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World War II
Transcript of World War II
What factors contributed to the
outbreak of World War II?
Failure of the
Treaty of Versailles
Terms of the treaty that ended World War I included a war reparations clause and the infamous war-guilt clause, forcing Germany to accept full blame for the entire war.
These, along with a crippled economy, stirred strong emotions among German nationalists, and eventually overwhelmed the
Transformation of the
Democracy in Russia
and the establishment of a
The country was renamed the
of the country and attempted to create a model communist state – where
people would reign.
Under Stalin, the Soviet Union would abolish all privately-owned
and turn the country into a world-class
threatened his power or decisions.
Historians believe that Stalin was responsible for the murder of
million people, not including the
more who perished as a result of
under the new Soviet regime.
By 1939, Stalin’s transformation of Russia
state was complete.
The Red Terror (3:00 min)
and a high
in Italy clamoring for change.
Party, and appeals to people’s fear of
and the spread of
Fascism is the belief that the interests of the state are above those of individuals, and power must rest with a
strong leader and a small group of devoted party members.
Cult of Personality: Mussolini (3:00 min)
The Rise of
While in prison,
leader of the
party authored a book entitled,
In it, Hitler sets forth the basic ideals that would later become the
Nazi party’s plan of action.
Based on extreme
Nazism had several primary goals.
in a single, German empire
through the purging of lesser races
, or “living space”)
Much of the swell of acceptance
of Nazism was based in
a depressed Germany
In order to
, many joined
Hitler’s private army as their last hope.
Once appointed Chancellor of Germany,
Hitler quickly dismantled the democratic
and in its place
or Third German Empire.
Rise of the Nazis (4:00 min)
Similar to the Nazi party,
many in Japan were also
the Japanese empire.
Unhappy with the
control in Japan, and in conflict with protests from moderate Japanese leaders,
Japanese militarists launched a surprise attack and seized control of the Chinese province of
In doing so, Japan gained control of several
As a result, the
League of Nations
sent delegates to Manchuria
and condemn Japan’s actions.
Rather than obeying the requests of
the League of Nations and withdrawing
its forces from Manchuria,
withdrew its membership
from the League of Nations.
As World War II draws closer, Army General-turned-Prime Minister
would lead Japan’s Army.
Tojo (2:00 min)
Civil War in
Led by military leader,
and a group of rebel militants,
the Spanish Civil War resulted in the
of the republic in Spain.
Rebels were supported by
In doing so, an
was formed between the three nations.
Franco (2:00 min)
Prelude to War - US Government film
Part 2: Blueprint for War
What methods were used by the Nazis to overtake neighboring countries?
Why was this method so effective?
Hitler’s first target was his home country of
The country of Austria was a byproduct of World War I peace agreements, and had a population largely consisting of Germans who favored
In 1938, German troops marched
Hitler then announced that its
, or “union,” with
Austria was complete.
As this happened,
other world countries did anything to oppose
is the region making up the western portion of the
, where more than 3 million Germans lived.
The mountainous area acted as a
Hitler’s master plan called for an
of Czechoslovakia, as to give Germans more lebensraum, and to control its
The Nazi-controlled German
began printing stories about how the Czech government was
The stories were completely
and meant to bring
the side of Germany.
As a result, Germany
troops along the Czech border.
declared their allegiance to Czechoslovakia, promising to
her from German invasion.
Hitler rationalized his belief that the Sudetenland should be
it would be his “
last territorial gain
Soon thereafter, the
was signed, giving Germany control of the Sudetenland.
Many were left in shock, noting how both Britain and France had adopted the policy of
– or giving up principles to pacify an aggressor.
