Isea Steuerwald Burkholder Kaldis Strominger

Events Leading to All-Out War In Europe

Prewar Years
The years before WWII involved the rise of authoritarianism in major powers such as Italy, Germany and Japan. This caused worldwide instability and conflict. The stock market in New York crashed which led to the Great Depression. The creation of the aggressive foreign policy of Benito Mussolini in Italy started a series of conflicts leading to WWII. In May 1936, Italy invaded Abyssinia and occupied the capital, Addis Ababa and in April 1939, Italy annexed Albania.

Italy and Germany formed the Rome-Berlin Axis in October 1936. Later Hitler and his Nazi Party made a plan to abolish the Treaty of Versailles and Conscription was introduced and Hitlers army grew rapidly. This helped lead to the German occupation the Rhineland in March of 1936. Italy joined the Anti-Comintern pact of Germany and Japan.

In 1933 Germany and Japan left the Lea
HU_100441.jpggue of Nations and then four years later Italy also left. After leaving the League of Nations Hitler signed the “Pact of Steel” with Mussolini in May 1939. Great Britain and France feared when Hitler and Joseph Stalin signed a nonaggression pact on August 23, 1939. Now that Germany was safe against an attack from the east they waited for an opportunity to invade Poland.

Britain began to build up it’s army and signed a mutual assistance pact with Poland on August 25, 1939. When the German war machine came in a blitzkrieg to Poland on September 1, 1939, WWII began. Great Britain and France declared war on Germany on September 3 and the Soviet Union invaded Poland on September 17. On November 30th the Red Army attacked Finland this and other attacks caused the Soviet Union to be kicked out of the League of Nation a month later.

Time Line of Events

1914-1918: World War I ends, and leaves Europe in runis. 1919: The Treaty of Versailles created, which ends Germany’s power. The Weimar Republic attempts to make Democracy in Germany. Kaiser Wilhelm runs to Holland. 1920: Adolph Hitler forms German Worker’s Party. The leaders form the political Ideology of National Socialism or Nazism.
1921-33: Europe is left with tragic economic depression.
1923: Hitler is jailed for treason. He writes
Mein Kampf (My Struggle) while in Landsberg Prison.
1932: Nazis showing in Parliament elections is strong. They gain a majority in the German Reichstag. Nazis gain popularity among people.
1933: Hitler appointed Chancellor by the President Von Hindenburg. Hitler gains total control of Germany due to the Enabling Act.
1934: The Treaty of Versailles is restricted by Rearmament.
1936: Hitler easily occupies Rhineland.
1936-1937: Blitzkrieg is tested in Spanish Civil War.
1938: Germany annexes Austria. All opposition is silenced.
1939: Invasion of Poland by Germany & USSR.
(George Cassutto)

Origination of Blitzkrieg

attack1.jpg Blitzkrieg originated in WWI when General Oskar won Hutier created the newly formulated German infiltration tactic, the actual term of Blitzkrieg was not created by the German army but was created by a journalist. The word was created from the word Blitz which described Germany’s bombing of British targets early in the war but the definition of Blitzkrieg means war conducted with great speed and force.
(Alan Axelrod)

The Nonaggression Pact

On August 23, 1939 Hitler and Stalian made a pact called the Nonaggression Pact. This pact made is so that Germany nor Russia would act militarily against each other. This pact gave Hitler permission for the invasion of Poland, which led to the start of WWII. On June 22, 1941 Hitler went against the pact by invading Russia.
(Alan Axelrod)

Germany's Lightning Attack170px-Polish_infantry_marching_-2_1939.jpg

During the invasion of Poland, the leaders for Germany had a concern that since they were attacking the North and South borders, Poland would be able to send out a counter-attack. Poland’s Poznan Army laid between Germany's two armies.This caused a theoretical threat to the Wehrmacht. The Poznan Army was able to stop all progress that Germany’s armies were making.

Although there was a huge threat to the attack, the German army put all their faith in the Lightning attack plan. They would use this as a militarily hammer and to create chaos in Poland. This made it so Poland could not send any attacks. Germans worked fast and were very successful. They kept advancing and pushed back every Polish unit. The German’s Lightning attack was working.

Each day the two German armies came closer and closer. The 185 mile gap between them was closed slowly. The idea of a Polish counter attack was forgotten. On day five of the attack the Polish air force had been defeated, this caused great fear in Poland because they were now easy targets.

On September 17th the defeat of Poland was announced, Warsaw was bombed on September 24th by 1,150 German aircrafts. The last group of Polish soldiers surrendered on October 6th.

The Phony War

The French and British mobilize along side the French border and wait for the German attack. It was called the Phony War because it means many months of no action. In 1940, Hitler attacked and captured Denmark, and Norway. Denmark surrenders to Nazi attack and cooperates with German forces. King Haakon of Norway would not surrender to Nazi’s, which made him a symbol of Norwegian resistance.

Which of the following events was not a cause of WWII?

A) The rise of the Nazi Regime
B) Treaty of Versailles
C) D-Day
D) Nonaggression Pact


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