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Title: World War 2 Notes

Chapter 4
  • World War 2 Notes

Causes of the Second World War
  • Pan-Germanists wanted to unify the
    German-speaking populations of Europe in a single
    nation-state known as Großdeutschland (Greater
  • In 1891,Pan-German League was formed,and adopted
    openly ethnocentric and racist ideologies, and
    ultimately gave rise to the Heim ins Reich policy
    pursued by Nazi Germany under Adolf Hitler from
    1938, one of the primary factors leading to the
    outbreak of World War II

  • Hitler's Rearmament rally, 1935
  • It broke the Treaty of Versailles
  • It started a rearmament race
  • It divided the nations opposing Germany.
  • The Remilitarization of the Rhineland, 1936
  • It was the first military action by Hitler and it
    was successful
  • France lost the opportunity to stop Hitler once
    and for all.

What were Hitlers foreign policy objectives?
  • Establish Germany as the dominant power in Europe
  • Expand Germany, and obtain new territory through
  • Obtain rich agricultural land by expanding into
    eastern Europe

The Treaty of Versailles solved nothing
  • Reparations left many people in the victorious
    nations feeling guilty.  
  • The loss of all that land to other countries
    simply made Hitler's early aggression look
  • Self-determination surrounded Germany by a lot of
    small nation states that fell easy prey to
  • Most of all, the Treaty made the Germans angry,
    just waiting their chance for revenge

The League of Nations failed to keep the peace
  • The League of Nations failed to keep the peace  
  • It was weak from the beginning, and had
    spectacular failures in Manchuria and Abyssinia,
    and it failed to prevent Hitler breaking the
    Treaty of Versailles.  
  • It failed to achieve disarmament, which resulted
    in an arms race.  
  • Countries left the failing League, and realized
    that they would have to fight a war.
  • Britain and France abandoned collective security,
    and turned instead to appeasement

Appeasement encouraged aggression
  • Appeasement encouraged war.   It made Hitler
    think no one dare stop him, which encouraged him
    to go further and further until in the end he
    went too far.  
  • The Sudetenland led Stalin to make the
    Nazi-Soviet Pact, because he believed he could
    not trust Britain.

  • - the policy of making concessions to satisfy the
    demands of Nazi Germany prior to World War II

Questions to Consider
  • League of Nations was an organization formed
    after WW1 To keep World Peace.
  • Why did Hitler decide to violate the Treaty of
  • 1. To establish Germany as the dominant power in
  • 2. Felt the Treaty of Versailles was humiliating
    and designed to keep Germany weak.

Important Terms to Know
  • Aryan- a term used by Hitler to describe
    non-Jewish people, especially those of Nordic
    heritage. Hitler saw these people as a Master

  • The union of Germany and Austria . Hitler wanted
    it for two reasons
  • 1)an important military advantage-much stronger
    military due to combining both countries
  • 2) So that Hitler and his fellow Austrians would
    be officially German.
  • LEBENSRAUM- living space
  • BENITO MUSSOLINI- the dictator of Italy

  • German speaking part of Czechoslovakia. Hitler
    decided to take over this area by attacking

  • at this conference in 1938 Hitler,
    Chamberlain(Britain), Daladier(France), and
    Mussolini(Italy) signed the Munich Pact, giving
    Germany the Sudetenland.
  • Germany agreed not to make any more territorial
    demands. Czechoslovakia was not even at the
    conference, and had no say in the matter!
  • Following the Munich Conference, Chamberlain
    returned to England and said I believe it is
    peace for our time.
  • What were Hitlers foreign policy objectives?

Munich Conference Source
  • British Prime Minister Chamberlain, landing at
    Heston aerodrome on 30 September 1938 after his
    meeting with Hitler at Munich. In his hand he
    holds the peace agreement between Britain and

Nazi-Soviet Pact
  • August, 1939 agreement between Germany and Soviet
    Union where each promised not to wage war against
    the other. Secretly they agreed to divide Poland
    when Germany conquered it.
  • this agreement also called the non-aggression
    pact shocked the world
  • this agreement meant that Germany would not have
    to fight a two front war.
  • in essence it only delayed the inevitable clash
    between these bitter enemies

Questions to Consider
  • Activity Examine the picture on page 104 of your
    textbook and answer the following questions.
  • 1. What does the cartoon suggest about the
    nature of the Nazi- Soviet Pact?
  • 2. What does the corpse represent?

