- Benito Mussolini led the Italian government.
- Fascist Party wore the black shirts.
- Totalitarianism is a system which limits a persons rights and freedoms.
- A dictator controls all sections of a country's political and economic
- Mussolini invaded and defeated Ethiopia to help the Italian people.
- Adolph Hitler was head of the Nazi Party.
- Hitler promised to cancel reparation
payments and make Germany rich and powerful if his party controlled
Hitler gains control
- After taking control of Germany, the Nazis reduced unemployment
by 50% and arrested members of the Communist Party.
- Hitler sent his opponents to work camps.
- Nazis believed that Aryans were destined to rule.
- Hitler thought Germany's most important enemies were the Jews.
- Nuremberg Laws deprived
Jews of German citizenship and required Jews to identify themselves
by posting signs and wearing yellow stars.
- Most Jews left Germany out of fear for their lives.
- Hitler thought European countries would not stop Germany's expansion
because they were led by cowards.
- Appeasement is tolerating illegal actions by a person/group out
of fear that punishing them might lead to even larger problems.
- Great Britain did nothing when Germany occupied
Austria and Czechoslovakia. Germany made an alliance
with Italy, called the Axis.
Hitler and Stalin sign a treaty
- Non-aggression pact is an agreement between two countries not
to attack each other.
- Soviet Union signed a non-aggression pact because Stalin was afraid
that his country was not ready to fight Germany.
- Germany signed a non-aggression pact to keep the country friendly
until Hitler was ready to fight them.
The Spanish Civil War
- Italy and Germany supported Franco during the Spanish Civil War.
- The Soviet Union and the Communist Party in the United States
supported the democratic government of Spain.
Events in Asia
- Japan was like Great Britain because it depended on foreign trade
to modernize economy and
it built a strong modern navy.
- Japan's government in 1930s was like a democracy but the country
was controlled by heads of important families who controlled all
the major industries.
- Japan conquered territory in 1930s in the struggle for freedom against
European imperialist countries.
The Beginning of World War II
- France and Great Britain would fight Germany if Germany invaded
Invasion of Poland
- German invasion of Poland started World War II.
The United States stays neutral
- Two reasons United States wanted to stay out of war:
1) Problems with America's own depression
2) Fought in WWI to protect businesses, not to fight for democracy
- Neutrality Acts prohibited:
1) Military equipment to be shipped to countries at war
2) American citizens from traveling on a ship belonging to a country
World War II in Europe
Germany Conquers the European Continent
- Great Britain and France's plan of attack was to use forts called
Maginot Lines to stop Germany and then use the navy to block German
- Germany's reaction attacked north of the Maginot Line, taking
Norway, Denmark, and Holland in weeks.
- Germany attacked France which quickly split French and Great Britain
- General Charles DeGaulle was the leader of the Free French.
- Partisans were the underground groups resisting the Germans by engaging
in acts of sabotage.
Germany Tries to Conquer Great Britain
- Germany's 3-step plan to conquer Great Britain:
1) stopping supply ships from reaching Great Britain
2) destroying the British Air Force
3) sending armies across the English Channel to invade Great Britain
The Battle of Britain
- The Battle of Britain was fought for control of the air.
- Radar helped the British win.
- Germany began bombing Great Britain at night when the Royal Air
Force could not see the German planes.
- The Battle of Britain was a turning point in the war because
it stopped Germany from completely dominating Europe and forced
Hitler to change his plans.
- Breaking the German code helped the Allies during the war by allowing
them to intercept and decode
German war plans and alert British troops.
- Great Britain needed to keep control of the Suez Canal because
it provided the shortest route for its ships carrying oil and natural
- General Erwin Rommel was nicknamed Desert Fox.
Germany Tries to Conquer the Soviet Union
- German advance into the Soviet Union was stopped by the Soviet winter.
- The consequence of
Germany not quickly defeating the Soviets was that Germany would
have to continue to fight on two fronts--in the east against Soviets
and in the west against British.
