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									1940’s Notes WWII
The Greatest Generation
     The War in Europe in 1940

• Hitler’s “Blitzkrieg unleashed:
  > April 1940:
     * Denmark and Norway fall in 1

 > June 1940:
    * Hitler attacks and defeats
     the Netherlands, Belgium,
     and Luxembourg.
       > Hitler now turns to
     > Attacks from
 the North, avoiding
     the Maginot Line.
     > France fell by
     end of June
      - Nazi’s defeat
 British and French
          * 1/3 of
 million soldiers
> Hitler takes Paris:
    - Installs Vichey Government.
> Only England stands in
Hitler’s way.
         WWII in the Pacific

• Japan signs treaty with Germany and
  > Japanese gain confidence
  > Have control over Asia
  > can create Greater East Asia Co-
  Prosperity Sphere
• Japanese go after Burma Road
  > object is to cut off Allied supply route.
  > it also opens door:
     - to taking China
     - Indochina (Vietnam)
     - East Indies
• The U.S. responds by:
  > placing an embargo on Japanese
  > Freezes Japanese assets in U.S.
> U.S. and Japan begin talks about
  - U.S. aid to Chaing Kai Shek
  - Japanese withdraw from China
       U.S. Prepares for WWII

• FDR and Churchill (GR. BR.) meet to
  discuss Europe.
  > Create the Atlantic Charter:
     - no territorial gains
     - self determination to be protected
     - creation of a new permanent
     system of security.
  > Institutes Cash and
     Carry to aid British
• At Home:
  > FDR gets Congress to approve the
  first peacetime draft. (conscription)
  > Asks for funds to:
      - increase the size of the navy
      - motorize the army
      - build more planes
           Battle of Britain

• Hitler decides to attack Britain.
  (Operation Sea Lion)
  > German Luftwaffe (air force) begins
  its attacks on Britain.
      - aim is to knock out the
      - Bombing is around the
  > The German Navy would
  surround the British Isle
  > Germany would then invade from
• Churchill vows to fight to the death!
• FDR fearing the British would
would fall, begins Lend-Lease
Program for Britain.
• The Battle of Britain ends when Hitler
  is held off.
• This is because the British had
  > ULTRA: machine to break German
       > Radar: allowed British to
       track incoming German
       The Election of 1940

• The Republicans nominate Wendell

• The Democrats
  renominate FDR.
• Both Candidates:
  > support aiding the nations fighting
  the Axis powers.
  > Vow not to send troops to fight a
  foreign war.
• FDR states that the U.S. needs to
  become an “Arsenal for Democracy”
• Wilkie attacks Roosevelt for seeking a
  third term!
• FDR is able to win the
• FDR becomes the first and only man to
  win the Presidency three times and
  they are consecutive!
          WWII Heats UP!

• June 1941, Germany breaks treaty
  with Russians.
  > Operation “Barbarossa” begins
• Russian troops overwhelmed, they pull
  back (retreat)
  > used “Scorched Earth” policy to
  protect homeland.
• FDR extends Lend-Lease to the
• U.S. and Japan begin talks in
  November 1940.
  > concern of Japanese Asian conquests
  >Talks collapse between the two
• Japanese are being watched carefully
  for any signs of war!
        Attack on Pearl Harbor

• Japanese Admiral Yamamoto is given
  task of planning attack.
• American Military puts Pacific on alert.
  > 30 day of drills.
  > Believe attack will come on Guam or
• U.S. and Japanese talks held in
  November and early December 1941
  end with no results.
• Japanese attack Pearl on December 7
• All U.S. ships were either sunk or hit in
  the Harbor.
  > Only the aircraft carriers were
  > Most remembered U.S.S. Arizona
      - 2400 died
• FDR calls an emergency meeting of
  Congress on Dec. 8, 1941
  > “A day that will live in infamy”
• Congress votes to go to war with
• On December 11th, Germany and Italy
  declare war on U.S.
  > U.S. responds with declaration of
  war after Germany and Italy declare.
     The Main Players in WWII

