World War Two took place between 1939 and 1945 and was the biggest war in history.
Allies: Soviet Union, United Kingdom, United States, Australia, New Zealand and others.
Axis Powers: Germany, Japan, Italy and others.
World War Two Leaders:
Casualties of World War Two:
50 million Military dead,
8 million Civilian dead.
Within Germany there was much anger over the Treaty of Versailles. With the onset of the Great Depression it gave Hitler and his supporters a platform on which would eventually lead to World War Two. Japan during the 1930s was a military dictatorship that was intent on becoming a world power.
1921 : July 29 : Adolf Hitler takes control National Socialist German Workers (Nazi) Party.
Oct. 29 : Mussolini appointed Premier.
1925 ; Jan. 3 Mussolini dismisses Italian parliament, assumes dictatorial powers.
1931 : Sept. 18 Japanese Army invades Manchuria.
1933 : Jan. 30 Hitler appointed Chancellor of Germany.
Mar. 23 : Hitler assumes dictatorial powers.
July 14 : Nazi party declared official party of Germany.
Oct. 14 : Germany quits League of Nations.
Aug. 19 : Hitler assumes the title of Führer.
1935 Mar. 16 Military conscription introduced in Germany.
Oct. 3 : Italian Army invades Ethiopia.
1936 Mar. 7 : German troops remilitarize the Rhineland in violation of Versailles treaty.
May 9 : Italian campaign in Ethiopia ends.
Oct. 1 : Franco becomes dictator of Spain.
Oct. 25 : Rome-Berlin Axis alliance formed.
1937 Jan. 19 : Japan withdraws from Washington Conference Treaty.
July 7 : War erupts between China and Japan.
1938 Mar. 12 : Germany invades Austria.
Oct. 15 : German troops occupy Czech Sudetenland.
1939 Mar. 15-16 : German troops occupy the rest of Czechoslovakia.
Aug. 23 : Nazi-Soviet nonaggression pact signed.
Sept. 1 : German Army invades Poland.
Sept. 3 : Britain and France declare war on Germany.
Sept. 27 : Warsaw falls to the Nazis.
1940 Mar. 12 : Finland signs peace treaty with Soviet Union.
April 9 : German Army invades Denmark and Norway.
May 10 : German Army invades France, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.
May 15 : Holland capitulates to Nazis.
May 28 : Belgium capitulates to Nazis.
June 10 : Norway capitulates to Nazis; Italy declares war on Britain and France.
June 14 : Nazis take Paris.
June 22 : France capitulates to Nazis.
July 10 : Battle of Britain begins.
Aug. 3 : Italian Army invades British Somaliland.
Aug. 13 : Luftwaffe begins raids on British airfields and aircraft factories.
Aug. 25-26 : Royal Air Force mounts reprisal raid against Berlin.
Sept. 7 : Italian Army attacks Egypt.
Sept. 27 : Tripartite alliance formed between Germany, Italy and Japan.
Oct. 7 : German troops occupy Romania.
Oct. 28 : Italian Army attacks Greece.
Nov. 10-11 : RAF raid cripples Italian fleet at Taranto.
Nov. 20 : Romania joins Axis.
941 Jan. 22 : British take Tobruk in North Africa from Nazis.
Feb. 11 : British Army attacks Italian Somaliland.
Mar. 7 : British Army comes to aid of Greece.
April 6 : German Army hastily invades Yugoslavia and Greece.
April 17 : Yugoslavia capitulates to Nazis.
April 27 : Greece capitulates to Nazis.
May 10 : Rudolf Hess flies to Scotland on "peace mission".
June 8 : British Army invades Lebanon and Syria.
June 22 : Hitler launches operation Barbarossa; invasion of the Soviet Union.
June 28 : Germans capture Soviet city of Minsk.
Aug. 12 : Atlantic Charter signed by Roosevelt and Churchill.
Aug. 20 : German siege of Soviet city of Leningrad begins.
Sept. 19 : Germans capture Soviet city of Kiev.
Oct. 30 : German Army occupies the Crimea.
Dec. 6 : Red Army launches major counter-offensive.
Dec. 7 : Japanese attack Pearl Harbor.
Dec. 8 : United States and Britain declare war on Japan.
