When your average person looks back in history, some would say they wish it was them who had invented something famous or lived in a time where there was no such thing as an atomic bomb. However, would any wish they were the President of the United States during a time of world crisis? Would anyone wish they could be President Franklin Roosevelt right after Pearl Harbor was bombed? While we have the luxury of not having to be in his shoes, Roosevelt would have to decide very quickly on how to respond to such a devastating attack on a U.S. naval base. So, President Roosevelt made his decision on December 8th, 1941 to stand before Congress and ask them to declare war against the nation responsible for the attack; Japan. Perhaps the most memorable and most important address of his presidency, he declared the action committed by Japan a “deliberate deception” and the speech was responded with a thunderous applause from Congress. Shortly after his address, the United States stated officially it was entering World War II. Japanese pilots had attacked the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor by bombing it on the day before Roosevelt’s speech. The surprise attack decimated most of the U.S. warships in the Pacific Fleet as well as the majority of Navy aircraft and Air Corps stationed on the island of Oahu. The bombing raids resulted in wounding almost 1,200 individuals and killing 2,403 people that included 68 civilians.Roosevelt and those advising him were notified of intelligence reports suggesting an imminent assault by Japan days earlier; however, he hoped that American and Japanese diplomats that were in Washington negotiating on what was hoped would be a peaceful solution. Roosevelt was enraged when realizing that while Japanese and American diplomats were trying to resolve their issues regarding recent military actions by Japan not only in China but in other areas in the Pacific; aircraft carriers from Japan were traveling to Hawaii with the purpose of attacking it. His words on December 8th expressed his personal fury and indignation.Previously, he had demonstrated his oratorical abilities when his “fireside chats” during the Great Depression raised the morale of the nation. He already had said memorable things such as “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself” stated with equal conviction that the United States “would never forget the character of Japan’s onslaught against us.” Roosevelt had also vowed that the “unbounding determination of our people… will gain the inevitable triumph—so help us God.”Regardless, the motivating address was hardly necessary as millions of Americans and Congress, who already had heard in the news the details of the assault, shared the president’s anger and commitment to defending the nation. The next day, young men swarmed to armed forces recruiting stations while both the Republicans and Democrats immediately declared war against Japan; there was only a single vote of dissension.
On the island of Oahu, out of the clouds suddenly appeared a Japanese dive bomber and on its’ wings could be seen the red picture of the Rising Sun of Japan at 7:55 a.m. Hawaii time. Suddenly, descending on the U.S. naval base stationed at Pearl Harbor was 360 Japanese war planes and began a vicious assault. The U.S. Pacific fleet suffered a critical blow as a result of the unexpected assault on December 7th, 1941 and would eventually influence the United States to enter World War II.President Franklin D. Roosevelt along with his advisers realized that a Japanese assault was not only probable but could happen at any time; yet, the important base at Pearl Harbor showed no signs of increased security. Lots of military personnel on Sunday morning had been granted passes to go off the base to attend religious services. Although two operators watching radar viewed big groups of aircrafts at 7:02 a.m. approaching from the north to the island, they were ordered not to sound the alarm due to the United States had arranged for a flight of B-17s to arrive at the island at that time. Therefore, it was a disastrous shock to the naval base when the assault from Japanese aircrafts started. Most of the fleet in the Pacific was rendered useless as over 200 airships were demolished as well as five of the eight battleships, three destroyers and seven additional vessels were severely damaged or sunk. While trying to valiantly attempting to stop the attack, many of the 1,200 got injured as a result of this and 2,400 in total Americans had perished. Japan’s losses were less than 100 men, roughly 30 aircraft and five small submarines. The United States would have had more losses but fortunately out on training maneuvers at sea were all three Pacific fleet carriers. However, revenge would be dealt by these huge aircraft carriers six months later against Japan at the Battle of Midway; their stupendous victory against what was thought of as an invincible Japanese navy reversed the tide of the war.President Roosevelt appeared in front of the joint session of Congress the morning after Pearl Harbor was attacked and declared, “Yesterday, December 7, 1941–a date which will live in infamy–the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.” After a forceful and quick speech, he implored Congress to agree to a resolution acknowledging the state of war between Japan and the United States. The vote was 82 to 0 in the Senate to approve of going to war against Japan while the vote was 388 to 1 in the House of Representatives to approve of going to war. The only dissenter was a devout pacifist, Representative Jeannette Rankin of Montana, who ironically had done the same thing by voting against the U.S. from participating in World War I. Italy and Germany would declare war against the United States three days later in which the U.S. government responded accordingly.Although the contribution by America to the Allied war effort was successful, it would take four long years and the total of American lives that were lost exceeded 400,000.
