By: Aleck Rettew
Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, French Premier Edouard Daladier, and British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain signed the Munich Pact, which seals the fate of Czechoslovakia, virtually handing it over to Germany in the name of peace.
Nazis in Germany torched synagogues, vandalized Jewish homes, schools and businesses and killed close to 100 Jews. In the aftermath of Kristallnacht, some 30,000 Jewish men were arrested and sent to Nazi concentration camps.
The German-Soviet Pact of August 1939, which stated that Poland was to be partitioned between the two powers, enabled Germany to attack Poland without the fear of Soviet intervention. On September 1, 1939, Germany invaded Poland. The Polish army was defeated within weeks of the invasion.
The French government signed an armistice with Nazi Germany just six weeks after the Nazis launched their invasion of Western Europe.
The Battle of Britain ended when Germany's Luftwaffe failed to gain air superiority over the Royal Air Force despite months of targeting Britain's air bases, military posts and, ultimately, its civilian population.
The Lend-Lease Act was the principal means for providing U.S. military aid to foreign nations of the Allied Powers
Germany invaded the Soviet Union. Codenamed Operation Barbarossa, it was the largest military operation in history, involving more than 3 million Axis troops and 3,500 tanks. This event led the Soviet Union to leave the Axis Powers and join the Allies.
General Paulus surrendered what remained of his army-some 91,000 men. About 150,000 Germans had died in the fighting. The Soviet victory at Stalingrad was a great humiliation for Hitler, who had elevated the battle's importance in German opinion.
Fought at El Alamein in Egypt, 60 miles west of Alexandria. The German Afrika Korps under Rommel was halted in its advance towards the Nile by the British 8th Army under Montgomery, giving a decisive British victory.
Residents of the Jewish ghetto in Nazi-occupied Warsaw, Poland, staged an armed revolt against deportations to extermination camps.
The Allied Forces of Britain, America, Canada, and France attacked German forces on the coast of Normandy, France. With a huge force of over 150,000 soldiers, the Allies attacked and gained a victory that became the turning point for World War II in Europe.
The Battle of the Bulge, also known as the Ardennes Offensive, was the largest battle fought on the Western Front in Europe during World War II; it is also the largest battle ever fought by the United States Army.
The Yalta Conference was the second wartime meeting of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin and U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt. During the conference, the three leaders agreed to demand Germany’s unconditional surrender and began plans for a post-war world.
Victory in Europe Day marks the formal acceptance by the Allies of World War II of Nazi Germany's unconditional surrender of its armed forces.
Judges from the Allied powers--Great Britain, France, the Soviet Union, and the United States--presided over the hearings of twenty-two major Nazi criminals. Twelve prominent Nazis were sentenced to death.
Japanese planes attacked the United States Naval Base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii Territory. The bombing killed more than 2,300 Americans. It completely destroyed the American battleship U.S.S.
The Bataan Death March was when the Japanese forced 76,000 captured Allied soldiers (Filipinos and Americans) to march about 80 miles across the Bataan Peninsula. The march took place in April of 1942.
The Battle of the Coral Sea was a major naval battle in the Pacific Theater of World War II between the Imperial Japanese Navy and naval and air forces from the United States and Australia.
The United States Navy decisively defeated an attacking fleet of the Imperial Japanese Navy near Midway Atoll, inflicting devastating damage on the Japanese fleet that proved irreparable.
Guadalcanal was the first major offensive and a decisive victory for the Allies in the Pacific theater. With Japanese troops stationed in this section of the Solomon Islands, U.S. marines launched a surprise attack in August 1942 and took control of an air base under construction.
It was the largest naval battle ever fought, ending in the eclipse of the Imperial Japanese Navy and its last sortie in force. Leyte Gulf also was the scene of the first organized use of Kamikaze aircraft by the Japanese.
The American amphibious invasion of Iwo Jima during World War II stemmed from the need for a base near the Japanese coast. Following elaborate preparatory air and naval bombardment, three U.S. marine divisions landed on the island in February 1945.
The Battle of Okinawa, also known as Operation Iceberg, took place in April-June 1945. It was the largest amphibious landing in the Pacific theater of World War II. It also resulted in the largest casualties with over 100,000 Japanese casualties and 50,000 casualties for the Allies.
The Potsdam Declaration or the Proclamation Defining Terms for Japanese Surrender is a statement that called for the surrender of all Japanese armed forces.
An American B-29 bomber dropped the world's first deployed atomic bomb over the Japanese city of Hiroshima. The explosion wiped out 90 percent of the city and immediately killed 80,000 people; tens of thousands more would later die of radiation exposure.
An atomic bomb deployed by America just three days after the deployment of the atomic bomb over Hiroshima.
Victory Over Japan Day occurred on September 2, 1945, when Japan's formal surrender took place aboard the U.S.S. Missouri, anchored in Tokyo Bay.