What caused World War II

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2 What caused World War II A variety of reasonable answers 1. World War I & The Treaty of Versailles 2. The Rise of Totalitarian Governments 3. Failure of the League of Nations 4. Nationalism and Aggression by Hitler 5. Appeasement policies (failure of)

3 Causes of WWII WWI left Europe divided and the Treaty of Versailles imposed crippling conditions on Germany The democratic government of the Weimar public was weak and had trouble addressing these issues When the Nazis came to power many government programs improved the economy but directly violated the Treaty of Versailles Expanded the numbers of active service personnel in the army Created a new air force (Luftwaffe) Built Panzer tanks, Ships, U-Boats Sent troops into the Rhineland

4 The Japanese invasion of Manchurian (1931) and the Italian invasion of Abyssinia (1935) were international crisis events that proved the League of Nations to be weak and ineffective

5 Failure of the League of Nations The Manchurian Incident (1931) Japan occupied Manchuria on the mainland China China appealed to the LoN for help LoN ineffectively applied pressure to Japan Japan continued aggression toward China Italy and Ethiopia (1935) Mussolini wanted control of Abyssinia, threatened invasion LoN debated what to do Mussolini went in, conquered Abyssinia and forced the king into exile.

6 German Nationalism From 1923 until becoming chancellor in 1933 Hitler promoted ideals of hardcore Pan-German Nationalism, Aryan Supremacy and Anti- Semitism Hitler spoke about uniting all German speaking people and building a great civilization The Thousand Year Reich This of course required land. Lebensraum was the policy of gaining more living space. It was intended that inferior non-germans (Slavic people and Jews) would provide slave labour the new empire.

7 Demands and Appeasement England and France had a policy of non-aggression and appeasement toward Germany The Anschluss Was the union of Germany and Austria in 1938 German troops occupied The Sudetenland; an area of Northwestern Czechoslovakia, effectively annexing it

8 Peace in our Time The Munich Conference: British PM Neville Chamberlain met with Hitler. Hitler signed an agreement stating that in return for the Sudetenland he would cease aggression and make no more demands. British PM Neville Chamberlain with the Munich Agreement 5 months later Hitler went on to invade and annex the rest of Czechoslovakia

9 1937

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25 Nazi Soviet Non Aggression Pact Hitler & Stalin agreed not to attack each other Hitler allowed Stalin to have controlled of eastern parts of Poland and the Baltic States Hitler didn t really care for anything in return (because he always planned to break the pact anyhow.) Cartoon from an American newspaper June 22, 1941

26 The Invasion of Poland Nazi Soviet Non-Aggression Pact Hitler and Stalin made a deal not to attack each other. September 1 st, 1939 Germany invaded Poland marking the start of WWII The German s used Blitzkrieg, a fast highly coordinated strike with tanks, dive-bombers and infantry Two days later Britain and France declared war on Germany Poland was defeated in two weeks

27 German soldiers in Warsaw (1939)

28 1939

29 Stuka Dive Bomber Panzer Mark IV

30 Axis & Allies Allied Powers Soviet Union England (and colonies) France China USA (1941) Axis Powers Nazi Germany Italy Japan

31 1940

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35 1940

36 The Fall of France The Northern 2/3 of France were placed under occupation of the German military. Airfields were established and became very important for the coming Battle of Britain The French coast became very heavily fortified known as the Atlantic Wall, the most formidable defense of Fortress Europe In the Southern part of France an authoritarian government was established and led by French Field Marshall Petain. Known as Vichy France, this puppet government was controlled by Nazi Germany

37 The European Theatre of War Hitler s Early Victories The Maginot Line The Phoney War aka Sitzkrieg Evacuation from Dunkirk Occupation of France and the establishment of Vichy

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