Foster Bundy - WWII Turning Points Project

Time Line


Major Turning Points:

Pearl Harbor

Brief Summary

Pearl Harbor was a Japanese attack on the Americans of the United States on December 7th, 1941. On this day, Japanese air force opened fire on the ground below them where the Americans were stationed. Located in Hawaii, Pearl Harbor was one of the main ports for military ships that would allow for success in the time of the pacific warfare. The attack by the Japanese sunk many of these battle ships that were crucial to the Americans and their fight on the Pacific. The Americans were sought to be a threat, a threat to the Japanese and their power. Once the great depression had begun, the Japanese were planning to assault the Americans thinking it would benefit their base of pacific conquest. This strategy snowballed and the U.S. took direct aim at the Japanese with an atom bomb that literally blew away everything they had.

Their major losses suffered from the bomb caused them to lose the war and as a turning point, the attention was brought to Japan. The American's main focus was on Germany who had been dominating most of the war and they had no idea that Japan was right behind them the whole time. Soon after Pearl Harbor, The Japanese were their main target and now that Japan had taken their main strike, the U.S. was prepared for anything thrown at them.


"Leading the whole group, Lieutenant Commander Murata's torpedo bombers headed downward to launch their torpedoes, while Lieutenant Commander Itayay's fighters raced forward to sweep enemy fighters from the air. Takahashi's dive-bomber group had climbed for altitude and was out of sight. My bombers, meanwhile, made a circuit toward Barbers Point to keep pace with the attack schedule. No enemy fighters were in the air, nor were there any gun flashes from the ground. The effectiveness of our attack was now certain, and a message, 'Surprise attack successful!"

Pearl Harbor - The Japanese View
This is just a small quote from the Fleet Commander, Vice Admiral Nagumo, who received his "final orders on December 1 and on the morning of December 7 the battle group" that was in position 275 miles north of Hawaii. "At 6:00 AM the first elements of the air attack consisting of fighter aircraft, torpedo bombers, high-level bombers and dive-bombers were aloft and assembling in the pre-dawn gloom."


Operation Barbarossa

Brief Summary

On June 22 1941, Operation Barbarossa was put into progress. Adolf Hitler and the Germans developed this plan solely to get rid of the Russians as they were no longer needed for the services. The Non-Aggression pact prevented things like this from happening but Hitler ignored it and advanced with his mission. He then sent the majority of his army to Russia where they were ordered to strike after they could get the most out of Russia as possible. Resources were beginning to diminish and success was only possible if the Germans could defeat Russia as soon as they could.

Operation Barbarossa was known as a major turning point of the war because it gave insight to how Germany was feeling at the moment towards Russia. For months, they were fighting together to defeat the allied powers but Germany hated the idea of a communist government and decided to take their own path. In order to do this, they had to take over Russia which they did with ease due to the surprise on Russia's faces. The Germans did not stop until they had captured Kiev, one of the largest cities in Russia, and Leningrad. This change in heart for Hitler allowed him to continue his plan without any distractions or having to worry about allies turning their back on him as he did to Russia.

Visual: Captured Soviet Equipment

external image 800px-Operation_Barbarossa_-_German_loot.jpg


This Primary source is an evaluation of the Soviet's Army through the duration of the invasion of the U.S.S.R. The Russians are being evaluated on their weaponry and willing to fight back against their enemies. This report is very important to Operation Barbarossa because it gave Germany and Hitler insight on how Russia was doing with their weapons and stance in the war. Germany discussed the possible options and while focusing on the strength of the Russians, they were also strategizing on how they were going to the attack the Soviets. With Hitler's successful method of Blitzkrieg, Germany fought their way through Russia all the way to Moscow.

Primary Source - Operation Barbarossa


Brief Summary

D-Day is known as one of the greatest days that will ever live for the United States and its military. After Germany had betrayed Russia
with Operation Barbarossa, the Soviets teamed up with the U.S. and Britain to lead an attack against Hitler and the Germans. France and its north beaches were the target for the assault because the Soviets were fighting with their backs against the wall on their homeland. They needed a second base so that not all of Germany's attention was on them and with the U.S. standing behind them, there was no way they could lose. D-Day began as sailing soldiers traveled across the English Channel right into the Germans at their own port city.

Although D-Day is perceived as a small assault or attack to help out the Soviets, it had positive results for both the U.S. and Soviet Union. Now that there was a second front to fight on, the U.S. had their own land where they could dominate from both the air and the ground and the Russians were ecstatic because they had half as many Germans to fight as before. This ultimately led to the downfall of Germany and was a major turning point in the relationship between the Allied Powers and Russia.


Primary Source - D-Day

This primary source was an article written on the viewpoints of the second front during the invasion of the Germans on D-Day. Many people thought that the second front should have opened earlier but in my opinion, it couldn't have because Russia was on their own until they came for help. They couldn't have possibly opened a second front without the U.S. and luckily, Russia asked the Allied Powers just in time before they had to surrender.


August 5th, 1945, the first atom bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, a large Japanese City. This idea came to the U.S. after Japan had bombed Pearl Harbor three day earlier. This was unexpected; thus, the U.S. prepared for war and took all they had and threw it at Japan. This atom bomb was approved by Harry S. Truman and was the first known to man and it was the perfect time to test its power seeing as the U.S. had nothing to lose. The aftermath was devastating for Japan with between 70,000 to 80,000 people dead and one of their main cities absolutely diminished. This was a major turning point of the war and brought the U.S. directly into the middle of it. If it wasn't for Japan, things might have been different and Hitler possibly would have been in power for many more years without the U.S. disrupting his master plan.


This is an image of the cloud of smoke and explosion from the atom bomb of Hiroshima. This was obviously devastating to the city and Japan's morale and because of this, they were forced to sign a surrender agreement.

Map & Discussion

Pearl Harbor

external image Pearl%20Harbor%20Map.jpg

This map shows the destruction caused by the first attack of the Japanese at Pearl Harbor. While the picture only depicts the ships that were damaged and destroyed, you can imagine how many bombs were dropped by the Japanese and the strategy behind this attack. By sinking these vessels, the morale of the U.S. was devastated but FDR declared war only three days after the incident and then went on to dominate the Japanese in response with the first atom bomb.

Operation Barbarossa

external image 43.jpg

Operation Barbarossa was a strategical assault provided by Germany. It was designed so that the Germans could stand by the Russians as an ally as long as possible and then when there was nothing left, Germany would turn on them and take everything they had. Although this was a magnificent plan, it turned out to be unsuccessful due to a lack of resources and they were forced to retreat.


external image earth.jpg

D-Day was a military assault fought on the beaches of France and World War II lead by the U.S. and British soldiers. This attack was to prevent Germany from taking over Russia and once there was a second front present in the war, Russia was able to stand their grown ground while the U.S. and British fought their own. This was a very long development for the Allied Powers and Russia but after they had invaded the beaches, they were able to surround Germany and end WWII.



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