Congress authorized the first peacetime draft in the nation’s history. The Selective Training and Service Act required all males aged 21 to 36 to register for military service. The United States also rose defense spending from $2 billion to more than $10 billion in the course of a year. More than 16 million Americans served as soldiers, sailors, and aviators in the war.
In what ways did the government prepare the economy for war?
President Roosevelt pushed industries to move quickly into the production of war equipment. As the war continued, the government established dozens of agencies including the Office of War Mobilization to deal with war production, labor questions, and scarce resources.
How did the war affect daily life on the home front?
Unemployment from the Great Depression vanished after the United States went to war. Americans for the first time in a decade had disposable income but goods were limited for the war effort. Americans began spending their money on entertainment such as baseball games and the movies. Americans on the home front supported the war by growing victory gardens while the government used propaganda to keep morale up in support of the war.
Where did Americans join the struggle against the Axis Powers?
Americans would first fight the Axis powers by securing the Atlantic crossings from U-boat attacks. American forces first engaged German forces in North Africa and then played a major role in the invasion of Europe starting in Italy.
How did the war in the Soviet Union change from 1941 to 1943?
In June of 1941, Hitler broke his Non-aggression pact with Stalin invading the Soviet Union. The German using blitzkrieg tactics drove deep into the Soviet Union nearly capturing the capital city of Moscow. However, a harsh winter in 1942 put a stop to the German advance and cut off German supply lines. The Red Army would start a counteroffensive at the city of Stalingrad turning the tide of the war on the eastern front of the European theater.
What role did air power play in the war in Europe?
The British Royal Air Force (RAF) had been carrying out long-range attacks on German cities. However, the RAF abandoned attempts to pinpoint targets and began to scatter large numbers of bombs over a large area, a technique called carpet bombing. As a result, German cities suffered heavy damage.
Why did the invasion of Western Europe succeed?
Operation Overlord would be launched from Great Britain under the guidance of General Eisenhower. On June 6, 1944, the invasion of Western Europe began. Heavy casualties were suffered, but by late July, nearly 2 million Allied troops were in France. On August 25, 1944, Paris was liberated from German occupation.
What events marked the end of the war in Europe?
Hitler committed suicide in Berlin on April 30, 1945, refusing to flee the city. On May 8, Germany’s remaining troops surrendered. Americans at home celebrated V-E Day.
In what ways did Germany persecute Jews in the 1930s?
Repressive policies against Jews escalated during the 1930s. In 1935, for example, the Nuremberg laws stripped Jews of their German citizenship. Some other policies included: exclusion from public schools, forced sale of Jewish businesses, and marked identity cards. Jews were also forced to sew yellow stars marked “Jew” on their clothing.
How did Germany’s policies toward Jews develop from murder into genocide?
In 1942, Nazi officials met at the Wannsee Conference outside Berlin. They developed their plan to commit genocide, or the deliberate destruction of an entire ethnic or cultural group, against the Jewish people. To carry out their plan, the Nazis outfitted six camps in Poland with gas chambers. Unlike concentration camps, these death camps existed primarily for mass murder.
What advances did Japan make in Asia and the Pacific in late 1941 and 1942?
The Japanese struck Pearl Harbor and Clark Field, in the Philippines, in an attempt to gain military control in the Western Pacific. By March 1942, they had swept aside British, American, and Dutch naval power in Southeast Asia and brought a wide band of colonies into the Japanese empire.
Which Allied victories turned the tide of war in the Pacific?
The Japanese lost some 250 planes and most of their skilled pilots at the Battle of Midway. They were unable to launch any more offensive operations in the Pacific. This victory for the Allies allowed them to take the offensive in the Pacific.
What was the strategy of the United States in the struggle to retake the Pacific Islands?
American forces began island-hopping, a military strategy of selectively attacking specific enemy-held islands and bypassing others. This strategy allowed the Americans to move more quickly toward their ultimate goal—Japan itself.
Why were the battles of Iwo Jima and Okinawa important?
At the end of the battles of Iwo Jima and Okinawa the American forces were victorious, and the Allies had a clear path to Japan. Although the Japanese had fought to the last man the United States can now attack main land Japan.
How did the Manhattan Project bring the war to an end?
On August 6, 1945, an American plane, the Enola Gay, dropped a single atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. A blast of intense heat annihilated the city’s center and its residents in an instant—leading to as many as 80,000 deaths. Three days later, a second bomb was dropped on Nagasaki. On August 14, the government of Japan surrendered. On September 2, 1945, the formal surrender agreement was signed. The long and destructive war had finally come to an end.