U.S. Aid to the Allies
- Two things the U.S. did to support the Allies: 1) Roosevelt ordered
the sale of old military equipment to Great Britain and France 2)
Roosevelt traded 52 older American warships to Great Britain
- Lend-Lease Act helped Allies by allowing the President to lend
rather than sell weapons.
- To ensure supplies would make it to Great Britain Roosevelt ordered
American warships to escort British ships as far as Iceland.
Japan and the United States on a Collision Course
- During 1940-41, Japan signed treaties
with Hitler and Mussolini, and the Soviet Union.
- Japan made these treaties in hopes that they would appear more
powerful and to make the U.S. agree to Japanese control of Southeast
- Japanese military leaders began planning an attack on the American
naval fleet in order to stop the U.S. from challenging their control
of Eastern Asia.
Attack on Pearl Harbor
- Attack on Pearl Harbor occurred on December 7, 1941.
- The USS Arizona was bombed, killing nearly half of those who were
- The three navy aircraft carriers that the United States had escaped
- The attack on Pearl Harbor was a turning point in WWII because
it brought the U.S. into the war.
U.S. Military in 1941
- The Board of Defense began drafting men into the military.
- The United States also began to increase its production of weapons
and military supplies.
- The war in Europe was different from that in the Pacific because
the war in the Pacific would have to be fought mostly by the Navy
and the Marines.
Winning the War in Europe
Stalin and Churchill
- Stalin wanted the United States and Great Britain to attack Europe
to force Germany to fight on two fronts.
- Churchill did not want to fight Europe:
1) Americans and British were not prepared to fight against German
2) Churchill didn't want to help the Soviets and allow them to become
The Battle of Stalingrad
- The Battle of Stalingrad was a turning point in the war because
the German eastern advance had been stopped.
Invasion of Italy
- The Allies invaded Italy
instead of France because there were fewer German troops in Italy.
Mussolini was forced to resign
after the Allies invaded Italy.
The final assault: On April 30, 1945, Hitler committed suicide.
War II in the Pacific
- The Allied war strategy in the Pacific was to destroy as much
of the Japanese forces as possible and the slowly regain possession
of the Japanese occupied islands.
- In 1942-43, the U.S. did not send many soldiers to the Pacific
because the overall war strategy was to first win the battle against
The Doolittle Raid
- Two effects of the Doolittle Raid on Tokyo:
1) America demonstrated they could fight back
2) Made Americans feel that something was being done to stop the
Battle of the Coral Sea
- Japanese wanted Port Moresby because the city could be used as
a place from which to attack Australia.
- Neither side could claim
victory at the Battle of the Coral Sea.
Battle of Midway Island
- Japanese wanted to conquer Midway Island to use as a base to prevent
any bombing raids on Tokyo.
- United States had an advantage because they knew when the attack
was going to happen.
- Japanese lost four of nine aircraft carriers and many of their
- Battles of Midway and Coral Sea were turning points in the war
because Japan's naval forces had been severely beaten and they no
longer gained territory in the Pacific.
The Pacific Theater
- Allied strategy for Pacific Theater: sink as much of the Japanese
fleet as possible.
- The first island retaken from the Japanese: Guadalcanal Allies
learned it was a disgrace for a Japanese soldier to surrender
Battle for the Philippines
- Result of Battle of Leyte Gulf : Japan's navy so badly defeated
it was no longer a threat to the Allies.
- Kamikaze was a slow, cheaply built airplane filled with explosives.
- Japan used kamikazes because they had few good pilots or airplanes
The China-Burma-India Theater
- Allies had more success after 1944 because the U.S. had destroyed
a large part of the Japanese fleet.
The Final Assault on Japan
- Allies were fearful of invading Japan: it would cost over a million
The Manhattan Project
- Manhattan Project was the American effort to build an atomic bomb.
The decision to use the bomb
- Three factors Truman considered in deciding to use the atomic
1) Invading Japan might cause the lives of maybe a million American
2) Scientists were not absolutely sure that the bombs would explode
as they planned.
3) Afraid Soviet Union would attack Japan and then want to control
more Asian territory.
Hiroshima and Nagasaki
- Atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.