Thememories of the World War 1 were still fresh in the minds of theAmericans and therefore, they were doing their best not to getinvolved in another war. However, there were several reasons that ledto Japanese’s bombing the American troop at Pearl Harbor. There wasincreased tension between the two countries. This made PresidentRoosevelt of America to put a ban on trade activities for Japan. Thismade Japan unable to receive important materials for example, crapiron, steel, and oil. This move affected the Japanese economy,military, and trade greatly. In 1941, Japanese had two goals. Firstwas to get the American’s lift the ban, as they needed oil to beable to fuel their military. Secondly, they had a great desire toconquer more territories and get ready for war. The Japanese startedpreparing for the war they were planning to attack Burma, the EastIndies, Malaya, and the Philippines. However, they feared that theAmerican troop in Pearl Harbor in Hawaii would arrive and interferewith their plans. Therefore, the Japanese government decided toattack the United States of America Base that was at Pearl Harbor asa strategy to prevent the American President Franklin D. Rooseveltfrom interfering with Japan’s internal affairs (Dower21- 23).However, instead of the United States of America staying away fromthe affairs of Japan, aggression and anger made America declare andjoin the World War II. America’s decision to join the Second WorldWar led them to be involved in different fights, which affected theentire country, however eventually they won with their allycountries.
TheUnited States of America always remembers 7 December 1941 as the oneof the darkest days in its history of the naval fleet at PearlHarbor. It was on this Sunday morning that the American navy divisionwas doing their usual routine job, that the Japanese’s navysurprisingly attacked them. The Americans navy was in a deep shocksince they could not predict the attack. The attack caused all theship and staff present at Pearl Harbor experience a massive loss. ThePearl Harbor turned to be a battlefield view where smoke and firecame from all corners. The effect of the attack led to the loss ofaround 2400 American best navy people and civilian. In addition,Japanese injured around 1250 people. They destroyed or sank 21 shipsat Pearl Harbor and destroyed around 164 aircrafts to ashes. Despitethe fact that it was risky and expensive to organize the attack forthe Japanese’s, it was not successful. This was because theJapanese’s were targeting the aircraft carriers but at the time ofbombing they were not at Pearl Harbor therefore, all of them weresafe. Secondly, the only place attacked was the battleships, the restof Pearl Harbor structures intact. This helped the United States ofAmerica navy to regroup and became powerful again.
PresidentRoosevelt decided to address the nation. President Roosevelt said “No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditatedinvasion, the American people in their righteous might will winthrough to absolute victory “. On 8 December 1941, the presidentRoosevelt requested congress to declare war against the Japanese.This totally altered the Japanese expectation of America withdrawingthe ban that been put on Japan’s export and trade instead it hadangered the Americans. Three days after America declaring war againstthe Japanese, Italy, and Germany who were Japan’s allies declaredwar against America. This made America become part of a global war.America’s main allies were the Soviet Union and Great Britain. However, America faced many challenges this was because it was notfully equipped to fight and had several wounds. However, America hadthe need to train, raise, and outfit an enormous military force. President Roosevelt decided that they should not be involved infighting main battle in Europe and Pacific simultaneously. TheAmerican advisory team together with President Roosevelt agreed thatthey should first fight the Italians and Germans. Once they triumphin Europe then Japanese would be their next target to conquer.
Thismade President Roosevelt to send the best and more soldiers toEurope. In addition, America sent other war equipment and troops toassist the Britain carry on against the Germans. American army leaderdesired to initialize a battle through the English Channel againstthe Germany to end the war quickly. However, Winston ChurchillBritain’s Prime Minister opposed the idea because he and otherleaders involved feared that if they attacked the Channel they wouldnot win. This made both the Americans and the British decided toattack the German troops occupying North Africa. They were able toconquer and defeat them. After which they went over the MediterraneanSea and attacked the German army that was at Sicily and after severalweeks of fighting, they were able to send them off to Italianmainland. The Allies decided to invade Italy (Overy107 – 360).Hitler was unable to strengthen Germans armed forces located withinItaly and North Africa because of its involvement in fighting withthe Soviet Union. It was a mistake for Hitler to decide and attackthe Soviet Union this early in the war because it made Germany todivide its resources and army people. Hitler was trying to win overthe Soviet Union army with just one attack. However, they did notsucceed. This failure made him lose important army people andresource that would have helped him and German win the Italian andNorth Africa wars. The attack of Germany against Soviet Union wasinitially a success. This was because of the victories they hadagainst Ukraine, Kiev and then entering deeper inside Russia.
