World War II
Essays – Chapter 12
 What were some of the difficulties the Allies faced when
planning OPERATION OVERLORD? How did they
attempt to overcome these difficulties?
 What kind of discrimination did minorities in the military
experience? (give specific examples) How did the situation
change for some minorities as the war progressed?
 Describe how the US developed its ultimate weapon
(MANHATTAN PROJECT). What reaction did the
scientists have to their creation? What reaction did the
world have when the US dropped the bomb?
Building up the Military
 When Hitler invaded Poland, FDR began building up
the US military
 When France surrendered to Germany, Congress
approved the draft (1st peacetime draft ever)
60,000+ will enlist in the month after Pearl Harbor
This overwhelmed the US training capacity
New bases had to be opened
Many lived in tents rather than barracks for a long time
Recruits came from all over the country and the training
not only got them ready for combat but united them as
A Segregated Military
 The Military segregated (or separated) troops by race
 Pushing for “DOUBLE V”
 Some African Americans did not want to support the war or the country that
treated them like 2nd class citizens - DISENFRANCHISED
 But most wanted to fight against racism, both in Europe and for themselves
 African Americans in Combat
 Under pressure, FDR ordered the military to recruit African Americans and put
them into combat
 Tuskegee Airmen were the 1st African American fighter wing trained. They flew
over 200 missions and never lost a bomber
Other Minorities: POD assignment (p. 287-288) read, take notes, share what other
minority groups experienced and did in the military
Other Minorities
 Japanese Americans served in Europe even when they were being
forced into “INTERNMENT CAMPS on the west coast
 Hispanic Americans will volunteer in large numbers despite
 Native American served as “CODE TALKERS” again even when they
were forced to live on reservations
 Jewish Americans will serve in war and become leaders of the
Jewish community after the war because the Holocaust killed
so many
 Segregation did not end in the military officially until 1948,
but the outstanding service of various minorities when a long
way in proving they were equals on all levels
Women Join the Military
 The Army enlisted women for the first time but
barred them from combat (WAC’s)
 Most jobs for women freed men up for combat
(clerical, transportation, etc)
 Coast Guard, Name and marines followed suit and
set up women’s units
 Another 68,000 served as nurses in the Army and
 300 women served as pilots delivering planes
American Economy
during World War II
 Fighting a war depending on INDUSTY and the US was
uniquely able to increase output
 War production rapidly increased after Pearl Harbor
 FDR believed gov’t and business had to work together
 National Defense Advisory Committee created to coordinate
war production. Leading business leaders were asked to help
 “Cost-plus” contracts sped up production and convinced many
companies to convert to war production
American Industry
gets the job done
 By the summer of 1942, US industry in full war mode
 Automobile industry ideal for mass producing military trucks, jeep,
tanks. Will produce 1/3 all wartime equipment
 Also produced rifles, helmets, artillery etc
 Ford retooled to build the enormous B-24 liberator bomber
 Will build 8,600 aircraft in 3 years
 Kaiser’s shipyards will surpass them all
 Before the war, it took 244 days to build a “liberty ship”
 Kaiser will cut that down to 41 days
 Kaiser will build 30% of all military ships during the war
Life on the Home Front
 Life in the US will change dramatically
 Unlike Europe, which lived with the devastation of war, the
US actually benefitted
 Mobilizing the economy finally ended the Great
Depression, with 19 million new jobs
 The average household’s income nearly doubled
 Families did have to move to go to these new jobs
 Housing was difficult/cheap
 Prejudice was horrible
 Goods were rationed and taxes were high
POD Assignment
(20-30 minutes)
 In your pod, each of you will read p.290-291
 Take notes on your sheet while you read
 When done reading, discuss the 3 minority groups
(women, African Americans, Mexican farm workers)
 Compare notes – be ready to discuss with the class
 TEACHER – call on students randomly and ask how
each of these groups contributed to the war effort at
Life on the Home Front
 Women in the Defense Plants
During the GD, women expected to stay home, leave jobs for men
But during the war, women were needed in war factories (2.5 million)
Also worked for government in offices (4 million)
