- camps built by Nazi Germany during World War II (1939–45) to systematically kill millions of people by gassing and extreme work under starvation conditions
- This genocide of the Jewish people was the Third Reich's "Final Solution to the Jewish question"
- the operation to annihilate every Jew in the General Government
- Each extermination camp operated differently, yet each was designed for quick and efficient industrialized killing
- antisemitic laws in Nazi Germany introduced at the annual Nuremberg Rally of the Nazi Party
- The lack of a clear legal method of defining who was Jewish had, however, allowed some Jews to escape some forms of discrimination aimed at them
- The Nuremberg Laws classified people with four German grandparents as "German or kindred blood", while people were classified as Jews if they descended from three or four Jewish grandparents
- The German army was to complete the occupation of the Sudetenland by October 10, and an international commission would decide the future of other disputed areas.
- Czechoslovakia was informed by Britain and France that it could either resist Nazi Germany alone or submit to the prescribed annexations.
- The settlement gave Germany the Sudetenland starting October 10, and control over the rest of Czechoslovakia as long as Hitler promised to go no further.
- a series of coordinated attacks against Jews throughout Nazi Germany and parts of Austria
- carried out by SA paramilitary and civilians
- German authorities looked on without intervening
- The attacks left the streets covered with broken glass from the windows of Jewish-owned stores, buildings, and synagogues
St Louis Affair
- The St. Louis Affair occurred a few months before the out- break of World War II
- Because of the increased Nazi terror larger numbers of Jews had begun to emigrate
- A shift in Cuban policies invalidated the permits, but the line failed to inform the passengers
German Invasion of Poland
- German forces invaded Poland from the north, south, and west
- On 8 October, Germany directly annexed western Poland
- Total casualties: 59,000
- Decisive German and Soviet victory. Beginning of World War II
German Invasion of France
- Successful German invasion of France and the Low Countries, beginning on 10 May 1940, defeating primarily French forces.
- The battle consisted of two main operations.
- After the withdrawal of the BEF, Germany launched a second operation
- France remained under Axis occupation until the liberation of the country after the Allied landings in 1944.
- the British Expeditionary Force in France aiding the French, was cut off from the rest of the French Army by the German advance.
- The German land forces could have easily destroyed the British Expeditionary Force, especially when many of the British troops, in their haste to withdraw, had left behind their heavy equipment.
- Winston Churchill ordered any ship or boat available, large or small, to pick up the stranded soldiers, and 338,226 men (including 123,000 French soldiers) were evacuated
Attack on Pearl Harbor
- surprise military strike conducted by the Imperial Japanese Navy against the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on the morning of December 7, 1941
- The base was attacked by 353 Japanese fighters, bombers and torpedo planes
- All eight U.S. Navy battleships were damaged, with four being sunk.
Attack on Philippines
- the invasion of the Philippines by Japan in 1941–1942 and the defense of the islands by Filipino and United States forces.
- The defending forces outnumbered the Japanese invaders by 3 to 2
- The Japanese high command, believing they had won the campaign, made a strategic decision to advance by a month their timetable of operations in Borneo and Indonesia, withdrawing their best division and the bulk of their airpower in early January 1942.
- Decisive Japanese victory
Battle of Wake Island
- began simultaneously with the Attack on Pearl Harbor and ended on 23 December 1941, with the surrender of the American forces to the Empire of Japan
- fought on and around the atoll formed by Wake Island and its islets of Peale and Wilkes Islands by the air, land and naval forces of the Empire of Japan against those of the U.S., with Marines playing a prominent role on both sides
- The island was held by the Japanese for the duration of the Pacific War
- Japanese victory
- a meeting of senior officials of the Nazi German regime, held in the Berlin suburb of Wannsee
- The purpose of the conference was to inform administrative leaders of Departments responsible for various policies relating to Jews that Reinhard Heydrich had been appointed as the chief executor of the "Final solution to the Jewish question".