However,the following year mid of 1941, things changed since the Soviet Unionarmy, led by Marshal Zhukov, were able to win a fierce terrible warover Stalingrad City killing around two hundred and fifty thousandItalian and German soldiers.Another reason for their failure wasduring the months that followed there was winter and many of theGermans army died from hunger and cold. Zhukov’s army attacked andcaused the Germanys to retrieve back. In addition, other Soviet Unionarmy forces forced the German soldiers out of Leningrad City alsoreferred to as St. Petersburg. Around June 1944, most of the Germansoldiers all over Soviet Union were moving out of the country. However, the intention of the Soviet Union army was to make theGerman soldier cross over the boarder then they attack the Germansthemselves. The battle was very terrible that led to many people andGerman soldiers dying in the process. Some of the soldiers werefighting on land while others along the sea. The fight along theocean had been there since the first day when the war started. Thiswas after a German marine made a ship from Britain to sink.
Themain aim for the German soldiers in the entire war was to ensure thatthe United States of America did not send ships with war materials tothe British army. All ships feared the German’s submarines whilecrossing the Atlantic Ocean. This was because the submarines fromGerman were capable of hiding below the water surface and attackingtheir enemy’s ship without warning. These attacks continued untilaround 1943 when there was improvement in technology whereby the allycountries improved the radars and sonar systems that assisted them inlocating submarines underwater and on the surface. This helped theAmerica’s and Britain to locate and destroy their enemy’ssubmarines and allowed the Britain to get more material supplies andtroops. In addition, it made the ally countries gain control over theAtlantic Ocean. The warships on the surface from both regions wereinvolved in fighting several naval wars. However, the British shipsand planes played an important role in helping conquer a great Germanwarship referred as Bismarck. One of the famous air wars in thebattle in Europe occurred across the Channel. The German’s pilotstried to wipe out the smaller military air force from Britain.However, they were unable to defeat them because the British armysoldiers were very good and experienced in fling. The air war victoryhelped stop the Germans from attacking the British people.
AroundMay 1942, the American and British planes forces attacked German witharound a thousand bomber airplanes. These airplanes were able to bombGermany’s industrial and army centers. In addition, they alsoattacked and bombed civilians with the aim of teaching the German thevalue of having the violent behavior (Overy107 – 360).Several German cities were badly damage for example Hamburg, Cologne,and Dresden. The America and Britain bombing continued until the endof the war. German’s allies and Hitler succeeded during the firstfew months of the war had instilled fear among people all over theworld. This was because they had won all battles they were involvedin, except when they tried to invade Britain. The strength of Germanwas still evident during the first few months after America joinedthe battle in Europe (Overy107 – 360).However, German allies and Hitler started experiencing loses duringthe foremost six months of 1943 and their strength was no more duringthe last months. Hitler continued to conquer Belgium, France and awider area in the west of Europe. However, the America and Britishsoldiers attacked the Germans to stop them from controlling Europeand winning the war. On 5 June 1944, the allied armies were waitingfor the order to attack the German army that was in France. However,there were some delays since the weather was not good. After anannouncement that the weather would be good, Dwight Eisenhower whowas the commander of the Allied countries gave the order for Germansattack, the night of 5 June 1944. Adolph Hitler foreknew about thewar but did not know where the allied military force would firststrike. This was because the German’s expected the first place tostrike would be Calais in France but it was not so because the Alliedsoldiers decided to strike Normandy coast of France across theChannel.
Duringthe attack, General Eisenhower had twelve thousand planes, onehundred and fifty thousand soldiers, and many material supplies forthe war. First, they dropped thousand of parachuted army near wherethe Germans were located. Secondly, the allied airplanes started todrop bombs on the German’s defense and finally on 6 June thousandof warships moved toward the beaches, carrying material supplies andmore soldiers (Overy107 – 317).Immediately the war became bloody and fierce. Despite the fact thatthe Germans army was strong and had better beaches protection, theallied armed forces had more soldiers in terms of numbers. Thiscaused the Allied military to occupy slowly small beach section thenmoving to the next one. In a week’s time, the Allied forces hadaround six thousand soldiers and had over eighty nine thousandvehicles in France, and they continued to move ahead. This madeHitler furious and blamed his generals for not being able to blockthe attack. He ordered more army men to be increased but this did notstop the allied army from invading. Around mid August 1944, theAllied military captured Paris. The Allied soldiers decided to moveto Belgium, where they captured Antwerp Port, which made it to beeasy to send material supplies to their soldiers. It was until theytried to enter Netherlands that the Germans were able to stop them.However, the American’s parachutes army won the war at Nijmegen andEindhoven (Overy107 – 317).The German conquered the British army at Arnhem. This caused theAllied soldiers to stop the battle for a while. However, after threeand half months the Allied military was able regained nearly theentire France.
