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World War II: 1939 - 1945
WWII was the defining event for Contemporary America. Tom Brokaw, a famous broadcaster for NBC, has labeled the WWII generation the "Greatest Generation of Americans". Many historians look back at WWII as a turning point in the history of the modern world. Nazism, Fascism, and Totalitarianism were defeated by the forces of democracy, capitalism, and yes - communism. The world was confronted by the forces of Tojo and Hitler. By the Spring of 1944 the axis forces occupied 95% of Europe and 95% of the East Asian coastline. The goal of the axis forces was quite clear - global domination: Nazi's in the West & the Japanese Empire in the
The war for the United States began with the "day of infamy", December 7, 1941 - the Japanese surprise attack on the US Pacific fleet stationed in Pearl Harbor. The US fleet was sent to Pearl Harbor early in 1941 to deter aggressive actions by the Japanese in the Pacific theater of operations. The commander of the Japanese fleet, Admiral Yamamoto believed that the US could be intimidated and coerced to stay on the sidelines if a decisive blow was dealt to the US Pacific fleet. On Sunday, December 7, 1941 the Japanese "awoke a sleeping giant". The US fleet was decimated, but not destroyed. On that fateful morning the US Pacific carrier fleet was not in Pearl Harbor. The fleet was north of Pearl Harbor conducting training exercises. If it were not for the timing of that exercise the door to the West Coast of the United States would have been open to the Japanese Imperial fleet and Army.
The next step for the United States and its Allies was to concentrate on the evolution of the American War Machine. The United States converted its massive Industrial complex to an invincible national military machine. However, the Allies had to determine a course of action. First step - take out the Nazi's in Europe, then move on to the destruction of the Japanese Empire in the Pacific. However, the United States did not ignore the Japanese threat. Rather, the US opened up a two front War. The first step for the Allies in the war against Nazi Germany was to open up a second front in the European theater of Operations to ease the intensifying pressure on the Russians. The Allies opened the second front in North Africa with Operation Torch.
In the Pacific, the US Navy and Marines began an Island hopping campaign. Since the fall of the Philippines in late 1941 the US had determined that a full assault on the main body of the Japanese Imperial Army would be extremely costly in terms of US casualties. From his base in Australia General MacArthur began to direct his "Island Hopping" campaign in conjunction with the US Navy & Admiral Nimitz. The goal of this campaign was quite straightforward - seize Island outposts in the Pacific that possessed key strategic Airfields. These advance airfields would allow the US Army Air Force to bring the Japanese war machine to a screeching halt via strategic bombing. The stage was set for a battle of epic proportions - the outcome of which would forever change the evolution of the modern world.
The United States war effort was centered around the Industrial power of the American economy. The US implemented an aggressive "war-time" economy. The US government mobilized every facet of the American economy and society to defeat the forces of the Third Reich and Imperial Japan. One of the keys to this effort was the US "War Bond" program and American propaganda. Combined with the US military, the citizens of the United States committed their will and soul to victory in World War II. This web-site is designed to provide a comprehensive overview of the key battles and military campaings of World War II.