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WORLD WAR II BEGINS. TERMS Blitzkrieg: Lightning warfare Luftwaffe: German air force Panzer: State of the art tanks.

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Presentation on theme: "WORLD WAR II BEGINS. TERMS Blitzkrieg: Lightning warfare Luftwaffe: German air force Panzer: State of the art tanks."— Presentation transcript:


2 TERMS Blitzkrieg: Lightning warfare Luftwaffe: German air force Panzer: State of the art tanks


4 BLITZKRIEG IN POLAND Without a declaration of war, Nazi troops cross the Polish border on September 1, 1939 Luftwaffe began bombing Polish cities Blitzkrieg used large numbers of panzers to break through and RAPIDLY encircle enemy positions Blitzkrieg depended on radios to coordinate the tanks and aircrafts The Polish army was unable to cope with the German attack

5 DECLARATION OF WAR Leaders in Britain and France decided to no longer appease Hitler On September 3, 1939, Britain and France declared war on Germany, marking the beginning of World War II On September 27, the Polish capital of Warsaw fell to the Germans By October 5, 1939, the Polish army had been officially defeated

6 MAGINOT LINE After World War I, the French had built a line of concrete bunkers and fortifications called the Maginot Line along the German border

7 THE FALL OF FRANCE Early strategy of the Allies was to hold the Maginot Line Rather than risk their troops by attacking, the French preferred to wait behind the Maginot Line for the Germans to approach

8 THE FALL OF FRANCE After taking Poland, Hitler decided to attack Norway and Denmark On April 9, 1940, the attack began, and within a month, Germany controlled both countries Now Hitler’s attention turned to France

9 THE FALL OF FRANCE Hitler planned to go around the Maginot Line that protected France’s border with Germany but not France’s border with Belgium and Luxembourg Hitler would have to invade the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg first in order to get into France

10 THE FALL OF FRANCE On May 10th, Hitler launched a new blitzkrieg in the west While German troops parachuted into the Netherlands, an army of tanks rolled into Belgium and Luxembourg

11 THE FALL OF FRANCE French and British forces raced north into Belgium from the Maginot Line OOPS! The Germans sent their tanks through the mountains which the French and British did not expect The French had only a few troops left there to defend that part of the border

12 THE FALL OF FRANCE The Germans easily smashed through the French lines, then raced across northern France to the English Channel The British and French armies were still in Belgium and could not move back into France quickly enough

13 THE FALL OF FRANCE French citizens watch the Germans occupy Paris in June 1940

14 FRANCE SURRENDERS  On June 22, 1940, Hitler accepted the French surrender in the same railway car in which the Germans had surrendered at the end of World War I

15 “WE SHALL NEVER SURRENDER” Winston Churchill became the British Prime Minister after Neville Chamberlain’s death Hitler expected that the British would negotiate peace after France surrendered

16 “WE SHALL NEVER SURRENDER” For the steadfast Winston Churchill, surrender was not an option The war was a fight to defend civilization On June 4, 1940, Churchill delivered a speech to Parliament, intended to rally British people and alert the isolationist United States…

17 FAMOUS CHURCHILL QUOTE "Even though large tracts of Europe and many old and famous States have fallen or may fall into the grip of the Gestapo and all the odious apparatus of Nazi rule, we shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, 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.”

18 “WE SHALL NEVER SURRENDER” When Hitler realized that Britain would not surrender, he ordered his commanders to prepare to invade Germany would have to defeat the British air force in order to get across the English Channel In June of 1940, the Luftwaffe began to attack the British On October 12, 1940, Hitler cancelled the invasion of Britain The Battle of Britain lasted 4 months


20 American Response The United States watched the storm clouds rising in Europe and Asia but hoped to remain uninvolved Most Americans remained disillusioned by World War Many Americans wanted to follow a policy of isolationism, believing that American interests could best be served by staying out of the issues of other nation’s entirely

21 American Response Congress responded to isolationist sentiment in the 1930s by passing a series of 3 neutrality acts Taken together, these laws declared that the US would withhold weapons and loans from all nations at war and would sell other goods to warring powers only if they paid cash and picked up the goods themselves, a policy known as “cash and carry”

22 Challenges to Neutrality Despite most Americans’ desire for noninvolvement, the threatening events of the war convinced other Americans that the US should help the Allies Between September 1939 and June 1940, the Axis Powers in Europe defeated Poland, Norway, Denmark, Belgium, Luxembourg, and France

23 Challenges to Neutrality In 1941, while seeking and winning a 3rd presidential term, Roosevelt moved to help Great Britain directly Britain desperately needed economic help to continue its struggle against the Axis

24 Challenges to Neutrality Roosevelt helped push the Lend-Lease Act through Congress Under Lend-Lease, the US would provide war supplies to Britain and worry about payment later With that commitment, the US became, in FDR’s words, “the great arsenal of democracy”

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