Xphoto 3.JPG
The Allied and Axis Powers of WWII

Rise of Dictators in Europe

Joseph Stalin was born on December 18, 1879 in Gorilla, Georgia into a poor family. His mother was a washerwoman, and his fair was a cobbler. He caught small pox as a child. This made him weak, so naturally Joseph Stalin always felt he needed to prove himself. This plays a major role in his dictatorship in the Soviet Union.

Not much information can be found on Stalin's childhood, but we do know that his mother was very religious. She wanted Stalin to become a priest. He was then sent to Tifils, the Georgian capital. Stalin went against his mother's wishes and didn't study priesthood. He went on to study to readings of Karl Marx. It was then that he joined a local socialist group. This fails after the fall of Russia's monarchy. Joseph now has become and atheist and is kicked out of the seminary.

In 1901, Stalin joins the Bolshevik party. Stalin is now extremely wanted by anti terrorism police in Russia. He goes under the radar in 1905 and becomes a leader in the Russian Revolution against the government. He plans and conductes guerrilla warfare. He is know known by important leaders and is called in a meeting with Lenin. In 1917, Joseph Stalin and Vladmir Lenin conduct the Russian revolution. Stalin and Lenin become victorious and start a new Russian government with Stalin naming himself Dictator.

Adolf Hitler was born in an Austrian Village of Braunau am Inn. It had a fairly close proximity to Germany. His father was a customs official. His mother on the other hand was jobless. She was born into a peasant family, thus explaining her employment status of that time. Hitler's father did not like Adolf at all. He had a short temper, and Adolf found himself on the recieving end on most of the outbursts.

Hitler did poorly in school and graduated with no qualifications and 16. He graduated and decided to work to become an artist. Of course, his father did not agree with his decision. Whenever Hitler's father died in the year of 1903, Hitler saw it as an opening to become what his heart truly wanted. He joined the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts. However, in 1907 he was booted.

Hitler life is falling apart at this time; His father is gone, he has no qualifications, and got kicked out of a fine arts school. On top of that, his mother sadly died. Hitler now didn't have anybody. Hitler moved to Vienna shortly after where he would take in ideas from local politicians about uniting Austria and Germany. Hitler got most of his ideas from Karl Lueger, the mayor of Vienna, and his anti-Semitic views. This is where the rise of Europe's most powerful dictator all started.

Hitler was still in Austria when WWI started, and he did not whatsoever like Austria's Multi-ethnic ways in their military, so he fled to avoid being drafts in the military. He moved to Munich, Germany. Hitler stayed loyal to the fatherland and fought in the war as an infantryman. Hitler was wounded in the war and was recovering in Pasewalk. It was there that Hitler became outraged. Germany surrendered. Hitler couldn't believe it. He thought they were winning the war. Hitler blamed the Jews and socialists for the defeat of an undefeated Reich. He went into politics as soon as he got back to Germany. After the Treaty of Versaille, Hitler saw Germany fall part in poverty. He couldn't take it anymore. Hitler joined the German Workers Party. He saw their anti-Semitic and nationalist beliefs and joned. He became the biggest member of the party and spoke to crowds of 6,000+ citizens. He saw his popularity as an advantage, and he did the unthinkable. He started a revolution. He was arrested for treason and spent five years in prison. He spent 9 months of his sentence and got out. Surprisingly, Hitler found himself in Gefmany's government again. He was named Nazi leader (German Worker's Party) and chancellor. As we all know, Hitler took control of Germany, and spread his idea of a perfect Aryan race and land power. Hitler ruled until 1945. He captured most of Europe, but failed when he couldn't conquer the Soviet Union. He later committed suicide before his capture by allied forces.

Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini was bored on July 29, 1883. Mussolini was raised in a poor family in a poor city. Only raised by his father, who was a blacksmith, Benito wasn't the wealthiest or properly raised child. Getting a job where Mussolini lived was so hard he ended up moving to Switzerland. In Switzerland, Mussolini discover Socialism. He began talking and participating in events that encourage a socialist movement. In 1904, Mussolini traveled back to Italy to become a Journalist. Some say he was sent back by the Swiss socialist group to spread socialist thoughts internationally. He wrote for a socialist press. He was a major supporter of Italy's involvement in wars, more specifically WWI. This all came crashing down, however, because Mussolini was drafted into the Italian Military in Spetember of 1915. Mussolini retired from the military in 1919 and formed the Fascist Party for non employed war veterans. Veterans who joined became known as the Black Shirts. The job of a Black Shirt was to terrorize and mentally break down political opponents who opposed fascism. Mussolini made his party the biggest in the nation and gained national and international attention. They were eventually invited by the coalition government to be a part of them. At this point on time, Mussolini knew he was going to be the next leader of Italy. The whole objective of his life is to dictate Italy and make it his. (1)

During October of the year 1922, Italy became unrest and started falling due to political turmoil. Political leaders from the Democratic Republic of Italy, and the people of Italy started looking to the only man who could be able to pull the country out from its fall, and that man was Benito Mussolini and his Black Shirts. King Victor Emmanuel, the current leader of Italy at the time, asked (more like begging) Mussolini to form a new government. By 1925, Mussolini took over Italy and it's democracy and made himself dictator. The title he gave himself was "Il Duce."

Benito Mussolini was voted out of office by his own Grand Council and arrested after his meeting with King Vittorio Emanuele. (2)

Xphoto 1.JPG

The Beginning of WWII

There are now 3 empires in Europe and an empire on the rise in Japan around 1939. They are all run by dictators. Conflict in Europe started when the Soviet Union and Germany signed a nonaggression treaty. This was between Joseph Stalin and Adolf Hitler. Hitler and Stalin did not exactly like each other. That will play a part later in the conflicts. Now with the Soviet Union out of the picture, Hitler can invade countries with ease. Hitler first invaded Poland on September 1, 1939. His plan of tactic was surprise and fast striking. Blitzkrieg was used as Hitler's war tactic. France and Great Britian saw this and declared war on September 3, 1939. Hitler worked with Stalin and agreed that the Soviets could take control of Finland and the Baltic countries. The Soviets had a tough time taking over Finland. Finland was not going to let their country fall to invaders easily. It took almost a year to fully take Finland. Soldiers on skis dealt many casualties to the Soviets. The winter was harsh on Soviet soldiers. Finally, in 1940, Soviet troops took full control of Finland. France protected their border into France by stationing troops along the Maginot Line. They waited for the Germans to attack but nobody came. The Frnch had enough and moved eastward to confront the Germans and take the war to them. Germany saw this as opportunity to invade other countries. They launched more blitzkrieg attacks. This time on Denmark and Norway. In a total of two months, both countries sureprendered their land. Broker knew it wasn't going to be easy to get France, so he circled the country by taking control of Belgium and Luxemborg. The Germans then found a way to the Maginot Line by going through the Ardennes. France was now under attack. France was never fully taken control of due to the Free French Army. But the Germans were liberated from France in 1944 thanks to allied forces. Hitler has now tried to take his focused off of all the little countries he has taken over and is now on his main objectives of Great Britain and the Soviet Union. Hitler has broken the non-aggression treaty he signed with Stalin. Now GB and the SV is now in the war fighting for their country. Hitler never took control of Great Brotain nor invaded. He did however bomb Great Britain heavily. He invaded the Soviet Union but failed. This is the main reason Hitler lost power.

During this time, Japan attacked U.S. Soil on December 7, 1941 with bombings on Pearl Harbor. The U.S. Has been aiding allied soldiers in Europe for a while and Hitler has gotten tired of their help to the enemy. Hitler allied with Japan and their leader Hideki Tojo. The U.S. entered the war by heavily and severely bombing Tokyo and other Japanese cities and invading German controlled Europe. Now everybody was fighting a war with axis powers. (3)

Important Battles of WWII

The first major battle of WWII was the battle for France. Hitler and the axis powers wanted to take control of France right after they invaded and conquered Poland. They had France on their list first because of their military size and power. The objective was for Nitler's forces to get rid of the powers that could eventually stop his rein of terror across Europe. Hitler did take control over France.

