The 75th Anniversary of WWII by Jackson Lubke (A’23)

by tuftsigl
Jan 12

In October, ALLIES had the distinct pleasure to host Professor Marc Gallicchio from Villanova University. In commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II, our theme for this week was a dive into the relations between the United States of America and East Asia, post-World War II. Professor Gallicchio sought to address the legacy of the Second World War in Japan in particular.

Professor Gallicchio’s presentation was very enlightening, as he touched upon many aspects of the Pacific War and its impact on relations years after. He walked through the Pacific Campaign that the United States waged against the Japanese Empire, going into detail on the context and the immensity of the war. Professor Gallicchio spoke about the logistical difficulties of America’s Pacific Campaign, capturing the massive scale of the war. At one point, he compared the logistical challenges of the Pacific Campaign to attempting to relocate the entire city of Pittsburgh to the Pacific.

Then, he described the difficulties of demilitarization that the US government and broader society faced post-war. Economically, he spoke about how America had to adjust to a non-war economy. He spoke about how the government approached the abrupt and sudden change. In particular, Professor Gallicchio analyzed the tension that came into existence between the civilian administration and the military establishment once it became clear that the war was going to end. Hoping for a gradual transition that would not shock the US economy, business leaders and government officials hoped to begin the transition months before the Pacific War had ended. However, the military establishment did not want to jeopardize its established supply chains. Additionally, he covered how other countries like Korea and China reacted to the end of the Japanese occupation.

Afterward, Professor Gallicchio answered student questions, discussing among other topics how America viewed Japanese colonies, the long-lasting impacts of the Pacific War in East Asia, and the relationship between Mao Zedong and the United States.