In 1922, Mussolini was the world’s first fascist. He and his Fascist Party took over Italy.
In 1933, Hitler and the Nazi Party took over Germany.
Nazi Germany seized Europe.
Mussolini’s Italy seized North Africa.
Tojo’s militarist Japan seized Asia
In 1938, Hitler took over his next-door neighbor, Austria.
In 1938, Hitler took over Czechoslovakia, a little democratic country.
England and France let him (appeasement) because they thought that would satisfy his hunger.The trouble was, Hitler and Nazi Germany was a hungry wolf.
3. The War Begins
When Hitler invaded Poland, World War II officially began. England and France finally realized that Hitler wanted to invade and occupy all of Europe. They declared war on Germany. In 1940, Hitler invaded France. The Germans hated France ever since it defeated them in World War I. In revenge, the Nazis humiliated the French Army. Using blitzkrieg (“warfare at the speed of lightning”), Hitler’s tanks rolled into northern France so quickly
The fall of France frightened many Americans. From then on, England stood alone. Meanwhile, the U.S. was neutral. When World War II began in 1939, the U.S. remained neutral. The American people did not want to become involved in the war in Europe.
Two philosophies: In Congress, the leaders of the Republican Party were isolationists.
President Roosevelt, a Democrat, was not. He wanted to help the British fight the Nazis.
Even if that meant the U.S. would be drawn into the war.
5. The British Fought For Their Lives
Hitler was going to invade England. Before attempting that, he tried to bomb the British into surrendering. In 1940, Hitler launched the Battle of Britain.That is, the Nazi Luftwaffe (air force) bombed England every night for several months Unlike the French, the British refused to surrender. Hitler gave up the idea of invading England. Instead, he invaded Russia.
6. Hitler Invades Russia
Hitler’s massive armies rolled into the Soviet Union. But the Russian people fought back. Fierce resistance at Stalingrad.
Part II: American Involvement in WWII
1. US Starts to Get Involved
Cash-and-carry (1939)-allowed warring nations to buy arms as long as they paid cash and transported them on their own ships.
The Lend Lease Act of 1941: By 1941, the British were all alone in fighting Nazi Germany. Roosevelt thought it was too dangerous to let Britain fall. Roosevelt decided to help defeat the Axis Powers by turning the US into the “arsenal of democracy.” Under Lend-Lease, US would lend or lease arms and supplies to countries whose “defense was vital to the United States.”
2. The surprise attack at Pearl Harbor
On December 7, 1941 Japan launched a surprise attack on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor.
It was that event that caused the U.S. to enter World War II.President Franklin Delano Roosevelt declared December 7, 1941, "a date which will live in infamy."
He asked Congress for a declaration of war against Japan - and Nazi Germany. Then Hitler’s Germany and Mussolini’s Italy declared war on the U.S.
3. Mobilization on the Homefront
The national government managed the economy by controlling the allocation of scarce resources to businesses, and controlling wages and prices.
(a) War bonds: In order to finance the war, war bond drives marshaled all of the techniques of modern advertising to persuade citizens to lend money to the American government by purchasing war bonds. (b) Rationing: Although citizens were urged to plant victory gardens and conserve resources as during
World War I, persuasion was not enough. During World War II, rationing of scarce resources (such as tires) was made mandatory through the allocation of ration coupon booklets.
During World War II, American soldiers were fighting and dying overseas.
The U.S. government used censorship to protect the men on the battlefield. The U.S. government used propaganda to raise morale on the homefront.
5. Civil rights / Civil liberties
(a) African Americans still faced segregation, at home and in the armed forces. African American soldiers served in segregated units and faced discrimination as they trained on military bases in the South. Many young northern African Americans experienced the humiliation of Jim Crow laws for the first time.
At home, From the South, African Americans moved to cities in the North ... and California.
They were hired to work in the defense industry.They built planes, ships, tanks, and guns. Yet there still was discrimination in the war industries. Racial discrimination in war industries as a result of A. Philip Randolph threatening a protest march on Washington.
(b) Women were hired in wartime factories
The men went to war. The women began to work in the defense industry.They built planes, ships, tanks, and guns. “Rosie the Riveter” propaganda helped inspire women to fill these roles.
(c) Japanese Americans
The US government feared that Japanse Americans might help Japan. Therefore, Japanese Americans were sent to internment camps. Without any evidence of wrong doing, Japanese residents and Americans of Japanese descent were ordered to sell their property and belongings and to report for deportation to camps in inland deserts. The Supreme Court upheld the establishment of these internment camps by the United States government
Part 3: EARLY FIGHTING AGAINST THE NAZIS
1. The War in Europe begins in Africa
a. The Big Three
1. What Rooseveltwanted. Japan had attacked the U.S. at Pearl Harbor, but FDR did not want to take on Japan. First, he wanted to take on Hitler. Together with England and Russia, the U.S. would attack Hitler in Europe. Once that was done, the U.S. would take on Japan in the Pacific.
2. What Stalin wanted: On the Eastern front, Russia was fighting Germany. On the Western front, he wanted England and France to fight Germany. He wanted the British and Americans to land in France. If they did, they would face the full wrath of the Nazi war machine.
