World War Two Final Exam
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The Rise of power in Germany 1933-1943
Germany’s rise to power began in January of 1933 when Adolf Hitler was made chancellor of Germany by the president of Germany Hindenburg. The presidents’ hope was the Adolf, who was the leader of the Nazi party, could be the one to rescue Germany of both is economic and political crisis. During his campaign, Hitler used airplanes to travel around the country to give speeches. When in power he used force to control the country along with over 50 different types of propaganda
With the Enabling Act in 1933 also gave Germanys’ Chancellor the power to make laws without consulting anyone, having a temporary supreme ruler allowed German to quickly change its structure and gain power. In addition in 1935 the Luftwaffe was established and conscription began. As Germanys’ army grew the nation’s economy became based on preparing for war, growing even stronger.
In 1939 Germany attack Poland using a new and effective strategy, the Blitzkrieg, contributing to a now seemingly unstoppable Germany. The Blitzkrieg was also known as a lightning war as it involved rapid mobilization and a quick surprise attack from a large force, Poland was unable to hold out for long. In 1940 Germany uses this lightning war tactic again this time attacking and occupying Denmark, Norway, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxenberg, and France. At this point it’s only 1940 and Germany occupies seven European countries at this point in time, and there are still more to come. In 1942 Germany adds Greece and Yugoslavia to the list totaling nine occupied countries. Germany is nearly at its peak in power during the war. Much of this success for Germany can be attributed to Adolf Hitler and his cabinet. Germany then sends around 3 million soldiers to attack Russia, but are halted by the winter, the Soviet Union takes advantage of this and launches numerous counter attacks. Russia kept Germany busy for a fair deal of time on the Eastern Front giving the US time to prepare for the invasion of France. The battle of Stalingrad, a Russian major victory that lasted about a year, is likely where Germany saw the end of its rise to power.
1942-1945 How the Allies achieved victory
The major allied power in the Second World War included the United States, the Soviet Union, and the United Kingdom. One of the first decisive victories in the Second World War was the US victory at the Battle of Midway in 1943. This was a turning point in the war in the pacific theatre, as it struck a devastating blow on the Japanese Navy and proved the US would likely not require further support in the pacific freeing up manpower for other conflicts.
The next major allied victory against the axis powers was on the eastern front at the Battle of Stalingrad in 1943. This battle was the first major victory for the Soviet Union. The Battle of Stalingrad began in 1942 and lasted about a year, it was one of the bloodiest battles in history, and was Germanys first large scale defeat, which struck a devastating blow against the German army. German and its allies lost around 800,000 soldiers in the conflict and even though the Red Army was victorious they over 1,000,000 soldiers.
In 1943 US and British soldiers defeated the axis powers in North Africa another major victory bringing the end of the war ever closer. Also in 1943 Italy surrenders and Mussolini is removed from power. Hitler then takes control of what’s left of the Italian army in turn delaying the end of WWII.
In June of 1944 the United States land on the beaches of Normandy France, the fighting is brutal and victory is achieved but at the cost of nearly 4,500 US soldiers, although there were nearly double the German casualties. This victory was however very important as it gave the Axis powers a foothold to begin the liberation of France. Later that year Paris was back under Axis control.
In December of 1944 German launches one final offensive in the Ardennes, Belgium. Initially German troops gain a lot of ground however they were unable to sustain this attack with vital resources such as air superiority, fuel and ammunition they were pushed back leaving the German army as a whole crippled.
In the beginning of 1945 the German army is very weak, the Soviet approaches Berlin, Germany and the US crosses the Rhine to meet them. At this point Germany is all but done for. Adolf Hitler commits suicide making things worse, his death is folled by the surrender of German a month later.
In the Pacific theatre Russia declares war on Japan and invades Manchuria, meanwhile the US has just dropped an Atomic bomb on the Hiroshima followed three days later on August 9th, 1945 with another bomb being dropped on Nagasaki. On September 2nd 1945 US General MacArthur accepts Japans surrender officially Bringing the War to a close.
The Rise of Japan 1931-1942
Japans rise to power began with the Invasion of Manchuria in 1931, their reasoning was the Manchuria incident. The Manchuria incident was fabricated by Japan, Japan attempted to sabotage a railway, although they were unsuccessful in destroying the tracks when a train passed over not long after the Japanese Imperial Army accused Manchuria of sabotage. This was Japans reasoning for invading Manchuria that same week. The reason Japan wanted to invade Manchuria in the first place was simple, Japan had little land and felt if they were to grow economically they needed more land which was a scarce resource on the mainland. Not long after in March of 1932 Manchuko now governed by Japan.
Then 1937 a dispute broke out between Japan and the Republic of China which escalated into battle. This became known as the Second Sino Japanese war. Japan going to war with China infuriated many European nations and the United States as well. In the beginning of the war Japan secured many victories including capture of Shanghai and Nanjing. However as the war progressed in 1939 neither the Republic of China or Japan could seem to grasp the upper hand.
Then in 1941 Japan attacks the US Naval base at Pearl Harbor bringing the US into the Pacific Theatre of the war. The US was shocked at the devastating blow and Declared war on Japan the following day December 8th 1941. Japan then spreads its forces throughout the island in the Pacific creating a defensive barrier between the US and Japan. Then in February of 1942 Japan successfully invades Burma, attacks Indonesia, and raids Darwin, Australia for the first time just after swiftly tearing through Singapore. Japan believed they could take Australia out of the picture with a few dozen air raids and submarine raids with some assistance from German submarines. However Japan never decided to Invade Australia. In August of 1942 the US attacks Japan on land at Guadalcanal and they Japanese Army holds them off until January of 1943. However the US victory in the Battle of Midway Severely crippled the Imperial Japanese Navy, which Japan never fully recovered from, leaving Japan at its strongest during the war in the Beginning of 1942.
10 Correlations from the present to the Second World War
One thing that may not have been as advanced as it is today is the computer, created during the Second World War created by British code breakers, it was named the Colossus and was designed to break German code which it successfully did giving the allies an edge during the war. As it was also the first computer ever created it has changed the lives of millions if not billions of people today.
Another correlation is that Greece’s solution to their poor economy which is hundreds of billions of dollars into debt is that Germany should be force to pay them war reparations. In Germany Mein Kampf is illegal to own or buy in German along with any of Hitler’s speeches. The Soviet Union was the first outside army to enter Auschwitz at the End of the Second World War. Yet in 2015 Vladimir Putin did not attend the Auschwitz commemoration created by several world leaders.
The United Nations was Created in 1945 after the war concluded to attempt to keep peace between nations and help settle disputes, and it is still running today even more smoothly than when it began. Another is duct tape, the US Military asked for a waterproof sealant tape and they got Duct tape, which is still widely used today.
WWII also brought a large amount of women into the workforce, since there were not enough men to work to support the war effort the US called on its women. This led to Equal rights for women and employment opportunities that women have today. WWII also is responsible for our emergence from the great depression as it provided needed jobs for Americans’ and scaled up the US’s economic growth to become the largest national economy in the world today. WWII and the spread of communism led to the cold war which has created two global powerhouses and prevent the US-Russian relationship from ever fully being repaired, as accusations’ have shown from the past election. Lastly the war had an unfortunate side-effect of nuclear weapons, WWII was the seed that began it all. Today Nuclear weapons are a major threat as there are enough to destroy the world many times over, leading countries to collaborate today in Nuclear disarmament programs today.