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The Czechoslovakia Crisis
Early, 1938
This event was a result of Hitler’s insistence that the Sudeten Deutsch (in Czechoslovakia) be
rejoined with their fellow Germans in a larger German nation. Hitler’s overwhelming personality
and fervor inspired the event, and Germany’s power caused the other European countries to favor
appeasement over war.
The Violation of the Munich Pact
September, 1938
Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain of Great Britain led the leaders of Italy and France in agreeing
to allow Hitler and Germany to take the Sudetenland as long as he agreed to not take the rest of
Czechoslovakia. However, after the meeting Hitler goes ahead and annexes the rest of
Czechoslovakia anyway. The European powers do nothing in response.
The Invasion of Poland
September 3, 1939
The huge massive German military machine, powered by Germany’s industrial strength, runs over
the Polish army and occupies most of the country in less than three weeks. Russia occupies the
Eastern half of the country and France and England declare war but do nothing. This is named
“The Phony War.”
The Invasion of France
After remaining paralyzed by fear of war, France is invaded by the German war machine in 1940.
By June 14, Paris iss captured and the country surrenders. Some of the French form a government
that cooperates with the Germans(Vichy France) while others continue to resist with little
success(Free France). Great Britain becomes the only Allied Power not annexed or occupied by
The Battle of Britain
Not a real battle the way we normally think of them, the Battle of Britain refers to the bombing
campaign the Germans led against the British to try and break their will to resist. Although more
than 40, 000 British citizens were killed in the battle, including 16,000 civilians, the British never
gave up the fight and the bombing campaign was a failure. Prime Minister Winston Churchill
referred to this as Britain’s “finest hour”.
The Invasion of the Soviet Union
Seemingly unable to learn the lessons of history through the example of Napoleon, Hitler ordered
the German Army to invade the Soviet Union in 1941. The Germans stopped fighting in the Fall
of 1941, and resumed in Spring of 1942, but in the following year, Hitler pushed the army on
through the winter of 1942-1943 and just like Napoleon before them the Russians were defeated
by the harsh Russian winter.
Operation Overlord (D-Day)
June 6, 1944
Although Stalin had been begging the Allies to attack Hitler from the west since 1941, the Allies
waited until 1944 when they attacked the French coast at Normandy. The invasion was massive
with soldiers landing by water on naval vessels, and by air in gliders and by parachute. The invasion
was also an eventual success and the allies had freed Paris by August, 1944. Many people think that
if Hitler had just kept himself from invading Russia, he may have been able to defeat the Allied
invasion. After D-Day, there was no turning back for the Germans, and the Allied Victory came
less than one year later on May 8, 1945. V-E Day (Victory in Europe Day).