Western Civilization II WWII - Western Civilization II

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					                      Western Civilization II
                            Chapter Twenty-nine
                                    “World War II”

The Road to War
• Several factors need to be understood concerning the events leading to World War II.
– Dissatisfaction with the Versailles Treaty.
– Pacifism and appeasement of the democratic states of England and France.
– The USSR was distrustful of Germany, Italy, and Japan but due to the weakness of
Anglo-French relations, Stalin enters an agreement with Hitler in 1939.
   – Neville Chamberlain's policy of appeasement in regards to the actions of Hitler
      and Germany.
   – The Isolationist policies of the USA
The Course of Events
•   Using a Franco-Soviet agreement of the preceding year as an excuse, Hitler, on
March 7, 1936 repudiated the Locarno agreements and reoccupied the Rhineland.
– The Treaty of Versailles had demilitarized the Rhineland.
– Neither France nor Britain was willing to oppose these moves.

The Spanish Civil War
•    The Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) is usually seen as a rehearsal for World War II
because of outside intervention.
•    The government of the Spanish Republic caused resentment among conservatives by
its programs, including land reform and anti-clerical legislation aimed at the Catholic
•    Labor discontent led to disturbances in Barcelona and the surrounding province of
•    Following an election victory by a popular front of republican and radical parties,
right-wing generals in July began a military insurrection.
– Francisco Franco, stationed at the time in Spanish Morocco, emerged as the leader of
this revolt which became a devastating civil war lasting nearly three years.
Foreign Involvement in the Spanish Civil War
•    The democracies, including the United States, followed a course of neutrality,
refusing to aid the Spanish government or to become involved.
•    Nazi Germany, Italy, and the Soviet Union did intervene despite non-intervention
agreements negotiated by Britain and France.
– German air force units were sent to aid the Fascist forces of Franco.
– Italy sent troops and tanks to aid Franco also.
– The Soviet Union sent advisers and recruited soldiers from among anti-fascists in the
U.S. and other countries to fight in an international brigade with republican forces.
•    Spain became a battlefield for fascist and anti-fascist forces with Franco winning in
1939 in what was seen as a serious defeat for anti-fascist forces everywhere.
The Rome-Berlin Axis
•    The Spanish Civil War was a factor in bringing together Mussolini and Hitler in a
Rome-Berlin Axis
•    Already Germany and Japan had singed the Anti-Communist Pact in 1936.
•    Ostensibly directed against international communism, this was the basis for a
diplomatic alliance between those countries and Italy soon adhered to this agreement,
becoming Germany’s ally in World War II.
Italy’s Invasion of Ethiopia
•    Italy, in addition to its involvement in Spain, launched a war to conquer the African
kingdom of Ethiopia.
•    The democracies chose not to intervene in this case, either, despite Emperor Haile
Selassie’s plea to the League of Nations.
•    By 1936 the conquest was complete.
The Austrian Anschluss
•    In 1938 Hitler renewed his campaign against Austria which he had unsuccessfully
tried to subvert in 1934.
•    Pressure was put on the Austrian Chancellor Schuschnig make concessions to Hitler,
and when this did not work, German troops annexed Austria, the Anschluss.
•    Again Britain and France took no effective action, and about six million Austrians
were added to Germany.

The Sudetenland
•    Hitler turned next to Czechoslovakia. Three million persons of German origin lived
in the Sudetenland, a borderland between Germany and Czechoslovakia given to
Czechoslovakia in order to provide it with a more defensible boundary.
•    These ethnic Germans agitated against the democratic government despite its
enlightened minority policy.
•    Hitler and the Sudeten Nazi party worked to deliberately provoke a crisis by making
demands for a degree of independence unacceptable to the Czech authorities.
•    Hitler then claimed to interfere as the protector of a persecuted minority.
•    In May 1938 rumors of invasion led to warnings from Britain and France followed
by assurances fro Hitler.
•    Nevertheless in the fall the crisis came to a head with renewed demands from Hitler.
•    Chamberlain twice flew to German in Person to get German terms.
– The second time, Hitler’s increased demands led to mobilization and other measure
towards war.
•    At the last minute a four-power conference was held in Munich with Hitler,
Mussolini, Chamberlain, and Daladier in attendance.
– At Munich, Hitler's terms were accepted in the Munich Agreements.
– Czechoslovakia was not supported by Britain and France and lost its northern

