Placeholder Image

字幕列表 影片播放

  • Episode 35: World War II (1) – fighting and winning

  • Hi, I’m John Green, this is Crash Course U.S. history, and today were going to talk

  • about a topic so huge to history buffs that we can only discuss a tiny, little fraction

  • of it. I am of course referring to paratroopering. No World War II.

  • World War II is the only historical event that has, like, its own cable channel. Well

  • I should say it used to have its own cable channel. These days the History Channel is

  • of course devoted primarily to lumberjacks and oh my gosh is that guy really going to

  • shoot an alligator. Who knew how nostalgic we could be for documentaries

  • about Joseph Stalin. Mr. Green, Mr. Green. Finally we get to the

  • good stuff: like Patton, and Rommel, and Churchill, and Eisenhower, Stalingrad, Gomer Pyle!

  • Oh I’m sorry to disappoint you, Me From the Past, but while Patton and Eisenhower

  • were Americans, Rommel was a German (or General Monty Montgomery’s dog).

  • Regardless, they were both from the green parts of not-America also no Americans fought

  • at the battle of Stalingrad, although we did talk about that in Crash Course World History.

  • And Gomer Pyle was a television character played by Jim Nabors. I believe that you mean

  • to refer to the journalist Ernie Pyle. intro

  • So here at CrashCourse we like to focus on causes and effects of wars rather than strategy

  • and tactics, but given the importance that World War II has in the American imagination,

  • were gonna discuss those a bit too today. Were going to defy Maria von Trapp and

  • start before the very beginning, because America’s ideas about foreign policy were shaped by

  • two things: The Great Depression and World War I.

  • After the American experience of World War I, it’s not surprising that Americans were

  • just a smidge gun shy about involvement in foreign affairs. Seriously Stan? A gun pun?

  • Now? No. Now America actually came out of World War

  • I stronger than ever but man did a lot of people die for not much change.

  • I mean I guess the Treaty of Versailles sort of re-made Europe, but it didn’t make it

  • better. And the League of Nations was a flop and generally

  • there was a lot of disappoin ted idealism. The period of time between 1920 and the U.S.

  • entry into World War II has been called an age of isolationism, although that isn’t

  • 100% accurate. I mean, for one thing the U.S. sponsored a

  • series of arms reduction negotiations that resulted in the Washington treaties limiting

  • the number of battleships that a country could possess.

  • But of course those negotiations led to a fat lot of nothing because the idea of a nation

  • limiting its battleships was a bigger joke even than the League of Nations, which I will

  • remind you, we invented and then did not join. Another way that the U.S. was less-than isolationist

  • was our pursuance of the Good Neighbor Policy with Latin America. So called because we were

  • not a good neighbor. Our idea was to be less intrusive in Latin

  • American politics, and we did remove troops from the Dominican Republic and Haiti, which

  • was something butgood neighboris a bit of an exaggeration.

  • I mean we continued to support repressive dictators like Somoza in Nicaragua and Batista

  • in Cuba. You know, we’d never really been great neighbors.

  • However, we were isolationist in the sense that the United States was much less involved

  • in world trade, largely because of the Depression, you know that meant that there wasn’t much

  • world trade, but also because of tariff policies. But there was also something isolationist

  • about the formal actions of Congress, like after Europe and Asia began to become belligerent

  • in the 1930s with Japan’s invasion of China, and Italy’s invasion of Ethiopia, and the

  • rise of fascist dictators in Spain and, of course Germany, Congress responded by passing

  • a series of Neutrality Acts which banned the sale of arms to belligerents.

  • Even if they were really nice, tea-drinking belligerents who we were pals with.

  • And that points to another reason why people tend to regard this as a time of isolationist

  • sentiment, our old friend Eurocentrism. We were generally neutral in terms of foreign

  • intervention when it came to Europe. Popular groups, like America First with celebrity

  • members from Charles Lindbergh to E. E. Cummings cautioned against involvement in foreign affairs.

  • But they mostly meant European affairs. The U.S. didn’t officially get involved

  • in the war until two years after Hitler invaded Poland but America was deeply involved in

  • the European war before we actually sent troops. FDR really wanted to help the Allies, especially

  • the Brits, who after the French surrender in 1940 were the only ones actually fighting

  • the Nazis until 1941, when there were a whole lot of Russians also fighting them.

  • Even Congress recognized that the Nazis were a threat, and in 1940 it agreed to allow Cash

  • and Carry arms sales to Great Britain. By the way, “Cash and Carryis the name

  • of a liquor store near Stan’s house, but anyway the sale of arms werecashsales

  • meaning that they were not paid for with loans or IOUs and the carry part meant that the

  • British would carry their own arms over, you know, to Britain.

  • It’s the difference between buying a pizza at a grocery store and getting it delivery,

  • except, you know, it’s not like that at all and I just want pizza.

