WWII: Paths to War


The German Path to War

Hitler Wants the Soviet Union

1920 - 1924

In the early 1920s Hitler had indicated to the world that the Nazi regime would conquer the Soviet Union. Germany had to then prepare for a war with the Soviet Union. His plan was that once the Soviet Union had been conquered, he would resettle it with German peasants.

Churchill Sees the Bad in Hitler

1930 - 1940

During the 1930's, Hitler became more aggressive , but no nation opposed him, even when he demanded a part of neighboring Czechoslovakia. However Winston Churchill sensed danger and believed Hitler's actions would only lead to war.

Germany's Air Force

march 9, 1935

Hitler announced the creation of a new air force. This was a direct violation of the Treaty of Versailles.

Italy Invades Ethiopia

october 1, 1935 - october 31, 1935

Mussolini had long dreamed of creating a ne Roman Empire in the Mediterranean therefore Fascist Italy invaded Ethiopia in October of 1935.

Sending Troops to Spain

1936 - 1937

Both Germany and Italy sent troops to Spain to help general Francisco in the Spanish Civil War.

Invasio of Rhineland

March 7, 1936

Hitler sent troops to Rhineland which was physically apart of Germany but was technically demilitarized because of the Treaty of Versailles. Due to the treaty Germany was not allowed to have weapons or fortifications there.

The Axis Forms

october 1, 1936 - november 30, 1936

Mussolini and Hitler made an agreement recognizing their common political and economic interests. One month later, Mussolini called the alliance between Italy and Germany the Rome-Berlin Axis. Then in November, Germany and Japan signed the Anti-Comintern Pact promising a common front against Communism

Hitler Demands More Land

September 15, 1938

Hitler demanded that Germany be given the Sudetenland, an area in northwestern Czechoslovakia that was inhabited largely by Germans.

Hitler Invades Bohemia and Moravia

March 1939

Hitler invaded and took control of Bohemia and Moravia in western Czechoslovakia. In the eastern part of the country, Slovakia became a puppet state controlled by Nazi Germany.

Hitler Declares Prague

March 15, 1939

Hitler triumphantly declared in Prague that he would be known as the greatest German of them all.

The Signing of the Non-Aggression Pact

August 23,1939

Germany and the Soviet Union signed the Nazi-Soviet Non-aggression Pact promising each other that the two nations would no attack each other.

Britain and France Decalre War on Germany

September 1939

German forces invaded Poland. Two days later Britain and France declared war on Germany.

The Japanese Path to War

Japan seizes Manchuria

September 1931

Japanese soldiers had seized Manchuria, which had natural resources that Japan needed. To justify their seizure, Japan cited a Chinese attack on Japanese railway near the city of Mukden.

Forming of United front Agaisnt Japanese

December 1936

Chiang ended his military efforts against the Communists and formed a united front against the Japanese.

Clash South of Bejing

July 1937

Chinese and Japanese forces clashed south of Bejing. This incident eventually turned into a major conflict.

Japan Tries to Seize Chinese Capital

December 1937

Japan seized the Chinese capital but Chang Kai-shek refused to surrender and moved his government upriver, first to Honkou, the to Chongqing.

Japan Rethinks its Goals

August 1939

When the Non-Aggression pact was signed the Japanese leaders had to rethink their goals. Japan did not have the resources to defeat the Soviet Union without Help. So Instead Japan turns its attention to raw materials that could be found in Southeast Asia to fuel its military machine.