While the Depression was taking place world wide, so was the prospect of war. • Dissention in Europe had brought about many changes in the social/political scene. Fall out from WWI, the Great Depression, and the immigrant problem within the European countries forced the established governments to deal with these problems or be voted out. • Since WWI, most of the European countries, except Russia, were some form of Democracy, Germany, France, Spain, England, etc.
There were still ill-feelings within Europe from the war. • Many of the countries that were forced to pay reparations were unable to due to the Depression. This caused many of the “loans” given by US banks & private citizens to fall through. England & France stated they could only pay the US when they received reparation payments from Germany, Austria, Hungary, Turkey, etc. • Most of these countries were already financially devastated before the Depression.
USA • Isolationism – prominent feelings since the 1920’s. Deal with the problems in the US & not worried about what is happening overseas. • FDR was opposed to the US being in the League of Nations. • The US tried to maintain trade relations with many of the “Allied” & “Axis” powers. • The Kellogg-Briand Pact – 1928 – delegates from 62 countries signed the pact to outlaw war. It was also called the Pact of Paris & followed some of the tenets of the League of Nations.
Germany • Became a democratic republic (Weimar) in 1918. • Government officials were elected by popular vote. • A young, WWI veteran, Adolf Hitler, began his political career in the 1920’s. He was a failed artist, who was caught up in the anti-immigrant feelings that were very prominent in Germany. He slowly gets a small following of like-minded “thugs” that become known as the “Brown Shirts” ( later they would be called the SA). This is the fore runner of the SS.
The Beer Hall Putsch - Hitler’s 1st real test. The SA led a small revolt that started in a beer hall. Quickly put down by the police, several SA members were killed. Hitler was arrested & sent to prison. It is here that he writes his best-selling book Mein Kampf. • Upon his release, the National Socialist Party of Germany (NAZI) were going to be a dominating factor of German politics. • Hitler is elected, by popular vote, to the position of Chancellor on Jan. 30, 1933. • He soon becomes dictator. The Reichsfuhrer.
Once Hitler dominates Germany, he begins to build up it’s military substantially. • In direct violation of the Treaty of Versailles & the League of Nations, Hitler openly builds up the German war machine. • The rest of the world is too busy worrying about the depression, to be concerned with Hitler. • By 1935, Hitler invades & takes the Saar region, between Germany & France.
March 1936 – Hitler invades & takes the Rhineland. Again, between Germany & France. • Sept. 1938 – Hitler invades & takes Austria and the Sudetenland. Territory that belonged to Czechoslovakia. • March 1939 – Hitler takes the rest of Czechoslovakia. • Aug. 1939 – Hitler signs a non-aggression pact with Stalin, saying the Germany will not invade Russia. • Why was Germany allowed to invade other countries?
Italy • The King of Italy – Emanuel III allows Benito Mussolini to become Premier of Italy in 1922. Mussolini, “Il Duce”, the Leader, basically becomes dictator of Italy by 1925. • He leads Italy into new prosperity & a revival of Italian pride & culture. • He wanted to renew the “glory that was Rome”, much in the same way that Hitler wanted to revive the “Holy Roman Empire”or Prussia.
Mussolini was a large, charismatic, gregarious man. He enjoyed his wine, women & song & basically lived the life. • Mussolini used the Fascist party to propel him into power, a mixture of nationalism & socialism, but later did away with all political parties. Almost the same way Hitler came to power. • During the later 1920’s, Italy enjoyed relative prosperity & growth. Even into the 1930’s. By Oct. 1935, Italy invades & takes over Ethiopia, & made their way into Libya.
Italy no had a foot hold in North Africa. Beside England, who had occupied Egypt, & France who were in Morocco & Algeria. • April 1939 – Italy invades Albania. Giving Italy a foot hold in Balkans. • Oct. 1940 – Italy invades Greece. Also, they launch an attack on Egypt. But had to have German help to take these countries. • The League of Nations still did nothing.
Japan • A growing power in Asia since the late 1800’s. • Establish a foot hold in Asia by obtaining Korea in the Treaty of Portsmouth. Slowly working their way into the Chinese countryside. Also, expanding their navy into the south Pacific. • During WWI, Japan took a lot of territory that was Germany’s.
