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World War II

An overview of World War II from the Canadian perspective. This presentation is used in a high school classroom.

Mike Neale

on 29 May 2015

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Transcript of World War II

World War II World War II 1939 - 1945 Where World War 1 was called a ‘World’ War, most of the action took place in Europe.

World War 2 was considered a true ‘World’ War because battles took place across 2 major areas, 4 continents and involved more than 100 countries World War II - Introduction World War 1 involved more than 70 million military personnel and 15 million casualties (mostly military)

World War 2 involved more than 100 million military personnel and had over 70 million casualties (mostly civilian) (Soviet Military deaths were over 9 Million)

Battles were fought in Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia and all throughout the Pacific Ocean WWII - The World Stage Morocco – Algeria -- Tunisia – Libya -- Egypt U.S.S.R
(Russia) China Australia Great Britain

France Italy Germany -- Austria -- Poland Japan Canada
USA WWII Europe and North Africa Austria Ukraine Italy Poland Germany Great Britain France Tunisia Morocco Egypt Libya Algeria U.S.S.R
(Russia) The Allies depicted in green (those in light green entered after the attack on Pearl Harbor),
the Axis Powers in orange, and neutral countries in grey. The World at War The “Big Three” countries were The United Kingdom, The United States and U.S.S.R. (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, formerly Russia)

Other major allies were France (before it was defeated in 1940) and China

Other minor allies included Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Czechoslovakia, Ethiopia, Greece, India, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, the Philippine Commonwealth, Poland, the Union of South Africa, and Yugoslavia. The Countries Involved
Allied Countries
The Allies of World War II were the countries that opposed the Axis powers during the Second World War

The Allies became involved in World War II either
because they had already been invaded or were directly threatened with invasion by the Axis or because they were concerned that the Axis powers would come to control the world The Countries Involved
Allied Countries Germany was the unofficial leader of the Axis powers

The three major Axis countries were Germany, Italy and Japan

Other minor countries included Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria

Other countries, such as Finland, Iraq and Thailand also joined the Axis but later left
Austria was annexed (absorbed) by Germany before the start of the war The Countries Involved
Axis Countries Adolf Hitler was the leader of Nazi Germany, first as Chancellor from 1933 until 1934 and later as Führer from 1934 until his suicide in 1945.

Hitler came into power during Germany's period of crisis after the Great War.

During his rule Germany became a fascist state with a policy of anti-Semitism that lead to the Holocaust.
Hitler pursued an aggressive foreign policy that triggered the war. The Axis Leaders – Adolf Hitler Mussolini was the founder of fascism and made Italy the first fascist state using the ideas of nationalism, militarism and anti-communism combined and state propaganda.
Mussolini's regime was an influence on Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany. Benito Mussolini was Prime Minister from 1922 until 1943 commonly called Duce ("Leader") by his Fascist supporters.
Mussolini was the de facto dictator of Italy during that period, as King Emmanuel III delegated his powers to Mussolini and opposition to Mussolini and the Fascist state was seen as treason.

Mussolini was later Head of State of the Italian Social Republic (regime under control of Nazi Germany), that succeeded the Kingdom of Italy in the Axis between 1943 and 1945. The Axis Leaders – Benito Mussolini Hirohito was the Emperor from 1926 until his death in 1989.

He was commander of the Imperial General Headquarters from 1937 to 1945 and, in 1936, assumed control over the use of chemical and bacteriological weapons.

He was exonerated from criminal prosecutions with all members of the imperial family by Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers. The Axis Leaders – Hirohito Winston Churchill was a British politician known chiefly for his leadership of the United Kingdom during World War II.

After the outbreak of the Second World War, Churchill was appointed First Lord of the Admiralty. (Commanding the Royal Navy) The Allied Leaders - Winston Churchill Following the resignation of Neville Chamberlain on 10 May 1940, he became Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and led Britain to victory against the Axis powers.

Churchill was always noted for his speeches, which became a great inspiration to the British people and embattled Allied forces.

Upon his death in 1965, the Queen granted him the honour of a state funeral, which saw one of the largest assemblies of statesmen in the world. Joseph Stalin was the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the U.S.S.R (Soviet Union aka Russia) from 1922 until his death in 1953.

In 1939, the Soviet Union under Stalin signed a non-aggression pact with Nazi Germany, followed by a Soviet invasion of Poland, Finland, the Baltics, Bessarabia and northern Bukovina.

After Germany violated the pact in 1941, the Soviet Union joined the Allies to play a large role in the Axis defeat, at the cost of the largest death toll for any country in the war. The Allied Leaders - Joseph Stalin Franklin Delano Roosevelt was President of the United States and a central figure in world events during the mid-20th century, leading the United States during a time of worldwide economic crisis and world war.

The only American president elected to more than two terms, he was often referred to by his initials, FDR.

