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Topic 17 WWII Topic 17 WWII

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Vasilis Dimitriadis

Topic Sixteenth World War Two  Breakout of WWII: -- With the non-aggression pact, Hitler had a free hand to deal with the west; -- Sep 1 1939 Hitler launched attack on Poland, beginning WWII; rd -- Sep 3 , both B and F declared war against Germany;  Blitzkrieg – Lightening war; --Although appeared also in B, F, R, the idea of blitzkrieg was often associated with Nazi Germany; -- Using tanks to break through enemies’ line – breaking one point, achieving local superiority; -- Cutting 3 Cs: command, control, communication (food/provision) -- Complete freedom for local commanders; -- Poland was wiped out in 4 weeks; -- Yugoslavia, Denmark in 2 weeks; -- France was wiped out in 6 weeks; -- Belgium was wiped out in 10 days; -- Stunning victory for Germany;  Western Front; -- “Phony War”: B, F did not help Poland at all at the beginning; -- France: -- Germany attacked May 10 1940 around the Maginot Line; -- France confronted German in Belgium; Germany managed to split the French army into two; --Attack bridges, communication lines, civilian center, etc, paralyzing FrenchArmy; -- Psychological warfare on Mass Scale: attacking civilian target; population in mass evacuated cities, clogging roads and creating panic; -- British expeditionary force trapped in the north, French armies split in North and South -- June 1940 Dunkirk Evacuation, saving the British Expeditionary Force and huge French army; -- B totally defenseless, only 2 divisions, both of which were Canadian division; -- June 21 1940 France capitulated; declared Paris an open city; -- The capitulation treaty was signed in the same place where TOV was signed; humiliating defeat for France; -- Britain: -- Germany still could not compete with the Royal Navy; -- Navy did not play a important role in war anymore; air force came to replace it; -- Hitler’s plan: 2 and a half million planes bombardment, achieving aerial superiority; -- B had a secret weapon: radar station gave warning (how many, how strong, what direction) --August – October 1940 fierce air battles; -- Germany was planning to attack British radar station; however Sep B attacked Berlin, outraging Hitler; he switched target and attacked London for revenge; -- 57 nights bombardment of London, to break British morale; -- However, such bombardment unified English people, and the whole nation stood behind Churchill; -- Realizing that he could not defeat B that quickly, he turned his target to the Soviet Union  Italy -- Germany never consulted Mussolini on anything; the Italian was upset: Mussolini regarded himself as “the father of fascism”; -- One day before France capitulated, Italy declared war on France; even though, F defeated I; -- I then attacked Albania and Greece without telling Hitler; Greece defeated I within 3 weeks, pushing it back toAlbania; -- Huge debacle; Hitler was forced to come to the aid of Italy; -- Germany defeated Greece, and invaded Yugoslavia on the way; -- However, it put off Directive 21 by a full month; -- Operation Barbarossa began June 22, the same day Napoleon attacked Russia;  Russian Campaign; -- If Soviet Union was defeated, B would not be able to resist anymore; that was the plan of Hitler; -- Objective: achieving Labestrum, destroying ideological enemies; -- Hitler did not think Russia would be able to resist; 6-8 weeks was his plan; “Sub-humans” -- He attacked Moscow; but also Leningrad – ideological reasons; -- Did pretty well at first; -- By late august the German force was half in Russia; captured 3M Russian Soldiers, killed 1.5M; -- No state gave a chance to Russia; US thought Russia would give in byAugust; -- German brutality (taking ALL RESOURCE; kill; capture; destroy; starve) turned Russian soldiers into fanatic opponents; fighting until the last bullet; --ALL population in Russia, even though who thought G as liberator from Stalin, turned against him; -- Problem: the further you go in, the bigger the country becomes, the more diluted the German Army becomes; -- Soviet Union also managed to evacuated all industries – war base of Soviet Russia was saved – moved to Siberia and started to reproduce; -- “Blitzkrieg” became a war of attrition; -- Hitler never wanted a prolonged war – “guns and butter” must be maintained; -- Hitler decided to halt the Operation because there were 1.5M red army in the south of Russia; --After defeating that, the Operation continued, but it was too late; -- one of the coldest winter of Russia; totally unprepared; -- no infrastructure; no road; muddy; machine guns and machineries stuck in the mud; -- December 15, Russian launched counter offensive towards German; threw back the Germans 300kilo back; -- Reason: Soviet Union was informed that Japan would not attack the Soviet Union; Stalin had a free hand now; -- This marked Blitzkrieg is over; -- Germany is now facing two-front war + war of attrition; B was not yet defeated; -- August 1941 both B and US offered unlimited aid to the Soviet Union; recall Churchill was the most adamant opponent to Communist Russia; -- “Land LeaseAct”;  Russian Campaign continued; -- Dec 5 1941 Major Russian offensive, ending the Blitzkrieg;  Pearl Harbor; -- Dec 7 1941 Japanese surprise attack on U.S. Navy; -- Dec 10 1941 Hitler too declared war on U.S., connecting the two events into a world war;  Evolution of Japanese Policy -- Recall: Treaty of Versailles, Japan was denied the equal status with the European states; -- Japan stormed out, although getting some colonies; -- 1920-21; participated in Washington Conference (a year and a half), about balance of naval power between U.S., Japan and Britain; -- 10 battle ships for U.S. and Britain, while Japan got six; -- 1928 London Conference (2 years), again on naval balance; Japan could retain 7 battle ships, still not equal with U.S. and Britain; -- 1929 Japan suffered greatly from the Great Depression; huge population emigrated out of high unemployment, into China and Korea; -- By 1930, Japanese government lost faith in Western democratic system; decided to strike out on their own; -- 1931 invaded China, establishing Manchukuo; League of Nation actually declared the Manchukuo illegal; -- Japanese Mentality: Gekokujo -- it meats that: if a lower ranking samarite by a higher ranking samarate, the lower ranking one has the obligation to overthrow the higher ranking one and replace him, establishing a new order; -- This mentality produced Miyazaki Plan: this recognized that Japan must strike out sooner than later; -- The plan envisaged a sooner attack on Western states; -- Soviet Union was out of the picture, out of the Miyazaki Plan because of Operation Babarosa, Russian presented no threat; -- Japan felt free to turn south, and attack ABCD (America, Britain, China, Dutch) -- Japan was poor in natural resources; -- Japan attack at a golden moment: -- Soviet Union no longer existed as a great power; -- Britain was still isolated, and had little hope since Russia was out; -- Britain could hold assistance only with American aid; (because B had no connection with the European continent) -- American themselves were weakened, because they were compelled to give whatever resources they had to Britain; -- U.S. was not prepared to go to war; still deeply in her policy of isolationism; -- Miyazaki estimated U.S. would at least need 2 years to be prepared for the war; -- The Dutch had already been wiped out by Hitler; no competitors; -- This left China; China was poor and backwards, only could fight Japan with foreign aid; -- with the present situation, no state could aid China; -- this is the golden moment; if Japan don’t strike now, they would never be able to carry out a Gekokujo. --Actual Plan: -- gain limited territory concession -- knew full well no one would accept them; they would fight back; -- but at that time no one could do anything; it would took 6 months – 1 year to fight Japan; -- it gave Japan
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