Japan also pushed into northern China by the end of WWI. Manchuria, which the Japanese would rename – Manchukuo, had vital RR lines the Japanese needed for supplies. • Japanese officials met with US officials after WWI to discuss & finally agree that Japan has “special interests” in China. • Both China & Japan are allies of the US. • But through the 1920’s & 1930’s that relationship would deteriorate.
Many agreements, pacts, & treaties were signed by the US, Japan, & many European countries on everything from trade to military build up, to disarmament. • Tensions were increasing globally, but no one really wanted to do anything about it. • From 1931 on, Japan & China were at war. • Japan quit the League of Nations & severed most ties with the “Gaijin” foreigners. • As the Nazi’s took Germany & the Fascists took Italy, the Militarists (Hirohito) would take Japan.
Spain • As Germany & Italy were busy expanding their borders, the democratic government of Spain was overthrown by a military revolt. • July 1936 – Gen. Francisco Franco led the revolt against the established (and recognized) democratic government of Spain. • He became known as “El Caudillo” – The Leader! • All of the dictators in Europe sent aid to Franco, Hitler, Mussolini & Stalin, all wanted Franco on their side. The US England & France stayed out of it all together. • By March of 1939 – Franco would control Spain. Did a great job!
The Powers Unite • Anti-Comintern Pact – 1937 – Germany, Italy & Japan sign an agreement to fight against the communist threat. This is actually the foundation for a later treaty making them allies for a common cause. • As the rest of the world stood by & allowed countries to be taken over, with little or no protest. No one tried to stop any of the invasions or governmental overthrow, why stop now?
Sept. 1, 1939 – Germany invades Poland. This begins the war in Europe, because England & France finally own up to their agreement to assist if Poland is invaded. • They had the same agreements with Czech., Lithuania, etc., but left them high & dry. • The US had treaties with these nations also, did nothing about it. Abandoned Spain, Czech., etc. • But now England & France are in the war, what does the US do?
US considered it a “European War” & not our problem. Even though the US did sympathize with the western European democracies (those that were left). Plus the fear of the growing dictatorships threatened national security. But not enough to get the US actively involved. • The Neutrality Act of 1935 – outlawed the sale of weapons & ammo to countries that the Pres. deemed a state of war existed. • The US hoped to remain neutral at all costs. Increasing isolationist sentiment growing within the US
Dec. 12, 1937 – Japanese bombers attack & sink the USS Panay, an American gunboat, that was anchored on the Yangtze River. The Japanese apologized, claiming they thought it was a Chinese ship (it had been flying the US Flag). They made reparations, but animosity was growing against Japan & quickly. • The Ludlow Amendment – 1938 – would require a public referendum for a declaration of war, except when attacked. It did not pass, but came very close. An indication of how much the US wanted to stay out of the impending war.
FDR proposed to deal with England & France on a cash & carry basis, but Congress would not allow it. After considerable discussion, the Neutrality Act of 1935 was amended. • The Neutrality Act of 1939 – England & France would be allowed to send ships to the US, & purchase any supplies (with CASH) that they needed. US ships were not allowed to dock at ports of countries that were at war. All of this was brought on by Germany’s invasion of Poland. • US opinion began to swing in favor of helping the Allies, & less isolationism.
April 9, 1940 – Blitzkrieg “Lightening War” Hitler’s tactic of fast, mobilized warfare. The German Army invaded Denmark & took the country in 1 day. They made their way up the Norwegian coast & taking Norway in a few weeks. • May 10 – German troops take Belgium & the Netherlands, who were neutral. • May 21 – German forces now blocked the English Channel. At Dunkirk, the German Army blocked the retreat of English, French & Belgian forces. The English military “drafted” every ship in the area –literally- to try & get the men off the beaches. German tanks, artillery & infantry slaughtered 100,000’s. Only 388,000 made it to England.
The French defenses, the Maginot Line, a series of forts & bunkers, was by-passed & driven over by Hitler’s tanks. • June 10, 1940 – Italy “officially” enters the war as Germany’s ally. • June 14, 1940 - Paris fell to the Germans • June 22 – France surrenders to Hitler. • This leaves England to fight all alone in Europe. • US concern is growing. FDR pushes for increased military production.
FDR orders US military supplies, surplus & stocks be given to England. Planes, tanks, weapons, ammo, etc. • This depletes the already low supplies for the very small US military. • June 1940 – FDR sets up the National Defense Research Committee to conduct military research & to begin the development of the atomic bomb. • With all that was going on, the US population still wanted nothing to do with the war.