3. What Churchill wanted. Churchill wanted to invade Europe from the South.
That is, attack the “soft underbelly” of Europe.They would land in North Africa and fight their way through Italy.Mussolini’s Italy was weaker than Nazi Germany.That is what the British and Americans did. They landed in North Africa and fought the Nazis there. As it turned out, this was a great strategy.
b. The U.S. had to fight the Nazis.The U.S. was not ready to attack Nazi Germany head on, for it was too powerful.So they attacked the Nazis in North Africa. The Germans’ top leader there was General Rommel, known as “the Desert Fox.”
Part 4: FIGHTING MOVES TO EUROPE
1. Italy: In September 1943, Eisenhower organized the Allied invasion of Italy. From ships, the two armieslanded on the coast of Italy and fought their way to Rome, where Mussolini fell from power.
2. France and D-Day: On June 6, 1944, Eisenhower launched D-Day, the Allied invasion of France. The soldiers landed at Normandy Beach, along 60 miles of the French coast. As soldiers got off the landing crafts and ran onto the beach, they ran into mines and barbed wire. Meanwhile, they were being shot at by the Germans in forts overlooking the beach. While Allied planes bombed the Nazis, Allied troops parachuted behind the German lines to capture bridges
D-Day was a success!
The Normandy landings signaled the beginning of the end for Nazi Germany. By nightfall on the first day, the Allies controlled 60 miles of beach. By the end of June, the Allies had one million soldiers in France. By August, they liberated Paris. From D-Day on, it took the Allies eleven months to fight their way across France, into Germany, and defeat the Nazis.
3. The Battle of the Bulge:
The last Nazi offensive. The U.S. and British were on the offensive. The Nazis were in retreat, but suddenly they stopped, turned around, and fought. The Battle of the Bulge, was the last Nazi offensive of World War II.They were trying to prevent the Allies from entering Nazi Germany.
4. The End of the War in Europe, 1945
The Allies crossed the Rhine River and fought their way across Nazi Germany. On May 8, 1945 Nazi Germany surrendered. Since it meant victory in Europe, that day was known as V-E Day.
Death of FDR: FDR died in April 1945. VP Harry Truman became president.
Part 5: The War in the Pacific
A. Japan Invades China
Long before World War II began, Japan was already building an empire in Asia. Hitler wanted Japan to keep the U.S. busy in the Pacific Ocean. Manchuria is the northeastern region of China. Without a declaration of war, the Japanese occupied Manchuria, China's most industrialized region.
B. The Philippines
Nine hours after Pearl Harbor, the same Japanese dive-bombers destroyed the U.S. Navy at Manila. U.S. General MacArthur and his 75,000 troops retreated to the Bataan Peninsula. MacArthur refused to surrender: Humiliated, he intended to see it to the bitter end.
In early 1942, the Japanese captured the Philippines and sent the American soldiers on the Bataan Death March. “I shall return.”- General Douglas MacArthur (1942)
C. The Battle of Midway The first U.S. victory over Japan.
Midway is an island that lies halfway between Japan and Hawaii. In June 1942, Admiral Nimitz, commander of our tiny Pacific Fleet, fought the Battle of Midway. The battle was fought in the air, by planes that took off from air craft carriers.This was the first victory over Japan and the turning point in the Pacific war.
D. Island Hopping
The US began a process of “island hopping.” Forces would attack islands and then move to the next group as they made their way to Japan.
-MacArthur retook the Philippines: “I have returned.”-General Douglas MacArthur (1944). He landed in the Philippines and defeated the Japanese
-Chester Nimitz won key battles at Iwo Jima and Okinawa. Brutal fighting on both islands.
E. Hiroshima & Nagasaki
These are cities in Japan. U.S. officials estimated that 100,000 Americans would die taking Tokyo. Another 900,000 Americans would die taking Japan. To avoid this, President Truman dropped the atomic bomb on Japan. That is, he dropped the bombs on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. While the Japanese had no intention of surrendering, Emperor Hirohito went on the radio and told them it was the honorable thing to do. The people, who had never before heard his voice, listened and followed his command.
In August 1945, the Japanese surrendered to General MacArthur at an official ceremony on board the U.S.S. Missouri, an American ship in Tokyo Bay. In the U.S., people celebrated “V-J Day” (victory in Japan). World War II was finally over.
PART 7: THE HOLOCAUST
Hitler believed that Jews were a major cause of Germany’s financial problems. Hitler’s government came up with “The Final Solution” to the “Jewish Problem.” That is, the German government designed a plan to EXTERMINATE every Jewish person in Europe. It was genocide - the mass murder of a people because of their race, religion, or ethnic group. Jews were sent to concentration camps where they were either killed immediately or made to perform slave labor before being executed or dying of starvation/illness. The program resulted in the extermination of six million Jews and over five million others. Before the end of the war, the US and Allies did little to stop Germany’s anti-Semitic policies.
-American soldiers stumbled into the concentration camps.In the spring of 1945, the Allies were fighting their way across Nazi Germany on their way to Berlin. The Russian army came from the east. The U.S. army came from the west. Along the way, they ran into - and liberated - the concentration camps. The American soldiers were horrified.
-Nuremberg War Crimes Trials. The Allies responded to the war crimes committed during World War II by Adolph Hitler and the German Nazis by identifying war criminals and putting them on public trial. Although Hitler committed suicide and so escaped prosecution, some Nazi officers and civilians were charged with crimes against humanity. Several were sentenced to death or prison terms.