World War 2
At the beginning of my Word War 2 class we had to write a summary of the war in a couple of pages without using any outside sources. Here is my summary of the war.
For Americans, the beginning of World War 2 was clearly define with the bombing of the Naval Base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. In Europe, the war had started years before with the annexation of Poland by Hitler. In Asia, the war started earlier with Japanese incursions into the Asian mainland trying to emulate the European colonial powers.
In Europe, the Germans perfected new fighting techniques that were tested during the Spanish Civil War. The most known on these techniques was blitzkrieg (lightning war). Using this, it allows the German war machine to occupy most of Europe quickly. Once this was complete, Hitler started attacking Britain in the Battle of Britain. During the air attack by the Luftwaffe, the RAF (Royal Air Force) with two main inventions, RADAR and the Spitfire were able to stand up to the onslaught of German forces. The Battle of Britain was also use as a propaganda campaign in the United States to try to draw the United States into the war.
In North America, Canada as a member of the commonwealth was pulled into the war with Britain. Britain was able to use this to their advantage. When the United State declare neutrality, only the Allied powers were able to purchase goods from the United States due to a British blockade. Once the United States moved towards the Allied cause, Canada was used to pick up goods with Lend-Lease and was able to ship it to the warfront.
Before Hitler rose to power in Germany, Japan was one the road to war. After being forcibly opened by the West, Japan through the Meji Restoration attempted to make itself “Western”. With the new Western attitude, Japan wanted to colonized its neighbors and enact its own sphere of influence in Asia. Japan attacked Korea, China, and European colonies in South East Asia. The Japanese march through these areas with horrific results. In a response to these actions, the United States started to cut off oil supplies from Japan. By squeezing a vise around Japan, Japan felt they needed to take action against the United States.
“A day that will live in infamy” December 7, 1941. The Japanese launch a surprise attack on the naval base at Pearl Harbor. Luckily, for the United States Navy, no aircraft carriers were in Pearl Harbor. The Japanese decimated the naval fleet except for the carriers not in port and more importantly the submarine fleet at Pearl Harbor. This mistake help led to the defeat of the Japanese fleet. At the same time as the attacks at Pearl Harbor, the Japanese attacked the Philippines and entrenched on many of the small islands in the Pacific. The next day the United States was now part of the war.
The Allies were still struggling, with Britain being bombed nightly and the Soviets losing many soldiers in battle. With the United States, entering the war they Allies agreed on a Europe first policy. The United States first saw action in North Africa with Operation Torch against Rommel. Then they moved up into Italy.
In the morning of June 6, Allied troops stormed the beaches of Normandy, France.The Canadian army landed at Juno Beach while the Americans landed at Omaha Beach. German machine gun bunkers and snipers slaughtered Allied troops on the beach, but the Allies slowly pushed up the beach and eventually were able to take the beach and establish a beachhead. This was the true turning point of the war in Europe. The German army was in retreat and slowly being pushed towards the Rhine.
Once Europe was under control, the Americans started to focus on the war in the Pacific. The war become one of naval battles and island hopping. In the Battle of Leyte Gulf, American and Japanese carrier groups found each other by launching aircraft at each other. In the first time of naval history a battle between two ships where they could not see each other.After decisive battles in the Pacific, the Japanese were starting to run out of fuel oil. This was part of the reason of the Japanese pilots starting to become kamikazes. They would attempt to fly into the decks of an aircraft carrier in order to inflict maximum damage. As the navy took control of the Pacific Ocean, it was up to the Marines to retake islands from the Japanese. This came at a high price since the Japanese were firmly entrenched on the islands.
By the beginning of 1945 Most of the is the islands were retaken by the United States, The United States started to plan the invasion of the Japanese mainland. Truman was given knowledge of a new type of weapon, the atomic bomb. While the Americans were bombing Japan in preparation for an invasion, scientist at Los Alamos were preparing “Fat Man” and ”Little Boy”. President Truman decides that the loss of life would be too great if the Allies were to invade Japan. The American government selected two cites that were spared from the bombing raids to show the power of the atomic bombs. The Japanese were told of the impending atomic bomb dropping in order to give the Japanese a chance to surrender. The Japanese high command refuses. The Enola Gay flew over Hiroshima and dropped a single bomb. Hiroshima is obliterated. Once again, The Americans offer a chance to the Japanese to surrender, and the Japanese refuse again. The Enola Gay flies again and drops another single bomb over Nagasaki. After the second bomb, the Japanese surrendered.