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World War II
 

World War II

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WWII Powerpoint for High School

WWII Powerpoint for High School

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    World War II World War II Presentation Transcript

    • 1939-1945
    •    On September 1st, 1939, Germany invaded Poland. Great Britain and France demanded that Hitler remove his military forces from Poland. Hitler refused and on September 3rd, 1939, World War II had begun. German Troops marching into Warsaw, the capital of Poland.
    •    The Nazis used blitzkrieg warfare to overtake Poland. Blitzkrieg or “lightning warfare” is a style used war using an overwhelming force of tanks, artillery and aircraft to rapidly attack and break through enemy lines. Poland fell to Germany in about 4 weeks.
    • Adolf Hitler and Heinrich Himmler review plans of the invasion of Poland.
    •     The Allies of Great Britain and France did not attack Germany. Instead, they decided to wait for Germany to make its next move. They hoped that the German army would tire from attacking Poland. The French fortified their positions along the Maginot Line which ran along the French and German border. This is sometimes called the “sitzkrieg” or the “phony war”.
    •  The Maginot Line was a heavily fortified wall/fortresses built by the French along the border of Germany following WWI. It was intended to protect France in case the Germans ever attacked again.
    •     In April 1940, Germany invaded Denmark and Norway. Both countries fell with little resistance. This gave Germany better access to the sea. Germany then sets it’s eyes on France.
    •     In late May 1940, the Germans conquered the Netherlands and stormed into Belgium. France’s main forces were situated along the Maginot Line; however, Germany simply bypassed them by going through Belgium’s Ardennes Forest. The French mistakenly thought that the thick, forested area was an impenetrable natural barrier against armored vehicles. They were wrong. Ar d en ne s Fo re st
    • Maginot Line
    •     Belgian, British, and French troops tried to stop the Germans in Belgium but the Nazis persisted. By early June the Germans had trapped hundreds of thousands of British and Allied soldiers at the French port of Dunkirk. The British were forced to evacuate and leave the mainland of Europe barely averting complete disaster. The French were now alone.
    •     On June 10th 1940, Italy enters the war by invading France. The combination of the German and Italian armies proved to be too much for the French. France would fall just weeks later. Despite its fall France would hold onto a small portion of the country known as the Vichy.
    •     In August 1940, following the fall of France, the Germans then turn their attention to Great Britain The Luftwaffe–German air force–began a major bombing offensive against military targets in Britain. The Germans start bombing populated areas, factories and dock yards. Hitler’s intent was to break British morale then mount an invasion.
    •    For 57 straight nights, London was bombed. The British suffered severe losses. By the end of 1940, around 15,000 British civilians were killed in the Blitz and nearly 400,000 people were left homeless.
    • An abandoned boy, holding a stuffed toy animal amid ruins following a German aerial bombing of London in 1940.
    •     Angered at the fact that Germany was attacking populated areas such as London, Great Britain’s Prime Minister Winston Churchill ordered a counter-offensive against the Germans and sent the Royal Air Force to bomb Berlin. The Germans were in disbelief that bombs were dropping on Hitler’s capital city of Berlin. While the British bombing was not as effective as the German’s, the fierce resistance of the British was enough to hold off Hitler’s invasion of Great Britain. Unable to break British defenses, Hitler called off the attacks.
    •  Instead of devastating the British morale, it actually had the exact opposite effect, bringing the British people together to face a common enemy.
    •     The British asked the United States for help. The United States, once again, had a strict policy of isolationism. A series of neutrality acts passed in the 1930s prevented the United States from getting involved in European conflicts. Most Americans feel they should stay out of the war.
    •     Though President Franklin D. Roosevelt denounced the Germans, the United States did nothing at first. Roosevelt wanted to repeal the neutrality acts and help Great Britain, but the American people weren’t ready to send millions of troops to war just yet. However, Roosevelt felt that the Americans would be forced to fight eventually if the Allies fell. Over time, the laws were slowly relaxed, and the United States sent food, ships, planes, and weapons to Britain.
    •   After putting off the invasion of Great Britain, Hitler decided the next step was to attack the Soviet Union. The British were expecting Soviet support so Hitler was convinced that if he defeated the Soviets, Britain would eventually fall.
    •     Hitler then invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941. The attack on the Soviet Union , known as Operation Barbarossa, stretched out for 1,800 miles. The Red Army, though the largest in the world, was not well-equipped or welltrained. The Germans quickly pushed deep into Soviet land.
