Eighteen of the fifty articles outlined penalties for violators. Before the onset of the Second World War , the United Kingdom drew on its First World War experience to prepare legislation that would allow immediate mobilization of the economy for war, should future hostilities break out.
Rationing of most goods and services was introduced, not only for consumers but also for manufacturers. This meant that factories manufacturing products that were irrelevant to the war effort had more appropriate tasks imposed. All artificial light was subject to legal blackouts.
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Not only were men conscripted into the armed forces from the beginning of the war something which had not happened until the middle of World War I , but women were also conscripted as Land Girls to aid farmers and the Bevin Boys were conscripted to work down the coal mines. Enormous casualties were expected in bombing raids, so children were evacuated from London and other cities en masse to the countryside for compulsory billeting in households.
In the long term this was one of the most profound and longer-lasting social consequences of the whole war for Britain. This is because it mixed up children with the adults of other classes. Not only did the middle and upper classes become familiar with the urban squalor suffered by working class children from the slums , but the children got a chance to see animals and the countryside, often for the first time, and experience rural life. The use of statistical analysis, by a branch of science which has become known as Operational Research to influence military tactics was a departure from anything previously attempted.
It was a very powerful tool but it further dehumanised war particularly when it suggested strategies which were counter intuitive. Examples where statistical analysis directly influenced tactics include the work done by Patrick Blackett 's team on the optimum size and speed of convoys and the introduction of bomber streams by the Royal Air Force to counter the night fighter defences of the Kammhuber Line. In contrast, Germany started the war under the concept of Blitzkrieg.
Officially, it did not accept that it was in a total war until Joseph Goebbels ' Sportpalast speech of 18 February Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels , 18 February , in his Sportpalast speech. The commitment to the doctrine of the short war was a continuing handicap for the Germans; neither plans nor state of mind were adjusted to the idea of a long war until the failure of the Operation Barbarossa. A major strategical defeat in the Battle of Moscow forced Albert Speer , who was appointed as Germany's armament minister in early , to nationalize German war production and eliminate the worst inefficiencies.
Under Speer's direction a threefold increase in armament production occurred and did not reach its peak until late To do this during the damage caused by the growing strategic Allied bomber offensive, is an indication of the degree of industrial under-mobilization in the earlier years.
It was because the German economy through most of the war was substantially under-mobilized that it was resilient under air attack. Civilian consumption was high during the early years of the war and inventories both in industry and in consumers' possession were high.
These helped cushion the economy from the effects of bombing.
Historical Dictionary of the Cold War
Plant and machinery were plentiful and incompletely used, thus it was comparatively easy to substitute unused or partly used machinery for that which was destroyed. Foreign labour, both slave labour and labour from neighbouring countries who joined the Anti-Comintern Pact with Germany, was used to augment German industrial labour which was under pressure by conscription into the Wehrmacht Armed Forces.
The Soviet Union USSR was a command economy which already had an economic and legal system allowing the economy and society to be redirected into fighting a total war. The transportation of factories and whole labour forces east of the Urals as the Germans advanced across the USSR in was an impressive feat of planning.
Only those factories which were useful for war production were moved because of the total war commitment of the Soviet government. It was the largest theatre of war in history in terms of numbers of soldiers, equipment and casualties and was notorious for its unprecedented ferocity, destruction, and immense loss of life see World War II casualties. The fighting involved millions of German , Hungarian, Romanian and Soviet troops along a broad front hundreds of kilometres long. It was by far the deadliest single theatre of World War II. Scholars now believe that at most 27 million Soviet citizens died during the war, including at least 8.
Millions of civilians died from starvation , exposure, atrocities, and massacres. During the Battle of Stalingrad , newly built T tanks were driven—unpainted because of a paint shortage—from the factory floor straight to the front. The United States underwent an unprecedented mobilization of national resources for the Second World War. Conditions in the United States were not as strained as they were in the United Kingdom or as desperate as they were in the Soviet Union, but the United States greatly curtailed nearly all non-essential activities in its prosecution of the Second World War and redirected nearly all available national resources to the conflict, including reaching the point of diminishing returns by late , where the U.
