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International History 1919-1945

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Kay Yong Khoo

on 12 April 2018

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Transcript of International History 1919-1945

What was the world like before the Cold War?
from allies to enemies
Communism: 1
Democracy: 0

Relations between USSR & the west
Ideological rivalry in Germany
International search for security
opposing ideologies competing world order
Relations before WW1
Triple Entente
Anglo-Russian Entente
Franco-Russian Alliance
Entente Cordiale
Provisional Government
Russia under the Tsar Nicholas II
Political autocracy
Economic backwardness
Social Inequality
Military disaster in WW1

Overthrown by Provisional Government
made up of members of Duma
Alexander Kerensky
no end to war
October Revolution 1917
Bolsheviks under Lenin
Clear agenda: April Thesis
Clear slogan: Peace Bread Land
Clear outcome: Utopian Socialism
Clear message: All power to the Soviets
Clear leaders: Leon Trotsky
Clear followers: Red Army
Clear plans: Decree on Peace and Land
Russian Civil War 1917-1922
Treaty of Brest-Litvosk
Peace with Germany
Loss of Ukraine
Splitism in non-Russian states

Whites vs Reds
West wants Russia back in WW1
Support for White generals & ex Provos
War Communism
The Communist International
Founding Congress 1919
Lenin, Trotsky & Zinoviev
Workers of the World Unite
Communist Parties of the world

Second Congress 1920
Dictatorship of the Proletariat
Exporting revolution

Third Congress 1921
Revolutions of 1917-1923 in Germany, Hungary, Italy
Union of the Soviet Socialist Republics 1922
Wilsonian Internationalism
Woodrow Wilson's 14 Points
Reliance on open diplomacy
Freedom of the seas
Free trade
Self-determination for ex colonies
Assistance for Russia
Integrity of Belgium
Return of French territories
Italian borders based on ethnicity
Autonomy for the peoples of Austria-Hungary.
Independence of Balkan states
Self-determination for ex-Ottoman Empire
Independence for Poland.
The formation of a League of Nations to guarantee independence for all countries, large and small.
League of Nations
Covenant of the League
Collective Security
Conflict Resolution
Social Economic Development

Organs of the League
Permanent Court of International Justice
International Labour Organisation
Permanent Mandates Commission
Washington Naval Conference 1922
4 Power Treaty (US, UK, France, Japan) on the Pacific
9 Power Treaty on China
5 Power Treaty on naval tonnage limitation

Treaty of Rapallo 1922
annul all mutual claims from Treaty of Brest-Litvosk
restore full diplomatic ties
German military trainings & arms testing in Soviet territories
aircraft & artillery building, flying school for pilot training, tank school, chemical weapons facility
Soviet access to German technology, technical & military training
relations were cordial;
common enemy
contain Germany
Russia turned Communist
broke alliance with west
left the west to fight Germany
first clash between communists & the west
Russian mistrust of the west
Suspicion led to deterioration of relations
Communism creates a world order safe for itself
distinguishes communism from socialism
Collective Insecurity
Locarno Pact 1925
Rhineland Pact: acceptance of western border
eastern borders open to revision
admission of Germany into LoN
Chamberlain, Dawes, Briand, Stresseman

Treaty of Berlin 1926
Affirmation of Treaty of Rapallo
Non-aggression between Germany & USSR

Kellogg-Briand Pact 1929
Renounces use of war as means of conflict resolution
included the USSR

Litvinov's Pact 1929
Soviet-Polish Non-aggression Pact
West's vision of new world order
promotion of democracy, development & capitalism
mechanism to enforce western new world order
US not in LoN (Article X League Convenant)
UK & France as reluctant leaders
fluid membership with no mandate, no military
attempts to stop arms race
protect advantage of US &UK
US not as isolationist
alliance of pariah states against western isolation
shares common enemy: Poland
secures peace for the west
allows war in the east
rehabilitates Germany
threatens Poland
isolates USSR

USSR finds ways to counter isolation
Soviet-German Non-aggression Pact
Reinsurance treaty for Germany
What does this source tell you about the Washington Naval Conference? [5]
Inference of message:
What do you know about the WNC? Use your contextual knowledge.
What persuasive techniques are used? What is the point?
Any Exaggeration? Symbolism? Labelling? Irony? Analogy? Humour?

The source tells me that the WNC was [contextual inference eg. means for US & UK to preserve their own powers]
This can be seen [source evidence eg. they are casting a look of disapproval at Japan while committing her to a smaller naval limit]
This means that [explain to link eg. the WNC was unfair / was likely to spark more unhappiness]
A British cartoon on the Locarno Pact L-R Aristide Briand, Austin Chamberlain & Gustav Stresseman.
What is the message of this cartoon?
What fact does the artist want to put across?
What can you infer? Use your contextual knowledge.
What persuasive technique is used?
What feeling does he want to convey?
How is he saying it?

The message is that [inference eg. the Locarno Pact brought peace to Germany, Britain and France]
This can be seen [evidence eg. they are shaking hands]
This means that [explain link eg. they have normalised their relations.

