World War II

WWII in the U.S

Commander George Dewey

April 30, 1898 - August 1898

Led the American fleet to the Philippines. His victory at manila did not only help army forces to invade but proved the strengh of the U.S. Navy.

German Nuclear Research

1939 - 1945

When Germany invaded Poland in 1939, Heisenberg was already drafted into a reserve mountain infantry unit With the outbreak of war he and other physicists received military orders, not to the front, but to the Army Weapons Bureau (Heereswaffenamt) in Berlin. Here they were asked to explore the prospects for the practical utilization of a new discovery: nuclear fission. Nuclear fission involved the splitting of nuclei with the release of enormous amounts of energy.

Army Chief of Staff George Marshall

1939 - 1945

America's foremost soldier during World War II, served as chief of staff from 1939 to 1945, building and directing the largest army in history. A diplomat, he acted as secretary of state from 1947 to 1949, formulating the "Marshall Plan," an unprecedented program of economic and military aid to foreign nations.

Inflation Policy

1939

Taxation Policy

1939

The emergence of the Great Depression in the United States caused a downward spiral in the U.S. economy. Banks, shops and factories were shut down, which led to the lowest business activity in the modern history of the U.S. Not only did the Depression have a profound negative affect on the stock market it also caused high unemployment. The attempts of the government in the 1930s to recover the economy from the Depression did not succeed. The milestone in bringing the U.S. economy back on track was the largest world conflict of the 20th century - World War II.

Albert Einstein (Nuclear Research)

1939 - 1945

The physicist Albert Einstein did not directly participate in the invention of the atomic bomb. But he was instrumental in facilitating its development. In 1905, as part of his Special Theory of Relativity. But bombs were not what Einstein had in mind when he published the equation for his theory. Indeed, he considered himself to be a pacifist. In 1929, he publicly declared that if a war broke out he would "unconditionally refuse to do war service. But his position changed in 1933, as the result of Adolf Hitler's ascent to power in Germany. Einstein's greatest role in the invention of the atomic bomb was signing a letter to President Franklin Roosevelt urging that the bomb be built. The splitting of the uranium atom in Germany in December 1938 plus continued German aggression led some physicists to fear that Germany might be working on an atomic bomb.

Selective Service System (SSS)

1941

Defense Contractors warning the Selective Service System that they are in need of more workers to meet both its military and its industrial needs. By 1944, despite the draft, nearly 18 million workers were laboring in war industries. More than 6 million of these new workers were women.

A. Philip Randolph

1941

President and Founder of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters and nation's most respected African-American labor leader. On July 1, 1941, he was planning to protest with more than 100,000 African Americans to march for the right to work and fight for their country.

Penicilin

1941 - 1945

Recognizing the potential of the Pfizer process for producing penicillin and desperate for massive quantities to aid in the war effort, the U.S. government authorized 19 companies to produce the antibiotic using Pfizer's deep-tank fermentation techniques, which Pfizer had agreed to share with its competitors. Many of these companies could not come close to Pfizer's production levels and quality. Ultimately Pfizer produced 90 percent of the penicillin that went ashore with Allied forces at Normandy on D-Day in 1944 and more than half of all the penicillin used by the Allies for the rest of the war, helping to save countless lives.

Civilian Efforts and Sacrifices

1941 - 1945

The United States home front during World War II, supported the war effort in many ways, including a wide range of volunteer efforts and submitting to government-managed rationing and price controls. The labor market changed radically and peacetime conflicts with respect to race and labor took on a special dimension because of the intense pressure for national unity. The Hollywood film industry found a role to play and every aspect of life from politics to personal savings changed when put on a wartime footing.

Pearl Harbor

December 1941

The U.S was involved in an undeclared naval war with Hitler. However, the attack that brought the United States into the war came from Japan. When the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. Killing over 2,403 Americans and wounded more than 1,178. U.S. declares war. Sank or damaged 21 ships, including 8 battleship and more than 300 aircraft were severely damaged or destroyed.

