Chapter 31 GPS
Section 1 17F
WORLD WAR II
CHALLENGES TO WORLD PEACE
A. many dictators will take aggressive actions in the early 1930s—these aggressive actions were met with
only pleas and protests from the democracies of the world—many dictators viewed these types of actions as
signs of weakness—Japan will be a different situation because they did not have a single leader but a group
of military generals governing the country
I. THE ROAD TO WAR
A. 1931 – Japan, seeking raw material, invades Manchuria. When the League of Nations meets to debate the
situation, Japan withdraws from the League.
B. 1934 – Japan withdraws from the Washington Treaty [created in 1921 to limit the size of the world’s
navies and thus reduce the possibility of war] and starts to create the most powerful navy in the Pacific.
C. 1935 - In defiance of the Treaty of Versailles, Hitler announces that Germany will start to rebuild its army
and air force. Although Great Britain and France protest they do nothing.
Also in 1935 Italy invaded Ethiopia. Ethiopian leader Haile Selassie appealed to the League of Nations for
help and the League put some sanctions or penalties on Italy. The League tries - no weapons or other war
materials but could sale petroleum. By early 1936 Italy had conquered Ethiopia
II. SPANISH CIVIL WAR
A. in the 1930s Spain was going through a period of unrest. King Alfonso XII was
forced to abdicate and a republic was set up which was controlled by liberals and
Socialists. The Catholic Church lost status (lands confiscated) and the army was reduced in size however
unrest continued throughout Spain (strikes, riots, etc)
B. by 1936 a coalition government was elected that included socialists, liberals, and
communists. They moved against the military leadership and redistributed the land to
peasants. In July, 1936 a group of generals led by Francisco Franco revolted against the
republican government - this will turn into the Spanish Civil War. The generals wanted
to restore power of Catholic Church and destroy socialism and communism in Spain. The followers of
Franco were called Nationalists and the Republicans called Loyalists.
The Spanish civil war will become an international issue. The League of Nations tried to stop the flow of
weapons into Spain from foreign powers but League was unsuccessful. Mussolini and Hitler supported
Franco with weapons and manpower. The Italians and especially the Germans used the war as a practice
ground for their militaries (new weapons and tactics tried out under combat conditions) the Loyalists' were
supported by Stalin and some democracies but their help was much less that what the Nationalists were
receiving. By 1939 the Spanish Civil War was over and Franco had set up a Fascists dictatorship in Spain.
C. In October, 1936 the Rome-Berlin Axis was signed which allied Italy and Germany (military alliance)
Also in 1936 Hitler sent troops into the Rhineland in direct violation of the Versailles Treaty, A lot of verbal
protest made by France and Great Britain but very little resistance made to the move.
D. 1937- Japan invades China.
E. March, 1938 Germany announced that it wanted to annex Austria which is known as the Anschluss
(union of Austria with Germany). Again there was little response to the
aggression by Hitler from France and Great. Britain, both of the countries were following a policy of
appeasement, making concessions to an aggressor in order to maintain peace. Both countries had widespread
pacifism, opposition to all war, among their populations.
The British people were not concerned because the incidents were far away and many
also believed that a strong Germany army would keep a check on communism in the
USSR. Also many felt that the Versailles Treaty had been too harsh on Germany. France
was unwilling to stand up to Germany without British backing.
The United States response to all of this was to follow a policy of isolationism and had passed the Neutrality
Laws which forbade the sale of arms to any nation at war, no loans to warring nations, and no Americans on
warring nations ships. After the disillusion with World War I the United States wanted to stay out of
European conflict not prevent a war.
F 1938 - because of the apparent weakness of the democracies Italy, Germany, and Japan signed the
Rome-Berlin-Tokyo Axis which pledged that each country would fight communism and would not
interfere with one another's plans for expansion.