The War Begins
  • WWII 1939-1945

Important Terms
  • Blitzkrieg German term for lightning war. The
    use of swift massive strikes from the air coupled
    with rapid tank invasions on the ground.
  • Phoney War period of time from Oct. 1939 to
    April 1940 when there was a lull in
    fighting.Maginot Line elaborate set of
    defensive fortifications, built by the French,
    along the French German border.
  • Kamikazes The suicide missions of Japanese air
    force pilots who crashed their aircraft into
    enemy targets during World War II.

The Alliances of WWII

The Allied PowersThe United StatesThe Soviet
UnionBritain France The Axis
Allied Powers
Central Powers
Alliance System
USA Isolationist
German Successes Early in WWII- Hitler Seemed
  • Poland was pleased to learn that France and
    Britain would help defend Poland against German
    attack. Germany could now be defeated. Within 4
    weeks Poland was crushed at the cost of just 8000
    German dead. The British and French had hardly
    fired a shot.
  • What had happened? The answer is Blitzkrieg. The
    principle behind this strategy was that the best
    way to defeat an enemy is to throw a massive
    assault against the enemys weakest point and cut
    them off from all supplies and communication.

Blitzkrieg was achieved
  • 1st enemy headquarters and communications were
    bombed by artillery and bombers. Parachutists
    dropped behind enemy lines to cause panic.
  • 2nd tanks and infantry punch a hole in the
    weakest part of the enemy frontline encircling
    enemy strong points.
  • 3rd troops following up cut the enemy off from
    reinforcements thus forcing surrender.

Key Events in WWII
  • Dunkirk Evacuation
  • Battle of Britain
  • Operation Barbarossa
  • Dieppe
  • Battle of El Alamein
  • Battle of Stalingrad
  • Battle of the Atlantic
  • Pearl Harbour
  • Battles of Midway and Coral Sea
  • The Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
  • Normandy invasion (D-Day)

The Fall of France and the Miracle at Dunkirk
  • In World War II, France fell to Germany in just
    over a month. Hitler penetrated through the
    Ardennes Forest (the weakest area in the Maginot
    Line) and divided the troops, and pushed them to
    the sea and the beaches of Dunkirk.
  • This was a severe blow to the Allies because now
    all of continental western Europe was under
    Hitlers control
  • In 1940 the Germans forced British and French
    troops to retreat to the west, and pinned them
    down on the beaches at Dunkirk in northern
  • If Hitler had gone in right away, he could have
    won a terrific victory. However, as he tried to
    decide if the army or air force should have the
    final honour, thousands or ordinary citizens and
    the British Navy rescued the Allied troops on the
    beaches. Their efforts resulted in the rescue of
    330 000 troops. Now that Hitler has France, he
    turned his attention to the invasion plans for

Operation Sea Lion- German invasion plan for
Luftwaffe- the German Air Force
The Battle of BritainIn the summer of 1940,
Hitler dominated Europe his one remaining active
enemyBritainThe new prime minister, Winston
Churchillvowed to continue fighting. The
British army had left most of its weapons on the
beaches of Dunkirk. The Germans hoped to defeat
the British by starving them out. In June 1940
they undertook the Battle of the Atlantic, using
submarine warfare to cut the British overseas
lifelines. Invasion was the quick way to finish
off Britain, but that meant crossing the English
Channel Hitler would not risk it unless the
British air force could be neutralized
first.The Battle of Britain was fought in the
air, not on the beaches. In August 1940 the
Germans launched daylight raids against ports and
airfields and in September against inland cities.
The objective was to draw out the British
fighters and destroy them.
The Battle of BritainThe Germans failed to
reckon with a new device, radar, which greatly
increased the British fighters' effectiveness.
Germans losses were so high they had to switch
to night bombing at the end of September. Between
then and May 1941 they made 71 major raids on
London and 56 on other citiesThe damage wrought
from these attacks was too indiscriminate to be
militarily decisive. On September 17, 1940,
Hitler postponed the invasion indefinitely,
thereby conceding defeat in the Battle of
Britain. So Hitler turned his attention east to
Invasion of Russia
  • On June 22, 1941 Hitler invaded Russia in
    Operation Barbarossa. This was possibly his
    biggest mistake of WWII.
  • It split his troops, who now had to fight on two
    fronts (East against the USSR and West against
  • Hitler had signed an agreement with Russia, but
    in truth he hated communism and needed Russias
    oil and wheat.
  • The cold Russian winters and fierce Russian
    resistance took its toll on German troops. Over
    250 000 would die on the Eastern front.

