Major events and turning points of World War II

  • German Blitzkrieg

    German Blitzkrieg
    Blitzkrieg is a military tactic designed to create disorganization among enemy forces through the use of mobile forces and locally concentrated firepower. If it's successful, it results in short military campaigns, which preserves human lives and limits the expenditure of artillery. German forces tried out the blitzkrieg in Poland in 1939 before successfully employing the tactic with invasions of Belgium, the Netherlands and France in 1940. http://www.history.com/topics/world-war-ii/blitzkrieg
  • Germans enter Paris

    Germans enter Paris
    By the German tanks rolled into Paris, 2 million Parisians had already fled, with good reason. In short order, the German Gestapo went to work. While Parisians who remained trapped in their capital despaired, French men and women in the west cheered-as Canadian troops rolled through their religion, offering hope for a free France yet. The US did not remain completely idle, though. On this day, President Roosevelt froze the American assets of the Axis powers, Germany and Italy. history.com
  • Battle of Britain

    Battle of Britain
    After Germany had conquered most of Europe, including France, the only major country left to fight them was Great Britain. Germany wanted to invade Great Britain, but first they needed to destroy its Royal Air Force. Germany bombed London in order to try and destroy their air force and prepare for invasion. Although the Germans had more planes and pilots, the British were able to fight them off and win the battle. http://www.ducksters.com/history/world_war_ii/battle_of_britain.php
  • Lend Lease

    Lend Lease
    The United States gave Britain war supplies, and the British did not have to pay for them. This allowed Britain to be in the war for as long as possible before America has to step in. This created the Lend-Lease Act.
  • Operation Barbarossa

    Operation Barbarossa
    On June 22, 1941, Adolf Hitler launched his armies eastward in a massive invasion of the Soviet Union: three army groups with over three million German soldiers. Barbarossa was the crucial turning point in World War II. In the end the Soviets overreached, and the Germans restored a semblance of order to the front. But Barbarossa had failed, and Nazi Germany confronted a two-front war that it could not win. http://www.history.com/topics/world-war-ii/operation-barbarossa
  • Attack on Pearl Harbor

    Attack on Pearl Harbor
    The Japanese were expanding over Asia trying to establish an Asian empire. But the US stood in its way. The FDR froze Japanese financial assets and stopped exporting oil to Japan. The countries began peace talks, but Japan did not want peace, so it attacked the US at Pearl Harbor. There were two waves of attacks and by the end of the second wave a number of US ships were destroyed. The next day the US declared war on Japan. http://www.ducksters.com/history/world_war_ii/pearl_harbor_attack.php
  • Declaring war on the United States

    Declaring war on the United States
    After Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor the United States declared war on Japan. Three days later Japan's allies, Germany and Italy, declared war on the United States. The United States was now a major part of World War II. The US Navy was able to recover from the attack on Pearl Harbor. Aircraft carriers would soon become the most important type of navy vessels in the war. http://www.ducksters.com/history/world_war_ii/pearl_harbor_attack.php
  • Bataan Death March

    Bataan Death March
    The Bataan Death March was when the Japanese forced 76,000 captured Allied soldiers (Filipinos and Americans) to march about 80 miles across the Bataan Peninsula. They did not give the prisoners food or water for three days. As the soldiers became weaker and started to fall behind the group. Those that fell behind were beaten and killed by the Japanese. The march lasted for six days. Many soldiers died along the way. http://www.ducksters.com/history/world_war_ii/bataan_death_march.php
  • Battle of Midway

    Battle of Midway
    Japan formulated a plan to sneak up on the US forces by launching a number of fighter planes and bombers from their aircraft carriers to attack the island of Midway. However, the Americans knew the plans and prepared their own trap. American dive bombers dove in and attacked from the sky. Three of the Japanese aircraft carriers were sunk. This battle was a turning point in the war and first victory for the Allies in the Pacific. http://www.ducksters.com/history/world_war_ii/battle_of_midway.php
  • Battle of Stalingrad

    Battle of Stalingrad
    The German air force bombed the Volga River and the city of Stalingrad. They reduced much of the city to rubble and moved in and took over a large portion of the city. However, the Soviet troops fought back by gathering and making a counter attack. They trapped the German army inside of Stalingrad. Soon the Germans began to run out of food. Finally, the majority of the German army surrendered. http://www.ducksters.com/history/world_war_ii/battle_of_stalingrad.php
  • Warsaw Ghetto uprising

    Warsaw Ghetto uprising
    The day before the start of Passover, when SS units arriving for the final deportations were greeted by an ambush. Of the more than 50,000 Jews captured during the uprising, 14,000 were either executed immediately or killed upon arrival at Treblinka. The remaining prisoners were sent to a number of concentration camps, by the end of the war all but few thousand were dead. The bravery of the these people has inspired many books and films. history.com/news/remembering-the-warsaw-ghetto-uprising
  • D-Day

    Paratroopers landed behind enemy lines and destroyed key targets and capture bridges for the main invasion force to land on the beach. Planes dropped bombs on German defenses. Underground members of the French Resistance sabotaged the Germans by cutting telephone lines and destroying railroads. The main invasion force approached the beaches of Normandy. Allied troops arrived and pushed the Germans out of France. http://www.ducksters.com/history/world_war_ii/d-day_invasion_of_normandy.php
  • Battle of the Bulge

    Battle of the Bulge
    Germany attacked and used over 200,000 troops and nearly 1,000 tanks to break through the US lines. It was winter and the Americans were not ready for the attack. The Germans broke through the line and killed thousands of American troops. They tried to advance quickly. It was small groups of American troops throughout the front who dug in and held out until reinforcements came that won the battle for the Allies. http://www.ducksters.com/history/world_war_ii/battle_of_the_bulge.php
  • Liberation of concentration camps

    Liberation of concentration camps
    As Allied troops moved across Europe in a series of offensives against Nazi Germany, they began to encounter tens of thousands of concentration camp prisoners. Liberators confronted unspeakable conditions in the Nazi camps, where piles of corpses lay unburied. The demands of forced labor and the lack of food, were compounded by months and years of maltreatment. Disease remained an ever-present danger, and many of the camps had to be burned down to prevent the spread of epidemics. www.ushmm.org
  • Battle of Iwo Jima

    Battle of Iwo Jima
    On the first day of the battle 30,000 US marines landed on the shores of Iwo Jima. The Japanese had dug all sorts of tunnels and hiding places all over the island and were waiting quietly for more marines to get on shore to attack. Many US soldiers were killed.
    But after a month of furious fighting, the US to finally capture the island. http://www.ducksters.com/history/world_war_ii/battle_of_iwo_jima.php
  • Bombs of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

    Bombs of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
    The United States dropped two atomic bombs on Japan forcing Japan to surrender and ending World War II. Atomic bomb "Little Boy" was dropped on Hiroshima. But Japan refused to surrender. Three days later another atomic bomb "Fat Man", was dropped on Nagasaki. The explosion was huge, the city was destroyed, and tens of thousands of people were killed. http://www.ducksters.com/history/world_war_ii/ww2_atomic_bomb.php