In 1938 Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain (1869-1940), Conservative PM from 1937-40, made his gloomy trip to Munich to meet Chancellor Hitler in a last ditch effort to avoid war which resulted in the ill-fated 'Munich Agreement‘, an attempt at appeasement.
During that fateful trip Hitler invited him to his newly completed retreat in Berchtesgaden, Bavaria.
While there the Prime Minister explored the hill top lair of the Führer and found a reproduction of Matania's famous Marcoing painting depicting allied troops, puzzled by the choice of art Hitler explained, "that man came so near to killing me that I thought I should never see Germany again, providence saved me from such devilishly accurate fire as those English boys were aiming at us".
Throughout the 1930s, dictators took aggressive action but met only verbal protests and pleas for peace from the democracies.
Mussolini and Hitler viewed that desire for peace as weakness and responded with new acts of aggression.
In 1935, Mussolini invaded Ethiopia. The League of Nations voted sanctions, or penalties, but had no power to enforce the sanctions. Hitler built up the German military in defiance of the Versailles treaty. Then, in 1936, he sent troops into the demilitarized Rhineland bordering France — another treaty violation. 1
"The AAU shouts against the cruelties of the other nations and the brutalities in foreign climates, but conveniently forgets the things that sit on its own doorstep." The Philadelphia Tribune , December 19, 1935 The Chicago Defender , December 14, 1935, reported that African American track stars Jesse Owens, Eulace Peacock, and Ralph Metcalfe favored participating in the upcoming Olympics because they felt that their victories would serve to repudiate Nazi racial theories. Peacock was injured in trials held in July 1936 and was never able to compete in the Olympics. In 1935 The Defender's circulation was larger than that of any other African American newspaper. June 1936. AP/Wide World Photos
Jesse Owens, "the fastest human being," captured four gold medals and became the hero of the Olympics. In the long jump he leaped 26 feet 5-1/2 inches, an Olympic record. Immediately after the Games, Owens hoped to capitalize on his fame and quit the AAU's European tour of post-Olympic meets; for this action, the AAU suspended him from amateur competition. August 4, 1936. Bundesarchiv Koblenz, Germany
The Baltimore Afro-American (August 8, 1936) and other newspapers spread the story that Hitler refused to shake Jesse Owens's hand or congratulate other Black medalists. In fact, during the very first day of Olympic competition, when Owens did not compete, Olympic protocol officers implored Hitler to receive either all the medal winners or none, and the Fuhrer chose the latter. Whether he did this
" is unclear. Privately, Minister of Propaganda Goebbels called the victories by Blacks "a disgrace." Ignoring censors' orders to avoid offending foreign guests with racist commentaries, the radical Nazi newspaper Der Angriff (The Attack) wrote on August 6: "If the American team had not brought along Black auxiliaries . . .
one would have regarded the
Yankees as the biggest
disappointment of the Games."
JESSE OWENS -- With Adolf Hitler looking on, Jesse Owens' record-breaking performance at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, at the time the international symbol of racism and fascism, shattered the German dictator's theory of Aryan supremacy. He won gold medals in the 100- and 200-meter runs, broad jump (now called long jump) and the 400-meter relay. By the time Owens reached the victors' stand to receive his medals, Hitler and his entourage had left the stadium.
Professional boxing was among the few integrated sports in the United States, and prize fighter Joe Louis was a hero to American Blacks. On June 19, 1936, after rain postponed the fight a day, the undefeated Louis was knocked out by Germany's Max Schmeling.
German Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels proclaimed Schmeling's victory a triumph for Germany and Hitlerism. The Nazi weekly journal Das Schwarze Korps (The Black Corps) commented: "Schmeling's victory was not only sport. It was a question of prestige for our race." In a 1938 rematch, Louis
Although the Spanish Civil War was a local struggle, it drew other European powers into the fighting.
Hitler and Mussolini sent arms and forces to help Franco.
Volunteers from Germany, Italy, the Soviet Union, and the western democracies joined the International Brigade and fought alongside the Loyalists against fascism.
By 1939, Franco had triumphed.
Once in power, he created a fascist dictatorship like those of Hitler and Mussolini.
The Spanish Civil War 1936-37 Picasso, Guernica 8th - 23rd November 1936
In 1931 the Spanish king, King Alfonso XII, was forced to stand down and retreat into exile, and a republic was established. The next five years saw the balance of power swing between the conservative reactionaries of the Spanish establishment and the progressive working class movement.
The rulers of Spain could see their power (and property) slipping away and on the 17th July 1936, a group of extreme right-wing Nationalist generals made their move, starting with a military rising in Morocco, led by Franco, a fascist, which spread immediately to the mainland. Working class militants armed themselves and the military coup was smashed in Barcelona and Madrid, although the generals' troops did seize large areas.
General Francisco Franco called upon Hitler and Mussolini to help him gain military supremacy in Spain. This included the infamous destruction of Guernica in April '37 by German planes.
The Spanish Republican army unconditionally surrendered to Franco's fascist forces on 1st April 1939.
Everyone seemed happy that the communists had not won, and so Franco remained in power until his death in 1975. Prince Juan Carlos became king upon Franco’s death.
Francisco Franco (1892-1975), was dictator of Spain from 1939 until his death in1975. He came to power at the end of the Spanish Civil War. In that war, he led the rebel Nationalist Army to victory over the Republican forces. After the war ended in 1939, Franco held complete control of Spain. His regime was similar to a Fascist dictatorship. He carried out the functions of chief of state, prime minister, commander in chief, and leader of the Falange Espanola, the only political party permitted. He adopted the title of El Caudillo (The Leader). In the early years of his regime, Franco tried to eliminate all opposition. He later eased restrictions.
As dictator, Franco kept Spain officially neutral during World War II. But he sent "volunteers" to help Germany fight the Soviet Union. After the war, the victorious Allies would have little to do with Spain because of Franco's pro-Fascist policies.
The Western powers became more friendly toward Franco during the Cold War with the Soviet Union, because he was against Communism. In 1953, Franco signed an agreement with the United States. He permitted the United States to build air and naval bases in Spain in exchange for economic and military aid. This aid helped bring about industrial expansion. Spain's living standard rose dramatically during the 1960's. By the mid-1970's, Spain had become a relatively modern, industrialized country.
In the early 1960's, opposition to Franco became more outspoken. Miners and other workers went on strike, though strikes were illegal. Opposition groups organized in secret. Franco relaxed police controls and economic restriction somewhat. In 1966, strict press censorship was relaxed.
Franco declared, in 1947, that Spain would be ruled by a king after he left office. In 1969, Franco named Prince Juan Carlos to be king and head of state after Franco's death or retirement. Juan Carlos is the grandson of King Alfonso XIII, who left Spain in 1931. Franco died on Nov. 20,1975, and Juan Carlos became king.
The Abraham Lincoln Brigade were a group of volunteers who went to Spain to fight in the Spanish Civil War. It was not their war, but it was their fight—to save the world from fascism and communism.
"No man ever entered the earth more honorably than those who died in Spain."
German Aggression In 1938, Hitler used force to unite Austria and Germany in the Anschluss. The western democracies took no action. Hitler annexed the Sudetenland, a region in western Czechoslovakia. At the Munich Conference, British and French leaders again chose appeasement. In 1939, Hitler claimed the rest of Czechoslovakia. The democracies realized that appeasement had failed. They promised to protect Poland, most likely Hitler’s next target. Hitler formed a Nazi-Soviet non-aggression pact with Stalin. German forces invaded Poland. Britain and France immediately declared war on Germany. 1
BERLIN (Sept. 9, 2003) - Leni Riefenstahl, whose hypnotic depiction of Hitler's Nuremberg rally, "Triumph of the Will,'' was renowned and despised as the best propaganda film ever made, has died, a German magazine reported Tuesday, quoting a long-time friend. She was 101. A tireless innovator of film and photographic techniques, Riefenstahl's career centered on a quest for adventure and for portraying physical beauty. Even as she turned 100 last year she was strapping on scuba gear to photograph sharks in turquoise waters, although she had begun to complain that injuries sustained in accidents over the years, including a helicopter crash in Sudan in 2000, had taken their toll and caused her constant pain. Speaking to The Associated Press just before her 100th birthday on Aug. 22, 2002, Riefenstahl dramatically said she has ``apologized for ever being born'' but that she should not be criticized for her masterful films. ``I don't know what I should apologize for,'' she said. ``I cannot apologize, for example, for having made the film ``Triumph of the Will'' - it won the top prize. All my films won prizes.''
Although she said she knew nothing of Hitler's ``Final Solution'' and learned of concentration camps only after the war, Riefenstahl also said she openly confronted the Fuehrer about his anti-Semitism, one of many apparent contradictions in her claims of total ignorance of the Nazi mission. Likewise, she defended ``Triumph of the Will'' as a documentary that contained ``not one single anti-Semitic word,'' while avoiding any talk about filming Nazi official Julius Streicher haranguing the crowd about ``racial purity'' laws. Many suspected Riefenstahl of being Hitler's lover, which she also denied. Nonetheless, as his filmmaker, Riefenstahl was the only woman to help shape the rise of the Third Reich. She made four films for Hitler, the best known of which were ``Triumph of the Will'' and ``Olympia,'' a meditation on muscle and movement at the 1936 Berlin Olympic games.
Triumph of the Will was released in 1935 and rapidly became one of the best-known examples of propaganda in film history. Riefenstahl's techniques, such as moving cameras, the use of telephoto lenses to create a distorted perspective, aerial photography, and revolutionary approach to the use of music and cinematography, have earned Triumph recognition as one of the greatest films in history. Riefenstahl won several awards, not only in Germany but also in the United States, France, Sweden, and other countries.
The film was popular in the Third Reich and elsewhere, and has continued to influence movies, documentaries, and commercials to this day.
Historians see the war as an effort to revise the 1919 peace settlement. The Versailles treaty had divided the world into two camps.
The western democracies might have been able to stop Hitler. Unwilling to risk war, however, they adopted a policy of appeasement, giving in to the demands of an aggressor in hope of keeping the peace.
Who made up the International Brigade? a) volunteers fighting against the republic in Spain b) volunteers aiding injured soldiers in Spain c) volunteers fighting against fascism in Spain d) volunteer peacekeepers during the Spanish Civil War
Which of the following immediately led to Britain and France declaring war on Germany? a) Germany taking over the Sudetenland b) Germany annexing all of Czechoslovakia c) Germany annexing Austria d) Germany invading Poland
Kristallnacht literally "Crystal Night" or the Night of Broken Glass was an anti-Jewish pogrom in Nazi Germany and Austria on 9 to 10 November 1938.
Kristallnacht was triggered by the assassination in Paris of German diplomat Ernst vom Rath by Herschel Grynszpan, a German-born Polish Jew. In a coordinated attack on Jewish people and their property, 91 Jews were murdered and 25,000 to 30,000 were arrested and placed in concentration camps. 267 synagogues were destroyed, and thousands of homes and businesses were ransacked. This was done by the Hitler Youth, the Gestapo and the SS. Kristallnacht also served as a pretext and a means for the wholesale confiscation of firearms from German Jews.
While the assassination of Rath served as a pretext for the attacks, Kristallnacht was part of a broader Nazi policy of antisemitism and persecution of the Jews. Kristallnacht was followed by further economic and political persecutions. It is viewed by many historians as the beginning of the Final Solution, leading towards the genocide of the Holocaust.
This pogrom damaged, and in many cases destroyed, about 200 synagogues (constituting nearly all Germany had), many Jewish cemeteries, more than 7,000 Jewish shops, and 29 department stores. Some Jews were beaten to death while others were forced to watch. More than 30,000 Jewish men were arrested and taken to concentration camps; primarily Dachau, Buchenwald, and Sachsenhausen. The treatment of prisoners in the camps was brutal, but most were released during the following three months on condition that they leave Germany.
Events in only recently annexed Austria were no less horrendous. Of the entire Kristallnacht only the pogrom in Vienna was completely successful. Most of Vienna's 94 synagogues and prayer-houses were partially or totally destroyed. People were subjected to all manner of humiliations, including being forced to scrub the pavements whilst being tormented by their fellow Austrians, some of whom had been their friends and neighbors.
The Nuremberg Laws of 1935 were anti-Semitic laws in Nazi Germany which were introduced at the annual Nazi Party rally in Nuremberg. The laws classified people as German if all four of their grandparents were of "German or kindred blood", while people were classified as Jews if they descended from three or four Jewish grandparents. A person with one or two Jewish grandparents was a Mischling , a crossbreed, of "mixed blood.“
The Nuremberg Laws deprived Jews of citizenship and prohibited marriage between Jews and other Germans.
The Laws for the Protection of German Blood and German Honor (September 15, 1935) Entirely convinced that the purity of German blood is essential to the further existence of the German people, and inspired by the uncompromising determination to safeguard the future of the German nation, the Reichstag has unanimously resolved upon the following law, which is promulgated herewith:
Section 1 Marriages
between Jews and citizens of German or kindred blood are forbidden. Marriages concluded in defiance of this law are void, even if, for the purpose of evading this law, they were concluded abroad.
Proceedings for annulment may be initiated only by the Public Prosecutor.
Section 2 Extramarital sexual intercourse between Jews and subjects of the state of Germany or related blood is forbidden. (Supplementary decrees set Nazi definitions of racial Germans, Jews, and half-breeds or Mischlinge --- see the latter entry for details and citations and Mischling Test for how such decrees were applied. Jews could not vote or hold public office under the parallel "citizenship" law.)
Section 3 Jews will not be permitted to employ female citizens under the age of 45, of German or kindred blood, as domestic workers. Section 4 Jews are forbidden to display the Reich and national flag or the national colors.
On the other hand they are permitted to display the Jewish colors. The exercise of this right is protected by the State.
Section 5 A person who acts contrary to the prohibition of Section 1 will be punished with hard labor.
A person who acts contrary to the prohibition of Section 2 will be punished with imprisonment or with hard labor.
A person who acts contrary to the provisions of Sections 3 or 4 will be punished with imprisonment up to a year and with a fine, or with one of these penalties.
Section 6 The Reich Minister of the Interior in agreement with the Deputy Führer and the Reich Minister of Justice will issue the legal and administrative regulations required for the enforcement and supplementing of this law. Section 7 The law will become effective on the day after its promulgation; Section 3, however, not until January 1, 1936.
Who made up the International Brigade? a) volunteers fighting against the republic in Spain b) volunteers aiding injured soldiers in Spain c) volunteers fighting against fascism in Spain d) volunteer peacekeepers during the Spanish Civil War
Which of the following immediately led to Britain and France declaring war on Germany? a) Germany taking over the Sudetenland b) Germany annexing all of Czechoslovakia c) Germany annexing Austria d) Germany invading Poland
Country: Former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR - Soviet Union).
Kill tally: Approximately 20 million, including up to 14.5 million needlessly starved to death. At least one million executed for political "offences". At least 9.5 million more deported, exiled or imprisoned in work camps, with many of the estimated five million sent to the 'Gulag Archipelago' never returning alive. Other estimates place the number of deported at 28 million, including 18 million sent to the 'Gulag'.
In the Ukrainian Republic up to five million peasants starve to death in the "famine" of 1932-33 when the state refuses to divert food supplies allocated to industrial and military needs. About one million starve to death in the North Caucasus.
By 1937, the social upheaval caused by the "revolution from above" has resulted in the deaths of up to 14.5 million Soviet peasants.
1939 - On 23 August Stalin signs a nonaggression pact with Germany's Nazi dictator, Adolf Hitler, carving up Eastern Europe into German and Soviet spheres of influence, with the USSR claiming Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Finland, part of the Balkans and half of Poland.
Stalin quickly acts to secure the annexation of the Polish territory with mass arrests of soldiers and others who might resist. By 1945, about 550,000 have been imprisoned or deported. More than 20,000 Polish officers, soldiers, border guards, police, and other officials are executed, including 4,500 military personnel who are buried in mass graves in the Katyn Forest near the Russian city of Smolensk.
German troops invade Poland on 1 September. Britain and France declare war on Germany two days later. The Second World War has begun.
Stalin acts to secure the USSR's western frontier without antagonizing Hitler. Soviet forces seize eastern Poland in September and enter Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania in October. War is declared on Finland at the end of November.
Stalin is named 'Time' magazine's man of the year for 1939 for switching the balance of power in Europe by signing the nonaggression pact with Hitler, a decision that is described as "world-shattering". "Without the Russian pact," the magazine says, "German generals would certainly have been loath to go into military action. With it, World War II began."