Today marks the birth of German Commander Erwin Rommel, born in Heidenheim, Germany, who is popularly known as the "Desert Fox" for his craftiness in launching surprise attacks on the Allied forces in North Africa during World War II. Born to a family of teachers, however, Rommel decided not to follow his family's profession and chose a military career for himself. In 1910, he was recruited into the German army as an officer cadet. While serving as a lieutenant in the First World War, he was decorated for bravery and recognized for his leadership skills. Instead of following the path, which other young officers took by settling for paper pushing positions, he chose to stay in the infantry as a frontline officer, teaching at different military academies and even publish a textbook on infantry strategy. Following the breakout of the Second World War in 1939, Rommel was given the appointment to command the Seventh Panzer Division in the invasion to France. Having no prior knowledge of the armored warfare, Rommel was quick in grasping the potentials and advantages of the new machine, which helped him winning most of the battles in France between May and June 1940.A year after his victory in France, Adolf Hitler chose him as the commander of the German divisions deployed to Libya to help the already defeated Italian army. On getting to Libya, it was obvious that the British commanders stationed in Libya were not up to his standard. By May, Rommel had won back most of the lost territory lost by the Italians to the Allied forces. This audacious style made the Allied forces tagged him the Desert Fox because he was good at manipulating and deceiving his enemies. This made Hitler to promote him to the rank of field marshal.In March 1943, Rommel was summoned back to Europe to defend the invasion of northern France from Allied forces before the Axis forces eventually surrendered in North Africa. Unfortunately, on June 6, 1944, the Allied eventually gained a strong foothold at Normandy.Back home in Germany, there have been rumors of a plot against Hitler among his generals who sensed that the Fuller was leading the country to destruction with his iron hand. This made the conspirators to approach Rommel and told him of their plan. He did agreed to their plan, but made sure he had no active role in the planning of Hitler's assassination. In addition, it was rumored that after Hitler's death, Rommel will become Germany's head of state.Rommel narrowly escape death when British a warplane attacked his car three days before the attempted coup, he was badly injured and admitted to the hospital. Unfortunately, on July 20, Hitler manage to escape another bomb explosion, arrest were made and the plotters (after been tortured) confessed that Rommel was involved in the planning of the failed coup. Immediately, Hitler send two of his generals to Rommel who was still in the hospital recovering from the head injuries he sustained and offered him two choices, which was suicide or trial. Rommel decided to go for the former and on October 14, he poisoned himself. After his death, Rommel was buried with full military honors.