Dec. 11 : Germany declares war on the United States.
May 8 : Germans launch summer offensive in the Crimea.
May 30 : Royal Air Force launches first 1,000 bomber raid on Cologne, Germany.
June 4 : Japanese Navy resoundingly defeated at Battle of Midway.
June 21 : German Afrika Korps recaptures Tobruk.
July 3 : Sevastopol falls to German Army.
July 5 : Nazi conquest of Crimea achieved.
July 9 : German Army begins push towards Stalingrad.
Sept. 13 : German attack on Stalingrad begins.
Oct. 23-Nov. 3 : Afrika Korps defeated by British at El Alamein.
Nov. 8 : Allied invasion of North Africa begins in "Operation Torch".
Nov. 11 : Axis forces occupy Vichy France.
Nov. 19 : Soviet forces encircle German Sixth Army at Stalingrad, this is the beginning of the end of Hitler, the Russians turn the war.
1943 Jan. 2-3 : German Army retreats from Caucasus.
Jan. 23 : British forces take Tripoli.
Feb. 2 : German Sixth Army at Stalingrad surrenders to the Russians.
Feb. 8 : Red Army takes Kursk.
Mar. 2 : Afrika Korps withdraws from Tunisia.
May 7 : Allies capture Tunisia.
May 16-17 : RAF targets German industry in the Ruhr.
July 5 : Largest tank battle in history begins at Kursk.
July 9-10 : Allied forces land on Sicily.
July 25-26 : Mussolini and the Fascists overthrown.
Sept. 8 : New Italian government announces Italy's surrender.
Nov. 6 : Soviet Army recaptures Kiev.
Nov. 28 : Roosevelt, Stalin and Churchill meet at Tehran.
1944 Jan. 6 : Soviet Army liberates Poland.
Jan. 22 : Allied forces land at Anzio, Italy.
Apr. 8 : Soviet Army begins offensive in the Crimea.
June 5 : Allied forces enter Rome.
June 6 : D-Day: invasion of Europe begins with Allied landings at Normandy.
June 9 : Soviet Army liberates Finland.
July 9 : Allied troops liberate Caen.
July 20 : Hitler survives assassination attempt.
July 25-30 : Allied forces break-out of Normandy encirclement in "Operation Cobra".
Aug. 15 : Allies invade Southern France.
Aug. 19-20 : Soviet liberates Romania.
Aug. 25 : Paris liberated.
Aug. 31 : Soviet Army takes Bucharest.
Sept. 3 : Brussels liberated.
Sept. 4 : Antwerp liberated.
Sept. 13 : American troops reach the Siegfried Line in western Germany.
Sept. 26 : Soviet Army enters Estonia.
Oct. 5 : British invade Greece.
Oct. 14 : British liberate Athens.
Oct. 20 : Belgrade, Yugoslavia welcome Soviet forces.
Oct. 23-26 : U.S. naval forces destroy remnants of Japanese Navy at the Battle of Leyte Gulf.
Dec. 16 : German Army launches "Battle of the Bulge" offensive on the Western Front.
1945 Jan. 9 : American forces invade Philippine island of Luzon.
Jan. 17 : Soviet Army liberates Warsaw.
Jan. 19 : German lines on Eastern Front collapse.
Jan. 20 : Hungary signs armistice with Allies.
Feb. 4-11 : Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin meet at Yalta Conference.
Mar. 3 : American forces liberate Manila in the Philippines; Finland declares war on Germany.
Mar. 9 : Tokyo fire bombed.
Mar. 21 : Allies take Mandalay, Burma.
Mar. 30 : Soviet Army liberates Danzig.
Apr. 16 : Soviet Army launches Berlin offensive.
Apr. 18 : German forces in the Ruhr capitulate.
Apr. 28 : Mussolini hanged by Italian partisans.
Apr. 30 : Adolf Hitler and wife Eva Braun commit suicide in Chancellery bunker.
May 2 : All German forces in Italy surrender.
May 7 : Unconditional surrender of all German forces.
May 8 : Victory in Europe (VE) Day.
June 5 : Allies divide Germany into occupation zones.
Aug. 6 : First atomic bomb dropped Hiroshima.
