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The World before WWII 1.. The United States No battles were fought on American soil during WWI. The U.S. emerged in better shape than its allies. Americans.

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Presentation on theme: "The World before WWII 1.. The United States No battles were fought on American soil during WWI. The U.S. emerged in better shape than its allies. Americans."— Presentation transcript:

1 The World before WWII 1.

2 The United States No battles were fought on American soil during WWI. The U.S. emerged in better shape than its allies. Americans wanted to return to a life of isolationism. It seemed like a safe and reasonable reaction to the rise of dictatorships in Europe. In Oct. of 1929, the stock market crashed, sparking the Great Depression of the 1930s. In 1932 President Franklin Roosevelt was elected. He promoted the philosophy of internationalism, which encouraged trade with foreign nations. FDR’s administration would aid the stricken economy, but the Depression did not end until World War II had started. The Neutrality Acts of 1935 and 1937 banned the sale of military equipment to foreign nations and required that nonmilitary equipment be paid for on a “cash and carry” basis. After Japan invaded China in 1937, FDR approved the sale of military hardware to the Chinese.

3 Great Britain WWI cost Great Britain its position as a leading economic power. Many of its overseas markets had been captured during the war. Countries like Canada and Australia became independent. In 1931 the Commonwealth of Nations was established.

4 France WWI Wreaked enormous damage on France’s people and land. France’s factories, railways, and canals could not be quickly rebuilt. France’s government was generally unstable. France built a series of fortifications called the Maginot Line along Frances border with Germany, but they failed to protect their border with Belgium.

5 The Soviet Union Joseph Stalin took control of the Soviet Union after Lenin's death in 1924. From the mid-1920s to until his death in 1953, Stalin established one of history’s most brutal dictatorships. Stalin attacked all potential political enemies. He had millions of Communist party members expelled from the party, put in labor camps, or shot. In 1927, Stalin enacted a massive plan of crash industrialization, which modernized the Soviet Union over the next decade, but led to the deaths of millions by starvation.

6 Italy In Italy after WWI, returning vets found no work, workers went on strike, and peasants seized land. Communists and anarchists attempted to topple the government. These chaotic conditions favored the rise of Benito Mussolini and his Fascist party, the first major postwar dictatorship. Fascists advocated the glorification of the state, a single party system with a strong ruler. Mussolini put an end to democracy. He was supported by a fanatical private army, called the Blackshirts.

7 Germany In the midst of the Great Depression Nazi leader Adolf Hitler becomes the leader of Germany. Hitler’s goal was the creation of a totalitarian state, which would include all Germanic peoples. The Nazi ideology was aggressively anti-Communist and anti-Jewish. Hitler's opponents were killed or sent to concentration camps. Even some of his supporters were wiped out. From June 30 to July 2, 1934, Hitler executed hundreds of members of his own police force, the SA. This was called the Night of the Long Knives. Hitler took the title of der Fuhrer and called his government the Third Reich. Ignoring the Treaty of Versailles, Hitler set about restoring Germany’s military might.

8 Japan By 1931, the Japanese government had become unstable. In need of additional territories and natural resources, the Japanese military invaded Manchuria. Emperor Hirohito was technically the head of the government, but all real power was held by a group of military officers, led by General Hideki Tojo. With no opposition at home, Japan’s military looked forward to conquering Asia. Dreams of empire, coupled with the dreams of German and Italian rulers, brought the world to war.


10 Hitler Makes His Move 1.

11 In March 1936, Hitler seized the Rhineland (Alsace-Lorraine), in eastern France. Fearing war, France and Britain did nothing. In Oct. 1936, Germany, Italy and Japan form an alliance called the Axis. The West refused to unite and oppose the Axis. In 1938, Hitler annexed Austria, uniting it with Germany (German: Anschluss). Western democracies did nothing.

12 Cartoon : "Path of Appeasement" This cartoon suggests the dangers of appeasement. Americans were afraid they would be drawn into another world war and had to contend with the Depression at home. Several neutrality acts were passed in the mid- 30's (See Neutrality Acts of 1935 and 1937).

