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Introduction to WWII


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Title: Introduction to WWII

Introduction to WWII
  • Adapted from
  • http//

During World War II, many women took over factory
jobs while the men were called into the military
  • 1939-1945
  • US involvement 1941-1945

Sept. 3 -Britain France declare war on
Dec. 7 Japan bombs Pearl Harbor US enters the
May - Germans Surrender
Aug -Sept. - Atomic Bombing of Hiroshima
Nagasaki, Japanese Surrender
Sept.1 - Germany invades Poland (official start
to the war)
Quick Facts
Human Costs
50 million people died (compared to 21 million in
  • 21.3 million Russians (7.7 million civilians)
  • 11 million died as a result of the HOLOCAUST(6
    million Jews 5 million others)

(major powers)
(major powers)
United Kingdom
United States
France (note France surrendered to Germany in
1940 after 6 weeks of fighting)
Major Leaders
Adolf Hitler Nazi Germany
Benito Mussolini Italy
Major Leaders
Winston Churchill U.K. Prime Minister
Hideki Tojo Japanese Prime Minister
  • Charles de Gaulle
  • French Leader in Exile

Major Leaders
Joseph Stalin Russian Leader
Franklin Delano Roosevelt US President
Why? (underlying causes of WWII)
1. Treaty of Versailles
A. World War I ended in 1918. As a result of WW I
Germany lost land to surrounding nations
B. War Reparations
1) Allies collect to pay back war debts to
U.S. 2) Germany must pay 57 trillion (modern
equivalent) 3) Bankrupted the German economy
embarrassed Germans
Lloyd George, Georges Clemenceau, and Woodrow
Wilsonduring negotiations for the Treaty
Why? (underlying causes of WWII)
2. World-wide Depression
A. The Great Depression in the 1930s made
Germanys debt even worse
B. Desperate people turn to desperate leaders
1) Hitler seemed to provide solutions to
Germanys problems
1923 - Wallpapering with German Deutchmarks
Why? (underlying causes of WWII)
2. World-wide Depression
2) Hitler provided scapegoats for Germanys
problems. He blamed Jews primarily, but also
other eastern Europeans as well as the mentally
ill. 3) Kristallnacht - vandalism
destruction of Jewish property synagogues
  • 3. Rise of Totalitarian Regimes

A. In a Totalitarian country, individual rights
are not viewed as important as the needs of the
Communist Dictatorship (USSR)
Fascist Dictatorship (Germany, Italy)
Fascism military government based on racism
nationalism with strong support from the business
Military Dictatorship (Japan)
  • 4. Isolationism of Major Powers

A. Why was the U.S. Isolationist? 1. Great
Depression (problems at home) 2. Perceptions
of WWI
a. WWI did not seem to solve much b. People
began to think that wed got into WWI for the
wrong reasons
  • 4. Isolationism of Major Powers

B. This led to policies of Appeasement
1. Appeasement give dictators what they want and
hope that they wont want anything else
2. Begins with Japanese invasion of Manchuria,
Italian invasion of Ethiopia, and continues with
Hitler . . .
So What Was Hitler Asking For?
  • He claimed that Germany was not big enough
    Lebensraum or Living Room
  • Austria - Peacefully Annexed in 1938

German Troops Parade in Streets of
Czechoslovakian Town, ca. 1939
So What Was Hitler Asking For?
  • Munich Conference - Great Britain France give
    part of Czechoslovakia to Hitler in return for
  • Hitler then invades the rest of Czechoslovakia

German Troops Parade in Streets of
Czechoslovakian Town, ca. 1939
Major Events of WW II
  • September 1, 1939 Germany invades Poland
  • Great Britain France declare war on Germany

Hitler's triumphal entry into Danzig, Poland 1939
How Did Hitler Make War?
  • Blitzkrieg Lightning War Moving tanks and
    troops extremely fast to surprise and out
    maneuver the enemy.
  • In the next year, (1940) Hitler invades and
  • Denmark
  • Norway
  • The Netherlands,
  • Belgium
  • France

Hitler in Paris
Europe - 1939
Europe 1941
Major Events of WW II
  • Dunkirk, France May 1940
  • Germany invaded France so rapidly that some
    350,000 British and French troops were trapped on
    the beach at Dunkirk. Along with their Navy,
    hundreds of British citizens bravely took boats
    across the English Channel and rescued the
    trapped soldiers. In this picture, British
    fishermen rescue sailors and troops while being
    fired upon by German aircraft.

