World War II: Europe At War
Objectives: • How the Axis powers took Europe. • Europe under Nazi rule. • Hitler’s motivation for the invasion of the Soviet Union.
- Several Eastern European nations supported the Axis. - Japan joined the Axis powers in 1940.
Allied Powers:Britain, France, China, U.S.S.R., U.S.A., Canada, and 43 other nations.
Blitzkrieg • A military tactic used by the Axis forces in WWII (World War II). • It combines the use of planes, tanks, artillery, and mechanized infantry. • Planes and artillery initially bomb out area to be attacked. • Tanks quickly follow up aerial and artillery bombardments. • Infantry immediately then proceeds and acts as a type of “clean up.”
The Invasion of Poland • September 1, 1939 Hitler invades Poland! • The German military utilizes Blitzkrieg to devastate the Poles. • Simultaneously the Soviet Union, under the leadership of Stalin, invades Poland from the East (Nazi-Soviet Pact). • September 27, 1939 Poland surrenders.
Stalin Strengthens His Defences • Stalin occupies and annexes the independent Baltic nations of; Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. • The Winter War • November 1939 – March 1940: • As a result of Finland’s refusal to allow Soviet military bases on its territory, the Soviets invaded. • Outcome: Finland is not occupied by Soviet troops, but is forced to give up some territory.
The Phoney War • Between October of 1939 and April of 1940: • Very little happened in terms of Axis aggression. • The British used this time to increase war defences. • France’s war plans were based around the prevention of a German invasion by means of the Maginot Line.
The Blitzkrieg Continues • In April 1940 Germany used his Blitzkrieg tactics to occupy Denmark, Norway, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Belgium.
France had hoped to stop a German invasion by placing their troops along the Maginot Line. • The Maginot Line lies near the Eastern border of France and was built along the border of France and Germany. • Hitler’s army overcomes this obstacle by invading France through Belgium, bypassing the Maginot Line.
By the end of May the German army had pushed a combined French and British force back to the French port of Dunkirk.
D U N K I R K • Approximately 300,000 French and British troops narrowly escaped back to Britain with the aid of the British navy, merchant and pleasure ships. • While the troops were able to escape with their lives valuable allied war equipment was left behind.
After the French and British troops had escaped to Dunkirk, Hitler marched his army into Paris, while Italian forces invaded France from the South. • The French surrender occurred on June 22, 1940 in the city of Compiegne. • The Germans Directly governed Northern France, while creating a puppet government in the South.
The Battle of Britain: Britain Stands Alone…
Due to the failure of his appeasement policy, Neville Chamberlain was forced to resign.
The new British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, promised hard times ahead. • All he could offer was “Blood, toil, and tears.” • Despite his warnings the British people rallied behind Churchill and prepared for the German Blitzkrieg on British soil.
Blitzkrieg on Britain. • The Stuka dive bomber (German)
Blitzkrieg on Britain • The first step in Hitler’s plan to invade Britain was to weaken his enemy by attacking cities, factories, and military defences by means of Blitzkrieg. • The bombardment on Britain lasted three months.
Battle in the Skies • The heavily outnumbered RAF helped counter the German Blitzkrieg. • Britain also utilized the newly invented radar to help detect the incoming German Luftwaffe. • The success of the RAF helped to strengthen British morale. • By late 1940 the Hitler’s plans for invasion had to be cancelled due to the lack of success of the Blitzkrieg on Britain.
The Nazi Empire in Europe • Despite the Battle of Britain, Germany controlled all of Western Europe, except for the neutral nations of Sweden, Portugal, and Switzerland. • Spain declared themselves neutral, but allowed axis forces to use their ports. • In the east Germany held Western Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Austria. • Late in 1940 Romania and Hungary joined the Axis, followed by Bulgaria early in 1941.
The Nazi Empire in Europe Cont’d. • Nazi exploitations in Europe: • The French were heavily taxed. • Men and women from eastern Europe were utilized as slave labour • Forced to work in German factories. • Manufactured goods were apprehended and transported to Germany. • Museums were looted by the Nazi’s and leaders were able to collect great works of art.
Nazi Persecution of the Jews • Jews in Nazi occupied territories were forced to: • wear yellow id stars. • Businesses and properties were seized. • Forced to live in ghettos. • Sent to concentration camps.
The Nazi’s Continue to Attack • In the fall of 1941 the Balkans and North Africa were attacked. • In October, Mussolini invaded Greece and with Axis help defeated Greece and Yugoslavia. • Seesaw battles raged in North Africa between the British and Italy. • Ranging from Egypt to Libya and Ethiopia.
Nazi Attacks on the Soviet Union • In June of 1941 the Nazi’s unexpectedly attacked the Soviet Union. • The goal was to acquire lush farmlands and oil fields. • The German advance consisted of 3 million German soldiers. • Soviets were forced to retreat, utilizing a “scorched earth” policy along the way.
Nazi Attacks on the Soviet Union Cont’d. • It took the Germans only four months to take the Ukraine and draw near Moscow and Leningrad. • This was due in part to the poor leadership of the Soviet army as a result of the purges on Soviet generals in the 1930’s. • Finally in 1941 a bitter and cold winter slowed the German forces.
German Siege of Leningrad • Lasted over two years. • Over 1.5 million people died. • Starvation • Disease • Fighting
II have some questions for you….MUAAAHAHAHAHAAA!!!!! • What was the “phony war?” • Who was Winston Churchill? • What was Blitzkrieg? • What was the outcome of the Battle of Britain? • How did the Nazi’s exploit the resources in Europe?
More Questions (What a JERK!!!) • What was the Nazi’s policy towards Jews in the areas they occupied? • What slowed Hitler’s attack on the Soviet Union? • Why was the outlook for the Allies so bleak in 1941?