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The era of the second world war


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The era of the second world war

  1. 1. Contents • The Legacy of the Great War • – Treaty of Versailles (1919) • – Impact • • Hitler’s Foreign Policy • – Rhineland • – ‘Lebensraum’ • – Britain-Italy-Germany Triangle • • – Anschluss – Sudetenland and the Munich• Agreement • • Appeasement • • Path to War USSR’s Role Invasion of Poland Propaganda Evacuation Home Front Churchill Takes Over – Dunkirk The Blitz Turning Points in WW2 British Women in the war 1943-1944 The Legacy of War in Britain
  2. 2. Back to Contents The Legacy of the Great War • WW1 ended November 1918 • Treaty of Versailles (28 June 1918) – Decision made by Allies – Germans not invited • Versailles was first of a series of agreements • 1919 – separate treaties with Austria-Hungary and Bulgaria • 1920 – treaty with Turkey
  3. 3. Back to Contents Treaty of Versailles (1919) Aims of the Allies Outcomes Germany was guilty America • Peace settlement to last • Avoid another war Land given to Poland Northern Schleswig to Denmark France • Punish Germany for starting the war and damage • Weak Germany cannot start another war Alsace and Lorraine to France Reparations for damages • Totalling £6,600 million Britain • Public same as French • Worry that harsh Treaty would have opposite effect • Fear Germans would want revenge Maximum military size • 100,000 men • 6 battleships • No aeroplanes
  4. 4. Back to Contents Impact • Wilson believed each • Mussolini was also bitter nationality should have its – Italy gained land but not own country (self much determination) – Badly treated at peace talks – Yugoslavia contained various • Churchill learnt different nationalities lessons – 3 million+ Germans living in Czechoslovakia • Hitler was bitter war ended – Politicians let down the army – Angry at the Treaty of Versailles (1919) – Britain must gain militarily – Only was to stop aggression from other countries • French healthy population dropped – 40% of French aged 20-32 in 1914 were still alive and well in 1918
  5. 5. Back to Contents Hitler’s Foreign Policy • Germans told to ignore Treaty of Versailles by Hitler – Little Allies could (or were willing) to do – Did not stop Germany making weapons or increasing army • 1935 – military service compulsory for men – Hitler wanted army of 500,000 – Claimed Germany would rearm • Both forbidden by Treaty of Versailles
  6. 6. Back to Contents Rhineland • Rhineland demilitarised as part of Treaty – No military allowed within 50km of the River Rhine to keep troops from France • March 1936 – German troops entered the Rhineland and not stopped – Poland looked like action but no support – Some British politicians thought Hitler had a right to be there • “Jerry can do what he likes in his own back yard” • Used by Hitler to rest resolve of France/Britain
  7. 7. Back to Contents ‘Lebensraum’ • Hitler wanted all Germans on German soil  master race • Needed living space (lebensraum) to feed all these people – Looked towards Poland and Russia • Attacking Poland was risky but a surprise attack from France impossible with troops in the Rhineland – Feared fighting 2 fronts like Great War – Wanted Britain and Italy as allies
  8. 8. Back to Contents Britain – Italy – Germany Triangle • Britain foresaw a need to have another ally (besides France) against Germany – Italy seemed obvious choice given location etc. • 1935 – Mussolini attacked Abyssinia which Britain opposed – This spoilt any chance of Britain gaining Italy as an ally – Hitler also had to choose between Britain and Italy • 1936 – Rome-Berlin Axis
  9. 9. Back to Contents Path to War • 1937 – Japan invades China – Germany signs a military agreement with Japan – The Rape of Nanjing (Nanking) by Japanese soldiers • 1938 – Germany announces ‘Anschluss’ with Austria – German military mobilises – USSR beat Japan in border conflict (Battle of Lake Khasan) – Munich Agreement – Germany occupies the Sudetenland – Kristallnacht • 1939 – – – – – – – – – – – Nazis take over Czechoslovakia End of Spanish Civil War ‘Pact of Steel’ signed with Italy Nazis and Soviets sign Pact Britain and Poland sign a Mutual Assistance Treaty Nazis invade Poland War is declared on Germany Battle of the Atlantic begins Soviets invade Poland which is divided between Germany and USSR USSR attacks Finland USSR expelled from the League of Nations
  10. 10. Back to Contents Anschluss • Hitler was keen to join Germany and Austria as he was Austrian himself – But it was banned under the Treaty of Versailles • Austrian Chancellor wanted to avoid this  1938 he arranged a plebiscite – March (day before plebiscite) German soldiers marched to Austria with no resistance – Hitler got his Anschluss
  11. 11. Back to Contents The Sudetenland and the Munich Agreement • A fortnight after the Anschluss, Hitler wanted the Sudetenland – 3 million Germans there – Heavy industry and main Czech defences • September 1938 – Chamberlain flew to Germany to discuss issue – In Britain gas masks were issued and trenches dug in preparation for air raids • Nobody wanted war – most wanted Czechs to give in • 3 trips were made – Czechs present but not taking part in talks – Britain and France already decided to give in to Hitler • Agreement signed 1 October 1938 – “Peace in our time” • Bookmakers offered odds of 32:1 against war in France – But PM Daladier thought war was now inevitable
  12. 12. Back to Contents Appeasement • Popular policy aimed to satisfy Hitler and prevent war • Most thought it was fair for Germany to get what it lost in Versailles • Few outside Germany read Mein Kampf – Few realised there was no limit to lebensraum • Half British Cabinet against appeasement – Chamberlain didn’t trust Hitler – Britain started to rearm from 1937 • Reasons for appeasement’s popularity: – Germany had been treated harshly at Versailles – Britain too weak for war – Hitler would stop the Communists – Couldn’t help Czechoslovakia due to its location – Sacrifice would be worth making for peace – USSR too weak and unreliable as an ally (plus they are Communist!)
