VI. Holding the Home Front
America was the only country to emerge after the war relatively unscathed, and in fact, it was much
better off after the war than before.
The gross national product more than doubled, as did corporate profits.
In fact, when the war ended and price controls were lifted, inflation shot up.
Despite all of the New Deal programs, it was the plethora of spending during WWII that lifted
America from its Great Depression.
The wartime bill amounted to more than $330 billion—more than the combined costs of all the
previous American wars together.
While income tax was expanded to make four times as many people pay as before, most of the
payments were borrowed, making the national debt soar from $49 billion to $259 billion (the war had
cost as much as $10 million per hour at one point).
VII. The Rising Sun in the Pacific
The Japanese overran the lands that they descended upon, winning more land with less losses
than ever before and conquering Guam, Wake, the Philippines, Hong Kong, British Malaya, Burma (in the
process cutting the famed Burma Road), the Dutch East Indies, and even pushing into China.
When the Japanese took over the Philippines, U.S.
Gen. Douglas MacArthur
had to sneak out of
the place, but he vowed to return to liberate the islands; he went to Australia.
After the fighters in the Philippines surrendered, they were forced to make the infamous 85-mile
Bataan death march.
On May 6, 1942, the island fortress of Corregidor, in Manila Harbor, surrendered.
VIII. Japan’s High Tide at Midway
The Japanese onrush was finally checked in the Coral Sea by American and Australian forces in
the world’s 1st naval battle where the ships never saw one another (they fought with aircraft via carriers).
And, when the Japanese tried to seize
, they were forced back by U.S.
Adm. Chester W.
during fierce fighting from June 3-6, 1942.
Midway proved to be the turning point that stopped Japanese expansion.
Admiral Raymond A. Spruance also helped maneuver the fleet to win, and this victory marked the
turning point in the war in the Pacific.
No longer would the Japanese take any more land, as the U.S. began a process called “
,” where the Allies would bypass heavily fortified islands, take over neighboring islands, and
starve the resistant forces to death with lack of supplies and constant bombing saturation, to push back
Also, the Japanese had taken over some islands in the Alaskan chain, the Aleutians.
IX. American Leapfrogging Toward Tokyo
Americans won at Guadalcanal in August 1942 and then got New Guinea by August 1944.