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World War II
Transcript of World War II
Hitler Makes His Move
1933: Hitler withdraws Germany from League of Nations
March 1935 Hitler begins rebuilding Germany's military
Violates Treaty of Versailles
League of Nations does nothing
March 1936: Hitler moves 30,000 troops into the Rhineland
Violates Treaty of Versailles
France & League do not act
"The forty-eight hours after the march into the Rhineland were the most nerve-racking in my life. If the French had marched into the Rhineland, we would have had to withdraw with our tail between our legs, for the military resources at our disposal would have been wholly inadequate for even a moderate resistance." - Hitler
Hitler learns that the League, Great Britain, and France will not oppose him. Hitler will continue to violate the Treaty and become more aggressive.
German Troops Enter the Rhineland
German Troops Enter the Rhineland
Oct 1936: Germany & Italy form an alliance
1 month later Japan joins the alliance
Mussolini & Hitler
Italy Germany Japan
Organization started in 1940 to keep US out of the war.
Great Depression in America
Priority is American economy & jobs, not foreign problems
US still upset by how WWI ended
Isolationism: America does not become involved in other nation's problems
President Roosevelt is elected on this platform and the New Deal
Hitler Takes Austria
1937: Hitler plans to reunite Germany with Austria
Anschluss: Joining Austria with Germany
March 12, 1938: Nazi Troops march into Austria
Austria officially unites with Germany the following month
Violates Treaty of Versailles
German Troops Enter Austria
Poster Promoting Anschluss
Hitler Takes More
September 1938: Hitler wants control of the Sudetenland, part of Czechoslovakia
Britain protests this action
Sept 29, 1938: Munich Conference
Hitler meets with British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain
British will support Hitler if he promises not to take any more land (Czechoslovakia)
Hitler agrees to these terms
Munich Agreement: Hitler takes Sudetenland and will not take Czechoslovakia
Chamberlain Hitler Mussolini
Chamberlain & Hitler
Chamberlain arriving in England, telling the British people that he had achieved "peace in our time."
Reaction of the people of the Sudetenland
Appeasement: giving into the demands of one person/group in order to avoid conflict
March 1939: Hitler takes control of Czechoslovakia
Breaks Munich Agreement
"We are in the presence of a disaster of the first magnitude...we have sustained a defeat without war...and do not suppose that this is the end"
Nazi - Soviet Non-Aggression Pact
Germany & Soviet Union both want Poland
Nazis & Communists hate each other
Both sides want to avoid war with one another
Aug 23, 1939: Nazis & Soviets sign a non-aggression pact, agreeing not to go to war
Great Britain & France had been asking the Russians to join an alliance
Soviets & Germans agree to divide Poland
Germany will take the west, USSR will take control of the east
Nonaggression Pact Cartoons
Signing of the Pact
World War II Begins
Hitler Invades Poland
Sept 1, 1939: German troops invade Poland
New style of warfare: Blitzkrieg "Lightning War"
Planes, tanks, light infantry moving fast
Sept 3: Britain & France declare war on Germany
World War II has begun
German Tanks & Infantry
Sept 17: Soviets invade Poland from the east
The Phony War
Britain & France prepare for German attack
Nothing happens. It is a "Sitzkrieg," a Sitting War
Hitler waiting for the Spring to launch offensive
The Nazis Strike
April 1940: Hitler invades Denmark & Norway
May 1940: Hitler invades Belgium, Netherlands & France
May 15: Holland surrenders
May 28: Belgium surrenders
June 10: Norway surrenders
Blitzkrieg warfare very effective
British troops retreat to Dunkirk on the coast
June 14: French government flees Paris
June 22: France surrenders to Germany
British, French, & Belgian soldiers retreat to the coast at Dunkirk
Trapped by Germans & English Channel
900 British ships sail across the English Channel to rescue the soldiers
May 26 - June 4: Operation Dynamo
340,000 British, French & Belgian soldiers rescued
Small victory, kept up morale despite the overall defeat
Soldiers at Dunkirk
German Troops Enter Paris
Great Britain Stands Alone
British Prime Minister
Hitler Targets Great Britain
Germany will need to invade England: Operation Sea Lion
Germany must weaken the Royal Navy, Royal Air Force, & Supply Lines
Battle of the Atlantic
U-Boats destroy British supply ships and weaken British Navy
Stop supplies & materials from reaching Great Britain
1939 : 222 ships sunk (114 by submarine)
1940 : 1059 ships sunk (471 by submarine)
1941 : 1328 ships sunk (432 by submarine)
1942 : 1661 ships sunk (1159 by submarine)
1943 : 597 ships sunk (463 by submarine)
1944 : 247 ships sunk (132 by submarine)
1945 : 105 ships sunk (56 by submarine)
Battle of Britain
July 1940: German Luftwaffe begins bombing of England
R.A.F.: Royal Air Force defends the skies over Great Britain
Outnumbered by the Luftwaffe
British have advantage of RADAR & better planes
Defeat the Luftwaffe
Hitler decides to bomb civilians, breaking the spirits of the British people
The London Blitz
German Luftwaffe begins bombing cities in England
Focus on London
Sept 1940 bombings begin
Last 76 straight nights
Blitz fails to break the British spirits
Hitler postpones invasion of Great Britain
German Bomber over London
People spent nights in bomb shelters and tube stations.