It was on November 9th of 1938 gave birth to an event that would launch what would be known as the Holocaust of Jewish people throughout the world. Nazis German’s create a campaign of terror where they singled out people of Jewish descent, their businesses and their dwellings in Austria and Germany. The horrific violence that occurred and continued throughout the next day was later officially named “Kirstallnacht,” which means “Night of Broken Glass.” The name was appropriate due to the large number of broken windows of establishments owned by Jewish people, roughly 100 Jews were left for dead, a total of 7,500 businesses of Jewish-owned were damaged and hundreds of graveyards, synagogues, schools and homes ended up being vandalized. Shockingly, an estimated number of 30,000 men of Jewish-faith ended up being arrested. Then, a large amount of them were tragically placed in concentration camps for several months until they were released; however, each had to promise they would have to Germany. This event was the creation of Adolf Hitler and escalated his plan that started in 1933 to force the Jewish population out of Germany and was the year he became chancellor. The Nazis were able to use the murder of a low-level German diplomat that was in Paris that was committed by a Polish Jew that was only 17-years-old as the catalyst for the attacks on Kristallnacht. Two days prior to the infamous attacks, Ernst vom Rath was shot while outside the German embassy by a young man named Herschel Grynszpan because he craved vengeance due to his parents being forced to leave Germany and having to go to Poland. Also, it was due to tens of thousands of other Jews that were Polish being forced to leave Germany. Joseph Goebbels, who was a Nazi propaganda minister, used vom Rath’s murder to their advantage by carrying out destructive riots by “spontaneous demonstrations” that were committed by disguised storm troopers against Jewish people. Adding to the mayhem was the fact that fire departments and local police were told to look away and not to offer assistance. Sadly, some Jewish people, who included whole families, committed suicide as a result of the destruction that happened.The Nazis accused their Jewish citizens for the aftermath caused by Kristallnacht and were told to pay 1 billion marks (the 1938 equivalent of $400 million dollars) for the diplomat’s murder. The government used as payment insurance money belonging to Jewish citizens as well as seized property. The Nazi government carried out more policies of discrimination that basically isolated Jews from public life; this was done in an attempt to give birth to a master Aryan race. Kristallnacht also led to over 100,000 thousand Jewish people fleeing from Germany to other safer countries. Although other countries expressed their condemnation for what happened on those two destructive days, the worst thing that happened was the breaking of diplomatic relations with Germany. Since the Nazis had not suffered anything harmful to their cause, this led them to think there would be no repercussions for committing mass murder on a scale of approximately 6 million European Jews dying and would be later known as the Holocaust.
Today been the 16th anniversary of '"The Fuller" Adolf Hitler's Beer Hall Putsch, a bomb exploded right after he had delivered his speech to a group of his loyalist. Luckily, Hitler left the place injured. The anniversary is a yearly ritual of his infamous 1923 coup d'états, (been Hitler's first touch of power but resulted to his arrest and led to the extinction of his National Socialist party). Therefore, on this day in 1939, Hitler was addressing his old party members, soldiers and loyalist of his fascist party, and entertaining them with his dreams and ambitions however, twelve minutes when he left the hall with some Nazi's leader who were present at the occasion, a bomb exploded behind the podium, leaving seven people dead and 63 wounded. Following the incident, the Nazi official newspaper called "Voelkischer Beobachter" did not hesitate to blame the British secret agents and even accuse British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain for the attack. Although it was a plot to stir up the German people to go into war and develop hatred for the British. However, the Nazi inner-Party members were aware that the move was propaganda, believing the murder attempt was probably the work of an anti-Nazi German military conspiracy.Using a clever means to put the blame on the Britain, while in actuality closing up on the perpetrators, Gestapo chief, Heinrich Himmler decided to send a junior officer called Walter Schellenberg to Holland in order to make contacts with the British intelligence agents. The plan of the meeting with the British agents was to have the strong backing of the British government in the case an anti-Nazi coup succeeded. Not aware of the original plot, the British agents were willing to gain all the inside information they could about anti-Hitler's movement going on in the German military camp, while Schellenberg who was disguising as a German general called Major Schaemmel was after every information the British intelligence may have gathered on such a conspiracy within the German military.Nevertheless, Heinrich Himmler desired more than talk or pieces of gathered Intel, what he wanted was the British intelligence agents themselves. Therefore, on November 9, secret service agents in Holland kidnapped two British agents Payne Best and R.H. Stevens with the help of Schellenberg, and drove them across the border into Germany. On arriving Germany, Himmler announced to the German people that he had captured the British conspirators alongside the man who planted the explosive upon their request named Georg Elser, who is a carpenter and a member of the German communist movement.Certainly, it was Elser who planted the bomb, but the masterminds behind the crime is to this day a mystery, whether it is the German military or British intelligence. Payne, Stevens and Elser (the three official conspirators) were sent to Sachsenhausen concentration camp. In addition, Gestapo murdered Elser on April 16, 1945; therefore, history could not get his own part of the story. On the other hand, Hitler did not have the courage to hold a public trial because the loopholes in the story were just too much.
