Term Paper: World War II Put-Off by Europe's Lag

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World War II

Put-off by Europe's lag in paying off debts from the First World War, the United States remained committed to a policy of neutrality for the first several years of World War Two. Several issues led to American involvement in the war. First, collusion between Roosevelt and Churchill caused the United States to adopt restrictive trading policies with Japan. The eloquent Churchill apparently persuaded President Roosevelt to pressure Japan through sanctions: by prohibiting further shipments of steel, iron, aviation fuel, and other military essentials (Irving). A crippled Japanese army retaliated by the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7 of 1941. Congress approved entry into the war the very next day. Three days later, Germany and Italy declared war on the United States, which now faced enemies on two different continents. The era of American isolationism and neutrality promptly ended, even though Congress still tried to stave off the commitment of troops via the Lend-Lease Act. The Lend-Lease Act mobilized billions of dollars in weapons that could be lent or leased at will by the Americans. Weapons were lent to Allied troops but also to the Soviet Union during its offensive against the Nazis. The Lend-Lease Act also allowed the Americans to minimize troop deployment either to Europe or to Asia, while at the same time bolstering its lucrative munitions industry.

By the time the United States entered the war, Hitler's Nazis had invaded much of Europe. A blitzkrieg (lightening/flash war) strategy helped the Nazis incur major victories, especially during its invasion of Poland. During blitzkrieg, the army engages on multiple fronts using multiple means to trap the enemy. Nazi offenses were proving successful during the early stages of the war, partly due to a neutrality pact signed with the Soviet Union. The successful Nazi incursions into France, the Netherlands, and Scandinavia escalated the pressure placed on the United States to intervene.

Germany would later retract on its neutrality agreement with the Soviets, by attempting to invade Russia. The unsuccessful invasion of Moscow would become one of the reasons for the eventual Nazi defeat. An emboldened Soviet Union made inroads into Eastern Europe and eventually Germany and under pressure from several fronts at once, the Nazis were forced to surrender unconditionally. Germany surrendered less than a month after President Roosevelt died.

Their unconditional surrender came in light of joint Soviet, British, and American efforts and the leaders of those three nations would meet several times: most famously at Tehran and Yalta. At Tehran in 1943, Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin approved Operation Overlord, which would precipitate the Nazi defeat and secure the Allied stronghold over Europe. Before the unconditional surrender of the Nazis in 1945, Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin met again in Yalta. Their stalemated talks partially prepared the world for the Cold War.

Churchill initially hoped to incur American support of the Allied cause in Europe: to aid Great Britain and France in the campaign against Germany and… [END OF PREVIEW]

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APA Format

World War II Put-Off by Europe's Lag.  (2006, November 10).  Retrieved July 17, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/world-war-ii-put-off-europe-lag/4756106

MLA Format

"World War II Put-Off by Europe's Lag."  10 November 2006.  Web.  17 July 2019. <https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/world-war-ii-put-off-europe-lag/4756106>.

Chicago Format

"World War II Put-Off by Europe's Lag."  Essaytown.com.  November 10, 2006.  Accessed July 17, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/world-war-ii-put-off-europe-lag/4756106.