US History/World War II and Rise of Atomic Age

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Conflict in Europe[edit]

Mussolini and Hitler greet the people

In 1933, German president Paul von Hindenberg named Adolf Hitler chancellor; he then disbanded the Weimar Republic and then began the rise of the "Third Reich", which was also known as "Großdeutsches Reich". Hitler had outlined his aims years earlier, in his book Mein Kampf(My Struggle). He noted Germany's problems after its defeat in World War I. The nation had been damaged economically and morally, cut off from the raw materials, land, and resources needed to help it develop as a nation. Hitler blamed "sub human" peoples such as the Jews for his country's defeat. The superior German people needed "living room," and had a right to claim it. In fact, the book was a blueprint for the Nazi party's planned extermination of the Jews (the "Holocaust" or "Shoah"), and the elimination of homosexuals, the mentally ill, and other "undesirable" elements of German society. Hitler also used this opinion regarding German superiority, as well as the viewpoint that Germans were unfairly treated after World War I, to justify the attempt to terminate the Treaty of Versailles.

Hitler began a buildup of the German military. In 1936, he tested German might by supporting a rebellion in Spain. Then, Hitler and Benito Mussolini, the Fascist Dictator of Italy, as well as Japan, began to create a coalition between their three countries. The coalition later came to be known as the Axis.

In 1938, Hitler annexed Austria. Other nations were reluctant to interfere because of Hitler's claim that the relation between Germany and Austria was an internal German concern that had little or nothing to do with the rest of Europe. Then, Hitler took control of a part of Czechoslovakia. This time, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain did interfere, signing an agreement with Hitler that ensured that Germany would keep any territory already conquered, but would not attempt to take any further Czechoslovakian territory. The policy which sought to prevent another World War at almost any cost, including the cost of allowing the tyrant Hitler to gain more power, was known as appeasement.

Hitler had no intention of keeping his agreement. In 1939, he took over the remainder of Czechoslovakia and turned his sights to Poland, demanding the Polish Corridor. France and the United Kingdom agreed to come to Poland's aid, but Germany signed the Nazi-Soviet Pact, which ensured the neutrality of the Soviet Union (formerly Russia). Hitler also signed a Non-Aggression Pact with the Soviets. This would prevent Germany to have to fight the all so dreaded two front war. Both countries agreed to take parts of Poland, Russia like the idea of gaining control of the Baltic Sea ports. Germany, on the other hand was just on one of its small steps in taking over Europe. A few years after the treaty was signed Hitler discarded the treaty, therefore making the Soviet Union an allied force.

The Beginning of the War[edit]

On the first day of September in 1939, Germany declared war on Poland; the British and French responded by declaring war on Germany two days later.

The Germans used the tactic of blitzkrieg (lightning war) in Poland, defeating the Polish Army at lightning speed. By the end of the first week of October, the Germans had gained control of half of Poland. The British and French had done little to aid Poland, fearing a repeat of the First World War. Meanwhile, the Soviets invaded from the east ending any hope for Poland. The last troops surrendered in early October. This new method of fighting known as the Blitzkreig method had never been seen before; unlike the previous World War, soldiers didn't dig deep into the trenches and fight for months trying to hold a certain position. Hitlers armored divisions and air force attacked Poland all at once with little warning. This made it difficult for the Polish, as well as every other country that Germany invaded, to gather up enough troops and support to defend themselves from invasion.

In the spring of 1940, Hitler continued his attempt to create a German Empire by attacking the nations of Denmark and Norway. Denmark surrendered, but British and French troops did, originally at least, come to Norway's aid.

Meanwhile, Hitler planned to take control of France and other nations. Germany entered Belgium and the Netherlands on May 10, 1940. The Netherlands surrendered on May 15 (Zeeland held out until the 18); Belgium followed on May 28. On the same day, France recalled its troops from Norway, leaving Norway's fate to Germany.

On June 5, the Germans began their attack on France. To make matters worse, Mussolini declared war on France and Britain on June 10. The French government, meanwhile was taken over by a new Premier, who signed an armistice with Germany on June 17. Germany gained control of the northern part of France, and the Vichy French Government (so called because of the new French capital at Vichy) retained the south. The Italians had a small zone of occupation near the Franco-Italian border.

