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1940 - Axis gains momentum in World War II

World War II escalates in 1940 with Germany invading Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands, and Belgium. Italy declares war on the Allies, joining Germany. France falls to Germany, leading to the establishment of Vichy France. Germany starts bombing Britain, and Japan joins the Axis powers, attacking French Indo-China. Hungary and Romania also join the Axis.

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  • duskpin ultimate style avatar for user Pranav Chandra
    what did hitler plan to gain from taking over these countries?
    (21 votes)
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    • spunky sam blue style avatar for user shadowlegend842
      Adding on to the previous answer, Hitler attacked France because
      1. Well, revenge for WWI.
      2. France had declared war on Germany in defense of Poland, but really didn't do anything to help.
      3. Hitler figured he could scare the British into surrendering by using the infamous Blitzkrieg on France
      (34 votes)
  • aqualine ultimate style avatar for user Richard
    I'm confused when he says that "Free France" falls to Germany in 1942... does he mean that Germany conquered essentially the upper half of France in 1940, ignores the bottom half for two whole years while going to war with the Soviets or whatever, and in 1942 says "Oops, didn't notice that we forgot to conquer half of France. Better get that squared away with," and drives some Panzer divisions down there to conquer that land?
    (16 votes)
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  • aqualine tree style avatar for user cwheeler18
    , why do Hungary & Romain have to be in the ww2?
    (12 votes)
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    • spunky sam blue style avatar for user conortimlin
      Well, The Romanian king at the time (Carol II of Romania) declared neutrality, but the rising popularity of Fascism in Romania urged the government to ally with the Axis, not knowing about the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, which gave the Soviet Union free reign to conquer the country, though that didn't happen till 1944. After losing a lot of territory in 1940, their government collapsed, a new Fascist government taking power and joining the Axis powers

      Hungary was also a member of the Axis powers during WWII working with Germany until 1944 When they began peace talks with the US and UK When Germany discovered the betrayal they occupied Hungary. Soviet forces eventually took control of Hungary in 1945
      (19 votes)
  • duskpin ultimate style avatar for user 23abarnes
    On the color key, what does max extent mean on "Axis controlled (max extent)"?
    (6 votes)
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  • duskpin ultimate style avatar for user Aiyanna :)
    Was this another case of nationalism? Or was Germany upset by their defeat so Hitler rose to power based on that notion?
    (7 votes)
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    • ohnoes default style avatar for user Liam Bevan
      Hitler and the Nazi party were a socialist organization. They believed that the German race was a "master" race. They desired global domination, the extinction of a Jewish people, and the deaths or unending servitude of everyone else, which is greatly expressed in his book "Mein Kampf". If you are asking the question I think you are, then this would be why the Germans started WW2.
      (4 votes)
  • orange juice squid orange style avatar for user Adam Lord
    @ in the video you talk about the installation of a puppet government in northern France, Germany was unable to take south France (free france) for two more years in 1942 as mentioned @. Why the additional two years to take south France? Was it the topography, and/or port access, something altogether different? I pulled up a map and it looks quite a bit more rugged then northern France. Were allie supply lines open to the ports in southern France ? Thanks in advance for your time.
    (7 votes)
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  • blobby green style avatar for user 1000038590
    why did the united kingdom and france not declare war on the soviet union when it invaded eastern poland?
    (6 votes)
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  • starky tree style avatar for user Valton Vuciterna
    Oh, one more question. Did Canada join World War 2? If so, when did they join?
    (4 votes)
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  • piceratops ultimate style avatar for user totally not imposter
    Why didn't Germany declare war on switzerland? THe Axis encircles Switzerland completely so I don't see a point not to. Sal did say that the axis is getting more and more aggresive, but they still didn't attack Switzerland at all.
    (4 votes)
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    • piceratops ultimate style avatar for user Hecretary Bird
      Taking Switzerland would have been very inconvenient for Hitler, if not a total mistake. The Swiss's wartime strategy mainly involved declaring themselves neutral and then arming the Alps to the teeth to form a deterrent against invasion. Although Germany could have taken Switzerland if it wanted to, it didn't have a super tactical position (as you said, the Axis circled Switzerland completely), and it very much sympathized with the Germans. A great deal of Switzerland spoke German, and indeed, the Swiss supplied the Axis far more than they did the Allies, all while staying neutral. Most importantly, the Swiss banks were able to help Germany, converting the spoils of war into currency. Since a lot of Swiss was German, Hitler probably wanted to unify it into Germany through peace like he did with Austria in the Anschluss instead of causing needless German suffering.
      This being said, there were plans drawn up for a German invasion(this is common among countries): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Tannenbaum
      (8 votes)
  • winston baby style avatar for user Wesley Chou
    What was Germany's reason to invade France?
    (6 votes)
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    • stelly blue style avatar for user SweetSourBlueberry
      France was allied with Russia and Germany knew that Russia was growing economically and militarily. Germany felt that soon they could be overwhelmed by attacks from the Russia - France alliance. (I am simplifying things here; there were a plethora of alliances on both sides in Europe at that time.) They felt that the only chance they had to stave off certain annihilation was to strike while they could win.
      (2 votes)

