World War II


Summary of War:
The causes of World War II can be traced back to the peace treaties that ended World War I. These peace treaties caused bitterness and anger to develop in countries, which was avenged in World War II. Germany and its allies are the losers of World War I. Germany lost one sixth of its territory and was forced to pay large amounts of money for reparations. Because of this situation, German money became almost worthless. The country suffered from high unemployment rates and inflation. The German people became even more infuriated with the peace treaty that they were forced to sign. In order to try and keep peace between all of the countries, a League of Nations was set up. However, the United States and a handful of other countries did not join and were too preoccupied with their own priorities and let Germany slip through their fingers. In the 1930’s the whole world was hit by an economic depression, each country suffered from their own hard times. During this time, Germany, Italy, and Japan all fell under the rule of military leaders or dictators. Mussolini took over power in Italy, military leaders took over Japan and Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party took over Germany. All of these leaders promised restoration to their countries and much better times ahead. However, the government systems that these leaders set up was totalitarian; which is a government controlled by a single political party that allows no opposition and tightly controls people’s lives). Hitler started to prepare Germany for war while Japan invades China. Mussolini sent troops to invade Ethiopia. None of the world’s democracies did anything to stop these leaders. Hitler made plans to conquer all of Europe. Hitler started his conquest in Austria, and then moved to Czechoslovakia. While all this is going on, no world democracies are trying to do anything to stop him. In 1939, German troops invaded Poland. This was the start of World War II in Europe. The United States did not join the war until December of 1941. As soon as they joined, the United States took the leadership role. They fought in North Africa, Europe and in the Pacific. Germany finally surrendered on May 7, 1945, which ended the war in Europe. Sadly, the Pacific war did not end until the United States dropped two atom bombs on Japan. This caused Japan to surrender on August 14, 1945.
America embraces isolationism for the start of the war. However FDR did support the allies through the cash and carry policy. As Hitler's regime grew it became apparent that America would have to enter the war but they remained the "sleeping giant." However once France fell to Hilter and the axis powers America began to expand their military. On December 7, 1941 the attack on Pearl Harbor made it impossible for America to remain isolated. The attacks killed over 2,000 people and ruined fleets of war ships. America went from little involvement in the war to having two major tasks defeating the Pacific and Europe. FDR and the other allies decided that Germany was the biggest threat and made defeating Hitler the first strategy :

  • Early German Victories - The Germans successfully fought off the Russians in 1942. England was being bombed, and U-Boats harassed American shipping.
  • North Africa - The allies led by General Dwight D. Eisenhower fought against the French forces who were working in conjunction with Germany in Morocco and Algeria. The allies did take Tunisia in May, 1943.
  • Battle of the Atlantic - The allies were able to control the Atlantic sea lanes by May, 1943 though the battle continued to rage throughout the rest of the war.
  • Italy - The allies captured Sicily in July, 1943 leading to Mussolini's downfall. The Italians then joined the allies. Germany still occupied much of Italy including Rome.
  • Normandy Invasion - This began on D-Day, June 6, 1944. General Eisenhower led the allies onto the beaches of France. They were able to liberate Paris on August 25, 1944.
  • Battle of the Bulge - Germany launched a counteroffensive in December 1944. General Patton led the 3rd Army to victory by January, 1945.
  • The Battle of Germany - Early in 1945, Russians invaded Germany from the East while the allies moved in from the West defeating Germany. Hitler along with many top officials committed suicide. Germany surrendered on May 8, 1945 - V-E Day (Victory in Europe Day).
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After D- Day the American focus switched to the pacific. After FDR's death Truman took over the American Presidency. The Japanese were clearly losing the war but due to cultural beliefs they would not give up. Truman and his advisors decided to use the atomic bomb. Hiroshima and Nagasaki were dropped in August of 1942. This ended the war with the allies as the victors. It is estimated that 350,000 japanese people were killed from the bombings. 70,000 died within five years because of the radiation.


Scientific Advances

Political Advances

  • Studies nuclear fission
  • Worlds Fair in NY promised a new world of futuristic
technology & prosperity
  • June 12, 1940 - Starts to study Nuclear Weapons
    • Roosevelt creates a National Defense Research committee
  • September 1940 - Tizard Mission brings "cavity magnetron" to U.S
    • This transferred the British microwave radar invention
  • November 1940 - MIT Radiation Lab opens to continue research on British magnetron technology
  • October 1941 - U.S starts a nuclear bomb program
    • Code Name - Manhattan Project
  • December 8, 1941 - U.S declares war on Japan
  • September 1942 - The war department takes over the Manhattan Project
  • October 1942 - LORAN stations being operating
    • long -range radio navigation
  • December 2, 1942 - An atomic pile in Chicago "goes critical"
    • This shows that it can produce both energy & plutonium
  • January 1943 - President Roosevelt announces "unconditional surrender" policy
  • January 5 1943 - U.S ship, Helena, shoots down Japanese plane
  • June 1943 - 6,000 radar sets that were designed by MIT Radiation Lab were delivered to U.S military
  • March 1944 - U.S begins to use H2X bombing radar to locate ground targets through clouds or at night
  • June 1944 - The Army & the Navy adopted penicillin as a standard treatment for syphilis
America redeems themselves as the superpower among the other allies. First to use the atomic bomb, creating a world wide power due to fear. America spends time after the war rebuilding Japan and Germany. The UN emerges and provides care to the children negatively effected by the war.