Hitler's Germany was the supreme power on Continental Europe. Only the United Kingdom offered resistance. The Germans intended to invade the United Kingdom, but they first had to contend with the British Royal Air Force. The German Luftwaffe (Air Force) commenced the Battle of Britain in 1940. However, the British used the new technology of radar (Radio Detection and Ranging) to combat the Germans. In September, 1940, the Germans ended the Battle of Britain by indefinitely delaying all plans for invasion. Nonetheless, German airplanes continued to bomb several British cities until the middle of the next year.

Hitler expanded the Axis in the winter of 1940-1941 with the additions of Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria. In April, 1941, Germany and Italy then attacked Yugoslavia, which surrendered within one week of invasion. Then, Hitler and Mussolini turned to Greece, which collapsed by the end of April. By the end of 1942, most of Europe was under control of the Nazis or the Italians. Meanwhile, the Japanese gained control of Indochina (Southeast Asia), which had formerly belonged to Vichy France. The United States retaliated by attempting to prevent Japanese purchases of oil and steel. Tensions between Japan and the United States began to grow.

In early 1941, the United States abandoned its neutrality and began to aid the British. The Lend-Lease Act, for example, allowed the President to lend or lease weapons worth over seven billion dollars to other nations. The first two years of the war overseas saw the American public broadly divided on the issue of potential involvement. Though the danger posed by Germany and Japan was generally recognized, millions of Americans felt that a strong, armed neutrality and oceanic defense without entering the war was the safest course. President Roosevelt, on the other hand, made it quite clear to those around him that he felt the United States would have to intervene on the Allied side, and planned and acted accordingly, initiating a war industrial buildup and proposing that the US become the "arsenal of democracy." The Allied powers consisted of the Soviet Union, United States, Great Britain, France, Poland, Canada, Norway, Netherlands, Belgium, and Greece. The main Axis powers consisted of Germany, Italy, and Japan. The estimated death total for the Allied powers is around 61 million people, while the Axis power casualties is estimated to be around only 12 million.

Conflict in the Pacific[edit]

On June 22, 1941, the Germans invaded the Soviet Union. Originally, Germany predicted a quick victory. The Americans were very reluctant to start any conflict with Germany. Even in the fall of 1941, when shooting took place in the Atlantic between German U-boats and US ships, Roosevelt avoided escalation. Soon however, momentous events in the Pacific changed the course of the war.

The Empire of Japan was active in the Pacific. In order to secure resources and sea lanes for the Japanese islands, they intended to neutralize the American Pacific Fleet, which had been stationed at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. On December 7, 1941, the Japanese Air Force bombed the large American naval base, destroying or severely damaging over nineteen ships and 292 aircraft. This naval base was the Pearl Harbor located in Hawaii. Fortunately for the US Navy, its aircraft carriers were at sea and survived the attack, but there was 2,403 American soldiers, sailors, and civilians that were killed by the attack. Defying the expectations of the United States, Japan also made simultanious strikes on Guam, Midway, and British bases. The next day, the United States Congress declared war on Japan, prompting Germany and Italy to in turn declare war on the United States.

Japan continued with its Pacific operations by taking the American territories of the Philippines, Guam, and Wake Island, the British territories of Burma, Singapore, Malaya, Borneo, and the Dutch territory of the East Indies. An emboldened Japanese navy then committed a blunder by attacking Midway Island. American carrier-based planes defeated the Japanese ships at Midway Island so badly that Japan's navy never recovered from the battle. Starving and weakening by disease, they held on for another month before surrendering. Those who survived long enough to surrender faced worse horror. In June of 1942 the battle over Midway took place in the Pacific and it lasted several days. It was mainly areial attacks on naval ships. The United States destroyed a majority of Japans naval fleet, therefore bringing a turning point for the United States. From this point on the United States were able to island hop their way across the Pacific.

The Home Front[edit]

