Wwii italy and Germany’s March to War

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Italy and Germany’s March to War

Fascist Aggression

  1. Italian Expansion

  2. Mussolini builds army

  3. 1935 Ethiopia invaded

  4. League of Nations denounces action and urges boycott of arms to Italy

  5. GB & France not agree to oil embargo- might push Italy to Hitler

Spanish Civil War

  1. Republican govt. replaced monarch

  2. 2 sides: (war between ideologies)

  3. Falangists (Fascists) under Franco

  4. Republicans (anti-Fascists)

  5. Hitler and Mussolini aid Fascists

  6. Stalin and volunteers from US, France, England aid Republicans

  7. 1939- Franco becomes dictator

Fascist Aggression

  1. German rearmament and expansion (Turning Point)

  2. Weimar Govt. tried to change treaty through diplomacy

  3. Hitler vows to destroy treaty- rebuilds military

  4. 1936 Rhineland remilitarized

  5. Hitler believed no action would be taken

  6. Pull out of League, International Disarmament Conference

  7. League condemns- takes no action

  8. France not act w/out GB

  9. GB signs pact w/ Germany- fleet to 35% of British

1936 Rome-Berlin Axis

  1. Hitler’s strength leads to agreement w/ Mussolini

  2. Europe come to rotate around them


  1. Giving into other’s demands in order to avoid conflict

  2. Followed by GB and France towards Germany

  3. After WWI people wanted peace at any price (ignored Hitler’s advances)

  4. GB cut military spending- focus on economy

Why Appeasement?

  1. France needed help of GB to take on Hitler

  2. Many in GB believed Treaty of Versailles was too harsh

  3. Hitler’s goals limited & acceptable

  4. Many in GB believed Stalin and Communism was more of a threat than Hitler

German Advances

  1. Result of appeasement- Hitler continues to enlarge German territory

  2. Self-determination- Bring German speaking together in Third Reich

  3. 1938 Anschluss- Union of Germany and Austria (Austria threatened with use of force)

  4. Surrounds Czech on 3 sides

  5. Czechoslovakia- Hitler wanted the Sudetenland

  6. Czech backed by GB, France, Russia

  7. Czech sacrificed for peace (Chamberlain)

Munich Peace Agreement

  1. Issue= Sudetenland (3.5 million Germans live here)

  2. Mussolini, Chamberlain, Daladier meet with Hitler

  3. Give Hitler Sudetenland if he would stop expansion

  4. Student becomes teacher

  5. Chamberlain “Peace for our time”

  6. Appeasement discredited

  7. Result- Hitler not satisfied and takes all of Czechoslovakia

Beginning of War for Germany

The Coming War

  1. March 1939- Germany turn to Poland to recover Polish Corridor

  2. Hitler demands port of Danzig, RR’s and highways through the corridor to East Prussia

  3. Poland refuses demands

  4. France and GB give support

  5. Hitler did not expect war

The Coming War

  1. August 1939 Nazi-Soviet Pact-

  2. Distrust between France, GB, Russia prevented alliance

  3. Russia felt left out

  4. Soviet Union agreed to let Germany invade Poland in return for land in Poland, Baltic States, etc.

The War Begins

  1. Sept. 1, 1939- Germany invades Poland

  2. Sept. 4, 1939- GB and France declare war on Germany

  3. ***WWII BEGINS***

The Sides

  1. Allies

  2. England

  3. France

  4. Poland

  5. Later USA

  6. Later USSR

  7. Axis

  8. Germany

  9. Austria

  10. Italy

  11. USSR



Blitzkrieg in Eastern Europe

  1. Blitzkrieg- “Lightning Warfare”German style of warfare consisting of quick, concentrated attacks on land, air, and sea (reaction against WWI)