The message is that [inference eg. the cartoonist suspects the sincerity of France]
This can be seen [evidence eg. Briand is wearing a boxing glove]
This means that [explain link eg. France is still wary of Germany]
The message is that the Locarno Pact was only a peace gesture, it was not real.
Why did the artist draw this cartoon?
What is his message?
what does the artist want to say?
how is he saying it?
What is his purpose in saying it?
who is his audience?
what impact & outcome does he want to achieve from saying it?

The artist drew this cartoon because [reason, inference eg. he wanted to criticise the Kellog-Briand Pact as hallow/USA was insincere]
This can be seen [evidence eg. US' is covered by the Kellog Anti-War plan, but still builds a strong navy for prevention]
This shows that [explain link eg. US did not really believe that the Kellog-Briand Pact would really bring peace/ US still wants to preserve their own naval superiority]
Communism: 0
Democracy: 1

Communism: 0
Democracy: 0
Fascism: 1

Peace Settlement
Paris Peace Conference
German Revolution of 1918
Abdication of Kaiser Wilhelm II
Social Democrats: Weimar Republic
Armistice was a socialist conspiracy?
Llyod George (UK), Woodrow Wilson (USA), Georges Clemenceau (France)
Recovery, Future Peace, Revanche

Treaty of Versailles
Guilt Clause: Military Limitation, Territorial Losses, War Reparation
Military felt "stabbed in the back", defense at stake
Versailles diktat offered no self-determination to Germans in lost territories
Reparation led to economic collapse
Communist Uprisings
Spartacus League in Berlin (Spartakusbund)
Munich Soviet Republic (Raterrepublik)
Karl Liebneckt & Rosa Luxemburg / Eugene Levine
aims to set up Communist State of Workers
Germany after WW1 was ripe for revolution
inspired by 1917 Bolshevik Revolution in Russia

Failure of Communist Uprisings
Deployment of returned soldiers (Freikorps)
Kapp Putsch
Russian Civil War, no help for Kommunist Partei Deutschland (KPD)
Crisis in Weimar Germany
Political Crisis
Who appointed the Social Democrats?
Who was Friedrich Ebert?

Economic Crisis
War Reparation: 6.6 million GBP/269 billion gold marks
Ruhr Invasion by French into demilitarized Rhineland
Industrial action & work stoppages

Social Crisis
Loss of pension
Suffering of wage earner & fixed income
Bailouts & Reforms
Dawes Plan 1922
The Ruhr area was to be evacuated by Allied occupation troops.
Reparation payments would begin at “one billion marks the first year, increasing to two and a half billion marks annually after five years".
The Reichsbank would be reorganized under Allied supervision.

Curreny Stabilisation & Reforms 1923
Gustav Stresseman attempts to normalise international relations
Hjalmar Schacht: mortaged land for new Rentenmark > Reichsmark

Young Plan 1929
Reduction of reparation amount from 269 billion to 112 billion gold marks
instalment of 2 billion over 59 years (til 1988)
final repayment incl interest on 3 Oct 2010
Great Depession on Germany
Wall Street Crash 1929
Recall of US loans, collapse of US Banks

Economic Crisis in Germany
Bank closures
rise in demand social welfare benefits
disputes over solution

Political Crisis in Weimar Government
Weimar Constitution: Proportional Representation
Constitutional crisis 1930-1932: 3 Re-elections
Struggle of Left and Right
Rise of Radicalism
Popularity of Communists: socialising wealth
Propaganda of Nazis: creating a strong German state

Rise of National Socialism (Nazism)
Grievances of Versailles
Effects of Great Depression
Bankruptcy of Weimar Republic
Charisma of Hitler
Terror & Propaganda by Sturm Abteilung (SA)
Fear of Communists

Decision of the Weimar Government
Better Hitler than the Communists
Feb & Nov 1932 Elections
Franz von Papen appoints Hitler Vice-Chancellor
Totalitarianism in Nazi Germany
Political Controls
1933 Reichstag Elections passes Enabling Act: eliminates Social Democrats
1933 Reichstag Fire: eliminates Communist Party members
1934: Night of Long Knives: eliminate SA; wins over Wehrmacht
Death of President Hindenburg: Hitler becomes Fuhrer
Dachau: Concentration camps for political enemies

Economic Controls
Autarky: self-sufficiency
Reich Labour Service: Bans trade unions, controls all workers
Rearmament: remilitarisation, creates employment