Today in 1945, the United Nations became effective and ready to promote international cooperation. The organization begins its duty as the supreme governing body of all countries in order to foster world unity. The charter had already been adopted and signed on June 26, 1945. With the ongoing World War II, it became a necessity for the Allies, (United States, Britain, and the Soviet Union) to formulate the United Nations Declaration that was signed by 26 nations in January 1942 as a means to opposing the Axis Powers i.e. Germany, Italy and Japan. The main objective of the organization is to ensure world peace, settling of conflicts between nations in a manner that is far better than the ineffective Old League of Nations. Before the birth of the UN, there were numerous international treaty organizations and conferences created to regulate conflicts among nations, which includes International Committee of the Red Cross, Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907 among many others. Because of the huge loss of life in WW1, the League of Nations was created at the Paris Peace Conference to maintain world peace. The new organization was able to resolve some international disputes and establish international structures in areas such as aviation, regulating opium etc. Nevertheless, the League of Nations failed is some major aspect such as failing to act against the Japanese invasion of Manchuria and China in 1931 and 1937 respectively, and to curb Adolf Hitler's quest for expanding Germany that eventually led to World War II.On April 25, 1945, the principles of the United Nations was formulated by the Allied Big Four (U.S. Britain, China and the Soviet Union) at the Dumbarton Oaks Conference. The meeting, which was attended by 50 government delegates and a number of non-governmental organizations, and presided over by the United states of America President Franklin Roosevelt, Prime Minister Winston Churchill OF Great Britain and Premier Joseph Stalin of the Soviet Union. To maintaining world peace, the conference created a structure for a new international organization in order to prevent future conflicts, to reestablish fundamental human rights, promote social and economic development, improve the standard of living of living, and provide humanitarian assistance.After the war ended, it became the responsibility of the United Nations Security council, which consists of 15 member states and 5 permanent members (United States, Britain, France, China and the Soviet Union) to negotiate and maintain world peace. In addition, each member of the Security Council has veto power over the other.The headquarters of the U.N. is located in Manhattan, New York City, and other main offices sited in Geneva, and Nairobi. It is financed by assessed and voluntary donations from its member states. Presently, there are now 193 member states as opposed to the initial 51 founding members.
On this present day in 1943, the Italian government declared war on its former partner Federal Republic of Germany and joins the battle with the Allies.During the fall of the fascist government in July, which also saw Mussolini overthrown, General Pietro Badoglio who was Mussolini's former chief of staff and the man who had gained power in the Duce's stead by the order of King Emanuel started negotiations with General Eisenhower as regards the conditional surrendering of Italy to the Allies. By September 8, it was a known fact that the Italian government is allowing the Allies to land in Salerno, southern Italy, as part of the quest to defeat the Germans. Without hesitating, the Germans swiftly move into action. Adolf Hitler had already sensed that since Mussolini has turned to a weakling, which means that is the best chance to win the war. He began making plans on how to invade Italy to stop the Allies from gaining a strong foothold in other not reach Balkans, a Germans occupied territory. The day Italy surrendered, Hitler countered with his Operation Axis. Immediately the German troops entered Rome, Gen. Badoglio alongside the royal family fled to Brindisi, in southeastern Italy to start a new anti-fascist government. On October 13th, Gen. Badoglio quickly moved into the next stage of its agreement with Eisenhower, which is the full integration of Italian troops into the Allied operation as a way to recapture Rome from the Germans. A British general describe the whole process as extremely slow. Starting with the error of beginning a full operation from the far south in the peninsula, the process of consolidating coupled with the establishment of a firm base of operations and conjoining divisions every time a new region was captured, and bad weather made the whole race of capturing Rome far away from reality. Eventually, Rome was regained and once again freed. Which means it remains yet another bold step in freeing the whole of Italy from the fascist.
