Welcome to A Comprehensive Guide & Simulation to World War II Joseph Stresino, History Instructor Next See animation
Objective: After this lesson, you will understand America's role in World War II by completing the simulation & taking a quiz. There are a series of decisions and thinking questions. In each part of this lesson, you will explore a different issue that you will have to make a decision for. Back Next
Lesson People Photos Maps Quiz References Next
Warning This lesson is different from other lessons. This lesson is not a book. This is a simulation. Do not read it like a book. You will get confused. You will be making decisions and jumping to pages. Some pages lead you to thinking questions. There are total of 5 questions. As you encounter each question, copy it and answer on a separate piece of paper. There are decisions and consequences. The wrong decision can end in disaster, even death. But, at anytime, you can go back and make another choice and change its results. Next
World War II in Context It is July, 1942 and you are a young 19 year old man, and you have just graduated from high school. The United States had just entered World War II a year before in December of 1941. Half of your graduating high school class volunteered for the war. You are wondering if you should volunteer. Back Next
You wonder about being in combat during World War II. You are wondering whether you will be taken prisoner, blown to bits, and killed. Or, will it be different? You have been told how bad the enemy is, how evil they are and about the crimes they have committed. Do they need to be punished? Should you fight for freedom? Or, should you sit this one out. Click next to Continue or click Sit This Out to leave. Sit this out
Along with thousands of other young Americans, you made the decision to fight in the war. Nearly 50 million men would register during the war. To serve, they had to be at least five feet tall, weigh 105 pounds, and have correctable vision. When you joined, you were on a train three days later to Basic Training, also known as Boot Camp.
Thinking Question Why do you think Basic Training is necessary? Write the question and answer on a separate piece of paper. 2-3 sentences. By the end of the lesson, you should have a total of five questions. If you do not, you will have to click MENU, choose a different choice, and try again.
Basic training starts the minute you exit the bus. Your head is shaven. You are given new shirts, pants and socks. Everything is under the control of the Drill Sergeant. Boot camp will last 6 weeks. You learn how to fire a rifle and fire a machine gun. Soon you are in a fighting group, a combat unit. You finally finish basic training and according to your Drill Sergeant, you are an efficient killer.
Your Drill Sergeant has given you a choice, where do you want to go? Europe Pacific
You chose wisely. You wonder how this war began in Europe. You have transferred to Britain/ United Kingdom. They have been fighting this war longer than the United States. On September 7, 1940, Germany began its attack against London, the capital of Britain. The Germans have been bombing it for months now. Click here to learn how the war began in Europe
You volunteered for this job and what went through your mind is how to get out. You have learned how aggressive Germany is during war. The Germans have used a strategy called the Blitzkrieg. You have been reminded about German attacks. On September 1, 1939, Germany invaded Poland. On April 9, 1940, Germany invaded Denmark and Norway. On May 10, 1940 Germany invaded Belgium, Holland and Luxembourg. On May 12, 1940 the Germans crossed the French border. France surrendered in June 1940. And after the Japanese attacked the U. S. Navy at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on December 7, 1941, Germany and Italy declared war on United States. Click here to learn about the Blitzkrieg
On May 30, 1942 Great Britain began a 1000 bomber raid against Germany. You have been invited to go. If you choose to go as a heavy gunner on a Bomber for the Army Air Corp, you may win a Medal. You will be decorated as an outstanding soldier. You may get promoted. The risks are that it will be conducted during daylight. You will solely be dependent on the pilot and the crew. Make your decision carefully. Sit this out Bomber Raid Back
You have chosen wisely. Other opportunities will come your way. Some of the opportunities are presented by the Joint British-Russian Officer Task Force. In June 1942, the Germans invaded Russia without declaring war. Hitler is now fighting a two-front war. Not only do the British need help, the Russians need help as well. Should you stay in Britain or help the Russians? Would there be a better opportunity?
More than 35,000 Americans in uniform have already died. Thoughts of dying cross your mind. You begin to doubt the whole war. Eventually, you don't look back you just keep looking ahead and keep going. You hear all of these stories about people panicking and dying. You were taught to kill the enemy. You don't think of them as people; you think of them as the enemy, and that's the way you have to do it, because otherwise it would drive you nuts. There has to be an end to this war.
You read the good news from General Eisenhower: On September 3, 1943 the Allies land in Italy. Soon, the Allies will go right into Germany to get Hitler and stop the war. Its June, 1944, the Americans and British are planning an invasion of Normandy, in France. This is right across the Channel where France is occupied by Hitler's Germany. They have been calling it Operation Overlord or also known as D-DAY.