  • Then, in September 1940 Congress created the nation’s first peacetime draft, taking the

  • next step toward involvement. And that was a huge deal because, you know, you don’t

  • muster an army with no desire to eventually use it.

  • By 1941, in spite of all our neutrality, FDR had pretty clearly sided with the Allies.

  • America became thearsenal of democracywith the Lend Lease Act authorizing military

  • aid to countries that promised to pay it back somehow after the war. We promise, well

  • figure it out. So, the U.S. essentially gave billions of

  • dollars worth of arms and war material to Britain and, after the Nazis invaded in June

  • of 1941, to the USSR as well. And the U.S. also froze Japanese assets here

  • and basically ended all trade between America and Japan.

  • But of course the event that pushed us fully into the war happened on December 7, 1941

  • when Japanese pilots attacked the American naval base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii.

  • 187 aircraft were destroyed, 18 naval vessels were damaged or destroyed, and more than 2000

  • American servicemen were killed. FDR asked Congress for a declaration of war,

  • which they granted voting 477 to 1. And the day after that, Germany declared war on the

  • United States and World War II officially became a world war.

  • We almost always start the American story of World War II in Europe because, you know,

  • Hitler, so I’m going to start in the Pacific, where until 1944 there were actually more

  • American personnel deployed than in Europe. Things didn’t start well in the Pacific.

  • Let’s go to the ThoughtBubble. Perhaps worse than Pearl Harbor was the surrender

  • of 78,000 American and Filipino troops at Bataan. This was the largest surrender by

  • American troops in history and it resulted in thousands dying on the Bataan Death March

  • to prisoner of war camps where thousands more would die.

  • But in May of 1942 we protected Australia from the Japanese fleet by winning the Battle

  • of the Coral Sea, and then in June we won a huge victory at Midway island, midway between

  • Hawaii and Japan I guess, and probably named by historians.

  • The U.S. strategy in the Pacific has been called Island Hopping and it involved taking

  • Japanese controlled islands one at a time to be used as bases for bombers that could

  • then be used against Japan itself. It was a slow process and the fighting over these

  • jungle-y South Pacific islands was fierce and extraordinarily costly. The battle at

  • Guadalcanal went from August 1942 to February 1943 and they didn’t freeze like in Stalingrad,

  • but conditions weren’t much better. And now let’s switch to the European theater.

  • We call this the European war because we were fighting against Europeans and it ended in

  • Europe, but the first U.S. troops to fight against Nazis actually did so in North Africa,

  • so it’s kind of a misnomer. American weaponry was pretty poor but after

  • our initial invasion in North Africa in November 1942 we got into it, and by 1943 we and the

  • British defeated Rommel in the desert and we were ready to invade Europe, which should

  • have made Stalin happy because up to this point Russians had been doing the bulk of

  • the dying in the war. But Stalin wasn’t happy, first because he

  • was a mean and nasty person and those kinds of people are rarely happy, and secondly,

  • because rather than invading France and striking at Germany more directly, the Allies invaded

  • Sicily and Italy where we fought for most of 1943 and much of 1944 until finally, on

  • June 6th we joined some Brits and Canadians in invading Normandy on D-Day. And that was

  • the beginning of the end for the Nazis. Thanks, ThoughtBubble. Oh it’s time for

  • the Mystery Document already? Alright. The rules here are simple.

  • I read the Mystery Document and usually I get it wrong and I get shocked.

  • They seemed terribly pathetic to me. They weren’t warriors. They were American boys

  • who by mere chance of fate had wound up with guns in their hands, sneaking up a death-laden

  • street in a strange and shattered city in a faraway country in a driving rain. They

  • were afraid, but it was beyond their power to quit. They had no choice. They were good

  • boys. I talked with them all afternoon as we sneaked slowly forward along the mysterious

  • and rubbled streets, and I know they were good boys. And even though they weren’t

  • warriors born to the kill, they won their battles. That was the point.”

  • Man, that is some good writing, Stan. By famous war correspondent Ernie Pyle. Pewwww. That

  • was me being a warrior. Pew, pew. I can’t even make finger guns. That’s-that’s

  • how much of a not-warrior I am. I’m a worrier. I knew it was Ernie Pyle for two reasons.

  • First, he’s talking about cities so it’s the European theatre. Secondly, he’s the

  • best European theatre American writer in World War II by far.

  • So while Americans did liberate Paris and were part of the final assault on Germany,

  • and also liberated a number of concentration camps, Russians did most of the fighting in

  • Europe, losing at least 20 million people, and in the end it was the Russians who captured

  • Berlin. Although the Nazis never really had a chance

  • to win the war after they started fighting the Russians and the Americans entered into

  • it, it didn’t actually end until May 8th or 9th, 1945 (depending on when you got the

  • news) And the war in the Pacific continued until

  • August. Japan surrendered unconditionally after the United States dropped an atomic

  • bomb on Hiroshima on August 6th and on Nagasaki on August 9th.