Alliances Form
•    In March 1939, Hitler gained control of further Czech territory.
•    With the eyes of Europe on Germany, Italy was allowed to take over Albania in the
•   Disillusioned by these continued aggressions, Britain and France made military
– Guarantees were given to Poland, Rumania, and Greece.
– Opened negotiations with the USSR.
• Stalin believing that the western powers wanted Russia to take the brunt of a German
assault began to respond to Hitler’s overtures.
– On Aug. 23, 1939 a Non-aggression pact was signed between the two countries.

                      Germany Attacks in Europe

Polish Invasion (blitzkrieg)
•    September 1, 1939 (Britain and France declared war)
•    Poland was overrun in 4 weeks
•    Destruction of the Warsaw ghetto

Denmark, Holland and Norway
•  Occupied by early 1940
•  Norway almost gave up without fighting because of a Nazi-supporter inside the
Norwegian government (Vidkum Quisling)

Belgium and France
•    France reinforced the Maginot Line (defensive forts on the German border)
•    Germany attacks through Belgium and overruns northern France in a few weeks
•    The British and resisting French troops were trapped at a port on the North Sea
– Every ship available in England (including rowboats) was used to transport the troops
to England
    – The equipment had to be left at Dunkirk
    – France was divided and partially occupied by the Germans
    1. occupied France and
    2. Vichy France … The aging marshal Henri-Philippe Pétain established a
German-puppet government in Southern France, with headquarters in Vichy
– Vichy France was eventually occupied in 1942

•    The "Battle of Britain" was an air battle
– Beginning of Hitler’s attempt to invade Britain…Operation Sea lion
•    Winston Churchill (new prime minister) declared "...we shall not flag or fail. We
shall go on to the end...we shall fight in the seas and oceans...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..."
•    Churchill promises nothing but "blood, sweat and tears"
•    When France surrendered, Churchill stated "Let us therefore brace ourselves to our
duties, and so bear ourselves that, if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a
thousand years, men will say, 'This was their finest hour.'"
•    Germany believed it had to destroy the British factories before it could invade
•    Initial German success but eventually the English developed airplanes (Spitfires) that
could fight the German bombers
•    Radar was developed to allow the fighters to attack without wasting fuel
•    British also learned to decode German messages.
•    Hitler grew anxious and began to attack British non-military sites (cities)

– “The Blitz”
•   Britain eventually took control of the air and Churchill praised the Royal Air Force,
"Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few."

•    Hitler attacked Greece, Yugoslavia and forced Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria into
•    Yugoslavia (Tito) resisted tenaciously and slowed the German advance

• Hitler attacked Russia in June 1941
– Wanted Russian land and resources.
– Hitler's innate hatred of the Communists may have led to this move
•    Siege of Leningrad (about 2 years)
•    As Soviets retreated the practiced a “Scorched Earth” policy.
•    Germans met strong resistance (Stalingrad, especially) and were eventually stopped
on the outskirts of Moscow by the winter

US Isolationism
•   The US didn't actively participate on either side in the early war
•   Roosevelt realized that long range interests of the US favored the Allies
•   Lend lease (a policy designed to let the Allies buy US goods on credit)

                      Japan's Invasions
•   Japan had attacked China in 1937
•   America had given quiet support with airplanes (Flying Tigers)
– Pappy Boyington

