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Flashcards in World War II Before Deck (43)
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1
Q

Which three countries composed the Axis Powers?

A

The three Axis Powers were Germany, Italy, and Japan, who signed a mutual defense pact in 1940.

2
Q

On September 1, 1939, the German Army launched an attack against Poland, formally beginning World War II? How did Britain, France, and the Soviet Union respond?

A

Britain and France promptly declared war on Germany. Two weeks after the German invasion began, the Soviet Union invaded western Poland, completing Poland’s dismemberment.

3
Q

Define:

Blitzkrieg

A

Blitzkrieg is a German word meaning “lightening war” and referred to the strategy employed by the Germans in their attacks against Poland and France.

Developed by Heinz Guderian, blitzkrieg called for using mechanized force to break through an opponent’s line to ensure a quick defeat.

4
Q

In 1939, Franklin Roosevelt persuaded Congress to adopt “Cash and Carry.” What did this policy allow?

A

Cash and Carry allowed countries engaged in war to purchase arms and ammunition in the United States, provided they carried it back to their country aboard their own ships.

While the Cash and Carry system was ostensibly neutral, it favored Great Britain, who retained control of the seas.

5
Q

In 1940, the Selective Service Act established the third draft in U.S. history. Why was this draft different than the drafts which took place during the Civil War and World War One?

A

Unlike previous drafts, the Selective Service Act was passed during peace time. Although the Act alarmed isolationists, they were convinced by the Administration’s contention that the Army’s growth was necessary to protect the Western Hemisphere.

6
Q

In September 1940, President Roosevelt traded 50 obsolete destroyers to Great Britain in exchange for access to British Naval bases in the Caribbean. Why didn’t Roosevelt simply sell the destroyers to the British?

A

Selling the destroyers to the British would have been a violation of the Neutrality Acts. Instead, Roosevelt acted without Congressional approval and provided the destroyers to Great Britain.

7
Q

During his 1940 campaign against Wendall Wilkie, President Roosevelt made what promise to the American people regarding involvement in the conflicts raging in Europe and Asia?

A

Roosevelt promised American parents “your boys are not going into any foreign wars.” At the time, 80% of American supported isolationism.

Despite his promise, Roosevelt had already become convinced that war was inevitable, telling advisers in early 1940 that at a minimum, war with Japan was inevitable.

8
Q

In the 1940 Presidential Campaign, the Republicans nominated Wendall Wilkie, a utility executive who had been forced to sell his company to the Tennessee Valley Authority. What was WIlkie’s campaign strategy?

A

Wilkie mainly focused on Roosevelt’s efforts to secure a third term, and advocated providing all aid short of war to the allies.

Roosevelt won a third term, primarily because Americans felt secure with his foreign policy experience during challenging times and witnessed an improving economic situation brought about by arms purchases.

9
Q

What group was formed in 1940 to support isolation and mobilize American public opinion against involvement in the war?

A

The America First Committee

The America First Committee had some 880,000 members at its peak and shut down after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

10
Q

President Roosevelt declared that it was the responsibility of the United States to support those nations that were committed to “Four Freedoms.” What were those freedoms?

A

In a speech before Congress in January, 1941, Roosevelt announced his Four Freedoms values:

  • Freedom of the press
  • Freedom of worship
  • Freedom from want
  • Freedom from fear
11
Q

What was the Lend -Lease Act?

A

The Lend-Lease Act, signed in 1941, was a policy that allowed Great Britain to purchase arms on credit. Lend-lease ended the Neutrality Act’s requirement of “cash and carry.” The United States would serve as “the arsenal of democracy.”

By July, 1941, United States naval vessals were escorting Britsh ships as far as Iceland with orders to shoot German ships on sight.

12
Q

In 1941, at a secret meeting off the coast of Newfoundland, President Roosevelt reached a secret agreement with British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, the Atlantic Charter. What were the Charter’s term?

A

Although the United States was not at war, the Charter described the Allies’ war objectives, which included free trade, no territory acquired by conquest, and self-determination of subject peoples.