G. Germany's aggression will continued when late in 1938, Hitler demanded the annexation of the
Sudetenland from Czechoslovakia (most of the people living in the Sudetenland were German speaking)
Czechoslovakia was one of only two democracies in eastern Europe neither France nor Great Britain was
willing to go to war to save the Sudetenland. Hitler invited France and Great Britain to meet with him at the
Munich Conference the French premier Edouard Daladier and the British prime minister
Neville Chamberlain chose appeasement instead of war and persuaded the Czechs to
turn over the Sudetenland to Hitler. In return Hitler promised that he had no plans for further expansion in
H. 1939 – March – Hitler sent German forces to take the rest of Czechoslovakia
April of 1939 Italy attacks Albania.
In the summer of 1939, France and Great Britain realized that appeasement had failed when Hitler demanded
the return of Danzig, a free city under the control of the League of Nations and the Polish Corridor Great
Britain and France responded by saying they would aid Poland.
August, 1939 Hitler stunned the world when he announced the Nazi-Soviet Pact with the USSR—this was a
non-.aggression pact in which the two countries promised not to attack each other. In secret they had agreed
that 1) not to fight each other if one went to war and 2) they would divide up Poland and Eastern Europe.
Chapter 31 GPS
Section 2 18A
I. START OF WORLD WAR II
A. on September 1, 1939 Germany invaded Poland starting World War II. The Germans
launched the "blitzkrieg" or lightning warfare (planes, tanks, and mechanized units of
1,250,000 men) swept into Poland (Polish air force destroyed in 48 hrs.). France and
Britain declared war on Germany September 3. Polish resistance will end within three
weeks. USSR, in accordance with the Nazi-Soviet Pact, will take eastern Poland, Latvia, Estonia, and
Lithuania. USSR will also attack Finland (Finns put up a brave fight but will fall in March 1940
B. After the fall of Poland there was a lull in the fighting known as the "phony war".
Britain concentrated on building up their armaments, clearing the seas of enemy surface ships, and imposing a
blockade on Germany. France waited in the elaborately fortified defensive position known as the Maginot
Line (87 miles of underground forts on border with Germany)
C. Hitler resumed the war in April 1940 by seizing Norway and Denmark. In May Germany will attack the
Netherlands and Belgium and thus bypassing the Maginot Line. Germans will trap tens of thousands of British,
French, and Belgian troops in Flanders. Allied forces retreated to Dunkirk where 350,000 men were rescued
("Miracle at Dunkirk") by hundreds of British ships including civilian craft. This was Hitler’s first big
mistake because it saved the British army for future warfare. Mussolini (It.) will declare war on France on 10
June, on 14 June German troops rolled into Paris unopposed. The French government under Marshal Petain
requested a cease fire. France will be divided into two zones (north occupied by German troops and rest of
country under a "puppet regime" headed by Petain at Vichy. Some French officers escaped to England and
set up a government in exile led by Charles de Gaulle – known as Free French. Inside France resistance
fighters will use guerrilla tactics to attack the German army occupying France Britain was now alone against
D. Winston Churchill had taken over as prime minister on 10 May and refused Hitler's
offer of surrender. Hitler wanted to invade Britain ("Operation Sea Lion") but he
needed mastery of the English Channel something he could not do without control of the skies. Hitler's
commander of the Luftwaffe, Herman Goering promised to defeat the Royal Air Force (RAF).
E. the Blitz of London – August 12, 1940 – German bombers started bombing England’s southern coast in a fierce
air attack on Britain trying to destroy the RAF. This major air battle became known as the Battle of Britain. Even
though the Germans had a numerical superiority in planes [almost 5 to 1] the British had an advantage because
they had developed radar. In the beginning the Germans concentrated on military installations and defeating the
RAF but they held on. After a month they changed tactics and on the night of September 7, 1940 and for the next 57
nights London was bombed. This was called the "blitz" during which time the Germans dropped firebombs and
high explosives on the major cities of Britain including London and other civilian targets. The Blitz of London
alone will kill more than 15,000 civilians but the citizens of Britain refused to break. Even though the Blitz will
continue until June 1941 Hitler was forced to postpone his invasion of Britain because the air campaign had failed
(Luftwaffe lost more than twice as many planes as RAF)
II. GERMAN BLITZKRIEG CONTINUES
A. Even though Germany was unable to force the surrender of Britain Germany was in
control of Western Europe. Portugal, Sweden, and Switzerland had declared their neutrality.