13 “ Appeasement" Hitler demanded that Germany have the Sudetenland, a largely German-speaking area of western Czechoslovakia. The Czechs strongly opposed the move. British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain and the French and Italian leaders met with Hitler in Munich, Germany. In return for the Sudetenland, Hitler promised to respect Czechoslovakia’s sovereignty. Eager to avoid war, Chamberlain appeased Hitler and accepted the Munich Agreement.

14 Waving the agreement upon his return to England in September 1938, Chamberlain said that “peace in our time” had been achieved. Hitler invaded Czechoslovakia in March, 1939.

15 "You were given the choice between war and dishonor. You chose dishonor and you will have war." Winston Churchill, member of the British Parliament and former First Lord of the Admiralty, attacked Chamberlain's "politics of appeasement" in many speeches. Churchill made this prophetic pronouncement in his House of Commons speech in 1938, just after prime minister Neville Chamberlain signed the Munich agreement with Hitler.

16 The War Begins 3.

17 In March, 1939, right after attacking Czechoslovakia, Hitler threatened Poland. He demanded that Danzig, a port on the Baltic coast that had been part of Germany, be returned. Britain and France promised to help Poland. Stalin and Hitler sign a non aggression pact in August, allowing them to fight other enemies and not one another. Convinced that the West would do nothing, Germany and Russia invaded Poland on Sept. 1, 1939. Great Britain and France, abiding by a secret treaty with Poland, declared war on Germany on Sept. 3, beginning WWII.

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19 Blitzkrieg The German army invaded Poland in September of 1939, and defeated them by October 5. The German tactic was called a Blitzkrieg (lightning war), in which bomber aircraft and light artillery supported the rapid advance of tanks and infantry. Hitler invaded Norway and Denmark on April 9, 1940. Both were defeated within a month.

20 Dunkirk After WWI, France had built a series of forts and walls along the German border, called the Maginot Line. In order to get around the Maginot Line, Germany invaded the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg. May 10, 1940, Britain and France move troops into Belgium. The Germans push the Allies westward to the ocean at the French port of Dunkirk. 338,000 French and British troops had to be evacuated by boat the night of June 3-4.

21 France Surrenders The Germans swept into France, and on June 14 th entered Paris. On June 22 nd, the French government surrendered. The Germans now occupied all of northern France and set up a puppet government under Marshal Petain in southern France, in the city of Vichy.

22 Battle of Britain Hitler’s next goal was to invade Great Britain. On June 4, 1940, new British Prime Minister Winston Churchill gave a radio speech that defied Hitler and raised British spirits. The Germans began bombing Britain in Aug. 1940. The German air force (the Luftwaffe) severely outnumbered the Royal Air Force (RAF), but with the help of new radar technology, British pilots successfully defended their country. In what was called the Blitz, London was decimated by German round-the- clock bombing. In retaliation, British planes began bombing the German capital, Berlin.


24 Shoah The Nazis persecuted political opponents, the physically or mentally disabled, Gypsies, homosexuals, and Slavic peoples. Their most thorough and horrifying persecutions were reserved for the Jews. The Nuremberg Laws, enacted in September 1935, stripped German Jews of their citizenship. They were banned from marrying non-Jews. Over half of all German Jews were jobless by 1936. One of the first and largest concentration camps, Buchenwald, was built near the city of Weimar in 1937. On Nov. 9-10, 1938, Nazis attacked Jews and Jewish property all over Germany in what was known as the Night of Broken Glass (Kristallnacht). Between 1933 and the beginning of the war in 1939, 350,000 Jews fled Germany, Austria and Poland. Many emigrated to the United States. Millions more were unable to escape. The U.S. refused to raise immigration quotas to accommodate European refugees.

25 At the Wannsee Conference on Jan. 20, 1942, Nazi leaders agreed on the “final solution,” in which Jews and other “undesirables” would be forcibly relocated to concentration camps. Those who were healthy were used as slave labor. The old, the sick, and children were taken to extermination camps to be gassed to death. 1.6 million people were killed at the camp at Auschwitz, Poland alone.

