Key events and Battles of WWII

  • Germany invades Poland

    Germany invades Poland
    Germany invades Poland.
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    Key events and Battles of WWII

  • Britain & France declare war on Germany

    Britain & France declare war on Germany
    Hitler had invaded Poland, and in reaction to this Britain and the allied forces declared war on Germany.
  • Churchill becomes Prime Minister of Britain

    The English parliament was increasingly displeased with the prime minister Neville Chamberlain so they call a vote of confidence. Chamberlain loses it and then resigns. Churchill replaces him.
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    Evacuation of Dunkirk (Operation Dynamo)

    After the Battle of France was deemed a complete disaster for the British and French troops they evacuated the beach successfully. This was such a successful mission that it sometimes referred to as the "Miracle of Dunkirk".
  • Italy enters war on side of Axis Powers

    Italy enters war on side of Axis Powers
    On this day the French government fled the country and declared Paris an open city. Italian president Mussolini thought the war would soon end so joined it on the German side.
  • France signs armistice with Germany

    France signs armistice with Germany
    After losing the Battle of France, French generals sign an armistice with the Germans that established areas of France to be given to the Germans.
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    Battle of Britain

    This was a campaign underrtaken by the German Airforce to bombard the English cities with bombs. It ended with a decisive victory from the British forces.
  • Tipartite Pact Signed

    Tipartite Pact Signed
    This pact joined the forces of Japan, Germany and Italy together in an alliances that would later be joined by other countries. Together they fought the allied British forces.
  • Operation Sea Lion

    Operation Sea Lion
    This was a plan of Nazi Germany's to invade England after France fell. The plan required that they had control over british air and sea, but they had neither of these after the unsuccesful Battle of Britain. Because of this the plan was never carried out.
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    Siege of Tobruk

    The ANZACs were attacked in Tobruk in Libya by German and Italian forces. The siege ended when allied forces completed operation Crusader. The Germans' suffered 8000 casulaties and the allies lost 3000 casualties.
  • Operation Barbarossa

    Operation Barbarossa
    This was the Nazi German invasion of the Soviet Union. This broke many of the pacts that the two countries had signed with each other. The Germans won many attacks on the Soviet army but ultimately failed upon reaching Moscow before being pushed back. It turned into a war of attrition that Germany lost.
  • Bombing of Pearl Harbor

    Bombing of Pearl Harbor
    This was a surprise attack on the American military base by Imperial Japan. The American military base was attacked by 353 Japanese planes. It resulted in the death of 2,400 Americans and 7 ships. This also prompted the USA to launch into the war.
  • Britain and US declare war on Japan

    Britain and US declare war on Japan
    After the bombing of Pearl Harbour President Roosevelt declares war on Japan.
    Britain had seen Japan bomb colonies in Hong Kong and Singapore so also declared war on Japan.
    Winston Churchill famously wrote a very formal letter to the Japanese declaring war on them, this recieved criticism, which he adressed with "Some people do not like this ceremonial style. But after all when you have to kill a man it costs nothing to be polite"
  • Japan takes Singapore

    Japan takes Singapore
    At the time Singapore was a British stronghold. In July of 1941 the Japanese moved into French Indochina, it was clear that they were planning on moving into Singapore next.
    On the day that they attacked Pearl Harbor the Japanese moved 24,000 troops onto the Malay Peninsula to fight the British. This battle continued into January. In February 8000 more Japanese were flown in and soon after it British defensive coastal guns were destroyed. The British lost the country 2 days after.
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    Battle of Midway

    Only 6 months after the Pearl Harbor attack, the Americans defeated an attacking fleet of the Japanese Navy.
    The Americans were greatly outnumbered but managed to devastate the fleet. The damage they inflicted was so much that the Japanese never managed to recover.
    The Japanese failed due to underestimating American forces and the American's being able to intercept the date of the attack through codebreakers, so they planned ahead.
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    First Battle of El Alamein

    In the North African theatre of war the Allied troops fought off Erwin Rommel's panzer tank force.
    The battle was important for both sides, it was essentially the last stand in North Africa for the allies and if the German's won they would control supply routes that the allies needed.
    Through military blunders such as losing an entire anti-tank troop, neither side wiped out their opponents. But the Allies did stop the Axis attack. Because of this is it considered an Allied victory.
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    Battle of Stalingrad

    In this major turning point of the entire 2nd World War the Russians defended the Eastern Front against the German troops. The Germans saw the city of Stalingrad as imperitive for their advance through the USSR. But so did the Soviets, so they weren't going to give it up without a fight. The Germans advanced under heavy fire. while the Soviets planned a counter-attack. The advancing force was weakened over time and the attack was launched, 150,000 men Germans died in this crushing defeat.
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    Second Battle of El Alamein

