The Chapter 18 Test is today. Be sure to put your name on the Scantron and the Test. You may write on the Test. If you finish early you may take out non-History material.
HW is due daily.
Those students who need to take the Make-Up Chapter 17 Section 3 Quiz may do so. Other students who need to make up the earlier Quizzes should have done so already; they are available.
Section 2 The Course of World War II
World War Two : Europe and North Africa 1939 - 1945 Map, 5:34
1939 Blitzkrieg - The Taking of Poland
Sept. 1, 1939: Wehrmacht Puts the Blitz in Krieg
1939: Germany invades Poland, starting the second European war in a generation and introducing the world to a new kind of warfare: blitzkrieg.
This form of attack, which helped the Germans obliterate the Poles in three weeks and the French in only six, relies on rapid mobility and the coordination of massed armor and infantry, with fighter planes and dive bombers providing air support. It also depends on the element of surprise, one reason Nazi Germany never declared war prior to invading an enemy.
The concept of blitzkrieg was a matter of adapting 20th-century technology -- especially the tank, the airplane and the radio -- to the age-old tactics of mobile warfare. The Germans were not alone in exploring these possibilities -- military thinkers like Britain's Basil Liddell Hart and France's Charles de Gaulle also wrote extensively on the subject during the interwar years -- but conditions within the German army, and inside Germany itself, made for a more receptive audience.
Heinz Guderian is the acknowledged father of the blitzkrieg. Guderian was a signals officer during World War I, but he studied tank tactics in the early '20s and became a proselytizer for armored warfare. He later published a study, Achtung Panzer!, that amounted to a blueprint of German blitzkrieg tactics for the next war.
Adolf Hitler, meanwhile, was in the process of rearming the country when he attended a war-gaming exercise that combined tanks and motorized infantry. Hitler was impressed by the swiftness and the striking power, and he told Guderian -- who was running the exercise -- that this was the army he meant to have.
The tank is the blitzkrieg's decisive weapon. Tactically, the key is to attack en masse rather than committing tanks piecemeal, in an infantry support role, which is what the French did. In Germany, this philosophy led to the creation of the panzer divisions, the world's first truly armored units.
Guderian, though only a colonel, was given command of the 2nd Panzer Division in 1935. As a general in World War II, Guderian commanded the XIX Panzer Corps during the Polish and French campaigns and, later, the Second Panzer Army in Russia. He also served as inspector general of panzer troops and, finally, as chief of the army's general staff.
The classic blitzkrieg attack unfolds like this:
* Air strikes, rather than artillery, open the attack, hitting at key targets such as enemy airfields, communications centers, rail lines, main roads, supply depots and troop concentrations. Early in the war, the Ju-87 "Stuka" dive bomber was heavily employed in this role.
* Artillery zeros in on those points in the enemy line selected for the armored breakthrough.
* When the barrage lifts, massed armor attacks those points (Schwerpunkte in German), tearing gaps in the enemy's line. Tanks, supported by motorized infantry, achieve the breakthrough, driving deep into the enemy's rear areas without stopping to consolidate gains or engage troops on the flanks. The point is to disrupt communications, paralyze command structure and destroy the enemy's ability to mount a coordinated counterattack.
* Infantry divisions follow up the breakthrough, encircling and mopping up enemy resistance, shoring up the flanks and consolidating the conquered territory.
Success is achieved through surprise and speed, which keeps the enemy off balance. Maneuvering is coordinated through the use of radio, which was used so extensively by the Germans that individual tanks carried their own equipment. The French, by comparison, hardly used radio at all. The French High Command was not even connected by radio to units in the field. Instead, it dispatched orders by motorcycle courier from its headquarters outside of Paris.
Incidentally, the German Wehrmacht never officially used the word blitzkrieg -- literally, "lightning war" -- though it did appear in several prewar German military publications. It came into popular use after turning up in Time magazine's coverage of the Polish invasion.
Cf. Boot, War Made New
Stuka Dive Bomber Cf. http://www.vibrationdata.com/Stuka.wav
Janina Sulkowska and a German plane of the Blitzkrieg
Junkers Ju 87 "Stuka"
Dunkirk to the Fall of France
Images of Dunkirk, 7:00
BBC Production, an animation about Dunkirk
Meanwhile, German forces headed south toward Paris. Italy declared war on France and attacked from the south. Overrun and demoralized, France surrendered. On June 22, 1940, Hitler forced the French to sign the surrender documents in the same railroad car in which Germany had signed the armistice ending World War I. Following the surrender, Germany occupied northern France. In the south, the Germans set up a “puppet state,” with its capital at Vichy (vee shee).
