Timeline:

  • May 1940: Hitler launched his blitzkrieg, or lightning war, against Belgium and Holland.


  • June 1940: Italy entered the war with the Axis powers. Italy's motive for entering the war was the hope of prosperous benefits from the winning the war.


  • June 1940: The French signed an armistice with Germany taking France out of the war and into German occupation.


  • September 1940: London, England was heavily bombed.


  • September 1940: Hitler began a series of nightly bombing raids on London and other cities.


  • September 1940: A mutual alliance was signed by Germany, Italy and Japan (the Axis powers).


  • June 1941: Hitler sent 3 million soldiers and 3,500 tanks into Russia. Stalin immediately signed a mutual assistance treaty with Britain and launched an Eastern front battle that would claim 20 million casualties.


  • December 1941: The Japanese attacked the US naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.


  • June 1942: The USA defeated the Japanese navy at the Battle of Midway. Following this victory, the US navy was able to push the Japanese back.


  • October 1942: The USA attacked the German-Italian army in North Africa. They then proceeded to chase the routed enemy some 1500 miles across the desert.


  • September 1943: Mussolini had been thrown out of office and the new government of Italy surrendered to the British and the USA, and then agreed to join the allies. The Germans took control of the Italian army, freed Mussolini from imprisonment and set him up as head of a puppet government in Northern Italy. This blocked any Allied advance through Italy.


  • June 1944: The Allies launched an attack on Germany's forces in Western France. Thousands of transports carried an invasion under the command of General Eisenhower to the Normandy beaches. The Germans, who had been fed false information about a landing near Calais, rushed troops to the area but were unable to prevent the Allies from forming a solid fortification. For the Allies it was essential to first capture a port.


  • December 1944: Germany launched its final defensive attack through the Ardennes region of Belgium. However, they were beaten back by the Allies.


  • April 1945: Italian citizens captured Mussolini and executed him.


  • April 1945: The German leader, Adolf Hitler committed suicide in his bombproof shelter while Germany surrendered the Allies.


  • May 1945: Victory in Europe was celebrated (V-E Day)


  • August 1945: The Japanese refused to surrender. The US dropped an atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima then on the port, Nagasaki, when they did not surrender immediately.


  • August 1945: The Japanese unconditionally surrendered to the Allies ending the second world war.



map_22_a.gif


This map above shows how much land Japan and Germany owned during the war. As labeled in the key, yellow indicates Germany's acquired land and red/orange for Japan's acquired land. With this map, one can see how much land Germany and Japan were in control of during World War II

Nagasaki:


Summary
Following the deaths of Hitler and Mussolini, Germany and Italy surrendered to the Allied nations. However, Japan refused to give up. In an effort to end the war, the United States dropped the nuclear weapon, “Little Boy”, on the city of Hiroshima, Japan. When this had no effect upon the Japanese’s decision to surrender, the United States dropped another atomic bomb, “Fat Man”, on the Japanese port of Nagasaki on August 9, 1945. After the bombing of Nagasaki, the Japanese finally surrendered and officially ended World War II.

Significance
As a result of the atomic bomb in Nagasaki alone, 60,000–80,000 people were killed, with approximately half of them killed on the first day as a result of the initial impact. Months following the explosion, many died from the effect of burns, radiation sickness, leukemia and other cancers, and other injuries attributed to exposure to radiation by the bombs.

This event was very important for several reasons. One, because of this atomic bomb, the United States showed the world the destructive and very powerful atomic bomb. This led to many countries scrambling to create their own nuclear weapons; thus leading to an arms race around the world.


Graphic
NG30.jpg

This is an aerial image of Nagasaki, Japan after being bombed.

Primary Source

This is the testimony of a Hiroshima survivor who was less than a mile away and witnessed the bomb explosion. Here, he describes everything he remembers that day and coming months afterwards and how his life was forever changed by theat single moment.

Hiroshima Survivor


D-Day:


Summary
D-Day is one of the most famous battles of World War II. Not only is it known as D-Day, it is also called the Normandy Landings, Operation Neptune, and Operation Overlord. D-Day took place on June 6, 1944 on the coast of France. The Allies launched an attack on Germany's forces in Western France. Thousands of transports carried an invasion under the command of General Eisenhower to the Normandy beaches. The Germans, who had been fed false information about a landing near Calais, rushed troops to the area but were unable to prevent the Allies from forming a solid fortification. For the Allies it was essential to first capture a port.

Significance
This event was significant because it was known as the largest “amphibian” invasion of all time. While the Allied infantry arrived on the shores, an air assault of 24,000 Allied airborne troops attacked at the same time. This invasion was successful because the Allies were able to distract the German forces by creating fake operations to keep them away from the real landing area where the troops arrived.

Graphic
02_-_D-Day_map.gif

Primary Source
This is letter from a soldier to his wife back home. He talks about D-Day and the hardships of seeing people dieing around him.

D-Day Letter

Pearl Harbor:


Summary
At the beginning of World War II, the United States had remained neutral, but was providing the Aliies with weapons and other useful supplies. Japan was trying to further spread their acquired land to gain more resources. The Japanese knew that the United States were the only ones standing in their way of dominating the Pacific islands. The naval base of Pearl Harbor, in Hawaii, was bombed on December 7, 1941.

Significance
Many Americans were shocked when they found out what had happened and their want to stay out of the war disappeared. Now enraged at the Japanese, the United States joined the Allied side and declared war against Japan. This event was significant because it was what triggered the United States to join the war. Even though they were helping the Allies, they wanted to stay neutral. Americans fueled their rage at the Japanese and the Axis powers and used to it fight.

Graphic
Attack_on_Pearl_Harbor_Japanese_planes_aerial_view.jpg
This is an aerial image of a missile dropped on USS West Virginia taken from a Japanese plane at the beginning of the attack.

Primary Source
This is the address Franklin D Roosevelt said the day after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. In this address, he briefly explains to the nation what happened, why it happened, and why it had not been prevented.

FDR Pearl Harbor Address

Bibliography:


1. "World War Two - Main Page." History on the Net Main Page. Web. 27 Feb. 2010. <http://www.historyonthenet.com/WW2/ww2main.htm>.
2. "Frequently Asked Questions - Radiation Effects Research Foundation." The Radiation Effects Research Foundation Website. 2007. Web. 25 Feb. 2010. <http://www.rerf.or.jp/general/qa_e/qa1.html>.
3. "Testimony of Yoshitaka Kawamoto." Inicom, Inc. Web. 28 Feb. 2010. <http://www.inicom.com/hibakusha/yoshitaka.html>.
4. John. Letter to Darlin' 22 July 1944. Pbs.org. PBS. Web. 28 Feb. 2010. <http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/dday/sfeature/sf_letters.html>.
5. Roosevelt, Franklin D. "Declaration of War." Address. Pearl Harbor Address to the Nation. 8 Dec. 1941. American Rhetoric. Web. 28 Feb. 2010. <http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/fdrpearlharbor.htm>.
6. Wikipedia contributors. "Attack on Pearl Harbor." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 2 Mar. 2010. Web. 2 Mar. 2010.
7. Wikipedia contributors. "Normandy Landings." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 26 Feb. 2010. Web. 2 Mar. 2010.