Operation Barbarossa
  • Germany invaded the USSR on June 22, 1941,with
    more than 3 million troops. The Soviet army had
    2.9 million troops on the western border and
    outnumbered the Germans by two to one in tanks
    and by two or three to one in aircraft.
  • German Success Hitler and his generals had agreed
    that their main problem was to lock the Soviet
    army in battle and defeat it before it could
    escape into the depths of the country. To Hitler,
    the land and resources of the Ukraine and the oil
    of the Caucasus were most important.
  • German plans indicated a victory in about ten
    weeks, which was significant because the Russian
    summer was the ideal time for fighting in the
  • By the end of the first week in July Germany had
    290,000 prisoners and by August 5, having crossed
    the Dnieper River, the last natural barrier west
    of Moscow they had another 300,000 Russian
    prisoners. On reaching Smolensk, the German army
    had covered more than two-thirds of the distance
    to Moscow.

Battle of StalingradOn July 28 Stalin issued
his most famous order of the war, Not a step
back! While threatening severe punishment for
defeatists, he called on the troops to fight a
patriotic war for Russia. In late August he
called on his two best Generals Vasilyevsky and
Zhuchov to deal with the situation at Stalingrad.
They proposed to wear the enemy down by locking
its troops in a bloody fight for the city while
they assembled the means for a counterattack.
The German advances to Stalingrad and into the
Caucasus had added about 1100 km to their line.
No German troops were available to hold that
extra distance, so Hitler had to use troops
contributed by his allies Romania, Italy and a
Hungary Serious weaknesses existed in these
Battle of StalingradOn the morning of November
19, in snow and fog, Soviet army hit the
Romanians west and south of Stalingrad. Within
three days the Soviets had encircled most of the
German Sixth Army, about half of the Fourth
Panzer Army, and a number of Romanian units.
Hitler ordered the Sixth Army to hold the
pocket and promised air support which never
arrived. The Sixth Army was doomed if it did not
attempt a breakout, which Hitler refused to
permit. The Russians pushed in on the pocket from
three sides in January 1943, and the head of the
Sixth army General Paulus surrendered on January
31. The battle cost Germany about 200,000
troops. In the aftermath of Stalingrad the
Germans were forced to retreat from the Caucasus
and back approximately to the line from which
they had started the 1942 summer offensive.
The Pacific Conflict
  • The United States and Japan

Japanese invasion of Manchuria
  • In 1931, the Japanese alleged that Chinese
    saboteurs had threatened to blow up the south
    Manchurian railway, so they moved into Manchurian
    on the pretext of guarding the railway. They were
    really there because Manchurian had an abundance
    of minerals and timber, resources which Japan
  • China appealed to the league of nations for help
    and the league recommended that Japan withdraw
    from Manchuria instead Japan withdrew from the
  • In 1937 Japan launched an all-out attack against
    Beijing, Shanghai, Nanking, and many coastal
    areas, the LON condemns Japan but takes no
  • Japan signs the Anti-Comintern Pact with Nazi
    Germany in 1936, the two countries agree to
    co-operate against the world communist movement
    led by Stalin and the USSR (the USSR is now
    threatened on 2 fronts)

The U.S is still not in the war, but trying to
reign in Japan.
What steps did the US take against Japan in
  • 1) announced its intention to cancel its
    commercial treaty with Japan, which would now
    allow the US to impose trade restrictions against
  • 2) issued repeated warnings to Japan against
    further aggression,
  • 3) imposed an embargo (stoppage) on aviation
    fuel, petroleum, steel, iron, and industrial
  • 4) froze all Japanese assets in the US.