TheSoviet Union on the other hand in 1944, was fighting the German’sfrom the east. At first, they succeeded at Moscow, Leningrad, andStalingrad. They also were able to recapture farms and cities inRussia. However, they retrieved and allowed the Germans to fight withPoland people. After German conquered Poland and was weak, it waseasy for the Soviet Union army to come and defeat both of them. AdolfHitler was in real trouble because the German’s were being attackedfrom the east by the Soviet Union, west by the Allies army troops,and at home, some German army officials were trying to kill him. Notall this attacks made him surrender, however, he organized an attackat Ardennes Forest, which was the centerline of the Allied armedforces and hoped he would regain control by separating the Alliedarmies. Germans attacked the tired Americans from a different war. Inaddition, the weather was not good and therefore, the other Alliesarmies were not able to drop bombs to the German soldiers. This madeit easy for the Germans to penetrate the American’s line. However,the Germany’s success was not long lasting because the Alliessoldiers nearby came to help the America’s and the change inweather allowed the Allies airplanes to attack the German’s. Themonth that followed marked an end of the war when America and theAllies soldiers defeated the German soldiers killing over one hundredthousand soldiers and destroying many of their supplies. In addition,from the east, the Soviet Union was entering Germany. This made theAllies together with the Soviet Union defeated Germans and the warended on May 8 1945. Hitler killed himself by shooting his head and aweek after the Germans surrendered (Overy107 – 317).
However,they could not celebrate as anticipated because the Americans werestill involved in a fierce battle with the Japanese in pacific. Inaddition, the innocent dead Jewish bodies and other people’s bodiesthey found in the Germans camp lessened the celebrations. Americawas not able to fight two wars effectively that is in Asia andEurope. However, only after the America’s victory in Europe wouldthey concentrate on the battle with the Japanese within the Pacificand Asia. This decision by the Americans gave room for the Japaneseto be able to conquer battles within the Pacific and all over Asiaincreasing their power. For example, immediately after, the attack atPearl Harbor the Japanese attacked Malaya, Hong Kong and Philippine(Dower21- 23).The Japanese destroyed the Americans air forces and lands inPhilippines. In addition, Japan also conquered Manila. Japanesemilitary forces were able to get victory and conquered the Britishforces in Singapore. In Burma, the Japanese were able to conquerAndaman Island found within Bay of Bengal.
Inthe meantime, President Roosevelt increased the number of the armedforces in Pacific. In addition, the President Roosevelt began torebuild American military base at Pearl Harbor. Washington attemptedto battle back by successfully bombing Tokyo. Unfortunately the overconfidence that the Japanese had about winning the war, led them tointroduce new campaigns and increase their goals, which was a mistakeon the Japanese side. This is because it made its army to stretchover a wider area, too quickly and thinly. In addition, themisconception by the Tokyo Army leaders that the American soldierscould not win due to their involvement in the Europe war, led toJapanese slowly but sure defeats. For example, during the month ofJune in 1942 there was a great war in Midway Island. The Japaneseleader Isoroku Yamamoto started the war because he wanted to wipe outthe American navy ships that had remained before they had time toreconstruct them. However, despite the fact that the Americans hadless ship compared to Japanese, they had an advantage since they hadlearnt how to recognize Japanese soldiers’ secret messages. Thishelped the American leader Nimitz and his troop to know where exactlythe Japanese warships would sail. Therefore, they were able to puttheir ships in strategic locations to stop them. The two groupsfought fiercely but in the end, the Americans won. This forcedYamamoto to stop the attack and went back home. Guadalcanal Islandwas the subsequently big war that followed. The Japanese had anairbase built there. When the Americans knew about it, they sentmarines on the island. In addition, army soldiers from New Zealandand Australia joined them.
Aftera surprise attack from the Japanese, the American lost many of theirships and their marine support. The war continued for around Sixmonths for control of the island. Eventually, the Allies forced theJapanese to vacate Guadalcanal in the month of February 1943. Thismade the Allies army forces start the attacks instead of thedefensive fights they had had for several months. However, there wereproblems with the planners on where to start the attacks. The navyleader desired to attack Japanese small groups in the islands but thearmy leader MacArthur wanted to fight from the New Guinea thenPhilippines. Finally, they agreed to start both fights, which wereall successful. The war continued all over Asia and the pacific. TheAllies army fought islands where the Japanese did not have strongarmies. However, sometime they had to fight them to capture placesfor their planes to land. There was another fierce battle at IwoJima, where by the Japanese were defeated by the Allies soldiers,after around two and half months of resistance. When the Americansconquered Japanese at Okinawa, the Japanese knew they had lost thewar. However, they did no surrender. There were expectations fromboth sides that there would be an attack within Japan itself. TheAmerica dropped an atomic bomb at Hiroshima city on August 6 andanother at Nagasaki on August 9 where around one hundred thousandpeople were killed (Dower21- 23).Several days after Tokyo surrendered. On 15 August 1945, Japanesesurrender leading to the end of World War two all over the world.
