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20 Things you should know about World War II

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Presentation on theme: "20 Things you should know about World War II"— Presentation transcript:

1 20 Things you should know about World War II

2 1. Who, When and Where? Who: Most of the world was involved in this conflict in some way. Axis Powers: Germany, Italy, Japan Allies Powers: Britain, Soviet Union, and USA Many nations participated such as France and China Where: Two Theaters of War: Europe / North Africa Pacific Theater When: Sept – Sept

3 2. The Leaders Allies Winston Churchill of Great Britain
Stalin Roosevelt Churchhill Allies Winston Churchill of Great Britain Joseph Stalin of the Soviet Union President Franklin Roosevelt of the USA Charles DeGaulle of France Chang Kai Shek of China THE BIG THREE DeGaulle Kai Shek

4 Axis Powers Adolf Hitler of Germany Benito Mussolini of Italy Emperor Hirohito of Japan

5 3. The First Attack: Poland
Although Germany had adopted a policy of expansion (Rhineland, Austria, Sudetenland, & Czechoslovakia), but only after the invasion of Poland on Sept. 1, 1939 do Britain and France declare war on Germany to stop there expansion. Poland falls to Germany 1939 – summer of 1940 is known as the “Sitkrieg” or Sitting War since no fighting takes place at this time.


7 4. Blitzkrieg The biggest difference between WWI and WWII is speed.
While WWI is a very stationary war, revolving around one major front and trenches being the dominate feature. World War II is a war of movement, fast sweeping action with mechanized armies, supported by airplanes that strike deep into enemy territory. Blitzkrieg is German for “Lightning War” which describes new strategies of fast moving war.

8 5. Battle of Britain In 1940, Germany marched past the Maginot Line (France’s main defense) and conquered France in six weeks, leaving Britain to fight Germany alone. Germany attempts to bomb Britain into submission before launching a cross channel invasion. The Royal Air Force (RAF) fights off the German Luftwaffe for one year and Hitler cancels the invasion.



11 6. Battle of the Atlantic Although not an actual battle, the continuous fight between the British navy and the German submarines was important for the allied war effort to maintain the British supply lines. The United States was able to assist Great Britain through the Lend Lease Program.

12 7. Germany invades Russia
Considered Hitler’s greatest mistake! Although he has a Non-Aggression Pact with the Soviet Union, Hitler is confident and eager to begin his policy of Lebensraum, or living space for Germany in the East. The initial invasion is a great success, but winter sets in before he takes Moscow.

13 8. Pearl Harbor The United States had been opposing Japanese expansion in the Pacific and Far East by denying them the needed resources. In order to secure the needed resource, Japan attacks the US Navy at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii in order to cripple the only obstacle to their take over of vast amount of territory. It worked! After Pearl Harbor attack Japan takes over French Indonesia, British Singapore, and the US held Philippines Islands.

14 9. Battle of Midway The Japanese carrier strike force sought to complete the annihilation of the US Navy in the Pacific by forcing the US to commit there aircraft carriers in a major battle at Midway Island. Thanks to many critical factors, such as breaking the Japanese code, the US carriers are able to destroy four Japanese carriers and end any further major Japanese offensive action in the Pacific. Turning point of the war in the Pacific.

15 10. Battle for North Africa
First the Italian Army and then the Germans, led by General Rommel of the Africa Corp, invaded Africa to take the valuable British possession of the Suez Canal. The British were able to stop the German advance at El Alamein, the first British victory of the war after two years of fighting. The US soldiers were first deployed against the Germans in North Africa and drive them out of Africa.

16 11. Stalingrad & The Eastern Front
The Eastern Front (Germany v. the Soviet Union) was where the worst of the fighting of the war occurred. In 1942, Germany launched an attack on Stalingrad and southern region of the Soviet Union to control the oil resources. Germany conquered Stalingrad but was quickly surrounded by another Soviet Army and forced to surrender an entire army. Turning point of the War in Europe and major setback for Germany.

17 12. Air Warfare Using new technology, both sides used bomb raids against the military and industrial target of the enemy. Later the civilian population will be targeted and Germany will use the V-1 and V-2 rockets against Britain Allies use fire bombs to obliterate the cities of Dresden and Tokyo.

18 13. War in the Pacific The United States, facing enemies in both Europe and the Pacific chose to divert the vast majority of their resources to the war in Europe. The Pacific war revolved around the concept of Island hopping, amphibious invasions, and naval air combat. Famous confrontations include, Guadalcanal, The “Marianas‘ Turkey Shoot’ Iwo Jima, and Okinawa.


20 14. Invasion of Sicily / Italy
Launching from North Africa, the Allies attacked the “Soft Underbelly” of the Axis powers. Italy overthrew Mussolini and surrendered to the Allies, but Germany quickly sent in troops to oppose the advancing American Army.

21 15. The Allied Conferences
Churchill and Roosevelt met many times to coordinate the efforts of the British and American Armed Forces in their attack against Germany. The Casablanca Conference led to the agreement that all would fight to an unconditional surrender. The Teheran Conference was the height of Allied cooperation as the three leaders planned the invasion of Europe.

22 16. D-Day: Invasion of Normandy
Largest amphibious invasion in the history of the world, as the Allies landed massive numbers of ground troops on the coast of France. This began the push towards Germany to end the war. Shortly after this invasion the Soviet Union launches as attack on the Eastern Front and begin their drive to Germany.

23 17. Fall of Germany In December of 1944, Germany launch a final counter attack know as the Battle of the Bulge, but it fails to achieve its objective. Germany is falling back on all fronts. In April 1945, Adolf Hitler commits suicide and soon after the German government surrenders unconditionally to the Allied Forces.

24 18. Yalta Conference The Big Three (Churchill, Stalin, & Roosevelt) met to discuss the future of Europe now that the fall of Germany was imminent. The cooperation of past was now over as each nation sought to expand their influence and ideology into the remains of the Nazi Empire.

25 19. Atomic Bomb After three years of development and two billion dollars invested in the creation of the atomic bomb, on August 6, 1945 the “Little Boy” was dropped on Hiroshima Japan in order to avoid the lives lost in an invasion of the Japanese homeland. A second bomb was dropped on Nagasaki. The use of atomic energy ushered in a new age in the history of the world.

26 20. Holocaust “Crimes against Humanity” This was the charge invented for the Nazi Leaders who planned and participated in the attempted genocide of the Jewish race in Europe. Over six million Jews and four million other non-desirables, such as Gypsies and Slavs, were systematically murdered by the Nazi SS in labor camp and death camps located in Poland and Germany.

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