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WWII Causes, Conflict, and Consequences, 1919-1945

Exploitable Frustrations with Tr. Of Versailles: 

Exploitable Frustrations with Tr. Of Versailles Polish Corridor Reparations Tariffs Security provisions require enforcement


Totalitarianism Individual Subordinated to the state Strong dictators created a cult of personality that tied the individual to the glories of the state Dictators linked popular frustration to popular scapegoats Economic woes—first in early Weimar Germany—and then in the late 1920s across the globe fueled discontent and strengthened the appeal of the dictators.

Benito Mussolini (1883-1945): 

Benito Mussolini (1883-1945) Played on frustrated Italian nationalism and fear of communism. March on Rome Other parties outlawed Corporatism Vatican Accord

Josef Stalin (1879-1953): 

Josef Stalin (1879-1953) Political skills helped him triumph over rivals following Lenin’s Death 5 year plans Purged army, party, and Kulaks

Adolf Hilter (1889-1945): 

Adolf Hilter (1889-1945) War Hero N.S.D.A.P. Beer Hall Putsch Mein Kampf--lebensraum Enabling Act of 1933 Nuremburg Laws Kristallnacht


Japan Tension between militarists and liberals Depression Murder of Hamaguchi Yuko Militarists seize cabinet Movement toward “Greater East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere”

Aggression by the Dictators: 

Aggression by the Dictators Manchuria invaded 1931 Ethiopia invaded 1935 Remilitarization of the Rhineland 1936 Spanish Civil War Anschluß with Austria 1938 Sudetenland crisis 1938 Remainder of Czechoslovakia seized 1938 Non-aggression treaty with Russia Poland invaded 1939

Munich Conference: Chamberlain and Hitler: 

Munich Conference: Chamberlain and Hitler


Appeasement Belief that WWI treaties were unfair Lack of belief in liberal democracy Anything is better than war “peace in our time” War finally declared by Britain and France in September 1939.


WWII Following sitzkrieg, Germany invaded and conquered France and subjected Great Britain to aerial assault. Loosing patience, Hitler ordered his army to launch Operation Barbarossa against Russia U. S. began to supply aid—Cash & Carry, Destroyers for Bases, Lend-Lease—to Great Britain and Lend-Lease aid to Russia.

Pearl Harbor: 

Pearl Harbor Japanese desire to get raw materials and oil for Indonesia necessitated attacks on the Philippines and Pearl Harbor Attack on Dec. 7, spurred U. S. to declare war on Japan on Dec. 8. Germany declared war on U. S. in response to its declaration of war on Japan.

War Aims and Strategies: 

War Aims and Strategies Atlantic Charter—better international economics and collective security as a war aim. Focus on Germany first Led to coordinated attacks in North Africa and expulsion of German military there.

Key Military Operations: 

Key Military Operations Pacific secured following Battles of Coral Sea, Midway, and Guadalcanal in 1942 Sicily invaded in 1943 Russian counterattack from Stalingrad Allies won Battle of Atlantic by Spring ’43 Operation Overlord Battle of the Bulge


The Beaches at Normandy became a vast staging area

Key Military Operations: 

Key Military Operations Germany surrendered on May 7, 1945—VE day is May 8 Island Hopping strategy in Pacific Philippines reoccupied, then Iwo Jima, and Okinawa Huge losses make Operations Coronet and Olympic too deadly to undertake, especially with Japan’s ketsu-go defense Atomic Bombs dropped on August 6, 1945 (Hiroshima) and August 9, 1945 (Nagasaki)


Outcomes Holocaust leads to Nuremburg Trials—Crimes against humanity Nuclear Arms Race/Cold War—defined by need for security and nuclear bombs Huge loss of life War cost over a trillion dollars. United Nations Created


Some of the 6,000,000 dead due to the Holocaust

Nuremberg Trials: 

Nuremberg Trials

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