Social Controls
Hitler Youth/League of German Maidens
Nuremburg Racial Laws 1938
Article 231 Treaty of Versailles
The Allied and Associated Governments affirm and Germany accepts the responsibility of Germany and her allies for causing all the loss and damage to which the Allied and Associated Governments and their nationals have been subjected as a consequence of the war imposed upon them by the aggression of Germany and her allies.
Was the Treaty of Versailles a fair peace settlement? Explain your answer. (10)
L1/1 Uncritical response
L2/2-3 Describes the topic
L3/4-5 Agress & explains or Disagrees & explains
L4/6-7 Both aspects of L3
L5/8-10 Reaches critical understanding & informed judgement
L1/1-2 Identifies one reason
L2/3-4 Identifies another reason
L3/5-6 Explains one reason
L4/7-8 Explains another reason
L5/9-10 Your assessment
Why did the early Weimar Republic experience political instability? (10)
Versailles settlements intended to punish Germany
led to more unease than peace
Allied powers did not honour 14-Points
The west won the war but lost the way
democracy got off to a bad start in Germany
KPD presented serious threat to SDP
Comintern's world revolution was real
Communism would remain a viable alternative to a troubled Germany
Recovery in the Republic
Stresseman era 1923-1929
End to industrial action in the Ruhr
Withdrawal of French & Belgian troops
Loans stimulated economic growth & employment
Proposed ratification of Franco-German borders
Signed Locarno Treaties
Normalised international relations
Admitted in the League of Nations 1925
Conditions were right for a leftist take-over
Western powers proved they were bullies
Germans military was not defeated
Germany was sold out by the Social Democrats
Democracy is discredited
US loans spurred economic development
Credit backed currency reforms
Stresseman won political mileage
Middle class won over to democracy
Capitalism rescued Weimar from crisis
Weakness of democracy: capitalism has market cycles
Capitalism leads to social inequality; wealth in the hands of industrialists and upper classes
democracy brings division, coalition and politicking
democracy is indecisive
"Relying on this will to peace, we set our signature to this treaty. It is to introduce a new era of cooperation among the nations. It is to close the seven years that followed the War, by a time of real peace, upheld by the will of responsible and far-seeing statesmen, who have shown us the way to such development, and will be supported by their peoples, who know that only in this fashion can prosperity increase. May later generations have cause to bless this day as the beginning of a new era."
A speech by Stresseman after the Locarno Treaties
How reliable is this source as evidence that the USA has brought peace to Europe? [7]
How reliable is this source as evidence that the USA has brought peace to Europe? [7]
L1/1 Answers based on provenance alone
L2/2 Use of content lifted
L3/3-4 Use of content inferred with contextual knowledge
eg. Reliable becasue cooperation was made possible by economic recovery
L4/5-6 Use of content cross-referenced with other sources or contextual knowledge
eg. Reliable because Dawes Plan faciltated French withdrawal from Ruhr, resumption of reparation payment, leading to currency reforms and economic growth
eg. Unreliable because Locarno was attempted by Germans to win French trust; does not mean that USA has brought peace to Europe
L5/7 Use of developed evaluation
eg. Stressesman had to say these words in the speech after the signing of the Locarno Pact. Though the Dawes Plans has helped German economic recovery and eased tension somewhat, we know that Germany is still in military alliance with the USSR and France, with her alliance with Poland, is still suspicious of Germany.
Nazi 1932 Election Poster: Work and Bread
Can you believe what this source says about Germany in 1932? [7]
L1/1 Answers from source details
L2/2 Provenance alone
L3/3-4 Content inferred
I can believe there there was unemployment in Germany
L4/5-6 Content Cross-referenced
I cannot believe, in 1932 the Nazi were not in power to provide jobs
L5/7 Developed evaluation
I cannot believe. this is an election poster motive to portray Nazis as solution; exaggerate Nazi capability.
Effects of Great Depression discredited capitalism and led to fear of communism
Hitler presented alternative ideology to save Germany
Which of these two sources is more reliable about the rise of Nazism in Germany? [7]
L1/1 Details from source
L2/2 Answers from provenance
L3/3 Comparison of content
L4/4-5 Evalutes reliability
British cartoon is reliable that Hitler uses terror to frighten Germans XR CK
German cartoon is reliable that Hitler uses SA to initimate Germans XR CK
L5/6-7 Developed evaluation
Enhanced reliability
Strong government = totalitarianism
Economic control to build military
Political control to build dictatorship
Social control to build fascism
Aim was to destroy democracy & communism
Soviet Self-Defence
Stalin was not Lenin ideal successor
Stalin's power struggle with Trotsky; shaky alliance with Kameniev & Zinoviev
Diplomatic isolation by the League of Nation & the west

Implemented 3 Five-Year Plans to industrialise the USSR
1928-33: collectivisation of agriculture, elimination of kulaks, famines
1933-37: heavy industries, transport, mining, Purges
1937-31: consumer goods, arms and ammunition

Industrialise the Soviet Union to be more efficient & sufficient
Defend the Soviet Union from the west
Eliminate his political rivals & opponents to establish his dictatorship
US Isolationism
1929-34: Effects of Great Depression:
Economic Protectionism
New Deal: Relief, Recovery, Reforms
Reliefs: Public Works Admin, Farm Security Admin, Rural Electrification, Agricultural Adjustment Admin, Housing Act,
Recovery: Restore competitiveness, Anti-trust laws, Improve wages, Local production, Social Securities Programme
Reforms: Banking reforms, Federal Deposit Insurance, Federal Reserve System, Securities Regulation, End of Prohibition

1935-39: Neutrality Acts
No arms and ammunition shipments
Forbade loans and credits to agents of international conflict
Embargo on shipments to Japan; aid to China on British ships
Fascism in Japan
Fascism in Italy
1920s: strength of Italian Socialist Party + weak monarchy
1922: Fascist Party & Blackshirts led by Mussolini attempted March on Rome
Fascist show of strength: King Victor Emmanuel III made Mussolini PM

