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WWII: The Early Years
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The United States entered World War II as an active combatant in December 1941 after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Initially, America concentrated on building up industrial production capability and military strength. These reproductions from the U.S. Army Art Collection depict some of the activities from that period.

Each of the prints includes the name of the work, the general location it depicts, and the name of the artist. The extended caption on each print provides background information on the subject matter illustrated. The artists whose work is represented here actually witnessed the scenes they portrayed, and in some cases the words in the caption are those of the creator of the artwork. In others the caption simply helps put the scene in context.

The World War II art belonging to the Army came from a variety of sources. Much of it, including nine of the paintings in this series, was the result of a program whereby Life magazine hired artists as war correspondents to produce a pictorial record of the war. The Army also had a number of artists in uniform, one of whom is also represented in this set. After the war the work of both groups was entrusted to the care of the Army.

At the beginning of the war American factories and seaports shifted to around-the-clock operations to handle the production and shipment of materiel needed overseas. As the industrial base prepared for war at home, the Army engaged in active combat operations in theaters around the world. Each engagement provided the Army with additional experience which it put to good use as it built up the strength and confidence which eventually enabled it to prevail.

This print set was designed and produced by the U.S. Army Center of Military History to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of World War II. The pictures and words are in remembrance of the sacrifices and accomplishments of all the men and women who served in World War II.
Brigadier General, USA
Chief of Military History

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