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Unit 12: Between the Wars & World War II

Stalins Russia
1925-1953 Totalitarian Dictatorship

Stalin Video Terms

Five Year Plans
Series of plans to increase industrial output

System Stalin put in place to steal crops and agricultural resources from farmers

Wealthiest farmers who owned most land, resources, laborers, machinery harshly exploited during collectivization

Famine in the Ukraine

Over 1 million die of starvation, many in work camps

Great Purge
Stalin systematically eliminating any threat to his power so he can gain total control

Propaganda/Censorship/Secret Police

Man of Steel
By 1928 in total command of the Communist Party Aspects of Totalitarian Rule
Dictatorship and one party rule Dynamic leader Ideology State control over all sectors of society State control of the individual Dependence on modern technology Organized violence

Dangerous Leaders Rise

Post WWI political and economic chaos, Great Depression lead to rise of totalitarian and/or fascist regimes:
Joseph Stalin (USSR) Francisco Franco (Spain) Benito Mussolini (Italy) Hirohito (Japan) Adolf Hitler (Germany)

Totalitarianism focuses all efforts on empowering the state

Extreme Nationalism + Militarism = Fascism Emphasized loyalty to the state and obedience to its leader Revive economy, restore national pride, punish those responsible for hard times Nations must struggle peaceful nations get conquered Wore uniforms, used special salutes, and held mass rallies

Fascism & Communism

Similarities Both ruled by dictators One-party state Denied individual rights The state is of utmost importance No democracy Differences Fascists did not seek a classless society Fascists parties didnt focus on working class; Instead aristocrats, industrialists, war veterans, lower middle class Communists were internationalists; Fascists were nationalist

What was going on in Italy that allowed a Fascist dictator to come to power?
Bitter disappointment over the Treaty of Versailles
Didnt get the territory they wanted

Rising inflation & unemployment Upper and middle classes feared a communist revolution

Newspaper editor & politician Founded the Fascist Party in 1919 As conditions worsened he gained more popularity Played on the fears of a workers revolt

Mussolini Gains Power

October 1922: 30,000 Fascists March on Rome King Victor Emmanuel III put Mussolini in charge of the government Il Duce The Leader
Abolished democracy & all other political parties Used a secret police, censored radio and publications Outlawed strikes Allied with industrialists and large landowners

Franco in Spain
Spain had been a monarchy until 1931; a republic was declared and it was run by liberals and socialists
The Fascists staged a revolt in 1936 under Francisco Francos leadership

Spanish Civil War (1936-1939)

Franco was assisted by Hitler and Mussolini Other Western powers did little to help the Spanish Republic to fight back against Franco

1939 Franco became Spains Fascist dictator
Rules until his death in 1975
Royal family turned power over to the Spanish people Spanish Republic was created

Post-War Germany
Germanys new Weimar Republic failing after WWI
unstable, war guilt, inflation, unemployment 1923-1929 economy recovering 1929 Great Depression starts

Hitler Rises to Power in Germany

Little-known political leader Fought in World War I 1920 joined the National Socialist German Workers Party Nazi Party Supported by middle and lower middle classes

Attempted to seize power in 1923
He spent nine months in jail; wrote Mein Kampf which summarized his ideas: Blond and blue-eyed Germans, Aryans, were a master race Jews, Slavs, Gypsies etc. were subhuman Versailles Treaty an outrage; regain German lands Lebensraum: living space; to be gained by conquering eastern Europe and Russia

Nazi Party
Not very popular until the Depression was in full swing By 1932, the largest political party January 1933 President Paul von Hindenburg named Hitler chancellor

Hitler Consolidates his Power

Reichstag Fire
Six days before an election, a fire destroyed the parliamentary building Blamed on the communists Nazis won the majority in that election; Hitler then demanded absolute power for four years
Banned all other political parties Created the SS to get rid of opponents The Gestapo secret police use terror to guarantee obedience Government took over business & labor; strikes and labor unions outlawed

So much terror Why did people like him?