Office Of Scientific Research and Development (OSRD)

1942

Set up an intensive program to develop a bomb as soon as possible. Because much of the early research was performed at Columbia University in Manhattan, the Manhattan Project became the code name for research work that extended across the country.

Henry J. Kaiser

1942

An American industrialist who became known as the father of modern American shipbuilding. He established the Kaiser Shipyard which built Liberty ships during WWII.

Funding the war effort-"War Bonds"

1942

Over the course of the war the U.S. government waged a constant battle for the hearts and minds of the public. Persuading Americans to support the war effort became a wartime industry, just as important as producing bullets and planes. The U.S. government produced posters, pamphlets, newsreels, radio shows, and movies-all designed to create a public that was 100% behind the war effort. In 1942 the Office of War Information (OWI) was created to both craft and disseminate the government’s message. This propaganda campaign included specific goals and strategies. Artists, filmmakers, and intellectuals were recruited to take the government’s agenda (objectives) and turn it into a propaganda campaign. This included posters found across American-from railway stations to post offices, from schools to apartment buildings. War Bonds allowed for everyday Americans to invest in the war effort by purchasing bonds that would go up in value over time.

Women's Auxiliary Army Corps (WAAC)

1942

U.S. army unit created during WWII to enable women to serve in noncombat position. When this law was passed, more than 13,000 women applied on the first day. In all, some 350,000 women served in this war. The WAC remained a separate unit of the army until 1978 when male and female forces were integrated.

A Production Miracle

1942

Early in February 1942, American newspapers reported the end of automobile production for private use. Within weeks of the shutdown in production, the nation's automobile plants had been retooled to produce tanks, planes, boats and command cars. But across the nation, factories were quickly converted to war production.

War Production Board (WPB)

January 16, 1942

The War Production Board (WPB) was an agency of the United States government, which supervised production for war purposes during World War II. It was established on January 16, 1942, by Executive Order 9024 of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The WPB replaced the Supply Priorities and Allocation Board and the Office of Production Management. The WPB directed the conversion of industries from peacetime work to war needs, allocated scarce materials, established priorities in the distribution of materials and services, and prohibited nonessential production. It rationed such things as gasoline, heating oil, metals, rubber, paper and plastics. It was dissolved shortly after the defeat of Japan in 1945, and was replaced by the Civilian Production Administration in late 1945.

Dramatic Contributions

1943

More than 300,000 Mexican Americas joined the armed forces. About 1 million African Americans served in the military. They lived and worked in segregated units and were limited mostly to noncombat roles. More than 13,000 Chinese Americans also served in the army and 33,000 Japanese Americans put on uniforms. Lastly, 25,000 Native Americans enlisted in the armed services, including 800 women.

Office of Price Administration (OPA)

1943 - 1946

U.S. federal agency in World War II, established to prevent wartime inflation. The OPA issued (Apr., 1942) a general maximum-price regulation that made prices charged in Mar., 1942, the ceiling prices for most commodities. Ceilings were also imposed on residential rents. Fought inflation by freezing wage, prices and rents. Setting up a system for rationing. Using it on foods like meat, butter, cheese, vegetables, sugar and coffee.

President Harry Truman

1945 - 1953

was the 33rd President of the United States (1945–1953). The final running mate of President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1944, Truman succeeded to the presidency on April 12, 1945, when Roosevelt died after months of declining health. Under Truman, the U.S. successfully concluded World War II; in the aftermath of the conflict, tensions with the Soviet Union increased, marking the start of the Cold War.

WWII across the Nation

Ups and downs of the war.

World War II

1939 - 1945

Lasted for 6 years.

Hitler invades the Soviet Union

1941

U.S. enters WWII

December 1941

After Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor, the U.S. had enter the war.

U.S. raid Tokyo

1942

Was conducted as part of the air raids on Japan by the United States Army Air Forces during the Pacific campaigns of World War II. The U.S. mounted a small-scale raid on Tokyo in April 1942, with large effects on morale. Strategic bombing and urban area bombing began in 1944 after the long-range B-29 Superfortress bomber entered service, first deployed from China and thereafter the Mariana Islands. B-29 raids from those islands began on 17 November 1944 and lasted until 15 August 1945, the day Japan capitulated. The Operation Meetinghouse air raid of 9–10 March 1945 was later estimated to be the single most destructive bombing raid in history.

