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The War Begins. Chapter 15: Section 2 Digital Video Clips: Archives of War (45 segments – go to Ms. Garratt. Hitler Conquers Europe. Within a year Hitler conquered Denmark, Norway, Holland, Belgium, Luxembourg and France.

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The war begins

The War Begins

Chapter 15: Section 2

Digital Video Clips: Archives of War (45 segments – go to

Ms. Garratt

Hitler conquers europe
Hitler Conquers Europe

  • Within a year Hitler conquered Denmark, Norway, Holland, Belgium, Luxembourg and France.

  • France relied on the Maginot Line (a system of heavily armed steel and concrete bunkers built after WWI) which stretched from Belgium to Switzerland.

  • The Germans bypassed the Maginot Line rendering its heavy artillery useless

  • The failure of the Maginot Line demoralized the French

British assistance dunkirk
British Assistance & Dunkirk

  • Britain provided military assistance.

  • Germans pushed the British back to Dunkirk on the English Channel.

  • A fleet of military and private vessels saved the Brit army by evacuating 338,000 troops between May 28-June 4, 1940.

  • The French held out for a few weeks more

  • Then Mussolini attacked from the South.

  • France surrendered in June

Battle of britain
Battle of Britain

  • Hitler tried to force Britain into submission thru blitzkrieg tactics (constant bombardment) from the summer of 1940 to May 1941.

  • Tons of bombs were dropped on London almost every night

  • Children were evacuated from London.

  • People slept in subway shelters

  • Churchill pleaded for US aid.

Americans divided
Americans Divided

  • Interventionists

    • Favored giving all possible support to Britain short of declaring war

    • Committee to Defend American By Aiding the Allies was formed by Wm. Allen White.

  • Isolationists

    • Formed Committee to Defend America First

    • Drew support from pacifists, socialists, both political parties & Charles Lindbergh

Selective service
Selective Service

  • FDR pursued cautious course given the division of public opinion.

  • However, he arranged the transfer of 50 destroyers to Britain in exchange for the right to establish air & naval bases on Brit territory.

  • FDR signs the Selective Service & Training Act which was 1st peacetime draft

  • Applied to all men between 21-35

  • FDR justified it as keeping US strong but in 1940 campaign he promised the country was not going to war

Lend lease 1941
Lend-Lease 1941

  • Bill which gave the US the right to sell, lend or lease military supplies to any nation deemed “vital to the defense of the US”.

  • 80% of Americans agreed to help Brits

  • More than $50 billion will go to Allies

  • Will be given to USSR also when Hitler attacks them – will generate opposition

  • Germany began sinking ships so FDR ordered US navy to help British track the U-boats.

  • US navy began guarding and defending British ships

Undeclared us german war
Undeclared US-German War

  • German U-boats sunk 3 US destroyers.

  • Congress revised the Neutrality Acts to allow merchant ships to arm themselves.

  • US provided lend-lease to Soviets when Nazis attacked.

  • This generated lots of opposition, however, Churchill was grateful that it took pressure off the Brits

The atlantic charter
The Atlantic Charter

  • Common principles agreed upon by Churchill & FDR for postwar world while meeting off the coast of Newfoundland.

  • All signatories to the charter agreed to create an international organization (UN) to protect the security of all countries.

  • The charter reaffirmed many of Wilson’s Fourteen Points.

The japanese threat
The Japanese Threat

  • Japanese aggression continued in China, Korea.

  • Japan announced its intension to create the Greater East Asia Co-ProsperitySphere which would be a Japanese empire.

  • Japan joins an alliance with Germ & Italy known as the Rome-Berlin-Tokyo Axis

Us response to japan
US Response to Japan

  • US applied economic pressure by cutting off supplies of metals, oil, chemicals, machine parts & other products w/any kind of military use.

  • When Japan seized the rest of Indochina FDR froze all Japanese assets in the US & halted all trade.

  • US continued to negotiate with Japan in order to buy time to develop its “two-ocean navy”

Yamamoto plan
Yamamoto Plan

  • Both US & Japan knew war would come and negotiations were deadlocked.

  • Since Japan was running out of oil they decided to act

  • Admiral Yamamoto advised striking the US at Pearl Harbor to deliver knockout blow.

  • Was not optimistic about final outcome of war if it continued more than 2-3 years.