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Phases and Theatres of Conflict (WWII)
x Poland (Sept. – Oct. 1939)
x Denmark and Norway (Jan. June 1940)
x Belgium, Holland, and France (May – June 1940)
x Battle of Britain (May – Sept. 1940)
o was a stalemate between the German air forces and the British air forces
o the Germans started focusing on bombing cities instead, such as London
x North Africa (June 1940 – Jan. 1943)
o after the battle of North Africa is won, the Allies moved up into the boot of Italy
x Battle of the Atlantic (Sept. 1939 May 1943)
o the Battle of the Atlantic campaign was mainly a logistical fight
o it was needed to secure the waterways by the Allies so that they could transport materials and soldiers
x Soviet Union (June 1941May 1945)
x Pacific (Dec. 1941 – Aug. 1945)
o the main campaign was always in the east
o this was fought mainly in the Soviet Union and the Pacific area
o the Americans entered in the Pacific war with the Pearl Harbour bombing by the Japanese
x Italy (July 1943 June 1944)
x D Day (June 1944 May 1945)
o there was a halt in the Italian campaign to re-enter the European main continent
Pacific Theatre: Japan
x Background
o Meiji Restoration (1868) Æ it was important because Japan becomes industrialized, Japan becomes a suedo-
monarchy Æ it is a modernisation that goes through Industrial Revolution
o after the Meiji Restoration, Japan is pursuing an imperialist aim
o Japanese-Russo War (1905) Æ the Japanese won, which surprised the Europeans a lot, made Japan emerge as an
Asian imperial power much to the resentment of the European imperial powers
o influence Manchuria (1910) Æ the weakness of China due to lingering feudalism, the collapse of the Ch’ing
dynasty, the encroachment of Japanese in Manchuria , the return to areas of China being governed by warlords
o 21 Demands on China (1915) Æ Japanese won in WWI on the peace table and also in the 21 Demands on China
o German colonies in China (1919) Æ as of the treaty, the Japanese gained the German colonies in China
o Southern Manchuria (1931) Æ nothing was done by the League and Japan left it
o Anti-Comintern Pact (1936) Æ right after the reoccupation of the Rhineland by Hitler; also known as the Anti
Communist International Pact; basically the signing countries were opposed to communism and its ideologies
o 15 Division (Shanghai Æ Nanking) (1937) Æ certain historians say that WWII started in 1937 with the Declared
Undeclared War in Shanghai, with a march to Nanking Æ campaign was to pacify the Chinese
x Problem?
o lack raw materials Æ the area of China that is occupied is rich, but not pacified
o China became increasingly a problem, not a benefit for Japan
o because of this low industrial production for war remained
o the Japanese did not want to expand just because of expansion Æ they needed resources to run the empire
o holding all land and holding territory is not the same as acquiring wealth
o occupation and empire requires exertion
o the third thing was that the Japanese lacked a merchant marine Æ a naval ship
o the Japanese did not have any way of really transporting the materials they gained back to them
o must prioritize navy Æ to hold territory and increase their empire
o this is the same logistical problem that the Germans had
x Miyazaki Plan 1937: The Gamble
o this is an economic plan not a military plan
o the Japanese came up with this, which is similar to the Germans Blitzkrieg
o naval qualitative superiority
this plan rested on the assumption that the Japanese navy was qualitative superior to the British navy and
American navy, which it was until 1939 to 1940
there were interwar diplomatic conferences Æ Washington in 1922 and London in 1930
there was a ratio at this time, where the American and British could have 5 ships each for every 3
Japanese ships
the Japanese decided to build bigger ships
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o expand heavy industry to peak 1940
the Miyazaki plan came up with the idea that the Japanese would focus on heavy industry until its peak in
looked at a different way the population of Japan was about 73 million compared to the US 142 million
eventually the Japanese and the Americans wage war against each other Æ the Japanese population is
roughly half of the American population in 1940
the other indicators for a nation to undertake a war are coal, which is used to make steel
in coal, the Japanese had about 54 million tonnes, while the US had about 346 million tonnes in 1940
in steel, the Japanese had about 5.8 million tonnes, while the US had 2.9 million tonnes in 1940
this was the best the Japanese could do in a war climate versus a country not even setting up for war yet
x So why not attack the USSR?
