The United States in World War II. 1941-1945. Causes of WWII in Europe. 1. The rise of dictators: > Fascism: Mussolini takes control of Italy. A strong government controlled by a dictator. Very anti-communist, very nationalistic. > Communism: Stalin takes control of the USSR.
1. The rise of dictators:
2. American Isolationist policies
-> This act made it illegal for Americans to sell any arms (weapons) to countries at war.
3. Alliances between fascist powers
-> Following the Spanish Civil War, Hitler (Germany) and Mussolini (Italy) signed an agreement.
-> The next month, Japan aligned itself with Germany and Italy as well – signing the Anti-Comintern Pact.
-> The three countries – Japan, Germany, and Italy, became known as the Axis Powers.
4. Germany Expands
-> Hitler and his gov’t passed the Enabling Acts.
-> In September 1935, Hitler passed the Nuremburg Laws.
5. Germany takes Austria
6. Germany takes the Sudetenland (Czechoslovakia)
-> The Sudetenland
-> The Munich Conference opened in September of 1938.
7. Germany invades Poland
8. Nazi-Soviet Nonaggression Pact
-> August 23, 1939 – Soviet and German representatives sign the Nazi-Soviet Nonagression Pact. (Molotov- Ribbentrop Pact).
8. Poland Falls
-> German blitzkrieg (lightning war) broke through the Polish lines. Warsaw is conqureed Sept 27, 1939. By October, the Polish army is defeated.
9. France Falls
-> The Miracle at Dunkirk, however, allowed most British troops to evacuate back to Britian.
-> The French surrendered on June 22, 1940.
-> However, in June of 1940, the Germany Luftwaffe (air force) began to attack British shipping in the channel, then tried to destroy the British air force. This battle – which lasted 3 months – was called the Battle of Britain.
-> August 23, 1940: German Luftwaffe bombs London by accident. Britain responded by bombing Berlin.
-> During the Holocaust, the Nazis killed 6 million Jews, as well as millions of people from other groups that the Nazis considered to be “inferior”.
-> The Nuremberg Laws…
- > Most Jews had been well integrated into German society
-> People are reluctant to leave their homes and the lives they had built there
- > Many lived in communities with many family members and friends, and did not want to abandon them
- > Most assumed that the conditions would surely improve over time – the harshness of Nazi rule was only temporary – it wasn’t worth leaving their homes and lives for
- > Between 1933 and 1939, 350,000 Jews did escape Nazi Germany
-> Many fled to other European countries (including Otto Frank, father of Anne Frank, who fled to the Netherlands with his family). However, the Nazi army soon conquered these countries as well.
- By 1938. the American consulate (in charge of immigration) had a backlog of 100,000 applications for emigration
- > After the Anschluss, 3,000 Jews PER DAY applied to emigrate to the United States
- > Millions of Jews who tried to flee Germany and other countries in Europe simply couldn’t
-> FDR also mentioned the “four freedoms” that both the USA and Britain followed
DO NOW: 2 Minute Response / Warm Up (Participation)
How do these “freedoms” relate to the Holocaust? In what ways were the Nazis violating these freedoms?
-> FDR warned the American people that if Britain fell to the Nazis, an “unholy alliance” of Germany, Japan, and Italy would try to conquer the rest of the world, and eventually the United States.
-> In June 1941, Hitler launched a massive invasion of the Soviet Union.
-> This was in direct violation of the Nazi-Soviet Nonaggression Pact
-> However, Churchill stated that any person or country, “who fights against Nazism will have our aid”.
-> The USSR joined the Allies.
-> Instead, FDR developed the idea of a hemispheric defense zone.
-> Roosevelt declared the entire western half of the Atlantic Ocean was part of the Western Hemisphere, and therefore neutral.
-> During these meetings, the two men agreed to theAtlantic Charter
-> 1939: United States wants to help protect Britain’s colonies in the Pacific from Japan
-> USA refuses to sell oil (80% of Japanese oil came from USA), scrap metal, and airplane fuel
-> 1940: Japan officially joins the Axis
-> July 1941: Japanese aircraft are positioned to attack British colonies in the Pacific
-> November 26, 1941: six Japanese aircraft carriers, two battleships, and several other warships set sail for Hawaii…
-> Ultimately, Japan’s surprise attack is devastating:
-> 21 American ships sunk or damaged
-> 188 airplanes destroyed
-> 2,403 Americans are killed
-> 1,178 are injured
-> The Senate voted 82 to 0; the House, 388 to 1. The United States declares war on Japan.
