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US History Unit #14 WORLD WAR II
Closure Question #1: Why did Roosevelt support a “Europe first” strategy even though it was Japan that had first attacked the United States? (At least 1 sentence) The Axis Powers never had a coordinated strategy to defeat the Allies. Germany, Italy, and Japan shared common enemies but nurtured individual dreams. Hitler wanted to dominate Europe and eliminate “inferior” peoples. Mussolini harbored dreams of an Italian empire stretching from the eastern Adriatic to East Africa. Tojo sought Japanese control of the Western Pacific and Asia. The Allies shared more unified goals. Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin considered Germany the most dangerous enemy. None felt Japan or Italy posed a serious long-term threat. Only Germany had the resources to bomb Britain, fight U. S. and British navies on the Atlantic, and invade the Soviet Union across a 1, 200 -mile front. Thus, although their ultimate goal was to fight and win a two-front war, the Allies agreed to pursue a “Europe First” strategy. Until Hitler was defeated, the Pacific would be a secondary theater of war.
Battle of Stalingrad The True turning point of WWII in Europe; Breaking their prior treaty, Germany invaded Russia in 1941 but was stopped at Stalingrad by the bitter cold of the Russian winter and the superior number of Russian soldiers, surrendering on January 31, 1943.
Erwin Rommel (1899 -1941) Nicknamed “The Desert Fox”, Rommel is considered one of the most talented tactical German Generals, but was also known for his humane treatment of prisoners of war and civilians. He led German forces in North Africa until 1943, then commanded German forces against the Allied invasion on D-Day. However, in 1944 Rommel was accused of being involved in a plot to assassinate Hitler and was executed.
Dwight Eisenhower (1890 -1969) Commander of successful American invasions in North Africa & Italy; Eisenhower became Supreme Commander of all Allied forces in Europe in 1944, directing the D-Day invasion of Europe. “Ike” went on to serve as President of the USA after the war from 1952 to 1960.
George S. Patton Jr. (1885 -1945) Following Eisenhower’s advancement to Supreme Commander, Paton was given command of all US mechanized units (tanks) in Europe. Paton combined innovative tank tactics with single-minded devotion to duty and victory, earning the nickname of “Blood and Guts”.
Unconditional Surrender Giving up completely without any concessions; Following Allied victory in North Africa, Pres. Roosevelt declared that the Allies would accept nothing other than unconditional surrender from the Axis powers, removing the possibility of a negotiated peace between the two sides.
Closure Question #2: Was the Allied invasion of Italy a success? Give at least 2 reasons for your answer? Ike hoped to trap Axis forces on Sicily, but they escaped to the Italian mainland. Still, the 38 -day campaign achieved important results. It gave the Allies complete control of the western Mediterranean, paved the way for an invasion of Italy, and ended the rule of Benito Mussolini. On September 3, 1943, Italy surrendered to the Allies and five weeks later declared war on Germany. But Hitler was not through with Italy. After a small German airborne force rescued Mussolini from a mountaintop fortress, Hitler installed him as head of a puppet state in northern Italy. In the south, German military forces continued the fight against the Allies. The invasion of Italy was a slow, grinding slog. Italy was crisscrossed with mountains and rivers. Heavy rains and mountain snows made combat difficult and painful. Men fought in ankle-deep mud. In the mountains, where tanks and heavy artillery were useless, Allied forces depended on mules to haul supplies up slippery and steep roads. To make matters worse, the Germans occupied the best defensive positions. Fighting continued into 1945. The Allies won battles but none were important enough to alter the basic German defensive policy.
Saturation Bombing / Strategic Bombing Saturation Bombing – Military strategy of using planes to drop massive amounts of bombs on a city or town to inflict maximum damage; Beginning in 1942 British planes flew from France by night to conduct Saturation Bombing attacks on German cities trying to break the will of the German people to continue the fight. Strategic Bombing – Military strategy of using planes to bomb specific political and industrial targets to weaken a nation’s capacity to make war; American planes targeted specific German factories and government centers in day time attacks.
