World War 2
US in WW2

When was the US first involved in Europe in World War 2?

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2007-09-13 09:29:40
2007-09-13 09:29:40

When Germany invaded Poland on 1 September 1939 there was increased posturing and blustering about the effects of another European War and the effect that would have on the Western Hemisphere. FDR spoke about the defense of the Western Hemisphere in the event of a European war and the need to keep the Atlantic sea lanes open and secure. On 14 May 1940 Germany invaded France and by 2 September of 1940 a British-American agreement was reached to trade obsolete US destroyers that were badly needed by Britain for bases to bolster the US defense of the Western Hemisphere. This was followed by the passage of the Lend Lease program on 11 March 1941.

After sending supplies and equipment, the US did not begin to send troops to Europe until after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Then the US sent troops to England to show our support and for further training and preparations for when there was a place to deploy them into battle. One of the first US divisions sent to Europe was the 34th Infantry Division. Since the British were fighting the Germans in North Africa, this was the first place where troops could be used. US troops landed at three locations in North Africa on 8 November 1942---almost a full year after Pearl Harbor. They landed in French Morocco and two ports in Algiers. Strangely, they had to fight the French troops of the Vichy government, who had become allies to Germany after the French surrender. The US troops advanced east towards Tunisia and engaged the German army in combat on 26 November 1942. It wasn't until 9 September 1943, before the US troops landed on mainland Italy did the US actually land troops on European soil. Just prior to this, the US and British landed on Sicily, an island off of Italy. A good source on the North African campaign by US and an excellent book is: "An Army at Dawn" by Rick Atkinson Custermen

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