Please write your answer in pen.

You can use a 4x6 card.

The World in the 1930s

What was happening in 1930s America/Germany?
What examples of isolationism in America as a result of remembrance of WWI?
What examples of dictators on the march?
How did each country make its geopolitical calculations based on prior events and new events?

Events preceding World War II in Asia

Context: summary of our relationship with Japan since the Russo-Japanese war


Japanese seized Manchuria (18 September 1931)

Japanese seizure of Manchuria (Mukden Incident and the Stimson Doctrine)

American response: Stimson Doctrine of nonrecognition

Mere moral lecture
U.S. had neither the means nor will to use military force

Japan's Quest for Empire 1931-1945 (BBC)


Both Roosevelt and Hitler came to power in 1933 within about a month of each other.
They both died in 1945 within about a month of each other.
I think the U.S. got the better deal.

Adolf Hitler: became Chancellor of Germany (30 January 1933)
Franklin Roosevelt: became President of the United States (4 March 1933)

Japan (February 1933) and Germany (October 1933) withdrew from the League of Nations

U.S. recognized Soviet Union (16 November 1933)

To increase trade. To halt Japanese expansion.

Recognition of the Soviet Union


U.S. Neutrality Acts (1935-1939)

Neutrality Acts an expression of isolationist sentiment.
Congress sought to protect the nation by outlawing the contacts that had compromised U.S. neutrality during World War I.

Compare to the issues in the last few years of whether or not we should be involved in various revolutions in Middle East.
And at the moment, Syria.

In 1933, U.S. was not the world leader as it is today.

Neutrality Acts

What were the various "methods short of war" that U.S. employed? Analyze each.
What might be some comparisons in 2012—our approach to Iran, for instance?

How did FDR and Churchill work each other?

How did FDR zig and zag as he tried to move us to be ready for war. What were the obstacles facing him?
How did we attempt to balance U.S. needs versus those of our allies? What were the obstacles in this endeavor?


Italian invasion of Ethiopia (3 October 1935)

Abyssinia [Ethiopia] (BBC)


Germany reoccupied the Rhineland 7 March 1936 (BBC)

Rome-Berlin Axis (1 November 1936)

Anti-Comintern Pact (25 November 1936): Germany and Japan against USSR

Tripartite Pact (Germany, Italy, Japan): 27 September 1940

Olympic Games (August 1936)

50 stunning Olympic moments: Jesse Owens's four gold medals (Guardian)


7 July 1937: Japanese invade rest of mainland China: Beginning of World War II in Asia

Remember: Pearl Harbor is not until 7 December 1941

China then was a U.S. ally.
Chiang Kai–Shek, and Chinese communists under Mao Zedung, will both fight against the Japanese invaders.

Nanking Massacre (December 1937)

Civil war in Spain (1936-1939)

Spanish Civil War summary

~~General Franco (right-wing) supported by Germany and Italy (fascists)

~~Foreign involvement in the Spanish Civil War
Democratic (left-wing) Spanish government supported by Soviet Union and international mercenaries.

~~Britain, France, and U.S. looked the other way.
U. S. arms embargo.
Franco eventually won.
Compare to some of the conflicts today: whether we intervene or not; if so, how

Abraham Lincoln brigade from America.

Last American survivor of Abraham Lincoln Brigage dies at age 100

John McCain letter saluting the last survivor of the Abraham Lincoln brigade


German annexation of Austria (Anschluss) (12 March 1938)

German Annexation of Austria (called the Anschluss) (12 March 1938)

Munich agreement (30 September 1938)

British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain and Adolf Hitler (BBC)

Germany got the Sudetenland portion of Czechoslovakia
Germany occupied the remainder of Czechoslovakia shortly thereafter

Appeasement (BBC)

Hitler's Persecution of the Jews within Germany

We won't do much with this aspect of the war.

Kristallnacht [9-10 November 1938] Photo essay (TIME magazine),29307,1857458,00.html


German-Russian Non-Aggression Pact (23 August 1939)

The odd couple: fascists and communists.
Germany and USSR agreed not to attack each other.
Hitler wanted to keep USSR off his back while he turned on other countries.

