Life in Australia During World War Two
Jul 08, · The war touched their lives even on the home front. Joan Riker and her civilian family lived at Camp White during the late spring and summer of “Memory jumps now to the spring and summer of Sep 17, · Estimates of the total number of casualties during World War II vary greatly between sources, but the National WWII Museum says the war took the lives of approximately 15,, soldiers and more than 45,, civilians (though some estimates place the number of civilian deaths in China alone at more than 50,,). So that's terrible, and frankly, if we could just settle .
Food, gas and clothing were rationed. Communities conducted scrap metal drives. To help build the armaments necessary to win the war, women found employment as electricians, welders and riveters in defense plants. Japanese Americans had their rights as citizens stripped from them. People in the U. On December 7,the U. The following day, America and Great Britain declared war on Japan. On December 10, Germany and Italy declared war on the U.
If the Japanese military could successfully attack Hawaii and inflict damage on the naval fleet and casualties among innocent civilians, many people wondered what was to prevent a similar assault on the U. This fear of attack translated into a ready acceptance by a majority of Americans of the need to sacrifice in order what type of plants live in the savanna achieve victory.
During the spring ofa rationing program was established that set limits on the amount of gas, food and clothing consumers could purchase. Families were issued ration stamps that were used to buy their allotment of everything from meat, sugar, fat, butter, vegetables and fruit to gas, tires, clothing and fuel oil. Meanwhile, individuals and communities conducted drives for the collection of scrap metal, aluminum cans and rubber, all of which were recycled and used to produce armaments.
Individuals purchased U. Many of these workers were women. Indeed, with tens of thousands of American men joining the armed forces and heading into training and into battle, women began securing jobs as welders, electricians and riveters in defense plants. Until that time, such positions had been strictly for men only. Soon afterward, Walter Pidgeona Hollywood leading man, traveled to the Willow Run aircraft plant in Ypsilanti, Michiganto make a promotional film encouraging the sale of war bonds.
One of the women employed at the factory, Rose Will Monroewas a riveter involved in the construction of B and B bombers. During the war years, the decrease in the availability of men in the work force also led to an upsurge in the number of women holding non-war-related factory jobs.
By the mids, the percentage of women in the American work force had expanded from 25 percent to 36 percent. Just over two months after Pearl Harbor, U. President Franklin Roosevelt signed into law Executive Orderwhich resulted in the removal from their communities and the subsequent imprisonment of all Americans of Japanese descent who resided on the West Coast.
Executive Order was the offshoot of a combination of wartime panic and the belief on the part of some that anyone of Japanese ancestry, even those who were born in the U. Despite the internment of their family members, young Japanese-American men fought bravely in Italy, France and Germany between and as members of the U.
By the end of the war, the th had become the most decorated combat unit of its size in Army history. In JanuaryKenesaw Mountain Landisthe national commissioner of baseball, wrote a letter to President Roosevelt in which he asked if professional baseball should shut down for the duration of the war.
During the war, 95 percent of all professional baseball players who donned major league uniforms during the season were directly involved in the conflict. Feller, in fact, enlisted in the U. Navy one day after Pearl Harbor. Because baseball was depleted of so many able bodies, athletes who otherwise likely never would have made the big leagues won spots on rosters. One of the more notable was Pete Graya one-armed outfielder who appeared in 77 games for the St.
Louis Browns in Not all those who served in the military were superstars. Over minor leaguers also were killed. Other players overcame debilitating wartime injuries. One was Bert Sheparda minor league pitcher turned air force fighter pilot. The following year, he pitched three innings for the Washington Senators in a major league game.
Throughout World War II, American moviegoers were treated to a steady stream of war-related programming. The movie-going experience included a newsreel, which lasted approximately 10 minutes and was loaded with images and accounts of recent battles, followed by an animated cartoon. While many of these cartoons were entertainingly escapist, some comically caricatured the enemy. As for the main program, movie theaters showed non-war-related dramas, comedies, mysteries and Westerns; however, a significant segment of feature films dealt directly with the war.
Scores of features spotlighted the trials of men in combat while demonizing the Nazis and Japanese what music is popular in japan perpetuated the conflict. Many appeared in government-produced training films and morale-boosting short subjects. Others participated directly in the fighting. Clark Gablethe beloved, Academy Award-winning actor, served as a tail-gunner with the U.
