10 Most Significant Events of WWII Consulting p. 476-513, make a list of 10 events that you feel are the most significant in the history of WWII. Then choose your TOP 5 and list them in emphatic order, with #1 being the most important. Write a 4 sentence explanation of your top 5, and a 6 sentence explanation of your #1, giving REASONS and EXAMPLES why these are your choices.
MUNICH AGREEMENT1938 • The MUNICH AGREEMENT permitted Nazi Germany's annexation of portions of Czechoslovakia along the country's borders mainly inhabited by German speakers, for which a new territorial designation "Sudetenland" was coined. • The agreement is widely regarded as a failed act of APPEASEMENT toward Germany.
*GERMANY INVADES POLAND1939 • Hitler’s THIRD REICH adopted a philosophy of LEBENSRAUM, where territorial expansion was justified becausepeople of superior races (ARYANS) should displace people of inferior races • HITLERinvaded Poland in September 1939, which started WWII • France and Britain declared war on Germany. INVASION OF POLAND VIDEO
GERMANY INVADES POLAND cont’d… • With a combined force of 2,700 tanks, 1,300 planes, and 1.8 million soldiers, Germany successfully occupied France and destroyed major roads and cities. • This powerful and swift combination of air and ground forces was called a BLITZKRIEG or lightning war.
*THE FALL OF FRANCE1940 • After conquering Poland, Germany attacked France. • In spite of strong defenses (MAGINOT LINE) France fell in June 1940, and soon the NAZIS overran most of the rest of Europe and North Africa. • An armistice was signed between France’s CHARLES DE GAULLEand Germany, which resulted in a division of France whereby Germany would occupy the north and west, and FASCIST controlled Italy, under MUSSOLINI, would control a small Italian occupation zone in the southeast • France remained under AXIS occupation until the liberation of the country after the Allied landings in 1944.
*THE BATTLE OF BRITAIN1940 • U.S. gave Britain war supplies • In the summer of 1940, Germany bombed the city of London. • The Battle of Britain was an attempt by Germany to gain control of British airspace and destroy the Royal Air Force. • They also hoped to destroy aircraft production and intimidate the nation into surrender or neutrality. BATTLE OF BRITAIN VIDEO
BATTLE OF BRITAINcont’d… • The Battle of Britain was the first major battle to be fought entirely in the air and the largest and longest bombing campaign ever attempted. • Bold daylight bombing raids over the city of London resulted in the deaths of thousands of civilians. • In the long run, the ROYAL AIR FORCE (RAF) maintained its strength over the German LUFTWAFFE, and the resulting British victory marked the first failure of Germany’s war machine. • Only Britain, led by WINSTON CHURCHILL, did not allow Germany to gain British soil.
*THE INVASION OF RUSSIA: June 22, 1941 • In spite of signing a NONAGGRESSION PACT in 1939, on June 22, 1941, four million German troops poured over the Russian border. Within one month, over two and half million Russians were killed, wounded or captured. • The Germans advanced deep into Russia – called “Operation Barbarossa”, into portions of Moscow, Leningrad, and STALINGRAD. And then winter hit. The Germans were caught in summer uniforms, and it was a bitter, cold winter that year. • Stalin, using sheer force of numbers, threw another two million soldiers at the Germans. • The German offensive sputtered, and then stopped. The German army was about 1,800 miles away from home, and the railroads did not work.
*THE INVASION OF RUSSIA: BATTLE of STALINGRAD 1942 • In the spring of the next year (1943), another German offensive was launched especially around the approaches to Stalingrad. What followed can only be described as a nine-month titanic battle, with the result that the German Sixth Army in Russia was almost completely destroyed. • That was the beginning of the end for Germany, but it would take three more years of desperate fighting, and millions and millions of people dead before it was all over. • The Battle of Stalingrad halted the German advance in World War II and marked the turning point of the war in Eastern Europe.
