Essential Question: What role did the United States play in fighting in the Pacific during World War II?
While the war was coming to an end in Europe, the Allies continued to fight the Japanese in the Pacific.
After the attack on Pearl Harbor, the USA sent troops to the Pacific theater. The Pacific war revealed a new kind of fighting by using aircraft carriers.
The Japanese took the Philippines just days after Pearl Harbor. General MacArthur, vowing to return, had to evacuate and forces surrendered. After Pearl Harbor, the Japanese launched a major offensive and were able to tae Hong Kong, Singapore, The Dutch East Indies, Malaysia, and invaded Burma.
THE BATAAN DEATH MARCH After the loss of the Philippines, Allied prisoners were broken into small groups and forced to march to prison camps. They were treated very cruelly and approximately 10,000 died in the 6-12 day journey through the jungle. This violated the Geneva Convention, a 1929 international agreement on the treatment of prisoners
The Chinese officially joined the Allies on Dec. 9 th. U.S. sent aid to the Chinese but they lost to Japanese at Burma and were forced to retreat.
The Dolittle Raid was in revenge of Pearl Harbor and a symbolic message. A group of B-25 bombers launched from an aircraft carrier to bomb Tokyo in April 1942. They did little damage and were forced to crash-land in China, but it did help boost morale despite all the defeats in the Pacific.
May 1942: Battle of the Coral Sea: 1 st naval battle fought entirely by airplanes. It was a tie. June 1942: The turning point in the war in the Pacific came at the Battle of Midway. After Midway, the Allies began to regain islands controlled by Japan. It did stop the Japanese advance and invasion of Australia. Most Japanese carriers were sunk and Japan was put on the defensive.
Japan did not play by traditional rules in war. “Kamikaze” pilots flew planes into battleships & aircraft carriers. Japanese soldiers refused to surrender & tortured Allied prisoners of war.
The problem for the Allies was the time & troops it would cost to retake the thousands of islands the Japanese controlled in the Pacific. The U.S. developed an island-hopping strategy to skip the heavily defended islands & seize islands close to Japan. From 1943 to 1945, the Allies took back a series of islands including the Philippines & were moving in on Japan. August 1942: The fight for Guadalcanal took 6 months & cost 25,000 Japanese & 2,000 U.S. lives.
October 1944: MacArthur returned to Philippines and finally conquered Manila in March 1945. American submarines were ruining Japan’s fleet, & the firebomb raid on Tokyo on March 9-10, 1945, killed 83,000 people. Japan lost sea power in March 1945 with last naval battle of Leyte Gulf.
In 1945, the Allies won the islands of Iwo Jima & Okinawa. Iwo Jima In 1945, the Allies won the islands of Iwo Jima & Okinawa. Iwo Jima From these islands, the U.S. began firebombing Tokyo & other Japanese cities. Despite significant damage from kamikaze pilots
By May 1945, the war in Europe was over & U.S. began preparing for a land invasion of Japan. Despite losing control of the Pacific & withstanding firebomb attacks, Japan refused to surrender. …But, perhaps a land invasion was not necessary…
WHETHER TO DROP THE ATOMIC BOMB? CRITICAL THINKING DECISION A FDR’s Decision: B FDR’s Decision: B In 1939, Albert Einstein wrote U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt about the potential to build a nuclear weapon. FDR created a top- secret program called the Manhattan Project.
THE MANHATTAN PROJECT Robert Oppenheimer was put in charge of developing the bomb. From 1942-1945, a number of secret labs across the country developed & built the bomb.
Physicist Enrico Fermi at the University of Chicago developed the nuclear reaction Nuclear plant in Hanford, WA developed the plutonium. The bomb was constructed in a secret city in Oak Ridge, TN. In July 1945, the bomb was successfully tested at Los Alamos, New Mexico during Project Trinity.
In April 1945, FDR died & his VP Harry Truman had to decide how to end the war in the Pacific.
WHETHER TO DROP THE ATOMIC BOMB: CRITICAL THINKING DECISION B Truman’s Decision: C Truman’s Decision: C
In July 1945, the Big Three met at the Potsdam Conference to discuss the end of WWII. Truman learned the atomic bomb was ready & issued the Potsdam Declaration to Japan: “surrender or face destruction.”
When Japan refused to surrender, Truman ordered the bombing of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. After 3 days, Japan did not surrender so a 2 nd atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki. After the second atomic bomb, Emperor Hirohito agreed to a surrender.
WHETHER TO DROP THE ATOMIC BOMB: CRITICAL THINKING DECISION C
JUSTIFICATION FOR DROPPING BOMB End the war quickly and theoretically save lives Revenge for Pearl Harbor Intimidate the Soviet Union and other potential enemies Justify the expense of the Manhattan Project
CONCLUSIONS: THE IMPACT OF WORLD WAR II World War II was the biggest, most deadly, & most impactful war in world history: Europe was destroyed by the war & lost its place as the epicenter of power in the world The USA & USSR emerged as super powers & rivals competing for influence in the world A United Nations was formed to replace the League of Nations to help promote peace Colonized nations began to demand independence from Europeans
CONCLUSIONS WW2 was the largest & deadliest war in history & changed the U.S. Wartime industry ended the Great Depression, expanded the size of the federal gov’t, & ushered in affluent decade The USA emerged as a world superpower, developed a nuclear arsenal, & engaged a Cold War against the USSR