Given that Germany was still on the offensive, and that Britain had little hope of imposing peace absent American involvement, the Atlantic Charter virtually committed the United States into an entry into the War.

13
Q

In 1941, President Roosevelt announced an embargo on the shipment of any war material to Japan, but promised to lift the embargo if Japan agreed to withdraw from _____?

A

China

Japan refused to abandon the Chinese war. Oil, rubber and other war materials were essential to Japan’s continued conquest, and a Japanese strike at the Dutch East Indies (where such materials were in abundance) became a certainty.

To destroy U.S. forces, who would come into the war in the event of an attack on Dutch territory, Japan resolved upon a quick strike in an effort to defeat U.S. forces quickly.

14
Q

What did President Roosevelt term “a date which will live in infamy?”

A

The surprise Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, which took place on December 7, 1941, as did attacks on other U.S. bases. Japan’s intent was to destroy America’s three Pacific aircraft carriers, crippling the U.S. Navy. Fortunately, all the American carriers were at sea, and not present at the attack.

1,200 Americans lost their lives in the attack. On January 8, 1941 President Roosevelt asked for a declaration of war against Japan. One week later, Italy and Germany declared war against the United States.

15
Q

Newspaper writers took to calling the leaders of the Allied Powers during World War II the “Big Three.” Who were the Big Three?

A

The Big Three were Franklin Roosevelt (United States), Winston Churchill (Great Britain), and Joseph Stalin (the Soviet Union).

In June 1941, Hitler had broken his non-agression pact with the Soviet Union and attacked along a broad front. For most of the next four years, the majority of Germany’s military resources would be devoted to its war against the U.S.S.R.

The Soviet Union did not declare war on Japan until August 1945.

16
Q

Established during World War II, the Office of Price Administration (OPA) focused on what form of regulation?

A

The OPA regulated almost every product used by civilians, from rubber to meat to gasoline. In addition to rationing, the OPA set maximum prices on both commodities and finished products.

The OPA was not the only war board. The War Production Board (WPA) managed war industries, as thousands of factories turned from producing consumer goods to churning out tanks and planes. Access to raw materials and production priorities was under the control of the Office of War Mobilization.

17
Q

Passed in 1943, what did the Smith-Connally Anti-Strike Law empower the President to do?

A

The Smith Connally Anti-Strike law allowed the President to take over any war-related business threatened by a strike.

Although labor unions and corporations had agreed after Pearl Harbor not to strike during the war’s duration, workers were angered that corporations made huge profits while their own wages were frozen. The Anti-Strike law was passed in reaction to John L. Lewis’ call for strikes in the military essential coal mines.

18
Q

World War Two was exceedingly expensive, dwarfing the costs of President Roosevelt’s New Deal programs. How was the war financed?

A

For the first time, an income tax was imposed on almost every working American (previous income taxes had been levied only on high-income earners). In addition, a massive war bond effort was launched, aimed at everyone from retirees to children, who were encouraged to buy “war stamps” available for as little as a dime.

19
Q

Blacks faced continued segregation and discrimination at home and abroad during World War Two, including serving in segregated military units. In response, civil rights leaders voiced support for the “Double V.” What were the two Vs?

A

The first V stood for victory over America’s enemies, and the second V represented a victory for equality on the home front.

20
Q

What was the Second Great Migration?

A

The Second Great Migration describes the migration of some 1.5 million blacks to Northern urban areas. Limited to low wage, low skill jobs in the South, the factory jobs in the North, Midwest, and West during World War Two offered an opportunity to learn high skilled positions at a good salary.

By the end of World War Two, almost half of all blacks would live outside of the South.

21
Q

Who were the braceros?

A

During World War Two, farms in the western United States faced a severe labor shortage. In 1942, an agreement with Mexico allowed Mexican farmers, known as braceros, to enter the United States to work on American farms, without complying with formal immigration requirements.

The sudden influx of thousands of Mexicans provoked enmity and suspicions; in 1943 a riot in Los Angeles broke out between whites and Mexicans, known as the zoot-suit riot.

