Mussolini and Hitler
Mussolini and Hitler
[audio]Italian fascism

  • 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 life.
  • Mussolini invaded and defeated Ethiopia to help the Italian people.


Hitler's promises

  • Adolph Hitler was head of the Nazi Party.
  • Hitler promised to cancel reparation payments and make Germany rich and powerful if his party controlled the government.

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.

Nazi racism

  • 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's expansionism

  • 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.

[audio]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.

[audio]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's expansion

  • 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 Poland.

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 at war

[audio]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 ports.
  • 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 forces.
  • 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.

Code Breaking

  • Breaking the German code helped the Allies during the war by allowing them to intercept and decode German war plans and alert British troops.

North Africa

  • Great Britain needed to keep control of the Suez Canal because it provided the shortest route for its ships carrying oil and natural resources.
  • General Erwin Rommel was nicknamed Desert Fox.

[audio] 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

  • 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.

[audio]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 Asia.
  • 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 on it.
  • The three navy aircraft carriers that the United States had escaped unharmed.
  • 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.

[audio]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 troops.
    2) Churchill didn't want to help the Soviets and allow them to become too strong.

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.

[audio]World 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 Germany.

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 Japanese

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 best pilots.
  • 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.

[audio]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 left.

The China-Burma-India Theater

  • Allies had more success after 1944 because the U.S. had destroyed a large part of the Japanese fleet.

[audio]The Final Assault on Japan

  • Allies were fearful of invading Japan: it would cost over a million Allied lives.

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 bomb:
    1) Invading Japan might cause the lives of maybe a million American soldiers.
    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.