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Key Battles and Events of WWII

By SAV0008
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    Germany Invades Poland

    After this initial siege, the infantry would then move in and deal with any remaining resistant forces.
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    Germany invades Poland

    When Germany invaded Poland by land and air it was known as the “primer” of how Hitler intended to fight the war with what would become known as the “Blitzkrieg” or lightning strike strategy.
    The Blitzkrieg strategy can be summed up as a series of bombings early in the piece which destroys the enemy's air capacity, railways, communication lines and ammunition depots. This is then followed up with a land invasion in the form of large numbers of troops, tanks and artillery.
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    Germany Invades Poland

    Then base operations and concentration camps would be set up in the invaded and occupied country. Poland’s defeat stems from the fact that although they were 1 million Polish forces, they were underprepared and tried to take the German's straight away in the form of cavaliers instead of falling back into defensive positions. They also had no backup in the form of the Soviet because of the Ribbentrop-Molotov nonaggression pact.
  • Britain & France Declare War on Germany

    Two days after the invasion of Poland on September 1st to October 6th, Britain and France declare war on Germany.
    At 11:15 am the current British Prime Minister at the time, Neville Chamberlain, announced that the British deadline for the withdrawal of all troops from Poland had expired.
    The very same ultimatum was issued by the French Prime Minister Édouard Daladier at 12:30 pm, which stated that unless all troops were withdrawn by 5:00 pm, France would, therefore, be at war with Germany.
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    Churchill Becomes Prime Minister of Britain

    After losing a confidence vote in the House of Commons, Neville Chamberlain resigned as Prime Minister of Britain on the 23/5/1945.
    Winston Churchill, the First Lord of the Admiralty, is then issued replace Neville Chamberlain as Prime Minister of Britain.
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    Evacuation of Dunkirk (Operation Dynamo)

    The evacuation of Dunkirk can be described as the evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) and other allied troops from the French seaport of Dunkirk back to the safer grounds of England.
    Hundreds of civilian boats and naval vessels were used in the evacuation to save stranded soldiers facing slaughter if rescue hadn't been organised.
    Roughly 198,000 British and 140,000 French and Belgium troops were saved in the 9/10-day evacuation.
  • France Signs Armistice with Germany

    Six weeks later, after the Nazis invaded Western Europe, the French government signed an armistice with Germany.
    An armistice by definition as aligned with this event, is an agreement made by opposing sides in a war to stop fighting for a certain period of time, effectively becoming a timed truce of sorts.
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    Battle of Britain

    The 'Battle of Britain' was when German and British air forces striked against each other in the skies over the United Kingdom of which would later become known as the argest and longest endured bombing attack of that date.
    The Battle of Britain ended when the German air forces ultimately failed to gain air advantage over the United Kingdom.
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    Operation Sea Lion

    After the German armies occupied Poland in the beginning of WWII , the leaders in Berlin began to plan for the fighting in the west against the troops of France and Britain.
    These plans included the capture of ports along the English channel which would be followed by attempts to force Britain's leaders to surrender.
    Hitler initially wanted to invade on the 16th of August but operation sea lion was postponed to September 16th, and then dropped entirely.
  • Italy Enters War on Side of Axis Powers

    Germany and Italy consider their common interest in weakening the European order and therefore announce a 'better and great' Rome and Berlin Axis one week after signing a treaty between the two countries.
  • Tripartite Pact Signed

    The signing of the Tripartite Pact was when the Axis Powers were officially formed.
    The pact was signed in Berlin as Germany, Italy and Japan become allies, establishing the created 'Axis Powers'.
    The conditions of the pact provided mutual assistance should any nation who were part of the Tripartite Pact suffer an attack from any other nation not already involved in the war during the time.
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    Siege of Tobruk

    The port of Tobruk is heavily fortified by steep escarpments and deep waters that allow for large ships to dock. All of these natural features make it easy to fortify against attack.
    There were approximately 14,000 Australian troops and 12,00 British and Indian troops located in Tobruk during the siege. The Germans dominated the desert and the British navy controlled the waters around the port.
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    Siege of Tobruk

    Allied forces endued harsh air raids and artillery attacks during the day and at night left their defences to conduct raids against the Germans. The Australian soldiers were called the 'rats' of Tobruk by the German propaganda and instead of it coming across as insult as intended, the Australians adopted the nickname and even designed their own medals in the shape of a rat from ironically the scrap metal of a downed German aeroplane.
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    Siege of Tobruk

    Situated in the deserts of North Africa was not only the siege of Tobruk but major oil fields that were vital to motorized transport.
    Most of the allied forces were driven out of Libya and into Egypt by German and Italian forces. However, British and Commonwealth troops stayed in Libya in the port of Tobruk.
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    Operation Barbarossa

    Operation Barbarossa was a plan of Hitler ordering his armies eastward in an invasion of the Soviet Union.
    The S.U. was hit by 3 huge army groups of over 3 million German soldiers, 150 divisions and 3000 tanks.
    In the end, they were defeated by the S.U. because they underestimated the conditions and terrain (being Winter and cold). The Soviet Union had overpowered the forces having their own trained forces who knew how to survive the conditions and the terrain of Russia.
  • Bombing of Pearl Harbor

    Pearl harbour is known as U.S. naval base near Honolulu in Hawaii.
    On this day, hundreds of Japanese fighter planes flew over the base attacking and managing to destroy and damage approximately 20 American naval vessels including 8 big battleships and over 300 American aeroplanes. Over 2,400 Americans were killed including civilians and approximately another 1,000 were wounded.
    After the horrific bombing, President Franklin D. Roosevelt asked Congress to declare war on Japan in response.
  • Britain and US Declare War on Japan

