3 December 1942

3 December 1942

3 December 1942

December 1942

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North Africa

The Germans launch an unsuccessful counter-attack in the Tebourba area (Tunisia)

Guadalcanal

A Japanese attempt to land reinforcements is defeated by US dive bombers



December 7, 1942 The Ship that Wouldn’t Die

Commander Joe Taylor found a typewriter and wrote the plan of the day, to which he added this headline, “Big Ben Bombed, Battered, Bruised and Bent But Not Broken”. No ship in history had taken such a beating, and survived.

On December 7, 1941, Imperial Japanese air forces attacked the US Pacific Naval anchorage at Pearl Harbor. The attack killed 2,335 and wounded another 1,178. Four battleships and two other vessels were sunk to the bottom. Thirteen other ships were damaged or destroyed. 188 aircraft were destroyed and another 159 damaged, most while still on the ground. All eight battleships then in harbor were damaged.

USS Oklahoma

Four torpedoes slammed into USS Oklahoma, capsizing the Nevada-class battleship and trapping hundreds within the overturned hull. Frantic around-the-clock rescue efforts delivered 32. Bulkhead markings later revealed that at least some of the sailors aboard the doomed battleship lived another seventeen days. Seventeen days alone in that black, upside down hell, they died waiting for the rescue that came too late. The last mark was drawn by the last survivor on Christmas Eve, 1941.

Harvard-educated Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto was the unwilling architect of the attack on Pearl Harbor, writing home to a correspondent “I wonder if our politicians [who speak so lightly of a Japanese-American war] have confidence as to the final outcome and are prepared to make the necessary sacrifices”. Yamamoto well understood the consequences of the actions taken by his government, confiding to his diary. “I fear we have awakened a sleeping giant and filled him with a terrible resolve.”

For Imperial Japan, Yamamoto’s worst nightmare would prove correct. In terms of GDP, the Tokyo government had attacked an adversary, nearly six times its own size. The Japanese economy reached its high point in 1942 and declined steadily throughout the war years, while that of the United States exploded at a rate unseen in human history.

1942 started out grimly in the Pacific, with Americans and their Filipino allies besieged in Bataan and Corregidor, and Commonwealth forces hurled from the Malayan peninsula. The Kriegsmarine celebrated the “Second Happy Time”, as German submarine commanders called it the “American shooting season”. Yet, at the home front, 1942 saw massive industrial mobilization.

The backbone of American naval power during this period was the Essex-class aircraft carrier, remaining so until the supercarriers of the 60s and 70s. Twenty-four Essex class carriers were completed during WW2, including USS Franklin, her hull laid down seventy-five years ago, today, one year after the attack on Pearl Harbor. December 7, 1942.

Essex-class carrier, USS Franklin

“Big Ben” was launched ten months later at Newport News Shipbuilding Company in Virginia, and commissioned on January 31, 1944.

For the remainder of 1944, Franklin’s engagements read like a timeline of the war, South of the Japanese home islands. The Bonin archipelago. Mariana Islands. Iwo Jima, Chichi Jima, Haha Jima, Leyte, Guam and the Palau Islands.

By late 1944, a series of defeats had left the Japanese critically short of military aviators, and the experienced aircraft mechanics and groundcrew necessary to keep them aloft.

On October 14, USS Reno was hit by the deliberate crash of a Japanese airplane. The following day, Rear Admiral Masafumi Arima personally lead an attack by 100 Yokosuka D4Y “Judy” dive bombers, against a carrier task force including USS Franklin. Arima was killed and part of a plane hit Franklin.

It’s not clear that this was a suicide attack, but Japanese propagandists were quick to seize on Arima’s example. Official Japanese accounts bear little resemblance to the actual event, but Arima was officially given credit for the first kamikaze attack, of World War II.

By war’s end, this “divine wind” tactic would end the lives of 3,862 kamikaze pilots, and over 7,000 naval personnel.

On October 30, Franklin was attacked by a three-plane squadron of enemy bombers, bent on a suicide mission. One plummeted off her starboard side while a second hit the flight deck, crashing through to the gallery deck, killing 56 and wounding 60. The third discharged it’s bombs nearly missing Franklin, before diving into the flight deck of the nearby Belleau Wood. It was a harbinger of things to come.

Both carriers withdrew to Ulithi Atoll for temporary repairs of battle damage, and Franklin proceeded to the Puget Sound Navy Yard, for more permanent repairs.

Early in the following spring, Franklin rendezvoused with Task Force 58, joining in strikes against the Japanese home islands.

On the morning of March 19, 1945, Franklin turned into the early dawn wind preparing to launch aircraft, while up on the bridge, Commander Stephen Jurika was writing in his log. On the hangar deck, chow lines snaked their way between 12″ wide “Tiny Tim” rockets on ordnance carts, while Messmen plopped the morning’s breakfast onto steel trays.

At 7:05, Commander Jurika heard a message from the carrier Hancock. “Enemy plane closing on you…one coming toward you!” Franklin’s Combat Information Center (CIC) picked up the enemy bomber at a range of twelve miles, but lost it in the clutter of Task Force 58’s morning launch.

At 7:07, Commander Jurika saw the Japanese dive bomber sweep over his head, dropping two 500-pound bombs on Franklin. The first ripped through 3-inch armor to the hangar deck, as the second exploded two decks below. Great sheets of flame enveloped the flight deck, as the 32-ton forward elevator literally rose into the air. 5 bombers, 14 torpedo bombers and 12 fighters were engulfed in the inferno, between them carrying 36,000 gallons of aviation fuel and 30 tons of bombs and rockets.

From the other ships of TF 58, Franklin appeared to be engulfed in flames. With firefighters working fore and aft and Franklin making 24 knots, an aft gas line ruptured, igniting bombs, rockets, and a 40mm ready-service magazine. This second explosion literally lifted Franklin and spun her to starboard, as a 400′ sheet of flame towered over the carrier. Franklin was listing at 13°, with radar and CIC, gone. The flight deck was ruptured in a dozen places. In ready room #51, eleven of twelve aviators of the famed “Black Sheep Squadron”, were dead.

12′ Tiny Tim rockets flew screaming across the decks in every direction, as entire aircraft engines, propellers attached, flew through the air. Each time firefighters dropped to the deck, and then went back at it.

Commander Jurika felt as if the carrier was a rat, being shaken by an angry cat.

The destroyers Miller and Hickox moved within several hundred feet, aiming their hoses at the damaged ship. A Mitsubishi Zero fighter was reported diving on the carrier at 7:41, but determined flak batteries, brought it down.

Six minutes later, the light cruiser Santa Fe moved up, hurling life jackets and floater nets into the water to help swimmers. Task Group 58.2 commander Rear Admiral Ralph Davison departed Franklin for the destroyer Miller, telling Captain Leslie Gehres, “Captain, I think there’s no hope. I think you should consider abandoning ship — those fires seem to be out of control”.

Ensign William Hayler later said “I was not sure whether I was entering Dante’s Inferno or crossing the River Styx”

A mile-high column of thick, greasy smoke rose from the carrier, as signalmen blinkered a message to Santa Fe: “We have lost steering control. Can you send fire hoses? Can you send for sea tugs?” Santa Fe blinkered back, asking if Franklin’s magazines were flooded. “We believe the magazines are flooded, Big Ben replied. “Am not sure”. No one knew at the time, that the water valves were on, but the pipes had split. Hundreds of tons of explosives stored in the aft magazines, were dry.

Lieutenant Commander Joseph O’Callahan, a Jesuit priest from Boston and former Holy Cross track star was a Chaplain aboard the Franklin. O’Callahan was everywhere, hurling bombs overboard and administering last rites, shouting encouragement and fighting fires. Father O’Callahan would be the only Chaplain of WW2, to be awarded the Medal of Honor.

At 10am, Santa Fe signaled the carrier Bunker Hill: “Franklin now dead in water. Fires causing explosions. Have got a few men off. Fires still blazing badly…whether Franklin can be saved or not is still doubtful”. Boards and ladders stretched between the cruiser and the carrier, evacuating the wounded. Gehres ordered 800 off Franklin onto Santa Fe, as thirty sailors hacked at the starboard anchor with files, steel cutters and acetylene torches, dumping the anchor and using the 540′ chain as a towline, to the Baltimore-class heavy cruiser, USS Pittsburgh. Others passed hot shells hand to hand, and dumping them overboard.

Chaplain O’Callahan administers last rites

Another dive bomber attacked at 12:40, dropping its 500-pounder close enough to shake the carrier, while a motley crew of laundrymen and ship’s buglers manning the last operational 40mm AA guns, dropped the “Judy” into the water.

By 15:45, Franklin was under tow at 7 knots. That night she was able to make way under her own power. No lights shone that night, but for the faint red glow of still burning fires. The few Franklin crew remaining would continue to fight off additional dive bombers and put out fires, through the 31 st .

832 were dead and another 300 wounded, one-third of the crew. Commander Joe Taylor found a typewriter and wrote the plan of the day, to which he added this headline, “Big Ben Bombed, Battered, Bruised and Bent But Not Broken”. No ship in history had taken such a beating, and survived.