He led the United States through most of World War II, and died in office of a cerebral hemorrhage, shortly before the war ended. The Allied Leaders - Franklin Delano Roosevelt Government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system.
Canada and The United States are examples of democracies Government Terms
- Democracy- A theory or system of social organization based on the holding of all property in common, actual ownership being ascribed to the community as a whole or to the state.

In other words, all people are ‘equal’. Everything belongs to the community (country), no one person owns anything
China and North Korea are examples of communism today. During WWII, USSR was a communist state Government Terms
- Communism- A governmental system led by a dictator (person) having complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry, commerce, etc., and emphasizing an aggressive nationalism and often racism.

During WWII, Germany and Italy were examples of Fascism
Italy’s Benito Mussolini was regarded as the ‘creator’ of Fascism in 1919. Adolph Hitler later mirrored this style of government. Government Terms
- Fascism- Supreme power or sovereignty held by a single person, usually known as a King or Queen
Unlike Fascism, power is not taken by force but by inheritance. A son (Prince) or daughter (Princess) ascends to the throne after the King or Queen dies or steps down
Until just after World War I, Russia was a Monarchy while today, England is a partial Monarchy (democratically run while still maintaining a King or Queen as a figurehead) Government Terms
- Monarchy- A variety of events led to the beginning of the Second World War

Germany was still angry by the conditions forced up on it at the end of WWI

They lost 13% of their territory, lost all of their colonies, were forced to help pay for repairs of the damage they had caused and had their military size limited The Great Depression during the 1930s was a major distraction for most world governments
Instead of focusing on foreign policies, countries focused on how best they could help their own people

While nations such as the USA and Canada were hit very hard, the communist country, USSR was relatively unaffected After taking both Austria and Czechoslovakia, Hitler was confident he could keep going, this time his goal was Poland

He quickly signed an agreement with USSR to avoid having them come to the defense of Poland

He also knew that France and Great Britain had a defensive agreement with Poland. If Poland were seen as the aggressor, they would stay out of the fight.

He staged a fake attack on a German radio station on the German/Polish border that made it appear that Polish troops had attacked Germany

Within 8 hours, on September 1, 1939, German troops entered Poland in a sudden immense attack called a Blitzkrieg How it started Blitzkrieg (German for “Lightning war”) is a type of attack using an all-mechanized force
The force included tanks, infantry, artillery and air power
The attack concentrated overwhelming force and rapid speed to break through enemy lines Blitzkrieg In early April, 1940, Germany invaded Denmark and Norway

In May, Germany then invaded France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg

By June 22, France surrendered leaving much of Europe in control of the Axis powers Rapid Advances For the next six months, very little combat actually happened
Neither side launched major operations against each other until April 1940 The Phoney War Later the same day of the Polish invasion, the British and French issued an ultimatum, leave Poland or they will declare war
Hitler ignored them and sent his armies deeper into Poland
On September 3, England and France declared war on Germany Declaration of War Rapid Advances With France neutralized, Germany focused her attention on Britain

The Battle of Britain was the name of the air campaign waged against Britain by the German Luftwaffe in the summer and fall of 1940
It is the first major campaign which took place entirely in the air Battle of Britain The purpose of the German offense was to gain air superiority over the British by attempting to defeat the British RAF (Royal Air Force)
In addition, the British endured nightly bombing campaigns on military, civilian and industrial targets
In other words, they bombed homes, factories and military bases The people of Britain quickly learned to drop whatever they were doing and head for cover when the air-raid sirens sounded

The damage the bombing runs did was considerable, but in the end, the Germans did not obtain their objectives At the time of the Battle of Britain, there were about 9,000 pilots for 5,000 aircraft
Only 30% (3,000) of those pilots were cleared for operational duties

This happened because of inefficiencies in the way Britain handled pilot training
Up to this point in time, pilot training was reserved for officers with higher social standing than for their ability RAF Pilot Shortages By October 1940, Germany was forced to cease its attacks on Britain due to mounting losses
This was considered a German defeat and the first Allied victory of the war

It was also a crucial turning point in the war
Had Hitler gained air superiority of Britain, he would have launched an invasion with sea and land forces Battle of Britain Canada had the largest training program and trained over 130,000 officers during this program (South Africa trained the second most at just over 30,000)

Every province in Canada was involved with one or more training facilities

In Manitoba, Winnipeg was the headquarters for training in Northern Ontario, Manitoba and part of Saskatchewan RAF Pilot Shortages As a result, for every 300 aircraft being built, there were only 200 pilots being trained

To catch up, the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP) was put into action