At end of war, most women will voluntarily leave jobs, but perception of women had
permanently changed
 African Americans Demand War Work
 Executive Order 8802 – no discrimination in factories getting government contracts
 Many factories then recruited African American workers – Boeing/Seattle
 Mexican Farm Workers
 BRACERO program – deal with Mexican government for workers to come to US and
work in the agricultural fields
 20,000+ will come to US and aid in food production
 Migrant workers became and are still HUGELY important to the SW food industry
Rosie the Riveter
A Nation on the Move
 Millions of jobs created, Americans move to go to jobs
 New industrial regions created – South & Southwest
 Congress authorized $150 million for housing and FDR
created the NHA (Nat’l Housing Agency) to coordinate
 Racism will increase as minorities move into mostly white
regions for jobs
 Detroit Riots – city wide riots when African American and
white teens clashed – 34 dead (25 black, 9 white)
 Zoot Suit Riots – clashes between Hispanic “zoot suiters”
and sailors led to riots in LA
Japanese, German and Italian
 After Pearl Harbor – FDR signed an order that allowed the US
military to declare any part of the US a military zone
 4 days after Pearl Harbor, Japanese sub will shell an oil refinery in
 Most of west coast declared a military zone
 People of Japanese descent were ordered “interned”
 (This Was Life for Japanese-Americans During WWII – youtube)
 Supreme Court ruled it OK (later overturned themselves)
 1,000’s of people of German/Italian descent also had their freedoms
restricted (“enemy aliens”) – they were subject to travel
restrictions, seizure of property
 More than 5,000 will be arrested and “interned” in camps for the
duration of the war
Daily Life in Wartime
 Wages and prices began to rise as soon as the war began
because of the high demand for labor and goods
 Government created agencies to oversea the economy. They
regulated wages and prices through out the war
 OPACS (Office of Price Admin. And Civilian Supply)
 OES (Office of Economic Stabilization)
 WLB (War Labor Board) – mediated wage disputes/prevent strikes
Support and Sacrifices
 Rationing – (Newsreel: A look back at food rationing during World War II)
 OPACS rationed key strategic materials
 Each family received a “coupon book” for different foods
 Coffee, meat, sugar, etc
 Gas rationed, speed restricted, miles driven restricted
 Victory Gardens – people grew food where they could
 Vegetables were canned for later
 Drives – tin, rubber, aluminum and steel
 Taxes and War Bonds
 Higher taxes – government collected only 45% of cost of war
 War Bonds – sold to “loan” the government money for the war
Hollywood goes to War
 OWI (Office of War Information) used to improve the
public’s understanding of war and its role
 Filmmakers asked “Does this help the US win the
war” when they were making movies
 Movies made with a very PRO-US and anti-German
 Youtube (1942 the ductators)
Political Cartoons
1. Identify Images
2. Read words
3. What do you
think the
author/artist is
trying to get
across to the
War with Japan
 The attack on Pearl Harbor crippled the US’s ability to slow Japan down
A few hours after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Japan attacked the Philippines
Badly outnumbers, US and Filipino troops lost control
Retreating the Bataan Peninsula, General D. MacArthur help on for 3 months
Realizing the capture of an American general would hurt moral, MacArthur
ordered to leave “I shall return”
 Troops finally surrendered and were forced to march 65 miles without food or
water – THE BATAAN DEATH MARCH (youtube video)
 78,000 set off on the march – 15,000 died
 Captured nurses and civilians were held captive for the remainder of the war
Doolittle Raid
 FDR needed to raise moral after Pearl Harbor
 He wanted to bomb Tokyo in retaliation
 Japanese ships kept the US aircraft carriers too far away
 Decision was made to use longer range bombers (which
could take off but not land on carriers)
 After bombing Tokyo, they would land in China
 On April 18, bombs fell on Japan for the first time
 Huge boost for America – we had returned fire
Japan changes Strategy
 Japan had planned to cut off American supplies to Australia
but after the Tokyo bombing, they wanted revenge
 Midway Islands were the last US base in the Pacific. Japan
believed it they attacked there, it would lure the US into
battle. Japan believed they could finish the US Navy off,
once and for all
 Also, planned attack on New Guinea (to cut off supplies to
 US had broken Japan’s code and learned of the attack
 2 carriers sent – 1st all-air battle – Japan able to sink 1 carrier