Battle of the Coral Sea

May 4, 1942 - May 8, 1942

Was a major naval battle in the Pacific Theater of World War II between the Imperial Japanese Navy and Allied naval and air forces from the United States and Australia. The battle was the first action in which aircraft carriers engaged each other, as well as the first in which neither side's ships sighted or fired directly upon the other.

Battle of Midway

June 4, 1942 - June 7, 1942

Was the most important naval battle of the Pacific Campaign of World War II. Between 4 and 7 June 1942, only six months after Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor, and one month after the Battle of the Coral Sea, the United States Navy decisively defeated an Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) attack against Midway Atoll, inflicting irreparable damage on the Japanese fleet. Military historian John Keegan called it "the most stunning and decisive blow in the history of naval warfare."

Allied Offensive: Guadalcanal or the "Island of Death"

August 7, 1942

On August 7, 1942, 8 months to the day after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, US Marines of the 1st Division landed on an obscure Pacific Island called Guadalcanal. It marked the first American offensive of WWII. The campaign to secure the island lasted six months, and for much of its course the balance teetered precariously from one side to the other. It included six major naval battles, daily aerial engagements and countless clashes on land. No campaign in either theater saw such sustained action by sea, land and air.

Battle of Cape Esperance

October 11, 1942 - October 12, 1942

Was a naval battle of the Pacific campaign of World War II between the Imperial Japanese Navy and United States Navy. The battle was the second of four major surface engagements during the Guadalcanal campaign and took place at the entrance to the strait between Savo Island and Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands.

Japan takes control of the Philippines

December, 1942 - 1945

Occurred between 1942 and 1945, when the Empire of Japan occupied the Commonwealth of the Philippines during World War II.

U.S. Strategy of "Island Hopping"

1943 - 1945

Was a military strategy employed by the Allies in the Pacific War against Japan and the Axis powers during World War II. The idea was to bypass heavily fortified Japanese positions and instead concentrate the limited Allied resources on strategically important islands that were not well defended but capable of supporting the drive to the main islands of Japan.

Battle of Leyte Gulf

October 23, 1944 - October 26, 1944

"Second Battle of the Philippine Sea", is generally considered to be the largest naval battle of World War II and possibly the largest naval battle in history. It was fought in waters near the Philippine islands of Leyte and Samar from 23–26 October 1944, between combined US and Australian forces and the Imperial Japanese Navy. On 20 October, United States troops invaded the island of Leyte as part of a strategy aimed at isolating Japan from the countries it had occupied in Southeast Asia, and in particular depriving its forces and industry of vital oil supplies. The IJN failed to achieve its objective, suffered very heavy losses, and never afterwards sailed to battle in comparable force. The majority of its surviving heavy ships, deprived of fuel, remained in their bases for the rest of the Pacific War. The Battle of Leyte Gulf consisted of four separate engagements between the opposing forces: the Battle of the Sibuyan Sea, the Battle of Surigao Strait, the Battle of Cape Engaño and the Battle off Samar, as well as other actions.

U.S. raid Toyko

1945

Was conducted as part of the air raids on Japan by the United States Army Air Forces during the Pacific campaigns of World War II. The U.S. mounted a small-scale raid on Tokyo in April 1942, with large effects on morale. Strategic bombing and urban area bombing began in 1944 after the long-range B-29 Superfortress bomber entered service, first deployed from China and thereafter the Mariana Islands. B-29 raids from those islands began on 17 November 1944 and lasted until 15 August 1945, the day Japan capitulated.The Operation Meetinghouse air raid of 9–10 March 1945 was later estimated to be the single most destructive bombing raid in history.

Yalta Conference

February 4, 1945 - February 11, 1945

Was the World War II meeting of the heads of government of the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union, represented by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and General Secretary Joseph Stalin, respectively, for the purpose of discussing Europe's post-war reorganization. The conference convened in the Livadia Palace near Yalta, in the Crimea.

