One-third of Americans were not convinced that sending troops to fight in World War II was the right thing to do

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ONE THIRD Americans say they aren’t sure sending troops to fight in WWII was the right decision

  • A poll suggests one third of Americans think sending troops to fight in World War II was a mistake
  • Economist / YouGov poll looked at several conflicts spanning more than 100 years
  • Support for sending troops to World War II was strong, more than any other conflict
  • 68% think it is the right decision, 14% are against and 18% are unsure
  • There was more unity not engage in other wars where 48 percent agreed it was a mistake to send troops to Vietnam

More than 75 years after the end of World War II, a third of Americans question the country’s decision to send troops into battle.

A new Economist / YouGov poll suggests that doubters think it is a mistake or are unsure whether it was the right decision.

The poll, which was timed to coincide with Memorial Day, asked people for their views on the decision to send US troops to fight wars in particular.

United States Marines landing from landing craft in Guadalcanal in the Pacific theater of World War II in August 1942

U.S. Marines who landed from Guadalcanal landing craft in the Pacific Theater of World War II in August 1942

Do you think the United States made a mistake in sending troops to fight in the next wars?  (% of US adults).  For the poll, 1,500 American adults were interviewed

Do you think the United States made a mistake in sending troops to fight in the following wars? (% of US adults). For the poll, 1,500 American adults were interviewed

US Marines pose on top of Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima Island with the US flag in February 1945

US Marines pose on top of Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima Island with the US flag in February 1945

Cabinet members watch with mixed feelings as President Franklin D. Roosevelt, wearing a black bracelet, on December 8, 1941, signs the United States' declaration of war against Japan.  On December 7, Japanese planes bombed Pearl Harbor, Hawaii in a surprise attack that destroyed much of the fleet there, leading to the declaration of war.

Cabinet members watch with mixed feelings as President Franklin D. Roosevelt, dressed in a black armband, signs the United States’ declaration of war on Japan on December 8, 1941. On December 7, Japanese planes bombed Pearl Harbor, Hawaii in a surprise attack that destroyed much of the fleet there, leading to the declaration of war

Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 32nd President of the United States, addresses the nation during a fireside chat two days after the attack on Pearl Harbor as American went to war

Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 32nd President of the United States, addresses the nation during a chat by the fireside two days after the attack on Pearl Harbor when American went to war

The question was asked, “Do you think the United States made a mistake in sending troops to fight in the next wars?”

The poll looked at conflicts spanning more than 100 years, including both World Wars, the Vietnam War, and the more recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

About 14 percent of Americans said they believed sending troops to fight the Nazi-led Axis powers during World War II was a mistake, and another 18 percent were unsure, although support for the decision to sending troops to fight the Nazis got more. then support any other war with 68 percent.

However, a third of Americans were still unsure whether President Roosevelt had made the right decision.

Responses depended on the age, gender, and race of the person being asked.

A landing craft, vehicle and personnel approached Omaha Beach, Normandy, France on June 6, 1944.  The infantrymen were among the first to attack the German defences

A landing craft, vehicle and personnel approached Omaha Beach, Normandy, France on June 6, 1944. The infantrymen were among the first to attack the German defences

Soldiers of the 70th Division of the US 7th Army hold up a Nazi flag and a portrait of Adolf Hitler, taken during the capture of Saarbrucken during World War II in March 1945

Soldiers of the 70th Division of the US 7th Army hold up a Nazi flag and a portrait of Adolf Hitler, taken during the capture of Saarbrucken during World War II in March 1945

An image of American troops descending the Champs Elysees in 1944, with the Arc de Triomphe

An image of American troops descending the Champs Elysees in 1944, with the Arc de Triomphe

The destroyed framework of the Museum of Science and Industry in Hiroshima, Japan as it appeared shortly after the blast

The destroyed framework of the Museum of Science and Industry in Hiroshima, Japan, as it appeared shortly after the explosion

While 60 percent of people aged 18-29 said it was no mistake to send troops, only 49% of people aged 30-44 agreed.

Republican voters were also more supportive of the bet. 77 percent said sending troops was the right choice, but only 63 percent of Democrats agreed.

Only 62 percent of women thought it was the right choice, compared to 74% of men.

Other parts of the research looking at different wars had more concrete results.

A third or more believe the United States made mistakes by sending troops to fight in three wars in particular – the recent Iraq involvement where 43 percent said it was a mistake and 33 percent said it wasn’t. Opinions were more divided on Afghanistan with 36 percent in favor and 39 percent against.

48 percent of men and 47 percent of women agreed that sending troops to Vietnam in 1965 was a mistake, while 36 percent of both sexes in the 18-29 and 30-44 age groups agreed that US troops had not been sent to Korea in 1950 either.

Wounded American soldiers are evacuated by helicopter after a battle during the Vietnam War in 1967

Wounded American soldiers are evacuated by helicopter after a battle during the Vietnam War in 1967

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