With the mass media of motion pictures and the radio, the American government was able to motivate and move individuals and groups more efficiently than ever before. The government had begun to draft eligible young men in 1940, and the draft was ramped up after Pearl Harbor. There was scattered opposition to this overwhelmingly popular measure among religious pacifists and the Nation of Islam, and among the American Communists until Germany attacked the Soviet Union. Under the streamlined system put in process during 1942, males eighteen years of age and older registered with the government. If the individual's name was drawn during an intermittent lottery, he received a postcard telling him to report to his local draft board, organized by the national Subscription Service.[1] (In addition, many men, and some women, signed up without receiving a notice.) At the draft board men walked through the rooms of various doctors, psychiatrists, and military and civil authorities. An applicant could be refused if he was ill, even with such minor ailments as nearsightedness or flat feet. He might also apply for an exemption if he was the head of a family or in a steel or arms factory. There were also exemptions for pacifism, though the man had to have a letter from his priest or minister saying that he had a religious basis for his pacifism. Quakers and Seventh Day Adventists were both denominations known for non-violence. Conscientious objectors could become medics or work in some other peaceful operation in support of the war. Men who had no letter, and who were unwilling to support the War in peaceful ways, were often put in prison and derided by the public. From the draft board men went straight into Basic Training, from there to become soldiers, sailors or Marines, or airplane pilots. Women could become nurses or join various auxiliary forces such as the Woman's Army Corps (WACs). These were not permitted to fight, but in their capacity as communication and supervisory aides were often on the battlefield.

With many men being shipped overseas to fight in the war, many employment opportunities opened up for women. Thousands of women began to support the war efforts by getting employed in many different factories producing tanks and planes and other sorts of weaponry. Some factories which had been devoted to peacetime production of cars and bicycles were converted to armament factories, and the nacient television stations were shut down. Sales of these items were halted "for the duration." The start of World War II brought the end of the Great Depression due to the supplies and men it takes to win a war.

In February 1942, the War Relocation Authority began to establish centers where Japanese-Americans, including those born in the United States, were interned. Though this racial discrimination violated constitutional due process requirements, the Supreme Court ruled that such internment was lawful in 1944, when it decided Korematsu v. United States.

Turning back the European Axis[edit]

During the summer and fall of 1941, the Germans kept up their amazing pace into the heart of Russia. By December they had reached Moscow, and Leningrad was under siege. The Soviets sent in reserve troops from Siberia, and launched a counter attack. It succeeded, and Moscow was saved.

In the spring of 1942, Hitler ordered an attack into the Caucus Mountains, and Stalingrad. As they had done before, the Germans quickly advanced, breaking through the Russian lines. In Stalingrad, there was street to street, and house to house fighting. The Germans controlled over 90% of the city, but the Russians refused to surrender. A Russian reserve division encircled the Germans into the city, and 250,000 German soldiers were captured. It was one of the bloodiest battles in history.

In 1943, the President of the United States for an unprecedented third term, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Winston Churchill held a Conference at Casablanca. The two nations then set up a plan of action for the next stages of the war. Meanwhile, the Russians continued to hold back the Germans, inflicting a crucial and massive defeat on Hitler's armies at the battle of Stalingrad in the winter of 1942-43. After a further major Russian victory at Kursk the following summer, the Germans were forced into retreat back towards Europe.

In Africa, Axis troops led by Erwin Rommel had pushed into Egypt, just 70 miles west of Alexandria. However, British troops led by General Montgomery decisively defeated the Italian and German troops at the Battle of El Alamein. They were pushed out of Egypt, all the way across Libya, and into Tunisia. In November 1942, the Americans launched operation Torch and drove the French troops out of Algeria and Morrocco. After a long battle with Axis troops in Tunisia, they were driven out of Africa in May 1943.

The Allies then decided to invade Sicily, in hope of knocking Italy out of the war. In early July the invasion began. For the next month, the British and Americans led a bloody campaign in which Sicily was finally taken in early August. During the invasion Mussolini was overthrown and arrested. Hitler had him rescued and put him in charge of the new Italian Social Republic. Following the Invasion of mainland Italy in early September, the Italian government signed an armistice with the Allies. The fall of Italy signaled the beginning of the end of World War II. However, Mussolini was rescued by the Germans and had established an Italian Social Republic. Near the end of the War, Germany tries to fight for a last stand with the Allies. It became to be Germany's only hope for turning the war around. The battle took place in a 60 mile deep 40 mile wide "Bulge". Therefore giving the name of the battle, battle of the Bulge. After weeks of fighting in the cold winters the Allied forces came out victorious. Months after this battle the Allied forces had the Germans pushed all the way back into Berlin.

Antisemitism and The Holocaust[edit]

The prejudice of racism in America -- though the term racist is a misnomer: we are all members of the human race -- was evident from the days of Christopher Columbus onward. Antisemitism was a powerful motivating force in American history. The limits on immigration set in the early 1920s was in part a reaction against [Jewish] immigrants from Eastern Europe. The prosecutors of "Red Summer" had a dread of Blacks, Jews, and atheists, and sometimes of a nightmare conglomeration of all three.

