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WWII Americans at War. Chapter 18 1941 - 1945. How do you gear up for a war?. Boosted defense spending from $2 billion to 10 billion. Encouraged enlistment. Selective Training and Service Act All males 21 – 36. The GI War. “Government Issue”

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Wwii americans at war l.jpg

WWIIAmericans at War

Chapter 18

1941 - 1945

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How do you gear up for a war?

  • Boosted defense spending from $2 billion to 10 billion.

  • Encouraged enlistment.

  • Selective Training and Service Act

    • All males 21 – 36.

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The GI War

  • “Government Issue”

  • Applied to all soldiers, sailors and aviators.

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Diversity in the Armed Forces

  • 300,000 Mexican Americans

  • Million African Americans

  • 25, 000 Native Americans.

  • 350,000 Women

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NativeAmericans in the Military

  • The US needed a code to communicate that the Japanese couldn’t break.

  • US intelligence bet the Japanese never bothered to learn about Native American languages.

    • Wind Talkers / Code Talkers

    • Mostly Navajo

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African Americans in the Military

  • At first officials limited African Americans to supporting roles

    • Cooks, drivers, garbage pick up

  • After 1942 – gave opportunities to fight.

    • Separate units

    • Tuskegee Airmen

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Women in the military

  • Personnel shortage allowed women into all positions EXCEPT combat.

    • Clerks, typists, air traffic control, mechanics, photographers, drivers.

    • Towed practice targets for anti-aircraft gunners.

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Preparing an Economy for War

  • With Japan controlling the Pacific the US was cut off from VITAL raw materials

    • Rubber

    • Oil

    • Tin

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Preparing an Economy for War

  • Thanks to the New Deal – the government had tremendous power over the economy.

    • WPB War Production Board –

      • Convert peacetime industries to produce war materials.

        • Cars to building bomber planes

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Preparing an Economy for War

  • By 1944 American production levels doubled those of all the Axis powers together.

  • 1945

    • 300,000 planes

    • 80,000 landing craft

    • 100,000 armored cars and tanks

    • 6 million rifles

    • 41 BILLION rounds of ammunition!

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Wartime Work Force

  • War production ended any lasting Depression unemployment.

  • Wages rose by 50% between 1940 – 1945.

  • Mostly women workers

    • “There’s a war on, you know!”

    • Rosie the Riveter

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Financing the War

  • 1939 – US govt. spending was 8.9 billion.

  • 1945 – US govt. spending was $95.2 billion!!!!

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How did we pay for the war?

  • 41% paid for by higher taxes

  • Urged people and businesses to buy war bonds.

    • Loans of your money to government.

      • Pay back date with interest for the loan.

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How did we pay for the war?

  • Went further into debt!

    • 1940 – deficit spending made the US debt $43 billion.

    • 1945 - $259 billion in debt!

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Daily Life on the Home Front

  • Practically every family had someone in the war.

  • 30-million people moved.

    • Soldiers moved

    • Families of soldiers moved

    • People moved to take jobs

  • BUT the population grew by 7.5 million 1940 – 1945.

    • Double the rate of the 1930s.

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Shortages and Controls

  • Workers were making $$$$

  • But there was really nothing to spend it on.

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  • Zippers

  • Typewriters

  • Rubber

  • Nylon stockings

    • Anything that had metal, rubber or nylon was needed for the war.

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Food Shortages too

  • Between troop needs and enemy stopping supply lines.

    • Sugar

    • Tropical fruits

    • Coffee

    • Chocolate

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OPA: Office of Price Administration

  • When demand is greater than supply prices go

    • UP!


    • Had to limit prices.

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OPA decided the prices for

  • Sugar

  • Coffee

  • Meat

  • Butter

  • Canned food

  • Shoes

  • Gas

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Ration Books

  • Coupons with certain values allotted goods for the month.

