The Coming of War. From Isolation to Involvement. From isolation to involvement . Britain and France appeased Germany, President FDR condemned aggression but did nothing to stop it. Roosevelt oppose aggression .
From Isolation to Involvement
Britain and France appeased Germany, President FDR condemned aggression but did nothing to stop it.
1937- Japanese attacks on china shocked Americans it was done “without” a declaration of war. FDR- criticized Japan’s aggression Roosevelt’s solution was an informal alliance of peace-loving nation but did not suggest what steps should be taken.
By 1938 even the leaders of France and Britain realized that Hitler’s armed aggression could only be halted by firm, armed defense.
Finally Britain and France saw the need to take action. Britain and France signed an alliance with Poland. Hitler signed a non-aggression pact with the soviets on August 23,1939. they announced publicly that they wouldn’t fight each other. Secretly, they agreed to invade Poland and divide it.
September 1,1939- Germany blitzkrieg(lighting war) or sudden attack hit Poland in three directions.
September 17,1939- Soviets attacked Poland. France and Britain declared war but did nothing to stop the fall of Poland.
Axis powers- eventually included Germany, Italyand Japan.
Allies- Britain, France and eventually many other nations including the Soviet Union, the US, and China. Things remained quiet for the next 8 months- “phony war”
April 9,1940- Germany attacked Denmark and Norway (fell immediately)
May 10th- Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg fell. France had to prepare for Germany by constructing an interconnected series of fortresses known as the Magnot Line.
May 1940- Germany attacked, punching a hole through French line.
Britain had just enough time to evacuate their troops from the French port of Durkirk.
The Germans took Paris forcing the French to surrender. France was divided into sections. A larger northern section controlled by the Germans or occupied France and a smaller section southern section known as Vichy France- puppet state.
France had fallen in 35 days.
Winston Churchill- New prime minister of Britain made it clear they had no intensions of ever surrendering. Fought in the air between German Luftwaffer and the Royal Air Force.
Churchill referred to the US in many of his speeches. He described the fight against Hitler as more then a European struggle.
In order to avoid “mistakes” that had led to the US involvement in WWI. Congress passed the Neutrality Acts of 1935, 1936 and 1937.
Imposed certain restrictions on Americans during times of war . Americans were prohibited from sailing on ships owned by belligerents of nations at war.
Prevented Americans from making loans to or selling arm and munitions to belligerents.
Neutrality Act of 1939- included a cash and carry provision. Belligerents could buy goods and arms in the US if they paid cash and carried merchandise on their own ships.
Interventionist claimed that Britain was fighting for free countries everywhere. Sending aid to Britain was a way to keep America away from the conflict.
The only way to keep America safe was to follow a policy of complete neutrality.
September 1940- Tripartite Pact- Germany, Italy and Japan became Allies.
September 1940- Congress passed the Selective Service Act. Roosevelt gave Britain 50 WWI-era battleships to Britain in return for 8 British defense bases.
FDR- elected to 3rd term.
FDR- once re-elected increased support for Britain.
January 6, 1941- Spoke about “four freedoms”
Freedom of speech
Freedom of worship
Freedom from want
Freedom from fear
Britain needed American aid and had ran out of money to pay for it.
Lend-Lease Act- March 1941-Authorized Roosevelt to “sell, transfer, title to, exchange, lease, lend, or otherwise dispose of, to any such government any defense article.” whenever he thought it was “necessary in the interests of the defense of the US” Economic declaration of war against the Axis powers.
August 1941- Roosevelt and prime minister Churchill secretly met on a warship off the coast of Newfoundland. Atlantic charter- a document the endorsed national self- determination and an international system of “general security”
Fall 1941- Hitler ordered his German U-boats, Or submarines, to attack American ships.
U-boats shot at the USS Gazeer
Hit the USS Kearny
And sunk the USS Reusen James
Officially the US was neutral. Roosevelt ordered the navy to shoot German U-boats on site.