Video transcript

Where we left off in the last video, World War II had begun. In September of 1939 Germany invades Poland. Followed shortly by France and Great Britain declaring war on Germany Followed shortly by the Soviet Union themselves under Stalin's leadership, also invading Poland and laying claim to their sphere of influence. And so now we are going to enter into 1940. And were going to see that in 1940 and 1941 things only start to accelerate in the Nazis', and, as we'll soon call them, the Axis Powers' favor. So in April, you have the Germans invade Denmark and Norway ...Denmark and Norway... ...let me make sure that I spell that right... So Germany invades Denmark and Norway. This is April of 1940. and then you have May of 1940 Germany invades the Netherlands and Belgum. So Netherlands.... let me just write...let me write... The Low Countries it's sometimes called because this place, the land in the Netherlands, right over here, is very close to sea level or sometimes even below sea level. Low Countries So invades Netherlands, invades Belgium. Kind of, kind of very similar to what happened in World War I, where that's kind of how Germany gets to France. And then in June, in June, Italy enters the fray. Italy, which we've seen before, Italy declares war. Italy in the war, Benito Mousselini in the run-up to World War II is getting closer and closer to Adolf Hitler. And so, in June, Italy declares war on the Allies, on Great Britain and France. And so now Italy, so now Italy is formally in World War II. And as soon as Italy joins World War II, you start having all these skirmishes out here between Italy's colonies, and it's kind of where they're ruling colonially, in Libya, and in Egypt where the British are essentially in control. So you start having all of these skirmishes across the border, the Egyptian and Libyan border. So that was, that was June, and actually June, Italy is into the war. And then shortly thereafter France falls to Germany. So this wasn't like World War I where we get kind of embroiled in all this trench warfare, that lasts over the duration of most of the war; very quickly, think about it, this is only what... eight, nine months into the war. France falls, a major power, France falls to Germany. And they install Vichy France, which at first is in control for the part of France roughly the part of France that I'm highlighting. This the town of Vichy, which was the capitol of Vichy France. Which is why it's called that. And then later the rest of what's called Free France falls to Germany, later in the war in 1942. But things are really, really not looking good for the Allies. So France falls, falls to Germany, the establishment of Vichy France, which is essentially controlled by the Germans, and then in July, Germany begins bombing Britain. So bombing... bombing Britain. The famous Battle of Britain, which was actually called The Battle of Britain even before it began. Winston Churchill said, hey, we have to prepare for the upcoming Battle of Britain. And Germany starts bombing Great Britain. And then thing get only worse from there. So in September, in September the Axis forms with Japan, Japan joining. Japan signs the Tripartite Pact, and so becomes... ...the Axis forms between Japan Italy and Germany. ...signs Tripartite Pact.... So Japan is in the mix, and since France is already fallen to Germany. So Japan is now formally part of the Axis with Italy and Germany And since France has fallen to Germany, Japan says, hey, maybe we can go after some of France's colonies, and in particular French-Indochina, which we now refer to as Vietnam and Cambodia. And so, shortly thereafter, Japan attacks French Indo-China. so things are not really looking good at all. and it only gets worse from there. In November... so once again we're a little over a year into the war now, we're entering the end of 1940, in November, Hungary and Romania are pressured to join the Axis So Hungary and Romania join the Axis So as we see as we kind of are leaving 1940, things are not looking good at all for the Allied powers. You see this map, and I apologize for my messiness, it's looking more and more and more red. The only slightly, kind of, saving grace for the Allied Powers is what's happening over here in North Africa, is that eventually the end of 1940, the British are able to drive the Italians back into Libya. So let me do this in a different color, I'll do blue for the Allies So the British are able to drive the Italian forces back into Libya. And they are essentially able to defeat the Italians in Libya, and, but that's only going to take us into 1941, which I'll talk about in the next video, where the Germans send reinforcements under the command of Rommel, and they're able to drive the British back again into Egypt, and we'll see in 1941 Germany and the Axis Powers only become more and more and more aggressive. And as we enter the end of 1941 we'll see the entry of the US into World War II.