Tom Goldstein, "A Tale of Three Cities: How the United States Won World War II"


this phrase - it was not the sword, nor the shield of democracy, but the arsenal. This was the principle behind the United States' overall strategy in World War II. Next Dr. Kennedy clarified what the three cities were that keyed the U.S's victory in World War II.

At Rouen (France), Washington, D.C., and Stalingrad the United States decided or implemented decisions on how to fight the war they did. These decisions to fight a particular kind of war allowed the United States to win World War II, he explained, and they were made and implemented between August 1942 and February 1943.

Dr. Kennedy first discussed the significance of what occurred at Rouen on Aug 17, 1942. On that day, he said, 12 B-17 bombers took off from the south of England accompanied by a few Spitfire fighters for protection. The B-17's dropped bombs on a railroad switching yard in Rouen. No planes or crew was lost in this seemingly insignificant mission. Yet this marked the first American strategic bombing attack on Nazi occupied Europe. The decision had been made in the early 1930's that in the event of a future conflict, the United States would use new technology (in this case airplanes) to fight a different kind of war - the strategic bombing of the economic and industrial infrastructure of the enemy. This approach, Dr. Kennedy elaborated, had two objectives: First, to compromise the infrastructure of the enemy so that they could not sustain an army; and second, to terrorize citizens in that country to immobility. The United States focused on the first objective, he stated, but did not reject the second. This approach was "typically American" according to Dr. Kennedy as it involved a reliance on the United

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