Nazi-Soviet Pact (BBC)

1 September 1939

Germany Invaded Poland: Beginning of World War II in Europe

Invasion of Poland (Alan Taylor photo essays in Atlantic Wire)

U.S. declared neutrality (5 September 1939)

President Roosevelt Declares Neutrality (BBC)

U.S. still trying to stay out of war

Phony War

Sitzkrieg=not much happening

Lasted from invasion of Poland (September 1939) to the invasion of France (May 1940)


German Blitzkrieg

German blitzkrieg (lightning warfare) [today we call it "shock and awe"]

Germans invaded Denmark (9 April 1940), Netherlands (10 May 1940), Belgium (10 May 1940), France (10 May 1940)

Blitzkrieg: Germany's Lightning War (BBC)

Axis Invasions and the Fall of France (Alan Taylor photo essays in Atlantic Wire)

Remember: Hitler's attacks and conquests in Europe made French, Dutch, and British colonies in Asia vulnerable to Japanese attack.

Churchill became Prime Minister of Britain

10 May 1940 Churchill takes helm as Germans advance (BBC On This Day)

Winston Churchill: Defender of Democracy (BBC) [Good]

Winston Churchill: America’s enduring love for Winnie and his words (Telegraph)

Dunkirk evacuation
[Miracle of Dunkirk, Operation Dynamo] 27 May-4 June 1940

British (and French) troops trapped on the beach at Dunkirk.
Rescue operation undertaken by British.

Dunkirk (BBC)

Animated Map: The Fall of France (Dunkirk)
Six maps: Fall of France; Germany Attacks; Allies Retreat; Allied Forces Trapped; Evacuation from Dunkirk; Paris Captured

The miracle of Dunkirk (Telegraph)

France conquered by Germans (10 May-25 June 1940)

The Fall of France (BBC)

Battle of Britain

Now Hitler turns on Britain

Battle of Britain

Battle of Britain (Alan Taylor photo essay in Atlantic Wire)

The Battle of Britain (text) (BBC)

The Blitz

7 September-31 October 1940

One Day of the Blitz at Liverpool (This is good!)

The Blitz (BBC)

Colour pictures of London blitz (Mail Online)

U.S.-British partnership issues
Neutrality debate
Committee to Defend America by Aiding the Allies
America First Committee
Yes, get in
No, don't get in
German invasion of Soviet Union
Atlantic Charter
Lend Lease

Battle of the Atlantic: How to get supplies to Britain
Atlantic Charter August 1941
U.S. Navy escort policy (Greer, Kearny, Reuben James were precedents)

Will United States be Neutral or Not?

Kennedy 471 To get involved or not to get involved

We have debates today (but at a different level of intensity) about whether to get into a war: Libya, Syria

Yes, Get Into the War

Committee to Defend America by Aiding the Allies

Henry Luce and 20th-Century U.S. Internationalism

Great Debate between internationalists and isolationists (EDSITEment)

No, Don't Get Into the War

America First Committee

American Isolationism in the 1930s

Lend Lease (11 March 1941)

Kennedy 467-475 Lend-Lease

Kennedy book PDF
Help! I can't figure out how to put the link to the PDF in here.

Lend Lease debated for weeks in Congress.
Explain what the Lend-Lease program did and which countries it aided.
Analyze the way FDR presented the program to the public, the political spin surrounding the passage of the Lend-Lease Act.

Lend Lease

U.S. became the "arsenal of democracy" by lending and leasing American military goods to those fighting against the Axis powers.

Kennedy 468-469 "Arsenal of Democracy" issue (December 1940)
Evaluate the domestic and international implications of America's new role as "the arsenal of democracy."

American unemployment dropped as our industries geared up to produce war material.

German Invasion of the Soviet Union (22 June 1941)

[Remember: Pearl Harbor is not until 7 December 1941]

Kennedy 482-483 Complication for the Allies: Germany invaded the USSR (22 June 1941)

Reversed the Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact

Problem for the United States: Should we ally ourselves with the "devil" (the Soviets)?
The enemy of our enemy is our friend (at least for the time being).