Spain was also technically neutral though they were Fascist and thus pro-Axis
B. In 1940 Romania and Hungary joined the Axis powers and in early 1941 Bulgaria
joined as well. The Germans and Italians then attacked and overran Greece (24 days) and Yugoslavia (11days). I n
October 1940- the Italians attacked the British in North Africa but were very quickly repulsed. To aid his Axis
partner Hitler sent General Erwin Rommel a.k.a. "Desert Fox" to North Africa where he had great success in
pushing the British back toward Cairo, Egypt.
III. GERMAN INVASION OF USSR
A. in June of 1941 Hitler launched "Operation Barbarossa" against the USSR. [his second mistake of the war].
3million German soldiers were sent into USSR. The Soviet air force [more than 1500 planes] was destroyed on
the ground in the first 24 hours. Germans will push deep inside the USSR (controlled 600,000 sq. miles). The goals
of the German invasion were
1) to gain Leningrad in the north (siege will last 800 days and cost 1.5 million lives)
2) to capture Moscow in the center - Germans reached the outskirts but whiter will set in
3) seize control of the Ukraine in the south which the Germans will overrun – the area is rich in wheat and oil.
However, the Soviets will practice a "scorched earth" policy which will make it difficult for the Germans to
supply their army over such great distances.
Despite this the Germans were very successful until the Russia winter set in and the German army suffered
because they were not issued winter uniforms. At times the temperatures dropped to more than -50 degrees below
IV. EARLY AMERICAN INVOLVMENT
A. At the beginning of World War II the US declared its neutrality. As the war progressed many Americans
became sympathetic to the blight of the Allies. President Franklin
Roosevelt (FDR) will find ways around the Neutrality Acts - the United States will give the British 50 old
American destroyers in exchange for leases on naval bases in Newfoundland,
Bermuda, and Jamaica
B. In March of 1941 Congress passed the Lend-Lease Act which allowed FDR to sell or
lend war materials on credit to countries that were vital to the defense of the United States. Before the war is over
the United States will give the Allies, including the Soviet Union, more than 50 billion dollars in military
equipment. This brought the US and Britain closer together and angered the Germans.
C. in August 1941 Winston Churchill and FDR met in the Atlantic and drew up the
Atlantic Charter, this document stated the goals of the United States and Britain during and after the end of World
War II (serf-determination and the United Nations). By November 1941 the US and Germany in a undeclared naval
war in the Atlantic because the United States was openly supporting Britain
V. Japan and the Pacific
A. In July 1940 the Japanese seized French Indochina and moved towards the Dutch East Indies. In
response to this aggression, in August 1940 the United States stopped exporting oil and scrap metal to Japan. In
early 1941 the US moved the Pacific Fleet to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
B. Hideki Tojo, leader of Japan's War Party became prime minister of Japan in October
1941. The United States and Japan start moving closer to war but they will continued to use diplomatic means to try
and solve their problems. Japan's military leaders concluded that they
should attack the US Pacific Fleet and try to defeat the United States in one great battle. So even while the
Japanese diplomats continue to negotiate, they Japanese military is planning an attack on the United States
C. On December 7, 1941 the Japanese fleet under the leadership of Admiral Yamamoto
launched a surprise attack on the Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor. The United States lost 8
battleships (Arizona went down with over 2000 men on board), 10 others ships were
crippled and 188 planes were destroyed. However, the main target of the attack, the 3 American aircraft carriers
were not in the harbor at the time of the attack.
The Japanese loses were about 49 planes and 5 midget submarines. Within hours of the Pearl Harbor attack the
Japanese also attacked other areas including the Philippines, Wake
Island, Singapore, Hong Kong, the Dutch East Indies (oil), Burma, and Guam. United States
declared war on Japan Dec. 8, 1941. It is here that Hitler makes his biggest mistake of the war, Germany and Italy
declared war on the US December 11, 1941
D. The Japanese had succeeded in crippling America's defenses (West coast open to air
and sea attack), Australia was the only remaining stronghold for Allies in the Pacific.
