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WW2 vs Civil War

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S: World War 2/Civil War

FC: World War Two Vs. The Civil War A Comparison by: Will Lahood

1: I chose this topic because I was interested in both wars. Will Lahood, Elmwood Franklin School, May 2010 Cover art citations:

2: World War Two and the American Civil War were both wars that significantly changed America.

3: World War Two and the American Civil War seemingly had nothing in common, but both wars were pioneers of new battlefield technology, weapons, and tactics.

4: World War Two had many causes, such as unfair reparation charges to Germany. Most of the causes came from totalitarian regimes in countries such as the Nazis in Germany, Benito Mussolini in Italy, or Emperor Hirohito in Japan. Adolf Hitler played off the German people's anger at the unfair reparation charges placed on it after World War One. Mussolini and Hirohito used their absolute power and desire for expansion to fuel the war effort in Italy and Japan. World War Two began with the invasion of Poland by Germany, which had been conquering some of its old territory. This caused England and France to declare war on Germany. When Germany invaded Russia that brought them into the war. When the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor this brought the U.S. into the war.

5: The causes of the Civil War were many and varied, although they closely resemble the causes of World War Two. Slavery was one of the main causes. The North, having no need for it with their large influx of cheap immigrant labor, saw slavery as a moral wrong and tried to have it abolished. The South, on the other hand, had an agricultural economy and required a large source of cheap labor. Another major cause was that after the Louisiana Purchase the southern states demanded that half the new states must be slave states to maintain balance in the senate. The final things that set off the war were the election of antislavery Abraham Lincoln, and the attack by southerners on the Union held Fort Sumter.

6: World War Two had many inspiring and charismatic leaders on both sides. The Allies had Winston Churchill, who inspired Britain to not give up when the German bombing was at its worst. They also had FDR, who led the American people out of the depression and through World War Two. FDR in his first 100 days made several plans to help the economy. When France was invaded, Charles De Gaulle rallied the French resistance fighters to keep fighting after he was forced to flee to England. The Axis powers had their share of extremely charismatic leaders. Adolf Hitler was extremely charismatic and that is how he rose to power. He also really helped the German economy. In Italy Mussolini was the charismatic leader of the fascist party. Emperor Hirohoto was the leader of Japan, where he was revered as a god. He started Japan's military expansion.

8: The Civil War had many leaders for both the South and the North. Both sides had their share of inspiring leaders. The North had Abe Lincoln, who led the Union through the war. They also had Ulysses S. Grant as head general. He was a considerable commander who started winning battles at Fort Donelson, Tennessee. The South had Robert E. Lee who was an inspiring general and an excellent commander. The President of the South, Jefferson Davis, was a more experienced leader than Abe Lincoln because he served as a senator then the governor of Missouri. All of the experienced generals were from the South, which gave them a large advantage at the start of the war.

10: World War Two saw the invention of many new types of weapons such .50 caliber bullets, the semi-automatic pistol, the modern tank, and the precursor to the modern assault rifle. One of the main advances were tanks. They went from basically large moving pieces of cover with a small naval gun mounted on top used to break the stalemate of trench warfare to fast, low, powerful attack craft. The airplane also underwent a major overhaul. It went from a biplane used almost exclusively for reconnaissance, to powerful attack craft used for bombing. The aircraft carrier, as a result of the increased use of planes, played a major role in the Pacific campaign. The USS Enterprise was the most decorated of the air craft carriers.

12: The Civil War also saw extensive revamping of weapons. With the invention of replaceable parts, the maintenance and life span of rifles and weapons were greatly expanded. The invention of semi-automatic firearms made the individual soldier many times more efficient. Rifling the barrels made guns and cannons more accurate thus increasing their killing power. It also saw the invention of the first truly automatic gun. The first full automatic gun was the Gatling Gun, it was a six barreled gun that held either 30 or 50 round clips. It worked by one operator aiming while the other turned a crank rotating the barrels.

14: World War Twos tactics, both strategic and battlefield changed drastically from previous wars. Strategic warfare is a long term strategy while battlefield warfare is a strategy for an individual battle. The Allies strategic tactics included using bombing raids to destroy infrastructure and demoralize the populace. Battlefield tactics changed as well. There was no longer trench warfare but a highly mobile squad and tank based warfare supported by artillery and planes. Also, most soldiers carried more individual firepower as the Americans were outfitted with semi-automatic rifles and submachine guns. The Russians also were outfitted almost exclusively with submachine guns.

16: In the Civil War tactics changed dramatically. With the invention of more rapid fire and more accurate weapons tactics had to change from simply lining up and firing a volley to something more modern. Tactics did not change quickly enough because of that thousands of lives were lost that did not necessarily have to be. Because no one realized what a bad idea it was to stand in a line while the two sides rapidly fired off volleys at each other. Cannons also became longer range, more powerful, and more accurate. This also emphasized the stupidity of standing in a line because on cannon shell could wipe out an entire squad. The iron clad ship also came into play. It was an important advancement in naval warfare because it was a ship the cannon balls simply bounced off.

18: "EBSCOhost: World War II." EBSCOhost. Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 2010. Web. 5 Feb. 2010. Stokesbury, James L., Ph.D. "Wolrd War II Article World Book Advanced." World Book Online. World Book Inc., 2010. Web. 26 Apr. 2010. Weinber, Gerhald L. A World at Arms: A Global History of World War Two. Cambridge: Cambrdge University Press, 1994. Google Books. Web. 26 Apr. 2010. . PowerSearch Document. Gale Cengage Learning, n.d. Web. 3 May 2010.

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Will Lahood
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  • Title: WW2 vs Civil War
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  • Published: about 8 years ago