Invasion of Manchuria

September 18, 1931

Japan invades the northern part of China to start WW2 in Asia

Nanjing Massacre

December 1937

The Japanese Army committed mass murder in the capitol region of Nanjing. Possibly 300,000 died as a result. Many women were also raped before being slaughtered.

Nonagression Pact Between Germany and the Soviet Union

Approx. August, 1939

Hitler and Stalin agreed to a non-agression pact before Hitler invaded Poland, They agreed that Stalin would get East Poland as well as the Baltic States so Hitler could invade Poland. Hitler later broke his promise to Stalin.

Invasion of Poland

September 1, 1939 - October 6, 1939

Nazi Germany invades Poland using a tactic called "Blitzkrieg," or lightning war. This tactic used both air and ground attacks, which help Nazi Germany conquer the territory.

Dunkirk Evacuation

May 26, 1940 - June 4, 1940

With German forces surrounding French forces in Dunkirk during the fall of France, British boats, both military and non-military, rescued thousands of French soldiers.

France Surrenders

June, 1940

France surrenders after the fall of Paris after the Germans marched into France through Belgium. Vichy France was established in Southern France at this time as well.

Germany Invades the USSR

June, 1941

Nicknamed "Operation Barbarossa," German troops invaded the USSR only 2 years after signing a nonaggression pact.

Pearl Harbor

December 7, 1941

Afraid that of the strength of the US Navy, Japan attacked most of the US Naval Fleet at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. The next day the US declared war on Japan.

US surrenders Philippines to Japanese

March 9, 1942

After a defeat at Bataan, US surrendered the Philippines to the Japanese with US soldiers on the islands. The colony stayed with Japan till 1945.

Battle at Coral Sea

May 4, 1942 - May 8, 1942

The Battle at Coral Sea was a successful repulsion at Japan's attempt to gain a base close to Mainland Australia, which would have most likely resulted in the loss of US' only Pacific ally.

Battle of Midway

June 4, 1942 - June 7, 1942

The main turning point in the war in Asia. The US Navy destroyed most of the Japanese Navy in a battle for a airfield owned by the United States.

Battle of El Alamein

July 1, 1942 - July 27, 1942

Led by British General Montgomery, Allied forces stopped Erwin Rommel from capturing the Suez Canal in Egypt. This battle turned the tide in the war in Africa.


August 7, 1942 - February 9, 1943

The Japanese's second attempt at capturing a base near Mainland Australia. It ended in a bloody defeat for the Japanese as it began the demise of Imperial Japan.

German Surrender at Stalingrad

February 7, 1943

The USSR successfully held the Nazi Army out of the Soviet city of Stalingrad. Over 1 million Soviet soldiers died defending the city.

German Surrender in Kursk

August, 1943

A USSR victory against Germany which saw them regain territory which was previously controlled by Nazi Germany.


June 6, 1944

Also known as "Operation Overlord," saw US, British and Canadian forces storm the beaches of Normandy at the start to recapture France.

Battle of Leyte Gulf

October 23, 1944 - October 26, 1944

This battle saw the recapture of the Philippines to the Allies. It also pushed the Allies even closer to Mainland Japan.

Battle of the Bulge

December 16, 1944 - January 25, 1945

The Germans last major attempt at stopping the Allies from entering Germany. The Nazi army failed and the Allies marched towards Berlin.

Iwo Jima

February, 1945

One of the final battles between the Japanese and Americans in Asia. The US won and took control of the island. This battle is most notable for the picture taken of American troops hoisting the American flag atop a hill on Iwo Jima.

German Surrender

April, 1945

Nazi Germany surrenders unconditionally to the Allies to end the war in Europe.


April 1945 - June 1945

The United States invade Okinawa, a southern island owned by Japan. It was the closest battle to Mainland Japan. Many civilians of Okinawa were told to commit suicide when the US captured the island.

Hiroshima and Nagasaki

April 6, 1945 - April 9, 1945

Two atomic bombs were dropped on the Japanese cities of Nagasaki and Hiroshima. Japan surrendered soon after unconditionally to the Allies.

Nuremberg Trials

November 20, 1945 - October 1, 1946

Nazi officials were tried for war crimes due to racial crimes committed during the Holocaust. Officials who did not attend included Adolf Hitler, Heinrich Himmler, and Joseph Goebbels, who all committed suicide before the trials.