U.S Entry Into Ww2 Essay, Research Paper
US ENTRY INTO WORLD WAR II US ENTRY INTO WORLD WAR II The United States entered the war for one main reason the attack on Pearl Harbor but a number of events led the United States to ally itself indirectly with Britain before the attack on Pearl Harbor despite its initial convictions to stay neutral. Events Before US Entry The United States ADOPTED POLICIES TO KEEP ITSELF FROM BEING FINANCIALLY and militarily INVOLVED WITH THE war. Since loans they had made to countries in Europe during World War I were not paid back they decide to prevent this from happening again. Japan did not formally adopt fascism, but the armed forces’ powerful position in the government enabled them to impose a similar type of totalitarianism. The Allies trying to avoid war tried to appease Hitler by giving him what he wanted but that did not stop him he continued to expand. The attack on Ethiopia by the Axis resulted in a slap on the administered by the League on the Axis. A similar action was taken when Germany took the Sudetenland. The U.S passed three neutrality acts from 1935 -37 they prohibited actions by U.S. Citizens from aiding foreign belligerents. This was done so both sides would see them as neutral. The U.S. had severely impaired its ability to act against aggression by passing a neutrality law that prohibited material assistance to all parties in foreign conflicts (Encarta 97). The nation’s moral climate was completely against Germany and Japan’s actions but at this point they were not willing to go to war over it. Japan used the Mukden incident as a excuse to attack China despite the fact the League protested against it. In 1937 a boycott was set on aggressive nations. The United States took every means necessary short of war to impede the progress of countries with totalitarian dictatorships. They did this in order for democracies or at least more democratic governments to be set up in Europe. They did not want to become directly involved in the war but they sided with allies and they needed to do something to aid them before they fell to the Axis powers. They gave the right for France and England to purchase U.S. arms in attempt to aid them. In 1940 fifty-year-old U.S. destroyers were leased to England in exchange for bases on western British colonies, which was called the Lend Lease Act. The success of Germany prompted the United States to strengthen its defenses in fear they may have to join the war. $18 billion dollars was used to raise an army of 1.2 million and build up a strong navy and to prepare American industry for a war (Encarta 97). One cause for the United States to join the war was the defeat of France. The Germans began their attack on France on May 20th and by the 26th they had pushed French and English forces to narrow strip of beach .On June 25th of that year France signed an Armistice with Germany. Germany then set up a puppet government in France, which was controlled by Germany. At this point Germany was defeating the Allies and it seemed that the Allies cause to stop Hitler might be doomed. Now that only weakened England and Russia were the only ones with any chance of stopping Hitler’s progress the U.S. feared a victory for the Axis. The U.S. shocked at the fall of France began its first peacetime conscription. That year Hitler deployed it’s main forces to the East and allied with countries from the southeast of Europe and Finland against Russia. Yugoslavia was asked to join Hitler when they refused to join Germany’s forces they were then made a target. In June of 1940 Germany decided to cut off the lifeline from Britain and it’s colonies using submarine warfare. Germany had bases in both France and Finland. This sea battle was called the battle of the Atlantic. They then decided to take the war to a new level and attack Britain they decided to fight in the air (Battle of Britain) but they underestimated Britain who had radar. Germany attacked cities along the coastline but Germany had to withdraw and the attack was postponed. Italy Germany’s ally took the war to the Balkans and into Northern Africa. England then began to repel Italy’s forces when Hitler sent German troops to aid Italy . Romania and Hungary joined the Axis powers in 1940 and in 1941 Bulgaria joined Germany. Up to this point in the war the United States tried to stay neutral and not involve itself in the war. The reason behind this isolationism was the result of World War I which cost the U.S. a great deal of money and lives so we no longer wanted to be entangled with European affairs. Then they abandoned this ideal and began giving aid to Britain. Germany continued to use unrestricted submarine warfare. In January of 1941 the United States and Britain began to strategize the entry of the United States. This strategy entailed that the Allies would focus on Germany and deal with Japan later if needed. For they felt Japan would not be hard to defeat and Hitler was the main problem and fear. Germany then attacked Russia with a force of three million troops. They focused their attack on three key areas Moscow, Leningrad and Kyyiv (Encarta 97 ). The US decided to lend aid to Russia to help them with their struggle with Germany. The United States believed it would all be over in a month or so. Initially the Germans had success and in the Russian winter the Russians went on the counteroffensive and had regained some of the territory Germany took over. But Germany still had control of Leningrad. There was also still a threat on Moscow and they still controlled the Ukraine. The war was now on a world scale.
