12. World War II


I. Hitler and the Road to World War I

    A. Hitler’s “Artichoke Policy”

            1. Goals: to restore Germany’s military

                 strength and position as a world power


            2. Obstacles:

                 a) Germany was diplomatically isolated

                        > neutral zone of the Baltic States, Poland

     and Romania created a buffer  vs. Russia

> “Little Entente” of Czechoslovakia,

     Yugoslavia and Romania vs. Austria

> Franco-Belgium and Franco-Polish



                 b) Treaty of Versailles


            3. Solutions:

                 a) 1933 > Germany withdrew from the League

                        of Nations


                 b) 1935 > Treaty of Versailles renounced


                 c) Military build up undertaken

                        - 1936 > German forces were stationed in

                                    the Rhineland

                        - 1936 > Spanish Civil War

                                    - Military led by General Franco vs.

                                         the Republic

                                    - Italy and Germany supported the


                                    - Russia supported the Republic

                                    - ended in the dictatorship of Franco

                                    - Germany acquired valuable

                                         military experience


            4. Diplomatic isolation ended:

                 - 1936 > Rome-Berlin Axis

                 - 1936 > Anti-Comintern Act signed with Japan


     B. Hitler’s aggressive expansion

            1. 1938 > Anschluss with Austria


            2. 1938 Crisis of Czechoslovakia

                  a) Hitler invaded to defend Sudetenland



                 b) Munich Conference, September 1938

                        - attended by PM Chamberlain of Britain;

                             PM Daladier of France; Mussolini and


                        - a policy of appeasement was pursued

                             > appeasement is an attempt to placate

                                    aggressive and unscrupulous nations

                                    by granting concessions usually at

                                    the expense of a smaller nation

                             > Germany was given the Sudetenland

                        - shortly afterward Germany occupied all

                             Czech lands and Slovakia became a

                             Puppet state


                c) Why appeasement?

                        1) war was to be avoided at all costs

                             - failure of disarmament and limited


                             - failure of the 1925 Locarno Agreement

                             - failure of the 1928 Pact of Paris

                                    (Kellogg-Briand Pact)


                        2) fear of Soviet Russia


                        3) Precedents:

                             - 1931 Manchurian Crisis > Japan vs.


                             - 1935 conquest of Ethiopia by Mussolini


II. Outbreak of World War II

    A. Invasion of Poland: September 1, 1939

            1. Hitler demanded the free city of Danzig

                 - supported by:

                        > Pact of Steel made with Mussolini

     (May 22, 1939)

> Nonaggression Pact with Russia

     (August 23, 1939)


            2. France and Great Britain declared war


    B. War of Movement – Blitzkrieg

            1. by April 1940 Poland, Denmark and

                 Norway fell


            2. Western Offensive

                 - between May 10 and June 22 the

Low countries and France fell


            3. Eastern Offensive

     - Spring 1941 Yugoslavia and Greece fell

     - June 1941 Russia invaded


            4. United States entered the war

                 - Pearl Harbor attacked December 7, 1941

                 - Germany and its allies declared war vs.

                        the United States on December 11, 1941


    C. Defeat of the Axis Powers

            1. D-Day > June 6, 1944

                 - Normandy invasion


            2. Russians took the offensive in the East

                 - May 2, 1945 > Berlin fell and Hitler

                        committed suicide


            3. Defeat of Japan

                 - August 6, 1945 > Hiroshima bombed

                 - August 9, 1945 > Nagasaki bombed

                 - August 14, 1945 > unconditional surrender


III. Settlement of World War II and the Origin of the

        Cold War

    A. The Conferences: Teheran (November 1943),

            Yalta (February 1945), Potsdam (July 1945)

            - concerned with the disposition of land freed from

                        German control

            - United States and England opposed Russian



    B. Establishment of People’s Republics

            1. by 1948 Poland, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria

                 and Czechoslovakia were under communist rule


            2. Russia annexed Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia


            3. Germany and Berlin

                a) divided into four occupation zones: Great

                        Britain, France, United States and Russia

                        > denazification


                 b) West German Republic created September



                 c) German Democratic Republic created October



            4. Berlin also remained divided

                 - 1948 Blockade > Berlin Aitlift

                 - 1961 erection of the Berlin Wall


    C. Reparations

            - Germany had to pay 20 billion dollars in goods


    D. Nuremberg Trials

            - a tribunal was established to deal with war crimes


     E. United Nations created


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