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Causes for World War II DIRECT:  Germany invading Poland on September 1 st, 1939 (Europe)  Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 (Pacific)

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Presentation on theme: "Causes for World War II DIRECT:  Germany invading Poland on September 1 st, 1939 (Europe)  Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 (Pacific)"— Presentation transcript:

1 Causes for World War II DIRECT:  Germany invading Poland on September 1 st, 1939 (Europe)  Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 (Pacific) UNDERLYING:  Treaty of Versailles  Rise of Fascism  Great Depression  Appeasement  … and more.

2 Neutrality Acts:  1935: First Neutrality Act (no sale of arms to belligerent nations)  1937: Sales only on “cash and carry” basis. No weapons!  1939: “Belligerent” nations allowed to purchase arms from U.S. using “cash and carry”  FDR warns of impending problems: “Quarantine” Speech, 1937 “Arsenal of Democracy”, 1940 President Roosevelt

3 War Erupts in Europe!  March 1939 - Hitler breaks Munich Agreement, invades rest of Czechoslovakia  August 1939 - Hitler signs nonaggression pact (Molotov- Ribbentrop) with rival USSR (Russia), turns attention west  September 1, 1939- “blitzkrieg” invasion of Poland; Britain and France declare war on Germany.  However, the Soviet Union also invades Poland. They split it between them! German “blitz” of Warsaw

4 Hitler Moves in Europe  April 1940 - Hitler seizes Norway, Denmark  May 1940 - Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg  By June 1940, Hitler controls France, turns attention to Britain  Summer to Fall 1940 - Battle of Britain (“The Blitz”)  London heavily bombed but England does not give up!  Americans very sympathetic…

5 The Battle of Britain (The “Blitz”)


7  “ Destroyers for Bases” Deal (Sept. 1940): 50 American destroyers (warships) exchanged for use of 8 British naval bases in North Atlantic  “Lend-lease” Act, March 1941: Made it possible to lend or lease supplies to any country whose interests were vital (Great Britain, China). Basically a major “loan” of war materiel! The U.S. Enters the War Early?

8  August 1941 - Atlantic Charter: Churchill and FDR agree to defend democracy, free trade and economic advancement  The U.S. destroyer Greer attacked in September 1941  US directly involved in naval warfare against Germany in 1941! USS Greer Atlantic Charter

9 So why do the Japanese attack us …?  July 1940: U.S. embargo of raw materials to Japan after J. invasion of Indochina (Southeast Asia).  July 1941: Executive Order 8832. U.S. freezes all Japanese assets – complete embargo on all trade. Seen as “last straw” by Japanese.  U.S. aware that the Japanese may attack the U.S. in Pacific  December 7, 1941: Japan attacks Pearl Harbor, Hawaii Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor The U.S. Enters the War Early?


11 America Enters War! (Finally…)  Pearl Harbor attack devastates nation and the military!  FDR: “A date which will live in infamy.”  December 8, 1941- FDR receives war declaration from Congress against Japan  Germany declares war on United States – December 11, 1941 FDR addresses Congress after Pearl Harbor attack

12 Who was on each side? Axis Powers  Germany  Italy  Japan Allied Powers  Great Britain  Soviet Union (after “Operation Barbarossa” in June of 1941)  United States  France  Surrendered to Germany in 1940 after 6 weeks

13 The war so far …  January, 1943: Allies agree to fight until they win “unconditional surrender”  May, 1943: Allied victory in Tunisia secures North Africa.  July 1943: Allies invade Sicily and then Italy.  August 25, 1944: France liberated!

14 Major Turning Points in the European War A. Battle of Stalingrad: August 1942 – February 1943 End of German advance into Russia, beginning of Soviet march towards Berlin. Soviets lose 500,000 men and 500,00 more are wounded. Germans lose about 750,000 total killed and wounded.

15 B. Operation Overlord (a.k.a. “D-Day”): June 6th, 1944 The Allies landed on the shores of Normandy France to re-take France from German control. 156,000 Allied troops from US, UK, Canada, and France 5,000 ships and landing craft 50,000 vehicles 11,000 planes Largest amphibious invasion in history!


17 C. The Battle of the Bulge: December 1944 – January 1945 Allied forces break Germany’s ability to be offensive. Last attempt for the Nazi’s to stop the advance of Allied armies. Beginning of Allied (US & UK) march into Germany.

18 Major Turning Points in the European War  D. “East Meets West” – May 1945 The Germans on the run from the Soviet forces on the Eastern Front and from the Anglo-American forces on the Western Front. Eventually, Berlin is taken by the Soviets. Germans surrender May 7, 1945


20 U.S. Soviet Relations:  During the war: a friendship of necessity  Soviets do most of the fighting against the Nazis:  Over 20 million Soviets die during the war!  ~4 million German troops perish!  Many historians think that the Soviets are who truly defeated the Nazis – aided by Lend-Lease funds from America.  However, once the fighting slows and Berlin is taken, cracks in the relationship develop…  Yalta Accords (1945) illustrate these differences.

21 Yalta Conference(1945): Meeting to Discuss Postwar Goals Yalta Conference: (February 1945)  FDR, Stalin, and Churchill meet in the city of Yalta in Ukraine (part of the USSR) to settle post-war goals.  Discussion around “who gets what”.  Plans include breaking up Germany and creation of United Nations.  Agreement is very vague and each side wants something different!

22 Post-war Goals for the U.S. The US wants ….  Primary Goal: Open markets for U.S. goods. Free trade + capitalism.  Promote democratic governments throughout the world. “Self-Determination.”  Wants to “contain” Communism to stop the “Domino Effect.”

23 Post-war Goals for USSR The Soviets want …  Primary Goal: Greater security for itself!  Wants to create “buffers” to protect it against invasion!  Thinks that controlling Eastern Europe is the best way to do this.  Also, wants to spread communism around the world.

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