Army Air Corps and flew combat missions over Germany. James Stewartanother equally adored Oscar winner, had enlisted in the corps even before Pearl Harbor. He eventually became a B combat pilot and commander and also flew missions over Germany.
As the U. Radio was the primary source of news and entertainment for most American households during the war, and as the conflict progressed, people grew increasingly dependent on radio for updates on the fighting overseas. They were riveted by the frontline reports from such legendary journalists as Edward R. Murrow Meanwhile, big bands, most famously the orchestra headed by Glenn Millerand entertainers such as Bob Hope performed before thousands at military bases.
These programs were aired directly on the radio to listeners from Maine to California. Dramatic radio programming increasingly featured war-related storylines. But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us! Subscribe for fascinating stories connecting the past to the present. The instability created in Europe by the First World War set the stage for another international conflict—World War II—which broke out two decades later and would prove even more devastating.
Rising to power in an economically and politically unstable Germany, Adolf Somewomen served in the U. Meanwhile, widespread male enlistment left gaping holes From toit was the policy of the U. Enacted in reaction The Duquesne Spy Ring The most sophisticated German espionage operation in the United States was established—and busted—before America even entered the war. When Britain and France went to war with Germany inAmericans were divided over whether to join the war effort.
Once U. Getting the perfect shot in wartime is not only about weapons. With over 30 countries involved in World War II and the loss of over 50 million lives, war photography captured the destruction and victories of the deadliest war in history. Lead by Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, over one Asian immigrants have come to American shores since the how to stop a yorkie poo from barking, playing a significant role in U.
In February ofwhat was life like in world war 2 10 weeks after the attacks on Pearl Harbor, the U. Intended initially to prevent Japanese spies from receiving intel, this order authorized their removal from In Februarya small group of members of a top-secret military language school defied orders.
They slipped out of their headquarters in San Francisco and snuck toward their destination, a nearby racetrack. Live TV. This Day In History. History Vault. Goals in World War II. World War II History. Asian American Milestones: Timeline Asian immigrants have come to American shores since the mids, playing a significant role in U.
Oral History Narratives
Mar 10, · Patriotic Music and Radio Reports from the Frontline After the December 7, , Japanese attack on the American naval fleet at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, the U.S. was thrust into World War . Apr 29, · When tens of thousands of people are clashing in a massive battle, it’s easy to get cut off and isolated through no fault of your own, shot down over enemy territory, or any of dozens of other ways to get captured. But that means you were headed to a prisoner camp, and where you were captured and by whom mattered a lot in World War II. Contributed by Robert Schmicker. Life as a soldier during WWII was no treat. It involved several demanding tedious tasks and constant movement. The living quarters were sparse. Soldiers dug or used existing craters to build a bunker and lived out of the bunker for months at a time.
From a big picture perspective, war is always a terrible thing. Estimates of the total number of casualties during World War II vary greatly between sources, but the National WWII Museum says the war took the lives of approximately 15,, soldiers and more than 45,, civilians though some estimates place the number of civilian deaths in China alone at more than 50,, So that's terrible, and frankly, if we could just settle our differences without killing each other and blowing up cities, well, the world would be a much better place.
But not everything about war is bad. World War II was also a time of progress, both technologically and socially. Before the s, women were pretty much stuck in the home, relegated to those old gender-based expectations of becoming a wife and and mother and not much else. But during World War II, all kinds of new opportunities opened up for women. Here's what it was like to be female in wartime America, circa Most of the young soldiers who fought during World War II didn't join voluntarily, they were "called up.
According to the National World War II museum , the marriage industry was doing quite a brisk business as young couples decided they'd better get hitched now or not at all.
Those hasty marriages helped solidify fledgling relationships across the miles, but they also ensured that young women would be looked after while their husbands were overseas. In there were 1. More than two-thirds of these weddings were between a woman and a newly-enlisted man.
There were so many weddings, in fact, that some of the people who were actually performing the ceremonies feared that couples might not really know what they were getting into. One rector even wrote a booklet entitled "Marriage Is a Serious Business," which warned against a "hasty marriage , caused by glamour and excitement rather than by genuine affection," calling it "one of the evil products of war.
Before a huge percentage of the male population left the country to fight overseas, women were stuck in those tired old gender roles — they were expected to take care of the house, cook the meals, raise the children, and not much else.
