The United States in WWII Essay Sample
World War II was a war between the Allies and the Axis. The Allies consisted of many big, developed countries with established militaries such as Poland, France, the United Kingdom, the United States, and many other countries who wanted to stop the Axis powers. The Axis contained Germany, Japan, and Italy until they switched sides, as well as a few other countries. The war lasted from 1939 to 1945. World War II ended as the deadliest war in history with an estimated death total being between seventy and eighty million, most of those deaths were civilians. (World War II Casualties by Country 2021,)
World War II was started in part because of the depression Germany suffered from the harsh consequences after World War I. The repercussions they had taken from World War 1 let Germany’s economy fall, leadership became weak, and they were banned from maintaining a military. This led Germany to appoint Adolf Hitler to rejuvenate their nation. After being elected as a president in an election Hitler soon became an aggressive, power-hungry dictator with an unreal vision of his perfect universe. Hitler began World War II by invading Poland and signing a nonaggression pact with the Soviet Union. (World War II) Great Britain and France responded to the invasion by declaring war on Germany. (World War II) Germany still power-crazed went on to invade Norway and the Soviet Union while battling the Allied Powers.
The United States did not rush to join in the war and attempted to remain neutral for most of the war. (US Prepares for Involvement in World War II) This was due to President Franklin D. Roosevelt believing that Americans would not support meddling in European conflict after the casualty toll World War I accumulated. (US Prepares for Involvement in World War II) Despite his commitment to remain neutral, the President began preparation for the war early. Roosevelt implemented the Selective Training and Service Act of 1940 which led to an increase in the size of the Army and National Guard. (US Prepares for Involvement in World War II) He also began allowing war goods to be supplied to any countries he believed were vital to defending the United States. (US Prepares for Involvement in World War II) Embargoes were also placed to prevent American companies from trading with Japan as well as banning Japanese ships from cruising through the Panama Canal (which was owned by the United States at the time). (US Prepares for Involvement in World War II)
December 7th, 1941 was the day America’s stance on the war was changed. (Japanese-American Internment During World War II) America was shocked when the Japanese military placed a surprise attack on an American naval fleet in Pearl Harbor. (Japanese-American Internment During World War II) It was the next day that America along with Great Britain declared war on Japan. (The U.S. Home Front During World War II) An executive order was also used by President Roosevelt that forced Japanese Americans to be placed in internment camps. These internment camps were named relocation centers and they were placed inland away from the Pacific Ocean. (Japanese-American Internment During World War II) From March to August in 1942 112,000 people were sent to assembly centers which was the place where they were processed before being stationed in their “homes” for the rest of the war. (Japanese-American Internment During World War II)
Following the attack on Pearl Harbor, the people suffered from extreme fear that attacks on American land could continue. This led most Americans to support the war and accept the role they would play in it. (History.com Editors) In 1942, a rationing program was implemented for the citizens for gas, food, and clothing. (History.com Editors) Women workers played a huge role in supplying the military through work because many men were being drafted into military services. (History.com Editors) Women took on jobs that were once only considered for men such as welding. (History.com Editors) Many professional baseball players also halted their careers to aid in the war. (History.com Editors) Even Hollywood stars ditched their luxurious life to enlist in the military. (History.com Editors) For the citizens that stayed home, they relied on the radio for war updates. Radio was the primary and most reliable source of news for at-home Americans.
The United States joined the Allied Powers when they entered World War II. With the help of Great Britain, the United States was able to achieve its first war victory by ending Germany’s attempt to take over North Africa. (Pike, John) By, 1943 America was simultaneously attacking German and Japanese forces. America successfully attacked Japanese-controlled islands. (Pike, John) America along with its alliances launched the D-Day attack on Germans occupying Normandy, France. (Kagan, Neil, and Stephen Hyslop) D-Day’s operations began on June 6, 1944, after planning began in 1943. (Kagan, Neil, and Stephen Hyslop) Around 3,000 American troops were killed or wounded at the beginning of the invasion on Omaha Beach. (Kagan, Neil, and Stephen Hyslop) The Allied Powers had failed to achieve any goals on their first day, and it was not until July 21 that a major objective was secured. (Kagan, Neil, and Stephen Hyslop) However, this objective gave them a strong stance and altered the direction of the war. Germany had lost much of its momentum and this eventually led to its collapse in the war. (Kagan, Neil, and Stephen Hyslop)
The United States also used an unethical and unprecedented approach to force Japan to surrender in the war. After the death of President Roosevelt, our new commander in chief was President Truman. He faced the dilemma of ending World War II. He knew Japan would not surrender and the risk of invasion was costly. (Decision to Drop the Atomic Bomb) Truman was informed about the Manhattan Project, which was an effort to create an atomic bomb. (Decision to Drop the Atomic Bomb) The atomic bomb was tested, and Truman decided to use this as a threat to annihilate Japan. (Decision to Drop the Atomic Bomb) Truman attempted to force Japan to surrender with the Potsdam Declaration that stated Japan must surrender or the United States will unleash their atomic arsenal. (Decision to Drop the Atomic Bomb) After receiving no answer from the Japanese government the bomb was destined for Hiroshima, Japan. (Decision to Drop the Atomic Bomb) On August 6 at 8:15 A.M. in Japan, the atomic bomb “Little Boy” was dropped and killed 80,000 people in minutes, with many more deaths occurring later from radiation sickness. (Decision to Drop the Atomic Bomb) Three days later another bomb was headed for Nagasaki, Japan. The bomb “Fat Man” was dropped and instantly killed or injured 64,000 people. Japan had finally surrendered, and World War II was finally over.
America was insistent on avoiding World War II until they were forced to enter by Japan. America was able to assist in stopping the wraith of Hitler and his allies. Despite just being in World War I the American people gladly assumed their role in helping fight.