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Transcript of WWII Timeline
-October 29, 1929 It started in New York City, in the United States, and like a domino effect, it spiraled out of control and soon countries all over the world were pulled into the economic downfall. It was only natural that Canada, who had extremely close ties with the US and relied on her as our most important trading partner, would be greatly affected as well. False expectations from companies and corporations had everyone scrambling to purchase stocks, the majority of these people “Buying on the Margin” (they only had to put 10-20% down, and borrow the rest from their stockbrokers) were the main causes of the disaster. As the values of stocks plummeted, investors scrambled to sell their stocks, and with more people selling their stocks, the prices of the stocks decreased further. Company giants such as The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 90% of its value between its record high close of $381.2 per share and dropping to a staggering $41.22 per share. Banks were going bankrupt, people were losing their homes, there was panic among the citizens. American companies that operated in Canada were forced to shut down, causing thousands of Canadians to lose their jobs. Canada was suffering, and with an economy not as diverse as the US, she had less sectors to turn to during the depression. But the chaos in the US and Canada were much less severe than that of Germany, who was suffering far worst. On top of her own Depression, she at that point had only repaid 1/8th of war reparations from World War I, and almost 50% of her population was unemployed by 1932. Germans, frustrated and angry at the failing economy as well as still bitter towards the Treaty of Versailles, were desperate for change and found one in Hitler and his Nazi party. Adolf Hitler becomes Chancellor of Germany
-January 30, 1933 He was a characteristic speaker who skillfully gained the trust of Germans, feeding upon their insecurities and sourness towards Germany's present state in order to achieve his personal objectives. Adolf Hitler was the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party and commander of the Storm Troopers. He quickly rose to prominence- The Nazi Party would double its seats in the Reichstag in 1930, from 107 to 229. Immediately upon gaining power, Hitler imposed censorship to silence political opposition, banned strikes and unions, and created youth groups (known as the Hitler Youth) to teach young Germans the beliefs of the Nazi Party, including superiority of Aryan race. While Hitler was securing power and spreading his influence across Germany, elsewhere, Canada, the US, Russia and other countries were too busy with trying to handle their Depression crisis to focus on what was happening overseas. Disturbingly cunning, it was not until much later that the countries realized Hitler's intentions- of "restoring Germany back to her former glory" and "obliterate the inferior Jewish race" and decided to put a stop to his plans- but by then it would be too late. On-to-Ottawa Trek
- June 1935 Tormented by the Depression, thousands of unemployed Canadian men had only one last option- to enter local relief camps set up by Prime Minister Bennett for the unemployed. Here they were paid 20 cents per day for 44 hours of public work per week, received food, shelter and clothing. The bleak life in relief camps left many men angry and frustrated and so in the spring of 1935, thousands of camp workers in B.C. formed the Relief Camp Worker’s Union, led by Arthur Evans (a communist labour organizer) in order to discuss their complaints with the government. The men went on strike, demanding better pay, food, clothing and shelter at the camps. Then, on June 1935, they launched the on-to-Ottawa trek—over 1600men boarded freight trains bound for Ottawa to confront Prime Minister Bennett. However they would not reach their destination due to Bennett ordering the trains to stop in Regina, where he invited the leaders to Ottawa hoping that in their absence, the protestors would disband. The talk would last for only an hour, and the Relief Camp Worker's Union's leaders would leave frustrated and return to Regina. Soon after, the protestors gathered in Market Square in Regina on July 1, 1935 to demonstrate as well as plan new strategies. The demonstration took a violent turn when Bennett ordered local police to arrest the protestors—many were injured in the process and 1 un-uniformed officer was left dead. Reluctantly, the tired, angry men ended the strikes and returned to the camps. Bennett's handling of the delicate matter prompted criticism and unpopularity amongst Canadian citizens. Germany occupies the Rhineland
-March 7 1936 The Treaty of Versailles had declared that the Rhineland had been made into a demilitarized zone- Germany had political control of this area but was not allowed to have any troops there. This was to have the Rhineland act as a protective barrier between Germany and France, in case things were to ever become war-like again. However, Hitler decided to take a gamble and ordered his troops to openly enter the Rhineland- thus going against the treaty. He also ordered a full retreat out of the Rhineland if the French showed any resistance, saying that "we would have had to withdraw with our tails between our legs". France, who was occupied with a political crisis, did not take a stand against Hitler's move and Britain believed Germany was simply "marching into her own backyard" and that Hitler's actions were not harmful. This event was one of the first stepping stones that allowed Hitler to take over France and many other countries in the few years after. The Evian Conference