    • Based on family size

    • Did consider distance and needs of farmers

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Popular Culture

  • Looking for ways to spend money

  • Movies

  • Radio

  • Books and magazines

  • Ballgames with female players

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Enlisting Public Support

  • Office of War Information

  • Writers and artists created posters and ads that stirred Americans’ patriotic feelings.

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What civilians were encouraged to do:

  • Older men: join the Civilian Defense effort

  • Kids: Scrap metal drives

  • Women:

    • Grow Victory Gardens

    • Knit scarves and socks for the war

    • Roll bandages for the Red Cross

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  • “Play YOUR Part”

  • “Conserve and Collect”

  • “Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without”

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Nebraska Note: The North Platte Canteen

  • December 25, 1941 – April 1, 1946

  • Served 6-million servicemen served sandwiches, coffee, cookies and cakes during stops.

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Retaking Europe (Section 2)

  • Roosevelt and Churchill met in August 1941 to decide what the goals of their alliance would be.

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The Atlantic Charter

  • There would be no enlargement of territories.

  • Freedom of people to choose their government

  • Final destruction of the Nazis.

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Battle of the Atlantic

  • How to get supplies to the British?

  • Wolf Packs

    • 20 U boats that hunted enemy convoys in packs.

    • Took out 175 allied ships in 1942 alone.

    • Some in sight of the US coastline.

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How to combat the wolf packs?

  • SONAR (kinda worked)

  • Long range sub hunting aircraft

  • Better depth charges

  • Cut off U Boats from their ports in Germany and France.

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The Major Players of the Atlantic War; Western Front; European Theatre

  • Churchill – Prime Minister of England

  • Roosevelt – US President

  • Josef Stalin – Chairman of Soviet Union

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Players for the Fascists European Theatre

  • Hitler – Germany

  • Mussolini - Italy

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The Generals: Allies European Theatre

  • Dwight “Ike” Eisenhower (1890 – 1969)

  • Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces

  • Excelled at

    • Staffing issues

    • Diplomacy

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The Generals: United States European Theatre

  • George Patton : 1885 – 1945.

  • As a boy knew he wanted to be a hero.

  • LOVED war.

  • Early on realized the potential for tanks.

  • Did NOT have good diplomacy skills.

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The Generals: Allies European Theatre

  • England’s Field Marshal Montgomery –

  • Not a particularly great general – but he made sure people thought he was great.

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The BRILLIANT Nazi Generals European Theatre

  • Rommel “The Desert Fox”

  • Erwin Rommel (1891 – 1944)

  • Great tank commander

  • Used surprise and bold moves.

  • Was NOT a member of the Nazi party

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The BRILLIANT Nazi Admirals European Theatre

  • Admiral Karl Donitz

  • U boat strategy

  • Sea mine technology

  • Ice water instead of blood in his veins.

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The North Africa Campaign European Theatre

  • February 1943: US had their butts kicked by the Nazis.

  • May 1943: US came back, defeated Nazis and took 240,000 German and Italians prisoners.

    • 2000 ended up in POW camps in Nebraska.

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Invasion of Italy: Start of Retaking Europe European Theatre

  • 7th Army under Patton took Sicily and the English started to invade the mainland of Italy.

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Invasion of Italy European Theatre

  • Mussolini’s Fascists turned against him.

  • Nazis rescued Mussolini

    • Set him up in a Puppet Government in northern Italy

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It sure wasn’t over yet! European Theatre

  • Battle of Anzio and Cassino trapped Americans and English and went from January – May 1944.

  • Allies v. German Nazis

  • April 1945 Italy was in Allied control.

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The End for Mussolini European Theatre

  • Caught by the Italians as he tried to leave Italy and escape to Germany.

  • Ended by the Italians.

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The War in the Soviet Union European Theatre

  • The Germans advance in Russia 1941 – 1942.

  • Blitzkrieg

  • Nazis were first greeted as liberators by the ethnic nationalities in Russia.

    • They hated Stalin.

