WWII Begins



WWII Begins
WWII Begins
Hitler’s Aggressive Actions
• Began Defying Treaty of Versailles – Built up military and
created an air-force
• Formed military alliance with Mussolini (Italy) and Hirohito
(Japan) – Axis Powers 1940
• Invades Austria 1938 to unite German speaking lands –
• Nazi-Soviet Pact – Stalin and Hitler vowed to not attack
each other – Secret deal to divide Poland in 2
• Allies strategy to stay out of the war to avoid a repeat of the
bloodshed of WWI. Thought Hitler would want peace once
taking territory
• Munich Conference – Sept 1938 Germany wanted
Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia. Britain and France gave in to
Hitler’s demands in exchange for peace
• Appeasement failed – Hitler continued to take over new
Invasion of Poland – September 1, 1939
• Nazi Germany invades using “Blitzkrieg” – “lightning war” Used large numbers of tanks to break through and quickly
surround the enemy. Used aircraft to bomb enemy positions
and drop paratroopers to cut off supply lines.
• September 3, 1939 – France and Britain declare war on
Germany – official start of WWII
America’s Policy towards the War
• Neutrality! – Isolationist – stay out of European affairs
• Neutrality Act of 1935 – Illegal to sell arms and supplies to
Europe. Restricted Americans from sailing on ships to/from
hostile nations. Trying to avoid repeating mistakes from WWI
• Tension worsening in Europe
• Neutrality Act of 1937 – required warring nations to buy
American goods on “cash and carry” basis
• No Loans and No Delivery!
Franklin D. Roosevelt
• Internationalism – trade between nations creates prosperity
and prevents war.
• Improve the economy, increase trade – still dealing with the
effects of the Great Depression
• While he was afraid the neutrality acts might drag the US
into war, he did not veto the bills.
FDR Supports England
• Called Congress to revise neutrality law – eliminate ban on
arms sales
• 1940 – Britain being bombed nightly by Germany
• France invaded and taken over by Germany
• 1st test at neutrality – US gives Churchill 50 old navy destroyers
– Britain gives US rights to use 8 British bases in Canada
• Public opinion changes – want to help Allies on a limited basis
Lend-Lease Act
• December 1940 – Britain is out of money to fight the war
• FDR proposed the Lend-Lease Act – Allows the US to lend or
lease arms to any country considered “vital to the defense of the
United States”
• Passed with wide support
• US “lent” $40 billion in weapons, vehicles and supplies to Allies Britain, China USSR
• Hitler violates pact with USSR and invades in 1941
Tensions on the Seas
• US navy patrolling Atlantic and Pacific
• Germany attacked American ships, killing 115 sailors
• US has “Shoot on sight” policy towards Germany
• US starts helping China (Japan’s enemy)
• Economic pressure on Japan – blocked sale of oil, steel and
airplane fuel
• Japan sent troops to British interests in Asia
• FDR freezes all assets in US
Japan Attacks
• December 7 1941 - Japan attacks naval base at Pearl Harbor
• Had been continuing negotiations with the US until the attack
• Killed over 2000 Americans and destroyed many naval ships
• FDR responds with strength - “A day that will live in infamy”
• Congress declares war on Japan – December 8t 1941
• Official start to the war in the US
• Axis Powers – Germany, Italy and Japan
• Allied Powers – Great Britain, US France
The Holocaust
The Holocaust
• Holocaust = the mass murder of the Jews by Germany
• Why were the Jews hated?
• Hitler and many German people blamed the Jews for Germany’s
• The Jewish people were blamed for Germany’s loss in WWI
• Racial superiority of the German master race
• Hitler becomes obsessed & diverts the war effort to destroy the Jews
• He is fighting two wars: one in Europe and one against the Jews
• First isolate and dehumanize
• Boycott of businesses, some violence, property and rights taken
• Nuremberg Laws (1935)
• Created a separate legal status for German Jews
• Took away their citizenship and many civil and property rights
• Night of Broken Glass (Nov. 1938)
• Known as Kristallnacht – refers to anti-Jewish riots across
Germany and Austria
• Jews were attacked and windows and store fronts shattered
• Thousands of Jewish buildings and businesses destroyed and
about 100 Jews were killed
• The Final Solution
• Wannsee Conference – Jan 20, 1942 - Hitler and his advisors
come up with the final solution to the Jewish question = kill
the Jews efficiently
• First removed the Jews into ghettos = confined areas within a
city - Starved, disease spreads, thousands die
• From the ghettos Jews were sent to concentration camps
• Long, crowded train ride in cattle cars – many die
• Concentration Camps
• Detention centers
• The Jews arrive, families are separated, and then the selection
process begins
• Separated into strong and weak,
• Strong/healthy - slave laborers until they died of exhaustion,
disease or malnutrition
• Weak - old, sick, young children – sent to Extermination
Camps to be killed in massive gas chambers - built to kill
2,000 people at a time. Up to 12,000 people in a day at
Auschwitz alone.