Aug. 9 : Second atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki.
Aug. 14 : Unconditional surrender of Japanese forces.
Aug. 15 : Victory over Japan (VJ) Day.
Nov. 20 : Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal begins.
Oct. 16 : Hermann Göring commits suicide; 11 other war criminals hanged.
Photo from May 8, 1945 featuring Winston Churchill waving to a large crowd in Whitehall after he had earlier in the dat announced that the war was won.
Invasion Of France
10th May: Luftwaffe bombs Dutch and Belgian airfields. German Army captures Moerdijk and Rotterdam. Fedor von Bock and 9th Panzer Division advance quickly into Netherlands. Belgium invaded. French 7th Army moved forward to help. The French military wrongly believed the Ardennes impassable to tanks. Seven panzer divisions reached Meuse River at Dinant on 12th May. The French government was forced to abandon Paris. German forces advanced towards the Channel. The German forces encountered little resistance. Winston Churchill ordered implementation of Operation Dynamo, a plan to evacuate troops and equipment from the French port of Dunkirk. General Maxime Weygand tried to hold the line along the Somme and the Aisne. The French Army was forced to withdraw to the Loire. The Germans occupied Paris on 14th June. Henri-Philippe Petain became leader, and quickly accepted German peace terms. Nearly 2 million French soldiers were taken prisoner. Estimated 390,000 French soldiers killed. 35,000 German soldiers had lost their lives during the invasion.
German Invasion Of Poland
August 1939: In a set-up, a number of concentration camp prisoners were dressed in Polish uniforms. They were then shot and placed inside the German border. Hitler then claimed that Poland was attempting to invade Germany. The German Army was ordered to invade Poland on 1st September, 1939.
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Victory in Europe Day
7th May, l945: Germany surrenders. 8th May, 1945: V-E day (Victory in Europe) is declared. The whole world erupts in celebrations, dancing, singing and parties in the street. Winston Churchill broadcast to the nation and the empire saying "The evil doers are now prostrate before us. Our gratitude to our splendid allies goes forth from all our hearts in this island and throughout the British Empire".
Victory Over Japan Day
Officially, V-J Day is 15 August 1945. This is the day that victory over Japan was celebrated by the Allies. It is the date that people still celebrate Victory Of Japan Day. However, the Japanese did not actually sign the surrender document till 2 September 1945, aboard the USS Missouri.
The Yalta Conference took place between February 4, 1945 to February 11, 1945. Those who participated at the Yalta Conference the heads of government of the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union, and the United States. They were Winston Churchill, Joseph Stalin, and Franklin D. Roosevelt. The Yalta Conference was code named the Argonaut Conference, and sometimes called the Crimea Conference. The conference was held in Yalta in the Ukraine. The meeting resulted in a number of resolutions including:
An April meeting would be held to form the United Nations; Soviet nationals were to be repatriated; The Soviet Union was to attack Japan within 90 days of Germany's surrender.
British Submarines Of World War Two
At the beginning of World War Two, Britain had 58 submarines available.
It was considered that 47 of these were up to date.
Around 270 British submarines were eventually deployed.
73 British submarines were lost in the war.
3,142 lives were lost.
One British submarine was lost for 7.8 ships sunk by British submarines.
British submarines sank 493 enemy merchant ships totaling about 1.5 million tons, around 134 warships, plus 34 submarines.
Another 35 warships and six submarines were damaged.
Japan Submarines Of World War Two
Japan had a highly diverse submarine fleet during Second World War. There submarine fleet included midget submarines, manned torpedoes, medium-range submarines, purpose-built supply submarines,long-range fleet submarines, submarines that could carry multiple bombers. The Japanese submarines were of extreme range and size. Some were capable of cruises exceeding 20,000 miles and lasting more than 100 days. Japan built submarines that could carry aircraft. Japan built 65 submarines with ranges exceeding 20,000 miles at ten knots. Japan thought of their submarines as scouts. There role was mostly to locate, shadow, and attack Allied naval task forces. During World War Two, the Japanese submarine fleet was credited with sinking 184 merchant ships. However, overall, the Japanese submarine fleet performed badly. Japan started the war with 63 ocean-going submarines, and completed 111 during the war, for a total of 174. 128 were lost during the conflict. Japan's huge boats were easy to sight visually and with radar. They were slow to dive, hard to maneuver underwater, easy to track, and easy to hit. Japanese hulls were weak. Japanese submarines had no radar until the first sets were installed in June 1944. Morale within the Japanese submarine force was very poor. Japanese commanding officers could not disguise their embarrassment.