26 More than six million Jews, and twelve million people in total, were exterminated by the Nazis. Allied leaders knew about the mass killings as early as 1942, but did not tell the public until the camps were liberated in March, 1945.

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28 Public opinion in the United States started to shift after France’s surrender and the Battle of Britain. FDR pledged to remain neutral, but provide assistance to the Allies. He defeated Wendell Willkie and won reelection for an unheard-of third term in 1940. Some Americans still opposed U.S. involvement, notably the America First Committee, chaired by Charles Lindbergh.

29 December 7 th, 1941. A day that will live in infamy.

30 The U.S. is Attacked Japan, allied with Germany and Italy, attacked the U.S. Naval base of Pearl Harbor in Hawaii on Dec. 7, 1941. This was mostly due to the strong reactions of the U.S. to Japanese expansion and aggression in Asia and the Pacific. The Japanese attack destroyed 8 battleships, damaged 13 other ships, destroyed 188 planes, and killed 2,403 Americans. Three aircraft carriers outside the harbor were safe.

31 At the same time, The Japanese launched attacks on British and Dutch territories in the Pacific and southeast Asia, and on the U.S.- controlled Philippines.

32 FDR signing war declaration. The U. S. declared war on Japan on Dec. 8. As a result, Japan's allies Germany and Italy declared war on the U.S. on Dec. 11.

33 6.


35 North Africa Joseph Stalin, leader of the Soviet Union, wanted the Americans to open up a western front against the Germans and take some pressure off of Russia. Prime Minister Churchill advised caution, invading through German-occupied North Africa. General Dwight D. Eisenhower (Ike) was in overall command of the operation. After a serious defeat in their first engagement at Kasserine Pass, field command of U.S. forces was given to General George Patton. Combined American and British forces pushed the German army back to the Tunisian coast and on May 13, 1943, the German Afrika Korps surrendered.

36 Meanwhile… …In the Atlantic: German U-boats had begun attacking American cargo ships bound for Britain and Russia. The U.S. Navy enacted a convoy system in which armed escort ships protected a large group of cargo vessels from submarine raids. American shipbuilders turned out replacement craft faster than the Germans could sink them. …In Russia: The Germans invaded western Russia, attempting to cripple the Soviet economy. At Stalingrad, a city that protected Russia’s vital southern oil fields, the Germans were halted. In the most brutal urban battle in history, the entire German Army of the East was surrounded. It surrendered on February 2, 1943. From this point on, Germany was on the defensive.




40 Ike (Eisenhower) Prepares for D-Day “Operation Overlord” was a cross-channel invasion of German- occupied France by the Allies. The French coast at Normandy was pinpointed for the amphibious assault.

41 Operation Overlord depended on three conditions: 1.Preparation: 175,000 men and their equipment, plus planes and ships to carry them all, had to be collected and organized. 2.Secrecy: The Allies had the advantage of surprise as long as the Germans didn’t know where they would land. Allied counter-intelligence led the Germans to expect the attach at Pas de Calais. 3.Clear weather: The English Channel is one of the most treacherous seas in the world. Storms can spring up any time of year, and fog banks can thwart navigation. Timing was critical.

42 Troops Landing at Normandy D-Day: June 6, 1944. Allied troops stormed the beach at Normandy. Within 24 hours, 120,000 troops were landed at 5 different beachheads (Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno, Sword). Casualties were heavy even though the Germans were surprised. The Germans had built massive defenses with machine guns, artillery, landmines and underwater barbed wire. Allied forces captured the beaches and coordinated with paratroop units behind German lines to establish a permanent foothold in France.


44 The Road to Berlin The Allies fought through Germany’s defense lines at Normandy. Allied leaders had promised to punish the Nazis for having caused the war. They would not stop until the Nazi regime was destroyed. German resistance and bad weather slowed the Allies’ advance into France. German defensive lines, called Hedgerows, proved to be a serious obstacle for Allied troops and tanks. The problem was eventually solved by aerial bombing. General Patton led a brilliant assault across France, helping to liberate Paris on August 25, 1944.