In December 1939, to celebrate his 60th birthday, he is awarded the Order of Lenin and given the title 'Hero of Socialist Labor'.
1940 - The war with Finland ends on 8 March. Finland looses some territory but retains its independence. In the south, the Soviets occupy part of Romania in June.
1941 - Sensing that Germany will soon attack the USSR, Stalin appoints himself as head of the government.
Japan and the Soviet Union sign the Japanese-Soviet Neutrality Pact on 13 April, removing the threat to the Soviets of invasion by Japan and allowing the Soviet military to concentrate on the German forces mounting in the west.
When Germany invades on 22 June, Stalin takes command of the Soviet forces, appointing himself commissar of defense and supreme commander of the Soviet Armed Forces in what comes to be know in the USSR as the 'Great Patriotic War'.
On 3 July, Stalin makes a radio address to the nation. "Comrades, citizens, brothers, and sisters, fighters of our army and navy," he says, "We must immediately put our whole production to war footing. In all occupied territories partisan units must be formed."
He also announces that a "scorched earth" policy will be employed to deny the Germans "a single engine, or a single railway truck, and not a pound of bread nor a pint of oil."
The Germans advance swiftly but are halted on 6 December by a Russian counterattack just short of Moscow, where Stalin directs the Soviet campaign from his rooms in the Kremlin. His armies fight under the slogan 'Die, But Do Not Retreat'.
To the north, the Germans reach Leningrad (now Saint Petersburg) in August. The city is surrounded on 8 September, beginning a 900-day siege during which almost 1.5 million civilians and soldiers will die.
In order to encourage military aid from the Western Allies, Stalin agrees to release about 115,000 of the Poles imprisoned after the 1939 annexation.
1942 , Stalin is again named 'Time' magazine's man of the year, this time for stopping Hitler and opening the possibility of an Allied victory in Europe.
On 23 August, 1939, the world was shocked when, suddenly, Russia and Germany signed a Non-aggression Pact. People would have been even more shocked if they had known at the time that, in addition, the two countries had a secret agreement to invade and divide Poland between them.
What early gains allowed the Axis powers to control much of Europe?
What were the Battle of Britain and Operation Barbarossa?
How did Japan respond to growing American involvement?
Early Axis Gains By 1941, the Axis powers or their allies controlled most of Western Europe. 2 Germany and Russia conquered and divided Poland. Stalin’s armies pushed into Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. Soviet forces seized Finland. Hitler conquered Norway and Denmark. Hitler took the Netherlands and Belgium. France surrendered to Hitler. Axis armies pushed into North Africa and the Balkans. Axis armies defeated Greece and Yugoslavia. Bulgaria and Hungary joined the Axis alliance.
In 1940, Hitler ordered Operation Sea Lion, the invasion of Britain.
The Germans first bombed military targets, then changed tactics to the blitz, or bombing, of London and other cities.
London did not break under the blitz. The bombing only strengthened British resolve to turn back the enemy.
Operation Sea Lion was a failure.
In 1941, Hitler embarked on Operation Barbarossa, the conquest of the Soviet Union.
The Nazis smashed deep into Russia, but were stalled before they could take Moscow and Leningrad.
Thousands of German soldiers froze to death in Russia’s winter.
Russians also suffered appalling hardships.
Stalin urged Britain to open a second front in Western Europe.
THE BATTLE OF BRITAIN OPERATION BARBAROSSA 2
Benito Mussolini was an Italian politician who led the National Fascist Party and is credited with being one of the key figures in the creation of Fascism. He became the Prime Minister of Italy in 1922 and began using the title Il Duce by 1925. After 1936, his official title was " His Excellency Benito Mussolini, Head of Government, Duce of Fascism, and Founder of the Empire ". Mussolini also created and held the supreme military rank of First Marshal of the Empire along with King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy, which gave him and the King joint supreme control over the military of Italy. Mussolini remained in power until he was replaced in 1943; for a short period after this until his death, he was the leader of the Italian Social Republic. Mussolini was among the founders of Italian Fascism, which included elements of nationalism, corporatism, national syndicalism, expansionism, social progress and anti-communism in combination with censorship and state propaganda. In the years following his creation of the fascist ideology, Mussolini influenced, or achieved admiration from, a wide variety of political figures.
Among the domestic achievements of Mussolini from the years 1924–1939 were: his public works programs such as the taming of the Pontine Marshes, the improvement of job opportunities, and public transport. Mussolini also solved the Roman Question by concluding the Lateran Treaty between the Kingdom of Italy and the Holy See. He is also credited with securing economic success in Italy's colonies and commercial dependencies. Although he initially favored siding with France against Germany in the early 1930s, Mussolini became one of the main figures of the Axis powers and, on 10 June 1940, Mussolini led Italy into World War II on the side of Axis. Three years later, Mussolini was deposed at the Grand Council of Fascism, prompted by the Allied invasion. Soon after his incarceration began, Mussolini was rescued from prison in the daring Gran Sasso raid by German special forces. Following his rescue, Mussolini headed the Italian Social Republic in parts of Italy that were not occupied by Allied forces. In late April 1945, with total defeat looming, Mussolini attempted to escape to Switzerland, only to be quickly captured and summarily executed near Lake Como by Italian partisans. His body was then taken to Milan where it was hung upside down at a petrol station for public viewing and to provide confirmation of his demise.
The Second Italo–Abyssinian War/Second Italo-Ethiopian War was a brief colonial war that started in October 1935 and ended in May 1936. The war was fought between the armed forces of the Kingdom of Italy ( Regno d'Italia ) and the armed forces of the Ethiopian Empire (also known as Abyssinia). The war resulted in the military occupation of Ethiopia and its annexation into the newly created colony of Italian East Africa (AOI). However, Ethiopia never capitulated or surrendered.
Politically, the war is best remembered for exposing the inherent weakness of the League of Nations. The Abyssinia Crisis in 1934 is often seen as a clear example of the ineffectiveness of the League. Both Italy and Ethiopia were member nations and yet the League was unable to control Italy or to protect Ethiopia when Italy clearly violated the League's own Article X. The war is also remembered for the illegal use of mustard gas and phosgene by the Italian armed forces.
The positive outcome of the war for the Italians coincided with the zenith of the international popularity of dictator Benito Mussolini's Fascist regime, in a phase called "the age of consensus" during which foreign leaders, including Winston Churchill, praised him for his achievements, it must not be ignored that during the fascist period slavery was abolished in Ethiopia.
On 3 October 1935, Italian soldiers commanded by General Emilio De Bono invaded Ethiopia from Eritrea and started the Second Italo-Abyssinian War. The war lasted seven months before Haile Selassie I went into exile and the Italians declared victory. The invasion was condemned by the League of Nations, Italy was named as the aggressor, and some sanctions were imposed. However, not much was ever done to end hostilities. In May 1936, Ethiopia became part of Italian East Africa and remained as part of the colony until World War II. In 1941, the Ethiopian Empire was liberated by a combination of Ethiopian partisans and British and Commonwealth forces. The major offensives launched against the Italian colonial forces came from the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan and from British East Africa. Haile Selassie re-entered Addis Ababa five years to the day from when he was forced into exile. After World War II, Eritrea was incorporated into the Ethiopian Empire. Eritrea remained a part of Ethiopia even after the dissolution of the monarchy. In 1993, Eritrea won its independence from Ethiopia. International Fascism: The Italian Empire in 1939.
In 1936, with the Italian conquest of Ethiopia, Mussolini proclaimed Victor Emmanuel III to be the Emperor of Ethiopia - a title considered illegitimate by parts of the international community, and lasted only five years.
Haile Selassie returned to power with the British conquest of the Italian East Africa during WWII.
In January 1942 he was officially reinstated to power in Ethiopia by the British government.
Norman Rockwell’s Art in The Saturday Evening Post The Four Freedoms 1941 1. Freedom of Speech 2. Freedom of Religion 3. Freedom from Want 4. Freedom from Fear
Growing American Involvement When the war began in 1939, the United States declared its neutrality. Congress passed the Lend-Lease Act, which allowed the President to supply arms to those who were fighting for democracy. Roosevelt and Churchill issued the Atlantic Charter, which called for the “final destruction of the Nazi tyranny.” Japan advanced into French Indochina and the Dutch East Indies. To stop Japanese aggression, the United States banned the sale of war materials to Japan. Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. The United States declared war on Japan. Germany and Italy, as Japan’s allies, declared war on the United States. 2
The US tried to maintain neutrality as the danger in Europe grew. To revise the strict principles of neutrality, cash and carry and lend-lease acts will be introduced.
The US response was divided after Italy took Ethiopia and Franco conquered Spain. Strong isolationist forces controlled Congress (although most Congressmen did not favor extreme isolationism) and passed a series of Neutrality laws. The laws, passed in 1939, taken together, forbade Americans from sending arms or loans to countries engaged in wars (including civil wars like Spain). Later, the law was changed so that Americans could sell arms on a "cash and carry" basis--meaning that the country needed to pay for the arms in cash and needed to ship it in their own ships . The object was to stop incidents like the sinking of American ships and support for one side in any war that might break out so that America would not be tempted to enter the war. Once the Allies had lost too many ships to Nazi subs (by October of 1941), FDR upgraded the plan to the Lend/Lease. We would loan any materiel that would "Further to promote the defense of the United States, and for other purposes." . In a famous fireside chat, FDR proposed, ”Suppose your neighbor’s house were on fire…would you lend him your garden hose to put out the fire?” In short FDR convinced his listeners that to help England might actually be to US benefit and keep us out of war. system by which the United States aided its World War II allies with war materials, such as ammunition, tanks, airplanes, and trucks, and with food and other raw materials. President Franklin D. Roosevelt had committed the United States in June 1940 to materially aiding the opponents of fascism, but, under existing U.S. law, Great Britain had to pay for its growing arms purchases by leasing geographic locations for naval and airbases around the globe.
Hitler unleashes his blitzkrieg invasion of the Low Countries and France with a fury on May 10, 1940. Within three weeks, a large part of the British force, accompanied by some of the French defenders, is pushed to the English Channel and compelled to abandon the continent at Dunkirk.
The German advance continues to sweep southward driving before it not only the retreating French army, but an estimated 10 million refugees fleeing for their lives. The French abandon Paris, declaring it an open city. This allows the Germans to enter the French capital on June 14 without resistance.
The French government calls on the Germans for an armistice that will end the fighting. Hitler dictates that the French capitulation take place at Compiegne, a forest north of Paris . This is the same spot where twenty-two years earlier the Germans had signed the Armistice ending World War I. Hitler intends to disgrace the French and avenge the German defeat. To further deepen the humiliation, he orders that the signing ceremony take place in the same railroad car that hosted the earlier surrender.
The Armistice is signed on June 22. Under its terms, two thirds of France is to be occupied by the Germans. The French army is to be disbanded. The Nazis set up a puppet government in Vichy. In addition, France must bear the cost of the German invasion.
The Battle of Dunkirk was a battle in the Second World War between the Allies and Germany. A part of the Battle of France on the Western Front, the Battle of Dunkirk was the defense and evacuation of British and allied forces in Europe from 24 May to 4 June 1940.
A series of Allied counter-attacks, including the Battle of Arras, failed to sever the German spearhead, which reached the coast on 20 May, separating the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) near Armentières, the French First Army, and the Belgian Army further to the north from the majority of French troops south of the German penetration. After reaching the Channel, the Germans swung north along the coast, threatening to capture the ports and trap the British and French forces before they could evacuate to Britain.
"Nothing but a miracle can save the BEF now," wrote General Brooke in his diary. And General Lord Gort told Anthony Eden, the British Secretary of State for War: "I must not conceal from you that a great part of the BEF and its equipment will inevitably be lost even in the best circumstances." On 23 May, he put the army on half-rations. In Britain, 26 May was designated a "Day of National Prayer" for the Army.
In one of the most widely-debated decisions of the war, Adolf Hitler ordered his generals to halt for three days, in a successful effort to maintain control over them, giving the Allies time to organize an evacuation and build a defensive line. Despite the Allies' gloomy estimates of the situation, in the end, over 330,000 Allied troops were rescued.
What happened at Dunkirk in May and June 1940 must rank as one of the greatest maritime evacuations in history.
Told from the perspective of the decision makers and the soldiers, sailors and civilians caught up in the events of those desperate days, this factual drama follows the race against time to save the Allied armies trapped in France.
As British and French troops were forced into a shrinking pocket by the relentless onslaught of the German army, the Royal and Merchant navies, helped by a fleet of small civilian craft, launched a momentous effort to rescue them - and miraculously managed to save more than 338,000 men in just ten days.
Hitler set up puppet governments in countries that were peopled by “Aryans.”
Eastern Europeans were considered an inferior “race,” and were thus shoved aside to provide “living space” for Germans.
To the Nazis, occupied lands were an economic resource to be looted and plundered.
German leaders worked to accomplish the “final solution of the Jewish problem” — the genocide, or deliberate murder, of all European Jews.
Japan’s self-proclaimed mission was to help Asians escape imperial rule. In fact, its real goal was a Japanese empire in Asia.
The Japanese treated conquered people with great brutality, having no respect for those they defeated.
While the Germans rampaged across Europe, the Japanese conquered an empire in Asia and the Pacific. Each set out to build a “new order” in the occupied lands. 3
Turning Points The Allies opened a second front in Europe with the invasion of Paris. They freed France and were then able to focus on defeating Germany and Japan. (mid-1944) The Red Army took the offensive and drove the Germans out of the Soviet Union entirely. Hitler’s forces suffered irreplaceable losses of troops and equipment. (late 1942) From North Africa, the Allies invaded Italy. The invasion weakened Hitler by forcing him to fight on another front. (mid-1943) The British stopped Rommel’s advance and drove the Axis forces back across Libya into Tunisia. (late 1942) During 1942 and 1943, the Allies won several victories that would turn the tide of battle and push back the Axis powers. EL ALAMEIN INVASION OF ITALY STALINGRAD INVASION OF FRANCE 3
What happened at El Alamein? a) The British drove Axis forces back into Tunisia. b) The Axis forces consolidated claims in North Africa. c) Hitler was forced to fight on a second front. d) The Red Army defeated the Germans.
Which of the following nations was neutral in 1942? a) Hungary b) Spain c) Finland d) Bulgaria
What happened at El Alamein? a) The British drove Axis forces back into Tunisia. b) The Axis forces consolidated claims in North Africa. c) Hitler was forced to fight on a second front. d) The Red Army defeated the Germans.
Which of the following nations was neutral in 1942? a) Hungary b) Spain c) Finland d) Bulgaria
Dec. 7, 1941—at five minutes to eight o'clock, 183 Japanese warplanes ruined a perfectly fine Sunday morning on the island of Oahu in Hawaii. The first attack wave had reached the U.S. Pacific Fleet stationed at Oahu's Pearl Harbor and for all intents and purposes, World War II began for the United States. Although the U.S. military forces in Pearl Harbor had been recently strengthened, the base was not at a state of high alert. Many people were just waking when the first bombs were dropped. No one was prepared to do battle. Japanese aircraft had flown 230 miles from the north, originating from an attack force comprising six aircraft carriers and 423 planes.
The assault was the complete surprise the Japanese wanted, even though at 7:02 a.m., almost an hour before the first wave of planes arrived, two Army radar men on Oahu's northern shore had detected the attack approaching. They contacted a junior officer, who disregarded their reports, assuming they had instead spotted American B-17 bombers expected in from the West Coast of the U.S. The first wave of Japanese planes, made up of 51 Val dive bombers, 50 high level bombers, 43 Zero fighters and 40 Kate torpedo bombers, attacked when flight commander Mitsuo Fuchida gave the now infamous battle cry "Tora! Tora! Tora!" ("Tiger! Tiger! Tiger!") The second wave arrived shortly thereafter. Almost simultaneously, five Japanese "minisubs" began their attack from underwater, but were able to do little damage.
Pearl Harbor, on the southern coast of Oahu, housed the bulk of the Pacific Fleet at the time of the attack.
Less than two hours later, 2,280 American servicemen and 68 civilians were dead, 1,109 were wounded, eight battleships were damaged and five sunk. Three light cruisers, three destroyers, and three smaller boats were lost, along with 188 aircraft. The biggest loss that day was the USS Arizona, on which 1,177 crewmen were killed when a 1,760 pound bomb smashed through her decks and ignited her forward ammo magazine causing a terrible explosion. Fewer than nine minutes later she was underwater.