• Axis Powers:
             > Germany:

       <Italy: Mussolini

                > Japan: Tojo
• Allied Powers:
                   > U.S.: FDR

               <Great Britain

               > USSR: Stalin

               < France: DeGualle
 Converting From Peacetime to Wartime

• Americans rushed to enlist after the
  attack at Pearl Harbor. (5 Million)
• The Selective Service Board uses draft
  to bolster the size of the military.
  > men ages 20-44 are drafted
• War Production Board was
  > were to oversee all war time

• Americans begin to ration
   to conserve items needed
   for the war effort.
  > coupon books were issued
> Items such as food, clothing,
gasoline, metal, rubber, and more
were rationed.
    Factories convert to Wartime

• Many factories changed to making war
  needed items.
• War brought full employment to the
• Women took on jobs once
  thought to be for men only!
• By:
  > 1942, U.S. production was equal to
  the Axis powers
  > 1944, U.S. productions was 2X that
  of the Axis powers.
  > Why? No attacks on U.S. soil during
  the war years.
             U.S. Military

• Majority of U.S. servicemen were made
  up of white males, but minorities
  played an important role.
• Women: volunteered to fill non-combat
  > Army Air Corps.:
  served as test pilots
  ferried planes to bases.
> WAC’s: U.S. Army
> WAVE’s: U.S. Navy
> SPAR’s: U.S. Coast
• Other Minorities served with honor in
  > African Americans:
    - over 1 million served
    - were kept in
       segregated units.
    - Famous African Americans from
* Dorie Miller: credited
  withshooting down 4
  planes during Pearl attack

      * Tuskegee Airmen

     * Dr. Charles Drew:
      developed the use
      of Blood Plasma
> Hispanic Americans:
   - almost ½ a million served
   in both Europe and the Pacific.
> Japanese and Chinese Americans
   also served in WWII:
   - Nisei Battalion:
     sent to fight in
> Native Americans: many different
tribes took part in the war.
   - One of the best known is
   the Navajo Code Talkers
    Racial Tension During WWII

• A. Philip Randolph organizes march on

 > protesting wartime hiring practices
 > FDR issue Executive Order outlawing
 discrimination in government or defense
• Race Riots hit many American cities
  during WWII:
  > Detroit was the site of one of the

• Japanese Americans were removed
  from the West Coast:
> fear that they were spy’s
 > Internment Camps in remote parts
    of U.S.
• German and Italian Immigrants:
  > Those without citizenship treated as
  aliens of an enemy nationality.
  > Could not travel without permission
  > Could not have:
     - guns, maps, or short wave radios
     - kept out of restricted areas
  > FDR eases restrictions on the Italians
  as the 1942 elections get closer.
• Zoot Suit Riots: Young
Hispanic males are targeted by service-
men and attacked.
  > Los Angeles passes law banning the
  wearing of the clothing.
  > many young Hispanics arrested
         > Servicemen were
         held on base.
          Paying for the War

• 41% of Taxes collected went to pay for
  the needs of war.
• Other means are used to get money:
  > War Bonds are sold!
• Rally’s and stars are used to sell
          European War First

