DeAnna Pope
February 26, 2010
Ms. Mauser


This timeline opens a new link to, where my timeline of major events that changed World War II from 1939-1945 can be seen.

Three Major Turning Points in WWII:

Pearl Harbor

During WWII, the United States was technically neutral, it had only been supplying to the allied powers. However, on December 7, 1941 all this changed after the sudden bombing of Pearl Harbor, (without warning or declaration of war) quickly pulled the US into the war when they declared war on Japan, and the Germans declared war on the United States. Japan first invaded China because they needed natural resources from China, so they could bargain with the Western powers from their higher position. Without warning six Japanese aircraft carriers targeted Pearl Harbor,Hawaii because the strong US Navy’s Pacific Fleet was a threat to the Japanese. This also would allow them more time to increase their naval strength, their invasion of Malaya, and to discourage American morale hopefully keep America out of the war. This was a major turning point in WWII because the United States became actively involved in the war and changed the history of one of the largest wars of all time.
This link shows a timeline of exactly what happened in Pearl Harbor on the day of attack:
This link shows an interactive of the Japanese strategy in the attack of Pearl Harbor:

This image shows the impact of the massive attack on Pearl Harbor, obviously destroying many ships.


On June 6, 1944 on the beaches along the Normandy coast, the Allied forces coordinated a massive invasion that took place, changing WWII. The US army called their plan "Operation Overlord" or "D-Day", the "D" representing "Day", meaning the day of June 6th in which they planned on invading France. More than 130,000 allied troops and 23,000 paratroopers supported the invasion . Callus, France was the ideal place to deceive the Germans because it was close to England. The preparation of D-Day lasted over a year and involved many spies and code breakers sending fake secret messages hoping the Germans would expect the Allies invasion would be in the Callus area closer to England. About 156,000 men and 10,000 vehicles were sent to the five beaches of Normandy. The significance of D-Day and why it was such a major turning point, was that a second front allowed the Allies to push the Germans up out of France, and back into Germany. In August, the Allies liberated Paris and the Germans were pushed back by to the Germany lines by September 16 ,1944. This largest ever allied invasion eventually led to the Germans surrender.

This link shows an interactive D-Day map scenario.
"Men of the 16th Infantry Regiment seek shelter from German machine-gun fire behind “Czech hedgehog” beach obstacles, Easy Red sector, Omaha Beach, on D-Day, June 6, 1944." (from source)

This image shows the route for the invasion of Normandy in 1944.


The most formidable weapon of mass destruction, the atomic bomb, was dropped August 5th,1945 in Hiroshima, Japan by the United States, forcing Japan to surrender a short time later. President Harry Truman of the United States made the decision to drop the atomic bomb because he thought it was necessary after Japan ignored a statement outlining their surrender. Japan suffered huge casualties not only in troops, but in women and children, soldiers and civilians. The plane named the Enola Gay , named after the pilot's mother, carried the bomb to Hiroshima, (because it was a place with a lot of military significance, and left untouched by American bombing). An hour before the bombing, Japanese radar detected the American aircraft and they determined the number of planes was small, so they lifted the air aid alert. The destruction of the atomic bomb, which was nicknamed "The Little Boy" had a radius of total destruction of one mile with resulting fires across 4.4 miles. 70,000-80,000 people were killed instantly. This was such a major turning point for the war, because after the second bomb three days later on Nagasaki, Japan, the Japanese surrendered, marking a Allied victory and the end of the long war.

This is a link to a copy of the actual document: "U. S. Strategic Bombing Survey: The Effects of the Atomic Bombingsof Hiroshima and Nagasaki, June 19, 1946. President's Secretary'sFile, Truman Papers."

The "Little Boy" over Hiroshima.

Map of Europe

This image is a map of Europe in 1944.

Bibliography (MLA FORMAT)

  1. “Pearl Harbor Timeline-Remembering Pearl Harbor”. National Geographic Society. 2001. 27 February, 2010.
  2. “Pearl Harbor Interactive”. Discovery Communications, Inc. 2010. 26 February, 2010.
  3. “Focus on World War II: Pearl Harbor”. Discovery Communications, Inc. 2010. 26 February, 2010. 26 February, 2010.
  4. “D-Day Interactive”. Discovery Communications, Inc. 2010. 26 February, 2010.
  5. Capa, Robert. Magnum Photos. “Normandy Invasion: ‘Czech Hedgehog’ beach obstacles”. Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc. Online Image. 27 February, 2010.
  6. “Q&A: D-Day”. Wednesday, 3 June 2009. 28 February, 2010.
  7. “U. S. Strategic Bombing Survey: The Effects of the Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, June 19, 1946. President's Secretary's File, Truman Papers.” 19 June, 1946. 27 February, 2010.
  8. “Atomic Cloud over Hiroshima”. Online Image. 27 February, 2010.
  9. White, Mathew. “Europe in 1942”. Online Image. 27 February, 2010.
  10. Robinson, Bruce. “World War Two: Summary Outline of Key Events”. 05 November, 2009. 24 February, 2010.