-July 6-15, 1938 With the rapidly growing numbers of Jewish peoples fleeing Germany in search for refuge, President Roosevelt of the US held a conference in Evian, France to discuss the dilemma and about what can be done to support them. Thirty-two delegate countries had attended, and almost all offered little to no support for the Jews. The countries gave plenty of excuses, but Canada's response was the most shocking- "None is too many". Hitler was delighted by the outcome of the conference, as for him it meant the Jews would receive no help from other countries as they had no place to go, and took it as a green Go light to continue with his plans. The Jews would also come to this realization, following the tragic voyage of the St. Louis a year later. On May 13, 1939, the German ship had 1000 Jews on board with the goal of fleeing Germany and to take refuge in Cuba. They would ultimately become refused there, sail towards the US and Canadian borders, and receive the same outcome. The countries turned their backs on the desperate Jews, and the St. Louis, with nowhere else to go, were forced to return back to Germany and the horrors of Hitler. Nazis invade Poland
- September 1, 1939 The Nazis stormed into Poland, a country with a Jewish population of 3.35 million, seemingly out of nowhere- their planes filled up the sky, tanks were scattered on the land, and the soldiers were rushing in with extreme aggressiveness. It was the first Blitzkrieg battle tactic, and a well executed one. The Polish army were struggling to defend such an attack, and soon began to fall back. Two days later, honoring their obligations to Poland, France and Britain (who had appeased Hitler earlier on in order to avoid another war) had finally declared war on Germany. And Canada, who had recently been isolating herself from matters not concerning her, was able to independently make the decision to join the Allied war efforts a week later. However, Hitler would continue to grow bolder and achieve his goals despite war being declared. Conscription Crisis
- 1940-1942 During World War I, the issue of conscription had divided the country, and Canadian Prime Minister King didn’t want to have to revisit that crisis. So, after World War II was declared, he announced to Canadians that conscription would not be enforced. But as the war raged on, fears grew that the war might reach Canadian shores. In response, King would go back on his word' "Not necessarily conscription but conscription if necessary"- and introduced the National Resources Mobilization Act. The Act required all men to register for military service—but it did not have to be a combat role. This satisfied most French-Canadians, as they wanted to defend Canada but still did not feel any duty to help Britain. And although many other French-Canadians would riot in the decision of enforcing conscription , it was not as bad as the riots from World War I when conscription was also forced, because the French-Canadians believed King listened to their opinions and held off conscription for as long as he could have. 16 000 soldiers were then sent overseas, where they will find that they were too ill-prepared. The Battle of Dieppe
- August 19, 1942 The Allies had decided to test Germany’s defenses along the French coast and gather intelligence to see how Germany might respond to a full scale invasion. 6100 men participated in the raid, and 5000 of them were Canadians. Originally planned as a night raid, unfortunate events led to the landing being delayed until daylight— the Allies lost the element of surprise and cover of darkness. The Germans massacred the men- 3000 were injured and 2000 were taken as prisoners of war. Canada's first battle on the Western Front was a disaster. However, the experience was meaningful in the way that Canada would learn from these mistakes and become more victorious in the future. Rise of Women on the Home Front
- 1943-1944 With the men off fighting the war overseas, it was up to the Canadian women to pick things up on the home front in order to support their families. The women began joining the work force in huge numbers- over one million of them began to tackle "traditional men" jobs, such as construction, farming, and engineering. They faced rude criticism and strong discrimination at the start- the working men believed their jobs were being taken away, and some simply found the idea of women working "men" jobs absurd. But slowly, the women proved their working abilities and the discrimination began to disperse. "Women are strong" propaganda, such as Rosie the Riveter, and the Bren Gun Girl depicted powerful, confident and able women. Women became more acknowledged, the days of knitting clothing to send overseas and sitting around waiting anxiously for news of loved ones during World War II were a thing of the past- the women were now soldiers as well. D-Day (Beaches of Normandy)
- June 6, 1944 Canada pushed Juno Beach, America pushed Omaha Beach and Utah Beach, and Britain pushed Gold Beach and Sword Beach. Hitler is now fighting a war on the West & the East. Finally, after months of gathering military intelligence, the Allies' grand plan was set in motion. The strategy was to convince the Germans their intended target was Pas de Calais (50 kilometers from the English coast), however, the real invasion was to take place in Normandy (in the south). To trick the Germans, the Allies had fake tanks and distractions put in Pas de Calais. On that day, 14,000 Canadians stormed onto the beach, determined to defeat the enemy and courageously advancing into enemy strongholds. Juno Beach was captured within a day, making Canada the only Allied force to accomplish their task on the first day. It was clear that lessons were learned from the catastrophe at Dieppe. From that point on it was the becoming more clear who will end up victorious. After the Allied forces took over Normandy, they charged deeper into Germany, pushing the Germans east to the capital city of Berlin. Along the way, they liberated France and the Netherlands. Soon, Soviets occupied the city, and Hitler learned of the fate of his ally Benito Mussolini—he was captured and executed by his own people. Seeing that his reign was coming to an end, Hitler committed suicide in his underground bunker in Berlin on April 30, 1945.
