Chapter 30

Chapter 30: The Second World War

Chapter Outline

I. America's early battles

  1. Setbacks in the Pacific
    1. Territories captured by the Japanese in the Pacific
    2. Surrender of the Philippines
    3. Japanese strategy: push farther into the Pacific
    4. American harassment
      1. Tokyo bombing
  2. Turning Points in the Pacific
    1. Battle of the Coral Sea, 1942
      1. Significant Japanese and American losses
      2. Japanese threat to Australia ende
    2. Battle of Midway, 1943
      1. American cryptanalysts had broken Japanese code
      2. Japan lost its four best aircraft carriers
    3. Significance of aircraft carriers
  3. Battle in the Atlantic
    1. Early setbacks
      1. Devastation from German submarines
    2. American response effective by second half of 1942

II. Mobilization

  1. Mobilization of the armed forces
  2. Economic conversion
    1. Agencies for mobilization
      1. War Powers Act
      2. War Production Board
    2. Supplying strategic materials
    3. Conservation
      1. Scrap metal collection
      2. "Victory gardens"
      3. Rationing
    4. Gross National Product more than doubled during war
  3. Financing the war
    1. Taxation
      1. Revenue Act of 1942
      2. Taxes paid about 45 percent of wartime expenditures
    2. Borrowing from the public
      1. War bonds
      2. Financial institutions
  4. Impact of the war on the economy
    1. Overall scarcity of goods and imposition of economic controls
    2. But improved standards of living compared to Depression era
    3. Rise in wages
    4. Price controls by Office of Price Administration
    5. Wages and farm prices were not controlled
    6. Threat of inflation
    7. Stabilization Act of 1942
    8. Seizure of industries
    9. Measures were effective
      1. Prices rose only 31 percent by the end of the war
      2. Was more than 62 percent during World War I
  5. Wartime domestic conservatism
    1. Republicans makes gains in 1942 elections
    2. Many New Deal agencies cut or abolished
    3. Actions against labor
      1. Smith-Connally War Labor Dispute Act
      2. Anti-union state legislation

III. Social effects of the war

  1. Mobilization and the development of the West
    1. Population boom
    2. Demographic changes
      1. African-American migration to the West
    3. Economic growth
  2. Women
    1. 200,000 women joined the armed forces
    2. 6,000,000 women entered the civilian work force
    3. Changed attitudes toward sex roles
  3. African Americans
    1. Push for equality, face resistance to desegregation
    2. Blacks in armed forces-usually in segregated units
    3. Blacks in war industries
      1. Threat of
      2. Philip Randolph's March on Washington
      3. Executive order prohibits discrimination in companies with Federal defense contracts
      4. Fair Employment Practices Committee (FEPC) established
      5. Revived migration from the South
    4. Challenges to other forms of discrimination
      1. Smith v. Allwright struck down Texas's white primary
      1. Racial violence
      2. Detroit race riot
    5. Hispanics
      1. Mexican farm workers and the "bracero program"
      2. Ethnic tensions and violence in Los Angeles
        1. Zoot suit riots
    6. Native Americans
      1. Generally strong support for war
      2. "Code talkers"
    7. Japanese Americans
      1. Over 100,000 sent to War Relocation Camps
        1. Internees came from Western states
        2. Japanese Americans seen as a threat because of their ancestry
        3. German Americans and Italian Americans did not experience the mass internment and mass harassment experienced by Japanese Americans
      2. Most Japanese Americans not disloyal
        1. Victims of war hysteria and racial prejudice.
      3. Federal compensation to internment survivors in 1983

