World War II Timeline

  • Invasion of Manchuria (Europe)

    Invasion of Manchuria (Europe)
    The Kwantung Army of the Empire of Japan invaded Manchuria following an event staged by Japanese military personnel as an excuse for the Japanese invasion. This was important because Japan needed a reason to invade China but they did not want to out right invade them because they would seem aggressive. Japan bombed some bridges in Manchuria, trying to frame the Manchurians for blowing up the bridge. This gave them a reason to invade and takeover.
  • Blitzkrieg into Poland (Europe)

    Blitzkrieg into Poland (Europe)
    The Blitzkreig strategy was used by the Germans when they invaded Poland. Adolf Hitler wanted to invade Poland to regain lost territory, pay off war wages, and ultimately rule Poland. The Germans extensively bombed Poland's railroads, communication lines, and weapons warehouses, before they finally made a massive land invasion with their troops, tanks, and artilleries. The Nazis were dominating from the skies and once they moved onto the land invasion there was no stopping them.
  • Battle of the Atlantic (Europe)

    Battle of the Atlantic (Europe)
    The battle of the Atlantic was the longest battle of World War II. The battle was fought between both the Allies and Axis Powers for control of the Atlantic Ocean. The Allies wanted the Atlantic to resupply their allies to fight against Germany and Italy. The Allies won and the German blockade failed. Over 30,000 sailors were killed on both sides and over 4500 ships were sunk in the Atlantic. Ended on 5/8/1940.
  • German Invasion of France (Europe)

    German Invasion of France (Europe)
    The real reason why Nazi Germany invaded France was because France declared war on Germany, following the invasion of Poland. The Germans attacked through the Ardennes Forest and quickly broke through the French defensive lines because France thought they would attack through the Franco-Belgian Border.
  • Dunkirk (Europe)

    Dunkirk (Europe)
    The Battle of Dunkirk was the defense and evacuation to Britain of British and other Allied forces in Europe. Around 350,000 British, French, and Belgian troops evacuated Dunkirk which allowed the Allies to continue the war and was a major boost for British morale. If the Germans attacked harder they would have wiped out a lot of Britain's army, the British saw this and evacuated from the beaches.
  • Battle of Britain / The Blitz (Europe)

    Battle of Britain / The Blitz (Europe)
    The Battle of Britain was the first defeat of Hitler’s military forces which boosted the morals of the British public and its military. This battle was fought entirely by air forces and was also the most sustained aerial bombing campaign to that date. The attacks from the German Air Force were called air raids, these air raids were heavy and frequent bombing in London cities.
  • Germany takes Greece (Europe)

    Germany takes Greece (Europe)
    The German troops invaded from Bulgaria and Yugoslavia, creating a second front. The Greek and British Army fought back but were overwhelmed by the German army. Having captured Greece, the Axis nations devised a tripartite occupation with the nation divided between German, Italian, and Bulgarian forces.
  • Operation Barbarossa (Europe)

    Operation Barbarossa (Europe)
    Originally named Operation Fritz during WWII it was a code name for the German invasion of the Soviet Union. The Germans failed to defeat the Soviet Union forces which was a huge turning point in the war. Barbarossa failed and the Germans met a two-front war they could not win. Germany then joined Japan in declaring war against the USA. Ended on 12/5/1941
  • Pearl Harbor (Pacific)

    Pearl Harbor (Pacific)
    The attack on Pearl Harbor was a surprise military attack by the Japanese Navy against an American naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Japan intended to destroy important US fleets so they wouldn’t have any interference conquering Southeast Asia. Within 2 hours, 18 Warships were sunk, 188 Aircrafts destroyed and 2,403 Americans were killed. This brutal attack led to the United States entry into World War II.
  • Philippines 1942 (Pacific)

    Philippines 1942 (Pacific)
    The Philippines Campaign or the Battle of the Philippines was an invasion of the Philippines by the Japanese and the defense of the islands by the US and Filipino forces. In the initial attack American aircraft was severely damages because they were lacking air cover. Ended on 5/8/1942
  • Bataan (Battle and March - Pacific)