and damage the other
 But the US prevented the Japanese from taking New Guinea
 Australia would be used as base for entire war
Navajo Code Talkers
 Radios used to communicate, easy to intercept
 Navajo (unwritten) language used to pass messages
 Only Navajo could speak/understand
 This was kept an ABSOUTE secret for over 40 years
 In 2001 Congress awarded the Navajo Code Talkers
the Congressional Gold Medal for their unique
contributions during the war
Battle of Midway
 6 months after Pearl Harbor, the US (ability to crack the
Japanese code) learned that Japan planned to attack
Midway Island
 Admiral Nimitz planned to ambush the Japanese
 The Americans had been able to repair the damage to
more ships than the Japanese thought
 Within minutes of the attack beginning, 3 Japanese
carriers were burning/sinking
 The Battle of Midway was the turning point for the
Japanese. It was their last OFFENSE attack
 From here on, the US was pushing Japan back
Driving Japan Back
 Island Hopping – 1,000’s of islands were controlled by
the Japanese
 The US Marines carried out a new plan – island hopping
 Cut off supplies by bypassing several islands and attacking
where the Japanese were not ready
 Build and airstrip on the island
 Jump ahead several islands and repeat
 The Japanese fighters were fanatical – high losses
 As the US controlled islands nearer to Japan, it was able to
begin bombing the mainlands of Japan
MacArthur Returns
 Philippines were a key island to control (both tactically and
 MacArthur led the charge to retake the Philippines (the
island nation he had been pushed off of) which was more
than 600 miles ahead of the lines
 700 ships amasses along with 160,000 troops
 Japan defended the Philippines with everything they could
use – last stop before the home islands
 KAMIKAZI fighters used for the first time (much to the US’s
 Battle for the Philippines will be costly
 100,000 Filipino fighers will die
 Many Japanese fighters will retreat into the forests and will
fight long after the surrender of Japan
War in Europe
Halting the Germans
 Stalin demanded the Allies (England and US) attack Germany
to create a 2 front war
 Churchill did not believe they were ready, convinced FDR to
attack the Nazi’s strategic locations
 NORTH AFRICA – July 1942
 FDR did for 2 reasons: experience for the troops & it would give
back control to a key strategic region (Egypt) to England
 Rommel (the Desert Fox – German) would meet up with
Montgomery (British) and Patton (US) in the battle for North
 In May of 1943, the Germans surrendered in North Africa
 Now the US/GB were in position to go after Europe through
Battle of the Atlantic
 After war declared between the US and Germany, Uboats entered coastal waters off the US east coast
 American cargo ships were easy target
 CONVOY SYSTEM used to protect shipping
 Spring 1942 – Germans sunk over 1.2 m tons of cargo
 In the same timeframe, the US produced more than 1.1 m
tons of new shipping
 US developed more effective ways of finding, tracking
and sinking U-boats (sonar, depth charges)
 The Battle of the Atlantic turned in favor of the Allies
Battle for Stalingrad
Battle of Stalingrad
 Hitler believed to defeat Stalin, he needed to destroy the
Russian economy – he also wanted their OIL
 May 1942 – Hitler ordered his troops to capture the oil fields,
farms and factories in S. Russia/Ukraine
 Stalingrad was a key shipping center. If the Germans took
Stalingrad, they could cut off resources to the Soviet military
 Hitler ordered his troops to take/hold Stalingrad at all costs
 Soviet military/people will fight back, will not fall
 250,000 German troops taken prisoner
 Each side lost ½ million soldiers
 Loss here put Germany on the defensive for the first time
Striking Germany & Italy
 Allies control of North Africa KEY to next step
 At Casablanca Conference, FDR & Churchill agree to attack
Germany by air and thru Italy
 US/British Air Forces had been bombing Germany/Berlin constantly
for over a year before the Casablanca Conf. (4,000 tons of bombs per
 From Jan 43 thru May 45, the US/GB will increase their bombing to
53,000 per month
 Bombing did not destroy Germany’s economy or crush their morale,
but it did severely damage the oil supply and railroad system
 Bombing also destroyed factories, making it impossible for Germany
to replace war supplies lost in battles
 By June 44, the US/GB controlled the air
Striking the “Soft
Underbelly” of Europe
 US/GB would first attack Germany from North Africa
through Italy – the “soft underbelly”- in 1943
 Within a month, the King of Italy (Victor Emmanuel)
called Mussolini in – the government of Italy arrested
Mussolini and began negotiation a surrender