    •    As the Red Army was forced to retreat, it destroyed everything left behind to keep supplies out of German hands. German troops captured two million Russian soldiers by November. The Germans were within 25 miles of Moscow.
    •     However, winter came early in 1941 and, combined with fierce Russian resistance, forced the Germans to halt. This marked the first time in the war that the Germans had been stopped. The Germans were not equipped for the bitter Russian winter. In December, the Soviet army counterattacked.
    •     While the Germans waged war in Europe, Japan had its own campaigns in the East. Japanese military leaders wanted to establish a New Order in East Asia. The Japanese thought that as the only modernized country, they could guide the other East Asian nations to prosperity. They thought that pure Japanese (Yamato race) were a superior and everyone else needed guiding. Prime Minister Hideki Tojo
    •     In the 1930’s, Japan had invaded Manchuria (northern China) and steadily moved southward. They would eventually occupy large portions of China and southeast Asia. By the 1940’s Japan had expanded to control much of East Asia. The United States opposed Japanese aggression, yet did nothing about it.
    •    Being a small, island country, Japan lacks natural resources and relies heavily on trade and resources from other countries. In 1940, desperate for resources, Japan demands the right to exploit economic resources in French Indochina (Vietnam). As a response, the United States responded by imposing economic restrictions on Japan unless Japan withdraws and ceases aggression.
    •    The Japanese badly needed oil and scrap metal from the United States. The economic sanctions were a very real threat. In the end, after months of long debate, Japan decided to launch a surprise attack on U.S. and European colonies in Southeast Asia.
    •   Despite talks of peace just days prior, the Japanese attacked the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii on December 7, 1941. 2,400 American soldiers and civilians died and the U.S. naval force was severely crippled.
    • The USS Arizona in 1941 Pearl Harbor attack and the USS Arizona today.
    •    On the same day of the bombing, President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivers a speech and urges Congress to declare war. In this famous speech, Roosevelt declares that December 7th, 1941 is “a date which will live in infamy”. Within the hour of the speech, the United States declared war on Japan.
    •    The Japanese thought that their attacks on the U.S. fleet would destroy the U.S. Navy and lead the Americans to accept Japanese domination in the Pacific. However, the attack on Pearl Harbor had the opposite effect. It united the American people and convinced the nation that it should enter the war.
    •    The Japanese chose to attack Pearl Harbor because the U.S. opposed the Japanese takeover of countries in Southeast Asia. The Japanese realized that crippling the U.S. naval forces would give them the chance to invade and conquer those lands that were rich in resources. By 1942, the Japanese dominated the Pacific.
    •    Hitler thought that the Americans would be too heavily involved in the Pacific to fight in Europe or send aid to great Britain. Four days after Pearl Harbor, Germany and Italy declared war on the United States. World War II had become a global war.
    •   The United States was now forced to fight a war on two fronts or theaters, the European Theater and Pacific Theater. The U.S. splits its military and sent troops to opposite sides of the globe.
    •  To lead the war in the Pacific, the United States appointed General Douglas MacArthur.
    •  To lead the war in Europe, the United States appointed General Dwight D. Eisenhower.
    •     The U.S. then mobilizes for war. Mobilization is the act of assembling and making troops and supplies ready for war. While the men were called to duty, women played an important role in the mobilization of the U.S. military. They took up many jobs once reserved for men only.
    •     A new coalition was also formed called the Grand Alliance (the Allies). It included Great Britain, the Soviet Union, and the United States. The three nations agreed to focus on military operations and ignore their political differences. They agreed to fight until the Axis Powers surrendered unconditionally.
    •     The war was not only fought in Europe and in the Pacific, it was also fought in North Africa. The Italians first invaded Africa but were met by heavy British resistance. The Germans sent aid and the Nazi Afrika Korps under Field Marshall Erwin Rommel swept through Africa and advanced towards Alexandria, Egypt. Under Rommel, the Nazis see much success in Africa.
    •       Rommel was a very popular and successful tank commander. He led the Nazi Panzer divisions to many key victories against the Allies in Africa. He earned the nickname, the “Desert Fox”. Rommel was regarded as a chivalrous and humane officer and was never accused of any war crimes. Prisoners under Rommel were said to have been treated humanely. He also ignored orders to kill captured POW’s and Jewish people. Panzer tank
    •     The Nazi’s success was not long lived, however. Nazi commanders could not agree upon how to exploit their success. General Eisenhower orders the invasion of North Africa in 1942. This was known as Operation Torch.