But some antisemitism was an alien import. The Protocols of the Elders of Zion (Russian: "Протоколы сионских мудрецов", or "Сионские протоколы", see also other titles) is an antisemitic and anti-Zionist plagiarism and literary hoax first published in 1903 in Russian, in Znamya; it alleges a Jewish and Masonic plot to achieve world domination. A translation, taken as the literal truth, was published and popularized by the American industrialist Henry Ford. In the 1930s, the American Bund attempted to increase Nazi German influence, and to amplify the antisemetic messages coming from Berlin.

President Roosevelt treated the topic with care. Ethnographers and other scientific experts were drafted into the War effort, emphasizing that Americans came from every ethnic background. Jews were in every branch of the service, and rabbis were among the chaplains brought to aid them. But what came to be known as The Final Solution -- Hitler's plan to eliminate what Mein Kampf had called "the Jewish Question" -- was unknown to the American public. American newspapers had printed accounts of German oppression of its Jewish citizens, from Kristallnacht in 1938 onward. They had occasionally mentioned persecution of its Gypsies, Slavs, and other "non-Aryans," and the dreadful punishments meted out to those who opposed the Nazi regime.

In January, 1945, Soviet troops liberated Auschwitz, the largest of the Nazi Concentration Camps. On April Eleventh, 1945, Allies liberated the Death Camp at Buchenwald, near Weimar, Germany. On the 12th, several journalists arrived, including Edward R. Murrow, one of the most lauded journalists of the time. He sent out a broadcast for American audiences on the Fifteenth describing what he had seen and heard. "There surged around me an evil-smelling stink, men and boys reached out to touch me. They were in rags and the remnants of uniforms. Death already had marked many of them, but they were smiling with their eyes. I looked out over the mass of men to the green fields beyond, where well-fed Germans were ploughing..."[2] On May third, Americans first saw newsreels of the camp. (Newsreels, film of weekly news reports shown in movie theaters, were major sources of information in the days before TV became popularized.) There they heard that the recent death rate had been about two hundred a day. They saw people in the last stages of malnutrition, disease, and "constant hard work, beatings, and torture." The camera also showed corpses of men stacked like cords of wood, and the crematoria where the dead had been burnt.[3]

Now for the first time the majority of Americans could guess at the extent of The Holocaust, one of the most ghastly episodes in the modern history of mankind. In April of 1933, three months after Hitler took power, the Nazis issued a decree ordering the compulsory retirement of "non-Aryans" from the civil service. This is known as the spark of the Holocaust. Before Germany was defeated, there were some eleven million people that had been slaughtered in the name of Nazi racial purity. Although the Jews were the favored targets and are the victims we most hear about when talking about the Holocaust, they were not the only victims. There were also millions of Russians, Poles, gypsies and others that were also murdered. Although the deprivation of the Jews started in the years following 1933, the mass killings didn't begin until 1941.[4]

The effect of this knowledge was augmented by the Nuremburg trials of 1945-1946. There many German officials, and some Concentration Camp governors, were put to trial for committing these murders, called crimes against humanity. American antisemitism has continued since that time, but it is at least officially frowned upon. The American eugenics movement also suffered a setback from which it has not yet recovered.

Operation Overlord[edit]

In November, 1943, Prime Minister Churchill and President Roosevelt held another Conference at Tehran. Joseph Stalin, who held the title of General Secretary of the Communist Party of the USSR, but was actually a Dictator of the Soviet Union, joined them there. The three leaders agreed to a plan codenamed Operation Overlord, under which an attack would be launched on the northern coast of France from the English Channel. In preparation for an invasion of France, Hitler cut off all support for the German armies remaining in the Soviet Union. Thus disabled, the German Army was forced to withdraw from Russia in the winter of 1943-1944.

On June 6, 1944 ("D-Day,") in the early morning hours, American and British paratroopers were dropped into Normandy. Hours later, American, British, French and Canadian soldiers landed at Normandy on the north coast of France. The troops landed near Caen, but Hitler wrongly felt that they would attack at a location to the north of that city. The Allies took advantage of Hitler's miscalculation; by the end of the month, the Allies had over eight hundred thousand soldiers in Normandy.