Once in power, Mussolini's National Fascist Party
used Blackshirt violence to take over Parliament
assassinated Socialist leaders, banned other political parties
Doctrine of Fascism:
Italian identity based on military foundation
sacrifice individualism for Italian State
monopoly of culture: used propaganda to promote personality cult
Education to indoctrinate youths to respect and be obedient to authority
National employment schemes created jobs and pride in Italian fascism
National Secuity Volunteer Militias created police state
Corporatism: State planned economy
Territorial expansion in Abyssinia in 1935
Overturning Versailles
Geneva Disarmament Conference 1932 Feb
German demand for equality of armaments; abolishing Article V
Withdrawal from LON 1933
95.1/96% favoured withdrawal
Rearmament 1934 (Legit?)
To solve the effects of Great Depression on Germany
Goring's 4-Year Plans of building autarky & armaments
Auschluss 1934 (Legit?)
To grant self-determination to German-speaking Austrians
Hitler attempted to seek union with Austria using pro-Nazi party members
assassinated Engelbert Dollfuss, Austrofascist dictator, aligned with Mussolini
Saarland Plebescite, Jan 1935 (Legit?)
90.8% / 98% Saarlanders voted to return to Germany
Remilitarisation of the Rhineland 1936 (legit?)
Was it against Versailles? Was it against Locarno?
Hossbach Memorandum 1937
Appeasement of Germany
Geneva Disarmament Conference 1932
impossible to please Germany & France
Britain's reponse: Anglo-German Naval Agreement, Jun 1935
German rearmament up to 35% of Royal Navy
Attempts at Anschluss 1935
Britain & France created Stresa Front with Mussolini to counter Hitler
Hoare-Laval Pact meant to win Mussolini but drove him to Hitler
Remilitarization of the Rhineland 1936 (Legit?)
British: it's Germany's own backyard
France: Gen Gamelin: it will cost France 30 mil francs per day
Anschluss with Austria 1938 (Legit?)
Hitler demanded power for Austrian Nazis
Kurt Schuschnigg attempts Austrian Referendum denied
Austrian Nazi - Seyss-Inquart too power, German troops enter Vienna
UK response: "300 years ago Scotland joined England too" (The Times)
Was it against Versailles? Was it against Locarno?
Reactions to Germany
Overturning Munich
Democracies were split in their reactions to Fascism: containment vs co-existence
The spirit is willing but the rest is weak
Was it reasonable to believe Hitler was reasonable?
War-wearniess vs. War readiness
Why didn't Britain/France declare war on Germany when Czech was invaded?
Why wait till the invasion of Poland?
Too little too late? or Late is better than later?
Soviet Foreign Policy
Soviet Anti-democracy "Third International" 1928-1933
Comintern & links with Weimar Republic (Rappallo & Berlin)
Ultra-Leftism, no cooperation with Socialist Parties
defeat of communist parties eg. KPD in Germany
Shift from Ultra-Left: Soviet overtures to the west
Soviet Popular Fronts
Maxim Litvinov, Soviet Commissar for Foreign Affairs
pragmatic search for collective security
creation of Soviet Spheres of Influence
Soviet Polish Non-aggression Pact, 1932
Soviet-Finnish Non-aggression Pact, 1932
Soviet-Estonia Non-aggression Pact, 1932
Soviet-Lithuania Non-aggression Pact, 1932
Soviet entry into the League of Nations, 1934
support for Republicans in Spanish Civil War
proposed sanctions on Germany for remilitarising the Rhineland
military support for Czechoslovakia after Munich Agreement
Nazi-Soviet Pact
Munich Conference 1938 as turning point
Stalin saw Munich as affirmation of hidden motive of Locarno: "Go East"
Stalin was not consulted or involved in Munich
Anglo-Soviet Alliance?
Stalin invited British Foreign Secretary Lord Halifax but got minor official by boat
Soviet-British mistrust; Poland did not welcome Soviet alliance
any Soviet alliance with Britain meant war with Germany
Britain would not send troops to Poland; what is Danzig for?
Appointment of Vyacheslav Molotov as Foreign Minister
abandons collective security for unilateral security
from spheres of influence to creation of buffer zones in Baltic
Nazi-Soviet Treaty of Non-aggression aka Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, Oct 1939
Benefits for Stalin:
German non-intervention in battle of Khalkhin Gol with Japan, May 1939
return of former Russian territories lost in Treaty of Brest Litvosk
time to rearm after Red Army leadership Purges; 3rd Five Year Plans
Benefits for Hitler:
gains Poland without war on 2 fronts; focus on western front with France
return of Polish Corridor, Danzig, Silesia & territories lost at Versailles
Invasion of Poland 1 Sep 1939; Declaration of war 2 Sep 1939
Soviet domestic concerns
West's Anti-soviet campaigns
Soviet-western "cold war"; aversion to cooperation
Stalin embarks on strengthening his position, the defense of the USSR
5Y Plans, Purges, Propaganda
Timely threat from Nazi Germany
Rise of Fascist Alliance
Rise of Fascism after 1933
Comintern sponsored Popular Front government
Communists would work with Socialist governments eg. France & Spain
Spanish Civil War 1936-1939
Spanish Republic under President Manuel Azana.
Cabinet of socialists supported by Comintern & USSR
Challenged by Nationalists led by military generals eg. General Franco
Nationalist aka Fascists supported by Nazi Germany & Fascist Italy
Defeat of Spanish Republic in 1939; Spain turns Fascist
Anti-Comintern Pact 1936
signed between Japan and Germany to isolate the USSR on 2 fronts
joined by Italy in 1939
Rome-Berlin Axis (Pact of Steel)
to be formalised as Tripartite Pact]
Fascism emerges as new ideological force
US "isolationism": substance or show?
Was New Deal = Stalin's 5YP?
New Deal was US strong government in state intervention = Statism in communism?
Was democracy = socialist? fascist?
Was US Neutrality Acts really neutral?
Arms producers benefited from "neutrality"
Neutrality gave passive aid to enemy?
What is
Imperialist Japan:
Sino-Japanese War 1894
Russo-Japanese War 1904, WW1
Washington Naval Conference 1922 results in assassination of PM Hamaguichi
Militarist Japan
Role of samurais in Tokugawa Shogunate
Meiji Restoration 1688
The Last Samurai: Saigo Takamori: Satsuma rebellion 1877
Patriotic societies, Shintoism
weakness of Taisho Democracy results Tanaka Giichi Army Minister becomes PM
Expansionist Japan
Kwantung Army stationed in Manchuria
engineered Manchurian Incident 1931, sets up Manchukuo under Pu-yi
China petitions League of Nations; Lytton Commission to investigate
LON condemns Japan, Japan withdraws from LON in 1934
Signs Anti-Comintern Pact with Germany in 1936
Economic depression of capitalism and democracy
Fascism as an alternative ideology
The League of Nations lost collective security mandate
Democracies resorted to bilateral appeasement with Fascist dictators
Communism ups its diplomatic influence internationally
Communism confronts Fascism in the Spanish Civil War.

