Okay so today I’ll talk about World War II, I also did an essay on World War I, you can check that out here.
World War II was a very harsh war, lasting from 1939-1945, a lot of lives were lost and it costed a lot of money. Most of the same countries that fought in World War I, fought in World War II.
The war started when Hitler attacked Poland, and the Allied Forces(France and Britain) declared war on Germany. Also in World War II Japan joined with Germany and Italy, which formed the Axis powers, who fought against the Allied Forces(which is everyone else).
I’ll first talk about the war in Europe, and the battles. There was the Battle of the Atlantic, that lasted the throughout war, where Germany had submarines and battleships to sink any supply ships that came for Britain and France.
In Europe, Germany’s next target was France, although France thought they were safe behind the Maginot Line. Which was a defence line bordering on their border and Germany’s, but the Netherlands and Belgium wasn’t bordered. So Germany conquered the Netherlands, Belgium, and France in about a month.
Also, during this time Germany adopted a new way fighting, they called the blitzkrieg. Which means “lightning war”, where there would be short attacks, but strong ones.
Germany who conquered Poland, the Netherlands, Belgium, and France, and had an alliance with Italy, Bulgaria, Hungary, and Romania, wanted more. Especially the Soviet Union(aka Russia) and Great Britain, who were the strongest countries in Europe at that time.
And so, Germany sent out bombers to bomb Britain, this happened from 1940-1941, it damaged the country a lot, but Britain didn’t give in.
Bombing in England
Since Britain didn’t really work out for Hitler, he then declared a war on the U.S.S.R. . On 1941, Operation Barbarossa attacked the Soviet Union, with almost 4 million soldiers. They almost took over the capital city, Moscow, but retreated because of the weather during the winter, and the resistance of the Russian army.
The total casualties of this battle was 1 million for the Germans and about 4 million on the Soviet Union. This operation is one of the deadliest in American History, and it was the first time Hitler had a major defeat.
Then during 1942, the Allied Forces started to become stronger, with some famous generals like, Dwight Eisenhower, Omar Bradley, George Patton, and Henry Arnold leading them.
Now I’ll talk about the war in the Pacific theater with America and Japan.
During World War II, Japan joined with Germany, and has been expanding a lot. It wasn’t until Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, where America joined World War II, and fought against Japan.
Japan took over some Southeast Asian countries, Cambodia, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Singapore, Indonesia, and Malaysia. So yeah, Japan was pretty big.
So in December 7th, 1941, they sent their air force and navy to attack Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Although Hawaii wasn’t a proper U.S. state, it was occupied by U.S. citizens. And only the day after this attack, that killed almost 2,500 Americans, the U.S. declared war on Japan. At the same time President Franklin D. Roosevelt gave a speech called, a “Day that would live in infamy”.
The Battle of Singapore, was one of the major defeat for the British army. Where Japan invaded Singapore, and 85,000 British soldiers had to surrender to the Japanese. These soldiers were taken to POW(prisoners of war) camps, and were treated pretty harsh.
In May of 1942, the Battle of the Coral Sea took place. It was the first victory the Allies had against Japan. It was a naval/aerial battle, it was mostly aircraft carriers, and the planes would drop bombs on the ships.
Only a month later the Battle of Midway, another naval war took place, this was a major victory for the Americans. They lost one ship and 350 Americans, while Japan lost 4 carriers and 3,000 men, this was the first major naval defeat for the Japanese since 1863.
One of the last battles to take place was the Battle of Iwo Jima, and was one of the hardest battle in American history. This battle lasted five weeks in 1945, Iwo Jima was an island owned by the Japanese with 22,000 soldiers on the island, and the Allies with 70,000 soldiers.
Because the Japanese soldiers were low on supplies, they had to surrender. 300 Japanese soldiers captured, while the other 3,000 were able avoid getting captured. The Americans suffered almost 25,000 casualties. There is also a famous monument in Washington D.C. honoring the Battle of Iwo Jima.
Iwo Jima Monument
Because this war has been going on for a while, the U.S. wanted to put an end to it, so during the same time, scientist were developing a new kind of bomb. We call now, atomic bombs. So because President Roosevelt died in 1945, he was succeeded by the Vice President, President Harry Truman.
President Truman was the one who agreed with dropping an atomic bomb on the Japanese civilian city, Hiroshima on August 6th, 1945, hoping that Japan will surrender. But they didn’t, three days later, they dropped another one on the city of, Nagasaki. And the day after that, Japan finally surrendered to the U.S. and World War II came to a stop.
Bombing on Hiroshima & Nagasaki
World War II was one of the bloodiest war in all of history, it costed a lot of money, with $1,000,000,000,000(one-trillion dollars), but this is in the 1940 dollars. Today because of inflation, it would’ve costed a lot more. And the total of about 55,000,000(fifty-five million) lives were lost in this devastating war.
Thanks for reading, and I hope you liked this essay.