• The “Big Three” decide to concentrate
  on liberating Europe first!
• Early years the Axis nations are in
• The tide turns for the Allies in 1942.
• Late 1942, the Allies win the Battle of
  the Atlantic.
  - U-boats sunk with
  the use of sonar.
• The Allies decide to attack Africa.
  - cut off German supply lines
  - Germans are led by General
  Erwin Rommel.
     * Afrika Corp
     * Great Panzer commander
     * enjoyed a lot of
     success in Africa.
• Allies start “Operation Torch”
• Rommel pushed his way to the Suez
  Canal and more oil fields.
• Gen. Eisenhower (Supreme Allied
  - sends a combined force
  to stop Rommel.
• At the Battle of El Alamein the
  Germans are defeated.
  - the Allied forces were led by Gen.
  Bernard Montgomery (BR)
  - Gen. George Patton
  combined forces with the
  British and drove Rommel to
  the sea in Tunisa.
• Rommel was rescued so
  as not to be captured!
• The Battle of Stalingrad:
  - After a 6 month siege, the Russians
  began to defeat the Germans.
  - This was Stalin’s center
  of industrialization.
  - The fighting turned into
  hand to hand combat!
• After victory in Africa, the Allies decide
  to take Italy.
  - Europe’s “Soft Underbelly”
  - Churchill and FDR decide
  to attack through the islands
• July 1943, the Allies land forces on
  - German and Italian troops flee to
• Allies move onto the Italian peninsula:
  - Italy sends out peace feelers
• Mussolini tried to flee Italy.
  - He was caught and killed by his own
• Hitler sent in German troops to bolster
  the Italian army.
  - it was unsuccessful
• Italy signs an armistice with the Allies
  in 1943
  - They are the first Axis nation to pull
  out of WWII.
         The Invasion of France

• Stalin had been calling for a long time for a
  second front in Europe.
• Allied Command plans attack after successes
  in Africa and Italy.
  - Gen Dwight D. Eisenhower
  is the Allied Supreme
• Allies has begun saturation
  bombing on mainland earlier in 1941.
• Once the U.S. enters pinpoint bombing
  of Germany begins.
  - Concentrate on war an transportation
• Germany’s response was to send flying
  bombs (V1 and V2 rockets) at GR. Br.
• Code name for the Allied Invasion was
  - The Allies will land on beaches of
  - The German’s thought the attack
  would come from Calais.
     * Led by Gen. Patton.
• On June 6, 1944: The
  invasion begins.
     * 600 Warships
     * 4,000 landing craft
     * 11,000 Paratroopers sent behind
     the lines.
• Hitler did not send German
  reinforcements, this wasn’t the real
• Within a week the Allies would land
  - 326,000 men, 50,000 vehicles, and
  100,000 tons of supplies.
• Paris is liberated within 6 weeks of the
  - Aided by the Free French Resistance
  - Gen. Patton’s troops moving quickly
  against the Germans.
• Within days of Paris liberation, Belgium
  is freed from German control.
• General Hale attacks Germany through
  the Siegfried Line.
• The Battle of the Bulge:
  - The Germans last ditch attempt to
  save Germany
  - Fought in the Ardennes Forest in
  - Allies were moving faster than their
  supplies could keep up with.
  - Gen. MacAulliffe is asked to
      * He replied “Nuts”
  -Patton raced his troops to save the
  Allied troops at the Bulge.
  - Hitler lost over 200,000
  men and 600 tanks trying
  to win this battle.
• While the U.S. and Gr. Br. are pushing
  into Germany, the Russians are
  winning in the east.
          War in the Pacific

• After Pearl Harbor, the Japanese took
  over other areas in the Pacific.
• General Douglas MacArthur
   was driven out of the
  -Bataan Death March: 76,000 POW’s
  were marched by the Japanese to a
  work camp.
     * 10,000 died on the march.
• By 1942, the Allies were pushed all
  the way back to Australia and New
  - The Pacific was to be a Holding
  Action until Europe was liberated!
• 1942, U.S. gets a big victory at the
  Battle of the Coral Sea.
  - The two fleets battled without seeing
  each other.
• Doolittle's Raid: Colonel Doolittle led a
  raid on Tokyo.
  - It was aircraft carrier based. (a first)
  - The pilots crashed in China.
  - While little damage was done, the
  raid humiliated the Japanese military.
• The next U.S. success
  was at the Battle of
  - Using a code breaking machine
  “Magic”, the U.S. was able to know of
  the Japanese plans for the island.
  - With the loss of the Island,
  the Japanese plans for other
  action is abandoned.
• The Allies decide to adopt the strategy
  of Island Hopping
• The Allied Victories continued to mount!
• Battle of Leyte Gulf:
  - It was the largest naval battle in world
  - The U.S. wiped out the Japanese fleet.
  - It allowed MacArthur to
  keep his vow to return to
  liberatethe Philippines.
• In China, the Nationalists and
  Communists united to fight the
  - Chaing Kai Shek
  - Mao Tse Tung
  - Japanese lost
  many men trying to keep control
• With growing victories, the Allies
  began to think of Japan.
          The Election of 1944