Tuskegee Airmen First African-American air fighter squadron which played a key role in the American bombing campaign against Germany, escorting bombers & protecting them from enemy fighter pilots. In more than 1, 500 missions over enemy territory, the Tuskegee Airmen didn’t lose a single bomber.
Battle of Midway June 4 th, 1942; Considered the turning point of the war in the Pacific, the U. S. Navy, led by Admiral Chester Nimitz, successfully defended the Midway Island, a key American Naval base in the Central Pacific, from Japanese attack, sinking 4 Japanese aircraft carriers and ending Japanese threats to the American west coast. What Yamamoto did not realize was that Admiral Chester Nimitz knew the Japanese plans. Navy code breakers had intercepted the Japanese plans. To meet the expected assault, Nimitz sent his only available aircraft carriers to Midway. The Japanese navy was stretched out across more than a thousand miles, from the Aleutians to well west of Midway. American forces were all concentrated near Midway.
American M -1 Rifle Weapons of World War II German Luger While new tank, small arms, and submarine technology played an important role in World War 2, by far the most important advancement in weaponry took place in the skies. Faster planes with the ability to carry heavier and more devastating explosives caused heavy damage to civilian and military targets. Several of Europe’s largest cities dealt with saturation bombing, such as London during the Battle of Britain and Dresden and Berlin during the closing years of the war in Europe. However, the greatest example of advances in air and explosive technology can be seen in the dropping of the Atomic Bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japanese Mitsubishi Ki-67 Hiryu American B-17 “Flying Fortress” German Arado Ar 234 “Blitz” German Type XXI U-Boat
Closure Assignment #1 Answer the following questions based on what you have learned from Chapter 24, Section 1: 1. Why did Roosevelt support a “Europe first” strategy even though it was Japan that had first attacked the United States? (At least 1 sentence) 2. Was the Allied invasion of Italy a success? Give at least 2 reasons for your answer? 3. How does the Battle of Midway illustrate the importance of intelligence gathering and espionage in modern warfare? (Explain in at least 1 sentence)
Rosie the Riveter Popular image during the WWII era of a muscular, determined female worker. Rosie came to symbolically represent the tens of thousands of women who worked in industrial, farming, and clerical jobs to support the American war effort.
A. Philip Randolph / Executive Order 8802 A. Philip Randolph – African American labor union leader who, along with many others, stressed the need for a double victory – victory against fascism abroad and victory against discrimination at home. Executive Order 8802 (June 1941) – Fearing the possibility of a huge march for civil rights in Washington D. C. led by Randolph, President Roosevelt issued this order, establishing fair hiring practices in any job funded with government money and established the Fair Employment Practices Committee to enforce these requirements.
Bracero Program Partnership between the United States and Mexico through which Mexican laborers were brought to work on American farms to boost wartime production of crops. Through this program several hundred thousand Mexicans legally migrated to the United States during the 1940 s.
Closure Question #2: How were the causes of the Detroit race riots and the Los Angeles Zoot Suit Riots similar? (At least 1 sentence) In the summer of 1943, wartime migration led to racial violence in a number of cities. The worst occurred in Detroit, Michigan, where conflict erupted over the construction of housing for black workers drawn north to defense plants. Finally, some 100, 000 whites and blacks broke into scattered fights at a city park. By the next morning, fullscale riots erupted in which 34 people were killed. Federal troops ended the violence, but nobody found a real resolution to the city’s problems. Mexican Americans had long dealt with similar tensions. Few had mastered the English language, and many languished in slums while struggling to find work. A violent incident highlighted the problems. In the Los Angeles area, many Mexican and Mexican American youths dressed in stylish “zoot suits” with baggy pants and long jackets. In June 1943, mobs of off-duty sailors roamed through the Mexican sections of Los Angeles, attacking “zooters. ” Once the fighting ended, police arrested the zoot-suited victims, not their attackers. After the riots, an indignant Governor Earl Warren formed a committee to investigate the causes of the outbreak and demanded that the guilty parties be punished. Although the committee blamed the lack of sufficient recreation for the violence, long-brewing racial tensions acted as the true spark.
