December 7, 1941 is forever etched in the history of the United States. The Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and America entered the Second World War. Yet almost as important a date occurred several days later, on December 11, but that is largely forgotten.
America was now at war with Japan, yet Germany was a far greater threat. Japan could be contained, but by early December 1941 German units were closing in on Moscow and the Soviet Union was on the brink of collapse. If the Soviets fell, it would be an entirely different world and highly unlikely that we could have ever taken Europe back from the Nazis.
The war in Europe had been going on for over two years and American public sentiment was not inclined to get involved there. We were just coming out of the Great Depression and there was a prevailing belief that we were duped into WWI, and there were many determined to not let that happen again. So while Japan had attacked us, Germany had not and declaring war on Germany would be a hard sell to the American people. It was one of the most monumental dilemmas that ever faced the leaders of the free world.
As it turned out, Hitler, in another colossal blunder, declared war on the United States on 11 December, the issue was resolved, and the world was changed forever. Blanco County and the rest of the country ramped up to make winning the war the top priority. Its men and women entered the services to take the war to the enemy, and at home the industrial might of the nation was unleashed. America emerged from the war as the leader it remains today. That all came at a cost, and here in Blanco County there were fourteen sons and fathers that would never come home.
Learn more about this time at the Blanco County WW2 Museum in the Buggy Barn Museum Complex on N 281 and at http://ww2blancomuseum.com/