American History Chapter 14 Section 5 The War Ends Liberating Paris • After the Allies invaded France in June 1944, they were able to liberate Paris two months later on August 25th, 1944. Battle of the Bulge • As the Americans pushed east toward Germany, Hitler (desperate for a war victory) began a last offensive that became known as Battle of the Bulge. • Hitler tried to cut off Allied supplies coming through the port of Antwerp, Belgium. General Patton Saves the Day • Three days later, however, General Patton and his troops slammed into German lines. • Allied aircraft bombed German fuel depots. • Patton’s troops soon broke through the German lines. • The United States won the battle. VE Day • • • • • By the time the Battle of the Bulge ended, the Soviets had pushed Hitler’s troops out of Russia and across Poland. As Soviets drove toward Berlin from the east, American forces pushed toward it from the west. By the end of February 1945, American troops had fought their way to the Rhine River, Germany's last major line of defense in the west. Soviet troops arrived in Berlin on April 21, 1945, and by April 30, Hitler had killed himself. His successor, Karl Doenitz, surrendered unconditionally to the Allies on May 7, 1945 and the next day was proclaimed VE Day for “Victory in Europe.” FDR Passes Away • President Roosevelt died on April 12, 1945, after suffering a stroke. Harry S. Truman became president and had to end the war in Japan. Iwo Jima • The United States tried sending B-29s to bomb Japan, but they ran out of fuel by the time they reached Japan and could not hit their targets. • American military planners decided to invade Iwo Jima so that American B-29 Bombers could land and refuel before bombing Japan. • Iwo Jima’s geography was difficult. • American troops succeeded in capturing the island, but more than 6,800 marines died in the process. Fire Bombing Japan • While American engineers prepared airfields on Iwo Jima, General Curtis LeMay decided to change plans. • He ordered B-29s to drop bombs filled with napalm, which exploded and ignited fires. • The firebombing of Tokyo killed over 80,000 people and destroyed more than 250,000 buildings in the city. • Japan still refused to surrender. Okinawa • To aid a possible invasion of Japan, the United States invaded the island of Okinawa in April of 1945 and captured it in late June. Atomic Bomb • President Truman knew the United States had a new weapon that could force Japan’s unconditional surrender—the atomic bomb. • The President, along with his military leaders had to decide if they would invade Japan (risk high number of military deaths) or drop the bomb (killing thousands of civilians). Manhattan Project • The American program to build it, code-named the Manhattan Project, had started under Roosevelt. • In 1942, Leo Szilard and Enrico Fermi built the world's first Nuclear Reactor at the University of Chicago. • The project was headed by General Leslie Groves Ordering the Bomb • After much debate, President Truman ordered the bomb dropped. • He believed doing so was justified because it would save American lives. • Tinian Island was the airbase where the pilots of both planes took off from in the Pacific. Hiroshima & Nagasaki • The Allies threatened Japan with “prompt and utter destruction” if the nation did not surrender unconditionally, but the Japanese did not reply. • On August 6, 1945, an atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. • Three days later, another was dropped on Nagasaki. • The bombs killed tens of thousands of people. V-J Day • Faced with the massive destruction of the nuclear attacks and the shock of the Soviet Union joining the Allies, the Japanese emperor ordered his government to surrender on August 15, 1945. • August 15, called V-J Day, World War II was over. United Nations • President Roosevelt believed that a new international political organization could prevent another world war, and he was instrumental in creating the United Nations. • In 1944, delegates from 39 countries met in Washington, D.C. They discussed forming the United Nations. • It would have a General Assembly in which every member nation would have one vote. U.N. Security Council • It would also have an eleven-member Security Council. • Britain, France, China, the Soviet Union, and the United States would be the council’s permanent members. • They would have veto power. U.N. Charter • In 1945, representatives from 50 countries came to San Francisco to officially organize the United Nations. • They designed its charter, or constitution. • The General Assembly would vote on resolutions and choose the nonpermanent security group’s members. • The Security Council attended to international peace and security. Nuremberg Trials • In August 1945, the United States, Britain, France, and the Soviet Union created the International Military Tribunal (IMT). • At the Nuremberg trials, the IMT tried German leaders suspected of committing war crimes. • Many of these leaders were executed. – Complete list War Crimes in Japan • Several Japanese leaders were also tried and executed. • However, the Allies did not put the emperor of Japan on trial in order to avoid an uprising by the Japanese people.