Chapter 36

AMERICANS IN WW II  ( 1941 - 1945 )

SECTION ONE:  The Allies overcome early disasters and begin an offensive.

Pearl Harbor:  December 7, 1941, Americans lost almost all of their planes, eight battleships, 2000 soldiers and sailors, and several bases in the Pacific.

May 1942:  Japanese had overcame almost all opposition and were ready to strike west at India, south at Australia, and east through Hawaii.

Battle of the Coral Sea:  In May of 1942, A British-American naval force sank or severely damaged more than 30 Japanese Warships.

Battle of Midway:  June 1942, Japanese attack the Aleutian Islands and Midway Island.  ( Ultimate Japanese Objective was an invasion of the United States )


1)  Early in 1942 U. S. and Britain pool resources

2)  Americans win "battle of production"  { supply depots and forward bases were well supplied}

August 1942, U. S. undertook its first major offensive action at Guadalcanal.
(Island of Guadalcanal is an Island in the Solomon Islands)

November, 1942 , Admiral William F. Halsey defeats Japanese fleet in a four day naval battle which will turn the tide in the Pacific in favor of the allies.
(Australia is saved and Allies go on offense)


1942, German and Italian subs. in the Atlantic sank more ships than the U. S. and Britain could build.

England was now a isolated fortress in the Atlantic.

On the continent Axis powers controlled most of Europe  (p. 802 )  east to Russia,  where the Russians fell back and destroyed everything they could not carry with them.  (scorched earth policy)

Autumn of 1942,  German Afrika Korps under General Erwin Rommel had advanced to the frontiers of Egypt.  ( poised for final thrust at Suez Canal and oil fields of Middle East)


October, 1942, British General Bernard L. Montgomery caught Rommel at El Alamein in Egypt and drove him back to Libya.

November, 1942, General Eisenhower landed invasion fleet on Northern coast of Africa.

November, 1942, Soviet troops trap German forces at Stalingrad, Germans surrender.              ( killed or captured:  over 300,000 Germans )

January 1, l942, 26 Allied Nations, calling themselves the United Nations issued joint declaration.

1)  countries promise full cooperation in war effort

2)  agreed not to make a separate peace

3)  endorsed the war aims outlined in the Atlantic Charter (p. 793)


Americans accept controls and win the "Battle of Production"

Allied victories were won on the farms and in the factories of the allied nations as well as on the fighting fronts.

    Hitler's errors

1st  failed to conquer Great Britain  (Dunkirk)

2nd  Attack on Russia led to disaster.  (Stalingrad)
                                                                                                  3rd  Hitler in declaring war on the U. S. failed to realize how swiftly conversion to war production would take.

America's soaring production

America's farmers were able to raise record breaking crops.

Shipbuilders were building 5 ocean-going vessels every day.

War year production was 74% greater than in peacetime.

Financing the War:
1/3 came from taxes
2/3 came from sale of bonds.

By 1945, Military expenditures totaled 400 billion dollars.

Office of War Mobilization (OWM) : In charge of  mobilization policy.

War Production Board :  (WPB)  Controlled the Allocations of raw materials and restricted the production of all consumer goods that required materials necessary to the war effort.

Selective Service  System:  Drafted nearly 10 Million out of 15 million who served.

350,000 Mexican Americans and 1 million Blacks served in WW II.

Official military policy required blacks to serve in segregated units.

Women for the first time served in noncombatant roles.
       Army-WAC    Navy-WAVES

Women in the Armed Forces and in the nations war plants help destroy prejudice.

Office of Price Administration: (OPA) established ceilings, on prices and set up a system of rationing.

Most Americans, accepted price controls and rationing as wartime necessities.

Native-born Americans of Japanese descent, were forced into detention camps.   Most of the Nisei  lost their homes and businesses.



North Africa:  Germans driven back from El Alamein General Eisenhower lands thousands of troops in French Morocco.  Allied nations      now had control of the Mediteranean Sea.

July 1943,  Allies land in Sicily.

Italians ended Mussolini's dictatorship and organized a new government.

September 9th, an Allied invasion force landed at Salerno.

October 1st, 1943, Naples falls to the American Army under the command of Gen Mark W. Clark.

June 4th, 1944, Allied Armies take Rome.

Italian Campaign:  ( 1943-1944)

(1)  Cost Germany Badly Needed Troops.
(2)  Allied Fliers could now bomb Southern Germany.
(3)  Germans were forced to withdraw troops from the Soviet Front.

Victory in the Atlantic was possible because of several reasons.

(1)  The convoy system proved effective
(2)  Radar and other devices were developed
(3)  New warships were built

With the victory in the Atlantic the Allies were able to supply Great Britain and begin a air offensive against Germany.

June 6, 1944, (D-Day):  Operation Overlord was the invasion of allied troops in German-occupied France.

General Eisenhower:  Supreme Commander of the Allied Invasion Army.
[  Within six months after D-Day, France had been liberated. ]

                   1944 Presidential Elections

Republican candidate, Thomas E. Dewey, Governor of New York.
                          VS                                          President Franklin D. Rooseveldt and Vice Pres. candidate Harry S. Truman.



Admiral Nimitz strategy:

1)  Air, land, and naval forces strike westward at the Japanese-held islands in the central Pacific.

2)  A fleet under Adm. Halsey would drive the Japanese from the Solomon Islands.

3)  Gen. McArthur would advance with troops along the New Guinea coast and on to the Philippine Islands.  (ultimate objective was Japan)

1943:  MacArthur and Halsey drive Japanese out of New Guinea, The Solomons, and finally the Gilbert Island.

Island hopping:  American strategy of taking key positions, and leaving Japanese forces isolated behind the line of battle.

Jan, 1944, Allies take Marshall Islands.

June, 1944, Allies attack Mariana Islands. (Japanese fleet begins a retreat)

Oct, 1944,  Allies retake the Philippines.

Battle of Leyte Gulf, American Naval Forces shattered Japan's remaining sea power.

Feb, 1945,  Allies liberate Manila, MacArthur returns. ("I shall return" Douglas MacArthur)

Feb, 1945,  U. S. Marines take Iwo Jima (nearly 20,000 American Marines were killed or wounded in the successful effort to gain control  of Iwo Jima.) [750 miles from Tokyo]
Ira Hayes: P. 815

June, 1945, U.S. Marines conquer Okinawa. [300 miles fron Japan]

Yalta Conference, at Yalta (southern Russia)

a)  Big three agreed to call a later conference to draw up charter for a new International Organization.

b)  made plans for the occupation of postwar Germany and the future of liberated countries.

c)  Reached several secret agreements with the Soviet Union.

Stalin promised that the Soviet Union would enter the war against Japan within three months after the war in Europe ended.


Truman, Stalin, and Attlee meet at Potsdam, Germany.
1)  Discuss plans for control and ocupation of Germany.
2)  Issue ultimatum to Japan. (unconditional surrender)

August 6, 1945 atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima
August 9, 1945 atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki.

August 15, 1945 V J Day