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Chapter 25: The Crisis Deepens: World War II

Lecture to accompany the text "The Essential World History" by William J. Duiker and Jackson J. Spielvogel
by

Jason Holloway

on 23 April 2015

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Transcript of Chapter 25: The Crisis Deepens: World War II

Chapter 25: The Crisis Deepens: World War II
1. Retreat From Democracy: Dictatorial Regimes
2. The Path to War
3. World War II
4. The New Order
5. The Home Front
6. Aftermath of War
World War II was the most destructive conflict in history.
"War is horrible but slavery is worse." ~ Winston Churchill
21 million soldiers die.
40 million civilians are killed.
Soviets alone consist of nearly half the casualities.
At the end of the war 100 million people depend on food aid.
In Europe there are 30 million displaced persons.
Europe is completely devastated from war.
The war cost 4 trillion dollars for the U.S. alone.
With the rest of the world devastated only the U.S. is left untouched producing 50% of the World GDP.
Allies have a number of war conferences to decide post-war world.
Tehran 1943 decides to partition Germany and essentially the world.
Yalta 1945 determines that self-determination should be the guiding principle of the post war world, Soviets have other ideas. Also Soviets will enter the war against Japan.
The U.N. is also to be created in San Francisco in April 1945.
Germany will be divided into four occupation zones.
July 1945 Potsdam Conference discusses free elections that the Soviets refuse to implement. Only war would change their opinion and few wish that.
Decision for the expulsion of eastern European ethnic German communities.
In the aftermath of the war ideology between east and west resurfaces. Churchill's Iron Curtain speech in March 1946 sets the stage for the divided world of the Cold War period.
Dictatorships are one of the main causes of World War II.
By 1939, Britain and France are the only two major European democracies.
What powers represent the Fascist ideology?
What power represent the Communist ideology?
The models of Fascism/Communism/Dictatorship are replicated worldwide.
Japan is militaristic, authoritarian.
Totalitarian state is new though.
Total commitment of those it controlled, all aspects of society, single leader and party, no individual freedoms - all is subordinate to the collective, modern technology allows efficient state supervision of its citizens.
Fascism starts in Italy 1919-1922 under Benito Mussolini.
What classes of society support Mussolini?
Threat to march on Rome leads to power.
By 1926 he has full control of the state and takes the title Il Duce, the Leader.
Family and traditional values are important to the regime.
How effective is Mussolini in establishing a totalitarian state?
In Germany the Nazis party is founded in 1919.
In two years Hitler is in control and the party has 55,000 members with a personal militia (SA) of 15,000.
In 1923 they attempt to overthrow the government of Bavaria in the Beer Hall Putsch
What are the consequences of the Beer Hall Putsch?
The decision is made to attempt to acheive power via constitutional means.
By 1932 they are the largest party in Germany and in the Reichstag.
What problems that Germany has helps the Nazis into power?
Hitler is ultimately a stunning speaker who captivates his audience.
Who supported the rise of the Nazis and why did they?
1933 Hitler becomes Chancellor, in just two months after the Reichstag fire the Enabling Act is passed giving him dictatorial power.
Quickly Jews are beginning to be purged from society, concentration camps for opponents of the regime are established, other political parties are abolished, etc.
Hitler becomes der Fuehrer, the leader, in 1934.
The Nazis desire to control the totality of the individual.
Mass rallys are held at Nuremberg every year.
Despite views of order and efficiency, how did the Nazi state really operate?
How did the Nazis reestablish Germany's economic fortunes?
Unemployment 6 million in 1932, 2.6 million in 1934, and 0.5 million in 1937.
How do you think the average German felt about the Nazi handling of the economy?
Creation of the SS under Heinrich Himmler as secret police and to further the Aryan race.
How did the Nazis envision gender roles in their state?
1935 Nuremberg Laws exclude Jews legally from society.
1938 Kristallnacht rampage against Jewish businesses.
In the Soviet Union, Stalin is firmly in control by the late 1920s.
What is the primary economic goal of the Soviet state and what costs does it carry?
Collectivization policies occur in agriculture.
26 million family farms are merged into 250,000 collectives.
10 million people die as a result.
What happens to those opposed to the Soviet regime?
1936-1938 the country is ruthlessly purged of all potential challenges to Stalin's rule. The era of the show trial.
Mostly the old Bolsheviks are purged but extensive purges occur in the army as well.
How do the army purges get Stalin into trouble later on?
Previously permissive social policies are revoked, and emphasis is placed on older family unit and family values.
In Japan, the depression brings down the fragile democracy and militaristic elements seize control in the late 1920s and 1930s.
Lebensraum needed by Germany, and Russia was the target.
1935, Hitler ignores the military provisions of Treaty of Versailles and begins rearmament.
What are the reactions of the former allied powers to these movements?
1935 Italy invades Ethiopia, Germany supports them gaining a new ally.
