World War II

It is generally accepted that the Second World War started on September 1, 1939 when Germany invaded Poland, with subsequent Declarations of War on Germany by France and most of the countries of the British Empire and Commonwealth.

The United States didn’t enter the War until the surprise attack by Japanese Naval and Aerial forces on the U. S. Pacific fleet at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.

It was the most widespread war in history with over 100 million military personnel mobilized. In a state of “Total War”, the major participants place their entire economic, industrial and scientific capabilities at the service of the war effort.

In the United States, as in most of the world, rationing became a way of life. Tires, cars, bicycles, gasoline, fuel oil & kerosene, stoves, rubber footwear, shoes, typewriters and food including: sugar, coffee, processed foods, meats, canned fish, cheese, canned milk and fats. You were given a Ration Book with your allotted amounts of stamps.

This was a small price to pay, when almost every family had a member in the Armed Forces and the casualties were mounting. The casualties for the U. S. were 291,557 combat deaths and 113,842 other military deaths for a total of 405,399 deaths and 670,846 wounded for a total of 1,076,245 dead and wounded and 30,314 missing.

The German forces were defeated and they surrendered on May 7, 1945 and the Japanese forces were defeated on August 15, 1945 after two Atomic Bombs were dropped on the Japanese homeland.