World War II and its Aftermath 1931-1955

World War II and it’s Aftermath
World History Chapter 14
• The art of war is of vital importance to the
State. It is a matter of life and death, a road
either to safety or to ruin. Hence it is a subject
of inquiry which can on no account be
- Sun Tzu, the Art of War
From Appeasement to War
After WWI, western democracies desperately wanted to avoid another war,
ignoring the signs of aggression.
Aggression Goes Unchecked
Japan Overruns Manchuria and Eastern China
Hitler’s actions of building up the German military, militarizing the Rhineland and defying
the Treaty of Versailles made him very popular among Germans. Even though Germany
defied the western democracies again and again, the west continued a policy of
appeasement in order to avoid war.
Keeping the Peace
In 1935, Italy invades Ethiopia (one of the few African nations still not under European
control). Ethiopia appealed to the League of Nations, and the League voted to have
sanctions against Italy, but this did nothing to stop Italy.
Hitler Goes Against the Treaty of Versailles
Japan’s military, after its’ success in the Russo-Japanese war, the annexation of Korea, and
the territorial concessions in China. When Japanese officers sabotaged the railroad and
blamed it on Chinese nationalists, it gave Japan the excuse to invade Manchuria in 1931.
These victories gave enough popularity that it took over the government, and continued
its conquest of Eastern China.
Italy Invades Ethiopia
As the fascist powers continued to press, western democracies verbally protested, which
Japan, Germany, and Italy took for weakness, and continued their aggression.
Pacifism, desire to contain communism, and a recognition that the terms of the Treaty had
been a bit too harsh led many on the west to continue a policy of appeasement in hopes
that Germany would be satisfied and avoid war.
Rome-Berlin-Tokyo Axis
As it became apparent that the western powers would do little to stop them, Germany,
Italy, and Japan entered into an agreement to support each other.
Spain Collapses into Civil War
• In 1931, a popular uprising forced the king from power, and
a more liberal government was created. Reforms
redistributed land from the church and aristocrats to the
people. Many liberals and socialists wanted to go further in
reforms, while a growing number of conservatives and
military officers wanted to reject these changes.
• In 1936, Francisco Franco, a fascist general led a revolt that
was supported by the Germans and Italians, and while other
countries remained officially neutral, Americans, Brits,
French, Soviets, and others joined the loyalists to fight the
• Germany gave direct military aid, including new German
weapons, and whole German military units tested these
weapons in the Spanish Civil War.
• Franco won the war in 1939, but did not participate in
WWII, and Spain remained neutral through the war, though
friendly with Germany.
German Aggression Continues
Austria Annexed
Austria and Germany had a very long tradition of being culturally similar, and
the Nazi party had many followers in Austria. Hitler pressured the Austrian
chancellor to appoint Nazi cabinet members. When the Austrian chancellor
refused further demands, Hitler ordered the German army to Austria to
“preserve order” completing Anschluss (annexation) of Austria.
The Czech Crisis
Aryan racial superiority (Eugenics)
Reuniting German peoples into a greater Germany
Hitler’s goals did not stop there, and there were some regions of northern
Czechoslovakia that had German speaking communities, the Sudetenland, and
Hitler demanded their return to Germany based on their “mistreatment” by the
Czech government.
The British and French held talks with Hitler, and Hitler declared that if the
Sudetenland was surrendered, he would have no further territorial ambitions.
The British believed him, and even thought he Czechs were not consulted,
Germany was given permission to occupy the Sudetenland.
“Peace for Our Time”
Chancellor Neville Chamberlain of Great Britain declared that there would be
“Peace for our time” with the appeasement of Hitler. This would prove to be a
disaster, as many opposition leaders predicted (Churchill).
• All warfare is based on deception. Hence,
when able to attack, we must seem unable;
when using our forces, we must seem
inactive; when we are near, we must make the
enemy believe we are far away; when far
away, we must make him believe we are near.
Hold out baits to entice the enemy. Feign
disorder, and crush him.
- Sun Tzu, the Art of War
Europe Plunges Towards War
– As Churchill predicted, by 1939, Germany
occupied the rest of Czechoslovakia.
