Significant Events of WWII

Opening moves

Europe goes

1939 - 1940

Early Blitzkreig successes

1939 - 1940

Significance: Motorized vehicles followed by infantry and artillery utilizes tactical and technological advances and is successful for Germany
People: Hitler

Opening moves

September 1939 - December 1940
  • Poland defeated *Very little action in West
  • Denmark and Norway invaded by German troops, April 1940
  • Hitler attacks Holland, Belgium and France
  • France is quickly defeated due to internal division and military weakness


The division of parts of the war

Phase 1

1939 - 1942
  • Profitable for the Axis Powers
  • Characterized by rapid technological and tactical advantages
  • Themes include nationalism and militarism

Phase 2

January 1 1942 - December 31 1942
  • Counterattacks

Phase 3

1943 - 1945
  • "Long slog"
  • Heavy and costly fighting until the end of war
  • The war's end is indeterminate, though significant events that signal the end of the war include Japan signing the surrender aboard the USS Missouri on Sept. 2nd, and German forces in Europe surrendered on May 8.

Important battles

Battle of Britain

10 July 1940 - 30 September 1940

This is significant for the reason that Hitler failed to invade the UK.

Battle of Midway

June 4 1942 - June 7 1942

Battle of Stalingrad

13 September 1942 - February 3 1943

Nazi Germany and its allies fought the Soviet Union for control of the city Stalingrad- it was marked by constant close-quarters combat and lack of regard for both military and civilian casualties. This significant battle is considered one of the bloodiest battles in the history of warfare.

El Alamein

October 1 1942 - October 31 1942

Axis forces defeated and began to lose ground

D-Day landings

June 6 1944 - June 7 1944

Remaining the largest amphibious operation in warfare, this invasion of Normandy, France was a key turning point which marked the beginning of the end of Hitler's reign.

Battle of the Bulge

December 1944 - January 1945

Hitler failed to capture Antwerp and force the Allies to negotiate. Commonly regarded as the largest-scale and bloodiest battle fought in WW2, the Battle of the Bulge is also significant because it marks the last German offensive of this war; also, henceforth Nazi death camps were liberated.

Key events

Axis offensive widens

1941 - 1942

*North Africa and Greece overtaken by Germany
* Hitler seemed to have mixed motives
*Brutal behavior by Germans and Japanese conquers territories

Operation Barbossa

June 22 1941 - December 1941

Nazi Germany and its Axis allies begin a massive invasion of the Soviet Union

USA enters war

December 1 1941 - December 31 1941

Offensives held in check

July 1942 - July 1943


General unrest

1920 - 1937

Vague feeling that war must be avoided; aggression and breaches of the Versailles treaty are accepted/overlooked

Neville Chamberlain becomes prime minister of Britain

28 May 1937 - 10 May 1940

Chamberlain gave new drive to appeasement with his withes to negotiate with Hitler, and ended up signing the Munich agreement in 1938. His premiership ended after the Allies were forced to retreat from Norway, as he believed a government supported by all parties was essential, and the Labor and Liberal parties would not join a government headed by him.