World War II. Section3

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1 Section3 World War II As you read, look for: the reasons for World War II, why the United States entered the war, how the war affected South Carolina, and vocabulary terms: dictator, fascism, appeasement, genocide, ration, integrate, and prejudice. The United States was not alone in feeling the effects of the depression. In Germany, Italy, and Japan, dictators rose to power promising better times for their people. The dictators used a military build-up to bring their countries out of depression. As the United States and South Carolina were struggling to recover from the Great Depression, war broke out in Europe in 1939 as a result of this military build-up. Above: In October 1936, Benito Mussolini (left) and Adolf Hitler (right) signed a treaty that formed the Berlin-Rome axis. The name came from the idea that all of the other European states would revolve around the two powers of Italy and Germany. The Rise of Dictators People all over the world experienced the depression. In some countries dictators, individuals who rule countries through military might, came to power in response to the depression. The dictators of four nations Japan, Italy, Germany, and the Soviet Union tried to expand the power and territory of their nations. During the 1930s, the Japanese attacked China, taking over the province of Manchuria and most of the Chinese coastal area. Japan was an industrial nation, but it did not have basic raw materials such as coal, iron ore, and rubber. Now it would take those materials from China. In Italy, Benito Mussolini organized the Fascist party in Fascism is a form of government in which a dictator controls the economic and social lives of citizens, stresses nationalism at the expense of human rights, and eliminates all opposition. Mussolini gained power because the Italian people thought he could restore Italy to a country of glory and fame. In 1935, 494 Chapter 18 The Great Depression and World War II

2 Mussolini sent Italian troops into Ethiopia in North Africa. He wanted to make Ethiopia part of an Italian colonial empire. In Germany economic conditions led to the organization of the National Socialist (Nazi) party. One of its leaders was Adolf Hitler. In his book, Mein Kampf, or My Struggle, Hitler had outlined his plans for Germany and described his hatred of the Jews. He believed that the Germans, or Aryans, were a superior race. He blamed the Jewish people for all of Germany s problems. In 1933, the Nazis gained control of the government. Once in power, Hitler began a program of economic improvements. He formed groups like the American CCC to build parks and roads. The men in these groups, however, also received military training. Soon the men s shovels were replaced with guns. Hitler rebuilt the German war machine, creating a navy and an air force from scratch. He started persecuting the Jews and other undesirables. In 1936, Hitler and Mussolini signed a treaty and formed the Berlin-Rome Axis. Japan joined the Axis Powers in By 1940 World War II had started and Germany controlled most of Western Europe. By 1930, Joseph Stalin had become a dictator in the Soviet Union. He rapidly built up the country s industries and forced the peasants onto collective farms. Although Hitler and Stalin did not trust each other, they signed a nonaggression pact in August 1939; that is, they agreed not to wage war Above: Der Fuhrer to more than 70 million people, Adolf Hitler is shown here in a triumphal procession following the fall of France in June He ruled with an iron fist, daring anyone to disagree with him. Section 3 World War II 495

3 Above: Joseph Stalin looks on as Russian Foreign Minister Molotov signs the non-aggression pact with Germany in Moscow in against each other. In a secret part of the agreement, the two countries divided Eastern Europe between them. Germany got the western part, and the Soviet Union got the eastern part. In the late 1930s, most countries watched these hostile countries from afar. They were concerned with their own problems and did not want to confront them. Remember that the United States operated under isolationist policies after World War I. When Hitler began to expand German territory in the late 1930s, Great Britain and France agreed to let him take over the lands. This action of appeasement, the policy of giving an aggressor nation what it wants in order to avoid war, did not work for long. When Hitler invaded Poland on September 1, 1939, Great Britain and France declared war on Germany. Neither Great Britain nor France was ready for war, and they were unable to help Poland. By the end of September, Germany and the Soviet Union had divided Poland between themselves. After the fall of Poland, Europe was quiet for awhile. 496 Chapter 18 The Great Depression and World War II A Neutral United States Although most Americans disliked Hitler, they did not want to become involved in a war. In 1939, President Roosevelt declared that the United States would remain neutral. He did ask Congress to allow the United States to sell arms to the Allies if the Allies paid cash for the goods and used their own ships to transport them. This policy was called cash and carry. The president also asked Congress for money to build up the defenses of the United States and for legislation to ensure that there would be enough soldiers if war did come. The Selective Training and Service Act, enacted in September 1940, required that all men between the ages of 21 and 36 register for the draft. The build-up of defenses was important to South Carolina. The Charleston Navy Yard expanded production and built a dozen new destroyers during Camp Jackson reopened and was renamed Fort Jackson; troops drafted under the Selective Service Act trained there. Army air bases opened in Lexington and Sumter counties. But despite the increase in preparation, most South Carolinians hoped to avoid war. Franklin Roosevelt was re-elected president in November He was the first man to be elected president of the United States three times. After the election, President Roosevelt established the Office of Production Management to coordinate defense production. His goal was to produce all the war materials needed to supply the Allies.

