European Theater

Main

Invasion of Poland

September 2, 1939

Hitler and Germany invade Poland which is the event that launches the Second World War as it violates Germany's promise that they would no longer expand.

Battle of Britain

July 10, 1940 - September 17, 1941

The battle involved the air forces of Germany and Britain. The Luftwaffe, the air force of Germany, bombed various British cities, especially London, but were opposed by the British. The British won as the Luftwaffe could not gain air superiority.

Siege of Leningrad

September 8, 1941 - January 27, 1944

When Germany invaded Europe, Hitler decided to lay siege to Leningrad rather than attacking it directly. This caused many deaths to the citizens, estimated at a million, but the citizens did not give up and the Germans eventually failed in their siege with their inability to take control of the city.

Battle of Stalingrad

July 17, 1942 - February 2, 1943

The Germans invade the Soviet Union and siege the Russian city of Stalingrad. However, the Germans are caught unprepared for the early General Winter and are weakened by it. Eventually, the Germans are pushed out of Stalingrad resulting in a win for the Allies.

Battle of El Alamein

October 23, 1942 - November 11, 1942

This battle was fought in the deserts of North Africa between the British and the Axis powers. The British sought to prevent the Axis powers from gaining control of the Suez Canal and succeeded.

Battle of Sicily

July 10, 1943 - July 17, 1943

After success in the North African Campaign, the Allies looked to invade Europe and decided to invade Sicily first. Their plan was to secure the central Mediterranean and divert German divisions from the northwest coast of France where the Allies planned to attack in the near future. It succeeded and eventually Mussolini was overthrown.

Invasion of Normandy/ D-Day

June 6, 1944 - June 25, 1944

The Allied forces land on the beaches of Normandy in an attempt to liberate France an then push on to Germany. It was led by American General Dwight Eisenhower and is considered one of the most successful invasions ever.

Battle of the Bulge

December 16, 1944 - January 25, 1945

The Battle of the Bulge was the last offensive attack by Hitler on the Americans. It was a surprise attack and resulted in a large number of American casualties, the most in the war. The Americans eventually prevailed and it is regarded as a turning point in the war.

Battle for Berlin

April 16, 1945 - May 2, 1945

This was important in marking the end of the war in the European Theater. The Russians invaded Berlin and eventually gained control of the city defeating the Germans.

Hitler Commits Suicide

April 30, 1945

Hitler and his newlywed wife Eva Braun commit suicide in a bunker in Germany leaving the Germans without a leader. This can be seen as Hitler giving up and knowing that he can no longer even dream of winning the war.

May 7-8, 1945

May 7, 1945 - May 8, 1945

This is the day that the Allies officially accepted the complete surrender of the German forces and the Allies finally gained victory over Germany.