Pearl Harbor

Americans learned of the developments in Europe and Asian through reporting in America’s media: newspapers, newsreels and radio. In Europe, Germany was seeking domination through a series of successful invasions (Poland, Belgium, France, etc.) as well as extermination of “undesirable” populations (Jews, ethnic minorities, homosexuals and others) in what would become known as the Holocaust. Meanwhile, Japan was seeking domination in Asia and the Pacific, through a series of battles in China and Southeast Asia. Italy was the only European country to side with Germany and was itself seeking to expand its dominance, invading Ethiopia. These countries would be known as the Axis; their opponent the Allies.

The U.S. officially remained neutral in the early years of the war, while taking legislative steps to help the Allies, such as allowing nations to purchase goods on a “cash and carry” policy or increasing the size of the Navy.

The surprise military strike by the Japanese at the U.S. Naval base in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on December 7, 1942 moved the United States from an official policy of neutrality to a state of war. The U.S. declared war on Japan the following day; on December 11th, the remaining Germany and Italy declared war on the U.S.

It’s estimated 60 million people died in World War II.

THIS PAGE IS In Memorium of Sara Jane McPherson, Navy WAVE

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