This is the Western Allies' greatest operation of World War II. This will be the largest and most dangerous attack in history. This mission will take you to Germany. The Allies will begin to assemble 2 million troops of numerous nationalities, nearly 5,000 ships, and 11,000 aircraft without the Germans knowing where or when the invasion would take place.
By June 1944, there were 1,536,965 U.S. troops in Britain. On the eve of D day, you received a special telegram. Fight the D-Day battle or go to the Pacific Theater. The risks with D-Day and the Pacific are both substantial. In both areas, America is projected to have heavy losses. If you stay and complete the D-Day mission, you will be part of the greatest invasion ever to go into Europe. If you survive the initial attack, you can follow the Army right into Germany, and possibly hunt down Hitler to stop the war. D-Day Pacific
Unfortunately, you are one of the 10,300 casualties and YOU DIE. "Death is nothing, but to live defeated and inglorious is to die daily." Napoleon Bonaparte Most of the men of the 6th Airborne Troopers parachuted on target, and within an hour had achieved their objectives. Some Americans were less fortunate. They fell helplessly into the sea, drowned and died. Menu Next
Thinking Question Why do you think D-Day was significant? Write the question and answer on a separate piece of paper. 2-3 sentences. By the end of the lesson, you should have a total of five questions. If you do not, you will have to click MENU, choose a different choice, and try again.
The Allies drove the Germans through France to the German Frontier. It allowed them to push Germany back. The British, U.S., and the French armies began to move into Western Germany as the Russians invaded eastern Germany. The Allies fought the Battle of the Bulge (December 16, 1944- January 16, 1945).
German soldiers and tanks were secretly hidden in the Forest and then attacked the Americans. The Americans were completely taken by surprise. The American Army turned north to resupply. Americans were able to supply more and more men and armor. In January 1945, the Americans attacked from the north. Result: American victory
Both sides raced to Berlin, the capital of Germany. In January 1945, the Americans attacked. Hitler committed suicide in April 1945 and Mussolini was captured and killed. Germany surrendered on May 7, 1945, V-E Day (Victory In Europe Day). Fighting in the Pacific would continue until August.
Cost of the War "The real and lasting victories are those of peace, and not of war." Ralph Waldo Emerson Germany- 3 million combat deaths Japan - over 1.5 million combat deaths; 900,000 civilians dead Soviet Union - 13 million combat deaths U.S. - 300,000 combat deaths When you include all combat and civilian deaths, World War II becomes the most destructive war in history with estimates as high as 60 million. Menu Next
Thinking Question Why do you think World War II was the most destructive war in history? Write the question and answer on a separate piece of paper. 2-3 sentences. By the end of the lesson, you should have a total of five questions. If you do not, you will have to click MENU, choose a different choice, and try again. Back Menu
World War II began in the mind of Adolf Hitler. Hitler became leader of Germany in January 30, 1933. Eventually he became the dictator of Germany. Hitler was a former soldier from World War I and leader of the National Socialist Party (NAZI). Simulator Menu Next
When Hitler came to power, he promised to restore Germany’s greatness. He stated that the Treaty of Versailles of World War I seriously damaged the German economy. Hitler wanted more territory and set out to expand his country. Back Menu Next
Hitler secretly rebuilt the military. Hitler was unchallenged. He planned to rebuild Germany’s military power. Hitler claimed that he was resisting the spread of communism. Back Menu Next
The dictator Benito Mussolini, Dictator from Italy also wanted world power. He joined Hitler. In the late 1930s, Germany and Italy used military force to build their empires. They joined together and later, Japan would join them. Their aggressive actions led to the outbreak of World War II. They become known as The Axis Powers. Back Menu Next
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Hitler demanded that the country of Austria become part of Germany. This was called Anschluss or taking over of a country. Britain and France did not respond to Germany’s demands. In March 1938, German forces took over Austria. Hitler demanded that Czechoslovakia be given to Germany. Germany believed that they were taking back what was taken from them in World War I. Britain and France did not respond to Germany’s demands. Again, Germany takes Czechoslovakia. Back Menu Next
To protect Germany’s conquest from other forces, Hitler signed a deal with Stalin, leader of Russia (Soviet Union). Each side agreed not to attack the other; allowing further German aggression in Europe. They would divided up territory in Eastern Europe for themselves. Back Menu Next