Meanwhile, Russian troops, which had been on the defensive, began their offensive on German-controlled territories. In the middle of July, the Soviets won their first major victory by taking the territory of Belorussia. At this time, concern began to grow in the West about Soviet domination replacing German in eastern Europe, especially in Poland. Despite these worries, Roosevelt felt that he had little influence in that area over Stalin, whose armies were bearing a huge brunt of the fight.

By the end of July, the Allies expanded their base at Normandy by breaking out into the rest of France. Pushing through the nation, the Allies had gone far enough to liberate the city of Paris on August 25. On September 11, some Allied troops entered Germany, taking Antwerp, Belgium on the way. German resistance then hardened, however. British Field Marshall Montgomery attempt to "end the war by '44" with Operation Market Garden, a plan to liberate Holland and bypass the German border defenses, failed. The British and American armies would make little more progress for the rest of 1944.

Meanwhile, Russian troops pushed toward Germany, defeating Germany's Axis partners on the way. In August, Romania surrendered, followed by Bulgaria and Finland in September.

Yalta and German Surrender[edit]

Allied air bombing of German industries and cities had been ongoing and savage since 1943, but did not have the intended effect of crushing the German will to fight. Indeed, Hitler was able to field new advanced weapons in 1943-45, such as the world's first jet fighter aircraft, the V-1 flying bomb, the V-2 ballistic missile, and new types of tanks and submarines. The new weapons, however, proved of little use against Allied numbers and economic superiority, with American industrial production for the war effort massive and untouched by Axis attack. Germany forced millions of prisoners into slave labor, under the most brutal conditions, to keep its own war effort going.

In December 1944, Germany launched a massive counter-attack on the light defended American positions in Belgium. The Germans hoped to cut off the Allied supply lines, however, after reinforcements arrived, the "Bulge"(today it is know as the Battle of the Bulge) was flattened out. Meanwhile, the Soviets were on the verge of entering Germany from the east en masse, having taken control of Poland. Hitler's troops were exhausted, millions dead or captured, and with the fall of the Romanian oil fields, German armies were running out of gasoline. A final callup began of old men and boys for a last-ditch defense of Germany. Many German civilians fled, fearing the revenge the Russians would put on them after what the Germans had done in Russia. Thousands of German Civilians were killed and/or raped.

In early February 1945, United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and Soviet leader Josef Stalin, the three leaders of the anti-Nazi alliance, met at Yalta in the U.S.S.R.[5] The leaders of the Allied powers, "The Big Three," were planning for the end of the war. This was a follow-up to the meeting of the three powers in November 1943 in the Tehran Conference.

At Yalta the countries contended on what to do with Germany. Churchill and Britain wanted to protect their colonial possessions and to keep the Soviet Union from having too much power. Stalin and the Soviet Union wanted Germany to pay them to help start the rebuilding of their country. Stalingrad, a byword for Soviet military resistance of Hitler, was now in ruins. Two wars of German aggression had been too much, and the country needed to be permanently restrained. The United States wanted to influence Germany toward democracy and to keep the peace.[6] The Yalta conference decided the division of defeated Germany into zones for reconstruction. The leaders agreed to punish Nazis for war crimes, including the Holocaust. Other topics included Soviet Russia's entry into the war against Japan, composition of the post-war government of Germany,voting arrangements in the new United Nations organizations, and the future of the liberated governments of Eastern Europe.[7] The Yalta Declaration on Liberated Europe, which called for free elections and constitutional liberties in Eastern Europe, was the most controversial topic of the Yalta Conference.[8]

The Allies first attempted to reach the Rhine River in their quest to take over Germany. In March, this goal accomplished, the Americans and British opposed the Soviets in the Race for Berlin. The Race determined who would control Berlin, a city that would prove important in the reconstruction of Germany. The Americans allowed the Soviets to win the Race for Berlin. Fierce fighting erupted in and around the city as motley German units made their last stand against the powerful army groups of Russian marshals Zhukov and Koniev. His capital surrounded and his loyal minions deserting him, Adolf Hitler killed himself in his Berlin command bunker on April 30, 1945, also American President Franklin Roosevelt had died on April 12, and Benito Mussolini was executed by Italian Partisans on April 28. The new leader of Germany, Karl Doenitz, agreed to surrender. On May 8, Germany formally signed an unconditional surrender, dissolving the Axis and leaving only Japan to be defeated.

The Atomic Bomb and the End of World War II[edit]

The United States was fighting Japan in Asian Pacific nations. Though the Japanese continued to fight, its armed forces were in a hopeless situation. Its armaments became fewer. Kamikaze (the Japanese word for "Sacred Wind"), pilots who hoped to destroy American ships by intentionally crashing their own planes into them, became more dominant in Japanese opposition.