Germany Submarines Of World War Two
Germany lost 994 submarines during World War Two.
Aircraft Carrier: 289
800 German U-Boats sank a total of 2,640 ships in the Atlantic.
40,000 men served on German U-Boats during WWII.
30,000 never returned home.
American Submarines Of World War Two
Submarines comprised less than 2 percent of the U.S. Navy during World War Two.
U.S. Submarines sank over 30 percent of Japans navy.
In fact, U.S. Submarines sank eight Japanese aircraft carriers.
U.S. submarines played an important role in the virtual strangling of the Japanese economy.
U.S. Submarines sunk almost five million tons of Japanese shipping.
200 U.S. subs sank 201 Jap warships & 1113 merchant ships.
211 subs built - 182 operational peak in 1945.
U.S. loses, 52 subs with 3503 crew.
Gato-class subs were manly used early in World War II.
Later, they were joined by similar Balao-class.
Tunisia World War Two
8th November 1942, US Army, under General Dwight D. Eisenhower, invade Tunisia. German Army counter-attacked at Medjez el Bab forcing a retreat by the U.S. 25th November, 24,000 German troops occupy northern Tunisia. 24th December, 1942, another attempt was halted by bad weather. General Jurgen von Arnium takes control of German forces in Tunisia. January 1943, General Erwin Rommel arrives. General Harold Alexander sent to oversee Allied operations in Tunisia. General Erwin Rommel in command of German forces. 6th March 1943: Rommel attacks Allies at Medenine. General Bernard Montgomery fought off attack. 9th March: Rommel leaves Tunisia. Replaced by General Jurgen von Arnium. Arnium concentrates on defending 100 mile arc across north-east Tunisia. April 1943, Allies have over 300,000 men in Tunisia. Allies have 6-to-1 advantage in troops, 15-to-1 in tanks. 23rd April: 300,000 man force advance along 40 mile front. Diversionary attack by the 8th Army at Enfidaville. 7th May 1943: British forces take Tunis. 13th May: Axis forces in Tunisia surrender.
Japanese Invasion Of Thailand
8th December 1941: Japanese Army land on southeast coast of Thailand. The Japanese army then crossed thailand in order to attack Burma and Malaya. For the next four years the Thai people fought a guerilla campaign against Japanese forces.
The Fall Of Singapore
Singapore was considered a vital part of the British Empire. It was seen by the British as an impregnable fortress. The British government had just spent a vast amount of amount to complete improvements to it`s miliatry base in Singapore in 1938. British military command in Singapore was confident they could resist any Japanese attack. British troops in Singapore were told the Japanese troops were poor fighters. However, the Japanese onslaught through the Malay Peninsula took everyone by surprise. The British predicted the Japanese would attack from the sea. All the defences on Singapore pointed out to sea. The Japanese relied on speed. Japanese troops were ordered to take no prisoners. A pamphlet issued to all Japanese soldiers stated: "When you encounter the enemy after landing, think of yourself as an avenger coming face to face at last with his father’s murderer. Here is a man whose death will lighten your heart." By December 9th 1941, the RAF had lost nearly all of its front line aeroplanes after the Japanese had attacked RAF fields in Singapore. Britain’s naval presence at Singapore was strong. A squadron of warships was stationed there lead by the modern battleship "Prince of Wales" and the battle cruiser "Repulse". On December 8th 1941, both put out to sea and headed north up the Malay coast to where the Japanese were landing. On December 10th, both ships were sunk by repeated attacks from Japanese torpedo bombers. There were 90,000 British, Indian and Australian troops. The Japanese advanced with 65,000 troops. The Japanese troops were battle hardened after having fought in the Manchurian/Chinese campaign. Indications were the Japanese would attack Singapore across the Johor Strait. On January 31st 1942, the Allied forces withdraw across the causeway that separated Singapore from Malaya. Percival spread his men across the entire coastline of the island leaving himself too spread out. On February 8th, 1942, 23,000 Japanese soldiers attacked Singapore. The Japanese took 100,000 men prisoner in Singapore. 9,000 of these men died building the Burma-Thailand railway. The people of Singapore fared worse. 50,000 Chinese were slaughtered by the Japanese.
