Chapter 18
Unit 5 World History
The Battle of  the Pyramids by Louis-Francois Baron Lejeune. (Public Domain photo. Info can be found here)
The U.S. Marine Corps Memorial in Arlington Virginia which depicts the raising of the American flag on the island of Iwo Jima. (Public Domain photo. Info can be found here)
This chapter is obviously one of the favorites of students, but we do cover the material in a different manner. During the education of students, they often only hear about this war from the perspective of the United States. In this class we cover how the rest of the world dealt with this war. This is not to say that we ignore the United States, but it is not the singular focus like it is in many other courses. We start by trying to explain the causes of this war with special emphasis in describing the conditions in Italy, Germany, and Japan that led to their aggressiveness. The war itself is covered in terms of overarching strategy instead of details of specific battles, however, some battles and heroes are covered based on what they did in history. The end of the unit results in a lengthy discussion about the justification of dropping the atomic bomb. We cover this issue from both sides and allow the students to debate this before writing a paper on the topic. This not only allows the students to think for themselves on a controversial issue, but it prepares them well for the next chapter (the Cold War)

Essential questions

The following questions are meant to be studied during the chapter as possible essay questions for your exam.
Please be ready for any of the following questions.
  1. How did the mistakes of the Treaty of Versailles lead directly to WWII? Please explain using specific causes of WWII.
  2. How was Hitler able to weasel his way into power despite being charged with treason in the Beer Hall Putsch? Explain in detail.
  3. Should the bombings (firebombing, terror bombing, and Atomic bombs) be seen as a positive thing in history or an unfortunate use of power against civilians?
  4. What lessons should we learn from the system of appeasement prior to WWII?
  5. Would you rather be captured by Germany or Japan if you were alive during WWII? Explain your reasoning with specific facts detailing how prisoners of war (POWs) were treated.

Chapter Content

Use the following links to find the content you are interested in or use the search bar at the top right to look for specific concepts.


Great Depression Leads To Government Power

Fascist Italy 

The Rise Of Hitler

The Rise Of Nazi Germany

The 3rd Reich

Hitler’s Race Theories

Slow Attack On Jewish People

Fighting Started By Japan

Japan’s Military Culture

Japanese Atrocities 

The Start Of War In Europe

War Begins In Europe

Air War Changes Everything

The Holocaust 

Resistence To The Holocaust

Operation Barbarosa

The Siege Of Leningrad

The Battle Of Moscow

The Battle Of Stalingrad

US Forced To Join War

Negative Reactions To Attack

Pacific Theater Was Tough

Japenese Do Quite Well

The Doolittle Raid

Turning Point Changes The Pacific

Allied Focus On Germany

Attempt At New Fronts

Slow Encirclement Of Germany

The End Of The 3rd Reich

The US Invasion Of Japan

Firebombing Of Japan

Dropping The Atomic Bombs

Should We Have Dropped The Bomb

Peace Decisions By Allies

Wars End & Effects


The following are a list of helpful resources that can be used in studying for this chapter.

Class Notes

These are the notes that I use for class. All information found in these notes lead directly to the test so they should be used in studying if you want the correct answers. This can only be accessed by students logged into their school account.

Chapter Powerpoint

This link will lead you to the PowerPoint for this unit. Those who missed class can use this to catch up on what was taught in class and what specific concepts to focus on in your studying.

Exam Review

This is the review that should be used to prepare for the exam. All exam questions will be connected directly to this document. Students are expected to answer all questions and are encouraged to know the rest also.

Review Videos

The videos to the right are placed here so that you can find other ways to study if that is your desire. Crash course videos tend to work pretty well for this type of studying as many of the AP World students use them to prep for tests. Please feel free to click on any of the videos in this feed for more info.

This Chapter in the news

Many students don’t realize that history is being debated and rewritten daily. These are stories related to our chapter from the news.

The Japanese Attack After Doolittle

The Dootlittle attack was the attempt by the US to get back at Japan for their attack. Few people  realize, however, that the Japanese struck back at us again after Doolittle also.

Teacher In Trouble For Holocaust Denial

A few years ago a teacher at Northwest told her class that the Holocaust did not happen. Obviously this became a huge news story and led to many survivors coming to NWCTA.