Mrs. Wilson's History Festivus

United States History II

Post WWII political cartoons


Post WWII political cartoons

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Post WWII map instructions


Cold War Division Map instructions


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US Drops Largest Non-nuclear Bomb


Choose ONE of the following to read. Summarize for Bellringer #2

CNN: US drops largest non-nuclear bomb on Afghanistan

NBC:U.S. drops ‘MOAB,’ a ‘Mother of All Bombs,’ in Afghanistan

FOX:US drops largest non-nuclear bomb in Afghanistan after Green Beret killed

**The bomb reportedly killed many militants but no civilian casualty report has been issued

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End of WWII


Letter from Einstein to Truman

First Atomic Bomb Blast

The Bombing of Hiroshima

Press release

Arguments against dropping the bomb

Arguments in favor of dropping the bomb

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World War II Test


World War II group test

From the Ashes of World War II

  1. What is the main idea of the article? What are the supporting details?
  2. What did you learn from the article?
  3. How and where could you find more information about the topic?
  4. What else would you like to know about the affects of WWII?
  5. What did you find interesting?
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World War II Primary Source Document Analysis




 Click on the links below and answer the following questions on a separate piece of paper. Answer in complete sentences!  

The Attack at Pearl Harbor (American and Japanese Viewpoints)


  1. Describe the damage and death toll created by the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
  2. Where else did the Japanese attack on December 7th and 8th?
  3. How many people died aboard the U.S.S. Arizona? What was the cause of the massive explosion?
  4. Both the American sailor and Japanese pilot see and feel the explosion of the  U.S.S. Arizona. What are the similarities and what are differences of their  accounts of the attack on the Arizona?
  5. After reading the American and Japanese viewpoints at Pearl Harbor why was the attack such a success for the Japanese and a disaster for the United States?


The Attack at Pearl Harbor, 1941: The White House Reacts


  1. What was President Roosevelt doing when he found out the Japanese had attacked America at Pearl Harbor?
  2. Why did the leader of the United Kingdom (England) call President Roosevelt on December 7th?
  3. What do you think Churchill meant when he wrote: “To have the United States at our side was to me the greatest joy. Now at this very moment I knew the United States was in the war, up to the neck and in to the death. So we had won after all!…Hitler’s fate was sealed. Mussolini’s fate was sealed. As for the Japanese, they would be ground to powder.”?
  4. Why did Germany and Italy declare war on the United States?
  5. According to Grace Tully, what “extra” people were brought to White House in the minutes after the attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese?
  6. What was mood of the staff and generals at the White House as each report of the Japanese attack on Hawaii came in with more details?
  7. What did the federal government quickly know within an hour of the attack on Pearl Harbor?
  8. Why do you think there were so few alternations of President Roosevelt’s message to Congress asking for a declaration of war against Japan?



The Sinking of the USS Indianapolis, 1945

  1. What secret weapon was the USS Indianapolis delivering to an American military base on the Pacific island of Tinian?
  2. Why was the USS Indianapolis ordered to sail to the Philippines?
  3. About how many sailors survived the initial sinking of the USS Indianapolis?
  4. What problems did many of the survivors of sinking face while in the ocean?
  5. How many days did the sinking of the USS Indianapolis go unnoticed?
  6. How many sailors were rescued from the USS Indianapolis?
  7. What injuries did Lewis Haynes suffer during the torpedo attack on the USS Indianapolis?
  8. In how many minutes did the USS Indianapolis sink?
  9. How did Dr. Lewis Haynes check to see if sailors were dead or alive?
  10. Why did some sailors drink the salt water, and what problems did it cause them?
  11. How did the seaplanes help the sailors?
  12. What is something new or interesting you learned by reading this primary source?


The Bataan Death March

  1. How many American and Filipino soldiers were captured when they were forced to surrender to the Japanese in April of 1942?
  2. Out of the 12,000 American prisoners how many died during the Bataan Death March?
  3. What was the Japanese attitude to soldiers who surrender?
  4. Who was blamed for the Bataan Death March? What happened to him?
  5. Why was the air force captain executed by the Japanese?
  6. What was the Oriental Sun Treatment?
  7. What happened when Captain William Dyess tried to drink water?
  8. During the march what happened to the drop outs?
  9. How did the Japanese soldiers act during the Bataan Death March?
  10. What was the prison camp like at San Fernando?
  11. What did the Japanese do during suppertime to anger the Americans and Filipinos?
  12.  From what you know about the Holocaust does the Japanese military seem any better than the Nazis? Explain!



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Dunkirk and Battle of Britain


Battle of Dunkirk

Patrick Wilson assesses the importance of Operation Dynamo.

Isle of Man Steam Packet Company vessel Mona's Queen shortly after striking a mine on the approach to Dunkirk. 29 May 1940.Isle of Man Steam Packet Company vessel Mona’s Queen shortly after striking a mine on the approach to Dunkirk. 29 May 1940.


‘So long as the English tongue survives, the word Dunkirk will be spoken with reverence. In that harbour, such a hell on earth as never blazed before, at the end of a lost battle, the rags and blemishes that had hidden the soul of democracy fell away. There, beaten but unconquered, in shining splendour, she faced the enemy, this shining thing in the souls of free men, which Hitler cannot command. It is in the great tradition of democracy. It is a future. It is victory.