Churchill Tours London
Hitler Invades USSR
June 22, 1941
3 million German troops invade Soviet Union
“The Red Army, the Red Navy, and all citizens of the Soviet Union must defend every inch of Soviet soil, must fight to the last drop of blood for our towns and villages, must display the daring, initiative and mental alertness characteristic of our people.”
United States Provides Aid
Aid To Great Britain
Great Britain was in desperate need of supplies & war materials
March 1941: Roosevelt passes Lend-Lease Act
US will "loan" war materials to any nation at war with the Axis Powers
$50 billion in aid ($31 billion to Great Britain)
Where did the aid go?
FDR & Churchill Meet
Roosevelt & Churchill meet off the coast of Newfoundland
Discuss the war
Plan for a postwar Europe
Atlantic Charter: agree on what will happen when the war is over
Similar to Wilson's 14 Points from WWI
US Aids China
US provided military aid to China against Japan
US wants to stop Japan from expanding too far into the Pacific
September 1940: Japan invades Indochina
US creates an embargo on Japan, stopping trading with Japan & freezing all financial assets ($)
Japan begins planning attack on US
Japan Attacks Pearl Harbor
Japanese navy will sail to Hawaii
Launch air attack on US fleet at Pearl Harbor
Destroy US naval power in the Pacific
Must destroy aircraft carriers & fuel reserves
December 7, 1941, Sunday morning
Japanese carriers launch 2 waves of fighter planes
Fly to Pearl Harbor
Bomb ships along Battle Ship Row
Bomb airfields & radio stations
2,300 Americans killed & 1,100 wounded
18 ships sunk or damaged, including 8 battleships
1,117 men killed on the USS Arizona
350 aircraft destroyed
Japanese miss aircraft carriers & fuel reserves
Pearl Harbor Memorial
America At War With The Axis Powers
December 8, 1941: President Roosevelt asks Congress for a declaration of war against Japan
Two days later Germany & Italy declare war on the US
US joins Great Britain as a member of the Allied Powers
America will now fight a two-theatre war
Pacific Theatre: Japan
European Theatre: Germany & Italy
Japan Strikes in the Pacific
Pearl Harbor not the only Japanese attack
Japanese attack the Philippine Islands, Guam, Midway Island, Wake Island
Japan attacks British possessions
US & British forces defeated by the Japanese
Japan expands its empire into the Asia & the Pacific
Bataan Death March
April 9, 1942: US & Filipino forces surrender in the Philippines
Japanese march prisoners to POW camps 60 miles away
7,000 - 10,000 died on the march
Prisoners were beaten, killed, & denied water
Bataan Death March used as propaganda against the Japanese
Images of the March
"The hours dragged by and, as we knew they must. The drop-outs began. It seemed that a great many of the prisoners reached the end of their endurance at about the same time. They went down by twos and threes. Usually, they made an effort to rise. I never can forget their groans and strangled breathing as they tried to get up. Some succeeded. Others lay lifelessly where they had fallen." - Lt. Colonel William Dyess
By 1942, Japan controlled much of Southeast Asia and the Pacific west of Hawaii.