Sudetenland Speech (2:00 min)
As a result, Germany now had
two territorial gains, without
a single shot
The German War Machine
warned of Hitler’s aggressive actions and Hitler’s desire to expand the
Few heeded his warning.
months after the signing of the
Munich Agreement, the German army used their tactical advantage in the Sudetenland and invaded
Hitler then turned his attention to
– the last geographic buffer between the expanding German empire and the
Many believed Hitler would
attack Poland because of its proximity to the Soviet Union, thinking that Germany would not want to engage the Soviets in a
Surprisingly, Germany and the Soviet Union signed a
pact, agreeing that the two longtime enemies would not attack one another.
, was also signed between the two countries.
The second pact agreed to attack
directions, and then
the country evenly between Germany and the Soviet Union.
Without warning, the German
began its bombing campaign on Poland.
The invasion then utilized Germany’s newest military strategy, the
This strategy used modern military technologies – such as fast moving tanks and airplanes – to take the enemy by
and quickly overtake the opposition with an
Blitzkrieg (2:00 min)
In less than
Poland fell to Germany.
By the time the invasion of Poland
was over, Britain and France
beginning World War II.
, Germany had invaded
Following this series of invasions, Germany set its sights on
, marching through the
heading for Paris.
It was during this time that
and Germany joined forces.
As Italy attacked France from the
, German forces attacked from the
years after France’s appeasement of Austria, the German army
Nazis Invade France (3:00 min)
Germany Invades Poland (2:00 min)
The Battle of Britain
After most of Europe fell under German control, the German military set its sights on
and began assembling an invasion force along the
However, the British
was superior to Germany’s and controlled the
To counter this, Germany began a series of
The goal was to gain total control of the
over Britain and destroy Britain’s
Royal Air Force
Every day for more than
, German planes dropped bombs over Britain, most centering their attack on
The targets of German bombers included
, and eventually
filled with civilians.
Using a new technology called
, the RAF repelled the German attacks, downing nearly
German aircraft, while only losing
of their own.
This became known as the
Battle of Britain
, of which Winston Churchill commented,
“Never in the field of human conflict was so
Battle of Britain (3:00 min)
Battle of Britain - Germany POV (3:00 min)
Part III: The Holocaust
What was the Holocaust, and why
did it take place?
In what ways is a holocaust taking place
in the world today?
Soon after Hitler became leader of Germany, he ordered all “
” to be removed from
This was done in accordance to his philosophy of
– cleansing the rising German empire of all persons who were not part of the so-called “
At the center of Hitler’s targeted ethnicities were
Many believed Jews were responsible for Germany’s
in World War I.
Such things as the
stripped Jews of their German
Jews were also forced to identify themselves by wearing a bright yellow
Star of David
emblem attached to their clothing.
As persecution continued, it escalated to violence during
, or “Night of Broken Glass.”
On this occasion, Nazis launched a coordinated attack on Jewish
throughout Germany and Austria.
Jews were killed, while hundreds more were injured.
Jews were arrested. At the end of the event, the Nazis
blamed the Jews
for the destruction.
As thousands of Jews fled Germany, many thousands more
Many neighboring countries simply
to take-in the mass amount of Jewish refugees.
The United States allowed for the immigration of
Jews, including physicist
Hitler's Final Solution
Determined and obsessed to rid Europe of
Jews, Hitler enacted what he referred to as the “
This was a policy of
– a deliberate and systematic murder of an
Hitler’s Final Solution rested on the belief that
were a superior race, and the strength and purity of this “master race” must be
As such, the Nazis condemned to death not only Jews, but anyone viewed as
This included gypsies, Freemasons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, homosexuals, the
, and anyone who was either
Initially, many of the members of these groups were forced to
Ghettos were overcrowded, full of
, and offered
in the way of basic needs, such as ample shelter, food, or water.
Many of the ghettos were located
, where its citizens were
forced to work
– often performing jobs
Thousands of other Jews were taken captive and herded into
for shipment to
Families were often
Life in the camp was filled with
Prisoners were held in
, where they were forced to share meals and bedding with
The day was filled with intense labor from dawn til dusk, seven days a week.
while working. Others, too weak to continue working, were simply
on the spot.