• Victims
• 6 million Jewish people perish in the Holocaust
• 2 out of every 3 in Europe – there were 9 million Jews in
Europe when Hitler took power
• Other groups at the concentration camps that the Nazis viewed
as inferior:
• Gypsies, homosexuals, Slavs, Poles, people with disabilities,
Jehovah’s Witnesses, and other political enemies
On the Homefront
• FDR built up navy, air force and army – declared national
• Increased production of war materials
• War Production Board – Liberty ships, built tanks instead of
cars - Conservation, rationing
• Created 19 million jobs – doubled the average family’s income
• No more Depression!
US Army
• 227,000 soldiers in 1939
• 1st peacetime draft – 1940 – “Arsenal for Democracy”
• 60,000 enlisted after Pearl Harbor
• Segregation and discrimination within the military
• African Americans forced to train separately. Often received jobs as
cooks or custodians
• Tuskegee Airmen – 1st African American unit in the air force
• FDR attempted to create equality by recruited African Americans
and expanded roles
Women in the War Effort
• Home front
• worked in factories and shipyards
• Replaced the men fighting in the war – Rosie the Riveter
• Warfront
• joined marines, navy and coast guard in record numbers.
• Banned from combat – secretary and healthcare jobs
• Became pilots and delivered supplies
• 68,000 nurses in the army and navy
Japanese Relocation
• Anti- Japanese sentiments grew along the west coast – rumors of
spies. Mobs attacked homes, businesses, wouldn’t cash checks or sell
them food
• FDR relocates Japanese immigrants, citizens as well as US citizens to
internment camps in the west – 2/3 were American born
• 120,000 – matter of “national security” and defense
• Korematsu v. US
• Fred Korematsu sues for violation of the 14 Amendment
• Supreme Court rules relocation is constitutional
• Reagan apologized in 1988 and gov’t gave all surviving interned
Major Battles and End of
• Pacific – US and Japan
• Battle of Midway 1942 6th months after Pearl Harbor– major
victory – US destroyed 4 Japanese destroyers
• Battle of Iwo Jima – 1945 – strategic island – Bloodiest battle 21,000 Japanese killed by US Marines
• Island hopping or “leapfrogging” – bypassing heavily fortified
Japanese posts by capturing nearby islands
• Douglas MacArthur – Commander of US forces in Pacific
• Dwight D Eisenhower – Commander of US forces in Europe
• June 6, 1944 – “Operation Overlord”
• 150,000 British, Canadian and US troops landed on the beaches
of Normandy France to end Nazi occupation
• Paris liberated in August 1944
• Turning point in Europe
• Psychological blow to Hitler
• Germans are now surrounded by Allies and Soviets
• FDR won 4th term in 1944
• Yalta Conference
• “Big 3” – Churchill, Stalin, FDR - February 1945 in the
Soviet Union
• Agree to require Germany’s surrender and divide
Germany into 4 zones. German capital of Berlin gets
divided in 2
• Tensions arose and Stalin agrees to have free elections in
Eastern European nations (he’s lying)
• Europe is divided – start of Cold War
• FDR dies on April 12, 1945 – Harry S Truman becomes
• Soviets enter Berlin in April 1945
• Hitler commits suicide on April 30, 1945
• V-E day – May 7 1945 – ends war in Europe
• US gov’t plans invasion of Japan
• Potsdam Conference – July/Aug 1945 Berlin, Germany
• Stalin, Truman, Churchill – demanded Japan surrender and
discussed fate of Germany
Manhattan Project
• FDR secretly funded a project to build an atomic weapon
• Manhattan Project
• Experts detonated 1st atomic bomb in New Mexico – July
• Oppenheimer , Einstein
• Japan refuses to surrender
Harry S Truman
• 1945-1953 #33 – Democrat
• Made decision to drop atomic bombs on Japanese cities to
force surrender
• Founder of the United Nations – Peacekeeping organization
• Desegregated the military
• Worked to contain communism in the post war years
• Truman Doctrine
• Korean War
• Marshall Plan
• Gave billions in aid to war torn Europe
The Atomic Bombs
• US use atomic bombs to avoid invasion of Japan, to save hundreds
of thousands of American lives, and end quickly end the war
• August 6 1945 – Hiroshima, Japan bombed
• The Enola Gay drops “little boy”
• 70,000 men, women and children killed instantly
• Killed and wounded 180,000
• August 8, 1945 – Nagasaki, Japan bombed
• “Fat man”
• Killed and wounded 80,000
• August 10, 1945
• Japan surrenders, but keeps Hirohito on throne
• V-J Day
Impact of WWII
• Many dictators removed from power
• Nazi regime defeated, Mussolini killed, Soviet Union = communist until 1989 –
cold war
• Nuremburg Trials
• Many Nazi’s found guilty for Holocaust
• 1 million American deaths
• First war that killed more civilians than combatants
• Many European countries in ruin
• America and USSR emerge as superpowers

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