Japanese ships were on their way to provide reinforcement to their troops in Guadalcanal on October 11, 1942 but they were intercepted by the American Navy. The battle ended with the Navy sinking most of the Japanese ships that were in route. The Guadalcanal Campaign (also known as the Battle of Guadalcanal) was the first offensive campaign of the Allied Forces against Japan. This began in August at the time that the marines landed on the islands of Guadalcanal. The Allies wanted to prevent the Japanese from threatening the Allies’ supply and thus initiated the offense. The U.S. troops made sure that they would gain an advantage with the ground fights, eliminating military units in a brutal combat. The Japanese were not easily dissuaded. They too initiated their counterstrikes from the air and sea. They harassed the Marines with bomb attacks, threatening their decreasing supply. However, the Navy members were smart; they went to work before the Japanese could successfully reinforce their own troops.Threatened by Allied aircraft, the Japanese were unable to use large slow-moving transport to deliver supplies to their troops on the island. To minimize exposure to air attacks, warships were used to deliver the goods at night instead. This operation was nicknamed “Tokyo Express” by the Allies. The Battle of Cape Esperance commenced in the evening at the northwest coast of Guadalcanal Island where the battle was first fought by the surface ships of the opposing forces. The Navy lost one of their destroyers but was able to sink the cruiser Furutaka along with three other Japanese destroyers. Japanese soldiers who were splashing in the water declined the rescue offered the Americans and chose instead to be devoured by sharks; being captured was considered more shameful for them.The American lost hardware during the fight, but what was more saddening was the fact that they lost 48 people aboard the American destroyer Duncan. Another hundred more were lost when an American cruiser made the mistake of turning on a searchlight. This backfired for the American soldiers. Instead of acting as a searchlight, the ship illuminated its own sailors which made them an easy target by the Japanese.The Americans pursued and attacked the Japanese ships that tried to provide reinforcement to their soldiers on the islands. Only a few Japanese troops successfully made to shore. The Japanese succumbed to defeat and prepared to evacuate the island by the end of 1942.
On October 1st of 1946, twelve high ranking Nazi officers were sentenced to death by the International War Crimes Tribunal in Nuremberg, for the hideous crimes they had committed during WWII. Nuremberg is located in the German state of Bavaria, which is about 110 miles north of Munich, the German capital. Nuremberg is the second largest city in Bavaria, behind Munich. A population of more than half a million people makes Nuremberg the 14th largest city in Germany today.The Soviet Union had wanted the trials to be held in Berlin. However, Nuremberg was chosen as the site of the trials, for several important reasons. For one thing, Nuremberg was a centrally located city, and had been the site of Nazi rallies during World War II. In fact, the laws that stripped Jewish people of their citizenship had been passed in Nuremberg. Making that city the place of Nazi demise had a certain symbolic value attached to it, especially since the city was now marred by the Nazi architecture constructed during the Second World War. Also, the Palace of Justice in Nuremberg, one of the few undamaged public buildings anywhere near the capital, seemed like an appropriate place to hold the trials. It was spacious enough to accommodate the many who were accused of wartime atrocities, and the many more who were witnesses to the horrors of the war. The Palace of Justice complex also contained a large prison.So it was agreed that the first trial of the International War Crimes Tribunal would take place in the city of Nuremberg, with subsequent trials to be held in Berlin. However, due to the Cold War era, no further Nazi war crime trials took place.Among the men condemned to die by hanging were Joachim von Ribbentrop (minister of foreign affairs), Hermann Goering (founder of the Gestapo), and William Frick, minister of the interior. Seven others were also sentenced to death, and seven more were given prison sentences ranging from ten years to life. Three other men were acquitted. Survivors spoke as witnesses.The trial was conducted by an International Tribunal made up of representatives from the United States, the Soviet Union, France, and Great Britain. The defendants were charged with crimes of war and crimes against humanity. It was the first trial of its kind. About two weeks later, on October 16th of 1946, ten of the men involved in these crimes were hanged, one by one. For them, there would be no chance to hire lawyers who could drag the case out for many years, thus postponing their executions. They were simply convicted, and two weeks later they were hanged. Hermann Goering was not executed, because he committed suicide by poison on the night before his execution was scheduled to take place.A man named Martin Bormann was also condemned to death for these unspeakable crimes, despite not being present at the Nuremberg Trials. It was later learned that Bormann had died in Berlin at the end of the war.