Internment Temporary imprisonment of members of a specific group; During WWII Japanese Americans living near the west coast were forced to relocate to internment camps due to fears that they might help the Japanese if a Japanese invasion of the west coast took place.
Korematsu v. United States 1944 Supreme Court case filed by Japanese Americans who argued that internment was an unconstitutional restriction of their rights. The Court ruled that internment was justified for security reasons.
442 nd Regimental Combat Team Military unit complete made up of native-born Japanese Americans which fought in Italy and became the most decorated military unit in American history. The performance of the 442 nd helped counter the notion that Japanese Americans were not loyal citizens.
Office of War Information (OWI) Government organization which worked closely with the media (radio, newspapers, movies) to encourage support of the war effort. The OWI tried to spotlight the common needs of Americans and the importance of the struggle against dictatorship while downplaying racial tension and crime in the USA.
American Fashion during World War Two One casualty of the American war effort were the flowing dresses and elaborate make-up usage of American women. With the rationing of cloth, powder, and other resources necessary for the production of traditional clothing and make-up, women had to simplify their appearance. Dresses that did not require as much cloth (such as those below) became fashionable, as did a more “natural” style of make-up. Dorothy Lamour's sarong and Veronica Lake's peek-a-boo hairstyle were two iconic images of style during World War II. Wool Women’s Bathing Suits
Closure Assignment #2 Answer the following questions based on what you have learned from Chapter 24, Section 2: 1. Predict two possible consequences for wartime women factory workers when men began to return from overseas after the war. 2. How were the causes of the Detroit race riots and the Los Angeles Zoot Suit Riots similar? (At least 1 sentence) 3. Do you think the federal government was justified in limiting individual freedom by imposing wage and price controls and by rationing during wartime? Why or Why not? (At least 1 sentence)
Closure Question #1: Summarize the arguments for and against an Allied invasion of France before 1944. (At least 2 sentences) In 1942 and 1943, the Allies turned back the Axis advances. In the last two years of the war, 1944 and 1945, they delivered the final, crushing blow. They attacked Germany from the west and east, and the United States advanced across the Pacific to the doorstep of Japan. In the process, Americans created a new form of weapons that would change both warfare and global politics. Throughout 1943, Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin squabbled over when they would start a second front in France. Up to that point, Soviet troops had done most of the fighting in Europe, Stalin insisted that Britain and the United States carry more of the military burden by attacking Germany in the west, thereby forcing Germany to divide its troops. Roosevelt sympathized with Stalin’s position, but Churchill hesitated and delayed. Recalling the slaughter of British troops on the Western Front in World War I, he was not anxious to see history repeat itself. He argued that the German U-boat presence was too great in the English Channel and that the Allies needed more landing craft, more equipment, and better-trained soldiers. In November 1943, Roosevelt and Churchill traveled to Teheran, Iran, for their first face-to-face meeting with Stalin. Churchill continued to voice reservations about a cross-channel invasion, but FDR sided with Stalin. Reluctantly, Churchill agreed. After years of war, British and American soldiers would invade France and begin their march toward Germany.
D-Day (June 6, 1944) The first day of the Allied invasion of western Europe; American, British, Canadian and Polish troops landed on the northern coast of France (Normandy), suffering heavy casualties but eventually overrunning German defenses and beginning the push east to Germany.
Battle of the Bulge (December 1944) The last desperate counterattack by the German army against the Allies on the western front; German tanks barreled through the Ardennes forest, retaking several towns before being stopped by American forces at the Belgian town of Bastogne and pushed back into Germany.