How did Japan respond?
  • Events in Europe in 1939 (Hitler!)created new
    opportunities the focus was not on what Japan
    was doing, but on Hitler.
  • Japan occupied the northern part of French
    Indochina in 1940, now posing a direct threat to
    the British naval base in Singapore, and the vast
    oil supplies in the Dutch East Indies.
  • The US reinforced warnings to Japan, requesting
    that they withdraw from all territories taken.
    The Pacific Fleet was stationed in Pearl Harbour.
  • The Japanese refused to buckle to US pressure and
    announced a new foreign policy called the Greater
    East Asia Co-prosperity Sphere (designed to
    eliminate Western influence in Asia)
  • They attacked Pearl Harbour on December 7, 1941.
    During this attack, 2400 military and civilians
    were killed, 19 ships were destroyed or disabled
    and 150 planes were lost. This event brought the
    United States into World War II.

Attack on Pearl Harbour
  • The Japanese knew that they needed a quick and
    decisive victory over the US because they would
    lose in a long war due to Americas industrial
  • The plan was to attack Pearl Harbour because by
    eliminating this naval fleet Japan would have the
    supremacy in the western Pacific Ocean.
  • The Japanese attacked Pearl Harbour in a surprise
    attack on December 7, 1941.
  • 2400 military and civilians were killed, 19 ships
    were destroyed or disabled and 150 planes were
    lost. This event brought the United States into
    World War II.
  • Japans early successes in the Pacific were short
    lived. Within a yea almost all US vessels were
    back in service in action against the Japanese.

Attack of Pearl Harbor
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Battle of the Atlantic
  • The Battle of the Atlantic was Canada's longest
    military engagement of the Second World War,
    lasting from September 1939 to May 1945. This
    battle was fought by the men and women of the
    Canadian Merchant Navy, the Royal Canadian Navy
    and the Royal Canadian Air Force. More than 4,600
    courageous service men and women lost their lives
    at sea.

Battle of the Atlantic
  • The Battle of the Atlantic was the longest
    continuous military campaign in World War II,
    running from 1939 to the defeat of Germany in
    1945. The convoys, coming mainly from North
    America and predominantly going to the United
    Kingdom and the Soviet Union, were protected for
    the most part by the British and Canadian navies
    and air forces.

Battle of the Atlantic
  • At its core was the Allied naval blockade of
    Germany, announced the day after the declaration
    of war, and Germany's subsequent
  • The Battle of the Atlantic pitted U-boats and
    other warships of the Kriegsmarine (German navy)
    and aircraft of the Luftwaffe (German Air Force)
    against the Royal Canadian Navy, Royal Navy, and
    Allied merchant shipping.

Battle of the Atlantic
  • As an island nation, the United Kingdom was
    highly dependent on imported goods. Britain
    required more than a million tons of imported
    material per week in order to be able to survive
    and fight. In essence, the Battle of the Atlantic
    was a tonnage war the Allied struggle to supply
    Britain and the Axis attempt to stem the flow of
    merchant shipping that enabled Britain to keep

  • this was a massive Allied attack on the Germans
    at the French coastal resort on August 19, 1942.
  • It was an incredible disaster for the Allies,
    especially for the Canadians.
  • They were dumped onto the open beaches, where
    they were easily picked off by well-hidden
  • Tanks bogged down in the stony beach, and sea and
    air support was insufficient.
  • 5000 Canadians landed at Dieppe 900 were killed,
    1000 were wounded, and 1900 were taken prisoner.

Battle of El AlameinItalian forces and the Nazi
Afrika Korps entered Egypt in a drive for the
Suez Canal in June 1942. The British 8th Army
held fast at El Alamein, about 60 miles southwest
of Alexandria. On October 23 British infantry
cut through the Axis lines in a bayonet charge
that opened the way for an armoured breakthrough.
The attack forced the Axis back 1,300 miles
across the desert.
  • May 1942 off the coast of Australia.
  • It was the first naval battle in World War II
    where the ships didnt even catch a glimpse of
    each other.
  • American spy planes had observed a huge fleet of
    Japanese ships in the Coral Sea and ordered two
    of their carriers to intercept the fleet.
  • Fierce fighting erupted, with losses on both
    sides. The Americans and Japanese withdrew from
    the Coral Sea at about the same time, but the
    Americans were starting to slow down the Japanese

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  • Midway Island is in the central Pacific. The
    Japanese had decided to take over more islands,
    including Midway Island and islands off Alaska,
    in order to establish an outer defence line.
  • The Battle of Midway was decisive naval battle of
    World War II that demonstrated that bombers from
    aircraft carriers, properly utilized, could
    defeat a superior surface force.
  • This victory by the United States over Japan in
    June 1942 ended the Japanese advance in the
    Pacific Ocean.
  • After Midway, the Japanese fleet withdrew, never
    again to regain the offensive.

