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Origins of WWII Although the official starting date for WWII is usually given as September 1, 1939 when Germany invaded Poland, or even December 7, 1941.

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Presentation on theme: "Origins of WWII Although the official starting date for WWII is usually given as September 1, 1939 when Germany invaded Poland, or even December 7, 1941."— Presentation transcript:


2 Origins of WWII Although the official starting date for WWII is usually given as September 1, 1939 when Germany invaded Poland, or even December 7, 1941 when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, the origins of the war were already clear when Japan invaded Manchuria in 1931. Throughout the 1930s, the world was dividing into two camps: The Axis Powers of Germany, Italy, and Japan The Allied Powers Great Britain, Russia, France, China, the United States, and its Latin American allies

3 Origins of WWII Japan’s War in China Japanese began full scale invasion of China in 1937 Extremely brutal 1937 “Rape of Nanjing” 400,ooo Chinese killed in unimaginable ways Perhaps the most gruesome example of brutal tied to ideas of racial superiority the world has ever seen. 750,000 Japanese occupied China until 1945 Constantly harassed by Mao Zedong’s communist Guerilla fighters. Communists won popularity with Chinese peasantry as a result, leading to the communist takeover after WWII.

4 Origins of WWII Italian and German Aggression Italy 1935-1936 – Mussolini took over Libya and Ethiopia 1939 – Took over Albania Germany Hitler came to power in 1933, and completely disregarded the terms of the Treaty of Versailles Built up German Military 1938 – Took over Austria 1939 – Took over Czechoslovakia and Poland Signed Russian-German Treaty of Nonaggression the same year Appeasement Britain and France did nothing in response for fear of starting another world war.

5 Total War: The World Under Fire Even more than the Great War, WWII would involve nations on every continent. Only 11 out of nearly 200 countries in the world avoided direct involvement in WWII.

6 Total War: The World Under Fire Blitzkrieg: Germany Conquers Europe Blitzkrieg – Lightning War Panzer tanks Unterseebootes (U-Boats) Luftwaffe 1939 – Poland, Belgium, the Netherlands, and France fell rapidly to the Blitzkrieg Battle of Britain Luftwaffe vs. British Royal Air Force Air Battle that resulted in British victory and Germany’s first defeat Germany then turned their attention to the Balkans and beyond in Eastern Europe.

7 Total War: The World Under Fire The German Invasion of the Soviet Union Operation Barbarossa June 1941 Germany broke the nonaggression pact and invaded the Soviet Union Initially the Russians were taken by surprise, but with the help of Allied supplies and a harsh Russian winter the German advances were halted in December 1941.

8 Total War: The World Under Fire Battles in Asia and the Pacific 1940 – Japanese invaded French Indochina in brutal fashion U.S. responded by placing an oil embargo on Japan Japan responded with an attack on the U.S. Naval Base at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 U.S. joined the war on the side of the Allies Japan enjoyed a series of rapid victories throughout the Pacific.

9 Total War: The World Under Fire Defeat of the Axis Powers The additional personnel reserves and industrial capacity which accompanied Soviet and United States entry into the war were the keys to Allied victory in Asia and in Europe Battle of Stalingrad – 1943 D-Day Invasion – June 6, 1944 Meant Germany had to fight a two front war Outmanned and out-resourced, German resistance collapsed on all fronts. Germany unconditionally surrendered on May 8, 1945

10 Total War: The World Under Fire Victory in the Pacific Battle of Midway – June 1942 major turning point “MAGIC” – Breaking of the Japanese codes Island Hopping campaign ensued Capture islands moving gradually closer to Japan to launch airstrikes on the Japanese main land. Iwo Jima and Okinawa – Islands close to the Japanese mainland on which fighting was particularly intense Extreme resistance and refusal to surrender lead to massive Japanese military and civilian casualties Atomic Bombs and Japanese Surrender Atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945 Japanese unconditionally surrendered on September 2, 1945

11 Life During Wartime The home front was not a safe place during WWII. Widespread bombing, brutal occupation, and the use of concentration and relocation camps meant that in this total war, civilian lives lost far outnumbered military casualties.

12 Life During Wartime Occupation, Collaboration, and Resistance The goal of occupation was to exploit the resources of the lands for Axis benefit, regardless of the impact on the conquered peoples. Resistance movements took many forms in all occupied areas Sabotage, espionage, assassinations, and armed assaults were common.

13 Life During Wartime The Holocaust By the end of WWII, the Nazi regime and its accomplices had annihilated more than twelve million people. Jews, Slavs, Gypsies, homosexuals, physically and mentally handicapped, and anyone else deemed undesirable. Final Solution 1942 – All remaining European Jews under German control were rounded up and sent to death / concentration camps where they were either systematically executed or worked to death. Resistance did occur, but many Jews were eliminated until the concentration camps were liberated after the Allied victory in Europe.

14 Life During Wartime Women and the War Many women on the side of Allies played vital roles Filled vital jobs in the industrial workplace Rosie the Riveter Nurses and clerical help Japanese Women Much less empowering and ennobling roles As many as 300,000 women from Taiwan, Manchuria, and most frequently Korea were enslaved as “comfort women” for Japanese soldiers. Many died but the ones who survived faced deep shame, attempting to hide their past from their families.

15 Neither Peace Nor War The two strongest powers emerging after World War II were the Soviet Union and the United States, each seeking to create a sympathetic world, a system of aligned nations, and world hegemony At least 60 million people perished in WWII and millions more were displaced. Rebuilding Europe would be both a difficult and expensive task United Nations formed in an attempt to assist in and protect this process

16 Neither Peace Nor War Cold War Period of political, economic, and military tension Soviet Union and U.S.A. that lasted nearly 50 years. Splitting of Europe East Europe – Communist control by the Soviet Union West Europe – Democratic governments allied with U.S. IRON CURTAIN FORMED Truman Doctrine Containment of Communism Marshall Plan – Aid package to Western Europe

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