Causes Of Enlistment In WWII

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Fierce patriotism combined with the idealism of masculinity involved with defending one’s country were initial major causes of enlistment in WWII, but as the war progressed, soldiers turned their focus and reasons for fighting to their comrades, as well as the resentment towards the enemy.
Nationalism peaks during the time of crisis, specifically if there is a common enemy to rally against as a nation. This was the case during WWII, where the people were unified more than they had ever been against such an enemy. The Germans, Italians, and the Japanese were seen and portrayed as savages sent to dismantle society as it was known. This view began immediately after the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941. Outrage at the brazen and unexpected
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Dissociation was necessary to maintain sanity in a place where bloodshed was ceaseless and death was ever present. Hardening oneself was the only way to hold on to sanity when in the midst of such chaos and destruction. Specifically the men on the Pacific front had to view the enemy as less than a person in order to fight. Typical war tactics had been abandoned, partially due to the meshing of cultures between the Japanese and Americans. The fighting style of the Japanese meant absolute devotion to the war at all costs. Total sacrifice for the country was the way of the Japanese soldiers, and eventually the citizens as well. Rather than be taken prisoner in shame, soldiers would take radical and often suicidal last attempts to wipe out any Allied soldiers possible, so that they would die with honor. To the Western soldiers it was an altogether foreign concept, one not even shared by the German soldiers. This also meant that attacks by Japanese while on the Pacific Islands were often much more fatal and chaotic, which took a larger toll on the soldiers battling it. To cope with it, the men developed an animosity for the Japanese. “I got so tired of seein’ guys get hit and banged up, the more I felt like takin’ it out on the Japanese. The feeling grew and grew, and you became more callous… This hatred of the Japanese was just a natural feeling that developed elementally,” conveyed Sledge. “We had all become hardened. We were out there, human beings, the most highly developed form of life on earth, fighting each other like wild animals” (Terkel, 59, 64.) Through becoming more apathetic to the enemy, soldiers were able to push

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