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Unit VIII. World War II

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Unit VIII. World War II. The Road to War. A. The Road to War 1. Japan Invades China a. Japanese military gov’t wanted to build a large Pacific empire b. In 1931, Japan seized Chinese Manchuria (Manchurian Incident)

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A. The Road to War

1. Japan Invades China

a. Japanese military gov’t wanted to build a large Pacific empire

b. In 1931, Japan seized Chinese Manchuria (Manchurian Incident)

*League of Nations went against Japan, so Japan withdrew from the League

c. In 1937, the Japanese army invaded the Chinese mainland (start of WWII in Asia)

*They established a puppet-gov’tunder their control

-the invasion of the city of Nanjing was so brutal it is often referred to as the “Rape of Nanjing”

-Japan continued to gain territory in Eastern Asia throughout the 1930’s and early 1940’s


A. The Road to War (cont’d)

2. Italy Attacks Ethiopia

a. In 1935, the Italian army invaded Ethiopia

*The Ethiopian king asked League for help

-agreed to stop the sale of weapons and

other war materials to Italy

-The agreement was not honored by all nations

3. German Aggression in Europe

a. Hitler glorified was as a means of restoring German national pride

*He rebuilt the military

*1936, sent troops into the Rhineland

*1938, made Austria part of the German empire

*Same year, forced Czechoslovakia to give Germany a border area called the



A. The Road to War (cont’d)

4. Appeasement

a. Western democracies adopted a policy of appeasement

during the 1930’s

*Appeasement: diplomatic policy aimed at avoiding war by making concessions to another power

*Nations would give in to aggressive demands to maintain peace

*The western democracies responded weakly to German aggression

-during the Munich Conference, 1938, western democracies agreed that Germany would seize control of the Sudetenland from Czechoslovakia

-Britain’s P.M, Neville Chamberlain, thought he was able to curtail Hitler's advancement and establish “peace in our time”


A. The Road to War (cont’d)

5. Alliances

a. Britain and France formed the Allied Powers (later joined by the Soviets, China, and the U.S.)

b. Italy, Germany, and Japan formed the Rome-Berlin-Tokyo Axis

(aka Axis Powers)

-originally included a secret alliance between Germany and

the U.S.S.R., but Hitler would break the agreement

6. Start of the War

a. Axis powers agreed to fight communism and democracy and to not stop each other imperialist conquests

-Soon became clear appeasement failed as a policy

-Several events led to declaration of war:


B. WWII Begins (cont’d)

7. Axis Powers Advance

a. Beginning of the war, the Axis powers had the advantage

and prevailed

*Nazi forces conquered Poland in a swift, massive attack known as blitzkrieg

-April, 1940, Hitler overran Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Belgium

-By June, the Germans had entered Paris

•Charles De Gaulle formed a gov’t in exile (England) and ordered French forces to keep fighting

-The Axis war machine extended across the world; would reach its height in 1942