However, Germany broke its deal with Russia and invaded the country. On June 22, 1941, Hitler launched Operation Barbarossa, consisting of an attack army of 4 million men spread out along a 2,000-mile front. For the next three years, 90 percent of German deaths would happen in Russia. Back Menu Next
After Germany took over Austria & Czechoslovakia, they launched an invasion on September 1, 1939. Germany attacked Poland. The Germans used a strategy called Blitzkrieg or “lightning war.” Germany captured Denmark and Norway, and then the Netherlands and Belgium followed. Germans launched an invasion against France. France surrendered in June 1940. Hitler had its eyes on Great Britain. Back Menu Next
Hitler expected Britain to make peace, however, Britain, led by a new Prime Minister of Great Britain, Winston Churchill, refused to surrender. Hitler proceeded with invasion plans. Britain held firm during the Blitzkrieg despite devastating destruction to English cities. The British resistance convinced Hitler to postpone the invasion but he continued the bombing attacks. Back Menu Next
The Allies join together to stop Hitler The Big Three • Great Britain (Winston Churchill) • The U.S. • (Franklin Delano Roosevelt) • Russia-Soviet Union (Joseph Stalin) Back Menu Next
Turning Point of the War (1942-1943) Entry of United States into the war is critical to victory The Allies had goals: 1. Defeat of Germany was the first priority 2. Military aid to Russia and Britain Back Menu Simulator
Germans used a strategy called Blitzkrieg or “lightning war.” They attacked using everything they had at the same time. Simulator Menu
An aircraft carrier is a warship designed for airplanes to land and take off. Simulator Menu
An aircraft carrier is a warship designed for airplanes to land and take off. Simulator Menu
You have chosen wisely. You have transferred to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. You have heard stories about what happened at Pearl Harbor. On December 7 1941, the Japanese, under the command of Admiral Yamamoto, launched a surprise attack on the American forces at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Hundreds of Japanese warplanes, launched from an aircraft carrier and attacked the American Pacific fleet. The attack inflicted heavy losses on the Americans who were caught completely unaware. Click here to learn about Aircraft Carriers Menu Next
Eight battleships, including the U.S.S . Arizona were either sunk or damaged. 2,403 Americans were killed. This makes you upset! You have been invited to DINNER to meet some soldiers who want to tell you more about Pearl Harbor and other battles. What should you do? Are you upset? Should you go? Dinner Upset See animation
You are upset. You wonder if this war will ever end. Eventually, you just keep looking ahead. You finally hear good news! You hear about the Battle of Midway Island. It happened on June 4-7, 1942. The first defeat of the Japanese navy in 350 years as the U.S. goes on the offensive.
You become very happy when hearing about the Battle of Midway! America actually has a chance to win the war! The Japanese lost 3,500 men. The Americans lost 307 men. Caught by surprise, the Japanese were unable to launch any protection, and were forced off course. The American dive-bombers attacked, sinking 3 of the 4 Japanese aircraft carriers.
One Japanese carrier escaped and launched an attack against the American carrier, severely damaging the aircraft carrier the Yorktown. The two remaining American carriers launched an attack and sank the remaining Japanese carrier. The American victory at Midway was decisive. Result: Decisive American victory
You have been hearing a lot about other battles. But, now, you were called into an important meeting by your Commanding Officer. America has a chance to win the war with a very strategic island in the Pacific called Iwo Jima. In American hands, the island's would provide emergency landing for bombers returning from Japan. You commander gives you a choice. You can go to Iwo Jima or sit this battle out. There will be heavy Japanese resistance in Iwo Jima. You will be dependent on your skills as a soldier. Make your decision carefully. Sit this out Iwo Jima
You have chosen wisely. On February 19, 1945, the United States land two Marine Divisions on the Pacific island of Iwo Jima. You are one of the soldiers. The goal of the invasion was to capture the island and the three airstrips it contained, and use them in the war against the Japanese home islands. The Japanese gave a stronger defense than was anticipated. But, you survive. Your training kicks in. You and five Marines raise the American flag on top of Mount Suribachi. In all, the United States Marines lost nearly 6,000 killed and over 17,000 wounded. The struggle for Iwo Jima allowed you to earn the Medal of Honor, the highest award by Congress. Click here to learn about the Medal of Honor
Thinking Question Why do you think the Battle of Iwo Jima was significant? Write the question and answer on a separate piece of paper. 2-3 sentences. By the end of the lesson, you should have a total of five questions. If you do not, you will have to click MENU, choose a different choice, and try again.