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The War in the Soviet Union European Theatre

  • Nazis turned on the local people.

    • Executions

    • Forced labor

      People engaged in guerrilla actions against the Nazis.

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Russia’s Fight European Theatre

  • Guerrilla Warfare

  • Scorched Earth Policy

  • Stalin BEGGED Roosevelt and Churchill to invade Western Europe to take some pressure off the Red Army.

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Russia’s BEST weapon European Theatre

  • The Russian winter

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Important Soviet Battles European Theatre

  • Battle of Stalingrad

  • September 1942 – January 1943

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Important Soviet Battles European Theatre

  • Siege of Leningrad (St. Petersburg today)

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Battle of Stalingrad European Theatre

  • 330,000 Nazi dead

  • 90,000 Nazi prisoners taken

  • BUT

  • 1,100,000 dead Russians to make it happen.

  • Nazis lost their holdings in Russia.

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The Allied Air War European Theatre

  • B-17s Flying Fortress

  • Carpet Bombing

    • 40,000 died in one day in Hamburg, Germany

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The Invasion of Western Europe European Theatre

  • Time to go after the Nazis in Germany.

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Invasion of Western Europe: D-Day European Theatre

  • June 6, 1944 some 4,600 invasion craft left England for France.

    • 150,000 soldiers

  • 1,000 RAF aircraft dropped 23,000 paratroopers in France

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D-Day: Why June 6 European Theatreth?

  • Rommel’s wife’s birthday!

    • Took the chance he would go to be with her.

    • He took the bait!

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D-Day: Largest landing by sea in history European Theatre

  • Omaha Beach

  • Utah Beach

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D-Day: Omaha Beach European Theatre

  • Killing Zone

  • 12 major resistance nests that reigned fire down over every inch of the beach.

  • IF they made it to the beach.

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D-Day: Omaha Beach European Theatre

  • If you made it to the beach

  • If you made it across the beach

  • You had to climb up a cliff to reach the Germans.

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D-Day: Utah Beach European Theatre

  • Landing was hard – currents.

  • Trouble happened later.

  • Hedgerow fighting

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D-Day European Theatre

  • 3,000 American, British casualties

  • 2,000 German casualties

  • By the next week 500,000 Allies were in France.

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Liberating France European Theatre

  • Patton used a Blitzkrieg to blow a hole through the Germans to advance out of Normandy.

  • With French Resistance they liberated Paris August 25, 1944.

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The Battle of the Bulge: Germany fights back European Theatre

  • December 1944 Germans cut off part of the American army from the main group.

  • Patton did an amazing movement in winter of troops to save the American forces.

    • 600,000 GI soldiers involved

    • 80,000 killed, wounded

    • 100,000 Germans killed

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The War in Europe Ends European Theatre

  • Stalin’s Red Army approaching Germany from the East.

  • British, American and French approaching from the West.

  • March 1945

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The War in Europe Ends European Theatre

  • Russia was out for revenge for Nazi atrocities committed against them.

  • 18- MILLION dead Russians.

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Crossing the Elbe River European Theatre

  • April 25, 1945

  • US and Russian troops joined up and pushed on into Berlin

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Germany Surrenders: V-E Day! European Theatre

  • April 30, 1945: Hitler commits suicide.

  • May 8, 1945: Germany surrenders

  • V-E: Victory in Europe.

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Yalta: Where the Peace went wrong European Theatre

  • FDR, Churchill, Stalin met to discuss the peace.

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Yalta: Where the Peace went wrong European Theatre

  • Plan was to divide German territories and Berlin into four zones, each controlled by an Ally: England, US, France, Russia.

    • Repair the economy

    • Rid the zone of Nazis

    • Hold free elections

    • Get out after repairs are done.

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Yalta European Theatre

  • Stalin didn’t keep to the agreement.

    • Punished the Germans

    • Stole what was left of the economy

    • Did NOT hold free elections.

      • Put puppet communist regimes in.