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Allied Bombing of Dresden A British and
American aerial bombing attack on the city of
Dresden, the capital of the German state of
Saxony. Germany would be forced to surrender
three months after these bombing raids.In four
raids between 13 and 15 February 1945, 722 heavy
bombers of the British Royal Air Force (RAF) and
527 of the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF)
dropped more than 3,900 tons of high-explosive
bombs and incendiary devices on the city. The
bombing and the resulting firestorm destroyed
over 1,600 acres (6.5 km2) of the city centre. An
estimated 22,700 to 25,000people were killed.
Three more USAAF air raids followed, two
occurring on 2 March aimed at the city's railroad
marshaling yard and one small raid on 17 April
aimed at industrial areas.
Allied Bombing of DresdenImmediate German
propaganda claims following the attacks and
post-war discussions on whether the attacks were
justified .A 1953 United States Air Force
report defended the operation as the justified
bombing of a military and industrial target,
which they claimed was a major rail transport and
communication centre, housing 110 factories and
50,000 workers in support of the German war
effort. Critics of the bombing argue that
Dresden was a cultural landmark of little or no
military significance, and that the attacks were
indiscriminate area bombing and not proportionate
to the commensurate military gains.
Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagaski
  • By the time of the Trinity test (of the A-Bomb in
    Mexico) the Allied powers had already defeated
    Germany in Europe.
  • Japan, however, vowed to fight to the bitter end
    in the Pacific, despite clear indications (as
    early as 1944) that they had little chance of
    winning. However, Japan had become even more
    deadly when faced with defeat, continuing to
    inflict massive causalities in the Pacific
  • In late July, Japans militarist government
    rejected the Allied demand for surrender put
    forth in the Potsdam Declaration, which
    threatened the Japanese with prompt and utter
    destruction if they refused.

Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagaski
  • General Douglas MacArthur and other top military
    commanders favored continuing the conventional
    bombing of Japan already in effect and following
    up with a massive invasion, codenamed Operation
    Downfall. They advised U.S President Truman that
    such an invasion would result in U.S. casualties
    of up to 1 million.
  • In order to avoid such a high casualty rate,
    Truman decided use the atomic bomb in the hopes
    of bringing the war to a quick end.
  • Proponents of the A-bombsuch as James Byrnes,
    Trumans secretary of statebelieved that its
    devastating power would not only end the war, but
    also put the U.S. in a dominant position to
    determine the course of the postwar world.

American Involvement in WWII
  • The US involvement in World War II covers the war
    against Japan, Germany and Italy starting with
    the 7 December 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor.
  • During the first two years, the US had maintained
    formal neutrality as made officially in the 1937
  • Before formally entering the war the US supplied
    Britain, the Soviet Union, and China with war
    material through the Lend-Lease Act which was
    signed into law on 11 March 1941, as well as
    deploying the U.S. military to replace the
    British invasion forces in Iceland.

American Involvement in WWII
  • Economic sanction on Japan as part of the effort
    to deter Japanese military aggression in
  • During the war, over 16 million Americans served
    in the United States Armed Forces, with 290,000
    killed in action and 670,000 wounded
  • Before the US entered the war, the Imperial
    Japanese Navy had the advantage over the Allies
    in the Pacific taking the Philippines as well as
    British and Dutch possessions, and threatening
    Australia but the US entry in the war was pivotal
    to destroying this superiority.

