The Bombing of Pearl Harbour on December 7th 1941 sparked the involvement of the United States in the Second World War. Up until this point, the Axis powers in both Europe and the Asia-Pacific had the advantage in the war, gaining territory and pushing the Allies back. America had so far claimed formal neutrality from the fighting till she herself was attacked in Hawaii. The Bombing of Pearl Harbour also strengthened America’s ties to Australia as it seen as a friend among a foe riddled Pacific. The inclusion of the United States into the Allied powers, as a result of Pearl Harbour, proved a significant turning point in World War Two.
America’s influence revolutionised World War Two in Europe
With the collaboration of the United States, the Allies on the Eastern front gained much needed funds, arsenal and service members: “At the end of January 1942 there were 4,000 American troops in the United Kingdom. That number swelled to 55,000 by the time ETOUSA (European Theatre of Operations, U.S. Army) was established in June, and by the end of the year 135,000 Americans were massed in Great Britain to train for the assault that would take place two years later on the beaches of Normandy. When the invasion was launched on June 6 1944, more than 1.5 million U.S. Army personnel were on hand.” These American service men and women participated in many major battles including: The Battle for Brest (1944), Battle of the Bulge (1944-1945) and the Italian Spring Offensive of 1945. Without the intervention of the United States, the Second World War could have drawn out longer, with the slight possibility of the Axis, specifically Nazi-Germany, winning the war.
Date Number of American service members in U.K
End of January 1942 – Two months after Pearl H 4,000
June 1942 – Establishment of ETOUSA 55,000
End of 1942 – One year after joining WW2 135,000
June 6th 1942 – D-Day on Normandy 1,500,000
U.S Army Europe, U.S Army Europe. [Online] Available at: http://www.eur.army.mil/organization/history.htm [Accessed 4 May 2014].
The start of the Pacific War and its effect on World War Two
Technically the War on Japan started on December 7th 1942; the day the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbour. Yet Japan had been invading South-East Asia since the invasion of Manchuria in 1931. They expanded slowly over China, and then in 1940 invaded French Indochina. “The US did not approve of this Japanese aggression and they declared an embargo on Japan. This meant they would stop supplying Japan with raw materials.” In order to obtain much needed supplies, the Japanese planned to ‘disable’ the American fleet stationed at Hawaii, allowing them enough time to seize the Dutch East Indies, which held valuable oil resources.
Once the United States had declared war on Japan, and subsequently joined the Allied Forces, it began sending troops to the Philippines. “Over the course of the war, the American Army deployed three field armies and 21 divisions to the...