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The Wars of the 20th

century
The Plan:
1. The First World War (1914 1918)
1.1. The Storm Clouds of War
1.2. Europe in the I World War
2. The Second World War (1939 1945)
2.1. The First Period of the War
2.2. The British Royal Air Force
2.3. The Mistakes of Germany and
Japan.
The End of the War
3. The United Nations

1. The First World War (1914 1918)


1.1. The Storm Clouds of War

The danger of war with Germany had been clear


from the beginning of the 20th century. It brought
France and Britain together.
By 1914 the political situation in Europe was extremely
dangerous. Germany and Austria- Hungary had made a
military alliance. Russia and France had made another
alliance.

In June 1914 the Austrian


Archduke Francis Ferdinand
was killed in Serbia. AustriaHungary declared war on
Serbia. Russia, which was an
ally of Serbia, declared war on
Austria-Hungary.
Automatically, it meant a war
with Germany. France was
Russias ally, so it was now also
at war with Germany.
In August 1914 Germanys
troops invaded France through
Belgium. Britain which had
been Belgiums ally,
immediately declared war on
Germany. Thus, practically the
whole of Europe was fighting.
So, the First World War had
started.

1.2. Europe in the I World War

Germany had better


trained soldiers and better
equipment. In the first weeks
of war in 1914 it nearly
defeated the Allies, Britain
and France. The German
troops crossed the border
and penetrated into the
territory of France. The
France army and the small
British force managed to stop
the German army only at the
River Marne deep inside
France. Then followed four
years of bitter fighting
during which both armies
lived in trenches.

The war was going on not


only in Europe. In the Middle
East the British fought
against Turkish troops in Iraq,
in Palestine, and in the
Dardanelles. Only in 1917 the
British were able to drive
back the Turks.
The war at sea was more
important than the war on
land, because defeat at sea
would have caused Britains
surrender. Being an island
state, Britain had always
depended on imported goods.
In 1915 German submarines
started sinking merchant
ships which carried supplies to
Britain.

40% of Britains merchant


fleet was sunk during the war.
There was one period in the
course of the war when for six
weeks the British population
was on the point of starvation.
When Russia after the
Bolshevik Revolution of 1917
made peace with Germany, the
German generals hoped for
victory against the Allies. But
German submarine attacks on
neutral ships drew America
into the war against Germany.
The arrival of American troops
in France ended Germanys
hopes, and it surrendered in
November 1918.

2. The Second World War

2.1 The First Period Of the War

After the First World War Adolf


Hitler founded the Nazi Party in Germany.
Hitler called the German people a superior
race, which must rule the world. Soon
Hitler made himself dictator of Germany
and began preparing for war.
Germany was not the only country in
Europe ruled by a dictator.
Benito Mussolini, who had come to
power in Italy, was making plans, to revive
the glory of the Roman Empire. In Asia, a
military group came to power in Japan.
They also believed in the glory of ruling
over other nations.
In the 1930s Germany, Italy and
Japan formed an alliance called THE
AXIS. Britain and France formed the
alliance of European countries called THE
ALLIES. THE ALLIES opposed the Axis.

On September 1 ,1939, the German


army invaded Poland. The Polish
government asked Britain And France
for help.
On September 3,1939, Britain and
France declared war on Germany.
That was the beginning of the
Second World War. The German
army conquered the country in less
than three weeks. The Germans used
a new tactics called a blitzkrieg.
Britain and France had no time to
come and help Poland.
In the spring of 1940 the Germans
invaded Denmark, Norway, the
Netherlands, Belgium and
Luxemburg. With the help of Italy,
Germany defeated the French in a
few weeks. The British lost almost all
their weapons in France.

2.2 The British Royal Air Force


By June 1940 Britain stood alone against the Nazis.
German planes made bombing raids against British
cities, railways and factories.
Hitlers plan was to break the spirit of the British. But
the British Royal Air Force shot down many German
planes. Britains new Prime Minister, Sir, Winston
Churchill, played a great role in keeping up the
fighting spirit of the British people. Germany was not
able to fulfill its plan of invading the country. The
battle of Britain in 1940 was the Allies first victory.

2.3. The Mistakes of Germany and Japan. The End of


the War.

In 1941 Germany and Japan made two fatal mistakes:


Germany attacked the Soviet Union and Japan attacked
the United States of America. Germany now had to fight
on two fronts: in the east and in the west. D-Day was
called the day of the invasion of France by Allied forces.
It happened on the 5th of 1944.It was the beginning of
the end for Germany. Four months later France and
Belgium were freed. Then the battle for Germany began.

In May 1945
Germany
surrendered. Japan
continued to fight
until Britain and the
USA dropped two
atom bombs on cities
of Hiroshima and
Nagasaki in August
1945. 110,000 people
perished immediately,
and many thousands
more died later from
the after-effects. It
was a terrible end to
the war.

3. The United Nations


At the end of the war the
Allies created the United
Nations Organization in order
to protect peace and
democracy in the world and
prevent new wars. The idea
was to settle local and global
problems by discussion within
the Organization and not by
fighting.
But from the very beginning
this new world organization
faced great difficulties. The
idea of the four Allies (Soviet
Union, United States, France
and Britain) working together
for the recovery of central
Europe did not work.

Europe became divided


into two parts, the eastern
part under communist
Soviet control, and the
western part under the
control of Britain, France
and the USA.
In 1948-49 the Soviet
Union tried to capture
West Berlin. As a result of
the struggle for West
Berlin, two opposite
alliances were formed: the
North Atlantic Treaty
Organization and the
Warsaw Pact of the
eastern block.