- Heydrich presented a plan for the deportation of the Jewish population of Europe and French North Africa
Bataan Death March
- the forcible transfer by the Imperial Japanese Army of 60-80,000 Filipino and American prisoners of war after the three-month Battle of Bataan in the Philippines during World War II
- approximately 2,500–10,000 Filipino and 100-650 American prisoners of war died before they could reach their destination at Camp O'Donnell
- The 128 km march was characterized by wide-ranging physical abuse and murder
Battle of the Coral Sea
- major naval battle in the Pacific Theater of World War II between the Imperial Japanese Navy and Allied naval and air forces from the United States and Australia
- The battle was the first action in which aircraft carriers engaged each other
- In an attempt to strengthen their defensive positioning for their empire in the South Pacific, Imperial Japanese forces decided to invade and occupy Port Moresby in New Guinea and Tulagi in the southeastern Solomon Islands.
Battle of Midway
- most important naval battle of the Pacific Campaign of World War II
- the United States Navy decisively defeated an Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) attack against Midway Atoll, inflicting irreparable damage on the Japanese fleet
- sought to eliminate the United States as a strategic power in the Pacific, thereby giving Japan a free hand in establishing its Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere
Battle of Guadalcanal
- military campaign fought between August 7, 1942 and February 9, 1943 on and around the island of Guadalcanal in the Pacific theatre of World War II
- first major offensive by Allied forces against the Empire of Japan
- Surprised by the Allied offensive, the Japanese made several attempts between August and November 1942 to retake Henderson Field
- hree major land battles, seven large naval battles, and continual, almost daily aerial battles
Battle of Stalingrad
- was a major battle of World War II in which Nazi Germany and its allies fought the Soviet Union for control of the city of Stalingrad
- The German offensive to capture Stalingrad began in late summer 1942, supported by intensive Luftwaffe bombing that reduced much of the city to rubble
- The fighting degenerated into building-to-building fighting, and both sides poured reinforcements into the city
Invasion of North Africa
- the military forces of the United States and the United Kingdom launched an amphibious operation against French North Africa, in particular the French-held territories of Algeria and Morocco
- Torch's impact was enormous on the course of Anglo-American strategy during the remainder of the war
- this amphibious operation inevitably postponed the landing in France until 1944
- a major World War II campaign, in which the Allies took Sicily from the Axis
- was a large scale amphibious and airborne operation, followed by six weeks of land combat
- It launched the Italian Campaign
- The Allies drove Axis air, land and naval forces from the island
Fall (Bombing) of Rome
- The bombing of Rome in World War II took place on several occasions in 1943 and 1944, primarily by Allied and to a smaller degree by Axis aircraft, before the city was freed from Axis occupation by the Allies on June 4, 1944
- In the 110,000 sorties that comprised the Allied Rome air campaign, 600 aircraft were lost and 3,600 air crew members died; 60,000 tons of bombs were dropped in the 78 days prior to Rome's capture
Invasion of Italy
- the Allied landing on mainland Italy on 3 September 1943, by General Harold Alexander's 15th Army Group
- The operation followed the successful invasion of Sicily during the Italian Campaign
- The main invasion force landed around Salerno on the western coast in Operation Avalanche, while two supporting operations took place in Calabria (Operation Baytown) and Taranto (Operation Slapstick)
Battle of Tarawa
- US code name Operation Galvanic
- the first American offensive in the critical central Pacific region
- also the first time in the war that the United States faced serious Japanese opposition to an amphibious landing
- Nearly 6,400 Japanese, Koreans and Americans died in the fighting
- a strategy meeting held between Joseph Stalin, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Winston Churchill from 28 November to 1 December 1943.
- held in the Soviet Embassy in Tehran, Iran
- was the first of the World War II conferences held between all of the "Big Three" Allied leaders
D-Day (Normandy Landings)
- the landing operations of the Allied invasion of Normandy, in Operation Overlord, during World War II
- The landings were conducted in two phases
- Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Forces was General Dwight D. Eisenhower
- The operation, planned by a team under Lieutenant-General Frederick Morgan, was the largest amphibious invasion in world history and was executed by land, sea and air elements
Battle of the Bulge
- was a major German offensive campaign launched through the densely forested Ardennes region of Wallonia in Belgium, France and Luxembourg on the Western Front toward the end of World War II in Europe
- The surprise attack caught the Allied forces completely off guard and became the costliest battle in terms of casualties for the United States
- The offensive was planned with the utmost secrecy, minimizing radio traffic and moving troops and equipment under cover of darkness
- held February 4–11, 1945
- The meeting was intended mainly to discuss the re-establishment of the nations of war-torn Europe.
