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WWII: The Road to War (1931-1941). I. The Rise of Dictators Covered by other slide show EXCEPT: Germany Rearms and Expands –The Nazis secretly began spending.

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Presentation on theme: "WWII: The Road to War (1931-1941). I. The Rise of Dictators Covered by other slide show EXCEPT: Germany Rearms and Expands –The Nazis secretly began spending."— Presentation transcript:

1 WWII: The Road to War ( )

2 I. The Rise of Dictators Covered by other slide show EXCEPT: Germany Rearms and Expands –The Nazis secretly began spending $ on rearming and expanding the armed forces in violation of the TREATY OF VERSAILLES –German troops enter the Rhineland (a violation), yet the Allies take no action against Hitler –Hitler signed an alliance with Mussolini (later joined by Japan)- this alliance became known as the Axis powers

3 Germany Expands (continued) Hitler united his homeland of Austria with Germany (Anshluss) –Hitler ordered troops into Austria and many people welcomed the Nazis warmly Hitler demanded the Sudetenland (an industrial region of Western Czechoslovakia crucial to its defense) –British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain met twice with Hitler to resolve the issue and pursued a policy of Appeasement- giving in to a competitor’s demands in order to keep peace –Hitler got the Sudetenland and Chamberlain came home to cheers for what he called “Peace in our time”

4 II. Europe Goes to War Several British Parliamentary leaders, including Winston Churchill (future British Prime Minister) were upset with Chamberlain’s policy of Appeasement –They felt Hitler would continue his military machine and not stop with the Sudetenland Only 6 months after annexing the Sudetenland, Hitler controlled the western half of Czechoslovakia and divided the rest amongst his Allies –No shots fired yet, but peace was breaking down

5 A. Invasion of Poland Britain and France ended their policy of appeasement after Hitler took Czechoslovakia –They warned Hitler that any further invasions would risk war. (March 1939) –Hitler didn’t believe the warning Hitler did have one major concern before invading Poland. Anyone know what it was? –Think about why Germany had a difficult time in WWI even before the U.S. joined

6 1. Hitler’s Pact with Stalin Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union were sworn enemies, yet both had much to gain from working together August, 1939, Hitler and Stalin signed a 10-year Non-aggression Pact eliminating the danger of Soviet invasion from the East –A secret document attached to the pact divided up the independent states of Eastern Europe between Germany and the Soviet Union –Sept. 1939, Hitler invaded Poland and war was declared

7 2. Lightning War GB, Fr, and Poland formed an alliance with more soldiers and more infantry divisions than Germany, but not as much firepower Germany launched its new type of warfare in its invasion of Poland- Blitzkrieg (“lightning war”) –Included fast, concentrated air and land attacks that took the enemy’s army by surprise –First stuka (bombing planes) shattered defenses and terrorized civilians, then mobile artillery of tanks, panzer divisions pushed through enemy lines before infantry moved to defeat the enemy and occupy the country

8 Using the Blitzkrieg tactic, Poland was overran in less than a month They imposed German laws and imprisoned and murdered Jewish citizens –This treatment of Jews is known as the Holocaust Great Britain and France were unable to aid Poland in time and the Soviet Union would take eastern Poland for itself just months later

9 B. War in the West After Poland fell, the war entered a quiet period… The Allies held their soldiers in fear of mass casualties while Germany waited for a way to get into France France’s defense was known as the Maginot Line- walls, artillery, underground rails, and housing for troops along the German border –Problem 1: The line didn’t extend into Belgium –Problem 2: All the heavy guns pointed east, so if Germany gets through the line, they are useless

10 1. Germany Attacks April German troops launched Blitzkrieg on Denmark and Norway May Germany was successful at taking the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg –GB and France tried to help but were too late Germany was now able to rush in to northern France just around the Maginot Line by going through Belgium –Germany split the main troops in France and made it to the English Channel

11 2. Dunkirk British and French troops in the north retreated to the coastal city of Dunkirk One of the greatest rescues in history occurred at Dunkirk –900 vessels saved 340,000 soldiers by getting them across the English Channel to Great Britain while the German Luftwaffe (air force) was attacking constantly –While this was a retreat, precious forces were saved from almost certain capture

12 3. The Fall of France After Dunkirk, Hitler’s armies turned and swept through France and on June 10, 1940, French officials abandoned Paris Italy declared war on France and Great Britain the same day June 22, more than 1.5 million soldiers officially surrendered to Germany –Hitler took a brief victory tour of Paris and Great Britain and France were stunned by the speed of the conquest

