World War II

Module 25
The Rise of Fascism and
Outbreak of War
American Foreign Policy in the 1930s
- Hoover’s Foreign Policy
- Japan represents the greatest threat to peace during the 1930s.
- The Imperial Japanese Army invades Manchuria in 1931, in defiance of the League of
- The League of Nations does little more than condemn Japan, showing that it lacks the
stomach for facing aggressive expansionism.
- Hoover also seeks friendlier relations with Latin America - backs off of many of the policies of
the Imperialist Presidents (Roosevelt, Taft, Wilson)
FDR’s Foreign Policy
- The Good Neighbor Policy - The US would be a “good neighbor” to other
nations in the Western Hemisphere.
- The Pan American Conferences - The US promised to never again intervene in the internal
affairs of Latin and South America.
- Roosevelt persuaded Congress to nullify the Platt Amendment in Cuba.
- Economic Diplomacy
- FDR officially recognized the Soviet Union in 1933
- Promised Philippine independence by 1946.
- Reciprocal Trade Agreements - FDRs attempts to unwind the Smoot Hawley Tariff.
Meanwhile… The Rise of Fascism
- Worldwide depression and intense resentment over the results of the Treaty of
Versailles will give rise to military dictatorships in Europe and Japan.
- Italy - Benito Mussolini led the rise of the Fascist Party, a coalition of war
veterans, nationalists and anti-communist. Promoted a policy that people
should glorify their nations through acts of force.
- Japan - Military leaders will gain control over the nation as their economic
depression worsens. They believed that the only way to help themselves was by
aggressive expansion to ensure access to raw materials. They seek to
accomplish this by invading China - creating what the Japanese referred to as
the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere.
- Germany
- Affected far more than any other nation by both the depression and the Treaty of Versailles.
- The economic pain in unimaginable . Hyperinflation caused by German printing of money
to satisfy their war debts..
- The Nazi Party, led by Adolf Hitler, offers a solution and a scapegoat.
- Hitler will gain power in 1933 and will quickly adopt a policy of aggressive expansion.
Meanwhile in the USA
- Isolationism prevails.
- US participation in WWI was viewed as a terrible mistake.
- Isolationists control Congress up to 1938. Pass a series of laws reaffirming US neutrality in
European affairs.
The Road to World War
- Starting in 1935, aggressive actions by fascist dictators will move the world
down a path towards war. To avoid open conflict European democracies adopt
a policy of Appeasement - giving in to demands hoping that it will prevent
future hostilities.
- Ethiopia - 1935 - Mussolini believed he could recreate the Roman Empire and invades Ethiopia.
The League of Nations protests, but does little.
- The Rhineland - 1936 - A german province, permanently demilitarized by the ToV. Hitler defies
the treaty and orders the German army to reoccupy. Europeans justify this because it WAS
German territory.
- Sudetenland - 1938 - Hitler uses to pretext of protecting ethnic Germans in Czechoslovakia to
demand the territory ceded to Germany. The British negotiate a deal that gives Hitler the
territory, with their Prime Minister proclaiming they had secured “peace for their time.”
- Hitler will later sponsor a fascist coup that will swallow the remainder of Czechoslovakia.
- By 1939, Germany is menacing Poland.
- Hitler reaches a secret agreement with the Soviet Union dividing up Poland.
- Britain guarantees Polish independence and warns of war if Germany invades.
- Hitler does not believe Britain will follow through and in Sept. 1939 German tanks roll across the
border into Poland. Britain declares war, joined by France.
- The initial war declaration does not lead to fighting, and the winter of 1939-1940 is quiet.
(Referred to as the phony war or sitzkrieg.)
- In early 1940 the war resumes. The British and French expect the Germans to
utilize similar tactics to World War I. However, what Germany unveils is a
totally new form of warfare.
- The German army will break conventional doctrine by combining all of their tanks into single
Panzer divisions, supported by aircraft and mechanized infantry. German doctrine is to strike
hard at a single point in the enemy defense and then rush through the gap into the enemy supply
- Within weeks the Germans have achieved the greatest military victory of the modern era,
France has surrendered and Britain now stands alone against Germany.
America Fights WWII
American Responds
- Roosevelt wants to help the British who are being pressured by the Germans
both at sea by U-boats and are being bombed around the clock by the
Luftwaffe. However, Congress and the American people still resist the idea of
American involvement.
- His strategy will take on three phases.
- Cash and Carry - 1939 - The British and French could buy weapons and munitions from the US
as long as they paid cash and used their own ships to transport.
- Destroyers for Bases - 1940 - British merchant ships are being sunk at an alarming rate. The US
gives the British 50 older destroyers to guard their convoys in return for territory in colonial
- Lend Lease Act - 1941 - As war become more likely Congress will authorize the president to lend
war materials to any nation's “vital to the defense of the United States.”
- Roosevelt refers the United States as an “Arsenal of Democracy”
America Goes to War
- On December 7th 1941 the Japanese, responding to US oil embargoes, launch a
surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, HI, the command center of the US Pacific fleet.
- Americans are shocked and outraged. Roosevelt asks for and receives a war declaration.
- Germany honors its commitment to Japan and declares war on the US a few days later.
The War for Europe
Study on your own:(

