Yesterday (Dec. 7) was the 72nd Anniversary of “The Infamous Day That Will Live in Infamy”, as President Franklin D. Roosevelt had declared it. It truly is a Day of Remembrance and Prayer, honoring the Men, and perhaps a few Ladies, who lost their lives that day. And, for those aging survivors from that Day, they Lost Their Youth, as well as Buddies. It is most important that we keep the Memory alive. A few years back, even a few Japanese survivors attended the Pearl Harbor Memorial Ceremony. Just Troops, on both sides, doing their jobs. WAR IS HELL!
World War II was fought in Two Theaters–the European and the Pacific. At the time, the U.S. had a Policy of Neutrality. Nazi Germany, along with it’s Fascist Italian Allies, controlled virtually all of Continental Europe. Only, Great Britain, Partisan Irreguars in several European Countries and Troops from Commonwealth Countries stood in the way. Canadians were there; however, Australian and New Zealand Troops were mostly deployed in the Pacific.
President Roosevelt did his best to support the Allies–mostly Brits–through surreptitious means, using a Canadian Messenger, (now) Sir William Stephenson, to communicate directly with the British Prime Minister, Sir Winston Churchill. But, Congress was not about to change the Neutrality Policy. And, I believe that Adolf Hitler might have gone out of his way not to provoke the one Sleeping Giant that could upset his goal of World Hegemony. But, let’s look to the East.
On that Sunday morning, December 7, 1941, just before 8:00 AM (local Time), a Japanese Armada attacked Pearl Harbor, Hawaii (than a Territory). Most of the US Fleet was berthed at “Pearl”. After the attack, Just over 2,400 US Nationals had been killed–mostly Sailors; however, some Marines, Army and Civilians were killed, as well. A number of Ships and Airplanes were destroyed, or severely damaged.
Following that attack, the US declared War–in both Theaters, I might add. So, the Japanese, perhaps having faced little resistance in Asia, might have thought they were invincible–and woke the Sleeping Giant. The rest is truly History.
The Roosevelt Administration convinced (perhaps threatened) many industries to convert their operations to support the War Effort. The Auto Industry re-structured their Assembly lines to make Tanks and Jeeps, Food Companies were packaging C-Rations, Clothing Manufacturers were producing fatigues for the Troops, etc. The Conversion was definitely a Team Effort–between the Government, Industry and Individuals (suffering from the unavailability of many necessities). This was truly, as Economists would say, Guns over Butter.
Keep in mind, also, that the Great Depression had only ended within the prior decade. So, the War Effort put many people back to work. Remember the War Bond Rallies, GI Joe’s (Jim’s, Tom’s, Mike’s, etc.), and the Lucy the Riveters were present everywhere in the Industrial Side of the War Effort.
There is an old story about the Phoenix Rising out of the Ashes. Well, although we certainly DO mourn the losses of our Troops, that was indeed an inspiration for the U.S.A. to Defeat the Axis Enemies and, along with our Allies in Both Theraters, perhaps Save the World as we know it.
NOTE: If you are a History Buff, especially Military History, I would highyl recommend “A Man Called Intrepid”. It was written by Sir. William Stephonso, who was “Intrepid”, the messenger between Roosevelt and Churchill.