4 The war was going badly for the Allies, so badly that, in March 1941, Congress passed the Lend-Lease Act. The act, maneuvered through Congress by South Carolinian James F. Byrnes, authorized President Roosevelt to lend arms and any other war materials to any nation whose defense Roosevelt thought was important to America s security. In the Atlantic, Allied merchant ships were coming under increasing attack by German ships and submarines. President Roosevelt ordered the U.S. Navy to escort the vessels carrying lend-lease supplies and to fire on any German warships they encountered. On October 30, 1941, a German submarine sank the U.S.S. destroyer Reuben James off the coast of Iceland, killing over one hundred sailors. President Roosevelt now had reason to declare war on Germany, but he waited. The Attack on Pearl Harbor By 1940, Japan had started expanding into the Pacific islands. To protest that aggression, the United States cut off the sale of oil and metal to Japan. When Japan invaded French Indochina, present-day Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam, President Roosevelt froze all Japanese assets in the United States. Japan protested. Negotiations between the two countries broke down, and Japan planned a secret attack on the United States. Below: The December 7, 1941, Japanese attack of Pearl Harbor was one of the great defining moments in history. President Roosevelt declared it the date which will live in infamy. Section 3 World War II 497

5 Shortly before 8:00 a.m. Honolulu time on Sunday, December 7, 1941, Japanese planes flew across the island of Oahu to Pearl Harbor, the U.S. naval base in Hawaii. In less than two hours, Japanese bombs sank or damaged 19 ships, destroyed 150 planes, and killed about 2,400 people. The attack stunned all Americans. Most South Carolinians remembered for many years where they had been when they learned of the attack. President Roosevelt described December 7 as a date which will live in infamy. He then asked Congress for and received a formal declaration of war against Japan. Three days later, Germany and Italy declared war on the United States. The United States was now an active participant in the largest war ever fought. James F. Byrnes (above) and Camden-native Bernard Baruch helped the United States win the war, not as military leaders but as civilian leaders. They were two of Roosevelt s most trusted advisors. The United States at War To provide for the country s war needs, the federal government played a larger role in the nation s economy than ever before. Government agencies helped factories shift from making consumer goods to making war goods. The wartime production meant jobs and money. Defense contracts made money readily available, and businesses profited from the war. More importantly for most Americans, the war ended the Great Depression and restored prosperity. A South Carolinian, James F. Byrnes, was manager of the wartime production effort. In July 1941, President Roosevelt had appointed Byrnes to the U.S. Supreme Court. Byrnes, originally from Charleston, was one of the most important men in Congress during the New Deal and led many floor fights for passage of legislation. In October 1942, Roosevelt asked Byrnes to leave the Court to serve as the director of economic stabilization. In this position, he helped keep the cost of living down and ensured that government agencies worked together on the war effort. As the war progressed, he became the director of the Office of War Mobilization. Byrnes was extremely important to Roosevelt and was often called the Assistant President. Many people expected Roosevelt to choose Byrnes as his vice presidential running mate in the 1944 election. Roosevelt, however, chose Senator Harry S Truman from Missouri. When he became president, Truman named Byrnes Secretary of State. Byrnes served until 1947, when he returned to South Carolina. He was elected governor in Chapter 18 The Great Depression and World War II Military Enlistments Millions of people enlisted in the armed forces following the Pearl Harbor attack. Over 172,500 South Carolinians served in the Army, Navy, and Marines over the next four years. Women served in the Women s Army Corps