  • We don’t celebrate the end of World War II in the United States, and I guess this

  • is because we would have to decide whether to celebrate the end of the war in Europe

  • or in Japan. Or maybe it’s just because it’s difficult to celebrate the use of atomic

  • weapons. Atomic bombs were developed through the Manhattan

  • Project, so called because the bombs were partly invented in Chicago and then built

  • and tested in New Mexico. Trickery. That was the sort of covert thing the U.S.

  • used to do really well before we developed the Internet. Although we weren’t that good

  • at it since the Soviets did steal our technology and build a nuclear bomb like three years

  • later. The two atomic bombs that were eventually

  • dropped were the most destructive weapons the world had ever seen. The one dropped on

  • Hiroshima killed 70,000 people instantly and by the end of 1945 another 70,000 had died

  • from radiation poisoning. The bomb that was dropped on Nagasaki also

  • killed 70,000 people. In fact, the death toll from those two bombs was greater than the

  • number of American fatalities in the entire Pacific War.

  • And that leads to one of the most hotly debated questions in recent history: was the use of

  • atomic bombs justified or ethical? Those arguing against their use often point

  • out that the Truman administration had good evidence that Japan would surrender if they

  • were allowed to keep their emperor on the throne.

  • And some also point out that the primary targets were not military, although there were 40,000

  • troops stationed in Hiroshima. Others argue that the real reason the United

  • States dropped the bombs was to threaten the USSR, and prevent them from taking more territory

  • in the east. And then there’s the argument that using such a destructive weapon was morally

  • reprehensible because it was so destructive as to be qualitatively different from other

  • weapons. For a couple centuries, our weapons had had

  • the theoretical capability of eliminating all humans, but never before had it been so

  • easy. But others reply that dropping the bombs helped

  • save American lives. Some of Truman’s advisers worried that invasion of Japan would result

  • in 250,000 American deaths and at least that many Japanese deaths.

  • And that’s important to note because if there was one thing truly, horribly innovative

  • about World War II, it was bombing. Sure there was radar and jets, but they weren’t

  • nearly as significant as aerial bombardment, and by the time the a-bombs dropped, the idea

  • of precision bombing only military targets wasn’t an option, in part because bombing

  • was incredibly risky to planes and pilots. And by 1945, it was an acceptable and widespread

  • strategy to target civilians as part of a total war. In World War II perhaps 40% of

  • the estimated 50 million people killed were civilians.

  • Compare that with World War I, where it was only 10%.

  • We should be horrified that 140,000 people were killed in Hiroshima, but we should be

  • horrified by all the civilian attacks in World War II. 25,000 people died in Dresden, more

  • than 100,000 died in the firebombing of Tokyo in March of 1945.

  • Thinking about Truman’s decision to drop the atomic bombs is important because it forces

  • us to consider our understanding of history. Part of why we say that using atomic bombs

  • was worse than conventional bombing was because we know what came afterthe Cold War,

  • the threat of nuclear annihilation. From the present, the dawn of atomic warfare is indeed

  • terrifying. But people living at the time were living

  • amid a different kind of terror and they couldn’t have known that there would be a nuclear arms

  • race that threatened all of humanity. The Japanese didn’t look like they were

  • going to give up and people on both sides were dying every day, so before we pass judgment,

  • let’s try to put ourselves in the shoes of both the soldiers who were fighting, who

  • didn’t have to fight on mainland Japan, and the civilians who were killed by the bombs.

  • There’s no answer to be found there, but the opportunity of studying history is the

  • opportunity to experience empathy. Now of course were never going to know

  • what it’s like to be someone else, to have your life saved or taken by decisions made

  • by the Allied command. Studying history and making genuine attempts

  • at empathy helps us to grapple with the complexity of the world, not as we wish it were, but

  • as we find it. Thanks for watching. I’ll see you next week.

  • Crash Course is made through the combined efforts of all of these people and it exists

  • because of you and your support through Subbable.com. Subbable is a voluntary subscription service

  • that allows you to support Crash Course directly so that we can keep this show for free, forever,

  • for everyone. You can check our our Subbable by clicking

  • right there or there’s also a link in the video info. There are lots of great perks,

  • but the greatest perk of all is knowing that you are making this show possible. Thank you

  • so much. Thanks for watching. And as we saying my hometown, don’t forget to be awesome.

Episode 35: World War II (1) – fighting and winning

字幕與單字

影片操作 你可以在這邊進行「影片」的調整,以及「字幕」的顯示

B1 中級 美國腔

第二次世界大戰第一部分。美國曆史速成班#35 (World War II Part 1: Crash Course US History #35)

  • 284 36
    Edward Lin 發佈於 2021 年 01 月 14 日
影片單字