This was a massive air-training program involving the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Southern Rhodesia RAF Pilot Shortages Battle of Britain
Bombers The Luftwaffe's four primary bombers were the Heinkel He 111, Dornier Do 17, and Junkers Ju 88 (pictured here) for Level Bombing and the Junkers Ju 87 for dive bombing The Hawker Hurricane (above) was an agile fighter that was more heavily armed than the German counterpart The Spitfire (below) entered the war a bit later, but was much faster and more maneuverable than the German fighters in most conditions The Primary Allied Fighter aircraft involved were the Hurricane and Spitfire Battle of Britain
Fighters The ME109 (above) was a speedy and more agile close support and intercept fighter The ME110 (below) was a twin engine heavy fighter, primarily used for long range bomber escort The Primary German Fighter aircraft involved were the Messerschmitt ME109 and ME110 Battle of Britain
Fighters Manitoba Training Facilities were located in Portage La Prairie, Virden, Neepawa, Dauphin, Brandon, Souris, Gimli, Carberry, Macdonald, Paulson and Winnipeg

Various aircraft, transport and training artifacts may be seen at the Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum, located in Brandon, Manitoba. RAF Pilot Shortages RCAF-Station
Picton, ON An example of barracks used on training bases RCAF-Station Gimli
Flight Training School Despite the failure to invade Britain, the Axis powers of Germany, Italy and Japan, were now joined by Hungary, Slovakia and Romania and continued to press forward on the ground

Towards the end of 1941, they had expanded their occupation to include much of Europe and then launched an invasion of USSR Continued Advances Summer 1942 the Allies launched an assault on the town of Dieppe across the English channel
It was primarily a test of German defenses and allied assault techniques
For the 2nd Canadian Infantry Division, the 9 hour raid was a disaster
Out of 5,000 Canadians, 900 were killed and almost 2,000 were captured. Dieppe Dieppe On April 29th, Germany surrendered in Italy
On May 7th, Germany surrendered to the Western Allies
On May 8th, Germany surrendered to the Soviet Forces After D-Day Like World War 1, when the US entered the war, the tide of conflict changed in favour of the Allies

The US military was already strong and US industry focused primarily on the war effort

What were formally plants dedicated to making cars for General Motors and Ford were now fully dedicated to building Tanks, Airplanes and other war machines

The US dedicated almost its entire vast economic resources to the war effort Fresh Troops This attack against the United States came with the Japanese declaration of war

The response from the US was to formally declare war on Japan

Germany responded by formally declaring war on the US and the US responded likewise
This ended US neutrality and brought them into the world conflict German forces never recovered from the invasions of Italy and Normandy

With the Soviets pushing in from the East and Allied forces pushing from the West, German troops were squeezed back to Germany over the months following D-Day

By the end of April 1945, Allied forces were in Berlin, Germany’s capital After D-Day Juno Beach June 6, 1944
6:30am D-Day Despite finding little resistance in the beginning, that resistance increased as the Allies advanced North
The German defenses were strong when they were holed up in the mountainous terrain in central Italy
One of the cities that proved to be especially tough was Ortona
The task of capturing this city fell to the Canadian 1st Division after the New Zealand Division failed
Ortona was important, strategically, as it was one of only a few deep water ports that could handle the big ships on that coast Canada at War
Ortona Italy Unlike WWI where Canada emerged and became a battlefield leader, our role in WWII was very diverse
While we were a leader in training flight crews, our role on the battlefield was primarily one of support
Across the Atlantic Ocean, much of our Navy was dedicated to protecting cargo ships that were bringing supplies across the ocean Canada at War In comparison to the USA, Canada sent far fewer men to fight in WWII

Over 1.1 Million Canadians fought

We lost more than 45,000 soldiers while another 54,000 were wounded Canada by the Numbers Until this point in the war, the USA had remained neutral

Despite neutrality, they were still supplying allied countries with food and weapons and were involved in an undeclared war with Germany in the North Atlantic Ocean

This changed on December 7, 1941 The Next Turning Point Canadian Military Casualties Aftermath Hiroshima & Nagasaki Estimates are that between 45-90,000 people died in Hiroshima and 30-40,000 in Nagasaki
Over the following 4 months, people kept dying, bringing the totals to 90-160,000 for Hiroshima and 60-80,000 for Nagasaki
On August 15, Japan finally surrendered
They officially signed the surrender on September 2nd, bringing WWII to an end Hiroshima & Nagasaki On August 6, 1945 A lone American B-29 bomber (The Enola Gay) delivered the Atomic Bomb (called Little Boy) to Hiroshima
3 Days later, on August 9th, “Fat Man” was delivered to Nagasaki Juno Beach had a seawall that was twice the height of Omaha beach, the two highest beaches with sea walls.
The German defenses were tough and caused 50% casualties in the first wave of Canadian troops.
Despite heavy defences and other obstacles, Canadians breached the seawall in just over an hour and pushed inland that by the end of D-Day, they had penetrated farther into France than any other Allied Force Juno Beach Juno Beach Juno was the beach assigned to the Canadian 3rd division
14,000 Canadians landed on the beach while another 450 parachuted in behind enemy lines the night before
It was also the second most heavily defended of the five landing sites chosen Juno Beach Invasion of Normandy After the Germans had taken over much of continental Europe, Allies had finally gained enough in strength to attempt to take back what was lost

