World War II was the culmination of the greatest geo-political crisis in Western civilization--first World war I and second the rise of the totalitarians. Following World War I, three totalitarians groups seized controlled of some of the most important countries in the world. First the Communists seized control of Russia (1917). Then the Fascists seized control of Italy (1924) and subsequently German Fascists seized control of that country (1933). Japanese militarists a kind of Shinto Fascism seized control of Japan (1930s). These countries as a whole had enormous scientific, industrial, human, and natural resources. With the NAZI victories in Europe, especially the defeat of France (1940), the balance of world power swung to the totalitarian powers. The totalitarian powers in 1940 controlled almost all of Europe, wedding the industrial potential of Europe with the natural resources of the Soviet Union. As part of the NAZI-Soviet Non-Agression Pact, the Soviet Union shipped huge quantities of raw material, especially badly needed petroleum to fuel the NAZI war machine. Facing the totalitarians were the British and the Dominions backed by the resources and industrial potential of the United states. The RAF prevented the Germans from invading Britain and the much diminished and hard-pressed Royal Navy was struggling with the German U-boats to keep the sea lanes open, especially the vital sea lanes to America. The United States had an enormous industrial potential in 1940, but it was largely a potential. The U.S. Army was smaller than that of Romania and not equipped with modern weapons. And Americam industry was turning out mostly consumer products at a time when the future iof the Western world was being determined. It was an open question as to if or when America would enter the War and if its industrial and human resources could be converted to war production in time to save Western Civilization.
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