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World War II


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World War II

  1. 1. World War II Leaders Battles Maps
  2. 2. Joseph Stalin • Born in Gori, Georgia in 1879. • Last name means ‘steel’ in Russian. • Seized power in USSR after Lenin’s death in 1924. • Ruled with an iron fist. o Millions of Russians were purged • Rapidly industrialized the Soviet Union during the 30’s. • What was the cost of this? o USSR became a police state and people lost rights.
  3. 3. Benito Mussolini • Born in Italy in 1883 • Established the Fascist Party in Italy in 1921. • Known as “Il Duce” or the Leader • Why was Mussolini able to seize absolute power? o Economic problems in Italy o Fear of communism o Promise of national glory
  4. 4. Adolf Hitler • Hitler followed a path similar to Mussolini. • His NAZI party had total power in Germany. • Known as Der Fuehrer • Used poor economic conditions to establish the 3rd Reich. o How long was it supposed to last?  1000 years
  5. 5. Rome-Berlin Axis Alliance between Hitler (Germany) and Mussolini (Italy) in 1936. These fascist dictators believed that the world would revolve around the “Rome-Berlin Axis”.
  6. 6. Munich Conference
  7. 7. Oops….. • “My good friends, for the second time in our history, a British Prime Minister has returned from Germany bringing peace with honour. I believe it is peace for our time.”
  8. 8. Imperial Japan • Japanese military leaders had increased control in post WW I Japan. • Emperor Hirohito • General Hideki Tojo was Prime Minister. • Admiral Yamamoto planned the attack on Pearl Harbor.
  9. 9. Non-aggression pact • Germany and Soviet Union sign in 1939. • Agree not to attack one another. • This shocked the world: o WHY? Fascists and communists work together. • Secret provision was the dividing of Poland. • However, Hitler knew he would eventually invade Soviet Union.
  10. 10. The Concept of Blitzkrieg • Airforce attacks enemy front-line and rear positions, main roads, airfields and communication centers. At the same time infantry attacks on the entire frontline (or at least at main places) and engages enemy. • This restrains the enemy from knowing where the main force will attack and makes it impossible to prepare any defenses. • Concentrated tank units breakthrough main lines of defense and advance deeper into enemy territory, while following mechanized units pursuit and engage defenders preventing them from establishing defensive positions. • Infantry continues to engage enemy to misinform and keep enemy forces from withdrawing and establishing effective defense.
  11. 11. • Infantry and other support units attack enemy flanks in order to link up with other groups to complete the attack and eventually encircle the enemy and/or capture strategic position. • Mechanized groups spearhead deeper into the enemy territory outflanking the enemy positions and paralyzing the rear preventing withdrawing troops and defenders from establishing effective defensive positions. • Main force links up with other units encircling and cutting off and killing the enemy
  12. 12. Selective Training and Service Act • Passed by Congress on September 14, 1940 becoming the first peacetime draft in US history. • This Selective Service Act required that men between the ages of 21 and 35 register with local draft boards. o Later, when the U.S. entered World War II, all men aged 18 to 45 were made liable for military service
  13. 13. Election of 1940 Roosevelt = 54.7% (449) Willkie = 44.7% (82)
  14. 14. August 1941 This meeting between Winston Churchill and FDR set the basis for the United Nations.
  15. 15. Battle of Stalingrad • July 1942 – February 1943 • Bloodiest battle in the history of warfare o 2 million casualties • German commander Paulus surrendered in Jan 1943. • Importance of German loss: o Turning point of the war in Eastern Europe o Germany would never go on offensive again against the USSR
  16. 16. Important Generals
  17. 17. Operation Torch • November 1942 – Allied invasion of Axis controlled North Africa led by American Gen. Eisenhower. • German Afrika Korps led by Field Marshall Erwin ‘Desert Fox’ Rommel surrenders in May 1943
  18. 18. • Allies attack the so called ‘soft under belly’ of Hitler’s Europe = Italy. • Invasion of Sicily in 1943 • Allies controlled Sicily by August of 1943 and then started the drive up the Italian peninsula. • When will all of Italy be liberated? END OF WAR Operation Husky
  19. 19. Tuskegee Airmen • First African American military aviators in the US armed forces. • 332nd fighter group; Col. Benjamin O. Davis was commander. • Excellent record as fighter escorts in European Theatre. • “Redtail Angels” or “Black Birdmen”
  20. 20. Nisei Battalion • 442nd Regimental Combat Team of the US Army • Was an Asian American unit composed of mostly Japanese Americans who fought in Europe. • The families of many of its soldiers were subject to internment. • The unit became the most highly decorated regiment in the history of the United States Armed Forces, including 21 Medal of
  21. 21. Navajo Code Talkers • Served in the Marine Corps in WW II. • Used Navajo language to transmit messages. • The Navajo code talkers took part in every assault the U.S. Marines conducted in the Pacific from 1942 to 1945. • The Japanese never were able to break the code.