o if the Japanese are ready to attack why go south or to the east, why not go west and north
o there were two border wars in 1938 and 1939 between the Japanese army and the Soviet army
o the Japanese lost both border wars badly
o the second thing that happened, being part of the Axis forces in WWII, while being part of the Allies in WWI,
meant that in 1940, the Vichy government (the government allowed to exist in France after losing to Germany)
allowed the Japanese to occupy the Indo-China area
o this meant that the Japanese already had a rich area of resources in the south, which they won without fighting
o however, at this time the US launched an embargo against the Japanese mainly on iron ore, and fuel
o of course this meant that attacking the Soviet was not going to be helpful at all
o at this time, the Chinese War was costing the Japanese $5 million a day
o therefore, in April 1941, there was a neutrality treaty signed with the USSR Æ much to the chagrin of Hitler
o negotiations with the US regarding the embargo continued until November 25, 1941, which was a few days
before the Japanese army left to attack the Pearl Harbour
Japanese “Blitzkrieg: Dec. 1941 Jan. 1942
x the Blitzkrieg is considered an economic necessity
x the Japanese Blitzkrieg in the Pacific started on December 1941
x the main aim politically was an economic aim Æ to use the limited resources and to use the qualitative superiority of
their navy to launch surprise attacks on Southeast Asia to gain resources
x this is a gambling twice Æ not just a gamble of win or lose; it is a gamble of all or nothing
x the Japanese and Germans are spending all their resources to gain more resources
x the purpose of attacking the Pearl Harbour is to defeat any signs of the Americans retaliating
x South-East Asia Plan
o is coordinated plans to attack the US and the USSR
o then it is to secure the Dutch East Indies where all the oil is
o this will lead to unhindered Japanese control of south-east Asia
o the Japanese have to attack the British colonies and also prevent any counter-offensive from Hawaii
o the aim of the South-East Asia Plan is to secure the Dutch East Indies
o to get there they have to control a large area or to disable the British and American forces in that area
x Pearl Harbour (December 7, 1941)
o a Japanese armada of 6 aircraft carriers, 14 lines of ships, 23 submarines, and 460 planes left to engage the
Americans in a battle at Pearl Harbour
o they travelled 4000 miles and started attacking on November 26, 200 miles off Hawaii
o they are not discovered until they attack about 200 miles off Hawaii
o in all 10 lines of the ships were sunk, but none of the 3 aircraft carriers were sunk, which were the target
o this meant that the plan was unachieved because the Japanese wanted to sink these aircraft carriers
o the aircraft carrier is the core of naval strength
o so the fact that the aircraft carriers were not at Pearl meant that the Americans could attack, even immediately
o the Royal Navy (Prince Wales/Repulse): the Eastern fleet of the UK is sunk on Dec. 10 in Malaya
x many places are taken over by the Japanese as well
o on December 10, Guam is taken
o Wake Island is taken on December 23
o Hong Kong is taken on December 31
o Manila (capital of Philippines) was taken on January 1, 1942
o this is really the Japanese Blitzkrieg in the Pacific as everything is being taken in coordinated strikes
o Borneo is taken on January 19
o Malaya is captured on January 31
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Document Summary

N denmark and norway (jan. june 1940) N belgium, holland, and france (may june 1940) N battle of britain (may sept. 1940: was a stalemate between the german air forces and the british air forces the germans started focusing on bombing cities instead, such as london. N north africa (june 1940 jan. 1943) after the battle of north africa is won, the allies moved up into the boot of italy. N battle of the atlantic (sept. 1939 may 1943) the battle of the atlantic campaign was mainly a logistical fight it was needed to secure the waterways by the allies so that they could transport materials and soldiers. N soviet union (june 1941 may 1945) N background: meiji restoration (1868) it was important because japan becomes industrialized, japan becomes a suedo- monarchy it is a modernisation that goes through industrial revolution after the meiji restoration, japan is pursuing an imperialist aim.

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