The Bitter Legacy of World War I

Presented by: Anish Agarwal
• By the mid 1930’s, dictators or absolute rulers seized control in
countries including Germany, Italy, Japan, and the Soviet Union
• Italy and Japan helped defeat the Central Powers in WWI
• Both dissatisfied with treaties
• Germany was treated most severely, but most European
countries were hit hard by the Depression and were in debt
• As a result, these countries turned to new leaders
- Italian dictator who came to power in 1922
Created political movement called
Extreme form of nationalism linked to racism
In 1925 he became a dictator and he called himself “Il Duce”
Led Nazi Party (National Socialist German
Workers’ Party) who preached German racial superiority to
attract supporters
Appointed Chancellor in 1932 and overthrew Constitution
Called himself “der Fuhrer”
Took power in 1924 of the Soviet Union after
Vladimir I. Lenin died as Communism was gaining control of
Russia in 1917
• Tried to control every aspect of life, and he crushed any form of
Became Prime Minister of Japan in 1941, who was
a former army officer as the military increased its power
• Assumed dictatorial powers as the war progressed
• In the 30’s, these countries seized control of other democratic
countries and were too strong to be harmed
• 1936- Hitler and Mussolini formed an alliance called the RomeBerlin
• Japan had joined the Axis in 1940
• Hitler gained seized Austria and welcomed unification of both
• Sudetenland was a region in Czechoslovakia of German decent
of which Germany threatened
• France and the Soviet Union pledged to support
Czechoslovakia if Germany attacked
• Europe was on the brink of another war
Was the British Prime Minister who met
with Hitler in Munich
• They reached an agreement for Hitler to capture Sudetenland,
but stop seeking to invade more territory
• Called Munich Agreement, which was British & French policy of
to meet Germany’s demands to avoid war
• Winston Churchill disagreed for Hitler would not stop
• In March 1939, Hitler broke his promise by capturing all of
Czechoslovakia and seeking to capture Poland
• In August, the Russia and Germany agreed to not attack each
• Britain and France declared war on September 3rd, 1939 after
Germany invaded Poland
“lightning war” stressing speed and surprise in tank,
troops, and plane use
• Poland fell in less than a month
• Conquered Denmark and Norway and launched Blitzkrieg
against Netherlands and Belgium
Little could be done to stop the Germans
Allies retreated to French port, Dunkirk, on English Channel
Allied vessels evacuated 340,000 troops
June 1940- France was invaded…surrendered in less than 2
RAF- Britian AF/ Luftwaffe- German AF
British didn’t quit and held off Germans in air- combat
Hitler didn’t trust Stalin and also needed wheat & oil
Invaded Soviet until December when hard winter stopped the
German advance
• 1941, Congress approved Lend- Lease Act
Allowed U.S to lend or lease resources to
Allies that Roosevelt supported
• Sent about $50 Billion worth of goods
• Tojo government planned to conquer Dutch East Indies, source of
oil, and other Asian territories
• On Dec. 7th, 1941, Japanese warplanes invaded American
naval base at
in Hawaii
• Complete surprise and 2,400 died leaving U.S. fleet
devastated after warplanes and ships were destroyed
• Roosevelt asked Congress to declare war on Japan
• Called Pearl Harbor date “a date that will live in infamy”
• Nation supported him, but on Dec. 11, Germany and Italy also
declared war on U.S.