World War II Overview

  • Germany invades Poland

    Germany attacked Poland with the bliztkrieg. Poland's army was decimated, since most of the men were on horseback against German tanks. Britain, being protective of Poland, declared war on Germany two days later. The Soviet Union decided to attack from the west on September 17. Image
  • Germany invades Denmark and Norway

    Hitler claimed that he had to protect Denmark and Norway. Breaking his treaty with Denmark, he rolled his tanks across their borders on April 9. Norway's government was ruled by Vidkun Quisling. Later, Quisling could only be described as a traitor. Image
  • Germany invades Holland and Belgium

    Germany continued to rampage across Europe, beating countries into submission. He attacked the Dutch with the blitzkrieg and he bombed them as well. The queen of the Dutch escaped to England and was stashed there. The Dutch finally surrended. The same fate fell upon Belgium, but their king saw this chance to collaborate with Germany. After the war, he was forced to step down. Image
  • Paris falls and France surrenders

    Air raids started on Paris on June 3, 1940. Tanks headed to Paris, and people started fleeing from Paris. The government fled on June 11. France then surrended and signed an armistice at the same place that Germany surrended in World War I. Image
  • Battle of Britain begins.

    The German air force, called Luftwaffe, started bombing London and other cities in Great Britain. At least 30,000 Londoners died and homes and historical sites were obilerated. 1,700 German aircraft did end up getting destroyed. This lasted until June 1941, when Hitler first invaded Russia, his plan to bomb Britain into submission was abandoned.
  • Germany attacks Yugoslavia and Greece

    Hitler attacks Yugoslavia using the excuse that he had to protect the Germans there. Italy joined the Germans and moved against Albania. Even after Yugoslavia was conquered and divided, the resistance was extremely fierce. The British attempted to help the Greeks against the Germans, but it didn't work out so well, and they were forced to evacuate.
  • First gassing of prisoners.

    In September 1941, the first gassing of prisoners at concentration camps began. This monstrosity happened first in Auschwitz, one the Nazi death camps in Poland. There were six camps, but Auschwitz was by far the most populated. To this day, it remains the most famous. Image
  • Germans stopped outside Moscow

    The German troops reached the outskirts of Moscow in early October. Hitler decided that infantry would be a wise decision to strike Moscow with. Unfortunately, they were not prepared for the weather and were worn down by the winter. While they were weak, the Soviets decided to make an offensive move and push them back, which succeeded. Image
  • Japan attacks Pearl Harbor

    On December 7, 1941, even though Japanese and American diplomats were attempting negotiations, the Japanese air force and navy attacked Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. 2,350 Americans were killed and the American navy force was crippled. 29 Japanese aircrafts were gunned down during this attack. Image
  • Philippines fall to Japan

    The day after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Japanese took control of the Philippines. This meant that they had total control over all of east Asia. Douglas MacArthur, only having 90,000 troops, pulled back to the Bataan peninsula. When conditions became worse, they had to flee, but MacArthur promised he would return.
  • Germany abandons its Nuclear Program

    At the beginning of 1942, Germany abandons their nuclear program. However, the Allies are completely unaware of this. Hitler referred to physics as the "Jewish science". This was probably because of the few German Jewish physicists, which were sent into exile. Image
  • Battle of Stalingrad begins

    The Battle of Stalingrad began in August of 1942. It started with horrible house-to-house fighting. Both citizens and soldiers died trying to save their beloved city from the Germans. General Von Paulus led the German 6th army, which was the main attacking force on Stalingrad. They were forced to retreat when their casualities rose to 146,000 soldiers had died. Germans were now on the defensive in the east. Image
  • U.S enacts "Unconditional Surrender" Policy

    In January of 1943, President Franklin D. Roosevelt made a public announcement. This announcement was that he enacted the Unconditional Surrender" policy. This meant that the U.S would not stop fighting until Japan and Germany had surrendered completely and unconditionally to the Allies.
  • Allies land in Normandy, France

    After months of preparations, the Allies landed on the shores of Normandy, France. Over 200,000 soldiers, (American, British, and Canadian) were led by Dwight D. Eisenhower. They landed on five different beaches, Gold, Omaha, Juno, Sword, and Utah. The worst fighting was in Omaha, where soldiers died as they stepped off their landing crafts. Eventually, they pushed through and two months later, claimed the French capital. Image
  • Agreement to use Nuclear Bombs

    On September 19, 1944, the leaders of America and Great Britain secretly met. Roosevelt and Churchill agreed that they would use atomic bombs against Japan to subdue them. This agreement would take place as soon as the atomic bombs were ready. They both agreed to withhold this secret agreement from the Soviet Union.
  • F.D.R. dies

    On April 12, 1945, Franklin Roosevelt died. Harry Truman became president after his death. Unfortunately, Truman knew absolutely nothing about the atomic bomb project.
  • Germany surrenders

    On May 8, 1945, Germany surrenders unconditionally to the Allies. Hitler had committed suicide days after Mussolini was killed. Hitler's wife committed suicide with him as well. With their leader dead, the Germans gave up.
  • Japan continues fighting

    Even though Germany had surrendered, the Japanese war cabinet decided that they would keep fighitng. They would not give in. They gathered more determination and started another assualt. They said they were in it until the bitter end.
  • Atomic bomb tested

    The U.S wanted to make sure that the atomic bomb would work before they had to use it. They decided to test it in an unpopulated area to prevent as many casualities as possible. They tested it in Alamogordo, New Mexico, and it was successful.
  • Truman tells Stalin about the bomb

    Truman decided to tell Stalin about the bomb. He did not provide details, but said that he possessed a weapon with "an unusual destructive force". Little did Truman know, that spies had already told Stalin about the bomb.