Cliff Notes for Chapter 25:
World War II


[audio]The following information was presented in this chapter:

World War II began in 1938, and ended in 1945. The United States did not enter the war until December of 1941. Thirty countries from around the world were involved. 300,000 American military servicemen died and over 30 million people died overall. The causes of the war can be traced to economic depressions that caused much suffering in the U.S. and most industrialized nations.

  • German troops attacked Poland using a lightning war strategy. A "blitzkrieg" attack was a huge, quick attack with many airplanes, tanks, and soldiers. Britain and France declared war on Germany which started World War II.
  • Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, killing 2,400 American soldiers. This was a turning point to the war, because it brought the United States into the war.
  • The Japanese wanted to use Midway Island as a base to prevent any more bombing raids on Tokyo. The U.S. knew of this attack and stopped it, destroying 4 of Japan's 9 aircraft carriers.
  • The first island to be taken from the Japanese was Guadalcanal. Here soldiers learned that it was a disgrace for a Japanese soldier to surrender and most would fight to their death than do so.
  • A force of 176,000 Allied soldiers stormed the beaches of Normandy in northern France. Largest seaborne invasion in history.
  • Germany surrendered. The different parts of Germany and its capital were to be occupied by armies from France, Great Britain, the Soviet Union and the U.S.
  • The atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan. Between these two cities, the bombs killed nearly 140,000 people.
  • Japanese surrender was the final turning point in the war because it ended the war in the Pacific.


[audio]Important dates to remember:

  • September 1, 1939- Germany invaded Poland
  • July, 1940- Battle of Britain
  • December 7, 1941-Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor
  • June 6, 1944- D-day (invasion on Normandy)
  • April 30, 1945- Hitler committed suicide
  • July, 1945- Germany surrendered
  • August 6, 1945- Dropping of atomic bomb
  • August 14, 1945- Japan surrendered

    [audio]Who's who in this chapter:

  • Adolph Hitler- leader of NAZI party
  • Joseph Stalin- general secretary of the Communist party of the USSR
  • Benito Mussolini- premier dictator of Italy
  • Winston Churchill- British Prime Minister
  • Franklin Delano Roosevelt- President of the United States (1933-1945)
  • General Dwight D. Eisenhower- supreme Allied commander
  • General Charles De Gaulle- French General
  • Harry Truman- President of the United States (1945-1953)