Pearl Harbor, Hawaii Sunday Dec. 7, 1941 (7 AM) Japan was looking for a “decisive battle” - the knock out blow We knew that Japan was planning an attack, we just didn’t know where.
Pearl Harbor 2403 killed, 1178 wounded, 200 planes destroyed, 18 warships sunk or heavily damaged (including the battleships Arizona, Utah, & Oklahoma) The U. S. aircraft carriers were at sea and weren’t attacked. Uh oh for Japan!
US Declares war on Japan Dec. 8th, Germany and Italy declare war on the US December 11th, 1941.
Flying Tigers in China Even before the Pearl Harbor was attack, American airmen volunteered to go help the Chinese fight the Japanese. These pilots were not flying on the behalf of the U. S. but were mercenaries. Pappy Boyington (left) was a Medal of Honor fighter pilot who overcame prejudice he faced as a bi-racial American to fly for the Flying Tigers.
At the same time as Pearl Harbor, the Philippines is invaded by the Japanese. General Douglas MacArthur – forced to evacuate but promises to return to the Philippines
Bataan Death March 76000 Americans and Filipinos were taken prisoner and forced on the Bataan Death March. Over 10,000 died on the march, and another 15,000 died in captivity. The captives were being marched to a prison camp.
NEW FORMS OF FIGHTING *Jungle Terrain *Amphibious Landings *Naval Power/Air Power *Up against the philosophy of BUSHIDO (fight to the death) and SEPUKKU (death before surrender)
JAPAN RULES THE PACIFIC Japanese victories: Pearl Harbor, Wake Island, Clark Air Force Base, Guam, The Philippines, Hong Kong, Singapore, Dutch East Indies, Malaysian Peninsula
Allied War Strategy FDR & Churchill agreed to focus on Europe first before dealing with the Japanese. In reality, the U. S. would fight both the Germans & Japanese simultaneously. The two leaders agreed on a set of war aims for the war and after its completion that was known as the Atlantic Charter. After the war, the Atlantic Charter would become the basis for the United Nations. The eight principal points of the Charter were: 1. no territorial gains were to be sought by the United States or the United Kingdom; 2. territorial adjustments must be in accord with the wishes of the peoples concerned; 3. all peoples had a right to self-determination;self-determination 4. trade barriers were to be lowered;trade barriers 5. there was to be global economic cooperation and advancement of social welfare; 6. the participants would work for a world free of want and fear; 7. the participants would work for freedom of the seas;freedom of the seas 8. there was to be disarmament of aggressor nations, and a postwar common disarmament.
U. S. Pacific Commanders General MacArthur – commander of U.S. forces in the Southwest Pacific; led Allies through New Guinea & the Philippines. Admiral Nimitz - commander or U. S. forces in Southeastern Pacific; led Allies through Solomon Islands
BATTLE OF CORAL SEA – May 1942 *IMPORTANCE: Save New Guinea to save Australia. Carrier-based planes do most of the fighting. RESULT: We lose the Lexington but win the battle.
BATTLE OF MIDWAY-JUNE 3-6, 1942 THE TURNING POINT OF THE PACIFIC We break Japanese Naval code the attack is June 4th. Nimitz sends carriers to Midway in a surprise attack on the Japanese Navy Japan loses four aircraft carriers, 250 planes, and suffers its FIRST LOSS. U. S. loses aircraft carrier Yorktown
GUADALCANAL - AUGUST 7,1942 “ISLAND OF DEATH” *Japanese airbase is being built, and needs to be taken out. Start of the island hopping campaign to secure air fields closer to the Japanese mainland for strategic bombing.
GUADALCANAL *After 6 months of fighting the Japanese, we learn what the war in the Pacific will be like… Banzai attacks will leave 36,000 Japanese dead on Guadalcanal alone.
Atlantic War German U-Boats prowled the Atlantic Ocean and wreaked havoc on American shipping. No where was safe. Ships were often sunk in sight of the American coast!
Wolf Packs ruled the Atlantic, sinking 175 ships in June 1942 alone. The US countered with the convoy system and anti-U-boat planes.
Operation Barbarossa – the attack on Russia Hitler breaks the Non- Aggression Pact with Stalin and invades Russia on June 22, 1941. German generals plead with Hitler to not attack U. S. S. R. The generals tell Hitler the army isn’t ready. Hitler had previously told the army they would have until 1943 to prepare. This will be the biggest military attack of all time. Almost 4 million German soldiers invade.
Operation Barbarossa Hitler is so confident of another quick victory, he doesn’t issue his army winter clothing. Much of western Russia is overrun, but the Russians do not allow Moscow or Leningrad to be captured. Stalin and the U. S. S. R. join the Allies. Stalin immediately begins begging FDR and Churchill to open a second front.
Einsatzgruppen This is to be a different conflict. This will be a war of extermination. Hitler’s goal is to erase Soviet, Russian, Slavic, and communist culture from the face of the Earth. This means killing every Russian and destroying all Russian cities. The will be no military rules for this invasion. Hitller wants his soldiers to become barbaric. This is what he has been getting Germans ready to do since 1933. Hitler creates Einsatzgruppen (Special Action Groups) to go in to Russia to accomplish this goal.
North Africa The Nazis relieved the Italian Army, who was losing ground to the Allies. General Rommel (the Desert Fox) commanded the Afrika Corps. Germans were stopped at El Alamein in November of 1942 by the British from taking over Egypt (1 st German loss). Afrika Corps basically was disbanded and Rommel was brought back to Germany. Hitler didn’t care about North Africa anyway.
General Patton Operation Torch – America Invades North Africa November 1942. (General Marshall’s plan) It took us so long (11 months after war started) to begin fighting because we weren’t sure we could go toe to toe with the Germans. The Nazis pushed back the Allies until the arrival of the General Patton who whipped American troops into shape. Eventually, the U. S. would use their success in North Africa as a springboard to invade Italy in 1943. George Marshal – Chief of Staff of the Army
Allied Air War Allied bombing began pounding German factories and cities
Carpet Bombing Massive casualties and devastation of some German cities. Done to destroy the will of the Germans to fight. Percision Bombing Done to strike small individual targets like factories or bases. Attempt to limit casualties.
Stalingrad – Sept 1942 to Jan 1943 City in southern Russia where Germany’s advance was halted in the east. Turning point in the European Theater. 330,000 German casualties, 1.1 MILLION Russians. Hitler wanted to destroy the Russians at “Stalin’s City”. He overextended his forces to take over a meaningless military target. Stalingrad was 1377 miles from Berlin. Hard to resupply! Fighting was in the rubble, house to house.
Bloodiest battle in human history. Stalin lured the Germans into fighting in the rubble of the city where the Germans couldn’t use blitzkrieg tactics. Then he trapped the German Army. Hitler would not allow surrender. Said Germans would either win or die trying. The Germans would never win another battle during the war. Over 900,000 Germans were never heard from again. Stalingrad War Memorial