45 The Battle of the Bulge In a last-ditch attempt to stave off an Allied invasion of Germany, Hitler mounted an offensive in December 1944. The goal was to force back Allied lines and cut them off from the port of Antwerp, Belgium. As American and British forces fell back, their lines “bulged” around the German advance, giving the campaign its name. By January 8, 1945, the German advance had been halted. Nothing stood between the Allies and the German border.

46 The End of the Third Reich American and British forces crossed the Ludendorff Bridge into Germany on March 7, 1945. Russian troops were already besieging Berlin from the east. Facing hopeless odds and mounting insanity, Adolf Hitler committed suicide with his wife on April 30, 1945. Hitler’s successor, Grand Admiral Karl Doenitz, attempted to surrender to the Americans and British without surrendering to the Russians as well.

47 V-E Day(Victory in Europe) in London By early 1945 Germany was under attack on all sides. Allied bombers pounded Germany all day and night. Russian troops had invaded Berlin. Germany signed an unconditional surrender on May 7, 1945. The next day was declared V-E Day as an international celebration.

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50 The Philippines Immediately after the attack on Pearl Harbor, which crippled the U.S. Pacific Fleet, Japan invaded the Philippine Islands. The Philippines were defended by American and Filipino troops under the command of General Douglas MacArthur, who drew his forces back to the Bataan Peninsula. President Roosevelt ordered MacArthur to evacuate to Australia. As he left by boat, he promised his troops, “I shall return.” The remaining defenders, mostly Filipinos and U.S. Marines, were forced to surrender to the Japanese. They were marched through jungle and mountains to a prison camp. Thousands died on the way, and thousands more died of neglect and abuse in the camp. This became known as the Bataan Death March, and it instilled a desire for revenge in the American public.

51 Japanese Control by 1942 By 1942, Japan controlled much of China, Korea, eastern and southern Asia, and a string of Pacific islands. They had taken the Philippines from the United States, as well as Guam and Wake Island. Britain had lost Hong Kong, New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Burma and Singapore. Ceylon, India and Australia were under attack. The Dutch were driven out of Java, Sumatra, Celebes, Bali and Timor. French Indochina, including Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, was overrun. Thailand surrendered after the first day of Japanese invasion and allied itself with the Japanese for the rest of the war.

52 The brutal treatment of POWs by the Japanese in the Philippines and Malaya enraged the American public. Propaganda and recruitment posters depicted the Japanese as bloodthirsty sub- humans. Thousands of American boys volunteered for the Army, Navy and Marines.

53 Doolittle's Payback

54 The Doolittle Raid Japan was too far from any American base for conventional bombing. In early 1942, the U.S. Navy acquired a number of B-25 Mitchell long-range bombers. Lt. Col. James (Jimmy) Doolittle was put in charge of figuring out how to launch them from aircraft carriers. On April 18, 1942, a flight of B-25s took off from a specially modified carrier and successfully bombed Tokyo. They had to crash land in China. This was the Doolittle Raid.

55 The Battle of Midway

56 Two major battles halted the Japanese offense. 1.The Battle of the Coral Sea, May 4-7, 1942. It halted the Japanese push on Australia. The Japanese Navy lost two aircraft carriers. 2.The Battle of Midway, June 4- 7, 1942. This engagement stopped the Japanese advance on Hawaii. These were naval and carrier- based aircraft battles

57 Jungle Fighting War in the Pacific was different from the war in Europe. Fighting took place in jungle terrain. The American offensive involved amphibious landings of marines on several small islands. Naval supremacy, rather than air, was the key to victory.


59 Island Hopping The U.S. went on the offensive, using a strategy called “Island Hopping.” This consisted of bypassing heavily fortified islands, setting up airfields and then bombing the enemy bases they had passed. The Japanese were also cut off from supplies. The plan involved taking the Gilbert Islands (including Tarawa) to get to the Marshall Islands (including Kwajalein), and eventually the Marianas (including Guam). From the Marianas, American planes could bomb Japan. Admiral Nimitz was in charge of the Island Hopping campaign, while General MacArthur led an Army mission to retake New Guinea and the Philippines.

