Unit 7.4 Fighting World War II

·  The US Declares War

o  Dec. 8, 1941: US and Britain declared war against ______

o  Dec. 11, 1941: Germany and Italy declared war against the ______, believing that by helping Japan against the US, Japan would help them against the ______

·  Pacific Theater: Japan Moves Quickly to Secure Its Empire

o  Japan immediately launched successful attacks against US colonies of ______and the British colonies of Malaya, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Singapore, and the free nation of Thailand

·  Pacific Theater: Japanese Actions in the Philippines

o  US forces in the Philippines were forced to surrender by May 1942

o  US Gen. ______was ordered to evacuate to Australia, but vowed “______”

o  Japanese forced prisoners to march 65 miles in tropical heat without food, water, or medical care, and while enduring physical abuse, to a prison camp – about 18,000 of the 78,000 prisoners died on this “______”

·  Pacific Theater: The Doolittle Raid (April 18, 1942)

o  American bombers, under the command of Col. James Doolittle, mounted a daring mission to launch from aircraft carrier to bomb ______in retaliation for ______

o  Mainly a public relations move to improve morale; bombings did no major damage

·  Pacific Theater: The Battle of Coral Sea (May 4 – 8, 1942)

o  US Navy had broken Japanese codes and learned of Japan’s intention to stage an attack ______

o  US sent 2 aircraft carriers to intercept the Japanese in the Coral Sea

o  First naval battle in history fought entirely with ______

o  U.S. lost an aircraft carrier, but prevented the Japanese invasion

·  Pacific Theater: The Battle of Midway (June 4 – 7, 1942)

o  Japanese attack on U.S. island of Midway was intercepted and turned back

o  4 Japanese aircraft carriers were sunk, a loss from which Japan would never recover

o  Japan would not be able to mount any ______attacks for the remainder of the war – they would have to try to defend what they held from US invasion

·  European Theater: The Battle of the Atlantic

o  US countered German U-boat attacks against shipping by enforcing ______along the East Coast (so U-boat commanders couldn’t see activity on the US coast) and by using the convoy system (ships traveling in large groups with naval escort)

o  Also used new technologies like sonar and depth charges to combat the U-boat threat

o  As the war progressed, the Germans began to lose more U-boats than they could replace and Allied shipping was able to deliver more supplies

·  European Theater: The Allies Retake North Africa: Operation Torch (November 1942)

o  US troops landed in Algeria and Morocco in North Africa

o  Landings were designed to bring relief to British forces in Egypt who had been holding off Germany’s Afrika Korps under the command of the “______,” Gen. Erwin Rommel

§  Erwin Rommel (1891 – 1944)

§  Highly decorated hero from WWI, became ______top officer during WWII

§  Commanded German forces in the invasions of France & North Africa

§  Committed suicide after being implicated in an assassination plot against Hitler

o  Despite the inexperience of the US forces, Axis troops were forced out of North Africa by May of 1943

·  Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890 – 1969)

o  Master strategist who helped devise the US plans for winning the war against both Germany and Japan

o  Placed in charge of US forces in ______and, later, over all Allied forces in Europe

o  Would go on to be elected President of the United States in 1952

·  Gen. George Patton (1885 – 1945)

o  Outlandish and outspoken (but highly effective) US general

o  Played a pivotal role in the US invasions of North Africa and Italy, but was removed from command after ______

o  Returned after the D-Day invasion, helping with the final push of Allied forces into Germany

o  Died in a car crash shortly after the end of the war

·  The Casablanca Conference (Jan. 1943)

o  FDR and Churchill met in ______to determine the next steps to take in the war

o  Decided to increase bombing campaign in Germany and to attack Italy, rather than France

·  European Theater: The Allied Invasion of Italy

o  July – Aug. 1943: Allied forces invaded and captured ______

o  The Allies easy conquest of Sicily was disheartening to the Italian army and alarming to the King of Italy

Mussolini overthrown

§  July 25, 1943: Mussolini was fired and ordered arrested by Italian King Victor Emmanuel III

§  Italian people had lost all confidence in Mussolini and rejoiced at his ouster