Some French officers escaped to England and set up a government-in-exile. Led by Charles de Gaulle, these “free French” worked to liberate their homeland. Within France, resistance fighters used guerrilla tactics against German forces.
The Battle of Britain
From the movie, "The Battle of Britain," 5:36
With the fall of France, Britain stood alone in Western Europe. Hitler was sure that the British would sue for peace. But Winston Churchill, who had replaced Neville Chamberlain as prime minister, had other plans. Faced with this defiance, Hitler made plans for Operation Sea Lion—the invasion of Britain. In preparation for the invasion, he launched massive air strikes against the island nation.
As stated by their new Prime Minister:
“We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, 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.”
—Winston Churchill, June 4, 1940
Beginning in August 1940, German bombers began a daily bombardment of England’s southern coast. For a month, Britain’s Royal Air Force valiantly battled the Luftwaffe. Then, the Germans changed their tactics. Instead of bombing military targets in the south, they began to bomb London and other cities.
World War 2 audio clips are linked to contemporary images. The clips include key speeches, eye-witness reports and some of the most evocative sounds of the War. There is an emphasis on the experiences of British children.
2. An air raid siren sounds the warning, :39
3. Children evacuated on 1/9/1939, 1:08
5. Evacuees from Manchester talk about their experiences, 2:05
7. Children from 'host' families near Manchester describe their experiences, :30
8. Churchill: 'This was their finest hour,' 1:41
Churchill states: "the Battle of Britain is about to begin. Upon this battle depends the survival of Christian civilisation."
24. A teacher explains how to put gas masks on, 1:13
Germany Launches the Blitz
German bombers first appeared over London late on September 7, 1940. All through the night, relays of aircraft showered high explosives and firebombs on the sprawling capital. The bombing continued for 57 nights in a row and then sporadically until the next May. These bombing attacks on London and other British cities are known as “the blitz.” Much of London was destroyed, and thousands of people lost their lives.
London did not break under the blitz. Defiantly, Parliament continued to meet. Citizens carried on their daily lives, seeking protection in shelters and then emerging to resume their routines when the all-clear sounded. Even the British king and queen chose to support Londoners by joining them in bomb shelters rather than fleeing to the countryside.
German planes continued to bomb London and other cities off and on until May 1941. But contrary to Hitler’s hopes, the Luftwaffe could not gain air superiority over Britain, and British morale was not destroyed. In fact, the bombing only made the British more determined to turn back the enemy. Operation Sea Lion was a failure.
Attack on the Soviet Union
Hitler announces invasion of the Soviet Union (June 1941), 1:30
German Wartime Newsreel: Music: "Les Preludes" by Franz Liszt
After the failure in Britain, Hitler turned his military might to a new target—the Soviet Union. The decision to invade the Soviet Union helped relieve Britain. It also proved to be one of Hitler’s costliest mistakes.
In June 1941, Hitler nullified the Nazi-Soviet Pact by invading the Soviet Union in Operation Barbarossa, a plan which took its name from the medieval Germanic leader, Frederick Barbarossa. Hitler made his motives clear. “If I had the Ural Mountains with their incalculable store of treasures in raw materials,” he declared, “Siberia with its vast forests, and the Ukraine with its tremendous wheat fields, Germany under National Socialist leadership would swim in plenty.” He also wanted to crush communism in Europe and defeat his powerful rival, Stalin.
nullified—(nul uh fyd) vt. made invalid
Hitler unleashed a new blitzkrieg in the Soviet Union. About three million German soldiers invaded. The Germans caught Stalin unprepared. His army was still suffering from the purges that had wiped out many of its top officers.
The Soviets lost two and a half million soldiers trying to fend off the invaders. As they were forced back, Soviet troops destroyed factories and farm equipment and burned crops to keep them out of enemy hands. But they could not stop the German war machine. By autumn, the Nazis had smashed deep into the Soviet Union and were poised to take Moscow and Leningrad (present-day St. Petersburg).
There, however, the German advance stalled. Like Napoleon’s Grand Army in 1812, Hitler’s forces were not prepared for the fury of “General Winter.” By early December, temperatures plunged to −40°F (−4°C). Thousands of German soldiers froze to death.