The strategists of the U. Following the outbreak of war in Europe and the ongoing aggression in Asia, efforts were stepped up significantly. The collapse of France and the airborne aggression directed at Great Britain unsettled the Americans, who had close relations with both nations, and a peacetime draft was instituted, along with Lend-Lease programs to aid the British, and covert aid was passed to the Chinese as well.
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American public opinion was still opposed to involvement in the problems of Europe and Asia, however. In , the Soviet Union became the latest nation to be invaded, and the U. American ships began defending aid convoys to the Allied nations against submarine attacks, and a total trade embargo against the Empire of Japan was instituted to deny its military the raw materials its factories and military forces required to continue its offensive actions in China.
In late , Japan's Army -dominated government decided to seize by military force the strategic resources of South-East Asia and Indonesia since the Western powers would not give Japan these goods by trade. In response to these attacks, the U. Nazi Germany declared war on the U. As the United States began to gear up for a major war, information and propaganda efforts were set in motion. Civilians including children were encouraged to take part in fat, grease, and scrap metal collection drives. Many factories making non-essential goods retooled for war production. Levels of industrial productivity previously unheard of were attained during the war; multi-thousand-ton convoy ships were routinely built in a month-and-a-half, and tanks poured out of the former automobile factories.
Within a few years of the U. Strict systems of rationing of consumer staples were introduced to redirect productive capacity to war needs. Previously untouched sections of the nation mobilized for the war effort. Academics became technocrats; home-makers became bomb-makers massive numbers of women worked in heavy industry during the war ; union leaders and businessmen became commanders in the massive armies of production.
The great scientific communities of the United States were mobilized as never before, and mathematicians, doctors, engineers, and chemists turned their minds to the problems ahead of them. By the war's end a multitude of advances had been made in medicine, physics, engineering, and the other sciences.
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Even the theoretical physicists , whose theories were not believed to have military applications at the time , were sent far into the Western deserts to work at the Los Alamos National Laboratory on the Manhattan Project that culminated in the Trinity nuclear test and changed the course of history. In the war, the United States lost , military personnel, but had managed to avoid the extensive level of damage to civilian and industrial infrastructure that other participants suffered.
The U. Roosevelt declared at Casablanca conference to the other Allies and the press that unconditional surrender was the objective of the war against the Axis Powers of Germany, Italy, and Japan. The unconditional surrender of the major Axis powers caused a legal problem at the post-war Nuremberg Trials , because the trials appeared to be in conflict with Articles 63 and 64 of the Geneva Convention of Usually if such trials are held, they would be held under the auspices of the defeated power's own legal system as happened with some of the minor Axis powers, for example in the post World War II Romanian People's Tribunals.
To circumvent this, the Allies argued that the major war criminals were captured after the end of the war, so they were not prisoners of war and the Geneva Conventions did not cover them. Further, the collapse of the Axis regimes created a legal condition of total defeat debellatio so the provisions of the Hague Convention over military occupation were not applicable.
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Since the end of World War II, no industrial nation has fought such a large, decisive war. By the end of the s, the ideological stand-off of the Cold War between the Western World and the Soviet Union had resulted in thousands of nuclear weapons being aimed by each side at the other. Strategically, the equal balance of destructive power possessed by each side situation came to be known as Mutually Assured Destruction MAD , considering that a nuclear attack by one superpower would result in nuclear counter-strike by the other. During the Cold War, the two superpowers sought to avoid open conflict between their respective forces, as both sides recognized that such a clash could very easily escalate, and quickly involve nuclear weapons.
Instead, the superpowers fought each other through their involvement in proxy wars, military buildups, and diplomatic standoffs.
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In the case of proxy wars, each superpower supported its respective allies in conflicts with forces aligned with the other superpower, such as in the Vietnam War and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. During the Yugoslav Wars , NATO conducted strikes against the electrical grid in enemy territory using graphite bombs. Some observers [ who? NATO claimed that the objective of their strikes was to disrupt military infrastructure and communications.
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