6 (WACs), the Navy s Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service (WAVES), and the Marines. Women served as pilots for the U.S. Army air forces and as military nurses. Blacks usually served in segregated companies under white officers. As in World War I, several training bases operated in South Carolina during the war. Fort Jackson and Camp Croft in Spartanburg were the two Army bases, while marines trained on Parris Island, and seamen trained at Charleston. The United States did not have an air force during World War II. Instead, the Army had an air corps. Early in 1942, several hundred pilots were trained at the Columbia Air Base, now the site of Columbia Metropolitan Airport. Among those pilots was a squadron now known as Doolittle s Raiders, named after its leader Major General Jimmy Doolittle. This squadron became famous because it made the first successful air strike against the Japanese islands. The raid was very important because it helped raise American morale at home at a time when it appeared that Japan and Germany were winning the war. The War in Europe When the United States entered the war on the side of the Allies, there was fighting on three fronts: North Africa, Europe, and the Pacific. South Carolinians participated on all three fronts. In Europe, major fronts in the war fought by Americans were in Italy and France. One of the most famous attacks in the war was D-Day, when over 176,000 Allied troops crossed the English Channel to Normandy on June 6, Within a month, there were over one million Allied troops in France. On August 25, 1944, the Allies liberated Paris and began moving east toward Berlin. At the same time, Russian forces began an offensive and pushed west toward Germany. On April 25, 1945, the American and British forces met the Soviet troops at the Elbe River. A few days later, Hitler reportedly committed suicide, and on May 7, Germany surrendered. The war was half over. The victory in Europe was marred by the horror of discovering the full extent of Hitler s treatment of the Eastern Europeans, especially the Jews. Hitler s policy of genocide the planned destruction of an entire race or ethnic group resulted in the deaths of at least six million Jewish people. Today, this is referred to as the Holocaust. The war in the Pacific was equally difficult. By spring 1942, the Japanese had taken Hong Kong, the Philippines, the Dutch East Indies, Burma, Above: Servicemen relax at a Greenville army camp during World War II. Section 3 World War II 499

7 Singapore, Guam, and New Guinea. The Allies finally stopped the Japanese advance at the battles of Midway and the Coral Sea in Then they decided to fight the Japanese using the strategy of island hopping, taking only the most important or strategic islands. Following this new strategy, the Allies captured the Solomon Islands, Guadalcanal, Guam, and Iwo Jima and Okinawa, two islands near the Japanese coast from which an attack on the Japanese mainland could be launched. Before launching that assault, the United States used a new weapon on Japan the atomic bomb. The military told President Truman that use of the bomb would bring an earlier end to the war, saving at least half a million American lives. On August 6, 1945, one atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan. It virtually destroyed the city. When Japan still did not surrender, a second bomb was dropped on Nagasaki on August 9. On August 14, 1945, Japan surrendered. World War II was finally over. Top: Called Operation Overlord, Allied forces invaded the beaches of Normandy, France, on June 6, Above: A U.S. Navy corpsman helps a wounded Marine on Guam. Japan captured Guam in 1942; the Allies were not able to retake it until Death of a Leader In the midst of the fighting, a presidential election took place between Franklin Roosevelt and Republican Thomas Dewey of New York. Roosevelt s running mate was Harry S Truman of Missouri. The election was never in doubt. Roosevelt won easily and became the only person to be elected to the presidency four times. President Roosevelt did not live to see the peace that he worked so hard to achieve. On April 12, 1945, he suffered a stroke and died. Roosevelt led the United States through some of the hardest years of its existence. He was mourned not only by the people of this country, but also by millions of people around the world. Vice President Truman became president. The Cost of the War World War II was costly, both in money and in human lives lost. Military deaths on both sides totaled more than 20 million. Millions more were 500 Chapter 18 The Great Depression and World War II

8 wounded. Even more civilians died during the war, perhaps as many as 35 million people. Over 400,000 Americans lost their lives in the war, including more than 4,000 South Carolinians. The war cost the United States over $350 billion. The war also produced thousands of heroes. Five South Carolinians won the Congressional Medal of Honor during the war. One of those was Private First Class Thomas E. Atkins of Campobello. While fighting in the Philippines, Atkins single-handedly held up the advance of a Japanese platoon for four hours, killing thirteen of the enemy. During the fighting, Atkins was wounded and later removed to an aid station. At the station, he left his stretcher to kill an enemy soldier who had entered the hospital area. Hal Freeman of Columbia was one of many South Carolinians to earn a Purple Heart. Freeman s plane was shot down over Germany. He was captured by a German farmer who turned him over to the Germans. Freeman remained a prisoner of war until the war ended. The Home Front When the United States entered the war, industrial production moved into high gear. Thousands of factories ran around the clock, producing more war materials than the rest of the world combined. With so many men serving in the armed forces, women took jobs outside the home, working in offices and in factories doing jobs that before only men had been allowed to perform. Rosie the Riveter became the symbol for thousands of American women who helped produce ships, planes, weapons, and other war materials. The move into factories changed women s clothing styles. Instead of wearing skirts, women dressed in slacks or overalls. Hair styles changed also. Civilians helped the war effort in other ways. The people of South Carolina recycled paper, rubber, and scrap metal, even toothpaste tubes. Boy Scout troops, church organizations, and school groups frequently managed recycling drives. Scrap paper drives became a means of socializing with neighbors for a patriotic cause. Rolling bandages for the Red Cross was another. Food drives sought to collect food for needy people in Europe. Buying war bonds was another patriotic gesture. Government-sponsored payroll deduction plans became common in the workplace. Schoolchildren purchased savings stamps. Food and other consumer goods were rationed; that is, their consumption was limited. Families were allowed only one and one-half gallons of gasoline per automobile per week; tires were available only to those who needed them. To conserve gasoline, the national speed limit was lowered to Above: With over 16 million men and women in the armed forces during World War II, the women left at home moved into the work force, filling jobs formerly held by men. Section 3 World War II 501

