Littleton War Memorial
American Theater of War
During the 1930s and early 1940s, the United States was neutral in World War II, in which three countries became the aggressors. The Nazi forces of Germany were brutally conquering Europe and both the Fascists of Italy and the Germans were conquering North Africa. In Asia, Japanís Imperial Army was expending its empire, both on the Asian continent and on the Pacific islands.
The United States began to sell, and late loan, ships and war material to the Allies, who were fighting all three aggressors. When Japan bombed Pearl harbor in the Hawaiian Islands on December 7, 1941, the United states fully committed itself to defeating what by then was called the Axis powers. Within a year, 17 or the 19 ships attacked at Pearl harbor were returned to duty, with more ships and planes being built each day.
At home, patriotic men and women joined the armed forces in large number. This was a war
European, African, Middle East Theater of War
In the fall of 1942, American soldiers directly entered the European war by joining Allied British troops in an invasion to free North Africa. By spring, Nazi and Fascist forces were defeated on that continent.
After a successful assault on Sicily, the Allies moved on to mainland Italy in August 1943. Further north, American and British pilots conducted around-the-clock air strikes on German industrial and transportation centers. In the Middle East, a command was established to funnel supplies to Russia. The Allies were secretly planning a massive assault on Nazi forces on the European mainland.
On June 6, 1944, called “D-Day”, 4,000 vessels landed on the coast of France. Over 176,000 troops were under the command of U.S. General Dwight D. Eisenhower. American and British armies eventually pushed forward to liberate Pairs.
Nazi resistance continued.
China, Burma, India Theater of War
In Asia, Japan already occupied the eastern ports and provinces of the Asian continent. It planned to invade deeper into China. However, rough terrain combined with Chinese and Allied resistance halted the Japanese advance.
Japanís strategy was to cut off China from its links to the West by seizing control of “The Burma Road.” Control of Burma would have provided Japan a base to launch an invasion of India and an eventual rendezvous with the Nazis heading east from Germany. Because Burma and South China are lands of thick vegetation, high mountains and severe weather, movement of supplies and troops was difficult. American engineers built roads through the jungle. American pilots helped supply forces in China by making dangerous flights “over the hum” of the Himalayas between India and China. Volunteer American pilots, “The Flying Tigers,” fought heroic battles in the skies over China.
In defending China and retaking Burma, American ground forces fought along side the British and Chinese. Success was finally achieved by the spring of 1945.
During World War II, Japan built an empire, conquering land on the Asian continent and islands throughout the Pacific. In attacking the United States at Pearl Harbor in the Hawaiian Islands, Japan underestimated the United Statesí ability to react. The American strategy was to engage Japanese Imperial forces on two fronts. General MacArthur would lead U.S. troops north from Australia while Admiral Nimitz would direct the attack on strategic islands between Hawaii and Japan.
Fierce naval battles occurred in the Coral Sea and at Midway Island. The Marine Corps finally stopped the Japanese advance on Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands. There were devastating battles at Iwo Jima and Okinawa. The intensive combat on these islands resulted in extremely heavy casualties on both sides. By June 1945, Japanís military power had been substantially reduced. The Allies feared a huge loss of lives if they invaded Japan, so the decision was made to use atomic weapons to force the Japanese to surrender. Atomic bombs were dropped on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and Japan surrendered on August 14, 1945.
Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Littleton CO 80120, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Location. 39° 36.483′ N, 105° 0.075′ W. Marker is in Littleton, Colorado, in Arapahoe County. Marker can be
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 9 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Arapahoe County Courthouse (approx. ĺ mile away); A Memorial to the Pioneers (approx. 1.1 miles away); WWII 10th Mountain Division (approx. 3.6 miles away); Columbine High School (approx. 4.2 miles away); The Buckhorn Exchange (approx. 8.6 miles away); Colorado Volunteers (approx. 8.9 miles away); The Molly Brown House (approx. 9 miles away); Alfred Dach (approx. 9.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Littleton.
Categories. • War, World II •
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Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 14, 2011, by Charles T. Harrell of Woodford, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,023 times since then and 28 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on August 14, 2011, by Charles T. Harrell of Woodford, Virginia. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.