Major Causes and Events of WWII• German Invasion of Poland• German Invasion of Soviet Union• The Holocaust• Japanese Imperialism• Attack on Pearl Harbor• Normandy Landings in Europe• Dropping of Atomic Bombs on Japan
German Invasion of Poland• September 1, 1939• Leads to Great Britain and France’s declarations of war on Germany• First use of the German blitzkrieg (“lightning war”) that incorporates fast-moving airplanes and tanks
In German, Blitzkrieg means lightning war (Blitz-Krieg). Blitzkrieg was named so because it includedsurprise attacks, "Lighting fast" rapid advances into enemy territory, with coordinated massive airattacks, which struck and shocked the enemy as if it was struck by lightning. The German military inWorld War 2 achieved most of its great victories with the Blitzkrieg tactic.
German Invasion of Soviet Union• 1941-1943• Known as Operation Barbarossa• Unsuccessful German sieges of Leningrad and Moscow.• The harsh Russian winter halts further invasion in Russia.• Germans besiege Stalingrad in 1942 and are forced to surrender the following year.• The Soviet army then begins to push westward into Europe.
The Holocaust• Genocide of over 6 million Jews and other groups throughout Europe considered by Germany to be inferior.• Known as “The Final Solution”• Resulted in the extermination of these people in death camps.
The Nazis targeted Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals, Jehovahs Witnesses, Communists, twins, and thedisabled. Some of these people tried to hide from the Nazis, like Anne Frank and her family. A few weresuccessful; most were not. Those that were captured suffered sterilization, forcedresettlement, separation from family and friends, beatings, torture, starvation, and/or death.
Japanese Imperialism• Plans for a Pacific empire that included China• Empire would allow Japan to solve its economic problems through the provision of – raw materials – markets for its goods – more room for its growing population.• Japan invaded Manchuria and China in the 1930s.• The Philippines, Malaya, Singapore, the Dutch East Indies, and Burma are all occupied after the start of World War II.
Attack on Pearl Harbor• Japan attacks Pearl Harbor December 7, 1941• Leads the United States to declare war on Japan.• This results in a declaration of war on the United States by Germany and Italy.
Normandy Landings in Europe• June 6, 1944 – “D-Day”• Landing of Allied forces on the coast of France lead to a German retreat.• As a result, France and the Low Countries are liberated and Allied troops push eastward into Germany that leads to German surrender in 1945.
Dropping of Atomic Bombs on Japan• U.S. drops atomic bombs on Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki• Leads to Japan’s surrender.
The panoramas show the physical effects of a small (15 kiloton*) nuclear weapon on a city of 400,000.