Poland would mean WAR.
pact germany and soviet union
Pact - Germany and Soviet Union
  • Germany and the Soviet Union signed a pact that said they would not declare war on or attack one another.
  • Germany then invaded Poland and Great Britain and France declared WAR on Germany.
  • World War II had begun.
germany and soviet union attack poland
Germany and Soviet Union attack Poland
  • Germany attacked Poland from the west and the Soviet Union invaded from the East.
  • Poland soon fell to the invading armies.
germany invaded other countries
Germany invaded other countries
  • Germany invaded with speed and surprise, called blitzkrieg, or “Lightening War”
  • They used tanks, troops, and planes to conquer other countries like Denmark, Norway, Belgium, and Luxemburg.
  • The British and French troops could do little to stop the Germans.
germany attacks france
Germany attacks France
  • In June 1940, the Germans attacked France and in less than 2 weeks they captured Paris (the capitol city).
  • Days later France surrendered.
germany attacks britain
Germany attacks Britain
  • Hitler believed that the British would quit after France fell.
  • The British, led by Winston Churchill, had no intention of surrendering.
  • Hitler made plans to invade Britain.
germany attacks britain continued
Germany attacks Britain (continued)
  • There was a huge air battle

between the German Air

Force and Britain’s

Royal Air Force (RAF).

  • Germany bombed London in the Battle of Britain.
  • The British won the air battle and did not surrender as Hitler had hoped
hitler betrays stalin and invades soviet union
Hitler betrays Stalin and invades Soviet Union
  • After failing to defeat the Royal Air Force (RAF), Hitler turns his attention elsewhere.
  • He sees a chance to expand his empire by invading the Soviet Union and having access to it’s vast resources.
  • Hitler breaks his non-aggression pact with Stalin and invades the Soviet Union by surprise.
december 1941
December 1941
  • By the end of 1941, things look bad for the Allies.
  • Germany initially rolls rapidly through the Soviet Union and threatens to take Moscow the Capitol.
  • However, things are about to change!
united states aids the allies
United States Aids the Allies
  • Prior to December 1941 the U.S. was not a part of the war at this time.
  • President Roosevelt tried to help the Allies
  • He proposed the Lend – Lease Act
  • This allowed the U.S. to lend or lease war materials to Allied Nations.
  • The U.S. was still not physically fighting in the war.
germany attacks the soviet union
Germany Attacks the Soviet Union
  • Hitler did not trust the Soviet Union and invaded (attacked) Leningrad in June 1941.
  • The Soviets held them off and the Germans never took the city.
germany attacks moscow
Germany Attacks Moscow
  • In December 1941, they ran into the harshest Russian winter in decades.
  • Many soldiers died and their tanks and weapons broke down in the cold.
  • The German advance had come to a halt, (stopped) and driven back.
battle of stalingrad
Battle of Stalingrad
  • The Germans attacked Stalingrad, a major industrial city, in September of 1942.
  • The Soviets defeated the Germans.
  • In February 1943, the German troops surrendered and Hitler’s hope of conquering the Soviet Union was gone.
  • The Battle ofStalingrad, marked the turning point of the war in Eastern


japan in need of resources
Japan in need of resources
  • In 1940, Japanjoined the Axis alliance with Germany and Italy.
  • Japan was led by Hideki Tojo
  • Japan needed more resources (oil, metals, grains), so Tojo decided to invade other countries to get it.
  • The only thing in his way was the United States Navy because the U.S. warned Japan to stop invading other countries.
japan attacks pearl harbor
Japan Attacks Pearl Harbor
  • On December 7, 1941, Japanese warplanes bombed the American naval base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii.
  • 2,400 Americans, both (military) servicemen and civilians died during this attack.
u s declares war
U.S. declares War
  • President Roosevelt and the U.S. government declared WAR on Japan.
  • A few days later, Germany and Italy declared WAR on the U.S. because of its alliance with Japan.
u s involvement1
U.S. Involvement
  • Now, the U.S. is in direct fighting in WWII.
  • They went from being neutral (not on the side of anyone), to giving economic and military aid, to now direct fighting in the war.