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
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
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
Nuremberg Laws of 1935 deprived Jews of Civil Rights in
Germany. In 1939 Nazi Stormtroopers wrecked Jewish buisnesses
and places of worsh