Presentation on theme: "Total War. What is Total War? Make any sacrifice in order to achieve victory Direct all resources and economy towards war effort No distinction made between."— Presentation transcript:
What is Total War? Make any sacrifice in order to achieve victory Direct all resources and economy towards war effort No distinction made between soldiers and civilians No distinction made between soldiers and civilians Civilians specifically targeted Civilians specifically targeted
Why Was WWII a Total War? Over 35 million civilians were killed 13,000 civilians died every day Both the Allies and Axis Powers specifically targeted civilian cities. Demoralize civilian population Destroy capability of enemy to make war materials
Axis Powers Examples of Total War
Guernica Spanish Civil War in progress, Germany supported Franco Guernica was cultural center of Basques, no military value April 26, 1937, German bombers dropped high explosive and incendiary bombs on the city Fires burned for three days, 70% of the town was destroyed 1,600 civilians killed or wounded
Nazi Bombing of London—”The Blitz” By September 1940, Hitler lost the Battle of Britain Could not invade England, but could still bomb London Believed if enough civilians killed would force government to make peace Began on September 7, 1940, lasted 76 nights 43,000 British civilians were killed “Explosions were everywhere, there just was not a break, bang after bang after bang. The clang of bells from fire service vehicles and ambulances were drowned out by these bombs. You would hear a whistle as a stick of bombs came down then a loud explosion as they hit factories and houses, the ground shook. Then as soon as that explosion happened, another whistle and another explosion. God, this seemed to go on for hours. “
Allied Powers Examples of Total War
Allied Bombing of Germany Casablanca Conference January 1943 Allies decided to target civilian cities in order to undermine the German morale and destroy Germany’s ability to wage war Bombed many German cities, including Hamburg, Cologne, Dresden, and Berlin.
Bombing of Hamburg Bombing of Dresden Bombing of Hamburg July 1943 Bombers dropped incendiary and high explosive bombs Destroyed over 60% of the city, killed 50,000 civilians
Bombing of Dresden February 1945 Dresden was cultural and artistic center of Germany, population of 1,000,000 Bombers started gigantic firestorm, burned for 7 days Unknown how many civilians were killed, estimates range from 35,000 to 250,000 “You needn't worry about bombs, by the way. Dresden is an open city. It is undefended, and contains no war industries or troop concentrations of any importance.” - Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
American Policy Until 1945, refused to bomb civilian targets. Success of Allied campaigns in Dresden and Hamburg forced leadership to rethink.
The Decision to Drop the Atomic Bomb Japanese atrocities Japanese willingness to fight to the death A land invasion could cost many American lives
Japanese Actions in Nanking Japan seized control on December 13, 1937 Killed over 300,000 soldiers and civilians Any male suspected of being a soldier was immediately executed Civilians were beheaded, shot, bayoneted, hung, and burned alive
Rape of Nanking Over 20,000 women were raped After they were raped, they were tortured, killed, and their body mutilated Japanese soldiers raped young girls, elderly women, nuns, and pregnant women
Japanese Willingness to Fight to the Death Believed emperor was a god Public schools taught Japanese students to die for emperor Japanese propaganda claimed Americans killed babies, murdered civilians Japanese soldiers would not surrender at Iwo Jima or Okinawa Kamikaze Planes were packed with explosives and intentionally crashed into battleships Desperate defense against American battleships closing in on mainland Japan Killed 5,000 Americans in Okinawa
Tokyo Fire Bombing
Fire Bombing of Tokyo March 1945 Used incendiary bombs to start huge firestorms Most of the buildings were made of wood, fire spread very quickly Killed 80,000 civilians, left over 100,000 homeless
"Everything combustible would be consumed, …In some cases the heat would soften the asphalt in the streets, so that fire equipment mired down and was lost to the flames. Water sprayed on the fire would simply vaporize; glass panes would soften and drip from metal window frames. Here and there, incredibly, concrete melted. No living thing could survive in such an atmosphere." Was so successful that the U.S. ordered fire bombings for almost every other major Japanese city Led the U.S. to believe that Japan could be defeated without an invasion
Hiroshima and Nagasaki August 6, 1945 and August 9, 1945 Enola Gay dropped atomic bomb on Hiroshima Hiroshima killed at least 70,000 people and Nagasaki 80,000 Over the years many have died from radiation poisoning
“The homes of many of us have been destroyed, and the lives of old and young have been taken. There's scarcely a household that hasn't been struck to the heart. Why, in all conscience, should these be the ones to suffer?.....Are these our soldiers? Are these our fighters? Why should they be sacrificed? I shall tell you why. Because this is not only a war of soldiers in uniform, it is a war of the people, and it must be fought not only on the battlefield but in the cities and in the villages, in the factories, and on the farms, in the home and in the heart of every man, woman, and child who loves freedom. This is a peoples war, it is our war, we are the fighters, fight it, then. Fight it with all that is in us. And may God defend the right.”– Closing sermon of Mrs. Miniver