Introduction to the Causes of WWII


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PPT going over the causes of WWII and Canada's role

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Introduction to the Causes of WWII

  1. 1. Introduction to World War II Europe in 1939
  2. 2. Long Term Causes ► Treaty of Versailles ► Failure of the League of Nations ► Failure of Appeasement ► Economic Conditions/Great Depression ► Political Instability in Germany/Hitler‟s Actions
  3. 3. 1) Treaty of Versailles ► German people were left humiliated, angry and seeking revenge after the signing of the treaty.  Germany to take full blame for WWI  Severe limits to German military  Germany forced to pay huge reparations (led to debt) ► Some countries felt guilty for the harsh provisions of the Treaty. The disgraceful Treaty is being signed today. Don’t forget it! We will never stop until we win back what we deserve. From Deutsche Zeitung, a German newspaper, 28 June 1919.
  4. 4. 2) Failure of the League of Nations ► League proved to be an ineffective force  Countries ignored the League‟s request  Not all countries were members  League had no power – could only ask members to stop trading with an aggressive country – could still trade with non-members  League had no army – countries were to provide their own troops but did not want to get pulled into war  Unable to act quickly – League met four times a year and all members had to agree on decisions ► Unable to force Germany to follow the provisions of the Treaty of Versailles
  5. 5. 3) Appeasement ► Appeasement: To accept the conditions of someone provided their demands are reasonable. To avoid conflict by accepting demands of an aggressor. ► Politicians felt the Treaty of Versailles was too harsh, therefore, believed Hitler‟s actions were understandable.  1934 Hitler rearming – felt Germany had right to protect herself; prevent spread of communism  1936 German Troops in Rhineland – acceptable for protection, Germans lived in this area ► Give into Hitler‟s demands/actions to prevent war.
  6. 6. This drawing by the British Cartoonist David Low (20 March 1935) is titled 'Cause comes before effect'. The cartoon shows Hitler's armies marching past him - but at the front are politicians such as Chamberlain, Clemenceau, Laval and Mussolini, and they are saluting Hitler too. They have rolled up the Versailles Treaty and carry a flag saying '17 years of lost opportunity'. The message of the cartoon is that Hitler may be bringing war, but it is the politicians of France, Britain and Italy who are to blame - for letting him.
  7. 7. 4) Hitler‟s Actions ► Many historians still think that the Second World War was Hitler's personal war  That he always intended to fight another war ►a re-run of the First World War he did not believe that Germany had lost.
  8. 8. Steps to War ► ► ► ► ► ► ► 1936 Hitler re-occupies the Rhineland 1938 Hitler „takes over‟ Austria 1938 Hitler „takes over‟ Czechoslovakia 1939 Hitler signs a “nonaggression” agreement with Stalin (USSR) 1939 Hitler invades Poland 1939 September 3 Britain and France Declare War A Week Later, September 10 1939, Canada Declares War. Cartoon by British cartoonist, David Low portraying Hitler as Santa Claus bringing little ones into his bag. The trick is that the countries are listed on the headboard: Austria, Czechoslovakia (with German speakers...) but then it continues through Poland, Hungary, Yugoslavia etc.
  9. 9. The Face of Europe in 1939
  10. 10. The Axis and the Allies What do you notice about the lists? ALLIES AXIS ► Britain ► Germany ► France ► Italy ► Canada ► Japan ► US ► USSR (1941) ► Australia ► Poland ► Belgium (1940) ► Romania ► Bulgaria ► Hungary
  11. 11. Canada‟s Declaration of War
  12. 12. Why is it significant that Canada declared War on Germany separate from Britain? (Think back to what you know about WWI)
  13. 13. The Changing Face of Europe 1941
  14. 14. The Changing Face of Europe 1943
  16. 16. The BlitzkrieG ~ “Lightening War” What type of Warfare was used in WWI? Blitzkrieg ► based on speed and surprise ► needed a military force to be based around light tank units supported by planes and infantry (foot soldiers) ► first Dive Bombers were sent to „soften‟ up the enemy, destroy all rail lines, communication centres and major rail links ► Simultaneously, tanks were approaching and the planes withdrew only at the last minute so that the enemy did not have time to recover their senses when the tanks attacked supported by infantry occurred What was different in WWII? Britain and France still had a World War One mentality ► Allied tactics were poor along with poor tanks compared with German Panzers ► Gave Germany the advantage and lead to the conquering
  17. 17. First-Hand Account of Blitzkrieg The battlefront disappeared, and with it the illusion that there had ever been a battlefront. For this was no war of occupation, but a war of quick penetration and obliteration—Blitzkrieg, lightning war. Swift columns of tanks and armored trucks had plunged through Poland while bombs raining from the sky heralded their coming. They had sawed off communications, destroyed stores, scattered civilians, spread terror. Working sometimes 30 miles (50 km) ahead of infantry and artillery, they had broken down the Polish defenses before they had time to organize. Then, while the infantry mopped up, they had moved on, to strike again far behind what had been called the front. TIME Vol. XXXIV No. 13, 25 September 1939
  18. 18. The Canadian Military Contribution ► By June of 1940 (After France had fallen) Canada was Britain‟s main Ally  until 1941 when both the US and the USSR joined the Allied effort ► Battle of Britain ► Dieppe ► D-Day ► Liberation of Holland
  19. 19. YOUR TASK ► First Task:  Using the provided handout of mixed up events, create a timeline for the events that lead to World War Two ► Second Task:  Using the provided handout, identify the terms which contributed to the outbreak of war. Create a diagram of the causes of World War II.
  20. 20. Causes of WWII 1919 Treaty of Versailles League of Nations Inflation Manchurian Crisis Political Instability Depression Article X Unemployment HITLER 1933 Lebensraum Isolationalism Abyssinia Fascism Anschluss Formation of Axis Powers Anti-Semitism Appease- Nazi-Soviet Spanish Civil War Invasion of Poland (Sept 1, 1939)
  21. 21. Sources ► ► ► World War II: Europe. US Military Academy. West Point, New ► York. 13 Feb. 2005 ► ► ► < 2%20europe%20 war%20index.htm> (History 66: Introduction to Modern Europe: European Maps. 2003. Temple University. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 13 Feb 2005. <>) History 66: Introduction to Modern Europe: European Maps. 2003. Temple University. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 13 Feb 2005. <>) History 66: Introduction to Modern Europe: European Maps. 2003. Temple University. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 13 Feb 2005. <>)