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Ch 21: AP European History: World War II

About This Chapter

View history video lessons online and learn about major events that took place during World War II. These lessons are just a portion of our AP European History course.

AP European History: World War II - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives

In this chapter, you'll learn about what led to the start of World War II, while getting details on German war strategies, major attacks taking place during World War II, diplomacy and conditions in Europe after the war. The instructors who teach these lessons will guide you through the fall of France, the Holocaust, the D-Day invasion, the Eastern front and the Yalta Conference. By the end of this chapter, you should be familiar with the following:

  • Blitzkrieg strategy
  • Nazism and the Final Solution
  • American involvement in the war
  • Pacific Ocean theater
  • The atomic bomb
  • Multi-national conferences during the war

Video Objectives
World War II: The Start of the Second World War Provides an overview of Hitler's invasion of Poland and Japan's invasion of China. Summarizes the declarations of war and discusses the countries involved in declaring war.
The Fall of France during WWII: Strategies & Defeat Details how France was defeated in World War II and provides a synopsis of Nazi Germany's use of blitzkrieg strategy.
Germany vs Great Britain: Appeasement & the Battle Over Britain Summarizes Britain's appeasement policy. Details events that took place in the Battle over Britain.
World War II & Adolf Hitler Outlines Hitler's military strategy and discusses his goals during the war.
The Holocaust: Anti-Semitism and Genocide in Nazi Germany Examines Hitler's persecution of citizens in Germany and throughout Europe. Discusses death camps, Hitler's Final Solution and how the Holocaust came to an end.
The Attack on Pearl Harbor: The Beginning of American Involvement in World War II Presents a synopsis of Japan's surprise attack on the naval base in Hawaii in 1941, including the warnings that preceded it. Summarizes America's declaration of war.
The D-Day Invasion: The Beginning of the End of Nazi Germany Describes in detail the major operations that occurred when Allied leaders took control of Europe back from the Nazis. Explores the final invasion of Germany and the Germans' surrender.
The Eastern Front and the Fight for North Africa Explores the important military operations that took place in Europe during World War II. Summarizes the key players, locations and length of the war.
The Pacific Ocean Theater of WWII: Japan vs. The Allies Provides an overview of Japan's advances in the war and outlines how Americans used an island-hopping strategy to push back the Japanese troops.
Hiroshima and Nagasaki: How the Atomic Bomb Changed Warfare During WWII Discusses the development of the atomic bomb and how it was used against the Japanese.
The Yalta Conference and The Potsdam Conference: US Diplomacy & International Politics During World War II Outlines U.S. diplomacy during the war. Explains how the Allied nations met and worked together behind the scenes.
The Aftermath of WWII Examines the effects of World War II on Europe and the world in the years that followed.

12 Lessons in Chapter 21: AP European History: World War II
World War II: The Start of the Second World War

1. World War II: The Start of the Second World War

Learn all about the start of World War II and why the League of Nations could not stop aggression by Italy, Germany and Japan in the 1930s, which led to the outbreak of this second global conflict.

The Fall of France during WWII: Strategies & Defeat

2. The Fall of France during WWII: Strategies & Defeat

In this lesson, we explore the French defenses, the subsequent German invasion, and the disastrous consequences for France during WWII and its four-year occupation by Germany.

Germany vs Great Britain: Appeasement & the Battle Over Britain

3. Germany vs Great Britain: Appeasement & the Battle Over Britain

In this lesson, we examine Neville Chamberlain's policy of appeasement in regards to Hitler's Germany prior to World War II and the ensuing Battle of Britain in 1940.

Hitler's Military Strategy & Goals in World War II

4. Hitler's Military Strategy & Goals in World War II

In this lesson, we explore the motives of Adolph Hitler, Germany's fascist dictator of the 1930s, and the military strategies he employed that led to early victories but culminated in total defeat.

The Holocaust: Anti-Semitism and Genocide in Nazi Germany

5. The Holocaust: Anti-Semitism and Genocide in Nazi Germany

The Holocaust was the persecution and mass murder of as many as 11 million people by Adolf Hitler and the Nazis between 1933 and 1945. Learn about the people they targeted, the progression of events leading up to the Final Solution and the end of the genocide in this lesson.

The Attack on Pearl Harbor: The Beginning of American Involvement in World War II

6. The Attack on Pearl Harbor: The Beginning of American Involvement in World War II

On December 7, 1941, the Empire of Japan launched a surprise attack against Allied possessions in the Pacific, including the American military base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. After decades of conflict between the two nations, the U.S. declared war.

The D-Day Invasion: The Beginning of the End of Nazi Germany

7. The D-Day Invasion: The Beginning of the End of Nazi Germany

Operation Overlord, the invasion of Nazi-occupied Western Europe, began with the D-Day landings on the beaches of Normandy on June 6, 1944, with Hitler's last stand taking place at the Battle of the Bulge. Learn about these and other events that contributed to the end of Nazi Germany.

The Pacific Ocean Theater of WWII: Japan vs. The Allies

8. The Pacific Ocean Theater of WWII: Japan vs. The Allies

After the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, the United States entered WWII. Watch this video to learn about some of the key battles, as well as the general nature, of the Pacific theater of the war.

Hiroshima and Nagasaki: How the Atomic Bomb Changed Warfare During WWII

9. Hiroshima and Nagasaki: How the Atomic Bomb Changed Warfare During WWII

As America and its WWII allies considered invading Japan, the Manhattan Project successfully developed an atomic weapon. Its use on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, precipitated VJ Day, the end of the Pacific war, on August 14, 1945.

The European Theater in WWII: The Eastern Front, Western Front & Fight for North Africa

10. The European Theater in WWII: The Eastern Front, Western Front & Fight for North Africa

Hitler and Nazi Germany dominated the European fields of battle early in WWII. This lesson is an overview of key military operations between 1939 and 1943 in Europe on both the Eastern and Western fronts.

The Yalta Conference and The Potsdam Conference: US Diplomacy & International Politics During World War II

11. The Yalta Conference and The Potsdam Conference: US Diplomacy & International Politics During World War II

Throughout the course of WWII, leaders of many Allied nations met many times to discuss strategy. Then, near the end of the war, two historic conferences shaped the post-war world.

The Aftermath of WWII

12. The Aftermath of WWII

In this lesson, we explore the economic and political realities which emerged in Europe immediately after the end of World War II and the steps countries took to confront them.

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