22
Q

Some 25,000 Indians served in the armed forces during World War Two, the most famous of which are the Navajo Code Talkers. Why were the Code Talkers so significant to American military efforts in the Pacific?

A

Since few non-Navajos spoke the Navajo language, the Navajo Code Talkers could communicate to each other rapidly, in what was essentially an unbreakable code, without the need for complex cryptography.

The efforts of the Navajo Code Talkers contributed to U.S. victory in several battles in the Pacific, including Iwo Jima.

23
Q

Smith v. Allwright (1944) was one of the first post-Reconstruction Supreme Court cases to address civil rights. What did the Court hold?

A

Lonnie E. Smith, a black voter in Texas, challenged the Texas Democrats’ policy of holding white-only primaries, contending the policy violated his civil rights.

The Supreme Court agreed, and mandated that primaries be open to voters of all races. The decision presaged Brown v. Board of Education (1955), the decision which would strike down the “separate but equal” doctrine.

24
Q

Who were the WACs and WAVES?

A

During the Second World War, the WACs (Women’s Army Corps) and the WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service) were Army and Navy units, respectively, that were filled with women. Some 200,000 women served during the War in jobs such as air traffic controllers, camp hostesses, clerical work and nursing, freeing men for combat duty.

25
Q

Who did “Rosie the Riveter” symbolize?

A

Rosie the Riveter symbolized the 20 million women who were in the workforce by 1944. These “Rosies” served in clerical jobs and factories building planes and tanks. Motivated by the claim that each woman in the workforce freed a man for the front lines, many women for the experience a job outside the home to be liberating.

26
Q

It took almost a year for the United States to mobilize fully for war, but in November 1942 a joint Anglo-American force launched Operation Torch. Where did the joint force strike?

A

During Operation Torch, British and American forces landed in the French colony of Morocco (controlled by the Nazi-allied Vichy France government). Over the next six months, Allied forces drove German and Italian tropps from the entirety of North Africa.

27
Q

After the conquest of North Africa concluded in May 1943, where did the Allies launch their next attacks?

A

The Anglo-American forces next conquered Sicily, then proceeded to attack Italy. During the summer of 1943, Mussolini was deposed (although he was rescued soon thereafter by the Nazis), and the joint force continued to drive up the Italian pennisula. German forces continued fighinting in Northern Italy until the end of the war.

28
Q

In early 1944, British and American leaders prepared to launch the largest amphibious operation in world history to be known as the D-Day landings. Taking place in June 1944, where did the landings take place?

A

The D-Day landings took place in Normandy, on the coast of France. By December, almost all of France was freed from German forces, and British, Free-French, and American forces were preparing to drive deep into Germany.

29
Q

What General was placed in charge of the Superme Headquarters, Allied Expeditionary Force?

A

General Dwight D. Eisenhower

Eisenhower’s Supreme Headquarters coordinated military strategy, and kept quite a few egos in check, including those of General George Patton and Bernard Montgomery, two brilliant generals who were in constant competition.

30
Q

During the last week of December 1944, the Germans launched their last major offensive of the War in the Ardennes forest, known as the Battle of the _____?

A

Bulge

The Battle earned the nickname “Bulge” from the large salient the Germans created in the Allied line. By early January, the offensive was contained, and that month the Western Allies crossed the Rhine River into Germany.

31
Q

On May 8, 1945, the Germany armed forces formally surrendered to the Allied forces, ending the war in Europe. Describe the location of the Allied forces at the end of the War?

A

By May 8th, Soviet forces had conquered much of Eastern Europe, including Poland, Czechoslavakia, Yugoslavia, and most of Eastern Germany. The Western allied forces had liberated France, the Netherlands, Italy, and Western Germany.

32
Q

Define:

Holocaust

A

The Holocaust was the systematic killing of Jews by the Germans during World War Two. Deported to concentration camps, the Germans used modern industrial methods to exterminate an estimated six million Jews.

In addition, the Germans used the same methods to eliminate communists, the mentally ill, homosexuals, and gypsies.

33
Q

How did President Roosevelt respond to military and civilian concerns that Japanese-Americans on the West Coast could be spying for Japan?

