The Events of WWII

  • Japanese Invasion of China

    Japanese Invasion of China
    The belligerents in the Japanese invasion of China were the Chinese and Japanese people. This is also known as the Second Sino Japanese War in which Japan decided to invade China to achieve territorial expansion. They invaded Manchuria in 1931 and wanted to extend their ventures by taking the entirety of China later in 1937. There was much Chinese resistance during Japan’s occupation which resulted in the Rape of Nanking. This started WWII and other imperialist ventures.
  • Rape of Nanking

    Rape of Nanking
    Also known as the Nanking Massacre, The Japanese despised the resistance China had put up against them. As a result, Japanese troops raped and murdered Chinese people in the city of Nanking. For a six week period, the Japanese destroyed and pillaged buildings, raped thousands of women, and killed thousands of soldiers and civilians. This developed more resistance in China and made other world powers prone to ally against Japan.
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    Causes of WWII in Europe

    Main causes of WWII in Europe was Germany’s eagerness for revenge due to the consequences given to them in the Treaty of Versailles, the rise and attractiveness of fascism in Italy, the Great Depression, and the isolationism of the United States. The isolationism of the United States made other world powers uneasy and tense.
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    Causes of WW2 in Asia

    Main causes of WWII in Asia was fascist influence and economic crisis in Japan, Japan’s desire of no longer depending on foreign trade/resources and the wish to expand, and China and Japan’s tension especially after Japan’s invasion of Manchuria.
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    The Axis and the Allies

    The two sides of the war were the Axis and the Allies. The Axis consisted of Nazi Germany, fascist Italy, and fascist Japan. The Allies consisted of the United States, Canada, China, Soviet Union, the United Kingdom and many more. Other countries supported the Allies.
  • Ribbentrop/ Molotov Pact

    Ribbentrop/ Molotov Pact
    The Molotov Ribbentrop Pact was an agreement between Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany. The agreement claimed nonaggression between them. It also divided land from Poland between them which outraged the world. This allowed Germany to invade and take over Poland and put Russia’s guard down and allowed Germany to attempt an invasion on them.
  • Germany's Invasion of Poland

    Germany's Invasion of Poland
    As Adolf Hitler came to power, his first major foreign policy was on Poland in 1934. He formed the pact to make sure Germany had a chance to regain military advantage by overseeing that France and Poland don’t ally. Germany then invades Poland in 1939 and breaks the pact with the confidence of no one coming to aid. Those involved were the Polish and the Germans with Germany successfully taking Poland. This caused Britain and France to declare war on Germany and caused WWII to expand to Europe.
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    German Blitzkrieg

    Blitzkrieg (Lightning War), was a military tactic created by the Germans in which a mass array of troops were sent with air support. War was no longer declared and the element of surprise was used. This tactic was first used in Germany’s invasion of Poland in 1939 and used throughout the war in multiple European countries until 1940 when the tactic wasn’t as effective. This changed the playing field of the war as Germany gained much land. This motivated world powers to fight against Germany.
  • Fall of Paris

    Fall of Paris
    The Fall of Paris involved German and French forces. It was Germany’s attack on France which involved blitzkrieg tactics. Other European countries were also being attacked with France being the last one to hold out until June. France signed an armistice with Germany which showed how Germany was becoming a real threat as Great Britain was the last major country to stand against them. Italy also declared an alliance with Germany because of their major victories.
  • Operation Barbarossa

    Operation Barbarossa
    After Hitler’s success with France, he decided to turn his attention to the Soviet Union and break the Ribbentrop Molotov Pact. German invasion of the Soviet Union caught Stalin and the Russians by surprise. Hitler gathered a powerful invasion force of Germany and almost all of its allies and took parts of Russia. Underestimation of Russia caused many German casualties and allowed Russia to hold out their major cities with the aid of the United States and the winter cold.
  • Attack on Pearl Harbor

    Attack on Pearl Harbor
    The United States finally entered the war when Japan attacked a U.S. naval base in Hawaii. They attacked in order to destroy naval intervention by the U.S. in the Pacific and to clear the way for the conquest of southeast Asia. They also believed it would prevent the Allies to attack Japan’s homeland. They were able to destroy more than two hundred aircraft and damage eighteen ships. This eventually led to the use of the atomic bombs and the solidified alliance against the Axis powers.
  • Wannsee Conference

