1941 • Battle for North Africa ongoing – Started in late 1940 • British suffering huge defeats at hands of German military • German commander in North Africa – Erwin Rommel • Pearl Harbor Attacked – December 7, 1941 – Brings America into World War II • America declares war on Japan – December 8, 1941 • Germany and Italy declare war on United States – December 11, 1941 • American forces lose the islands of Guam, Wake Island, and Philippines • British lose Hong Kong • Battle for the Atlantic Begins • German U-boats were attacking shipping ways from U.S. to Great Britain – sinking American ships • America responds by building a huge amount of warships which makes convoys harder to take out • Germany ends Non-Aggression Pact with Soviet Union – German invasion of Soviet Union • One major factor Germany did not plan for – Russian Winter – this kills countless men and destroys many pieces of machinery
1942 • Battle of Stalingrad begins – Germany storms major Soviet city but cannot take control of it • MAJOR TURNING POINT OF THE WAR!!! • This ends the German expansion and from this point forward Germany will shrink in size • Battle of El-Alamein fought – Britain finally gains a land victory against Germany in North Africa • Operation Torch enacted by U.S. military – invasion of North Africa through Morocco and Algeria
1942 (Pacific War Events) – Japan Offensive • American forces on Philippines surrender • Led to Bataan Death March – American soldiers were starved and forced to march 5 days straight across the Bataan Peninsula • Doolittle Raid occurs – April 18 – American pilots bomb Japan mainland • Americans win naval battle – Battle of Coral Sea • Led by Admiral Chester Nimitz • Stopped a Japanese invasion of Port Moresby – Americans lost a carrier and aircraft • First Japanese defeat in Pacific • Battle of Midway – Japan tried to destroy the remaining U.S. naval power in Pacific • America gained major advantage here – broke Japanese secret codes • Knew everything about the Japanese invasion • By winning this battle – American forces did great damage to Japanese navy • Battle of Guadalcanal begins – Americans first major land invasion against Japanese controlled territory
1943 • Rommel’s forces defeated in North Africa • Allied forces begin invasion of Italy – invade Sicily • Led to many Italians turning on their leader Benito Mussolini • This saw the use of the Tuskegee Airmen – first segregated all African-American fighter pilot group in American history • Battle of Guadalcanal ends – Japanese flee the island • Americans show they are implementing a plan called Island Hopping or taking of strategic islands on way to Japanese mainland – attacked Japanese weak spots
1944 • Allied forces invade Anzio on the Italian mainland – first time that Allied troops had foothold on European mainland since 1940. • D-Day Invasion occurs – June 6, 1944 – Allied invasion of France to speed up the end of the war • Led by: Omar Bradley • Largest amphibious assault in the history of war • Code name: Operation Overlord • Led to Allied forces breaking through German lines and moving quickly toward Germany • Battle of the Bulge – December 16, 1944 – refers to fight of Allied troops to sure up a bulge in American lines after a German counterattack • Germans were trying to Belgium city of Bastogne – major crossroads • American soldiers were stuck in the city • George S. Patton led his army 100 miles in 48 hours to relieve the men in Bastogne and chase the Germans away • Americans retake Philippines – MacArthur lives up to promise of returning • Major battle – Battle of Leyte Gulf – Japanese begin using Kamikaze attacks where pilots intentionally crash planes into targets.
1945 • Yalta Conference – Roosevelt met with Churchill and Stalin to decide what to do with a post-war Germany • Divide it into 4 sectors – one sector each for British, French, Americans, and Soviets to occupy by using soldiers to control the region • March 7 – Americans enter Germany – led to capture of thousands of German soldiers • April 12 – President Roosevelt dies • Hitler commits suicide and dies in his bunker – April 30 • May 7-8 – Germany surrenders = V-E Day (Victory in Europe) • June – United Nations is established • Purpose: To encourage cooperation among countries instead of going to war • Potsdam Conference occurs (July) – meeting where America and British tried to get Soviets to live up to Yalta Conference promises because of growing fear of Communism
1945 (Pacific War Events) – Japan Offensive • Battle of Iwo Jima begins – ends with American soldiers taking the high point of the island Mt. Suribachi • Japanese soldiers begin to fight to the death – no surrender • Battle of Okinawa – Americans have to fight cave to cave on the island to get the Japanese out of the island • Again all Japanese fight to the death • This along with Iwo Jima were areas that Americans wanted to take for land bases for heavy bomber aircraft • Fire Bombing of Tokyo Begins – dropped bombs that created firestorms in Tokyo destroying many buildings and killing many Japanese • Led by General Curtis LeMay • Led to Japanese wanting to start peace talks by going through Russia • August 6 – Enola Gay (B-29 Bomber) drops the first Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima, Japan • August 9 – Second Atomic Bomb dropped on Nagasaki, Japan after no surrender on first bomb drop • August 15 – Emperor Hirohito of Japan officially surrenders to Allies – V-J Day