- Yalta was the second of three wartime conferences
- All three leaders were trying to establish an agenda for governing post-war Germany.
Battle of Iwo Jima
- was a major battle in which the United States Armed Forces fought for and captured the island of Iwo Jima from the Japanese Empire
- he American invasion had the goal of capturing the entire island, including its three airfields, to provide a staging area for attacks on the Japanese main islands
- The Imperial Japanese Army positions on the island were heavily fortified, with a dense network of bunkers, hidden artillery positions, and 18 km (11 mi) of underground tunnels
Fire Bombing of Tokyo
- often referred to as a "firebombing", was conducted as part of the air raids on Japan by the United States Army Air Forces during the Pacific campaigns of World War II
- The U.S. mounted a small-scale raid on Tokyo in April 1942, with large effects on morale
- Strategic bombing and urban area bombing began in 1944 after the long-range B-29 Superfortress bomber entered service, first deployed from China and thereafter the Mariana Islands
Battle of Okinawa
- fought on the Ryukyu Islands of Okinawa and was the largest amphibious assault in the Pacific War of World War II
- The battle has been referred to as the "typhoon of steel"
- Simultaneously, tens of thousands of local civilians were killed, wounded, or committed suicide
- The atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki caused Japan to surrender just weeks after the end of the fighting at Okinawa
Death of FDR
- passes away after four momentous terms in office,
- left Vice President Harry S. Truman in charge of a country still fighting the Second World War and in possession of a weapon of unprecedented and terrifying power.
VE (Victory in Europe) Day
- marks the date when the World War II Allies formally accepted the unconditional surrender of the armed forces of Nazi Germany and the end of Adolf Hitler's Third Reich, thus ending the war in Europe
- The formal surrender of the occupying German forces in the Channel Islands was not until 9 May 1945
- On 30 April Hitler committed suicide during the Battle of Berlin, and so the surrender of Germany was authorized by his successor, President of Germany Karl Dönitz
- a Boeing B-29 Superfortress bomber, named for Enola Gay Tibbets, the mother of the pilot, Colonel Paul Tibbets, who selected the aircraft while it was still on the assembly line
- the first aircraft to drop an atomic bomb
- The bomb, code-named "Little Boy", was targeted at the city of Hiroshima, Japan, and caused unprecedented destruction
Trinity (Nuclear) Test
- code name of the first detonation of a nuclear device
- This test was conducted by the United States Army in the Jornada del Muerto desert
- Trinity was a test of an implosion-design plutonium device
- The Trinity detonation produced the explosive power of about 20 kilotons of TNT (84 TJ)
- held at Cecilienhof, the home of Crown Prince Wilhelm Hohenzollern, in Potsdam, occupied Germany, from July 17 to August 2, 1945.
- Participants were the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom and the United States.
- gathered to decide how to administer punishment to the defeated Nazi Germany
- Hiroshima was the primary target of the first nuclear bombing mission on 6 August, with Kokura and Nagasaki as alternative targets
- After leaving Tinian the aircraft made their way separately to Iwo Jima to rendezvous at 2,440 meters (8,010 ft) and set course for Japan
- About an hour before the bombing, Japanese early warning radar detected the approach of some American aircraft headed for the southern part of Japan
- The city of Nagasaki had been one of the largest sea ports in southern Japan and was of great wartime importance because of its wide-ranging industrial activity, including the production of ordnance, ships, military equipment, and other war materials
- Nagasaki was not the target of large-scale bombing prior to 9 August 1945
- the city had been previously bombed on a small scale five times
VJ (Victory Over Japan) Day
- a name chosen for the day on which Japan surrendered, effectively ending World War II, and subsequent anniversaries of that event
- On September 2, 1945, a formal surrender ceremony was performed in Tokyo Bay, Japan, aboard the battleship USS Missouri
- On 6 and 9 August 1945, the United States dropped atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, respectively