The Home Front and Aftermath
Jacob Garvin, Cody Murkin, and Ashtyn Shanks
The Soviet Union-
The widespread military and industrial mobilization of the nation was known as the “battle of machines” (as Stalin called in) which they won, producing 78,000 tanks and 98,000 artillery pieces.
The United States-
The mobilization of the American economy resulted in social turmoil. Thousands came to work but dealt with shortages of houses and schools. 16 million men and women were enrolled in the military and moved frequently.
Mobilization of the economy was put into effect in July of 1944. Schools, theaters, and cafes were closed but by the time mobilization was too late to save Germany from defeat.
Japan was highly mobilized around wartime. However, they were extremely reluctant to mobilize women. The prime minister from 1941-1944, General Hideki Tojo, strongly opposed women employment and believed that women working would weaken family system which would weaken the nation, therefore they brought in Chinese and Japanese laborers to work.
We can do it!
The Bombing of Cities
London took the first heavy blows from the German air force nightly which killed or injured thousands of civilians. The theory that bombing civilians would force peace was wrong.
The British believed that destroying German communities would break civilian morale and acquire victory. Cologne, Germany was the first city to be attacked by a thousand bombers on May 31, 1942. Germans feared bombs that created firestorms that swept through cities known as incendiary bombs. Germany suffered enormously from the Allied bombing raids destroying millions of buildings and killing possibly half a million civilians.
Many of Japan's industries were destroyed due to attacks from the United States beginning on November 24, 1944 and ending by the summer of 1945. The first atomic bomb was dropped in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August of 1945 because of the fear that the United States would invade Japan.
Peace and a New War
The Cold War was a period of political tensions primarily a conflict between the United States and the Soviet Union, which expected to dominate world affairs until the end of the 1980s.
The Tehran Conference-
Stalin, Roosevelt, and Churchill were the leaders of the Big Three (the Soviet Union, the United States, and Great Britain) of the Grand Alliance. They met in Tehran on November 1943 to decide the future of the war with the major decision concerning the final assault on Germany.
The Yalta Conference-
The Big Three met again in Yalta, Russia in February 1945 and at that time the defeat of Germany was very clear.
The Potsdam Conference-
This conference began in July of 1945. Roosevelt had died on April 12 and was succeeded as president by Harry Truman. Truman wanted free elections throughout Europe but Stalin stated that is would be anti-Soviet to do so and that can not be allowed. Free elections could result in hostile governments to the Soviets. Few people favored such a policy at the end of the worlds most destructive conflict.
A New Struggle-
In March 1946, the former prime minister of Britain gave a speech to an American audience declaring that "an iron curtain" had "descended across the continent" which divided Europe into two hostile camps. The world seemed to be divided once again after the worlds most devastating conflict had ended.
2. How did mobilization of the economy affect the lives of citizens throughout the United States?