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Unformatted text preview: The American Military in W.W. II I. On the defensive in the Pacific 1. Germany First • Germany declared war on us after we declared war on Japan. This got us into two different wars. The question of: which theatre of war should we focus on? Was left up to the government • Why did we attack Germany first? (1) We are more concerned that White Anglo Saxon Europe is being threatened by Germany. (2) We also had a strong connection to Brittan (3) Hitler was a mad man 2. The Philippines and Bataan • Doesn’t mean we won’t fight early in the war in the pacific. We have military presence and territory in the Philippines. • Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and then troops in the Philippines. • The military tells the commander, Douglas MacArthur, in the Philippines that he must fight with what he has for now. He decides to pool his troops on the peninsula of Bataan to defend themselves. The Japanese are going to be able to get the U.S. and Pilipino troops out of there, but it takes them 5 months. Japan thought it would take America a year to mobilize and during that time they would take over the pacific. • MacArthur was pulled out but left the famous quote with I shall return. 43,000 U.S. and Pilipino troops surrender 3. The “Death March” (April 1942) • These troops were going to have to go 100 miles to the prison camp with no food, water, or medical treatment. They walked in a High Temperature environment. Japanese cut heads off when people stopped. Many would carry men on their backs. Some 10,000 died in this march which was more than died in the 5 months at Bataan • The death march had a huge cultural impact on this war that American soldiers don’t take prisoners. Japanese fought from then on so that they wouldn’t be taken prisoner. • Death march also played a role in the decision to put Japanese in the internment camps 4. Doolittle Raid (April 1942) • Out of anger of the the death march, the military planed the Doolittle raid to get revenge and give encourage to boost morale in America • This raid consisted of bombing Tokyo, but at this time we didn’t have a base close enough to bomb Tokyo to get the planes there and back without protecting them. The army put the word out to find crews that could get their plane off the ground in a certain distance. All across the country, the flight crews are trying. They found 16 crews that could do it about 50% of the time. The military should have said no but decided to give the pilots the option. Decided to leave it up to a vote, and all 16 crews decided to do it. Going to Japan with no escort, bomb, no gas to return, so they must land in china. All landing strips on coast are controlled by Japan so they must crash land....
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This note was uploaded on 09/09/2009 for the course HY 204 taught by Professor Wormer during the Spring '08 term at Alabama.
- Spring '08