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World War II: The Road to War (1931-1941)

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World War II: The Road to War (1931-1941)

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World War II: The Road to War (1931-1941)

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  1. World War II: The Road to War(1931-1941)

  2. Section 1: The Rise of Dictators • Due to economic hardship, and bitterness from the terms of WWI resolution, several dictatorships arose in Europe in the 1920s and 30s.

  3. Totalitarian Rule • When government has total control over a nation. • Dominates all aspects of life. • Uses terror and violence to suppress individual rights and silence opposition.

  4. Fascism • Fascism is a form of totalitarianism • Fascism emphasized national interests over individual interests and the supreme authority of the leader. • Opposed the economic principles of communism, despite the similarity of dictatorship.

  5. Soviet Union: Joseph Stalin • Joseph Stalin took control of the Soviet Union after Vladimir Lenin died in 1924. • Even more extreme than Lenin, plans to take “one great leap forward” to communism. • Launched five-year plans to communize all agriculture and build new industry. Lenin Stalin

  6. Stalin’s Economic Plans • Forced small family farms to form huge collective farms; forced resistors off their land. • Punished resistors by confiscating the food they produced. • Millions of people starved during the state takeover of farming. • Stalin sent 5 million peasants to labor camps in Siberia.

  7. Stalin’s Industrial Takeover • Assigned millions of laborers from rural areas to build and run new industrial centers producing iron, steel, oil, and coal. • Neglected to produce essential consumer goods, clothing, and housing. • Soviet quality of life fell even amidst new, industrial strength.

  8. Stalin’s Reign of Terror • Enforced his political power through numerous “purges”, removing enemies or dissidents perceived to be a threat. • The Great Purge began in 1934 • By 1939, his agents had • Arrested over 7 million people • Executed over 1 million • Sent millions more into forced labor camps • Nearly all were innocent victims of Stalin’s paranoia

  9. Italy: Benito Mussolini • Wounded in WWI. • Bitter that the Versailles Treaty didn’t grant Italy more territory. • Formed the Fascist Party in 1919 • Called himself Il Duce, “the leader” • Organized fascist groups throughout Italy • Relied on gangs of thugs to terrorize opponents

  10. Mussolini • Mussolini’s following grew increasingly powerful amidst economic hardship. • In 1922, he threatened to march on Rome, the king panicked and appointed him prime minister. • Took firm dictatorial control; suspended elections and outlawed all other political parties. • Dreamed of recreating the great Roman Empire. • Slogan: “The Country is Nothing Without Conquest.”

  11. Hitler’s Rise to Power • Like Mussolini, Hitler was wounded physically and emotionally by WWI. • Enraged by the settlement terms. • Germany had been forced to give up territory, pay steep reparations, and accept blame for the war.

  12. The Nazi Party • In 1919, Hitler joined a small political group that became the National Socialist German Workers’ Party, or Nazi Party. • Nazism was a form of fascism that promoted intense German nationalism and racial superiority. • Hitler’s powerful speaking skills quickly made him a leader.

  13. Failed Uprising • In 1923, with 3,000 followers, Hitler tried to overthrow the German government. • The uprising was easily crushed and Hitler was sentenced to 5 years in prison. • Spent only 9 months in jail, during which he wrote Mein Kampf, “my struggle”. • Articulated his views of Germany’s problems and outline his plans for revitalization. • Heavily blamed the Jewish race as a sort of cancer to German progress.

  14. The Great Race: Aryan Race • Hitler, along with many others, believed in the supremacy of the “Aryan race”: blond-haired, blue-eyed Germans. • Believed all other races to be inferior, particularly the Jewish race. • Significant research was done to reinforce this belief scientifically. • Today, biologists agree that race isn’t even a helpful biological or genetic classification.

  15. Germany’s Economy • Even during America’s booming 1920s economy, Germany suffered hyperinflation (rapid devaluing of currency). • When the global economy crashed in 1929, things became desperate. • Hitler’s bold promises and confidence attracted this desperation.