*PEARL HARBOR1941 PEARL HARBOR VIDEO • On December 7, 1941, Japanese naval air forces led by YAMAMOTO, Japanese Marshal Admiral and the commander-in-chief of the Combined Fleet during World War II, launched a surprise attack on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. • Brought U.S. into war, ending its ISOLATIONIST POLICY • US declared war on Japan and Germany • After Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, Germany declared war on the United States.
*THE BATTLE OF MIDWAY1942 MIDWAY VIDEO • Following the attack on Peal Harbor, Japanese armies rolled over Southeast Asia, the Philippines, and the East Indies. • Japan hoped to draw out and destroy the U.S. Pacific Fleet's aircraft near Midway Island and establish a Japanese air base there. • In a four day battle fought between aircraft based on giant aircraft carriers, the U.S. destroyed hundreds of Japanese planes and sank four Japanese aircraft carriers.
BATTLE OF MIDWAY cont’d • Turning point of the war in the Pacific by ending Japanese winning streak as US regained control of the Pacific. • The Japanese continued to fight on, however, even after the war in Europe ended. • GUADALCANAL marked the transition by the Allies from defensive operations to the strategic offensive campaigns, that resulted in Japan's eventual surrender and the end of World War II.
*D-DAY1944 D-DAY VIDEO • June 6, 1944 , General Dwight Eisenhower led U.S. and Allied troops in an invasion of Normandy, France. (Normandy Invasion) • The armies fought their way through France and Belgium and into Germany while Russian troops fought from the east.
D-DAY VIDEO D-DAY cont’d… • In a letter to his troops on the day of the invasion Eisenhower stated, “The tide has turned! The free men of the world are marching together to Victory!” • On May 7, 1945, Germany surrendered.
“During the Second World War, the Germans took four years to build the Atlantic Wall. On four beaches it held up the Allies for about an hour; at Omaha it held up the U.S. for less than one day. The Atlantic Wall must therefore be regarded as one of the greatest blunders in military history. “ ~Stephen Ambrose
*HIROSHIMA AND NAGASAKI1945 A-BOMB VIDEO • The Japanese fought on even after the war in Europe ended (VE Day). • Truman decided to use the newly developed atomic bomb to end the war quickly and prevent more U.S. casualties. • The Enola Gay dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan on August 6, 1945, killing about 78,000 people and injuring 100,000 more. • On August 9, a second bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, Japan, killing another 40,000 people.
*THE HOLOCAUST1933 - 1945 • The Holocaust was the systematic persecution and murder of approximately six million Jews by the Nazi regime. • The Nazis, who came to power in Germany in January 1933, believed that Germans were "racially superior" and that the Jews, deemed "inferior," were "unworthy of life." • During the era of the Holocaust, the Nazis also targeted other groups because of their perceived "racial inferiority": Roma (Gypsies), the handicapped, and some of the Slavic peoples (Poles, Russians, and others). • In 1933, the Jewish population of Europe stood at over nine million. By 1945, close to two out of every three European Jews had been placed in DEATH CAMPS and/or killed as part of the "FINAL SOLUTION", the Nazi policy to murder the Jews of Europe.
THE HOLOCAUST cont’d… • Anti-Semitism: the Nazi party gained popularity by disseminating anti-Jewish propaganda. Millions bought Hitler's book MEIN KAMPF (My Struggle), which called for the removal of Jews from Germany. • With the Nazi rise to power in 1933, the party ordered anti-Jewish boycotts, staged book burnings, and enacted anti-Jewish legislation. • In 1935, the NUREMBERG Laws defined Jews by blood and ordered the total separation of "Aryans" and "non-Aryans." • On November 9, 1938, the Nazis destroyed synagogues and the shop windows of Jewish-owned stores throughout Germany and Austria (KRISTALLNACHT).
December 1944 – January 1945 *BATTLE OF THE BULGE • Surprise German offensive campaign launched through the densely forested Ardennes region on the Western Front toward the end of World War II • GeneralEISENHOWER led the Allied forces to ultimately beat back the Germans • Largest, bloodiest battle fought by the United States in World War II
Additional Video HIROSHIMA VIDEO HIROSHIMA VIDEO