History of America-   United States  Participation In World War II – 2

Far East and US

It is the events in the pacific and Asia, which brought in USA completely into the war. By 1940, Germany conquered France and Netherland and Britain was busy protecting itself. So in June 1941, Germany invaded soviet Russia, which the Japan took advantage and started invading many Chinese islands. US opposed these advances of Japan. Therefore, on July 1941, US denied Japan the right to buy weapons from them. In fact, US started sending supplies to China to fight Japan. Thus, it resulted in a conflict between US and Japan. Even diplomatic talks between the US and Japan failed. Soon, Japan launched a full scale attack on USA’s Pearl Harbour, which was catastrophic. In turn, US declared war on Japan immediately. Three days later, all the axis countries declared war on US.

US at war and early Japanese victories

At beginning, Japan won many victories and captured many American outposts, conquered Hong Kong, controlled the kingdom of Thailand, Manila and the capital of Philippines was also captured by them. The Americans even tried to defend the island of Corregidor but ultimately failed.

Axis victories in Europe and Africa

At the same time , the axis has been winning and capturing many areas of Europe and Africa like In 1941, the British were pushed back to the borders of Egypt, Greece and Yugoslavia were also captured by Nazis and the Crete Island was captured from the British through air attack in May 1941. In late 1941, Germany attacked and captured large areas of Russia. This greatly upset the US. There was a dilemma that whether the US would now strike against Germany or Japan. But US was particularly more angry on Japan as it had attacked them heavily before. But, Germany was too dangerous to be ignored. Therefore, US waged war on Japan while putting pressure on Germany.

US and Britain collaborated and set up an organization called the Combined Chiefs of Staffs which ran the war. The organization decided that the forces should seize the French North African colonies to gain control of the Mediterranean and push Italy out of the war. In November 1942, the British-American army attacked the Germans and Italians in North Africa while Rommel was retreating from Egypt and as a result, the Axis army surrendered in May 1943. Soon, an assault on Sicily resulted in its capture by September. These events lead to the fall of Mussolini in Italy. Following these events, German threat was ended in the Middle East and Allies got controls over the Mediterranean.

In the meantime, Russia won a victory in Stalingrad and demanded the opening of second front/battle in Europe. Till that, the allies bombed the German cities constantly though it didn’t help them anyway.

The Battle of France

On June 6th 1944, an Anglo-American force consisting of over 2million American troops landed on the Normandy coast to push the Germans out of France. This attack was being prepared for over two years. Paris soon got the freedom and by September, allies had reached the German border. By November, France was Nazi free and formed its own government under General Charles De Gaulle.

Factor responsible for this victory of the Allies:

  1. Complete Air superiority of the Allies over Northern France.
  2. Pressure on Germans from the Russian army.
  3. Technical devices used. For example: Artificial Harbours.
  4. Co-operation between US and Britain.