America Strikes Back
Japan had been on the offensive & had been victorious for 5 months
The US needed a victory
Lt. Col. James Doolittle organizes a bombing raid on Japan
Few believed it could be done
Doolittle modified 16 B25 bombers for a raid on Tokyo, Japan
April 18, 1942: USS Hornet sails 600 miles from Japan
Doolittle's Raiders take-off & head to Tokyo
Japanese did not believe American planes could reach the mainland
The raid targets factories & military targets
After dropping their bombs, the bombers head to China.
The Raids lift American spirits & morale.
Japan could be hit.
Japanese military pulls planes from the Pacific to defend Japan.
Cartoons reacting to the Doolittle Raids using strong racist imagery
Doolittle & his Raiders
Doolittle's modified bombers on board the USS Hornet prior to take-off
President Roosevelt Awarding Doolittle the Medal of Honor
in the Pacific
Battle of the Coral Sea: May 1942
Japan wanted to expand south toward New Guinea, establish bases & launch attacks on Australia to prepare for a possible invasion
1st naval battle in history fought between aircraft carriers launching planes
Neither side's naval vessels fought each other
US fleet able to stop Japan's advance
Morale boost for the US
US loses aircraft carrier USS Lexington (sunk) & USS Yorktown (heavily damaged)
Japan will not expand any further south
Battle of Midway
Japanese plan to attack Midway Island
Whoever controls Midway controls the Pacific
US had broken the Japanese code
US prepared for attack
June 3-6, 1942
US planes destroy & sink 4 Japanese carriers
Stop Japanese from taking over the Pacific
America will now go on the offensive
Video on the Sinking of the Japanese Carriers at Midway
America Goes Island Hopping
US will have to move slowly towards Japan
Take control of strategic islands
Cut off islands and supplies to Japanese troops, navy
Use captured islands as bases to launch attacks on other islands and the Japanese mainland
"Squeeze" Japanese forces out of the Pacific
Battle of Guadalcanal
1st Major US Offensive
June 1942 - Feb 1943
Have to invade and conquer islands on the way to Japan
Difficult fighting on the islands
Japanese troops dug into defensive positions
Japanese troops will not surrender
Difficult environment, jungle terrain
Turning Point Battles
Battle of El Alamein
Allies must gain control of North Africa & Protect the Suez Canal
Allies led by Gen Bernard Montgomery
Axis led by Gen Erwin Rommel
Allies win and drive Germany's Afrika Korp out of Africa
North Africa will be used as the launching area for the Allied invasion of Sicily & then Italy
Invade Europe from the south
Battle of Stalingrad
Hitler orders the city to be taken at any cost
German army of 1 million men surrounds the city
Russian army & civilians defend the city
Intense urban warfare
Brutal conditions for both sides
Germans take most of the city but can not hold
Russians launch counter attack
"Surrender is forbidden. 6 Army will hold their positions to the last man and the last round and by their heroic endurance will make an unforgettable contribution towards the establishment of a defensive front and the salvation of the Western world."
Hitler's communication with von Paulus.
"Not one step backward"
- Stalin's message to the Russian people
German army begins to surrender
91,000 surrender to the Russians
German Army begins the slow retreat out of Russia
Bodies of German Soldiers
Propaganda cartoon showing the strength of the Russian Army, standing up to such an overwhelming German attack
Invasion of France is Planned
Allies need to open another front in Europe
Allied troops in Itlay
Russian troops moving west
Open a new front in France
Operation Overlord: Allied invasion of Northern France
A Speech to the Party
The War in Europe
September 3: Britain & France
declare war on Germany.
World War II begins
Citizen of Paris weeps as Nazi Germany's Army marches through Paris and begins its occupation of the city
Hitler Tours Paris
Hitler Meets Petain for the French surrender
Cartoon showing Hitler & Mussolini with a blinded Liberty signing the French surrender.
