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Americans in World War II
Bell Work
•  Read page 465.
•  How were the Atlantic and the Gulf Coasts
•  What did the Germans start to do?
•  How did the U.S. respond?
War in the Pacific
• The Philippines were the major area of conflict
between U.S. and Japan in early years of war
• General Douglas McArthur: Commander of
U.S. and Fillipino troops in the Philippines.
• Lost the island to Japanese after retreating to
the Bataan Peninsula.
• Bataan Death March: U.S. and Filipino soldiers
who surrendered were forced to march through
terrible conditions where up to 10,000 died.
• Battle of Midway: Japan wanted to crush the
U.S. fleet in June of 1942 near the island of
Midway. The U.S. won even though they were
Victory in Europe
•  By 1942 U.S. help had started to
make a difference in Europe. The
Allies decided to attack in North
•  General Dwight D. Eisenhower –
U.S. General in charge of Allied
forces in Africa. After several hard
fought battles in Algeria and
Tunisia Axis powers in Africa
surrendered in May of 1943.
•  Invading Italy –General George
Patton led Allied troop invasion of
• Allies captured Rome in June of
1944 making it the first Axis capital
to fall. Mussolini shot in 1945.
The Atlantic
•  The German U-Boats had still been
sinking many ships.
•  Sonar – Used sound waves to find
underwater targets. Greatly helped Allies
defeat the Germans in the Atlantic.
•  D-Day – June 6, 1944, some 150,000
Allied soldiers landed at Normandy in
•  Heavy casualties by the Allies and slow
going but eventually were able to penetrate
•  2 Million troops had landed by September
and they took Paris in August 1944.
 As Allied troops entered Germany in 1944, came in contact
with German Concentration Camps, part of Hitler’s “Final
Solution” to eliminate the Jews.
• The Battle of the Bulge was Germany’s last attempt at an
offensive. U.S. held and eventually Germans were forced
•  Race to Berlin – Allied troops pushed toward Berlin in 1945.
Overwhelmed, Hitler committed suicide on April 7th and
Germany surrendered on May 7th 1945(V-E Day)
Victory in the Pacific
•  Air and Sea power became the key to
victory in the Pacific. Utilized technique of
• Philippines –The Allies began the attack on
the Philippines in June 1943.
•  The Battle of Leyte Gulf – The Japanese
counter-attacked the Allies at Leyte. The
Allies sank 4 aircraft carriers and several
other ships. After this the Japanese Navy no
longer threatened the Allies.
• Allies had several airstrips to launch attacks
on Japan from. Air-strikes were carried out
against several major cities in Japan to
decrease the peoples morale. Tokyo was
heavily fire-bombed to weaken spirits.
(Military refused to surrender)
•  Iwo Jima – In February 1945
U.S. Marines attacked the island
of Iwo Jima. They met strong
resistance. The battle lasted 6
weeks, 20,000 Japanese died as
well as several thousand
•  Okinawa – April 1945, largest
Allied landing of war. Japan
had to fight to keep Tokyo out
of range of artillery. Launched
a counter-attack using mostly
The Atomic Bomb
Manhattan Project – Top Secret U.S.
program in 1942 to build the first
Atomic Weapon.
Dr. Robert Oppenheimer and his
team worked at Los Alamos, NM.
They successfully tested their bomb
in Alamogordo, NM on July 16,
1945. President Truman met with
Allied leaders the next day.
On August 6th, the bomber Enola
Gay dropped the first Atomic Bomb
on Hiroshima killing 75,000 people.
3 days later another was dropped
on Nagasaki killing 80,000. Japan
surrendered the next day. Officially
the war ended on Sep. 2, 1945
aboard the USS Missouri.
Japanese American Relocation
•  Internment – forced relocation and imprisonment.
•  In 1942 Japanese Americans who lived on the
west coast were ordered to detention camps.
•  Issei – Japanese Americans who had been born
in Japan and were not U.S. citizens.
•  Nissei – Japanese Americans born in U.S. and
were citizens.
•  Hawaii’s population was too large to intern so
Martial Law was used until the end of the war.
•  Many of these people remained imprisoned until
•  Office of Price Administration: Set maximum
prices on consumer goods and later started
rationing scarce resources.
•  Rationing: Limiting the amount of a certain
product to conserve for the war effort.
•  Ration Items:
1. Gas
2. Tires
3. Coffee
4. Sugar
5. Meat
•  Selective Training and Service Act:
Provided for the first peace time draft in
the U.S. history. (Men ages 18 to 45)
Axis Powers 2 big advantages:
1.  Germany and Japan had firm control of the areas
they invaded.
2.  Germany and Japan were better prepared for war.
The Allies 2 hopes:
1. Great production from the USA
2. Huge Soviet military.
•  U.S. Production: Before the war, the U.S. government
employed 22,000 workers.
•  Three years later there were 486,000 workers.
•  Production shifted from cars to tanks, airplanes, and ships.
•  War Production Board: Created in Jan. 1942 to maximize
wartime production. Worried about shifting all materials to war
The Home Front
•  Office of War Information controlled the flow of war news at home.
•  Most Americans supported U.S. involvement in WWII. People put stars in their windows for
family that served or died in the
•  Victory Gardens – people grew vegetables in their backyards to help conserve goods for the
war effort.
Women during the War
•  Rosie the Riveter – A symbol for patriotic female workers during the war effort.
•  From 1940 to 1944 the number of women in the workforce increased by 6 million.
•  Women were still paid less for the same work.
•  African American women and women over 40 still had a hard time finding work.
Discrimination During the War
African Americans during the War
•  The war provided both more discrimination and
better opportunities.
•  Many African Americans moved to the cities for
better paying jobs.
•  A. Philip Randolph – planned a march on
Washington D.C. to protest treatment of black
•  FDR met with Randolph and told him he would
out-law racial discrimination in defense plants and
government offices.
•  Hate-Strikes – some white workers staged
these strikes to keep black workers out of high
paying factory jobs.