Code-named Operation Overlord, it was the largest amphibious invasion of all time with over 175,000 troops landing on June 6th, 1944

There were about 155,000 soldiers, 5,000 ships and landing craft, 50,000 vehicles and 11,000 planes set for the battle. Invasion of Normandy After 8 grueling days, the Canadians earned a hard fought victory at Ortona
Once again, Germans recognized the Canadians as ‘Shock Troops’
The cost to Canadian troops was not small. Over 1200 men gave their lives for the liberation of Ortona
Due to the viciousness of the fighting and the high cost of victory, Canadian troops called December 1943, “Bloody December” Canada at War
Ortona Italy Canada at War
Ortona Italy Canada at War
Italy On July 10, 1943 the Allied countries, along with Canada launched the invasion of Sicily
Sicily was captured in 7 days while the majority of German and Italian troops evacuated to the mainland
On July 19 the Allies bombed Rome from the air
This had a devastating effect on Italian morale. Italians no longer wanted to be at war
On July 25, Benito Mussolini was removed as leader of his country and secret negotiations with the Allies began Canada at War
Italy The US military strength was large in itself

Over 16 million personnel served and approximately 13 million of those served in Europe, Africa or the Pacific

Of these numbers, over 200,000 did not return home
Another 500,000 were wounded in battle Fresh Troops Pictured above is an aerial view of Pearl Harbor from an attacking Japanese bomber On December 7, 1941, Japan launched a massive attack on the US Naval Base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii

Japan had calculated that if they could neutralize the US Pacific Fleet, the Japanese would have free reign in the Pacific Ocean Pearl Harbor Aftermath Japan had taken the Philippines in early 1942. By the end of 1944, American forces had successfully liberated the Philippines

American forces continued their advance on Japan and had taken Iwo Jima, an important island 1,000 miles from Japan, by March 1945 Japan The USS Shaw explodes The surprise attack sank
4 US. Navy Battleships
3 Cruisers
3 Destroyers
1 Minelayer
Also destroyed were 188 aircraft
2,402 personnel were killed and another 1,282 were wounded
Also damaged were a variety of support buildings around the Harbor Japan refused Hiroshima & Nagasaki On July 11th 1945, Allied leaders met in Germany to confirm plans for the occupation of Germany
They also repeated the demand for the unconditional surrender of Japan, the alternative being immediate and utter destruction From March to July, 1945 a hard fought 82 day battle claimed victory for the Allies in Okinawa
Allies were now only 340 miles from the Japanese mainland, well within strategic bombing range of
B-29 bombers This aerial photograph shows where Canadian troops landed and were starting to push inland The allied forces split the coast into 5 beaches, each assigned to a different country
Juno (Canada), Sword & Gold (Britain), Utah & Omaha (USA) The Canadians first fought a campaign to control the roads leading to Ortona starting on December 7, 1943

The main attack commenced on December 20 and ended on Dec 28
Canadians had to fight from house to house in a technique known as ‘Mouse-Holing’

The type of Urban fighting Canadians used was later introduced into British and Commonwealth training films On September 3, the Italian government signed an armistice agreement with allied forces
On the same day, the Allies launched their invasion of the mainland
Because the Italian army had stood down, the Allies landed with no opposition
Seeing that the Italians were no longer on their side, the German military moved quickly to disarm the Italians and take up defensive positions In Europe, the US wanted to invade France as soon as possible
England, on the other hand, wanted to control the seas around Europe and weaken the enemy from the outside
The compromise was a large scale invasion of France in 1944 while conducting a small scale invasion of Italy in 1943
Italy was seen as the key to controlling the war from the Mediterranean Sea
By controlling the Mediterranean , Allies would better be able to communicate with Allied forces and countries, such as Egypt Canada at War
Italy Several leadership changes occurred in April 1945
On April 12th, American President Roosevelt died in office. He was succeeded by Harry Truman
On April 28th, Benito Mussolini was executed by the Italian resistance
On April 30th, Adolph Hitler committed suicide after suffering a nervous breakdown and was succeeded by Grand Admiral Karl Donitz The war on the Pacific was still going strong in 1944, but the Japanese army was on the retreat
After suffering a devastating blow to her Naval fleet at the battle of Midway in 1942, Japan never recovered any forward momentum The major countries that were involved were in a state of ‘Total’ war.

This meant that they placed their entire economic, industrial and scientific resources at the service of the military

During this time, there was no distinction between civilian and military resources
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