American Involvement in WWII
  • June 1942, its main carriers were sunk during the
    Battle of Midway, and the Americans seized the
    initiative. The Pacific War became one of island
    hopping, so as to move air bases closer and
    closer to Japan.
  • By 1944 Japan ran short of aviation gasoline and
    fuel oil. In June 1944 the US navy was within
    bombing range of the Japanese home islands.
    Strategic bombing directed by General Curtis
    Lemay destroyed all the major Japanese cities, as
    the U.S. captured Okinawa after heavy losses in
    spring 1945. With conventional and atomic bombs
    falling and an invasion imminent, Japan

American Involvement in WWII
  • The war against Germany involved aid to Britain,
    her allies, and the Soviet Union, with the U.S.
    supplying munitions until it could ready an
    invasion force. U.S. forces were first tested to
    a limited degree in the North African Campaign
  • The main invasion of France took place in June
    1944, under Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower. Meanwhile,
    the Army Air Forces and RAF engaged in the area
    bombardment of German cities and systematically
    targeted German transportation links and
    synthetic oil plants, as it knocked out what was
    left of the Luftwaffe post Battle of Britain in
    1944. With the Soviets unstoppable in the east,
    and the Allies unstoppable in the west, Germany
    was squeezed to death. Berlin fell to the Soviets
    in May 1945, and with Hitler dead, the Germans

American Involvement in WWII
  • The military effort was strongly supported by
    civilians on the home front, who provided the
    military personnel, the munitions, the money, and
    the morale to fight the war to victory. World War
    II cost the U.S an estimated 341 Billion in 1945
    dollars - equivalent to 74 of America's GDP and
    expenditures during the war. In 2015 dollars, the
    war cost over 4.5 Trillion.

The Manhattan Project Even before the outbreak
of war in 1939, a group of American
scientistsmany of them refugees from fascist
regimes in Europebecame concerned with nuclear
weapons research being conducted in Nazi Germany.
In 1940, the U.S. government began funding its
own atomic weapons development program, which
came under the joint responsibility of the Office
of Scientific Research and Development and the
War Department after the U.S. entry into World
War II. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was
tasked with spearheading the construction of the
vast facilities necessary for the top-secret
program, codenamed The Manhattan Project Over
the next several years, the programs scientists
worked on producing the key materials for nuclear
fissionuranium-235 and plutonium (Pu-239). They
sent them to Los Alamos, New Mexico, where a team
led by J. Robert Oppenheimer worked to turn these
materials into a workable atomic bomb. Early on
the morning of July 16, 1945, the Manhattan
Project held its first successful test of an
atomic devicea plutonium bombat the Trinity
test site at Alamogordo, New Mexico.
Normandy Invasion/ D-DayOn June 6, 1944, D-Day,
the U.S. First Army and the British Second Army
established beachheads in Normandy, on the French
channel coast.The German resistance was strong,
and the footholds for Allied armies were not
nearly as good as they had expected.
Nevertheless, the powerful counterattack with
which Hitler had proposed to throw the Allies off
the beaches did not materialize, neither on D-Day
nor later. Enormous Allied air superiority over
northern France made it difficult for Rommel
(German commander), who was in command on the
scene, to move his limited reserves. Hitler
became convinced that the Normandy landings were
a feint and the main assault would come north of
the Seine River. He refused to release the
divisions he had there and insisted on drawing in
reinforcements from more distant areas. By the
end of June, Eisenhower had 850,000 men and
150,000 vehicles ashore in Normandy
Important Wartime Conferences
  • 1941- Off the coast of NL with Churchill and
    Roosevelt Created the Atlantic Charter, a
    declaration of war against fascism
  • 1943- Cairo with Churchill, Roosevelt and Chinese
    Leaders to plot strategy against Japan
  • Teheran- 1943 with Churchill, Roosevelt and
    Stalin to discuss the invasion of Europe, setting
    up the UN, and Russian help against Japan.
  • Quebec 19431944- Churchill and Roosevelt
    Planned D-Day and naval war on Japan
  • YALTA Feb 1945- Churchill, Roosevelt, Stalin
    USSR pledged to join the war against Japan,
    agreement on UN, discussed plans for post-war
    Europe, including the occupation of Germany.
  • POSTDAM July-Aug 1945- Churchill, Atlee, Stalin
    and Truman Details of German occupation and
    Polish borders

Technology in WWII
  • In WWII, Scientists joined military strategists
    to create a range of new weapons on both sides of
    the battle.
  • Code Breaking science played a key role in
    breaking secret German and Japanese
  • The British were able to crack the German code in
    April 1940, during the Battle of Britain, and
    used this information to help the RAF. The US
    was able to break Japanese codes to help the navy
    locate and track the Japanese fleet.
  • Enigma A polish mechanic in eastern Germany
    discovered that the plant was secretly
    manufacturing signalling machines for the German
    army. The man carefully observed the parts and
    turned the information over to the Allies. The
    was smuggled out to Britain where he re-created
    the machine from memory. A machine was later
    stolen from the factory and British scientists
    solved the puzzle and cracked the code.