The Potsdam Conference> was held from, July 17 to August 2, at the suburb of Potsdam, outside Berlin in Germany. It was the last Allied conference of World War II. The participants of the Potsdam Conference included the Soviet Union, United Kingdom, and the United States. The representitives of the three Nations were, Communist Party General Secretary Joseph Stalin, Prime Minister Winston Churchill and later Clement Attlee, and President Harry S. Truman. During the Potsdam Conference, agreements were reached among the Allies on policies for occupied Germany.
The Phony War took place after the fall of Poland. Germany had paused to regroup during the winter of 1939-1940 til April 1940. The British and French decided to stay on the defensive. Because so little combat took place, it soon became known as the Phony War or the Sitzkrieg. Winston Churchill referred to it as the "Twilight War". During this time, the British Royal Air Force started dropping propaganda leaflets on Germany. These leaflet flights were often called "Bomphlet raids" or "Confetti War" in the British press.
Pearl Harbor, on the island of Oahu, had been used by the US Navy since the early part of the twentieth century. In April, 1940, the US Fleet had been sent to Pearl Harbor to deter aggressive moves by Japan in the Pacific. Tensions increased when in September, 1940, Japan and Germany signed the German-Japanese Pact. Allied secret services soon discovered that Joachim von Ribbentrop, the German foreign minister, had sent a telegram to Vyacheslav Molotov, the Soviet foreign minister, where he pointed out that the alliance was to be directed towards the United States and not the Soviet Union. "Its exclusive purpose is to bring the elements pressing for America's entry into the war to their senses by conclusively demonstrating to them if they enter the present struggle they will automatically have to deal with the three great powers as adversaries." In January 1941, the Commander in Chief of the Japanese Combined Fleet, Admiral Isoruku Yamamoto began planning for a surprise attack on the US Navy at Pearl Harbor. Yamamoto feared that he did not have the resources to win a long war against the United States. He therefore advocated a surprise attack that would destroy the US Fleet in one crushing blow. Yamamoto's plan was eventually agreed by the Japanese Imperial Staff in the autumn and the strike force under the command of Vice Admiral Chuichi Nagumo sailed from the Kurile Islands on 26th November, 1941. Richard Sorge, a German journalist working as a Soviet agent in Tokyo, discovered details of the plan for the attack on Pearl Harbor. However, this information does not seem to have been passed onto the United States. US Army intelligence. Harold Stark, Chief of Naval Operations, feared a Japanese attack on the US Fleet at Pearl Harbor but by the end of 1941 became convinced that the initial attack on the US Navy would come in the Far East. Military intelligence did intercept two cipher messages from Tokyo to Kichisaburo Normura, the Japanese Ambassador to the United States, that suggested an imminent attack, but Richmond Turner, in charge of evaluating and dissemination, did not pass on warnings of the proposed attack to Admiral Husband Kimmel. Nagumo's fleet was positioned 275 miles north of Oahu. On Sunday, 7th December, 1941, 105 high-level bombers, 135 dive-bombers and 81 fighter aircraft attacked the the US Fleet at Pearl Harbor. In their first attack the Japanese sunk the Arizona, Oklahoma, West Virginia and California. The second attack, launched 45 minutes later, hampered by smoke, created less damage. In two hours 18 warships, 188 aircraft and 2,403 servicemen were lost in the attack. Luckily, the navy's three aircraft carriers, Enterprise, Lexington and Saratoga, were all at sea at the time. The following day, President Franklin D. Roosevelt and a united US Congress declared war on Japan.
After the invasion of France, Hitler ordered his generals to plan the invasion of Britain. The invasion plan code name was "Operation Sealion". The plan was to land 160,000 German soldiers along a 45 mile stretch of south-east England. The Germans assembled a large sea force of vessels, which included 2,000 barges. However, Hitler's generals were worried about the British Royal Air Force could inflict major damage on the German Army during the invasion. Hitler agreed to postpone the invasion until the British airforce had been destroyed. August 12th: German airforce begins mass bomber attacks on British radar stations, aircraft factories and airfields. This was the beginning of "The Battle of Britain".
