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World War II.

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Presentation on theme: "World War II."— Presentation transcript:

1 World War II

2 The Invasion of Poland September 1, 1939
German forces invaded from the west, while Soviets invaded from the east The attack forced Britain and France to honor their alliance with Poland and declare war on Germany By the end of September, however, Poland had been conquered The Soviets also moved against Finland and the Baltic States (Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia)

3 Blitzkrieg During the invasion of Poland, the Germans debuted a new military tactic Blitzkrieg, or "Lightning War,” German tactic of striking with tremendous speed and force, with the intention of knocking out your enemy before they can react to your attack 3

4 Germany’s Next Moves To secure their northern border, Germany invaded both Norway and Denmark, winning easy victories in the spring of 1940 By late spring, Hitler turned his attention west and invaded Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands in preparation for attacking France

5 US responded by Destroyers for Bases Deal
Spring 1940: US agreed to trade 50 surplus destroyers (small warships) to Britain, who needed them to protect shipping, in exchange for allowing the US to build naval bases in British- controlled territories

6 The Miracle at Dunkirk Allied forces had moved into Belgium to meet the German advance, but quickly found themselves cut-off and surrounded Allied forces raced to reach the port of Dunkirk on the English Channel, their only means of escaping defeat & capture The British were able to safely evacuate over 300,000 men to England by using every available ship in Great Britain, but were forced to abandon all of their heavy equipment

7 The Fall of France The evacuation of Allied troops across the English Channel left France undefended Germans took Paris on June 13th and the French government formally surrendered on June 22nd, 1940

8 Winston Churchill 1874 – 1965 (life)
& (British Prime Minister) Although Britain now stood alone against Germany, they remained defiant, with Churchill vowing “… we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender”

9 The Battle of Britain To be able to invade Britain, Germany would first need to destroy the Royal Air Force (RAF) and soften beachhead defenses through aerial bombing From June to October of 1940, an air battle was waged between the RAF and the Luftwaffe (German Air Force) Despite being outnumbered, the British managed to win the air battle, forcing Hitler to abandon his plans to invade Britain “Never in the field of human conflict have so many owed so much to so few.” - Churchill

10 “The Blitz” Sept – May 1941 Sustained bombing campaign by Germany against major British cities, targeting British civilians London was bombed 57 nights in a row 43,000 civilians killed German objective was to instill fear in the British people in hopes that they would sue for peace; instead the British grew more determined to win the war British retaliated with fire-bombing raids on German cities

11 Lend-Lease Act March 1941 US declared that it would lend or lease (since it couldn’t sell due to the Neutrality Acts) weapons to nations considered “vital to the defense of the US” US went on to send $40 billion in weapons to Allies over the course of WWII

12 Hemispheric Defense Zone
To help protect British shipping, FDR declared the entire Western Atlantic to be part of the Western Hemisphere and thereby under the protection of the US per the Monroe Doctrine FDR then ordered the US Navy to patrol this part of the Atlantic, leading to several deadly encounters between US destroyers and German U-boats

13 The Atlantic Charter August 1941
FDR met with British Prime Minister Winston Churchill to lay out a post-war plan for economic prosperity Many question whether or not this is where FDR promised Churchill that he would find a way to get the American people to support the US entering the war

14 The Axis in the Mediterranean
In The Balkans: Italian and German forces seized control of most of the Balkan peninsula by late 1941, but still had to deal with partisan uprisings, especially in Greece & Yugoslavia, throughout the war In North Africa: Axis forces fought mostly British troops in back-and-forth battles throughout most of 1940, 1941, & 1942; Germany’s inability to decisively win on the “Southern Front” of the war would prove costly

15 Operation Barbarossa In June 1941, Germany broke the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact and attacked the Soviet Union Stalin was not prepared for the German attack and the Wehrmacht (German Army) had made deep advances into Soviet territory by December Soviet forces resorted to a “scorched earth” campaign, burning everything of use to the Germans as they retreated across the Ukraine Finally, the harsh Russian winter stalled the Germans, buying the Soviets time to regroup and stop the German advances

16 Siege of Leningrad Sept. 1941 – Jan. 1944
Hitler was obsessed with capturing the Soviet city of Leningrad due both to its symbolical importance as the “City of Lenin” (Lenin had led the Bolshevik Revolution) and its military importance as a naval port on the North Sea 1.5 million Soviets died during the siege, mostly from starvation and disease; the population resorted to eating sawdust, boiled leather, rats, pets, horses, and, eventually, each other!