German invasion of Soviet Union (Alan Taylor photo essay in Atlantic Wire)

Hitler and 'Lebensraum' in the East (BBC)

Hitler's Invasion of Russia in World War Two (BBC)

Battle of the Atlantic

The World at War video series [thanks to Zach Fuhr for reminding me of these!]
Video #9: Wold Pack

How can the United States move supplies across the Atlantic ocean to Britain in spite of German submarines.

Kennedy 488-500, 565-572, 588-590 Battle of the Atlantic (good map on page 489)

Here is another Battle of the Atlantic map

The Battle of the Atlantic (BBC)

Battle of Britain and Blitz gave way to the Battle of the Atlantic
How did FDR zig/zag?

Kennedy 491 Analyze this page carefully.

Atlantic Charter

Kennedy 496 Famous meeting in Newfoundland between FDR and Churchill.

The Atlantic Conference and Charter, 1941

Issue--even today--of the special relationship between the U.S. and Great Britain.

U.S. Navy convoy escort policy

Kennedy 497-500 Look closely at this analysis of the escort policy.

Catch up on Japanese side

War chronology:
Switch back and forth between Europe and Pacific
US operated pretty much alone in Pacific

Pacific Theater:
Strategy: island hopping
Road to Pearl Harbor
Pearl Harbor
Doolittle Raid
Battle of Midway
PT-109 John F. Kennedy

Pearl Harbor

516-526 Analyze the events up to/including/following Pearl Harbor.

Pearl Harbor animated map

Pearl Harbor photos (Boston Globe Photo Blog)

German and Italy declare war on United States

Japanese initial victories (December): Philippines, Malaya, Thailand, Hong Kong.

War between China and Japan going on simultaneously.

Japan on a Roll

15 Feb 1942 Singapore forced to surrender to the Japanese (BBC On This Day)

Doolittle Raid on Tokyo (18 April 1942)

Doolittle Raid: Animated Map
Do all six parts: Prelude, Preparations, Deployment, Approach, The Raid, Aftermath

Daring Raids and Brutal Reprisals (Alan Taylor photo essay in Atlantic Wire)
Doolittle Raid; Bataan Death March

Battle of Midway (7 June 1942)

U.S. wins. Turning point in Pacific war.

Animated Maps of the Battle of Midway:
Work your way through each of the parts of this animation: Early 1942, Battle of the Coral Sea, Midway Island, Japanese Deployment, American Deployment, Fleet Movements, Action June 3, Action June 4-7

Battle of Midway (Alan Taylor photo essay in Atlantic Wire)

The Battle of Midway (BBC)

Neat spy material:

Cryptography (Code Breaking)
U.S. Codebreaking: MAGIC
British Codebreaking: Enigma

How Poles cracked Nazi Enigma secret (BBC News)

British Special Operations Executive (SOE): Tools and Gadgets Gallery (BBC)

Training SOE Saboteurs in World War Two (BBC)


Kennedy 544-561 Guadalcanal

Naval strategy comparisons between US/Japan

History Animated interactive map of the Guadalcanal campaign:

Japanese Soldier Describes Horrors of Guadalcanal (History Now)

Kennedy 559 Death calculation.

Kennedy 560 Sullivan brothers.

Kennedy 561 Racial animosity

Japanese like animals. Is that a fair assessment?

Kennedy 563 PT-109 of John F. Kennedy fame.

John F. Kennedy and PT-109 (John F. Kennedy Presidential Library)

Sixty Years Later, the Story of PT-109 Still Captivates (National Archives magazine)

Kennedy 564 US island-hopping strategy in Pacific

Army versus Navy
MacArthur versus Nimitz

Kennedy 573 Bolero plan.
Main thrust from Britain. USSR wanted a second front in France sooner than the Brits would permit. Brits got their way (North Africa and Italy) initially until the US became the senior partner.

Kennedy 575 Soviet foreign minister Molotov

Yes, no, second front. Equivalent to Joe Biden's rap on Rudy Giuliani: noun+verb+9/11

Kennedy 576-577 Churchill argued for a "periphery" strategy.