The next major battle was knowed as Operation Overlord. Many countries know this as D-Day. The operation was launched by allied forces to take back full control over France. Britain and the U.S. have been heavily bombing the German military in France to divert resources else where. Now the U.S. Has a shot at invading France. They stormed the beaches of Normandy and air dropped troops behind enemy lines. The outcome was an allied victory with a German surrender.

In the Pacific, Japanese naval forces were building new bases with air fields. This worried allied forces because this made for easy supply routes to axis powers in Europe and attacks on soil of non combat zones of war. U.S. soldiers launches attacks to take the air field. This was called the Battle of Guadacanal. U.S. soldiers took the airfield and renamed it "Henderson Airfield."

This was Germany's last push in order to conquer Europe. They needed to win over Soviet Power in Stalingrad. This was an all or nothing type situation. If the German's win, they win the war. If the Germans lose, they lose everything including the war. It was a harsh winter and spring for the German's to endure. The Soviets used this against them in their advantage. The Red Army used a hugging tactic where they got as close as possible to the enemy then circled them. This caused the enemy to become back to back with each other fighting from all angles until they were shot like fish in a barrel as soon as they were all bunched up. Axis powers lost 30,000 soldiers in a disastrous defeat.

Germany kept pushing for Great Britain by come sing major bombing campaigns to weaken forces. The Luftwaffe bombed RAF bases. They decided to move to bombing cities and populated areas. This was a bad idea because now the RAF could resupply lost supplies included aircraft and use air radar efficiently. The Brits taught back and weaken the Luftwaffe enough to push them back.

Now axis powers have weaken and fallen apart. The war is won by Allied Power in Europe and in the Pacific. (4)

U.S. Involvement In WWII

The U.S. became involved in the war on December 7th, 1941 after Japan surprise attacked an American Military Base in Hawaii; Pearl Harbor. The government placed a naval base in Hawaii and sent troops to man the warships and aircraft. The Japanese warplanes that were sent to attack destroyed or damaged 18 warship and over 164 aircraft. More than 2,400 people died that day, both service men and civilians. Many were stunned and saddened by the events of that very day. But, their loss did not get in the way when they declared war on Japan and thus, America was drawn into the global war. They also already had Allies and joined the war prepared with majorly, Great Britain and the Soviet Union on their side. Because they had lost many soldiers, America had to draft in a lot of citizens who were at a certain age so that they would have enough numbers to be able to fight. Thee were rarely any volunteers because some were against the war or didn't want to die. (5)

Xphoto 4.JPG

Japan's Pacific Campaign

Like Hitler, Japan's military leaders had dreams of an empire. Their expansion began in 1931. During that year, Japan took over Northeastern China; Manchuria. 6 years later, Japanese troops attacked the heartland of China. They hoped for an easy victory but what they did not expect was the resistance of the Chinese which caused the war to drag on longer than they expected. Because of the dragged on war, Japanese economy was strained and to increase their resources, they looked toward the rich European Colonies in Southeast Asia. On October, 1940 the Americans had cracked one of the codes that the Japanese used to send secret messages and they were aware of their plans for Southeast Asia. If Japan conquered European colonies there, it could also threaten the American-controlled Philippine Islands and Guam. To stop this, the U.S. sent help to strengthen Chinese resistance. When the Japanese overran Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, Roosevelt cut off the oil shipments to Japan. Despite this, the Japanese continued their conquest for power. Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto called for an attack on the U.S fleet in Hawaii because it threatened to stop their conquest. This attack caused much death and was given the name "Pearl Harbor". (6)

The Holocaust

"Holocaust" is a word of Greek origin meaning sacrifice by fire. It was the persecution and murder of over six-million Jews by the Nazi regime and their supporters. The Nazis believed that Germans were "racially superior" and the "inferior" Jews were a threat to their perfect race. But there was also others that were purged due to their "racial inferiority" to the Germans. The Gypsies, the disabled and some of the Slavic people. Other targeted groups were persecuted for political, ideological and behavioral circumstances, including; the Communists, Socialists, Jehovah's Witnesses and homosexuals. Many of the people in any of these categories either died or were sent to concentration camps and then died. Very few escaped and survived and very few who had experienced it were left unscathed. (7)

The Allied Victory
The British and the Americans came out with a new strategy that included attacking North Africa, and Southern Europe. The Russians did not like this plan because they had to fight the Germans by themselves. (3.)