But with so much of the male workforce absent, US companies found that they needed people rather desperately, and they stopped caring so much whether those people were of the male persuasion. Meanwhile, according to the National World War II Museum , the Germans were reluctant to take women out of those traditional gender roles in order to serve the war effort — women, it was believed, were needed to have Nazi babies with Nazi soldiers.
In America, it was the era of Rosie the Riveter. Even if you don't know her name you're almost certainly familiar with her face. Dressed in a pair of coveralls with a red polka-dot bandana, Rosie was the poster girl for working women during the s. She told women that it was not only okay to leave the home and join the workforce, it was also their patriotic duty. During World War II, around 6 million women entered the workforce, becoming electricians, welders, engineers, machinists, and other jobs traditionally reserved for men.
In fact there's a pretty good argument to be made that without World War II, women might have remained stuck in the home for decades beyond the 40s and 50s. Traditional women's roles include cooking, cleaning, changing diapers, washing diapers because there weren't disposable diapers back then, while asking your husband to check the oil on your car, to change the lightbulbs, and repair broken stuff.
Because if a woman picked up a hammer or a wrench or a screwdriver, not only might she no longer have perfect, unbroken skin on her hands, she might also create a rift in the space-time continuum or something. Before World War II , women didn't typically try to fix things when they broke. They didn't even think they were capable of fixing things up when they broke, largely because men had been telling them for centuries that they're not capable of fixing things that break.
But History says that once the men were all off to war, everything changed. Not only were women learning trades that required the use of tools, they also needed to learn to repair things around the house just out of necessity.
So the partial absence of men during the war years in America basically taught women that they, well, don't really need men. We mostly think of feminism as something that was born in the s, but it began long before, with World War II giving it a major boost as large numbers of women traded their wooden spoons for a rivet gun.
Women in America weren't drafted, but they were strongly encouraged to join the war effort. According to History , the rousing motto "free a man up to fight" was meant to bring women into the armed forces, you know, so they could feel personally responsible that the guy who used to sit in their warm office answering telephones all day is now out there on the front lines shivering inside a foxhole.
But it was all in the name of patriotism. Anyway, most women — about 70 percent of them — took traditionally female jobs like typing, filing, and sorting mail.
But some of them became Naval Intelligence translators, some of them became truck drivers, some were engineers or radio operators — for the most part, they filled positions as they were needed. There was even an all-black, all-female battalion assigned to process mail, which was piling up in enormous quantities. Just mail processing, though? The idea that women could work military jobs though granted, they were not combat positions would have been scandalous in another time, but with the dire shortage of men it was suddenly a " golden opportunity.
Well, the able-bodied men might have preferred that, but nobody asked them. Women pilots were not a new idea during World War II — Amelia Earhart made headlines only a few years before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, so it's not like the idea of women flying airplanes was especially shocking or anything.
Plenty of women had pilot's licenses, it's just that they weren't allowed to join the Air Force. After America entered the war, it became clear that the military needed its male pilots out there fighting dogfights, which meant they needed non-male pilots to do some of the more menial tasks, like ferrying airplanes from place to place.
According to History , these were the first women to fly military aircraft — they flew new planes from factories to Air Force bases, they flew cargo planes, and they sometimes even participated in target missions and simulation strafing.
But officially, they weren't members of the military. As "civil service employees," they were ineligible for military honors or benefits, and it took a very long time before they got the official recognition they deserved. It was 65 years too late, but whatever. Better late than never. Women were still thought of as "the weaker sex" during the s, and most of the time they would be put in "safe" jobs while men were assigned to the more dangerous positions.
But not all women's jobs were safe, and combat nursing was one example. During World War II the need for medical professionals was profound, for pretty obvious reasons. War equals wounds, wounds equal blood loss, and blood loss has to be treated fast or the wounded soldier will die. When you have only minutes to save somebody's life, there isn't time to move that person from the front lines to whatever safe location you put all your nurses in.
So combat nurses, by necessity, had to be really close to the front lines. According to History , combat nurses had to endure the mud, cold, and heat, just the same as the male soldiers did, and they were also in physical danger. Near the front lines, they could be killed by aircraft fire or artillery attack. Women also served as flight nurses — specially-trained combat nurses who understood the specifics of caring for patients at high altitudes.
Flight nurses typically worked in unmarked aircraft the planes doubled as military supply transporters, so they couldn't have a red cross marking , which meant they were vulnerable to attack. So not only were the women of World War II patriotic and capable, they were also pretty danged brave. Once employers realized that women could do those traditionally male roles just as well as men could, they were more than happy to pay their new employees exactly the same salaries as they'd paid the employees they'd lost to the draft.