- Topics to Consider
- War in North Africa
- The Invasion of Italy
- Stalingrad and Kursk
- D-Day
- The Fall of Berlin
- V-E Day
The War in the Pacific
- Things to consider
- Pearl Harbor
- The Doolittle Raid
- The Battle of Coral Sea
- The Battle of Midway
- Guadalcanal
- Iwo Jima
- Okinawa
The Yalta Conference
- February 1945
- Split Germany into 4 zones of
- Split Berlin into 4 zones of
- Agree to meet April 1945 in San
Francisco & form United Nations
- Stalin promises free elections in
Eastern Europe
- Stalin promises to enter war against
Japan after Germany defeated

The Potsdam Conference
- July – August, 1945
- Truman and Stalin and Churchill
- Ultimatum to Japan – surrender or else
- Truman insists German industry be allowed to recover
but Stalin wants reparations
- Agreement:
- German industry allowed to revive in the British,
American and French zones
- Stalin gets reparations from only the Soviet zone of
Germany (not happy since it was primarily
- Truman tells Stalin of U.S. atomic bomb testing
Welcome to the Atomic Age
- The largest military science project in history. Leads to the nuclear fission and
the creation of the first two atomic bombs, Fat Man and Little Boy.
- Dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, leveling both cities.
“Fat Man”
Aug. 9, 1945
80,000 casualties
35,000 dead
“Little Boy”
Aug. 6, 1945
180,000 casualties
70,000 dead instantly
Col. Paul Tibbets prepares Col. Tibbets named his
to take off for Hiroshima plane after his mother.
August 6, 1945

Why were Hiroshima
and Nagasaki the
chosen sites?
Nagasaki under
atomic bomb
attack on August
9, 1945. Two
planes of the 10th
Air Force
participated in
the mission-one to
carry the bomb,
the other to serve
Hiroshima after the Bomb
Hiroshima Victims
Shadows burned into a
wooden observation tower
and outlined in chalk by
investigators record a
Nagasaki air-raid
observer’s last moments.
After descending from his
post by ladder,the observer
hung up his sword belt and
was unbuttoning his jacket
The duration of the heat radiation from the
bomb is so short, just a few thousandths of
a second, that there is no time for the
energy falling on a surface to be dissipated
by thermal diffusion; the flash burn is
typically a surface effect. Where solid
objects block the energy, the blast
produced a permanent atomic shadow on
solid surfaces.

• One feature connected with heat
radiation was the charring of fabric to
different degrees depending upon the
color of the fabric. Persons wearing
clothing of various colors received
burns greatly varying in degree, the
degree of burn depending upon the
• Vegetation
begins to
because of the
• Sept. 2, 1945 —Japanese surrender …
– Didn’t want any more bombs; they didn’t know that the
US didn’t have anymore, but the Soviets definitely did
• Unconditional surrender
• Japanese asked for one thing—to keep their Emperor
(Hirohito) and it was granted
August 15,
The Homefront
The Selective Service Act
- All males 21 to 36 had to register
- FDR’s Four Freedoms Speech: free speech and
expression; freedom of worship, freedom from need,
freedom from fear
- Norman Rockwell paintings
- 16 million Gis
- Passed in PEACETIME!!
- Passed after France fell so quickly to Germany in 1940
The Wartime Production Board
- set up to direct conversion of peacetime industries to industries producing
war goods.
- Ends production of “non-essential” items
- US produced double as many war goods alone as Germany, Italy & Japan
- Full employment & scarce consumer goods will lead to inflation which led to
- Bicycles, beer cans, refrigerators, toothpaste tubes, etc. all cut back or
- Other items rationed?
Financing the War
- Liberty Bonds (Victory Bonds)
- Income taxes on ALL classes
- To make collection of taxes easier,
payroll deductions began
Women in World War II
- How were women encouraged to work?
- “If you can drive a car, …”
- Federally funded day care for children
- “Rosie the Riveter” campaign
- Women's’ wages did rise but ….
- Negative effects of women working?
- Encountered resistance from male
- Jobs were only temporary – until men
returned home
African Americans in WWII
- DOUBLE-V CAMPAIGN - meaning?
- Victory against racism abroad (Hitler)
- Victory against racism at home
- A. Phillip Randolph called on blacks to make a
march on Washington, D.C. protesting for jobs
- FDR signed Executive order 8802 to open federal
jobs to African Americans
- Avoided the march of over 100,000 blacks on D.C.
- African American Troops

Mexican Americans in WWII
- 300,000 in Army
- Shortage of farm laborers
- Brought in from MX ’42
- 200,000 to Los Angeles, southern CA
- Barrios
- Zoot Suit Riots
- Looked “un-American”
- Full scale street riots by June 1943
Japanese Americans in WWII
- FDR’s Executive Order 9066
- Beginning in Feb. ’42, 120,000 will be moved to detention centers &
confined there for most of the rest of the war – WHY?
- To keep them from helping the Japanese if they invaded California
- Most lived in CA & Pacific NW & had been born American Citizens
- Sent to 10 different centers – isolated areas such as ID, UT, WY, etc.
- Detainees appealed to the Supreme Court
for protection:
- KOREMATSU v. U.S. in Dec. ’44
- Court held that the internment was necessary
for the national security
- BUT, reversed itself in 1988; apology & 20,000
per survivor, tax-free