On September 16th of 1940, Congress passed the Burke Wadsworth Act, by which the United States government imposed the first peace time draft on American men, in anticipation of its entrance into World War Two. Young men between the ages of 21 and 36 were required to sign up for the draft at a draft board office, under the provisions of the Selective Training and Service Act. Fifty percent of the 20 million young men who registered for the draft were rejected in the first year, either for health problems or for illiteracy. One out of five men who initially tried to register at the draft was illiterate. Exactly one month after the Selective Training and Service Act was passed, the government began registering American men between the ages of 21 and 35. Then Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson started drawing draft numbers out of a large bowl. The draft was conducted by way of a lottery system. Men who were chosen must serve for 12 months.However, by early summer of 1941, President Franklin Roosevelt had asked Congress to extend the American soldiers' tour of duty. On the 12th of August, the extended tour of duty was approved by a single vote. The soldiers revolted on hearing the news, and insisted that they would desert at the end of the initially agreed upon 12-month term. Many of them painted the letters O H I O on the walls in protest. The letters were an acronym for Over the Hill In October. It meant they were going home when they had said they were going home, and not a moment later. At the end of the 12-month tour of duty, some soldiers deserted, but the habit was not widespread.On December 7th of 1941 was the attack on Pearl Harbor. By November of 1942, the United States was actively participating in the war. At that point, the government developed a new selective service, with the age requirement for the draft then increased to 45. African American men were ineligible for the draft because of racism. But even this changed in 1943, when a “quota” was imposed on black soldiers to reflect their percentage in the American population. African Americans were restricted to labor units at first, but this too ended as the war intensified. Finally, African Americans were found useful in combat.Conscientious Objector (CO) status could be given to people who could prove sincerity of belief in religious teachings and a moral aversion to war. CO status was awarded mostly to people of the Quaker faith. Still, three out of four Quakers who were drafted fought. Also, Conscientious Objectors had to do some kind of alternate work in civilian public service camps, with long hours and for no pay. Those who refused to serve their country at all (about 5,000 to 6,000 men) were jailed if they were caught.By the war's end, roughly 34 million men had registered, and approximately 10 million men had served.
On September 8th of 1943, General (and future U.S. President) Dwight David Eisenhower proudly and publicly announced that the nation of Italy had surrendered to the Allied forces. Although Italy had entered early into World War II, the nation was dangerously slow in updating its military technology. On paper, Italy had one of the world's largest armies, but the reality was the exact opposite. The Italian army may have had only 200,000 troops at the start of the Second World War. Even those soldiers did not have sufficient motor transport. Further exacerbating the situation, Italy's national budget was insufficient to train new soldiers for the military service, or even to get enough fuel to drive those military vehicles. What's more, the bulk of Italian soldiers during WWII received their training on the front lines, where it often came too late. It seemed like everything was wrong with the Italian armed forces. In a way, it's like Italy was bluffing. In fact, the inadequacy of Italian forces during the Second World War gave rise to a number of sad war jokes, such asWhy does the new Italian Army use glass bottomed boats?So they can see the old Italian Army.Anyway, the Allies reacted to the news imparted by General Eisenhower with Operation Avalanche, otherwise known as the allied invasion of Italy. The Allies were allowed to land in Salerno, a part of southern Italy, where they would start chasing the Germans back up the peninsula. After many weeks of negotiations, General Pietro Badoglio, the man who had succeeded Mussolini, arranged for a conditional surrender of the nation of Italy to the Allies. Mussolini had been assassinated less than two months earlier, and his body had been dragged through the streets.Germany reacted to Eisenhower's news with Operation Axis. In other words, the occupation of Italy. One goal of Operation Axis was to prevent navy vessels from falling into the hands of the Allies. So the Italian battleship Roma had been sunk by German forces, on its way to an Allied port in North Africa. The Roma actually holds the back handed honor of being the first navy vessel sunk by a radio controlled missile. Fifteen hundred crewmen were drowned.The Germans also attempted to move Allied POWs to labor camps in Germany, in hopes of preventing their escape. In fact, many Allied POWs did escape, and some of them even offered to stay in Italy, in order to assist the Italian guerrilla forces in the north.As German troops entered Rome, Badoglio and the Royal family fled the city, as Italian troops began surrendering to the Germans. More than 1,600 Italian soldiers who resisted surrender were murdered on the spot. The roughly 5,000 Italian soldiers who eventually did surrender were also eventually shot.Despite the Italian surrender, the war was not yet over for Italy, as WWII was a war that affected many parts of the world, especially in Europe. The war would effectively end with the death of Adolf Hitler in 1945.
