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How influential was America in deciding the outcome of World War II?

America's impact on the outcome of World War I was negligible. During World War II we were decisive. It was American troops, materials and strategy that led to the defeat of Germany, Italy and Japan.

I. World War II

A. The Pacific Theater

1. Japanese Strategy

a) Sudden swift attack, wanted the US to refuse to fight.

b) As the tide turned they turned to Kamikaze (divine wind) Suicide attacks on ships. Part of Bushido code.

2. American Response

a) Gen. Douglas MacArthur used the strategy of Island Hopping.

b) Turning point at Midway, and Coral Sea

c) Return to Philippine Islands at Guadalcanal and Bougainville.

d) Landing fields gained at Tarawa, Tinian and Iwo Jima.

e) Atomic Bomb dropped at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

f) Unconditional surrender of Japan.

B. European Theater

1. German Strategy

a) Blitzkrieg - lightening war.

b) Battle of Britain - saturation bombing of England.

c) Attacked Soviet Union.

2. American Response - Forces led by Supreme Commander in Eeurope Dwight David Eisenhower. Gen. George Patton and Omar Bradley were also quite important

a) Landings in North Africa.

b) Landings in Italy: Sicily, Cassino, Anzio.

c) Operation Overlord - D-Day: Opening up of a second front in Normandy France.

d) Turning Points - Battle of the Bulge (Germany's last gasp), Stalingrad.

C. Why do you think the American strategies were successful?

1. Technology (A Bomb)

2. Industrial might.


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