    •    Under the leadership of George S. Patton, British and American forces would invade North Africa and defeat German and Italian troops at the Second Battle of El Alamein. This was the turning point in the war in Africa. The Axis Powers were forced to surrender Africa by late 1942, early 1943.
    •    After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the Japanese took over the Pacific one island at a time. The greatest resistance came in the American occupied Philippine Islands where U.S. and Filipino troops fought together against the Japanese invasion in early 1942. The Japanese proved too strong and the Americans were forced to leave the island.
    •   Despite the retreat of the Americans, General Douglas MacArthur made a promise to return and liberate the island from Japanese control. He is quoted as simply saying, “I shall return.”
    •    In the retreat, the United States left nearly 11,000 men behind in the Philippines. Many of these men were captured and taken in as prisoners of war by the Japanese. The Japanese were clearly unprepared for the volume of prisoners that they were suddenly responsible for, and there was no organized plan for how to handle them.
    •      After 3 months, the Japanese decided to move the POW’s to another location (away from the Bataan Peninsula). By this time, the prisoners were still treating injuries from battle, malnourished and suffering from tropical diseases. Despite this, they were expected to march over 60 miles to their new location. Several thousand soldiers would die as a result harsh journey. This is infamously known as the Bataan Death March.
    •   The march was characterized by wideranging physical abuse and resulted in very high fatalities inflicted upon prisoners. Furthermore, Japanese troops would frequently commit war crimes as prisoners that began to fall behind, or were unable to walk were bayoneted or even beheaded.  "They were beaten, and they were starved as they marched. Those who fell were bayoneted. Some of those who fell were beheaded by Japanese officers who were practicing with their samurai swords from horseback. The Japanese culture at that time reflected the view that any warrior who surrendered had no honor; thus was not to be treated like a human being. Thus they were not committing crimes against human beings.
    •  U.S. propaganda following the atrocities of the Bataan Death March.
    •    Back on the Eastern Front, Hitler ordered the attack of Stalingrad, a major Soviet industrial center. The battle lasted for many months between 1942 and 1943. The Germans took the offensive and bombed the city, reducing it to rubble.
    •    The Soviet losses were severe and many more troops were shipped in for reinforcement. At one point, the Germans controlled up to 90% of the city, yet the Soviets continued to fight fiercely. Once again, winter came and the Germans were ill equipped to deal with it’s harshness.
    •    During the dead of winter, the Soviets went on the counterattack. They surrounded the Germans and cut off their supply lines. In May 1943, the Germans were forced to surrender.
    •       The Soviets were victorious but not without a price. Both sides suffered severe casualties. The Nazis lost some of their best troops, over 800,000 soldiers. The USSR lost around 1.1 million. Hitler knew that he could not defeat the Soviet Union. This battle is considered the turning point of the war in Europe. A Soviet soldier waves a red flag signifying the victory.
    •     Vasily Zaytsez was a famous Soviet soldier during WWII and perhaps the most famous sniper of all time. He is said to have around 600 sniper kills. He gained notoriety in the battle of Stalingrad which he was said to have around 250 kills. His exploits are portrayed by Jude Law in the movie “Enemy at the Gates”.
    •    Later that year, 1942, the Allies had their first successes in the Pacific. In the Battle of the Coral Sea in May, American naval forces stopped the Japanese and saved Australia from invasion. However, the Battle of Midway Island was the turning point in the Pacific war.
    •      Midway is a very small island in the Pacific yet held strategic importance. The battle took place between a small American force and a much larger Japanese fleet. During the battle, the U.S. was able to sink 4 Japanese aircraft carriers, 1 destroyer and over 250 aircraft were demolished. The U.S. suffered minimal losses. The severe losses suffered by the Japanese was irreparable and permanently weakened their naval forces, giving clear supremacy to the U.S. and Allies in the Pacific.
    •    By early 1943, the tide had turned against the Axis Powers. The Germans and Italians had surrendered Africa and were also dealt a devastating blow at the Battle of Stalingrad. The Japanese had also suffered a severe defeat in the Pacific at the Battle of Midway.
    •    Following the Axis Powers surrender of Africa, the Allies turned their attention back to Europe. Knowing that Italy had a much weaker military, the Allies mounted an invasion of Italy from the south. Winston Churchill famously referred to Italy as “the soft underbelly of Europe”.
