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Chapter 28

1)War on Two Fronts

a)Containing the Japanese
i)After Pearl Harbor US forces surrendered in the Philippines, Guam,
Wake Island; to turn tide US lead 2 offensives- Gen Douglas
MacArthurs attacks from the south, and Admiral Chester Nimitz
attacked from HI to the west
ii)May 1942 Battle of Coral Sea weakened Jap navy; more important
Battle of Midway Island June 1942 regained US central Pacific
iii)Mid-1943 after fighting in Solomon Islands (Guadalcanal) US turned
b)Holding Off the Germans
i)US military plans in Europe influenced by Soviet Union and GB; FDR
decided to delay invasion into France in favor of October 1942
counter-offensive in N. Africa against Nazi Gen Erwin Rommel; by
May 1943 Gen George Patton and British Gen Montgomery had
driven Germans from Africa
ii)Soviet Red Army held off immense German 1942-1943 winter
offensive at Stalingrad, Hitlers forces exhausted and forced to
abandon eastern advance
iii)July 1943 US agreed to British plan to invade Sicily, Mussolini govt
collapsed but German reinforcements prevented capture of Rome
until June 1944; slow, costly Italy campaign delayed French channel
invasion Soviets had called for
c)America and the Holocaust
i)By 1942 news of Holocaust (Nazi campaign to exterminate European
Jews) prompting public cries to end killing, but US govt resisted calls
for military aid + officials at the State Dept deliberately refused to let
Jews enter US
2)The American People In Wartime
i)WWII ended Great Depression problems of unemployment, deflation,
production b/c of wartime economic expansion + massive govt
spending (federal budget grew from 1939 $9 billion to 1945 $100

b)The War and the West

i)West shared disproportionally in massive govt capital investments;
ii)Businessman Henry Kaiser steered federal funds to make Pacific
Coast major industrial center for shipbuilding, aircraft; launching
stage for Japanese war
c)Labor and the War
i)Labor shortage caused by military recruitment; unemployed from
Depression worked, but also women + other previously unused
groups entered workforce
ii)Union membership increased; new govt limits on wage increases
+no-strike promise, in return govt allowed all new workers to
automatically join unions
iii)Govt+ public sought to reduce inflation + guarantee production w/o
d)Stabilizing Boom
i)1942 Congress passed Anti-Inflation Act which allowed Pres to freeze
prices and wages, set rations; enforced by the Office of Price
ii)Govt spent 2X more $ btwn 1941-1945 than it had during whole
existence; raised $ thru bond sales, Revenue Act of 1942 created new
high tax brackets
e)Mobilizing Production
i)1942 War Production Board created to organize mobilization effort but
was largely unable to direct military purchases + include small
businesses; program later replaced by White House Office of War
ii)Nevertheless, US economy met all war needs; new factories were
built, entire rubber industry created. By 1944 output 2X that of all
Axis nations combined
f)Wartime Science and Technology
i)Govt stimulated new military technologies by funneling massive funds
to National Defense Research Committee
ii)Originally Germany (w/ sophisticated tanks + submarines) and Japan
(w/ strong naval-air power) technologically ahead of Allies; US,
however, had experience w/ mass production in auto industry and was
able to convert many of these plants to produce armaments

iii)Allied advances in radar + sonar beyond Axis capabilities helped

limit effectiveness of U-Boats in Atlantic; Allies developed more
effective anti-aircraft tech and produced large amount of powerful 4engine aircraft (British Lancaster + US B17) able to attack military
forces + industrial centers
iv)Greatest Allied advantage found in intelligence gatheringBritish
Ultra project able to break German Enigma code and intercept info
on enemy movements; American Magic operation broke Japanese
Purple code
g)African-Americans and the War
i)Blacks wanted to use war as means of improving own conditions. A
Philip Roth (head of Brotherhood of Sleeping Car porters) wanted all
companies w/ war contracts to integrate work force
ii)Fearing black workers strike, FDR created Fair Employment Practices
Commission to investigate labor discrimination. Later, Congress of
Racial equality combated discrimination in society at large using
popular resistance
iii)War saw migration of blacks from rural South to industrial cities of
North in greater numbers than those found of first Great Migration
during WWI
h)Native Americans and the War
i)Some Native Americans served in military (some as famous Code
Talkers), many others left reservations seeking work in war
i)Mexican-American War Workers
i)War labor shortages lead to large Mex immigration
of braceros (contract laborers); ethnic tensions from growing
immigrant neighborhoods w/ existing white communities led to
Zoot-Suit Riots in Los Angeles in 1943
j)Women and Children of War
i)Large number of women entered roles they were previously excluded
ii)Many women worked in factories to replace men who had entered
military, but some inequality existed in what jobs they could hold in

iii)Most women took service-sector jobs in growing govt bureaucracies;