Germans constructed factories, built highways, manufactured weapons, and served in the military
Unemployment dropped from 6 million to 1.5 million by 1936

Hitler molded public opinion

He used the press, radio, literature, painting and film as propaganda tools Book burnings in public squares Churches forbidden to criticize the government Children had to join the Hitler Youth

Racial Science and Propaganda

Hitler & the Jews

Less than 1% of German population Nazis used them as scapegoats for Germanys troubles since the war Anti-Semitic laws began to be passed in 1933 November 9, 1938 Kristallnacht
Signaled the real start of eliminating the Jews

The Holocaust
Anti-Semitic laws began to be passed in 1933 1935 Nuremberg laws passed
Took away German citizenship

The Holocaust
Germany starts to invade and occupy Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland (Millions of Jews reside) Deportation and resettlement in ghettos Work camps starting to be opened
Produce weapons for war, materials, etc Worked to death


Approx. 6.5 Million Jews killed

2 million non-Jews killed

Final Solution Auschwitz, Dachau, etc death camps

Turning a Blind Eye

Martin Niemoller was a Protestant pastor and head of the anti-Nazi Confessing Church. Arrested for 'malicious attacks against the state', he spent seven years in the Dachau and Sachsenhausen Released in 1945 by the Allies. He penned the moving and oft quoted poem: In Germany, they first came for the communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Catholic. Then they came for me -- and by that time there was nobody left to speak up. -Martin Niemoller

What do you think the word appeasement means? Appeasement giving into demands to avoid conflict Why do you think the idea of appeasement is going to be a crucial factor in WWII starting?

Japan Invades Manchuria

1931 Japan invades Manchuria region of China
For economic benefit

Clearly strong nation bullying a weaker one League of Nations does very little:
Threaten trade boycott
Not enforced, countries trade with Japan anyway why?
Economic depression nations need trade

Italy Invades Ethiopia

October 1935 Mussolini invades Ethiopia with Hitlers support
Revenge for humiliating defeat of Italians by Ethiopia in 1896

League of Nations again does nothing

Hitler Militarizing
Treaty of Versailles forbids and restricts German armament 1935 Hitler announces German rearmament 1936 German armies move in unopposed into the demilitarized Rhineland League of Nations again does nothing

Spanish Civil War

Spanish Civil War breaks out (19361939) Germany and Italy help fellow fascist General Franco Franco and Spanish Fascists win control Francos 40 year dictatorship begins Democracy falls in another European country League of Nations again does nothing
Fascist government vs. republican government

Japan Invades China

1937 Japan conducts mass invasion of China (1937)
Second Sino-Japanese War Rape of Nanking Japanese army murders 300,000 unarmed Chinese civilians

League of Nations again does nothing

League of Nations policy of appeasement, past negligence, and U.S. isolationism all lead to Hitler gaining more power Hitler breaks Treaty of Versailles:
Builds up German military Remilitarization of the Rhineland region (1936) Annexes Austria (1938) Anschluss movement (reunification of Germany and Austria)

Hitler convinced European leaders each step of expansion would be his last League of Nations appeased every demand of his

Hitler demands annexation of Sudetenland (small bordering region of Czechoslovakia) Munich Conference called to discuss (Sept. 1938)
Tense talks lead to appeasement of Hitlers demand English Prime Minister Chamberlain: I have returned from Germany with peace in our time. All of Czechoslovakia annexed months later

Russo-German Nonaggression Pact signed (1939)

Hitlers motives clear France & Britain finally takes a stand

Warns Hitler an invasion of Poland would merit war declaration

Stalin and Hitler promise no military aggression against each other This ensures Hitler will not fight a two-front war like WWI and also allows for an easier invasion of Poland

Hitler attacks Poland one week later (Sep 1, 1939) War declarations ensue WWII starts

Battle Lines Drawn

Belligerents as of 1940:

Allies: Britain, France, Poland VS. Axis: Germany, Italy, Japan

Causes of WWII?
Too much negative aftermath from the Treaty of Versailles Hitlers imperialistic actions Failure of Appeasement policy Failure of the League of Nations
Not all countries joined the league League had no power, no army, unable to act quickly

Lightening Strikes
Sept 1939 Germany defeats Poland Months of inactivity some suspected a phony war
Hitler amasses & consolidates military