Appeasement had failed, and Britain and France
promised to protect Poland.
• Nazi-Soviet Pact
– Though Hitler had always admired the British,
and had wanted to build an alliance with them,
their stance with Poland forced Hitler to turn to
his hated rival, Stalin. This relationship resulted
in a pact to divide Poland and not to attack each
– Though both Hitler and Stalin knew war was
inevitable, they were both stalling for time,
hoping to fool the other.
• Invasion of Poland
– A week after the pact was signed, Germany
invaded Poland on September 1 1939, causing
France to declare war on Germany. Poland
lasted only a month against the German
blitzkrieg (lightning war). Poland was divided,
Russia occupied the Balkan states, and WWII was
officially begun.
The Axis Advances
The Axis Attacks
September 1, 1939, Germany invades Poland - Blitzkrieg
The “Phony War”
Reprisal of the Von Schlieffen Plan
Just like in WWI, the Germans avoid French fortifications, attack through Belgium
and Holland
Miracle of Dunkirk
Allies prepare for war during winter – Germany attacks Denmark, Norway.
The German blitzkrieg catches the British and French by surprise, allied forces are
split, Germans surround British forces are Dunkirk. Massive sealift allows escape of
British troops.
France Falls
In a month, France falls, and is forced to sign a surrender in the same train car in
which the Germans signed the Treaty of Versailles. France is split in two, with the
north directly in German occupation and the south self governed as Vichy France.
Operation Sea Lion
Germany Launches the Blitz
German air attacks focus on population bombing to attack British morale. Constant
attacks on London and British population centers for 57 days.
Hitler Fails to Take Britain
German plan to invade Britain, attempts to destroy the RAF fails
With the failure to destroy the RAF, or break the will of the British, Hitler cancels
Sea Lion, U-Boat operations continue.
Africa and the Balkans
Italy attempts to invade Egypt from Libya, fails, German general Rommel “the
Desert Fox”.
Italians then attempt invasion of Greece, fail, Germans again take over. Crete
Axis powers of Germany and Italy control almost all of Europe and North Africa.
• To fight and conquer in all your battles is not
supreme excellence; supreme excellence
consists in breaking the enemy's resistance
without fighting.
-Sun Tzu, the Art of War
Germany Invades the Soviet Union
An Unstoppable German Army Stalls
June 1941, Hitler declares war on Soviet Union, Operation
3 million German Soldiers invade, Soviet Union caught
completely by surprise. Most of Soviet air force caught on the
In the initial advances, Germans captured an area equal to
another Europe, 2 ½ million Soviet soldiers killed or captured in
the first few weeks.
As the German army approached Moscow, winter set in, Soviet
resistance stiffened, and troops from the far east began to arrive,
sub-zero temperatures and lack of winter gear stopped the
German advance in the suburbs of Moscow, barely 20 miles from
the city center.
To the north, the city of Leningrad stopped the German advance
in the Baltic at the edge of the city, where Germany started a
siege of the city that would last 2 and a half years.
Germany’s Siege of Leningrad
Leningrad was renamed from the capital of St Petersburg after
the fall of the Russian Empire. On one side is the Baltic sea, on
the other is a large lake. The Germans cut off all land access to
the city, waiting for the people to starve and surrender.
The people of Leningrad ate whatever they could, including
wallpaper, shoes, and anything else they could. Some food was
transported across the frozen lake during the night when
Life Under Nazi and Japanese
Hitler’s “New Order”
– Master race in control
– Puppet governments
– Concentration camps for dissidents and undesirables
(Slavs, Jews, Gypsies, Homosexuals, disabled).
– Slave labor
– Plundering other countries. Land, art, gold, etc..
– Collaboration by Vichy, others who ideologically aligned
The Nazi’s Commit Genocide
The Final Solution
Hair, skin, fillings used
Worked until death (healthy)
Gas chambers, furnaces
6 million Jews, 6 million others (5000/day at Treblinka)
Japan’s Brutal Conquest
Slave labor
Weapon testing
“Comfort women”
Japan Attacks the United States
American Involvement Grows
Japan and the United States Face Off
At the start of the war, the United States was officially neutral, (Neutrality Act), but FDR wanted to help
Britain who was facing Germany alone.