-> The United States developed a new system to help American companies: cost-plus contracts.
->This meant that the more a company produced and the faster it did the work, the more money it would make.
-> The Reconstruction Finance Corporation was also established.
-> In June 1940, after the fall of Poland, the gov’t introduced the Selective Service and Training Act.
-> Many recruits were rushed through training so quickly that they didn’t remember what to do
-> At the start of WWII, the U.S. military was completely segregated.
-> Once trained, African-Americans were organized into their own military units, led by white officers.
-> To combat this inequality, the National Urban League set two goals:
-> This led to the Double V campaign
-> May 1942: Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps is established, but women are not part of the regular army
-> 1943: WAAC is replaced by the Women’s Army Corps - an official branch of the military.
-> Only a few hours after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Japanese also attacked American airfields in the Philippines.
-> The American forces in the Philippines were badly outnumbered, so the American commander Douglas MacArthur decided to retreat with his troops to the Bataan Peninsula.
->Nearly 78,000 American prisoners of war were taken at Bataan.
-> They were forced to march 65 miles to a Japanese prison camp.
-> Thousands died – it became known as the Bataan Death March
-> This is called the Doolittle Raid. (Named after James Doolittle, who was in charge of the mission)
-> Instead, long-range B-25 bombers were sent out
-> American Admiral Nimitz set up an ambush for the Japanese fleet.
-> The Japanese attacked Midway on June 4, 1942
-> While the Japanese regrouped, the Americans launched a counter-attack
-> The Battle of Midway was a huge turning point in the War in the Pacific.
-> The Japanese navy lost four of its 6 aircraft carriers – the fleet was now crippled
-> In spring of 1942, Hitler was sure he would be able to win the war.
-> Hitler thought that one last offensive in Russia would push the USSR back. The rest of the Allies would fall soon after.
-> The key to Hitler’s attack, however, was the city of Stalingrad.
-> If the Nazis took Stalingrad, the Soviets would be cut off from the resources they needed to stay in the war.
-> On November 23, 1942, Soviet reinforcements surrounded the city - trapping 250,000 German troops.
-> The battle of Stalingrad was a huge turning point in the war in Europe - it put the Germans on the defensive.
-> At the Casablanca Conference in North Africa, Churchill and Roosevelt came up with a plan to defeat the Axis in Europe.
-> The Allied offensive did NOT destroy the German economy or undermine morale.
-> However, it did cause a severe oil shortage, and wrecked the railroads.
-> By the time the Allies landed on the French beaches, they had ensured that the Nazis would not be able to attack them from the air.
->The invasion of Italy began before dawn on July 10, 1943.
-> A new vehicle called the DUKW - an amphibious truck – was effective in bringing supplies to the troops.
-> By August 18th, the Germans had evacuated the island.
-> The King of Italy, Victor Emmanuel, and a group of Italian generals wanted to remove Mussolini from power.
-> July 25, 1943, the King invited Mussolini to the palace and had him arrested.
-> September 8, 1943 - Italy officially surrendered to the Allies.
-> German troops invaded and took most of North Italy - it would take the Allies 5 months to break through the German lines.
-> The Italian Campaign became one of the bloodiest of the war – costing the Allies more than 300,000 casualties.
-> Stalin agreed, and the two met in Tehran, Iran. The two leaders reached several agreements:
-> Stalin would launch a full-scale offensive against the Germans when the Allies invaded France
-> Roosevelt and Stalin would break Germany into pieces when the war was over - to prevent it from becoming powerful again
-> Stalin promised that once Germany was beaten, the USSR would help the USA defeat Japan
-> Stalin became a member of the “Big Three” – the three powerful leaders of the Allies
-> The only thing left to do was pick the date for the invasion:
-> The date had to have several criteria:
-> The invasion had to begin at night (to hide the ships)
-> The ships had to arrive at low tide (to see the beach obstacles)
-> The low tide had to arrive at dawn so the gunners could see their targets
-> Paratroopers had to be dropped behind enemy lines – that meant the night before had to be moonlit
-> Plus, the weather had to be good!