    Bataan (Battle and March - Pacific)
    The Battle of Bataan was the most intense phase of Japan’s invasion of the Philippines during WWII. The 75,000 Filipino and American troops captured on the Island of Luzon were forced to make a 65-mile march to prison camps. This was important during the war because it was the largest army under American command ever to surrender. Ended on 4/9/1942.
  • Doolittle Raid (Pacific)

    Doolittle Raid (Pacific)
    The Doolittle Raid was an suprise air raid by the United States on Tokyo and other places on the island of Honshu during WWII. This was the first air strike operation to hit Japanese Home Islands. There wasn’t much damage but the raid boost American morale because we were still recovering from the Battle of Bataan.
  • Coral Sea (Pacific)

    Coral Sea (Pacific)
    The Battle of the Coral Sea was a major naval battle between the Imperial Japanese Navy and naval/air forces from the United States and Australia. The Japanese wanted to strengthen their defense position in the Pacific. The carriers on both sides engaged in airstrikes for over 2 days. This battle marked the first time since the start of the war that Japanese advance had been checked by the Allies.
  • Midway (Pacific)

    Midway (Pacific)
    During the Battle of Midway the United States Navy defeated the Japanese attack against Midway Atoll, which marked a turning point in the war in the Pacific. This battle was such a turning point because it stopped a Japanese attack on Hawaii and put the Japanese on the defense. Japan suffered 2,500 casualties while the US only suffered 307 casualties. Ended on 6/7/1942.
  • Guadalcanal (Pacific)

    Guadalcanal (Pacific)
    The Battle of Guadalcanal was the first major offensive and decisive victory for the Allies in the Pacific. The Americans launched a surprise attack and took control of an airbase under construction. The Japanese were badly outnumbered and were forced to evacuate 12,000 of their troops from Guadalcanal. Ended on 2/9/1943.
  • Stalingrad (Europe)

    Stalingrad (Europe)
    The battle of Stalingrad was the largest confrontation of WWII, the German army and its allies fought the Soviet Union for control of the city of Stalingrad. This marked the end of Germany’s advances into Europe and Russia and was also the Germans first major loss in WWII. After this battle was fought, the German Army went into full retreat. Ended on 2/2/1943.
  • El Alamein (2nd battle - Europe)

    El Alamein (2nd battle - Europe)
    This battle was fought in Egypt between the Axis forces and the Allied forces. The Axis army of Italy and Germany suffered a decisive defeat by the British Army. This was the only land battle won by the British without American participation. This Allied victory led to the retreat of the Afrika Korps and the Germans surrendered in North Africa. Ended on 11/11/1942.
  • Operation Torch (Europe)

    Operation Torch (Europe)
    The objective of this operation was to gain complete control of North Africa from French Morocco to Tunisia. This would trap the Afrika Korps and the British Army to the east. This was the first time the British and the Americans worked on an invasion plan together. Ended on 11/10/1942.
  • Kursk (Europe)

    Kursk (Europe)
    Kursk was the biggest tank battle of WWII and was fought between the Germans and the Soviets on the Eastern Front. It was fought on Soviet territory and the Germans were unable to break through their defenses. This battle involved over 6,000 tanks and pushed the Germans from their territory which made them lose vital strategic points. Although the Germans suffered 150,000 less casualties than the Soviets, the Soviets still won. Ended on 8/23/1943.
  • Anzio (Europe)

    Anzio (Europe)
    The Battle of Anzio was a battle of the Italian Campaign of WWII. The Allies landed 36,000 men and 3,200 vehicles by the end of the day. The allies only had 13 casualties and 97 wounded, while 200 german soldiers were captured. It took a lot of bravery and heroism for the Allies to hold the breach head until they marched into Rome. Ended on 6/5/1944.
  • D-Day (Europe)