  13. 13. Back to Contents USSR’s Role • No invitation to Munich Agreement • Communists not trusted by Western world • Communists wanted another war – Spread communism – But scared and unready • USSR in a dangerous position from the threat of war – 1934 – joined the League of Nations – Couldn’t get support to stand up to Hitler – Caused mutual distrust with West • Hitler’s invasion of the rest of Czechoslovakia where Britain and France did nothing left USSR vulnerable – Needed an ally • Germany or Britain • Distrust on all sides – Had talks with Britain but Britain didn’t think USSR could stand up to German military – USSR wondered if Britain and France would ever stand up to Germany – Fear of alliance with Germany to attack USSR • Stalin allied with Hitler – Nazi-Soviet Pact (23 August 1939)
  14. 14. Back to Contents Invasion of Poland • March 1939 – invasion of Czechoslovakia – Czechs showed ager by throwing snowballs • Hitler wanted Polish corridor • Appeasement had failed • March – Britain and France promised to support Poland if attacked • Early April – Hitler gave secret orders for army to attack Poland on 1 September 1939 • May – Germany and Italy made the ‘Pact of Steel’ – Mussolini thought war with Poland would lead to a wider war – Hitler disagreed: ‘neither England or France will embark upon a general war’
  15. 15. Back to Contents Invasion of Poland continued • Britain was getting ready for war – May – all men 20-21 were conscripted – June – first young men signed on – Newspapers supported this saying it would make them fitter • August – reports of clashes between German and Polish troops – 23rd – USSR signed pact with Germany, including a secret pact to carve up Poland – 24th – Polish mobilised troops • SS officers disguised as Polish soldiers took over a German radio station on the Polish border with an anti-Hitler message • Meant to mean German attack justified – Orders to attack signed 8 hours before • 1 September – invasion • 3rd September – war declared on Germany by Britain and France
  16. 16. Back to Contents Propaganda • British propaganda very effective in WW1 – Goebbels studied this very closely – 1933 Goebbels became propaganda chief • sole control over all media (including radio, film, etc.) • After the war began Britain set up: – Ministry of Information – propaganda for British – Another organisation for propaganda aimed at enemy • Posters were always propaganda • Photographs that showed real events could be used for propaganda
  17. 17. Back to Contents Evacuation • 1 June – 3 September 1939 – 3.5 million moved house – Many were newly-weds – Many were children – 1.5million moved 3 days before war started • Accompanied by teachers and mothers if under 5 – Anywhere with room to spare had to have at least 1 child – Government paid 52 1/2 p/week – Locals chose evacuees • Many were middle class while the children were often very poor
  18. 18. Back to Contents Evacuation continued • Stepney – 10% of homes had a bath • Glasgow – 50% of homes had a bath • 50% of children had lice and fleas – Many only had one set of clothes – 10% were not toilet trained – Some didn’t know what a bed was for and slept under it or were found standing in a corner • For the first time the well off saw how poor the poor was – Shocked and saddened – Many felt guilty
  19. 19. Back to Contents Home Front • Most feared air raids – Animals also evacuated • Many feared gas attacks – Tops of pillow boxes were pained in gas-sensitive paint – Gas masks were issued • From 1 September blackouts were enforced • From 3 September there was conscription for all men 18-41 – Anyone whose jobs were not vital – Conscientious objectors not forced to join • No rationing until January 1940 – bacon, sugar and butter – Meat and tea later in 1940 – Jam in 1941 – Sweets in 1942 • Restaurants rationed from 1942 – Only allowed to serve 1 main meal – Meals could cost no more than 25p • Phoney War – Blackouts relaxed (dimmed lights) – ½ evacuees returned home
  20. 20. Back to Contents Churchill Takes Over • Blitzkrieg tactics used effective by Germany – Poland was invaded and nothing could be done • April 1940 – Chamberlain: ‘Hitler had missed the bus’ – Within days. Denmark and Norway were invaded • 10 May – Chamberlain resigned, replaced by Churchill – Germany entered Holland, Belgium, and later, Luxemburg – Germany would soon turn onto France