“D-Day” – What does it mean?
= D was a code letter used for any important invasion day. “D” stood for day.
= Days leading up to “D-Days” would be coded + or – to say how much time had passed/needed to pass.
= D-Day means “Day Day”
-> The American landing at Utah beach was a huge success
-> Omaha Beach was a different story…
-> Americans faced intense German fire
-> More landing craft arrived, ramming their way through obstacles
-> Ultimately, Omaha Beach was also a successful landing
-> Allied troops had to make their way throughhedgerows – dirt walls, several feet thick, covered in shrubbery
-> The Battle of the Hedgerows ended on July 25,1944 when American bombers were able to blast a large hole in the German lines.
-> Allied forces liberated Paris on August 25, 1944
-> Hitler decided to stage one last offensive.
-> He planned to cut off Allied supplies coming through the port city of Antwerp, Belgium.
-> As the German troops raced west, their line bulgedoutward – giving the battle its name: the Battle of the Bulge.
-> Eisenhower ordered General Patton to rescue the Americans | holding Bastogne.
-> Three days later, through a snowstorm, Patton’s troops slammed into the German lines.
-> On Christmas Eve, the German troops were forced to halt.
-> On April 21, Soviet troops reached Berlin.
-> Hitler knew he couldn’t win the war, and committed suicide in his Berlin bunker.
-> On May 7, 1945, Germany surrendered. The following day (May 8) was proclaimed “V-E Day” for Victory in Europe.
-> This strategy was called “island hopping” – where the American Navy would “hop” from island to island, getting closer and closer to Japan.
-> At Tarawa Atoll, the Navy’s first objective, there were big problems
-> 20 ships ran aground. The Marines had to wade in shoulder-deep water to get to the island.
-> The entire time, they were shot at by Japanese soldiers.
-> Over 1,000 U.S. Marines died at Tarawa alone
-> The amphtrac (amphibious tractor) was a boat with tank treads – nicknamed the “Alligator”.
-> Because of the “Alligator” the U.S. assaults on later Pacific islands – the Marshall Islands and later Mariana Islands – were much more successful.
-> As the forces under Admiral Nimitz hopped across the Pacific, Gen. MacArthur began his campaign to re-take the Philippines.
-> The campaign began in August, 1942 – and continued into 1944
-> The Battle of Leyte Gulf was the largest naval battle in history.
-> It was also the first use of the Japanese kamikaze.
-> Although the Japanese force retreated, the campaign to recapture the Philippines was long and grueling.
-> Over 80,000 Japanese were killed – less than 1,000 surrendered.
-> During the battles, 100,000 Filipino civilians were killed.
-> The remaining Japanese soldiers in the Philippines were still fighting when word came in August, 1945, that Japan had surrendered.
-> American bombers were facing a problem – they were unable to successfully bomb Tokyo.
-> To counter this, the U.S. military decided to invade the nearby island of Iwo Jima.
-> February 19, 1945, 60,000 U.S. Marines invaded Iwo Jima.
-> During the attacks on Japan, American planes also engaged infirebombing.
-> Firebombing was controversial –
-> The bombs were filled with napalm – jellied gasoline
-> Even if the bombers missed their targets, the fires would still spread
-> However, the fires would also kill civilians
-> By June 1945, Japan’s six biggest industrial cities had been firebombed – destroying half of the urban area in each.
-> Despite intense firebombing, Japan refused to surrender.
-> The Americans invaded Okinawa Island in order to use it as a base from which to attack Japan.
-> Many Japanese leaders were ready to surrender, but with acondition – the Emperor had to remain in power.
-> Since the late 1930s, America had been developing atomic weapons technology. This project was code-named the Manhattan Project.
-> Two Atomic Bombs were used, both dropped by a B-29 Bomber called the Enola Gay:
-> Little Boy – 16 kilotons – uranium based – dropped August 6, 1945 at 8:15 AM on Hiroshima
-> Fat Man – 21 kilotons – plutonium based – dropped August 9, 1945 at 11:02 AM on Nagasaki
Nagasaki after bombing
Hiroshima after bombing
Hiroshima before bombing
-> The same day as the Nagasaki bombing, the USSR declared war on Japan.
-> August 15, 1945: Japan surrenders
-> This day is known as V-J Day (Victory in Japan)