Events of World War II

European Theater

Nonagression pact between Germany and the Soviet Union

August, 1939

Germany invades Poland; WWII begins

September, 1939

Britain evacuates forces from Dunkirk

May, 1940

France surrenders; Battle of Britain begins

June, 1940

Germany invades the Soviet Union

June, 1941

Hitler orders attacks on Stalingrad

August, 1942

Adolf Hitler sent troops to seize oil fields, and capture Stalingrad, a major industrial center. Marks a battle in which Germans were being pushed back by Soviets

Allied forces land in North Africa

November, 1942

Germans surrender at Stalingrad

February, 1943

Allies invade Europe on D-Day

June, 1944

British, American, French, and Canadian troops fought their way onto a beach in Normandy. Allowed the Allies to weaken German defenses.

Battle of the Bulge begins

December, 1944

Hitler faced a war on two fronts, and attacked American defenses. Germany failed, as American forces pushed them back.

V-E Day: Germany surrenders

May, 1945

Millions of Allied troops charged on Berlin. Hitler committed suicide, the third Reich surrendered.

Pacific Theater

Japanese attack Pearl Harbor; U.S declares war on Japan

December, 1941

Bataan Death March begins

April, 1942

Allies turn back Japanese fleet in Battle of the Coral Sea

May, 1942

Allies surrender in Philippines

May, 1942

Allies defeat Japanese in Battle of Midway

June, 1942

Allied forces intercepted Japanese messages about attack on Midway. Turned the tide of the war in the Pacific.

Japanese suffer defeat at Battle of Guadalcanal

February, 1943

Allies defeat Japan in Battle of Leyte Gulf

October, 1944

Japanese defeated by American troops in four days. This removed Japan as a fighting force in the war in the Pacific.

Allies capture Iwo Jima

March, 1945

Okinawa falls to Allies

June, 1945

Allies drop atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki

August, 1945

Bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, more than 190,000 people killed combined. Put an end to the war very quickly.

V-J Day: Japan surrenders

September 2, 1945

Japan surrenders to General Douglas MacArthur on September 2. This marked the end of World War II.