World War II

  • Nazi invasion of Poland

    Nazi invasion of Poland
    On September 1, 1939, Germany invaded Poland. The Polish army was defeated within weeks of the invasion. From East Prussia and Germany in the north and Silesia and Slovakia in the south, German units, with more than 2,000 tanks and over 1,000 planes, broke through Polish defenses along the border and advanced on Warsaw in a massive encirclement attack.
  • Germany sets up concentration camps

    Germany sets up concentration camps
    On June 14, 1940, German occupying authorities organized the first mass transport of prisoners to the recently opened Auschwitz Concentration Camp. The transport, which set from southern Polish city of Tarnów, consisted of 728 Poles, including some Jewish Poles. They were political prisoners, usually affiliated with resistance movements and in most cases, they were Catholics, since the mass deportations of Jews had not yet begun
  • Tripartite Pact

    Tripartite Pact
    This pact was signed by the Axis powers in the 1940s; it stated that should one of the signatories, consisting of Japan, Germany, and Italy, be aggressed upon by the United States, the other two were obliged to send help. This was most beneficial for Japan, as they had the more to gain by drawing the United States into a European war than Germany and Italy did a Pacific one.
  • Soviets and Japanese sign neutrality pact

    Soviets and Japanese sign neutrality pact
    The treaty was signed in Moscow on April 13, 1941, by Foreign Minister Yosuke Matsuoka and Ambassador Yoshitsugu Tatekawa for Japan and Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Molotov for the Soviet Union. A 'neutrality agreement" is a contract between a union and an employer under which the employer agrees to support a union's attempt to organize its workforce.
  • Operation Barbarossa

    Operation Barbarossa
    Operation Barbarossa was the code name for Germany's invasion of the Soviet Union during World War II that began on 22 June 1941. Over 4.5 million troops of the Axis powers invaded the USSR along a 2,900 km (1,800 mi) front. Operation Barbarossa's failure led to Hitler's demands for further operations inside the USSR, all of which eventually failed, such as continuing the Siege of Leningrad,
  • Battle of Midway

    Battle of Midway
    The Battle of Midway, fought in June 1942, must be considered one of the most decisive battles of World War Two. The Battle of Midway effectively destroyed Japan’s naval strength when the Americans destroyed four of its aircraft carriers. Japan’s navy never recovered from its mauling at Midway and it was on the defensive after this battle.
  • Operation Torch begins

    Operation Torch begins
    Operation Torch was the name given to the Allied invasion of French North Africa in November 1942. Operation Torch was the first time the British and Americans had jointly worked on an invasion plan together.From North Africa, the plan was to invade Sicily and then on to mainland Italy and move up the so-called “soft underbelly” of Europe.
  • Battle of Bulge

    Battle of Bulge
    The Germans launch a final offensive in the west, known as the Battle of the Bulge, in an attempt to re-conquer Belgium and split the Allied forces along the German border.
  • German assassination attempt on Hitler fails.

    German assassination attempt on Hitler fails.
    At the end of 1943 the Schutz Staffeinel (SS) and the Gestapo managed to arrest several Germans involved in plotting to overthrow Adolf Hitler.The plot was developed as a modification of Operation Valkyrie (Unternehmen Walküre), which was approved by Hitler for use if Allied bombing of German cities or an uprising of forced laborers from occupied countries working in German factories resulted in a breakdown in law and order.
  • The first atomic bomb dropped on Japan

    The first atomic bomb dropped on Japan
    After Japanese leaders flatly rejected the Potsdam Declaration, President Truman authorized use of the atomic bomb anytime after August 3, 1945. On the clear morning of August 6, the first atomic bomb, nicknamed Little Boy, was dropped on the city of Hiroshima. Leveling over 60 percent of the city, 70,000 residents died instantaneously in a searing flash of heat. Three days later, on August 9, a second bomb, Fat Man, was dropped on Nagasaki. Over 20,000 people died instantly.