The course of world war II

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Sept. 1939 - Germany and the Soviet Union invade and divide Poland
April 1940 - Blitzkrieg against Denmark and Norway
May 1940 - Blitzkrieg against Belgium, Netherlands, and France
May 10, 1940 - Churchill becomes British prime minister
June 22, 1940 - France surrenders
Fall 1940 - Battle of Britain
April 1941 -Nazi seizure of Yugoslavia and Greece
June 22, 1941 - Germany invades the Soviet Union
December 7, 1941 - Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor
May 7/8, 1942 - Battle of the Coral Sea
June 4, 1942 - Battle of Midway Island
November 1942 - Allied invasion of North Africa
February 2, 1943 - German surrender at Stalingrad
May 13, 1943 - Axis forces surrender in North Africa
July 5/12, 1943 - Battle of Kursk
September 1943 - Allied invasion of mainland Italy
June 6, 1944 - Allied invasion of France = the Normandy Invasion = D-Day
April 30, 1945 - Hitler commits suicide
May 7, 1945 - Surrender of Germany
August 6, 1945 - Atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima
August 14, 1945 - Japan surrenders

Blitzkrieg = ‘lightning war’

1. New war fighting tactic developed by the Nazis

2. Combined use of armored infantry/tanks/Panzers and air power

3. Focus was on speed and smashing force

Hitler launches the blitzkrieg against Poland on September 1, 1939 and within four weeks he has conquered Poland - Hitler and Stalin divided it up between themselves
The phony war = the period of no fighting in the fall and winter of 1939/1940
The Maginot Line = A series of concrete and steel defensive fortifications the French built along their border with Germany
France sits waiting behind its defensive barrier during the winter of 1939-1940
April 1940 - Hitler attacks and conquers Denmark and Norway
June 1940 - Hitler attacks France

1. German forces outflank the Maginot Line and sweep across northern France

2. Dunkirk = allied forces flee to the coast and 330,000 troops are evacuated across the channel to Britain

3. June 22, 1940 - France surrenders

4. The Nazis occupy 3/5 of France

5. Vichy France = the southern part of France establishes a collaborationist puppet state led by the

French hero of WW I, Marshal Henri Petain

6. The Free French = French government in in exile is established in London led by Charles de Gaulle

Winston Churchill -

1. May 10, 1940 he replace Chamberlain as prime minister of Britain

2. Was against appeasement throughout the 1930’s

3. Advocated standing up to Hitler throughout the 1930’s

4. Inspiring leader/great speaker

5. Refused to make any kind of deal ever with Hitler

Fall 1940 - the Battle of Britain

1. Hitler’s air war against Britain

2. Luftwaffe = the German air force

3. RAF = the British air force

4. Ultra intelligence operation and radar

5. September 1940 - Hitler changes from attacking military and industrial targets to bombing cities = mistake

6. Battle of Britain fails for the Nazis
North Africa -

1. German forces invade North Africa and try to drive the British out

2. Erwin Rommel = leader of the German ‘Afrika Korps’

3. Bernard Montgomery = leader of the British forces ‘the Desert Rats’

Operation Barbarossa -

1. Hitler plans to invade the Soviet Union in the spring of 1941

2. Problems in Balkans force a delay = April 1941 the Nazi seize Yugoslavia and Greece

3. June 22, 1941 - the Nazis attack the Soviet Union

4. By Nov. 1941 the Germans are just outside Leningrad and Moscow


Imperial Japan -

1. Large population/small territory

2. Need for food and raw materials

3. Emperor Hirohito/in the 1930’s right wing militaristic nationalists gain power

4. July 1937 - the Japanese invade Manchuria in China/in July 1941 the U.S. cuts off sales iron and oil

December 7, 1941-

1. naval and air forces of Japan attack the US naval base at Pearl Harbor

2. Japan attacks the Philippines

3. Moves towards British Malaya

The United States declares war on Japan and Germany declares war on the U.S.A.
By the spring of 1942 - Japan controls all of southeast Asia

Japan declares southeast Asia to be the Great East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere = the Japanese Empire

The Grand Alliance =

The Axis Powers =

Unconditional surrender =
1942 -

1. German forces advancing into Egypt

2. Battle of the North Atlantic = nazi subs attacking allied ships

3. German offensive into southern Russia

Fall 1942 -

1. British forces stop Rommel at the Battle of El Alamein in Egypt

2. Americans invade North Africa - in May 1943 the nazi forces surrender in N. Africa

3. Stalingrad - nazi forces are stopped and forced to surrender 300,000 men

4. Battle of the Coral Sea - Japanese forces in the Pacific are stopped and Australia is saved

5. Battle of Midway Island - Americans destroy the Japanese fleet and est. naval superiority

Anglo-American forces invade Sicily then mainland Italy in 1943
July 1943 - Soviet forces defeat the Nazis at the Battle of Kursk/Soviets begin advancing west driving out the Nazis
Allied invasion of France -

1. Operation Overlord organized by American General Dwight D. Eisenhower

2. Attack across the English Channel and land armies in Normandy region of France

3. D-Day = June 6, 1944

Aug. 1944 = Paris in liberated

Winter 1944-1945 = the Battle of the Bulge - German counter offensive in the west fails

Jan. 1945 = Soviet forces occupy Warsaw

March 1945 = Anglo-American armies cross the Rhine and enter Germany

April 1945 = Soviet forces enter Berlin

April 30, 1945 = Hitler commits suicide

May 7, 1945 = Germany surrenders/V-E Day
The Pacific Theater = 1943-1945 ‘island hopping’ American offensive against Japan

August 1945 = atomic bombs dropped on Japan

August 14, 1945 = Japan surrenders/V-J Day

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