World War II, Part 2, 1941 - 1942. Investigate how the Imperial Empire of Japan, joining with Nazi Germany, caused war in Asia and the Pacific and the major events of 1941 – 1942.
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World War II, Part 2, 1941 - 1942 Investigate how the Imperial Empire of Japan, joining with Nazi Germany, caused war in Asia and the Pacific and the major events of 1941 – 1942.
While Germany and Italy were busy trying to take over all of Europe and North Africa, the Imperial Empire of Japan was doing the same thing in Asia. On September 27th, 1940, these three Axis Powers signed a pact, or treaty with each other. Their goal was to create a new world under to be ruled under Germany, Italy, and Japan. To check this Japanese expansion in the Pacific, the United States, although not yet at war, transferred most of its Navy to the Pacific.
How the US helped the Allies before joining the fighting in World War II The fall of France left Great Britain fighting alone in both Europe and the Pacific. In early 1941, the United States began lending Great Britain tanks, guns, planes, ships, and other armaments in what was called, the Lend – Lease Program.
Operation Barbarossa: Germany Invades the Soviet Union, June 1941! At the break of dawn on June 22nd, 1941, the vast German army invaded the Soviet Union, thus locking into battle the two largest armies in the world. The front would extend over 2000 miles from the White Sea in the north to the Black Sea in the south. Once again, German goals were to defeated the Soviet Union, subjugate its people and take over Russia’s vast resources and oil reserves.
By the end of November, 1941, the German assault on the Soviet Union had reached its peak and come to a stop. The fighting and losses in human life were beyond description in Russia. For the next two and a half years, World War II’s hardest fighting would take place between the Germans and Russian on the Eastern Front.
Japan Moves Towards War The German Offensive in the Soviet Union led the Japanese to believe that a German victory in Europe was certain. As a result, Japanese armies throughout Asia began making aggressive movements, all the while telling the United States that they wanted peace. By the end of 1941, it was apparent that the Japanese had a more sinister plan. They hoped to attack the United States with such force that it would knock them out of a possible war before it ever began. They almost succeeded.
Prior to becoming involved in the fighting in Europe and Asia, the United States, under the leadership of President Roosevelt, practiced a policy of Isolationism. Isolationism refers to avoiding or not taking a part in any world affairs. Isolationists hope that the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans would keep the United States out of another World War. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 1933-1945
December 7th, 1941 “A Date That Will Live in Infamy”
Early on Sunday morning and without warning, wave after wave of Japanese fighters appeared from out of the horizon and all but destroyed most of the US Pacific fleet. The American sailors were completely surprised by the attack. More than 2,800 Americans were killed in the attack with hundreds more seriously wounded. Eight battleships were sunk a many more ships were damaged or crippled. Six air bases and scores of airplanes were also destroyed. Two hours after the attack, Japan declared war on the United States and England!
Three major mistakes committed by the Japanese when bombing Pearl Harbor The Japanese attacked on a Sunday morning. Most of the sailors, soldiers, and Marines were off-duty in Hawaii. The Japanese bombed the ships more than the dry docks. If the dry docks were bombed, there would have been no place for the ships to have been repaired. The ground storage tanks that held the fuel were not hit. One plane could have crippled the Pacific fleet.
Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler Winston Churchill, Franklin Roosevelt, Joseph Stalin Key American generals, including George Patton, Ike Eisenhower, and Omar Bradley.
The War During 1942 For the first half of 1942, the Allies were on the defensive in both Europe and Asia. In the Pacific, the Japanese had taken over Guam and Wake Islands, the Philippine Islands, Burma, New Guinea and other places. This was to be one of the darkest times for the Allies. However, on the “Home Front,” those men and women not in uniform made a transformation from a peace-time to a war-time manufacturing base that is still one of the marvels of the 20th century.
The Fall of the Philippines and the Bataan Death March As the Japanese were busy invading and conquering all the territory they could in Asia and the Pacific, the all important Philippine Island fell to them as well. In April of 1942, after weeks of fighting, over 70,000 American, British, and Pilipino soldiers were captured by the Japanese. The Japanese then began marching the survivors to a prisoner of war camp more than 60 miles away that became known as the “Bataan Death March.” On the way, the Japanese killed over 10,000 from shootings, beatings, bayonets, starvation, and beheadings.
“The sun beat down…I thought only of bringing my feet up, putting them down, bringing them up…A great many of the prisoners reached the end of their endurance. The drop-outs…fell by the hundreds in the road…There was a crack of a pistol…There was another shot, and more shots, and I knew that, straggling along behind us, was a clean-up squad of Japanese, killing their helpless victims…I gritted my teeth. ‘Oh God, I’ve got to keep going. I can’t stop. I can’t die like that.’” Sidney Stewart, Give Us This Day
The Battle for Midway Island In June, 1942, a strong invasion force of Japanese moved directly against the Hawaiian Islands of the United States. American ships, and Navy/Army planes from Midway Island fought a relentless four-day battle against the Japanese invaders. In the end, the Japanese lost, Hawaii was secure and further expansion on their part during the war ended.
What do you thing the goal was of the Axis Powers (Germany, Italy, and Japan) signing an alliance or treaty with each other? What was the purpose of the Lend-Lease Program? Since the United States was supposed to be neutral at this time, was this an appropriate action to take? Why or why not? In 1940, Germany attacked the Soviet Union. What was the German objective of this offensive? What eventually stopped the German advance? Define the term Isolationism. Considering the circumstances, was this a wise course of action to take when World War II first began? Why or why not? In 5-8 well-written sentences, describe the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and how it was “A date that will live in infamy.” Describe the reasons why the war was not going well for the United States and its Allies during the first part of 1942. Also, tell why the defeat in the Philippines was such a crucial blow to the Americans.