A week later, on May 7 1945, Germany surrenders. VE Day, or Victory in Europe Day, was celebrated a day later on May 8. The US Drops Two Atomic Bombs on Japan
- August 6, August 9, 1945 America had been secretly working on a project they called the "Manhatten Project", the studying and development of the atomic bomb. After finally gaining control of the weapon of mass destruction, it was decided by President Truman to drop the bomb on Hiroshima (a city of 340 000 people and an important military and industrial center), and Nagasaki in Japan. This was decided as Truman believed it would be a quick way to end the war, thus saving millions of lives. Canada played a key role in the development of the atomic bomb- a lab in Montreal was created for the sole purpose of studying the sciences of the bomb, and uranium was mined specifically for the project, and uranium refinery locations were set up as well. The first atomic bomb on Hiroshima was code named "Little Boy" and it's unleashing caused 75 000 Japanese citizens to die immediately, while thousands others suffered radiation poising and died afterward. After asking Japan to surrender one last time, to which the answer was a firm no, the second bomb- "Fat Man" was dropped on Nagasaki, killing 40 000 immediately.
A week later, Japan had surrendered and August 15, 1945 was coined VJ Day, or Victory in Japan Day. At long last, World War II was over! Works Cited National Film Board of Canada, . "World War II And the NFB." On All Fronts. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Dec 2012. <http://www3.nfb.ca/ww2/home-front/>.
. "Canada and the War." Canadian War Museum. Canadian Museum of Civilization Corporation, 27 2009. Web. 22 Dec 2012. <http://www.warmuseum.ca/cwm/exhibitions/newspapers/canadawar/women_e.shtml>. Centennial College, John and Molly Pollock Holocaust Collection, Holocaust: <http://www.centennialcollege.ca/holocaust_pollock/selected_materials/the_holocaust/ theholocaust.htm#top> Canadian Encyclopedia Timeline, World War II: <http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/index.cfm?PgNm=TCETimelin eBrowse&PeriodId=25&TCE_Version=A&mState=3> Democracy at War: Canadian Newspapers and the Second World War: <http://warmuseum.ca/cwm/newspapers/intro_e.html> The stock market crash made headlines everywhere Adolf Hitler after being appointed as Chancellor, he had the majority of the public's favor. "Riding the rails"- unemployed men riding the railway to confront Bennett Countries did nothing but watch as Hitler freely went against the Treaty of Versailles by putting his military in the Rhineland United States delegate Myron Taylor delivers a speech at the Evian Conference on Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany Germany's invasion of Poland prompted France and Britain to declare war against Germany King giving his famous speech on conscription Canadian prisoners of war being lead through Dieppe by German soldiers. “Ronnie the Bren Gun Girl” became a propaganda photo icon Canadian soldiers landing on Juno Beach The atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki Table of Contents
Stock Market Crash............................................. October 29 1929
Adolph Hitler becomes Chancellor
of Germany............................................................ January 30 1933
On To Ottawa Trek............................................... June 1935
Germany Occupies the Rhineland..................... March 7 1936
The Evian Conference.......................................... July 6-15, 1938
Nazis Invade Poland............................................ September 1 1939
Conscription Crisis............................................... 1940-1942
The Battle of Dieppe............................................ August 19 1942
Rise of Women on the Homefront..................... 1943-1944
D-day...................................................................... June 6 1944
US Drops Two Atomic
Bombs on Japan ...................................................August 6 and 9 1945