The Home Front and Aftermath

Jordan Barbo, Colin Mathews, and Michael Nehme

United States Homefront

The United States was the arsenal for the Allied Powers; it produced much of the military supplies that the Allies needed. The mobilization of the U.s. economy resulted in social turmoil by new factories creating boomtowns. Thousands came to these towns and resulted in a shortage of homes and schools. Many African Americans left the rural south to factories in the North and West. The presence of African Americans in these areas where they not lived before led to racial tensions and sometimes riots aswell.

Racial Tensions in The United States

Many African Americans left the rural south to factories in the North and West. The presence of African Americans in these areas where they not lived before led to racial tensions and sometimes riots as well.

Japanese Americans faced several more serious difficulties. On the West Coast, 110,000 Japanese Americans, with 65% of them being born in the U.s., were soon removed to camps surrounded by barbed wire and required to take loyalty oaths. Public Officials deemed this to be necessary for security reasons.

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Russia- Homefront

As Germany made a rapid advancement into Russia, the factories were taken apart and moved west into the interior of the Soviet Union. Russia won the "battle of machines" by producing 78,000 tanks and 98,000 artillery pieces.

Russia- Aftermath

After the Soviet Union was defeated initially, there were drastic emergency measures that were taken that affected the lives of the majority of the civilian population. In the Siege of Leningrad, around 1.5 million people had died in result of starvation and other circumstances. 55% of of the national Soviet income went to the war effort, which lead to the shortages of food and housing.
Soviet Storm: WW2 in the East - The Siege of Leningrad (5 series)
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Hitler was aware of how important a Home Front was and believed that was what caused Germany a defeat in WWI. He was determined to not let that happen again, so he adopted economic policies that may have ended up costing him the war. He maintained the morale of the home front during the 1st two years by refusing to cut consumer goods production or to increase the production of the armaments. After German defeats on the Russian front and the U.s joining the war, his economic polices changed.

Hitler ordered a massive increase of armaments and the size of the army in 1942. He put his architect, Albert Speer, in charge of the minister for armaments and munitions. Speer tripled the production of armaments between 1942-43 despite the Allied Forces air raids.

Total Mobilization of the economy was put into effect in July 1944. Schools, theaters, and cafes were all closed.

Women gained more credit during the war and gain a slight increase in the amount of women in the working industry.


Japan's government created a planning board to control prices, wages, labor, and resources in order to guarantee its control over all national resources. Some traditional habits were used to encourage citizens to sacrifice their resources, and sometimes their lives, for a national cause. The calls for sacrifice reached a high during the final years of the war. Suicide missions were also encouraged for young Japanese pilots. They were known as kamikaze. General Hideki Tojo, the prime minister from 1941 to 1944, opposed female employment. He claimed they were only able to do their duties because they have wives and mothers at home. Instead of using women for labor shortages, the Japanese government brought in Korean and Chinese laborers.

The bombing of civilians reached a new level with the use of the first atomic bomb. The crowded cities were built flimsy and very vulnerable to flames. The new US B-29 Superfortresses had begun attacks on Japan in 1944. By the summer of 1945 many of Japan's industries had been destroyed. The Japanese government decreed the mobilization of all people between the ages of 13 and 60 into a People's Volunteer Corps. Fearing high US casualties, President Truman decided to drop an atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.

Hiroshima Atomic Bomb, 1945 - A Day That Shook The World [HD]

Great Britain

The first sustained use of civilian bombing began in early September 1940. For many months, the German air force bombed London every night. Thousands of civilians were killed and injured by this bombing. The Londoners' morale still remained high. The air raids soon became a national experience. The ability of Londoners to maintain their morale set the standard for the whole British population. The theory that the bombing of civilians would force peace was proved wrong.

Peace and a New War

Tehran Conference

The Cold War, which was a period of political tensions and ideological conflict between Russia and the USA, was a result of the total victory of the Allies in WW2. In 1943, the Tehran Conference was held by the Big Three in order to discuss the future course of the war.

Yalta Conference

  • The Big Three again met in the Yalta Conference in 1945 to discuss the repossession of Eastern and much of Central Europe by the Russians. Stalin was suspicious of the Western Powers and wanted to protect the Soviet Union, so he created Pro-Soviet Governments along the border of the Soviet Union.
  • Roosevelt, favored the idea of self determination for Europe. It involved a pledge to help liberate Europe in the Creation of "democratic institution of their own choices." Liberated countries would hold free elections to determine their political systems. The United Nations was also created here.
  • They decided Germany would be divided into 4 zones, which would be occupied and governed by the military forces of the U.s, Great Britain, France, and Soviet Union.
  • The issue of free elections in Eastern Europe caused a serious split between the Soviets and Americans. The thought Stalin may not honor this provision, which became evident at the Potsdam Conference.

Potsdam Conference

  • Harry Truman, succeeded Roosevelt after his death, demanded free elections throughout Eastern Europe. Stalin said that a freely elected government would be anti-soviet and that we cannot allow.
  • The Soviets lost more people than anyone else in the war and Stalin wanted absolute military security. he thought the only security could be the presence of Communist states in Eastern Europe.

A New Struggle

Soviets and Westerners did not agree of many things especially their policies. The Soviets thought the Western and American polices were a global capitalist expansionism. The Americans thought the Soviets were a Communist Conspiracy.

Churchill described this conflict by saying "an iron curtain has decided across the continent" dividing Europe.