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The US remained neutral at the beginning of the war, but

allowed the Allies to buy American weapons if they could

pay in cash and transport the weapons themselves (cash and

The 1941 Lend-Lease Act let the country lend arms or other
supplies to any country vital to the Unites States
US military leaders decoded a Japanese message and knew that they
were planning an attack on the US, but they didnt know when or

On December 7, 1941, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, Hawaii,

sinking or damaging 19 ships; 2,300 Americans died

The US declared war on Japan; Italy and Germany declared war on

the US
In an early meeting, Churchill and Roosevelt agreed that
they would only accept unconditional surrender from the
Axis powers

The Axis Powers would have to accept whatever peace

terms the Allies chose
In November 1942, the Allied Operation Torch invaded Axis
territory in North Africa, let by General Eisenhower

By May 1943, the Axis troops in Africa had surrendered

Around the same time (Winter, 1942), the Soviets trapped a

German army in Stalingrad, freezing and starving them into
surrender, and turning the tide in that war
After driving the Nazis out of Africa, the allies moved into

The captured Sicily quickly, and the loss prompted King

Victor Emmanuel III to arrest Mussolini

The Germans continued to fight the Americans until 1945

General Dwight Eisenhower was in charge of the operation to invade
France and free all of Western Europe from German control

To keep their real plans secret, the allies set up fake headquarters
and sent messages in codes they new Germany could read

Hitler had a large army at the port of Calais, where he thought the
Allies would attack
150 miles away from Calais, shortly after midnight on June
6, 1944, the allies began bombing German forces

Early in the morning, thousands of soldiers came up on the

beaches of Normandy

The French Resistance destroyed the railroads and lines of

communication, cutting off the Nazis in Normandy from the
rest of the troops
On August 25th, 1944, Paris was liberated form four years of
Nazi rule

By September, all of France, Belgium, and Luxembourg were

In October, Americans captured Aachen, the first German
town they had taken

Hitler made one last attempt to reverse the momentum, an

offensive called the Battle of the Bulge

The risky attack cost them 120,000 men, 600 tanks, and
1,600 planes, which they didnt have money or men to
The Soviet army was the first to find one of the Nazi death
camps in July 1944

The guards at Majdanek tried to burn all the bodies so no

one would know what they had done
In April 1945, the Soviets stormed Berlin; panicked German
soldiers tried to flee and were shot or hanged by their own

Hitler, in an underground bunker, married his partner Eva

Braun, shot himself while she swallowed cyanide

A week later, on April 8th, the allies celebrated V-E day as

Eisenhower accepted Germanys surrender
In February 1942, FDR signed an order for the imprisonment of people
of Japanese ancestry from California and parts of Washington,
Oregon, and Arizona

~110,000 Japanese Americans, most of them born in the United

States, were sent to relocation centers or prison camps

A Supreme Court decision in 1944 declared their imprisonment

unconstitutional, and over the next two years, all camps were closed
After bombing Pearl Harbor, Japan conquered large parts of China and
southeast Asia, as well as islands in the Pacific

The main Allied powers in the Pacific war were the United States and

The Allies began to turn the tide with a Pearl Harbor-like surprise
attack on Tokyo in April 1942

In the Battle of Midway, the U.S. broke the Japanese code and
surprised them before they could attack Midway island, sinking 5 ships
and 250 planes
The Allies island hopped their way back across the Pacific until they
reached the Japanese island of Okinawa

The Japanese put up a fierce defense and took 7,600 American lives
in two months of fighting, but the lost 110,000 soldiers in defense of
the island

The allies saw Okinawa as a preview of what was to come in an

invasion of the main islands of Japan
Begun at the start of the war, under the leadership of
scientist J. Robert Oppenheimer, with the goal of creating
an atomic bomb

All though 600,000 Americans were involved, almost no one

knew the purpose of the project; even VP Harry Truman did
not know about it until FDR died in 1945 and Truman
became president
On August 6th, 1945, a plane released the worlds first atomic bomb over

The bomb destroyed 90% of the city and killed 80,000 people instantly; tens
of thousands more died over the next year because the effects of the

When Japan did not immediately surrender, the US dropped a second bomb
on Nagasaki, killing 40,000

Japan surrendered on September 2, 1945