Pearl Harbor was the principal but not sole target of the Japanese attack that day. Other military installations on Oahu were hit. Hickam, Wheeler, and Bellows airfields, Ewa Marine Corps Air Station, Kaneohe Bay Naval Air Station, and Schofield Barracks suffered varying degrees of damage, with hundreds of planes destroyed on the ground and hundreds of men killed or wounded.
While the attack that day was a huge blow to the U.S. military presence in the Pacific, it was not a total victory for the Japanese. Not only were the attack's biggest targets, the American aircraft carriers, out of port at the time and therefore saved, but the attack galvanized the nation's support for involvement in the war, ultimately contributing to the defeat of the Axis powers. Today, 64 years later, more than 1.5 million people a year visit the memorial that floats over the sunken Arizona to pay respects to the loss of life that occurred on what President Franklin D. Roosevelt would call "a date which will live in infamy."
Doris Miller, known as "Dorie" to shipmates and friends, was born in Waco, Texas, on 12
October 1919, to Henrietta and Conery Miller. He had three brothers, one of which served in the Army during World War II. While attending Moore High School in Waco, he was a
fullback on the football team. He worked on his father's farm before enlisting in the U.S Navy as Mess Attendant, Third Class, at Dallas, Texas, on 16 September 1939, to travel, and earn money for his family. He later was commended by the Secretary of the Navy, was advanced to Mess Attendant, Second Class and First Class, and subsequently was promoted to Ship's Cook, Third Class.
Following training at the Naval Training Station, Norfolk, Virginia, Miller was assigned to the ammunition ship USS Pyro (AE-1) where he served as a Mess Attendant, and on 2 January 1940 was transferred to USS West Virginia (BB-48), where he became the ship's heavyweight boxing champion. In July of that year he had temporary duty aboard USS Nevada (BB-36) at Secondary Battery Gunnery School. He returned to West Virginia and on 3 August, and was serving in that battleship when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941. Miller had arisen at 6 a.m., and was collecting laundry when the alarm for general quarters sounded. He headed for his battle station, the antiaircraft battery magazine amidship, only to discover that torpedo damage had wrecked it, so he went on deck. Because of his physical prowess, he was assigned to carry wounded fellow Sailors to places of greater safety. Then an officer ordered him to the bridge to aid the mortally wounded Captain of the ship. He subsequently manned a 50 caliber Browning anti-aircraft machine gun until he ran out of ammunition and was ordered to abandon ship.
Captured Japanese pix of Battleship Row while Hickam Field burns in the background
He returned to West Virginia and was serving in that battleship when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941. Miller had arisen at 6 a.m., and was collecting laundry when the alarm for general quarters sounded. He headed for his battle station, the antiaircraft battery magazine amidship, only to discover that torpedo damage had wrecked it, so he went on deck. Because of his physical prowess, he was assigned to carry wounded fellow Sailors to places of greater safety. Then an officer ordered him to the bridge to aid the mortally wounded Captain of the ship. He subsequently manned a 50 caliber Browning anti-aircraft machine gun until he ran out of ammunition and was ordered to abandon ship. Miller described firing the machine gun during the battle, a weapon which he had not been trained to operate: "It wasn't hard. I just pulled the trigger and she worked fine. I had watched the others with these guns. I guess I fired her for about fifteen minutes. I think I got one of those Jap planes. They were diving pretty close to us."
During the attack, Japanese aircraft dropped two armored piercing bombs through the deck of the battleship and launched five 18-inch aircraft torpedoes into her port side. Heavily damaged by the ensuing explosions, and suffering from severe flooding below decks, the crew abandoned ship while West Virginia slowly settled to the harbor bottom. Of the 1,541 men on West Virginia during the attack, 130 were killed and 52 wounded. Subsequently refloated, repaired, and modernized, the battleship served in the Pacific theater through to the end of the war in August 1945.
On 13 December 1941, Miller reported to USS Indianapolis (CA-35), and subsequently returned to the west coast of the United States in November 1942. Assigned to the newly constructed USS Liscome Bay (CVE-56) in the spring of 1943, Miller was on board that escort carrier during Operation Galvanic, the seizure of Makin and Tarawa Atolls in the Gilbert Islands. Liscome Bay' s aircraft supported operations ashore between 20-23 November 1943. At 5:10 a.m. on 24 November, while cruising near Butaritari Island, a single torpedo from Japanese submarine I-175 struck the escort carrier near the stern. The aircraft bomb magazine detonated a few moments later, sinking the warship within minutes. Listed as missing following the loss of that escort carrier, Miller was officially presumed dead 25 November 1944, a year and a day after the loss of Liscome Bay . Only 272 Sailors survived the sinking of Liscome Bay , while 646 died.
Miller was commended by the Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox on 1 April 1942, and on 27 May 1942 he received the Navy Cross, which Fleet Admiral (then Admiral) Chester W. Nimitz, the Commander in Chief, Pacific Fleet personally presented to Miller on board aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CV-6) for his extraordinary courage in battle. Speaking of Miller, Nimitz remarked:
This marks the first time in this conflict that such high tribute has been made in the Pacific Fleet to a member of his race and I'm sure that the future will see others similarly honored for brave acts.
In addition to the Navy Cross, Miller was entitled to the Purple Heart Medal; the American Defense Service Medal, Fleet Clasp; the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal; and the World War II Victory Medal.
Senator Daniel K. Inouye was born in Honolulu, Hawaii on September 7, 1924, and was named after a Methodist minister who had adopted his mother. He was Nisei, or first generation American born to Japanese parents. Young Dan Inouye attended Honolulu public schools and earned pocket money by parking cars at the old Honolulu Stadium and giving haircuts to fellow students. Most of his earnings were spent on a flock of homing pigeons, a postage stamp collection, parts for crystal radio sets and chemistry sets.
On December 7, 1941, the fateful day of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, 17-year-old Dan Inouye was one of the first Americans to handle civilian casualties in the Pacific war. He had taken medical aid training and was pressed into service as head of a first-aid litter team. He saw a "lot of blood" and did not go home for a week.
In March 1943, 18-year-old Dan Inouye, then a freshman in pre-medical studies at the University of Hawaii, enlisted in the U.S. Army's 442nd Regimental Combat Team, the famed "Go For Broke" regiment.
Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, Inouye is a Nisei (second-generation) Japanese-American and a son of Kame Imanaga and Hyotaro Inouye. He grew up in the Bingham Tract, a Chinese-American enclave within the predominantly Japanese-American community of Mo'ili'ili in Honolulu.
He was at the Pearl Harbor attack in 1941 as a medical volunteer.
Inouye as a lieutenant in the U.S. Army
Medal of Honor
In 1943, when the U.S. Army dropped its ban on Japanese-Americans, Inouye curtailed his premedical studies at the University of Hawaii and enlisted in the Army. He was assigned to the Nisei 442nd Regimental Combat Team, which became the most-highly decorated unit in the history of the Army. During the World War II campaign in Europe he received the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, and the Distinguished Service Cross, which was later upgraded, by President Clinton in June 2000, to the Medal of Honor. “Go For Broke”
(1874-1965), became one of the greatest statesmen in world history. Churchill reached the height of his fame as the heroic prime minister of the United Kingdom during World War II. He offered his people only "blood, toil, tears, and sweat" as they struggled to keep their freedom. Churchill also was a noted speaker, author, painter, soldier, and war reporter.
Early in World War II, the United Kingdom stood alone against Nazi Germany. The British people refused to give in despite the tremendous odds against them. Churchill's personal courage, the magic of his words, and his faith in victory inspired the British to "their finest hour."
The mere sight of this stocky, determined man—a cigar in his mouth and two fingers raised high in a "V for victory" salute—cheered the people. Churchill seemed to be John Bull, the symbol of the English people, come to life.
In the beginning of 1942, gloom was descending over the United States like a winter twilight.
On all fronts, the United States and its allies were reeling from the blows of the Axis powers.
In the Pacific, Japan had taken Malaya, Singapore, Java, Guam and Wake Island and was threatening the lifeline with Australia. On April 9, 1942, the "Battling Bastards of Bataan" in the Philippines finally laid down their arms.
In the Atlantic, German U-boats were sinking American ships within sight of the U.S. coast. Britain was being strangled, and the German Wehrmacht was in the suburbs of Moscow.
The Axis powers looked invincible.
In the midst of these dark days burst the light of the Doolittle Raid on Japan.
The U.S. Navy conceived the raid as a way to raise morale. It entailed launching Army twin-engine bombers from the deck of an aircraft carrier to bomb selected cities in Japan. It was a way to strike back. It was a way to demonstrate that no matter how bleak the future looked; the United States would not give up. Leading the attack was Army Lt. Col. James H. Doolittle.
Jimmie Doolittle was an aviation pioneer and daredevil racer. He pioneered instrument flying. He won the Schneider Race for the Army in 1925. He pushed for higher-octane gasoline for aircraft in the 1930s.
This medal was wired to a 500-lb. bomb for return to Japan "with interest."
Doolittle trained the volunteer crews to take off their B-25B Mitchell bombers in only 450 feet instead of the usual 1,200. The planes were loaded aboard the USS Hornet in March 1942.
The plan was to launch the bombers within 400 miles of the Japanese coast. They would then bomb their targets and continue to airfields in China. But Japanese picket boats discovered the task force about 800 miles off the coast, and the Army planes were launched immediately. The 16 bombers struck Tokyo, Kobe, Nagoya and Yokohama. Because of the added distance, no plane was able to make the Chinese airfields.
Most of the planes crash-landed in China with one plane landing in the Soviet Union. Of the 75 fliers who landed in China three died in accidents and the Japanese captured eight. The rest returned to the United States.
The raid inflicted little physical damage to Japan, but it gave a needed lift to morale in the
United States. In Japan, the psychological damage of the attack was more important. The Doolittle Raid convinced Adm. Isoruku Yamamoto, chief of the Japanese Combined Fleet,
that he had to extend Japan's defensive perimeter. He aimed the extension at Midway Island. If Japan held that strategic mid-Pacific atoll, no carrier task force could approach. The battle
of Midway in June 1942, was a decisive victory for the United States.
Many called Midway the turning point of the war in the Pacific.
For his leadership of the raid, Jimmy Doolittle received the Medal of Honor.
To show that Japan could be beaten, the United States staged a daring bombing raid on the Japanese homeland. On April 18, 1942, Lieutenant Colonel James H. Doolittle led 16 B-25 bombers in a surprise attack on Tokyo and other Japanese cities. The bombers took off from the deck of the Hornet, an aircraft carrier more than 600 miles (960 kilometers) east of Japan. The raid did very little damage. But it alarmed Japan's leaders, who had believed that their homeland was safe from Allied bombs. To prevent future raids, the Japanese determined to capture more islands to the south and the east and so extend the country's defenses. They soon found themselves in trouble.
Japanese-American Internment was a World War II action decided on by the president and his advisers in February 1942, following Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor, and carried out under Executive Order 9066. Federal officials, fearing groundlessly that Americans of Japanese ancestry might cooperate with a West Coast invasion by Japan, forcibly relocated over 100,000 Japanese-Americans, including U.S. citizens, to internment camps inland and seized their property. In 1944 the order was rescinded and by 1945 the camps were closed. The Civil Liberties Act of 1988 provided compensation of $20,000 each to the 60,000 surviving internees.
During World War II, Presidential Executive Order 9066 and congressional statutes gave the military authority to exclude citizens of Japanese ancestry from areas deemed critical to national defense and potentially vulnerable to espionage. Korematsu remained in San Leandro, California and violated Civilian Exclusion Order No. 34 of the U.S. Army.
Did the President and Congress go beyond their war powers by implementing exclusion and restricting the rights of Americans of Japanese descent?
The Court sided with the government and held that the need to protect against espionage outweighed Korematsu's rights. Justice Black argued that compulsory exclusion, though constitutionally suspect, is justified during circumstances of "emergency and peril."
1941 Dec. 7 Japan bombed U.S. military bases at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. Dec. 8 The United States, Great Britain, and Canada declared war on Japan. 1942 Feb. 15 Singapore fell to the Japanese. Feb. 26-28 Japan defeated an Allied naval force in the Battle of the Java Sea. April 9 U.S. and Philippine troops on Bataan Peninsula surrendered. April 18 U.S. bombers hit Tokyo in the Doolittle raid. May 4-8 The Allies checked a Japanese assault in the Battle of the Coral Sea. June 4-6 The Allies defeated Japan in the Battle of Midway. Aug. 7 U.S. marines landed on Guadalcanal.
1943 Nov. 20 U.S. forces invaded Tarawa. 1944 June 19-20 A U.S. naval force defeated the Japanese in the Battle of the Philippine Sea. July 18 Japan's Prime Minister Tojo resigned. Oct. 20 The Allies began landing in the Philippines. Oct. 23-26 The Allies defeated Japan's navy in the Battle of Leyte Gulf in the Philippines. 1945 March 16 U.S. marines captured Iwo Jima. June 21 Allied forces captured Okinawa. Aug. 6 An atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. Aug. 8 The Soviet Union declared war on Japan. Aug. 9 An atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki. Aug. 14 Japan agreed to surrender unconditionally. Sept. 2 Japan signed surrender terms aboard the battleship U.S.S. Missouri in Tokyo Bay.
The job that General Patton was talking about was Operation Torch, which was the Allied invasion of North Africa that began in the early hours of November 8, 1942. Plans of the operation began in the spring and summer of 1942 between President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill. The two leaders, however, disagreed on where the operation would commence. Roosevelt, along with General Eisenhower, wanted to open a "second front" to help relieve the Russians who were bitterly defending their homeland against the invading Germans on the Eastern front. Roosevelt wanted a cross-channel invasion of northwest France and strike quickly so as to avoid a long drawn out war with Germany. Churchill, on the contrary, was opposed to a cross-channel invasion because he felt the Germans were too heavily fortified to make a cross-channel invasion successful. Churchill proposed that the Allies take a less direct attack and invade North Africa instead. This, Churchill thought, would put pressure on Rommel and if successful in pushing him out, North Africa would provide a solid base for the Allies to invade southern Europe, possibly southern France or Italy.
French Northwest Africa, not northwest France, would be the locale of the Allied blow to relieve the pressure on the Russian army. And so we land at Casablanca.
Stevens entered the U.S. Army in February 1943 and served as a major in the Signal Corps. He first covered combat in the North Africa campaign and then was stationed in England, where he shot footage of the plans being made for the D-Day invasion, which he covered from the deck of the HMS Belfast . He was then put in charge of the Special Coverage Motion Picture Unit, which landed in Europe after the invasion and covered, among other events, the liberation of Paris, the freeing of prisoners at the Dachau concentration camp, the taking of Hitler's Berchtesgaden headquarters, and the meeting of American and Russian forces at the Elbe River. He was demobilized in March 1946 with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, and returned to Hollywood.
The classic and much-loved romantic melodrama Casablanca (1942), always found on top-ten lists of films, is a masterful tale of two men vying for the same woman's love in a love triangle. The story of political and romantic espionage is set against the backdrop of the wartime conflict between democracy and totalitarianism. [The date given for the film is often given as either 1942 and 1943.
With rich and smoky atmosphere, anti-Nazi propaganda, Max Steiner's superb musical score, suspense, unforgettable characters (supposedly 34 nationalities are included in its cast) and memorable lines of dialogue (e.g., "Here's lookin' at you, kid," and the inaccurately-quoted "Play it again, Sam"), it is one of the most popular, magical (and flawless) films of all time - focused on the themes of lost love, honor and duty, self-sacrifice and romance within a chaotic world. Woody Allen's Play It Again, Sam (1972) paid reverential homage to the film, as have the lesser films Cabo Blanco (1981) and Barb Wire (1996) , and the animated Bugs Bunny short Carrotblanca (1995) .
The sentimental story, originally structured as a one-set play, was based on an unproduced play entitled Everybody Comes to Rick's by Murray Burnett and Joan Alison - the film's original title. Its collaborative screenplay was mainly the result of the efforts of Julius J. and Philip G. Epstein and Howard Koch.
German forces, under the command of Rommel, met the British forces, under the command of General Montgomery at El Alamein. Montgomery had a two-to-one advantage in tanks, and was victorious. The victory in El Alamain eliminated the German threat to the Suez Canal and the Middle East.
Rommel was a German field marshal, was one of the most brilliant generals of World War II. He led the Afrika Korps, and his clever tactics earned him the nickname of The Desert Fox. But in 1942, he was stopped by British forces in Egypt.
In 1944, Rommel led some of the troops that opposed the Allied invasion of Normandy. After he recognized the significance of the superiority of the Allied air forces, he reported to Adolf Hitler that it was futile for Germany to continue the war. He was implicated in the plot to kill Hitler in July 1944. Rommel was given his choice of trial or poison. He chose death by poison.
