Britain and France declared war on Germany. Neville Chamberlain broadcast the announcement that the country was at war.
Hitler launched his blitzkrieg (lightning war) against Holland and Belgium. Rotterdam was bombed almost to extinction. Both countries were occupied.
Hitler attacks Russia - Operation Barbarossa
Hitler sent 3 million soldiers and 3,500 tanks into Russia. The Russians were taken by surprise as they had signed a treaty with Germany in 1939. Stalin immediately signed a mutual assistance treaty with Britain and launched an Eastern front battle that would claim 20 million casualties. The USA, which had been supplying arms to Britain under a 'Lend-Lease' agreement, offered similar aid to USSR.
The Japanese, who were already waging war against the Chinese, attacked the US pacific fleet at Pearl Harbour, Hawaii, as a preliminary to taking British, French and Dutch colonies in South East Asia.
Britain and US declare war on Japan
Britain and the United States declared war on Japan.
Battle of El Alamein
Montgomery attacked the German-Italian army in North Africa with a massive bombardment followed by an armoured attack. He then proceeded to chase the routed enemy some 1500 miles across the desert.
The allies launched an attack on Germany's forces in Normandy, Western France. Thousands of transports carried an invasion army under the supreme command of general Eisenhower to the Normandy beaches. The Germans who had been fed false information about a landing near Calais, rushed troops to the area but were unable to prevent the allies from forming a solid bridgehead. For the allies it was essential to first capture a port
Victory in Europe was celebrated
Atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima Japan
The Japanese generals refused to surrender. The US dropped an atomic bomb on the island of Hiroshima.