Cold War (December 7, 1942)

The first five years after the war ends a new war begins between the Axis and remaining Allies, the Cold War.

Now that the war is over the Third Reich is finishing off its plans of its greatest fantasy, the superstate of Germania. Germany, Italy, Spain, and its other counterparts in the east now draw up their new borders. Germany claims all of France except for the Mediterranean coast where Italy receives the prize along with the British Isles, Norway, Denmark, the Low Countries, Poland, Iceland, the Baltic Rep., and all of Russia west of the Urals and other areas signified by the treaty signed at the time of the Soviet surrender. Italy gets the part of France above, all of Yugoslavia and Greece along with Crete, Malta, and Cyprus. Spain receives French Morocco and Gibraltar along with some other parts of French West Africa. As for the rest of the colonies of Britain and France, they are mostly given to Germany and Italy while Spain receives some leftovers. The United States though secures any Caribbean colonies that the Axis could secure by using the Monroe Doctrine. As for Canada and Newfoundland, the two unite to form the Republic of Canada. Canada then forms a super tight alliance with the US so to eliminate any idea that Canada is weak. In India a new massive republic forms and reluctantly forms an alliance with Japan. Germany now has its many lands but it wants more of Europe, specifically to the north and east. They make preparations to invade Sweden and Hungary while simultaneously staging coups in the countries along with other staged coups in Romania, Bulgaria, and Finland. In the US the event is seen as a fix and people worry over who will be Germany's next target again. The coups work in all but Hungary and Sweden as the governments in both countries put a stop to it and a war ensues between the two and Germany. Meanwhile Bulgaria, Romania, and Finland declare themselves part of the Greater German Reich and devote their armies to the Germans. With the plan going well so far, the Germans send out the order to surround all of Hungary and from all sides invade and conquer the country. Within two weeks the country surrenders and becomes part of the Greater German Reich. In Sweden the army is holding out as the Germans fail to reach Stockholm again and again. The Germans decide if they can't breach Swedish lines by September then an atomic bomb will be dropped on the city. Months later when September arrives the Germans have made progressive but not enough to reach the city. On September 11 an atomic bomb is dropped on the city. The next day the country surrenders and becomes part of the Greater German Reich. With Germany now having much of the land and population of Europe at their disposal they then form a new alliance only in Europe. It is a militaristic and economic union to create a strong Europe for mostly Germany's greater good. Germany, Spain, Portugal, and Italy form this union and it is known as The Alliance of European Nations or for short, AEN. In the Americas the USA forms a union to create a strong united Americas. The Union Of American Nations (UAN) and it consists of the following nations: the United States of America, Republic of Canada, Mexico, Cuba, Haiti, Dominican Rep., Puerto Rico, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay. This union is viewed as a threat to Germany and the Cold War escalates and soon a massive arms build-up will separate the world.

As the Cold War has finally begun the US and Germany are working their scientists to the limit to develop new and more powerful weapons. The US is the closet to developing a Hydrogen bomb but German saboteurs are on the prowl. The UAN meanwhile decides to form the United Nations which will consist of the UAN and the Allied governments in exile. In the Far East the Japanese are realizing their dream as they create their East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere but it becomes the Greater Asian Union which consists of the now only Asian Soviet Union and all other puppet nations of Japan and gigantic Republic of India. In May reports of Nazi saboteurs all across the East Coast allow for the US government to conduct massive military raids at compounds but they discover little of the saboteurs plans. The US decides to conduct their own spy missions in Berlin. On July 11 the US discovers that their research has been sabotaged and reports of German saboteurs are no longer coming in. The US in the coming weeks does multiple spy raids on Nazi Intelligence Agencies while also infiltrating the Gestapo and SS Headquarters but discover something much worse than what they've stolen. US intelligence discovers that the two agencies along with the military have been conducting mass genocide of what they viewed as unclean peoples. The US decides that they must reveal the evidence to show the true evil that the Nazis have been conducting. On September 1st President Truman televises a national broadcast describing the horrors that the Nazi Party has committed over time. The next day the American public cries out along with the rest of the world and demand answers from the Nazi regime. Hitler is able to hide the truth from the German people but he has no idea of how long he can. On October 10 the world including Spain and Italy join a massive embargo against Germany. Japan and most of her allies stay loyal to their ally and promise to stand behind it even if the world turns against it. As for Japan's Asian Union only the non-puppet state of India leaves and joins the UN which promises to help India in case of a war between India and Japan even though Japan threatens a war with India. Germany then backs up Japan and this became the closet time so far that the world came to a Third World War. By November both sides back down. When Spain and Italy joined the embargo they unofficially left the Alliance of European Nations. In the US they have also discovered from their spies that Germany plans to launch a space satellite in 1951. The US makes its plans to sabotage the launch as they know that Germany is far more advanced in fighter jets and rocketry but their recent intelligence raid gave them knew ideas to work on and soon they plan to be pacing ahead of Germany. As the arms race and secret space race continues the world comes ever closer to a Hot War.

Ethiopia manage to establish itself as a Industrial powerhouse supplying nations with many arms. Scientists from all of the venture to this Nation and as a result they create the first Nuclear fusion Factory. Meanwhile, as the Germans only believe the US learned of their mass genocide and their re-retrieval of H-Bomb research they continue to prepare for their soon space launch. The US meanwhile finally completes their H-Bomb and tests it in the Nevada Desert. Meanwhile the public has become more liberal and demanding for equal rights. Truman and Congress sign the bill quickly which grants all peoples the same rights as anyone else whether they are African-American, Asian, Spanish, Same-Sex and Heterosexual or anything else. This gives the Germans more reason to eliminate the Americans but for now it must prove this superiority and the space program is sped up after hearing of the testing of an American H-Bomb. The US meanwhile continues to create modern jet planes and trying to create nuclear missiles while also trying to advance their space program by creating NASA. The Germans discover American plans and plan to have a fake satellite take-off while the real one will take-off at a disclosed location. By June the US has been testing its nuclear warheads and is on its way to creating their first warhead. Germany meanwhile is about to test its first H-Bomb. The US decides to plan to plant rebel sentiment throughout the conquered nations of Western Europe since it has lost track of the German space program and decides to do this to try to derail the Nazi regime from focusing on the space program and on its problems in Western Europe. Meanwhile the US thinks ahead and convinces other nations in the Un to adopt their Equal Rights Policy that they have been implementing across the nation.Ethiopia helps establish a German resistance within Germany supplying them with the Latest weaponry made by the Ethiopians. Hitler meanwhile faces much opposition as the German Resistance plans to overthrow him along with the SS, Gestapo and to also take out high officials involved in this mass genocide. The plan is planned for the day of the satellite launch, November 1 of 1950, as its production has been sped up and super-classified by Hitler himself. The German Resistance has since acquired new allies in Hitler's Circle and also have acquired equipment from US.

September 17, Ethiopian declares war on Germany, and marches through German territory to in order to liberate many of the surrounding nations. They manage to liberate Eritrea, Djibouti, Somali, Kenya, Uganda, Sudan, German owned Congo and Tanzania. In retaliation Italy and Spain declare war on Ethiopia. In Germany the Ethiopian spies meet up with the GR leaders, Exiled Leaders of former states and the US spies planning the day of assassination.

All across the world news feeds show Pictures of Hitler dead whilst in his limo, and many gestapo officers like Heinrich Himmler sentenced to death by hanging due to war crimes, crimes against humanity and more. Ethiopian and U.S. troops liberate all nations giving them back their land and splitting Germany and its capital in two, one half controlled by Ethiopia and the other America.

In the early winter of this year the trials of Hitler's main conspirators of the Holocaust are held. Majority are sentenced to hanging while some are sentenced to life with no parole or bail. Some kill themselves before their execution and some escape in unknown ways. After the trials Germany, Spain, and Italy join the UN. Neither of three are given much of a voice but become part of the global community. The UN then holds a meeting to discuss what to do with Germany. It is decided to place reparations on them to pay the last living relatives of the dead Jews in America and those coming out of hiding in Europe. In Germany the Jews are re-accepted into the society but civil unrest rises in many cities across the German Reich. By Summer the unrest has gotten out of control but the UN stands by claiming that Germany has brought this upon themselves. By November though, the violence is gone and new policies are ready to be implemented. One is that Nazism to a certain extent is banned across the world. In Germany they install a less violent and more tolerant version of Nazism across the nation and allow religion to be free throughout the country. Other laws give people back their lost rights and force the government to pay monthly reparations for the mass murders of people to Jewish communities in the US and throughout the world and also the damage they have done to cities across America. The Germans though do not accept the reparations the Americans demand to rebuild their cities but when Truman and Haile Salassie threaten that they will nuke Germany to hell so the German government agrees but with slightly less money to pay. They also make a deal to hold government elections on May 1, 1952 and to hold a Constitutional Convention in Berlin on September 1, 1952 which will be closely monitored by the Ethiopia. As another year draws to a close the United states does its best to build better weapons, as does Germany, but The Sovereign State of the Ethiopia Empire (a newly founded empire stretching from Tanzania in the south to Egypt in the north, Somali in the east to Sudan in the west) are way ahead and are already developing jet fighters and has already tested rockets and now is on its way to Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles as soon one side will build the ultimate weapon.

