Posts Categorized: WWII Articles

World War II War Bonds

US War Bond poster, WWII

Seventy-five years ago this week, the United States held its first War Loan Drive. The Second World War cost the United States $300 billion dollars, with the federal budget rising from $9 billion in 1939 to $98 billion in 1945. How was the nation to pay for that? Taxes were increased with an additional 5… Read more »

Make It Do – Coffee Rationing in World War II

US poster, 1943

Seventy-five years ago, coffee rationing began in the United States. Although not necessary for survival—though that’s debatable—coffee has been a staple in the American diet since the Boston Tea Party, and coffee rationing was extremely unpopular. Why Coffee? During World War II, Latin America produced bumper crops of coffee beans, and those countries were Allies… Read more »

Victory Gardens in World War II

Victory Garden poster, US, WWII

For the average American in World War II, the Victory Garden was a practical way to contribute to the war effort. Some 20 million Victory Gardens were planted (US population in 1940 was 132 million), and by 1943, these little plots produced 40 percent of all vegetables consumed in the US. It’s estimated that 9-10… Read more »

Make It Do – Gasoline Rationing in World War II

US poster, WWII

Seventy-five years ago this week, gasoline rationing began in the United States. Rationing was an important part of life in America during World War II. However, the government was apprehensive about gasoline rationing. As a symbol of freedom of movement, the automobile represented everything American, and politicians feared riots and rebellion if they curtailed that… Read more »

Of Terns and Planes

Poster for the US Army Corps of Engineers, WWII

In July 1942, the armies of democracy battled the armies of totalitarianism, but a smaller battle raged between US Army Engineers and a little bird called the sooty tern. While researching the Army engineers for my novel With Every Letter (Revell, 2012), I ran into an intriguing little story in Barry Fowle’s Builders and Fighters: US Army Engineers in World… Read more »

Victory Mail in World War II

US poster promoting use of V-Mail during WWII. Read more: "Victory Mail in World War II" on Sarah Sundin's blog.

Letters in World War II During World War II, letters were essential to the health of a relationship. Soldiers and sailors who shipped overseas couldn’t make phone calls, and of course, e-mails and text messages hadn’t been invented. That left letters. The average soldier wrote six letters a week. Those letters took anywhere from 1-4… Read more »

Make It Do – Scrap Drives in World War II

Perhaps nothing represents the community-minded patriotism of the US Home Front in World War II better than the scrap drive. Seventy-five years ago, the United States began its first major national scrap drive – for rubber. Enemy conquests cut off supplies of crucial raw materials such as tin and rubber, and the need for products… Read more »

D-Day Anniversary

US troops approach Omaha Beach in an LCVP landing craft, Normandy, 6 Jun 1944 (US National Archives)

Today we commemorate the 73rd anniversary of the D-Day landings. On June 6, 1944, the Allies landed on the beaches of Normandy to liberate Europe from Nazi power. As I’ve researched D-Day for my upcoming Sunrise at Normandy series, I’ve been deeply affected by the stories I’ve read – stories of courage, tragedy, nobility, selflessness, and… Read more »

Make It Do – Sugar Rationing in World War II

US poster, WWII

What could be more American than Hershey bars, homemade cookies, and birthday cake? During World War II, these items were hard to come by. Today marks the 75th anniversary of the start of sugar rationing in the United States. Short on Sugar When the Japanese conquered the Philippines in the early months of 1942, the… Read more »

Make It Do – Metal Shortages in World War II

US poster encouraging conservation of metal for military purposes. Read more: "Make It Do--Metal Shortages in World War II" on Sarah Sundin's blog.

Imagine going to the store and not finding batteries, thumbtacks, alarm clocks, or paper clips on the shelves. During World War II, metals were needed for military purposes. Ships and planes and jeeps and guns and ration tins and helmets took precedence over civilian products. After the United States entered the war, factories quickly shifted… Read more »