  2. Sept. 27, 1939- Poland surrenders

  3. Hitler and Stalin divide Poland

  4. USSR sets up bases in Baltic States for invasion of Finland

Blitzkrieg in Western Europe

  1. Phony War”- No real fighting in winter of 1939-1940

  2. Spring 1940 Germans begin advances in Denmark, Norway, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg

  3. France establishes the Maginot Line- heavily defended forts along German, French border

Invasion of France

  1. Maginot Line- Switz to Belguim

  2. Belguim neutral- remilitarization

  3. Germany attacks through Belgium

  4. Divides the Allies (Paris and coast)

  5. Dunkirk- 300,000 Allies retreat, all available vessels sent to rescue troops

  6. **GB united and inspired against Hitler**

  7. Germans continue through France

French Resistance

  1. Free French- fled to GB

  2. Led by C. de Gaulle

  3. Secret, underground resistance

  4. Did not grow in strength until appeared Germany might lose

France is Conquered

  1. June 10, 1940- Mussolini declares war on France

  2. June 14- Germans march on Paris

  3. France surrenders to save Paris from destruction

  4. French sign armistice where Germany surrendered WWI

  5. Germany occupied N. France

  6. Puppet Govt. est in S. France= Vichy Govt. (Petain’s govt.)

Vichy Government

  1. Thought Germany would win

  2. Dictatorial

  3. Church gains status

  4. Extremely nationalistic

  5. Germans order deportation of Jews (60,000)

Britain Holds Out

  1. Winston Churchill (PM)- refuses to give in to Hitler

  2. Churchill opposed appeasement, inspired British

  3. Hitler thought GB agree to let Germany have continent if GB got to keep empire

  4. Aug 8, 1940- Battle of Britain

  5. Children sent to countryside

  6. By fall German losses cause Hitler to give up (Hitler promised people they would not be hurt)

  7. Hitler continues the blitz (day & night) until Spring 1941

  8. Air raids avoids GB’s navy

Battle of Britain

  1. RAF aided by radar- used to spot enemy aircraft

  2. Destroys 2X more than lost

  3. RAF bombs Germany cities

  4. Germany diverts bombing in SE & turns to London for revenge

  5. Allies broke German secret code

  6. German subs block shipments

US Role in Battle of Britain

  1. March 1941- Congress passes Lend-Lease Act

  2. FDR could sell, lease or lend military equipment to countries whose defense was vital to US security

Allied Drive to Victory

Invasion of USSR

  1. June 22 1941 Hitler invades

  2. Operation Barbarossa

  3. Why USSR?

  4. Hates Communism

  5. Lebensraum- living space

  6. Grain for Germans

  7. Oil, coal, iron ore for war effort

  8. GB and US immediately help

  9. Offer Lend-Lease Act

  10. Goal: destroy Russia before winter BUT

  11. Invasion delayed 6 weeks

  12. Hitler forced to back up Mussolini- tried unsuccessfully to expand Italian possessions

Seize of Leningrad

  1. Russia initially devastated

  2. 2 year siege, 3 million trapped

  3. 1 million die of disease and starvation

  4. First year: 2.5 million soldiers lost

  5. Scorched-earth”- withdraw from Germans destroying fields and equipment

  6. Russians- only 700 of 15,000 tanks left

  7. November- Hitler diverts large # of troops south

  8. Winter = NO VICTORY

  9. Winter helps Russians win- troops from Siberia arrive

Battle of Stalingrad

  1. Summer 1942

  2. Strategic city in terms of north-south transportation

  3. Oil fields

  4. August 600 planes bomb city

  5. Russians refuse to surrender

  6. More Russians lost here than total US losses in combat

The Tide Turns

  1. Marshal Zhukov plans counter-attack

  2. Encircle German army-Stalingrad

  3. Hitler refuses to let Germans surrender

  4. Feb. 1943- last German surrenders against Hitler’s order

  5. **Turning point in Eastern Europe**

  6. Soviets begin push toward Berlin

North African Campaign

  1. First year of war- Mussolini works to est. control of Mediterranean

  2. Libya (Italian colony) unsuccessfully invades Egypt trying to take control of Suez Canal (from GB)

  3. Germany sends Afrika Corps led by Field Marshal Erwin Rommel to protect Libya

  4. Rommel battles GB for more than a year

  5. 1942 GB sends Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery to block Rommel’s advance to the Suez