The British got in a battle with the German general Erwin Rommel and his troops at the battle of El Alamein. The battle went for several days but Rommel and his army had to retreat. An allied force landed on Morocco and Algeria, this made Rommel in trouble as he was in between to allied armies. His army was destroyed.(3.)

Back in Europe the Germans were advancing into Russia. Their key targets were the oil fields in the Caucasus mountains and to capture and hold the city of Stalingrad. The Germans reached Stalingrad on August 23, 1942. The Luftwaffe bombed the city at night at tanks and soldiers attacked during the day. By November the Germans have captured most of the city, but days later soviet troops on the outside of the city launched a counter attack. This cut off the German supply lines and trapped them in the city. After a cold winter the hungry Germans surrendered. The Soviets lost over one million troops, but they had the Germans on the defensive.(2.)

The Americans and the British attacked Italy and quickly took it over and Mussolini was arrested. Weeks later the Germans took over part of Italy and put Mussolini back in power.

Later on a group of Italian resistance fighters ambushed a truck and found Mussolini disguised as a German soldier. They shot him the next day and hung him in the city of Milan.(2.)

Another key part in the allied victory was D-Day. Code named Operation Overlord it still is the biggest sea attack in history. Planes tanks and soldiers attacked the beach with landing craft.

On June 6, 1944 the bunkered down beach on Normandy was attacked. The Americans took heavy losses with 2,700 kia. With the allies on the beach, they were one big step closer to winning the war.(3.)

The last deciding battle in Europe was the battle of the Bulge. This battle decided if Germany would lose the war or survive for another day. Germany's tanks broke through the American defense but was quickly pushed back, and Germany was open for attack. Days later the allies had Berlin surrounded with millions of soldiers, and pounded Berlin with artillery fire. While inside Berlin, Hitler committed suicide. The allies accepted Germany's unconditional surrender, and now Japan is the only axis left.(3.)

The atomic bomb capable of destroying a whole city was finished just in time for America's final blow to Japan. But trying to land troops on the main islands would cause a lot of casualties. So America warned Japan to surrender or "expect a rain of ruin from the air". Japan ignored the Americans. On August 16, 1945 an atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. Then 3 days later a second bomb was dropped on Nagasaki. Both causing horrible causalities. Japan later surrendered marking the end of World War II. (3.)

The Aftermath Of World War II

The war left many Europeans homeless, and the economy struggling. Since major industrial factories were used to make war supplies they were destroyed by the enemy, leaving people workless. In the United States, the Secretary of State came up with an idea to help save Europe, but would cost the American people 13 billion dollars in taxes.

The power decline included Germany, France, Britain, and Italy. While the United States and the Soviet Union were the new super powers. (8.)

P-51 Mustang

The P-51 Mustang was a North American escort fighter. An escort fighter is a plane that helps protect allied bombers to their target and back. The mustang was used as an escort fighter because it could hold a lot of gas. Holding a lot of gas meant that the plane could follow the bombers all the way to the target and back. Also with the Rolls Royce V-12 engine it could travel fast at high altitudes.(9.)

The mustang became a crucial part in day time bombing campaign. Since the long range bombers could be easily seen by the Luftwaffe (German Air-force), the bombers were big easy targets. With the Mustangs it became harder to shoot down the bombers. The Mustangs made the day time bombing campaign successful and a key factor in wining the war. (9.)
Xphoto 2.JPG

1. BBC.com

2. History.com

3. "World History: Patterns of Interaction"

4. Listverse.com

5. http://www.nationalww2museum.org/learn/education/for-students/ww2-history/america-goes-to-war.html

6. http://jmcentarfer.tripod.com/ch32_2.pdf

7. http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005143

8. worldwarii.biz

9. mustangsmustangs.com