2 Main IdeaUsing the sudden mass attack called the blitzkrieg, Germany overran much of Europe and North Africa.Hitler’s actions set off World War II. The results of the war still affect politics and economics of today’s world.
3 IntroductionDuring the 1930s, Hitler played on the hopes and fears of the Western democracies.Each time Hitler gained new territory, he promised that was the last demand.However, Hitler’s demands kept coming.Now Hitler wanted Poland.He demanded that the Polish Corridor (taken during WWI) be returned to Germany.
4 Germany Sparks a New War in Europe Stalin had already signed a 10 year nonaggression pact with Hitler.Hitler had promised Stalin territory.They secretly agreed to divide Poland between them.USSR would also take Finland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.
5 Germany’s Lightning Attack Hitler quickly made plans to conquer Poland.Attacked Poland by surprise on September 1, 1939.German tanks and troops entered Poland.Also, began bombing Poland’s capital Warsaw.
6 France and Britain’s Response France and Britain declared war on Germany on September 3rd.Germany took the western half of Poland before France and Britain could send its troops.This was the first test of Germany’s newest military strategy.Blitzkrieg (lightning war).Worked in the case of Poland.
7 The Soviets Make Their Move September 17th – Stalin sent troops to occupy the eastern half of Poland.Next, Stalin easily took Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.Finland, however, resisted.One million Soviets were sent to Finland.Soviets expected a quick win and were not prepared for winter fighting.After heavy losses, the Soviets finally won.
8 The Phony WarFrance and Britain stationed their armies along the Maginot Line, waiting for Germany to attack.Nothing happened.Soldiers were bored.Germans soldiers were stationed on the Siegfried Line, a few miles away.Germans jokingly called it a “sitzkrieg”.
9 The Fall of FranceGermany began to sweep through the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg.This was a strategy to keep the Allies’ attention there, while Germany snuck into France through the Ardennes forest.
10 Rescue at DunkirkAfter being trapped by German forces in northern France, the Allies retreated to Dunkirk, a French port city near the Belgian border.The Allies had no where to go.Heroically, the British navy rescued the army.Though the armada was an amateur, it rescued more than 338,000 soldiers.
11 France Falls After Dunkirk, resistance in France began to crumble. Germans had taken Paris.French leaders surrendered on June 22, 1940.General Charles de Gaulle led the French in German resistance.France was finally liberated in 1944.
12 The Battle of BritainAfter France fell, Great Britain stood alone in battling the Nazis.Winston Churchill was now the British Prime Minister.“We shall never surrender.”1940, Germany’s Luftwaffe (air force) began bombing Great Britain.At first, focused on airfields and aircraft factories.Later focused on cities, such as London.
13 Royal Air ForceDespite being outnumbered, Britain’s air force (RAF) had two things in their favor.RadarGerman code-making machine, Enigma.Germans switched from day raids to night bombings to avoid the RAF.After about a year, Hitler decides to call off the attacks.The Battle of Britain is over.Allies now realize that Hitler’s attacks can be blocked.
14 The Mediterranean and the Eastern Front Hitler decides to deal with Great Britain later.He now focused on the Mediterranean and the Balkans.Despite the non-aggression pact, Hitler also goes after the Soviet Union.
15 Axis Forces Attack North Africa Mussolini attacks British forces in Egypt while the Battle of Britain is occurring.By February, Britain had taken 130,000 Italian prisoners.Hitler stepped in to save Mussolini.Sends a German tank force under the command of Erwin Rommel.Rommel finally defeats the Allies.Earns the name “Desert Fox”.
16 The War in the BalkansHitler was planning on attacking USSR but wanted to build bases in the Balkan countries first.Hitler persuades Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary to join the Axis Powers.Greece and Yugoslavia refused because they favored Britain.Hitler invaded them and they surrendered in about two weeks.
17 Hitler Invades the Soviet Union With the Balkans in control, Hitler could move forward with Operation Barbarossa.Soviet Union was not prepared for attack.Largest army in the world, but had poor training and little equipment.Germans push 500 miles inside the Soviet Union.The Soviets use the same scorched-earth strategy that they used against Napoleon.As the Soviets were pushed back, they torched everything in their path.
18 Leningrad Hitler seizes Leningrad and cuts it off from the Soviets. Determined to starve the population (2.5 million people), Hitler bombs food warehouses.People began eating cattle and horse feed, cats and dogs then crows and rats.Nearly one million people died that winter ( ).The city still refused to fall.
19 Moscow Hitler now focused on Moscow, the capital and heart of USSR. Germans weren’t prepared for harsh winter.They were still in summer uniforms and wanted to retreat.Hitler would not let them.More than 500,000 die.
20 The United States Aids Its Allies Most Americans felt that the United States should not be involved in the war.Congress had passed three Neutrality Acts betweenMade it illegal to sell arms or lend money to nations at war.FDR knew that if the Allies fell that the U.S. would be dragged into war.FDR asks Congress to allow the Allies to buy American arms.
21 Lend-Lease Act 1941 – Congress passes the Lend-Lease Act. U.S. can lend or lease arms or supplies to any country vital to the U.S.U.S. Navy helps escort British ships carrying U.S. arms.Hitler orders his submarines to sink any cargo ships they see.
22 Atlantic Charter U.S. was still not in the war at this point. However, FDR and Churchill met secretly and issued a joint declaration called the Atlantic Charter.Upheld free trade among nations and the right of the people to choose their own government.Charter later serves as Allies’ peace plan at the end of WWII.
23 Dragged into WarSeptember 4 – a German U-boat fired on a U.S. destroyer.FDR orders the U.S. navy to shoot German submarines on sight.U.S. was now involved in an undeclared naval war with Germany.The attack that ends up drawing the U.S. into war comes from Japan, not Germany.