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The Beginning of World War II The Gathering Storm The Invasion of Poland The Miracle at Dunkirk Operation Catapult.

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Presentation on theme: "The Beginning of World War II The Gathering Storm The Invasion of Poland The Miracle at Dunkirk Operation Catapult."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Beginning of World War II The Gathering Storm The Invasion of Poland The Miracle at Dunkirk Operation Catapult

2 The Appeasement of Germany – Austria Hitler’s version of the ‘master race’ required that all Germans everywhere belonged to one united Germany In 1938, Hitler and his army marched into Austria They had no way of defending themselves France and Britain did nothing

3 The Appeasement of Germany – Czechoslovakia The Sudetenland – a rich industrialized part of the Czechoslovakia was home to 3 million German-speaking people Hitler claimed that they were being oppressed and threatened to occupy the territory France, Britain and Russia promised to stand by the Czech people

4 The Appeasement of Germany - The Munich Conference This led to the Munich conference where the leaders of France, Britain, Germany, Italy and Canada met in Munich, Germany The leaders gave into Hitler’s demands hoping to avoid another war Within months, the German army took over the rest of Czechoslovakia

5 The Appeasement of Germany – Turning Towards Poland Hitler now demanded the German- speaking parts of Poland The leaders of Britain and France drew the line in the sand and guaranteed Poland’s Borders The USSR was not confident that France and Britain would carry through with their threat so they signed a Non-Aggression pact with Germany The stage was now set for World War II

6 Canada and the Build-up to War Most Canadians were not interested in fighting another war after the horrors of World War I and the Great Depression Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King did not see Hitler as a threat to world peace and respected his leadership When the Canadian ambassador spoke out against the war in Manchuria, the Canadian government made it clear that he did not speak on behalf of the government

7 The Spark – The Invasion of Poland On September 1, 1939, German tanks thundered across the Polish border and bombers flattened Warsaw On September 3, 1939, France and Britain declared war against Germany. One week later, on September 10, 1939 the Canadian Parliament voted to declare war on Germany

8 Canada’s First Casualty The first Canadian casualty of World War II was a 10-year-old girl from Hamilton, Ontario named Margaret Hayworth She was killed when a German submarine torpedoed the Athena, an unnamed passenger ship on the first day of the war Her state funeral encouraged people to fight.

9 Poland Falls to the Nazis The Nazis crushed Poland in less than a month The Polish forces collapsed under the relentless attack by German tanks and Stuka dive-bombers This new way of fighting became known as blitzkrieg or lightning war Poland surrendered on October 19, 1939

10 Sitzkrieg After the fall of Poland came a period known as ‘sitzkrieg’ or a phoney war where there was a lull in the fighting During this time, the allies scrambled to assemble their troops to prevent Hitler from advancing further through Europe Germany used the time to move their troops from defeated Poland to the rest of Europe

11 Hitler Becomes Master of Europe Germany broke the lull in the fighting in the spring of 1940 They conquered the following countries very quickly using the blitzkrieg technique; Denmark – 1 day Norway – 2 days The Netherlands – 5 days Belgium – 18 days France – 6 weeks

12 The Miracle at Dunkirk When the advancing German armies came south into France from the Netherlands, they pinned the retreating French and British troops along the English Channel near the port of Dunkirk The British Navy was deployed in other areas of the war and couldn’t make it in time to rescue the troops

13 The Miracle at Dunkirk Instead, English fisherman, weekend pleasure sailors and ferry captains took their boats across the channel to rescue the soldiers They brought back soldiers in canal boats, river tugs, rowboats, empty coal barges and yachts They saved over 350,000 soldiers (10 times the number originally hoped for) The Germans were unable to get there in time to prevent this heroic rescue

14 Britain Stands Alone Britain was now left without any allies against the Germans The new Prime Minister, Winston Churchill promised the British people nothing but “blood, toil, tears and sweat.” It seemed like the war would soon be over as the German army prepared to invade England

15 Canadian Aid In Halifax, Nova Scotia, ships were preparing to travel in convoys across the Atlantic Ocean They carried food, weapons and soldiers to help protect England against invasion from Germany

16 Operation Catapult After the Fall of France, Britain worried that if the French Navy fell into German hands, it would be used to help defeat Great Britain They demanded that the French dock their ships in allied ports or sink them to prevent this from happening When the French failed to do so, the British Navy bombarded the French Navy at its base at Mers-el-Kébir on July 3, 1940

17 Operation Catapult Although they had received warning, the French fleet was not expecting the British to carry through with the attack Although French Admiral François Darlan had assured Winston Churchill the fleet would not fall into German possession, the British were not willing to take the risk of this happening The attack resulted in the deaths of 1,297 French servicemen, the sinking of a battleship and the damaging of five other ships

18 The Aftermath of Operation Catapult In response to the British attack at Mers-el- Kébir and another at Dakar, the French mounted air raids on Gibraltar The Vichy government also severed diplomatic relations with the United Kingdom The attack created animosity between France and Britain, but it also demonstrated to the world and to the United States in particular, Britain's commitment to continue the war with Germany at all costs and without allies if need be


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