World War II Roots Summary - History and Information

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WWII has its roots in WWI. The Germans thought they got the raw end of the deal in the treaty that ended WWI. The British and French wanted the Germans to pay. The Germans gave territory back as well as an exorbitant amount of money as retribution. The Depression hit the German economy hard. For example, a loaf of bread cost over a wheelbarrow full of German marks. The people were looking for a leader to get them out of the mess. Adolf Hitler was thought to be the German savior. He blamed all the German troubles on the Jews. Hitler and the Nazi party rose to power in the early 30's. Atrocities against the Jews as well as communists, homosexuals, political dissenters and any other groups the Nazi choose, began. The Germans peacefully took Austria, then the Czechoslovakia Sudetenland. They invaded Poland in Aug. 1939 with no consequence from the Allies. Afterwards, European countries fell like dominoes in Germany's Blitzrieg or lighting war tactics. The Blitzreig simply put was strike hard and fast before the enemy knows what hit them. Britain was the only country not to be invaded. Italy's Fascist Government under Mussolini allied with Germany. Neutral countries included Switzerland, Ireland, Spain and Sweden. The German army invaded France and pushed the Allies into the sea literally at Dunkirk 1940.

Japan started their campaign to dominate in China in the early 30s. Atrocities against the Chinese began. The Allies, in retaliation, put sanctions on Japan. These sanctions cut Japan off from trade thus denying Japan access to oil and other neccessary commodities. It did little to stop Japan's expansion. Japan's intention was to make Asia for Asians which was the policy of Greater Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere Hakkō ichiu meaning all under one roof and throwing out all the Europeans. What it really meant was to make Asia for the Japanese. As the Japanese thought all other nationalities and races inferior. The Japanese high command thought the American people had no will to fight. If the Japanese attacked America, then the Americans would be willing to make peace quickly. The Japanese would thus be able to negotiate and stop the sanctions and acquire Asia, the Dutch Indies oil fields and so much more. General Yokomoto thought otherwise and cautioned the Japanese high command that an attack on America would wake a sleeping giant. He was correct. The Americans rallied after the attack at Pearl Harbor. The war lasted from Dec. 1941- Aug. 1945.

America's Reluctance to Enter the War

President Roosevelt wanted to help Britain when the war with Germany started. However, most Americans were against entering the war. They did not believe the war to be an American problem. When the German's sunk the Prince of Wales, Roosevelt tried to use the incident to enter the war to no avail. Instead, secret orders were given to the Navy to sink German u-boats while they accompanied British ships in the North Atlantic. The attack on Pearl Harbor rallied Americans to fight the war. Thousands volunteered for military service. Four days later, Germany declared war on America. America was in the war officially. Even though, the Japanese attacked America, the war in Europe took precedence. Roosevelt believed Hitler to be the greater threat.

Congress prohibited sending the British weapons without Cash. England was broke. Instead, the lend lease program was implemented. It was simply lend the weapons to England who would return them later.