To this end, the Lend/Lease act was started to make the US the “Arsenal of Democracy”. This system of
loaning or giving weapons was later expanded to Russia.
Japan’s conquests continued south to the tip of Malaysia, capturing the British controlled city Singapore. In
response to these attacks, the US started an embargo of Iron, Steel, Oil and Rubber to Japan. Japan could
not get these resources itself and they were vital to Japan’s war effort. Japan and the US held talks to
resolve the situation, but these were a cover to allow time to attack Pearl Harbor.
Attack on Pearl Harbor
December 7, 1941, 6 Japanese Carriers attacked Pearl Harbor with over 300 aircraft
4 battleships sunk, 4 damaged
3 cruisers and 3 destroyers, 2 other ships sunk
188 aircraft destroyed on the ground
A Day Which Shall Live in Infamy – America declares war
Japanese Victories
Hong Kong
Dutch East Indies
French Indochina
• If you know the enemy and know yourself, you
need not fear the result of a hundred battles.
If you know yourself but not the enemy, for
every victory gained you will also suffer a
defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor
yourself, you will succumb in every battle.
- Sun Tzu
The Allies Turn the Tide
• All-Out War
– Governments Increase Power
Directing economic resources
Prices and wages regulated
Japanese in internment camps
– Executive order 9066
– Women Help Win the War
• Rosie the Riveter
• Soviet women fought in all phases of the war
The Allies Forge Ahead
Japanese Navy Battered
– Coral Sea
– Midway
The Big Three Plot Their Strategy
– Roosevelt, Stalin and Churchill get together to discuss the course
of the war in Tehran
Allied Victory in North Africa
– El Alamein – Montgomery stopped Rommel
– Patton and US enter war against Germany
Allies Advance Through Italy
– Sicily and the Mafia
– Italy surrenders, Germany take over Italian defense
Germans Defeated at Stalingrad
– 1942, German offensive in the Southern Russia, trying to control
oil fields. Stalingrad lasted 8 months, 841,000 Axis losses, 1.2
million Red army losses. After Stalingrad, the Soviets took the
The Allies Push Toward Germany
• The D-Day Assault
– Largest amphibious landing in the history of
mankind. Over 176,000 troops delivered to the
beaches by over 5000 ships.
– Paratroopers/gliders
– Bocage
– Breakthrough
• The Allies Continue to Advance
– Allied bombing
– Liberation of Paris (resistance)
– Battle of the Bulge
• Uneasy Agreement at Yalta
– At Yalta, Roosevelt was dying, and Stalin took
advantage of this to push for more concessions
for the Soviet Union, and Churchill was unable
to stop him.
Victory in Europe!
• Nazis Defeated
– By March 1945, the Americans and British
were crossing the Rhine (major German
river), and from the east, the Russians
closed in on Berlin.
– In late April, American and Russian forces
shook hands at the Elbe River, Axis armies
were surrendering all over Europe.
– In Italy, Mussolini was captured and killed
by locals, on May 7th, Hitler committed
suicide with his bride in their underground
shelter under the Chancellery in Berlin.
– May 8th, V-E Day (Victory in Europe)
Struggle for the Pacific
– Until the battle of the Coral Sea in 1942, the Japanese had won an uninterrupted series of
victories across Asia and the Southern Pacific. The Philippines, which had been under
American control held out for a month, but when captured by the Japanese, forced to march
69 miles with no food or water, the Bataan Death march.
Island Hopping Campaign
New Guinea and the Solomon Islands
Iwo Jima
Defeat for Japan
Invasion or the Bomb?
– With the War in Europe over, the Allies focused on Japan.
– The Japanese, growing increasingly desperate, used
kamikaze attacks to slow the allied advance.
– The most secret project of the war, the Manhattan Project,
was a project to develop an atomic bomb. By the time it was
ready, Roosevelt had died of Polio, and his vice president,
Harry Truman took the oath of office. Truman was advised
of the existence of the bomb, and he decided to use it to
force a Japanese surrender.