  6. El Alamein- retreating GB begins counterattack (west)

  7. Rommel driven from Africa

  8. First major British victory

US in Africa

  1. Dec. 1941- Germany declares war on US

  2. Nov. 1942 Allied forces led by General Dwight D. Eisenhower arrive in French Morocco and Algeria (move east)

  3. French commander helps even though colonies were controlled by Vichy Govt.

  4. Allies trap Afrika Corp

Results in Africa

  1. German army squashed in Tunisia

  2. May 1943- Allies held all N. Africa

  3. Allies control Suez Canal

  4. Africa would serve as a base to launch attacks into Southern Europe

Europe Under Hitler

  1. Third Reich to last 1,000 years

  2. Size of Hitler’s Empire

  3. Atlantic to USSR

  4. Norway to North Africa

War in the Pacific

  1. Japanese Aggression

  2. 1937 Japan invades Chiang Kai-shek’s China

  3. Hitler’s moves against West gave Japan a chance to expand in Pacific

  4. Desire to create “Greater East Asia Company Prosperity Sphere”- supply Japan with raw materials, food, new markets

Pearl Harbor

  1. Only US could challenge Japanese expansion

  2. US embargo- ban of sale of raw materials to Japan

  3. Japan joins Axis Powers believing war with US was unavoidable

  4. Dec. 7, 1941- attack on Pearl Harbor

  5. Easy targets- ships in harbor, planes on runaways

  6. Much of Pacific fleet and air force destroyed

  7. Same time Japan attacks US islands in Pacific and British holdings

  8. Dec.8 1941-US,GB declare war on Japan

  9. Germany, Italy declare war on US

Victories for the Allies

  1. End of 1942- Allies on offensive in Asia and Europe

  2. Germany increased output of military = less consumer goods, shortages, food rationing

  3. Supplies taken from conquered lands

The Surrender of Italy

  1. Italy attacked from North Africa

  2. Churchill- Italy “soft underbelly” of Axis

  3. July 1943- GB, US land in Sicily, later in month Mussolini overthrown

  4. Germany remains in Italy- Germans diverted

  5. Badoglio leader- declares war on Germany

  6. Rome captured in 1944 (Italians helped)

Invasion of France

  1. Gen. Eisenhower leads Allies across English Channel

  2. Operation Overlord

  3. Hitler knew of preparations, but where invasions

  4. Allies use phantom army, radio messages that could be decoded

  5. June 6, 1944 D-Day- Allies land in Normandy

  6. 150,000 landed at 5 beaches

  7. Omaha, Juno, Sword- major

  8. Germans caught off guard

  9. 1 million Allied troops in France within month

  10. End of August- Paris freed

  11. Free French join Allies

Defeat of Germany

  1. Fall 1944 Germans hopeless

  2. Soviets on East & US, GB on West

Battle of the Bulge

  1. Mid Dec. 1944

  2. Germans attack US soldiers at German border near Belgium, Luxembourg

  3. Germans break through lines

  4. US holds key towns and roads

  5. Germans halt offensive- ran out of gas, unable to crush US

The End

  1. Jan. 1945- Allies take German gains

  2. April 1945- US and Soviet troops meet in Eastern Europe

  3. May 1,1945- Hitler commits suicide in underground quarters in Berlin

  4. May 8, 1945 VE Day- Germany surrenders unconditionally

WWII’s Aftermath

  1. Most costly war in human history

  2. 40 million dead

  3. 10 million die in concentration camps

  4. Homeless refugees

  5. Vast areas of destruction


  1. Slavs- beasts not treated as humans

  2. Hitler’s goals- Judenrein/ Europe “free of Jews”

  3. Countries involved- E. Europe, Russia, France, Netherlands, Italy, Belguim

Heinrich Himmler

  1. He carried out Nazi racial policies

  2. Aryan Superiority”

  3. Policy- enslave, destroy all “inferiors”

  4. Jews, Poles, Russians, etc.

  5. Racial “Cousins”- people of Germanic descent

