Chester W. Nimitz was one of the most important naval figures in American military history and was a top commander during the Second World War. From the very beginning of formal American involvement in that war, Nimitz served as primary commander of United States naval forces in the Pacific theater. He remained in that vital post until the end of the conflict in August 1945.Continue Reading
Before the coming of WWII, Nimitz had risen quickly through the ranks, distinguishing himself as a promising young officer. His credentials and reputation were strong enough by 1941 to earn him the overall Pacific command after the devastating surprise assault on Pearl Harbor in December of that year.
After Pearl Harbor, Nimitz led American naval forces through the tumultuous next four years, rebuilding the fleet and taking the offensive against the Japanese. Impressive victories at Midway, the Solomon Islands, Leyte Gulf, among others places, eventually drove the war to the shores of Japan. According to Naval History and Heritage Command, Nimitz himself oversaw the signing of the surrender papers aboard the USS Missouri in 1945. After the war, Nimitz briefly served as Chief of Naval Operations before serving with the United Nations four years later. In the 1950s, Nimitz was active in helping to rebuild solid relations with the Japanese, even being involved with efforts to restore and honor Japan's wartime naval past.Learn more about World War 2
World War II took place all over the world, including East Asia, Europe and the islands in the Pacific Ocean. Some fighting was seen as far away as the Aleutian Islands, Madagascar and South America.Full Answer >
Examples of famous U.S. World War II ships with Battle Stars include the USS Enterprise, USS San Diego, USS San Francisco and USS O'Brien. Multiple types of ships were used in World War II, including battle cruisers, carriers, submarines, destroyers and transport ships.Full Answer >
The quality of treatment of German POWs during World War II largely depended on which country captured them. The United States was known for offering relatively humane treatment, while the USSR is reported to have forced countless prisoners into labor camps where they frequently died. Even among the Allied forces, the protections afforded POWs occasionally broke down.Full Answer >
World War II began mainly as a result of Nazi Germany reoccupying increasing amounts of land over which, according to the terms of the Treaty of Versailles, it no longer had claim. England and France, allied countries that fought against Germany in World War I, declared war on Germany on Sept. 3, 1939, after it invaded Poland, despite repeated demands to cease military occupation.Full Answer >