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Week 8: WW2: The Final Crisis of European Global Dominance

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HIST 1150
Brian Mc Dougall

Week 8: WW2–The Final Crisis of European Global dominance By 1940 Hitler declared that he had won the war and was willing to offer Britain peace; Britain–however controversially– declined and continued to fight. The turning point of the war was Russian (1939) and American (1941) participation on the Allied side. The Battle of Britain took place in December 1940 in the English skies. The German Luftwaffe attacked the United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force(RAF) in order to gain air superiority. The German defeat is considered its first of WW2. Operation Barbosa took place June 1941 and was the code name for Hitler’s quick campaign to crush Soviet Russia before the end of the war against England. This failed however it was the largest military operation in human history in both manpower and casualties. Peal Harbor* The Japanese did not join the war because of their loyalty to Hitler, in fact Hitler was not informed of Japan’s plan to bomb the US Pacific Fleet in Pearl Harbor. However on December 7th, 1941 most of this fleet had been sunken or damaged by this Japanese air attack. The Japanese had 3 objectives: I. to break the stranglehold of embargo II. to end US interference with the JApanese conquest of China III. to build an overseas empire After disabling their enemy the Japanese quickly overran Hong Kong and a few other non-European countries. US intelligence had cracked Japanese codes and were expecting an attack however the US Pacific Fleet was no prepared. It was controversially suggested that Roosevelt allowed this attack in order to improve US war enthusiasm, however this was never proved.After this attack the US were ready for war when Hitler declared war in 1941. The Home Fronts in WW2 were fighting front even more than they were in WW1, civilians were much more subject to attack by enemy bombers (Pearl Harbor, Nagasaki, Hiroshima). Victory and defeat depended largely on government success. Hitler’s European Empire Easy victories early on cause Hitler to cut war production; only at the end of 1941 did he order total mobilization. To Nazis people like Poles and Russians were subhuman. After erasing Poland form the map, Nazi’s closed Polish school and massacred the educated elite. Every Pole between the ages of 18-60 were subjected to forced labor and sentenced to wear a purple ‘P’ on their clothing. If a Polish person were to have sex with a German he or she would be sentenced to death. Hitler also tried to ‘Germanize’ the Soviet Union. 80% of Soviet prisoners died of overwork and starvation. German death camps were intended for the immediate extermination of minority groups, deemed unfit to live. Among these were–Gypsies, Jehovah’s Witnesses, homosexuals, and especially Jews. The Holocaust Nuremberg Laws of 1935 deprived Jews of Civil Rights in Germany. In 1939 Nazi Stormtroopers wrecked Jewish buisnesses and places of worsh
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