The Death of Adolf Hitler By late April 1945 all German armies were in full retreat, falling back into Berlin. While Americans pushed across the Rhine River from the West, the Soviet Army was the first to reach Berlin on April 26. As the end drew near, Hitler’s exhibited extreme bi-polar behavior, at times reconciled to his death (preparing a last will and testament in which he left all of his possessions to the Nazi Party and blamed Jews for World War II) and at other times furious, calling for armies to defend him that no longer existed and ordering the arrest and execution of supposed traitors. On April 28 th near midnight Hitler married his long-time mistress Eva Braun and enjoyed a last party with his generals in the Nazi Party headquarters. Two days later, Hitler and his wife committed suicide. Eva died by poisoning while Hitler shot himself in his right temple. He had left explicit orders for their bodies to be burned after hearing of the Italians treatment of the corpse of Mussolini. On May 1 st, what was left of the Nazi leadership surrendered to the Soviets.
Harry S. Truman C (1884 -1972) Vice-President to FDR, Truman became president following Roosevelt’s death in April 1945 and served until January 1953. Truman received Germany’s surrender in May 1945 & Japan’s surrender in August 1945, and was the first President of the Cold War era, but he is best known for making the decision to use the Atomic Bomb against Japan.
Island Hopping U. S. strategy in the Pacific against Japan; The Navy captured some Japanese-held islands while ignoring others in a steady path toward Japan from 1942 to 1945.
Kamikaze “Divine Wind”; Japanese suicide-bomber pilots who deliberately crashed their planes full of jet fuel into American ships in the Pacific during the late stages of WWII.
Navajo Code Talkers Navajo radio operators recruited specifically by the U. S. Navy who used a code based on their own language – which was a mystery to the Japanese – to send critical messages from island to island in the Pacific. The code was never broken. The Navy kept the service of the Navajos secret until the 1980 s, in case their services were needed in another conflict.
Albert Einstein / J. Robert Oppenheimer Albert Einstein – The world’s most famous scientist & German by birth, in 1942 Einstein signed a letter advising President Roosevelt about the need to develop an atomic weapon before the Axis powers did so. Einstein’s influence led FDR to invest several billion dollars of tax money into the Manhattan Project, the code name for the program to develop the atomic bomb. J. Robert Oppenheimer – Physicist who led the scientific side of the Manhattan Project, working with top scientists from around the world, many of which were European refugees. Their research culminated in the first successful test of an atomic weapon, which took place near Alamogordo, New Mexico on July 16, 1945.
Hiroshima / Nagasaki Hiroshima (August 6, 1945) – Site of the first atomic-bomb attack. The bomb exploded at 9: 14 A. M. By 9: 16 A. M. more than 60, 000 of Hiroshima’s 344, 000 residents were dead or missing. An estimated total of 140, 000 residents were killed by the blast and the radiation poisoning that followed, and 69% of the city’s buildings were completely destroyed. Nagasaki (August 9, 1945) – Second atomic-bomb attack site. 35, 000 were killed by the blast, with a total of nearly 75, 000 killed by the blast and radiation. The destruction, coupled with a declaration of war by the Soviet Union on the same day, led the Japanese to surrender on August 15 th, officially ending WWII.
Closure Assignment #3 Answer the following questions based on what you have learned from Chapter 24, Section 3: 1. Summarize the arguments for and against an Allied invasion of France before 1944. (At least 2 sentences) 2. How were the final phases of the war in Europe similar to the final phases of the war in the Pacific? How were they different? (At least 2 sentences) 3. What effect do you think possession of the atomic bomb will have on the role of the United States in the postwar world? (At least 1 sentence)
Holocaust “Sacrifice by fire”; Term chosen by survivors following WWII to describe the Nazi attempt to kill all Jews under their control.
Anti-Semitism Prejudice towards those that are Jewish by birth or by choice; Adolf Hitler blamed Jews for all of the ills in Germany, especially for Germany’s defeat in WWI, and throughout the 1930 s the Nazi party became increasingly aggressive in their enforcement of anti-semitic policies.