Scientific Advances

Political Advances

  • Discovery of nuclear fission
  • May 1, 1939 - Action T4 - gassing of mentally challenged & physically disabled
  • 1939 - Germany invades Poland > WW2 BEGINS
  • December 29/30, 1940 - Germans firebomb London
    • The most destructive raid on England during the war
  • December 11, 1941 - Declares war on the U.S with Italy
  • January 1942 - Wannsee conference
    • Top S.S & Nazi Leaders finalize the "Nazi Final Solution" against the Jews
  • June 13, 1944 - German V-1 buzz bomb attacks against London start
  • July 1944 - German ME-262 enters combat
    • First jet aircraft
  • Sought to scientifically prove the Aryan race was superior to all others
  • Also determined to scientifically weed out traits and races that were considered undesirable
Declining quality of life in Germany after the destruction to moral and way of life in Germany called for a social revolution after world one, and the answer in the 1930’s came in the form of Nazism provided by a fearless leader, Adolf Hitler. “Hitler pledged civil peace, radical economic policies, and the restoration of national pride and unity. Nazi rhetoric wasvirulently nationalist and anti-Semitic. The ‘subversive’ Jews were portrayed as responsible for all of Germany’s ills.” This statement completely reflects the social structure put into place by Hitler, this was done through use of propaganda, and manipulation to gain total political control.

German Timeline
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Blitzkrieg: german mode of warfare used with extreme success in WWII. Meaning “Lightening War” As seen in the picture below, the process and ideology behind the war was to attack with speed and precision from all sides.
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More info on Germany in WW2

A Political Crisis:

How do we punish people internationally for crimes that they were forced to commit under orders?

Who is more guilty?

What sort of sentence does each rank deserve, or is every rank just as guilty?

Is each Nazi soldier completely responsible for their actions?

Answers to the political/international law crisis of the century!

The French and British declared war on Germany in September of 1939 after the invasion of Poland. However France saw very little fighting until May 10 1940 when Germany invaded France and lower Europe. Just four days into the invasion the French resistance lost their lines. Between May 26th and June 4th 140,000 French troops were evacuated by Hitler's troops. On June 10th the French resistance fell. On June 14th the French capitol was taken by German control.

Scientific Advances

Political Advances

Agreed to protect Poland along with Britain
September 1st Germany invades Poland at 6am with 50 troops. Poland calls for assistance from Britain and France, starting ww2. Within a weel Warsaw, the capitol falls to German control. By September 17th 170,000 polish prisoners are taken. Polish officials flee to Romania. By September 28th the troops officially surrender. Uprising continue throughout 1944. Allied attempts fail.

Scientific Advances

Political Advances

  • September 1941 - First gassing of prisoners at Auschwitz
    • One of six death camps that are in Poland
First country to fight against Hitler. Start of ww2.

Interactive British Timeline
March 1939 Britain agrees to support Poland if invaded by German Troops
  • September 3, 1939 France and England Declare War on Germany. This stars WWII n Europe
  • Winston Churchill becomes Prime Minister due to his wartime expertise
  • From July- Oct 1940 the English people faced German bombings, the Royal Air force protected England and English spirit prevailed
  • March 1941 America began to support Britain in the form of supplies and ammunition through the lend and lease act
  • In January after Pearl Harbor Churchill and Roosevelt agree to make German defeat their first priority
  • May 7 1945 the Germans surrendered.

Scientific Advances

Political Advances

  • Studies nuclear fission
  • February 1940 - Captures the first German Enigma coding machines
  • April 1940 - Starts to study Nuclear Weapons
    • A committee is formed
  • September 1940 - German Blitz begins "Battle of the Beams"
    • Radio navigation & jamming
  • May 1941 - British begin to break German military Enigma codes
  • Summer 1941 - Britain reports that an atomic bomb is possible
    • The British send a message to the U.S's nuclear committee
  • October 1941 - Britain expands their nuclear research
  • July 24-25, 1943 - British use "window" to jam German radar for the first time
    • Small strips of reflective metal
  • December 1943 - Colossus computer begins to operate at Bletchley Park
    • Used for code - breaking purposes
  • September 19, 1944 - Churchill & Roosevelt agree (secretly) to use the atom bomb on Japan when it becomes ready
First to declare war on Germany, starting ww2 in Europe.
Alliances with US