Japan now controlled most of the world's supply of rubber and tin, gained rice from
Indochina and oil from the East Indies
E. The goal of the military was to have Japanese war plane secure a perimeter far enough from Japan so that
United States bombers could not reach the Japanese homeland (later move east and south). Once this happened the
United States would have to sign a treaty acknowledging Japan's control of Asia. Japan would than create the
Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere - Japan's slogan became "Asia for the Asians"
Chapter 31 GPS
Section 3 18A, 18B, 18C
I. GERMAN POLICY TOWARD CONQUERED PEOPLES
A. Hitler wanted to organize the European continent into a single political and economic
system ruled from Berlin and dominated by the "Aryan race. He set up puppet governments in western European
countries that were peopled by ―Aryans‖ or related ―races‖. To the Nazis occupied lands were economic resources to
be plundered and looted. They systematically stripped conquered nations of their art works, factories, and other
resources. Many people including the Slavs and others from eastern Europe were judged inferior and were forced
serve the Third Reich as slave laborers in factories. Tens of thousands were forced from their homes and sent to
Germany to work in German war industries.
B. Genocide – Hitler instituted a policy of killing people he judged to be ―racially inferior‖. These people
included Slavs, Gypsies, the mentally ill, Africans, and especially the Jews. At first Jews were forced from
their homes and placed in ghettos and concentration camps. By 1941 the German policy toward the Jews
changed, the Nazis created what they called the "Final Solution" which called for the annihilation of the entire
Jewish population in Europe. Nazis attempted genocide [to kill entire group of people]. Jews will be transported to
eastern Germany and Poland and held in concentration (death) camps—most notorious camps include Auschwitz
(at its height 30,000 a day will be killed ), Treblinka, Dachau, Buchenwald, Bergen-Belsen, and Sobibor
C. upon arrival at the camps the people were divided into two groups
1) Those who were fit and healthy enough to do heavy labor
2) Those chosen to die immediately – mothers with small children, the old, the sick, and the weak.
The systematic destruction of the Jews is called the Holocaust. Most Jews were killed by poison gas or shot. It is
estimated that at least 6 million Jews died. In addition about another 6 million Slavs, Gypsies, physically and
mentally disabled, and political prisoners were also killed. Some individuals risked their lives to try and hide the
Jews from the Nazis. Unfortunately many more people became collaborators and helped the Nazis track
down the Jews for extermination. The Vichy government in France shipped tens of thousands of Jews to the death
camps. Some governments like Denmark refused to cooperate with the Nazis and as a result very few of their
Jews were deported for extermination.
II. ALLIED WAR EFFORT
A. the "Big Three" of Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin decided that the defeat of
Germany was first priority, the Japanese could wait. The Allies distrusted each other Churchill thought that Stalin
wanted to dominate Europe. Roosevelt thought that Churchill wanted to expand the British imperial power. And
Stalin believed that the U.S. and Britain wanted to destroy communism. This distrusted in each other was
increased because in 1942 Stalin wanted another front opened to relieve pressure on Soviets and Churchill and
Roosevelt said that they did not have the resources to do that. (Will not happen until 1944)
B. Total War – Like World War I, the Allies were committed to a total war. Governments took control of
economic resources ordering factories to stop making civilian items and to turn out military equipment. Essential
consumer goods (shoes, sugar, & gas) were rationed and there were regulations of prices and wages.
Governments limited citizens rights and censored the press. Propaganda was used to raise awareness and funds for
the war effort.
On the positive side, unemployment vanished from most countries.
C. In the United States, one of the worst incidents of the war for America was the treatment of the Japanese-
Americans. Those Japanese-Americans who lived on the West Coast were forced into relocation camps (many lost
businesses, jobs and homes). To show their patriotism many Nisei or American-born Japanese joined the war
effort where they were allowed to fight in Europe.
