American Theater of War
During the 1930s and early 1940s, the United States was neutral in World War II, in which three countries became the aggressors. The Nazi forces of Germany were brutally conquering Europe and both the Fascists of Italy and the Germans were conquering North Africa. In Asia, Japan's Imperial Army was expending its empire, both on the Asian continent and on the Pacific islands.
The United States began to sell, and late loan, ships and war material to the Allies, who were fighting all three aggressors. When Japan bombed Pearl harbor in the Hawaiian Islands on December 7, 1941, the United states fully committed itself to defeating what by then was called the Axis powers. Within a year, 17 or the 19 ships attacked at Pearl harbor were returned to duty, with more ships and planes being built each day.
At home, patriotic men and women joined the armed forces in large number. This was a war between economies as well as armies. The American economy focused on producing airplanes, ships, and munitions. The Home Front also became a fight front. Civilians feared attack by enemy bombers, victory or defeat depended largely on the government organizing its war effort production. America's daily life was dominated by coastal blackouts, civil defense, training camps, anti-submarine warfare, rationing, victory gardens and scrap metal and blood dives.
European, African, Middle East Theater of War
In the fall of 1942, American soldiers directly entered the European war by joining Allied British troops in an invasion to free North Africa. By spring, Nazi and Fascist forces were defeated on that continent.
After a successful assault on Sicily, the Allies moved on to mainland Italy in August 1943. Further north, American and British pilots conducted around-the-clock air strikes on German industrial and transportation centers. In the Middle East, a command was established to funnel supplies to Russia. The Allies were secretly planning a massive assault on Nazi forces on the European mainland.
On June 6, 1944, called "D-Day", 4,000 vessels landed on the coast of France. Over 176,000 troops were under the command of U.S. General Dwight D. Eisenhower. American and British armies eventually pushed forward to liberate Pairs.
Nazi resistance continued. Allied armies were victorious in the war's final major engagement, "The Battle of the Bulge," fought in Belgium. By April 1945, Allied forces, joined by Soviets from the east, occupied Germany. Victory in Europe was achieved.
China, Burma, India Theater of War
In Asia, Japan already occupied the eastern ports and provinces of the Asian continent. It planned to invade deeper into China. However, rough terrain combined with Chinese and Allied resistance halted the Japanese advance.
Japan's strategy was to cut off China from its links to the West by seizing control of "The Burma Road." Control of Burma would have provided Japan a base to launch an invasion of India and an eventual rendezvous with the Nazis heading east from Germany.Because Burma and South China are lands of thick vegetation, high mountains and severe weather, movement of supplies and troops was difficult. American engineers built roads through the jungle. American pilots helped supply forces in China by making dangerous flights "over the hum" of the Himalayas between India and China. Volunteer American pilots, "The Flying Tigers," fought heroic battles in the skies over China.
In defending China and retaking Burma, American ground forces fought along side the British and Chinese. Success was finally achieved by the spring of 1945.
Asiatic, Pacific Theater of War
During World War II, Japan built an empire, conquering land on the Asian continent and islands throughout the Pacific. In attacking the United States at Pearl Harbor in the Hawaiian Islands, Japan underestimated the United States' ability to react.The American strategy was to engage Japanese Imperial forces on two fronts. General MacArthur would lead U.S. troops north from Australia while Admiral Nimitz would direct the attack on strategic islands between Hawaii and Japan.
Fierce naval battles occurred in the Coral Sea and at Midway Island. The Marine Corps finally stopped the Japanese advance on Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands. There were devastating battles at Iwo Jima and Okinawa. The intensive combat on these islands resulted in extremely heavy casualties on both sides.By June 1945, Japan's military power had been substantially reduced. The Allies feared a huge loss of lives if they invaded Japan, so the decision was made to use atomic weapons to force the Japanese to surrender. Atomic bombs were dropped on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and Japan surrendered on August 14, 1945.
|Marker Condition||No reports yet|
|Date Added||Tuesday, October 21st, 2014 at 8:41pm PDT -07:00|
|UTM (WGS84 Datum)||13S E 499892 N 4384256|
|Decimal Degrees||39.60805000, -105.00125000|
|Degrees and Decimal Minutes||N 39° 36.483', W 105° 0.075'|
|Degrees, Minutes and Seconds||39° 36' 28.98" N, 105° 0' 4.50" W|
|Driving Directions||Google Maps|
|Area Code(s)||303, 720, 970|
|Closest Postal Address||At or near 104 W Lake Ave, Littleton CO 80120, US|
|Alternative Maps||Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap|
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