history lecture notes II

History lecture - World War II 1939-1945 I II World War II as Experience and Memory The cast of characters a The allies and of course the big 3 U.S

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World War II, 1939-1945 I. World War II as Experience and Memory II. The cast of characters a. The allies and of course the big 3- U.S., Great Britain, Soviet Union, FDR, Churchill, Stalin b. The axis powers- Germany, Italy, Japan, Mussolini, Hitler, Hirohito III. Roots of the War: massive expansion by Italy, Japan, and Germany, 1930’a onward a. Italy- Mussolini looking to expand beyond borders, start to move into Mediterranean and north Africa b. Japan- looking to create own empire, strong nationalism, strong hostility and resentment towards western colonialism, looking for raw materials, first move into China in 1931, by 1937 launched full scale invasion of China (rape of Nanking), then begin to move into southeast Asia c. Germany- real desire to assert national pride, Hitler comes to power in 1933 and defies treaty of Versailles, re-militarizes and moves into the Rhineland, moves and annexes Austria (1938), takes Sudetenland part of Czechoslovakia. Neville Chamberlain wants to keep war from coming. i. Concentration camps set up in 1930’s, saw as place to put political threats and social degenerates IV. Hitler’s war in Europe a. Invasion of Poland (1939), “blitzkrieg”-lightning war, Poland falls in three weeks, war is declared in response, Great Britain and France b. Germany marches throughout Europe- Germany unstoppable i. 1941 attacks the Soviet Union in defiance of the Non-Aggression Pact V. Where did the US stand? a. Persistent isolationism b. US should stick with own interest in Western Hemisphere, really wanted to stay out of European affairs
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c. Neutrality acts 1935, 1936, and 1937, forbid the sale of arms to nations at war, forbids the giving of loans to those who have not paid their WWI debts VI. But soon America enter wars- FDR chips away at neutrality a. Cash and carry- allows the sale of arms but have to pay in cash and transport it themselves Lend-lease- could borrow weapons for duration of the war b. Slow change of public opinion- hearing stories of Nazis and Japanese. We have the desire to protect free societies and free trade c. Attack on Pearl Harbor: December 7, 1941, did not expect attack at Pearl Harbor which was a shock, following day war declared on Japan, three days following Germany and Italy declare war on US d. US now officially engaged in the war VII. War in Europe continues a. The shifting of tides- Battle of Stalingrad (July 1942-February 1943)- battle becomes contest of wills between Hitler and Stalin. Russians refusing to back down, able to launch counter-offensive on Germans and to cut off their supply lines b. Allied offensive in Africa (Nov 1942-May 1943)- US generals Eisenhower and Patten throught Italy up to Cicily c. But what about the Second Front? Never going to be able to win unless allies open second front. At long last the opening of the second front: D-Day (June 6, 1944). Under command of Eisenhower land in France and drive towards Germany liberating France and Belgium. Begin large scale bombings of
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This note was uploaded on 05/07/2008 for the course HIST 202 taught by Professor Haymes during the Spring '08 term at UNL.

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History lecture - World War II 1939-1945 I II World War II as Experience and Memory The cast of characters a The allies and of course the big 3 U.S

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