Joseph Stalin was of the opinion Germany would not invade the Soviet Union until Britain and France had been conquered. Stalin's thought Germany would invade in the summer of 1942. However, the surrender of France in June, 1940, changed Stalins opinion. Stalin's decided to send Vyacheslav Molotov to Berlin for stalling discussions. Stalin knew if Hitler did not attack the Soviet Union in summer of 41, he would be forced to wait until 1942. No one in their right would invade the Soviet Union in winter. Hitler ordered his Generals to prepare for "Operation Barbarossa". Hitler planed to invade the Soviet Union on 15th May, 1941. Hitler wrongely believed the German army would have won before the Soviet winter set in. Information on "Operation Barbarossa" came to Stalin from various sources. However, Hitler had been forced to postpone Operation Barbarossa for a few weeks. On 22st June, 1941, Germany invaded. The German forces were made up of three million men and 3,400 tanks. The first few months saw massive gains for the German army. However, winter was approaching. As German troops moved deeper into the Soviet Union, their supply lines became longer. Stalin gave instructions the Red Army should destroy anything that could be of use to the enemy as they withdrew. This was the "scorched earth policy". Soviet guerrilla units behind German front lines causing havic for the Germans who were starting to get bogged down. October, 1941: German troops were only fifteen miles outside Moscow. Stalin rallied morale by staying in Moscow. November, 1941: German Army launched a new offensive on Moscow, but failed. Stalin counter-attacked. The German army was taken by surprise and started to retreat. The Germans were pushed back 200 miles.
Dambusters in World War Two
February, 1943: British Royal Air Force plans attack on five hydroelectric dams for which the Ruhr industrial area depended. Royal Air Force decides to use a new bouncing bomb developed at the National Physics Laboratory in Teddington. For the raid to succeed, it would require precision bombing. The new bouncing bombs needed to be dropped from 60 feet, then skip into the dam face, roll down it to explode at a depth that would trigger a pressure fuse. The pilots needed to judge the release point by using Dual spotlights. The beams would converge vertically at 60 feet. 16th May, 1943: 18 Avro Lancasters, each carrying one bomb, set off. In all, it needed five attempts to breach the Moehne Dam. Theh he Edner Dam was attacked. Only 11 bombers survived the mission. Guy Gibson was awarded the Victoria Cross.
Battle for Okinawa
The Battle for Okinawa took place from from late March to June, 1945. It became the largest amphibious assault during World War Two of the Pacific campaigns. The Battle for Okinawa became known as the "Typhoon of Steel" in English, and "rain of steel" in Japan.
Empire of Japan
There were at least 150,000 civilians were killed during the battle for Okinawa. The initial part of the Allied attack was on neutralising the Japanese airfields. The land battle took place from April 1, 1945, over about 82 days. The United States went on to occupy Okinawa and set up the Government of the Ryukyu Islands.
Nuremberg War Crimes Trial
30 October 1943 : Churchill, Stalin, Roosevelt, issue declaration stating intent to prosecute individuals responsible for atrocities. 2 May 1945 : Robert Jackson appointed Chief Prosecutor. 23 May 1945 : Heinrich Himmler commits suicide. 8 August 1945 : The Four Powers meet in London to establish an International Military tribunal. 6 October 1945 : Robert H Jackson, Francois de Menthon, Hartley Shawcross, and R. Rudenko sign the "Charter of the International Military Tribunal." 6 October 1945 : Twenty Four individuals named in indictment signed in Berlin. 18 October 1945 : Indictments presented. 20 November 1945-1 October 1946 : Trials take place Nuremberg, Germany. 25 November 1945 : Robert Ley commits suicide. 30 September 1946-1 October 1946 : Sentences handed down. 12 prisoners sentenced to hang. 3 sentenced to life in prison. 4 given prison sentences from 10-20 years. 3 were acquitted. 30 September 1946 : 22 top Nazi leaders guilty of war crimes. 1 October 1946 : Twelve Nazi war criminals sentenced to be hanged. 16 October 1946 : Ten Nazi war criminals condemned during the Nuremberg trials were hanged.
