Chapter 26
World War II
Section 1: The War Begins
Results of WWII
Why study it?
 Largest armed conflict in the history of the
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world
62-78 million worldwide deaths (military &
civilian)
Mass genocide committed towards individual
groups (The Holocaust, Great Purges, etc.)
Atomic Age begins (and other new
technologies)
De-Colonization & Nationalism
The beginnings of the Cold War (American &
Soviet dominance of the world)
TOTALITARIANISM
(a govt. that has total control over its people)
Communism
 government
owns the
businesses
and land
 Soviet
Union
Shared
Characteristics
• extreme
nationalism
• one strong leader
• one political party
• strong military
• secret police
• censorship
• propaganda
• indoctrination
(teaching young
people accepted
ideas of the govt.)
Fascism
• individual
people own the
businesses and
land
• Germany, Italy
Absolute Dictators – Methods of
Control
 Dictators often used
propaganda tools to
maintain power
(books, radio, the
press, films)
 People were
forbidden from
criticizing their
government
Nazi Propaganda
The Rise of Dictators
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Dictators (absolute rulers) seized power
in Italy, Germany, Japan, Soviet Union
after World War I
Germany was treated severely after WWI
(stripped of territory, forced to disarm,
pay reparations)
Worldwide Depression also hit – many
people looked to new leaders to solve
problems
The MAJOR Dictators: Benito Mussolini in
Italy; Adolf Hitler in Germany; Joseph
Stalin in the Soviet Union
Benito Mussolini (Italy)
 Preached a government
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called Fascism –
movement emphasizing
loyalty to the state and its
leader
Deeply anti-Communist;
strong support for Italian
corporations
Deep desire to make Italy
a great world power
Active Secret Police
would jail political
opponents
Linked to racism and
cultural superiority
Mussolini called himself “IL
DUCE” (The Chief)
Adolf Hitler (Germany)
 Joined politics after WWI
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– wanted to avenge
Germany’s loss
Organized Nazi Party;
tried to seize power in
1923 – but was arrested
While in prison – wrote
Mein Kampf
Spoke about Germany
racial superiority (German
Aryans were superior; all
others – like Jews, Slavs,
Gypsies – were inferior)
Stated German need for
Lebensraum – living
space
Hitler’s Policies
 Banned all political
parties
 Created a blackuniformed, secret
police unit called the
SS (Schutzstaffel)
 Massive building
program put millions
to work – ending the
Depression in
Germany
Joseph Stalin (Soviet Union)
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Communist leader (Russia
became Communist after
WWI)
Controlled every aspect of
people’s lives
Attempted to create the
“ideal” Communist state
• Elimination of all private
industry
• Collectivized all farms into
state-run agriculture
• Transformed Soviet Union
into industrial giant (Five Year
Plans)
**Eliminated all competition
to achieve his goals (millions
killed or sent to forced labor
camps)
**The Great Purge (8-13
million “enemies of the
people” killed)
New Government for Japan
 Japan seemed peaceful and had a
democratic government in the 1920s
 However, few in government could control
the military (who reported directly to the
emperor)
 When hard economic times hit Japan
(caused by the Depression), the military
installed a new government that was
centered around the Emperor – for whom
the military would rule in the name of
Goals for Japan’s Militarists
 Expand empire overseas
 Improve economy through imperialism
 Form a Pacific Empire that included China
 BENEFITS OF THE EMPIRE ARE…
Could access much needed raw materials
Could have an empire that included billions of
people to trade with
New empire would give “living space” for
rising population
Where Japan could find a
solution for what they desired…
Japan Invades Manchuria, 1931
Japan’s invasions
 1931 – Japan invaded
Manchuria (Northeastern
China - rich in natural
resources)
 League of Nations
protested action, but did
nothing to stop Japan
 Japan simply left League of
Nations in 1933
 1937 – Japan invaded
the rest of China
(captured Beijing and
Nanjing – where
thousands of civilians
were killed) – “Rape of
Nanjing”
Italy invades Ethiopia
 Mussolini saw the
League of Nations do
nothing to stop Japan
 Envious of Britain &
France’s holdings in
Africa
 Invasion of Ethiopia in
1935 – the spears and
swords of Ethiopia no
match for tanks, guns,
and planes of Italy
 League of Nations – take