1936 Axis formed between them two and later Japan joins in the Anti-Comintern Pact.
March 1938, Anschluss with Austria is achieved after severe German pressure on the government.
September 1938, Sudetenland is demanded by Germany from Czechoslovakia.
The Munich Conference occurs and what is the response of the Allied powers to Germany's claims?
March 1939, Hitler occupies the rest of the Czech areas and Slovakia becomes independent as a German puppet state.
Finally recognizing Hitler's true intentions, what do the Western powers do?
In August 1939, Hitler demands Danzig and a transit path across the Polish Corridor to East Prussia.
To prevent a two front war the Nazis negotiate the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact dividing Eastern Europe on August 23, 1939 with the Soviet Union.
Why was this such a shocking development?
Hitler invades Poland on September 1st 1939, and the western Allies declare war two days later.
World War II in Europe had begun.
In Asia, Japan is increasingly penetrates the Manchuria area economically.
By 1928 as the new Nationalist government is extending its power into the north, the Japanese begin to fear the loss of these resources.
In 1931, the Japanese stage a coup and takeover Manchuria as a puppet state.
Slowly the Japanese also begin expanding south towards the Great Wall.
Why are both sides so careful in not provoking an open conflict?
Japan planned to join Germany in a war agains the Soviets but their defeats in battles against them and the Nazi-Soviet pact change this.
Where does Japan look towards for further conquests as a result and what problems come with these plans?
When France is beaten in 1940 by Germany, the Japanese essentially occupy French Indochina.
What does the United States do as a result and what in turn is the Japanese reaction?
In 1936 the Nationalists and the Communists agree to put aside their differences and form a unitied front against the Japanese.
In 1937 conflicts at the Marco Polo bridge led to outright war.
Japan begins to unofficially invade in both northern and central China.
Chiang Kai-shek is forced to move his capital deep into the Chinese interior.
Ultimately the Japanese are forced to set up a puppet government in China to govern their conquest and begin to contemplate creating a Monroe doctrine for Asia.
What was Blitzkrieg warfare?
Poland is conquered in just 4 weeks and divided between the Germans and the Soviets in late September 1939.
In April 1940, Germany rapidly occupies Denmark and Norway.
On May 10 1940, the Germans unleash a blitzkrieg attack against France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.
How is the German battle plan different than the Schlieffen Plan in World War I?
Evacuation of the British army at Dunkirk, over 330,000 allied troops all together.
June 22 France is badly defeated and surrenders.
3/5 of France is occupied, 2/5 is nominally independent under a authoritarian government known as Vichy France and ruled by Marshall Henri Petain.
Subsequent attempts to invade Britain in August 1940, what difficulties did the Germans have in launching an invasion?
Battle of Britain in August and September of 1940.
Two stages first is fighter led then bombers take over.
British are essentially defeated the German aerial assault by the end of September.
Unable to defeat Britain what do the Nazis do instead?
The Germans have many allies in the Balkans but their southern flank is still exposed due to Italian attacks on Greece.
In April 1941 Germany crushes both Yugoslavia and Greece in the space of a few weeks.
On June 22, 1941 Operation Barbarossa, the invasion of the Soviet Union is launched. It is the largest ground invasion in history.
Over the first several months the Germans advance in three armies over a 1800 mile front.
How successful is the German invasion initially?
By December 1941 Germans are just outside Leningrad and Moscow though a timely counterattack prevents the capitals fall.
On December 7, 1941 Japan launches a massive surprise attack on Pearl Harbor but also on the Philippines, British Malaya, and the Dutch East Indies.
How successful are the initial Japanese attacks?
Hitler declares war on the United States in solidarity with the Japanese.
Japan declares the formation of the East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere with the intent to conquer all western colonies in the area. Asia is for asians.
Ultimately Japan really wants resources so the ruthlessly dominate the places they conquer.
What did Japan hope to achieve from their surprise attacks?
The entrance of the U.S. marked the beginnings of the Grand Alliance between the U.S., the U.K. and the U.S.S.R.
Allies agree in 1943 that all will fight for unconditional surrender to present a united front.
German advances continue in 1942, Germans drive deep into the Caucasus region in Russia and towards Alexandria and the Suez Canal in Egypt.
In Nov. 1942 the Allies invade French North Africa, defeat Rommel at the battle of El Alamein and by May 1943 the German-Italian troops in Africa are forced to surrender.
In Russia, the Germans can not take Stalingrad, hundreds of thousands die on both sides.
The Soviets eventually launch an operation that surrounds the German 6th Army in Stalingrad and forces the loss of 300,000 troops.
These two events marked the turning point of the war in Europe.
In the Pacific the battle of Coral Sea in May 1942 and the battle of Midway in June 1942 both stop the Japanese advance and establish American naval supremacy in the Pacific.