Effectsof the Second World War
Itis important to note that during the initial days of America’sinvolvement in the war, there was a lot of panic in the country. Thiswas because if the Japanese military could attack Hawaiisuccessfully, causing damage to the naval fleet and injure theinnocent civilians, what would prevent them from attacking the UnitedStates mainland especially alongside the pacific coast. The fear ofJapanese’s attacking caused readily acceptance by majority ofAmerica’s people to forgo some things in order to get victory. Forexample, in 1942, the government introduced a rationing program withlimits set on the amount of food, clothing and gas the people couldpurchase. For the government to achieve this, it gave each family aration stamp to use when buying different items such as sugar, meat,butter, vegetables, fat, fruits, tires, fuel oil, gas, and clothing(Bentley15).In addition, the citizens who were not in the war were requested togrow fruits and vegetables. In addition, they were to eat foodleftovers. There was an increase in the production of Chocolates andchewing gums, which were given to the military men, who ate them.They could not fight on empty stomachs and the government wasrationing the food. The United States of America officer in charge ofwar released posters to the United States troops to use less for themto have enough.
Meanwhilecommunities and individuals drove around to collect scrap metal,rubber, and aluminum cans, which would be recycled to be able toproduce armaments that the U.S. troop would use to win the war. Inaddition, the teams that were in charge of production for war itemshad to substitute for the shortages in production. For example, theUS mint was a good substitute for copper and nickel. Surprisinglysometimes, they had to remove the mint from five-cent coin. Thesesubstitutions were a great achievement for ensuring that there wereenough supplies for the war. Ammunition was one of the mostimportant priorities for the government among the manufactured items.During the Second World War, ammunition was used in artillery,rifles, mortars, and several other weapons. Glycerin is one of theingredients use to make the explosive in ammunition. Therefore, to beable to produce more of the ammunition, the American people wereadvised to save wasted household fat, which would be used to produceglycerin. Other household commodities such as string, paper, and silkwere recycled. The government sold war bonds to assist in paying forthe elevated costs of armed conflicts. In addition, for assistance inthe expensive for the war the government increased personal andcorporate income taxes.
Fromthe beginning of the combat, it was apparent that huge quantities ofwarships, airplanes, rifles, tanks, and additional armaments would beimportant to be able to defeat America’s aggressors. Therefore,the government required the contribution of the entire nation. Thisincluded old and young, women, and men to become U.S. workers. Theseworkers played very important roles in producing different materialsneeded for the war. Most of the workers in the industries were women(Terkel11).This was because of expansion of the economy. In addition, many ofthe American men who were enrolling in the armed military and goingfor training for different things such as aircraft spotting, firefighting, bomb removal and first aid. After completing, they joinedthe battle. This made the women to take jobs such as electricians,riveters, welders and many more in the defense industries. However,before the war, only men were suitable candidates for the job. Inaddition during this time of war, since most men were in the warfield it led to reduction of male work force in the country. However,this increased the female work force holding position in thefactories that were non-war related. Therefore, by mid 1940s thenumber of female workers in America had increased by around 36percent. It is important to note that the Second World War brought toan end lack of employment in America (Bentley12).However, people were separated from their family members, marriagesbroke, and people were killed in the war.
Duringthe Second World War, not all citizens in America retained theirindependence. Two months just after the Japanese attack at PearlHarbor in Hawaii signed an executive order law 9066, which ended upremoving people from their communities an imprisoning Americans whohad Japanese nationality to live in the west coast. The executiveorder law 9066 resulted in some of the people panicking that peoplewho were Japanese even if they were born in the United States ofAmerica were capable of treachery and disloyalty (Terkel12).This resulted to around 120, 000 people of American Japan originbeing sent off to make shift camps. Despite the imprisonment of theAmerican Japanese family members, their offspring’s that is theyoung American Japanese men, fought bravely as United States ofAmerica army in France, Italy and Germany. At the conclusion of thecombat the 100thbattalion us army became the most decorated battle unit in the armyhistory.