13 France was controlled by Germany or held under collaboration (close supervision in Vichy France) There were still underground resistance movements in France and those who escaped to Great Britain or to France’s African colonies helped there However, Great Britain stood alone in its fight against the Nazis and their Axis powers after the fall of France

14 C. The Battle of Britain Hitler’s next invasion target = Great Britain Winston Churchill, British Prime Minister- “We shall fight them on the beaches, we shall fight them on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender”

15 1. Relentless Attack There were massive air strikes by both sides From Aug. to Sept. over 1,000 planes raided bombs on Britain each day At first, both sides stuck to attacking military targets; eventually civilian centers such as London and Berlin became daily targets The Blitz (the bombing of London) continue through May 1941, but bombing of population centers continued throughout the war

16 2. Courageous Defense Britain’s Royal Air Force (RAF) successfully defended Great Britain by preventing the German Luftwaffe from establishing air superiority –Hitler would not invade the English mainland without air superiority (which it never gained) –One other success, British scientists were able to break the Nazi communication code to decipher messages

17 III. Japan Builds an Empire Japan was the strongest East Asian country Expanded into Manchuria, Korea, French Indochina and parts of China including Beijing and Shanghai –Withdrew from the League of Nations because the League was against their aggression

18 IV. From Isolationism to War During the 1930’s the U.S. largely turned away from international affairs The U.S. stuck to its policy of isolationism while Germany, Italy, and Japan were all gaining strength and threatening democracy –Afraid of another foreign conflict –“I hate war.” - Franklin D. Roosevelt

19 A. The U.S. Chooses Neutrality Congress passed a series of Neutrality Acts that prevented international involvement Banned U.S. from providing weapons to nations at war Banned loans to nations at war Permitted trade with fighting nations in nonmilitary goods as long as those nations paid cash and transported the goods themselves –This policy became known as Cash and Carry

20 B. American Involvement Grows American’s isolationist views started to soften, especially after Germany invaded Poland The U.S. shared interests with Great Britain and President Roosevelt began to look for more ways to aid the Allies

21 1. Debating the American Role Congress revised the Neutrality Acts to allow weapons to be transported to GB and France After France fell to Germany, many Americans supported “all aid short of war” for Britain –The U.S. sent 50 destroyers to Britain in exchange for navy bases in the Western Hemisphere The America First Committee formed from isolationists who wanted to block any further aid to Britain… They didn’t want to join the conflict

22 2. Lend-Lease After FDR won a 3rd term in 1940, he began to push for more involvement in the Allied cause Congress passed the Lend-Lease Act in March 1941 authorizing the President to aid any nation whose defense he believed was vital to American security –Great Britain was almost out of cash and still needed supplies to defend against the Germans –U.S. would give aid and expect nothing in return until after the conflict –U.S. had given $49 billion in aid to 40 countries including the Soviets during WWII

23 C. Japan Attacks Pearl Harbor Roosevelt was aware of Japan’s ambitions to become a powerful empire –Began to limit the goods that could be sent to Japan such as scrap iron and steel –Threatened further trade restrictions After Japan took over French Indochina, FDR stopped all U.S. oil from being shipped to Japan –Greatly upset the Japanese who depended on U.S. oil shipments

24 1. Final Weeks of Peace General Tojo Hideki became Japan’s Prime Minister in March 1941 –He was a military man who supported war against the U.S. U.S. code-breakers discovered that Japan had a fleet on the move in the Pacific and expected a possible attack, but were not sure when or where it would come

25 2. The Attack On December 7, 1941 Pearl Harbor (a U.S. Navy base on the Hawaiian island of Oahu) was attacked 180 Japanese warplanes flew above Pearl Harbor bombing and shooting machine guns at the U.S. fleet of ships and airfields –Half the U.S. Pacific fleet was located at Pearl Harbor In less than 2 hours, 2,400 Americans were dead. 1,200 were wounded, 200 warplanes destroyed, 18 warships sunk or severely destroyed, and 8 out of 9 battleships were sunk (Japan lost just 29 planes)

26 D. United States Declares War The attack on Pearl Harbor stunned Americans “A date which will live in infamy”- FDR called December 7, 1941 this The next day (Dec. 8) Roosevelt asked Congress to declare war on Japan –Within hours of Roosevelt’s speech, congress passed the war resolution –Only 1 Congresswoman disagreed –Even the American First Committee backed the war –Dec. 11, Germany and Italy declared war on the U.S.


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