The controversial, bombastic, multi-dimensional World War II general and hero George S. Patton. The larger-than-life, flamboyant, maverick, pugnacious military figure, nicknamed "Old Blood and Guts," was well-known for his fierce love of America, his temperamental battlefield commanding, his arrogant power-lust ("I love it. God help me, I do love it so. I love it more than my life"), his poetry writing, his slapping of a battle-fatigued soldier, his anti-diplomatic criticism of the Soviet Union, and his firing of pistols at fighter planes.
The 3rd Army was not used during Operation Overlord (the invasion of France) but still served a useful purpose, since Hitler and many members of the Abwehr (German military intelligence) believed that Normandy could not be the primary invasion site if Patton was not committed to the battle. The German command, therefore, held back critical Panzer divisions which could have opposed the landings. Eisenhower, knowing Patton's value at exploiting an enemy's weakness and driving through it, was holding Patton in reserve to breakout from the beachhead.
Ration books were used in WW2. The government rationed food so we could feed our soldiers at war and feed civilians at the same time. Ration stamps came inside the book and had to be presented so you could actually buy rationed goods. Some goods were: canned foods, sugar, eggs, coffee, sugar, meats. Without a ration stamp, you could not buy rationed foods. There were very strict rules about exactly how to use them.
During the time of World War Two, many men left for the war, leaving jobs at home. Women promptly went to fill these jobs and others needed during wartime. The challenging part was that many women worked a night shift and still had the responsibility of maintaining the household and raising her children. For mothers with children not old enough to be in school, daycare was hard to find. Banks and grocery shops also made it hard for women to keep the household running. Although some working women had to quit their jobs maintain the household, women were a key part in winning World War Two.
The World War II effort required the complete devotion of everyone. Not a single person was unaffected by the war. Countless campaigns were implemented in support of the war effort. From scrap drives to government rations, to war bonds, everyone had to make sacrifices.
Propaganda was one of the driving forces of World War II. If it did not cause the war itself, it definitely helped control the path that the war took. From the hatred it sparked to the support it obtained, propaganda was an incredibly effective tool, detrimental in some cases and beneficial in others. Often times, propaganda consisted of of malicious attacks on opposing forces. More commonly though, it ignited nationalism and spurred nations and peoples to action and participation in the war effort.
While American men were being shipped to the front lines in the 1940s, American women were moving to the factory lines.
Spurred on by higher wages and a propaganda poster featuring a muscle-bound "Rosie the Riveter" exclaiming "We Can Do It!," millions of American women helped assemble bombs, build tanks, weld hulls and grease locomotives. More than 6 million women became war workers. Most were married; 60 percent were over 35 and a third had children under 14. A popular song of the day praised "Rosie the Riveter" in verse: "That little frail can do/more than a male can do."
Though they were rewarded with increased wages -- and were thought to be better than men at certain tasks -- on average, women war workers were paid only 60 percent of male wages. Many faced harassment and were judged by prevailing social attitudes. At some plants women workers were told not to wear sweaters for "moral reasons." And the government insisted that "Rosie the Riveter" was a temporary response to war. "A woman is a substitute," claimed a War Department brochure, "like plastic instead of metal."
Norman Rockwell A General Purpose Vehicle: GP =Jeep
In 1930 there were 129,583 members of the National Socialist German Workers' Party or Nazi Party for short - NAtionalsoZIalstische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei - NSDAP). The word 'Nazi' is an acronym formed from the first syllable of NA tional and the second syllable of So ZI alstische. By 1933 membership had jumped to 849,009 and in the early war years this had reached more than five million.
THE ANCIENT SWASTIKA SYMBOL
The Swastika is a very old, sacred symbol from near-prehistoric times and referred to in Germany as the Hakenkreuz. Traditionally a sign of good fortune and well-being, its name is derived from the Sanskrit 'su' meaning 'well' and 'asti' meaning 'being'. It is well-known in Hindu and Buddhist cultures. Hitler displayed the symbol on a red background 'to win over the worker' and it had an hypnotic effect on all those who supported the Nazi movement. In his book Mein Kampf, Hitler wrote 'In the red we see the social idea of the movement, in the white the Nationalist idea and in the swastika the vision of the struggle for the victory of the Aryan man.'
An alliance of the two countries, Germany and Italy. Benito Mussolini, the dictator of Fascist Italy, first used the term in 1923 when he wrote 'The axis of European history' runs through Berlin.' After his meeting with Hitler in October, 1936, at Berchtesgaden, he used the term again in a speech at Milan in November when he said 'This vertical line between Rome and Berlin is not a partition but rather an axis round which all European states animated by the will to collaboration and peace can also collaborate.'
In early 1943 the Allies were getting ready to invade Nazi-occupied Europe from North Africa. Their destination was the island of Sicily. For the invasion to succeed, it was absolutely critical that the enemy be caught off guard. So British officers concocted a fantastic scheme.
Codename: Operation Mincemeat
They grabbed a corpse from a London morgue and gave hi a completely new identity. He was outfitted with a uniform and identity papers stating that he was Major William Martin, a military courier. A briefcase was chained to his wrist. British spymasters planted forged documents suggesting that the target of the invasion would be Greece, not Sicily. Then a British sub dropped the body of “Major Martin” off the coast of Spain, making it look as if he was a military courier who had died in plane crash.
As hoped, Spanish authorities showed the papers to the Nazis, who were completely fooled. The news was rushed to Hitler, who made the defense of Greece his top priority. The Nazi High Command sent Panzer units there and Hitler ordered Rommel to Athens to mastermind the battle.
But there would be no battle in Greece. Instead forces under Generals Montgomery and Patton came ashore in Sicily, where Nazi forces were ill-prepared for them. Victory was made possible with the help of the man who never was.
For more than 50 years, the Brits kept the identity of the body remained TOP SECRET, but in 1995, it was revealed that he had been a 34 year old homeless man named Glyndwr Michael, who had committed suicide by eating rat poison. In life, he may have taken the coward’s way out, but in death, he was a hero. Because of this heroic deed, countless thousands of Allied lives were saved when we invaded Sicily!!!
General Dwight Eisenhower, "Ike," Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in Europe, speaks to the young soldiers of the 101st Airborne, on the eve of D-Day. Eisenhower decided to visit the division in Newbury and talk with the soldiers. Even though his group arrived unannounced and the stars on his automobile had been covered, word quickly spread of his presence. Eisenhower walked among the men asking their names and where they lived. At some point a photo was taken that captured the humanity of the general and the crushing importance of the moment. "Some of the men with Gen Eisenhower are presumed to be: Pfc William Boyle, Cpl Hans Sannes, Pfc Ralph Pombano, Pfc S. W. Jackson, Sgt Delbert Williams, Cpl William E Hayes, Pfc Henry Fuller, Pfc Michael Babich. and Pfc W William Noll. All are members of Co E, 502d Parachute Infantry Regiment. The other men shown on the photo are not identified. Ike punches the air forcefully, "Full victory, or nothing else," he says. The determined troopers, faces blackened, listen attentively. The next morning, they dropped into Ste. Mere Eglise and other places to secure the beachheads at Normandy.
In the early morning hours of June 7, 1944, reporter George Hicks stood on the deck of a destroyer stationed off the shore of Omaha Beach as the Allied invasion of Europe unfolded before him.
Preparations for the invasion began almost the day the British Army evacuated Dunkirk in 1940. When America joined the war, a date for the invasion was optimistically set for 1942. When reality set in, the date was moved to 1943 then to 1944. The final timetable called for a landing on the Normandy coast on June 5 when tide, weather and moonlight would be most favorable
The Germans knew the invasion was coming; they just didn't know where or when. An elaborate deception kept them guessing. This effort was so successful that even after troops stormed ashore at Normandy, Hitler believed it only a feint with the real invasion to take place at Pas de Calais. On June 4, the largest amphibious force ever assembled left its English ports for the French coast. The weather did not cooperate, however, and storms forced General Eisenhower to delay the effort for one day.
Airborne troops went in first, landing behind the beaches in the early hours of June 6. At dawn the invasion force waded ashore at five beaches - the British and Canadians at Gold, Sword and Juno; and the Americans at Utah and Omaha. Troops landing at Utah met relatively light resistance. The story was different at Omaha. The Americans faced a battle-hardened German division that pinned them down with a withering cross fire. Gradually they moved forward and off the beach. The price was high - 2,000 casualties at Omaha compared to 210 at Utah. By the end of the day the beaches were secured and a toehold established in Hitler's Europe.
As part of Adolf Hitler’s nihilistic resolution to decimate all traces of his infamous conquests and satanic occupations, Paris was to turn into a victim of Warsaw proportions. Picture the grueling scenario Generalfeldmarschall Dietricht von Choltitz had to endure: a German army turned decadent from Parisian amenities; Allied troops slowly filling in the fringes of the French capital; and most importantly, Hitler's irreversible obsession to obliterate le Champs Elysses, the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, the perennial scars of European history.
With the choice of disappointing Der Fuhrer or seriously annoying the victorious and his soon-to-be captors, Choltitz lies to Hitler and says, “Ja, Mein Fuhrer,” but does not detonate the explosives at key Parisian locations.
"I often considered whether we would not have to destroy Paris.“ A. Hitler
They were cold, wet, weary and battle-scarred. Yet that didn't stop the men with names like Hayashi, Inouye, Kobashigawa, Okutsu, Sakato and Kuwayama from answering the call Oct. 27, 1944, to rescue a battalion surrounded by German forces.
For the next three days, their unit, the all-Japanese-American 442nd Regimental Combat Team, would fight in dense woods, heavy fog and freezing temperatures near Bruyeres, France, and prove their motto "Go for Broke!" wasn't mere words. "Go for Broke" is Hawaiian slang for "shoot the works."
The Germans cut off the Texas National Guard 1st Battalion, 141st Infantry Regiment in the Vosges Mountains on Oct. 24. The 442nd was ordered in after the enemy had repelled repeated rescue tries by the 141st's other two battalions. Nearly half the men in the Japanese American unit would be dead or wounded three days later with the "Lost Battalion" still isolated. Then suddenly, all of the men began to fight back, hand to hand, and the enemy withdrew.
Soldiers of the 442nd fought in eight major campaigns in Italy, France and Germany, including the battles at Monte Cassino, Anzio and Biffontaine. They earned more than 18,000 individual decorations, including one Medal of Honor, 53 Distinguished Service Crosses, 588 awards of the Silver Star, 5,200 awards of the Bronze Star Medal and 9,486 Purple Hearts, and seven Presidential Unit Citations, the nation's top award for combat units. President Clinton approved the upgrade of 19 DSCs to the Medal of Honor on May 12.
All the while the men fought, many of their parents and relatives were being held behind barbed wire in isolated detention camps in the United States.
Dan Inouye spent 20 months in Army hospitals after losing his right arm. On May 27, 1947, he was honorably discharged and returned home as a Captain with a Distinguished Service Cross (the second highest award for military valor), Bronze Star, Purple Heart with cluster and 12 other medals and citations.
His Distinguished Service Cross was recently upgraded to a Medal of Honor, the nation's highest award for military valor.
Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, Inouye is a Nisei (second-generation) Japanese-American and a son of Kame Imanaga and Hyotaro Inouye. He grew up in the Bingham Tract, a Chinese-American enclave within the predominantly Japanese-American community of Mo'ili'ili in Honolulu.
He was at the Pearl Harbor attack in 1941 as a medical volunteer.
Inouye as a lieutenant in the U.S. Army
Medal of Honor
In 1943, when the U.S. Army dropped its ban on Japanese-Americans, Inouye curtailed his premedical studies at the University of Hawaii and enlisted in the Army.  He was assigned to the Nisei 442nd Regimental Combat Team, which became the most-highly decorated unit in the history of the Army. During the World War II campaign in Europe he received the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, and the Distinguished Service Cross, which was later upgraded, by President Clinton in June 2000, to the Medal of Honor.
Inouye was promoted to the rank of sergeant within his first year, and he was given the role of platoon leader. He served in Italy in 1944 during the Rome-Arno Campaign before he was shifted to the Vosges Mountains region of France, where he spent two weeks searching for the Lost Battalion, a Texas battalion that was surrounded by German forces. He was promoted to the rank of second lieutenant for his actions there. At one point while leading an attack a shot struck him in the chest directly above his heart, but the bullet was stopped by the two silver dollars he happened to have stacked in his shirt pocket. He continued to carry the coins throughout the war in his shirt pocket as good luck charms.
Assault on Colle Musatello
On April 21, 1945, Inouye was grievously wounded while leading an assault on a heavily-defended ridge near Terenzo called Colle Musatello. The ridge served as a strongpoint along the strip of German fortifications known as the Gothic Line, which represented the last and most dogged line of German defensive works in Italy. As he led his platoon in a flanking maneuver, three German machine guns opened fire from covered positions just 40 yards away, pinning his men to the ground. Inouye stood up to attack and was shot in the stomach; ignoring his wound, he proceeded to attack and destroy the first machine gun nest with hand grenades and fire from his M1 Thompson submachine gun. After being informed of the severity of his wound by his platoon sergeant, he refused treatment and rallied his men for an attack on the second machine gun position, which he also successfully destroyed before collapsing from blood loss.
As his squad distracted the third machine gunner, Inouye crawled toward the final bunker, eventually drawing within 10 yards. As he raised himself up and cocked his arm to throw his last grenade into the fighting position, a German inside fired a rifle grenade that struck him on the right elbow, severing most of his arm and leaving the primed grenade reflexively "clenched in a fist that suddenly didn't belong to me anymore".
Inouye's horrified soldiers moved to his aid, but he shouted for them to keep back out of fear his severed fist would involuntarily relax and drop the grenade. As the German inside the bunker reloaded his rifle, Inouye managed to successfully pry the live grenade from his useless right hand and transfer it to his left. As the German aimed his rifle to finish him off, Inouye managed at last to toss the grenade off-hand into the bunker and destroy it. He stumbled to his feet and continued forward, silencing the last German resistance with a one-handed burst from his Thompson before being wounded in the leg and tumbling unconscious to the bottom of the ridge.
When he awoke to see the concerned men of his platoon hovering over him, his only comment before being carried away was to gruffly order them return to their positions, since, as he pointed out, "nobody had called off the war".
The remainder of Inouye's mutilated right arm was later amputated at a field hospital without proper anesthesia, as he had been given too much morphine at an aid station and it was feared any more would lower his blood pressure enough to kill him. His dream of becoming a surgeon had died.
When he was sworn in as Senator, Inouye had no right hand to raise. The other members of Congress who had watched an apparently Japanese man walk up to take the oath, suddenly saw Inouye as a WWII vet who had literally given his right arm for his country. Prejudice gave way to shame and then became acceptance.
Inouye was initially awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his bravery in this action, with the award later being upgraded to the Medal of Honor by President Bill Clinton (alongside 21 other Nisei servicemen who served in the 442nd Regimental Combat Team and were believed to have been denied proper recognition of their bravery due to their race).
His story, along with interviews with him about the war as a whole, were featured prominently in the 2007 Ken Burns documentary The War .
While recovering from WWII wounds and the amputation of his right forearm from the grenade wound (mentioned above) at Percy Jones Army Hospital, Inouye met future Republican presidential candidate Bob Dole, then a fellow patient. Dole mentioned to Inouye that after the war he planned to go to Congress; Inouye beat him there by a few years. The two have remained lifelong friends. In 2003, the hospital was renamed the Hart-Dole-Inouye Federal Center in honor of the two WWII veterans and another U.S. Senator and fellow WWII veteran who had stayed in the hospital, Philip Hart.
In 2007, he was personally inducted as Légion d'honneur Chevalier by French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
The Battle of the Bulge which lasted from December 16, 1944 to January 28, 1945 was the largest land battle of World War II in which the United States participated. More than a million men fought in this battle including some 600,000 Germans, 500,000 Americans, and 55,000 British. The German military force consisted of two Armies with ten corps (equal to 29 divisions). While the American military force consisted of a total of three armies with six corps (equal to 31 divisions). At the conclusion of the battle the casualties were as follows: 81,000 U.S. with 19,000 killed, 1400 British with 200 killed, and 100,000 Germans killed, wounded or captured
On the previous day four Germans had appeared under a flag of truce with a written demand for the Americans' surrender. When shown the message, General McAuliffe had just been awakened and uttered a one-word contemptuous reply. This word has been variously reported, but there is no disagreement as to what he wrote on the paper delivered to the Germans. It was the now famous "Nuts", which had to be explained to the Germans, and incidentally, also to civilian Belgian and French friends. The latter, when told it was a gesture of defiance, replied "Ah, the word of Combrun", referring to an unprintable that Napoleon's General Combrun had used under similar circumstances. There is now a "Nuts" street in Bastogne, as well as a "Place McAuliffe". In spite of the air drops, fighter-bomber support, and McAuliffe's "beau geste", the situation within the (now reduced) perimeter became daily more serious before relief became possible. They took many casualties and lost much equipment in the all-out enemy attacks that ensued, sending VIII Corps a radio message Saturday evening, Dec. 23rd, "Only one more shopping day before Christmas".
