Now the US immigration test has some questions about Modern History, and it was arguably in WW2 that the US became a superpower. This all kicked off with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, irritatingly just between Thanksgiving and Christmas in 1941. That was it, the American gloves were off and it was bare knuckle boxing from B52s from there on out. Actually B52s were first contracted in 1946, the year after things ground to a super halt. It was more B17s, but they weren’t strato-fortresses, and how often do you get to write that in a sentence?
So, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, Roosevelt declared war on Japan, and Hitler shortly after declared war on the United States of America. Pearl Harbor was the first attack on US soil, with 9-11 being the second, though I guess American soil was attacked quite regularly in the Colonial Period. So if you look at it that way, The United States is doing quite well in the grand scheme of modern history.
From then on, there were skirmishes, battles and theaters of war in Europe, the Pacific, North Africa and a bit in Southeast Asia. Do they call them theaters as the war is more dramatic there? More shared cigarettes between close pals as they take their last breaths with eye make-up on? Not really sure.
Things spilled over to Italy and then to Northern Europe. Overlords, Cobras, and the Battle of the Bulge were the code names of the day. There was strategic bombing – laying waste to Germany and around there. There was Operation Queen – surely one for the glamorous moustache toting soldiers of the day if ever there was going to be some drama in the war – which involved two armies (the US First and Ninth) thrusting into the forests of the fatherland. After the Western Fronts were side-swiped, things calmed down in Europe around Cinqo de Mayo 1945 – Germany surrendered to the soviets on May 2nd in Berlin after a race to the tape, and the war in Europe was over by the 8th May 1945.
That only left the stubborn Japanese to dispatch with some f. devastating hydrogen bombs, and they surrendered on 15th August 1945 with the paperwork complete on 1st September. After the world was in ruin, the US rose to supremacy as the superpower of choice.