Key events and Battles of WWII

By rig0007
  • Germany invades Poland

    Germany invades Poland
    Germany invaded Poland in 1939 due to Hitler’s urge to claim the area. Germany attacked the ill-equipped Poland, with an army of over 700,000, from both the land and the air. Poland could unfortunately not position their troops fast enough to defend themselves, resulting in thousands of deaths. This act was highly significant as it was the immediate cause of WW2.
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  • Britain and France declare war on Germany

    Britain and France declare war on Germany
    As a reaction to Germany’s invasion of Poland, Britain and France declared war on Germany two days after the initial attack. Britain and France were allies of Poland and stood by their guarantee of Poland’s border after Germany refused to stop attacking.
  • Churchill becomes Prime Minister of Britain

    Churchill becomes Prime Minister of Britain
    This day was one of the most significant says in British history, due to Germany’s attack of Western Europe and Churchill becoming Prime Minister. The Labour leader, Clement Attlee, refused to join Chamberlains government as a reaction to the appeasement with Nazi Germany. Chamberlain resigned and Churchill, being firmly against Germany, became Prime Minister.
  • Evacuation of Dunkirk

    Evacuation of Dunkirk
    Code-named Operation Dynamo, Operation Dunkirk was the evacuation of Allied soldiers. This was clearly so significant as thousands of French and British soldiers were saved from the beaches and harbour of Dunkirk, (in France). This event occured until June the 4th, 1940.
  • Italy enters war on side of Axis powers

    Italy enters war on side of Axis powers
    Italy joined the war by siding with the Axis Powers, which consisted of Germany and Japan. This occured after the defeat of France. After 10 days, on the 20th of June, 1904, Italian forces were stationed in France. This event was of great significance as it actually lengthened WWII, as well as it proved Mussolini purely wanted to be on the winning side.
  • France signs armistice with Germany

    France signs armistice with Germany
    In France on the 22nd of June 1940, Marshal Henri Petain, after becoming the Prime Minister of France, announced his plan to sign an Armistice with the Nazi Party. This event, involving Germany and France, was significant as the surrender damaged Franco-British wartime relations.
  • Battle of Britain

    Battle of Britain
    From July the 10th, 1940, until October the 31st of 1940, the Battle of Britain occurred. The air battle was between the German and British air forces, above the United Kingdom. It was a significant event during World War II as the German air force failed to gain air superiority over the Royal Air Force. This particular event involved the United Kingdom, Italy and Nazi Germany.
  • Tripartite Pact signed

    Tripartite Pact signed
    The Tripartite Pact (or Berlin Pact), was an agreement that formed the Axis powers and involved Italy, Germany and Japan. Signed in Berlin, this agreement was significant as it provided assistance if one country was to be attacked, as well as it formed a threat to the Allies. Japan was dedicated the land of ‘Greater East Asia’, and also acknowledged Germany and Italy who began creating new order in Europe.
  • Operation Sea Lion

    Operation Sea Lion
    Operation Sea Lion (or Unternehmen Seelöwe in German), was Germany's plan to invade the United Kingdom after France's defeat. The objective was to land 160,000 German soldiers along the coastline of South-East England, sometime during 1940. This was significant as it never actually occurred, due to Germany not making it past the British air forces. This allowed Britain to continue to fight and assisting them with winning the war.
  • Siege of Tobruk

    Siege of Tobruk
    The Siege of Tobruk took place Cyrenaica, Libya. The aim of the siege was to compel the enemy to surrender, by surrounding the town of Tobruk and cutting off vital living necessities. Britain, Australia, Italy, Nazi Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia and India were all involved in the Siege. The Siege of Tobruk was significant because it proved that the Blitzkrieg could be beaten, this was the first battle won by the allies, making it a monumental moment for the British and the French.
  • Operation Barbarossa

    Operation Barbarossa
    An invasion of the Soviet Union was code names Operation Barbarossa by Germany. More than 3 million soldiers, 3580 tanks, 7184 artillery guns, 1830 planes and 750,000 horses were involved in a 3am Sunday attack to create the living space Hitler wanted for Germany’s growing population. Operation Barbarossa was so significant as it was the largest military attack of WWII.
  • Bombing of Pearl Harbour

    Bombing of Pearl Harbour
    The bombing of Pearl Harbor was a surprise military attack which occurred when the Imperial Japanese Navy flew hundreds of fighter planes to attack the US Naval Base in Hawaii. The aim of the Japanese was to convince the US to stay neutral, however instead an opposite effect occurred and the US began fighting. This was significant as the United States involvement helped the Allies, although another significant factor was that unfortunately 2,300 American’s were killed.
  • Britain and US declare war on Japan

    Britain and US declare war on Japan
    The day after the horrific Japanese attack at Pearl Harbour, which killed thousands of American’s, Britain and the US declared war on Japan. After three days, Germany declared war on the US, now at war with both Germany and Japan. This was significant as it was the first time the US had joined the WWII battle.
  • Japan takes Singapore

    Japan takes Singapore
    The fall of Singapore to the Japanese Army on February 15th 1942. A week earlier, 5,000 Japanese troops landed on Singapore, already outnumbering the British soldiers. Singapore had been a strong British colony since the 19th century. This was highly significant as Britain lost its grip on the East.
  • Battle of Midway

    Battle of Midway
    The US defeated Japan six months after the Pearl Harbor attack in WWII, which inflicted permanent damage on the Japanese Navy. The attack was initiated by Japan, who bombed the US base on Midway Island. However, the US were able to retaliate and bomb the Japanese aircraft. The Battle of Midway was significant as the victory allowed the Allies to move into an offensive position.
  • First Battle of El Alamein