17 Battle of Stalingrad July 1942 – February 1943
Bloodiest battle in history 1.5 million killed Vicious urban warfare as the Germans and Soviets fought street by street, building by building for control of the city Soviets eventually encircled the German army, which was forced to surrender en masse 500,000 Germans captured, but few of them survived being imprisoned in the brutal Soviet gulags (prison camps)

18 The Wannsee Conference
Jan. 20, 1942 Nazi leaders met to determine the “final solution of the Jewish question” Formalized the process for rounding up and exterminating the Jewish population of Europe through the use of concentration camps and deth camps

19 The Holocaust By the time the war was over, more than 12 million people had died in the concentration camps, about half of them Jews The other half were a mix of other groups the Nazi’s considered “undesirable”: Gypsies, Poles, Russians, uncooperative Catholic priests, homosexuals, the mentally ill, & the physically or mentally handicapped

20 Japan Takes Advantage : As war raged in Europe, Japan occupied French Indochina (Vietnam, Laos, & Cambodia) and positioned itself to threaten British colonies and the US- controlled Philippines

21 US Embargo of Japan In response, US cut off Japan’s access to critical war materials such as steel and oil (both of which Japan bought almost entirely from America) to put pressure on Japan to make peace with China and Britain Japan considered this an act of war and began to plan an attack on US military facilities in Hawaii and the Philippines

22 Pearl Harbor December 7, 1941 Japan launched a surprise attack against US naval base in Hawaii 4 battleships destroyed, 4 more seriously damaged, but Japan failed to destroy US aircraft carriers Support vessels and facilities suffered massive damage 2403 Americans killed, wounded Japanese lost only 29 aircraft and 65 men

23 US Declares War Dec. 8, 1941: US and Britain declared war against Japan Dec. 11, 1941: Germany and Italy declared war against the US, believing that by helping Japan against the US, Japan would help them against the Soviets

24 Japan Keeps Rolling Japan immediately launched successful attacks against US colonies at Guam and the Philippines and British colonies of Malaya, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Singapore, as well as the independent nation of Thailand

25 Japan in the Philippines
US forces in the Philippines were forced to surrender by May 1942 US Gen. Douglas MacArthur was ordered to evacuate to Australia, but vowed “I shall return” Japanese forced prisoners to march 65 miles in tropical heat without food, water, or medical care, and while enduring physical abuse, to a prison camp – about 18,000 of the 78,000 prisoners died on this “Bataan Death March”

26 Doolittle Raid April 18, 1942 American bombers, under the command of Col. James Doolittle, mounted a daring mission to launch from aircraft carrier to bomb Tokyo in retaliation for Pearl Harbor Mainly a public relations move to improve morale; bombings did no major damage

27 Battle of Coral Sea May 4 – 8, 1942
US Navy had broken Japanese codes and learned of Japan’s intention to seize New Guinea as a step towards attacking Australia US sent 2 aircraft carriers to intercept the Japanese in the Coral Sea First naval battle in history fought entirely with aircraft U.S. lost an aircraft carrier, but prevented the Japanese invasion

28 Battle of Midway-turning point in war in pacific!
June 4 – 7, 1942 Japanese attack on U.S. island of Midway was intercepted and turned back 4 Japanese aircraft carriers were sunk, a loss from which Japan would never recover Japan would not be able to mount any offensive attacks for the remainder of the war – they would have to try to defend what they held from US invasion


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