  6. Re-educate to be valued citizen in “Greater Germany”- germanization

Racial Policies

  1. Conquered people who looked German were taken and sent to Germany

  2. Brought up as Germans

  3. More people needed to populate “Greater Germany”

Poland Captured

  1. Soviets in Poland- carried on programs of murder and terror

  2. 1 million sent to forced labor camps

  3. Any threats to Stalinist rule eliminated

  4. Germans in Poland- concentration camps used for political prisoners

  5. Farm families relocated to make room for Germans

  6. Poland breeding ground for Jews

Escalating Treatment

  1. Lublin- 1939 Nazis believed all Jews in occupied Europe could live here

  2. Ghettos- used to separate Jews from rest of Polish population

  3. Lodz, Warsaw- sealed w/ police guards & walls

  4. Jews lost personal property & businesses

Germans and their Conquered

  1. Germans took food, weapons, and art from conquered

  2. Labor demanded from conquered

  3. 7 million sent to labor camps in Germany

  4. Died of disease, hunger, exhaustion

  5. 6 million Russians POW & civilians dead

The Holocaust

  1. Reinhard Heydrich- Himmler’s deputy and chief planner of Nazi program to rid Europe of Jews

  2. 1941“The Final Solution to the Jewish problem”- genocide

  3. Holocaust- systematic murder of European Jews

  4. Jews rounded up, put in cattle cars and sent to death camps

Life in Death Camps

  1. Methods of killing:

  2. Gas chambers, torture, starvation, beatings

  3. Medical experiments

  4. 6 million Jews killed

  5. Auschwitz (Poland)- 2 million died here

  6. 90% of pre 1939 Jewish population in Poland destroyed

Resistance Movements

  1. Nazis did meet opposition

  2. Hit and run attacks on German forces

  3. Strikes, blowing up factories, underground newspapers, relaying info to Allies, rescuing prisoners

  4. Govts. in exile”- govts. fled occupied countries

  5. Citizens escaped and joined GB

Resistance Groups

  1. Danish Resistance- Denmark’s 8,000 Jews were smuggled into neutral Sweden

  2. Civilian killed for each German soldier killed

  3. Heydrich killed by Czech. Resistance- Czech village wiped out in revenge

  4. Free French- led by Charles de Gaulle

  5. Survivors of Dunkirk and others

War Crime Trials

  1. Nazi leaders arrested and charged with “crimes against humanity”

  2. Nuremberg Trials- Nov. 1945

  3. World learned of Nazi horrors

  4. ½ of officers tried were sentenced to death

  5. Japanese officers also tried

The Conferences

  1. Allies held 3 summits (meetings between top govt. officials) during the war

  2. Tehran, Iran

  3. Yalta, USSR

  4. Potsdam, Germany

Atlantic Charter

  1. August 1941

  2. FDR & Churchill

  3. Basis for peace = 14 Point Plan

Tehran Conference

  1. Nov. 1943

  2. Present- Churchill, Stalin, FDR

  3. Big Three”

  4. Plan- discuss war strategy for Europe

  5. Normandy invasion planned

  6. Division of Germany into 4

  7. Russia help w/ Japan- after Germany defeated

  8. Keep Eastern Europe

  9. Russia agrees to self-determination & democratic elections

  10. Avoid conflict w/ Allies


  1. Feb 1945 the “Big Three” meet

  2. Stalin agrees to free elections in Soviet occupied Eastern Europe

  3. Puppet govts. had already been est.

  4. Stalin agrees to declare war on Japan when Germany defeated (for land in Asia)

  5. United Nations developed

  6. Division of Germany into temporary occupation zones


  1. July 1945

  2. Present- Stalin, Atlee, and Truman

  3. Stalin refuses to hold free elections

  4. It would be “anti-Soviet”

  5. Disagreements over Eastern Europe would split Allies

  6. Raise fears of another world war

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