IV. Allied war strategy in Europe

  1. Decision to move against Germany first
    1. Nazis posed greater threat to Western Hemisphere
    2. Germany had greater war potential than Japan
    3. Still, more Americans went to Pacific in 1942
      1. Because Japanese attacks involved U.S. directly
      2. Overall U.S. priorities still placed Germany as biggest threat
  2. Aspects of the joint conduct of the war
    1. Roosevelt-Churchill cooperation
    2. Declaration of the United Nations
      1. Affirmed the Atlantic Charter
      2. Pledged full resources to fight the war
      3. Agreed not to seek a separate peace
    3. Strategy
      1. Americans wanted to strike directly across the English Channel
      2. British wanted to wait and build up forces, invade French North Africa instead
      3. Soviets need relief in the East
  3. The North Africa campaign, 1942 - 1943
    1. Eisenhower's landing
    2. Germany defeated there
  4. Agreements at Casablanca, 1943
    1. Cross-channel invasion further postponed
    2. Assault on Sicily and Italy to follow North Africa campaign
    3. Increased bombing of Germany
    4. Increased supply shipments to Soviet Union and China
    5. Atlantic antisubmarine campaign prioritized
    6. Agreement to end war only with enemies' "unconditional surrender"
    7. Unintended consequences of "unconditional surrender"
      1. Enemy resistance may have increased
      2. Avenue opened for Soviet control of Eastern Europe
  5. The battle of the Atlantic through May 1943
    1. Allied advantages
      1. Convoys and escorts
      2. Radar
      3. Decoding of German messages
  6. Sicily and Italy, 1943 - 1944
    1. Invasion of Sicily, July 1943
      1. Sicily falls to Allies by August
    2. Italians negotiated their surrender by September 1943
    3. Germany poured in reinforcements to fight Allies in Italy
    4. The battle for Rome
      1. Allies finally captured Rome, June 1944
  7. Strategic bombing of Europe, 1943 - 1944
    1. Anglo-American cooperation
    2. Impact
      1. Widespread damage
      2. But bombing did not completely devastate German industrial production
      3. Bombing's ability to hurt civilian morale is questionable
      4. Berlin hit very hard
      5. Allies control the air
  8. The Teheran Conference, 1943
    1. Included "Big Three" leaders-Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin
    2. Decisions
      1. Planning for the D-Day invasion and the Russian offensive
      2. Russia promised to enter war against Japan
      3. Commitment to creation of of a postwar international peacekeeping organization (United Nations)
  9. D-Day, 1944
      1. Eisenhower in command of "Operation Overlord"
      2. The invasion, June 1944
        1. Did not go as planned
        2. Unfavorable weather
        3. Extremely high Allied casualties
      3. German reaction
        1. Fooled into thinking invasion would occur elsewhere
        2. Poor defense strategy authorized by Hitler
        3. Resistance to Hitler increasing among officers
        4. Allies have Paris by the end of August 1944
        5. German forces face calamity
      4. Slowing momentum of the Allied drive on Germany
        1. Need for more planning and establishment of supply lines to sustain the drive

V. Leapfrogging into Tokyo, 1942 - 1944

  1. Guadalcanal landing, 1942
    1. Japanese had been strengthening their position on Guadalcanal to attack Allied transportation routes
    2. First Marine division took Guadalcanal in August
  2. Strategic Planning
    1. MacArthur wants to target Japanese positions in northern New Guinea
      1. Put U.S. in position to move on Philippines, then Tokyo
    2. Nimitz wants to sweep through Pacific islands of the central Pacific
      1. Heading toward Formosa (Taiwan) and China
    3. Combined Chiefs of Staff agree to pursue both plans
    4. Battle of the Bismarck Sea, March 1943
      1. Significant Japanese losses
    5. Japanese naval commander Yamamoto killed in April 1943
  3. Nimitz advances in the Central Pacific
    1. Makin and Tarawa (in the Gilbert islands), November 1943
    2. The Marshall Islands, January 1944
    3. Saipan (in the Marianas), June 1944
    4. Battle of the Philippine Sea, June 1944
      1. Marianas and New Guinea virtually conquered at its conclusion
    5. Battle of Leyte Gulf, October 1944
      1. Largest naval engagement in history
      2. Part of effort to reclaim the Philippines from Japanese control
      3. Japanese defeated, lose their ability to defend the Philippines