  16. Hitler Becomes Chancellor • With rapidly increasing popularity, Hitler placed second in the presidential election of 1932. • In 1933, Hitler was appointed chancellor, head of German government. • Hitler quickly began suspending freedom of speech and press. • Nazi thugs began violent terrorization of those who opposed Hitler.

  17. Growing Power • In 1933 elections, the Nazis won enough seats to take control of parliament. • In 1934, German President Hindenburg died. • Hitler became both chancellor and president. • Called this new role Der Fuhrer: “the leader”

  18. Germany Rearms • In violation of the Versailles Treaty, the Nazis secretly began rebuilding Germany’s armed forces. • Hired unemployed workers to build public buildings and a highway system known as the autobahn. • Unemployment fell to near zero and by 1936, the Depression had ended in Germany.

  19. 1936 Olympics • Hitler hoped to display new German power and industry. • Hoped to prove racial dominance of the Aryan Race • African American Jesse Owens wins 5 medals

  20. 1936 • In 1936, German troops entered Rhineland, in Western Germany, an area that the Versailles Treaty had prohibited Germany from rearming. • Hitler took a risk in sending military forces to Rhineland, but Britain and France did nothing. • Hitler and Mussolini signed an alliance.

  21. Map of Europe

  22. Germany Expands; Sudetenland • Two years later, a much stronger German Army was sent to invade Austria, Hitler’s homeland. • Britain and France protested but did nothing. • Months later, Hitler demanded the Sudetenland, a western portion of Czechoslovakia.

  23. Neville Chamberlain: Appeasement • Neville Chamberlain, Britain’s Prime Minister, pursued a policy of appeasement. • Appeasement- giving in to a competitor’s demands in order to keep peace. • Chamberlain met with Hitler and Mussolini in Munich, Germany in 1938 and agreed to give Hitler the Sudetenland in hopes to satisfy his appetite for territory.

  24. Spanish Civil War • In 1937 a Civil War broke out in Spain between the government and rebels. • Germany and Italy provided aid to the rebels and bombed the Spanish town of Guernica into ruins, gaining international attention. • One witness said the attack was “a preview of the end of the world.” Pablo Picasso's famous Guernica

  25. Section 2: Europe Goes to War • Germany’s continued aggression finally pushed France and Britain to enter a war they tried to avoid.

  26. Chamberlain’s Appeasement • Some praised Neville Chamberlain as a peacemaker, others saw appeasement as giving power to an enemy. • Winston Churchill, at the time a member of Parliament said, “Britain and France had to choose between war and dishonor. They chose dishonor. They will have war.”

  27. Continued Expansion • 6 months after granting Hitler the Sudetenland, Germany had taken all of Czechoslovakia. • In March of 1939, Britain and France threatened Hitler with war if he continued expanding. • B&F pledged support to Poland in the event of their invasion.

  28. Hitler’s Pact With Stalin • To avoid two-fronted war, Hitler and Stalin signed a ten-year Nonaggression Pact. • Although they were sworn enemies, Stalin didn’t think Hitler planned on attacking the Soviet Union. • Hitler wanted to buy a period of peace on the Eastern frontier.

  29. Invasion of Poland; War Begins • On September 1, 1939, Hitler invaded Poland causing Britain and France to declare war on Germany. • Britain and France had more soldiers than Germany, but lacked the organization and armament of Germany.

  30. Blitzkrieg; “Lightening War” • In Poland, Germany revealed a new form of mass-attack warfare, blitzkrieg. • Dive-bombing warplanes attacked first, then tanks moved in, surrounded, and destroyed the enemy. • Germany overran Poland in less than a month.

  31. Invasion of Poland

  32. Inaction • After the fall of Poland the war entered a period of inaction for several months. • The British and French held back, fearing great losses, while Hitler regrouped and waited. • A strong fortification called the Maginot Line, protected France from an attack, but not on their Belgium border.