  22. 22. Doolittle’s Raid • The April 1942 air attack on Japan, launched from the aircraft carrier Hornet. • Led by Lieutenant Colonel James H. Doolittle, was the most daring operation yet undertaken by the US in the young Pacific War. • Importance: o It demonstrated that Japan was vulnerable to air attack and provided an opportunity for U.S. retaliation for Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor.
  23. 23. The Battle of Coral Sea • The Battle of the Coral Sea was fought between the Japanese and Allied navies from May 4 through May 8, 1942 in the Coral Sea, about 500 miles northeast of Australia. • Occurring only six months after the surprise attack at Pearl Harbor, it was one of the first naval battles fought in the Pacific during World War II.
  24. 24. The Battle….. • In the spring of 1942, Japanese forces planned to invade southern New Guinea, a move designed to knock Australia and New Zealand out of the war. • The Allies, including the United States, Australia, and Great Britain, gathered a large fleet to thwart the invasion. • That evening, with the battle roughly a draw, both sides retreated but would meet again a month later at the decisive Battle of Midway, 3,000 miles away in the Hawaiian Islands. The most significant Allied loss during the battle was the sinking of the American carrier, USS Lexington.
  25. 25. Significance • The Battle of the Coral Sea was important for several reasons. o It was the first pure carrier- vs-carrier battle in history as neither surface fleet sighted the other. o Though a draw, it was an important turning point in the war in the Pacific because, for the first time, the Allies had stopped the Japanese advance.
  26. 26. Battle Of Midway • Decisive US victory –June 1942 at Midway Atoll • American codebreakers were able to determine the date + location of attack. • Four Japanese aircraft carriers were sunk in exchange for one American. • The heavy losses in carriers and aircrews permanently weakened the Imperial Japanese Navy.
  27. 27. Kamikaze • Means “Divine Wind” • Suicide attacks by warplanes from the Empire of Japan against Allied naval vessels in the closing stages of the Pacific campaign. • First used at Battle of Leyte Gulf (Philippines) • A total of 57 ships were sunk by the Kamikazes.
  28. 28. Battle Of Iwo Jima • Key island that could provide airbases to begin bombing Japanese mainland. • The battle produced some of the fiercest fighting in the Pacific Campaign. • Of the more than 18,000 Japanese soldiers present at the beginning of the battle, only 216 were taken prisoner. • Americans killed (6800) greater than the total on D-Day
  29. 29. Battle Of Okinawa • Largest amphibious assault in the Pacific Theater. • April – June 1945. • 110,000 Japanese soldiers were killed. • What is this an indicator of? o How hard an invasion of mainland Japan would be.
  30. 30. Manhattan Project • Codename for a project conducted during WW II to develop the first atomic bomb. • The project's roots lay in fears that Nazi Germany was developing nuclear weapons of its own. • Eventually employed more than 130,000 people and cost nearly $2 billion. • It resulted in the creation of production and research
  31. 31. Project Leaders • Under control of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, under the administration of General Leslie R. Groves. • The scientific research was directed by American physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer.
  32. 32. Project Success • The Manhattan Project will eventually produce 3 bombs: The Gadget, Little Boy and Fat Man
  33. 33. Trinity Test • The first test of an atomic weapon. (Successful) • Conducted by the United States on July 16, 1945. • White Sands, New Mexico • Oppenheimer quote: o Now I become Death, the destroyer of worlds. • Birth of the Atomic Age.
  34. 34. Hiroshima • August 6, 1945. • B-29 Superfortres the Enola Gay drops 1st atomic bomb in history. • Codenamed Little Boy. • Col. Paul Tibbets • Destroyed about 70% of the city.
  35. 35. Nagasaki • August 9, 1945 • B-29 Superfortress Bockscar, flown by Major Charles W. Sweeney, carried the bomb code-named "Fat Man“. • Original target was Kokura, switched because of cloud cover.
  36. 36. Japanese Surrender • September 2, 1945 • Tokyo Bay, Japan. • Aboard the USS Missouri • The Japanese delegation surrendered to Gen Douglas MacArthur.