Allied Ship Losses
News reel footage on the London Blitz
News Reel on the Dunkirk Evacuation
Russians suffer huge losses
Burn fields & cities as they retreat
Millions of Russians die
Soviet Union joins Great Britain in an alliance
War in the Pacific
End of WW2
April 30, 1945: Hitler commits suicide
May 7, 1945: Germany surrenders to the Allies
August 6, 1945: US drops Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima, Japan. "Little Boy"
August 9, 1945: US drops Atomic Bomb on Nagasaki, Japan. "Fat Man"
September 2, 1945: Japan surrenders to US General Douglas MacArthur and the Allies
Show clips from "The Battle of Britain"
World War II
The War in Europe Part 2
The conference was held in Germany between the "Big Three," Stalin, Truman and Churchill. They discussed the future of Germany after their surrender in May 1945.Truman wanted to avoid a repetition of Treaty of Versailles by allowing the the occupying nations of Germany to exact reparations only from their own zone of occupation.
Significance: Germany was divided into 4 parts, thereby creating a divided Germany and a divided Berlin. One result of the conference was a 26 July joint proclamation by the U.S., Great Britain and China. This "Potsdam Declaration" described Japan's present perilous condition, gave the terms for her surrender and stated the Allies' intentions concerning her postwar status. It ended with an ultimatum: Japan must immediately agree to unconditionally surrender, or face "prompt and utter destruction".
The Yalta Conference took place in Russia and it was where Rooselvelt, Churchill, and Stalin made important decisions about the future progress of the war and the post-war world. Since the war in Europe was practically over, the world leaders discussed their plans to have the Soviets participate in the Pacific war.
Significance: The Soviets were granted a sphere of influence in Manchuria following Japan's surrender. The future of Germany was to assume some of the reparations of the war, Germany was to be divided into occupation zones and the liberated nations of Europe would create democratic governments of their own choice.
Battle of the Bulge
December 1944 - January 1945
This was the last major Nazi offense against the Allies. It was Hitler last attempt to split the Allies in two and destroy their ability to supply themselves. Hitler ordered a massive attack on the primary American forces; the Ardennes Offensive, but it created a bulge in the Allied front line and became known as the "Battle of the Bulge." The Nazis lost the battle due to their inability to keep their armoured columns supplied with fuel.
Significance: Since the Battle of the Bulge was the last Nazi offensive, their defeat meant that they had nothing left to oppose the advance of the British and Americans into Germany.
D-Day/ Normandy Landings
June 6, 1944
The Normandy landings was the landing operations in Operation Overlord. Eight American, British, and Canadian divisions landed by sea or parachuted down along a 50-mile (80 km) stretch of the Normandy coast divided into five sectors: Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword.By the end of July they had broken out into open territory and were racing for Paris. By December, Allied armies had pushed the Germans back within their own borders, and were preparing the final advance into Germany itself.
Significance: It was the turning point of WWII and marked the start of the Allies' invasion of Western Europe. It was the liberation of France and eventual defeat of Germany, resulting in the end of WWII in Europe.
Battle of Stalingrad
Significance: Stalingrad was a turning point because General Zhukov launched a counterattack, forcing the Germans to surrender and retreat.
It was considered a turning point in WWII, since the German army was in full retreat after this battle. The goal of invading the USSR was to capture the oil fields in Caucasus and Stalingrad which was Russia's center of communications in the south, as well as its industrial heartland. The Germans took a great deal of the city but failed to assert their authority. Areas captured by day would be taken by the Russians at night. By November 19th, the Russians launched a counteroffensive and surrounded the German army. The German army surrendered in January 1943 because they had no resources left and had to face a harsh winter.
November 28, 1943
Stalin, Rooselvelt and Churchill
The Tehran Conference was a meeting between the "Big Three," Joseph Stalin, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill. During the meeting, the leaders coordinated their military strategy against the Axis powers in Europe and Asia. Britain and America finally launched Operation Overlord, an invasion of northern France, to be executed in May of 1944. The Soviets had long pushed to open a second front to relieve the pressure off the USSR finally got what they wanted.
Significance: They diverted Hitler's attention and landed on the beaches of Normandy (D-Day). Only in Omaha did they run into trouble. Once landed, the allies proceeded to land vast amounts of equipment and soldiers. Under the command of Montgomery, the Allies steadily pushed the German forces back and took Paris in August 25 of 1944.
Battle of the Kursk
The battle of the Kursk was the biggest tank battle and resulted in severe crises for Germany's war machine in Russia.
Significance: It was the last major German offensive launched in Russia. After losing thousands of men and numerous tanks, the German army retreated. The Soviets "liberated" and occupied Eastern Europe, except for Yugoslavia.