In Germany and the United States major elections are about to occur. In the US it would seem that the Taft/Nixon ticket is the clear front runner as ever since the Stevenson/Sparkman ticket was sponsored by Truman who is the main man blamed for America's defeat in the Second World War since FDR was dead before the war turned for the worse for America. In Germany the leaders of the coup become favorites to win the election amid death threats from Nazi groups across the world and in Germany. The provisional government decides to have Hitler hanged after the election to prevent any possible sympathy votes for those people who believe Hitler's death will be as a martyr. Meanwhile the United States research on nuclear research hits a breakthrough as they successfully test a nuclear warhead on a rocket. Spies in Germany learn that the Germans have also created a nuclear warhead but have not yet tested one. As the elections continue to come closer in both countries the US experiences a period of unknown as it is unclear who will win but by mid-October it seems clear that Stevenson/Sparkman will win when they get eleven point lead over Taft/Nixon after it is revealed that Taft would try to work out a deal with Germany, the hated enemy of America. This among the new Brown Scare, which is the equivalent of the Red Scare except involving Fascism instead of Communism. To make things worse, in Cuba Fidel Castro, a well known Fascist leader, leads a revolution to overthrow the government. Castro having learned early war tactics from the Nazis was able to lead an army. Within six weeks the capital had been taken and Castro was supreme in Cuba. The US became worried as immediately Germany opened strong diplomatic relations with Cuba. Meanwhile in Germany the provisional government wins re-election and immediately begins to work on its constitution. In the US Stevenson/Sparkman are able to barely defeat Taft/Nixon. As so many things begin to take place across the world people begin to wonder if there might be a third world war.


April 17th, 1959 is a Friday. It is the 107th day of the year, and in the 16th week of the year (assuming each week starts on a Monday), or the 2nd quarter of the year. There are 30 days in this month. 1959 is not a leap year, so there are 365 days in this year. The short form for this date used in the United States is 4/17/1959, and almost everywhere else in the world it's 17/4/1959.

This site provides an online date calculator to help you find the difference in the number of days between any two calendar dates. Simply enter the start and end date to calculate the duration of any event. You can also use this tool to determine how many days have passed since your birthday, or measure the amount of time until your baby's due date. The calculations use the Gregorian calendar, which was created in 1582 and later adopted in 1752 by Britain and the eastern part of what is now the United States. For best results, use dates after 1752 or verify any data if you are doing genealogy research. Historical calendars have many variations, including the ancient Roman calendar and the Julian calendar. Leap years are used to match the calendar year with the astronomical year. If you're trying to figure out the date that occurs in X days from today, switch to the Days From Now calculator instead.


March 17th, 1946 is a Sunday. It is the 76th day of the year, and in the 11th week of the year (assuming each week starts on a Monday), or the 1st quarter of the year. There are 31 days in this month. 1946 is not a leap year, so there are 365 days in this year. The short form for this date used in the United States is 3/17/1946, and almost everywhere else in the world it's 17/3/1946.

This site provides an online date calculator to help you find the difference in the number of days between any two calendar dates. Simply enter the start and end date to calculate the duration of any event. You can also use this tool to determine how many days have passed since your birthday, or measure the amount of time until your baby's due date. The calculations use the Gregorian calendar, which was created in 1582 and later adopted in 1752 by Britain and the eastern part of what is now the United States. For best results, use dates after 1752 or verify any data if you are doing genealogy research. Historical calendars have many variations, including the ancient Roman calendar and the Julian calendar. Leap years are used to match the calendar year with the astronomical year. If you're trying to figure out the date that occurs in X days from today, switch to the Days From Now calculator instead.


March 30th, 2023 is a Thursday. It is the 89th day of the year, and in the 13th week of the year (assuming each week starts on a Monday), or the 1st quarter of the year. There are 31 days in this month. 2023 is not a leap year, so there are 365 days in this year. The short form for this date used in the United States is 3/30/2023, and almost everywhere else in the world it's 30/3/2023.

This site provides an online date calculator to help you find the difference in the number of days between any two calendar dates. Simply enter the start and end date to calculate the duration of any event. You can also use this tool to determine how many days have passed since your birthday, or measure the amount of time until your baby's due date. The calculations use the Gregorian calendar, which was created in 1582 and later adopted in 1752 by Britain and the eastern part of what is now the United States. For best results, use dates after 1752 or verify any data if you are doing genealogy research. Historical calendars have many variations, including the ancient Roman calendar and the Julian calendar. Leap years are used to match the calendar year with the astronomical year. If you're trying to figure out the date that occurs in X days from today, switch to the Days From Now calculator instead.


March 7th, 1942 is a Saturday. It is the 66th day of the year, and in the 10th week of the year (assuming each week starts on a Monday), or the 1st quarter of the year. There are 31 days in this month. 1942 is not a leap year, so there are 365 days in this year. The short form for this date used in the United States is 3/7/1942, and almost everywhere else in the world it's 7/3/1942.

This site provides an online date calculator to help you find the difference in the number of days between any two calendar dates. Simply enter the start and end date to calculate the duration of any event. You can also use this tool to determine how many days have passed since your birthday, or measure the amount of time until your baby's due date. The calculations use the Gregorian calendar, which was created in 1582 and later adopted in 1752 by Britain and the eastern part of what is now the United States. For best results, use dates after 1752 or verify any data if you are doing genealogy research. Historical calendars have many variations, including the ancient Roman calendar and the Julian calendar. Leap years are used to match the calendar year with the astronomical year. If you're trying to figure out the date that occurs in X days from today, switch to the Days From Now calculator instead.


Contents

American public opinion was hostile to the Axis, but how much aid to give the Allies was controversial. The United States returned to its typical isolationist foreign policy after the First World War and President Woodrow Wilson's failure to have the Treaty of Versailles ratified. Although President Franklin D. Roosevelt personally favored a more assertive foreign policy, his administration remained committed to isolationism during the 1930s to ensure congressional support for the New Deal, and allowed Congress to pass the Neutrality Acts. [6] As a result, the United States played no role in the Second Italo-Ethiopian War and the Spanish Civil War. After the German invasion of Poland and the beginning of the war in September 1939, Congress allowed foreign countries to purchase war material from the United States on a "cash-and-carry" basis, but assistance to the United Kingdom was still limited by British hard currency shortages and the Johnson Act, and President Roosevelt's military advisers believed that the Allied Powers would be defeated and that US military assets should be focused on defending the Western Hemisphere.

By 1940 the US, while still neutral, was becoming the "Arsenal of Democracy" for the Allies, supplying money and war materials. Prime Minister Winston Churchill and President Roosevelt agreed to exchange 50 US destroyers for 99-year-leases to British military bases in Newfoundland and the Caribbean. The sudden defeat of France in spring 1940 caused the nation to begin to expand its armed forces, including the first peacetime draft. In preparation for expected German aggression against the Soviet Union, negotiations for better diplomatic relations began between Undersecretary of State Sumner Welles and Soviet Ambassador to the United States Konstantin Umansky. [7] After the German invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941, America began sending Lend Lease aid to the Soviet Union as well as Britain and China. [8] Although President Franklin D. Roosevelt's advisers warned that the Soviet Union would collapse from the Nazi advance within weeks, he barred Congress from blocking aid to the Soviet Union on the advice of Harry Hopkins. [7] In August 1941, President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill met aboard the USS Augusta at Naval Station Argentia in Placentia Bay, Newfoundland, and produced the Atlantic Charter outlining mutual aims for a postwar liberalized international system. [9]

Public opinion was even more hostile to Japan, and there was little opposition to increased support for China. After the 1931 Japanese invasion of Manchuria, the United States articulated the Stimson Doctrine, named for Secretary of State Henry L. Stimson, stating that no territory conquered by military force would be recognized. The United States also withdrew from the Washington Naval Treaty limiting naval tonnage in response to Japan's violations of the Nine-Power Treaty and the Kellogg–Briand Pact. [10] Public opposition to Japanese expansionism in Asia had mounted during the Second Sino-Japanese War when the Imperial Japanese Army Air Service attacked and sank the US Yangtze Patrol gunboat USS Panay in the Yangtze River while the ship was evacuating civilians from the Nanjing Massacre. [11] Although the US government accepted Japanese official apologies and indemnities for the incident, it resulted in increasing trade restrictions against Japan and corresponding increases US credit and aid to China. After the United States abrogated the 1911 Treaty of Commerce and Navigation with Japan, Japan ratified the Tripartite Pact and embarked on an invasion of French Indochina. The United States responded by placing a complete embargo on Japan through the Export Control Act of 1940, freezing Japanese bank accounts, halting negotiations with Japanese diplomats, and supplying China through the Burma Road. [12]