 Germany seized control of northern Italy and continued
to fight and returned Mussolini to power
 For the next 5 months, fierce fighting between the Allies
and Axis troops finally ended when the Allies broke
through (Allied casualties in Italy – 300,000_
Tehran Conference
 FDR & Stalin met before the Allies invaded France
 FDR and Stalin agreed to split up Germany after the
war so it would never threaten world peace again
 Stalin agreed that after Germany was defeated, the
USSR would help the US defeat Japan
 Stalin also agreed to an international peacekeeping
organization after the war (United Nations)
 Read p. 305-307 about D-Day
 Take notes as you read
 5-W’s
D-Day (Operation Overlord)
 The final part of defeating Hitler was to invade France
and create a 3 front battle
 Hitler had fortified the north coast of France
 The most logical place to invade would be at Calais
 “trickery used to deceive the Nazi’s”
 But NORMANDY would be the actual site
The largest amphibian landing in history
Area protected by air cover
Area where mass landing of machinery could take place
Area where hundreds of thousands of troops could land and
stay, preparing to push further into France
 By Spring 1944, 1.5 million American soldiers, 5 million
tons of equipment and 12, 000 airplanes had been sent to
 June 6, 1944 picked as the day (due to weather, moon)
7,000 ships carried 100,000 soldiers
23,000 paratroopers dropped behind enemy lines
5 beaches – Omaha, Gold, Utah, Sword, Juno
Omaha was the toughest to attack – biggest casualties
45,000 Allied soldiers will die taking Normandy
Days after D-Day
 The invasion succeeded, but huge amounts of
people/equipment needed to be moved across the channel
 5 days
 326,547 soldiers
 54,186 vehicles
 104 tons of supplies
 25 days
 850,000 soldiers
 148,000 vehicles
 570, 000 tons of supplies
Reich Collapses
 Allies retake Paris, head for Germany
 Hitler decides to make one last try at breaking the Allies (12/16/44)
 3 days later, Patton hit German forces hard
 By Christmas eve, German forces out of fuel, food, forced to halt
 Jan 8, 1945, Nazis begin to withdraw to Germany
 Race between Allies/Russia to get to Berlin
 April 17, 1945, Russians reach Berlin first –
 Hitler commits suicide in his bunker rather than be taken
prisoner by the Russians
 May 8, 1945 – V-E Day – Germany officially surrenders
Japan is Defeated
 IWO JIMA – Island close to Japan would give US perfect base
to invade main island
 US pounded island with artillery for days
 60,000 marines landed (6,800 died) and took Iwo Jima
 Napalm used to start fires – controversial – civilian losses
 Japan’s six key industrial cities had been bombed
 Few signs the Japanese would surrender
 US needed a base close to Japan to store goods if they were to
invade the main island
 Japanese were dug in – 12,000 will die taking Okinawa
Terms of Surrender
 Japanese emperor urged his government to negotiate
 America demanded unconditional surrender
 Japanese had one condition – Emperor Hirohito would
remain on the throne of Japan
 US had options:
Accept conditional surrender
Use the secret weapon that was just about ready to deploy
Manhattan Project
 Albert Einstein convinced to write a letter to FDR telling him
Germany was working on an atomic weapon
 FDR’s response was to set up the MANHATTAN PROJECT
 Best scientific minds were set on developing an atomic weapon
 Secret program was created at several locations
 On July 16, 1945 – the first atomic bomb was tested
 Scientists were horrified at the power of the weapon
 Wrote a letter to FDR begging him not to use the weapon on
 FDR believe the bomb was a military weapon and never had any
doubts that it should be used”
Nagasaki and Hirshima
 2 cities selected – had been left alone during war (religious cites)
 Warnings given to the Japanese government
 August 6, 1945 – Hiroshima bombed
 63% of city destroyed
 Between 80,000 and 120,000 died instantly
 August 9, 1945 – Nagasaki bombed
 Between 35,000 and 74,000 died instantly
 Faced with utter destruction and the threat of Soviet
intervention, Hirohito ordered Japan to surrender
 August 15, 1945 – VJ Day – the long war was over
Putting the Enemy on Trial
 US, GB, France and USSR created the International
Military Tribunal (IMT) to punish German and
Japanese leaders for “war crimes”
 Germany – 153 tried
 3 acqutted, 7 got LONG prison terms, 12 sentenced to die
and 107 sentenced to prison
 Japan – 25 tried
 18 sentenced to prison, 7 sentenced to die
 Israel and other organizations have continued to hunt
for Nazi’s who escaped after the war
 Those found, positively identified have been extradited
back to Israel for trial