D. women once again proved to be very important in the war effort. Women built ships,
planes, and tanks. Women joined the armed forces in auxiliary roles - drove trunks,
delivered airplanes, assisted at anti-aircraft sites etc. In USSR women saw combat and
in France many women joined the Resistance movements
III. TURNING POINTS IN THE WAR
A. In North Africa British forces under the leadership of General Bernard Montgomery
will turn General Rommel and the German advance at the Battle of El Alamein and pushing their way toward
Tunisia. At the same time American forces under the command of Dwight Eisenhower, landed in Morocco and
Algeria, advancing on Tunisia from the west. The combination of British and American armies will defeat the
Germans in Tunisia forcing the Axis army to surrender (250,000 men). This was one of the turning point in the
B. in July 1943 the US and British forces will invaded Sicily opening a new front. Under the
leadership of General George Pattern US forces will then move on to the Italian peninsular. The Italians were fed
up with Mussolini and he was forced to resign and placed under arrest.
(He will be rescued by elite German commandos) With Mussolini out of power the Italians made peace with the
Allies. Although Italy changed sides the Germans still controlled the
northern part of Italy and had dug in and will fight to the end of the war.
C. Stalingrad – In the spring of 1942 Germany launched a new offensive aiming for the rich oil fields of
southern Russia. They were successful until they reached the city of Stalingrad. Hitler wanted the city
because of its name and Stalin wanted to keep the Germans out for the same reason. The fighting became
brutal; soldiers were fighting street to street, house to house, room to room. In November, 1942 the
Russians launched a counterattack the encircled more than 600,000 German soldiers inside the city. Hitler
refused to let them retreat. In the end about 100,000 Germans were taken prisoners of war (only about 5,00
will ever return to Germany) and about 300,000 were killed or wounded. The losses in North Africa and
Stalingrad greatly weakened the German army. From this point on they are on the defensive.
VI. THE INVASION OF FRANCE
A. By 1944 the Allies were ready to open a second front in Europe. Dwight Eisenhower was made Supreme
Commander of Allied Forces Europe and ordered to plan and carry out the invasion of France. To prepare
for the assault the allies had to first reduce Germany’s capacity to make war. This was done by allied
bombers, German cities and factories were bombed day and night in an effort to reduce the Nazi war
machine. By June 1944 the allies controlled the skies over Europe. The invasion could now have a
reasonable chance of success. The invasion of France known as Operation Overlord (D-Day is the day of the
invasion) was this was the greatest amphibious invasion in history (more 4,000 ships and 11,000 aircraft). A force
of 2 million British, American, Polish, and Canadian troops will land (179,000 on the first day) with another
million supporting the landings from the air and sea. The Allies landed at Normandy on June 6, 1944 on five
beach locations (ground commander was Gen. Montgomery) and quickly pushed inland. By August 25, 1944 the
Allies had liberated Paris.
Chapter 31 GPS
Section 4 18A, 18B, 18C
I. WAR IN THE PACIFIC
A. From December, 1941 to May, 1942 Japan had won an uninterrupted series of victories. During that six month period
they had captured Guam, Wake Island, Hong Kong, Burma, the Dutch East Indies, and the Philippine Islands. In the
Philippines they killed tens of thousands of American and Filipino prisoners of war on what became know as the Bataan
Death March, a 68 mile forced march through the tropical heat without food or water. Japan controlled most of Southeast
B. warfare in the Pacific will be very different than the fighting in Europe. Fighting in the
Pacific meant landing on Japanese occupied islands and fighting inland. Japanese soldiers were fanatical in their
obedience to their emperor, Hirohito. Japanese soldiers
seldom surrendered even though the battle was lost, to do so would mean dishonor to them and their families.