The Battle of Britain • Summer 1940 – the Royal Air Force (RAF) faced its greatest challenge to date. The German Luftwaffe (Air Force) launched a massive assault on England. • German bombers destroyed cities in England, completely eradicating sections of major cities. • The Canadian RAF & Australian Air Force, along with US volunteers, fought off the numerically & technologically superior Luftwaffe. • Had it not been for the new invention, RADAR, England would have lost. • Germany had to wait before invading England.
FDR & Winston Churchill had been in secret negotiations on ships located in the North Atlantic. At these meetings, later to be part of the Atlantic Charter, it was agreed that the US would give England destroyers in exchange for 99 yr. lease on naval & air bases in English colonies & territories. The 50 ships they received were pre-WWI vintage (some Spanish-American War) ships. • Sept. 16, 1940 – the 1st peace-time conscription. All men aged 21-35 had to register for a year’s military service stateside.
Factions within the government & population began to form, according to their belief in US involvement. • Internationalists – felt that the US national security demanded that we help England. The civilian counterpart were called The Committee to Defend America by Aiding the Allies, mainly located on the East & West coasts & in the South. • Isolationists – felt the US was being pulled into another needless war. Their civilian counterpart were called The America First Committee. Mainly located in the upper Mid-West, & had Herbert Hoover & Charles Lindbergh in their ranks.
FDR wins the Pres. Election of 1940 & one of his 1st acts was to increase the aid going to England. • Lend-Lease Program – Jan. 10, 1941, authorized the Pres. to sell, transfer, exchange, lend, lease, or otherwise dispose of arms & other equip. & supplies to any country whose defense the Pres. deems vital to the defense of the US. • Hitler was actually doing well, (at this point he could have won) until he got a little too greedy & made a costly mistake.
June 22, 1941 – Germany invades Russia. Now he is fighting a 2 front war, England in the west & Russia in the east. US & England offer assistance to Russia, reviving old WWI alliances. • The Russian winter is possibly their greatest weapon & causes Hitler to be bogged down in the east. • Now England is no longer alone, but the US still will not commit troops to the fight.
The Atlantic Charter • Aug. 1941 – Churchill & FDR met secretly off the coast of Newfoundland (have been since 1940). • This charter called for the self-determination of all people, equal access to raw materials, economic cooperation, freedom of the seas, & a system of general security. 15 nations backed the Charter, this will lay the groundwork for the United Nations.
U-Boat Attacks • Sept. 4, 1941 – U-Boats attack the USS Greer, a destroyer in the North Atlantic. • Sept. 11- 18, 1941, FDR issues orders for US Naval ships to “shoot on sight” any German or Italian ships of was in US defended waters. Also, that same week, the US Navy began to escort merchant ships to Iceland. • Oct. 17, 1941 – the USS Kearny is heavily damaged while attacking U-Boats. • Oct. 31, 1941 – the USS Reuben James is sank, killing 115 men.
Nov. 17, 1941 – Congress amends the Neutrality Acts to allow for the arming of merchant vessels that enter combat zones. Also, US Navy Shore Patrol & Men-At-Arms are stationed on several Merchant Marine ships to protect them. • Slowly the US was being pulled into a naval war with Germany. • But the American population still did not want to go to war. We were just protecting ourselves.
The Japanese War Machine • The Japanese had moved themselves into several strategic positions in southeast Asia over the last 30 years. Rapidly becoming the dominant force in Asia & the Pacific. • After the French surrender, the Vichy government, a puppet government of French officials who have taken sides with Germany, Japan forced the Vichy to allow Japanese airfields to be built in French-Indochina, (Vietnam, Laos, & Cambodia).
July 2, 1940 - US responded with the Export Control Act of 1940 – this assisted China by restricting the export of arms & other strategic supplies to Japan. • Sept. 27, 1940 – Tripartite Pact – Germany, Italy & Japan sign an agreement that each country would declare war on any country that attacked any of them. • Hitler was hoping that Japan would invade Russia from the east distracting them & helping his cause in the west. • Japan signed a non-aggression pact with Russia & never invaded the country.
July 1941 – Japan declared itself to be the Protectorate of French-Indochina. Now they posed a real threat to the Philippines, Australia, as well as other US & English territories in South Asia & Pacific. • FDR stated that the US would freeze all Japanese accounts in the US, restrict the oil being exported to Japan, & he placed Gen. Douglas MacAthur as Commander of All US forces in Asia. • Sept. 1941 – an oil embargo had started against Japan.