Italian Invasion of Abyssinia
Walwal incident 1934
Franco-Italian Agreement > free hand in Abyssinia
Italian troops build up in Eritrea & Somaliland
invasion with no declaration of war
Article X of LON Convenant?
Kellog-Briand pact?
LON imposed sanctions on Italy as aggressor (excl oil, US exports)
war did not go well with Italy; Mussolini wanted quick end
Samuel Hoare & Pierre Laval Pact
outcry in Britain & France for betraying the LON & Abyssinian people
plan was dropped but the damage was done
Mussolini turns to Hitler for alliance
"You have tried to give and to keep. You wanted to have your cake and eat it. You cancelled your words by your deeds and your deeds by your words. You have debased everything by fixing, intrigue and slickness...Not sensitive enough to the importance of great moral issues, you have reduced everything to the level of your petty methods" Leon Blum to Pierre Laval
German Foreign Aggression
Sudentenland, Czechoslovakia, Mar 1938
Sudenten German Party (SdP) demanded autonomy for supposed deprivation
Lord Runciman to mediate Czech & Sudeten Germans but failed
Berschtesgaden meeting 15 Sep 38
Chamberlain met Hitler: agreed to the cession of Sudetenland to Germany
Godesberg meeting 22 Sep 38
Chamberlain met Hitler: Hitler demanded military occupation of Sudetenland
Munich Conference 29 Sep 38 @Furherbau (Hochschule für Musik und Theater München)
Mussolini, Chamberlain, Daladier & Hitler
without Edvard Benes (Czech) and Stalin (USSR)
Sudetenland to be ceded to Germany or Czech can resist Germany alone
Hitler promised not more territorial demands
Sudetenland ceded on 1-10 Oct 1938
International commission to oversee final frontier against unprovoked aggression
Edvard Benes resigned as President
Cordon Sanitaire aka France's Little Ententes
Franco-Polish Military Alliance, 1921
Locarno Treaties, 1925
Franco-Czechoslovak Alliance, 1924
Franco-Soviet Treaty of Mutual Assistance, 1935-36
Anglo-Polish Military Alliance, 31 Mar 1939
Franco-Soviet Treaty of Mutual Assistance, May 1935
Seen by Germany as betraying Locarno's stand on eastern frontier
precipitated Hitler's remilitarisation of the Rhineland
German foreign policy 1933-35 was benign
German focus on Autarky and Nuremburg Laws, 1935
Was Facism the resurgence of pre-war (old) order
empire & imperialism
Or was it an new ideology
How should Democracy and Communism respond to Fascism?
Accommodation? Appeasement? Aggression?
First Vienna Award
Bohemia. Moravia, Silesia to Germany
Ruthenia to Hungary (85% Hungarian)
Cesky Tesin to Poland (36% Poles)
Total refugees 150,000
Sudeten Germans 97% voted Nazi
Invasion of Czechosolvakia
Britain & France loan of 12 mil pounds to save Czechoslovakia
Hitler negotiated with Slovak People's Party to proclaim independence
Emil Hacha told of German invasion on 15 Mar 1939
Hitler created German Protectorate of Bohemia & Moravia
What did Britain & France do?
Appeasement has failed
Chamberlain began mobilising British armed forces
Were the democracies hoping to egg Fascism to destroy Communism?
Could Fascism have been stopped if the Democracies were not so anti-Communists?
Why was Fascism able to come to terms with Communism?
Did the democracies have to declare war on Germany after its invasion of Poland?
Did Hitler really want the East or was he against the West?
Was WWII a continuation of WWI?
at War

Fascist Germany

Lebensraum – wants to make Germany the world power it wants to be
Uniting German speaking people – Anschluss – Austria
Czechoslovakia – Sudenten Germans
Czechoslovakia recognized as an independent state under Britain and France

