World War Two Why did the Allies win? What were the consequences of the war?
Context Another possibility for Wars and Warfare, paper 2 Comparison of ending / consequences WW1 compared with WW2 Gives you another option Sample question: Analyse the results of either WW1 or WW2
WW1 vs WW2 Huge significance of both war Both Total Wars - mobilising all resources, affect on civilians Both had USA as crucial factor determining the result 1914 and 1940-1 Germany had huge initial successes but could not hold out against resources of opponents Also differences: combatants; WW2 more global - especially Pacific War 1941-5
Statistics WW1 total deaths = 17 million WW2 total death (excluding Holocaust) = 37.6 million WW1 proportion of civilians killed =15% WW2 proportion of civilians killed =35%
Brief overview of WW2 You will not answer a question on the course of WW2 Difficult to summarise a massively complex war, this is just an overview to give you context for the ending of the war
1939 * Hitler invades Poland on 1 September. Britain and France declare war on Germany two days later. 1940 * Rationing starts in the UK. * German 'Blitzkrieg' overwhelms Belgium, Holland and France. * Churchill becomes Prime Minister of Britain. * British Expeditionary Force evacuated from Dunkirk. * British victory in Battle of Britain forces Hitler to postpone invasion plans. 1941 * Hitler begins Operation Barbarossa - the invasion of Russia. * The Blitz continues against Britain's major cities. * Allies take Tobruk in North Africa, and resist German attacks. * Japan attacks Pearl Harbor, and the US enters the war. 1942 * Germany suffers setbacks at Stalingrad and El Alamein. * Singapore falls to the Japanese in February - around 25,000 prisoners taken. * American naval victory at Battle of Midway, in June, marks turning point in Pacific War. * Mass murder of Jewish people at Auschwitz begins. 1943 * Surrender at Stalingrad marks Germany's first major defeat. * Allied victory in North Africa enables invasion of Italy to be launched. * Italy surrenders, but Germany takes over the battle. * British and Indian forces fight Japanese in Burma. 1944 * Allies land at Anzio and bomb monastery at Monte Cassino. * Soviet offensive gathers pace in Eastern Europe. * D Day: The Allied invasion of France. Paris is liberated in August. * Guam liberated by the US Okinawa, and Iwo Jima bombed. 1945 * Auschwitz liberated by Soviet troops. * Russians reach Berlin: Hitler commits suicide and Germany surrenders on 7 May. * Truman becomes President of the US on Roosevelt's death, and Attlee replaces Churchill. * After atomic bombs are dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan surrenders on 14 August.
The Ending of WW2 Why were the Allies victorious?
Main cateories Strength & unity of victors: Role of USSR Role of USA Dwight D. Eisenhower - Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in Europe from 1944 Britain Women Resistance movements working with Allies
Disunity of Losers: Hitler lack of consultation Mussolini German morale breakdown by 1945 Resistance movements Foreign Aid: Empires of UK and France (less so) Military aid Warfare: USSR; Leningrad, Stalingrad, dedication D-Day; aerial bombing of Germany Mistake and interference of Hitler Allies greater strength
Problems with allies: Sicily 1943 - beginning of end for Mussolini; poor ally, lacking resources and poor military Italy then joined Allies Romania surrendered August 1944; Bulgaria September 1944 Japan - key ally. Didn’t consult Hitler re. Pearl Harbour - furious. Brought in USA Internal Economy: Italy - huge problems, lacked raw materials, Hitler had to bail out Germany economy couldn’t cope - shortages Food issue by 1945, esp. Berlin. Inflation.
General Reasons why Germany was defeated Hitler’s bad decisions Germany was overextended –Had to rescue Mussolini - late into Russia –Long war –Eastern front took resources from N. Africa - El Alamein 1942 Huge resources of USA Capacity of USSR to resist and fight back –Industrial might - 5 year plans –Unity due to invasion - ‘Great Patriotic War’ –Stalin used patriotism well –Inability of Hitler to exploit divisions - e.g. Ukraine, Belorussia
Historiography Much debate over reasons for Germany’s defeat Much criticism directed at Hitler Did make serious errors but quite rational until latter stages Other reasons cited: failure to command sea and air - short war Most important: overwhelming economic superiority of USA and USSR; Red Army After 1941 (Stalingrad; USA) unlikely Axis could win Symbolic of end of dominance of Europe; new order
Prep Read 13.7, 13.8, 13.9 and 13.10 in your textbook - deals with defeat and effects of the war No deadline but please do this - its about 8 pages