On August 23rd of 1939, immediately preceding the Second World War, Adolf Hitler (the leader of Germany) and Josef Stalin (the leader of the Soviet Union) agreed to a non-aggression pact in Moscow. This action shocked the world, based on their extremely opposed ideologies. But of course, the two dictators each had their own agendas. After Germany invaded Czechoslovakia, Britain had to decide to what extent it wanted to allow Hitler's expansion of Germany. Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, at first, looked the other way when Hitler took over the German speaking part of Czechoslovakia. However, Chamberlain now sprung to action when Poland was under direct threat. He made it clear that Britain would be obliged to come to the aid of Poland, should Hitler decide to attack it. However, he needed an ally, and the only power strong enough and willing to stop Adolf Hitler was the Soviet Union.Unfortunately, a year earlier, Stalin's efforts to ally France with England against Germany were rebuffed. So his relations with Britain at the time were a bit chilly, to say the least. Nor were Poland's leaders too thrilled with the notion of Russia becoming the nation's guardian. To them, it was merely a choice between two monstrous regimes.So Adolf Hitler, ever the opportunist, swallowed his loathing of communism and schmoozed up to Josef Stalin. In a series of conversations, the two men drew up a non-aggression pact. This pulled the rug out from under the British, who had hoped to become allied with the Soviet Union. The non-aggression agreement basically had these two men agreeing to carve up parts of Eastern Europe, and leave each other alone in the process. They each also agreed not to ally with, or aid, anyone who was an enemy of the other party.The pact also included a secret protocol that divided the countries of Romania, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and Finland into German and Soviet “spheres of influence.” In other words, Hitler would attack some regions, and Stalin would attack others. When the terms of the treaty were agreed upon, Hitler's foreign minister, Joachim von Ribbentrop, met with Stalin's main man, V.M. Molotov in Moscow. Those are the men who signed the non-aggression pact. That is why it is sometimes known as the Molotov Ribbentrop pact.Less than a month later, both Germany and Russia invaded Poland. Hitler invaded Poland on September 1st of 1939. This invasion marked the beginning of World War Two. Stalin staged his own invasion of eastern Poland on September 17th of 1939, just one day after the Soviet Japanese cease fire agreement took effect. Then the German government broke the non-aggression pact when they launched an attack on the Soviet positions in eastern Poland, on June 22nd of 1941. After that, Poland was German occupied territory, at least until the end of the Second World War.The existence of the secret protocol was denied by the Soviets until 1989, during the fall of Communism.
