World War Two: Overview Questions, Pt. I

Political cartoon depicting German troops massing into a death's skull representing the city of Stalingrad.

Political cartoon depicting German troops massing into a death’s skull representing the city of Stalingrad.

Below please find a set of some overview questions about World War Two written by your classmate, Davin Alexander. Remember to respond to one of these with an answer of a paragraph or more.

  • In the 1930s, what were some of the aggressive actions that Germany took that went against the Treaty of Versailles? Why do you think Hitler thought he could get away with them?
  • What was the significance of the Battle of Stalingrad?
  • What do you think the reasons were that convinced the United States to drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki?
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16 Comments

  1. Aroosa

     /  December 8, 2012

    #3. The reasons that convinced the U.S. to drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, were firstly the attack on Pearl Harbor, in order to clear the way for conquest of southeast Asia, Japan wanted to destroy the American naval capacity in the Pacific, gave the U.S. a reason to become involved into the war (Traditions, pp.843). Another reason, that gave the U.S. the reason for dropping the atomic bomb was the two month battle that had been taking place in Iwo Jima and Okinawa, which the U.S. wanted to capture so that they can make direct air assaults on Japan. This was the “island-hopping strategy” of the U.S. The U.S. was convinced after the 110000 civilians who died refusing to surrender (pp.848), and the conquest of these two lands brought the Japanese homeland closer to the U.S strategic bombers. Overall I think, this dropping of the atomic bombs was to bring an end to the war.

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  2. 3)Pearl Harbor resulted in the American’s joining World War Two. This already caused hostility towards the Japanese people.(Traditions, p.843-844) Towards the end of World War Two Nazi Germany surrendered. However, the Pacific War was still continuing. The Pacific War also included the United Kingdom, China and Japan. The United States asked Japan to surrender and threatened them with destruction if they didn’t surrender. The Japanese ignored the United States resulting in the dropping of the atomic bomb. I believe that Pearl Harbor as well as the refusal from the Japanese people to surrender lead to the dropping of the atomic bomb.(Traditions, p.848)

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  3. Julia Zhu

     /  December 12, 2012

    After the World War I, Germany signed the Treaty of Versailles and because of the harsh punishments, Germans deeply resented it for many years. Hitler referred the signing of the Treaty of Versailles as the “November crime” and blamed it on the internal enemies: Jews and the communists. The Treaty of Versailles was the biggest reason why Hitler came into power. He already had planned for a rebellion and to show the world that they are superior to the other countries. He violates the treaty when he decides to bring Germany back to power by remilitarizing Germany. He withdrew from the League of Nations and takes back what was taken away from Germany. Hitler decides to expand in Europe first by joining forces with Austria ignoring their independence and control Sudetenland. During the Munich Conference, Germany promised Britain and France that he would stop expanding but he went against it by invading Poland and plans to take over Europe. Hitler needed all the support he can get for his preparation of the World War II.

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  4. dina bychkova

     /  December 12, 2012

    The treaty of Versailles welcomed many harsh punishments on Germany. They had to pay a lot of money for reparations after ww1. And weren’t a lot to have a large army.However, Hitler was determined to have the most power and so he re militarize which he wasn’t allowed to do.Hitler brought the feeling of nationalism to the people and blamed the loss of ww1 on the Jews and communists.he had full German support.he then goes onto conquering neighbor countries to conquer Europe and be the most powerful in all aspects.he conquered France Poland, Czechoslovakia, Holland and Belgium. He also left the league of nations.

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  5. The united states were convinced to drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, because they want to prove themselves to other nations that they have better technology, wealthy economy, and they are unbeatable. During that time, the atomic bomb was a new weapon for most of the countries. Most of the countries have never heard or seen this before. When America dropped the first bomb in Japan, they can prove to their technology is way better than others. It indirectly tells other countries that their scientists are way smarter and thoughtful. In order to make weapons, the country must have a lot of money to spend for researches, laboratories, and scientists that they hired for. Since America dropped this powerful weapon, it simply shows other countries that they are unbeatable. It shows that how violent and fierce that the American can be, so other nations would not want to do anything to poke the United States to start up another World War.

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  6. Max Barlow

     /  December 15, 2012

    #3
    There were other factors that caused the U.S. to drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but the main reason was to immediately end World War II. Japan previously attacked American land at Pearl Harbor, which killed over 2,000 people. That was another reason to drop the atomic bomb on these cities and is the reason why the U.S. entered World War II. President Truman’s decision was based on saving American lives and the will to the end war to prevent land invasion. U.S. soldiers would of invaded Japan, causing extra deaths for both nations. By putting the war to an end with the atomic bomb, Japan surrendered, while American soldiers returned home and to their life.

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  7. Jonathan Qin

     /  December 16, 2012

    #3. One of the main reasons that the United States started to get involved with the war let alone facing Japan was the attack of Pearl Harbor. That one incident led to the United States involvement in joining the war front. Also, throughout the constant battles involving the United States and Japan, the United States deployed the atomic bomb. From that one weapon, brought Japan down. Knowing that a weapon of that magnitude was in the United States hand’s, made it realize that the Japanese could not win.

