A timeline of events depicting the events of World War II.
Created by animalover123 on Feb 1, 2011
Last updated: 02/15/11 at 12:58 AM
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At 8:45 AM in Japanese time, a B-29 fighter plane dropped a powerful atomic bomb over the city of Hiroshima. The resulting destruction killed 66,000 people and wounded 69,000. Three days later, another B-29 plane dropped an atomic bomb on an industrial part of Nagasaki. The resulting devastation killed 39,000 people, and injured 25,000. After the bombing of Nagasaki, the Japanese government surrendered, ending World War II.
On Iwo Jima, there were two air fields that could be used to the advantages of both the Japanese and the Americans. Lieutenant General Kuribayashi led 22,000 soldiers into defending the island, but his options of battling were limited since the island was very small. On the first day, the Marines had heavy causalities since the American bombings created holes for Japanese snipers to hide in. However, the U.S was able to cut Iwo Jima in two at the expense of at least 2,400 causalities. The next day, the Americans attacked Mt. Suribachi and took it after three days of fighting. On March 16th, the U.S managed to secure the whole island. The U.S lost over 6,800 soldiers and more than 18,000 were injured. Only 212 Japanese soldiers were taken prisoners out of the original 22,000 men. Overall, taking Iwo Jima was a part of a three-point plan the U.S had in mind to win the war against Japan.
Hitler ordered a counteroffensive attack in an attempt to drive through Antwerp and destroy the British 21st Army Group and the U.S. First and Ninth Armies. Hitler was hoping that this would force the Allies to settle for negotiated peace. At first, the Germans made surprise and swift advances, but the Allies resistances by different units allowed them to hold back the Germans. As a result, the German attack created a large "bulge" in the Allied lines that didn't even reach the one of the German's objectives, the Meuse River. The U.S had 75,000 casualties, but the Germans lost 80,000 to 100,000 soldiers. Thus the German forces had been damaged beyond repair. When the Battle had ended, the Americans forces reclaimed all the land lost and Germany's defeat was inevitable.
156,000 American, British and Canadian soldiers invaded France through Normandy Beach which is located on the northwest coast of France. The Allies successfully liberated France from Hitler's authority. This invasion also signaled the end of Germany's expansion campaign. Almost 425,000 soldiers from the Allies and Germany were killed, injured, or missing.
General Paulus of the German commander of the Sixth Army was ordered by Hitler to take the oil fields in Caucasus and capture Stalingrad. Stalingrad was also the Soviet Unions center of communications and industrialization. Although the Germans managed to take over a majority of the city, they were unable to secure their the territory. The land the Germans captured would be retaken by the Soviet Union army at night. Marshal Zhukov led six armies to surround the city and successfully trapped the Germans inside Stalingrad. The Germans faced great hardships, including the freezing temperatures and small supply of food, heat, and ammunition. Although Hitler wanted the army to keep fighting, the Germans were forced to surrender February 2, 1943 . As a result, 91,000 German soldiers were taken prisoner. With this as big of loss, the Germans would have a difficult time fighting off the Soviet Union when they advanced towards Germany. The Battle of Stalingrad is considered to be the turning point of World War II. http://www.historyplace.com/worldwar2/timeline/ww2time.htm
Admiral Isoroko Yamamoto of the Japanese Combined Fleet targeted Midway in order to lure and destroy the U.S Pacific Fleet forces, which had humiliated the Japanese Navy in the Doolittle Raid and Battle of Coral Sea. Yamamoto planned to defeat Midway's defenses, invade two smaller islands surrounding Midway, and then set a Japanese air base. However, the U.S figured out about the attack. This allowed Admiral Chester W. Nimitz of the U.S. Pacific Fleet commander to plan a trap for when the Japanese arrived in Midway. The Japanese lost four irreplaceable fleet carriers, but the U.S only lost one carrier. The Midway base survived and would later play a key role in the American trans-Pacific offensive. Now, the Japanese and American fleets were about equal, and the U.S would take the offensive role.
The Japanese planned to take Port Moresby in New Guinea in order to prevent Australia's participation in the war. In this battle, the Americans and Japanese tried to find one anothers carriers and then send air crafts to destroy the ships. The U.S lost an aircraft carrier, a destroyer, an oiler, and another carrier was damaged. In the end, Japan canceled the invasion because they didn't want more of their landing crafts to be destroyed or damaged. This was the first battle where the Japanese were forced to stop their expansion and retreat. Also the damage done to the Japanese's ships, Shokaku and Zuikaku, would prevent their use in the Battle of Midway. http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/battle_of_coral_sea.htm
The Japanese viewed America's naval power as a threat to their war effort. In the attack of Pearl Harbor, the Japanese were able to sink or severely damage over 20 ships, including battleships, cruisers, and destroyers. They also were able to destroy and severely damage over 250 planes. The Navy and Marine Corps suffered at least 2,800 causalities which included more than 2,100 deaths and at least 770 wounded. In the Army, over 650 people were killed or wounded. Also, more than 57 civilians were killed with just as many injured. Japan lost 29 planes, a large submarine and 5 midget submarines. The following day, on December 8, the United Sates declared war on Japan. Germany and Italy declared war on the U.S a couple of days after Pearl Harbor.
The Blitz was when the Germans severely bombed London and other cities. In the beginning, 348 German bombers and 617 fighters had bombed London until 6:00 PM, only to continue 2 hours later until 4:30 that morning. On May 11, 1941, the bombing stopped when Hitler re focused his attention on Germany's invasion of the Soviet Union. This weapon of devastation was announced to the world of the various range of weapons in the 20th century.
German forces easily defeated Polish defenses with at least 2,000 tanks and more than 1,000 planes. By using a new war strategy called the "Blitzkrieg," the Germans captured Warsaw in a few weeks on September 27, 1939.
As a result from the invasion, Britain and France declared war on Germany and entered World War II.