    D-Day (Europe)
    Allied forces launched a combined naval, air, and land assault on Germans occupied in France. The allied landed in Normandy and marked the start of a long and costly campaign to liberate north-west Europe from German troops. It was the largest amphibious military landing ever, over 425,000 allied and german troops were killed but it and was stll a major success and turning point for the War.
  • Philippines 1944-45 (Pacific)

    Philippines 1944-45 (Pacific)
    American forces were only 300 miles southeast of the largest island in southern Philippines. They were able to bomb Japanese positions using their long range bombers. The US sixth Army, supported by naval and air bombardment landed on the shore of Leyte to start the gruesome 3 day battle. Ended on 9/2/1945.
  • Battle of Leyte Gulf (Pacific)

    Battle of Leyte Gulf (Pacific)
    The Battle of Leyte Gulf was an air and sea battle of WWII that severely injured the Japanese Combined Fleet, permitted U.S invasion of the Philippines, and reinforced the Allies control of the Pacific. It was four days of furious fighting that is the largest air-naval battle in history. Even with Japan's first organized Kamikaze suicide aircraft, the Americans still defeated them. Ended on 10/26/1944.
  • Battle of the Bulge (Europe)

    Battle of the Bulge (Europe)
    The Battle of the Bulge was the largest battle fought on the Western Front in Europe during WWII, also the largest battle ever fought by the US Army. The Germans launched a last major offensive attack in an attempt to push the Allied front line west from northern France to northwestern Belgium. The campaign lasted for about 5 weeks and ended with 75,000 American casualties and 80,000-100,000 German casualties. Ended on 1/25/1945.
  • Yalta Conference (Europe)

    Yalta Conference (Europe)
    The Yalta Conference was the second wartime meeting of Winston Churchill, Joseph Stalin, and Franklin Roosevelt. The three leaders agreed to demand Germany’s surrender and they began plans for post-war world. This conference led to the Cold War by giving the Soviet Union control over Eastern Europe. Ended on 2/11/1945.
  • Iwo Jima (Pacific)

    Iwo Jima (Pacific)
    Iwo Jima was the largest engagement of the war in which the Allied forces had more deaths and wounded soldiers than the Japanese army. The island of Iwo Jima was a strategic location the US needed for their fighter planes and bombers to land and take off when attacking Japan. Over 26,000 American casualties and only 216 Japanese soldiers were captured, the rest were killed in action. Ended on 3/26/1945.
  • Okinawa (Pacific)

    Okinawa (Pacific)
    The Battle of Okinawa was part of a three-point plan the Americans had for winning the war in the Far East. This battle was the largest amphibious landing in the Pacific theater of WWII. It resulted in over 100,000 Japanese casualties and 50,000 casualties for the Allies. This battle was important because it served as an example of how deadly an Invasion of Japan's homeland could be. Ended on 6/22/1945
  • Hitler’s Suicide (Europe)

    Hitler’s Suicide (Europe)
    Hitler committed suicide along with his wife, Eva in a bunker in Berlin. Studies say they both swallowed cyanide pills and Hitler shot himself in the head for good measure.
  • The German Surrender (Europe)

    The German Surrender (Europe)
    Germany officially surrendered to the Allies when General Alfred Jodl (German High Commander), signed an unconditional surrender of both east and west forces in Reims, France.
  • Hiroshima and Nagasaki (Pacific)

    Hiroshima and Nagasaki (Pacific)
    On this day an American B-29 bomber dropped the world’s first atomic bomb over the Japanese city of Hiroshima. Three days later, a second atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki killing an estimated 230,000 people. These were intended to cause Japan to surrender to the allied forces, and it sure worked! This basically forced Japan to surrender because of the immense amount of casualties. Ended on 8/9/1945.
  • Japanese Surrender (Pacific)

    Japanese Surrender (Pacific)
    Japan’s war leaders knew they were not going to win WWII after the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan just did not want any part of war anymore. They were just devastated after that so they surrendered to the Allied Forces.