Social Studies - 2017-18

USII.7b - WWII Major Events and Turning Points

The student will demonstrate knowledge of the major causes and effects of American involvement in World War II by

b)  locating and describing the major events and turning points of the war in Europe and the Pacific.

Blooms Level: Remember

Adopted: 2008


Big Themes/Concepts: Genocide, Conflict, Power & Authority, Invasion, National Identity, Leadership

The act of war creates economic, political, and social benefits and costs. 

Wars are considered “just” when people believe they must defend their way of life.

Technological advances by both the Axis and Allied powers brought devastation and victory to the battlefield.

Leadership was essential to the Allied victory

The use of the atomic bomb changed the potential of warfare. 

Genocides have taken place all over the world and continue even today. 


Despite initial Axis success in both Europe and the Pacific, the Allies persevered and ultimately defeated Germany and Japan.

The Holocaust is an example of prejudice and discrimination taken to the extreme.

Why do not all peoples/countries peacefully co-exist? (Why is there conflict? Why is there genocide/cruelty?)

What were the major events and turning points of World War II?

What was the Holocaust?


Major events and turning points of World War II

·  Germany invaded Poland, setting off war in Europe. The Soviet Union also invaded Poland and the Baltic nations.

·  Germany invaded France and captured Paris.

·  Germany bombed London, and the Battle of Britain began.

·  The United States gave Britain war supplies and old naval warships in return for military bases in Bermuda and the Caribbean (Lend Lease).

·  Japan bombed Pearl Harbor.

·  After Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, Germany declared war on the United States.

·  The United States declared war on Japan and Germany.

·  The United States was victorious over Japan in the Battle of Midway. This victory was the turning point of the war in the Pacific.

·  Germany invaded the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union defeated Germany at Stalingrad, marking the turning point of the war in Eastern Europe.

·  American and other Allied troops landed in Normandy, France, on D-Day to begin the liberation of Western Europe.

·  The United States dropped two atomic bombs on Japan (Hiroshima and Nagasaki) in 1945, forcing Japan to surrender and ending World War II.

The Holocaust

·  Anti-Semitism

·  Aryan supremacy

·  Systematic attempt to rid Europe of all Jews

·  Tactics:

  Boycott of Jewish stores



  Imprisonment and killing of Jews and others in concentration camps and death camps

–  Liberation by Allied forces of Jews and others who survived in concentration camps

Sequence events in United States history. (USII.1c)

Interpret events from different historical perspectives. (USII.1d)

Analyze and interpret maps that include major physical features. (USII.1f)


World War II, Pearl Harbor, instability, depression, inflation, unemployment, Fascism, nationalism, dictator, Adolph Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Hideki Tojo, Axis Powers, isolationism, aggression, Soviet Union, Battle of Midway, Eastern Europe, atomic bomb, D-Day, Antisemitism, Aryan supremacy, boycott, concentration camps, internment camps, death camps, liberation, home front, defense plants, Rosie the Riveter, racial barriers, genocide.

Updated: Aug 17, 2017