Kennedy 577-584 +Page 590.
Operation Torch.
North African landings.
What were the military/political/diplomatic tradeoffs/challenges for the US?
Tradeoff with Bolero (invasion of Western Europe)

North Africa Theater

Animated Map: The North African Campaign (BBC)

North African Campaign (Alan Taylor photo essay in Atlantic Wire)

Kennedy 578 Read this page carefully

Kennedy 579 U.S. election cycle.
This election cycle issue constantly arose in our approach to the war in Iraq.

Kennedy 584-588 Casablanca Conference
Analyze it.
What about the idea of "unconditional surrender?" Was it the right approach in retrospect?

Casablanca Conference, 1943

Casablanca movie (1942)

Italian Campaign

Allies used North Africa as a springboard to invasion the island of Sicily, then the Italian boot.

Animated Map: The Italian Campaign

~Allied invasion of Sicily

~Allied invasion of Italy

~Anzio 22 January 1944

~Monte Cassino 18 May 1944

~Northern Italy

Second front: invasion of France
Preparations in England
Where to invade
Issues involved in D-Day 6 June 1944

America gets into the action

Kennedy 572-573 American way of war. Does it make sense?

The Struggle for a Second Front

Kennedy 609 Analyze the allocation of resources to war effort in Europe/Pacific (now 30%). Compare today to Iraq/Afghanistan.

Kennedy 611-613 Stalin still mad. He may well take most of Europe his way if US doesn't get into the game via France.

Kennedy 669-674 Cairo Conference
Stop at Cairo on the way to Teheran Conference
Look at interrelationships between FDR/Churchill and Chiang Kai-Shek.

Kennedy 674-686 Teheran (capital of Iran) Conference

Important. Major meeting of Allied leaders.
FDR stayed at Soviet compound (it was bugged).
Personal dynamics of FDR/Churchill/Stalin.
Geopolitical issues: Second front, Poland, Eastern Europe, USSR help in war with Japan (would diminish China's importance to US strategy), etc.

Dispute b/n Britain & U.S: when/where Europe invaded.
Soviets demanded a second front.
Soviets bore brunt of land war until mid–1944.
Decision was finally made on a cross-channel invasion against Europe mainland
Eisenhower was named to be Supreme Commander of Allied Forces

Tehran Conference, 1943

Kennedy 679 Note the quote from FDR: "if the Japanese had not attacked."

Kennedy 683 Who is now the dominant partner in the U.S.-Great Britain alliance?

The Battle for Northwest Europe

Second Front: Invasion of France

Kennedy 686-698 Operation Overlord (D-Day, Normandy)

What determined when it would go?

Dwight D. Eisenhower (Ike) to command; what about him. Why not George Marshall?

Rommel to defend. German "Desert Fox"

What determined where Allies would land (Pas de Calais or Normandy) and how Germans would defend?

Kennedy 707-708 Who will run France after the war

The Allies at War [With Each Other over the role of De Gaulle] (BBC)

Americans poured into England. Aircraft carrier metaphor
Kennedy 709-715 The American military buildup characterized.

GI Joe: US Soldiers of World War Two (BBC)

Kennedy 716-725 Preparation for and execution of the Normandy landings.

Normandy invasion=D-Day=Operation Overlord. (June 6, 1944).
Biggest invasion armada in world history (5,000 ships, 150,000 men).

Allied Invasion of Europe (Alan Taylor photo essay in Atlantic Wire)

D-Day: Beachhead (BBC)

Animated Map: The D-Day Landings (BBC)
Four sections: The Atlantic Wall, Concentration of Forces, The Landings, Securing the Beachheads

Fantastic story of U.S. Paratrooper Joseph Beyrle who fought for both U.S. and Soviets.

Breakout from Normandy

Animated Map: Operation Overlord (BBC)
Seven maps: Operation Overlord, D-Day, The Slog for Normandy, A Slow Advance, The Breakout, The Falaise/Argentan Gap, The Liberation of Paris

Operation Overlord: D-Day to Paris (BBC)

Kennedy 724 Bocage as terrain obstacle: hedgerows

Bocage (Google Images)

Kennedy 726-728 Cobra I

Breakout from the Normandy pocket.
Cobra I (compare to Iraq Cobra II).

US Sherman tanks versus German Tiger tanks.

