TOP: Power and conflict, Dictators challenge world peace
France was suffering from political divisions. Some Britons thought Hitler was justified in challenging the harsh Versailles treaty. Both Britain and France viewed Hitler as a defense against the spread of Soviet communism. Pacifism and disgust with World War I caused governments to seek peace.
Technology made World War II a war of rapid movement through the use of armored tanks and troop carriers and improved airplanes. Technology also increased the destructiveness of war with deadly bombs and weapons.
DIF: A REF: 776 OBJ: C31S2-1 TOP: Technology, Modern warfare
The government rationed consumer goods and regulated prices and wages. The high rate of unemployment ended. Many women replaced men in the work force. Japanese Americans lost their civil rights and freedoms.
DIF: D REF: 784 OBJ: C31S3-2 TOP: Power and conflict, Total war
The Allied victory at El Alamein stopped Rommel’s advance and drove back Axis forces in North Africa. It set the stage for the Allied invasion of Italy. At Stalingrad, German troops were trapped by the Russians and finally surrendered. This victory allowed the Red Army to take the offensive and drive the Germans out of the Soviet Union.
DIF: A REF: 784, 786 OBJ: C31S3-3 TOP: Power and conflict, Turning points
Allied bombings of German cities, the Allied advance from France, and the Soviet advance on Berlin led to the final surrender of Germany.
President Truman wanted to avoid an invasion of mainland Japan that would cost enormous loss of life on both sides. He may also have hoped to hold off a Soviet advance by impressing them with American power.
DIF: A REF: 789-790 OBJ: C31S4-3 TOP: Global interaction, Atomic bomb
At the Munich Conference, French and English representatives met with Hitler. In an effort to keep peace, the French and English representatives agreed not to interfere with Hitler’s annexation of the Sudetenland. By annexing the Sudetenland, Hitler was able to attack Czechoslovakia and cement his power in central Europe.
The Soviets used scorched-earth methods, meaning they destroyed everything in their wake as they retreated. They also hid in forests, making guerrilla-style attacks on railroads, trains, and bridges. The Soviets had a natural advantage in that they fought during a bitter cold winter. The Germans were not accustomed to or prepared for such harsh weather.
Hitler intended to eliminate all non-Aryan people. He not only wanted to exterminate Jews, but also Slavs and Gypsies, and he probably would have eventually turned against allies such as the Italians and Japanese.
The U.S. fought Japan off of Pacific islands by attacking some islands and skipping others. This tactic enabled the Americans to cut off supply lines to the islands that had not been attacked. It was then difficult for the Japanese to maintain the “skipped” islands, and the U.S. eventually conquered these areas without wasting military force.