The Final Stage
Although overwork, starvation, beatings and shootings were effective means of killing Jews, they were ultimately not
enough to satisfy the Nazis.
The Germans then built six
, each with
or crematoriums, where the Nazis could exterminate
Prisoners who faced the gas chambers were
, led into massive buildings, and then exposed to
that flowed from vents in the walls.
In many instances, the Nazis piped-in
music as the extermination took place.
The bodies were then hauled to
, where the corpses were often left to rot.
In some camps, the huge pile of bodies were dowsed with
set on fire
Still, others died as a result of
, such as various methods of
, carried out by camp doctors.
Perhaps the most notorious camp doctor was
Dr. Josef Mengele
, also known as the
Angel of Death
The total number of Jews who died at Nazi death camps is well-over
, while there were an estimated additional
others who were slaughtered, as well.
Sophie's Choice (1982)(3:00 min)
Rwandan Genocide, Part 1 (15:00 min)
•Why did the United States remain neutral during the outbreak of World War II in Europe?
•In what ways did the United States assist in the war effort, while not engaging in fighting?
•Why did America become involved in World War II?
To this point, the United States had continued to remain militarily
However, the U.S. Congress enacted a “
” policy, allowing allies in Europe to purchase American arms, so long as the countries paid in
, and supplied their own method of
President Roosevelt believed this was the best way to simultaneously defeat
, and keep American forces
out of war
By mid-1940, the cash-and-carry policy appeared to look like
, as the German military rolled through mainland Europe, and Britain was under siege.
signed a mutual defense treaty, known as the
This meant that three of the most powerful dictatorships were now
with one another.
These three nations became known as the
More importantly, it meant that if the United States declared war on any one of the members of the Axis powers, it would force the U.S. to simultaneously fight a large scale war on
, and in the
Knowing that war was imminent, Congress enacted the nation’s first
million men, ages 21-35, were drafted into military service.
During a fireside chat, President Roosevelt told the American people what many already knew: there was
in negotiating peace with Hitler, and if Britain fell to the Axis powers, the Axis powers could easily
conquer the world
President Roosevelt stated that America must become,
the great arsenal of democracy
Although by this time, Britain was no longer able to
for munitions and supplies, America devised the
policy to keep Britain’s war efforts alive.
The Lend-Lease Act allowed
countries willing to join the fight against the Axis powers to
weapons and other supplies.
To prevent the supplies from reaching their intended destinations, Hitler deployed hundreds of German
into the Atlantic Ocean.
In a month’s time, these groups of 15-20 submarines – known as
– sank more than
tons of ships and supplies.
While Britain struggled for its survival in western Europe, Hitler
his peace treaty with Stalin and invaded the
in eastern Europe.
While German troops began advancing into Soviet territory, the Soviets proved to be a rugged opponent and employed a
policy to repel the German advance.
Such a policy destroys
that might be of some use to the invaders.
After six months of combat, the Russian
set-in, and slowed the German invasion.
lack of preparedness
for the harsh winter conditions would prove to be a costly error.
While America prepared itself for war, and Britain struggled to survive,
secretly met to discuss the situation.
While Churchill had hoped for a
from the U.S., the leaders settled on what became known as the
1.Neither country would seek
2.No territorial changes without consent of the
3.Respect the right of the people to form their own
following the war
among all nations
to improve people’s lives
6.Build secure peace based on freedom from
8.Establish a permanent system of
Despite German submarines firing upon two American ships – including one
supply ship – the U.S. still did not formally enter into combat.
Roosevelt continued encourage Congress and the American people to “have
and trust to the tide which is flowing our way, and to events.”
would come faster than anyone anticipated.
As war raged on in Europe,
, too, geared for war.
Japan’s vision of increasing its vast
, south to
, was turning into fruition.
As many European nations were engaged in war in Europe, they
could not defend
their colonies throughout the Pacific.
