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Arts and Humanities
Mr. Bielecki WWII study guide
Terms in this set (29)
U.S. Neutrality Acts 1935-1939
Laws passed in 1935, 1936, 1937, and 1939 to limit U.S. involvement in future wars. The first neutrality act was passed by Congress in August 1935 and imposed a ban on shipments of weapons and war materiel to belligerent countries and discouraged travel by American citizens on the ships of belligerents by specifying that they did so at their own risk. The neutrality act of 1936 was largely a renewal of the act of 1935 for another fourteen months, with a provision against making loans to belligerent. It did not, however, extend the definition of prohibited articles, so American firms were able to sell trucks and petroleum to Franco on credit. In January 1937, the United States legislated against the arms trade to either side in the Spanish Civil War. FDR inserted a provision that allowed trade with the European belligerents on a cash-and-carry basis.
Spanish Civil War
The Spanish Civil War of 1936-1939 was a miniature WWII. Spanish rebels, who rose against left-leaning republican government in Madrid, were led by fascistic General Francisco Franco. Franco was aided by Hitler and Mussolini, and he tried to overthrow the Loyalist regime, which was assisted by the Soviet Union. The American public was divided on who it supported. Some three thousand young American men and women headed to Spain to fight as volunteers in the Abraham Lincoln Brigade. Roosevelt applied the official arms embargo to both Loyalists and rebels to be neutral, but later regretted that. Franco was supplied arms and men by Hitler and Mussolini while the arms embargo hurt the Loyalists. This fall of the Loyalist government in Spain left the European dictators confident to pursue conquering other countries.
In Chicago (the unofficial "capital" of isolationist America), FDR delivered the Quarantine Speech in fall of 1937. Alarmed by recent aggressions of Italy and Japan, he called for "positive endeavors" to "quarantine" or contain the aggressors, mostly economic embargoes. The speech triggered protests from isolationists. FDR, surprised at the protests, retreated and took a less direct means to stall the dictators.
A conference was held in 1938 in Munich, Germany, where the Western European democracies, consented to Germany taking the Sudetenland. They hoped they would "appease" Hitler so he would stop any further aggressions. "Appeasement" of the dictators, symbolized by the word Munich, turned out to be merely surrender on the installment plan. It was like giving a cannibal a finger in the hope of saving an arm. Six months later, Hitler took the rest of Czechoslovakia.
Neutrality Act of 1939
With public opinion strongly behind the Allies, Congress passed a fresh neutrality act in November 1939, repealing the previous acts and reinstating cash-and-carry sales to belligerents. This meant that European democracies might buy American war materials, but only on a "Cash-and-Carry" basis. This mean that they would have to transport the munitions in their own ships after paying for them in cash. America would then avoid loans, war debts and the torpedoing of American arms-carriers. This hurt China which was blockaded by Japan's navy.
True neutrality had been dead since the adoption of cash-and-carry since it clearly favored the European democracies against the dictators.
Fall of France (June 1940)
After Hitler took Poland, Hitler shifted his troops from Poland to France. In April 1940, Hitler overran Denmark and Norway. The next month he attacked the Netherlands and Belgium, followed by a paralyzing blow at France. By late June France was forced to surrender, but Mussolini jumped in and got his share too. France's sudden collapse shocked Americans out of their ignorance. FDR moved quickly to build huge air fleets and a two-ocean navy, which would also keep Japan in check. Congress approved $37 billion for this.
Night of broken glass. At least 91 Jews lost their lives and about 30,000 more were sent to concentration camps, when on the night of November 9, 1938, Joseph Goebbels mobs ransacked more than 7,000 Jewish shops and almost all of the country's synagogues.
