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World War II, the steps to war
With between 50 million to over 70 million fatalities, the
Second World War was the deadliest conflict in all of human
history. It began in 1939 and ended in 1945 and involved the
majority of the nations of the world. Many historians argue
that the steps to the beginning of the war actually began
with the ending of the First World War!
Image: The Nagasaki atomic bomb1945
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Nagasakibomb.jpg
Match the correct date to the correct historical event:
September 1938
Hitler agreed a
nonaggression pact
with the Soviet
Union.
1st September
1939
The Spanish Civil
War began.
1933
Hitler took over
the rest of
Czechoslovakia.
July1936
Britain and France
declared war on
Germany.
August 1939
The Soviet Union
invaded Poland.
1918
The Treaty of
Versailles
punished
Germany for
WWI.
1921-23
Germany invaded
Poland.
1919
March 1936
Period of
hyperinflation in
Germany.
March 1939
Hitler introduced
conscription.
Adolf Hitler
became
Chancellor of
Germany.
The end of
World War I.
Germany sent
troops into the
Rhineland.
March 1938
1st Jan 1935
The Wall Street
Crash led to
economic
depression in
Germany and
other countries.
17th September
1939
1929
The Anschluss Germany joined
with Austria.
rd
3 September
1939
Britain & France
agreed that
Germany could
take over part of
Czechoslovakia
(the Sudetenland).
© www.teachithistory.co.uk 2012
19604
Page 1 of 4
World War II, the steps to war
Teaching notes
This card sort exercise identifies 15 key events leading to World War II. It suggests a relationship between
the end of WW1 and beginning of WW2.
Date
Key event
1918
End of World War I
1919
The Treaty of Versailles punished Germany for WWI.
1921-23
A period of hyperinflation in Germany.
1929
The Wall Street Crash led to economic depression in Germany and other
countries.
1933
Adolf Hitler became Chancellor of Germany.
1st Jan 1935
Hitler introduced conscription.
March 1936
Germany sent troops into the Rhineland.
July 1936
The Spanish Civil War began.
March 1938
The Anschluss - Germany joined with Austria.
September 1938
Britain & France agreed that Germany could take over part of Czechoslovakia
(the Sudetenland).
March 1939
Hitler took over the rest of Czechoslovakia.
August 1939
Hitler agreed a nonaggression pact with the Soviet Union.
1st September 1939
Germany invaded Poland.
3rd September 1939
Britain and France declared war on Germany.
17th September 1939
The Soviet Union invaded Poland.
This resource could be used as a plenary or as a homework exercise. An alternative approach would be to
use it as an introduction to the topic of World War II to gain an impression of the extent of the prior
knowledge of your students. In the latter case it might be more manageable to leave out the dates initially
and simply sequence the events.
This resource currently stops in 1939. However, later events e.g. the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour
could also be added. It could be extended by asking students to explain the link between each consecutive
event.
A differentiated version is given on the following page (answers below) which uses nine rather than 15
events. An interactive match-up of this version in available for your whiteboard.
© www.teachithistory.co.uk 2012
19604
Page 2 of 4
World War II, the steps to war
With between 50 million to over 70 million fatalities, the
Second World War was the deadliest conflict in all of human
history. It began in 1939 and ended in 1945 and involved the
majority of the nations of the world. Many historians argue
that the steps to the beginning of the war actually began
with the ending of the First World War!
Image: The Nagasaki atomic bomb1945
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Nagasakibomb.jpg
Match the correct date to the correct historical event:
Adolf Hitler became
Chancellor of
Germany.
Britain and France
declared war on
Germany.
The end of World
War I.
The Anschluss Germany joined with
Austria.
Hitler agreed a
nonaggression pact
with the Soviet Union.
Germany sent troops
into the Rhineland.
The Treaty of
Versailles punished
Germany for WWI.
Germany invaded
Poland.
Hitler took over
Czechoslovakia.
Year
Historical event
1918
1919
1933
July 1936
March 1938
March 1939
August 1939
1st September 1939
3rd September 1939
© www.teachithistory.co.uk 2012
19604
Page 3 of 4
World War II, the steps to war
Differentiated/interactive answers
Year
Historical event
1918
The end of World War I.
1919
The Treaty of Versailles punished Germany for WWI.
1933
Adolf Hitler became Chancellor of Germany.
July 1936
Germany sent troops into the Rhineland.
March 1938
The Anschluss - Germany joined with Austria.
March 1939
Hitler took over Czechoslovakia.
August 1939
Hitler agreed a nonaggression pact with the Soviet Union.
1st September 1939
Germany invaded Poland.
3rd September 1939
Britain and France declared war on Germany.
© www.teachithistory.co.uk 2012
19604
Page 4 of 4
Document related concepts
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