American volunteers Edit

Before America entered World War II in December 1941, individual Americans volunteered to fight against the Axis powers in other nations' armed forces. Although under American law, it was illegal for United States citizens to join the armed forces of foreign nations, and in doing so, they lost their citizenship, many American volunteers changed their nationality to Canadian. However, Congress passed a blanket pardon in 1944. [13] American mercenary Colonel Charles Sweeny began recruiting American citizens to fight as a US volunteer detachment in the French Air Force, however France fell before this was implemented. [13] During the Battle of Britain, 11 American pilots flew in the Royal Air Force. Charles Sweeney's nephew, also named Charles, formed a Home Guard unit from American volunteers living in London. [13]

One notable example was the Eagle Squadrons, which were RAF squadrons made up of American volunteers and British personnel. The first to be formed was No. 71 Squadron on 19 September 1940, followed by No. 121 Squadron on 14 May 1941 and No. 133 Squadron on 1 August 1941. 6,700 Americans applied to join but only 244 got to serve with the three Eagle squadrons 16 Britons also served as squadron and flight commanders. The first became operational in February 1941 and the squadrons scored their first kill in July 1941. On 29 September 1942, the three squadrons were officially turned over by the RAF to the Eighth Air Force of the US Army Air Forces and became the 4th Fighter Group. In their time with the RAF the squadrons claim to have shot 73½ German planes 77 Americans and 5 Britons were killed. [14]

Another notable example was the Flying Tigers, created by Claire L. Chennault, a retired US Army Air Corps officer working in the Republic of China since August 1937, first as military aviation advisor to Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek in the early months of the Sino-Japanese War. Officially known as the 1st American Volunteer Group (AVG) but nicknamed the "Flying Tigers", this was a group of American pilots already serving in the US Armed forces and recruited under presidential authority. As a unit they served in the Chinese Air Force against the Japanese. The group comprised three fighter squadrons of around 30 aircraft each. The AVG's first combat mission was on 20 December 1941, twelve days after the Pearl Harbor attack. On 4 July 1942 the AVG was disbanded, and was replaced by the 23rd Fighter Group of the United States Army Air Forces, which was later absorbed into the US Fourteenth Air Force. During their time in the Chinese Air Force, they succeeded in destroying 296 enemy aircraft, [15] while losing only 14 pilots in combat. [15]

Command system Edit

In 1942 President Franklin D. Roosevelt set up a new command structure to provide leadership in the US Armed Forces while retaining authority as Commander-in-Chief as assisted by Secretary of War Henry Stimson with Admiral Ernest J. King as Chief of Naval Operations in complete control of the Navy and of the Marine Corps through its Commandant, then Lt. General Thomas Holcomb and his successor as Commandant of the Marine Corps, Lt. General Alexander Vandegrift, General George C. Marshall in charge of the Army, and in nominal control of the Air Force, which in practice was commanded by General Hap Arnold on Marshall's behalf. King was also in control for wartime being of the US Coast Guard under its Commandant, Admiral Russell R. Waesche. Roosevelt formed a new body, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, which made the final decisions on American military strategy and as the chief policy-making body for the armed forces. The Joint Chiefs was a White House agency chaired by Admiral William D. Leahy, who became FDR's chief military advisor and the highest military officer of the US at that time. [16]

As the war progressed Marshall became the dominant voice in the JCS in the shaping of strategy. [17] When dealing with Europe, the Joint Chiefs met with their British counterparts and formed the Combined Chiefs of Staff. [18] Unlike the political leaders of the other major powers, Roosevelt rarely overrode his military advisors. [19] The civilians handled the draft and procurement of men and equipment, but no civilians—not even the secretaries of War or Navy, had a voice in strategy. [20] Roosevelt avoided the State Department and conducted high-level diplomacy through his aides, especially Harry Hopkins. Since Hopkins also controlled $50 billion in Lend Lease funds given to the Allies, they paid attention to him. [ citation needed ]

The year 1940 marked a change in attitude in the United States. The German victories in France, Poland and elsewhere, combined with the Battle of Britain, led many Americans to believe that some intervention would be needed. In March 1941, the Lend-Lease program began shipping money, munitions, and food to Britain, China, and (by that fall) the Soviet Union.

By 1941 the United States was taking an active part in the war, despite its nominal neutrality. In spring U-boats began their "wolf-pack" tactics which threatened to sever the trans- Atlantic supply line Roosevelt extended the Pan-American Security Zone east almost as far as Iceland. The US Navy's "neutrality patrols" were not actually neutral as, in practice, their function was to report Axis ship and submarine sightings to the British and Canadian navies, and from April the US Navy began escorting Allied convoys from Canada as far as the "Mid-Atlantic Meeting Point" (MOMP) south of Iceland, where they handed off to the RN.

On 16 June 1941, after negotiation with Churchill, Roosevelt ordered the United States occupation of Iceland to replace the British invasion forces. On 22 June 1941, the US Navy sent Task Force 19 (TF 19) from Charleston, South Carolina to assemble at Argentia, Newfoundland. TF 19 included 25 warships and the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade of 194 officers and 3714 men from San Diego, California under the command of Brigadier General John Marston. [23] Task Force 19 (TF 19) sailed from Argentia on 1 July. On 7 July, Britain persuaded the Althing to approve an American occupation force under a US-Icelandic defense agreement, and TF 19 anchored off Reykjavík that evening. US Marines commenced landing on 8 July, and disembarkation was completed on 12 July. On 6 August, the US Navy established an air base at Reykjavík with the arrival of Patrol Squadron VP-73 PBY Catalinas and VP-74 PBM Mariners. US Army personnel began arriving in Iceland in August, and the Marines had been transferred to the Pacific by March 1942. [23] Up to 40,000 US military personnel were stationed on the island, outnumbering adult Icelandic men (at the time, Iceland had a population of about 120,000.) The agreement was for the US military to remain until the end of the war (although the US military presence in Iceland remained through 2006, as postwar Iceland became a member of NATO).

American warships escorting Allied convoys in the western Atlantic had several hostile encounters with U-boats. On 4 September, a German U-Boat attacked the destroyer USS Greer off Iceland. A week later Roosevelt ordered American warships to attack U-boats on sight. A U-boat shot up the USS Kearny as it escorted a British merchant convoy. The USS Reuben James was sunk by German submarine U-552 on 31 October 1941. [24]

On 11 December 1941, three days after the United States declared war on Japan, [25] Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany declared war against the United States. That same day, the United States declared war on Germany and Italy. [26]

Europe first Edit

The established grand strategy of the Allies was to defeat Germany and its allies in Europe first, and then focus could shift towards Japan in the Pacific. This was because two of the Allied capitals, London and Moscow, could be directly threatened by Germany, but none of the major Allied capitals were threatened by Japan. Germany was the United Kingdom's primary threat, especially after the Fall of France in 1940, which saw Germany overrun most of the countries of Western Europe, leaving the United Kingdom alone to combat Germany. Germany's planned invasion of the UK, Operation Sea Lion, was averted by its failure to establish air superiority in the Battle of Britain. At the same time, war with Japan in East Asia seemed increasingly likely. Although the US was not yet at war with either Germany or Japan, it met with the UK on several occasions to formulate joint strategies.

In the 29 March 1941 report of the ABC-1 conference, the Americans and British agreed that their strategic objectives were: (1) "The early defeat of Germany as the predominant member of the Axis with the principal military effort of the United States being exerted in the Atlantic and European area and (2) A strategic defensive in the Far East." Thus, the Americans concurred with the British in the grand strategy of "Europe first" (or "Germany first") in carrying out military operations in World War II. The UK feared that, if the United States was diverted from its main focus in Europe to the Pacific (Japan), Hitler might crush both the Soviet Union and Britain, and would then become an unconquerable fortress in Europe. The wound inflicted on the United States by Japan at Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941, did not result in a change in US policy. Prime Minister Winston Churchill hastened to Washington shortly after Pearl Harbor for the Arcadia Conference to ensure that the Americans didn't have second thoughts about Europe First. The two countries reaffirmed that, "notwithstanding the entry of Japan into the War, our view remains that Germany is still the prime enemy. And her defeat is the key to victory. Once Germany is defeated the collapse of Italy and the defeat of Japan must follow."

Battle of the Atlantic Edit

The Battle of the Atlantic was the longest continuous military campaign in World War II, running from 1939 to the defeat of Germany in 1945. At its core was the Allied naval blockade of Germany, announced the day after the declaration of war, and Germany's subsequent counter-blockade. It was at its height from mid-1940 through to the end of 1943. The Battle of the Atlantic pitted U-boats and other warships of the Kriegsmarine (German navy) and aircraft of the Luftwaffe (German Air Force) against the Royal Canadian Navy, Royal Navy, the United States Navy, and Allied merchant shipping. The convoys, coming mainly from North America and predominantly going to the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union, were protected for the most part by the British and Canadian navies and air forces. These forces were aided by ships and aircraft of the United States from 13 September 1941. The Germans were joined by submarines of the Italian Royal Navy (Regia Marina) after their Axis ally Italy entered the war on 10 June 1940.