9 40 miles an hour. Many people planted victory gardens to supply food for their families. Even those who lived in city apartments grew vegetables in their window boxes. Coastal areas had forced blackouts to prevent shore lights from accidentally aiding German submarines. Even with this precaution, German U-boats sank several ships off the coast of South Carolina. Above: Black flyers trained at Tuskegee Institute as escorts for Allied bombers. The Tuskegee airmen flew over two hundred missions without losing a bomber. The Germans called them the Black Bird Men. The War s Effects on South Carolina Society During the war years, the United States population shifted more than at any other time in its history. The greatest migration took place from the South to other parts of the country, as low-income whites and blacks sought betterpaying defense jobs in the cities. The number of marriages increased during the war. Many couples had postponed marriage during the depression because they could not afford it. Others wanted to get married before the men left for overseas duty. No aspect of culture was changed more during the war than the role of women. Life magazine reported in January 1945, The war has put about 1,000,000 women to work who otherwise would have stayed home. Though they are paid less than men in many industries, this is becoming less and less the rule. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt set an example for the wives of later presidents as she worked tirelessly for the civil rights of minorities and women. She helped change the image of women, particularly those working in the war industries. She also supported numerous humanitarian causes across the nation. Mrs. Roosevelt encountered great hostility in South Carolina for her support of civil rights and justice for blacks. Mrs. Roosevelt s actions were the tip of the iceberg when changes in race relations are reviewed. More than a million blacks volunteered or were drafted for service, and they served in every branch of the military. At first, blacks were assigned to all-black units commanded by white officers. But by the middle of 1942, black officers were graduating at the rate of about two hundred a month. Even though there was still discrimination, blacks had a greater opportunity to serve their country than in any previous war through units like the Tuskeegee Airman. Several South Carolinians served in this heroic group of flyers. In January 1945, the Army introduced a plan to integrate (to bring together as equals) platoons of white and black troops to fight on the European front. 502 Chapter 18 The Great Depression and World War II

10 But back at home, help wanted signs often read Whites only. In 1941, A. Philip Randolph, a black labor leader, threatened to lead a march on Washington by black Americans to protest discrimination in hiring practices. In a compromise, President Roosevelt issued an executive order creating the Fair Employment Practices Commission, which guaranteed jobs for blacks in defense plants. The migration of blacks to industrial cities caused some resentment among whites because of the competition for jobs and housing. There were race riots in some cities, but nothing on the scale of what happened after World War I. In the early 1940s, the Carnegie Corporation released a study that described the nation s racial problem as a moral dilemma that existed within the heart of every white American. The researcher stated that whites believed in opportunity and democracy for all. But they were also prejudiced against blacks and other minorities. Prejudice, an unreasoning opinion or dislike of a particular group, was obvious throughout the South. Theaters, stadiums, buses, and trains had separate seating areas for whites and for blacks. Blacks could not eat in the same restaurants or sleep in the same hotel rooms as whites. Public water fountains and restrooms were labeled White and Colored. In Columbia an effort was undertaken to register black voters, but the Democratic party blocked the action. The Supreme Court ruled in 1944 that all-white primaries were unconstitutional and South Carolina quickly acted to make political primaries privately controlled to prevent blacks from voting. But as many soldiers, both black and white, returned from the war, they wanted more opportunities for economic advancement. The end of World War II ushered in many new things into South Carolina s culture. It s Your Turn 1. Why did Japan feel the need to expand its territory? 2. What racist views did Hitler have? 3. How was South Carolina involved in the preparations for war? 4. What South Carolinian helped President Roosevelt during the war? 5. What was D-Day? 6. Who was Rosie the Riveter? Above: First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt (center) traveled extensively, serving as her husband s eyes and ears. This photograph of Mrs. Roosevelt was taken during a 1937 visit to Louisiana. Did You citizens Know?Charleston s were aware of its uniqueness so early that in 1929 it became the first city in America to protect its historic district. In 1946, the Historic Charleston Foundation was created. Section 3 World War II 503

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