America in World War II
Big ideas matter. Here are the most important themes for this chapter.
The over-arching theme of chapter 35 is the U.S. fought a two-front war: in Europe and in the Pacific. To win, America mobilized its massive resources of people and materials, then steadily fought to overwhelm the enemy.
- The first goal of the U.S. in the war was to mobilize. This meant signing up thousands of troops, and switching the American economy over to war. For example, it was time to stop making sedans, and start building bombers.
- The war affected all Americans. Men (of all races) went to war and women took the jobs the men had left.
- In Europe, the U.S. and her allies worked from North Africa up through Italy and toward the “soft underbelly” of Germany. Then, the massive D-Day invasion drove the Nazis back to Germany where Hitler committed suicide and his generals surrendered.
- In the Pacific, the U.S. “island hopped” over four years from Hawaii all the way to Okinawa and were “knocking on Japan’s door.” Finally, the atomic bomb drove Japan to surrender.