    Wannsee Conference
    Meeting where German leaders developed a “solution” for Germany which was to mass kill all European Jews. The Jews were believed to be the cause of Germany’s misfortunes. The genocide of the Jews was coded “The Final Solution” and discussions were made to see how they could implement the plan. Many Jews were already being slaughtered in Germany’s conquered parts of Europe but Hitler and the Nazi Party discussed ways to kill the Jews involving the Nuremberg Laws.
  • Bataan Death March

    Bataan Death March
    After the attack on Pearl Harbor, Japan continued on to invade the Philippines. They were able to force the Filipino and U.S. troops in the city of Bataan and took the prisoners (mostly Filipino) to march all the way to prison camps 65 miles away. Many prisoners had died on the journey due to exhaustion, starvation, maltreatment from Japanese guards, and disease. This made the U.S. want to fight in the war even more for revenge of their island possession and gave Japan more territory.
  • Battle of Midway

    Battle of Midway
    Major turning point in the Japanese invasion of the Pacific. Japan wanted to destroy the remainder of the U.S. naval fleet from Pearl Harbor and coordinated an attack on Midway. The U.S. was able to intercept intelligence of this and was able to prepare and plan a counter attack which was successful. U.S. was able to defend itself from the attack and heavily damage the powerful Japanese fleet. This weakened Japan and drove them out of the Pacific.
  • Battle of Stalingrad

    Battle of Stalingrad
    Russia’s important and decisive defense against Germany’s invasion of the remainder of USSR territory. Hitler aimed to conquer the last city holding Stalin’s name and that maintained solid transportation and industry for the Russians. The Red Army was able to resist the Germans for 5 months until the Germans surrendered on February 2, 1942. Resulted in 2 million civilian and soldier deaths but weakened the Germans and stopped them from conquering Russia.
  • Warsaw Ghetto Uprising

    Warsaw Ghetto Uprising
    The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising was an event between the Germans and those in the Warsaw Ghetto (Jews, POW, etc.). It was an uprising of those put in the Warsaw Ghetto who fought against the Germans, forcing the Germans to bring tanks and flamethrowers to stop the uprising. It took the Germans three weeks to end the fighting and they decided to destroy the ghetto. Survivors were deported to death or labor camps. This stirred more people in other camps to rebel.
  • Operation Gomorrah

    Operation Gomorrah
    Plan for the British and United States to bomb the city Hamburg in Germany. Revenge for the German bombings of London during the start of the war. Radar jamming device was invented to help attack the Germans with multiple civilian casualties. Repeated bombing runs broke German morale and put doubt into the mind of German leaders including Hitler.
  • Allied Invasion of Italy

    Allied Invasion of Italy
    Allies had been slowly advancing on Italy with the aid of internal problems in Italy. Mussolini was arrested and Pietro Badoglio was instated as leader of the new provisional government. Secret negotiations began between Italy and the Allies around German troops. The Allies inch by inch advance increased on Sep 9, 1943 when they took out the defense of Italy in its mainland. Months of battling soon resulted in Germany’s surrender of the occupation of Italy.
  • Operation Thunderclap

    Operation Thunderclap
    Operation Thunderclap was a plan drawn amongst the Allies to bomb the major cities of Germany to flush out the Nazi leaders. This plan was not fully implemented but parts of it were used in the bombings of Dresden. 135,000 people were killed in the Dresden bombings, including civilians. Britain continued bombings during the night while the U.S. targeted industrial buildings during the day. This shattered German morale even more.
  • D-Day (Normandy Invasion)

    D-Day (Normandy Invasion)
    D-Day is the day where the British and U.S. invaded German occupied France and was known as one of the most brutal battles. This attack overwhelmed Germany especially with the repeated bombings of the German cities. The Allies chose the location of Normandy as their ports could be of use to dropping more military support for the Allies. There were many casualties yet the Allies were victorious. D-Day served as the Allies’ closer step to victory.
  • Liberation of Concentration Camps

