Causes of WWII 1. Problems left over from WWI Treaty of Versailles—punishedGermany too severely—this angered them. Germany ignored many of the provisions
• 2. World Wide Depression—prices too high and wages were low. High unemployment and despair—no hope for the future.
• 3. The Rise of Dictators• Totalitarian-one party has complete control over the government• Fascism-places the nation above all else (freedom and rights are lost of the benefit of the nation)• Extreme nationalism, racism, and militarism
4. Aggression-a warlike act by one country against another without just cause5. Appeasement- giving in to aggression in order to avoid war - “if you give a mouse a cookie…”6. Hitler invades Poland
Italy• Leader: Benito Mussolini• Founded the Italian Fascist Party• Fascism: aggressive nationalism• Fascist believe that the nation was more important than the individual. Individualism made countries weak and they believed a nation became great by expanding its territory and building up its military. They were strongly anti- communist
Russia• Leader: Joseph Stalin• Government: Communism-In 1926 Stalin became the new Soviet dictator. He soon began a massive effort to industrialize his country. He tolerated no opposition— killed over 10 million peasants who resisted the Communist policies.• Communism-a form a government that is both economic and political. The government takes over all property and distributes it to all the people and everyone works for the common good.
Germany Leader: Adolf Hitler Nazi Party• The harsh demands put on Germany in the Treaty of Versailles led to resentment, economic difficulties, and WWII.• The Treaty also left him with a moldering hatred for the victorious Allies and for the German government that had accepted the peace terms.
World War II Begins• By the late 1930’s Germany had rebuilt— against the Versailles Treaty of WWI.• European leaders did not try and stop Hitler at first—WHY?
Reasons for not stopping Hitler• Shadow of WWI• Bringing all Germany speaking regions of Europe was reasonable.• Hitler would be satisfied—Appeasment• BUT…
So Hitler starts his march • 1St Austria-with little opposition-same language and culture- no Allies • 2nd Czechoslovakia— but this country was different-why? --a democracy -- many languages --allies --they resisted
Poland After that heset his sights on Poland. Appeasement had failed.
• The British announced that if Poland went to war to defend its territory, Britain and France would come to its aid. In 1939 Hitler ordered the German army to invade Poland.
The Nazi-Soviet Nonaggression PactIf Germany was going to fight Britain and France, Hitler did not want to have to fight the Soviets too. So they made a treaty with each other. A deal was made thatPoland would be divided between the 2 countries if the Soviets helped Hitler
The Polish held up bravely but they were no match for the Germans.
The Germans used a new type of warfare called blitzkrieg—or lightning war.
Next France• But before Hitler invaded France he attacked Norway, Denmark, Netherlands Belgium and Luxembourg first
Battle of Britain• When Hitler realized that Britain would not surrender, he ordered his commanders to prepare to invade.• In June 1940, the German air force, Luftwaffe, began to attack British shipping, then an all out air battle to destroy the British RAF and then finally Hitler began to bomb London and other major cities for over 85 days. This air battle became known as the Battle of Britain.
• Hitler’s goal was to terrorize the British people into surrendering. The British people endured.
Radar• Although the British RAF was greatly outnumbered, the British had one major advantage—Radar-a new technology. By pacing radar stations along their coast, the British were able to detect incoming German aircraft and directly intercept them.• After the loss of many German planes, Hitler called off the invasion of Britain.• The skill of a few hundred pilots saved Britain from invasion.