World War 2 lilia velazquez

SMALL FACTS

  • 20 years after the devastating war, world war 1 disputes were causing tension once more to an even bloodier fight, world war 2
  • The official date the war began in Europe in 1939 and ended in 1945.
  • Most of the world was involved in this conflict.
  • The main countries were Germany, Italy, and Japan as the Axis powers and France, Great Britain, USA, USSR, and China as the allies.
  • During this war the allies suffered of 35 million casualties while the axis powers had 16 million leaving millions injured on both sides.

BUILD UP TO WAR

  • The axis powers included Germany, Japan, and Italy
  • The allies were France, Great Britain, United States, USSR, and China
  • world war 2 climaxed because of a series of war like events in 1931 and 1939 by the Axis powers attacking other territories
  • Germany, Italy and Japan developed intense nationalist feelings that led to a desire to expand: Germany in Northern and Eastern Europe, Italy in Africa and Greece, and Japan in Asia and the South Pacific.
  • The league of nations was ineffective to halt their actions so allowed Germany and Italy to take over any territory as an appeasement.
  • By 1938 Adolf Hitler was firmly in power in Germany, and the military buildup that led to World War II was well under way. He made no secret of his territorial ambitions in Europe, especially in the east. Austria had been annexed to Germany in March 1938. Next he cast his eyes on Czechoslovakia, which was home to some 3 million people of German origin, mainly in the section called the Sudetenland.
  • The pact of September 30, 1938, under which the leaders of Great Britain, France, and Italy allowed Nazi Germany to take over part of Czechoslovakia is known as the Munich Agreement, after the city where it was brokered.

APPEASEMENT BROKEN

  • British and French prime ministers Neville Chamberlain and Edouard Daladier signed the Munich Pact with Nazi leader Adolf Hitler. The agreement averted the outbreak of war but gave Czechoslovakia away to German conquest.
  • March 1939 Germany annexed the rest of Czechoslovakia, and on September 1 Hitler made his move on Poland, thus launching World War II.
  • (“Munich” has become a synonym for appeasement in foreign policy.)

THE BEGGINING OF THE WAR

  • After Germany took over Poland nations declared war on Germany in support of Poland, but they were slow to take effective actions. The French military and government expected Poland would hold out till spring, allowing France time to mobilize.
  • Germany demonstrated the effectiveness of combined arms warfare, in which infantry, armor, artillery and aircraft work in coordination. This type of war required rapid communication; in preparation, the Germans had developed radios small enough that every vehicle could be equipped with one
  • This new style of warfare became known as blitzkrieg (lightning war—the Germans actually used the term blitzkrieg to refer to a war of short duration, but it came to refer to combined-arms tactics of rapid maneuver).
  • Two weeks after the war began, the USSR invaded from the east; Joseph Stalin, leader of the USSR, had earlier signed a mutual non-aggression pact with Hitler.
  • Hitler and Stalin secretly had agreed to divide Poland between them.
  • On May 1940, Germany shocked the world by rapidly invading and defeating the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, France and a British Expeditionary Force that was aiding the French.
  • Operations began May 10 with attacks on Holland and ended June 25, when France signed an armistice that divided the country into occupied and unoccupied zones.
  • The Germans controlled the occupied zones, in the north and northwest, which comprised three-fifths of the country.
  • A new French government established at Vichy administered the southern two-fifths. Italy’s leader, Benito Mussolini, hoped to get in on the spoils and declared war on France June 10, Italian forces attacked southern France on June 21.
  • On July 10, an air war over England began, which British prime minister Winston Churchill termed the Battle of Britain. The German Luftwaffe was to knock out the Royal Air Force (RAF) in preparation for Operation Sealion, the proposed naval invasion of Britain, or force Churchill to seek a negotiated peace
  • Operation Sea Lion (German: Unternehmen Seelöwe) was Nazi Germany's code name for the plan for an invasion of the United Kingdom during the Battle of Britain in the Second World War.
  • Britain was also opposing German and Italian forces in the deserts of North Africa and on the waters of the Atlantic. The Battle of the Atlantic was primarily fought between British surface craft and the German U-boats (submarines) that attempted to sever the island nation’s supply lines.
  • The United States, although technically neutral, provided Britain with needed supplies after approving a lend-lease agreement in March 1941. After the U.S. joined the war in December 1941, after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, hits sea and air forces took an active part in the naval war of the Atlantic.
  • German U-boats patrolled off the U.S. east coast and in the Caribbean, sinking ships of the American Merchant Marine, causing lack of supplies to the British.
  • Later Hitler turned his attention from Britain, to his most important goal: invading and defeating his erstwhile ally, the Soviet Union.
  • Italy, which had failed in its attempt to invade and conquer Greece which had begun on October 28th, 1940, (Earlier, Italy had seized Abyssinia, now called Ethiopia, in Africa.)
  • The Italian Army invaded from Albania, beginning the Greco-Italian War. The Greek Army was able to halt the invasion temporarily and was able to push the Italians back into Albania. The Greek successes forced Nazi Germany to intervene.
  • Hungary and Romania were already German allies but Romania had planned to fight against Germany but the loss of its major ally, France, but was left with little choice but to become a satellite of Nazi Germany.
  • A fascist government overthrew Romania’s monarch, and the Balkan country would serve as the third-largest Axis military in Europe until it switched sides in the autumn of 1944, becoming the fourth-largest Allied military.