  21. 21. Back to Contents Dunkirk • Britain sent an Expeditionary Force to France but the Germans continued to advance • French and British troops retreated to the coast and were surrounded at Dunkirk • 300,000 were rescued by sea – pleasure boats, yachts and dinghies – Called a ‘miracle’ by the newspapers – But France was soon defeated by Germany (and Italy) • 22 June – France surrendered to Germany, an agreement was signed in the same railway carriage as the Treaty of Versailles
  22. 22. Back to Contents The Biltz • Battle of Britain began August 1940 after Hitler decided he must invade Britain • Goering boasted that he would control the air within 4 days • The raids damaged the RAF – Pilots were being killed faster than trained at one point • British had radar and ingenuity of developing their aircraft • RAF bombed Berlin, which made Goering decide to bomb London • London was bombed 76 nights in total – one night off due to bad weather
  23. 23. Britain vs. Germany Britain • At first there were too few planes • Spitfires and Hurricanes were built quicker than they were being destroyed – German losses mounted • Londoners got used to the raids • Civilian deaths outnumbered military ones until September 1942 Germany • Hitler kept bombing after he decided not to invade Britain • Attacks elsewhere (Egypt) weren’t successful • May 1941 – British and Empire forces had overtaken Abyssinia • Germany turned to the USSR as its new target
  24. 24. Back to Contents Turning Points • Battle of the Atlantic – U-boats used to attack merchant ships in 1941 – RAF and the convoy system were used to protect British (and American) ships • America Enters the War – Sinking of American ships helped them join the war – However, bombing of Pearl Harbour in 1942 was the catalyst – By May, Japan suffered their first defeat to the US • Russian Invasion – Germany’s invasion slowed in 1942 due to Russian resistance and then winter cold – Stalingrad battle started in September 1942 and only ended when German troops disobeyed Hitler in February 1943 and surrendered • British Success – Success in North Africa - General Montgomery
  25. 25. Back to Contents British Women • 1941 saw all unmarried women, 20-30 years old, called up – WAAF – Land Army – Industry • Better paid and hours in new jobs compared to old – Men still earned more than women (est. 2/3) • Better conditions for all – women’s campaigns • 1942 allowed women to go to Church without hats or stockings – clothes were rationed • Relationships were also more relaxed – Many unmarried women had sexual relationships with soldiers • Still had some traditional values – BBC banned a song “I heard you cry last night” because a man crying was ‘bad’ for morale – Men resented women’s new freedoms (thought they should be at home)
  26. 26. Back to Contents 1943-44 • January 1943 – Allies asked Germany to surrender unconditionally – Hitler refused and so fighting continued • Soviets pushed Germany out of the USSR throughout 1943 – Two villages wiped out completely – Millions living in holes in the ground – Million people had died at Leningrad alone • Anglo-American troops crossed from Africa to the Mediterranean  towards Italy • Mussolini was rescued by Germans in September 1943 – Italy was split into two halves; both at war with each other • D-Day (6 June 1944) was to attack Germany from the west • 150,000 troops landed that day – to increase to millions within a month – Hitler received reports but dismissed them • August 1944 – Paris was liberated • By December, the Allies had pushed on to the German borders
  27. 27. Back to Contents The Legacy of War in Britain • Britain had lost as much as Germany – In fact Germany could completely rebuilt whereas Britain just ‘patched up’ • Britain had bigger debts than any other country by 1945 – £1100million from America • Rationing continued until 1954 • Emergence of a welfare system – Beveridge Report – 1948 – NHS was set up • France and Italy was exporting twice the rate of Britain – Out of date machinery and technology – Industry was also out of date (e.g. shipbuilding) • Erosion of world status – Empire erosion and World Power status