Bastogne was a strategic position which both the Germans and Americans wanted to occupy. This lead to a race between the American 101st Airborne divisions and the Germans. The Americans managed to get there first and occupy the city. The Germans were not far behind and quickly surrounded and laid siege to the city. This city was an important strategic location for the Allies because this city could be used as a base to launch a counteroffensive.
On December 22 German officers under the flag of truce delivered a message from General der Panzertruppe von Luttwitz Commander of XLVII Panzerhops, demanding the surrender of Bastogne. After receiving the message Brigadier General Mcauliffe exclaimed "Aw, nuts" which was his official reply to the request for surrender. This message was delivered by Joseph Harper to the Germans.
He told the Germans it meant they could all go to Hell. With that they parted and the siege continued. Because the Americans were surrounded the only way they could get supplies was by air drops. However because it was the winter and the weather was bad for a long time planes could not fly. The Americans had to survive the best they could until the weather finally cleared up.
The Americans at Bastogne were relieved when the VII Corps moved down and enlarged the U. S. line. This allowed Patton's Third Army to counterattack the Germans surrounding Bastogne.
The Third Army was then able to push the Germans past the border of Bastogne.
"Going to war without France is like going duck hunting without your accordion. You just leave a lot of useless noisy baggage behind." -- Jed Babbin, a former deputy undersecretary of defense in the first Bush administration
"Somebody was telling me about the French Army rifle that was being advertised on eBay the other day -- the description was, 'Never shot. Dropped once"---Missouri Republican Rep. Roy Blunt
An old saying: Raise your right hand if you like the French.... Raise both hands if you ARE French.
What do you expect from a culture and a nation that exerted more of its national will fighting against Disney World and Big Mac's than fighting the Nazis? "You know why the French don't want to bomb Saddam Hussein? Because he hates America, he loves mistresses and wears a beret. He IS French, people.
"I don't understand why people are surprised that France won't help us
get Saddam out of Iraq. After all, France wouldn't help us get the
Germans out of France!" ---Jay Leno
Q: What did the mayor of Paris say to the German Army as they
On April 15, 1945, the Belsen concentration camp, near the village of Bergen, was liberated by British troops. Scattered around the grounds were around 10,000 decaying corpses which the troops had to bury in mass graves using bulldozers. Some of the survivors who had been transferred to Belsen from Auschwitz, stated that living conditions here were far superior to those in Auschwitz. But this was soon to change as trains bringing thousands of inmates from camps in the east began to arrive in Belsen. Conditions became catastrophic during the final months of the war as transports bringing food supplies to the camp were increasingly being destroyed on the roads and railways by Allied bombers. Gross overcrowding, inadequate supplies of food, water and medicines and an uncontrollable outbreak of typhus caused the deaths of about 37,000 inmates up to the day of liberation.
In the few weeks after the British takeover, another 13,000 died in spite of all the care taken to preserve life. But in striking contrast to the distorted press coverage at the time, the Belsen Concentration Camp was not an extermination facility. There was no deliberate intention by the Germans to starve the prisoners to death at Belsen (officially designated as a convalescence camp). No gas chambers were discovered and the crematorium consisted of only one furnace in which to cremate the dead. The Camp's Commandant, Josef Kramer, along with his chief physician, Dr Fritz Cline, quarantined the camp and did everything in their power to prevent the catastrophe, even appealing to higher authority for more transport to fetch vegetables and other foodstuffs from the countryside. In spite of their efforts both Kramer and Cline were executed after being found guilty at the Belsen War Crimes Trial. A total of 86 staff members, including 28 SS women guards were captured. By June 17, twenty had died, some by suicide and others from the rigors of digging graves to bury the dead inmates, which the British forced them to do. (By the end of the month the whole camp had to be burned down, even the timber building housing the crematorium).
The first camp in which Jews had been gassed was Chelmno in Poland. The first gassings took place in December, 1941. This was the first camp mentioned by name in the West. A train had left Holland on November 20 carrying 726 deportees, on the 24th, another train with 709 Jews departed and on November 30 a total of 826 Jews were deported. All the Dutch people knew was that the trains were heading east for Poland. The word 'Auschwitz' was unheard of in the West until April 18, 1943, when an eye-witness report reached London. However this report was never made public.
In 1942, the Allies knew of the wholesale massacres taking place in camps such as Chelmno, Treblinka, Belzec, Sobibor and Majdanek but the horror of Auschwitz was still to emerge. Conferences were arranged, telephone calls and telegrams exchanged, discussions took place and notes were passed back and forth but nothing was actually done and all this time the deportations and killings went on and on. Even in December, 1943, when the airfield at Foggia in Southern Italy was captured, thus bringing the camps within range of Allied bombers (a round trip of just under1,300 miles) the camp at Auschwitz was still not identified as the destination of the deportee transports. On May 31, 1944, the complex at Monovitz was photographed for the second time and Auschwitz itself was photographed but the row upon row of prisoners huts, which was holding around 52,000 prisoners, failed to register as an extermination camp in the minds of Allied intelligence services.
On April 7, 1944, two Jewish prisoners, Rudolf Vrba and Alfred Wetzler, escaped from the camp and headed for Slovakia where they reached the village of Skalite on Friday, April 21st. Next morning they travelled to Zilina where they contacted the Jewish Agency. Their report, together with the report of two other escapees, Peter Mordowicz and Arnost Rosin, eventually reached London and on June 18 brief details were heard on the radio during a broadcast from the BBC. This alerted the outside world to the reality of Auschwitz. The first photographs to reach the west was of corpses scattered around the Majdanek camp. These were taken by the Red Army on January 3, 1945. Auschwitz had still to be liberated.
SS Brigadier Odilo Globocnik established the four extermination camps of Treblinka, Belzec, Maidanek and Sobidor and is responsible for the murder of over one million people, mostly Jews, who died in these camps. He also played a leading role in General Plan Ost (East) which involved the relocation of around eighty million people, Poles, Jews, Russians, Czechs, Ukrainians and Balts, to areas in western Siberia. The plan was to be implemented after the defeat of the Red Army and Communism. These deportees were to be replaced with German settlers in the hope of creating a racially pure Nazi Utopia, a fulfillment of Hitler's racial version of a Thousand Year Reich.
Arrested in Austria by British agents, Odilo Globocnik, the greatest ethnic-cleanser of the Nazi era, committed suicide by biting on a cyanide capsule as soon as his identity was revealed.
"The last time the French asked for 'more proof' it came marching into Paris under a German flag."--David Letterman
"We thought it was about time," said Jesus de Manuel y Corazon, Chairman of the IOC and the 1968 European French-Bashing Champion. "Everybody hates those little lying, cowardly, collaborating, garlic-eating, never-bathing, nose-picking French bastards. It's time that French-Bashing was recognized for the truly international sport that it is, one, I might add, that is much more popular than soccer."
This American soldier was on leave in France when he came across an angry Frenchman at a restaurant. This was the dialogue:
Frenchman: "You Americans are just a bunch of war-mongering cowboys who don't know when to stay out of a war."
American: "Do you happen to speak German?"
The Frenchman replied, "No."
American: "Is the capital of France Berlin?"
General Dwight D. Eisenhower was able to see first hand of the conditions of the living, the dead, and the "living dead." Eisenhower wrote in his "Crusade in Europe", "I have never felt able to describe my emotional reaction when I am face to face with indisputable evidence of Nazi brutality and ruthless disregard of every shred of human decency."
Later Germans were forced from Wiemar to take a tour of the concentration camp. The soldiers made the Germans tour the camp twice to make sure that they saw everything, and to make them see what their government had been doing to innocent people for the past eight years.
On January 26, 1945, Red Army troops liberated the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland. Among the 2,819 prisoners found alive (including 180 children) were 754 Poles, 542 Hungarians, 346 French, 315 Czechs, 180 Russians, 159 Dutch, 143 Yugoslavians, 76 Greeks, 52 Rumanians, and 41 Belgians. Of these, 223 were suffering from pulmonary tuberculosis. As well as the living, 536 dead corpses were found in the grounds of the camp. Most had died from hunger and pure physical exhaustion. (Around 50 British Jews died in Auschwitz, most had emigrated to France, Belgium or Holland before the war)
Churchill, FDR, and Stalin met several times during WWII to coordinate strategy. FDR looks ill at the last meeting and is said to have given into Stalin’s plans to allow the Soviets to capture Berlin before the Allies.
Defeating Nazi Germany To win the assault on Germany, the Allies had to use devastating force. As Allied armies advanced into Belgium in 1944, Germany launched a massive counterattack. Both sides suffered terrible losses at the Battle of the Bulge. Hitler’s support in Germany was declining. Germany faced round-the-clock bombing. The Allies crossed the Rhine into western Germany. Soviet troops closed in on Berlin. Hitler committed suicide, and Germany surrendered. 4
April 30, 1945, as Russian troops fought to within yards of his subterranean bunker, Adolph Hitler put a pistol to his head, pulled the trigger and closed the curtain on the Third Reich. Before his death, Hitler anointed Admiral Karl Donitz as his successor with orders to continue the fighting. Hitler was unaware that the German surrender had already begun.
On the day before his death all German troops in Italy laid down their arms. On May 4, German forces in Holland, Denmark and northwest Germany surrendered to British Field Marshall Montgomery. On May 6, Donitz authorized General Alfred Jodl to "conclude an armistice agreement" with General Eisenhower. The Germans wanted a separate peace with the allied troops in the West in order to continue their battle with the Russians in the East. Eisenhower would have none of it. He ordered the Germans to surrender unconditionally the next day. The Germans acquiesced, signing the surrender document on May 7, in the French city of Reims. The cessation of fighting took effect at 11:01 PM on May 8. The Russians insisted that a separate signing take place in Berlin on May 9. After six catastrophic years, the war in Europe was over.
Victory in Europe Day ( V-E Day ) was May 8, 1945, the date when the Allies during the Second World War formally celebrated the defeat of Nazi Germany and the end of Adolf Hitler's Reich.
On that date, massive celebrations took place, notably in London, where over a million people celebrated in a carnival atmosphere the end of the European war, though rationing of food and clothing was to continue for a number of years. In London crowds massed in particular in Trafalgar Square and up the Mall to Buckingham Palace, where King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, accompanied by the Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, appeared on the balcony of the Palace to cheering crowds. Princess Elizabeth (the future Queen Elizabeth II) and her sister, Princess Margaret were allowed to wander anonymously among the crowds and take part in the celebrations in London.
In the United States, President Harry Truman, who celebrated his 61st birthday that day, dedicated the victory to the memory of his predecessor, Franklin D. Roosevelt, who died less than a month earlier, on April 12, because he was committed towards ending the war.
The Allies had agreed to mark May 9, 1945 as V-E day , but western journalists broke the news of Germany's surrender prematurely, precipitating the earlier celebration. The Soviet Union kept to the agreed date, and Russia and other countries still commemorate the end of the Second World War, known as the Great Patriotic War in Russia and other parts of the erstwhile Soviet Union, as Victory Day on May 9.
At first, the Japanese won an uninterrupted series of victories.
Soon, however, the tide of the Pacific war began to turn.
The United States began an “island-hopping” campaign. The goal of the campaign was to recapture some Japanese-held islands while bypassing others. The captured islands served as steppingstones to the next objective.
In this way, American forces gradually moved north to Japan itself.
President Roosevelt ordered MacArthur to Australia, and he left the Philippines in March 1942. He promised the Filipinos, "I shall return.“
On April 9, about 75,000 exhausted troops on Bataan surrendered to the Japanese. Most of them were forced to march about 65 miles (105 kilometers) to prison camps. Many prisoners died of disease and mistreatment during what became known as the Bataan Death March. Some soldiers held out on Corregidor Island, near Bataan, until May 6. By then, the Japanese were victorious everywhere.
Japan's string of quick victories astonished even the Japanese. It terrified the Allies. The fall of the Netherlands Indies left Australia unprotected. The capture of Burma brought the Japanese to India's border. Australia and India feared invasion. Japanese planes bombed Darwin on Australia's north coast in February 1942.
Island-hopping was the only way to clear occupied islands of infestations of Japanese. Civilians were told that we would kill/rape/eat them. Many civilians will suicide by jumping off of cliffs into the sea as we come ashore to liberate them.
The Fighting Sullivans They were among the most famous of all the fighting men of World War II. The five Sullivan brothers, serving together in the Pacific, symbolized America's commitment to winning the war. But their deaths caused outrage and forced the military to change longstanding policies that allowed a family to lose an entire generation at once. On Friday, November 13, 1942, a Japanese torpedo struck the USS Juneau at Guadalcanal. Hundreds of sailors were left bobbing in shark infested waters, waiting for rescue. Most of them, including all five Sullivan brothers, died. The True Story Of The Fighting Sullivans revisits that fateful day with the help of Frank Holmgren, the last crewmember of the USS Juneau to be rescued, while authors Jack Satterfield (We Band of Brothers) and Dan Kurzman (Left to Die) shed light on the decisions that conspired to create the tragedy. Get the real story behind one of the most infamous disasters of World War II.
The Sullivan family led lives much like other middle class families of the 1920s and 1930s. It was Depression time and Tom Sullivan was fortunate that he had a job. Not all of his children were able to finish high school. A few of the boys found it necessary to help out meeting the household expenses. The vacant lot next to their home provided space for various sports activities. Most of the family found work at the Rath meat packing plant. When the two oldest, George and Frank, returned home from a hitch in the Navy, all five Sullivan brothers were working together again, just as they were when playing sports on that lot next door to their home. The youngest, Albert was the first to get married. He and his wife Mary became parents when their son, James Thomas, was born on May 11, 1940. The other brothers would probably have done the same, but World War II got in the way. When reports were received about the death of their friend, Bill Ball, who was on the battleship Arizona when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, they decided to enlist in the Navy. They did insist, however, that the Navy allow them to stay together throughout their service. The Navy agreed. On January 3, 1942, less than a month after Pearl Harbor, they were sworn in at Des Moines, and left for Great Lakes Training Center.
At daybreak the surviving American ships huddled together and headed back to their base. Late that morning, a torpedo fired from a Japanese submarine, struck the Juneau near the storage area of its ammunition supply. “When the torpedo hit, there was a single explosion and the air was filled with debris, much of it in large pieces. The whole ship disappeared in a large cloud of black, yellow black, and brown smoke. Debris showered down among ships of the formation for several minutes after the explosion to such an extent as to indicate erroneously, a high level bombing attack.” Thus Captain Gilbert, the acting Commander of the task force, described what he saw when the U.S.S. Juneau was struck. The captain of the U.S.S. San Francisco, H.E. Shonland, reported that: “It is certain that all on board perished.” Captain Hoover decided that rather than delay the escape of the other ships, he would request that an Army aircraft in the area report the position of the Juneau. The pilot did send in a report but it did not get to the proper authorities. And, even more tragically, Captain Shonland was wrong — there were survivors from the Juneau. It was not known exactly how many made it into life rafts; there were at least 80. Among them was George Sullivan, the oldest brother.
Gunner’s mate Allen Heyn was one of the survivors that was finally rescued from the sinking of the Juneau. He reported that there were 10 days of intense suffering as, one by one, the men succumbed to the intense heat, their wounds, and sharks. Many were badly burned and died a painful death. They became delirious from hunger and thirst. Heyn recalled how George Sullivan decided to take a bath one night. He took off all his clothes and swam around the raft. His movement attracted a shark…and that was the last Heyn saw of him. Only ten men survived the ordeal.
Security required that the Navy not reveal the loss of the Juneau or the other ships so as not to provide information to the enemy. Letters from their sons stopped arriving at the Sullivan home and the parents’ anguish began as they awaited word. One of the survivors of the Juneau wrote to Tom and Alleta, but they still clung to the hope that their sons, or at least one of them, survived. Soon an outpouring of sympathy ensued. The “Fighting Sullivan Brothers” were national heros. President Franklin Roosevelt sent a letter of condolence to Tom and Alleta. Pope Pius XII sent a silver religious medal and rosary with his message of regret. The Iowa Senate and House adopted a formal resolution of tribute to the Sullivan brothers.
