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Lecture 9

History Lecture 9.docx

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HIST 2040
William Cormack

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HIST2040 Week10 Thursday November 8 2012 ~Last class: interwar developments, League of Nations, International Law, Totalitarianism World War, 1939-1945 I) EARLY ILLUSIONS OF LIMITED WAR • Invasion of Poland, 1939 o Assured by pact with Stalin, Hitler invaded Poland (September 1s 1939) o Attack proved technique of Blitzkrieg in practise o Invaded by the Germans from west & the Russians from east, Poland disappeared from map; Poland defeat  New manuals of tank warfare brought to German armies  German technique of Blitzkrieg  Poland defeat  This was called a “limited war”  In terms of total percentage of population killed, no country suffered more than Poland • Attitudes of Great Powers o Poland’s allies Britain and France were helpless o The allies didn’t have the technology to fight back o The governments and people were not ready to accept all-out war must come o Allies prepared for a war that they claimed were short o Britain introduced conscription in March before outbreak of War in September o Modern war would entail both: mobilization of nation’s man power AND full mechanization of its armies • “Phony War’ in the West, 1939-40 o Term used by American reporters given lack of fighting o RAF dropped propaganda leaflets, not bombs, on Germany; telling them they would never win and they should quit o Royal Navy blockaded enemy ports, but Eastern open to German trade  It was hoped economic pressure would bring them to their knees  Hitler did depend on economic warfare; he brought submarines and new magnetic mines  Phony war= non fighting II) NAZI CONQUEST OF EUROPE • Blitzkrieg & Fall of France, 1940 o Third phase of war o This limited in time o Denmark fell, Poland fell, Belgium fell in days and France fell in 6 weeks o Blitzkrieg= Method of restriction of full impact of war o Nazis used parachutes to clear obstacles, they used dive bombers, and used tanks to probe o German forces superior in training o The Maginad line proved no difficulty to Germany o Germany attacked France through the ardene which the French thought was unsuitable prone attack and did not defend it o Britain refused to send their bulk of troops to France and reserved it to defense the homeland o The aggressor aided by fifth columnists; traders betrayed their own countries o Nazis exploited eternal weaknesses of Belgium and France and struck terror on refugees on highways • Shift in American Policy & Battle of Britain, 1940 o British PM changes: Chamberlain with Churchill o President Roosevelt said they could not stand by and watch overthrow of Britain o 1939 Congress revised new legislation to buy American arms o Congress passed Lend-Lease Act March 1941 o American shift from strict isolationism to benevolent neutrality to passive belligerency o This all before Pearl Harbour and before America officially entered the war o When they DID, they worked close coordination with Britain in terms with shipping, industrial output, food production, all of which went beyond integration with allied states at war Before End Lease Act o German Luftwaffe began air attacks on southern England July 1940 o Radar provided RAF with advantage of early warning o Battle of Britain was defensive air victory of enormous importance; • Transition to Total War o End of Battle of Britain o Both sides began to organize for flight to finish o Nazis established reign of terror, pillaged resources & drew forced labour from occupied Europe  Eg. French workers forced to work in Germany o Germany moved toward harnessing entire economy for war o Opponents of fascism also adopted total mobilization for war o Total mobilization on home front was adopted on opposition forces • Hitler’s Invasion of Russia, 1941 o Hitler’s main preoccupation was attack against Soviet Union o Invasion initially very successful, but failed to destroy Soviet ability to resist o Hitler’s new offensive in 1942 reached Stalingrad: high point of German conquest in east o Stalingrad was equivalent of Ferdun in WWI o Nazi army was surrounded in Stalingrad and Leningrad had been relieved III) WORLD CONFLICT • American Entry, 1941 o Japan embarked conquest o Japan attacked Pearl Harbour December 7 1941h o Before Pearl Habour, USA made common cause with British in terms of principles by signing Atlantic Charter and aiding war effort with Lend Lease and even helped merchant shipping in Atlantic o USA declared war on Germany & Japan o Conversion of industrial effort into effective military power led to Allied discussion on strategy • War at Sea o U-boats sought to cut communications between Britain & North America o Battle of the Atlantic 3-dimensional: over, under & on surface of sea o Importance of technology: sonar & radar o Importance of intelligence (Ultra Secret) ; Secret code! Having this machine allowed British to decodify German messages o By mid-1943 replacement of Allied ships surpassed losses • Anglo-American Invasion of Europe, 1943-44 o Because allies possessed overwhelming navy and
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