    The Battle of El Alamein continued with the same forces as before facing off against each other. It consisted of Each leader making an attack, being held off and then waiting for a counter-attack. The Allies with each attack gained slightly more ground. Rommel knew they couldn't hold out forever, he informed Hitler of this but was told to "stand and die" The Panzers were already retreating though. The British victory was a turning point in the North African Campaign.
  • D-Day landings

    D-Day landings
    On the morning of june 6 the Allied soldiers stormed onto the beaches along the coast of Normandy in what is the largest seaborne invasion in history. In terms of casualties it was a disaster for the Allies, they lost 10 times the amount the Germans did. But they flood in reinforcements to hold the beach. The Germans thought the whole thing was a diversion, leaving only 150,000 men there, this was their downfall. They are overrun and the liberation of France begins. It is another turning point.
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    Battle of the Bulge

    Hitler attempts to surprise the American troops in Northwest Europe by a Blitzkreig, hoping that he'll be able to seperate the allied armies. American soldiers fought desperately as the Germans pushed deeper into the allied line. This push gave the allied line the apperance of a bulge, hence the name. Fuel shortage and the Brilliant General Patton thwarted German advances. The allies won but at a cost of nearly 200,000 men.
  • Mussolini captured and executed

    Mussolini captured and executed
    After the Italian's declared peace with the Allies Mussolini was removed as leader. Hitler moved him to the German occupied area of Italy and made him the leader there. When the allies advanced into Italy Mussolini attempted to flee over the swiss border but was caught. When captured he shouted "shoot me in the chest" He was shot in the chest twice and died. His body, along with his dead followers', was hung from a rusty beam in public where people defaced it. The once ruler was disgraced.
  • Hitler commits suicide

    Hitler commits suicide
    On january 16 Hitler had retreated to his Fuhrer bunker in Berlin. It had 18 rooms and was completely self-sufficient. While in there he managed the remaining German forces.
    He was informed that the Russians were only 2 days away from his location so he cose suicide over capture.
    He and his wife (of 2 whole days) swallowed cyanide pills and then he shot himself in the head.
    His body was cremated as per his request.
  • German forces surrender

    German forces surrender
    On this day, all German forces surrendered unconditionally to the Allied forces. This surrender was signed in Reims, France.
    Initially the German military leader General Jodl only wanted to surrender forces that were still fighting against the western allies. It was obvious this would'nt be accepted and General Eisenhower made him surrender all troops.
    If the Germans didn't accept this. Allies would seal off the Western front, meaning the German's had nowhere to flee but into Soviet arms.
  • V.E day

    V.E day
    This stands for "victory in Europe day" . It was a public holiday to mark the surrender of the German forces.
  • Atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima

    Atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima
    At approximately 8:15am on this day the first ever atomic bomb used in war was dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. It instantly killed 80,000 people. Injuries sustained from it resulted in the death of a further 100,000 people.
    America had previously been firebombing Japanese cities continuously but they seemed to do little to stop the Japanese involvement in the war. The atomic bomb was seen as the only way to show America's military power to Japan, hoping that it would end the war.
  • Soviet Union declares war on Japan

    Soviet Union declares war on Japan
    On this day the Soviet Union declared war on Japan and moved 1million troops into the Japanese controlled Manchuria. This was to oppose the 700,000 Japanese soldiers.
    The American atomic bomb being dropped on Hiroshima didn't have its intended effect of Japanese surrender.
    The Japanese hadn't been expecting to have to face the Soviets until 1946 so an attack this early surprised them. The attack was so strong that the Emperor pleaded with his war council to surrender.
  • Atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki

    Atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki
    America had hoped that a single atomic bomb dropping would be enough to make Japan withdraw from the war. Unfortunately it had not. But they had another bomb that when dropped mere days after the first, would show the Japanese leaders that America really wasn't messing around.
    Nagasaki as a city had already been firebombed 5 times.
    America needed another important city to hit. Nagasaki is a major shipping port and military base, so it was bombed. The Japanese surrendered soon after.
  • Japanese surrender-End of WWII

    Japanese surrender-End of WWII
    The Japanese surrender was inevitable by midway through 1945.
    It was actually a sruprise that they hadn't surrendered before the bombs atomic bombs were dropped.
    It took the Japanese navy and air force to be destroyed and the intense bombing of major cities.
    On August 15 the Emperor announced the surrender to the country, but it was only formalised on September 2nd when surrender papers were signed.
  • United Nations is born

    United Nations is born
    This was when the United Nations Charter that was signed months before, was enforced.
    The United Nations was created as a way to combat conflict and promote piece without the need for force or weaponry.
    It would also promote equal rights for everyone around the world.
    Aiming to create a better planet for everyone on it.