Navajo Code Talkers
In 1942, Philip Johnson suggested that the U.S. Marines use the Navajo language as a secret code. Johnson had grown up on an Navajo Reservation. The Navajo language had complex syntax, tonal qualities and dialect. Navajo was not a written language. Less than 30 non-Navajos understood it. A Navajo code programme was established at Camp Pendleton at Oceanside, California. 29 Navajo Code Talkers were recruited. More than 450 frequently used military terms were given Navajo equivalents. About 400 Navajos agents were trained to use the code. From these, 300 were active in the field. Navajo Code Talkers were a part of every major Marine assault during the Second World War. Navajo soldiers were often at great risk from being shot in battle by their own side as they looked like Japanese, and often mistaken for one. The role of Navajo code breakers was kept a secret until 1968. In December, 1981, President Ronald Reagan awarded the Navajo Code Talkers with a Certificate of Appreciation. 29 Code Breakers received Congressional Gold Medals in 2001 and the rest received Silver Medals.
On August 9, 1945, a Trinity-type weapon of about 20 kilotons was exploded about 1,800 feet above Nagasaki. Nagasaki was chosen as a target because it was a major naval and shipbuilding center. The Nagasaki shipyards were the largest privately-owned shipyards in Japan. The original intended target was Kokura, however, cloud cover made it impossible to drop the bomb on Kokura. So the fallback target of Nagasaki was chosen instead. Within days Japan surrendered.
Levelled Area....6.7 million square meters
Damaged Houses :
Battle of Moscow
The Battle for Moscow occurred between October 1941 and January 1942. The germans considered Moscow a prime target in the war. They believed if they took Moscow, the rest of the Soviet Union would fall quickly. The original blitzkrieg invasion plan was called Operation Barbarossa. The Germans had planned to capture Moscow in three to four months. Despite initial advances, the Germans were soon slowed by Soviet resistance in the Battle for Moscow. The soviets used cheat and retreat tactics, delaying the Germans till the onset of winter. The Soviet army eventually stopped the German advance at the Mozhaisk defensive line, just 120 km (75 miles) from Moscow. As winter set in, the Soviet army stepped up there resistence. The extreme cold favoured the Soviets while the Germans struggled. On December 5, 1941, backed ny fresh Soviet Siberian troops, they went on the offensive. The German forces were overwhelmed and by January 1942, they had been driven back 100 to 250 km (60 to 150 miles). The battle for Moscow was also one of the largest during World War II. There was more then one million total casualties. The "Defense of Moscow" medal, created in 1944, for soldiers who took part in the battle. Moscow was awarded the title of "Hero City" in 1965, on the 20th anniversary of Victory Day.
Battle Of Midway
1942: Admiral Isoruku Yamamoto plans to capture US base on Midway Island. Yamamoto`s plan was to split the Combined Fleet into 8 task groups. 2 groups would make a diversionary attack on the Aleutian Islands. The other 6 of the fleet, would attack Midway. Howver, the US intelligence service had broken the Japanese communication code. Admiral Chester Nimitz assembled two task forces under Admiral Frank Fletcher and Rear Admiral Raymond Spruance. This included: the carriers Yorktown, Hornet and Enterprise, eight cruisers, and fifteen destroyers. These 2 task forces headed for Midway. 3rd June, 1942: 100 Japanese aircraft bombed Midway causing extensive damage. During rearming, the Japanese aircraft were attacked by carrier planes from Spruance's Task Force. The Yorktown and Enterprise arrived and attacked the Japanese ships, Akagi, Soryu, Kaga and Hirpu. The Japanese Navy lost all four aircraft carriers. Admiral Isoruku Yamamoto retreated.
