Invasion of poland

World War II Ten Most Important Events

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    WWII Major Events

  • Invasion of Poland Marks Beginning of WWII

    Invasion of Poland Marks Beginning of WWII
    Hitler blitzkrieged Poland and Russia attacked Poland from east. Hitler's troops invaded from north, south, and west. Poland awaited backup from Britain and France, but recieved very little. This marked the beginning of World War II. Because Britain and France both had pacts with Poland, they declared war on Germany.
  • Battle of Britain

    Battle of Britain
    Operation Sea lion was Germany's strategy for attacking Britain. The German Luftwaffe (Airforce) would attack the Royal Air Force. The UK used radar to figure out where the Germans would attack from. While the UK lost 1,000 planes, the Germans lost 1,700. The Germans bombed everything they could, but ultimately radar saved the UK from falling to Germany.
  • Germany Invades USSR Opening Eastern Front

    Germany Invades USSR Opening Eastern Front
    Germanny attacked Russia in June of 1941. Hitler sent three armies into Russia to the north, east, and south. Hitler would not let his men surrender, and most of them died during the brutal winter and from starvation and disease. 91,000 men surrendered to the USSR in 1943, but only 5,000 would ever return to Germany. This attack led to the opening of the eastern front of the war.
  • Japan Bombs Pearl Harbor and FDR Declares War

    Japan Bombs Pearl Harbor and FDR Declares War
    Japan attacked the US naval base at Pearl Harbor. They attacked in two waves. The first wave was the main attack to take out ships and airfield. The second wave they would finish off whatever was left. The objective was to prevent US from influencing Japan's war effort in southeast Asia. This attack led to FDR asking congress to declare war on Japan on December 8,1941.
  • Bataan Death March and Japan takes Philippines

    Douglas MacArthur was commander of US forces in Asia. He miscalculated the strength of Japan and had to retreat to the Bataan Penninsula. Mac Arthur retreated to Australia, but he left his US troops behind. Japanese took Philippines and most US forces surrendered. Japan forced US troops to march 55 miles and more than 7,000 died.
  • Battle of Stalingrad

    Battle of Stalingrad
    Stalingrad was the turning point of the war in Europe. It ended any realistic plans of Hitler dominating Europe. Soviet troops forced Nazi armies to retreat toward Germany. The USSR went on the offensive after Germany's attack. This opened the eastern front of the war.
  • Allies Drive Germans out of North Africa

    Allies Drive Germans out of North Africa
    The British had been fighting the Germans and Italians in North Africa since 1940. Forcing Germany out of North Africa would provide the Allies with an opportunity to invade Italy. In 1943, George S. Patton (US tank commander) defeated Rommel (German tank commander). 240,000 Germans and Italians surrendered. This provided a way for the Allies to invade mainland Europe through southern Italy.
  • D-Day

    The D-Day invasion was officially called Operation Overlord and involved landing 21 American divisions and 26 Polish, British, and Canadian divisions on a 50-mile stretch of beaches in Normandy, France. The Allies created a fake army of wood and cardboard tanks and ships to convince the Germans that the invasion would come to Calais and not in Normandy. Hitler sent his divisions to Calais and the Allies invaded France. This gave the Allies a foothold in Europe.
  • Victory in Europe Day

    Victory in Europe Day
    Hitler's "thousand year reich" or the third reich ended, lasting only 12 years. On May 7, Germany surrendered in a French schoolhouse that had acted as Eisenhower's headquarters. Americans celebrated Victory in Europe Day. FDR passed a few weeks prior and Harry S. Truman would see the US through the war. At this point, the end of the war was close in sight.
  • Atomic Bomb Dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki Three Days Later

    Atomic Bomb Dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki Three Days Later
    After relentlessly bombing Japan, they would still not surrender. Truman decided to use the atomic bomb to spare the American lives that would have been lost should we have chosen to invade Japan on foot. On August 6, 1945, US pilots dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima. The USSR declared war on Japan three days later, and the US dropped a second atomic bomb on Nagasaki. The Japanese finally surrendered.