Pearl Harbor
•   US had imposed an embargo on the sale of vital raw materials to Japan
•   December 7, 1941, surprise attack???????
•   America lost all its Pacific fleet except for three aircraft carriers
– “A day that will live in infamy.”
•   America declared war on Japan
– Dec. 8, 1941
– The Japanese attack overcame American isolationism
– The joint declaration of war by Germany and Japan brought the US into the war in

Southeast Asia
•    Japanese moved to conquer all Southeast Asia
•    Philippines were a US territory and had many American soldiers
– US troops trapped on Corregidor and Bataan
– MacArthur led the US troops but eventually had to sneak out to Australia ("I shall
– The US positions were overrun and the troops forced to take the "death march" to
Japanese prison camps

              Allied Counterattacks in Europe

Soviet Union
•   Russian army attacked in 1942 and trapped 300,000 German troops who fought to a
devastating defeat
•   The Russian army began a slow push toward Germany

North Africa
•    British armor units (Montgomery) defeated combined German and Italian troops
(Rommel) at El Alamein, Egypt (1943)
•    American forces (Patten) attacked from Morocco and the Germans were squeezed
out of Africa
•    May 1943, Allies hold all of N.Africa - ended threat to the Suez Canal and made the
Mediterranean safe for Allied ships
– Base for invasion of Southern Europe.

•     American and Anglo troops landed in Sicily (1943), then on mainland Italy
•     Mussolini overthrown and Italy surrendered but the Germans occupied northern Italy
and slowed the allied advance
– Aided by Italian resistance forces
•     Allies take Rome in 1944, but fighting did not end completely until the following

•   June 6, 1944 was the largest invasion ever made (D-Day)
•   General Dwight D. Eisenhower was allied commander in chief
•   Good advances because the Germans continued to look elsewhere for the real

Battle of the Bulge
•    Last gasp of the Germans in the winter of 1944
•    Allied troops were pushing near the Rhine River
•  Attack through the forests of Eastern France and Belgium
•  Germans surrounded Bastogne and trapped Americans
– "Nuts"
– Rescued by George Patten
•  Germans ran out of fuel and were defeated
•  Capture of the bridges over the Rhine signaled the end for the Germans

Unconditional Surrender
• Churchill, Stalin and Roosevelt agreed on who would capture what territory (Tehran)
•    The three leaders agreed that surrender would be total
•    The leaders (now with Truman replacing Roosevelt) divided up German territory for
post-war occupation (Yalta)
– Eastern European governments were to be freely elected
– The governments were guaranteed to be pro-Russian
•    Hitler died in a bombing raid of Berlin just as the Russians were entering the city
•    The German forces formally surrendered (May 8, 1945)

                      Allied Counterattacks in the Pacific

•   American aircraft carriers found the Japanese carriers and sunk them just as the
empty Japanese fighters were returning
– June 4-7, 1942
•   Major turning point in the war because the Japanese navy no longer had total control
Coral Sea
•   Ended Japan’s advance towards Australia.

Southeast Asia
•   MacArthur landed in the Solomons
•   Began leap-frogging through Indonesia
– “Island Hopping”
• Naval bombardment and then amphibious landings
• Many of the islands were strongly entrenched and many lives lost
•   MacArthur landed on the Philippines saying "I have returned"

Japanese Main Islands
•   Fighting became more fierce as the Japanese main islands were approached (Iwo
Jima and Okinawa)
•   US bombardment of Japan
•   Kamikazes
•   Atomic bombs (Hiroshima and Nagasaki, August 6th and 9th, 1945)
•   Surrender on the deck of the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay (MacArthur, Nimitz)
– August 15, 1945 VJ-Day
The War’s Aftermath
•   Costs of the War
– Approximately 50-100 million people died - including 6 million Jews in Nazi death
– Vast areas of destruction especially in Europe and Asia.
•   War Crime Trials
– Nuremberg Trials
• surviving Nazi leaders charged with crimes against humanity.
– Several Japanese commanders also tried for war crimes against humanity.
•   At Yalta, the idea of a United Nations was discussed

Lingjuan Ma Lingjuan Ma MS
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