The United States had become involved in a competition with Nazi Germany to find technologies which would win the war. Among these technologies was nuclear fission, the splitting of a highly electronegative atom into smaller ones, which gives off ten times as much power. With cooperative or captive scientists and slave labor, the Nazis were attempting to use uranium to create an atomic bomb. During the same time, America had become the home for dissident German and Jewish scientists. Native-born and newly-emigrated American physicists were also talking about the possibilities of fission. One of the latter, Albert Einstein, sent a letter to President Roosevelt in 1939 explaining the developments in the nuclear chain reactions which would result in an atomic explosion.[9]

In 1942, a number of the top minds in physics were relocated to a secret location in New Mexico. These men volunteered to work at what was code-named the Manhattan Project, a secret attempt to bring to fruition what Einstein had posited in 1939. At its height the Manhattan Project employed more than 600,000 workers, the majority of them not realizing what they were really working for. After spending more than two billion dollars, the Project created the first atomic bomb.[10] On July 16, 1945, this bomb was successfully tested in New Mexico.

In the interim, Germany had been defeated. President Roosevelt had died, and had been replaced in office by his Vice President, Harry S. Truman. President Truman listened to experts who forecast two more years of war against Japan, and the prospect of a bloody American invasion. Truman chose to use the atomic bomb instead of an invasion.

On August sixth, an A-bomb with the name Little Boy was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, by a B-29 aircraft piloted by Col. Paul Tibbets. The explosion formed a mushroom cloud. Dust and debris shot into the sky and was seen miles away. Many people died instantly, but others fell sick a few days later from effects on the radiation on living tissue. The American press was told about the detonation of the bomb on a population of civilians, but not about its full effects. The Japanese government did not give in. On August ninth a bomb called Fat Man was dropped on the weapon-producing city of Nagasaki, again upon civilians. Together, the bombs killed over one hundred thousand people. Between the two bombings, meanwhile, the Soviet Union had joined in the war on Japan. The Americans threatened a third bombing on Tokyo, though they had not yet had time to create a new bomb. Now Japan unconditionally surrendered, officially ending World War II. Officials signed a treaty for surrender on September 2, 1945, aboard the USS Missouri.

Franklin D. Roosevelt[edit]

Franklin Delano Roosevelt (January 30, 1882 – April 12, 1945), also known by his initials, FDR) was the 32nd President of the United States and a central figure in world events during the mid-20th century, leading the United States during a time of worldwide economic crisis and world war. The only American president elected to more than two terms, he forged a durable coalition that realigned American politics for decades. FDR defeated incumbent Republican Herbert Hoover in November 1932, at the depths of the Great Depression. FDR's combination of optimism and activism contributed to reviving the national spirit. Starting in his "first hundred days" in office, which began March 4, 1933, Roosevelt launched major legislation and a profusion of executive orders that gave form to the New Deal—a complex set of programs designed to produce relief (especially government jobs for the unemployed), recovery (of the economy), and reform (through regulation of Wall Street, banks and transportation). As World War II loomed after 1938, with the Japanese invasion of China and the aggressions of Nazi Germany, FDR gave strong diplomatic and financial support to China and Britain, while remaining officially neutral. His goal was to make America the "Arsenal of Democracy" which would supply ammunition to the Allies. Working closely with Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin in leading the Allies against Germany and Japan in World War II, he died just as victory was in sight. After FDR's death Harry Truman became president. The day after Roosevelt's death Truman sought out old friends to ask for their help in this "terrible job".



  1. The Draft and World War II, webpage of the National World War II Museum. Retrieved 11/23/2014 from
  2. Murrow, Edward R. Partial transcript of April 16, 1945. The Jewish Virtual Library. Retrieved on 11/16/2014
  3. Buchenwald Nazi Concentration Camp Liberation footage -- stock footage -- Retrieved from YouTube, , 11/16/2014.
  4. "WWII" by Eric Sevareid
  5. Sibley, Katherine A. S. The Cold War. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1998. Print.
  6. A People and A Nation
  7. Sibley, Katherine A. S. The Cold War. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1998. Print.
  8. Sibley, Katherine A. S. The Cold War. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1998. Print.
  9. "WWII" by Eric Severeid
  10. "WWII" by Eric Sevareid

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