The Soviets, meanwhile, suffered appalling hardships. In September 1941, the two-and-a-half-year siege of Leningrad began. Food was rationed to two pieces of bread a day. Desperate Leningraders ate almost anything. For example, they boiled wallpaper scraped off walls because its paste was said to contain potato flour.
Although more than a million Leningraders died during the siege, the city did not fall to the Germans. Hoping to gain some relief for his exhausted people, Stalin urged Britain to open a second front in Western Europe. Although Churchill could not offer much real help, the two powers did agree to work together.
Where did Hitler believe he could find more "living space" to expand Germany?
Japan At War
Pearl Harbor Franklin Delano Roosevelt, starring Jon Voight, 5:23
Pearl Harbor, 2:48
More than just a significant military battle in world history, the events at Pearl Harbor awakened the local military and civilian residents to the character of war.
December 7, 1941
Losses, United States 2,390, Japan, 64
United States, 1,178, Japan, unknown
Ships, Sunk or Beached, United States, 12, Japan, 5
Damaged, United States, 9, Japan, 0
Aircraft Destroyed, United States, 164, Japan, 29
Aircraft Damaged, United States, 159, Japan, 74
Figures are subject to further review
All U.S. Ships, except Arizona, Utah, and Oklahoma, were salvaged and later saw action.
Attack Map - Remembering Pearl Harbor at the National Geographic website.
Pearl Harbor Remembered: The Day
Propaganda posters began to appear in early 1942, as the country prepared for war. One of the first, created soon after the Pearl Harbor attack, declared "Remember Dec. 7th!" As the war continued, the cry changed to "Remember Pearl Harbor." The Oregonian (of Portland) is generally credited with this phrase that became the rallying call of a nation at war.
Original text of the President's speech showing his last minute corrections (page 1 shown).
The Japanese in China
Since 1937, the Japanese had been trying to expand into Asia by taking over China. Although the Japanese occupied much of eastern China, the Chinese refused to surrender. The occupying Japanese treated the Chinese brutally. Below, Japanese soldiers load Chinese civilians onto trucks to take them to an execution ground during the sacking of Nanjing in 1937.
Japanese forces took control across Asia and the Pacific. Their self-proclaimed mission was to help Asians escape Western colonial rule. In fact, the real goal was a Japanese empire in Asia. The Japanese invaders treated the Chinese, Filipinos, Malaysians, and other conquered people with great brutality, killing and torturing civilians throughout East and Southeast Asia. The occupiers seized food crops, destroyed cities and towns, and made local people into slave laborers. Whatever welcome the Japanese had first met as “liberators” was soon turned to hatred. In the Philippines, Indochina, and elsewhere, nationalist groups waged guerrilla warfare against the Japanese invaders.
p. 599, Geography Skills, #1-2
p. 600, Reading Check
By the spring of 1942, which territories did Japan control?
The Allies Advance
The European Theater
World War II in Europe and North Africa, 1942–1945
For: Interactive map and timeline
Web Code: nap-2931
Axis power reached its height in Europe in 1942. Then the tide began to turn.
1. Locate (a) Vichy France (b) Soviet Union (c) El Alamein (d) Normandy (e) Berlin
Describe the extent of Axis control in 1942.
3. Make Inferences
How did geography both help and hinder Allied advances?
Recognize Sequence In a flowchart like the one below, sequence the events that turned the tide of the war towards the Allies.
As 1942 began, the Allies were in trouble. German bombers flew unrelenting raids over Britain, and the German army advanced deep into the Soviet Union. In the Pacific, the Japanese onslaught seemed unstoppable. But helped by extraordinary efforts on the home front and a series of military victories, the tide was about to turn.
To defeat the Axis war machine, the Allies had to commit themselves to total war. Total war means that nations devoted all of their resources to the war effort.
To achieve maximum war production, democratic governments in the United States and Great Britain increased their political power. They directed economic resources into the war effort, ordering factories to stop making cars or refrigerators and to turn out airplanes or tanks instead. Governments implemented programs to ration or control the amount of food and other vital goods consumers could buy. They raised money by holding war bond drives, in which citizens lent their government certain sums of money that would be returned with interest later. Prices and wages were also regulated. While the war brought some shortages and hardships, the increase in production ended the unemployment of the depression era.
Under the pressures of war, even democratic governments limited the rights of citizens, censored the press, and used propaganda to win public support for the war. In the United States and Canada, many citizens of Japanese descent lost their jobs, property, and civil rights. Many Japanese Americans and Japanese Canadians were even interned in camps after their governments decided that they were a security risk. The British took similar action against German refugees. Some 40 years later, both the United States and Canada provided former internees with reparations, or payment for damages, but for many the compensation came too late.
