The course of events!
I like war history and World War II is one of my favorite topics. We must never forget the sacrifices that were made by our young men and women out in the war front. Tragically, this generation is dying away. It has been called the "greatest generation of all times!" Why? Because this generation has gone through the Great Depression. This generation bounced back to respond to the call of this country and led it to victory!
The 30's was a rough decade for America. Remaining still a superpower, It had its challenges! After World War I. most of America had enough. World War I was the war to end all wars. President Roosevelt, while trying to remain neutral, was concerned over the events in Europe and Japan.
After World War I, Germany was in a sad state of affairs. The creation of the Weimar republic and the Versailles treaty pushed it into a state of hyperinflation. Adolph Hitler arose and promised to take Germany out of the ashes and make it a great nation. Soon, he began to invade other European countries.
Deception and War!
The year was 1938. Germany and England had signed the Munich Pact. Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain said that we had peace for our time. As history shows, this "so called peace" did not last long. Eventually, Germany winded up invading Poland in 1939 and that caused England to declare war, officially starting World War II!
President Roosevelt, seeing the threat to Europe, sent American military advisers to England. Later on, he would have American ships and submarines helping the British offset any German invasion to their homeland. Adolph Hitler, not only, wanted Europe, but made inroads into Africa! Germany had, also, made an agreement with Italy and Japan creating the axis powers!
A Surprise Attack!
In Dec 11, 1941, Pearl Harbor got a surprise attack by the Japanese. Part of the cause was that President Roosevelt had blocked the oil from Japan because of the invasion of China. Japan wanted to get oil from the Dutch East Indies and Burma in order to keep their war supplies available. Japan realized that it was between a rock and a hard place.
Japan, cleverly, used deception by sending a delegation to negotiate with the USA. While this was being done, Japan struck Pearl Harbor in a surprise attack and crippled the US Navy. In doing so, it couldn't defend the Dutch East Indies and Burma, allowing them to take over the oil reserves. After the Pearl Harbor attack, President Roosevelt announced this as a day that will live in infamy.
A tough battle!
Germany, Japan and Italy declared war in 1941 against the Americans after the Pearl Harbor surprise attack. Germany was a tough,well organized opponent. The Luftwaffe air force and U-boats submarines gave the Allies some headaches in battle. Germany was beginning to gain some military gains, especially with Gen.Rommel--THE DESERT FOX!
Forget those old war movies where a few Americans beat a battalion of clumsy, ill prepared troops. Germany had a well oiled and organized army. They had invented the jet planes and were on their way to develop a nuclear bomb. What happened? Adolph Hitler was acting insane and overrode some of his Generals advice to our advantage-Thank God! In fact, the Germans were so far ahead in technology, that after the war, they took some of Germany's scientist to develop our space program!
Japan did not lag behind. Their warriors were committed to their emperor and to their religion. They believed in DEATH BEFORE DISHONOR! They felt it was their spiritual duty to give their life for their God and country. Many volunteered as Kamikaze fighter pilots. Kamikaze means God wind or divine wind!
For the Japanese, being captured amounted to dishonor. A Japanese Officer who failed in battle was given the option of doing Hari Kari. Hari Kari was a traditional ritual in which the dishonored officer committed suicide. He would cut his stomach a few times and then have someone behead him. The Japanese would, also, use beheading to deal with their enemies. Many Americans who were captured at sea had been beheaded by the Japanese.
During this time, On April 12 of 1945, President Roosevelt had died of a stroke. Roosevelt did not see the final outcome of the war. He was succeeded by Harry S.Truman. President Truman had a huge load on his shoulder with the war. America seemed to show some progress, nevertheless, with victories in Italy and Germany.
Italy stayed with Germany, but that did not last. Frustrated with II DUCE (Chief in Italian), the Italians rose up in rebellion. Many Italians joined and fought with the Americans and British troops. Mussolini was, eventually, captured and executed. His corpse was paraded in the streets of Milan, Italy! The Russians, Americans and its allies were closing in on Germany. Adolph Hitler, did not want to be captured and committed suicide along with his wife. On May 8, 1945, Germany, officially, surrendered and the war was won in Europe.
Meanwhile, in the Pacific, the Japanese were proving to be a tough opponent. Some consideration was given on a full invasion on Japan, but rather than risk American lives, President Truman had planned to drop the atomic bombs on that island. The President gave them ample time with a stern warning. The Japanese high officials laughed at that threat. On August 6 and 9th, the atomic bomb was dropped in two cities in Japan and the rest is history. On Sept 2, 1945, Japan made its surrender official.
A nation united!
As I conclude my thoughts on World War II, we must never forget the high price of freedom. Our nation had to go through an attack on Pearl Harbor to finally realize the need to unite, put aside our differences and fight the enemy. The media and even the comic books sided with the war effort. More than a decade ago, we suffered another surprise attack with the World trade towers in NYC. Lives were lost and at first, it seemed like America would be united again.
We saw many congressmen and congresswomen, regardless of their political affiliations, singing God bless America. Patriotism was at its highest point, but now, things have changed. Will it take another surprise attack to unite us in the cause for freedom? Will we lose a city to a nuclear attack? I am a former Navy veteran and I am not for war, but freedom is not free. In a world in which rogue nations are building nuclear arsenals, will we survive another attack?
Our past leaders have cut military funding in the past. Yes, I agree, cuts have to be made. I was a Navy Storekeeper and worked in supply. I have seen how companies have overcharged the military for their equipment. Instead of cutting funding, why not investigate the over-inflated cost of military equipment? While there are ways to cut funding, let us not shoot ourselves in the foot. Our enemies are spending money and building themselves up! Will history repeat itself but on a more sinister scale? Only time will tell! Let us not forget the lessons from World War II and, hopefully, save lives in the process.
Michele Travis from U.S.A. Ohio on July 07, 2013:
You wrote an important hub. We need to remember history because it we don't, it will repeat itself.
American Romance from America on March 03, 2012:
Nice hub of rememberance! That was a time when Americans were still something special! I hope deep down inside all of us are those same strong American emotions that will cause any man to rise from his easy chair and take hold of the stock to save his country from invaders!