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USS Arizona Memorial / Photo courtesy of United States Navy

America Enters World War II

April 16-28, 2018

A BGES Twentieth-Century Wars Program

The rise of totalitarian states in Europe and the Far East during the Great Worldwide Depression tested America’s Isolationist desires. Japanese aggression in China and Mongolia coupled with Italian adventurism in Africa and Hitler’s quest for “More living space” forced European leaders to sell out other countries in a vain search for peace–but there would be no peace. When German tanks rolled into Poland on September 1, 1939, France and Great Britain declared war. When Hitler violated his pact with Stalin in June 1941, the USSR came in on the side of the Allies. American support for the threatened countries was limited to “Lend-Lease” shipments to England and the USSR until the Japanese attack on American military forces in December 1941. This tour is about America’s military response to those treacherous attacks.


Duncan Anderson is the head of the War Studies Department at Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. The Australian Ph.D. supervises an international staff of some of the world’s best and brightest historical minds. Here they teach the major block of military history to the officer candidates for the British Army and Commonwealth countries. Frequently featured on historical programming, Anderson and his staff are all specialists in portions of world history. Anderson’s scholarship is on the Pacific theater and in particular the fall of the Philippines and its redemption.

Len Riedel is the Executive Director of the Blue and Gray Education Society. He holds a Master of Arts degree in history with an emphasis in Policy and Strategy. He was a member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies based in London, England, and was mentored by former Secretary of State, Lawrence Eagleburger. Riedel was the Chief of Air Traffic Control operations at Anderson Air Force Base, Guam, in 1980-1981. He has previously conducted tours of Nimitz’s Central Pacific Campaign of 1944.