Technology in WWII
  • Medical Technology- new improved drugs and
    medical treatments helped save the lives of 1 of
    2 wounded soldiers. In the Pacific, Malaria was
    a constant threat to the troops. The Allies were
    able to create a synthetic form of quinine
    (traditional cure for Malaria) and this treatment
    was critical to the success of the Allied troops
    in the Pacific.
  • Radar used to detect the nature, position and
    movement of an object. This tech was developed
    in Britain, Germany and the US prior to the war
    but it was the British who made the most rapid
    progress, and this played a huge role in their
    success in the Battle of Britain.

Technology in WWII
  • Rockets- this was the miracle invention, a
    pilotless monoplane that Hitler told the German
    people would save them as the Allies were clearly
    gaining the momentum in Europe. The first rocket
    the Vengeance carried an explosive warhead.
    These were fired at British cities beginning in
    1944. These V-1 rockets (known as buzz bombs sue
    to the sound they made) inflicted massive damage,
    but the more advanced V-2 flew at supersonic
    speed, with no warning. The Allies finally
    discovered where these were being made and
    destroyed the plant in 1943. By 1944, they were
    back in action. Had these been used earlier in
    the war they might have changes the course for
    the entire war.

Technology in WWII
  • Jet Planes- Germany produced the first jet
    airplane in 1939, by 1941 they had produced a jet
    fighter plane. Jets could fly at high speeds and
    could have given Germany air superiority.
    However, However demanded that the plane be
    adapted for bombing, delaying production until
    1944. This invention was too late to play a
    significant role in the war. The Allies were
    developing their own jet plans and had them ready
    for fighting in Belgium in 1945.

Technology in WWII
  • The Atomic Bomb- In 1939, Albert Einstein, a
    physicist who has emigrated from Germany to the
    US in 1933, wrote a letter to President Roosevelt
    telling him that German scientists were working
    on an atomic bomb capable of mass destruction.
  • Roosevelt established The Manhattan Project to
    develop an atomic bomb for American troops.
    Robert Oppenheimer led the group of American
    scientists in successful development of this
    bomb. IN July 1945 it was tested in Mexico and
    ready for use.
  • It was the ultimate weapon of destruction.

The Atrocities of WWII
Soviet Prisoners of War
  • The German invasion of Russia, called Operation
    Barbarossa resulted in millions of prisoners of
    war as entire Soviet divisions were over-run by
    the Nazis.
  • Nazi propaganda presented these soldiers as
    subhuman, and their defeat was evidence of their
    Slavic inferiority over German superiority.
  • Captives were descried as untermensch (subhuman)
  • Russian prisoners were routinely beaten, starved,
    and worked to death and murdered. By the end of
    the war 2.5 million Soviet prisoners of war had

The Katyn Forest Murders
  • This forest located near the Polish city of
    Smolensk was the site of a grisly discovery in
    June 1941.
  • The German army reported finding mass graves
    containing approx. 10,000 Polish officers. The
    Germans claimed this was a Soviet atrocity, and
    the Soviets blamed the Germans.
  • An investigation in 1951-1952 charged the Soviets
    with the crime. Evidence indicates that when the
    Soviet Army occupied that part of Poland in
    1939-1941 they murdered Polish officers under
    Stalins orders, the exact reason for the massacre
    is uncertain, but it is possible that Stalin
    wanted their military and intellectual leaders
    eliminated in order to weaken Poland after the

Allied Bombing of Dresden
  • The massive Allied bombing of Historic German
    city of Dresden on 13 February 1945 resulted in
    approx. 100 000 civilian deaths.
  • The city was crowded with refugees, and was of
    little strategic value.
  • The strategy behind it was likely to break German
    civilian morale.
  • After the war many people questioned the morality
    of this decision.