New York Times, 1 June 1940

‘For us Germans the word “Dunkirchen” will stand for all time for victory in the greatest battle of annihilation in history. But, for the British and French who were there, it will remind them for the rest of their lives of a defeat that was heavier than any army had ever suffered before.’

Der Adler, 5 June 1940


Few of the men in German Sixth Army, as they marched tentatively into the smoking ruins of Dunkirk on 4 June 1940, could have envisaged that the war would last another five years and that they would end up on the losing side. The British had capitulated and not even their subsequent remarkable evacuation could hide the scale of their defeat. Dishevelled, weary and weaponless, the men of the BEF arrived back in England. Britain’s material losses during the campaign had been astounding, with its army’s stores and equipment strewn around Northern France. The Navy too had paid a heavy price for its heroics. Six destroyers, five minesweepers, eight transport ships and a further 200 vessels had been sunk, with an equal number badly damaged.

British casualties amounted to 68,000, while French losses totalled around 290,000 with many more than that either missing or taken prisoner. German casualties, on the other hand, amounted to 27,074 killed and 111,034 wounded. The statistics tell the story. Hitler had reason to be pleased with his forces, whose tactics, skill and fighting prowess had led to such a rout. His Order of the Day on 5 June stated:

 ‘Soldiers of the West Front! Dunkirk has fallen … with it has ended the greatest battle in world history. Soldiers! My confidence in you knows no bounds. You have not disappointed me.’

On the other side of the Channel Churchill, too, was praising the efforts of his forces whilst warning that ‘We must be very careful not to assign to this the attributes of a victory. Wars are not won by evacuations’.

Nevertheless the fact remained that, though Germany had achieved a total victory, Britain had not suffered a complete defeat. Churchill had predicted that 30,000 men could be lifted off, whilst Admiral Ramsay had hoped for 45,000. To everyone’s astonishment the vast bulk of the army (around 330,000 men) had been rescued, and while Britain still had an army there was hope. The miracle of this deliverance lies in the number of extraordinary factors that made it possible. The decision of Gort (the commander of the BEF) to ignore Churchill and the French commanders and head to the coast, the halt order, the weather, the survival of the Eastern Mole (the pier from which the majority of troops were evacuated), and the incredible determination of the Royal Navy, all combined to save the BEF. General Guderian later reflected, ‘What the future of the war would have been like if we had succeeded in taking the British Expeditionary Force prisoners at Dunkirk is now impossible to guess.’

If Britain had Surrendered

It seems almost certain that, if the evacuation from Dunkirk had not taken place, Churchill, with a quarter of a million men in captivity, would have been left with little option but to bow to pressure for peace terms to be signed. Without a large amount of its professional army, it is hard to see how Britain could have recovered. In fact, Hitler never wished to enter into a war with Britain. He admired the country whose Empire he believed powerfully reinforced his ideas of racial domination, commenting that ‘To maintain their Empire they need a strong continental power at their side. Only Germany can be that power.’ After Dunkirk, however, he was stunned to find that his ‘sensible peace arrangements’ were continuously and categorically rejected. Even as late as 6 July Hitler insisted that the invasion of Britain would only be tried as a last resort ‘if it cannot be made to sue for peace any other way’.

If the evacuation attempt had failed and Hitler’s lenient peace treaty had been accepted, the outcome of the war would of course have been vastly different. Germany would have had extra resources – including the 40 divisions which Britain’s continued hostility required in Africa and on the Atlantic Wall, as well as the 1,882 aircraft, and their experienced pilots and bomber crews, which were lost over Britain in the coming months. Faced by a Germany buoyed with these additional forces, Russia almost certainly would have fallen. Indeed, even without them the Germans managed to reach the outer defences of an evacuated Moscow by the first winter of the campaign, and that was after the fateful decision to delay the start of Operation Barbarossa until June 1941.

Battle of Britain

Winston Churchill Speech


Complete the SOAPSTone organizer after reading the above speech


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World War II Battles





Battle of the Bulge

Battle of Stalingrad

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World War II Research Paper resources


Here are some great resources for writing your research paper.

  1. SHS Library databases 
  2. MLA formatting guides
  3. MLA Citation Generator



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World War II map of Europe


Label the following on the  “Map of Europe 1942”

  1. Color the Axis countries red: Germany, Italy, Prussia and the legend
  2. Draw a swastika over the capital of Germany
  3. Color the following Allied countries green: Great Britain, Soviet Union (eastern part) and the legend
  4. Color the following neutral countries yellow: Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, Sweden, Turkey and the legend
  5. Color the following countries occupied by Nazi Germany orange: Austria Czechoslovakia, Sudetenland, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Soviet Union (western part), Rumania, Bulgaria, Greece, Albania, Yugoslavia, Hungary, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Rhineland, France, Africa and legend
  6. In the same color as the Axis countries draw an arrow pointing east and label Japan
  7. In the same color as the Allied countries draw an arrow pointing west and label the United States
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