The Lend-Lease Bill was patriotically numbered 1776 and entitled "An Act to further promote the defense of the United States. It was passed after the re-election of FDR for the 4th term, and would be praised by the administration as a way to keep the nation out of war rather than drag it into it. The concept was "Send guns, not sons". It would be an "arsenal of democracy". It would send limitless supply of arms to the victims of aggression who would finish the job and keep the war in Europe. Opposition came from isolationists and anti-Roosevelt Republicans. The Bill was called the "Blank Check Bill" The Lend-Lease was one of the most important laws to pass Congress. America pledged itself to bolster the nations that were fighting aggression. It marked an abandonment of any idea of neutrality. It geared U.S. factories for all-out war production. Hitler recognized the lend-lease as an unofficial declaration of war. After this Hitler began torpedoeing American ships.
The eight point Atlantic Charter was accepted by FDR and Churchill and endorsed by the Soviet Union. Similar to Wilson's Fourteen Points, it outlined the aspirations of the democracies for a better world at the war's end. It argued the rights of individuals rather than nations and laid the groundwork for human rights. It opposed imperial annexations and promised there would be no territorial changes that citizens of a country do not want to happen. There was a goal for peace and security through a new League of Nations.
Japan had been a military ally of Hitler since 1940. Japan's position in the Far East had grown explosive. They were still burdened by the China incident which they could not gain honor or victory from. It's military was dependent on large shipments of steel, scrap iron, oil and aviation gasoline from the U.S. American's stopped supporting such shipments, but FDR held off on an embargo against Japan, but late in 1940, the U.S. finally imposed the first of its embargoes on Japan-bound supplies. In 1941, the U.S. froze all Japanese assets in the U.S. and stopped all shipments of gasoline and other items of war. Japanese leaders were forced with 2 choices, either to cave to the Americans or break the embargo ring by attacking the oil supplied and other riches in the South Pacific. Final tense negotiations with Japan took place in Washington during November and early December or 1941. The US wanted Japan out of China, but would concede to trade on a limited basis. Japanese were unwilling to lose face by withdrawing from China. Officials in Washington also cracked the top-secret code of the Japanese, knew of Japans plans to attack, but thought the blow would be to British Malaya or the Philippines. We were wrong.
While Tokyo was deliberately prolonging negotiations in Washington. Japanese bombers attacked without warning on "Black Sunday" morning of December 7, 1941. FDR told Congress it was a date that would live in infamy. About 3,000 casualties were inflicted on American personnel, many aircraft were destroyed, the battleship fleet was virtually wiped out when all eight of the craft were sunk or immobilized. Numerous small vessels were destroyed. Fortunately three aircraft carriers were out on patrol and survived. An angered Congress the next day recognized the war that was thrust on the United States and declared war on Japan. Germany and Italy then declared war on the U.S. on December 11, 1941.
U.S. preparations for war on the homefront
America needed to retool itself for all-out war production, while praying that the dictators would not crush their adversaries (Britain and the Soviet Union). Time was important because any day the German scientists could come up with unbeatable secret weapons. America had to figure out how to feed, clothe, and arm itself and transport its forces to regions as far separated as Britain and Burma. It had to send large amounts of food and munitions to the allies, who were spaced far apart.
Executive Order No. 9066
Unnecessary and unfair, this executive order authorized the brutal plight of some 110,000 Japanese Americans concentrated on the Pacific Coast. The U.S. fearing these Japanese Americans might act as saboteurs for Japan in case of invasion, herded them into concentration camps, even though 2/3 of them were American born, and their loyalty and combat record was admirable. The wave of post-Pearl Harbor hysteria caused many Americans to demand their internment and these internees lost hundreds of millions of dollars in property and earnings. The wartime Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Japanese relocation in Korematsu versus the U.S. More than 4 decades later in 1988, the U.S officially apologized for its actions and paid reparations of $20,000 to each camp survivor.