• FDR decides to run for a fourth term in
  the White House.
  - FDR is showing the strain of
  the office.
  - The Democrats unanimously
  - But the nominee for Vice President is
  very important!
     * FDR chooses a new man for the job.
 - Senator Harry Truman is
  chosen to run with FDR.
• The Republicans have a battle between
  two candidates:
  - Wendell Wilke
  - Thomas E. Dewey
  - Dewey took the nomination at the
  Republican convention.
• FDR won a decisive victory in the
  election of 1944!
           Yalta Conference

• The Big Three had met on several
  occasions to discuss the strategies of
  the war.
• The Yalta Conference
  would be the last
  attended by FDR.
• They agree:
  - German surrender
  must be unconditional!
- Germany will be divided
 into 4 zones of occupation.
   * Which includes the capital of
- Germany will pay huge war
   * USSR wanted ½ of the money
• Stalin also wanted:
  - territory in Asia
• In return, Stalin pledged:
  - to declare war on Japan after Hitler’s
  - Will join a new peace organization
  - not to interfere with free elections in
  Eastern Europe after WWII.
      The End of Nazi Germany

• By March of 1945, the Allies are ready
  to enter Berlin.
• Eisenhower must chose who will get to
  take the city first!
  - Russians
  - Great Britain
  - United States
• But before it can happen FDR dies.
  -April 1945.
 - Blood vessel in FDR’s brain burst.
  - Died in Warm Springs, Georgia.
• Truman takes office as President
• 13 days later, April 25, 1945: Russian
  and U.S. troops meet in Berlin
  - Hitler is dead
  - Fighting is house to house.
• May 8,1945: VE Day: Germany
  surrenders unconditionally!
         The Pacific Theater

• Despite the loses, the Japanese put up
  great resistance.
• Two Battles show how hard the
  Japanese will fight to protect their
• Battle of Iwo Jima:
  - Best remembered
  for the flag raising at
  Mt. Suribachi.
- 5,000 Americans died trying to take
  this island.
- 1000’s of Japanese either
   fought or committed
   suicide rather than give
• Now the Japanese introduce the
  - means “Divine Wind”
  - Men volunteered to fly suicide
  missions to sink Allied ships.
• The Battle of Okinawa convinced U.S.
  leaders that taking Japan would be very
- It was the last major battle in the
  -It was also one of the bloodiest:
     * 12,000 Americans
             * 110,000
        The Manhattan Project

• In 1941, FDR created the
the Office of Scientific
Research and Development.
• 1938, Fermi, Einstein, and
Szilard alert FDR to
Germany’s work on
Atomic fission.
• 37 different sites were used to develop
  the Atomic Bomb.
  - Only a few top officials knew of the
• Upon FDR’s death, Truman was told of
  the project.
• July 1945, the U.S. detonates the first
  atomic bomb. (New Mexico)
        Potsdam Conference
• Final meeting between the main Allied
  - Churchill
  - Stalin
  - Truman
• All agree that
  Germany be demilitarized after the war
• Stalin wants $10 billion from Germany
  - The others think its too much.
• Truman lets Stalin know that the U.S.
  has a new destructive weapon.
  - Stalin does not react to the
  news, if you got it use it!
           Using the Bomb