January1942, the baseball national commissioner Kennesaw Landis wrote toPresident Roosevelt a letter, that he was requesting the closure ofprofessional baseball during the war period. The letter was laterreferred the “green light”. However, President Roosevelt responsewas that the baseball game should not be closed because it was goodfor the collective morale of the country (Bullock5).In addition, it would help to create the needed diversion for theAmerican citizen during the war. It is important to note that duringthe 1941 war period, most of the baseball players who wereprofessionals who wore league uniforms were involved in the war. Forexample, Hank Greenberg, Bob Feller, Ted Williams, Pete gray, andmany more who were big players. Some of the players were killed inthe battlefield and others were injured as they fought for theircountry.
Throughoutthe entire World War 2, the American fun moviegoers were enjoying thesteady flow of war related programs. They included newsreel thatlasted for about 10 minutes, which contained accounts and images ofrecent combats, after which animated cartoons followed. As much asmost of these cartoons were for entertaining the escapist, some wereto misrepresent the enemy comically. Good examples are “Confessionof a Nutsy Spy” (1943), featuring Bugs Bunny, “Der Fuehrer’sFace” 1943 where the main star was Donald Duck”, “Japoteur”(1942) representing superman, “Daffy the Commando” (1943)featuring Daffy Duck, , and “Tokio Jokio” (1943). Thefilmmakers made documentaries for example the seven series part of“Why We Fight” (1943- 1945), that was directed and produced byFrank Capra between 1897 and 1991. The film put a lot of emphasis onthe need for America to be involved in the battle. In addition, thedocumentary emphasized the significance of Allies triumph.
Themovie theaters featured comedies, Westerns, mysteries, and dramasthat were not related to war. However, a significant section ofshowing films dealt with war for example “Bataan”(1943),“Guadalcanal Diary” (1943), “Wake Island” (1942), “Back toBataan” (1945), were some of the few film titles that were focusedon precise battles. “Cry Havoc” (1943) and “So Proud We Hail”(1943), depicted the women heroes who were volunteers and nurses atbattlefields that were far way. “They Came to Blow up America”(1943), “Saboteur” (1943) and “Nazi Agent” (1942) showed theAmericans opponent as terrorists and spies. “Since You Went Away”(1944), “The Human Comedy” (1943), and “Tender Comrade” allportrayed the different trials that faced an American woman, familiesor community while investigating the fear that a beloved person wholeft for the battle might not come back. “The Seventh Cross”(1944) and “Hangmen Also Die” (1943) showed films thatrepresented the struggles that American citizen faced who were livingin different countries.
Inaddition, some of the top Hollywood stars became part of the armyforces. Some of them appeared in films that showed short subjects onmorale boosting and they featured in government-produced films fortraining. In addition, other top stars were involved in thebattlefield. A good example is Clark Gable who in 1901 to 1960 was atail gunner in the United States Air Corps Army and flew to Germanyfor different military missions. Another top Oscar winner JamesStewart in 1908 to 1997 who was enlisted to join the corps before theincident of Pearl Harbor occurred and eventually was a B-24 commanderand war pilot. In addition, James flew to Germany for differentmilitary missions.
Asthe United States of America continued to grow deep into the battlewith its opponents, most of the American people became patriotic tolistening to music related on war (Erenbergand Susan 144). However, even before the country joined the Second World War, somemusic, which had already become popular were relate to war. Forexample, ditties “The Last Time I Saw Paris”, the song causedpeople to be homesickness for Paris peace before there was war.Another example is “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” (1941), whichportrayed a soldier who was young but full of military experiences(Terkel294).In addition, there were some songs that had titles that were selfexplanatory such as You’re a Sap, Mr. Jap” (1942), Praise theLord and Pass the Ammunition (1942), and the “Comin’ In On a Wingand a Prayer”. The primary medium for many American people duringthe battle period for entertainment and news was the Radio. Mostpeople depended on the radio for new information on the ongoingfights aboard (Erenbergand Susan 144).Edward Murrow was one of the legendary reporters in 1908 to 1965. BobHope was one of the best entertainers who performed at the armedmilitary bases around 1903 to 2003. There was direct broadcasting ofprograms on radio from California and Maine to their listeners. Inaddition, the broadcasted programs talked about stories concerningthe war.
Fromthe above the American involvement in the Second World War wasunplanned. However after they joined their goal was to defeat theirenemies. The good plans they had helped them achieve this success.The fact that the entire nation collaborated with government inindustries, in the battlefields, agreeing to the food-rationingprogram and many more helped conquers the enemies. In addition, theirAllies troop also played a major role in defeating and winning thewar.
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