World War II was the most destructive war in the history of the world because it led to a massive loss of property, unfathomable deaths, and great political and cultural changes. Historical records estimate that more than 50 million were affected during the war (Black 45).
The United States was not prepared to go to another war after World War I. The consequences of World War I was severe, and Congress had decided to pass the Neutrality Acts that were aimed at keeping the U.S. from the war. However, they did not work because they were manipulated, and the U.S. later joined the war.
The Lend-Lease Act was a policy passed in 1941 that aimed to facilitate the provision of military aid by the United States to foreign nations during the war (Dowswell 32). The act would allow the president to offer aid to any country whose defence would strengthen the security of the U.S. Moreover, it allowed America to participate partially in the war by giving aid to Britain, China, and the Soviet Union.
The act brought the U.S. close to the war because the president supplied war materials to certain countries but did not send soldiers to the war fields (Black 45). Eventually, the conflicts necessitated the involvement of the U.S. The participation of Germany was lethal because of the application of blitzkrieg, a term that was used to refer to a combat style called lighting war. Germany used it during attacks on Poland in 1939, and later, on Belgium, France, and the Netherlands.
The United States involvement in World War II was initiated by an attack launched at Pearl Harbor by Japan (Dowswell 38). The attack was Japan’s plan to expand its influence into the Middle East. Prior to that attack, Japan and the U.S. were in bad terms. The U.S. was unhappy with Japan’s treatment of China.
Therefore, it imposed economic sanctions and trade embargoes that failed to work. Japan had declared war on China and the U.S. was trying to meditate. The sanctions made Japan want to attack China more. The strategy was to attack Pearl Harbor and deter the Americans from stopping them in their expansion plan (Goldstein 73). In the attack, American vessels and aircraft were destroyed, thousands of men were killed, and others were severely wounded (Heden 63).
This marked the beginning of America’s involvement in World War II. Pilots belonging to Japan’s 205th Air Group (the kamikaze unit) attacked America’s fleet of war equipment on the Pacific and caused massive destruction (Goldstein 75). Kamikazes sacrificed their lives for the sake of their country in an effort to fight America.
The Yalta Conference was a meeting between Winston Churchill, Joseph Stalin, and Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1945 during the last phase of World War II (Hixson 77). The main objective of the conference was to pressure Germany to surrender unconditionally. In addition, they wanted Germany to establish zones of occupation in the nations that it had conquered (Hixson 78).
The zones would be ruled by the U.S., Soviet Union, Britain, and France. The conference had negative outcomes because it led to the Cold War. Stalin went back on his promises by establishing governments that were primarily comprised of leaders from the Soviet Union.
Harry Truman dropped an atomic bomb on Japan in 1945 (Hixson 85). The decision was irrational because there were alternatives. Moreover, the radiation poising caused by the explosion killed hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians, including children and women (Raico par. 7).
Black, Jeremy. World War Two: A Military History. New York: Psychology Press, 2003. Print.
Dowswell, Paul. The Causes of World War II. New York: Paw Prints, 2008. Print.
Goldstein, Margaret. World War II: Europe. New York: Twenty-First Century Books, 2004. Print.
Heden, Karl. Sunken Ships, World War Two. New York: Branden Books, 2006. Print.
Hixson, Walter. The American Experience in World War II: The Lessons and Legacies of the Second World War. New York: Taylor & Francis, 2003. Print.
Raico, Ralph. Harry Truman and the Atomic Bomb. Web.