Operation Torch Edit

The United States entered the war in the west with Operation Torch on 8 November 1942, after their Soviet allies had pushed for a second front against the Germans. General Dwight Eisenhower commanded the assault on North Africa, and Major General George Patton struck at Casablanca.

Allied victory in North Africa Edit

The United States did not have a smooth entry into the war against Nazi Germany. Early in 1943, the United States Army suffered a near-disastrous defeat at the Battle of the Kasserine Pass in February. The senior Allied leadership was primarily to blame for the loss as internal bickering between American General Lloyd Fredendall and the British led to mistrust and little communication, causing inadequate troop placements. [27] The defeat could be considered a major turning point, however, because General Eisenhower replaced Fredendall with General Patton.

Slowly the Allies stopped the German advance in Tunisia and by March were pushing back. In mid-April, under British General Bernard Montgomery, the Allies smashed through the Mareth Line and broke the Axis defense in North Africa. On 13 May 1943, Axis troops in North Africa surrendered, leaving behind 275,000 men. Allied efforts turned towards Sicily and Italy.

Invasion of Sicily and Italy Edit

The first stepping stone for the Allied liberation of Europe was invading Europe through Italy. Launched on 9 July 1943, Operation Husky was, at the time, the largest amphibious operation ever undertaken. The American seaborne assault by the US 7th Army landed on the southern coast of Sicily between the town of Licata in the west, and Scoglitti in the east and units of the 82nd airborne division parachuted ahead of landings. Despite the elements, the operation was a success and the Allies immediately began exploiting their gains. On 11 August, seeing that the battle was lost, the German and Italian commanders began evacuating their forces from Sicily to Italy. On 17 August, the Allies were in control of the island, US 7th Army lost 8,781 men (2,237 killed or missing, 5,946 wounded, and 598 captured).

Following the Allied victory in Sicily, Italian public sentiment swung against the war and Italian dictator Benito Mussolini. He was dismissed from office by the Fascist Grand Council and King Victor Emmanuel III, and the Allies struck quickly, hoping resistance would be slight. The first Allied troops landed on the Italian peninsula on 3 September 1943 and Italy surrendered on 8 September, however the Italian Social Republic was established soon afterwards. The first American troops landed at Salerno on 9 September 1943, by U.S. 5th Army, however, German troops in Italy were prepared and after the Allied troops at Salerno had consolidated their beachhead, The Germans launched fierce counterattacks. However, they failed to destroy the beachhead and retreated on 16 September and in October 1943 began preparing a series of defensive lines across central Italy. The US 5th Army and other Allied armies broke through the first two lines (Volturno and the Barbara Line) in October and November 1943. As winter approached, the Allies made slow progress due to the weather and the difficult terrain against the heavily defended German Winter Line they did however manage to break through the Bernhardt Line in January 1944. By early 1944 the Allied attention had turned to the western front and the Allies were taking heavy losses trying to break through the Winter Line at Monte Cassino. The Allies landed at Anzio on 22 January 1944 to outflank the Gustav line and pull Axis forces out of it so other allied armies could breakthrough. After slow progress, the Germans counterattacked in February but failed to stamp out the Allies after months of stalemate, the Allies broke out in May 1944 and Rome fell to the Allies on 4 June 1944.

Following the Normandy invasion on 6 June 1944, the equivalent of seven US and French divisions were pulled out of Italy to participate in Operation Dragoon: the allied landings in southern France despite this, the remaining US forces in Italy with other Allied forces pushed up to the Gothic line in northern Italy, the last major defensive line. From August 1944 to March 1945 the Allies managed to breach the formidable defenses but they narrowly failed to break out into the Lombardy Plains before the winter weather closed in and made further progress impossible. In April 1945 the Allies broke through the remaining Axis positions in Operation Grapeshot ending the Italian Campaign on 2 May 1945 US forces in mainland Italy suffered between 114,000 and over 119,000 casualties.

Strategic bombing Edit

Numerous bombing runs were launched by the United States aimed at the industrial heart of Germany. Using the high altitude B-17, the raids had to be conducted in daylight for the drops to be accurate. As adequate fighter escort was rarely available, the bombers would fly in tight, box formations, allowing each bomber to provide overlapping machine-gun fire for defense. The tight formations made it impossible to evade fire from Luftwaffe fighters, however, and American bomber crew losses were high. One such example was the Schweinfurt-Regensburg mission, which resulted in staggering losses of men and equipment. The introduction of the revered P-51 Mustang, which had enough fuel to make a round trip to Germany's heartland, helped to reduce losses later in the war.

In mid-1942, the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) arrived in the UK and carried out a few raids across the English Channel. The USAAF Eighth Air Force's B-17 bombers were called the "Flying Fortresses" because of their heavy defensive armament of ten to twelve machine guns, and armor plating in vital locations. In part because of their heavier armament and armor, they carried smaller bomb loads than British bombers. With all of this, the USAAF's commanders in Washington, DC, and in Great Britain adopted the strategy of taking on the Luftwaffe head-on, in larger and larger air raids by mutually defending bombers, flying over Germany, Austria, and France at high altitudes during the daytime. Also, both the US Government and its Army Air Forces commanders were reluctant to bomb enemy cities and towns indiscriminately. They claimed that by using the B-17 and the Norden bombsight, the USAAF should be able to carry out "precision bombing" on locations vital to the German war machine: factories, naval bases, shipyards, railroad yards, railroad junctions, power plants, steel mills, airfields, etc.

In January 1943, at the Casablanca Conference, it was agreed RAF Bomber Command operations against Germany would be reinforced by the USAAF in a Combined Operations Offensive plan called Operation Pointblank. Chief of the British Air Staff MRAF Sir Charles Portal was put in charge of the "strategic direction" of both British and American bomber operations. The text of the Casablanca directive read: "Your primary object will be the progressive destruction and dislocation of the German military, industrial and economic system and the undermining of the morale of the German people to a point where their capacity for armed resistance is fatally weakened.", At the beginning of the combined strategic bombing offensive on 4 March 1943 669 RAF and 303 USAAF heavy bombers were available.

In late 1943, 'Pointblank' attacks manifested themselves in the infamous Schweinfurt raids (first and second). Formations of unescorted bombers were no match for German fighters, which inflicted a deadly toll. In despair, the Eighth halted air operations over Germany until a long-range fighter could be found in 1944 it proved to be the P-51 Mustang, which had the range to fly to Berlin and back.

USAAF leaders firmly held to the claim of "precision bombing" of military targets for much of the war, and dismissed claims they were simply bombing cities. However, the American Eighth Air Force received the first H2X radar sets in December 1943. Within two weeks of the arrival of these first six sets, the Eighth command permitted them to area bomb a city using H2X and would continue to authorize, on average, about one such attack a week until the end of the war in Europe.

In reality, the day bombing was "precision bombing" only in the sense that most bombs fell somewhere near a specific designated target such as a railway yard. Conventionally, the air forces designated as "the target area" a circle having a radius of 1000 feet around the aiming point of attack. While accuracy improved during the war, Survey studies show that, overall, only about 20% of the bombs aimed at precision targets fell within this target area. In the fall of 1944, only seven percent of all bombs dropped by the Eighth Air Force hit within 1,000 feet of their aim point. The only offensive ordnance possessed by the USAAF that was guidable, the VB-1 Azon, saw very limited service in Europe and in the CBI Theater late in the war.

Nevertheless, the sheer tonnage of explosives delivered by day and by night was eventually enough to cause widespread damage, and, more importantly from a military point of view, forced Germany to divert resources to counter it. This was to be the real significance of the Allied strategic bombing campaign—resource allocation.

To improve USAAF fire bombing capabilities a mock-up German village was built and repeatedly burned down. It contained full-scale replicas of German homes. Fire bombing attacks proved successful, in a single 1943 attack on Hamburg about 50,000 civilians were killed and almost the entire city destroyed.

With the arrival of the brand-new Fifteenth Air Force, based in Italy, command of the US Air Forces in Europe was consolidated into the United States Strategic Air Forces (USSAF). With the addition of the Mustang to its strength, the Combined Bomber Offensive was resumed. Planners targeted the Luftwaffe in an operation known as 'Big Week' (20–25 February 1944) and succeeded brilliantly – losses were so heavy German planners were forced into a hasty dispersal of industry and the day fighter arm never fully recovered.

The dismissal of General Ira Eaker at the end of 1943 as commander of the Eighth Air Force and his replacement by an American aviation legend, Maj. Gen Jimmy Doolittle signaled a change in how the American bombing effort went forward over Europe. Doolittle's major influence on the European air war occurred early in the year when he changed the policy requiring escorting fighters to remain with the bombers at all times. With his permission, initially performed with P-38s and P-47s with both previous types being steadily replaced with the long-ranged P-51s as the spring of 1944 wore on, American fighter pilots on bomber defense missions would primarily be flying far ahead of the bombers' combat box formations in air supremacy mode, literally "clearing the skies" of any Luftwaffe fighter opposition heading towards the target. This strategy fatally disabled the twin-engined Zerstörergeschwader heavy fighter wings and their replacement, single-engined Sturmgruppen of heavily armed Fw 190As, clearing each force of bomber destroyers in their turn from Germany's skies throughout most of 1944. As part of this game-changing strategy, especially after the bombers had hit their targets, the USAAF's fighters were then free to strafe German airfields and transport while returning to base, contributing significantly to the achievement of air superiority by Allied air forces over Europe.

