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History 2145A/B
David Norton

Hist1403E February 8, 2012 Lecture 29 TOPIC 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 would know.  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.  Lend-Lease System 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  Operation Barbarossa  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 reached Moscow). 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.  Pacific Campaign o Japanese Aggression: Japan is now involved, as it wants to
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