VI. The election of 1944

  1. U.S. climate more politically conservative
  2. Republicans nominate Thomas E. Dewey, Governor of New York
  3. Democrats named Truman for vice-president
    1. the more conservative Truman replaced the liberal incumbent Vice President Henry Wallace on the ticket
  4. Victory for Roosevelt

VII. Closing on Germany, 1944 - 1945

  1. German counteroffensive
    1. Battle of the Bulge, December 1944
    2. Airpower critical in effort to push German troops back
  2. Allied moves against Germany
    1. Occur against rising tensions among the allies (the U.S. and Britain against the Soviet Union).
    2. Allies reach the banks of the Rhine, March 1945
    3. After reaching the Rhine, encircled the Ruhr
    4. Soviets push west through Warsaw in January 1945, reach Vienna by April 1945

VIII. The Yalta Conference, 1945

  1. Convened to discuss the end of the war, the shape of the postwar world
  2. Roosevelt's goals
    1. Ensure that Russia join the war against Japan
    2. U.S. must join postwar international security organization
    3. Allies must preserve a united front against the German aggressors after the war
  3. Agree to divide occupation of Germany and Berlin among victorious Allied powers
  4. Soviet Union in position to dominate Eastern Europe
    1. Soviet army occupied the region
    2. Many of those countries lacked strong democratic traditions
    3. Russia wanted a buffer zone between it and Germany
  5. Yalta's legacy
    1. Soviet violations of their agreements
    2. Secret agreements concerning the Far East
      1. Soviet control over Outer Mongolia
      2. Return of Kurile Islands and other rights and territories lost in Russo-Japanese War of 1904 - 1905
      3. Necessary to ensure Soviets entered the war against Japan

IX. Collapse of the Third Reich, 1945

  1. Roosevelt died just before the defeat of Germany
  2. Collapse of Germany
    1. Mussolini and Hitler dead
    2. Unconditional surrender
  3. Full extent of the Nazi Holocaust exposed

X. Collapse of Japan, 1945

  1. Allied moves toward an invasion of Japan
    1. The Philippines
    2. Iwo Jima
    3. Okinawa
  2. The atomic bomb
    1. Development of the bomb: The Manhattan Project
      1. Two bombs available for use on Japan by mid 1945
    2. Dropping the atomic bombs, August 1945
      1. Targets chosen among cities not already devastated by firebombing
      2. Potsdam Declaration threatened bombing if Japan did not surrender immediately
      3. Military considerations pertaining to fighting Japan and desire to avoid invasion paramount in dropping of first bomb on Hiroshima
      4. Concerns over Soviet entry into Pacific War significant in the dropping of the second bomb on Nagasaki
    3. Devastation of the bombs
      1. Had been underestimated by scientists
      2. At Hiroshima: 80,000 dead at initial bombing with 4 square miles of the city destroyed and 70,000 buildings destroyed
      3. Hiroshima death toll increases to 140,000 by the end of 1945, due to effects of radiation burns and infection
      4. At Nagasaki: 36,000 dead from initial strike
    4. Japanese surrender
      1. Emperor allowed to keep his throne under the authority of the Allied supreme commander
      2. Formal surrender signed on the Missouri, September 1945

XI. The final ledger on the war

  1. Estimates of death and destruction
    1. 2.5 million total military dead
    2. 2.4 million total civilian dead
    3. Soviet Union suffered greatest losses of all
  2. Impact on America and The Soviet Union
    1. Depression ended in the U.S.
    2. Dramatic expansion of U.S. Federal government and Presidential authority
    3. U.S. emerged from war with global responsibilities and interests
    4. U.S. emerged as the strongest nation on earth in economic and military terms
    5. Despites its losses, Soviet Union emerged from the war with new territory and enhanced influence
      1. Soviets became the strongest power on the Eurasian landmass
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