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World War II
Study Guide
All of the following will be covered on your World War 2 test, which will be Monday, June 1.
Unit learning Targets:
The goals and background of three dictators that threaten peace in WWII
Hitler: Austrian born. WWI hero. Used Jews as scapegoats for German suffering after WW1. Wanted to
avenge the terms of the Treaty of Versailles. Legally rose to power – then declared himself dictator. The
writing of “Mein Kampf” helped to develop his goals and ideals.
Stalin: Communist dictator takes power after Lenin’s mysterious death.
Mussolini: Fascist leader who dreams of reviving the glory of the Roman Empire
2. Define totalitarianism: is a political system in which the state holds total authority over the society
and seeks to control all aspects of public and private life wherever possible
3. How totalitarianism leads to WWII:
Creates tension within Europe
Totalitarian leaders begin aggressive acts with threaten the peace after WW1
Differentiate between Communism and Fascism
Fascism: Good of the state over the good of the individual
Strong Central government
Strict class system
Free market economy but can be disrupted at any time by the government
Communism: goal is eventual abolition of government
Work to achieve a classless society
Government controls all production and distribution of resources
5. Hitler’s Aggressions that lead to WWII (Violations of the Treaty of Versailles)
Arming of the Rhineland
Annexation of Austria
Acquisition of the Sudentenland
Military buildup and development of new military technology
6. The policy of Appeasement and its subsequent failure
Weak League of Nations and European response to Hitler aggressions
Munich Pact is seen as the embodiment of appeasement – led to Chamberlain’s resignation
Emboldened Hitler to continue his aggressive acts
7. Stages of Isolation during the Holocaust
Stripping of Rights: Nuremburg Laws (know examples)
Segregation: Ghettos (know characteristics)
Concentration: Concentration Camps (know purpose)
Extermination: Gas Chambers, etc.
Hitler’s Goals during the Holocaust
Promote the growth and superiority of the Aryan race
Take over lands taken by the Treaty of Versailles
Rid all German occupied lands of Jewish influence
Impact on Survivors
10. The role and tactics of the use of Propaganda:
Sway public opinion, call to action, identify a “bad guy”
Propaganda uses fear, guilt, the desire to be part of the crowd, etc..
11. The background of the following battles: Battle of Britain, Stalingrad, Atlantic, North African Front, Italian
Campaign, DDay, Midway, Guadalcanal, Iwo Jima, Okinawa
Battle of Britain: Air assault of Great Britain by Germany after the fall of France
Hitler hoped to break the spirit of the British people – accomplished the opposite
RAF was more technologically advanced than the Luftwaft and finally able to defeat Germany
Stalingrad: Hitler invades, thereby breaking their Non-Aggression pact
Tactical mistakes by Germany helped the Soviet Union defeat Germany
Tremendous human losses by the Soviet Union make the people weary of war
The Allies come to the aid of the Soviet Union
Atlantic: continual fighting for control of the seas
Great Britain dominates
North African Front: Allies eventually defeat Rommel – the Desert Fox – and gain control of the
Mediterranean seaway
Battle of Midway: considered by most to be the turning point on the war in the Pacific
Gave the Allies a clear path to move into Tokyo
Guadalcanal: Major Japanese losses resulted in their eventual evacuation of the island
Allies used a surprise attack tactic
Important strategically as it secured the shipping lanes between Australia and the Asian front
Iwo Jima: very small island but important strategically as it contained two important landing strips to resupply troops
Deadly battle which demonstrated the resolve of the Japanese
Okinawa: Kamikaze pilots had a major impact on this battle resulting in heavy American losses
An eventual American victory which helped sway American opinion that a major move would have to
be made to defeat the Japanese
12. US Entrance & Pearl Harbor
US original stance was isolationist – dealing with Great Depression
Lend Lease act lifts US out of neutrality
Bombing of Pearl Harbor – Dec 7, 1941
Declaration of War – Dec 8, 1941
Germany and Italy then declare war on the US
Japan angry at US for freezing Japanese assets in American banks
Japan needed oil found in US controlled Philippenes
13. The Dropping of the Atomic Bomb: Reasons and impact
Manhattan Project was the secret mission to develop the bomb
Led by Oppenheimer
Truman concerned Japanese would never surrender
Wanted to demonstrate power of bomb to the Soviet Union
Concepts to Understand:
Condition of Europe (post WWI)
Genocide (“Final Solution”)
Japanese Aggression (Manchuria)
European Theater
Rise of Hitler
Aryan Race
Civilians as Targets (Battle of Britain)
Pacific Theater
People and Terms to Know:
Non-Aggression Pact
Atlantic Charter
Pearl Harbor
Concentration Camps
Axis Powers
Manhattan Project
Battle of Britain
“Final Solution”
Aircraft Carriers
Atomic Bomb
Lend-Lease Act
V-E Day
Island Hopping
Hiroshima /Nagasaki