Appeasement – Munich Agreement – 6 months later – Hitler invades the rest of Czechoslovakia
In 1936, US Congress passes the Neutrality Act

Communist Russia
Soviets playing for time, letting Hitler and Western democracies play each other off
Stalin is eyeing the Baltic states and Poland

Fascist Germany
Nothing to fear from US or USSR, Hitler invades Danzig Corridor
1919, German territory cut into 2 to give Germany access to the sea
Sept 1, 1939, 1st canon shot of WWII fired on Danzig

Recap: Different ideologies

First Phase – Hitler invades Poland – Democracies react!
Hitler is convinced that French and British will not take action
Yet, both governments send him an ultimatum
Sept 3, Britain and France declares war
Sept 17, Soviet Union invades Poland

French leadership – DEFENSIVE WAR

Reason for the Phoney war
Old commanders of WWI reappointed as leaders in WWII.
Maurice Gamelin, Commander of the Allied Franco-British Land forces,
no desire to fight the war of 1914
Considers he needs 2 years to rearm behind the Maginot line

German leadership – AGGRESSIVE WAR

Hitler believed in Heinz Guderian who had written a military pamphlet
“Achtung Panzer” (Blitzkrieg) based on speed and movement


First Phase -- Weapons and Equipment
Poland -- Polish cavalry charges German tanks and is slaughtered

Allied reluctance to fight the war
France -- 4 million men in France mobilised, head to border on foot
Armies still rely on horses, motorisation has not caught up
Shortage of equipment, 1 rifle for 2 per truck, 1 box of 10 bullets for 2
French have 40 divisions on the border

Germany - Germans have 15 divisions on the French border, the rest are in Poland.
Germans outnumbered 2 to 1 on the French border

First Phase – Fortifications
French -- Maginot Line -- Complex line of fortifications, took 10 years
Gun turrents linked together, 120 km from Swiss to Belgium borders, end at Ardennes Forrest
thought that German tanks could not get past the rough terrain
Stopped before Belgium because Belgium was an ally of France and opposed to it

German – Behind Maginot Line -- Siegfried line

4 days after declaring war, France invades Germany, 8km into the Saar region, to reassure public opinion that Poland has not been abandoned.

The Saar offensive stops and diminishes into skirmishes. Phoney War begins.

French strategies

German Strategy

Phoney War
-- on the French borders Germans don’t attack on the French borders, don’t want a second front. Focus on Blitzkrieg in Poland.

On the Polish borders
– speed and movement – large mobile mechanised forces through weak spots in the enemy’s lies and encircle them from behind.

Use of FM radios –
to pass on intelligence on the movement of German and enemy troops – allows for decentralized decision making to support units that have already broken through enemy lines.
1.Send in Stuka dive bombers to destroy railway lines, communication centres and create panic. 2. German tanks attack supported by motorised infantry. 3. Rely on speed to continue ahead and cut off enemy lines of support

On the new shared Polish border with USSR
Polish army surrenders to Germany in the west and in the east, USSR.
Stalin by invading Poland ( Nazi-Soviet Pact) unknowingly helps Hitler, common border with USSR to facilitate his plan to invade Russia

Second Phase – End of Phoney War, Invasion of Netherlands, Norway and France

Gamelin is expecting Germans to attack through Belgium and move to France like in WWI.
Gamelin intends to make his stand against the Germans on Belgium soil.
Colonel De Gaulle criticises this.
The Maginot mentality which consists of waiting for the other side to make a move.
De Gaulle argues taking the offensive, making massive use of tanks like the Germans.

German Strategy

Hitler launches an offensive against Denmark and Norway
Blitzkrieg – Wehrmacht takes Oslo in 2 days
Hitler is seeking to protect the Iron route, iron being indispensable.
50% is shipped out of Norwegian port of Narvik.

Franco British Expeditionary recon land in the field of Narvik, after a month, they take Narvik,
but they will have to abandon Narvik when they are brought back home to defend France.

Hitler prefers General von Manstein’s idea and rejects his generals’ previous plans to attack through Belgium
Cutting straight through the Ardennes forest, then cutting straight up, encircling the allies with a sickle cut movement.
In fact, a huge gamble because the allies could counter attack

May 10 1940, at dawn German paratroopers make a jump over Holland. Mission to capture the airfields and bridges

At Belgium, Para-engineers successfully destroy the gun turrets, allowing the German infantry capture the lynch pin of Belgium defences -- Fort Eben-Emael on the Albert Canal.

General Gamelin is confident, French strategy was to prepare for this during the Phoney War. French mechanised force move into Belgium, together with the BEF and French elite troops.

Hitler’s decoy

French Strategy

According to the French high command, no tanks could get through but the German tanks do.
In 3 days, Germans have swept through the Ardennes and are advancing towards the French defensive lines on the Meuse River.
French generals do not believe in this intelligence and react too slow too late.

Guderian doesn’t wait for the infantry and moves his tank division, believing that the enemy should not be given time. The German army takes over the Maginot Line without much French resistance.
He closes the pincer movement, trapping the bulk of French troops within two German armies.

Hitler's real offensive will be through the Ardennes
France was producing 300 tanks a month but this was being dispersed in all the sections to back up infantry.