On 27 March 1944, the Combined Chiefs of Staff issued orders granting control of all the Allied air forces in Europe, including strategic bombers, to General Dwight D. Eisenhower, the Supreme Allied Commander, who delegated command to his deputy in SHAEF Air Chief Marshal Arthur Tedder. There was resistance to this order from some senior figures, including Winston Churchill, Harris, and Carl Spaatz, but after some debate, control passed to SHAEF on 1 April 1944. When the Combined Bomber Offensive officially ended on 1 April, Allied airmen were well on the way to achieving air superiority over all of Europe. While they continued some strategic bombing, the USAAF along with the RAF turned their attention to the tactical air battle in support of the Normandy Invasion. It was not until the middle of September that the strategic bombing campaign of Germany again became the priority for the USAAF.

The twin campaigns—the USAAF by day, the RAF by night—built up into massive bombing of German industrial areas, notably the Ruhr, followed by attacks directly on cities such as Hamburg, Kassel, Pforzheim, Mainz and the often-criticized bombing of Dresden.


A Brief History of Japanese American Relocation During World War II

exercising at Manzanar

On December 7, 1941, the United States entered World War II when Japan attacked the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor. At that time, nearly 113,000 people of Japanese ancestry, two-thirds of them American citizens, were living in California, Washington, and Oregon. On February 19, 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order No. 9066 empowering the U.S. Army to designate areas from which "any or all persons may be excluded." No person of Japanese ancestry living in the United States was ever convicted of any serious act of espionage or sabotage during the war. Yet these innocent people were removed from their homes and placed in relocation centers, many for the duration of the war. In contrast, between 1942 and 1944, 18 Caucasians were tried for spying for Japan at least ten were convicted in court.

To understand why the United States government decided to remove Japanese Americans from the West Coast in the largest single forced relocation in U.S. history, one must consider many factors. Prejudice, wartime hysteria, and politics all contributed to this decision.

West Coast Anti-Asian Prejudice

Anti-Asian prejudices, especially in California, began as anti-Chinese feelings. The cultural and economic forces that led to the anti-Japanese feelings are discussed in detail by Daniels, and summarized here. Chinese immigration to the U.S. began about the same time as the California gold rush of 1849. During the initial phases of the economic boom that accompanied the gold rush, Chinese labor was needed and welcomed. However, soon white workingmen began to consider the Chinese, who in 1870 comprised about 10 percent of California's population, as competitors. This economic competition increased after the completion of the trans-continental Union-Central Pacific Railroad in 1869, which had employed around 10,000 Chinese laborers. Chinese labor was cheap labor, and this economic grievance became an ideology of Asian inferiority similar to existing American racial prejudices. Discrimination became legislated at both the state and federal level, including a Chinese immigration exclusion bill passed in 1882 by the U.S. Congress.

The experiences of Chinese immigrants foreshadowed those of Japanese immigrants, who began arriving about the same time the Chinese exclusion bill was passed. Japanese immigrants were called Issei, from the combination of the Japanese words for "one" and "generation" their children, the American-born second generation, are Nisei, and the third generation are Sansei. Nisei and Sansei who were educated in Japan are called Kibei. The Issei mostly came from the Japanese countryside, and they generally arrived, either in Hawaii or the mainland West Coast, with very little money. Approximately half became farmers, while others went to the coastal urban centers and worked in small commercial establishments, usually for themselves or for other Issei.

Anti-Japanese movements began shortly after Japanese immigration began, arising from existing anti-Asian prejudices. However, the anti-Japanese movement became widespread around 1905, due both to increasing immigration and the Japanese victory over Russia, the first defeat of a western nation by an Asian nation in modern times. Both the Issei and Japan began to be perceived as threats. Discrimination included the formation of anti-Japanese organizations, such as the Asiatic Exclusion League, attempts at school segregation (which eventually affected Nisei under the doctrine of "separate but equal"), and a growing number of violent attacks upon individuals and businesses.

The Japanese government subsequently protested this treatment of its citizens. To maintain the Japanese-American friendship President Theodore Roosevelt attempted to negotiate a compromise, convincing the San Francisco school board to revoke the segregationist order, restraining the California Legislature from passing more anti-Japanese legislation and working out what was known as the "Gentlemen's Agreement" with the Japanese government. In this, the Japanese government agreed to limit emigration to the continental United States to laborers who had already been to the United States before and to the parents, wives, and children of laborers already there.

In 1913, California passed the Alien Land Law which prohibited the ownership of agricultural land by "aliens ineligible to citizenship." In 1920, a stronger Alien Land Act prohibited leasing and sharecropping as well. Both laws were based on the presumption that Asians were aliens ineligible for citizenship, which in turn stemmed from a narrow interpretation of the naturalization statute. The statute had been rewritten after the Fourteenth Amendment to the constitution to permit naturalization of "white persons" and "aliens of African descent." This exclusionism, clearly the intent of Congress, was legitimized by the Supreme Court in 1921, when Takao Ozawa was denied citizenship. However, the Nisei were citizens by birth, and therefore parents would often transfer title to their children. The Immigration Act of 1924 prohibited all further Japanese immigration, with the side effect of making a very distinct generation gap between the Issei and Nisei.

Many of the anti-Japanese fears arose from economic factors combined with envy, since many of the Issei farmers had become very successful at raising fruits and vegetables in soil that most people had considered infertile. Other fears were military in nature the Russo-Japanese War proved that the Japanese were a force to be reckoned with, and stimulated fears of Asian conquest — "the Yellow Peril." These factors, plus the perception of "otherness" and "Asian inscrutability" that typified American racial stereotypes, greatly influenced the events following Pearl Harbor.

In the Aftermath of Pearl Harbor

Beginning December 7, the Justice Department organized the arrests of 3,000 people whom it considered "dangerous" enemy aliens, half of whom were Japanese. Of the Japanese, those arrested included community leaders who were involved in Japanese organizations and religious groups. Evidence of actual subversive activities was not a prerequisite for arrest. At the same time, the bank accounts of all enemy aliens and all accounts in American branches of Japanese banks were frozen. These two actions paralyzed the Japanese American community by depriving it of both its leadership and financial assets.

In late January 1942 many of the Japanese arrested by the Justice Department were transferred to internment camps in Montana, New Mexico, and North Dakota. Often their families had no idea of their whereabouts for weeks. Some internees were reunited with their families later in relocation centers. However, many remained in Justice camps for the duration of the war.

After Pearl Harbor, the shock of a sneak attack on American soil caused widespread hysteria and paranoia. It certainly did not help matters when Frank Knox, Roosevelt's Secretary of the Navy, blamed Pearl Harbor on "the most effective fifth column work that's come out of this war, except in Norway." Knox apparently already realized that the local military's lack of preparedness far overshadowed any espionage in the success of the attack but did not want the country to lose faith in the Navy. This scapegoating opened the door to sensationalistic newspaper headlines about sabotage, fifth column activities, and imminent invasion. Such stories had no factual basis, but fed the growing suspicions about Japanese Americans (J.A.C.P. 1973). In fact, as far as Japanese attacks on the mainland were concerned, the military had already concluded that Japanese hit-and-run raids were possible, but that any large-scale invasion was beyond the capacity of the Japanese military, as was any invasion of Japan by the U.S. military.

"Military Necessity"

After the attack on Pearl Harbor martial law was declared in Hawaii and all civilians were subject to travel, security, and curfew restrictions imposed by the military. Japanese fishing boats were impounded and individuals considered potentially dangerous were arrested .

Politicians called for the mass incarceration of people of Japanese ancestry in Hawaii. But the military resisted: one-third of the Hawaiian population was of Japanese ancestry and the military didn't have enough soldiers to guard them or enough ships to send them to the mainland. More importantly, their labor was crucial to the civilian and military economy of the islands. In the end fewer than 1,500 (out of a population of 150,000) were confined and eventually removed to the mainland.

One of the key players in the confusion following Pearl Harbor was Lt. General John L. DeWitt, the commander of the Western Defense Command and the U.S. 4th Army. DeWitt had a history of prejudice against non-Caucasian Americans, even those already in the Army, and he was easily swayed by any rumor of sabotage or imminent Japanese invasion.

DeWitt was convinced that if he could control all civilian activity on the West Coast, he could prevent another Pearl Harbor-type disaster. J. Edgar Hoover of the FBI ridiculed the "hysteria and lack of judgment" of DeWitt's Military Intelligence Division, citing such incidents as the supposed powerline sabotage actually caused by cattle.

