United States' Role Prior to Pearl Harbor Supply Britain with weapons, food, and planes. Aid China and France in similar fashion. Help the Allied nations develop propaganda. Totally cutting Japan’s petroleum supply. Supplying drill instructors to the Allied forces. Selling oil to Germany’s enemies.
United States Reaction to Pearl Harbor Instant declaration of war on Japan. Heightened military presence in the Pacific. Reactivation of the draft and volunteer offices. War declared on Germany four days after. Women began manufacturing supplies for war. Japanese Americans forced into internment camps.
Early U.S. Battles After Pearl Harbor Battle of the Philippines. Battle of Wake Islands. Dutch East Indies campaign battles. Solomon Islands and New Guinea campaign. Battle of the Coral Sea. Battle of Midway and Aleutian Islands.
Early U.S. Battles in the European Theater Invasion of French North Africa campaign. Invasion of Sicily campaign. Invasion of mainland Italy campaign. All campaigns were coalition efforts with the British and Canadians. The first invasion was in 1942, and the last in 1943.
Invasion of Normandy (D-Day) Initial invasion was on Tuesday June 6, 1944. Coalition effort between American, British, Canadian, and Free French troops. Over 24,000 airborne troops and 160,000 amphibious troops landed at Normandy. Beach sectors were named: Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno, and Sword. Of the 10,000 German soldiers, an estimated 4,000-9,000 ended up being casualties.
Operation Market Garden Took place between September 17-25, 1944. Was a coalition effort between the Americans, British, and French. Was the largest airborne operation ever. Allied forces dropped directly into the Netherlands and Germany. Resulted as a total blunder for the Allied forces, suffering more than 15,000 casualties.
General Patton in North Africa Took command of the Western Task Force of the U.S. Army in November of 1942. Pioneered the use of light airplanes for reconnaissance. First U.S. General to receive a medal from a foreign leader. Defeated the German General Rommel in less than three months. Pushed the Germans out of North Africa in about six months. Fun Fact: My great-uncle was one of Patton’s drivers in North Africa.
Battle of Iwo Jima Known as Operation Detachment, took place between February 19-March 26, 1945. Goal was to seize three important airfields on the island. Over 70,000 U.S. Marines stormed the island; with about 20,000 Japanese soldiers defending it. Was the fiercest and longest (35 days) battle in the Pacific Theater. The famous picture of five Marines raising the American flag took place on the highest mountain on the fifth day.
General MacArthur “Island Hopping” Used by the Allied forces in the Pacific Theater. Perfected by General MacArthur. Idea was to ignore heavily fortified Japanese positions, and to capture smaller, more strategic islands. Captured many important islands, including the Philippine Islands. Used this tactic for close to four years.
Battle of Saipan Fought from June 15-July 9, 1944. Commanding U.S. Generals were Lt. Gen. Holland Smith and Lt. Gen. Richmond K. Turner. U.S. Marines forced the Japanese to retreat by July 7. Of the 71,000 Marines that landed on Saipan, 10,000 died. Many Japanese civilians were killed, but mostly by suicide.
Battle of the Bulge Began Dec. 16, 1944 and ended Jan. 25, 1945. Took place in the Ardennes Forest of Belgium. Of the four U.S. generals, Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower and General Patton commanded. The point of the battle was to capture the city of Bastogne. The battle was the largest and bloodiest that the U.S. had ever fought.
Becoming Allies With Russia We became allies in 1942. The deal that was made between FDR and Stalin was that a second front would be opened in France. With no chance of losing the war now, both sides went on full attack. But the Russians wanted the atomic bomb technology, which made the U.S. uneasy.
Liberation of Paris U.S. forces liberated Paris in August of 1944. The liberation started with an attack on a German garrison by the French Resistance Army. After many attacks by U.S. forces and the French Resistance, the Germans surrendered the city on August 25, 1944. Because of this victory, the French people became grateful to the U.S. forces.
V-E Day and Dropping of the Bombs V-E Day, or Victor in Europe Day, took place on May 8, 1945. This is the day the Allied forces accepted the unconditional surrender of the Nazi Army. On August 6, 1945, the U.S. dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima. On August 8, 1945, the U.S. dropped a second atomic bomb on Nagasaki. With these two bombs, the unconditional surrender of the Japanese army was solidified.
Impact of U.S. Victory The economy boomed, along with the standard of living. The U.S. became a powerhouse nation, with the strongest military. The technology of the hydrogen bomb was our knock out punch. National morale sky rocketed. Relations with many countries grew stronger.