The Path to Pearl Harbor • Since Aug. 1941, the Japanese Premier, Fumimaro Konoye, & his ambassadors had been in talks with the US Sec. Of State Cordell Hull, concerning US & Japanese relations. Hull demanded the Japanese leave China in order to maintain good relations with the US. The Japanese Militarists were unwilling to do that. Konoye, wanted peace above all else, had to obey the Emperor & his ruling party, the Militarists. • But he still maintained talks with the US.
The opposite end of the scale for the Japanese government was the Japanese War Minister- Hideki Tojo. He felt that the Japanese should go to war & prove their superiority. He, as well as most of the high command, were descendants of the Samurai class, or of the Gunbatsu warlords that invaded China in the later 1800’s – early 1900’s. • They had a warrior tradition & felt anything less than battle was dishonorable.
Konoye & Tojo had many arguments about what Japan should do. Many in the Japanese government felt that while the US was focused on the Germans in the Atlantic, that they should strike & remove the US Naval threat, plus they would be to secure new resources for oil. • Aug. 1941 – Konoye wanted to meet with FDR to try & work out an agreement. Hull advised FDR not to do so unless Japan would meet certain criteria. Therefore, stopping the meeting.
Sept. 6, 1941 – the Japanese Imperial Council began preparations for an attack on Hawaii. They gave Konoye 6 wks. to make a treaty with the US. • Once again, Konoye & Tojo squared off. Tojo agreed to remove his troops from China over the next 25 years, if the US would stop helping China. • Konoye knew the US would not accept this. Oct. 15, 1941 – Premier Konoye resigned. • Oct. 16, 1941 – Tojo is made Premier & now the Militarists have full control of the Japanese Council.
Nov. 20, 1941 – a Japanese envoy met with FDR & Hull with Tojo’s plan. This is thought to be part of the attack plan. To keep the US occupied with peace talks, while the Japanese prepare to attack. The Plan stated that Japan would invade no more territory, if the US would stop helping China, restore trade relations & help Japan get supplies from the Dutch Indies. If so, Japan would pull out of Indochina immediately & slowly everywhere else as soon as peace was made with China.
Nov. 26, 1941 – Hull demanded once again that Japan leave China. • That same day, the Japanese Navy left Japan, headed for Hawaii. Specifically for the key US Naval base in the Pacific – Pearl Harbor. • US & British forces in the Pacific & Asia knew the war was close. But they had no idea it was already headed towards them. • Most felt the Dutch & British Indies were the target, not the US.
Dec. 7, 1941 – that Sunday morning, Japanese planes were the first of the assault to hit Oahu, Hawaii. The Japanese had planned for a 3 pronged attack, hit the US Naval base at Pearl Harbor, the US Army post at Schofield Barracks, & the US Army Air Corps Bases at Wheeler & Hickham. Japanese bombers hit these targets as planned. Planes flew from the south & attacked Pearl Harbor & Hickham, and to get across the Kahuku mountain range to attack Schofield Barracks & Wheeler, the planes flew through Koli Koli Pass and attacked.
A majority of the US fleet had already sailed for California several days before. Leaving only a small fleet at the island. • The Japanese attack, which lasted a little over 2 hours, sank 3 battleships & 16 other ships, but the aircraft carriers were already out to sea. The Army Air Corps, fearing sabotage, parked all the planes in small, easily guarded groups. Making it very easy for the Japanese bombers to destroy most of the planes. • What did the Japanese forget to destroy?
Japanese bombers did not attack the oil tanks & ammunition storage areas. They were not located near the harbor, so the planes did not fly inland. This allowed the US Navy & Army Air Corps, to retaliate rather quickly. • The Japanese lost about 30 planes & 3 two man “suicide subs”. The US did not fare so well. • 2,400 KIA & another 1,178 WIA (civilian included)
Dec. 8 (Dec. 7 – US time), 1941 the Japanese military attacked the Philippines, Guam, Midway, Hong Kong & Malaysia. • Dec. 8, 1941 – in Washington, D.C., FDR delivers his “Day that shall last in Infamy” speech as Congress voted to declare war on Japan. • Dec. 11, 1941 – Germany & Italy declare war on the US. • The US has now entered World War II.