January 14-24, 1943
The Casablanca Conference was a meeting between President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill over the finalization of Allied strategic plans against the Axis powers and the commitment to "unconditional surrender."
Significance: On the final day of the conference Roosevelt declared that the only way to ensure post-war peace was "unconditional surrender." It did not entail the destruction of the populations of the Axis powers but rather, "the destruction of the philosophies in those countries in which are based on conquest and subjugation of other people." He also made it clear that neither the US or Britain would seek a separate peace with the Axis powers.
Battle of El Alamein
This battle was fought in the deserts of North Africa because of the oil fields in the Middle East. After losing the Suez Canal, the Allies could not afford to lose North Africa. El Alamein was the last stand for the Allies in North Africa. It was fought between two outstanding commanders, Montgomery (British) and Rommel (German).
Significance: The Allied victory at El Alamein led to the retreat of the Afrika Korps and the German surrender in North Africa in 1943.
Battle for Moscow ("Operation Typhoon)
October 2, 1941
This was the final attempt to capture Moscow and break the Red Army. Germany invaded the USSR, confident in the Blitzkrieg's ability to crush all Soviet resistance. Initially successful, the Germans pushed deep into the Soviet Union. However, upon reaching Leningrad, Moscow, Kharkov, and Rostov, the German army's supplies started dwindling and the harsh weather of autumn set in. Russia relied on its large population and abundant resources to replace the millions lost. This was to Russia's advantage.
The Germans launched their offensive in early October, which quickly shattered the Soviet army's front line of defense, leaving them surrounded. The German army raced toward Moscow, but was slowed down by the Soviet army and the weather. The autumn rain had turn the dirt roads to mud, greatly restricting German mobility. By November, the rain had slackened, but the German forces had no reserves left and their strength dropped, while fresh Soviet troops arrived at the front. The Germans resumed the offensive by mid-November, but were stalled by repeated counterattacks. Exhausted and demoralized, they halted along the entire front by December 5th. They had failed to complete their mission and as the snow and intense cold of winter set in, the Soviets launched their winter counteroffensive.
Significance: The failure of German forces at Moscow doomed Germany to fighting a prolonged struggle on the Eastern Front. This part of the war would consume the vast majority of its manpower and resources for the remainder of the conflict.
Battle of the Atlantic
1939 - 1945
The Battle of the Atlantic was the longest and most important campaign of WWII. The British Royal Navy and the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) were working together to build a naval force that could keep the German navy in check. German U-boats patrolled the seas and tried to starve Great Britain by attacking boats carrying supplies. Over time, a convoy system was devised to protect shipping routes and anti- submarine devices were used to detect U-boats. Breaking codes of the Germany navy's Enigma machines, which they used for communication, was a key to the Allies success. By 1943, the Battle of the Atlantic was mostly over.
Significance: The Atlantic Charter was created, which established (among other terms) freedom of the seas. The survival of Great Britain was at stake as well as the liberation of Western Europe.
Invasion of Palermo (Italy)
Significance: The Allies drove Axis air, land and naval forces from the island; the Mediterranean's sea lanes were opened and Italian dictator Benito Mussolini was toppled from power. It opened the way to the Allied invasion of Italy.
Summary: Once the Allied forces had landed, they were able to advance with relative speed across the island. The more battle-tested British troops were assigned the tougher course along the eastern side of the island. American divisions paralleled them to the west. Within two weeks they were converging on the north of the island and sweeping all Axis troops before them. Faced within imminent defeat, Germany and Italy attempted to evacuate their armies to the mainland, but only the Germans were very successful.
Outcome: Allies gained footing.
Significance: Dethroned Mussolini
Summary: The Allies drove Axis air, land and naval forces from the island; the Mediterranean's sea lanes were opened and Italian dictator Benito Mussolini was toppled from power. It opened the way to the Allied invasion of Italy.
Outcome: Allied victory.
Summary: Three separate locations along the northern coast of Africa were chosen for an amphibious landing. Minimal resistance was met by theFrench and the Allies quickly managed to take the coast.
Outcome: Victory for the Allies.
Significance: Cleared the Axis powers from North Africa, improved naval control of the Mediterranean Sea, and prepared for an invasion of southern Europe in 1943.