A

In 1942, President Roosevelt ordered all Japanese along the West Coast to be detained at internment camps for the duration of the War, an action upheld by the Supreme Court in Korematsu v. United States (1944).

In all, some 20,000 Japanese-American soldiers served in the American military, earning 21 Medals of Honor, and proving integral in the American victory over the Axis Powers.

34
Q

In 1942, the United States achieved two naval victories which proved crucial to victory against Japan. What were they?

A

The Battle of the Coral Sea & Battle of the Midway

During the Battle of the Coral Sea, the U.S. Navy sunk one Japanese aircraft carrier and heavily damaged another, forcing a Japanese invasion fleet headed for Australia to turn back.

Two months later, a resounding U.S.victory during the Battle of Midway, American forces sunk four Japanese carriers. After its losses at Midway, the Japanese were unable to keep pace with American shipbuilding and pilot training.

35
Q

In the Pacific Theater, General Douglas MacArthur used a strategy known as _____ _____, which bypassed heavily defended Japanese positions, and attacked weaker positions.

A

Island hopping

By taking less heavily held islands, such as Saipan, the United States forces gradually moved into position to launch an attack on Japan itself.

Islands strongly fortified by the Japanese were blockaded and cut off. Left to wither on the vine, several Japanese contingents turned to cannibalism

36
Q

In October 1944, U.S. and Japanese naval forces fought the Battle of Leyte Gulf. What was the battle’s result?

A

During the Battle of Leyte Gulf, the United States annihilated Japanese naval forces, ending the Japanese Navy as a fighting force, and preparing the way for U.S. forces to retake the Philippines.

The Battle of Leyte Gulf was the largest naval battle in history, with over 279 major ships participating in the battle.

37
Q

Who were the kamikazes?

A

Kamikazes were Japanese suicide pilots who, after minimal training, flew their planes directly into American ships or naval vessals.

Kamikaze is a Japanese word meaning “Divine Wind.”

38
Q

Between February 19 and March 15, 1945, American forces took the island of _____ _____ in one of the war’s fiercest battles.

A

Iwo Jima

Iwo Jima had been a Japanese territory before the War and was the first piece of Japanese territory to fall to Allied forces. Some 27,000 American casualties resulted from the attack.

Joe Rosenthal’s Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima may be the most reproduced historical photograph of all time.

39
Q

What was the final major island to be conquered as part of the War in the Pacific?

A

Okinawa

Only 340 miles from Japan, the American military attacked Okinawa as integral to providing an American air base for the eventual attack on Japan itself.

Near constant kamikazee attacks and fierce resistance lead to at least 65,000 Allied casualties, and 100,000 Japanese casualties.

40
Q

Shortly before the end of the war, in February of 1945, the Big Three met at Yalta, in the Soviet Union. What agreement did Stalin, Churchill and Roosevelt reach?

A

In addition to resolving questions of war strategy, the Big Three agreed that Germany would be divided into occupied zones, and that they would support the establishment of the United Nations. The Soviets also agreed to hold free elections in Eastern Europe.

It was President Roosevelt’s last major Presidential act; he died in April 1945 and was suceeded by President Truman.

41
Q

What was the Manhattan Project?

A

The Manhattan Project, under physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer, was a U.S. effort to develop atomic weapons. The first nuclear device was detonated in the New Mexico desert in July 1945.

42
Q

Why did President Truman drop atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

A

Truman ordered the attacks out of concern that attempting to conquer Japan would result in hundreds of thousands of American casualties, and he requested an immediate Japanese surrender before giving the order to drop the bombs.

Some 250,000 Japanese civilians died as a result of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and Japan surrendered a week later.

43
Q

In April 1945, while World War II was still going, 50 nations met in San Francisco to draft the charter of what international organization?

A

The United Nations

In October of the same year, the Senate approved America’s involvement in the organization.

Today, the permanent members of the U.N. Security Council are the same countries that led the fight against the Axis Powers; the United States, the Soviet Union, France, Great Britain, and China.