The Japanese seized this opportunity and began
territories such as Indochina (now,
This advancement was met with American
, and the U.S. immediately cutoff
with Japan, which included the one thing Japan’s military could not live without –
As Japanese Prime Minister
prepared to enter peace talks with the U.S., he sent a
transmission and simultaneously gave the order for his military to
prepare for war
Code-breakers in the United States intercepted and decoded Tojo’s transmission, and the U.S.
that Japan was preparing for a
President Roosevelt sent out warnings to U.S. military commanders throughout the Pacific, also stating that he desired Japan to “
commit the first overt act
A Japanese message that instructed Japan’s peace envoy to
all American peace proposals.
Roosevelt knew an attack was
The following morning, on Sunday,
December 7, 1941
, more than
Japanese warplanes launched from six aircraft carriers in the Pacific Ocean.
As bombs dropped on the U.S. naval base at
, the Japanese navy destroyed
planes, and killed more than
The damage suffered at Pearl Harbor was
than the U.S. Navy suffered during all of
World War I
The next day, President Roosevelt met before Congress, and spoke the words, “…December 7, 1941, a date which will
live in infamy
…the Japanese launched an unprovoked attack on American soil.”
Roosevelt then asked for a
declaration of war
which congress overwhelmingly approved.
war on America
FDR (2:30 min)
The Atlantic Charter (2:00 min)
A Call to Arms: America Mobilizes
What issues and challenges faced the United States as it prepared to enter a global conflict on two fronts?
for military service, while more than an additional
as a result of the
Selective Service System
Most service men arrived at military bases throughout the nation and underwent combat training for
At the end of the basic combat training, most men were
shipped to combat
units where they would be immediately thrust into battle.
These troops became commonly known as “G.I.s,” short for “Government Issue.”
WWII Basic Training (1:30)
Women also played a major role in the armed forces.
By passing the
Women’s Auxiliary Army Corps
(WAAC), Congress enabled over
women to serve in a variety of
Such roles included the
of firearms or ammunition, the
of aircraft, and the
of uniforms, parachutes, and other supplies.
The roles were meant to be temporary, and women did
have the same rank, pay, or benefits as the men who had previously performed the role.
Despite the quick call-to-arms for many Americans, many racial minorities were often confronted with other obstacles to patriotism.
Among these groups were
Many members of these groups often lived or worked in legally
communities, and were denied
Mexican-Americans joined the armed forces during WW II. All-Latino units saw
in both the European and Pacific theaters.
In Los Angeles alone, Mexican American casualties made up
of the city’s wartime casualties.
Like other minorities, African Americans lived, worked and served in segregated military units.
In many instances, these units were relegated to
Others, such as the
, not only broke color barriers, but fought valiantly and even became some of the most highly trained and dependable personnel.
Asian Americans served in
the U.S. military during World War II.
Many others served as
Following the bombing of Pearl Harbor, many Americans
questioned the loyalty
of Japanese Americans – including those born in the United States.
Japanese Americans were taken captive by the U.S. Government and placed in
Internment Camps, U.S. Government newsreel (3:00 min)
Manzanar (3:00 min)
Native Americans enlisted in the U.S. military.
Among these were
from the southwest region of
the United States.
The Navajos rose to prominence due to their ability to send and receive
that were unbreakable by opposing militaries.
their plants and went from producing cars to producing tanks, planes, boats and armored command vehicles.
Other manufactures also
changed their products
Mechanical pencils >
Soft drinks >
it was a concentrated and dedicated effort on behalf of all Americans and American businesses.
also created many items to aid in the war effort.
These items include: improvements in
the use of
, and the use of
to combat bacteria and infection.
Some scientists also worked secretly on a new weapon: the
Those working on the atomic bomb project were part of the top secret development known as
A principle leader in the bomb’s development was
Dr. Robert Oppenheimer
Atomic Bomb Test Footage (1:00 min)
The media also did its part.
shows, the media produced hundreds of war-related pieces to help rally Americans to the cause.
Der Fuhrer's Face (8:00 min)
The War in Europe
What were the major and decisive battles of the European Theater (ET) during World War II?
