Though U-boats were sinking merchant vessels throughout World War II, the first sinking occured on this date. It was an attempt to stop goods from being shipped to the Allies.
Japan officially joins the Axis
Before the official joining, Japan was allied with Germany and Italy in the Anti-Comintern.
Vichy France created
After the capture of France by Germany, Hitler decided to do the same thing that was done to Germany after WWI. A new government was set up in France, led by the Nazis.
Battle of Britain begins
The Battle of Britain followed the Battle of France. In the first ever dogfight campaign, Germany attempted to weaken the British defences enough to invade.
Hitler invades the U.S.S.R.
Hitler, breaking the Non-Aggression Pact, invades the U.S.S.R. in Operation Barbarossa. Germany lost 4.3 million men, a major loss by anyone's count.
Germany and Italy declare war on the U.S.
Germany and Italy side with Japan, while the U.S. sides with the Allies. The full "teams" were now decided.
Roosevelt orders shoot on sight
After a piracy attack on the Greer ship, Roosevelt declared that any German of Italian vessel that could endanger U.S. lives or land to be shot on sight.
Bombing of Pearl Harbor
"A day that will live in infamy" involved the Japanese Kamikaze strategy. The Japanese used Kamikaze attacks to destroy the majority of ships and lives at Pearl Harbor.
Japanese ambassador arrives in D.C.
The Japanese ambassador arrived in D.C to inform Roosevelt that there would be an attack on Pearl Harbor. The message was supposed to be delivered 30 minutes before the attack, but ended up being given a few hours later.
MacArthur promises to return
General MacArthur promises that he would return to Bataan after a retreat, Bataan was important in the Pacific, and was the graveyard for many American troops.
The Bataan Death March
BDMThe Bataan Death March was a march to prison camps that involved brutal treatment of POWs. It was later punished as a war crime.
Battle of the Coral Sea
Battle of Coral SeaThe Battle of Coral Sea was a naval battle between the Japanese and the Allies in New Guinea. The Allies repelled a Japanese fleet, preventing them from attacking Port Moresby.
Eisenhower arrives in North Africa
The Northern African Campaign had been fought primarily by the British Commonwealth until Eisenhower and his troops arrived in Tunisia.
Battle of Midway
Battle of MidwayThe Battle of Midway was a brutal naval battle. Japan lost a large chunk of their navy, while the U.S. lost few.
Battle of Guadalcanal
The Battle of Guadalcanal was the first major offensive against Japan. It was a victory for the Allies, and indirectly brought about the idea of Island Hopping,
The end of the Battle of Stalingrad
Battle of StalingradThe Battle of Stalingrad was where the German strike at the U.S.S.R. was defeated. This allowed the U.S.S.R. to counterattack.
Sicily falls to the Allies
The Allies captured Sicily, a key point in the Italian defence. This would allow them a base very close to Rome itself.
The Inglourious Basterds parachute into Vichy France
Just kidding. Great movie, though.
The fall of Rome was an extremely important event in WWII. It was essentially the capture and defeat of Italy itself. Free French forces moved north through Italy and captured Rome.
Allied forces stormed the beaches of Normandy in the largest amphibious invasion ever. Aircraft was used to destract the Germans while armored divisions moved in. The Allies emerged victorious, and marched on.
As promised, General MacArthur returned to the Philippines in time to partake in the Battle of Leyte. The battle turned out to be a major victory for the Allies.
Kamikaze attacks begin again
Japan began using Kamikaze attacks in regular fighting now. This proved to the U.S. that Japan was getting desperate to drive them out.
Battle of the Bulge
The Battle of thte Bulge was the final major offensive by Germany. Germany tried an all out push against the weak point of Allied troops, but only succeeded in pushing them back. The "bulge" is the curvature of the Allied troop line.
Raising the flag on Mt. Suribachi
A squad of marines were sent to the top of Mt. Suribachi, and told to raise the flag if they took it. The mountain was taken without a fight, and the flag raising was immortalized in a photograph.
Truman becomes President
When Roosevelt died in office, Truman took over as President. The events of the war might have been drastically different had Roosevelt made it to the end.
Hitler commits suicide
Hitler commits suicideIn an attempt to avoid suffering Mussolini's fate of execution, Hitler and Eva Braun swallowed cyanide capsules.
V-E Day marks the unconditional surrender of Germany to the Allied Forces. It ended the Third Reich and the European Theater of WWII.
Okinawa was captured to set up an air base. The air base would have been used in attacks on the main islands of Japan if the atomic bombs were not used.
Bombing of Hiroshima
On August 6, 1945, Hiroshima became the first city to be targeted by an atomic bomb. The bomb was so devastating that people's shadows became permanently cast onto walls, their original owners disintegrated.
Bombing of Nagasaki
An atomic bomb nicknamed "Fat Man" was dropped on Nagasaki, Japan. Nagasaki was chosen because of it's high population of civilians, and devastated the city for years to come.
V-J Day was the celebration of the formal surrender of Japan. It was put on September 2nd, because the original date would have been on two different days in different regions of the world.
Formal Surrender of the Empire of Japan
Japan surrendered aboard the USS Missouri. Presiding over the ceremonies was General MacArthur. This surrender marked the end of World War II.