A counter attack is ordered and Colonel De Gaulle distinguishes himself at the head of the tank brigade. French army possesses more tanks of better quality than the German panzers. But without any reinforcement, or aerial support, the French tanks become prey to the Stukas. Poorly prepared and with fewer planes, the French pilots are outnumbered by the Luftwaffe

French weapons

France & Britain’s declaration of war on Germany after the latter’s invasion of Poland did not entail the former’s defence of Poland. Poland still fell to Germany and the USSR.

What is the substance of a declaration of war? Was France and Britain’s actions and impact any different from Mar 1939 Invasion of Czechoslovakia?

Phoney War was not so “phoney” after all. The invasion of Poland was completed 6 Oct 1939. With no assistance from France and Britain to Poland and winter was approaching, it was timely for Hitler to await a peace deal before pursuing a war on the western front next spring.

Dunkirk, The Fall of Paris & the Battle of Britain

Hitler’s war was driven by the need to take over Poland quickly.
Denmark, Norway and Sweden needed to be secured for access to coal and oil in the North Sea.
France was only invaded for declaring war on Germany and leading limited skirmish into Rhineland.
Victory for German Army in the west through the Ardennes was not a foregone conclusion, it required a different strategy from the invasion of Poland.
Germany military gambles paying off in the invasion of France was with fallacy of hindsight


French Prime Minister Reynard dismisses Gamelin and appoints General Weygand and names another World War 1 hero as vice Premier, Philippe Petain who will turn his back on Reynard.
Reynard and De Gaulle want to continue fighting

Weygand orders a full retreat towards Dunkirk.

French Leadership

Turning Point – Hitler’s generals request to gather his forces and recoup losses,
Hitler orders the Halt to be permanent and fears an allied counterstroke.
Hitler had not expected the huge success that he has managed to achieve.

400 000 men cramp the beach, helpless and in disarray, one last chance of escape over the sea. Churchill famously orders any vessel that can float to get the soldiers out.

Germans finally attack, sending out the Stuka bombers and French hold back the Germans, suffering heavy losses. 218 000 British and 120 000 French troops are successfully evacuated.

Dunkirk seen as a success and the Dunkirk spirit is born but Churchill declares that Wars are not won by evacuation.  

Dunkirk Evacuation

Paris is declared an open city, turned over to the enemy without a fight.
Government moves to Bordeaux.

16 June 1940 Reynard is outmanoeuvred by the Council of Ministers in Bordeaux and he resigns. Philippe Petain is assigned to head the government announces that he is seeking an armistice. General De Gaulle denounces the armistice and leads the Free French resistance.
22 June 1940, Hitler brings the same railway car that signed the German armistice in WWI to sign the French armistice in WWII.

To spare troops Hitler decides to let France retain partial sovereignty, setting up a government at Vichy and with a limited army stripped of heavy weapons to maintain order

Defeat of France

It was a strategic and tactical mistake of Hitler to allow the Dunkirk evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force and the French Legion.
Hitler was not the best military commander.
Hitler did not plan to invade the UK. He hoped the Battle of Britain would force Churchill into non-intervention. He misunderstood Churchill’s personality. He thought the Battle of Britain and the Battle of the Atlantic and the German Atlantic Wall in France was sufficient deterrent to delay any Allied counter-attacks.

Was the Battle of Britain a forgone conclusion?

Britain is worried that the French navy will gave Germany an advantage.
He tells the French navy to scuttle your ships, join the British or sail under escort for demilitarisation

The French reject this and the British damage 2 and sink 1 French battleship.

The Vichy government breaks off diplomatic relations

Battle of Britain begins

June 4 Churchill also battling defeatists
We should fight on the beaches, on the landing grounds,…we shall never surrender.
Churchill’s radio talks to the nation

Almost 1000 Royal Air Force (RAF) planes had been destroyed in the Battle for France.
Hitler had thought that with the British would surely decide to move towards peace.
Churchill’s determination to go to war

British leadership

Hitler hoped the threat of invasion would be enough to encourage Britain to negotiate.
Churchill’s hardline rejection of Hitler’s peace overture
Any German victory depended on Luftwaffe winning the RAF

Operation Sea Lion

German plan called for 2 army groups to land on the shores of Britain
Paratroopers to be dropped to cover the flanks
Consolidate beachheads and push onwards
In a second phase, London to be cut off and encircled.

The sheer quantity of navy ships required
Britain Home Fleet
Meant the Luftwaffe needed to win full superiority in the air.

German Strategy

Ministry of aircraft production by Newspaper Tycoon Lord Beaverbrook
Aircraft production as first priority

Depended heavily on infantry and fixed defences.
Coastal areas were closed, planted with mines and barbed wire
GHQ Line (fortification) covering London and industrial areas on which British anti-tank guns were set up

British Strategy for defence

would be to conserve its air force as a fighting force no matter what provocation

Britain’s most important asset would be its highly effective radar system
Poland had also given Britain an example of the enigma code

Counters representing friendly and enemy aircraft were moved on a plotting table
the fighter command operations room which would make the decision on how many fighters to be called in to defence
Britain air defence network meant there was no need to fly wasteful patrols in the hope of catching sight of an enemy

RAF strategy

The leaders
Who made the military decisions?