no action to stop Italy
Germany Begins Conquests
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1936 – Hitler moves
troops into the
Rhineland (German
region near the French
border)
WWI treaty said no
German troops here
French Gov’t and
League of Nations –
TAKE NO ACTION
German-Italian Alliance
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Germany and Italy
formed the Axis
Powers
Now – two dictators
with stated goals of
expansion are good
friends
Axis Powers help
Spain’s Fascist
military overthrow its
elected government
(Spanish Civil War)
Mussolini and Hitler
Hitler begins his own Conquests
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1938 – Hitler and the
Germans invade
Austria (most
Austrians spoke
German and
welcomed becoming a
part of Germany)
But…Hitler and the
Germans were
expanding – and the
WWI treaty told them
not to…
The Sudetenland
 After taking Austria –
Hitler wanted more
 His next desire is the
Sudetenland in
Czechoslovakia
 Small area of
Western Czech where
many Germanspeakers lived
 The Czechs didn’t
want to give this area
to Germany – nor did
France and Russia
Germany’s Expansion
“Appeasement” at Munich
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The British step in
to offer a peace
and avoid war
British Prime
Minister Neville
Chamberlain meets
with Hitler in
Munich, Germany
• They agree to give
Hitler the
Sudetenland
• Hitler has to
promise he is done
seeking territory
Reactions to Munich

Neville
Chamberlain, the
British Prime
Minister who came
up with the
agreement, said
that he had
achieved “peace in
our time”
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Winston Churchill,
the future Prime
Minister, said:
“Britain and France
had to choose
between war and
shame. They chose
shame. They will
get war, too.”
Hitler breaks his promise: Germany
Starts the War
 After being given
The Non-Aggression Pact was publicly
a peace treaty, but in reality just a ploy
by Hitler and Stalin to divide up Eastern
Europe
Sudetenland – Hitler
takes the rest of
Czechoslovakia
 Hitler then signs a NonAggression Pact with
Stalin and the Soviet
Union (they agree to not
make war on each other)
– now France and Britain
have lost an ally in Stalin
 Immediately after –
Germany invades Poland
in Sept. 1939 (France &
Britain declare war on
Germany) WWII officially
begins
The “Conquered” World - 1942
Hitler’s Lightning War
• Hitler introduced the
“Blitzkrieg” – or
‘Lightning War’ – as
his principle strategy
• Took the enemy by
surprise using fast
moving tanks and
airplanes – followed
by infantry soldiers
Hitler Attacks Western Europe
• April 1940 – Hitler invaded Denmark and
Norway (he wanted coastline areas to launch
future attacks on Britain)
• May 1940 – Hitler attacks Holland, Belgium,
Luxembourg, and eventually France
• France fell in June 1940
• French Gen. Charles de Gaulle fled to London
and set up a government-in-exile
Hitler Attacks Britain
• P.M. Winston Churchill
declared that England
would “never surrender”
• Germany’s effort began
with bombing campaigns
– first airfields & factories,
then civilian sections of
cities
• Britain had radar and a
code-making machine
called the Enigma
• The Battle of Britain
continued to June 1941 –
until Hitler decided to put
resources elsewhere
Hitler invades the Soviet Union
• June 22, 1941 – Germany invades the
Soviet Union
• Desire “lebensraum” (living space)
• 5 million-man Russian Army not equipped
nor prepared for Hitler
• Germans moved 500 miles into Russia –
who simply retreated and burned
The Lend-Lease Act
• Before U.S. is in war,
FDR wanted to help
the Allies in Europe
(especially England)
• Wanted the U.S. to be
“the great arsenal of
democracy”
• U.S. lends weapons &
equipment worth $50
billion
Great Britain
United States
Netherlands
France
Problems in the Pacific
• Japan dreamed of a vast AsiaPacific Empire
• 1941 – European powers
“distracted”
• Japan was in need of raw
materials
– took Manchuria in ’31
– French Indochina in Aug ‘41
– The U.S. cut off oil shipments
to Japan to punish their
aggression
• Only obstacle for Japan
dominating region: U.S. Navy in
Pacific.
• War seemed imminent. But
Where? When?
The Attack on Pearl Harbor
• December 7, 1941
• Massive air assault /
Pacific Fleet badly
damaged
• 2,400 Americans
killed / 18 ships
• FDR: “A date which
will live in infamy”
• America officially
enters war
U.S.S. Arizona
America’s Response
• President Roosevelt
asks Congress to
Declare War on
Japan
• Famous speech: FDR
declares that
“December 7, 1941 is
a day which will live in
infamy”
• Watch clip