BUILD UP The pressure for the US to join and fight in the Pacific against the Japanese grew since the Japanese had now entered the war. Japan began to expand in the Pacific. The US wanted to stop the expansion but they did not think the American people would want to go to war to prevent it. In March of 1941 Congress signed the Lend-Lease Act in which seven billion dollars was to be lended or leased in weapons and in other forms of aid to countries the President would decide on later. This strategy would give a victory to the Allies without the U.S. having to send troops. The United States began to escort British vessels west of Iceland and in September they were authorized to attack Axis ships if needed. Japan took over Indochina from France. The United States in turn prohibited the exportation of steel, gasoline , and iron to Japan. The Russians and Japanese had signed a treaty earlier in which neither one would attack the other. Japan continued to expand east. Japanese assets were froze two days later to prevent them from getting the supplies they needed. Japan felt that the United States was the only obstacle in their path for domination of the Asian continent so they planned an attack on Pearl Harbor where the majority of the Pacific fleet was. On December 7,1941 Japan attacked Pearl Harbor this event pushed the United States to enter the war and they declared war on Japan the next day. Italy and Germany then declared war on the United States on the 11th. ENTRY The United States mobilized in many aspects of the economy. The government directed science and technology to military purposes. Industry focused on the war effort and the government regulated a myriad of other aspects. The US began to send more troops and supplies to help the allied cause. The U.S. brought much needed supplies, weapons, money and a boost in morale to the depleted troops of the Allies. The U.S. added the much needed support and helped the Allies push back the Germans. The United States and England were pushing towards Berlin in order to prevent Russia from going further west inn case later they attempted to claim the territory they had conquered. The big question in the war was whether the USSR could survive a second German summer offensive, and the Russians were urging the U.S. and Britain to relieve the pressure on them by starting an offensive in the west (Encarta 97). General George C. Marshall, the U.S. Army chief of staff, believed the best way to help the Russians and bring an early end to the war was to stage a buildup in England and attack across the English Channel into northwestern Europe (Encarta 97 ). In a series of conferences with other allies they decided to make a cooperative and focus their attack on Germany. They also discussed how to get Germany out of the Ukraine. They also decided what to do with Germany when they surrendered and what the peace agreements should be made. Germany was soon defeated and attention was now focused on Japan. The United States decided to use a leap frog strategy to take over the islands Japan had taken over. The Battle of Midway had stopped the Japanese in the central Pacific, but they continued to advance in the southwest Pacific along the Solomon’s chain and overland on New Guinea. On July 2, 1942, the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) directed the naval and ground forces in the south and southwest Pacific to halt the Japanese, drive them out of the Solomon’s and northeastern New Guinea, and eliminate the great base the Japanese had established at Rabaul, on New Britain in the Bismarck Archipelago ( Encarta 97 ). The U.S. slowly took back the islands from Japan. The U.S. withheld the fact that they had a nuclear bomb. The U.S. fearful that Russia would soon attack Japan and try to claim the spoils dropped an atomic bomb on Nagasaki and Hiroshima. This ended the war with Japan before Russia could enter into it. They decided to split Germany in four different occupation zones. Which later was split in half between East and West Germany with the East under Russian control. Russia and the United States were now the only super powers left and the suspicions rose between the two which resulted in the Cold War which lasted many decades following the war. The only reason Russia was part of the allied coalition was because England needed their help in defeating Germany and Russia feared that Germany would attack them or take Poland, which Russia wanted as a buffer zone. Now that Germany was defeated there was no longer a reason to be allies anymore. The one positive result was that the war took the United States out of the recession and it got rid of Hitler and the other dictators that allied themselves with him. The United States lost lots of youngmen to accomplish this as well as money. The Cold War ended up being a result of the since they were the two leading nations in the new era.