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Chapter 17: Section 2 Europe Goes to War.

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1 Chapter 17: Section 2 Europe Goes to War

2 Setting the Scene Churchill – believed that sacrificing part of Czechoslovakia to preserve peace was a fatal mistake thought that the peace agreement would give Britain only a few more months of peace “Britain and France had to choose between war and dishonor. They chose dishonor. They will have war.”

3 April 1939 – Italy invades and occupies Albania
March 1939 – Hitler occupies the western half of Czechoslovakia (despite his assurances that all he had wanted was the Sudetenland) and divides the rest of the country among his allies April 1939 – Italy invades and occupies Albania

4 Invasion of Poland Britain and France end their policy of appeasement and warn Hitler that any further expansion risks war formally pledge to support Poland, agreeing to help if Germany invaded

5 Hitler’s Pact with Stalin
August 1939 Hitler and Stalin sign a ten-year Nonaggression Pact – eliminating Hitler’s fears of a two front war secret document divided up the independent states of eastern Europe between Germany and the Soviet Union September 1, 1939 – Hitler invades Poland September 3, 1939 – Britain and France declare war on Germany Hitler’s Pact with Stalin

6 each German division had more machine guns, artillery, and other weapons
had tanks organized into separate (panzer) divisions blitzkrieg (“lightning war”) – fast, concentrated air and land attack that took the enemy’s army by surprise stuka – dive-bombing warplane Lightning War

7 imposed German laws and imprisoned and murdered Jewish citizens
using the blitzkrieg Germany was able to overrun Poland in less than a month imposed German laws and imprisoned and murdered Jewish citizens this treatment of Jews is known as the Holocaust mid-September, Stalin seizes eastern Poland

8 War in the West after Poland fell, Britain and France held back
American’s called it the “phony war” Germans called the lull in fighting a sitzkrieg or “sit-down-war”

9 Maginot Line massive string of fortifications along France’s border with Germany Advantages provided housing for troops, recreational areas, air conditioning, rail lines, thick concrete walls, heavy artillery Disadvantages protected only the French border that faced Germany; not the border with Belgium all heavy guns pointed east toward Germany and would be useless if attacked from another angle



12 Germany Attacks April 9, 1940 – Hitler attacks Denmark and Norway
May 10, 1940 – launched a new blitzkrieg Netherlands ~ taken in 5 days Belgium ~ taken in less than 3 days Luxembourg ~ taken in 1 day

13 mid-May – Germany invades northern France, going around the Maginot Line and to the English channel
cut off northern France from southern; dividing the French troops

14 Evacuation of Dunkirk French and British forces retreat to the coastal city of Dunkirk a nine-day rescue takes place; one of the greatest in history using tugboats, yachts, and other small craft about 900 vessels carrying 340,000 soldiers crossed the English Channel to Great Britain

15 The Fall of France June 10, 1940 – French government abandons Paris
Italy declares war on Britain and France June 22, 1940 – France officially surrenders

16 French government settled in the southern unoccupied part of the France, beginning with the vacation resort of Vichy adopted a policy of collaboration – close cooperation, with Germany Vichy France

17 Free France government-in-exile in London – continued the struggle against Germany Resistance movement – underground group made up of French citizens who distributed anti-German leaflets or sabotaged German operations

18 The Battle of Britain Hitler’s next invasion target was Britain, 20 miles away, across the English Channel “We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.” ~ Winston Churchill


20 Relentless Attack Britain’s large navy prevented Hitler from getting through to neutralize the navy, Germany had to control the air Luftwaffe – German air force Battle of Britain – intense air attack, using thousands of planes and bombs

21 1923 Hague Draft Rules of Air Warfare – prohibited attacks on civilians
at first the Germans attacked only military installations, but when two bombers strayed off course and dropped bombs on London a new type of warfare developed

22 The Blitz early September 1940 Hitler orders massive bombing raids on London and other cities to try to break Britain’s will to resist firebombs carried a mix of chemicals that burned hot enough to set buildings on fire this type of bombing (the Blitz) would continue off and on until May 1941


24 authorities tried to prevent it, but could not stop the rush of people
during the Blitz some Londoners sought nighttime shelter in the stations of London’s Underground subway system authorities tried to prevent it, but could not stop the rush of people eventually London Transport allowed the nighttime campers

25 Elephant and Castle Tube Station during the Blitz
Elephant and Castle Tube Station during the Blitz

26 Courageous Defense Britain’s Royal Air Force (RAF)
courageously defended Britain, flew against German bombers, avoiding fighter planes “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so few.” ~ Churchill

27 by the end of the Blitz, more than 20,000 Londoners had been killed, and 70,000 injured
February 1940 – scientists in Britain cracked the German top-secret communications code learned that Hitler would not invade Britain until the Luftwaffe established air superiority – which it never did

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