• Truman is advised that attacking the
  Japanese mainland will cost many
• Truman decides to offer the Japanese
  the chance to surrender:
  - A warning is issued, a weapon of
  mass destruction will be used unless
  there is a surrender.
     * no response
• Truman issues a 2nd warning.
  - Still no response.
• August 6, 1945: A B-52 called the
  Enola Gay drops an atomic bomb,
  called “Little Boy” on Hiroshima.
- The blast leveled 4 square blocks of
  the city
  - 75,000 died instantly
  - 20 American POW’s were killed
  - Still the Japanese did not respond!
• Aug. 8, 1945: the Russians declare war
  on Japan.
• On Aug. 9, 1945: A 2nd bomb is
   dropped on the city of Nagasaki.
   - The bomb is called “The
   Fat Man”
   - 60,000 are killed
         Japanese Surrender

• August 14, 1945, (VJ day): Japanese
  announce surrender.
• Formal surrender took place aboard
  the U.S.S. Missouri.
  - Gen. Douglas MacArthur accepted for
  the U.S.
             The Holocaust

• Genocide: The extermination of a
  group of people for no reason other
  than race, religious, or ethnic reasons.
• Henrich Himmler: head of the Nazi SS
  was given the job to round up the
  European Jews.
  - He was also to round up
  those who were not wanted
  by the 3rd Reich.
• Ghetto’s, ethnic neighborhoods, were
  established to hold the undesirables.
• Soon Hitler ordered the death’s of
  these people.
  - This included the rounding up and
  execution of these peoples.
  - This became a very expensive
• Hitler wanted a “Final Solution”
• Adolph Eichman was given the job of
  developing the “Final Solution”
  - 6 Death camps were established:
     * Auschwitz was one of the best
  - Gas chambers were used to kill large
  groups of Jews at one time.
  - The dead were then taken to furnaces
  and their bodies were burned.
• At the end of WWII, many camps were

• Eisenhower ordered that photo records
  be made so that what had happened
  would not be forgotten!
             War Trials

• War trials were held to punish Axis
  leaders for their crimes against
• At Nuremburg: Nazi leaders were put
  on trial for their crimes.
  > 12 Nazi leaders were sentenced to death
  for crimes against humanity.
• Tokyo War Trials:
                   > Japanese leaders were
                    also put on trial for crimes
                    against humanity.
                   > Many were also given a
                    death sentence,
           The United Nations

• FDR and Churchill discussed forming a new
  world peace keeping organization in the
  Atlantic Charter.
• At Dumbarton Oaks: a conference is held to
  create a world peace keeping organization
  > A Charter was written with
  peaceful settlement of all
  disputes as its goal, before war!
  > 51 nations ratified the agreement
  > The organizations structure was set up.
• The UN was made up of:
  > Secretary General
  > General Assembly
  > Security Council
• The 1st meeting was of the UN was
  held in the late 1940’s in SanFrancisco,
• Later the headquarters was moved to
  New York City.
              Marshall Plan
• George Marshall: formally
  head of the army, was named
  Secretary of State.
• He was given the task of rebuilding
  Europe after WWII.
• Creates a “New Deal” plan for Europe
  called the European Recovery Plan.
  > Plan called for the United States to
  put a billion dollars into the rebuilding
• All nations invited to participate.
  > USSR and the nations of Eastern
  Europe do not accept the offer.
  > Why?
• 1946, Stalin announces that
the USSR will take all steps
necessary to protect itself.
  > Future wars are inevitable
  > Eastern Europe will remain under the
  control of the Soviets.
• Churchill proclaims that an
“Iron Curtain” had dropped over
• George Keenan, writes Truman
  an 8,000 word memo.
  > He proposes a policy of
  “Containment” in dealing with
  > Idea is to not try and end
  communism where it was, but to stop
  the spread of it to other nations in the
             Truman Policy

• Truman creates this policy
  to try and contain the spread
  of communism.
  > This policy offers aid to free peoples
  in the world trying to resist totalitarian
• It looked as if this would be first used
  to aid Iran to battle a Soviet takeover.
• But the first use would be in Greece
  and Turkey.
            Berlin Blockade

