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Chapter 27 - Chapter 27 The Second World War at Home and...

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Chapter 27: The Second World War at Home and Abroad 1941-1945 The United States at War o America’s embargo of shipments to Japan & refusal to accept Japan’s expansionist policies had brought 2 nations to brink of war, & US was deeply involved in an undeclared naval war w/Germany well before Japans attack on Pearl harbor o America’s entry into WWII was not a surprise A Nation Unprepared o 1930’s funding for military had been a low priority o Roosevelt’s 1941 survey of war preparedness, “Victory Plan” estimated that US could not be ready to fight before June 1943 War in the Pacific o Pacific, war was largely Americas fight o Under orders from Roosevelt, General Douglas MacArthur, commander of US forces in Far East, deported Philippines for safety of Australia, proclaiming, “I shall return” o Bataan Death March, Japanese force marched their captives to prison camps 80 miles away o Guards denied prisoners food & water, & bayoneted or beat to death those who fell behind o Doolittle raid did little harm to Japan, but it had an enormous psychological impact on Japanese leaders o Image of American bombers over Japan’s home islands pushed Japanese commander Yamamoto to bold action o Yamamoto concluded Japan must move quickly to lure weakened US into a “decisive battle”- target was midway o By using Philippines, & perhaps even Australia as hostages, Japan could dictate a negotiated peace w/US o MAGIC code breaking machines could decipher Japanese messages “Europe First” Strategy o Americas war strategy was “Europe First” o Germany was a greater threat to US than Japan o Believed that if Germany conquered Soviet Union, it might directly threaten US o US war plans called for US to work first w/Britain & USSR to defeat Germany, then to deal w/an isolated Japan o Stalin pressed for British & American troops to attack Germany from west, through France, to draw German troops away from Soviet front o Promised to open a “second front” to Germanys west before end of 1942 o Churchill blocked this plan o British military commanders did not want a large scale invasion of Europe o Churchill meant to halt Germans in North Africa & so protect British imperial possessions in Mediterranean & oil rich middle east o German advances had been stalled & like Japan from this point on Germany was on defensive The Production Front & American Workers o Franklin Roosevelt pledged that America would serve as worlds “great arsenal of democracy” making machines that would win war for allies o For duration of war, military production took precedence over manufacture of civilian goods o War Production Board had enormous task of allocating resources & coordinating production among thousands of independent factories Businesses, universities, & War Effort o American businesses overwhelmingly cooperated w/gov’t war production plans o Patriotism & generous incentives were reasons o Federal gov’t paid for expensive retooling & factory expansions; guaranteed profits to industry by allowing
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