Allied Prisoners in Asia
  • Cultural difference partly explain Japans harsh
    treatment of civilian and military prisoners.
  • The Japanese believed surrender was dishonorable,
    so those who did so were treated with contempt.
    Japanese soldiers themselves were expected to die
    rather than surrender kamikaze.
  • The Japanese also wanted to dispel the myth of
    white superiority. IN the Philippines, 70 000
    soldiers were forced to march 100km in the
    blazing tropical sun with almost no food or
    water, only 54 000 survived. POWs were
    frequently used as slave labour, approximately
    13 000 POWs died in building the Burma-Siam

The Canadian Defense of Hong Kong
  • In 1941, Japanese armies were routinely defeating
    Chinese forces. It looked like Hong Kong would
    be taken next.
  • British leaders believed Hong Kong could not be
    defended, so refused to station additional troops
    there. In Sept 1941, Churchill asked Canada to
    provide the troops needed to increased Allied
    presence there.
  • On Nov 16, two battalions (Quebec Royal Rifles
    and Winnipeg Grenadiers) arrived in Hong Kong on
    their first mission. In Dec, Japan attacked.
  • Nearly 300 of the 2000 troops were killed and the
    rest sent to POW camps, where more than 260 died
    from malnutrition and disease.

The Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
  • On August 6, the US dropped the newly developed
    atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan.
  • The impact was devastating! 80 000 people died
    instantly 100 000 people were injured and
    another 60 000 died within a year.
  • Japan failed to surrender
  • A second bomb was dropped on Nagasaki on August
    9, killing another 40 000 people.

The Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
  • Truman justified the use of the A-bomb to end the
    war and save approximately a million American and
    Allied lives.
  • Some believe the bombings were carried out for
    political rather than military reasons. Arguing
    that the bomb was meant in intimidate the Soviet
    Union which was taking a hard line at the Postdam
    peace conference.
  • Some argue the bombing was racially motivated,
    arguing that atomic force would never have been
    used on a European city.
  • Five days after the bombing of Nagasaki, Japan
    unconditionally surrendered.

The Holocaust
  • The word Holocaust, from the Greek words
    holos (whole) and kaustos (burned), was
    historically used to describe a sacrificial
    offering burned on an altar.
  • Since 1945, the word has taken on a new and
    horrible meaning the mass murder of some 6
    million European Jews (as well as members of some
    other persecuted groups, such as Gypsies and
    homosexuals) by the German Nazi regime during the
    Second World War.
  • To the anti-Semitic Nazi leader Adolf Hitler,
    Jews were an inferior race, an alien threat to
    German racial purity and community. After years
    of Nazi rule in Germany, during which Jews were
    consistently persecuted, Hitlers final
    solutionnow known as the Holocaustcame to
    fruition under the cover of world war, with mass
    killing centers constructed in the concentration
    camps of occupied Poland.

The Holocaust
  • Holocaust The elimination of 6 million Jews in
    Europe by the Nazis during WWII.
  • The Final Solution The systematic extermination
    of all Jews under German control
  • Concentration Camp a prison system established
    by the Nazis in WWII for the confinement, slave
    labour, and mass execution of political
    prisoners. More than 6 million Jews were killed
    in these camps
  • Genocide the extermination of a race by
    deliberate and systematic means.

Nuremberg Trials
  • Trials held against high-ranking Nazi officers
    following WWII.

Nuremberg Trials
  • Held for the purpose of bringing Nazi war
    criminals to justice, the Nuremberg trials were a
    series of 13 trials carried out in Nuremberg,
    Germany, between 1945 and 1949.
  • The defendants, who included Nazi Party officials
    and high-ranking military officers along with
    German industrialists, lawyers and doctors, were
    indicted on such charges as crimes against peace
    and crimes against humanity.
  • Nazi leader Adolf Hitler (1889-1945) committed
    suicide and was never brought to trial. Although
    the legal justifications for the trials and their
    procedural innovations were controversial at the
    time, the Nuremberg trials are now regarded as a
    milestone toward the establishment of a permanent
    international court, and an important precedent
    for dealing with later instances of genocide and
    other crimes against humanity.