The early war


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The early war

  1. 1. Europe at the Eve of War
  2. 2. German Annexation of Austria <ul><li>in January 1938 Hitler puts pressure on the Austrian Chancellor, Kurt Schuschnigg, to give more power to Nazis in Austria, threatening military action </li></ul><ul><li>Schuschnigg scheduled a plebiscite on the independence of Austria for 13 March, but Hitler tells him that he will not accept the results </li></ul><ul><li>March 12, 1938 German troops enter Austria and are greeted enthusiastically </li></ul><ul><li>the Anschluss was a clear violation of the Treaty of Versailles </li></ul>
  3. 3. Appeasement <ul><li>British P.M. Neville Chamberlain was eager to avoid war and made an agreement with Hitler at Munich </li></ul><ul><li>Widespread belief that German demands were reasonable and could be satisfied </li></ul><ul><li>Hitler, however, saw this as a sign of weakness and believed that the United Kingdom would never be willing to fight </li></ul>
  4. 4. The Munich Pact <ul><li>In September 1938, Germany makes demands on Czechoslovakia, which had a defensive alliance with France and the Soviet Union </li></ul><ul><li>The British, French, and German leaders meet and come to an agreement on September 29, giving Germany sections of Czechoslovakia </li></ul><ul><li>The state of Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union were not even invited to the conference </li></ul><ul><li>March 15,1939: Germany takes over the rest of Czechoslovakia anyway, and the French and British feel betrayed </li></ul>
  5. 5. Soviet-Nazi Non-Aggression (the Molotov-Ribbentrop) Pact <ul><li>August 1939: Stalin and Hitler agreed to not attack each other and to divide Poland between them </li></ul>German ambassador Von Ribbentrop, Soviet Leader Stalin, and Soviet Foreign Minister Molotov <ul><li>Now Hitler has a free hand to attack Poland and then turn towards the Western Allies </li></ul>
  6. 7. World War Two Begins <ul><li>Sept. 1, 1939: Germany invaded Poland </li></ul><ul><li>Britain and France declare war on Germany </li></ul><ul><li>Canada declared war on Germany also on Sept. 10, 1939 </li></ul>German troops march into Poland
  7. 8. Blitzkrieg <ul><li>Blitzkrieg – lightning war </li></ul><ul><li>Germany used air strikes, followed by tanks, then infantry to rapidly attack and destroy defending forces </li></ul>
  8. 9. German Early Victories <ul><li>Germany defeats Poland by the end of September, 1939 </li></ul><ul><li>April, 1940 - After a lull in fighting over the winter, known as the “phony war,” Germany invades Denmark and Norway, fighting is finished by June </li></ul><ul><li>May 10 Germany invades Holland, Belgium, Luxembourg and France </li></ul><ul><li>June 25, 1940 France officially surrenders to Germany </li></ul>
  9. 10. Britain Stands Alone <ul><li>Following the German invasion of Western Europe, Chamberlain resigns and is replaced as British P.M. by Winston Churchill </li></ul><ul><li>Between May 26 and June 4, 338 000 British and French soldiers were evacuated from Dunkirk, but the British army lost a lot of tanks and heavy equipment </li></ul>
  10. 11. Canada Not Ready to go to War <ul><li>In 1938-1939, Canada’s military budget was only $35 million (remember in WWI the military was spending $1 million every day)! </li></ul><ul><li>Much of the Canadian equipment was out of date, rusted, left over from the first war </li></ul><ul><li>Quebec, German and Italian Canadians did not support the war </li></ul><ul><li>King saw Canada’s role as mainly supply, not as a source of troops </li></ul><ul><li>Because of the Depression, many Canadians felt that we had our own problems without getting involved in a European war </li></ul>