60 Big Mac Attack MacArthur was the commander of Army forces in the Pacific. He promised, “I shall return,” when Japanese forces overran the Philippines in May of 1942, and he evacuated. MacArthur’s force contributed to the Allied victory at Guadalcanal, then bypassed the Japanese base at Rabaul in order to retake New Guinea. MacArthur re-took the Philippines with 600 ships and 250,000 men by March 3, 1945. The Battle of Manila left the capital in ruins and killed over 100,000 Filipino civilians.

61 Beginning of the End 7.


63 Battle of Leyte Gulf As part of the Allied invasion plan for the Philippines, the U.S. massed a huge fleet in Leyte Gulf. In an attempt to halt the invasion, Japan brought together all of its remaining ships for a showdown. From Oct. 23-26, 1944, the Japanese lost all four of their remaining aircraft carriers and most of its other warships. Those ships that survived never left port again. The Allies lost one carrier in return. Leyte Gulf marked the first use by the Japanese of the “Kamikaze.”

64 Kamikazes Kamikazes (“Divine Wind” in Japanese) were young men who volunteered to fly fighter planes packed full of explosives and crash them into American warships. While kamikaze attacks sank or damaged a number of American vessels, their greatest damage was psychological. They displayed the desperation of the Japanese Imperial Command, and the pilots’ disregard for death.

65 Iwo Jima The Island Hopping strategy called for Iwo Jima to be captured next, to provide air fields for round-the-clock bombing of Tokyo. A desperate 31-day (Feb. 19 to March 26) battle was carried out on the tiny island. It was captured at the cost of 6,812 U.S. deaths. 21,844 Japanese troops were killed; only 216 were captured.

66 Okinawa Okinawa was next. As one of the Japanese Home Islands, it was heavily defended. Fighting lasted 3 months (April 1 to June 22, 1945) and cost 12,513 Americans killed, 38,916 wounded and 33,096 noncombatant losses. Roughly 95,000 Japanese soldiers were killed, another 10,000 captured. Between 42,000 and 150,000 Okinawan civilians died, many of them committing suicide rather than be captured. The American navy sustained heavy damage from thousands of “kamikazes.” The next move was to be an all-out invasion of Japan, and Japan showed no willingness to surrender.

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68 Truman President Truman, who had replaced Roosevelt upon his death on April 12, 1945, was told that an invasion of Japan might result in as many as one million American casualties, and perhaps ten million Japanese. Conventional and napalm bombing had not been enough to make Japan surrender.

69 The Bomb The Manhattan Project had produced a weapon of untold destructive power. The first test of the atomic bomb was on July 16, 1945 at Alamogordo, New Mexico. Truman decided to use the newly-developed atomic bomb on Japan if necessary. He wanted to end the war and save American (and Japanese) lives. Truman issued a declaration to Japan, that it faced “prompt and utter destruction” unless it surrendered. The Japanese government did not respond…

70 The End On August 6, 1945, the American B-29 bomber Enola Gay dropped one atomic bomb on the military- base city of Hiroshima. 70,000 were killed instantly, another 100,000 were wounded or missing. Still Japan did not surrender. On August 9, a second atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, killing between 35,000 and 74,000. That same day, the Soviet Union declared war on Japan. Japan surrendered on August 15, 1945. V-J Day.

71 Executive Order 9066

72 Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9066 authorized the military to designate military areas and to exclude any or all persons from them. Suspected of sabotage or spying, some 120,000 American Japanese were removed from their homes in the western states and placed in internment camps for the duration of the war. In the case of Korematsu v. the United States, the Supreme Court agreed that internment was constitutional because it was based on military urgency. The decision was not overturned until 1983. In order to prove their loyalty, many Japanese Americans volunteered to serve in the U.S. Army. They were not allowed to fight in the Pacific, but in Europe they were formed into the 442 nd Regimental Combat Team, the most highly decorated unit in the war.

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