C. the Japanese will suffer their first setback in May 1942 at the Battle of the Coral
Sea when Japan tried to invade Australia. This five day battle was unique in that it was fought by airplanes
launched from carriers not by ships. It was the first major defeat of the war for Japan because it stopped their
invasion. The next month, June, 1942, American forces led by Admiral Chester W. Nimitz will defeat the
Japanese at the Battle of Midway. American had broken the Japanese military code, using that information the
American fleet of 3 aircraft carries and 27 other ships was able to defeat a Japanese fleet of 6 aircraft carries and
121 other ships. Japanese planes were caught on the decks of carriers during re-fueling and re-arming. 322 planes
and 4 aircraft carriers lost by Japanese. This was the turning point in the Pacific and the Americans were now able
to take the offensive.
C. General Douglas MacArthur was named Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in
the Pacific. The American war campaign in the Pacific was known as "Island
Hopping". US forces would attack some Pacific islands while by-passing others. Even with this the loses were
staggering on both sides. The first major Allied offensive was at Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands.
Other important islands include Tarawa (3,973 American causalities – 4,713 Japanese were killed, 17 captured)
Saipan (17,286 American causalities – 24,000 Japanese killed, 5,000 suicides and 921 captured)
Iwo Jima (26,504 American causalities – 20,703 Japanese killed, 216 captured), and Okinawa ( 51,429
American causalities, 79 ships destroyed, 763 aircraft destroyed – 83,000 Japanese killed, 7,455 captured, 16
ships sunk, 3,130 aircraft destroyed and about 130,000 civilians killed or missing)
II. The End of Nazi Germany
A. After the freeing of France the Allied armies pushed on towards Germany. In Germany Hitler said; ―If the war
is to be lost the nation also will parish‖. Hitler ordered Germans to fight to the death and to destroy everything so
that nothing will be left.
B. Hitler decided to attempt one last counterattack in December, 1944 against the Allies with
the goal being the city of Antwerp. The attack became known as the Battle of the Bulge. During this battle both
sides took heavy causalities. The battle was a total failure for the Germans and they were now facing the
Americans/British in the West and the Soviets in the East.
C. Germany had now been under around the clock bombing for almost 2 years. Most of Germany’s cities were
now in ruin. On February 14, and 15 1945 the city of Dresden was bombed resulting in at least 135,000 civilian
causalities. By March the Allies had crossed the Rhine and in the east Soviet troops were closing in on Berlin
D. Germany's war machine had collapse. German forces in Italy surrendered.
Mussolini was captured by the Italians who shot him and hung his body upside down. In late April 1945 Hitler will
commit suicide along with his wife, Eva Braun just before the Soviets could capture him. On May 7, 1945
Germany surrenders to the Soviets and Allies this became known as V-E Day (Victory in Europe)
III. The End In The Pacific
A. When it became clear that Japan was loosing the war they began using kamikaze pilots. These were
volunteer suicide pilots who would crash their fully loaded planes into American ships (great honor to die for the
emperor). This was Japan's final desperate attempt to stop the Allied advance toward their homeland
E. On April 12, 1945 FDR died from a massive stroke and Harry S. Truman became
President oft he United States. In the United States the Manhattan Project was the code name given to the
building of an atomic bomb. The scientists had finally created one and tested it in the desert of New Mexico in June
of 1945. As America planned the invasion of Japan the Allies contemplated that it would cost over 1 million Allied
casualties (based on the cost of taking Iwo Jima and Okinawa). Given that information President Truman will
decide to drop the atomic bomb on Japan instead of trying to invade. The goal was to save lives, both Japanese and
Americas. On August 6, 1945 "Little Boy" was dropped on Hiroshima a city of about 345,000 people (100,000
died instantly). The USSR declared war on Japan on August 8, 1945. Japan still refused to surrender so on August 9
"Fat Man" was dropped on Nagasaki (70,000 died instantly). Faced with the destruction of all of Japan’s cities
Emperor Hirohito announced Japans surrender on August 14, 1945 (V-J Day). The World War II was finally
Chapter 31 GPS
Section 5 18D
I. CASUALTIES OF WORLD WAR II
A. ―Give me ten years and you will not be able to recognize Germany‖ Adolf Hitler 1933. By 1945
Germany, France, Italy, Poland, Russia, Japan and several other countries were in ruin. Cities were gutted.