Women in the US during the war
The armed services enlisted nearly 216,000 women, who were employed for noncombat duties. Best known of these "women in arms" were the WACs (Women's Army Corps) and WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service) and SPARs (US Coast Guard Women's Reserve). The new military draft left the nation's farms and factories short of personnel that new workers had to found. More than 6 million women took jobs outside of the home. "Rosie the Riveters" were what these women were called. But the great majority of American women did not work for wages in the wartime economy but continued in their traditional roles, but this was different in Britain and the Soviet Union where a much larger amount of women were pressed into industrial employment. At the war's end 2/3 of the women war workers left the labor force. Many of them were forced out of their jobs by employers who wanted to get the men back.
Phases of the war in the Pacific - Japanese advance, US advance
Japan pushed southward and invaded New Guinea and landed on the Solomon Islands from which they threatened Australia. Their conquests were finally checked by a crucial naval battle fought in the Coral Sea in May 1942. An American carrier task force, with Australian support, inflicted heavy losses on the Japanese. For the first time in history, the fighting was all done by carrier-based aircraft, and neither fleet fired a shot directly at the other. Japan then tried to seize Midway Island. From here it could launch devastating assaults on Pearl Harbor and the weakened American Pacific fleet. The Battle of Midway was fought on June 3 to 6 1942 under Admiral Chester Nimitz and Admiral Spruance. The fighting again was done by aircraft and the Japanese broke off action after losing four carriers. Midway was a pivotal victory, but the Japanese did get two islands off of Alaska. The US feared an Alaskan invasion and diverted defense to Alaska. Japanese overextended in 1942, suffered from victory disease and they should have stopped when they are ahead.
After the victory at Midway, the United States seized the initiative in the Pacific . American ground forces gained a hold on Guadalcanal Island in the Solomon Islands. An early naval defeat inflicted by the Japanese shortened American supplies dangerously, and for weeks the U.S. troops held onto the island, but after several sea battles the Japanese troops evacuated Guadalcanal in February 1943. Japanese losses were 20,000 compared to 1,700 for the Americans. American and Australian forces, under General MacArthur were hanging on to the southeastern tip of New Guinea, the last buffer to protecting Australia. American naval victories and submarines inflicted lethal loses on Japanese supply ships and troop carriers. Conquest of the north coast of New Guinea happened under General MacArthur. The U.S. Navy with marines and army divisions were "leapfrogging" the Japanese-held islands in the Pacific. Instead of going directly in for Tokyo, they instead employed the tactic of island hopping and bypassing some of the most heavily fortified Japanese posts, capturing nearby islands, setting up airfields on them, and then neutralizing the enemy bases through heavy bombing. Deprived of essential supplies from the homeland, Japan's outposts would slowly collapse. In January and February key outposts of the Marshall Islands were won by the Americans, especially important were the Marianas, including Guam. From bases in the Marianas, the United States new B-29 super bombers would carry out round-trip bombing raids on Japan's home islands. U. S. .naval forces sank several Japanese carriers in the Battle of the Philippine Sea. The Japanese navy never recovered from these massive losses of planes, pilots and ships.
2nd Front question
FDR had promised the Soviets in early 1942 that he would open a second front on the European continent by the end of the year, a promise that proved impossible to keep. British military planners, did not want to conduct a frontal assault on German-held France. An assault on French-held North Africa was a compromise second front, and not what the Soviets were demanding. The highly secret attack, launched in November 1942, was headed by General Dwight D. Eisenhower. After savage fighting the remnants of the German-Italian army were trapped in Tunisia and surrendered in May 1943.
"Soft Underbelly" pros and cons, why?
British military planners preferred to attack Hitler's Fortress Europe through the "soft underbelly" on the Mediterranean. Faced with British boot-dragging and a lack of resources, the Americans agreed to postpone a massive invasion of Europe. The African compromise was the "Soft Underbelly" (see above definition)
Casablanca Conference in Morocco
At Casablanca, FDR and Winston Churchill met in 1943. The Big Two as they were called, agreed to step up the Pacific war, invade Sicily, increase pressure on Italy and insist upon an "unconditional surrender" of the enemy. This unconditional surrender declaration was an admission of the weakness of the Western Allies, still unable to mount the kind of second front their Soviet partner demanded.
