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realized that war was coming

Aggressive behavior by Germany, Italy, and

Japan was proof


called for an economic quarantine of the aggressor nations- but no declaration of war
Americans were greatly opposed to going to

war in Europe again

1937- Neutrality Act Forbade the selling or lending of war materiel

to any warring nation


Isolationists sought an amendment to the Constitution that would prevent Congress from declaring war without first submitting the question to a popular vote
A poll of the American people resulted in 75%

of the people being in favor of such a law


Neutrality Act

European democracies could buy American

war materiel on a cash-and-carry basis Countries at war had to pay for the goods before the goods left our shores and had to carry the goods in their own ships Resulted in a sharp upswing in manufactured goods and an end to the recession of 1937-38 and ultimately ended the decade-long problem of unemployment


1939- Germanys invasion of Poland lasts two weeks

Britain nor France could do anything as they

possessed neither the weaponry nor the manpower to mount a credible deterrent on Germanys western flank

1939 April 1940- the Phony War

Europe sat in silence wondering what

Germanys next move was


1939- USSR invades Finland

As a result of the Scandinavian countrys

refusal to be a part of the Soviet sphere of influence and provide naval bases to protect Leningrad US sent millions of dollars for non-military supplies Finland fell to the USSR anyway

1) Germanys successful blitzkrieg of Poland and stabilization of the western front during the winter of 1939-40 2) Germanys offensive in the West through the Low Countries and the rapid collapse of France and the eventual evacuation of the British from the continent 3) transformation into a world war in which the USSR would join and then the US


1940- Germany invades Norway and Denmark

Granted access to Swedens high-grade iron-

ore by rail and ship


1940- Germany invades Holland, Belgium, and Luxembourg


1940- Germany invades France

June 14, 1940- Paris falls to the German army British and French army escape the continent

at Dunkirk in a makeshift flotilla of private ships/boats over a period of nine days French puppet government is established at Vichy, France under President Philippe Petain Free French Army operates out of London, England under Charles de Gaulle


for Germanys attack on Britain in the summer of 1940

The plan was to bombard major cities

with the air force to be followed by an amphibious invasion of the shores of England across the English Channel


1940- From France, Germany began bombing strategic cities in England

Winston Churchill replaces Neville Chamberlain as

British Prime Minister Hitler made the mistake of bombing civilian centers instead of war targets such as army, navy, and air force bases

fight back with their air force (RAF) and keep the government from collapsing

Three major advantages over the Germans Ultra- a German secret code machine that was

taken by the British from a German submarine

Britain could now unscramble secret codes and know when and where the German air force was to attack

Radar- (ra)dio (d)etecting (a)nd (r)anging Pinpointed German airplanes crossing the English Channel Superior Quality of Aircraft- Spitfires and

Hurricanes were faster and more agile than German Messerschmitts


civilians did not wilt under roundthe-clock bombings of major metropolitan areas, but instead were galvanized, supported their government, and dared to carry on the war in the face of such death and destruction

FDR- Democratic nominee More for the Forgotten Man Neutrality, but aid to the Allies Destroyers for Bases Deal Wendell Willkie- Republican nominee Part of the Anti-New Deal coalition Neutrality, but aid to the Allies Attacked FDR for leading the US towards war FDR wins an unprecedented third term


1940- Destroyers for Bases Deal with Britain

FDR transferred 50 old, but useful destroyers

in exchange for the use of eight British naval bases all along the Atlantic coast from Newfoundland to British Guiana FDR had accomplished helping the Allies without committing US troops to war
Appeased both warhawks and isolationists

January 1941- Lend-Lease Act British needed more US war materiel, but had

no more cash FDR proposed a lend-lease program in which nations at war would be able to lease US-made goods
US would send a limitless supply of arms to the victims of aggression and they would return the used weapons or their equivalents when the war was over

FDR called America an arsenal of



1941- Presidents annual message to Congress

FDR proclaimed the Four Freedoms based

upon the principles of Wilsons Fourteen Points Freedom of speech Freedom of religion Freedom from want Freedom from fear

June 1941- Operation Barbarossa Hitler makes a bad decision and starts this

invasion too late in the year and will eventually get bogged down in the Russian winter
Cause- German aid for Italys engagement in the Balkans was bogged down by fierce Greek resistance and British military aid

Hitler is now engaged in a two-front war West- Britain and the Free French East- Russia


Attack- each with its

own objective
Leningrad in the North Moscow in the center Ukrainian grain fields and Caucasian oil wells

in the South


invasion of Russia turned from Blitzkrieg to a war of attrition by December, 1941

Failure to deliver a decisive blow before the

Russian winter ground its mechanized offensive to a halt


of the Russian Military

Completely unprepared Reeling in confusion Tactically incompetent Due to the officers purge in 1937-1938

the first 3 months of the conflict

the Soviet army was killed, wounded, or

captured Tank force was reduced to 700 vehicles from 15,000


1941- FDR and Winston Churchill secretly meet on a ship off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada
Discussed post-war situation if the Allies won No discussion of US intervention


the Atlantic Charter

Based on Wilsons Fourteen Points Adopted by the USSR and several other Allied