    Liberation of Concentration Camps
    The Soviet Union was the first to liberate concentration camps in 1944 while the rest of the Allies assisted in liberating other camps during the final stages of the war including Majdanek (July, 1944), Warsaw (Jan, 1945), Auschwitz (Jan, 1945),etc. The Germans attempted to get rid of the evidence of the camps but the Allies encountered thousands of dead bodies throughout all the camps. Lives were able to be saved and the story of the Holocaust was spread throughout the world.
  • Battle of the Bulge

    Battle of the Bulge
    Final offensive attack by the Germans on the Allies. The Germans attacked American forces set up in the Ardennes forests with blitzkrieg tactics. They were able to surprise the Americans and push them out of their setup position. The Americans held out as much as they could as reinforcements of the British were on the way. The Germans lost and this destroyed all hopes of regaining everything Germany worked for with the loss of supplies and soldiers that were unable to be replaced.
  • Battle of Iwo Jima, Battle of Okinawa

    Battle of Iwo Jima, Battle of Okinawa
    U.S. advancement on important territory to Japan. Extremely intense and savage battle where the Japanese introduced the kamikaze tactic. Japanese volunteered to dive bomb into U.S. ships which ended up killing thousands of soldiers. The Japanese were very resilient and it took months for the Allies to obtain Iwo Jima and Okinawa. This gave the U.S. significant positioning on Japan’s homeland and led to their eventual surrender.
  • Fate of the Dictators

    Fate of the Dictators
    Adolf Hitler committed suicide on April 30, 1945 in Berlin. Benito Mussolini was executed on April 28, 1945. Hirohito was not determined as a war criminal since his position was believed to have little involvement in Japan’s actions in WWII. Hirohito died of cancer on January 7, 1989. These dictators caused millions of deaths and a war that changed the world forever.
  • VE Day

    VE Day
    VE Day (Victory in Europe Day) was the day when Nazi Germany finally surrendered to the Allies on May 8, 1945. A week earlier, Hitler committed suicide along with other Nazi leaders which put Germany in a state of confusion as to what to do with continuing losses in battles. Allied forces surrounded Germany and outgunned them, causing Germans to surrender all over and return enemy captives back to their homeland. People all over celebrated with flags and smiles. The war was over in Germany.
  • Potsdam Declaration

    Potsdam Declaration
    Ultimatum issued by the U.S., Britain, and China which called for Japan’s unconditional surrender. This was after Germany’s surrender and was discussed in Potsdam Germany. It was clear in the declaration that if Japan refused to surrender, it would face annihilation and would face consequences either way. Japan refused the declaration and committed to continue the fight. In response, the U.S. dropped the atomic bombs and Russia declared war which finally prompted Japan to surrender.
  • Dropping of the Atomic Bombs

    Dropping of the Atomic Bombs
    The United States dropped the first atomic bomb over the city Hiroshima and another on Nagasaki which vaporized or slowly radiated 200,000 people. It demolished over 90% of the Japanese cities. It was warned that a direct invasion on Japan would result in casualties that U.S. forces couldn’t handle so it was suggested that the U.S. use their new weapon. This showed the power of the atomic bomb and how destructive it is. This also affected Japan’s decision to finally surrender.
  • VJ Day

    VJ Day
    Japan was extremely weak with the United States and other Allied forces inching closer and closer to the mainland. After the U.S.’ strategy of island hopping, its nuclear bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima, and Russia’s declaration of war on Japan on August 8, 1945, Emperor Hirohito finally surrendered unconditionally on August 15, 1945. Victory over Japan day was celebrated and World War II had finally come to an end on September 2, 1945.
  • Creation of the United Nations

    Creation of the United Nations
    The United Nations was established on Oct 24, 1945 and was formed to replace the League of Nations. Its goal was to prevent events like WWII to occur in the future and dedicated itself to keeping the peace and security of the world. Five permanent members were installed which were the main powers of the Allies (China, Soviet Union, Britain, France, & U.S.).
  • Creation of NATO

    Creation of NATO
    NATO(North Atlantic Treaty Organization)was created on April 4, 1949.After the events of WWII, tensions between the Allies were still prominent including those between Russia and the U.S. The U.S. decided to create a military alliance with other nations against the Soviet Union. If the USSR attacked any of the members of NATO it was an attack on all the nations in the organization. Communist countries established the Warsaw Pact to counteract the establishment of NATO and led up to the Cold War.