While no war is a “good” war, sometimes to maintain the security that is necessary for the residents of the country war has to break out or be joined. In the case of the Japanese bombing Pearl Harbor, German U-Boats attacking our vessels, and Italy protecting the other two countries, these “evil” powers were indeed risking the safety of the citizens of the United States. As any parent would want to protect their children the best they could, Eisenhower knew that declaring war was the only way to protect the people’s well being.
This is what makes the war to be a so called good war. “In less than two hours, Japanese warplanes launched from carriers far out at sea had taken so terrible a toll on the Pacific Fleet that the War Department would keep the exact details to itself for years”(The War 1). Eight of nine American battleships, three light cruisers, three destroyers, four other navel vessels, and one hundred and sixty-four American aircraft were all destroyed in a very short amount of time.
The two thousand four hundred and three Americans lost under this attack make the more devastating effect. Shortly after the attack, the residents of the mainland were hearing of the dreadful news on their household radios. Terror and fright were struck to many of the women while the men were urging for revenge (The War 5). After this horrifying attack on American soil, the Japanese made themselves an evil enemy for the United States. Japan not only made the terrible scare of bombing Pearl Harbor, they also held some of our soldiers hostage under no free will whatsoever.
The prisoners of war were scared for their lives every single day as they had to make their long journeys to camps such as Camp O’Donnell. They made so many dangerous travels and had such back breaking work, there were people dying by the very first week (The War 83). The work and treatment of our POWs were so bad they were willing to do anything in their power to get out of these camps. In one account from “The War” a man by the name of Corporal Glenn Frazier made the following statement about his desire to get out of the camps.
My idea was to get out of there, because it was a hellhole. They didn’t tell us where we were going or what we were going to do. But they asked for three hundred, approximately three hundred men. So all the guys that wanted to go on details lined up, and they came through and picked us out. And they took us by truck and train and another march of about twenty-something miles into the jungles of southern Luzon. Even after the demanding and almost incapable walk for most, they still were expected to do even more physical work even past the point where they could do no more.
After this excruciating output, there were only twenty-six men in Fraiser’s group who were at the physical capability to even load up into a truck to go to the Bilibed Prison in Manila (The War 83). This was a prison in which the Philippine government had thought was even unfit for their own criminals to stay in (The Secret War 99). This was proven true when Fraiser had become so skinny he had sores and bruises where his bones were showing through his flesh from just sleeping on the hard floor (The War 83).
At his lowest, weakest, most body aching point, they all had lost hope of anyone rescuing them and saving them from the misery of living any longer (Civilian Life 156). The Germans were also an evil power, in one way, during World War II by sinking any and all of our naval carriers in the Pacific Ocean by the use of u-boats. We had already been aware of the damage and danger to not only our carriers but our passenger ships that these u-boats had caused from World War I, when the British liner The Lusitania had been harshly sunken (Navy Sea Battle 45).
Rosevelt commanded there to be no passenger ships, nor even any kind of recreational beach activity on the East coast to protect the safety of unaware civilians (The War 19). Luckily Germany never attacked American soil but they did conclude by sinking an approximate number of more than 700 of our carriers and were very unforgiving in their actions (Navy Sea Battle 46). The Germans also have given themselves a very negative appearance because of the heart breaking actions they played during the Holocaust.
Throughout the Holocaust the Nazi infantry murdered more than six million innocent Jews, while this fell short of their goal of genocide of all Jews (The Aftermath: Europe 148). There is no written evidence that anyone in the nation protested the idea of genocide or the extermination of the Jews so, Hitler had his nation well brainwashed into his plans. The Jewish people were tortured and beaten until barely living or mostly death during this horrifying period in German history. Hitler commanded there be the worst and most inhumane torture that humans could possibly think of (History’s Greatest Conflicts in Pictures 23).
From burning people alive in huge ovens, to big rooms that would fill with suffocating gases, or even a line up in which one by one they would viciously be shot until dead. The Holocaust is known to be one of the most horrific events of the world’s history, especially of World War II (The Aftermath: Europe 148). Italy did not cause as much unnecessary harm to the United States or any other countries as its allied powers but would not resist aiding either Japan or Germany in any defense they may have needed.
Considering Italy was the southern border of Germany, of course Hitler would want to have the extra defense on his side (The Secret War 122). The physical geography was a huge advantage throughout the war. The Italian peninsula became especially helpful while the German defense set up line after line so the attacks would keep coming even after defeating one (The War 152). Along with the different battles and attacks Italy had commanded, in the bigger picture Germany used Italy as extended power in which made Italy as big of a threat as the others.
During World War II there was a huge separation into powers, good and bad. The countries of Japan, Germany, and Italy aligned themselves to become the evil powers by their destructive actions. The bombing of Pearl Harbor, attacking of carriers, and being aligned to harshly defend were only a few of the many reasons these countries were considered to be evil. And when these powers drew us into war by their actions and we had to protect our citizens, the war was necessary. While no war is peaceful or happy by any extent, there is such thing as a necessary war in which can be considered a “good” war. A prime example was proven by the role the United States played in World War II.
Ward, Geoffrey C. and Burns, Ken, The War:An Intimate History, Published by Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc. , New York, 2007 Russell, Francis, World War II, The Secret War, Life Time Books Botting, Doughlas, World War II, The Aftermath: Europe, Life Time Books Brainard, Cecilia Manguerra, Civilian Life, University of Michigan Press, 1995 Morison, Samuel Elliot, Navy, Sea Battle, New York Printing Press, 1989 Stolley, Richard B. , History’s Greatest Conflict In Pictures
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World War II: Good or Bad War?. (2017, Feb 28). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/world-war-ii-good-or-bad-war/