HISTORY 124A Lecture 37: Lecture 37

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29 Nov 2016
Lecture 37: WWII, Over There 11/28/2016 9:57:00 PM
Announcements & Recap
Final Exam Study Guide
o Will focus on one or more of the three main themes of the
course. The essay may ask for a change-over-time analysis or
an explanation for a historical phenomenon or situation. The
essay should answer the question entirely, be clearly
organized, and contain specific information.
Short Answer / ID25%
o The short answer / ID section will include identifications. It
may also include reverse IDs, in which a definition is provided
and the correct term is requested. Or, the question may ask
for specific important information, such as a date or a name,
given. Or, several choices may be provided and the question
asks for the correct or incorrect choice to be written into the
exam booklet. The short answer/ID section will therefore
include IDs, short answers, multiple choice, fill in the blank,
or other brief format.
o A successful ID definition will include three ingredients: facts,
specifics, and significance. An ID should correctly define the
term, include specific dates or other important specific
information that is relevant, and also explain why the ID term
matters, that is, explain the significance of the ID term. AN
ID may be around three to six sentences in length. A longer
ID answer that includes a lot of vague or incorrect information
may be worse than a short answer that is factual, focused,
and includes the most salient points of significance for the
Basic Timeline of WWII and U.S. Involvement
o 1941Over 3 million soldiers invade Russia
o 1942, AugustSiege of Stalingrad. This was a huge German
mistake. Around 800,000 Germans and 1.2 million Russians
died in the battle.
o 1943, JanuaryGermans surrender at Stalingrad,
representing a major turning point in the European theater.
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o 1943, JulyAmerican and British forces invade Sicily.
o 1944, June 6D-Day. Major involvement of American troops
on mainland Europe begins. Nearly 200,000 Americans,
British, and Canadian troops land in Normandy, France and
more than a million troops follow in the next few weeks.
o 1944, AugustParis is liberated.
Holocaust Overview
o It began after Hitler’s armies penetrated eastern Europe in
o It involved the mass exterminations of ‘undesirable’ people,
including Slavs, gypsies, homosexuals, and above all, Jews.
o By 1945, 6 million Jewish men, women, and children had died
in Nazi purpose-built death camps. This holocaust was the
culmination of Nazi belief that Germans constituted a ‘master
race’ destined to rule the world.
o In 1942, August, Gerhart Riegner, a representative of the
World Jewish Congress, informed American officials that
Germany had begun mass exterminations under Nazi control.
By December, Roosevelt has more information confirming
Riegner’s statements.
o 1942, Dec.—Allies declare they will try ‘war criminals’ in
formal courts when the war is over.
o 1943, April—FDR’s Conference on Refugees to meets in
Bermuda, but Britain refuses to discuss settling Jewish
refugees in Palestine.
o 1944, JanuarySecretary of State Henry Mogenthau, the only
Jew in Roosevelt’s cabinet, issues a report entitled Report of
the Secretary on the Acquiescence by this Government in the
Murder of Jews.
o 1944, JanuaryFDR establishes the War Refugee Board
(WRB). They take evidence from two escapees from the
Auschwitz death camp and recommend to Assistant Secretary
of War John J. McCloy that the camp be bombed out of
commission, even if that would kill some of the Jewish
inmates. McCloy rejected the idea stating that such bombing
“be executed only by the diversion of considerable air support
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essential to the success of our forces now engaged in decisive
operations elsewhere.” And that “the target is beyond the
maximum range of medium bombardment, dive bombers, and
fighter bombers located in the UK, France, or Italy.”
o In the Summer of 1943, Supreme Court Justice Felix
Frankfurter, met with a Jewish death-camp escapee. After
hearing the details of the camp, Frankfurter paced silently for
ten minutes and then said, “I am unable to believe you.”
Many Americans simply could not imagine something like the
The European Theater
Atlantic War
o 1942, earlyNazis dominated the Atlantic, with U-boats
torpedoing dozens of American shipping vessels. In three
months, the Germans had destroyed 216 ships.
o 1942, FebruaryThe German navy switched to a new Triton
code and added a fourth wheel to their Enigma machines.
English code breakers at Bletchley Park were now blinded to
German radio transmissions. In the same month, the
Germans salvaged a British code book from a sinking
merchantman off and could now eavesdrop on Allied convoys.
o 1942, Maythe U.S. begins traveling the Atlantic by convoy
made up of 10 columns of 6 ships each, plus up to a dozen
o 1942, DecemberScientists at Bletchley Park break the
Triton. Also by this time, American factories are producing
more escort carriers, or “baby flat-tops” that could carry as
many as two dozen aircraft.
o 1943, MaySixty very long range B-24 liberators transerred
from the Pacific to the Atlantic. In this month alone, 43 U-
Boats were destroyed, twice the rate of factory production.
Germany orders all but a handful of U-boats out of the North
o 1943, June-SeptemberDuring these months, 62 convoys
comprising 2,546 merchant vessels crossed the Atlantic
without the loss of a single ship.
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