Tehran, the capital of Iran (Persia), was chosen as the meeting place for the Big Three (FDR, Churchill and Stalin). The most important achievement was agreement on broad plans, especially those for launching Soviet attacks on Germany from the east simultaneously with prospective Allied assault from the east.
French Normandy, less heavily defended than other parts of the coast, was pinpointed for the allied invasion to take back France. June 6, 1944, the enormous operation that involved 4,600 vessels began. Resistance was encountered by the Germans, who had been misled to believe the blow would be farther north. Allies through air assaults blocked reinforcements to the Germans by crippling the railroads, while worsening German fuel shortages by bombing gasoline plants. The American armored divisions commanded by General George Patton drove across France. The retreat of the German defenders happened quickly when an American-French force landed in August 1944 on the southern coast of France and sept northward. With the assistance of the French "underground", Paris was liberated. Allied forces rolled toward Germany.
Battle of the Bulge
December 16, 1944; the last, desperate offensive staged by the Germans because the Soviets were pushing from the east, and the British and Americans were pushing from the west. They launched a surprise attack along a 50-mile front in Belgium. They drove troops and artillery deep into a bulge in the Allied lines. After several weeks, the Germans were pushed back. There were over 100,000 casualties.
Liberation of Concentration Camps
The conquering Americans were horrified to find blood-spattered and still-stinking concentration camps, whereto German Nazi's had engaged the scientific mass murder of "undesirables" including about 6 million Jews.
German Surrender - Post-war Germany?
On May 7, 1945 what was left of the German government surrendered unconditionally. May 8 was officially proclaimed V-E (Victory in Europe) Day and was greeted with rejoicing in the Allied countries.
Atomic Bomb Decision
U.S. was planning an all-out invasion of main land Japan which would cost hundreds of thousands of American and even more Japanese casualties. U.S., breaking a secret Japanese code, found the Japanese unwilling to unconditionally surrender. At the Potsdam Conference, President Truman (became President after FDR died), met with Stalin and British leaders and issued an ultimatum to Japan. The Manhattan Project was the development of the atomic bomb (mostly by German scientist who had fled to the United States including Albert Einstein). On August 6, 1945, a lone American bomber dropped one atomic bomb on the city of Hiroshima Japan. About 180,000 Japanese were killed downed or missing. Two days later Stalin entered the war against Japan. Japan still resisted. American aviators on August 9 dropped a second atomic bomb on the city of Nagasaki. This one killed about 80,000 people. On August 10, 1945 Tokyo sued for peace on one condition, that Hirohito, their Emperor, could remain on his ancestral throne as emperor. The formal end of the war came on September 2, 1945. V-J Day (Victory in Japan Day).
Battle of the Atlantic
Germany's naval attempt to cut off British supply ships by using u-boats. Caused Britain and the US to officially join the war after their ships were sunk. After this battle, the Allies won control of the seas, allowing them to control supply transfer, which ultimately determined the war.
Bataan Death March
After the April 9, 1942, U.S. surrender of the Bataan Peninsula on the main Philippine island of Luzon to the Japanese during World War II (1939-45), the approximately 75,000 Filipino and American troops on Bataan were forced to make an arduous 65-mile march to prison camps.
Battle of Midway
U.S. naval victory over the Japanese fleet in June 1942, in which the Japanese lost four of their best aircraft carriers. It marked a turning point in World War II.
An effort by the US Government to raise money for the war effort. Americans loaned the government money by buying war bonds with a promise of a repayment plus interest at a later date. These bonds financed 2/3 of the war's cost
this WWII Pacific battle was one of the most famous of all those fought in the Pacific theater, as it was the first major offensive--and crushing victory--of the allied forces against the Empire of Japan.
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