Factories, railroads, bridges, farms, and homes were destroyed. Millions of people were displaced and
refugees. They wandered Europe looking for lost love ones. Hunger and disease will continue to kill long
after the fighting ended.
B. the cost of the war in human lives is estimated at 75 million people, this includes
civilian casualties. There are 14 million military dead, half of them Russian. The Soviet Union lost the most people
estimated at 22 million dead. More than 12 million will died in death camps. The horrors of the Holocaust and
other savage crimes against humanity discredited the regimes of Japan, Germany, and Italy. The cost in dollars is
unknown. However the United States spent 288 billion dollars ( in today’s money, 1.5 trillion dollars)
C. As the Allies moved across Europe they liberated the Nazi death camps and the world became fully
aware of the horrors of the Holocaust. The Nazi commander of Auschwitz will admit that he killed at least
2.5 million Jews – not counting those that died of disease or starvation.
D. War Crimes During the war the allies had agreed that they would put on trial the Axis leader for ―crimes
against humanity‖. A total of 177 German and Austrian officials were put on trial. 142 were found guilty,
10 of the top Nazi leaders receive death sentences, the others prison terms.
E. In an effort to promote world peace, in 1945 some 50 countries met in San Francisco to establish the
United Nations charter. The UN charter set up a General Assembly and a Security Council with five
permanent members-US, USSR, Great Britain, France, and China and 10 non-permanent members.
II. The Two Super Powers.
A. The war drained and exhausted Britain and France. The U.S. and the Soviet Union come out of
World War II as super powers. By late 1945 the alliance that had defeated Nazi Germany was coming
apart. Conflicting ideologies and mutual distrust soon led to what is known as the Cold War. It is a
state of tension and hostility among nations without armed conflict.
B. The Cold War started over Eastern Europe. Stalin and the west had very different goals for the area.
Stalin had 2 goals for Eastern Europe;
1. Spread communism to the area.
2. Create a buffer zone as a defense against the West.
The West wanted Stalin to have free elections in Eastern Europe. Stalin rejected that and by 1948 had
created pro-Soviet governments throughout Eastern Europe. Churchill described this as a ―Iron
Curtain‖ dividing the continent. It also increased the western fear of communism. Europe was now
divided into ―eastern‖ and ―western‖ blocs.
C. Greece – Stalin supported communist rebels trying to overthrow the Greek government. He was
also threatening Turkey. The British were too weak to defend the area. On March 1947, President
Truman announced the Truman Doctrine, a 400 million dollar program to help Greece and Turkey
fight communism. This will also become the bases for American foreign policy for decades. It was all
part of the Policy of Containment – created by George Kennan – its goal was to encircle communism
and not let it expand.
D. The Marshall Plan – George Marshall the United States Secretary of State proposed that the
United States rebuild Europe to help it fight hunger and poverty and make it better able to resist
communism. The US even offers to help the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe but they refuse. In all
the United States will spend more than 12.5 billion dollars to aid war torn Europe.
E. Germany – After the war Germany was divided into 4 zones of occupation – USSR, US, France,
British. France, Britain and the US united their zones. Germany now was a divided nation East and
West. West Germany became a democracy and East Germany communist. Inside the Soviet zone was
the old German capital of Berlin. It also was divided into 4 zones of occupation. In 1948 Stalin wanted
the Allies out of Berlin. He cut the railroad and highways into the western sector. The US created a
round-the-clock airlift for the city, the Berlin Airlift. For more than a year everything a city needed
was air lifted into Berlin.
III. Increased Tensions
A. In 1949 the US, Canada and nine western European countries will form the North Atlantic Treaty
Organization (NATO). The Soviet Union will respond by creating the Warsaw Pact.
B. As tensions continued both sides entered an arms race. In 1949 the Soviets developed an atomic
bomb. And the race was on. Both sides tried to develop bigger bombs and better delivery systems.
Churchill said that the global balance of power has become a balance of terror.