Thomas and Alleta Sullivan, in spite of the intense pain of losing their five sons all at once, made speaking appearances at war plants and ship yards in behalf of the war effort. They hoped that they could help prevent the loss of other American boys. Their daughter, Genevive, often accompanied them, until she joined the WAVES on June 14, 1943. In April of that year Mrs. Sullivan christened a new destroyer, U.S.S. The Sullivans, in San Francisco. This ship is moored at Buffalo, New York as a memorial to the five brothers. Today there is a park and playground where the Sullivan house once stood. To prevent a tragedy of this magnitude from happening again, Congress passed the Sullivan Law , which would prevent brothers from serving on the same ship.
One of America's most extraordinary episodes of cryptography, the art and science of coding and decoding, used the ancient language of a Native American tribe and their courageous warriors to advance America's cause in World War II. The secret language of the Navajo Code Talkers provided one of the most unusual advantages to the United States military during that fateful conflict. In a successful attempt to defend their land, the Navajos used their unbreakable coded language to confuse the enemy with unusual sounds. They did this in spite of the fact that elements of the American military had harshly treated many of their forebears.
Philip Johnston was the man who proposed that the language of the Navajos be used as the basis of a communication code during World War II. Johnston did a lot of work with the Navajo Indians. His fluency in the language helped him to see the many military applications. Johnston knew that the unwritten Navajo language would be virtually impossible for the enemy to decipher because of its syntax, tonal qualities, and dialects. The Japanese were successful in breaking codes in the past, but Johnston had the hunch that they wouldn't be able to crack this one. In 1942, he proposed the idea to Major General Clayton B. Vogel. A combat simulation, where four Navajos sent messages to one another from separate rooms and translated them, was used to demonstrate the military significance of their unique language.
The presentation was very promising. Further, the translation was far more rapid than when a code machine was used. As a result, Vogel asked that 30 Navajos initiate the new program. They were first sent to the Marine Corps Boot Camp. The rugged training was challenging for many Americans. Then in May 1942, the Navajo were sent to Camp Pendleton in Oceanside, California. There they developed the code that would be used in combat. They created a standard dictionary in addition to code words for about 200 of the military's most commonly used terms. The language syntax and tones were so perplexing to a potential enemy that there was little possibility of the code being broken. Few outside the Navajo tribe knew the language at the time. In the Navajo tradition, a strong sense of trust must be established before an outsider may be admitted to their confidence. This reticence reassured the Marine officials that while the Japanese were thought to be accomplished code breakers, they would find the barrier of the Navajo code insurmountable. In fact, by war's end, while the Japanese had broken codes of the U.S. Army and the Air Corps, the Navajo code of the Marine Corps stayed intact and unbroken.
The Navajo Code Talkers contributed importantly to the war effort. In the beginning, however, not many people knew much about the secret operation and the Navajo weren't as fully employed as they might have been. Once the code talkers established their place in battle, they proved their worth. They fought valiantly and skillfully to defend the only land they had ever known as home. Major Howard Connor, 5th Marine Division signal officer said, "Were it not for the Navajos, the Marines would never have taken Iwo Jima." By August of 1943, the Marines had enlisted 191 Navajos to be code talkers. Perhaps as many as 420 Navajos served in the code talker program. Additionally, it has been estimated that by the end of World War II, more than 3,600 Navajos had served in the United States military in a variety of roles in all the services.
The secret of the Navajo code remained useful in future American conflicts, including Korean and Vietnam. Because of this need for secrecy, it took many years for the Navajo Code Talkers to be recognized.
The code was declassified in 1968 and a year later the Navajo Code Talkers were recognized nationally at a reunion of the Fourth Marine Division. August 14, 1982, was declared National Code Talkers Day.
The 'Fala Speech' "These Republican leaders have not been content with attacks on me, or my wife, or on my sons. No, not content with that, they now include my little dog, Fala. Well, of course, I don't resent attacks, and my family doesn't resent attacks, but Fala does resent them. You know, Fala is Scotch, and being a Scottie, as soon as he learned that the Republican fiction writers in Congress and out had concocted a story that I had left him behind on the Aleutian Islands and had sent a destroyer back to find him--at a cost to the taxpayers of two or three, or eight or twenty million dollars--his Scotch soul was furious. He has not been the same dog since. I am accustomed to hearing malicious falsehoods about myself--such as that old, worm-eaten chestnut that I have represented myself as indispensable. But I think I have a right to resent, to object to libelous statements about my dog."-- Sept. 23, 1944, address to the Teamsters Union
In May 1942, a Japanese invasion force sailed toward Australia's base at Port Moresby on the south coast of the island of New Guinea. Port Moresby lay at Australia's doorstep. American warships met the Japanese force in the Coral Sea, northeast of Australia. The Battle of the Coral Sea, fought from May 4 to 8, was unlike all earlier naval battles.
It was the first naval battle in which opposing ships never sighted one another.
Planes based on aircraft carriers did all the fighting. Neither side won a clear victory.
But the battle halted the assault on Port Moresby and temporarily checked the threat to Australia.
The Battle of Leyte Gulf was a naval battle of the Pacific Campaign of World War II, fought in the seas around the island of Leyte in the Philippines from 23 October to 26 October 1944. The Japanese intended to repel or destroy the Allied invasion of Leyte. Instead, the Allied navies inflicted a major defeat on the outnumbered Imperial Japanese Navy which left it no longer a strategic force in the Pacific War.
The battle is often considered to be the largest naval battle in history.
Leyte Gulf was also the scene of the first use of kamikaze aircraft by the Japanese. The Australian heavy cruiser HMAS Australia was hit on 21 October, and organized suicide attacks by the "Special Attack Force" began on 25 October.
Prior to the proposed invasion of mainland Japan ( ' Operation 'Olympic’ on November 1, 1945) the Japanese military speeded up its preparations to attack the Allied invasion force while still at sea, coming up with some very desperate ideas for suicide attacks of differing kinds:
Thousands of volunteer pilots were hastily trained for airplane suicide attacks. Over 500 aircraft of all types were available for these kamikaze missions.
Around 400 Koryu and Kairyu suicide submarines (five and two-man versions of the Kaiten) would set out on their one-way journey.
Also prepared to sacrifice their lives were 300 volunteers for the Shinyo human torpedoes.
Most bizarre of all were the hundreds of strong swimmers who would swim out with deadly mines strapped to their backs to explode against the hulls of the Allied ships.
Just when all was set for the greatest military mass suicide in history, the atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki and Hiroshima. On August 14, 1945, the Japanese ordered all kamikaze operations to cease.
The originator of the first kamikaze attack, Vice Admiral Takijiro Ohnishi, committed suicide by disemboweling himself .
By the end of the Pacific war on September 2, 1945, a grand total of 1,228 Japanese suicide pilots had given their lives for their Emperor. Their score was 34 US ships sunk and 288 damaged. These included three escort carriers and fourteen destroyers. No battleships or cruisers were sunk.
William “Bull” Frederick Halsey, Jr. Fleet Admiral, United States Navy
Born in Washington. D. C. on October 30, 1882, he graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1904. He served on escort vessels during World War I and later earned his Naval Aviator's Wings at the advanced age of 52, the oldest person to do so in the history of the U.S. Navy.
He commanded the South Pacific Area in 1942 and was promoted to Commander-in-Chief of the Third Fleet in 1944. He provided support for General Douglas MacArthur's invasion of the Philippines in 1944. The Japanese surrender in World War II took place on his flagship, the battleship USS Missouri, in Tokyo Bay.
He was promoted to Five-Star Fleet Admiral (one of only five men to have held that rank) in December 1945. He retired from active duty with the Navy in 1947, becoming President of International Telecommunications Labs, Inc.
PT 109 commanded by Kennedy with executive officer, Ensign Leonard Jay Thom, and ten enlisted men was one of the fifteen boats sent out on patrol on the night of 1-2 August 1943 to intercept Japanese warships in the straits. A friend of Kennedy, Ensign George H. R. Ross, whose ship was damaged, joined Kennedy's crew that night. The PT boat was creeping along to keep the wake and noise to a minimum in order to avoid detection. Around 0200 with Kennedy at the helm, the Japanese destroyer Amagiri traveling at 40 knots cut PT 109 in two in ten seconds. Although the Japanese destroyer had not realized that their ship had struck an enemy vessel, the damage to PT 109 was severe. At the impact, Kennedy was thrown into the cockpit where he landed on his bad back. As Amagiri steamed away, its wake doused the flames on the floating section of PT 109 to which five Americans clung: Kennedy, Thom, and three enlisted men, S1/c Raymond Albert, RM2/c John E. Maguire and QM3/c Edman Edgar Mauer. Kennedy yelled out for others in the water and heard the replies of Ross and five members of the crew, two of which were injured.
Because the remnant was listing badly and starting to swamp, Kennedy decided to swim for a small island barely visible (actually three miles) to the southeast. Five hours later, all eleven survivors had made it to the island after having spent a total of fifteen hours in the water. Kennedy had given McMahon a life-jacket and had towed him all three miles with the strap of the device in his teeth. After finding no food or water on the island, Kennedy concluded that he should swim the route the PT boats took through Ferguson Passage in hopes of sighting another ship. After Kennedy had no luck, Ross also made an attempt, but saw no one and returned to the island. Ross and Kennedy had spotted another slightly larger island with coconuts to eat and all the men swam there with Kennedy again towing McMahon. Now at their fourth day, Kennedy and Ross made it to Nauru Island and found several natives. Kennedy cut a message on a coconut that read "11 alive native knows posit & reef Nauru Island Kennedy." He purportedly handed the coconut to one of the natives and said, "Rendova, Rendova!," indicating that the coconut should be taken to the PT base on Rendova.
Lieutenant Kennedy was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Medal "for extremely heroic conduct as Commanding Officer of Motor Torpedo Boat 109 following the collision and sinking of that vessel in the Pacific War Area on August 1-2, 1943. Unmindful of personal danger, Lieutenant (then Lieutenant, junior grade) Kennedy unhesitatingly braved the difficulties and hazards of darkness to direct rescue operations, swimming many hours to secure aid and food after he had succeeded in getting his crew ashore. His outstanding courage, endurance and leadership contributed to the saving of several lives and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service."
The Battle of Midway. Japan next sent a large fleet to capture Midway Island at the westernmost tip of the Hawaiian chain. The United States had cracked Japan's naval code and thus learned about the coming invasion. Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, gathered the ships that had survived the raid on Pearl Harbor and the Battle of the Coral Sea. He prepared to ambush the Japanese.
The Battle of Midway opened on June 4, 1942, with a Japanese bombing raid on Midway. Outdated U.S. bombers flew in low and launched torpedoes against Japanese warships. But Japanese guns downed most of the slow-moving planes. American dive bombers swooped in next. They pounded enemy aircraft carriers while their planes refueled on deck. During the three-day battle, the Japanese lost 4 aircraft carriers and more than 200 planes and skilled pilots. Japan sank 1 U.S. aircraft carrier and shot down about 150 U.S. planes.
The Battle of Midway was the first clear Allied victory over Japan in World War II. Aircraft carriers had become the most important weapon in the war in the Pacific. Japan's naval power was crippled by the loss of 4 of its 9 aircraft carriers.
Although Japan failed to capture Midway, it seized two islands at the tip of Alaska's Aleutian chain on June 7, 1942. The Americans drove the Japanese out of the Aleutians in the spring and summer of 1943.
"Tokyo Rose" was the name given by American GIs to nearly a dozen women of American descent who broadcast propaganda for the Japanese during World War II. Iva Toguri D'Aquino was one of them.
Iva was born in Los Angeles on July 4, 1916. In 1941, a relative in Japan wrote to her mother urging her to return to Japan to visit her ailing sister. Iva's mother was also sick and sent Iva in her place. Five months after her arrival Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. Iva, an American citizen, was stranded. Back in the U.S., her father and mother were confined to one of the Japanese-American Internment Camps - her mother later died in one of the camps. Still in Japan, Iva met and married a man of Portuguese decent and in November 1943 began broadcasting on the English language propaganda program "Zero Hour." She called herself Orphan Ann. Orphan was the name GIs in the Pacific gave to themselves. Ann was short for announcer. Iva never felt she was broadcasting propaganda - to her, it was tongue-in-cheek satire.
After the war the American authorities felt otherwise. Iva was brought to the U.S., tried and convicted of treason. The government forbade her husband to stay in the country after the trial and she never saw him again. Sentenced to 10 years in prison and fined $10,000 in 1949, she was paroled after serving six years and ten months of her term. Iva went to live with her father in Chicago and helped run the family gift shop after his death. Based on the assertion that much of the testimony given at her trial was suspect, President Ford pardoned Iva on his last day in office.
Iwo Jima means "Sulfur Island", an apt description of eight square miles of volcanic, treeless scrub. Dominated by 546-foot Mount Suribachi, the island became the site of one of the bloodiest battles in World War II. Its strategic importance lay in its location halfway between Japan and the airfields of the B-29 Super Fortresses located on the Mariana Islands. Capture of Iwo Jima by the Americans would provide an emergency landing field for crippled bombers returning from their bombing raids on Japan and an advance base for the shorter-ranged escort fighters.
The American's strategic timetable demanded that the island be secured in the early months of 1945. Continuous air and naval bombardment began 74 days before the scheduled invasion to prepare the way. Previous Island assaults had taught the Americans the hard lesson that the Japanese would fight to the last man to defend their positions. The massive bombardment was meant to smash the Japanese defensive
As the invasion unfolded on the morning of February 15, the plan seemed a success. Huddled in their landing craft, the Marines encountered only scattered fire as they approached the beach. This situation didn't last long. Unbeknownst to the invaders, the Japanese had dug a labyrinth of tunnels and caves throughout the island that had protected them from the aerial bombardment. As the assault troops scrambled up the volcanic beach, the Japanese opened up with everything they had. It was a blood bath with the Marines pinned down by withering fire.
The invasion plan called for the quick capture of the heights of Mt. Surabachi. Two days after the invasion, however, the Marines had advanced only 200 yards towards their goal. It was not until the 23rd that they were able to wrest the mountain's summit from the enemy and another three weeks before they secured the entire island. Nearly all the island's 21,000 defenders died in the battle while the Americans lost 6,821.
Ira Hayes b. January 12, 1923 Sacaton, Arizona d. January 24, 1955 Bapchule, Arizona
Ira Hayes was a Pima Indian. When he enlisted in the Marine Corps, he had hardly ever been off the Reservation. His Chief told him to be an "Honorable Warrior" and bring honor upon his family. Ira was a dedicated Marine. Quiet and steady, he was admired by his fellow Marines who fought alongside him in three Pacific battles.
At the White House, President Truman told Ira, "You are an American hero." But Ira didn't feel pride. As he later lamented, "How could I feel like a hero when only five men in my platoon of 45 survived, when only 27 men in my company of 250 managed to escape death or injury?"
Ira went back to the reservation attempting to lead an anonymous life. But it didn't turn out that way . . . "I kept getting hundreds of letters. And people would drive through the reservation, walk up to me and ask, 'Are you the Indian who raised the flag on Iwo Jima"
Ira tried to drown his "Conflict of Honor" with alcohol. Arrested as drunk and disorderly, his pain was clear . . . "I was sick. I guess I was about to crack up thinking about all my good buddies. They were better men than me and they're not coming back. Much less back to the White House, like me."
In 1954, Ira reluctantly attended the dedication of the Iwo Jima monument in Washington. After a ceremony where he was lauded by President Eisenhower as a hero once again, a reporter rushed up to Ira and asked him, "How do you like the pomp & circumstances?" Ira just hung his head and said, I don't."
Ira died three months later after a night of drinking. As Ira drank his last bottle of whiskey, he was crying and mumbling about his "good buddies." Ira was 32.
During his few weeks as Vice President, Harry S Truman scarcely saw President Roosevelt, and received no briefing on the development of the atomic bomb or the unfolding difficulties with Soviet Russia. Suddenly these and a host of other wartime problems became Truman's to solve when, on April 12, 1945, he became President. He told reporters, "I felt like the moon, the stars, and all the planets had fallen on me."
Harry S Truman (May 8, 1884 – December 26, 1972) was the thirty-fourth (1945) Vice President and the thirty-third (1945 – 1953) President of the United States, succeeding to the office upon the death of Franklin Roosevelt.