Nuremberg Laws Set of regulations for the treatment of Jews within Germany presented by Hitler in 1935; Jews were denied German citizenship, forbidden to marry non-Jews, & segregated at every level of society, from schools & politics to business.
Kristallnacht (November 9, 1938) “Night of the Broken Glass”; After a Jewish refugee was accused of killing a German diplomat in Paris, Nazi officials ordered attacks on Jews in Germany, Austria, and the Sudetenland. 1, 500 synagogues & 7, 500 Jewish owned businesses were destroyed, more than 200 Jews were killed, and thousands of Jews were arrested.
Genocide The willful annihilation of a racial, political, or cultural group.
Concentration Camps Prisons where members of specially designated groups were confined. The year he became chancellor (1933), Hitler opened the first Nazi concentration camp to imprison political opponents and turn them into “useful members of society. ”
Death Camps Nazi concentration camps in which prisoners were systematically exterminated. Auschwitz in southern Poland was the largest of these camps. At least 11 million Europeans, including 6 million Jews, were murdered by the Nazis by 1945.
Closure Question #3: Do you think that the U. S. military should have decided to bomb railway lines leading to the death camps? Why or Why not? (At least 1 sentence) Of the Allies, the Soviet Union was closest to the death camps, but Stalin showed no concern. Britain and the United States expressed sympathy, but their resources and strategy were focused on defeating Hitler not on stopping his genocidal campaign. They might have bombed railway lines to the death camps, but the camps were not military targets. A War Department official told the Refugee Board that bombing the railway lines “could be executed only by the diversion of considerable air support essential to the success of our forces now engaged in decisive operations elsewhere. ” The Allies also refused to pressure countries within the Nazi sphere of influence to stop the transportation of Jews to Germany.
War Refugee Board American institution established by FDR in early 1944 which worked with the Red Cross to save thousands of Eastern European Jews.
Israel Jewish nation established in Palestine in 1948 with the support of all 3 Allied Powers; Arab Muslims, who had controlled the region for nearly 1800 years, were forced out of the area, sparking conflict in the region and Muslim resentment towards the United States.
The Holocaust 9/11/01 April 11 th, 1945 – American soldiers liberate Buchenwald Concentration Camp, the first direct exposure to the Holocaust by American citizens. May 7 th, 1945 – Germany officially surrenders, ending the war in Europe. Approximately 3 million Jewish refugees were freed from Concentration Camps. November 29 th, 1947 – The United Nations, due to pressure from U. S. President Harry Truman, recognizes the formation of the Jewish state of Israel, forcing 250, 000 Muslim Arabs out of their homes in the third-holiest city of the Islamic Faith, Jerusalem. To this day, most Arab nations refuse to recognize the sovereignty of the Jewish state of Israel. 1967; 1969 -1970; 1973; 1977; 1981; 1982; 1987; 1991; 2006; 2009 – Years in which the nation of Israel has been engaged in official warfare with Muslim nations, including Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, Palestine, & Lebanon. In each of these conflicts the United States has supported Israel. September 11 th, 2001 – Saudi Arabian Muslims, funded by the terrorist group Al Qaeda, carry out kamikaze attacks on the Twin Towers in New York and the Pentagon in Washington. Al Qaeda justifies the attacks due to the continued support of the “illegal” Jewish state of Israel by the United States.
Closure Assignment #4 Answer the following questions based on what you have learned from Chapter 25, Section 4: 1. How were Hitler’s racial ideas and policies connected to his concept of extreme nationalism? (At least 1 sentence) 2. One historian has said that the Holocaust began on “the day that the Jews started to be treated differently. ” Explain what this statement means and what evidence supports it. (At least 2 sentences) 3. Do you think that the U. S. military should have decided to bomb railway lines leading to the death camps? Why or Why not? (At least 1 sentence)
Yalta Conference February 1945 meeting of the leaders of the three Allied powers: Joseph Stalin (U. S. S. R. ), Winston Churchill (U. K. ), and Franklin D. Roosevelt (U. S. A. ). The three agreed that after WWII Eastern European countries, such as Poland Bulgaria, would hold free elections. Stalin never kept this promise, instead keeping Soviet troops in these countries and establishing communist governments controlled by the U. S. S. R.