    •       The Allies invade the southern part of Italy. The invasion was successful. Mussolini and the Italians were all but defeated. Mussolini narrowly escaped as German forces came to his rescue. However, the damage had been done. Italy had fallen and the Allies begin their advance north through Italy.
    •    While the Allied invasion of Italy was successful, they met fierce German resistance and were unable to push out of the peninsula of Italy. The Allies were planning another invasion; however, one that would establish a foothold on mainland Europe. They planned to invade France from Great Britain across the English Channel.
    •   On June 6th, 1944, under the direction of General Dwight D. Eisenhower, the Allies invaded the beaches in Normandy France. They called this invasion, D-Day, also known as Operation Overlord.
    •      Though the Germans were expecting the invasion to take place in another location, there was still heavy resistance. However, because the Germans thought the invasion was a diversion, they were slow to respond. This gave the Allies the chance take the beach. The operation was the largest amphibious (sea to land) invasion in history. Over 175,000 American, British and Canadian troops landed on the beach that day.
    •    The Allies lost around 12,000 men in the invasion; however, their sacrifice helped the establish a permanent foothold on the mainland of Europe once again. Soon after D-Day, more than two and a half million men and a half million vehicles had landed on the beach. The Allies were now gaining momentum and started pushing the Germans back and out of France.
    •   Now that the Allies had established themselves on the mainland of Europe, they started to move eastward, sweeping through France, towards Germany. By late 1944, France had been liberated by the Allies from Nazi control.
    •    Not everyone was happy with Hitler, especially now that the war was shifting towards the Allies’ advantage. In fact, there were many plots to kill or overthrow Hitler during the war from within the Nazi regime. The most famous plot to kill Hitler and take control of the government was known as Operation Valkyrie.
    •   Operation Valkyrie was headed by Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg and involved many high ranking officers. Stauffenberg had reached a rank and position to where he was a trusted member of Hitler’s inner circle.
    •    The plan was for Stauffenberg to get close to Hitler during a meeting and leave an explosive charge that would kill Hitler and his top men. Once Hitler was dead, the conspirators would use the reserve army to take control of the government buildings in Berlin. Once in power, they would sign a treaty with the Allies and end WWII once and for all.
    •       On July 20th, 1944 Stauffenberg met with Hitler’s top men at “the Wolf’s Lair”, a secret military headquarters. To his disappointment, Heinrich Himmler was not present at the meeting. He decided to proceed with the plan anyway. Stauffenberg placed his briefcase with explosives underneath the table in which they were meeting and then excused himself. Minutes later, the bomb detonated. Operation Valkyrie was on.
    •    Stauffenberg phoned the other conspirators and told them that Hitler was dead and to proceed with the plan. Using the reserve army, they captured the government buildings and arrested members of the SS so there would be no resistance. They then started to take control of the armies in the field by letting the generals know that Hitler was dead and they were now in charge.
    •     Hitler; however, was not dead. He was barely injured from the explosion. The blast was ineffective for several reasons; one being that the conference table in which the briefcase was placed under was so thick and heavy that it protected Hitler from the explosion. Word started to get out that Hitler was alive. The plan had failed and by the end of the day, the conspirators, including Stauffenberg, were arrested and executed.
    •     When it was all said and done, over 7,000 supposed conspirators were arrested by the Gestapo and over 5,000 were executed! Perhaps the most notable conspirator was Germany’s finest and most popular officer, General Erwin Rommel. Because of his prestige, Rommel was allowed to commit suicide rather than stand trial and be executed. He was buried with full military honors. This was the final attempt on Hitler’s life within the Nazi regime.
    • “Here in 1944, General Erwin Rommel was forced to commit suicide. He took a cup of poison and offered himself to Hitler in order to protect his family.”
    •   The story of Operation Valkyrie was brought to life in the 2008 movie, Valkyrie. Tom Cruise played the lead role of Claus von Stauffenberg.
    •    The British and the Americans advanced through France towards Germany in the west. In the east, following the victory at Stalingrad, the Soviets started advancing into Poland and closed in on Germany. It was only a matter of time until the Allies had surrounded Germany.
    •     The Allies were met by German resistance when they reached the Ardennes Forest in Belgium. Fierce fighting took place from December 1944 to January 1945 in very harsh, cold, wintery conditions. This was known as the Battle of the Bulge. This was a key battle in WWII.