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  8. Elizabeth Adler

     /  December 16, 2012

    #3 The war between USA and Japan seemed inevitable. The United States may have claimed neutrality but they had long since stopped exporting to Japan. They then created programs to help the Allied powers. When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, there were different routes we could have taken as a country but the bombs were dropped almost as if to say this is how powerful the United States is. In addition, in order to strengthen their chances of ending the war, the US needed to weaken their opponents. Even though one of the cities was not the original target for the bomb, targets were chosen for their location and for their industrial power that the US could destroy.

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  9. Maria Sultana

     /  December 17, 2012

    One of the main reasons that convinced the United States to drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki was because Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, which was one of Americas most powerful naval bases. They killed hundreds of people raging America into attacking them. At this time, American had created the atomic bomb which they were willing to use. They wanted to show Japan and every other country that they were powerful and were willing to do anything for the protection of their country.

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  10. Dimitri Antonopoulos

     /  December 18, 2012

    There was already tension between the two countries due to the aerial attack on pearl harbor. That being said I don’t believe it was hard for them to drop the bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki since im sure they wanted vengeance. The U.S. simply wanted to end a brutal 6 year war, and they didn’t want it to last any longer. They gave the Japanese and alternative to surreneder or they will drop the
    atomic bomb. They refused and Japan witnessed on of the most catastrophic event ever. Other reasons were to stop them from invading more land, and show other countries specifically Russia they are a force to ve reckoned with.

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  11. Mohamed Sleem

     /  December 18, 2012

    3-I think that the biggest incentive in using the nuclear bomb would come from analysts who claim that by dropping this bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, over 500,000 American lives had been spared. And while there was opposition from figured such as ex-president Herbert Hoover, claiming that air raids, and blockades were enough to win the were, and the Nuclear Bomb was unnecessarily, I think that the US wanted to end the war sooner rather than later due to the need to have a stable foothold into Eastern Asia so to prevent Communist governments from sprouting. A third incentive to ending the war quickly by using an Atomic, is due to the lack of resources in Japan really making this military campaign costly.

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  12. dina bychkova

     /  December 18, 2012

    The U.S was very upset when japan attacked them at pearl harbor.They had a very tragic defeat.Therefore they bombed japan twice.I think they bombed japan not only because they were upset but to show off their new technology and show the world that the u.s is now the most powerful due to these nuclear weapons.Now no country would want to be on bad terms with the U.S..This instilled fear in many people hearts including Americans.

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  13. Gregory A.

     /  December 19, 2012

    #3
    While the official standpoint of the government that they actually tried to save thousand of lives of US troops and Japanese civilians is quite debatable, the American government did stop the Pacific War and forced Japan to capitulate. To my mind the issue here is not the number of casualties and the goals reached, but the cruelty of the execution when thousands of people were burned alive in inferno of atomic blast, also, it will take several more generations of Japanese people to fully apprehend the consequences of that event.

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  14. Tamar Walkenfeld

     /  December 19, 2012

    After World War I, the Treaty of Versailles left Germany with war reparations to pay off and strict instructions for them to limit their militarization. After Hitler leaves the League of Nations in 1933, he begins to revive all the armament industries and re-militarize Germany. He directly violated the Treaty of Versailles. In March of 1938, Hitler annexes Austria, his plan of Anschluss. He also put a lot of pressure on the Sudetenland, or Czechoslovakia, to become part of Germany. At the Munich Conference, Italy, France, Great Britain and Germany all met to discuss the issue over the Sudetenland. They agreed on the policy of appeasement and gave the land to Germany. The result of the Munich Conference just proves that Hitler knew he could get away with this. None of the countries at the conference were strong enough to stand up to Hitler and they virtually let him get away with taking advantage of a defenseless country and giving him an opening to begin his bloody rampage of Europe.

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  15. Alana Horowitz

     /  December 19, 2012

    The Battle of Stalingrad marked the beginning of the end for the Germans. By 1943, the German forces in Russia started to go down hill, and the Soviets began regaining territory. The battle for Stalingrad ended in February 1943 and marked the first huge victory for the Soviet forces. This was the turning point of the war. Desperately, the Germans made some counteroffensive attacks, but they all failed. The Russian army used their enormous man power and material reserves to finally push the Germans completely out of their land. The Russians then advanced to Berlin, inflicting six million casualties on the German army. One of the major reasons for the defeat of the Germans, was due to the Soviets ability to absorb massive casualties and, as well as, inflict many deaths on the German forces. The Battle of Stalingrad marked the victory on the eastern front, and by extension, the war.

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  16. Gregory A.

     /  December 20, 2012

    #2
    Stalingrad battle is considered to be one of the most bloodiest warfare for the history of the mankind. It took place between August 1942 and February 1943. For more than 200 days Soviet forces were able not only deflect Nazi’s attacks in reduced by Luftwaffe’s to rubbles city, but was able to surround the enemy. Both sides suffered enormous casualties. 6th army was basically destroyed enabled to fight in city-blocks war accompanied by traditionally cold weather. There are know examples of heroism when small group of Soviet army were holding on to one building for two months. There were many other episodes of courage but there was other “incentive” involved. Order No. 227 of July 28, 1942 known as “Not a step back!” and issued by Stalin prevented fleeing of panicked troops by executing them by special forces called “blocking detachments”. Those measures were vital as Soviet government realized the importance of Stalingrad as huge transport vessel of the country. Also, German forces were about to capture huge oil reserves on Caucus and Stalingrad would make great transportation and distribution point for Nazis army if captured.

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