Nevertheless, in his Final Report (1943), DeWitt cites other reasons for the "military necessity" of evacuation, such as supposed signal lights and unidentified radio transmissions, none of which was ever verified. He also insisted on seizing weapons, ammunition, radios, and cameras without warrants. He called these "hidden caches of contraband," even though most of the weapons seized were from two legitimate sporting goods stores.

Initially, DeWitt did not embrace the broad-scale removal of all Japanese Americans from the West Coast. On December 19, 1941, General DeWitt recommended "that action be initiated at the earliest practicable date to collect all alien subjects fourteen years of age and over, of enemy nations and remove them" to the interior of the country and hold them "under restraint after removal". On December 26, he told Provost Marshall General Allen W. Gullion that "I'm very doubtful that it would be commonsense procedure to try and intern 117,000 Japanese in this theater . An American citizen, after all, is an American citizen. And while they all may not be loyal, I think we can weed the disloyal out of the loyal and lock them up if necessary".

With encouragement from Colonel Karl Bendetson, the head of the Provost Marshall's Aliens Division, on January 21, DeWitt recommended to Secretary of War Henry Stimson the establishment of small "prohibited zones" around strategic areas from which enemy aliens and their native-born children would be removed, as well as some larger "restricted zones" where they would be kept under close surveillance. Stimson and Attorney General Francis Biddle agreed, although Biddle was determined not to do anything to violate Japanese Americans' constitutional rights.

However, on February 9, DeWitt asked for much larger prohibited zones in Washington and Oregon which included the entire cities of Portland, Seattle, and Tacoma. Biddle refused to go along, but President Roosevelt, convinced of the military necessity, agreed to bypass the Justice Department. Roosevelt gave the army "carte blanche" to do what they wanted, with the caveat to be as reasonable as possible.

Two days later, DeWitt submitted his final recommendations in which he called for the removal of all Japanese, native-born as well as alien, and "other subversive persons" from the entire area lying west of the Sierra Nevada and Cascade Mountains. DeWitt justified this broad-scale removal on "military necessity" stating "the Japanese race is an enemy race" and "the very fact that no sabotage has taken place to date is a disturbing and confirming indication that such action will be taken" .

On February 17, Biddle made a last ditch effort to convince the President that evacuation was unnecessary. In addition, General Mark Clark of General Headquarters in Washington, D.C., was convinced that evacuation was counteractive to military necessity, as it would use far too many soldiers who could otherwise be fighting. He argued that "we will never have a perfect defense against sabotage except at the expense of other equally important efforts." Instead, he recommended protecting critical installations by using pass and permit systems and selective arrests as necessary.

Meanwhile, the Japanese American community, particularly the Nisei, were trying to establish their loyalty by becoming air raid wardens and joining the army (when they were allowed to). Since so many in the Issei leadership had been imprisoned during the initial arrests, the Nisei organizations, especially the JACL, gained influence in the Japanese American community. The JACL's policy of cooperation and appeasement was embraced by some Japanese Americans but vilified by others.

At first, there was no consistent treatment of Nisei who tried to enlist or who were drafted. Most Selective Service boards rejected them, classifying them as 4-F or 4-C (unsuitable for service because of race or ancestry), but they were accepted at others. The War Department prohibited further Nisei induction after March 31, 1942, "Except as may be specifically authorized in exceptional cases." The exceptions were bilingual Nisei and Kibei who served as language instructors and interpreters. All registrants of Japanese ancestry were officially classified as 4-C after September 14, 1942.

While the military debated restrictions on Japanese Americans and limited their involvement in the war, public opinion on the West Coast was growing in support of confining all persons of Japanese ancestry. The anti-Japanese American sentiment in the media was typified by and editorial in the Los Angeles Times: "A viper is nonetheless a viper wherever the egg is hatched — so a Japanese American, born of Japanese parents — grows up to be a Japanese, not an American".

Despite opposition by Biddle, the JACL, and General Mark Clark, on February 19, 1942, President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, authorizing the Secretary of War "to prescribe military areas in such places and of such extent as he or the appropriate Military Commander may determine, from which any or all persons may be excluded, and with respect to which, the right of any person to enter, remain in, or leave shall be subject to whatever restrictions the Secretary of War or the appropriate Military Commander may impose in his discretion. The Secretary of War is hereby authorized to provide for residents of any such area who are excluded therefrom, such transportation, food, shelter, and other accommodations as may be necessary in the judgement of the Secretary of War or said Military Commander. ."

In mid-February Congressional committee hearings headed by California congressman John Tolan were held on the West Coast to assess the need for the evacuation of Japanese Americans. The overwhelming majority of the witnesses supported the removal of all Japanese, alien and citizen, from the coast. California Governor Culbert L. Olson and State Attorney General Earl Warren supported removal of all Japanese Americans from coastal areas, stating that it was impossible to tell which ones were loyal. As de factospokesmen for the Japanese community, JACL leaders argued against mass evacuation, but to prove their loyalty pledged their readiness to cooperate if it were deemed a military necessity.

Other events in California contributed to the tense atmosphere. On February 23 a Japanese submarine shelled the California coast. It caused no serious damage but raised fears of further enemy action along the U.S. coast. The following night the "Battle of Los Angeles" took place. In response to an unidentified radar echo, the military called for a blackout and fired over 1,400 anti-aircraft shells. Twenty Japanese Americans were arrested for supposedly signaling the invaders, but the radar echo turned out to be a loose weather balloon.

Even prior to the signing of Executive Order 9066, the U.S. Navy had begun the removal of Japanese Americans from near the Port of Los Angeles: on February 14, 1942, the Navy announced that all persons of Japanese ancestry had to leave Terminal Island by March 14. On February 24 the deadline was moved up to February 27. Practically all family heads (mostly fisherman) had already been arrested and removed by the FBI and the 500 families living there were allowed to move on their own anywhere they wanted. Most stayed in the Los Angeles area until they were again relocated by the U.S. Army.

Evacuation

Even after Executive Order 9066, no one was quite sure what was going to happen. Who would be "excluded," where would the "military areas" be, and where would people go after they had been "excluded"?

General DeWitt originally wanted to remove all Japanese, German, and Italian aliens. However, public opinion (with a few vocal dissenters) was in favor of relocating all Japanese Americans, citizen and alien alike, but opposed to any mass evacuation of German or Italian aliens, much less second generation Germans or Italians. Provost Marshall Gullion, who had always supported relocation of Japanese Americans, had only figured on males over the age of fourteen — about 46,000 from the West Coast a As the military negotiated possibilities, the Japanese American community continued to worry. Most followed the lead of the JACL and chose to cooperate with evacuation as a way to prove their loyalty. A few were vocally opposed to evacuation and later sought ways to prevent it, some with court cases that eventually reached the Supreme Court.

DeWitt issued several Public Proclamations about the evacuation, but these did little to clear up confusion in fact, they created more. On March 2, Public Proclamation No. 1 divided Washington, Oregon, California, and Arizona into two military areas, numbered 1 and 2. Military Area No. 1 was sub-divided into a "prohibited zone" along the coast and an adjacent "restricted zone." Ninety-eight smaller areas were also labeled prohibited, presumably strategic military sites. The announcement was aimed at "Japanese, German or Italian" aliens and "any person of Japanese ancestry," but it did not specifically order anyone to leave. However, an accompanying press release predicted that all people of Japanese ancestry would eventually be excluded from Military Area No. 1, but probably not from Military Area No. 2.

At this time, the government had not made any plans to help people move, and since most Issei assets had been frozen at the beginning of the war, most families lacked the resources to move. However, several thousand Japanese Americans voluntarily did try to relocate themselves. Over 9,000 persons voluntarily moved out of Military Area No. 1: of these, over half moved into the California portion of Military Area No. 2, where Public Proclamation No. 1 said no restrictions or prohibitions were contemplated. Later, of course, they would be forcefully evacuated from Military Area No. 2. Somewhat luckier were the Japanese Americans who moved farther into the interior of the country: 1,963 moved to Colorado, 1,519 moved to Utah, 305 moved to Idaho, 208 moved to eastern Washington, 115 moved to eastern Oregon, 105 moved to northern Arizona, 83 moved to Wyoming, 72 moved to Illinois, 69 moved to Nebraska, and 366 moved to other states. But many who did attempt to leave the West Coast discovered that the inland states were unwilling to accept them. The perception inland was that California was dumping its "undesirables," and many refugees were turned back at state borders, had difficulty buying gasoline, or were greeted with "No Japs Wanted" signs.

On March 11 the Army-controlled Wartime Civilian Control Administration (WCCA) was established to organize and carry out the evacuation of Military Area No. 1. Public Proclamation No. 2, on March 16, designated four more military areas in the states of Idaho, Montana, Nevada, and Utah, and 933 more prohibited areas. Although DeWitt pictured eventually removing all Japanese Americans from these areas, these plans never materialized.