Adolf Hitler was one of the most evil and disgusting people to ever walk this planet. His reign of terror was targeted on the Jewish population of Germany and Poland. He set his sights on an “ethnic cleanse” and somehow got the people of Germany to vote for it. His charisma and political deftness are the things that got him elected to his position. It is a controversial fact that Hitler was actually elected to his post, and that as a dictator he didn’t usurp anyone for power. While in “office” Hitler killed hundreds of thousands of people mostly Jewish, gay or minorities out of a pure, rotten hatred for humanity. Hitler had an entire army and an entire racist populous on his side, but he also had a bunch of henchman and scientists, guards and assassins on his payroll. On this day in history his last known henchman died. Rudolf Hess was a Nazi leader and former deputy of Hitler’s regime. He was found Spandau Prison in Berlin strangled at the age of 93. He was the last surviving member of Hitler’s inner circle and he was the only prisoner at Spandau since 1966.Hitler’s henchmen were all notorious followers of Nazism and were disgusting people. They committed crimes on behalf of Hitler and created problems in his honor. Hitler dedicated his life story Mein Kampf to his last surviving henchman Hess. He lost faith in his leadership ability and left his Nazi “empire” to Hermann Goering.In May of 1941 Hess stole an airplane and landed it in Scotland on a self-proposed mission to discuss some kind of peace treaty between Germany and Britain. Hitler tried to make a peace offering to end its hostilities with England in exchange for a German presence on the Britain continent. In May 1941 the Battle of Britain was won by well, Britain and Germany went home to Hitler with its tail between its legs. Hess was described as extremely diluted and stupid to think that Britain would settle with someone like Hitler for peace.Hess was held in Britain until the end of the war at Nuremberg after the war with other top Nazi commanders. Hess eventually missed out on the worst years of the Nazi regime and ended up searching for peace in 1941. Hess was sentenced to life in Spandau prison in Berlin and was held in the USSR and moved to the United States, Britain and France. A lot of different people shared responsibility in guarding him. He was a notoriously unruly prisoner and despite his “search” for peace.On August 17th 1987 he was found strangled in a cabin on the exercise yard at Spandau Prison. Apparently he killed himself with an electrical cord that he found in the yard. Some people don’t believe that though and think a guard had some kind of vendetta against him and murdered him.Whether that was just or not is up to the war crime convictions and the horrors that committed Hess committed while under Hitler’s direction.
Many people know about the United States dropping an atomic bomb on Hiroshima. That event occurred on August 6th, 1945 at 8:16 am (Japanese time) when Enola Gay, the American B-29 bomber that was holding the atomic bomb, dropped it. It became the first ever atomic bomb to be dropped and it was dropped on the sleeping city of Hiroshima. The juice of this event occurred when the Japanese responded to the demand for an unconditional surrender from the Potsdam Conference. Discouraged by this, the United States’ president at the time, Harry S. Truman, decided to use the atomic bomb on them to hopefully end this war. The United States figured that if they were to invade the Japanese mainland, then there would be an even larger amount of lives lost. With that being said, they saw the atomic bomb as a quick end to a war that didn’t need to continue.The US had two atomic bombs to use on Japan. The one that was dropped on Hiroshima was nicknamed “Little Boy.” It was on board Lt. Col. Paul W. Tibbets’ bomber named Enola Gay, which was loaded on Tinian Island in the Marianas. The bomber, which was named after his mother, departed the island at 2:45 am on August 6th. Five hours after, the bomb was dropped and the city of Hiroshima was awakened as much as they were dead.The bomb exploded 1,900 feet above a hospital and immediately released 12,500 tons of TNT. On the shell of the bomb were several inscriptions scribbled in place. One of those read “Greetings to the Emperor from the men of the Indianapolis.” The Indianapolis was the ship that brought the bomb to the Marianas, where it was transported to the B-29 bomber.The city of Hiroshima looked completely different following the dropping of the atomic bomb. What used to see 90,000 buildings, the city was now seen with 28,000 buildings. There were nearly 200 doctors in the city before the bombing occurred. After, only about 20 of those were alive and able to help out patients. Further help was even harder to find, as only 150 of the 1,780 nurses were still alive.At the time of the bombing, there were a bunch of schoolgirls out and about in Hiroshima attempting to clear fire lanes in the event of a bombing. The bombing was seen as a success, since the US got exactly what they wanted – which was not needing to invade Japan.Seen as a success, some of the crewmen of the Enola Gay were a little baffled by just how much destruction the atomic bomb caused. One crewman was finding it hard to count all of the fires that started as a result of the explosion. In addition, there was another crew member that stated, “It’s pretty terrific. What a relief it worked.”Hiroshima was left dull and looking like a ghost town. Needless to say, the world saw just how powerful an atomic bomb can be on this day back in 1945.