As men joined the military, millions of women around the world replaced them in essential jobs. Women, symbolized by the character “Rosie the Riveter” in the United States, built ships and planes and produced munitions.
British and American women served in the armed forces in many auxiliary roles—driving ambulances, delivering airplanes, and decoding messages. In occupied Europe, women fought in the resistance. Marie Fourcade, a French woman, helped downed Allied pilots escape to safety. Soviet women served in combat roles. Soviet pilot Lily Litvak, for example, shot down 12 German planes before she herself was killed.
The years 1942–1943 marked the turning point of the war. The Allies won victories on four fronts—the Pacific, North Africa and Italy, the Soviet Union, and France—to push back the Axis tide.
In the Pacific, the Japanese suffered their first serious setback at the Battle of the Coral Sea. The battle lasted for five days in May 1942. For the first time in naval history, the enemy ships never even saw each other. Attacks were carried out by planes launched from aircraft carriers, or ships that transport aircraft and accommodate the take-off and landing of airplanes. The Japanese were prevented from seizing several important islands. More importantly, the Americans sank one Japanese aircraft carrier and several cruisers and destroyers.
This Allied victory was followed by an even more impressive win at the Battle of Midway in June 1942, which was also fought entirely from the air. The Americans destroyed four Japanese carriers and more than 250 planes. The battle was a devastating blow to the Japanese. After Midway, Japan was unable to launch any more offensive operations.
Allied forces won decisive victories in the Coral Sea and at Midway Island. The Japanese pilots below may have taken part in these battles, which were fought from planes launched from aircraft carriers. How do you think aircraft carriers changed naval warfare?
After the United States entered the war, the Allied leaders met periodically to hammer out their strategy. In 1942, the “Big Three”—Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin—agreed to focus on finishing the war in Europe before trying to end the war in Asia.
From the outset, the Allies distrusted one another. Churchill and Roosevelt feared that Stalin wanted to dominate Europe. Stalin believed the West wanted to destroy communism. None of the new Allies wanted to risk a breakdown in their alliance, however. At a conference in Tehran, Iran, in late 1943, Churchill and Roosevelt yielded to Stalin by agreeing to let the borders outlined in the Nazi-Soviet Pact stand, against the wishes of Poland’s government-in-exile. However, Stalin also wanted Roosevelt and Churchill to open a second front against Germany in Western Europe to relieve the pressure on the Soviet Union. Roosevelt and Churchill replied that they did not yet have the resources. Stalin saw the delay as a deliberate policy to weaken the Soviet Union.
Winston Churchill (1874–1965) was a staunch anti-socialist and defender of the British Empire. As a member of Parliament, he loudly warned the British of the threat posed by Nazi Germany. After Neville Chamberlain’s government failed to defend Norway from Hitler, Churchill replaced him as prime minister on May 10, 1940. Within seven weeks, France had surrendered, and Nazi forces threatened Britain. Churchill’s courage and defiance steeled British resolve in the darkest days of the war when Britain stood alone against the Nazis. How did Churchill inspire the British people?
In 1933, Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882–1945) started his first term as president, promising to bring the United States out of the Great Depression. During his second term, FDR lent, and then gave, millions of dollars in war supplies to the struggling British. Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor quickly brought the United States into the war. From the start of American involvement, Roosevelt took the lead in establishing alliances among all countries fighting the Axis powers—including the Soviet Union. How did Roosevelt influence World War II before Pearl Harbor?
Joseph Stalin (1879–1953) was born Joseph Dzhugashvili (joo gush vyee lyee). He changed his name to Stalin, meaning “man of steel,” after he joined the Bolshevik underground in the early 1900s. Stalin emerged as the sole ruler of the Soviet Union in the 1920s, and he maintained an iron grasp on the nation until his death in 1953. When Hitler’s army invaded the Soviet Union and threatened Moscow in 1941, Stalin refused to leave the capital city. He eventually forced the Germans into retreat. Why would Churchill and Roosevelt have distrusted Stalin?
