Conducting WORLD WAR II [AP World History] Unit 7 Topic 7 (7.7)

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In this video Heimler talks about how World War II was conducted. In many ways it was similar to World War I. It was a total war in which the belligerents leveraged all their military and domestic resources to fight. Also new technologies were brought to the battle including the most devastating ever invented: the atomic bomb. Additionally, colonial soldiers fought once again for their parent countries.

The war properly began in the European theater when Hitler invaded Poland in 1939. In the Pacific theater, Japan’s unceasing expansionism into China and Korea led to hostilities in 1937. Because of this, the United States imposed sanctions on Japan, and the retaliation for this action came in the form of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. At this, the United States entered the war on the side of the Allies.

At its peak, Hitler’s Third Reich covered much of the European continent. But after the failed invasion of Britain and the Siege of Leningrad, the Germans began to falter.

Allies defeated Italy, and then invaded German-occupied France on D-Day. After Paris was liberated, the Allies marched towards Berlin. On May 8th, Germany surrendered.

Japan surrendered after the United States dropped two atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, respectively, killing up to 200,000 people combined.

This video aligns with AP World History Unit 7 Topic 7 (7.7). If you have any questions, leave them in the comments and Heimler will answer forthwithly.


  1. my 7.7 review:
    -germany used blitzkreig to conquer poland -> denmark, norway, netherlands, belgium, france
    -germany bombed britain -> britain received war materials from america
    -germany invaded russia but was stopped by the winter
    -japan bombed pearl harbor -> american declared war on japan -> germany declared war on america
    -3 fronts on the nazis: italy, france, russia -> march to berlin -> v-e day
    -america atomic bombed hiroshima + nagasaki -> v-j day

  2. my notes, bc i don't see any here

    Examples and Evidence of Total War

    – WW2 also total war (similar to WW1)

    ○ Those fighting used all of their resources, both military and domestic, in order to fight

    § USA used industrialized economy to create ships, tanks, aircrafts, guns, ammunition, and aircraft carriers to use in the war

    ○ USA: Women went to work in the absence of men, who were fighting

    ○ Japan: did not send women to work

    ○ Propaganda used to motivate common people against the enemy

    – Those under colonial rule also fighting for the side of their colonizers

    Examples and evidence of ideologies used to mobilize resources

    – Japan:

    ○ Used imperialism to justify intense expansion, conquered Korea and China, then moved onto the Siberian portion of Soviet Russa

    § Nonaggression Pact signed by Russia and Germany said that Japan couldn't expand into Russia

    ○ Expanded into Southeast Asia instead

    § Most territories controlled by US and other European powers

    § Started a plot by Japanese to get US and other European powers under their imperial rule triggered by US imposed harsh economic sanctions on Japan

    ○ Like Germany, Japan won very rapid victories in Pacific theater

    § December 7, 1941: Pearl Harbor result of Japan attempting to punish US for their economic sanctions

    § USA declared war on Japan, Germany declared war on USA

    ○ USA had defeated Japan in several Pacific Islands, came to a fork in the road:

    § Could do a mainland invasion, or use atomic weaponry

    □ On August 6th, 1945 Truman ordered the first atomic bomb be dropped on Hiroshima

    ® Reduced to dust in the blink of an eye, along with most of its inhabitants

    □ Japanese still did not surrender until a second atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki

    ® Killed around 140,000-200,000 people in total

    – Europe:

    ○ War had broken out in 1939, Germany used opportunity to start conquering a lot of territory

    § Chief method of doing so was Blitzkrieg

    □ Method of waging war which relied on shock and awe campaigns headed by armored tanks and airstrikes

    □ Dealt massive blows of damage in very little time

    ○ Poland fell to Germans in 1939, split it with the Russians (because of terms of the Non-Aggression pact)

    § German success in Poland led to Germans conquering Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands, Belgium, and France (and more)

    ○ Britian feared they would be next, ask US for help

    § US responded with Lend-Lease Act that sent huge amounts of war material to Britain

    □ US no longer neutral

    § Germany did attack Britain

    □ Started by attacking military targets but soon started to bomb civilian cities

    □ Ultimately a failure

    ○ After failure of British invasion, Germany turned sights on Russia

    § June 22, 1941: Germany started an invasion on Soviet Union (violation of Non-Aggression pact)

    □ Russia taken by surprise, Germany made huge advances

    § Leningrad: Germany pushed there, but Soviets successfully held off Germany for 3 years

    □ Weakened by Russian winters

    ○ Axis started crumbling:

    § 1943: Allies defeated Italy, led to fall of Mussolini

    § Amphibious Normandy Beach Battle in 1944 led to Allies' win (with heavy losses) and beginning of the liberation of France

    □ August 25, 1944: Nazis pushed out of Paris

    § After liberation of France, Allied forces turned their sights on Germany

    □ Air raids destroyed German infastructure

    □ By 1954, Allied soldiers crossed the Rhine into Germany and were marching towards Berlin

    □ Hitler refused to surrender, spent final days of the war hiding in a bunker

    ® Committed suicide when defeat was inevitable

    □ Germany surrendered on May 8th, 1945

    Examples of repression of basic freedoms in totalitarian states

    – Holocaust:

    ○ Hitler imprisoned and then killed over 10 million Jews, as well as many peoples of marginalized groups (and prisoners of war) as "ethnic cleansing"

    Examples of military technology and new tactics

    – Atomic weaponry

    ○ Developed within the Manhattan Project

    § Oppenheimer and Einstein

    ○ Released the energy of destabilized atoms, exploded with the force of 15 kilotons of dynamite, obliterated everything in its path

    § Used on Hiroshima and Nagasaki by USA

    – Blitzkrieg (used by Germany)

    ○ Method of waging war which relied on shock and awe campaigns headed by armored tanks and airstrikes

    ○ Dealt massive blows of damage in very little time

  3. Thanks, these videos are really helpful, but I would've loved to see more of ww2 explained in detail. I get that the curriculum is this way but it sucks how all thats said about the Soviet side of the war is that "The winters were cold and that defeated the germans" when there was so much more to it than that.

  4. The absolute legend, he quoted Vizzini. I’ve seen princess bride too many times to count 😂

    Lemme put it this way: have you heard of Plato, Aristotle, Socrates? Morons!


  5. Not sure if comments are still replied to as it's been a while since this video was uploaded, but at 5:36, just to clarify it was the Allies who invaded Normandy Beach in France, correct?

  6. Kinda sad how people like Rommel and Stauffenberg almost made it to the end of the war, (and would of probably survived the Nuremberg trials) yet they died just a year or 2 before the end of the war.

  7. thank youuuu i have a quiz tmrw and these are life savers and they're actually super engaging instead of reading over the whole textbook

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