How did the Allies achieve victory over the Axis powers?
The Battle of Stalingrad
The Battle of
was fought from mid-1942, to winter of 1943.
Stalingrad is located in the
portion of the
, along the
River, which served as a natural defense against invading armies.
Stalingrad itself served two primary purposes for the Russian people:
(1) Stalingrad was a core
city for the Soviet military; and
(2) Stalingrad served as the
of the country. Many believed, if Stalingrad fell, so would the Soviet Union.
The battle itself pitted the
As the German military advanced, the
pounded the city,
and left it in
many factories and
many Soviets – this tactic would actually
the invading German army, as they would be forced to go
through the city.
In one instance, a small Soviet platoon fortified an apartment building that
oversaw a square in the city center,
Although the German army controlled
of the city, they could not
As winter weather set-in, the German army began to suffer from a lack of
, such as food, medicine and ammo,
The Soviets took advantage of this and mounted a
By conquering the soft
, the Soviets were able to
the spearhead of the German army.
After this, the weakened Germany army was forced to
, as the Soviets began pushing
The Battle of Stalingrad lasted for over
months, and is largely regarded as
one of the
battles in the
history of warfare.
The total casualties for the battle are believed to be over
Invasion of North Africa
the invasion of North Africa was a joint-military mission by
U.S. military commander
was in favor of an invasion of Northern France, his British counterpart,
, argued that by taking over the North African coast – which the Germans and Italians had control of – would give the Allies the ability to
mainland Europe from both the
, while the Soviets pushed from the
The Allies organized three
task forces to seize the key
of Morocco and Algeria simultaneously, targeting Casablanca, Oran, and Algiers. Successful completion of these operations was to be followed by an advance
The assault taskforce was ultimately
, giving the Allies a
in North Africa, and the doorway to
Invasion of Sicily
Once the Allies controlled the North African coast, they were able to use the newly captured territory to launch an invasion on the
Their first stop: the island of
, held by the Italian military.
,” the invasion of Sicily would be a coordinated
assault, aimed at inching closer toward mainland Europe.
The invasion had four primary goals:
enemy forces from the island;
shipping lanes in the Mediterranean Sea;
territory closer to mainland Europe;
the Mussolini-led Italian dictatorship.
Fighting took place for more than
weeks, and by the end of August 1943, more than
Allied troops were killed.
Overall, there is estimated to be more than
soldiers killed, and well over
Ultimately the invasion of
each of its primary goals.
Invasion of France
As Allied forces began pushing back the German military in mainland Europe, the Allies prepared for an invasion along the
The Germans, aware an invasion would be coming, believed the upcoming invasion would most likely take place in one of two places:
border of France, or at the
part of France at
Pas de Calais
, where the channel is the
, and there
the invasion would eventually take place on
June 6, 1944
, along the
of France, at
of the location the Germans
were expecting the invasion to take place.
101st Airborne Division
would parachute behind enemy lines the night before the main invasion force to:
(1) disrupt German
(2) weaken German defenses along the
for the coming waves of paratroopers.
Prior to the launch of the invasion, General Dwight Eisenhower told his troops, “You are about to embark upon the
, toward which we have striven these many months.
The eyes of the world are upon you
. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you.”
Known as the
landings, the Allied invasion force was comprised of nearly
troops, and is considered to be the
coordinated invasion force in the history of the world.
The force was comprised of both airborne and amphibious assault teams on
distinct landing zones.
The American forces landed at
Beach, where they were met with
mines, and heavy
fire from an enemy entrenched in
American soldiers died within the
of fighting at Omaha Beach alone.
of fierce battling, the five beachheads are secured by Allied forces, and the Allies begin to march inland, toward
The D-Day invasion had ultimately been a
, and is largely considered to be one of the
major turning points
of the entire war.
Invasion of North Africa
Invasion of Sicily
Invasion of France (D-Day)
Battle of the Ardennes