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News — WWII

“Old Blood and Guts” dies

Posted by Kenneth Peck on

On this day December 21st 1945 General George S. Patton, commander of the U.S. 3rd Army, dies from injuries suffered not in battle but in a freak car accident. He was 60 years old.Descended from a long line of military men, Patton graduated from the West Point Military Academy in 1909. He represented the United States in the 1912 Olympics-as the first American participant in the pentathlon. He did not win a medal. He went on to serve in the Tank Corps during World War I, an experience that made Patton a dedicated proponent of tank warfare.During World War II,...

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Battle of the Bulge

Posted by Kenneth Peck on

On this day December16th1944 On this day, the Germans launch the last major offensive of the war, Operation Mist, also known as the Ardennes Offensive and the Battle of the Bulge, an attempt to push the Allied front line west from northern France to northwestern Belgium. The Battle of the Bulge, so-called because the Germans created a “bulge” around the area of the Ardennes forest in pushing through the American defensive line, was the largest fought on the Western front.The Germans threw 250,000 soldiers into the initial assault, 14 German infantry divisions guarded by five panzer divisions-against a mere 80,000...

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MacArthur orders end of Shinto as Japanese state religion

Posted by Kenneth Peck on

On this day December 15th 1945 General Douglas MacArthur, in his capacity as Supreme Commander of Allied Powers in the Pacific, brings an end to Shintoism as Japan’s established religion. The Shinto system included the belief that the emperor, in this case Hirohito, was divine.On September 2, 1945 aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay, MacArthur signed the instrument of Japanese surrender on behalf of the victorious Allies. Before the economic and political reforms the Allies devised for Japan’s future could be enacted, however, the country had to be demilitarized. Step one in the plan to reform Japan entailed the...

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Roosevelt asks Congress to declare war on Japan

Posted by Kenneth Peck on

On this day December 8th 1941 President Franklin Roosevelt asks Congress to declare war on Japan in perhaps the most memorable speech of his career. The speech, in which he called Japan’s act a “deliberate deception,” received thunderous applause from Congress and, soon after, the United States officially entered the Second World War.The day before, Japanese pilots had bombed the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor, decimating the majority of U.S. warships in the Pacific Fleet along with most of the Air Corps and Navy aircraft stationed on the island of Oahu. The bombing raids killed 2,403 people, including 68...

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Pearl Harbor bombed

Posted by Kenneth Peck on

On this day December 7th 1941 At 7:55 a.m. Hawaii time, a Japanese dive bomber bearing the red symbol of the Rising Sun of Japan on its wings appears out of the clouds above the island of Oahu. A swarm of 360 Japanese warplanes followed, descending on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor in a ferocious assault. The surprise attack struck a critical blow against the U.S. Pacific fleet and drew the United States irrevocably into World War II.With diplomatic negotiations with Japan breaking down, President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his advisers knew that an imminent Japanese attack was...

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