Battle for the strategic Island of Iwo Jima

February 19,1945 - March 26, 1945

Was a major battle in which the United States Armed Forces fought for and captured the island of Iwo Jima from the Japanese Empire. The American invasion had the goal of capturing the entire island, including its three airfields, to provide a staging area for attacks on the Japanese main islands. This month-long battle included some of the fiercest and bloodiest fighting of the War in the Pacific of World War II.

Battle for Okinawa

April 1, 1945 - June 22, 1945

It was the largest amphibious landing in the Pacific theater of World War II. It also resulted in the largest casualties with over 100,000 Japanese casualties and 50,000 casualties for the Allies. This article gives an account of the 80 day plus battle for the Island of Okinawa which some have described as the "typhoon of steel".

Japanese Tactic "The Kamikaze"

May 11, 1945

Were suicide attacks by military aviators from the Empire of Japan against Allied naval vessels in the closing stages of the Pacific campaign of World War II, designed to destroy warships more effectively than was possible with conventional attacks. Numbers quoted vary, but at least 47 Allied vessels, from PT boats to escort carriers, were sunk by kamikaze attacks, and about 300 damaged. During World War II, nearly 4,000 kamikaze pilots were sacrificed. About 14% of kamikaze attacks managed to hit a ship.

Enola Gay

May 18, 1945 - July 24, 1946

Boeing B-29 Superfortress bomber, named for Enola Gay Tibbets, mother of the pilot, then-Colonel (later Brigadier General) Paul Tibbets. On 6 August 1945, during the final stages of World War II, it became the first aircraft to drop an atomic bomb on an enemy target in a war. The bomb, code-named "Little Boy", was targeted at the city of Hiroshima, Japan, and caused unprecedented destruction.

Hiroshima and Nagasaki

August 6, 1945 - August 9, 1945

Japan were conducted by the United States during the final stages of World War II in 1945. These two events represent the only use of nuclear weapons in war to date. Following a firebombing campaign that destroyed many Japanese cities, the Allies prepared for a costly invasion of Japan. The war in Europe ended when Nazi Germany signed its instrument of surrender on 8 May, but the Pacific War continued. Together with the United Kingdom and the Republic of China, the United States called for a surrender of Japan in the Potsdam Declaration on 26 July 1945, threatening Japan with "prompt and utter destruction". The Japanese government ignored this ultimatum, and the United States deployed two nuclear weapons developed by the Manhattan Project. American airmen dropped Little Boy on the city of Hiroshima on 6 August 1945, followed by Fat Man over Nagasaki on 9 August.

The Decision to use the Atomic Bomb

August 6, 1945

On 6 August 1945 the United States exploded an atomic bomb over Hiroshima and revealed to the world in one blinding flash the start of the atomic age. As the meaning of this explosion and the nature of the force unleashed became apparent, a chorus of voices rose in protest against the decision that opened the Pandora's box of atomic warfare. The decision to use the atomic bomb was made by President Truman. There was never any doubt of that and despite the rising tide of criticism Mr. Truman took full responsibility for his action. Only recently succeeded to the Presidency after the death of Roosevelt and beset by a multitude of problems of enormous significance for the postwar world, Mr. Truman leaned heavily on the advice of his senior and most trusted advisers on the question of the bomb. But the final decision was his and his alone. The justification for using the atomic bomb was that it ended the war, or at least ended it sooner and thereby saved countless American-and Japanese-lives.

Japan surrenders

September 2, 1945

Brought the hostilities of World War II to a close. By the end of July 1945, the Imperial Japanese Navy was incapable of conducting operations and an Allied invasion of Japan was imminent. While publicly stating their intent to fight on to the bitter end, the Empire of Japan's leaders, were privately making entreaties to the neutral Soviet Union to mediate peace on terms favorable to the Japanese. The Soviets, meanwhile, were preparing to attack the Japanese, in fulfillment of their promises to the United States and the United Kingdom made at the Tehran and Yalta Conferences.