United States Involvement in World War II

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The United State’s direct involvement in World War II officially began as soon as the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. Prior to that event, America had been providing arms and equipment to England but stopped short of any direct military confrontation with the Axis. The War in the Pacific was considered Asia’s War and the European War was considered a local conflict. US-Japanese relations had become strained in 1941, though America felt secure that her naval fleet at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii was powerful enough to discourage any aggression from Japan. On July 24, 1941, Japan occupied French Indo-China (Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos). Two days after that, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt froze all Japanese assets in the United States. American trade with Japan, including sales of oil and scrap metal, was brought to a standstill. England took the same action simultaneously and the Japanese government froze all British and American assets there. President Roosevelt nationalized the armed forces of the Philippines under the command of General Douglas MacArthur, who was also placed in command of all U.S. military forces in the Far East. The President informed the Japanese ambassador in Washington that any further expansion by Japan in the Far East would require a U.S. response to protect American interests. Prime Minister Churchill of Great Britain promised to aid the United States if negotiations with Japan were unsuccessful. On November 20, the Japanese opened discussions with Washington. Japan’s demands included the following: 1) The U.S. must abandon China. 2) Lift the freezing of Japanese Assets. 3) Resume full trade with Japan. 4) Help Japan get supplies from the Dutch East Indies. 5) Stop U.S. naval expansion in the western Pacific. Uni... ... middle of paper ... ...aided by the Americans and Chinese, finally pushed the Japanese out of Indo-China by the end of April 1945. When Japan refused the unconditional surrender demanded by the American, British and Chinese based on the Cairo Declaration, an atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, August 6. The bomb had an explosive force of 20,000 tons of TNT. The bomb destroyed four square miles of the city and killed or injured 160,000 people. On August 8, Russia declared war on Japan and began liberating Manchuria. The second atomic bomb ever used was dropped on the naval base at Nagasaki on August 10. The Japanese Premier Suzuki agreed to surrender on condition that Emperor Hirohito be permitted to keep his throne. The Japanese accepted Allied terms on August 14 and August 15 became V-J Day. (Victory over Japan) U.S. casualties in the Pacific War totaled 170,596, of which 41,322 died.
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