§  Italy broke its alliance with Germany in September and joined the ______in October 1943

Germans Defend Italy

§  The German army seized control of northern Italy, freed Mussolini from prison, and forced the Allies to fight a long and costly campaign in Italy

§  Bloody battles took place at Monte Cassino (Jan. – May 1944) and Anzio (Jan. – June 1944)

§  Took Allies until May 1945 to gain control of Italy and cost them over 300,000 casualties

·  The Tehran Conference (Nov. 1943)

o  Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin met in Tehran, Iran

o  US and Britain agreed to invade ______, dividing Germany’s troops along several fronts

o  Agreed to break up Germany after the war to permanently remove them as a threat to peace

o  Stalin agreed to help fight Japan once Germany was beaten

o  Stalin agreed to the creation of an international organization to help keep world peace after the war

·  European Theater: The Normandy Invasion: Operation Overlord

o  Allies created ______camps along one section of the British coast to trick Germany into believing that the Allied attack would be farther north on the French coast than was actually planned

o  Allies then had to wait for a perfect combination of weather, tides, and moonlight to launch the real invasion, aimed at Normandy

o  D-Day (June 6, 1944)

§  7000 ships moved over 100,000 troops to Normandy;

§  23,000 paratroopers were dropped behind the German lines

§  Allied bombers hit critical German defense and communication sites

§  Naval warships began a bombardment of German fortifications along the French coast

§  By the end of the day, the Allies had established a foothold in France

·  European Theater: Allies Liberate France

o  By July 25, Allied forces had shattered the German defensive positions in Northern France

o  August 25: Allies retook ______, to great celebration by the French population

o  By mid-September, Allies were at the German border and ready to begin an invasion of Germany itself

·  European Theater: Battle of the Bulge (Dec. 1944 – Jan. 1945)

o  Germans made one last effort to beat the Allies by cutting their supply lines

o  The initial surge caused a “bulge” in the Allied lines, but the Germans could not maintain the surge, especially after Patton arrived with reinforcements

o  The battle cost Germany over 100,000 casualties and used up their remaining war materials

·  The Yalta Conference (Feb. 1945)

o  Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin met in the Soviet Union to discuss postwar plans

o  Agreed to reestablish Poland

o  Issued the Declaration of ______: agreement to let all the peoples of Europe to choose their own forms of government through free elections

o  Agreed to strip Germany of its industrial machinery as war reparations

o  Agreed to divide Germany (and its capital of Berlin) into ______zones (US, France, Britain, and USSR)

·  Roosevelt Dies

o  After months of noticeably declining health, Roosevelt died of a cerebral hemorrhage on April 12, 1945

o  He was replaced by his Vice-President ______

·  Benito Mussolini Dies

o  Mussolini was captured by Italian communists on April 28, 1945

o  He and his entourage were shot, bodies were then hung from meat hooks, stoned by an angry crowd

·  Adolf Hitler

o  Committed suicide on April 30, 1945

o  Took cyanide and shot himself (along with his newlywed wife Eva Braun)

o  Body was then______by his secretary and no verifiable remains have ever been recovered

·  European Theater: Germany Falls

o  Berlin captured by the Soviets on May 5, 1945

o  May 7, 1945: Germany formally surrendered to the Allies; their surrender was unconditional, meaning that they had to accept whatever terms the Allies offered to end the war

o  May 8: celebrated as “V-E Day” (______)

·  Pacific Theater: “Island-hopping”

o  US forces elected to focus on capturing only certain strategic islands in the Pacific – ones that would allow US bombers to get within striking range of Japan and create a safe route for troop and supply movement

·  Pacific Theater: Battle of Guadalcanal (Aug. 1942 – Feb. 1943)

o  U.S. amphibious attack on Japanese fortifications

o  Land, sea, & air battle

o  Eventually 31,000 of the 36,000 Japanese on the island were killed

·  Pacific Theater: Other Major Pacific Battles

o  Tarawa (Nov. 1943), Kwajalein (Feb. 1944), Saipan, Tinian, & Guam (Jun. – Aug. 1944)

o  US Marines took heavy losses unseating Japanese defenders, but US B-29 bombers could reach Japan once these islands were secured

