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WWII in a Nutshell. Part I – Was WWII Just an Extension of WWI?. What document was written right after WWI? The document determined punishment for the “belligerent” countries that started the war. . That’s right! The Treaty of Versailles. Germany is to blame!.

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WWII in a Nutshell


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  1. WWII in a Nutshell

  2. Part I – Was WWII Just an Extension of WWI? What document was written right after WWI? The document determined punishment for the “belligerent” countries that started the war.

  3. That’s right! The Treaty of Versailles

  4. Germany is to blame! • The Treaty of Versailles blamed Germany for WWI. It claimed that Germany was the aggressor throughout the conflict. The treaty set up harsh punishments for Germany which included:

  5. Germany is to blame! • Germany was disarmed, stripped of its colonies, forced to admit sole blame for the war, and saddled with whopping reparation payments to the allies. • Parts of Germany were taken from it and added to Czechoslovakia and Poland.

  6. Germany resented the Treaty • Germany forfeited 13 percent of its European territory (more than 27,000 square miles) and one-tenth of its population (between 6.5 and 7 million people). • Many Germans felt that the treaty was much to harsh. They saw other countries as being equally responsible for the war, yet they were saddled with reparations and treated like they were the “bad guys”.

  7. The Rise of German Nationalism • Over time anger over the Treaty of Versailles turned into rage. • After the signing of the Treaty the German economy went into a depression and experienced rapid inflation. Unemployment was a way of life. • Germany’s once proud military machine was reduced to a small standing army of about 50,000.

  8. The rise of Hitler • Adolph Hitler was born on April 20th, 1889. • His last name was almost Schickengruber, rather than Hitler. • Growing up he always wanted to be an artist.

  9. Sample Pencil Drawing of Hitler’s

  10. Hitler is not good enough • Unfortunately for history, Hitler’s drawings were not good enough to get him into art school or make him any serious money. • So instead of becoming an artist he decided to try and…

  11. Take over the world! • During WWI he fought in the German infantry. • In 1923, he tried to take over Germany in was called the Beer Hall Putsch. • He failed and was sent to prison

  12. Meditations in prison • While in prison he wrote the book Mein Kampf (my struggle), which spelled out his philosophy of life and the future of Germany. • The book largely blamed Jews for WWI and the Treaty of Versailles. • Millions of Germans bought copies of the book. Few, however, actually read it.

  13. Mein Kampf is still being published today

  14. The average customer rating on Amazon.com for it is three stars!

  15. Life after prison for Hitler • After Hitler got out of prison he worked to increase the size and power of the Nazi Party. • On January 30th, 1933 German Parliament approved his becoming Prime Minister of Germany. • Shortly afterwards, he burned down Parliament and permanently disbanded it.

  16. German Re-occupation • After Hitler came to power he began to rebuild Germany’s army, defying the rules set down in the Treaty of Versailles. • He then slowly began reoccupying parts of Europe that had been taken from Germany as a result of the Treaty of Versailles.

  17. European Reaction • When Germany began to annex and reoccupy parts of Europe lost to the Versailles Treaty, reaction was mixed. • France was livid and wanted immediate sanctions placed upon Germany. They were not, however, willing to go to war, unless other countries would join their effort.

  18. France is out of money • The primary reason that France didn’t want to go to war was because their economy was in bad shape. • They had spent hundreds of million of dollars building the Maginot Line, which was supposed to keep them safe from German enemies.

  19. A complete waste of money!

  20. British Reaction to German Aggression • Believe it or not, by the time that Hitler was in office, many British citizens believed that the Treaty of Versailles was too harsh for Germany. Some people, including the Prime Minister at the time felt Germany’s quest for reunification was understandable.

  21. Appeasement • Many people in Britain supported the policy of appeasement in which Great Britain allowed Germany to take back some of it’s previous possessions in return for a promise by the Hitler that they would stop once they had gained most of their previous possessions.

  22. Neville Chamberlain—The Great Appeaser.

  23. Which of the following leaders would you want to run your country? • A former opium addict that drank and smoked heavily. • A womanizer that died at his mistresses house. • A non-smoking vegetarian.

  24. Hmm…. • A former opium addict that drank and smoked heavily. a. Winston Churchill • A womanizer that died at his mistresses house. b. Franklin Delano Roosevelt 3. A non-smoking vegetarian. c. Adolph Hitler

  25. Part II – Leading Up to WWII

  26. Roosevelt Recognizes the Soviet Union • President Franklin Roosevelt formally recognized the Soviet Union in 1933.

  27. FDR’s Good Neighbor Policy • In 1933, at the Seventh Pan-American Conference, America formally endorsed non-intervention in Latin America. This essentially overturned TR’s Roosevelt Corollary (Big Stick Diplomacy) and brought much good will from Latin America.