The Battle of Midway is generally seen as the turning point of the Pacific War.
Afterwards an island hopping campaign against Japan is started.
In 1943 after their victory in Africa, the Allies invade Sicily and Southern Italy.
Mussolini is overthrown and the Italians surrender to the Allies.
Unfortunately the Germans rescued Mussolini, take over most of northern and central Italy, and establish a new German puppet state led by Mussolini.
What difficulties do the Allies have in Italy and why is it perceived as only a second front of the war?
Rome finally falls on June 4, 1944 to the Allies.
On June 6, 1944 the Allies launch the D-Day invasion, in three months they land more than 2.5 million men in France.
Allies break out of Normandy quickly and liberate Paris and the rest of France by the end of August.
The Battle of the Bulge in Dec. 1945 is the last offensive of the German army and fails.
By March 1945 the Allies cross the Rhine and invade Germany.
In April 1945, the Allies advance to the Elbe where they meet the Soviet army cutting Germany into two.
In the East the Soviets defeat the last German summer offensive in July 1943 at the Battle of Kursk.
The Soviets constantly advance west thereafter taking the Ukraine by Dec. 1943, arriving at the pre-war borders in Aug. 1944 and reaching Poland in Jan. 1945.
Subsequent and subsidiary movements advance throughout the Balkans arriving in Hungary by March 1945.
Finally the Soviets reach and take Berlin in heavy fighting by the end of April 1945.
Hitler moves to an underground bunker as they near and commits suicide on April 30, 1945.
Mussolini is also killed around the same time by Italian guerrillas.
On May 7th Germany unconditionally surrenders.
In the Pacific a change of strategy occurs as China has greater difficulties fighting the war.
The advance by the Americans gradually eliminates Japan's military resources.
In August to prevent an invasion of the Japanese home islands two atomic bombs are dropped on August 6th and the 14th.
As a result Japan unconditionally surrenders on September 2, 1945 ending World War II.
The Axis ruled by ruthless domination of conquered areas.
Some areas of Europe are directly annexed by Germany.
Most would by ruled by some mixture of military government and collaborationist assistance.
German rule largely depends on the supposed racial characteristics of the places inhabitants.
During the war large numbers of Germans are settled in Poland and more are planned for the East in the Soviet Union.
Foreign labor is used extensively by Germany, 20% of workers in Germany in 1944 are foreign slave laborers.
The Holocaust of course was the worst component.
Final Solution is decided on at the Wannsee Conference in December 1941, the SS are given responsibility for its enactment.
Einsatzgruppen initially kill in the east.
How did the Nazis arrive at the idea of death camps like Auschwitz?
Jews sent from all over Europe to the camps, they were plundered of everything of even remote value.
6 million Jews are killed, 90% of the pre-war population of Europe.
9-10 million others are killed by varied means including Roma/Gypsies, Slavic intelligentsia, homosexuals, Soviet prisioners of war, etc.
In Asia despite promises Japan keep close control over the territories in conquered.
Forced labor and little food was the general policy.
The Japanese did not abide by the Geneva Convention using poision gas, biological weapons against the Chinese.
Rape of Nanjing was an example of Japanese behavior with 80,000 dying in just a few days.
Foreign women were forced to serve as comfort women for soldiers.
Prisioners of war were completely not respected and were forced into harsh labor gangs.
Thousands die due to the nature of their control in the POW 'camps'.
What does the idea of total war convey?
In Soviet Union, siege of Leningrad and its difficulties suggest home front concept.
Factories in the Soviet Union are moved east of the Urals.
Quantities of war production goes from 15% to 55% of the economy
Women are deeply involved in the work force, 60%. Some are even involved in combat.
German citizenry not enthusiastic for war like in World War I.
Hitler adopts policies to placate the home front that might have cost them the war.
First two years the ratio of consumer goods and armaments produced stayed the same.
In 1942, Albert Speer is put in charge and mobilizes the war effort.
Total mobilization does not really begin before 1944.
Little by little more women were employed in factories despite Nazi attitudes to the contrary.
Japanese very quickly organize their society for war.
Later on the policy goes to the extreme with the idea of the kamikaze.
Female employment does increase but there is much resistance and slave labor is ultimately brought in to prevent it.
Bombing of cities important part of the war, viewed as a way to crush morale and force peace.
Britain bombed in 1940 by Germany heavily during Battle of Britain.
British/American bombing of Germany begins in 1942.
Raids grow increasingly large with heavier and heavier bomb loads.
Incendiary bombs destory Dresden in Feb. 1945 and 35,000 people are killed.
How effective was the bombing raids against Germany?
Bombing against Japan starts in Nov. 1944.
In the spring of 1945 the fire bombing of Tokyo kills 100,000 people in one night.
Later the atomic bombing will kill large numbers.
At Hiroshima 140,000 out of a population of 400,000 die by the end of 1945. 5 years later 50,000 more die.
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