World War II An overview of the Major Events and Key Players.
Key Players in the WarAxis Powers Allied Powers Adolf Hitler Neville Chamberlain Benito Mussolini Winston Churchill Hideki Tojo Charles De Gaulle Franklin Roosevelt Harry Truman Joseph Stalin
ADOLF HITLER Brought prominence to the National Socialist German Workers Party (NAZI Party) Head of the 3rd Reich Believed in Master Race – Aryan Race Unite all German-speaking people 1933 took power Anti-communist Private property with strong governmental control Das Fuhrer
BENITO MUSSOLINI Led fascist movement in Italy Black-shirt army Totalitarian State under his rule AKA - Il Duce- The Chief Anti-communist Private property with strong government control
HIDEKI TOJO Militant Japanese general Took control of Japan in 1941 Pushed for vast colonial empire stretching from China to Thailand Organized attack on Pearl Harbor
NEVILLE CHAMBERLAIN British Prime Minister at the onset of War Believed in policy of Appeasement for dealing with Hitler. Signed Munich Pact to turn over Sudetenland Believed he obtained “Peace in Our Time”
WINSTON CHURCHILL Critical of Chamberlin’s policies toward Hitler. Became Prime Minister During the War (1940) Strong Ally for the United States Powerful public speaker he helped to rally his troops to fight German Aggression
CHARLES DE GAULLE French General Fled to England after Germany took over France. Set up government-in- exile
FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT President through Much of the War (Died in 1945) Lend Lease program to aid Allies prior to US entry into the War Signed order to intern Japanese after Pearl Harbor.
HARRY TRUMAN VP under FDR Took over Presidency at the end of the War. Made Decision to Drop Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki
JOSEPH STALIN Totalitarian Regime in USSR. Awaited world-wide Communist revolution. Great Purge of the 1930s to clear out enemies from country 1939 – Signed nonaggression pact with Germany. (Divide Poland) Germany broke the pact, opening up the Eastern Front of the War.
Background Treaty of Versailles (1919) - Harsh treatment of Germany: land losses, reparations, military reductions, and war guilt League of Nations (1920) – International organization charged with preventing future wars. United States senate refused to allow the United States of America to become a member. The League had neither the will nor the power to check the rising totalitarian governments.
Background Washington Conference (1922) – Italy, Japan, the United States of America, France, and Britain agree to not build up their navies for ten years Mussolini takes over Italy (1922) Kellogg-Briand Pact (1928) – sixty-two nations agree to solve problems diplomatically Japan invades Manchuria (1931) Hitler comes to power (1933)
Short Term Causes Italian, Japanese, and German aggression not stopped by League of Nations
Short Term Causes Appeasement – Britain and France wanted to avoid war and therefore gave in to Hitler’s demands Western democracies would not act aggressively – Britain – Sympathetic towards Germany – knew Versailles Treaty too harsh, wanted to avoid war – France – Would not do anything without Britain – United States of America – Isolation from Europe
Major Events of the War- The Onset of War Hitler reoccupies the Rhineland 1938 – Hitler unites Austria with Germany 1938 – Signed Munich Pact to Gain control of Sudetenland (In Czechoslovakia) 1939 – Hitler and USSR sign nonaggression pact (Agreed to divide Poland) 1939- Blitzkrieg in Poland September 1, 1939 – World War II official start
Major Events of World War II- The War Inactive Winter 1940 –Britain and France Defend the Maginot Line 1940 – Germany invades Norway and Denmark 1940 – France Falls Summer 1940 – Britain withstands the German onslaught 1941- Germany broke pact with USSR – German setbacks- the harsh winters in Soviet Union; Bitter defeat in Stalingrad
Major Events of World War II - American Involvement Lend-Lease Program to aid Allies Attack on Pearl Harbor – December 7, 1941- A Day that will live in infamy US enters World War II 1942 – War turned in favor of the Allies – Victories in North Africa versus Germany – Victory in the Battle of the Midway in the Pacific
Major Event of World War II - Allied Conferences Tehran (1943) Yalta (1945) Potsdam (1945) - After Victory in Europe – United States, Britain, and Soviet Union participated
Major Events in World War II – The End of the War June 6, 1944 – Storming of Normandy December 1944- Hitler lost the battle of the Bulge Germany surrendered in May 1945 Atomic Bomb dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August of 1945 Japan Surrendered in September 1945