The suggestion that America won World War 2 has several flaws, though from an American perspective this is the reality. While it is true that American forces played a key role in the victories, what has to first be acknowledged is that America won two wars. The war against the Germans in Europe was the result of the participation of a number of other countries: Britain, France and Russia. However, in the war against the Japanese, America fought alone.
On the European theatre, Germany was a juggernaut, particularly in the air. The coordination of air and ground forces left opposing militaries virtually helpless. The United States, uninvolved in the War until its later stages, had established centralized government planning and strategic offices that would play a key role in the primary reason for its success. The establishment of the Industrial War College in the 1920’s laid the foundation for the development of military technology that would prove decisive in winning the war.
The capitalistic environment of America opened the door for continued and accelerated innovation that resulted in the development of long range fighter aircraft, especially the long range bomber. This technology, combined with a massive pool of manufacturing capacity, resulted in a rapid production of military equipment that quickly matched the output of Germany. While Germany was operating at full capacity, America had plenty of room for growth. The sustained air raids on Germany’s industrial production plants crippled its war effort, resulting in its defeat.
In the Pacific, this same air superiority executed on Japan had the same effect. Because of Japan’s island location, the long range ability of the American bomber was crucial in carrying out the strategic plan against Japan. It is well documented that American forces suffered tremendous losses of soldiers in establishing a foothold on the islands of the Pacific. The sentiment of the American public was to end the war in the Pacific quickly due to these losses.
The development and use of the atomic bomb on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki is often cited as the sole reason for the surrender of Japan. While this technology was indeed the reason, what allowed the bombs to be dropped was the same long range bomber technology developed to bring about Germany’s defeat.
The end of World War 2 was brought about through the innovation of American inventors and entrepreneurs, its capacity to maximize its manufacturing capabilities, and a public sentiment to end the war. America was able to accomplish victory on two fronts, thousands of miles apart, in a time where the existence of a jet powered aircraft was yet to be developed.