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World War II, Paths to War

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Presentation on theme: "World War II, Paths to War"— Presentation transcript:

1 World War II, 1939-1945 Paths to War
1930s, totalitarian regimes in Europe & Asia began aggressive territorial expansion; nothing stopped the acts of aggression that finally led to war 1) Japan a) 1931, invaded Manchuria b) 1937, invaded remainder of China 2) Italy a) 1935, Mussolini ordered invasion of Ethiopia b) 1939, took over Albania

2 3) Germany a) 1936, Hitler ordered occupation of the Rhineland b) 1938, Germany annexed Austria (the Anschluss); Hitler claimed the Sudetenland; Munich Conference gave the Sudetenland to Germany c) 1939, Hitler took remainder of Czechoslovakia, threatened Danzig & the Polish Corridor, & signed the Nazi-Soviet Pact with Stalin d) Sept. 1, 1939 – Germany invaded Poland & World War II began


4 The Course of World War II
Sept to June 1940, Hitler’s forces used blitzkrieg to expand German control from Poland to France 1) April 1940 – German forces took control of Denmark & Norway 2) May 1940 – Germany invaded the Low Countries; Churchill became P.M. of Britain; Miracle at Dunkirk occurred 3) June 1940 – German forces invaded & conquered France; Italy entered the war; Charles de Gaulle organized the Free French gov’t in Britain; French Resistance est.

5 The Battle of Britain (Aug. 1940 – May 1941)
Aug – Battle of Britain began as Germany’s Luftwaffe attempted to eliminate the RAF Sept – Luftwaffe changed tactics & began blitz of major population centers; London blitzed for 57 consecutive nights May 1941 – battle ended when Hitler called off the attacks

6 Anglo-American Cooperation
After Dunkirk, Churchill appealed to U.S. for help Sept – FDR got Congress to enact the cash-and-carry policy Mar – Congress approved & FDR signed the Lend-Lease Act Aug – Churchill & FDR issued the Atlantic Charter

7 Eastern Europe & Africa
Dec – Britain defeated Italians in N. Africa; Hitler issued directives for invasions of Greece & USSR Mar – Erwin Rommel & Afrika Korps sent to N. Africa April 1941 – German forces invaded Yugoslavia & Greece

8 Invasion of the USSR Feb – Hitler met with military leaders to discuss plans for Germany’s invasion of the Soviet Union June 1941 – Operation Barbarossa began as German forces invaded USSR Sept – German forces laid siege to city of Leningrad Nov – German forces reached outskirts of Moscow when the Russian winter hit Dec – German assault on Moscow began & Russian forces counter-attacked


10 Japanese Expansion & Pearl Harbor
July 1940 – Japanese government moved to establish the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere Jan – Japan warned the U.S. not to interfere in East Asia Oct – Hideki Tojo became prime minister of Japan Nov – Hirohito gave go-ahead for war with U.S.; Yamamoto’s plan went into effect; Japanese fleet sailed for Hawaii Dec. 7, 1941 – Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, effectively drawing the U.S. into WWII Dec thru Feb – Japanese forces overran European & American possessions in the Pacific & Southeast Asia

11 Pearl Harbor

12 Hitler’s New Order & the Holocaust
As Germany conquered most of Europe, Hitler set out to build a “New Order” in occupied lands 1) Nazis rule Europe & exploit resources 2) Nazis enslave conquered peoples 3) Nazis exterminate “undesirable elements” a) the Holocaust (mass genocide of 6 million European Jews) b) murder of 6 million gypsies, Poles, & Slavs

13 The Holocaust started in the late 1930s as Germany conquered
land in Eastern Europe 1) 1939 – Hitler & the Nazis began to speed up the final solution to the “Jewish problem” 2) 1940 – Germans began building Auschwitz 3) 1941 – extermination facilities constructed at Auschwitz & other camps; Germans began using poison gas

14 Allied Advances Four major turning points in 1942 shifted the war in favor of the Allies 1) June – American carrier fleet defeated Japanese navy at the Battle of Midway, ending Japanese naval superiority in the Pacific 2) Oct. – Montgomery’s British 8th Army defeated Rommel’s Afrika Korps at the Battle of El Alamein

15 3) Nov. – major Allied invasion (Operation Torch) captured
Morocco & Algeria in North Africa 4) Nov. – Soviet forces encircled & wiped out the entire German 6th Army at the Battle of Stalingrad

16 Allied Advances Throughout 1943, Allied forces won victories in N. Africa & Italy as the decision for an invasion of France was put off until 1944 1) May – German & Italian forces surrendered in N. Africa 2) July – Allied forces invaded Sicily; Mussolini fired & arrested 3) Sept. – Allied forces landed in southern Italy; Italy signed secret act of surrender 4) Nov. – FDR, Churchill, & Stalin met at Tehran Conference & decided to invade France in 1944

17 Allied Advances Early 1944, Allies continued to gain ground in Italy as preparations for invasion of France were underway 1) June – Allied forces liberated Rome; D-Day arrived & Operation Overlord (Normandy Invasion) began 2) July – Allied troops broke out of Normandy & began advancing toward Paris 3) Aug. – Allied forces liberated Paris


19 Toward Victory After Midway, the U.S. took the offensive in the Pacific 1) Aug – U.S. Marines, under command of Gen. Douglas MacArthur, landed at Guadalcanal, from which the U.S. would begin an “island hopping” campaign 2) July-Dec – U.S. attacks throughout Pacific began to roll back the Japanese; by Nov., Japanese began kamikaze missions 3) Oct – MacArthur began invasion of the Philippines

20 Toward Victory After the liberation of Paris, Allied forces prepared for the invasion of Germany 1) Oct – Soviets were advancing toward Germany from the east, while U.S. & Britain were driving toward Germany from the west 2) Dec – Germans launched last, desperate offensive that started the Battle of the Bulge 3) Feb – Big Three met at Yalta Conference to discuss post-war plans 4) April 1945 – Soviets entered Berlin; FDR died; Mussolini captured & executed; Hitler committed suicide 5) May 7, 1945 – Germany surrendered unconditionally

21 Toward Victory As Allies were finishing off Germany in Europe, U.S. forces continued march toward Japan in 1945 1) Mar. – U.S. forces secured Iwo Jima & Philippines 2) June – U.S. forces secured Okinawa 3) July – Potsdam Conference held where ultimatum was issued to Japan 4) Aug. 6 – atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima 5) Aug. 9 – atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki 6) Aug. 14 – Japan surrendered unconditionally 7) Sept. 2 – Japan formally surrendered aboard USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay



24 From World War to Cold War
Series of events beginning in 1945 quickly led to the Cold War between the U.S. & USSR 1) Different goals of Big Three at Yalta & Potsdam opened cracks in the wartime alliance 2) Soviet & Western interests came into conflict when Stalin created satellite communist governments in Eastern Europe April 1945 – delegates from 50 nations met in San Francisco to draft a charter for the United Nations, an international organization created to help maintain peace & promote development throughout the world

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