Hist1403E February 8, 2012
World War II (Part 1)
1939 – Germany/USSR Attack Poland
Hitler took credit for the concept and use of blitzkrieg.
Germany launched its attack on Poland, and it was a quick and easy win.
USSR Attack Baltic States
Thus these two were combined efforts of Hitler and Stalin.
May 1940 – Germany Attacks Norway, and then Denmark, Holland, and Belgium
Hitler was interested in Norway because it was close to the British Isles (he could
establish military posts), and he had a strong interest in developing military warfare.
Norway was a prime location for the Germans to practice and rehearse war – no one
Belgium has always been regarded as a neutral country, and everyone reacted when
Hitler invaded there (especially Britain). They reacted, but not well.
June 1940 – Dunkirk
Prompted Churchill to speak against retreat.
Now that all of the troops (of the allies) are out of the way, Hitler attacks France.
France falls. Germany had new equipment, strategies, and leadership, for which
France was completely unprepared for.
Fall 1940 – Mussolini Attacks France and Greece
The South of France was remote from Paris and Versailles. Thus it was easily accessible
for Mussolini. He walks in and simply claims victory.
In keeping with his Ancient Roman/Greek utopia, he invades Greece. However this was
unsuccessful and there was a lot of Italian lives lost.
Fall 1940 – Battle of Britian
The world’s first totally airborne attack.
Hitler lied to his people and did not tell them of their significant loses. They were not
expecting the retaliation that they received from Britain.
1941 – USA Involvement
The Americans stayed annoyingly aloof from the battles, refusing to get involved in a
European war. While they do send over medicinal, financial, and food supplies, they did
not join the war effort.
o The USA will lend raw material (ie. Food) to the allies, and some of the
Americans will allow some Brits to lease land in the Caribbean, just in case of
war. They could then establish precautionary military bases. Spring 1941 – Germany Attacks Balkans
He moves his troops into the Balkan countries, and declares them German provinces.
He doesn’t want to the Russians in the Balkans.
By this time, Hitler and Stalin are no longer a united effort/alliance. Stalin also wants to
Balkans because he wants access to the Mediterranean sea.
June 1941 – Germany Attacks USSR
The German regime had done so well throughout Europe, why wouldn’t they be able to
succeed in Russia?
However, it is winter when they invade, and their equipment does not function in the
cold like the Russians’ do.
It becomes a stalemate , yet both claim victory (Stalin said so because Germans never
1940 – 1942 – North African Campaign
There is no assistance for North Africa because no one (including the allies) were
interested in North Africa. Hitler successfully invades with little opposition.
Mussolini follows Hitler’s lead, and gains some land. There is competition between Italy
and Germany in this campaign.
o Japanese Aggression: Japan is now involved, as it wants to