Public Law No. 503, approved on March 21, 1942, made violating restrictions in a military area a misdemeanor, liable up to a $5,000 fine or a year in jail. Public Proclamation No. 3, effective March 27, instituted an 8:00 pm to 6:00 am curfew in Military Area No. 1 and listed prohibited areas for all enemy aliens and "persons of Japanese ancestry." Public Proclamation No. 3 also required that "at all other times all such persons shall only be at their place of residence or employment or traveling between those places or within a distance of not more than five miles from their place of residence."

Voluntary evacuation ended March 29, when Public Proclamation No. 4 forbade all Japanese from leaving Military Area No. 1 until ordered. Further instructions established reception centers as transitory evacuation facilities and forbade moves except to an approved location outside Military Area No. 1.

The first evacuation under the auspices of the Army began March 24 on Bainbridge Island near Seattle, and was repeated all along the West Coast. In all, 108 "Civilian Exclusion Orders" were issued, each designed to affect around 1,000 people. After initial notification, residents were given six days in which to dispose of nearly all their possessions, packing only "that which can be carried by the family or the individual" including bedding, toilet articles, clothing and eating utensils. The government was willing to store or ship some possessions "at the sole risk of the owner," but many did not trust that option. Most families sold their property and possessions for ridiculously small sums, while others trusted friends and neighbors to look after their properties.

By June 2, 1942, all Japanese in Military Area No. 1, except for a few left behind in hospitals, were in army custody. The image of the Japanese Americans is that they passively accepted evacuation. There is a Japanese philosophy "shikataganai" — it can't be helped. So, indeed the vast majority of the Japanese Americans were resigned to following the orders that sent them into the assembly centers which for many was a way to prove their loyalty to the U.S.

But a few cases of active resistance to the evacuation occurred. Three weeks after he was supposed to evacuate, Kuji Kurokawa was found, too weak to move due to malnutrition, hiding in the basement of the home where he had been employed for 10 years. He decided that he would not register or be evacuated, "I am an American citizen," he explained. In another story, perhaps apocryphal, Hideo Murata, a U.S. Army World War I veteran, committed suicide at a local hotel rather than be evacuated.

Three Japanese-Americans challenged the government's actions in court. Minoru Yasui had volunteered for military service after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and was rejected because of his Japanese ancestry. An attorney, he deliberately violated the curfew law of his native Portland, Oregon, stating that citizens have the duty to challenge unconstitutional regulations. Gordon Hirabayashi, a student at the University of Washington, also deliberately violated the curfew for Japanese Americans and disregarded the evacuation orders, claiming that the government was violating the 5th amendment by restricting the freedom of innocent Japanese Americans. Fred Korematsu changed his name, altered his facial features, and went into hiding. He was later arrested for remaining in a restricted area. In court, Korematsu claimed the government could not imprison a group of people based solely on ancestry. All three lost their cases. Yasui spent several months in jail and was then sent to the Minidoka Relocation Center, Hirabayashi spent time in jail and several months at a Federal prison in Arizona, and Korematsu was sent to the Topaz Relocation Center.

According to one author, the only act of "sabotage" by a Japanese American was a product of the relocation process. When told to leave his home and go to an assembly center, one farmer asked for an extension to harvest his strawberry crop. His request was denied, so he plowed under the strawberry field. He was then arrested for sabotage, on the grounds that strawberries were a necessary commodity for the war effort. No one was allowed to delay evacuation in order to harvest their crops and subsequently Californians were faced with shortages of fruits and vegetables. Japanese Americans grew 95 percent of the state's strawberries and one-third of the state's truck crops.

Even though the justification for the evacuation was to thwart espionage and sabotage, newborn babies, young children, the elderly, the infirm, children from orphanages, and even children adopted by Caucasian parents were not exempt from removal. Anyone with 1/16th or more Japanese blood was included. In all, over 17,000 children under 10 years old, 2,000 persons over 65 years old, and 1,000 handicapped or infirm persons were evacuated.


3 December 1942 - History

The Philippines Campaign (1941-1942), was an invasion of the Philippines by Japan also known as the Battle of the Philippines. The islands were a strategic location for the Japanese as they lie between Japan and the South Pacific. The importance of this location forced the United States to call Army General Douglas MacArthur, who had retired in the Philippines, to serve in the Filipino Army as a field marshal.

Background

The Empire of Japan declared war upon the United States of America in 1941. Shortly after this, the Japanese invaded the Philippines, a collection of islands in South East Asia which was home to a number of important U.S. army bases at the time. This invasion started only ten hours after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Though the American-Filipino army was defeated by the Japanese invaders during April the following year, guerrilla resistance continued throughout the war, increasing over the years. This eventually led to the liberation of the Philippine Islands during 1944.

Japan”s Objectives

The Emperor of Japan believed that all Asian countries rightfully belonged to the Imperial Japanese government. The invasion of neighboring countries such as Korea and China started taking an immediate upswing during the 20th century. Taking over the neighboring Asian countries was part of the “Greater Asian War” plan of Japan. However, to achieve their goal, they had to attack the countries which had the presence of foreign military forces. The Dutch had the East Indies, The United Kingdom were present in Hong Kong and Malaysia, and the United States had military bases in the Philippines.

Japan had three main objectives for the invasion. First, they wanted to prevent the operations of the United States military force in the Philippines. Second, they wanted to acquire land in different islands in order to strategically attack the Dutch in the East Indies. Lastly, they wanted to secure communication lines between Japan and neighboring countries that have been successfully invaded.

Defenses

MacArthur organized the U.S. Army Forces in the Far East into four different commands. The North Luzon Force was commanded by Major General Jonathan M. Wainwright and had troops located in areas that were prone to amphibious attack as well as central provinces. The South Luzon Force covered the Southern and Eastern areas of Luzon. This was activated on December 13, 1941 and was under Brigadier General George M. Parker Jr. The Visayan-Mindanao Force was commanded by Brigadier General William F. Sharp and was activated shortly after the South Luzon Force. The USAFFE Reserve Force was positioned right above Manila and was under the direct command of General MacArthur. It was composed of the Philippines 91st Division with coastal artillery regiments from the U.S. guarding the entrance to Manila Bay and Corregidor Island.

Controversy of the Far East Air Force

Pearl Harbor was attacked just ten hours before the invasion of the Philippines at 3:00 am, local time. Even before this news, there was an air search conducted due to unauthorized aircrafts which were reported to have just been Japanese weather planes. Bombers landed at Clark Airfield, Pampanga at 10:00 am that day. During the 45-minute attach, the FEAF lost nearly half the planes in the base, and was left destroyed within a week. The remaining aircrafts of the FEAF in the Philippines were captured by Japanese forces. This failure did not undergo any formal investigation as troops were still shocked by the occurrences in Pearl Harbor. Major General Emmitt O”Donnell said it was not anyone”s fault, but the U.S. forces failed to assess the efficiency and speed of the Japanese Air Force.

Japanese invasion

The 14th Army of the Empire of Japan landed on Batan Island, which marked the start of the invasion. The island was located just off the coast of northern Luzon. Other landings in northern Luzon were seen later that same week. On December 14, the 16th Division of the Japanese army unloaded 2,500 men in southern Luzon at Legazpi. This was only 240 km away from the closest American base. Mindanao was attacked seven days after the landing at Legazpi.

Battle of Bataan

This battle is known as an intense, three-month battle initiated by the Imperial Army of Japan. The fall of Bataan into Japanese hands hastened the collapse of U.S. forces in Corregidor. The base was compromised on April 9, 1942 after the surrender of General Edward P. King to Japanese forces when an estimated 60,000 to 80,000 prisoners of war both Filipino and American were captured. This lead to the infamous Bataan Death March, where the POWs were forced to walk from Bataan to Balanga, locations that were 128 km apart. This event was characterized by murder, abuse, and other atrocities suffered by the Filipinos and Americans.

Battle of Corregidor

The island of Corregidor was a good position for artillery as it defended the opening of Manila Bay. Many of the Philippines” high ranking officers, different diplomats, and notable families were housed in Malinta Tunnel of Corregidor, after escaping the bombings that took place in Manila. Wainwright assumed control of the Philippine forces after MacArthur fled from Bataan to Australia. The defense on Malinta Hill was pushed back so, by May 6th, Wainwright asked the Japanese Force for terms of surrender, fearing for those who were in Corregidor. All allied forces in the Philippines surrendered after this. However, many guerilla activities continued.

Aftermath

The surrender of Corregidor marked the beginning of three years of horror for the survivors. However, the Philippine islands were eventually liberated along with the POWs. The news about the Death March in Bataan did not reach the United States until January 27, 1944 which aroused anger and fury within America. The allied forces of the Filipino and United States army continued to share a diplomatic relationship throughout the duration of the war.

2 responses to “Philippines Campaign”

it seems you wrote? so please clarify “on December 8, during a 45 minute attack the far east air force lost half of its planes.” please clarify the abbreviations date and “attack” not attach. and add: also date December tenth Japanese imperial warplanes raided another air base. if you can also please add the number of Japanese warplanes. thanks. also December 12 Japanese invaded in southern Luzon in addition to 14. thanks for troop number and article but please fix.

If MacArthur new about pearl harbor why didn’t he protect his airplanes
From being destroyed?