Truman's presidency was very eventful, seeing the dropping of atomic bombs in Japan, the end of World War II, the Marshall Plan to rebuild Europe, the beginning of the Cold War, the desegregation of the U.S. armed forces, the formation of the United Nations, the second red scare, and most of the Korean War.
Truman was a folksy, unassuming president, and popularized phrases such as "The buck stops here" and "If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen."
He exceeded the low expectations many had at the beginning of his administration, and developed a reputation as a strong, capable leader.
Truman did not have a middle name, but only a middle initial. It was a common practice in southern states, including Missouri, to use initials rather than names. Truman said the initial was a compromise between the names of his grandfathers, Anderson Shipp(e) Truman and Solomon Young. He once joked that the S was a name, not an initial, and it should not have a period, but official documents and his presidential library all use a period. Furthermore, the Harry S. Truman Library has numerous examples of the signature written at various times throughout Truman's lifetime where his own use of a period after the "S" is very obvious.
The Manhattan Project , or more formally, the Manhattan Engineering District , was an effort during World War II to develop the first nuclear weapons by the United States with assistance from the United Kingdom and Canada. Its research was directed by American physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer, and overall by General Leslie R. Groves after it became clear that a weapon based on nuclear fission was possible and that Nazi Germany was also investigating such weapons of its own.
Though it involved over thirty different research and production sites, the Manhattan Project was largely carried out in three secret scientific cities that were established by power of eminent domain: Hanford, Washington, Los Alamos, New Mexico, and Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Some families in Tennessee were given two weeks notice to vacate the family farm lands they had possessed for generations. The Los Alamos National Laboratory was built on a mesa that previously hosted the Los Alamos Ranch School, a private residential boys school that featured the outdoors and horses (famous alumni included William Burroughs). The Hanford Site, which grew to almost 1000 square miles (2,600 km²), incorporated land from some farms and two small towns, Hanford and White Bluffs. The Oak Ridge facilities cover more than 60,000 acres of several former farm communities. The existence of these cities was officially kept secret until the end of the war.
The Project culminated in the design, production, and detonation of three nuclear weapons in 1945. The first was on July 16: "Trinity”, the world's first nuclear test, near Alamogordo, New Mexico. The second was the weapon "Little Boy” detonated on August 6, over the city of Hiroshima, Japan. The third was the weapon "Fat Man", detonated on August 9, over the city of Nagasaki, Japan.
The primary sites of the project exist today as Hanford Site, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the National Security Complex and several other plants.
By 1945, the Project employed over 130,000 people at its peak and cost a total of nearly $2 billion USD ($21 billion in 1996 dollars
Enrico Fermi recalled the beginning of the project in a speech given in 1954
when he retired as President of the APS.
I remember very vividly the first month, January 1939, that I started working at the
Pupin Laboratories because things began happening very fast. In that period, Niels Bohr was on a lecture engagement in Princeton and I remember one afternoon Willis Lamb came back very excited and said that Bohr had leaked out great news. The great news that had leaked out was the discovery of fission and at least the outline of its interpretation. Then, somewhat later that same month, there was a meeting in Washington where the possible importance of the newly discovered phenomenon of fission was first discussed in semi-jocular earnest as a possible source of nuclear power.
Nuclear scientists Leó Szilárd, Edward Teller and Eugene Wigner (all Hungarian Jewish refugees from Hitler's Europe) believed that the energy released in nuclear fission might be used in bombs by the Germans. They persuaded Albert Einstein, America's most famous physicist, to warn President Franklin D. Roosevelt of this danger in an August 2, 1939 letter which Szilárd drafted . In response to the warning, Roosevelt encouraged further research into the national security implications of nuclear fission. The Navy awarded the first atomic energy funding of $6,000 for graphite for experiments, which grew into the Manhattan Project under scientific leadership of J. Robert Oppenheimer and Enrico Fermi.
Roosevelt created an ad hoc Uranium Committee under the chairmanship of National Bureau of Standards chief Lyman Briggs. It began small research programs in 1939 at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, where physicist Philip Abelson explored uranium isotope separation. At Columbia University Italian-born nuclear physicist Enrico Fermi built prototype nuclear reactors using various configurations of graphite and uranium.
T he B-29 Superfortress bomber was the single most complicated and expensive weapon produced by the United States during World War II. Nearly 4,000 B-29s were built for combat in the Pacific theater, including the Enola Gay, the plane that dropped the first atomic bomb over Hiroshima.
The atomic bomb dropped on the city of Hiroshima was code named Little Boy. The design is relatively simple using a gun type arrangement to explosively force a sub-critical mass of uranium-235 and three U235 target rings together at high velocity causing a chain reaction. Well before dawn on the 6th of August three special reconnaissance F-13As took off to report the weather over the primary and secondary targets. Colonel Tibbets lifted the Enola Gay off the runway at 2:45 A.M. shortly followed by two other B-29 bombers.
Navy weapons expert Captain William Parsons armed the bomb in flight, as it had been deemed too risky to arm before take off in case of accident, possibly wiping out the entire base.
At 7:42 came the coded message from the Hiroshima weather scout recommending bombing the primary target. Enola Gay was now at 26,000 ft and in a slight climb at a little less than 200 miles an hour. For the first time, his crew was told that they were about to deliver an entirely new type of weapon of staggering destructive power.
At 8:05 Enola Gay was coming in at 30,800 ft, followed by the observer planes, and less than 50 miles from Hiroshima. Major Thomas Ferebee, the bombardier, took up position in the plexiglass nose to fix the crosswire of his sight on the city's T-shaped Aioi Bridge.
Through the shimmering haze, Ferebee made out the bridge and locked the cross hairs of his bombsight. The final fifteen seconds to bomb drop were automatic. At seventeen seconds past 8:15, the bomb bay doors opened and "Little Boy" plummeted free.
At 1,800 ft, the barometric pressure device triggered the detonating mechanism. In a few milliseconds a brief flash had become an engulfing ball of light and destructive energy.
With this release of apocalyptic power 75,000 people were killed and 48,000 buildings destroyed. Strategic air power reached a terrifying new level of destruction in the smoldering ashes of Hiroshima.
Name: Little Boy Type: Uranium gun-type fission Weight: 9,700lb (4400 kg) Length: 10 ft, 6 in (3.2m) Diameter: 29 in (0.737m) Explosive Yield: 15,000 tons of TNT
The decision to drop the atomic bomb was not a group decision, in the end president Harry S. Truman made it. Among the president's senior military commanders most felt that a massive invasion of Japan would probably be necessary to end the war, although each service still wanted to claim ultimate victory for itself. The Navy proposed that its ongoing blockade of Japan would eventually force surrender. Likewise, the Army Air Force saw victory in continuing the fire bombing raids by B-29 bombers now numbering close to a 1,000 that were currently laying waste to huge areas of Japanese cities. Of course the Army felt strongly that only an invasion and occupation by troops would secure complete victory.
Truman in fact approved the invasion of Japan code-named DOWNFALL before he later decided to authorize the use of the atomic bomb against Japan. No one knew exactly how the Japanese leaders would respond to an atomic bomb blast on one or even several of their cities. Excellent code breaking by the Americans did reveal however the steps Japanese were taking and planning to take in defending their country. The likely number of casualties the armed forces of the United States would suffer invading Japan was given as 200,000 to a million men, depending on the source. But everyone realized including President Truman, who fought in the first World War, that the number of casualties was more of a guess than a fact. The atomic bomb was seen as a potentially war winning weapon and in that hope it was used but no one alive then truly comprehended its horrifying power.
The atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki was code named Fat Man and used plutonium as the fissionable material. Plutonium is a man-made element that is more efficient than uranium as a fission source. The design is also more complicated than the Little Boy atomic device. It relies on a rapid and simultaneous implosion of a fissionable shell into a critical mass.
A B-29 bomber named "Bock's Car" took off on August 9, 1945 to drop another atomic bomb. This 10,000 lb weapon was known as "Fat Man" and promised by its design to be even more destructive than "Little Boy." Fat Man detonated 1,650 ft (500 m) over Nagasaki with the force of 21 thousand tons of TNT at 11:06 am.
The explosion over Nagasaki was more powerful but the terrain and layout of the city resulted in fewer deaths. Still, 40,000 were killed instantly and 45,000 more would die later from burns and radiation. The previous day Russia had declared war on Japan and launched a huge offensive involving thousands of tanks and self propelled guns.
Name: Fat Man Type: Plutonium fission Weight: 10,000lb (4535 kg) Length: 10 ft, 8 in (3.25 m) Diameter: 5 ft (1.52 m) Explosive Yield: 21,000 tons of TNT
15 August 1945 marked Victory over Japan or V-J Day , taking a name similar to Victory in Europe Day, which was generally known as V-E Day.
At noon Japan standard time on that day, Emperor Hirohito's announcement of Japan's acceptance of the terms of the Potsdam Declaration was broadcast to the Japanese people via radio. Earlier the same day, the Japanese government advised the Allies of the surrender by sending a cable to U.S. President Harry S Truman via the Swiss diplomatic mission in Washington.
Since Japan was the last Axis Power to surrender and V-J Day followed V-E Day by three months, V-J Day marked the end of World War II.
The formal Japanese signing of the surrender terms took place on board the battleship USS Missouri on 2 September 1945.
V-J Day is now sometimes referred to as V-P Day ( Victory in the Pacific Day ) to bring it in line with V-E Day where the major enemy power, Germany, was not singled out in the way V-J Day did to Japan. However, since no other power was an Axis belligerent in the Pacific, such alteration of nomenclature seems unnecessary to many.
In the United States V-J Day is commemorated on August 14 since the news of the surrender broke on that date in the US time zones.
Sailor kissing girl in Times Square - by Alfred Eisenstaedt, V-J Day, 1945
Alfred Eisenstaedt of LIFE took the photograph of a sailor kissing a nurse at the Times Square celebration on August 15, 1945, at the end of World War II. The photograph was one of many Eisenstaedt took that day, and he didn’t bother getting the names of anyone. Only after seeing the proofs did he realize that he had captured a decisive moment. On the 50th anniversary of te photograph, the couple was identified as Edith Shain and Carl Muscarello.
On September 2, 1945, the Japanese representatives signed the official Instrument of Surrender, prepared by the War Department and approved by President Truman. It set out in eight short paragraphs the complete capitulation of Japan. The opening words, "We, acting by command of and in behalf of the Emperor of Japan," signified the importance attached to the Emperor's role by the Americans who drafted the document. The short second paragraph went straight to the heart of the matter: "We hereby proclaim the unconditional surrender to the Allied Powers of the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters and of all Japanese armed forces and all armed forces under Japanese control wherever situated." Overhead, a thousand American F4U Corsairs and F6F Hellcats roared over. What had started at Pearl Harbor had been finished.
The Truman Doctrine stated that the United States would support "free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures." Specifically, the doctrine was a political response to Soviet aggression in Europe, illustrated through the communist movements in Iran, Turkey and Greece. As a result, American foreign policy towards Russia shifted, as George F. Kennan phrased it, to that of containment.
U.S. President Harry S. Truman made the proclamation in an address to the U.S. Congress on March 12, 1947 amid the crisis of the Greek Civil War (1946-1949). The doctrine was specifically aimed at assisting governments resisting communism. Truman insisted that if Greece and Turkey did not receive the aid that they needed, they would inevitably fall to communism with the result being a domino effect of acceptance of communism throughout the region.
Truman signed the act into law on May 22, 1947 which granted $400 million in military and economic aid to Turkey and Greece.
The Truman Doctrine also contributed to America's first involvements in what is now the nation of Vietnam. Truman attempted to aid France's bid to hold onto its Vietnamese colonies. The United States supplied French forces with equipment and military advisors in order to combat a young Ho Chi Minh and communist revolutionaries. Truman's policy of containment was the first American involvement in the Vietnam War.
How many Russian civilians died in World War II? a) one million b) 15 million c) 100,000 d) 4 million
Which were the permanent members of the UN Security Council? a) United States, Soviet Union, France, Germany, and Britain b) United States, Soviet Union, France, Britain, and China c) United States, Italy, France, Germany, and China d) United States, Soviet Union, France, Britain, and Japan
How many Russian civilians died in World War II? a) one million b) 15 million c) 100,000 d) 4 million
Which were the permanent members of the UN Security Council? a) United States, Soviet Union, France, Germany, and Britain b) United States, Soviet Union, France, Britain, and China c) United States, Italy, France, Germany, and China d) United States, Soviet Union, France, Britain, and Japan
World War II Allies set up an international organization to ensure peace.
Under the UN Charter, each of the member nations had one vote in the General Assembly. A smaller body, the Security Council, was given greater power. Its five permanent members were the United States, the Soviet Union (today Russia), Britain, France, and China.
The UN’s work would go far beyond peacekeeping. The organization would take on many world problems.
The name "United Nations", coined by United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt, was first used in the "Declaration by United Nations" of 1 January 1942, during the Second World War, when representatives of 26 nations pledged their Governments to continue fighting together against the Axis Powers. States first established international organizations to cooperate on specific matters. The International Telecommunication Union was founded in 1865 as the International Telegraph Union, and the Universal Postal Union was established in 1874. Both are now United Nations specialized agencies.
In 1899, the International Peace Conference was held in The Hague to elaborate instruments for settling crises peacefully, preventing wars and codifying rules of warfare. It adopted the Convention for the Pacific Settlement of International Disputes and established the Permanent Court of Arbitration, which began work in 1902.
The forerunner of the United Nations was the League of Nations, an organization conceived in similar circumstances during the first World War, and established in 1919 under the Treaty of Versailles "to promote international cooperation and to achieve peace and security." The International Labour Organization was also created under the Treaty of Versailles as an affiliated agency of the League. The League of Nations ceased its activities after failing to prevent the Second World War.
In 1945, representatives of 50 countries met in San Francisco at the United Nations Conference on International Organization to draw up the United Nations Charter. Those delegates deliberated on the basis of proposals worked out by the representatives of China, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom and the United States at Dumbarton Oaks, United States in August-October 1944. The Charter was signed on 26 June 1945 by the representatives of the 50 countries. Poland, which was not represented at the Conference, signed it later and became one of the original 51 Member States.
The United Nations officially came into existence on 24 October 1945, when the Charter had been ratified by China, France, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, the United States and by a majority of other signatories. United Nations Day is celebrated on 24 October each year.
The United Nations Special Commission on Palestine (UNSCOP) recommended that Palestine be divided into an Arab state and a Jewish state. The commission called for Jerusalem to be put under international administration The UN General Assembly adopted this plan on Nov. 29, 1947 as UN Resolution (GA 181). The plan for "partition with economic union" divided the land into several cantons. Both the Jewish state and the Arab state had 3 cantons each that touched each other south of Nazareth and near Gaza. The borders of this plan are shown in the map below. This jigsaw puzzle would have been difficult to implement for friendly populations, and was impossible to implement given the hostility between Arabs and Jews.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization ( NATO ), sometimes called North Atlantic Alliance , Atlantic Alliance or the Western Alliance , is an international organization for defense collaboration established in 1949, in support of the North Atlantic Treaty signed in Washington, DC, on April 4, 1949.
The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all. Consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defense recognized by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area.
Belgium Iceland Canada Portugal Denmark United Kingdom France Italy Luxembourg Norway United States Netherlands Later: Bulgaria (2004) Czech Republic (1999) Estonia (2004) West Germany (1955) Greece (1952) Hungary (1999) Latvia (2004) Lithuania (2004) Poland (1999) Romania (2004) Slovakia (2004) Slovenia (2004) Spain (1982) Turkey (1952)
The Warsaw Pact or Warsaw Treaty, officially named the Treaty of friendship, co-operation and mutual assistance, was a military alliance of the Eastern European Eastern Bloc countries, who intended to organize against the perceived threat from the NATO alliance (which had been established in 1949). The creation of the Warsaw Pact was prompted by the integration of a "re-militarized" West Germany into NATO via ratification of the Paris Agreements. The Warsaw treaty was drafted by Nikita Khrushchev in 1955 and signed in Warsaw on May 14, 1955.
Ethel Greenglass Rosenberg (1915-1953) and Julius Rosenberg (1918-1953) were American Communists who captured and maintained world attention after being tried, convicted, and executed for spying for the Soviet Union. The accuracy of these charges remains controversial, though decades later, Soviet communications decrypted by the VENONA project became publicly available and appeared to indicate that at least Julius Rosenberg was actively involved in espionage (although they provided no new evidence that he performed the specific acts of espionage for which he was convicted).