Kennedy 728 Attempted assassination of Hitler

20 July 1944 Hitler Survives Assassination Attempt (BBC On This Day)

Kennedy 732 Paris liberated

Great read: Is Paris Burning?

25 Aug 1944 Paris is liberated (BBC On This Day)

Air war issues at different phases in the war
Allied bombing:
Brits by night; US by day
Hard targets versus people targets

Market Garden September 1944
Battle of the Bulge December 1944
America and the Holocaust
Yalta conference February 1945
Drive toward Berlin
FDR and Hitler died April 1945
Victory Europe May 1945

Air War

Kennedy (early in the war) 601-608
Analyze the tradeoffs in the Allied bombing offensive (area bombing at night by Brits; "precision"—was it precise?—bombing in day by US).

What problems in planes and men.

What targets (hard v. people).

Kennedy (Later in the war) 742-744

Bombings of Berlin, Hamburg, Dresden

Remembering the Dresden Bombing (BBC)

Kennedy 733 Logistics of US armored thrust into Europe.

Red Ball Express (Google Images)

Kennedy 734 Implications for Allied strategy of the trade-off decisions between the "this" of Montgomery and the "that" of Patton.

Montgomery was insistent that he get all resources

Kennedy 735-736 Operation Market Garden

Movie: A Bridge Too Far

Video for Market Garden (10:30-17:00)

The Battle of Arnhem (Operation Market Garden)

Animated Map: The Battle of Arnhem

Kennedy 739-742 Battle of the Bulge.
Analyze it from each side.
A major setback for Allies but the last gasp of Germans on the Western front.

Video for Battle of the Bulge (27:00-38:50)

The Battle of the Bulge (BBC)

Battle of the Bulge (American Experience)

V-Weapons Attack Britain (BBC) [I'm not sure where to put this]

America and the Holocaust

Kennedy 794-797 Are you ok with the US approach to concentration camps?

SS St. Louis: The ship of Jewish refugees that nobody wanted

Kennedy 806 Check out that first paragraph relating to Jewish immigration to Palestine.

American and the Holocaust (American Experience)

The Holocaust (Alan Taylor photo essay in Atlantic Wire)

What did America know as the Holocaust unfolded. Quite a lot, as it turns out.

Yalta Conference

Kennedy 798-808 Yalta conference. Analyze the personalities and issues.

Kennedy 806-807 Did the United States get a raw deal at Yalta?

Soviets would control most of Eastern Europe.
Germany would be divided.
Soviets would fight Japan three months after German surrender

Yalta Conference, 1945

President Roosevelt Died

Kennedy 808 Effect of FDR's death on the country and world.

~FDR died (12 April 1945)

~Hitler died (30 April 1945)

Last known photo of Hitler [thanks to Zach Fuhr]

Kennedy 808-809 End of WWII—in Europe. BUT Japan is still in play.

The Battle for Berlin in World War Two (BBC)

The Fall of Nazi Germany (Alan Taylor photo essay in Atlantic Wire)

War continues with Japan

Kennedy 808-809 Even though the end of WWII in Europe, Japan is still in play.

American Home Front

Kennedy 615 Keep in mind the three fundamentals of the war's outcome—time, men, materiel—and their complex interaction.

Kennedy 617 Interesting observation: unused capacity from the Depression made the transition to war more efficient.

Kennedy 618-619 U.S. safe from enemy action. What an important advantage.

Kennedy 620-630 How did FDR gear up the US for war. Think about the issues of inefficiencies/profit potential/waste as compared to US in Iraq war.

Kennedy 631-637 US needed men, but who?

Kennedy 647-653 Synthetic rubber—shows what US can do if we have to.

Liberty Ships. Kaiser shipyards in Richmond and Fontana.
Kaiser Health Care.

Kennedy 653-655 Henry Ford. Willow Run. B-24 production compared to Liberty Ships.

Kennedy 655-668 Manhattan Project.

Kennedy 748-760 Japanese-American internment


Internment of Japanese-Americans (Alan Taylor photo essay in Atlantic Wire)

Kennedy 762-776 Racial issues

African Americans

Blacks move north/white opposition in factories.
Racial clashes in cities and on military bases.