Major Events of WW II
  • The Battle of Britain
  • July September 1940
  • German planes drop bombs on many cities and
    military targets in England. However Germany does
    not try to send troops in. Many buildings were
    destroyed, but the military targets were not
    badly damaged.

Major Events of WW II
  • We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on
    the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields
    and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills
    we shall never surrender, we shall prove
    ourselves once more able to defend our Island
    home, and to outlive the menace of tyranny, if
    necessary for years, if necessary alone.

Inspiring speech given by Prime Minister Winston
Churchill during the Battle of Britain
US Assistance
  • Roosevelt provided aid to the Allies

Lend-Lease - 1940
  • US loaned war materials to cash-strapped Great

Atlantic Charter
  • US secretly meets with England to commit to
    defeating Germany

London Firefighter Tackles an Air Raid Blaze
Major Events of WW II
  • Germany Invades the Soviet Union (Russia) June
    1941 Germany sent more than 4,000,000 troops.
    The invasion reached near Moscow in December of
    1941, but stalled when the harsh Russian winter
    set in. Thousands of German troops froze to

Major Events of WW II
  • Pearl Harbor - December 7, 1941 a date which
    will live in infamy

  • Surprise attack by the Japanese on American
    forces in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii

  • US declares war on Japan.
  • Germany and Italy declare war on the United States

USS Arizona Sinking in Pearl Harbor
Major Events of WW II
  • The Holocaust During the war, Germany continued
    carrying out its policy of executing Jews
    wherever they found them. Often they were sent to
    slave labor camps until they died. But others
    were sent to concentration camps where they were
    quickly executed by poison gas.
  • Empty poison gas canisters used to kill inmates
    and piles of hair shaven from their heads are
    stored in the museum at Auschwitz II.

Major Events of WW II
  • The Holocaust Hitler hated Jews. He convinced
    the German people that Jews were to blame for all
    of the countrys problems.
  • At the end of the war, Allied soldiers were
    shocked to discover the horror of the
    concentration camps

Major Events of WW II
  • 1942 1945 Bombing of Germany After the U.S.
    entered the war, Allied bombing raids over
    Germany begin hitting cities and military
    targets. This was a major blow to Hitler because
    he had promised the German people that they would
    never be bombed.

Major Events of WW II
  • War in the Pacific While the U.S. was fighting
    in Europe against Germany, we were also fighting
    against Japan in the islands of the Pacific
    Ocean. Some major battles were at Guadalcanal,
    Guam, and Iwo Jima
  • The flag is raised on Mt. Suribachi on the island
    of Iwo Jima

Major Events of WW II
  • D Day June 6, 1944 Allied forces in England
    launched a massive invasion against German
    positions in Normandy, France. Many of the
    invading troops were the same ones rescued from
    Dunkirk in 1940.

Major Events of WW II
  • Germany Surrenders May 1945 After the
    Invasion of Normandy, U.S., British, and French
    troops begin pushing the Germans out of France.
    At the same time, Russian troops were pushing the
    Germans out of the U.S.S.R. After the war, these
    four countries will retain control of Germany for
    several years.

Major Events of WW II
  • Japan Surrenders August 1945 The Atomic
    Bomb, a horrific new weapon, is dropped on the
    Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The
    Japanese Emperor Hirohito agrees to the surrender

Major Events of WW II
  • Kissing the War Goodbye Americans celebrate the
    end of World War II

The End of WW II
  • American War Casualties
  • 405,399 Dead
  • 670,846 Wounded
  • 30,314 Still Missing

Our Response -
  • We remember and honor those who risked their
    lives to fight for the freedom that we enjoy.
    Without their efforts, the world would be a much
    different and more frightening place.

Kilroy Was Here
  • James Kilroy from Halifax, Mass. was a 46-year
    old shipyard worker during the war. He worked as
    a checker at the Fore River Shipyard in Quincy.
    His job was to go around and check on the number
    of rivets completed. He put his checkmark on each
    job he inspected, added KILROY WAS HERE in
    king-sizedletters next to the check, and
    eventually added the sketch. Kilroys inspection
    trademark was seen by thousands of servicemen
    who boarded the troopships the yard produced. His
    messageapparently rang a bell with the
    servicemen, because they picked it up and spread
    it all over Europe and the South Pacific.

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