Hawker Hurricane

Supermarine Spitfire

Messerschmitt 109 comparable to spitfire but more effective in higher attitudes and better at a dive
Messerschmitt 110 intended as a long range fighter
Aircraft disaster, too cumbersome to take on spitfire, needed to be escorted by 109

Types of aircraft

Junkers 87 Stuka precision dive bomber to support infantry actions
Formidable when Luftwaffe controlled the skies
Sirens to strike terror in the enemy and dive brakes to pull it out of steep attacks
Compared with single seat fighters, it was slow and poorly armed

British flew in 3 aircraft
In close formation in a turn, the 2 inside had to throttle back, manoeuvres had to be gentle and agility was lost
Would eventually break and one fighter ended up fighting alone
Packed tightly together, it was easy to spot and had a high risk of collision,
little attention to watch for the enemy
Luftwaffe was better suited
Basic formation was of 2, leader and wingman
Made up a section well-spaced and staged in height and position
Difficult to spot and plenty of room to keep a sharp lookout
Cross over turn, fly at the same speed, no throttle adjustments needed

Problem with British Tactics

Luftwaffe attack on British Channel convoys
Next step was a series of night attacks on British factories ports and air fields
July 1 German bombers mounted 1st major daylight raids
RAF presented with a terrible dilemma, present fighters or lose the ships
Dowding’s strategy was to refuse to respond to fighter sweeps

Battle of Britain --
Pre Battle -

360 aircraft RAF lost 200 spitfires and hurricanes in those first few weeks
However, no real danger to fighter command – deliveries were highest
Real danger lay in the toll of veteran pilots
Resulting in -- Squadron or flight leaders, less than half had any combat experience

July 10 start of Battle of Britain

Destruction of key radar stations
The targets were mainly radar stations out of the 5 that were hit 4 were up again in a few hours

Day before Eagle Offensive

North England had its first major raids
Assured by German intelligence that Northern airfields had been stripped to provide support to the South (not true)
20% offensive strength was destroyed, no more raids from Scandinavia

Southern England -- British radar screens were so swamped that individual units could no longer be told apart
Many airfields badly damaged
The RAF flew a 1000 fighter sorties. Hugh Dowding’s strategy of going for enemy bombers instead of engaging in one on one battles paid off

Eagle Offensive

Herman Goering announced radical changes
Greatest error --> no more effort to be spent on radar stations since they were proving too difficult to destroy
109 ordered to stick close to the bombers
Throwing away the advantage of height and the ability to attack
Had to zig zag to keep pace with the slower bombers waste fuel
For every bomber there would be 3 fighters
The no of missions would be curtailed; there weren’t enough 109s to escort bombers

Germany changes tactic

The main targets of the Luftwaffe were the sector stations and airfields
When main targets were defended by British, lesser airfields were hit instead
The first week of September saw no let up on the German assault, day after day, airfields were bombed until several key sector stations were barely able to function
The British planes were forced to defend their inner airfields, hard to destroy the bombers who were with their escorts
Often single German squadron of 30 bombers 100 escorts
Many British fighters had few experienced pilots left in each squadron
German pilots also losing confidence
18% German fleet damaged

A period of crisis for RAF fighter command

While RAF fighter command struggled, a bitter dispute broke out about Dowding’s handling, insisting that tactics must be changed

huge formations called big wings should be assembled to meet the Germans in big force

H/wer, Dowding had support, RAF would only survive if they took a conservative approach to conserving their force

Greatest strain, a fortnight of concerted attacks
Aircraft losses was now overtaking production and the system of rotation for pilots from hard pressed to quiet sectors was breaking down
No rested units were available to take their place
RAF command was on the brink of total collapse

Decision making

August 24, bombs had been dropped on a London suburb and RAF was ordered to drop bombs on Berlin
Hitler called them night gangsters and avowed revenge
Hitler insisted the Luftwaffe reply at once by bombing London
Sept 7, 1st great daylight attack on London
civilian casualties 448 people were killed --> unprecedented

4 days of continued night attacks and daylight raid confirmed that Luftwaffe strategy had changed radically
The pressure of command airfields had suddenly eased, took advantage of the lull, communications quickly repaired, pilots could catch up on rest, ground crew could repair the planes, the runways were reopened, turning point of the battle

Next phase Target London – Turning Point

Near certainty target was capital, 11th and 12th group assembled formations
To the Luftwaffe who had been told the British were down to their final 100 fighters, the scale of opposition would come as a surprise
As German formations were met with one attack after another the 109 peeled away either in one to one attacks or due to a shortage of fuel
By the time the bombers reached London, they had lost almost all their fighter escorts, many bombers jettisoned their load at random and ran
The Luftwaffe launched a second wave which fared no better than the first, met them in numbers that staggered the Germans
While confidence of Luftwaffe shattered, the events marked the turning point
Not possible the Luftwaffe could have a decisive victory before autumn, made a land invasion impossible

Sept 15, Massive buildup of German aircraft

Hitler was already preoccupied with Soviet Union, after battle of Britain
Luftwaffe would embark on its Russian campaign with fewer planes.

Sept 17 Operation Sea lion be postponed indefinitely

Did Hitler take Britain as a serious threat?
Was the Battle of Britain a foregone conclusion?
What were Hitler’s actual plans for Britain?
Why was Britain so determined to stand up against Hitler?

Battle of Britain
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