By this time, Germany was reeling under incessant, round-the-clock bombing. For two years, Allied bombers had hammered military bases, factories, railroads, oil depots, and cities. The goal of this kind of bombing was to cripple Germany’s industries and destroy the morale of its civilians. In one 10-day period, bombing almost erased the huge industrial city of Hamburg, killing 40,000 civilians and forcing one million to flee their homes. In February 1945, Allied raids on Dresden, not an industrial target, but considered one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, killed as many as 135,000 people.
incessant—(in ses unt) adj. uninterrupted, ceaseless
Rommel, The Desert Fox, Montgomery, El Alamein, 3:39
In North Africa, the British led by General Bernard Montgomery fought Rommel. After the fierce Battle of El Alamein on November 1942, the Allies halted the Desert Fox’s advance. Allied tanks drove the Axis back across Libya into Tunisia.
Later in 1942, American General Dwight Eisenhower took command of a joint British and American force in Morocco and Algeria. Advancing on Tunisia from the west, the Allies trapped Rommel’s army, which surrendered in May 1943.
With North Africa under their control, the Allies were able to cross the Mediterranean into Italy. In July 1943, a combined British and American army landed first in Sicily and then in southern Italy. They defeated the Italian forces there in about a month.
After the defeats, the Italians overthrew Mussolini and signed an armistice, but fighting did not end. Hitler sent German troops to rescue Mussolini and stiffen the will of Italians fighting in the north. For the next 18 months, the Allies pushed slowly up the Italian peninsula, suffering heavy losses against strong German resistance. Still, the Italian invasion was a decisive event for the Allies because it weakened Hitler by forcing him to fight on another front.
German prisoners are marched through the snowy streets of Stalingrad after their defeat by the Soviet army.
Stalingrad: Current evaluation of the Bloodiest Battle in History, 3:12
A major turning point occurred in the Soviet Union. After their lightning advance in 1941, the Germans were stalled outside Moscow and Leningrad. In 1942, Hitler launched a new offensive. This time, he aimed for the rich oil fields of the south. His troops, however, got only as far as Stalingrad.
The Battle of Stalingrad was one of the costliest of the war. Hitler was determined to capture Stalin’s namesake city, and Stalin was equally determined to defend it. The battle began when the Germans surrounded the city. As winter closed in, a bitter street-by-street, house-by-house struggle raged. A German officer wrote that soldiers fought for two weeks for a single building. Corpses “are strewn in the cellars, on the landings and the staircases,” he said. In November, the Soviets encircled their attackers. Trapped, without food or ammunition and with no hope of rescue, the German commander finally surrendered in January 1943.
After the Battle of Stalingrad, the Red Army took the offensive and drove the invaders out of the Soviet Union entirely. Hitler’s forces suffered irreplaceable losses of both troops and equipment. By early 1944, Soviet troops were advancing into Eastern Europe.
The Asian Theater
“When I heard that he had returned, I finally had the feeling that I might have a chance of living through the war. . . . [O]nce they landed in Leyte, I knew it was only a question of hanging on for a few more months and I would be able to live through it.”
MacArthur, Leyte Landing, 1:22
Until mid-1942, the Japanese had won an uninterrupted series of victories. They controlled much of Southeast Asia and many Pacific islands. By May 1942, the Japanese had gained control of the Philippines, killing several hundred American soldiers and as many as 10,000 Filipino soldiers during the 65-mile Bataan Death March. One survivor described the ordeal as “a macabre litany of heat, dust, starvation, thirst, flies, filth, stench, murder, torture, corpses, and wholesale brutality that numbs the memory.” Many Filipino civilians risked—and sometimes lost—their lives to give food and water to captives on the march.
After the battles of Midway and the Coral Sea, however, the United States took the offensive. That summer, United States Marines landed at Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands. Victory on Guadalcanal marked the beginning of an “island-hopping” campaign. The goal of the campaign was to recapture some Japanese-held islands while bypassing others. The captured islands served as steppingstones to the next objective. In this way, American forces, led by general Douglas MacArthur, gradually moved north toward Japan. By 1944, the United States Navy, commanded by Admiral Chester Nimitz, was blockading Japan, and American bombers pounded Japanese cities and industries. In October 1944, MacArthur began the fight to retake the Philippines. The British, meanwhile, were pushing Japanese forces back into the jungles of Burma and Malaya.
objective—(ub jek tiv) n. something worked toward; a goal
p. 603, Reading Check
Why was the German assault on Stalingrad a crushing defeat for the Germans?
Last Years of the War
The European Theater
The Allies chose June 6, 1944—known as D-Day—for the invasion of France. Just before midnight on June 5, Allied planes dropped paratroopers behind enemy lines. Then, at dawn, thousands of ships ferried 156,000 Allied troops across the English Channel. The troops fought their way to shore amid underwater mines and raking machine-gun fire. As one soldier who landed in the first wave of D-Day assault recalled,
“It all seemed unreal, a sort of dreaming while awake, men were screaming and dying all around me. . . I honestly could have walked the full length of the beach without touching the ground, they were that thickly strewn about.”
