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The Rise to World Power: World War II


The Rise to World Power: World War II ... Berlin falls in May 1945 American Involvement in WWII The Pacific Theater Japanese control majority of Pacific Carrier ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Rise to World Power: World War II

The Rise to World Power World War II
  • PO 326 American Foreign Policy

American Involvement in WWII
  • US declares war on Japan after attack on Pearl
    Harbor, December 7, 1941
  • Germany, as per Axis alliance agreements,
    declares war on US, and US reciprocates
  • US begins North African campaign, Fall 1942
  • British success at El Alamein
  • Issue of the second front conflict with Russians
  • Defeat at Kassarine Pass, February 1943
  • Counteroffensive bottles up Germans in Tunisia,
    March 1943 surrender in May

American Involvement in WWII
  • Invasion of Sicily by Pattons 7th Army, July
  • Fall of Messina, August 1943
  • Invasion of Italy, September 1943
  • Italy had attempted surrender but invaded by
  • After heavy losses (Anzio), Rome falls in June
  • Engaged German forces that were necessary for the
    defense of France

American Involvement in WWII
  • Operation Overlord (6 June 1944) and the war in
    Western Europe
  • Followed massive air campaign attacked German
    defenses at point of greatest strength
  • Operation DRAGOON invasion of Southern France
  • After establishing northern beachhead, Allies
    take ports in Brittany, drive toward Seine, swing
    eastward toward Low Countries and Germany
  • Last-ditch German counterattack fails Battle of
    the Bulge (December 1944)
  • Weakened by Allies and Soviets, Germany
    collapses Berlin falls in May 1945

American Involvement in WWII
  • The Pacific Theater
  • Japanese control majority of Pacific
  • Carrier Battles
  • Coral Sea and Midway (mid-1942) Allies check and
    defeat Japanese, successfully defending Australia
  • Fierce fighting at Guadalcanal and Solomons
  • Counteroffensive Island-Hopping
  • Advance through central Pacific, late 1942-early
  • Invasion of Marianas, early 1944 fall of Saipan,
    Guam, Tinian (destruction of Japanese navy and
    carrier aircraft
  • Introduction of US airpower to Pacific bombing
    of Japanese home islands
  • Invasion of Okinawa, early 1945
  • Japan Surrenders
  • Soviets declare war
  • Nuclear Attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, August

The Politics of War The Second Front Issue
  • In 1942, Soviets bearing brunt of German
    onslaught (sitzkrieg in west) sought opening
    of second front
  • Churchill against immediate front sought gradual
  • FDR initially wanted full alliance with USSR and
    opening of second front, but deferred to
  • First Allied assault came later in North Africa,
    which was unsatisfactory to Stalin
  • This approach engendered mistrust in Soviets that
    would last throughout and after war
  • Stalin withdraws ambassadors to London, DC
  • Fears of separate peace
  • Solo Soviet victory in East convinces Stalin that
    USSR is entitled to postwar rule of Eastern Europe

The Politics of War The Polish Issue
  • As the tide of war turned in late 1943, the issue
    of how the Allies would rule the postwar world
    came to the fore
  • In Poland, USSR saw essential buffer against
    future aggression
  • Polish government in exile opposed Soviet
  • FDR, though pressured domestically, decides not
    to press the Soviets regarding Poland by the
    Tehran conference, the Allies had essentially
    allowed USSR a free hand in Poland
  • Before USSR retakes Poland, Stalin allows
    remnants of Nazi occupation to crush resistance,
    easing the way for Soviet control

The Politics of War Yalta
  • By the end of the Yalta conference (February
    1945), the fate of Eastern Europe was seemingly
  • Though FDR sought assurances from Stalin
    regarding the right of Eastern European countries
    to self-determination, circumstances (especially
    Soviet occupation) precluded US and other Allies
    from meaningfully intervening
  • As with the Polish question, the USSR achieves
    its goals

The Politics of War Truman
  • Upon FDRs death in April 1945, Truman assumes
  • Truman wishes to renew pressure on USSR about
    Eastern Europe
  • However, Trumans main goal is to get the Soviets
    to declare war on Japan and help end the conflict
    he must therefore take caution in his approach

The Politics of War Potsdam and Spheres of
  • By the Potsdam Conference, however, Truman felt
    he could afford to press USSR
  • Successful atomic test means that war could
    possibly be ended without Soviet involvement in
    Japan, and that US could bring USSR to heel on
    other issues
  • With this leverage, Truman sought to renew
    Eastern Europe pressure and advocated the postwar
    economic rehabilitation of a unified German state
  • Stalemate develops concerning German question
    USSR fearful of a unified Germany administered by
    former Nazis, and demands reparations
  • Truman suggests that reparations should be drawn
    by each of the Allies from their postwar
    occupation zones
  • Cements the division of Europe into spheres,
    sets stage for conduct of postwar competition

The Immediate Political Aftermath of WWII
  • The USSR, substantively unchallenged by other
    Allies, maintains occupation-based dominance of
    Eastern Europe
  • Stalin sticks with spheres of influence
    approach, refusing to intervene in domestic
    politics of the regions clearly in Western sphere
  • Stage set for conflict between East and West over
    unaligned areas
  • Mutual distrust between USSR and West, which
    festered during war, becomes hallmark of postwar