This set of worksheets will help students understand the nature and events of the second world war. With the rise of the Germany Nazi party came a great deal of aggression towards other States under the leadership of Adolph Hitler. Hitler wanted nothing less than complete world domination. His forces quickly took over bordering countries Austria and Czechoslovakia. When Hitler set his sights on the likes of Poland, Britain, and France; those countries pushed back. The Soviet Union and the United States initially were neutral towards the conflict, but as the war raged on and Hitler's plan came to light they both joined the allied forces in the fight. This was one of the most frustrating struggles in human history because it was fueled by ignorance and the beliefs of a few men. These worksheets look at all the major events of the war and each side of the battlefield.
The two opposing sides in combat were called the Axis Powers and the Allied Powers.
Of the Axis powers, Italy was the first to surrender, in 1943. Germany was next, surrendering to the Allies in May of 1945.
Japan was growing quickly in the period before World War II. But as a small island nation, their land and limited natural resources could not sustain that growth.
What triggered the start of World War II and what was the result? What did the Treaty of Versailles require of Germany?
Though many countries comprised the Allied Powers, Great Britain, Russia, and the United States were known as the Big Three. When China joined the Allies, these four countries began to be called the Four Policemen.
The Allied Powers did not all enter the conflict at the same time, and they didn't even all start out on the same side.
The alliances between the countries that would become the Axis Powers began in 1936 when Germany and Italy signed a treaty that formed the Rome-German Axis.
When Japan attacked, the United States was taken completely by surprise. Hundreds of Japanese fighter planes targeted the U.S. fighter planes on the ground.
The reason behind the attack was preemptive. Japan feared that U.S. Navy ships so close to Asia would interfere with Japan's plans to take over other countries and add them to the Japanese empire.
Iwo Jima is an island with an area of about eight square miles, located in the Pacific Ocean, 750 miles south of Tokyo in Japan.
The Holocaust took place under the direction of Adolf Hitler, leader of Germany during this time period.
During this time, in cities across Europe, the Nazis forced all the Jewish people into one part of town called the ghetto.
D-Day is the name given to the day on June 6th, 1944, that the Allied Forces (Britain, America, Canada, and France) attacked the German army on the coast of Normandy in France.
Though the Germans anticipated an invasion, they didn't know where it would happen. What were the major stages of the invasion and what happened during each?
Anne, who wanted to be a writer when she grew up, kept a diary. When she heard the Minister of Education on the radio asking people to keep war diaries, she decided to rewrite her diary as a novel which she called The Secret Annex.
Only Otto Frank, Anne's father, survived. Anne and her sister died of disease and malnutrition in Bergen-Belsen.
The objective of the project was to research and develop an atomic bomb. Many theories of Albert Einstein were the foundation for developing the bomb, and Einstein was the first to recognize that an atomic bomb could be made.
What was the name of the project that developed the atomic bomb?
What Caused World War 2?
After The Great War, the treaties signed among countries were expected to solve the world's problems and prevent the outbreak of another march against one another. However, many agreements, like the Treaty of Versailles, were unfair to countries that lost the conflict, leading to much resentment. The oppressed countries regrouped, forming alliances that would later participate in the Second World War.
Germany's invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939, was the leading cause of World War II. Adolf Hitler had always been aggressive towards Poland; thus, he used the country's alliance with Britain and France as an excuse to declare war.
Who Were the Major Powers Involved?
The Second World War was initiated by the Axis powers of Italy, Germany, and Japan. Adolf Hitler, the German dictator, was determined to invade and attack Poland. For its part, Poland had alliances with British and French militaries for support in case of an attack.
Nazi Germany invaded Poland to divide it between itself and the Soviets. The agreement to divide Poland was signed during the secret German-Soviet Nonaggression Pact in Moscow. The Moscow pact guaranteed that Germany and the Soviets would not attack each other for the next ten years.
In retaliation, France and Great Britain declared war on Germany on September 3, 1939, after it invaded Poland. Allied countries like the United States, the Soviet Union, and China reacted by joining the effort to support their allies, leading to World War II.
In 1941, Germany turned against the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) through Operation Barbarossa. In response, the USSR joined the Allies to fight back. The United States of America also entered the war after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.
Imperial War Museums discussed that World War II's outbreak resulted from the appeasement policy that Great Britain and France adopted. The two countries thought they could avoid another armed conflict by giving in to Hitler's demands. Unfortunately, this only made Hitler more aggressive, and he started to attack other countries.
Factors That Contributed to the Aggression
Apart from Germany's invasion of Poland, other factors that contributed to the Second World War are:
Treaty of Versailles
The Allied Powers signed the Treaty of Versailles after The Great War to ensure that such a conflict would never happen again. However, the treaty had a crippling effect on Germany's economy as they were forced to pay huge war reparations. The pact also led to the loss of Germany’s territories. Therefore, Germany was resentful.
The Great Depression
The global economic crisis that started in August 1929 had a significant impact on the countries involved in World War II. For instance, the United States stopped lending money to Europe while Japan's economy declined due to the fall in export demand. The Great Depression increased unemployment, which increased support for fascist regimes such as Adolf Hitler's Nazi party.
After ascending to power, Hitler started to build a strong military by breaking the Treaty of Versailles. He also began to occupy other countries such as Austria and Czechoslovakia in 1936.
The other Axis Powers, such as Italy and Japan, also strengthened their militaries. The three countries united their armies in 1936, creating the Axis Powers that started the war.
On the other hand, the Allies were not keen on increasing their militaries as they thought that would lead to more violence and aggression.
A Weak League of Nations
The League of Nations was created in 1919 after The Great War to ensure that such a war never happens again. Unfortunately, the League was weak as it did not have its military. Hitler knew this, and he started to break the rules set by the League without facing any consequences. This made other countries lose faith in the organization, and it became one of the factors that led to the outbreak of the war.
World War II broke out when the Allied countries reacted to the Axis Powers. However, the underlying causes of the war are militarism, the Treaty of Versailles, the Great Depression, and a weak League of Nations. These factors led to Hitler's aggression, which resulted in World War II.