History of America-   United States  Participation In World War II – 3

The Battle of Bulge

In December 1944, Germans launched an attack in the Ardennes to split the allied forces into two by going through the channel once more. Due to this attack, the allies were almost pushed to the sea but regained control by January 1945.

The Battle of Germany

Russia had launched a massive attack from the east with five huge armies and almost went into Germany and were only miles away from its capital. The Allied army attack from the west and later joined the Russians at the Elbe. Due to pressure from both sides, on April 1945, Hitler committed suicide and the German forces surrendered. Conditions of surrender was signed at Reims on May 7th and the war with Germany officially ended on May 8th 1945.

The war in the Pacific

As previously noted, the war in the Pacific started after the Japanese attacked on Pearl Harbour on December 7th 1941. After that, the Japanese won many victories and controlled huge parts of Asia and even captured many American outposts in Asia.

The only aim of allies was to find the future moves of Japan, recover the lost territories and to take the war to Japan itself and make her surrender.

The first resistance against Japanese moves was made in summer of 1942 at the battle of Corral Sea, were both naval forces suffered heavy loss but this decreased the Japanese threat to Australia. In June 1942, at the battle of Midway, America won and this resulted in the freedom of Midway Island and Hawaii from Japan. In August 1942, the American forces landed on Solomon Islands to reach Tokyo which followed a struggle of 6months, in which air, ground and sea battles were fought and at the end Japanese stopped the resistance in 1943. Mixed Australian and American forces, pushed Japanese out of Buna and Goma in Papua, which cleared the way for the Allies to advance towards Japan.

By 1943, US had gained the advantage in the Pacific and Japan now had to defend itself. Now the US, changed its strategy to use their Combat supremacy to destroy and capture the Japanese bases instead of just seizing the islands. By mid-1944, the Islands of Saipan in Marianas and Guam was captured and used as bases for bombing Japan by the US. Between March and June of 1945, the Islands of Iowa Jima and Okinawa was captured and was a great advantage for the US to Bomb the Mainland Japan.

The surrender of Japan

By mid-1945, Germany had been defeated and huge pressure was put on Japan. US knew that there would be heavy casualty if a direct war was fought. So the British and American scientists discovered the atomic bomb and threatened Japan to either surrender or face destruction. Japan refused to surrender, which resulted in the atomic bombing of the city of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6th and 9th, 1945 which forced Japan to surrender as per the terms of US and it was signed on September 2, 1945.

The Impact of World War II

World War II was one of the biggest causes for the large loss of human lives in the history of USA since the Civil war in 1860’s. In World War II, US lost nearly 3, 93,000 lives which was three times the total loss of World War I.

In terms of financial damage, it was difficult to calculate. From 1941-45, US spent nearly $281.50 billion on war. The national debt of US rose from $49 billion to $258.70 billion, which forced the income tax to impose heavy taxes on its people to meet its war expenses. People were also encouraged to invest in bonds, sometimes by regular pay roll deductions.

Major impact of the war is that the US became as one of the major two powers in the world. Before the war, 7 great powers in the world existed- Germany, Italy, France, England, Japan, USSR and USA. The war resulted in Germany, Italy and Japan being crushed, while France and Britain were weakened due to their heavy damage in war. As US was not harmed by any physical destruction as the entire war was fought outside the country and even the American economy was not that bad. The soviets emerged as another great power, but still it faced few damaged during the war. Due to this advantage of the US as the only great nation in the entire world, she took the responsibility to use her strength to repair the damages done by the war to the rest of the world.