THE WAR

  • On June 22, 1941, Germany and its allies launched Operation Barbarossa, a massive invasion of the Soviet Union from the Baltic shore in the north to the Black Sea in the South.
  • The USSR knew Germany would attack eventually and had wargamed various scenarios but did not expect the invasion so soon.
  • Later, In the Finnish-Soviet War (Winter War) between November 30, 1939 and March 12, 1940, Finland repeatedly stymied an invasion by the Soviet Union for months until finally forced to yield to overwhelming numbers; the peace settlement gave the Soviets 25,000 square miles of Finnish territory.
  • Initially, the Axis invasion of the USSR was a dramatic success. The invading wave swept steadily eastward, reaching the gates of Moscow by the beginning of 1942, but Soviet determination and much greater numbers of men and equipment, combined with the vast distances and severe weather of the USSR halted the onslaught and forced a German retreat.
  • Soviet forces,after Stalingrad had advanced westward, entering the German capital of Berlin in April 1945.

WAR IN AFRICA

  • Britain and Commonwealth forces (Australia, Canada, India, South Africa, New Zealand) had been opposing the Axis in North Africa since Italy’s dictator Benito Mussolini declared war on Britain and France on June 10, 1940. Initially, the Italians had 250,000 troops opposing about 100,000 from the UK, but the British Army was better equipped, better trained, better organized, and had better leadership
  • Once the Battle of Britain was over and the threat of an immediate German invasion of the UK removed, Britain reinforced its North African contingent, to protect its colonies there and particularly to protect the Suez Canal and shipping in the Mediterranean
  • Beginning on December 9, 1940, British forces launched a drive that advanced 500 miles in two months, capturing some 130,000 prisoners and destroying 10 Italian divisions; British casualties totaled about 2,000.
  • In mid-February 1941, two German divisions and two additional Italian divisions were sent to Libya; a third German division arrived later. German field marshal Erwin Rommel was assigned to command the Afrika Korps.
  • After halting Rommel’s attacks near El Alamein in September 1942, Montgomery launched a counterattack with a 3:1 advantage in October. When the Afrika Korps ran short on fuel and ammunition, it retired to Tunisia.

THE USA ENTERS THE WAR

  • Near the end of 1941, although it had provided aid to Britain and the Soviet Union. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941, congress declared war on Japan.
  • Nazi Germany, honoring its pact with Japan, then declared war on the U.S.; Italy, Romania and other countries within the European Axis alliance did the same.
  • An American officer, Major General Dwight D. Eisenhower (soon promoted to lieutenant general) was named supreme commander, Allied Expeditionary Forces, European Theater of Operations
  • American troops first saw land combat against the soldiers of Nazi Germany, Italy (and some Vichy French) after the U.S. and the United Kingdom invaded Algeria and Morocco in North Africa during Operation Torch on November 8th, 1942. They pushed east toward Tunis and came within a dozen miles of their objective before German counterattacks threw them back.
  • American troops first saw land combat against the soldiers of Nazi Germany, Italy (and some Vichy French) after the U.S. and the United Kingdom invaded Algeria and Morocco in North Africa during Operation Torch on November 8th, 1942. They pushed east toward Tunis and came within a dozen miles of their objective before German counterattacks threw them back.
  • The Axis commanders—Rommel had been recalled to Europe—surrendered in May. Some troops were successfully evacuated to Sicily, but North Africa had cost the Axis 650,000 casualties; Britain’s losses were little more than a third of that, and America, arriving much later, suffered less than 20,000.

THE END OF THE WAR

  • Ultimately, the Germans had to make a fighting withdrawal, but took control of northern Italy and re-installed Mussolini as head of a puppet government in that area. He and his mistress would be killed by Italian partisans on April 28, 1945.
  • The German command in Italy did not surrender until May 2, 1945, just days before Allied victory in Europe.
  • The USSR had battled the Axis since the summer of 1941 and had faced the bulk of German military strength.
  • The war had finally ended in 1945 with the victory of the Allies.
  • The war caused great destruction and left Germany in great depression.

Works Cited

History.com. A&E Television Networks. Web. 20 Apr. 2017.

World War 2 Facts. Web. 28 Apr. 2017.

"BBC - History: World War Two." BBC News. BBC. Web. 28 Apr. 2017.

"History of WW2." History. 08 Nov. 2016. Web. 28 Apr. 2017.

Taylor, Alan. "World War II: Before the War." The Atlantic. Atlantic Media Company, 19 June 2011. Web. 28 Apr. 2017.

"World War II." HistoryNet. Web. 20 Apr. 2017.

"World War II." World War II | EHISTORY. Web. 28 Apr. 2017.

"English Online." World War II - The Most Devastating War In History. Web. 01 May 2017.

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