    First Battle of El Alamein
    The First Battle of El Alamein (1–27 July 1942) was fought on the northern coast of Egypt, between Britain, India, South Africa, NZ and Australia (the Allied powers), and Germany and Italy (the Axis powers). This event was significant because it prevented the Axis from taking Egypt.
  • Battle of Stalingrad

    Battle of Stalingrad
    The Battle of Stalingrad was a major battle of World War II, from August the 23rd in 1942 – February the 2nd 1943, where Nazi Germany and its allies fought the Soviet Union for control of the city of Stalingrad in Southern Russia, on the eastern boundary of Europe.The Soviet victory at Stalingrad was a great humiliation for Hitler, making it quite significant.
  • The Second Battle of El Alamein

    The Second Battle of El Alamein
    The Second Battle of El Alamein (Oct 23 1942 to Nov 4 1942) defeated the German forces by outnumbering the Germans two to one.The battle took place near the Egyptian railway halt of El Alamein. It was a significant battle as the Axis army was defeated and driven out of Egypt for good.
  • D-Day Landings

    D-Day Landings
    D-Day, an invasion known as the Battle of Normandy, began when 156,000 Allies landed on five beaches of the France’s Normandy region on the 6th of June, 1944. The landing consisted of over 5,000 ships and 11,000 airplanes aiming to recue France. D-Day was significant as it was the beginning of the Allied invasion of Western Europe and was the largest military operation by sea.
  • Mussolini captured and executed

    Mussolini captured and executed
    The execution of Mussolini occurred on April the 28th, 1945, when Mussolini and Clara Petacci, whom he had a longstanding relationship with, were caught and shot. Mussolini and his mistress were captured by Italian partisans at the Swiss border while trying to flee Switzerland. Their dead bodies were transported to Milan to be hung upside-down above a service station so they were publicly displayed, along with some associates. This was significant as it was a reason Hitler committed suicide, a
  • Hiter Commits Suicide

    Hiter Commits Suicide
    During 1945, it became clear to Hitler that Germany would be defeated in the war. On the 30th of April, Hitler had his wife, Eva Braun, committed suicide following the recent news of the death of Benito Mussolini. They killed themselves by biting into thin glass vials of cyanide, and Hitler also shot himself in the head with a Walther pistol in an underground bunker in Germany. Hitler's suicide was significant as it effectively marked the end of the Nazis.
  • German Forces Surrender

    German Forces Surrender
    After Hitler’s suicide, some Nazi forces continued fighting while others surrendered. However, on the 7th of May, 1945, General Alfred Jodl signed a surrender document on behalf of all German forces. This document was signed in a town in France called Reims, and the event involved Russia, Germany, France and Britain. It was of great importance as it marked the end of the European conflict of WWII.
  • V.E Day

    V.E Day
    Victory in Europe Day (or V.E day), was the public holiday and celebration of the formal acceptance by the Allies of World War II of Nazi Germany's unconditional surrender of its armed forces. This special day was held by the Western Allies on the 8th of May, 1945. Due to some confusion and fighting continuing throughout Russia, May the 9th became Russia’s Victory Day. This public holiday was significant as it officially announced the end of World War Two in Europe.
  • Atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima

    Atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima
    On August the 6th at 8:15am, 1945, an atomic bomb by the name of ‘Little Boy’ was dropped on the city of Hiroshima, Japan. The bomb was used as it was predicted there would be a large loss of life if the US were to invade Japan. The atomic bomb instantly killed 80,000 people, however many more died of the long-term effects of radiation sickness, raising the death toll to a calculation of 135,000.
  • Soviet Union declares war on Japan

    Soviet Union declares war on Japan
    Following the Soviet Union’s declaration of war on Japan, 1 million Soviet soldiers were sent to invade a Japanese-occupied region of China, called Manchuria. Japan was refusing to surrender, even after the atomic bomb landing in Hiroshima. Japan was surprised and unprepared for the very strong Soviet Union attack, and were forced to surrender. This was significant as it made Japan reconsider surrendering unconditionally.
  • Atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki

    Atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki
    A second bomb nicknamed ‘Fat Man’, which unleashed a force of 22 million explosives, was dropped by the US on Japan. This time the bomb was dropped on Nagasaki as it was a shipbuilding center, yet luckily due to the hills that surrounded the city, the destructive force was contained more than expected. However, the lives taken by ‘Fat Man’ was still shocking, with an estimation of up to 80,000 deaths. This was significant as it resulted in Japan’s unconditional surrender.
  • Japan surrenders

    Japan surrenders
    After 6 years of war, the Japanese officials finally signed the document of unconditional surrender. Japans expectations of winning the war came crashing down after the two atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, as well as the threat of a full scale USSR invasion. Emperor Hirohito announced Japan's surrender, which was so significant as it marked the end of WWII for the Japanese.
  • United Nations is born

    United Nations is born
    On the 24th of June, 1945, the United Nations Charter was adopted and signed. By June the 26th, it was ready to be enforced. Before the UN, an organization called the League of Nations had the responsibility of making sure war never broke out again. Obviously this was unsuccessful, as the League of Nations failed to prevent WWII from occurring. Due to this, a new organization called the United Nations was formed in San Francisco. The League of Nations is important as it has maintained the peace.
  • The Battle of the Bulge

    The Battle of the Bulge
    The Battle of the Bulge (Dec 16 1944 to Jan 25 1945) was the last significant battle against the Allies in WWII. The battle was a last attempt by Hitler who was certain that the alliance between Britain, France and America in the western sector of Europe would break up if a major attack occurred. However, the success of the Germans lasted just two days. This battle was of great importance as it was Nazi Germany’s last chance to change the outcome of the war.