The couple were the only two American civilians to be executed for conspiracy to commit espionage during the Cold War. In imposing the death penalty, Judge Irving Kaufman noted that he held them responsible not only for espionage but also for the deaths of the Korean War:
To the very end, the couple denied all charges and insisted they were innocent, but they were executed in New York's Sing Sing in 1953, despite protests in the United States and abroad. The Rosenbergs were convicted under the Espionage Act of 1917 of "conspiring to commit espionage in wartime" and sentenced to death, despite the fact that the US was not at war with the Soviet Union at the time of the alleged offenses
At the time, some Americans believed both Rosenbergs were innocent or received too harsh a punishment, and a grass-roots campaign was started to try to stop the couple's execution. Other Americans felt that the couple got what they deserved. Pope Pius XII appealed to President Dwight D. Eisenhower to spare the couple, but he refused on February 11, 1953 and all other appeals were also unsuccessful.
The couple were executed by the electric chair on June 19, 1953.
Coined by Bernard Baruch as the alternative to a “hot” or shooting war.
The Cold War will shape American foreign policy and military spending throughout the Baby-Boomers’ youth. Until the fall of the Berlin Wall and the dissolution of the USSR, the cold War was the motivation for a strong defensive democracy.
Now, we know the Bad guys are out to get us, we just don’t know who they are now….
If China had been a united country and combined the forces of the Peoples Liberation Army with the Nationalist Army instead of against each other, it could well be that the Japanese forces would have been forced to withdraw early in the war. The self-seeking leaders of the two armies, Chiang Kai-shek of the Nationalists and Mao (Tse Tung) Zedong of the Peoples Liberation Army uselessly wasted time in confrontation with each other instead of concentrating on the common enemy, Japan.
In 1945, an American intelligence team codenamed Deer parachuted into the jungles of Asia to help a band of guerrillas fighting the Japanese. They found the leader of these guerrillas, Nguyen Ai Quoc, seriously ill from malaria and dysentery. “This man doesn’t have long for this world," exclaimed the team medic, but he successfully nursed him back to health. The grateful leader agreed to provide intelligence and rescue downed American pilots in return for ammunition and weapons.
The team suggested that the United States continue to support Quoc after the war, but the recommendation was considered to controversial since Quoc wanted his nation’s freedom from our ally France. His request for help was ignored, although the rebel leader pleaded with President Truman to support his movement for independence from the French. The US decided that they didn’t like Quoc’s politics.
Nguyen Ai Quoc is known by another name: “He who enlightens”, or in Vietnamese—Ho Chi Minh. Sixty thousand Americans died in the Vietnam War, battling a former ally whose life we had once saved.
In the 1920s, Ho worked as a busboy in a hotel in Boston.
By 1954, he was president of an independent North Vietnam.
By the 1960s, he America’s public enemy #1.
Letter from Ho Chi Minh to President Harry S. Truman, 02/28/1946.
Bringing to the Presidency his prestige as commanding general of the victorious forces in Europe during World War II, Dwight D. Eisenhower obtained a truce in Korea and worked incessantly during his two terms to ease the tensions of the Cold War. He pursued the moderate policies of "Modern Republicanism," pointing out as he left office, "America is today the strongest, most influential, and most productive nation in the world."
Born: October 14, 1890; Denison, Texas...
Republican who served two terms. 1953-1961
Vice President: Richard M. Nixon
Eisenhower was the first president to work with three sessions of Congress controlled by an opposing political party...
Dwight Eisenhower entered the White House intending to preside over a period of national recovery from the tumult of the Roosevelt/Truman administrations. His "hidden-hand" style of governing indicated to some an air of conformity and aloofness, yet the general public held him in high esteem.
Confounding caricature, the military legend cut defense spending and warned against the unchecked growth of a military-industrial complex...
M*A*S*H was set in South Korea, near Seoul, during the Korean War. The series focused on the group of doctors and nurses whose job was to heal the wounded who arrived at this "Mobile Army Surgical Hospital" by helicopter, ambulance or bus. The hospital compound was isolated from the rest of the world. One road ran through the camp; a mountain blocked one perimeter and a minefield the other. Here the wounded were patched up and sent home--or back to the front. Here, too, the loyal audience came to know and respond to an exceptional ensemble cast of characters.
Joe McCarthy , Senator from WI claimed that he had a list of 57 people in the State Department that were known to be members of the American Communist Party. McCarthy went on to argue that some of these people were passing secret information to the Soviet Union. He added: "The reason why we find ourselves in a position of impotency is not because the enemy has sent men to invade our shores, but rather because of the traitorous actions of those who have had all the benefits that the wealthiest nation on earth has had to offer - the finest homes, the finest college educations, and the finest jobs in Government we can give." The list of names was not a secret and had been in fact published by the Secretary of State in 1946. These people had been identified during a preliminary screening of 3,000 federal employees. Some had been communists but others had been fascists, alcoholics and sexual deviants. As it happens, if McCarthy had been screened, his own drink problems and sexual preferences would have resulted in him being put on the list. McCarthy also began receiving information from his friend, J. Edgar Hoover, the head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). William Sullivan, one of Hoover's agents, later admitted that: "We were the ones who made the McCarthy hearings possible. We fed McCarthy all the material he was using." This witch-hunt and anti-communist hysteria became known as McCarthyism.
McCarthy also began receiving information from his friend, J. Edgar Hoover, the head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). William Sullivan, one of Hoover's agents, later admitted that: "We were the ones who made the McCarthy hearings possible. We fed McCarthy all the material he was using." This witch-hunt and anti-communist hysteria became known as McCarthyism. Some left-wing artists and intellectuals were unwilling to live in this type of society and people such as Joseph Losey, Richard Wright, Ollie Harrington, James Baldwin, Herbert Biberman, Lester Cole and Chester Himes went to live and work in Europe.
In October, 1953, McCarthy began investigating communist infiltration into the military. Attempts were made by McCarthy to discredit Robert Stevens, the Secretary of the Army. The president, Dwight Eisenhower, was furious and now realized that it was time to bring an end to McCarthy's activities. The United States Army now passed information about McCarthy to journalists who were known to be opposed to him
Some figures in the media, such as writers George Seldes and I. F. Stone, and cartoonists, Herb Block and Daniel Fitzpatrick, had fought a long campaign against McCarthy. Other figures in the media, who had for a long time been opposed to McCarthyism, but were frightened to speak out, now began to get the confidence to join the counter-attack. Edward Murrow, the experienced broadcaster, used his television programme, See It Now , on 9th March, 1954, to criticize McCarthy's methods. Newspaper columnists such as Drew Pearson, Walter Lippmann and Jack Anderson also became more open in their attacks on McCarthy. The senate investigations into the United States Army were televised and this helped to expose the tactics of Joseph McCarthy. One newspaper, the Louisville Courier-Journal , reported that: "In this long, degrading travesty of the democratic process, McCarthy has shown himself to be evil and unmatched in malice." Leading politicians in both parties, had been embarrassed by McCarthy's performance and on 2nd December, 1954, a censure motion condemned his conduct by 67 votes to 22. McCarthy also lost the chairmanship of the Government Committee on Operations of the Senate. He was now without a power base and the media lost interest in his claims of a communist conspiracy. As one journalist, Willard Edwards, pointed out: "Most reporters just refused to file McCarthy stories. And most papers would not have printed them anyway." McCarthy, who had been drinking heavily for many years, was discovered to have cirrhosis of the liver. An alcoholic, he was unable to take the advice of doctors and friends to stop drinking. Joseph McCarthy died in the Bethesda Naval Hospital on 2nd May, 1957. As the newspapers reported, McCarthy had drunk himself to death.
Senator Joseph R. McCarthy was a little-known junior senator from Wisconsin until February 1950 when he claimed to possess a list of 205 card-carrying Communists employed in the U.S. Department of State. From that moment Senator McCarthy became a tireless crusader against Communism in the early 1950s, a period that has been commonly referred to as the "Red Scare." As chairman of the Senate Permanent Investigation Subcommittee, Senator McCarthy conducted hearings on communist subversion in America and investigated alleged communist infiltration of the Armed Forces. His subsequent exile from politics coincided with a conversion of his name into a modern English noun "McCarthyism," or adjective, "McCarthy tactics," when describing similar witchhunts in recent American history. [ The American Heritage Dictionary gives the definition of McCarthyism as: 1. The political practice of publicizing accusations of disloyalty or subversion with insufficient regard to evidence, and 2. The use of methods of investigation and accusation regarded as unfair, in order to suppress opposition.] Senator McCarthy was censured by the U.S. Senate on December 2, 1954 and died May 2, 1957.
Alger Hiss was born in Baltimore on 11th November, 1904. Educated at John Hopkins University and Harvard Law School (1926-29) he worked for the Supreme Court Justice, Oliver Wendell Holmes, before serving in the departments of Agriculture, Justice and State, in the administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt. Hiss also served as Roosevelt's adviser at the Yalta Conference in 1945. After working briefly as secretary-general of the United Nations, in 1949 Hiss became president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. In August 1948 Whittaker Chambers appeared before the House of Un-American Activities Committee and during his testimony claimed that Hiss had been spying for the Soviet Union. In a federal grand jury investigation of the case, Hiss denied Chambers's accusations. However, as a result of this investigation, Hiss was charged with perjury. His first trial in 1949 ended in a hung jury but the following year, a second jury found Hiss guilty and sentenced him to five years imprisonment. Hiss was released from prison in 1954. He spent the rest of his life trying to clear his name. In the 1970s Hiss unsuccessfully sued the U.S. government under the Freedom of Information Act in an attempt to gain access to FBI and State Department files about the case.
Telegraph cables between the Soviet Union and the United States during the Second World War were released by the National Security Agency. One of the messages dated March 30, 1945, refers to an American with the code name Ales. According to the message, Ales was a Soviet agent working in the State Department, who accompanied President Franklin D. Roosevelt to the 1945 Yalta Conference and then flew to Moscow. As Hiss was with Roosevelt at Yalta it has been claimed that he was the Ales referred to in the cable.
With the collapse of communism in the Soviet Union, attempts were made to obtain information on the case from the Soviet intelligence files. In 1992 Hiss wrote to the Russian historian Dimitry Antonovich Volkogonov, the overseer of the Soviet intelligence archives, to request the release of any files on the case. On 14th October 1992, Volkogonov published a report that stated that he had found no evidence that Hiss had ever been an agent for KGB, for the GRU or for any other intelligence agency of the Soviet Union.
First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union 1953-1964.
Certainly the most colorful Soviet leader, Khrushchev is best remembered for his dramatic, oftentimes boorish gestures and "harebrained schemes" designed to attain maximum propaganda effect, his enthusiastic belief that Communism would triumph over capitalism, and the fact that he was the only Soviet leader ever to be removed peacefully from office--a direct result of the post-Stalin thaw he had instigated in 1956.
Khrushchev's enthusiasm for flashy gestures had not been liked by more conservative elements from the very start; many Soviets were greatly embarrassed by his antics, such as banging a shoe on the podium during a speech to the UN General Assembly. There were elements in the Party who were actively looking for an opportunity to oust him. Their opportunity came with the Cuban Missile Crisis.
In yet another case of showmanship that he was unable to back up with deeds, in 1962 Khrushchev deployed nuclear missiles in newly Communist Cuba, within easy striking distance of most major American population centers. Thanks to intelligence received from Oleg Penkovsky, a Soviet double agent, the United States was aware that the missiles were still only partially developed and did not pose an immediate threat. President John Kennedy called Khrushchev's bluff, and the latter was forced to remove the missiles from Cuba, with great loss of face both at home and abroad. Khrushchev never regained his prestige after the incident, and was quietly ousted two years later by opponents in the Politburo--significantly, with no bloodshed. He spent the rest of his life in peaceful retirement, and was the only Soviet leader not to be buried in the Kremlin wall after his death.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Sergei Khrushchev will take the oath of U.S. citizenship on Monday, July 12, 1999, at 2 p.m. in Bishop McVinney Auditorium, One Cathedral Square, Providence.
Khrushchev, whose father, Nikita, was the leader of the Soviet Union during the Cold War, is a senior fellow at Brown's Watson Institute for International Studies. He and his wife, Valentina Golenko, will be sworn in as citizens along with 250 other candidates by U.S. District Court Chief Judge Ronald Lagueux.
To become citizens, Khrushchev and his wife passed a test of history, government, and English writing skills on June 23 administered by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service in Providence.
Khrushchev, 64, decided to become a citizen after eight years at Brown University, where he writes and teaches a senior seminar on relations among the post-Soviet states.
Khrushchev's fields of expertise are Soviet and Russian political and economic development, Soviet history, international security, and computer science. He has written numerous books, including Nikita Khrushchev: Creation of a Superpower and Khrushchev on Khrushchev: An Inside Account of the Man and His Era, by His Son.
has ruled Cuba since 1959, when he overthrew the military dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista. Castro established a dictatorship and made Cuba the first Communist state in the Western Hemisphere. He became famous for his fiery, anti-American speeches.
Castro was born on Aug. 13, 1926, in Biran, near Mayari, Cuba. His given and family name was Fidel Castro Ruz. His father was a Spanish immigrant who owned a small plantation. Castro graduated from the University of Havana in 1950 with a law degree. Afterwards, Castro opened a law office in Havana. In 1952, he ran for election to the Cuban House of Representatives. But troops led by Batista halted the election and ended democracy in Cuba.
As a result of Batista's actions, Castro tried to start a revolution against the Batista dictatorship. On July 26, 1953, Castro's forces attacked the Moncada army barracks in the city of Santiago de Cuba. Castro was captured and sentenced to 15 years in prison. Batista released him in 1955, however. Castro then formed the 26th of July Movement, a group of revolutionaries named after the date of his first revolt. He then went into exile in Mexico. Castro's forces landed in Cuba in December 1956. Many rebels were killed, and Castro and other survivors fled to the Sierra Maestra, a mountain range in southeast Cuba. People from the surrounding countryside joined the rebellion. Batista fled from Cuba on Jan. 1, 1959, and Castro took control of the government.
Castro seized property owned by Americans and other foreigners as well as Cubans. In 1960, the Castro government took over United States oil refineries in Cuba. The United States then stopped buying Cuban sugar. Castro responded by taking over all United States businesses in Cuba.
Castro has supported a number of revolutionary movements in South America, Central America, and Africa. The Castro government has provided improved education and health facilities for many Cubans. But the economy has often been troubled.
In the early 1960's, Cuba began depending heavily on the Soviet Union for economic support. This support ended in 1991, when the Soviet Union was dissolved. Castro vowed that Cuba would remain a Communist country. However, in the early 1990's, Cuba undertook limited reforms that loosened state control over parts of the country's economy.
Castro has been closely assisted by his brother Raul. He has named Raul as his eventual successor.
Consider what might have turned out differently had Fidel taken up a career in professional baseball rather than politics: no revolution overthrowing the Batista regime, no establishment of a Soviet-aligned government in Cuba, and thus no Bay of Pigs or Cuban Missile Crisis — watershed events in the history of the Cold War. Would the results of this alternate scenario have been a profound difference in the course of world events or merely a historical footnote of minor global significance?
Even if one opts for the "historical footnote" interpretation, the Castro legend is still appealing because of its unconventionality.
One of the quirkier historical "What if?" scenarios involves the legend that Cuban leader Fidel Castro was once given a tryout (and rejected) by an American major league baseball team (usually specified as either the Washington Senators or the New York Yankees). URBAN LEGEND
There is a well-known baseball trivia question that makes its way around most press boxes involving Fidel Castro as a 21 year-old pitching prospect for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Seems two corpulent scouts, hired by the parent club, went to Havana to watch the diminutive lefty break nasty curves and dip sinkers in and around the aggressive Latin competition, but were somewhat lukewarm about his speed. “The kid Castro has some command of breaking pitches (stop),” the report told the front office the next morning via Western Union. “Has nothing on the fast ball (stop) Double AA talent at best (stop).”
The Pirates never did have the patience to develop short Cuban kids with little pop on the cheese, so a dejected Fidel attended law school, went to prison, and disappeared into the Cuban socialist underground. Those were the days when his family and friends were subsisting on a steady diet of dung beetles and palm leaves chased by rotten disease-ridden water, while the mob ran numbers for a dictatorship backed by the muscle of Harry Truman’s United States.
It was a short walk from the entrance of Forbes Field to the den of hate. And hate turned into revolution on New Year’s Eve 1959, when the failed pitcher became champion of the weak and an American thorn; followed closely by the CIA’s spring invasion gone terribly wrong two years later. And when the Bay of Pigs sent the slugs from Florida’s underbelly to the right people, Jack Kennedy paid with his life in Dallas two years after that.