Benito Mussolini – Italy;

Nazi party, Hitler - Germany.

1935 Mussolini invaded Ethiopia,

1937 Japan invaded China.

1938 Hitler took over Austria & Czechoslovakia. 

1939 Germany, Italy & Japan form Axis;

Soviets sign nonaggression pact. 

Hitler invades Poland;  

Britain, France declare war on Germany. 

spring 1940 German forces sweep through Denmark, Norway, Belgium & Netherlands.

June, 1940 Germans swept into Paris. 

bomb attacks on London;

June, 1941, Germany invades USSR.


Britain-US technical cooperation:

radar ("radio detection & ranging").

Britain 1934;

Worried - German Luftwaffe 4,000 bombers; Royal Air Force 330 fighters;

"invisible curtain";

1939, British radar stations every 25 miles along coast.

MIT “Radiation Laboratory”;

Ultimately 4000 employees;

problems of antenna design, precision tracking, amplification, noise suppression, production engineering.


1935-1938 US isolationism;

June, 1940 Congress tripled budget of War Dept.; nation's first peacetime draft;

"arsenal of democracy." 


December 7, 1941 Pearl Harbor;

killing 2400 US soldiers & sailors.

Dec. 8, US declared war on Japan;

Germany & Italy then declare war on US.


Hermann Goerring, "Don't worry, the Americans can't build planes, only electric iceboxes & razor blades,"

1944 96,000 planes per year - B-17 Flying Fortress, B-24 Liberator, C-47 transport.


War Production Board.


1941-1945, 18 shipyards built 2708 Liberty ships - carry 9000 tons of cargo - 400 light tanks or 3000 jeeps.

entire ship built in four days,


"Rosie the Riveter".


1942 FDR Office of Scientific Research & Development (OSRD)

proximity fuses,



"I don't think we could continue the war without the jeep.  It does everything.  It goes everywhere.  It's as faithful as a dog, as strong as a mule, & as agile as a goat.  It constantly carries twice what it was designed for & still keeps on going.  It can turn on a dime & leave nine cents change.  Riding in one feels like falling downstairs, & it takes 24 hours to stop shaking, but it's not so bad after you get used to it."  

1940 entire US army 12,000 motor vehicles – 1945 Ford & other manufacturers turned out over 600,000.


incendiary bats.


June 6, 1944 D-Day;

fall 1944 pushed German army back.

April 30, 1945 Hitler suicide. 

May 4, 1945, Germany surrendered unconditionally.