Utter Destruction
– On August 6, Hiroshima was bombed, flattened 4 sq miles,
killing 70,000 instantly. Many more would die of radiation.
On August 8, a second bomb was dropped on Nagasaki,
more than 40,000 killed.
– On August 10, Hirohito forced the government to surrender.
V-J Day.
The End of WWII
The War’s Aftermath
Much of the world was devastated by the war.
The war had cost about 50 million lives, and
many more from hunger, disease, displacement,
– The Horrors of the Holocaust
“Indisputable evidence of Nazi brutality and
ruthless disregard of every sense of human
– War Crimes Trials
First time ever – crimes against humanity
Nuremburg – 177 Germans and Austrians tried,
142 found guilty
Other trials held in Japan and Italy
“Just following orders” not sufficient defense for
committing crimes
– Occupying Allies
It was felt that strengthening democracy would
promote peace and protect rights. To achieve
this, the U.S. and allies created new governments
and constitutions for Japan and Germany.
Establishing the United Nations
In 1945, 50 nations gathered in San Francisco to draft a new charter for a
United Nations to succeed the League of Nations.
The winning allies would have five permanent seats on the UN security
council, each with the power of veto (U.S., England, France, Soviet
Union, China). The other seats on the security council would rotate
among member nations.
In the General Assembly, all nations would have equal voting power.
The United Nations would take on issues such as peacekeeping,
organizing prevention of disease, protecting refugees, helping nations
develop economically, providing aid.
Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Eleanor Roosevelt) 1948
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was the first international
document to address in detail the notion that there exists a set of universal
rights and fundamental freedoms that governments are obligated to secure
for their citizens.
The declaration describes justice, equality and dignity as basic human rights
of every man, woman and child. According to the declaration, “all human
beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights” and protecting the
“inherent dignity of all members of the human family is the foundation of
freedom, justice and peace in the world.” The declaration became the
foundation of international human-rights law.
The Alliance Breaks Apart
Differences Grow Between Allies
Even before the dust settled in
Europe, the alliance between the US,
Britain, and the Soviet Union was
falling apart as capitalism and
communism each viewed the other
as the next opponent.
The US and Soviet Union were the
major powers, and even before the
war ended, generals on both sides
urged using the massive militaries
they had both built up to attack the
The Cold War Begins
The Soviet occupation of Eastern
Europe began badly, as Stalin
reneged on his promises to hold
open elections in occupied
territories, and the Red Army
crushed any government that
opposed the Soviet Union.
Both sides prepared for the
possibility of surprise attack from the
other, causing tensions to rise, and
rhetoric to become heated.
New Conflicts Develop
The Truman Doctrine
The Marshall Plan
To strengthen democracies and prevent the rise of new fascist states,
the Marshall Plan offered massive amounts of food, grants of money,
loans, materials, to countries harmed by the war, to help them rebuild
their economies, provide jobs, and prevent uprisings. The plan worked
magnificently, and former enemies became allies.
The Soviet Union refused aid, and refused aid for occupied countries.
Germany Stays Divided
Helping countries oppose communism with economic and military aid
To prevent Germany from becoming a threat again, the country was
divided into four parts (US, British, French, Soviet zones) and Berlin was
also divided the same way.
Western Germany under western control become democratic, and
Eastern Germany became Communist.
The Berlin Airlift
Stalin’s resentment at the Marshal plan and the rebuilding of Western
Germany erupted in the blockade of Berlin, which was surrounded by
Eastern Germany. Stalin believed that the West would fold rather than
attack to open a path to the city.
Instead, the West set up a round the clock airlift of supplies into West
Berlin to feed the city that lasted more than a year. At the height of the
Airlift, one plane reached West Berlin every thirty seconds. Stalin
backed down, but tensions rose.
Opposing Alliances
The Propaganda War
Nato vs Warsaw Pact
Defending capitalism, freedom vs communism and totalitarianism
Defending the workers vs capitalist imperialist warmongers
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