The Course Of World War II

By David Jackson and Blake White

Hitler's Address to the German Reichstag:

September 1st, 1993.

"I do not want to be anything other than the first soldier of the German Reich. I have once more put on the uniform which was once most holy and precious to me. I shall only take it off after victory or I shall not live to see the end... As a National Socialist and as a German soldier, I am going into this struggle strong in heart. My whole life has been nothing but a struggle for my people, for their revival, for Germany... Just as I myself am ready to risk my life any time for my people and for Germany, so I demand the same of everyone else. But anyone who thinks that he can oppose this national commandment, whether directly or indirectly, will die! Traitors can expect death."

Europe at War

The Blitzkrieg

Hitler attacked Poland using a method called a blitzkrieg, or "lighting war". This attack method consisted of armored columns called panzer divisions, (armored divisions within the Waffen-SS) that were supported by airplanes. Each division consisted of about 300 tanks, which were accompanied by ground forces and supplies. This method left Europe in shock, and the forces of the blitzkrieg broke quickly through Polish lines, encircling the Polish troops. The German ground forces then moved in to hold the newly conquered territory, and within four weeks, Poland had surrendered. By September 28th, 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union had divided Poland.

Attack On The Soviet Union

Fighting A War On Two Fronts

Originally, Hitler had little desire for waging war on two fronts. However, at some point, he became convinced that the only reason Britain was remaining in the war was because it expected Soviet support. Hitler also convinced himself that the Soviet army was weak, and would not be much of a threat, compared to that of his own. Hitler's invasion of the Soviet Union was scheduled for the spring of 1941, but the attack became delayed due to problems in the Balkans. Hitler eventually invaded the Soviet Union on June 22nd, 1941. The attack stretched out along the span of about 1,800 miles. The German troops advanced rapidly, capturing two million Russian soldiers. However, an early winter and fierce Soviet resistance halted the German advance, and because the invasion was originally planned for spring, the Germans did not have winter uniforms. For the first time in the war, the Germans had been stopped. A counterattack in December of 1941 by a Soviet army came as an ominous ending to the year for the Germans.

Japan At WAr

Japan at War

The Japanese attacked the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor in the Hawaiian-Islands. On the same day other Japanese units launched additional assaults on the Philippines and advancing toward the British colony of Malaya. Then the Japanese invaded the Dutch, East Indies and occupied a number of islands in the Pacific Ocean. By the spring of 1942, almost all of Southeast Asia and much of the western Pacific had fallen to Japan.

Death Tolls Of World War II


USSR: 7,500,000

Germany: 3,500,000

Yugoslavia: 410,000

Poland: 320,000

Romania: 300,000

United States: 292,000

United Kingdom: 245,000

France: 210,000

Hungary: 140,000

Finland: 82,000

Italy: 77,000

Greece: 74,000

Canada: 37,000
World War II: Crash Course World History #38
Attack on Pearl Harbor - Footage and Aftermath
Hiroshima Atomic Bomb, 1945 - A Day That Shook The World [HD]

Essential Questions

Question One:

What could the outcome of World War II be, had Hitler not attacked the Soviet Union?

Question Two:

What would the United State's actions towards Japan be like in the war, had Japan not bombed Pearl Harbor? Would events similar to that of Hiroshima still take place?