—Melvin B. Farrell, War Memories
Still, the Allied troops clawed their way inland through the tangled hedges of Normandy. In early August, a massive armored division under American General George S. Patton helped the joint British and American forces break through German defenses and advance toward Paris. Meanwhile, other Allied forces sailed from Italy to land in southern France. In Paris, French resistance forces rose up against the occupying Germans. Under pressure from all sides, the Germans retreated. On August 25, the Allies entered Paris. Within a month, all of France was free.
Saving Private Ryan, the "I'm a school teacher" (from PA scene), 3:27
(screening only 2:07 on to omit the language)
Saving Private Ryan - Opening Scene - D-Day Omaha Beach, 5:34
Events That Changed The World
Web Code: nap-2932
After freeing France, Allied forces battled toward Germany. As their armies advanced into Belgium in December, Germany launched a massive counterattack. At the bloody Battle of the Bulge, which lasted more than a month, both sides took terrible losses. The Germans were unable to break through. The battle delayed the Allied advance from the west, but only for six weeks. Meanwhile, the Soviet army battled through Germany and advanced on Berlin from the east. Hitler’s support within Germany was declining, and he had already survived one assassination attempt by senior officers in the German military. By early 1945, the defeat of Germany seemed inevitable.
inevitable—(in ev ih tuh bul) adj. unavoidable, inescapable
In February 1945, Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin met again at Yalta, in the southern Soviet Union. Once again, the Big Three planned strategy in an atmosphere of distrust. Stalin insisted that the Soviet Union needed to maintain control of Eastern Europe to be able to protect itself from future aggression. Churchill and Roosevelt favored self-determination for Eastern Europe, which would give people the right to choose their own form of government. However, Churchill and Roosevelt needed Stalin’s help to win the war.
At the Yalta Conference, the three leaders agreed that the Soviet Union would enter the war against Japan within three months of Germany’s surrender. In return, Churchill and Roosevelt promised Stalin that the Soviets would take possession of southern Sakhalin Island, the Kuril Islands, and an occupation zone in Korea. They also agreed that Germany would be temporarily divided into four zones, to be governed by American, French, British, and Soviet forces. Stalin agreed to hold free elections in Eastern Europe. However, as you will read later, growing mistrust would later cause a split between the Allies.
People in History
By March 1945, the Allies had crossed the Rhine into western Germany. From the east, Soviet troops closed in on Berlin. In late April, American and Russian soldiers met and shook hands at the Elbe River. All over Europe, Axis armies began to surrender.
In Italy, guerrillas captured and executed Mussolini. As Soviet troops fought their way into Berlin, Hitler committed suicide in his underground bunker. On May 7, Germany surrendered. Officially, the war in Europe ended the next day, May 8, 1945, which was proclaimed V-E Day (Victory in Europe). After just 12 years, Hitler’s “thousand-year Reich” was bomb-ravaged and in ruins.
The Allies were able to defeat the Axis powers in Europe for a number of reasons. Because of the location of Germany and its allies, they had to fight on several fronts simultaneously. Hitler, who took almost complete control over military decisions, made some poor ones. He underestimated the ability of the Soviet Union to fight his armies.
The enormous productive capacity of the United States was another factor. By 1944, the United States was producing twice as much as all of the Axis powers combined. Meanwhile, Allied bombing hindered German production. Oil became so scarce because of bombing that the Luftwaffe was almost grounded by the time of the D-Day invasion. With victory in Europe achieved, the Allies now had to triumph over Japan in the Pacific.
The Asian Theater
By early spring 1945, the war in Europe was nearing its end, and the Allies turned their attention to winning the war in the Pacific. There remained a series of bloody battles ahead, as well as an agonizing decision for American President Harry Truman.
World War II in the Pacific, 1941–1945
Web Code: nap-2941
After the Battle of Midway, the Allies took the offensive in the Pacific. They gradually worked their way north towards Japan itself.
(a) Japan (b) Pearl Harbor (c) Iwo Jima (d) Okinawa (e) Hiroshima (f) Manila
Describe the extent of Japanese control in 1942.
3. Draw Conclusions
How did geography make it difficult for Japan to maintain control of its empire?
