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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

World war ii begins

  • 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!