Scientific Advances

Political Advances

The ideology of communist centered soviet union and the county
Of Germany governed by nazism were bound to be warring eventually
Because of mutual ideological hatred. So for the


On August 23, 1939, Germany and the USSR signed a secret non-agression pact dividing up Poland. In September, the Soviets invaded eastern Poland.
On November 30, 1939, the Russo-Finnish War began when the USSR invaded Finland. On March 12, 1940, Finland surrendered.
On June 18, 1940, the USSR invaded the Baltic states.
On April 13, 1941, the USSR and Japan signed a neutrality pact.
But Stalin could not avoid war with the Axis powers. On June 22, 1941, Germany invaded Russia, thereby beginning Operation Barbarossa. Italy and Romania then declared war on the USSR. Shortly thereafter, Hungary, Slovakia, and Finland declared war.
On September 15, 1941, Germany began the Siege of Leningrad. It would not end until January 1944.
In October 1941 the U.S. began supplying the USSR under the Lend-Lease Act.
That same month, Germany began its drive toward Moscow. The USSR was forced to evacuate its seat of government to Kuibyshev. But in December, Germany gave up its attack on Moscow, and the Soviets counterattacked.
On January 31, 1943, over 90,000 German troops at Stalingrad surrendered to the Soviets. This was a significant turning point in the war against Germany.
Late in 1943, Stalin met with Roosevelt and Churchill for the first time -- The Teheran Conference. They agreed that the Western Allies would invade France in June 1944 and that when the invasion began the USSR would launch a new offensive from the east.
In April 1944, the USSR retook Odessa. In May, German troops surrendered in the Crimea. In July, the USSR retook Minsk.
In August, the USSR invaded German-occupied Romania. On August 23, Romania surrendered.
In September, the USSR invaded Bulgaria. Bulgaria made peace with the Soviets and declared war on Germany.
By late September, the USSR also occupied Estonia.
On October 1, 1944, Soviet troops entered Yugoslavia.
On January 17, 1945, Soviet troops captured Warsaw. In early April they captured Vienna.
On April 23, 1945, Soviet troops reached Berlin -- with over one million men and more than 20,000 pieces of artillery. A few days later, Soviet troops advancing from the East met up with U.S. troops advancing from the west at the Elbe River.
On April 30, as the Soviets were battling through the streets of his city, Adolph Hitler killed himself.
On May 2, 1945, Soviet troops completed the capture of Berlin and all remaining German troops surrendered within a few days. The war in Europe was over.
True to his promise to the Allies (and interested in expanding their Soviet in the East) Stalin broke his non-aggression pact with Japan. Soviet troops invaded Japanese-held Manchuria in August and helped win the war in the Pacific.
The people of the Soviet Union suffered greatly during the war. Well over 20 million men and women were killed -- many of them civilians.


Scientific Advances

Political Advances

  • December 7, 1941 - Japan attacks Pearl Harbor
  • December 10, 1941 - Japanese aircraft sinks British ships
    • Prince of Wales & Repulse
    • Starts anti - aircraft technologies

Build Up to the War:

"After WW1, Japan's economical situation worsened. The Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923 and the world wide depression of 1929 intensified the crisis.

During the 1930s, the military established almost complete control over the government. Many political enemies were assassinated, and communists persecuted. Indoctrination and censorship in education and media were further intensified. Navy and army officers soon occupied most of the important offices, including the one of the prime minister.
Already earlier, Japan followed the example of Western nations and forced China into unequal economical and political treaties. Furthermore, Japan's influence over Manchuria had been steadily growing since the end of the Russo-Japanese war of 1904-05. When the Chinese Nationalists began to seriously challenge Japan's position in Manchuria in 1931, the Kwantung Army (Japanese armed forces in Manchuria) occupied Manchuria.

In the following year, "Manchukuo" was declared an independent state, controlled by the Kwantung Army through a puppet government. In the same year, the Japanese air force bombarded Shanghai in order to protect Japanese residents from anti Japanese movements.
In 1933, Japan withdrew from the League of Nations since she was heavily criticized for her actions in China.

In July 1937, the second Sino-Japanese War broke out. A small incident was soon made into a full scale war by the Kwantung army which acted rather independently from a more moderate government. The Japanese forces succeeded in occupying almost the whole coast of China and committed severe war atrocities on the Chinese population, especially during the fall of the capital Nanking. However, the Chinese government never surrendered completely, and the war continued on a lower scale until 1945.
In 1940, Japan occupied French Indochina (Vietnam) upon agreement with the French Vichy government, and joined the Axis powers Germany and Italy. These actions intensified Japan's conflict with the United States and Great Britain which reacted with an oil boycott. The resulting oil shortage and failures to solve the conflict diplomatically made Japan decide to capture the oil rich Dutch East Indies (Indonesia) and to start a war with the US and Great Britain."

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