    Following the horrific and tragic event of the bombing of Pearl Harbour, American President Franklin Roosevelt requested a declaration of war against Japan, which was later approved by the members of Congress. Their ally of Great Britain soon followed suit in joining them in the declaration of war on Japan, being in alligence with America as one of its 'children' nations.
  • Japan Takes Singapore

    In July 1941 following the Japanese conquering the French, the Japanese telegraphed their intentions of transferring Singapore from it’s place in the British empire to claiming it to their own.
    24,000 Japanese troops were transported to the Malay peninsula and Japanese fighter pilots attacked Singapore, which resulted in the death of approximately 61 civilians. Hundreds of more civilians were killed in the battle that followed between an attacking exchange of British and Japanese forces.
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    Battle of Midway

    The Battle of Midway ended up being a four-day sea and air battle, in which the outnumbered U.S. Pacific Fleet managed to destroy four Japanese aircraft carriers whilst only losing one of its own.
    By the end of the Battle of Midway the Japanese had lost four carriers, a cruiser, 292 aircraft and approximately 2,500 casualties. The U.S., on the other hand, lost the aircraft carrier Yorktown, the destroyer USS Hammann, 145 aircraft and had an estimated 300 casualties.
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    First Battle of Alamein

    The very first Battle of Alamein was a battle that was situated in Northern Africa, between the British and German-Italian Army.
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    Battle of Stalingrad

    The Battle of Stalingrad was when the Soviet Union established a successful defence of the city of Stalingrad in the U.S.S.R.
    It is known as one of the bloodiest battles ever recorded in history with an estimated 2 million military and civilian casualties (in total combined).
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    Second Battle of Alamein

    Lieutenant General Bernard Montgomery began a 5-hour siege on the Axis' lines during the second Battle of Alamein, including four infantry divisions that progressed over the mines in the ground as soldiers did not weigh enough to trigger the antitank mines.
  • D-Day Landings

    The D-day landings also were known as Operation Overlord, where 156,000 American, British and Canadian forces landed on a total of five beaches that of which were situated along a 50 mile stretch of the protected coast of France's Normandy region.
    Prior to the D-day landings, there was a large deception campaign that intended and was designed to mislead the Germans about the intended D-day invasion.
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    Battle of the Bulge

    Also known as Operation Mist and Ardennes Offensive, the Battle of the Bulge was the last recorded major offensive of WWII.
    The Germans had attempted to push the Allied forces front line in the direction of west from their current location in northern France to northwest Belgium.
    One form of deceit was when the Germans would use German soliders who could speak English to infiltrate and impersonate American soldiers in the lines. This caused major chaos and distrust among the lines.
  • Mussolini Captured and Executed

    Mussolini and his mistress Clara Petacci attempted to flee to Switzerland but after making it to the Swiss border they discovered that guards had already crossed to the partisan side.
    Mussolini had tried to disguise himself in a Luftwaffe coat and helmet as he tried to slip into Austria with German soldiers.
    However, after being discovered by partisans, both he and Petacci were shot as a result of being caught. Their bodies were then transported to Milan and hung up for the public to see.
  • Hitler Commits Suicide

    Hitler spent most of his time hiding in a refurbished air-raid shelter for the end of the war.
    The shelter was 55ft under the chancellery and held 18 rooms, having its own electrical and water supply.
  • Hitler Commits Suicide

    Hitler had been warned by his officers to escape to where he owned a home in the Bavarian Alps, as the Russians were only a couple of days off taking the chancellery where he was hiding.
    Instead, Hitler tested the efficiency of cyanide capsules on his dog and her pups. After these tests, Hitler and his wife swallowed cyanide capsules. Hitler then shot himself with a pistol.
  • German Forces Surrender

    General Alfred Jodl signed the unconditional surrender of all German forces in the East and West, at Reims in North-Western France.
  • V.E. Day

    V.E. Day is known as Victory in Europe Day.
    It is celebrated in both Great Britain and the United States of America. Both nations, as well as the cities occupied in Western Europe, place out flags and banners, still rejoicing and celebrating in the defeat of the Nazis on this day during WWII.
    The 8th of May 1945 is when the German troops all over Europe finally put down their arms and surrendered to the Soviet.
  • Atomic Bomb Dropped on Hiroshima

    The bomb emitted a blast with the power equivalent to 15,000 tons of TNT. It reduced 4 square miles of the city to rubble and instantly killed 80,000 people in the initial blast.
    Tens of thousands of civilians died in the following weeks from wounds sustained in the blast and from radiation emitted in the effects of the blast.
  • Atomic Bomb Dropped on Hiroshima

    The United States was the first and only nation to ever use atomic weaponry during wartime.
    U.S.A dropped a 5-ton atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. This action not only ended WWII but is said to have started the cold war.
  • Soviet Union Declares War on Japan

    The Soviet Union declared war on Japan and sent more than 1 million Soviet Union soldiers into the Japanese occupied Manchuria to take on the Japanese army in battle.
  • Atomic Bomb Dropped on Nagasaki

    A second atomic bomb was dropped on Japan by the U.S. which resulted in Japan’s unconditional surrender.
    The explosion had an equivalent force of 22,000 tons of TNT amd it is estimated that between 60,000 and 80,000 people were killed in the initial blast alone.
  • Japanese Surrender - End of WWII

    Japan formally surrendered to the Allied forces on September the 2nd, 1945, which therefore results in bringing about the end of WWII.
  • United Nations is Born

    The United Nations Charter which was created and taken up as a course of action was signed on June 26th, 1945 and is now in effect and ready to be enforced by those in charge at any agreed conference of discussion.