World War II Study Guide
Redesigned by Tracy Pickett
The Invasion of Normandy
Bombing of Pearl Harbor
• •By the time of the D Day Invasion on the beaches
The United States had tried for many
months to stay out of the war. at Normandy on June 6, 1944, the war had been
dragging on for five long years.
• Prime Minister Churchill urged President
•Again, Europe’s and America’s soldiers were worn
Roosevelt to get involved but Congress
was resistant to the point of imposing out by the long war. Joseph Stalin, the leader of the
Neutrality Acts designed to keep the US USSR had been begging the US and Britain to get
out of another European War. involved in the war and launch a second front
against Hitler in Europe.
• But when the surprise attack on Pearl
•General Eisenhower was appointed as the Supreme
Harbor occurred on Dec. 7, 1941, America
Allied Commander of the Allied Forces and led the
was in the war immediately. President
Roosevelt announced on Monday morning D Day Invasion. It was a very costly invasion but it
that since the bombing on that Sunday opened the door for American and British soldiers to
morning a state of war had existed make their way to Berlin to link up with the
between the US and Japan. Russians and defeat Hitler.
•The fighting was terrible and many men, Allied and
• The same declaration was made about
German, lost their lives in the invasion of Europe.
Germany. This was just what Hitler did
not want. He was furious with Japan for By May of 1945 the war was over and the American
bringing the US into the war before he and Russian soldiers had linked up at Frankfurt
could win the war in Europe. rather than Berlin. This meant that Russia gained
more land than she would have if they had stopped
More Important Battles
Pacific Island Hopping The Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
•Long before President Roosevelt died, shortly before
• With the war almost over in
the end of the fighting in Germany, his scientists had
Europe, the US could concentrate developed and tested an atomic bomb in the desert of
on winning the war in the Pacific New Mexico.
•The bomb proved to be incredibly destructive and
• It was General MacArthur’s plan would likely bring about a quick end to the fighting in
to take only the most important
and strategic islands along the
•The atomic bomb named quot;Little Boyquot; was dropped on
way in retaking the Pacific Hiroshima by the Enola Gay, a Boeing B-29 bomber, at
territory. It was felt that having 8:15 in the morning of August 6, 1945...
to fight full-scale battles on every
single island would have caused •Fat Man was the second nuclear weapon used in
many needless deaths. warfare. Dropped on Nagasaki, Japan, on August 9,
1945, Fat Man devastated more than two square miles of
• the city and caused approximately 45,000 immediate
So the plan for Island Hopping
came about. The fighting was
still terrible and costly, but not as •Japan was warned to surrender or another bomb would
much as if they had fought for be dropped. Japan surrendered 5 days later. There was
every inch of ground. not another bomb to drop had they not surrendered.
•World War II was over with the signing of the peace
Treaty on board the USS Missouri.
Match the Description with the Picture
1. Winston Churchill was the Prime Minister of Great Britain through most of World War II.
Churchill kept the British going when they were the only ones left in the fight with
2. Franklin D. Roosevelt was the American President for most of the war until his death in
April of 1945. He was a friend of Churchill’s and tried to get Congress to vote to join the
war effort. Congress refused to send troops but they did agree to send aid at
Roosevelt’s request. The Lend Lease Act helped Britain to continue the fight because of
the food and military supplies that were sent by the US. Roosevelt was beloved by his
people and Americans looked to him for encouragement when the dark days of World
War II came. Roosevelt held what he called “Fireside Chats” over the radio often.
American families would gather around the radio to hear the calming worlds of their
3. Joseph Stalin was the Communist dictator of the USSR (Russia) during World War II. He
was the only one of the Big Three that was there at the end. Because of that he was
able to trick the newcomers into doing things his way on several issues. The USSR
received more land than they would have under Roosevelt and Churchill. Stalin’s troops
took a tremendous beating from the German troops in long sieges at both Stalingrad
and Leningrad. Eventually the Russian winter and the strength of the Russian soldiers
were able to defeat Hitler. Stalin’s troops began to push the Germans back into
Germany until they reached the Elbe River and met up with American and British
soldiers. The war in Germany was over on May 8, 1945.
4. Adolf Hitler was the man most to blame for the events of World War II. His form of
Fascism was so terrible that 13 million Jews, Poles, and Ukrainians and others were
exterminated in his concentration and death camps. Hitler rose to power at a time
when Germany was still suffering from the ravages of World War I. Things were so bad
in Germany that they would have taken any leader you promised to do something to
bring them out of the terrible depression. He created work programs designed to put
Germans to work but they were a part of the future Nazi war machine. Hitler became
the leader of Germany in an election and everything he did was made legal by new laws
that he proposed a day or two before he took action. He caused death and destruction
all across Europe, North Africa, and Russia.
Key Developments in Technology
• Developments in technology – airplanes became a major weapon. Planes
could carry bombs deep into enemy territory and could also carry
parachuting soldiers into battle. Aircraft carriers could take planes where
they could not go otherwise.
• Special guns called antiaircraft guns could hit planes flying overhead.
Radar could spot airplanes coming over the land while they were still far
away. Two-way radios allowed soldiers to communicate over distances.
Sonar helped submarines keep track of ships in their area.
• Battlefield medicine improved. Penicillin and sulfa helped prevent
infection. New chemicals like DDT could be used to help fight the insects
that would cause deadly disease.
• These inventions and new technologies would be made use of when the
war was over and would improve life on the home front, as well.
The End of WWII
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Visit These Internet Sites
• Kids' View of World War II. and the 1940s Era. Interviews, Letters, Stories ·
Memorabilia · Timeline · Military · Fashion · Toys, Games
• Cybersleuth - Information, pictures, battles and links about World War II.
• PBS.org –World War II Timeline - http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/dday/timeline/