Kennedy 773 Tuskegee Airmen

Mexican-Americans and Native Americans

Latinos and Native Americans

Zoot Suit Riots (American Experience)

Kennedy 770 Zoot Suit Riots
Kennedy 777 Bracero Program (Wikipedia)

Kennedy 776-781 Women worker issues.

Kennedy 780 Latchkey children

Kennedy 782-788 Elections during wartime: Congressional ones in 1942; Presidential in 1944.

Kennedy 787 GI Bill. Note that only the universities were against it!!

Kennedy 793-794 Issue of showing picture of dead GIs. Compare to today: should we show flag-draped coffins of Iraq and Afghanistan war dead.

The War (Ken Burns)

War Production
Also read the sidebar on "Buying War Bonds"

News and Censorship

Letters and Diaries
Read sidebar about V-Mail


Powers of Persuasion: Posters from WWII (U.S. National Archives)

1. Life in the Infantry
Click through the personal recollections on the right-hand sidebar

2. Face of Battle

a. Training

b. Combat
Sidebar: Role of Medics

Potsdam Conference July 1945
Churchill loses office
Still at war with Japan
U.S. handled the war alone; no coordination needed with our allies

Saipan June 1944
Leyte Gulf October 1944
Bataan Rescue

Iwo Jima February 1945
Code Talkers

Okinawa June 1945

Manhattan project got bombs ready
Atomic bombs
Japan finally surrenders

The Pacific Islands (Alan Taylor photo essay in Atlantic Wire)

Kennedy 816-818 Battle of Saipan 15 June 1944

Civilians leaped to their death.

Death before Capture (American Experience)

Kennedy 829-831 Battle of Iwo Jima

Iwo Jima animated map

Code talkers (on Iwo Jima particularly)

Code Talkers (National Archives magazine)

Code Talkers virtual exhibit (National Museum of the American Indian)

Kennedy 831-835 Battle of Okinawa.

Okinawa animated map

Ernie Pyle obituary (New York Times)

Kamikaze Attacks

Kamikaze attack at Okinawa as experienced by an American (American Experience)

Kamikaze attack at Okinawa as experienced by a Japanese (American Experience)

Kennedy 837-845 Potsdam Conference

Analyze the issues and personalities.
"Unconditional surrender" approach: helpful or not.

Potsdam Conference,1945

Why Churchill Lost in 1945 (BBC)

Victory against Japan

Kennedy 845-851 Bombing of Japanese cities

Fall of Imperial Japan (Alan Taylor photo essay in Atlantic Wire)

Kennedy 835-837 Japan's internal deliberations.

What might be going on within the secret meetings of some of our enemies today?

~Role of Manhattan Project in building atomic bomb.

Kennedy 655-668 Manhattan Project.

Race for the Super Bomb (American Experience)

~Factors involved in the decision to drop the atomic bombs on Japan:

An illustrated history of the bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki

We had two ready--just barely

Fear that the Soviet Union would soon enter the war against Japan

Concern that a land war in Japan would result in massive American casualties

Shoichi Yokoi, the Japanese soldier who held out in Guam for 28 years after WWII ended (BBC News)

~First atomic bomb: U.S. drops atomic bomb on Hiroshima (6 August 1945)

Hiroshima (Boston Globe Photo Blog)

~Soviets entered war in Pacific with 1.5 million troops (8 August 1945)

Soviets declare war on Japan; invade Manchuria ( This Day in History | 8/8/1945)

~Second atomic bomb: U.S. drops atomic bomb on Nagasaki (9 August 1945)

Japanese man who survived both bombs

~Victory-Japan (VJ) Day

~Japanese surrendered (2 September 1945)

Japanese surrender; "bitter-enders" almost kept Emperor's message off the air waves.

~Emperor allowed to keep his throne

~Allied Supreme Commander Douglas MacArthur would rule Japan

Douglas MacArthur obituary (New York Times)


Death Toll of World War II

World–wide: 55 million
United States: 405,000
Soviet Union: 21 million (one–ninth of Soviet population).

Postwar position of the U.S.

We suffered little damage to our own land.
We emerged as the world leader