WW2 Fighting - VMA Social Studies

I. The War Begins- Sept. 1,
A. Germany invades Poland merely
days after the N-A Pact is signed
1. Implements Blitzkrieg attacks
a. Air attack damages defenses
& panicks civilians
b. Fast-moving tanks & artillery
c. Foot-soldiers take out
remaining resistance
2. Flat Poland collapses in just
B. Hitler invades France-1940
1. Germany invades through Ardennes,
a thick forest France had poorly
2. Push Allied troops NW to Dunkirk
along the coast
3. 300,000 Allied troops rescued and
brought to England
4. Germany takes Paris June 22, 1940
5. Much of France is under French
officials’ control who had been
cooperating with Hitler- Vichy France
C. The Battle for Britain: Aug-Oct
1.New Prime Minister
4. Fall of 1940Winston Churchill
gave the public spirit
and confidence
2. Hitler sends
thousands of aircraft
over English Channel
to attack
3. British radar
tracks German
German planes bomb
British ports and cities
a. Goal was to break
British spirits and will
to fight
b. Cities destroyed,
thousands of civilians
c. Bombing lasts 57
days until Hitler calls
of plans
German bombing of London- Sept.
D. North Africa
1. Italians fighting British back
and forth between Libya &
Egypt in the fall of 1940
2. As the British take the
offensive, Hitler sends German
troops to help
3. These troops are known as the
“Afrika Korps”
4. The Afrika Korps were led by
German Erwin Rommel, aka
“The Desert Fox”
E. The United States
1. Land-Lease Act- Signed in March
2. A way for the United States to help
out without being physically involved
3. Sent money and supplies to the Allies
Captain America comic before
U.S. entered war
F. Germany invades Soviet
Union—Operation Barbarossa
1. Germany breaks pact and sends 3
million soldiers to Soviet Union in
June 1941
2. Begins with Blitzkrieg
3. Soviet troops ill-prepared and face
4. Autumn 1941- German troops deep
into Soviet Union and racing to
reach Leningrad & Moscow
5. Don’t mess with the Russian winter!
a. Like Napoleons troops in 1812, German advance
slowed by Soviet winter
b. Soviets recover from mass losses and rebuild & start
to fight back
Operation Barbarossa:
Germany’s plan to invade the
Soviet Union
II. 1942
the Axis Powers still on the offensive
A. Pearl Harbor had been
attacked Dec. 7, 1941
Why did Japan bomb the U.S.?
B. Siege of Leningrad began in
winter of 1941 and is still
1. Hitler’s goal was to starve
the Soviets into defeat
2. 3,000-4,000 people dying
each day
The Axis Powers- 1942
C. Nazi Germany surrounds
Stalingrad in the spring
D. Japan defeats US-occupied
Philippines & begins Bataan
Death March in April
E. Turning point in the Pacific,
June, USA defeats Japan at the
Battle of Midway
Tortured POWS
during Bataan Death
III. 1943
the Allies make some gains
A. Soviets defeat Germans at Stalingrad
Stalin refuses to let the city fall to Hitler
B. USA beats Japanese at Guadalcanal after 6 months of fighting
in February
Allies witness Japanese fighting to death for the first
C. Rommel & his Afrika Korps are defeated in Africa in May
Flooding in the
already swampy,
jungle-like conditions
of Guadalcanal
The road to Stalingrad
D. Allies take Sicily in July, Hitler
once again sends troops to defend
1. What is the significance of
blocking the Allies at Italy?
2. “The Soft Under-Belly of
E. Tehran Conference held in
November between Roosevelt,
Stalin & Churchill
Stalin wants a America & G.B. to
create a Western European front
IV. 1944
A. In January, Soviets finally
win Leningrad after 900
B. Allies land on beaches of
Normandy on June 6,
1944- D-Day
C. Kamikaze fighters appear
at the Battle of Leyte Gulf
in October- USA wins.
D. Battle of the Bulge begins
in December
A German view of the Allied invasion
The Battle of the Bulge
V. 1945
A. Battle of the Bulge ends in
January with an Allied win
B. Auschwitz is discovered and
C. Yalta Conference is held in
February between The Big
Three to plan peace
D. February-March- Allies advance
closer to Japan through wins at
Iwo Jima & Okinawa
E. April
1. Roosevelt dies & Truman
becomes President
2. Mussolini executed
3. Hitler commits suicide (4/30)
F. May, Germany surrenders (5/7)
G. July
1. Allies give Japan ultimatum to
2. Potsdam Conference- Stalin
wants land
 Is this the beginning of the Cold War?
H. August
1. Atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima
2. Atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki (8/9)
3. V-J Day, Japan surrenders
After six long years, World War II is
finally over!
Japanese Surrender video
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