  33. German Attack • On April 9, 1940, war resumed as Hitler attacked Denmark and Norway. • In May Germany launched blitzkrieg on the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg. • They were all overrun within days or weeks. • Meanwhile, they invaded Northern France by going above the Maginot Line.

  34. Dunkirk • Invasion of France divided British and French Troops into two groups, the north and south. • At the coastal city of Dunkirk, facing sure defeat in the north, troops retreated on a makeshift fleet of boats across the English Channel into Great Britain. • 340,000 troops were saved, leaving on 900 vessels.

  35. Fall of France • After the retreat of Dunkirk, German troops turned and swept through southern France. • In stunning speed, Germany captured Paris by June 14, and on the 22nd France officially surrendered. • By the summer of 1940, Hitler had conquered almost all of Western Europe.

  36. 1940 map of Europe

  37. Battle of Britain • Britain presented a different challenge for Germany, being an island with a strong Navy. • Germany focused on controlling the air. • In August 1940, he launched an unprecedented air assault known as the Battle of Britain.

  38. Battle of Britain • For over a month, as many as 1,000 planes dropped bombs on Britain each day. • At first, Germany only attacked British ports and airfields. • Soon they also began attacking aircraft factories and oil tanks. • Finally, they began bombing the city of London itself.

  39. Bombing Civilians • The bombing of cities/civilians was a historic shift in warfare, breaking the “rules” of war. • Both sides of the war continued bombing population centers throughout the remainder of the war.

  40. Defense/Protection • Britain’s Royal Air Force, though greatly outnumbered, went into the sky to counterattack the German bombers. • Britain also managed to crack the code of German communication, to learn their plans. • Londoners routinely hid in bunkers and ran for cover during air raids.

  41. Section 3: Japan Builds an Empire • While dictators gained power in Europe, a separate imperial power was growing in East Asia, Japan.

  42. Japan and WWI • Japan had joined the Allies in WWI. • Thrived economically after the war. • Enacted a two-party political system and joined international peace agreements. • Showed signs of stability and democracy, initially.

  43. Democracy in Crisis • Japan experienced sharp economic recessions in the 1920s that intensified in Global Depression of the 1930s. • Massive layoffs and strikes led to political discontent. • Japanese blamed the new democratic, multiparty system of government for taking too long to deal with problems.

  44. Rise of Nationalism • Radical nationalist groups formed in response to the government’s perceived weakness. • Demanded an end to multiparty political system. • Radicals assassinated business and political leaders.

  45. Manchuria • Japan’s population was exploding and struggled to provide food and resources for everyone. • Thought the acquisition of Manchuria, at the time a part of China, could provide them with new resources and undeveloped land.

  46. The Manchurian Incident • In 1931, a Japanese army stationed in Manchuria claimed that Chinese soldiers became violent and seized several Manchurian cities. • The operation was not supported by Japanese government, who attempted to stop the seizure. • The Japanese army operated independently and by 1932 had taken over all of Manchuria.

  47. The Manchurian Incident • Japan announced that Manchuria was an independent state, called Manchukuo, under Japanese protection. • Manchukuo was a puppet state, a supposed “independent” country under the control of a powerful neighbor. • Japan sent millions of farmers, entrepreneurs, and soldiers to secure it as a Japanese colony.

  48. Opposition • This takeover, known as the Manchurian Incident, was opposed by the U.S. and Britain, but they did nothing to stop it. • The League of Nations ordered Japan to end occupation, Japan refused and withdrew from the League.

  49. Military Power • The Manchurian Incident gave the military power over the government. • In 1932, naval officers helped assassinate the prime minister and other politicians. • Japan’s government was never actually overthrown, but its power was lost to the army. • Politicians were afraid to speak out against the military for fear of their own lives.

  50. War Against China • In 1937, Japan extended their invasion of China. • A minor clash outside of Beijing turned into full-scale war. • Japan occupied Beijing and threatened all of northern China. • Japan’s superior weapons overpowered China’s greater manpower.