April 1940 Hitler suddenly launches blitzkrieg attack

Lighting warfare using tanks, planes, infantry simultaneously very effective Norway, Denmark, Netherlands, Belgium all defeated instantly

Lightening Strikes
France invaded and surrenders by June 1940
Italy joins and invades weakened France before surrender

Britain is last of the Allies left standing in Europe America shocked begins immediate military built up Hitler begins bombing Britain with planes U.S. begins loaning Britain weaponry and supplies
Lend-Lease Act All-air Battle of Britain ensues Britain temporarily fights off Germany

Atlantic Charter
June 1941 Paranoid Hitler breaks pact with Russia and attacks Moscow Russia joins the Allies
FDR sends $1 billion to help Russia Germanys quick invasion fails by December due to harsh winter

August 1941 Atlantic Conference called as meeting between Winston Churchill, Franklin Delano Roosevelt (and absent Stalin) Atlantic Charter created to discuss aid to Soviets & layout plans for postwar
Main points similar to Wilsons 14 Points:
New peace-keeping organization

U.S. rapidly moving away from isolationism and neutrality

End of U.S. Neutrality

Japan beating China badly in since 1937
Numerous massacres of Chinese civilians and sinking of USS Panay angered Americans

July 1941 In protest, U.S. puts embargo on Japan who heavily relied on U.S. oil Japans solution was to attack American code breakers suspect possible Japanese activity in the Pacific Philippines? British Malaysia? Australia?

Pearl Harbor
December 7, 1941 Japan launches all-out sneak attack on U.S. naval bases in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii 3,000 Americans killed, Pacific fleet of U.S. Navy almost entirely wiped out America declares war, joins Allied Powers

War in Pacific
Dec 7, 1941 Japan launches series of attacks on American and British islands in Pacific:
Guam, Wake Island, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Dutch East Indies, coastal China, etc

By March 1942, all islands except the Philippines had fallen to overpowering Japan Japan defeats Allies in Battle of the Philippines
75,000 American and Filipino POWs subjected to Bataan Death March

Japan seemed unstoppable

Battle of Midway
Code breakers intercept messages of surprise attack on Midway Island June 7, 1942 Battle of Midway Japans surprise attack spoiled, ambushed by waiting U.S. fleet U.S. routs Japan:
3,000 Japanese killed vs. 300 Americans killed 4 Japanese carriers sunk vs. 1 American carrier 250 Japanese aircrafts shot down vs. 150 American aircrafts

Midway was the turning point of war in the Pacific Japans fleet virtually wiped out

War in Pacific
Americas new plan in Pacific: island hopping AKA leapfrogging
Do not attack mainland Japan yet Attack the weaker islands around the Pacific one by one Build airbases on each island Cut off resources to Japan Main islands of Japan would then be bombed into submission

Progress was being made, but slowly and at great costs

Belligerents as of 1942:

Major Allies: Britain, Russia, United States, France VS. Major Axis: Germany, Italy, Japan

Day 7: The Turning Point


To understand how and why during 1942 did the war start to turn towards the Allies favor.

Turning Point
1940-1942: German dominance
Germany occupying most of Europe Britain trying to hold off Hitler Controlling the seas with deadly uboat wolf packs

1942: turning point of war in Europe (and Pacific)

Germanys enigma code broken Prowling u-boat wolf packs can now be located

Allies begin to win Battle of the Atlantic

Supplies can now easily be shipped to Britain & France

Hitler Halted
Britain bombs Germans in Cologne, France Americans bomb Germany Sept 1942 Battle of Stalingrad
Russians stop German offensive at Stalingrad, begin successful counteroffensive

Hitler Halted
Oct 1942 Battle of El Alamein
German Gen. Erwin Rommel dominating North Africa
Nicknamed the Desert Fox

Stopped by the British from gaining control of Suez Canal

Germany stopped in both campaigns

Endures heavy losses, retreat ensues

The Soft Underbelly

Burdened Soviet Union urges Allies to open second front FDR wants to invade through France Churchill wants to invade through Northern Africa and Italy
Soft underbelly

Soft underbelly approach chosen to lure war away from Britain

The Soft Underbelly

Nov 1942 Gen. Dwight Eisenhower leads successful campaign in North Africa
Jan 1943 Casablanca Conference
FDR & Churchill agree to seek unconditional surrender of Germany