  28. European Dictators • In 1922 Benito Mussolini became the fascist leader of Italy. • In 1933 Adolph Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany • In 1936 Mussolini and Hitler allied themselves in the Rome-Berlin Axis. • In 1935 Mussolini attacked Ethiopia. The League of Nations could have made them withdraw with an oil embargo, but they chose not to.

  29. Washington Naval Treaty • The Washington Naval Treaty, also known as the Five-Power Treaty, limited the naval armaments of its five signatories: the U.S., Great Britain, Japan, France and Italy. The treaty was signed by representatives February 6th, 1922 on 6 February 1922. It was an attempt to prevent a naval arms race that began after WWI.

  30. Problems with Japan • In 1934 Japan terminated the Washington Naval Treaty. In 1935 it quit the Treaty of Versailles. It began to rapidly build up its military.

  31. American Isolationism • America felt like it did not gain anything from WWI and was hesitant to go to war again. • In 1934 Congress passed the Johnson Debt Default Act. Any country that defaulted on its loans could not be given more U.S. aid, even if it was attacked. • Some recommended a Constitutional Amendment not allowing the U.S. to go to war unless invaded. • The Neutrality Acts of 1935, 1936 and 1937 proclaimed that when the president proclaimed the existence of a foreign war, restrictions would go into effect limiting trade with all foreign countries at war.

  32. America Allows Spain to Fall to Fascism • Fascist rebel leader Francisco Franco led a civil war against the Spanish government. He was given aid and munitions by Germany and Italy. America refused to help the fledgling Spanish government.

  33. America Reacts Too Late • It wasn’t until 1938, the year before WWII started, that the U.S. passed a billion-dollar naval construction bill.

  34. Problems with Japan • In 1937 Japan invaded China. The United States refused to initially do anything. Later Roosevelt gave his “Quarantine Speech”, which ambiguously called for an economic and military quarantine of belligerent nations. Isolationists in American screamed with indignation and Roosevelt quickly backed down. • Japan later bombed an American gunboat off of the coast of China. After a quick apology and a promise to pay the families of the victims, the U.S. chose not to go to war.

  35. The German Menace • In 1935 Germany introduced compulsory military service for its citizens (openly defying the Treaty of Versailles). • In 1936 he marched into the demilitarized German Rhineland and took it without firing a shot. • In 1938 he did the same in his home country of Austria. • In 1938, Hitler demanded that the German-inhabited Sudetenland of neighboring Czechoslovakia rejoin Germany. • A conference was held by European powers in Munich in September of 1938. They agreed to “appease” Germany and allow them to take it, much to the chagrin of Czechoslovakia. Hitler claimed that it was the last part of Europe that he wanted.

  36. Nazi-Soviet Pact • In August of 1939 Germany and the Soviet Union signed a non-aggression pact. This enabled Germany to go to war with western Europe without having to deal with the colossus from the east.

  37. WWII Begins • WWII officially started when Germany invaded Poland on September 1st, 1939. The invasion took three weeks. • What followed was seven months of quiet, in which the countries of Europe were technically at war yet no shots were being fired. This time was known as the phony war.

  38. Poland v. Germany

  39. All out war begins! • In April of 1940 Germany invaded Denmark, followed by Norway. • By May they invaded France. • Bypassing the Maginot Line in the North, France quickly fell. • Hitler forced French leaders to surrender in the exact same railcar that Germany surrendered in to end WWI.

  40. Great Britain Barely Survives • When Germany invaded France, many British soldiers were stationed in France. As the Germans advanced they attempted to evacuate, however, they did not have enough military vessels on hand to evacuate before being overrun by the Germans.

  41. The Great Escape • In the end the British had to rely on civilian vessels including fishing boats to cross the English channel and make it back to Britain.

  42. U.S. Involvement Prior To Its Declaration of War • The Neutrality Act of 1939 called for a “cash and carry” opportunity for countries at war. They were allowed to come to America in their own ships, but American munitions with payment in full and then leave. • Overseas demand from belligerent nations helped end the Great Depression once and for all.

  43. U.S. Involvement Prior To Its Declaration of War • When France fell to Germany the U.S. became much more concerned. In 1940 the U.S. appropriated $37 billion to build up its military. • This was more than the entire cost for the U.S. involvement in WWI and was five times larger than the annual New Deal budget.

  44. U.S. Involvement Prior To Its Declaration of War • On September 6th, 1940 the U.S. agreed to transfer to Great Britain fifty old destroyers left over from WWI.

  45. U.S. Involvement Prior To Its Declaration of War • In 1941 the Lend-Lease Act was passed. It allowed the U.S. military to lend and lease American military munitions to the allies to help them fight the axis powers. This was a huge shot in the arm for the allies, and by the end of the war over $50 billion American supplies had been given to the allies. • The Lend-Lease Act led to a few limited direct military conflicts between the U.S. and Germany, but neither declared war upon the other.