·  Gen. Douglas MacArthur (1880 – 1964)

o  Seasoned veteran of WWI, highly decorated soldier who had won the Medal of Honor

o  Had vowed to return to the Philippines when forced to evacuate in 1942

o  Led US effort to retake the ______and proclaimed “I ______” when he finally landed in Oct. 1944

o  Later was US commander of occupied Japan after WWII and led UN forces in the Korean War

·  Pacific Theater: The Philippines

o  US forces landed at Leyte in Oct. 1944 to begin the retaking of the Philippines, but relied entirely on the US Navy for air cover for protection

o  Japanese navy counterattacked, drawing the US Navy into a major naval battle that left MacArthur’s forces unprotected and nearly led to disaster

o  US forces would not gain full control of the Philippines until July 1945, just weeks before the war ended

·  Pacific Theater: Kamikaze Attacks

o  The Battle of Leyte Gulf marked the first coordinated use of suicide attacks by Japanese pilots known as kamikaze (“______”)

o  Japanese high command was now resorting to desperate tactics as Japan ran out of experienced pilots and the industrial capacity to continue making new weaponry

·  Pacific Theater: Battle of Iwo Jima (Feb./Mar. 1945)

o  First Japanese “______” captured by the US

o  20,700 of the 22,000 Japanese soldiers on the island were killed; about 6800 of the 60,000 US Marines who landed on Iwo Jima were killed

o  Badly damaged Japanese morale; placed Japan within easy bombing range for US bombers

·  Pacific Theater: The Firebombing of Japan

o  Gen. Curtis LeMay ordered the use of ______(jellied gasoline) bombs on Japanese cities because his bombers were having trouble hitting their targets

o  The napalm was designed to start massive fires, which would ensure the destruction of the desired military targets, but would also lead to heavy losses of civilian life

o  Mar. 9, 1945: firebombing of ______killed over 80,000; by the war’s end, 67 Japanese cities had been destroyed using napalm

·  Pacific Theater: The Battle of Okinawa (Apr.-June 1945)

o  Most ______battle of the Pacific war: about 125,000 Japanese killed and 12,500 Americans

o  Nearly 700,000 men fought in this battle (550,000 Americans)

o  Okinawa was needed to set up a base of operations for an invasion of Japan itself

·  The Manhattan Project

o  US effort to build a new type of weapon that would unleash tremendous destructive energy by splitting uranium atoms – an “atomic bomb”

o  Led by Gen. Leslie Groves and researcher J. Robert Oppenheimer, the team produced 3 bombs

o  1 bomb was tested in the New Mexico desert, leaving just 2 bombs for military use

o  Bombs were code-named “______” and “______”

·  Harry S. Truman (1884 – 1972), (President from 1945 - 1953)

o  Became president upon FDR’s death

o  Truman now had to decide how to end the war – should the US mount an invasion of Japan, which would cost an estimated 1 million American lives or should it use the new atomic bomb, which would kill an unknown number of Japanese civilians and whose after-effects were still unknown?

·  Pacific Theater: Hiroshima

o  Japan was warned that unless they surrendered immediately and without conditions, they faced “______”

o  When the Japanese did not reply, orders were given to destroy the industrial city of Hiroshima

o  August 6, 1945: The B-29 ______ dropped “Little Boy” on the city, destroying 76,000 buildings and killing over 120,000 people

·  Pacific Theater: Nagasaki

o  When the Japanese still did not surrender, the B-29 Bock’s Car dropped “______” on the port of Nagasaki, killing over 50,000 on August 9, 1945

o  On the same day, the Soviets declared war on Japan and began to prepare to enter the war in the Pacific

·  Pacific Theater: Japan Surrenders

o  Faced with destruction on an unforeseen scale (and unaware that the US had no more atomic bombs to use), Emperor Hirohito ordered his government to surrender unconditionally

o  Fighting stopped August 15, 1945 (“V-J Day”)

o  Formal surrender took place on September 2, 1945

o  As part of the terms of surrender, Japan was occupied by U.S. forces until Apr. 1952