Germans pushed out of Africa by May 1943 Sept 1943 Allies invade south Italy
Mussolini overthrown, Italy surrenders German soldiers keep fighting invading Allies Invasion slow and bloody Allies finally take Rome by June 1944
Campaign soon becomes just a diversion

D-Day Invasion
Nov-Dec 1943 Tehran Conference
FDR, Churchill, and Stalin meet to coordinate Plans of a new invasion of France made Gen. Eisenhower chosen to lead the operation

June 6, 1944 D-Day Invasion

Over 150,000 Allied soldiers successfully invade beaches of Normandy region on French coast
Largest amphibious assault in history

Invading Allies spread through France into different campaigns

Effects of D-Day Invasion

Paris liberated by 1945
Huge morale boost for Allies

Germany in full-on retreat

End was nearing for Hitler and German army

War in Europe
Nazis make one last centralized push at Ardenne Forest Dec 1944 Battle of the Bulge
Surprised Americans pushed back
Creating a bulge in the battle line

Largest and bloodiest battle for American Army Americans hold on to key city of Bastogne until Allied reinforcements arrive Germans eventually defeated, resume retreat

Both America and Russia converging towards Berlin

Holocaust Discovered
Holocaust had been just an rumor and thought to be embellished at most Retreating Germans accelerate final solution Advancing Allies shocked as they begin to discover Nazi concentration camps German civilians forced to march through camps

Katyn Massacre
Poland, 1943: Katyn Massacre discovered by Nazis
22,000 Poles secretly executed in 1940 Soviets blamed Nazis, Nazis blamed Soviets Evidence surfaces it was Stalins orders Helps cause tension between Allies and Russia

Germany Surrenders
April 1945 Russia reaches Germany
Hitler kills himself

May 8, 1945 Germany officials surrender

V-E Day (Victory in Europe)

War in the Pacific

By 1945, U.S. weakening Japan:
U.S. subs destroying Japanese merchant ships U.S. bombers devastating Japanese cities with firebomb campaigns
Mar 1945 Two day firebomb raid on Tokyo
1/4 of city demolished and 80,000 deal

War in the Pacific

Series of costly, hard-fought, U.S. victories: Mar 1945 Battle of Leyte Gulf
Gen. MacArthur recaptures the Philippines

Mar 1945 Battle of Iwo Jima

U.S. takes small, but strategic island

June 1945 Battle of Okinawa

Last island before Japanese mainland American victory
But with 50,000 American casualties

The Atomic Bomb

Japan refusing to surrender
Seen as dishonorable to give up Kamikaze suicide missions increase Must protect their godlike emperor

U.S. leaders know invasion of Japan would be grueling and deadly Manhattan Project Since 1940, U.S. secretly began developing worlds first atomic bomb
Mostly worked on by ex-German scientists 1945 Tested in New Mexico and ready for use

July 1945 Potsdam Conference

American, British and Russian officials meet to give Japan final ultimatum: Surrender or be destroyed

Japan Surrenders
Japan refuses to surrender, continue hostility American aircrafts drop leaflets warning of atomic bomb, urging evacuation of targeted cities Aug 6, 1945 Atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima
70,000 die instantly, 200,000 casualties overall

Aug 8, 1945 Russia declares war on Japan

Invades Manchuria

Japan still refuses to answer Potsdam Declaration, Aug 9, 1945 Second bomb dropped on Nagasaki
80,000 killed

War Ends
Aug 19, 1945 Japan officially surrenders WWII ends
V-J Day

Postwar Settlements
Japan devastated
Ready to return to democracy

Reconstruction Bitterness from conflicts Denazification of Germany
Nuremberg trials Nazi officials tried for war crimes

Yalta Conference (1945)

Occupation zones established Germany divided Paved way for Cold War

United Nations established

Wrapping Up WWII
War stops German, Italian, Japanese aggression Unprecedented millions killed in war Losses:
Germany: 4.2 million Allies: 1.5 million USSR: 25 million Yugoslavia had highest per capita deaths: 1 in 10 Asian population drops by 55 million