Hiroshima: Dropping the Bomb, 4:36
Hear first-hand accounts from the air and ground, re-telling every memory from the day the world first witnessed the horrors of atomic warfare.
With war won in Europe, the Allies poured their resources into defeating Japan. By mid-1945, most of the Japanese navy and air force had been destroyed. Yet the Japanese still had an army of two million men. The road to victory, it appeared, would be long and costly.
In bloody battles on the islands of Iwo Jima from February to March 1945 and Okinawa from April to July 1945, the Japanese had shown that they would fight to the death rather than surrender. Beginning in 1944, some young Japanese men chose to become kamikaze (kah muh kah zee) pilots who undertook suicide missions, crashing their explosive-laden airplanes into American warships.
While Allied military leaders planned for invasion, scientists offered another way to end the war. Scientists understood that by splitting the atom, they could create an explosion far more powerful than any yet known. Allied scientists, some of them German and Italian refugees, conducted research, code-named the Manhattan Project, racing to harness the atom. In July 1945, they successfully tested the first atomic bomb at Alamogordo, New Mexico.
The world’s first nuclear explosion instantly vaporized the tower from which it was launched. Seconds later an enormous blast sent searing heat across the desert and knocked observers to the ground. Shown here is an atomic bomb’s characteristic mushroom cloud. Why might the scientists who created the bomb have counseled leaders not to use it?
News of this test was brought to the new American president, Harry Truman. Truman had taken office after Franklin Roosevelt died unexpectedly on April 12. He realized that the atomic bomb was a terrible new force for destruction. Still, after consulting with his advisors, and determining that it would save American lives, he decided to use the new weapon against Japan.
At the time, Truman was meeting with other Allied leaders in the city of Potsdam, Germany. They issued a warning to Japan to surrender or face “complete destruction” and “utter devastation” When the Japanese ignored the warning, the United States took action.
On August 6, 1945, an American plane dropped an atomic bomb over the city of Hiroshima. The bomb flattened four square miles and instantly killed more than 70,000 people. In the months that followed, many more would die from radiation sickness, a deadly aftereffect of exposure to radioactive materials.
Hiroshima in Ruins
The atomic bomb reduced the center of Hiroshima to smoldering ruins (top left), but the full effect of the bomb would take years to materialize. A woman (above) pays respects to the victims of the atomic bomb at the Memorial Cenotaph in Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima. A cenotaph is a monument that honors people who are buried elsewhere.
On August 8, the Soviet Union declared war on Japan and invaded Manchuria. Again, Japanese leaders did not respond. The next day, the United States dropped a second atomic bomb, this time on the city of Nagasaki. More than 40,000 people were killed in this second explosion.
Finally, on August 10, Emperor Hirohito intervened, an action unheard of for a Japanese emperor, and forced the government to surrender. On September 2, 1945, the formal peace treaty was signed on board the American battleship Missouri, anchored in Tokyo Bay.
p. 604, Reading Check
What was the "second front" that the Allies opened in Western Europe?
Section 3 The New Order and the Holocaust
To further their war effort and Hitler's plans for Aryan expansion, the Nazis forced millions of people to resettle as forced laborers. No aspect of the Nazi New Order was more terrifying than the deliberate attempt to exterminate the Jews. As part of the Nazis' Final Solution, Jews were locked into cramped, unsanitary ghettos or forced to dig their own mass graves before being killed. When this proved too slow for the Nazis, they transported Europe's Jews to death camps where they were worked to death or sent to die in gas chambers. The Nazis killed between five and six million Jews and nine to ten million non-Jews. In Asia, Japan showed little respect for the conquered peoples in its effort to secure industrial markets and raw materials. Japanese treatment of prisoners of war was equally harsh. Japan professed a commitment to ending Western colonialism, but the brutality of the Japanese convinced many Asians to resist Japanese occupation.
The The Holocaust
Reading and Note Taking Skill: Identify Supporting Details
In a concept web like the one below, fill in details about how the Nazis and Japanese military treated people under their power during World War II. Add circles as necessary.
Hitler’s new order grew out of his racial obsessions. As his forces conquered most of Europe, Hitler set up puppet governments in Western European countries that were peopled by Aryans, or light-skinned Europeans, whom Hitler and his followers believed to be a “master race.” The Slavs of Eastern Europe were considered to be an inferior “race.” They were shoved aside to provide more “living space” for Germans, the strongest of the Aryans.
To the Nazis, occupied lands were an economic resource to be plundered and looted. The Nazis systematically stripped conquered nations of their works of art, factories, and other resources. To counter resistance movements that emerged in occupied countries, the Nazis took savage revenge, shooting hostages and torturing prisoners.
