Adolf Hitler elected in Germany in 1933 (remember the Treaty of
militarism, and anti-communism
1936 Re-militirized the Rhineland
1938 Took Austria
Germany wanted to take the Sudentenland (near Czechoslovakia)
English and French leaders gave it to Hitler (after Munich conference), in exchange for a promise not to annex any other land
Condemned Germany, but did nothing
Japan attacked China, US reaction is the same
Neutrality Acts of 1935 and 1937
Made no distinction between aggressor and victim (Italy and Ethiopia)
Wanted to expel Europeans from Asia so they could call the shots
Invaded Manchuria in 1931
Attack mainland China in 1937
Rape of Nanking, 200,000 to 300, 000 civilians
Night of Broken Glass 1938
Polish Jew assassinated a German diplomat in Paris.
Germans destroyed hundreds of synagogues
91 Jews killed, ~20,000 arrested
Soviet Union and Germany (Aug. 1939)
To the chancellor of the German Reich, Herr A. Hitler. I thank you for your letter. I hope that the German-Soviet Nonaggression Pact will mark a decisive turn for the better in the political relations between our two countries. .
J. Stalin *
Invasion of Poland by Germans
Britain and France declare war on Germany
Blitzkrieg (Lightning War)
By May 1940 Germany had taken France (it took 4 years in WWI)
You are Winston Churchill (UK). You have broken some of the German code and Intelligence says an attack is coming, but the Germans seem confused about where your factories and air fields are. You can either build up defense around your bases or sit and wait.
You are Adolf Hitler . You have little intelligence to tell you where the British airforce bases are. You can either attack where you think the bases are or destroy the city of London.
The US began to prepare for war
19,000 warplanes, 150 ships
First peacetime draft (16.5 million men)
3 rd term ???
No American will fight in a foreign war, but if attacked the war would not be “foreign” anymore
Lend-Lease Act (March 1941)
Atlantic Charter (Aug ‘41)
Germany is first priority, Japan second
US and Britain will work together
US creates a navy for both Atlantic and Pacific oceans
Japan builds navy, US cuts off steel export
Japan takes Vietnam, US puts up a blockade
“ A Date which will Live in Infamy”
Imagine that FDR had enough spy intelligence to know that Japan would attack Pearl Harbor. Do you:
Save the lives and stay out of the war?
Sacrifice the people in order to join the war?
They can go all out for ~ 6 months
Germany may last longer
They attack Russia in June 1941
This opens a Two-Front war
Turning point of the European war
Germans move forward, but run out of supplies
Germans forced to give up
Almost 2 million causalities , lasted 199 days
**Soviets lost more people in this 1 battle than the US lost in the entire war
Atlantic Ocean German U-boats destroy American and British ships (they worked in “wolfpacks”)
By 1943 Allies use planes and radar to shoot U-boats when they surface
Also, US mass produces ships (good for the economy!)