• Italian invasion of Ethiopia

    Italian invasion of Ethiopia
    The Italian invasion of Ethiopia got under way in the mid-1930s, Including Ethiopia's annexation and incorporation into Italian East Africa in 1936—marked the last chapter in Italian colonial history.
  • Rape of Nanjing in China

    Rape of Nanjing in China
    The destruction of Nanjing—which had been the capital of the Nationalist Chinese from 1928 to 1937—was ordered by Matsui Iwane, commanding general of the Central China Front Army that captured the city. Over the next several weeks, Japanese soldiers carried out Matsui's orders, perpetrating numerous mass executions and tens of thousands of rapes.
  • Spanish Civil War

    Spanish Civil War
    Military revolt against the Republican government of Spain, supported by conservative elements within the country. A bloody civil war ensued, fought with great ferocity on both sides. The Nationalists, as the rebels were called, received aid from Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany.
  • German annexation of the Sudetenland

    German annexation of the Sudetenland
    The annexation of the Sudetenland, completed according to the Munich timetable, was not Czechoslovakia's only territorial loss. Shortly after the Munich verdict, Poland sent troops to annex the Teschen region. By the Vienna Award (Nov. 2, 1938), Hungary was granted one-quarter of Slovak and Ruthenian territories.
  • German invasion of Poland

    German invasion of Poland
    For the campaign against the Soviet Union, the Germans allotted almost 150 divisions containing a total of about 3,000,000 men. Among these were 19 panzer divisions, and in total the “Barbarossa” force had about 3,000 tanks, 7,000 artillery pieces, and 2,500 aircraft.
  • France and Great Brittain declare war on Germany

    France and Great Brittain declare war on Germany
    The French emperor, Napoleon III, declared war on Prussia on July 19, 1870, because his military advisers told him that the French army could defeat Prussia and that such a victory would restore his declining popularity in France. The French were convinced that the reorganization of their army in 1866 had made it superior to the German armies.
  • Pearl Harbor

    Pearl Harbor
    Naval base and headquarters of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, Honolulu county, southern Oahu Island, Hawaii, U.S. In U.S. history the name recalls the Japanese surprise air attack on Dec. 7, 1941, that temporarily crippled the U.S. Fleet and resulted in the United States' entry into World War II.
  • Guadacanal

    (August 1942–February 1943), series of World War II land and sea clashes between Allied and Japanese forces on and around Guadalcanal, one of the southern Solomon Islands, in the South Pacific. Japanese troops had landed on Guadalcanal on July 6, 1942, and had begun constructing an airfield there.
  • Stalingrad

    July 17, 1942–Feb. 2, 1943), successful Soviet defense of the city of Stalingrad (now Volgograd) in the Russian S.F.S.R. during World War II. Russians consider it to be the greatest battle of their Great Patriotic War, and most historians consider it to be the greatest battle of the entire conflict.
  • El-Alamein

    Castal town in northwestern Egypt, about 60 miles (100 km) west of Alexandria, that was the site of two major battles between British and Axis forces in 1942 during World War II. El-Alamein is the seaward (northern) end of a 40-mile-wide bottleneck that is flanked on the south by the impassable Qattara Depression.
  • D-Day

    (in World War II), first day of the Allied landing in Normandy, France.
  • Phillipines (Battles of Manila

    Phillipines (Battles of Manila
    (May 1, 1898), defeat of the Spanish Pacific fleet by the U.S. Navy, resulting in the fall of the Philippines and contributing to the final U.S. victory in the Spanish–American War.