limited others worked in male heavy-industry (famous Rosie the
Riveter image)
iv)Over 1/3 of teenagers took jobs during war; crime rate also rose
during war
k)Wartime Life and Culture
i)Increased prosperity from war led to marked rise in theater and movie
attendance, magazine and news circulation, hotel, casino, dance hall
ii)War effort largely seen as means of protecting material comfort +
consumer choice of home; visions of home and future women
romanticized by troops
l)The Internment of Japanese Americans
i)WWII did not largely see restrictions of civil liberties + growth of
hatred toward fringe groups as during WWI; little ethnic tension in
part due to propaganda attacking enemys political system but not
ii)Glaring exception in treatment of Japanese Americans who were
painted as scheming + cruel (re-enforced by Pearl Harbor); white Eur
groups largely accepted by now, but assimilated Japs faced prejudice
+ viewed as foreign
iii)Conspiracy theories of Jap-Americans aiding in Pearl Harbor attacks
led govt + military to see them as a threat; 1942 Roosevelt created
War Relocation Authority to move Japanese citizens to relocation
camps for monitoring
iv)Starting 1943 condition began to improve as some Japs allowed to
got o college or take jobs on East Coast; although 1944 Supreme
Court case Korematsu v U.S. ruled relocation constitutional, by that
time most of internees had been allowed to leave camps
m)Chinese Americans and the War
i)US war alliance w/ China helped Chinese Americans advance legal +
social position1943 Congress repealed Chinese Exclusion acts
ii)Many Chinese took jobs in industry or were drafted into the military
n)The Retreat from Reform
i)FDR wanted to shift priority from reform to war effort and victory
ii)With massive unemployment no longer an issue + Republican gains,
Congress dismantled relief programs and other New Deal programs

iii)In 1944 Pres election Repubs nominated Thomas Dewey; Dems renominated Roosevelt but w/ new, less liberal VP candidate Harry
iv)Despite deteriorating health Roosevelt was popularly elected; Dems
maintained control of both Houses of Congress
3)The Defeat of the Axis
a)The Liberation of France
i)By 1944 devastating Allied strategic bombing against German industry
at Leipzig, Dresden, Berlin reduced production + complicated
transport; German Luftwaffe forced to retreat to bases w/in Germany
itself, weakened it
ii)After 2 year buildup in England Supreme Allied Commander Gen
Dwight Eisenhower ordered invasion across English Channel into
Normandy, France on D-Day (June 6, 1944); Allies drove Germans
from the coast, by September forced them to retreat from France,
iii)In December Germany counter-attacked during Battle of the Bulge in
the Ardennes Forest, but soon repelled; with Soviet advances on
Eastern front, Allies began moving into Germany across Rhine
iv)April 30 Hitler commits suicide; May 8, 1945 full surrender + V-E
b)The Pacific Offensive
i)Thru 1944 American navy crippling Japanese shipping and economy
in Pacific; on mainland Asia Japan attacking thru Chinese interior
trying to cutoff Gen Stilwells Burma Road for supplies
ii)June 1944 Americans captured Mariana Islands, in September Battle
of Leyte Gulf Japanese navy decimated by US sinking of its aircraft
carriers; in next few months Japanese fought desperate battles of
resistance in Feb at Iwo Jima, in June at Okinawa (used Kamikaze
suicide bombers throughout)
iii)Many feared bloody island battles would ensue w/ invasion of
Japanese mainland, but by 1945 Japanese weakened by firebombing
in Tokyo, shelling of industrial centers; moderates in govt trying to
sue peace against will of military leaders wanting to continue fight
c)The Manhattan Project
i)After news in 1939 that Nazis pursuing atomic bomb, US and +GB
began race to develop one before them; work based on discovery of

uranium radioactivity by Enrico Fermi 1930s, Einsteins theory of

ii)Army took over control of research and poured billions of $ into
Manhattan Project which gathered scientists to create nuclear chain
reactions w/ a bomb
iii)On July 16 1945 the plutonium bomb Trinity, created by scientist
Robert Oppenheimer at the Los Alamos Laboratory, successfully
d)Atomic Warfare
i)Pres Truman issues ultimatum to Japanese for unconditional
surrender by April 3rd or face annihilation; after Jap moderates unable
to convince military leaders to accept Truman ordered use of atomic
ii)Some argue atomic weapon unnecessary b/c in time Japs would have
sued for peace; others argue only atomic bomb could convince radical
military leaders that surrender necessary. Truman saw weapon as
military device that could end war quickly, but some say he used it to
intimidate Stalin and Soviets
iii)August 6, 1945 bomber Enola Gay dropped atomic weapon on
Japanese city Hiroshima, killing 80,000 civilians; because Jap govt
didnt respond, on August 8 second atomic bomb dropped on city of
Nagasaki killing 100,000
iv)By Aug 14 emperor agreed to surrender; September 2, 1945 Japan
signed articles of surrender (V-J Day) marking end of WWII
v)14 million combatants had died during war, even more civilians;
threat of nuclear war loomed between two emerging super-powers in
US and Soviet Union