America’s Involvement In World War II
American soldiers storming Omaha Beach on D-Day
This beach is now known as “Bloody Omaha” because of the 2,200 casualties suffered by the American troops who landed here on D-Day. High cliffs and strong German defences made this a formidable objective. Despite heavy losses, by the end of 6 June the US 1st and 29th Divisions, and the 2nd and 5th Ranger Battalions, had gained a foothold at Omaha.
Dale L. Shrop was in a demolition squad of the US 1st Engineer Combat Battalion, attached to the US 1st Division. He landed on Omaha Beach, in the face of heavy enemy fire. “ I was with the first wave at zero hour and one of the lone survivors of that day. I could not swim when we jumped off the LCI [Landing Craft, Infantry]. I was tied to my platoon sergeant with a nylon rope. Imagine being sent on this type of mission when I couldn’t swim. I also had a life preserver on. It was not so humorous then because I was too scared to even know my name. A lot of the guys were hit below the waist and lost the use of their arms or legs, and the tide came in and got them before the medics got them. Another tragic thing I saw when I went back to the beachhead after it was secured – they had bodies stacked in rows like one would stack cordwood.” LCI = a “Landing Craft, Infantry”, one of the medium-sized craft that carried infantry only. [Warren Tute Collection, D-Day Museum]
Carter Barber was an American war correspondent on the transport ship U.S.S. Bayfield. He witnessed the landings on Omaha Beach from a US Coast Guard cutter (a small boat) just offshore. “ We slowed to a snail’s pace and, around 4.45am the anchors rattled down into the water, and I could hear some of the curses of men swinging their assault barges over the transport’s side. At five the barges were circling around in the water off their looming mother ship, and the terrific barrages started from the battlewagons [battleships] that had preceded us into the Bay of the Seine. It was like a review, the way we took those barges into the beach. You couldn’t see the heads of the troops over their sides… just the coxswain’s helmet sticking up from the stern. I looked aloft, saw our cutter’s flag twisted around the mast, and in a spurt of patriotism, climbed aloft, to free the banner. Just as I came down from the mast, we saw our first bunch of men. It was light then, and the scene was quickly changing from one of an even line of boats knifing in orderly rows behind their leaders towards the beach to a scene of carnage. One Higgins boat was completely disintegrated by a direct hit from shore. There were no survivors, and I couldn’t even see the dismembered parts of the troops ashore come down after they’d been blasted sky high.”
[Warren Tute Collection, D-Day Museum]
American soldiers justabout to land on Omaha Beach
Countries Involved in WWII
By the end of World War 2 there were few sovereign nations who were not involved in the war in some way.
Most everyone played a role in the war that could be construed as having some kind of major effect (even an officially neutral nation like Sweden, whose government allowed the passage of German troops through its territories, for example), which is why it was a truly global conflict. But the list of major players who were involved in major fighting goes something like this:
The following are sometimes also included: Iraq (Gailani government), Burma, Thailand, The Philippines (Laurel government), Republic of China at Nanking and Manchukuo.
Š United Kingdom (England, Great Britain)
Š United States (America, USA)
Š Soviet Union (USSR, Russia)
Some would count exactly 51 Allied countries, since each became a charter member of the United Nations and in order to qualify for charter membership in the UN, a nation had to have been at war with one or more of the Axis nations. These 51 were: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Byelorussia SSR, Canada, Chile, China (Republic of..), Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, France, Great Britain, Greece, Guatamala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Iran, Iraq (post-Gailini government), Lebanon, Liberia, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, The Philippines (Osmena government), Poland, Russia USSR, Saudia Arabia, South Africa, Syria, Turkey, Ukraine SSR, USA, Uruguay, Venezuela and Yugoslavia.
France was actually on the side of both, Allies and Axis. The southern part was known as the "Vichy French" that were loyal to Axis powers.
And at first, USSR was a neutral nation with the Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact. But then USSR became a 'untrusted' ally to the United States when Hitler invaded the them. Slovakia was not a country until 1991 when the Iron Curtain fell.Some argue Argentina was an Axis power in World War 2. They were at war with Brazil with German support and supplies. It was called the Planaterian War.
Map showing which continents were involved in World War II
Adolf Hitler, a charismatic, Austrian-born demagogue, rose to power in Germany during the 1920s and early 1930s at a time of social, political, and economic upheaval. Failing to take power by force in 1923, he eventually won power by democratic means. Once in power, he eliminated all opposition and launched an ambitious program of world domination and elimination of the Jews, paralleling ideas he advanced in his book, Mein Kampf. His "1,000 Year Reich" barely lasted 12 years and he died a broken and defeated man.
Picture of Adolf Hitler