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  • Japanese invasion of China

    Japanese invasion of China
    Japanese claimed they were being fired upon by Chinese troops at the Marco Polo Bridge near Beijing. Using this as an excuse, Japan launched a full-scale invasion of China. The Japanese used the conquered Manchuria as a launching base for their troops. Within five months, one-million Chinese people were under Japanese control.
  • Rape of Nanking

    Rape of Nanking
    300,000 of 600,000 citizens and soliders that called their home the capital of China, Nanking, were killed by the Japanese Imperial Army. Those who weren't murdered were marched to the outskirts of the city, and forced to dig their own grave. Other times the prisoners were made to bury themselves alive. Young women were made into slave-prostitutes. The Rape of Nanking is known as the worst astrocity during the WWII era.
  • Germany's invasion of Poland

    Germany's invasion of Poland
    In the early morning hours, German forces invaded the borders of Poland. Nazi S.S. troops staged a fake invasion of Germany, leaving behind dead concentration camp victims in Polish uniforms as evidence. Nazi propagandists published the 'Polish invasion' as an act of unforgivable aggression.
  • German Blitzkrieg

    German Blitzkrieg
    A term that translates to "lightening war", blitzkrieg is a German military tactic designed to create disarry amoung enemy forces. It uses mobile forces, as well as locally concentrated firepower. Its generally successful execusion preserved lives and held quick military campaigns.
  • Fall of Paris

    Fall of Paris
    By the time the German taks had even rolled through the Parisan streets, 2 million Parisians had already fled. The German Gestapo were quick to arrest people, interrogating their relatives and neighborboor (if they had any). Many citizens found themselves being spied on, or victims of the holocaust for being European Jews.
  • Operation Barbarossa

    Operation Barbarossa
    In a massive invasion of the Soviet Union, Hitler launched his armies eastward. Barbarossa was the crucsial turning point in the war, it's failure caused the Nazis to fight a two-front war against a union possesing immensely superior forces.
  • Pearl Harbor

    Pearl Harbor
    A Japanese barrage lasting around two hours, it was a devestating blow to the naval base. The Japanese managed to destroy 20 naval vessels, and 200 airplanes. More than 2,000 American soldiers died, and another 1,000 were wounded. The day after the assault, FDR asked congress to declare war on Japan; Congress approved his declaration with one differing vote.
  • Wannsee Conference

    Wannsee Conference
    15 high-ranking Nazi and German government officials gathered to mull over the plans of what they called the "Final Solution of the Jewish Question". The "Final Solution" was the code name for the physical annihilation of the European Jews.
  • Battle of Midway

    Battle of Midway
    Six months after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States defeated Japan in one of the most important naval battles of WWII. Thanks to the advances of code breaking, the US was able to counter and prevent the Japanese from attacking the few remaining aircraft carriers, inflicting permanent damage to the Japanese Navy.
  • Warsaw Ghetto uprising

    Warsaw Ghetto uprising
    Residents of the Jewish ghetto in Nazi-occupied Warsaw, Poland, staged an armed revolt against deportations to extermination camps. Hundreds escaped, but many were re-captured. The Warsaw ghetto uprising inspired other revolts in extermination camps and ghettos.
  • Operation Gomorrah

    Operation Gomorrah
    The bombs dropped creating a tornado of fire, the operation almost destroyed the entire city of Hamburg. The tornado of fire wasn't a desired affect, just a strange one due to the weather from the days before the bombing. The bombing severly damaged the German productivity of weaponry within the city.
  • Normandy Invasion

    Normandy Invasion
    About 156,000 Allied soldiers landed on five beaches along the coast of Normandy. German resistance prevented the Allies from fully meeting their objectives, but they were able to get a crucial foothold. By late August, Paris would liberated, and Germany's surrender would come not long after that.
  • Operation Thunderclap

    Operation Thunderclap
    Operation Thunderclap was the code for a cancelled operation, a massive attack on Berlin. It was believed that many key German personnel would die in the attack, but the plan was later shelved due to the conclusion that it wouldn't work.
  • Battle of the Bulge

    Battle of the Bulge
    A surprise blitzkrieg launched by Hitler to split the Allied armies through Ardennes to Antwerp. Leitennant Patton's success in maneuvering the Third army to Bastogne proved to the vital in the Allied defense. It lead to the neutralization of the German counteroffensive.
  • Battle of Iwo Jima

    Battle of Iwo Jima
    The island was defended by roughly 23,000 army and navy troops, who fought from an ellaborate network of caves, dugouts, and underground installations. Despite the difficult conditions, the US marines wiped out the Japanese within a month of fighting.
  • Battle of Okinawa

    Battle of Okinawa
    Last and biggest of the Pacific island battles of WWII, it involved 287,000 troops of the US Tenth Army against 130,000 soldiers of the Japanese Thirty-second Army. The air bases vital to the projected invasion of Japan were at stake.
  • VE Day

    VE Day
    The formal acceptance by the Allies of Nazi Germany's unconditional surrender of its armed forces. Now a public holiday to mark this victory.
  • Liberation of concentration camps

    Liberation of concentration camps
    As the Allied troops began to move in series of offensives against Germany, they began to encounter tens of thousands of concentration camp prisoners. The soviets were the first to stumble across these prisoners. The Germans, realizing how quickly the Soviets were coming, tried to the destroy the evidence. There were too many bodies to bury and burn. The survivors were suffering from starvation and disease. Some even accidentally killed themselves by eating too much whenever freed.
  • Dropping of Hiroshima A-bomb

    Dropping of Hiroshima A-bomb
    The United States becomes the only country to use atomic weaponry during wartime, dropping the first A-bomb on the city of Hiroshima.
  • Dropping of Nagasaki A-bomb

    Dropping of Nagasaki A-bomb
    The second atomic bomb is dropped on Nagasaki, followed by Japan's unconditional surrender.
  • VJ Day

    VJ Day
    A name selected by the Allies after the victory over Japan, VJ Day is the date of a formal ceremony held in Tokyo Bay, Japan, aboard the battleship USS Missouri. The ceremony established peace between Japan and the United States.