Friday, 28 November 2014


What were the odds that I would ever write about History. First of all, let it be known that I am no historian. I barely made it to Form Two with History and I crammed half of the things in GHC (Not Social Studies) in order to have presentable grades to take home and to evade the thorough beating that came with failing. 9 times out of 10, it was the latter.

Today, it’s a different story. I love everything about history. I wouldn’t say much about politics, but still the same it tickles my bone of interest. I spend days on end watching documentaries. Intriguing they are. Every history teacher should consider having their students watch documentaries.

Enter the Persian Empire, who else was impressed by how the Greeks Won against such an empire and at the same time disappointed with Xerxes? The Great Depression, did you know how Henry Ford contributed to it? Greek philosophers Socrates, Plato and Aristotle who were students of each other.  The unforgettable 2009 Meltdown, If you could fog a mirror, you are eligible to get a Mortgage? The Roman Colosseum. History is beautiful.

Back to my main topic. The Second World War. Hitler’s character piques my interest and also baffles me. He was at the front line as the perpetrator of the Second World War, all because he was seeking to expand the German empire and wealth and gain fame for his country and of course himself. Mainly himself. He had faced rejection so much in life he had to start WWII to prove he was worth something. That is, in my opinion. He sought a cocktail of revenge and acceptance. Some would say that it was Great Britain and France that caused the WWII but how do you defend the staged attack Hitler put up in order to invade Poland, and shoot civilians mercilessly along with it.

Hitler had served as a soldier during the First World War and the concentration camps that existed were because he blamed the Jews for their fail. He basically blamed them for everything that in his opinion, was wrong with Germany. Speaking of which, Henry Ford also wrote conspiracies about the Jews just before the assembly line was closed down. Being a Jew was tough.

So, aside from all that blabbering, the following things caught my attention about The Second World War:

Japan’s tenacity.
Japan, small as it was, totally surprised me. Because they were a small Island, they had to import a lot of resources. So, they felt it was only fair if they expanded their empire by dominating other countries. But, as they say, the quest and quench for Power is never satisfied. Japan then wanted to take over Southwest Asia.

Japan, is to blame for waking the giant that is United States, and having them rise from number 17 to 1 as the World’s most powerful military. Japan bombed The Pearl Harbor. They did this because, had their plan worked well, it would paralyze the US and keep them from counter-attacking, or ever attack Japan and stop them from taking over other countries. Sadly, the Pearl Harbor plan was not excellently executed and USA was up and against Japan by the following day.

They joined the Allies.

The difference between Japanese soldiers and the US troops was that the Japanese soldiers were more than willing to die. They used themselves as weapons. They strapped themselves with bombs and ran under tanks in order to explode them. They directly flew their planes into the US ships to sink them. The civilians themselves also carried this spirit as rather than surrender to the allies when attacked, they jumped to their own death. They killed themselves, mothers killed their own babies.

USA. From lone to lead.
In 1941, 27 months into WWII, before Japan bombed the Pearl Harbor, USA was not involved in the war going on. 76% of its citizens supported neutrality. As a result of the bombing, WWII had finally reached America. Consequently, United States came up against Japan. In regard to this, Hitler also declared war against America. The British were hanging onto their last straw. Winston Churchill lobbying Roosevelt for aid. The isolated United States had to be told goodbye. After the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, on 2nd September 1945, Japan retreated and the Nuclear age began. The Soviet Union lost over  20M people to the war and the United States 450,000 and a handful of civilians.

WWII was the most horrifying war in history and after this war, the country that had began by supporting 76% neutrality had landed on the advantageous side and reaped the fruits of victory. They moved from 17 to 1 in military power. Overseas bases expanded from 14 to over 30,000 spread across the globe. Her GNP doubled and became the biggest creditor in the world commanding half of the planet’s manufacturing capacity and 2/3 of the world’s gold stocks. It controlled the global economy and formed the UN.

USA could no longer go back to its isolation state anymore, whether  they liked it or not.

The interesting thing is that almost half the time, USA somehow went in without experience while, Japan, for example, would be able to perform a mission going in blind.

When speaking of a war, especially as tragic as the WWII, you can only think of men. Men in the marching troops. Men controlling the flights. Men behind the machine guns. Men building Fatman and Littleboy (these were the code names for the Uranium and Plutonium nuclear bombs that were dropped in Hiroshima and Nagasaki)

Women were involved too.

After the United States joined the war in late 1941, the government called on women to join the workforce and replace the manpower lost during the war. This was a strategy by United States to make use of all its assets. Hitler did not involve women, he said their role at best was to be good wives and have babies.

As the men fought abroad, women back at home worked in defense-plants and volunteered in war-related organizations i.e Women’s Arms Auxiliary Corps (WAAC). They drove trucks, became street ‘conductresses’ as there was need for public transport when the men left, repaired airplanes and test-flew them, worked as laboratory technicians, served as radio operators, flew aircraft and also wrote letters to their men who were constantly upbeat.

Women at work basically assured the Allies that they have all the resources they needed during the war. This availability of resources is what determined how soon you attack and how quick you make a come-back after being taken down. So, Women played a very important role that impressed me.

Know this very popular photo? It often goes by the name Rosie the Riveter that was an iconic representation of women during the World War II. This photo was used to encourage women to join the workforce and to boost their morale.

Decades later, it is still commonly used for modern day feminism and as a sign of women’s economic power.

If you are still reading, congratulations! You love history too:-) See you in my next post.



1 comment:

  1. Welcome to my world! I love history, took it through to fourth form, parents are history teachers btw. I love Discovery World too mostly because of that. In high school, I'd go sit in the library and flip through some ancient World War pictorials. Intriguing! Needless to say, I love historical movies too.

    PS: Love the new minimalist look going on here. :)


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