Potsdam Conference (July 1945) First meeting between the new U. S. President, Harry Truman, and Joseph Stalin. The Allies agreed to divide Germany into 4 zones of occupation, establish new borders for Poland & support free elections there, and permit the Soviets to claim reparations for war damages from their zone of occupation in Germany.
Superpowers Title given to the United States and the Soviet Union following WWII. The two were the most powerful militarily, had the largest economies, & had opposing political systems, communism and democracy, leading to competition between them for world supremacy.
General Agreement of Tariffs and Trade 1948 multi-nation treaty designed to expand world trade by reducing tariffs supported by the United States to encourage post-WWII economic recovery.
United Nations International organization established in April 1945 which, many hoped, would succeed where the League of Nations had failed in preventing warfare and resolving conflict between nations. The five major WWII allies – the U. S. A. , U. S. S. R. , Britain, France, and China – make up the most powerful arm of the U. N. , the Security Council.
Universal Declaration of Human Rights Issued in 1948 by the UN; The document, approved by all UN member nations, condemns slavery and torture, upholds freedom of speech and religion, and states that everyone has the right to a healthy standard of living.
Closure Question #3: In what way were both the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the postwar push for civil rights reactions to the war? (At least 1 sentence) African American soldiers in World War II had clearly believed they were fighting two foes: dictatorship overseas and racism in the United States. As the great African American poet Langston Hughes put it: “You tell me that Hitler is a mighty bad man. I guess he took lessons from the Ku Klux Klan. ” – Langston Hughes, The Fight of the Century World War II gave renewed vigor to the fight for civil rights. In this battle, African Americans were not alone. A growing number of white Americans also called for the nation to fully live up to its promise as a beacon of freedom, democracy, and justice.
Geneva Convention An international agreement made before WWII which governed the humane treatment of wounded soldiers and prisoners of war.
Nuremberg Trials of Nazis for war crimes in violation of the Geneva Convention. The trials, which were followed closely by Americans, highlighted the horrors of the Holocaust. Though most of the defendants pleaded that they were only following orders and that Hitler was to blame for all crimes, virtually all accused were convicted and sentenced to either death by hanging or long prison sentences.
Closure Assignment #5 Answer the following questions based on what you have learned from Chapter 24, Section 5: 1. Identify one possible consequence of the Allied disagreements at Yalta and Potsdam. (At least 1 sentence) 2. Why do you think Americans supported participation in the UN after WWII when they had opposed participation in the League of Nations after World War I? (At least 1 sentence) 3. In what way were both the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the postwar push for civil rights reactions to the war? (At least 1 sentence)
Class Discussion: The Atomic Bomb Instructions: Sit on the outside ring of the circle with your group. You should have on your desk a) notes to help you answer your chosen question for the project and b) your warm-up and closure sheets.
4 -12 -10 – Warm-Up 1. What is the greatest impact that the atomic bomb attacks on Japan have had on the world? (At least 1 reason, 1 sentence) 2. In your opinion, why were the bombs dropped? (At least 1 reason, 1 sentence) 3. Was the decision to drop the bombs “good”? Why or Why not?
Class Discussion: The Atomic Bomb Instructions (Continued): While you are sitting along the outside ring you should a) complete the Bell Work assignment for today and b) write down questions or comments to make during the full class discussion.
Class Discussion: The Atomic Bomb Inner Circle Order 1. How was this category of people involved with the Atomic Bomb? 2. What impact did the attacks on Japan have on this category? 3. From this group’s point of view, why were the bombs dropped? 4. Was the decision to drop the bombs “good”? Why or Why not?