But the Nazis’ most sinister plans centered on the people of the occupied countries. During the 1930s, the Nazis had sent thousands of Jewish people and political opponents to concentration camps, detention centers for civilians considered enemies of the state. Over the course of the war, the Nazis forced these people, along with millions of Polish and Soviet Slavs and people from other parts of Europe, to work as slave laborers. Prisoners were poorly fed and often worked to death.
Resettlement in the East
At the same time, Hitler pursued a vicious program to kill all people he judged “racially inferior,” particularly Europe’s Jews. The Nazis also targeted other groups who did not meet the Aryan racial ideal, including Slavs, Romas (Gypsies), homosexuals, and the disabled. Political and religious leaders who spoke out against Nazism also suffered abuse. Starting in 1939, the Nazis forced Jews in Poland and other countries to live in ghettos, or sections of cities where Jewish people were confined. Many died from starvation, disease, overwork and the harsh elements. By 1941, however, German leaders had devised plans for the “Final Solution of the Jewish problem”—the genocide of all European Jews.
To accomplish this goal, Hitler had six special “death camps” built in Poland. The Nazis shipped “undesirables” from all over occupied Europe to the camps. There, Nazi engineers designed the most efficient means of killing millions of men, women, and children.
As the prisoners reached the camps, they were stripped of their clothes and valuables. Their heads were shaved. Guards separated men from women and children from their parents. The young, elderly, and sick were targeted for immediate killing. Within a few days, they were herded into “shower rooms” and gassed. The Nazis worked others to death or used them for perverse “medical” experiments. By 1945, the Nazis had massacred some six million Jews in what became known as the Holocaust. Nearly six million other people were killed as well.
Jewish people resisted the Nazis even though they knew their efforts could not succeed. In July 1942, the Nazis began sending Polish Jews from the Warsaw ghetto to the Treblinka death camp at a rate of about 5,000 per day. In the spring of 1943, knowing that their situation was hopeless, the Jews took over the ghetto and used a small collection of guns and homemade bombs to damage the Nazi forces as much as possible. On May 16, the Nazis regained control of the ghetto and eliminated the remaining Warsaw Jews. Still, their courage has inspired many over the years.
In some cases, friends, neighbors, or strangers protected Jews. Italian peasants hid Jews in their villages. Denmark and Bulgaria saved almost all their Jewish populations. Many people, however, pretended not to notice what was happening. Some even became collaborators and cooperated with the Nazi’s. In France, the Vichy government helped ship thousands of Jewish people to their deaths. Strict immigration policies in many Western countries as well as conscious efforts to block Jewish immigration prevented many Jews from gaining refuge elsewhere.
The scale and savagery of the Holocaust are unequaled in history. The Nazis deliberately set out to destroy the Jews for no reason other than their religious and ethnic heritage. Today, the record of that slaughter is a vivid reminder of the monstrous results of racism and intolerance.
Slave Labor in Germany
People in History
What was Hitler's vision for the residents of eastern Europe?
The Death Camps
The Death Toll
wh.mt.glencoe.com, Student Web Activity
Children in the War
What was the job of the Einsatzgruppen?
The New Order in Asia
How did the Japanese treat the native people in occupied lands?
Ch. 19 Resources
Online guide to the Holocaust
Colonel Paul Tibbets describes dropping the A-Bomb on Hiroshima August 6, 1945.
See the war through the eyes of soldiers, secret agents, pilots and evacuees.
Life for children during the war.
Listen to an air raid warning.
The blitz and the home front in the UK.
Churchill and the bombing of Dresden
Audio file of the death dive of a Kamikaze.
London, England during World War II
BETTE MIDLER with The Harlettes - Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy - This was from the Johnny Carson Show on September 12, 1973. The show was actually taped the day before, 2:20
BETTE MIDLER with The Harlettes - Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy
SONGS OF WORLD WAR TWO: MEDLEY 2, 9:52
How To Take Effective Notes
Email to email@example.com
Monday: p. 600, Graphic Organizer, #1-2
p. 602, Geography Skills, #1-2
p. 603, Reading Check, Summarizing, Why was the German assault on Stalingrad a crushing defeat for the Germans?
p. 604, Reading Check, Identifying, What was the “second front” that the Allies opened in Western Europe?
Finish the sentences:
Last week, what I liked least about the class was . . .
Last week, what I liked most about the class was . . .