    •     The Allies defeat the Germans leaving their units severely depleted of soldiers and equipment. German casualties are around 120,000. Nearly 90,000 Americans die during this battle making it the deadliest battle fought by Americans. However, the significance was that the Germans were forced to retreat to within the boarders of their own country.
    •     By January 1945, Hitler had moved into an underground bunker in Berlin. Surrounded on all sides by the Allies, the end for Hitler’s Third Reich was near. In early April, Soviet troops had entered Berlin. Ignoring the facts, Hitler held onto the hope that the SS could fight off the enemies and protect Berlin.
    •      On April 20th, Hitler celebrated his 56th birthday holed up in an underground bunker. The Soviets advanced through Berlin, moving closer and closer to Hitler. By April 27th, Berlin had been completely cut off from the rest of Germany. On April 30th, 1945, Hitler committed suicide. In the end, he blamed the Jews for the war.
    • The subway rush hour is brought to a standstill in New York City, May 1, 1945 as the report of Hitler's death was received. The German leader and head of the Nazi Party had shot himself in the head in a bunker in Berlin on April 30, 1945.
    •   Two days after Hitler committed suicide, Italian resistance fighters assassinated Benito Mussolini and surrendered. On May 7th, 1945, German commanders surrendered and the war in Europe was over.
    •   Following the Battle of Midway, the Allies go on a series of offenses to take back control of the Pacific. With the Japanese fleet disabled, the Allies were able to score key victories such as the Battle of Guadalcanal to establish naval superiority in the Pacific.
    •    General Douglas MacArthur led a campaign to take back New Guinea and the Philippines. MacArthur had kept his promise as the Allies defeated the Japanese and liberated the Philippines from its Japanese oppressors as well as rescuing the prisoners from the Bataan Death March. The Allies would continue to score victory after victory as they moved towards Japan.
    •   The liberation of the Philippines was achieved largely in part due to the Filipino Resistance fighters. Filipino fighters used guerilla warfare and were so effective, that by the end of the war, it was said that the Japanese had only controlled about 12 of the 48 provinces!
    •     The Allies kept advancing through the Pacific towards Japan in mid 1945. Another key battle took place at the small, uninhabited island of Iwo Jima. The battle produced some of the fiercest fighting in the Pacific. The Allies were able to score a key victory and take control of the island’s airfields which were just 700 miles away from the mainland of Japan.
    •       As the Allies approached the mainland of Japan, President Truman and his generals discussed plans for an invasion of Japan, code named Operation Downfall. When planning the attack, they assumed it would use upwards of 1.5 million soldiers with another 3 million in support. It was estimated that the U.S. would lose anywhere from 250,000 to over one million men in an invasion of Japan. In addition, the estimates had millions of Japanese lives lost through fierce fighting, or suicide. Some historians believed that the invasion of Japan would be the single greatest loss of life in human history. This was simply not an option.
    •      Hoping to avoid an invasion of Japan, President Harry S. Truman made the decision to drop the newly developed atom bombs on Japanese cities. The first bomb was dropped on Hiroshima on August 6th, 1945. The second was on Nagasaki three days later. Both cities were completely destroyed. Tens of thousands of people died instantly and many more thousands died later from the effects of radiation sickness.
    • On Monday, August 6, 1945, a mushroom cloud billows into the sky about one hour after an atomic bomb was dropped by American B-29 bomber, the Enola Gay, detonating above Hiroshima, Japan. Nearly 80,000 people are believed to have been killed immediately, with possibly another 60,000 survivors dying of injuries and radiation exposure by 1950.
    • This picture made shortly after the August 9, 1945 atomic bombing, shows workers carrying away debris in the nuclear devastated area of Nagasaki, Japan.
    •    On August 14, 1945, Japan signed their unconditional surrender aboard the USS Missouri. The Missouri was a battleship that had been sunk in the attacks on Pearl Harbor but was raised and used again. The war was officially over!
    •   Seventeen million soldiers had died in battle during World War II. (More than the total number of people killed in WWI) However, it is estimated that a total of over 50 million people, including civilians, died worldwide making it the most deadliest conflict in world history.
    •   World War II cost millions of human lives and billions upon billions of dollars in damages. It leaves Europe and Japan in ruins.
    •    Many people displaced by war and peace agreements. Lack of food, destruction of roads, factories lead to hardship. Many people suffer from hunger, disease after war.
    •  Not only was this the most destructive, deadly conflict the world had ever seen, but the events known as World War II would forever change the course of history, politics, economics, etc.