• City of Berlin was
  divided among the
  Allied Powers after
  > City was deep in the Russian sector.
• In 1948, France, Great Britain, and the
  United States felt it was time to reunite
  the entire country.
  > Stalin was against this!
• Stalin orders all land and
  rail routes closed from the
  > How will the West respond?
• Massive Airlifts of materials begin!
• Airlift last for almost a year.
  > Planes were landing every
    3 minutes with supplies.
            Israel is Created

• 1948, Gr. Britain gives
  Palestine, in the Middle East,
  to the Jews.
• This is to create a Jewish
• In 1949, the United States recognizes
  the right of Israel to exist as a nation.
     China becomes Communist

• 1949, China falls into the hands of
  Communist leader Mao Zedong.

• Chinese leader Chiang Kai
  Shek is forced to the island
  of Formosa.

• NATO is created!
• North Atlantic Treaty
  * Aimed at stopping spread of
  communism in Europe.
  * 1st NATO Military
  Commander is
      Truman’s Domestic Issues

• Truman takes actions to stop strikes in
  the U.S.:

             * Steel
             * Coal
             * Railroads
• Taft-Hartley Act Passed:
  * gave President the power
  to order striking workers
  back to work for 90 days.
  * Was so that negotiating could
     Other Important Legislation
• McMahon Bill Passed:
  * Establishes the a
  civilian agency, Atomic
  Energy Commission to
  oversee all fissionable material.
• GI Bill of Rights:
  * allotted money for Veterans to
  buy farms, homes, go to college.
  * unemployment insurance for 1 year.
• 22nd Amendment:
  * Passed by Congress
  in the late 1940’s.
  * Put term limits on the number of
  terms a President could serve.
     > 2 Terms or 10 years
  * Would be ratified in the early 1950’s.
          Election of 1948

• Trouble in the Democratic Party:
   > Fight over the nomination: Truman
   v. J. Strom Thurmond
   > Issue is Civil Rights
   > Truman wins the nomination
• Thurmond becomes the candidate for
  the Dixiecrat Party in this election.

• The Republicans nominate
Thomas Dewey.
• All the Polls showed that Dewey was
  going to be the big Winner!!!
• When the final results
  were announced:
  Truman had won by
  over 2 million votes!
        1940’s Social History

• Medicine:
  * Jonas Salk invents
  * 1st Eye Bank was established.
• Commercial TV became available to
  the American Public.
• ENIAC the first digitial
  computer was developed.
  * It stood 2 stories high and weighed
  30 tons.
• Architecture:
  * Glass and steel structures
  dominate new office
  * Levittown:
• Music and Radio:
> Big Bands:
             * Duke Ellington

             * Benny
> Big Band Singers:
> Radio Comedians:

• War Novels dominated reading:

• Dr. Spock:

• Jitterbug:

• Rosie the Riveter:
• Pinup Girls:

• Kilroy was Here:

• Frozen TV Dinners:
> Tupperware and Aluminum Foil

> Seventeen Magazine

> Term Juvenile Delinquent
 is coined
Zoot Suits:

> Women’s Fashions:
             Theater and Film

• Theater:
• Films:
• Animation came to be:
           Stars of the 40’s

• Stars:
       TV comes to our Homes

• First TV’s were 5” and Black and White

• Some of the Top rated shows were:
• Children’s TV became big:

• Baseball:

• All American Girl’s
  Baseball League:
• Football:
  - 2 Platoon Football is introduced
  - The Penalty Flag is adopted
  - Paul Brown introduces
    the play book to football.
             NBA is Created

• It was first created as
  the BAA in 1946.
• In 1949, the BAA merged
  with the NBL to form the NBA.
• Its first 2 big stars were:
  - Joe Fulks: who scored 63 points
    in one game
  - George Mikan who was the first
    7 footer in the NBA.

• Boxing had its super

 Joe Louis

Sugar Ray Robinson

• The WPGA was formed:
  - Babe Didriksen Zaharias

 - Byron Nelson was the
   # 1 racked Men’s golfer.

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