No, employers did not compensate their female employees as well as they'd compensated their male employees, because of course they didn't. It was the s, and if people today haven't figured out how to give women and men equal pay for equal work, it's pretty laughable to think that they would have had that figured out in the 40s. Instead, employers basically just viewed their new female workers as cheap temporary labor, and really didn't see why they should have to pay them fairly.
According to Striking Women , there was a halfhearted effort in the United Kingdom to secure equal pay for women during World War II, and employers were supposed to pay them the same as men if they could do the same jobs "without assistance or supervision. Wartime industry was booming on the Pacific Coast. Workers were needed in California, and a lot of women made the bold decision to go where the jobs were.
With their husbands overseas, the ideal of remaining close to home mattered a lot less. According to Smithsonian , close to 10 percent of federal government expenditures during World War II were spent in California, and those opportunities attracted people from all over the country, especially from economically disadvantaged states. In fact, the migration to California during World War II was history 's largest mass migration within the country's borders.
Some federal jobs even came with child care. If you were used to struggling to make ends meet, it was kind of hard to turn down those kinds of opportunities, even if it meant pulling up your roots and traveling halfway across the country to a brand new state. For a while, it was the California dream. Women from rural farming communities could work in California factories for salaries that were unheard of back home.
But alas, even talented, hard-working women couldn't permanently overcome the deep systemic misogyny that still existed in the workplace, and when the war ended a lot of them were dismissed from their jobs so their male counterparts could have their jobs back. Some women returned to their home states, while others found new opportunities in California, which still had more promise than many of the communities they'd come from. Before the s, divorce was practically a scandal. After all, "Til death do us part" would not have been in those vows if you weren't supposed to mean it.
But it can be pretty hard to survive those long years of separation, especially when the marriage was sort of hasty to begin with. According to a study published by the American Journal of Sociology in , World War II veterans were more likely to divorce in the years following the war than non-veterans. No one can really say for sure why the divorce rate was so high for veterans, but it seems possible that it had to do with distance and the lack of communication between wives and husbands.
After all, there was no such thing as Skype in the s, and soldiers couldn't exactly make phone calls from the front lines. So not only were you separated from your spouse by distance, the only communication you had from him was through letters or telegrams.
Letters sometimes took so long to arrive that you had no way of knowing whether he'd been killed after he sent the letter , so there was always the possibility you were reading the last words he'd ever say to you. That kind of stress is pretty hard on a marriage, and it can also elevate your absent spouse to an ideal that he can't possibly hope to uphold when he gets home.
It probably will not surprise you hear that not everyone was super enthusiastic about the idea of women in the workplace. Even though it was clearly a positive thing for the war effort, there were still plenty of people who did not think it was appropriate to have women working as engineers or mechanics or, god forbid, pilots. According to the National World War II Museum , the male counterparts of working women didn't exactly welcome them into the workplace.
The fact that women proved to be capable workers was threatening to a lot of career males, who saw them as encroaching on work spaces that had been traditionally reserved for men and men alone.
And those dudes couldn't just keep it to themselves, either — many disgruntled men thought they needed to fight back, and unfortunately, the weapons they chose were often verbal abuse, harassment, and refusal to treat their female coworkers with the same respect they reserved for fellow males.
Employers — who were greatly benefiting from having women in the workplace — tried to appease everyone by separating the men from the women and, of course, paying women less because obviously.
But outside the workplace there was also grumbling — lots of people worried that the basic family structure of the provider husband and the subservient wife was going to unravel, and then eek The United States has never had a tradition of drafting women, but that's not true of other nations.
As it became clear that women are just as capable of performing important jobs as men are, some governments decided that equal opportunity meant drafting men and women in equal numbers. According to the BBC , in the spring of the UK started requiring all women between the ages of 18 and 60 to register. For the first couple of years, the military was mostly just interested in women between 20 and 30, but by the middle of something like 90 percent of all unmarried women in the UK and 80 percent of married women were employed in military and war-related jobs.
New recruits were told they would not be in harm's way, but because Britain was a frequent target for German aircraft, that promise wasn't really good for much. Women in the UK, like women across the pond, performed admirably in their jobs, and like American women, they made less than the men did. So much for equal opportunity.