Japanese invasion of Malaysia
At the start of the world war 11, Malayasia`s economy was strong. It`s output of tin and rubber meant it was of strategic importance. The Japanese commenced their invasion of Malaysia with the bombing of the beaches of Kota Bharu in Kelantan, and Singapore, on 8 December 1941. The invasion continued with little opposition as Commonwealth troops defending Malaya were expecting invasion by sea, not by land. On December 7, 1941 the Japanese arrived in the city of Kota Bahru in British Malaya (present day Malaysia). They arrived just a few hours before the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Within two months, the Japanese had conquered present day Peninsular Malaysia. Malaya was occupied for three and a half years by the Japanese. The occupation ended with the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945, only then for the country to be re-ocupied by British forces.
The Japanese landed on the north coast of Papua New Guinea at Gona, with a force of 1500 men on July 21, 1942. The Japanese required a forward base at Kokoda. This they would use for their drive over the ranges along the "Kokoda Trail" to Port Moresby. The Japanese plan was to cross the Owen Stanley Range. The Japanese would then attack and occupy Port Moresby. From here, the Japanese would have a staging post to attack Australia. Kokoda is a small plateau on the north-east slopes of the Owen Stanley Range. A small Australian force known as "Maroubra Force", arrived at Buna on July 21st, 1942. The first engagement between the Australian and Japanese troops was on the 23rd. The Australians were completely outnumbered and were forced to begin a long fighting withdrawal over the next two months. Howver, things changed when the Australians recieved 25-pounder guns brought from Moresby to Imita Ridge. Soon, the Japanese were on the run. The Japanese were finally completely beaten in November 1942. The Japanese General, on the Kokoda Trail, was drowned crossing a fast flowing river near Kokoda. The Australians had inflicted the first and only defeat, on land, of the Japanese
Battle for Kursk
The Battle for Kursk took place betwwen July 4, 1943 to August 23, 1943. The Battle for Kursk was called "Operation Zitadelle" by the Germans. The Soviets were aware of the German army plans to invade Kursk and were well prepared. They had knowledge of the German plans via their "Lucy" spy network in Germany, and from ULTRA codes intercepted by the British and passed on to the Soviets. The Soviets had concealed elaborate layered defense works, mine fields, and stage and disguise large reserve forces. The Battle for Kursk will be well remembered for being the largest clash of armor during World War Two. The battle for Kursk saw the end of the German offensive on the Eastern Front. It also marked the start of the great Soviet offensives of 1944 to 1945. A cathedral on the Field of Prokhorovka commemorates the Soviet victory in the Battle for Kursk.
Kamikaze, Japanese Suicide Bombers
Admiral Takijiro Onishi, created a Special Attack Groups of suicide dive-bombing pilots known as "kamikazes". These pilots wished to die for their country. The training for these pilots took just over a week. The first kamikaze attacks took place in the battle for the Philippines in 1944. The Kamikaze pilot aimed his plane at the central elevator on carriers, and the base of the bridge on large warships. April 1945: Operation Ten-Go : Kamikaze pilots under Admiral Soema Toyoda launched 1,400 suicide missions. 26 ships were sunk during this campaign. More than 2,000 kamikaze missions were flown against the US fleet at Okinawa between April to July, 1945. Admiral Takijiro Onishi, committed suicide on news of Japans surrender.
Bombing Of Hamburg During World War Two
During World War Two, Hamburg became a major target of the British Royal Air Force. From, 1940 to 1945, the RAF carried out 187 air raids on Hamburg. The heaviest raids were carried out in July and August 1943. During these raids, firestorms caused the deaths of 50,000 people. Over a million people fled Hamburg.
7th August, 1942: General Alexander Vandegrift and 19,000 US Marines landed on Guadalcanal, Gavutu and Tulagi. For the first time in World War Two, the Navajo Code Talking was used. A Japanese garrison of 4,000 held out for 2 days on Tulagi. On Guadalcanal, the US Marines were able to stay and build the Henderson Field airstrip. During this, US Marines withstood continuous attacks from the Japanese. 20,000 Japanese soldiers landed on Guadalcanal for a renewed offensive at Matanikau River on 23rd, October. During battles at Santa Cruz Islands, 26th-27th October, the Hornet was sunk and the Enterprise damaged. Admiral William Halsey took control 12th-13th November, and sunk two Japanese battleships, two destroyers and six transport ships. The U.S. lost two cruisers and four destroyers. The Japanese Army lost more than 25,000 men.
The French Resistance refers to the collective French resistance movements which fought against the Nazi German occupation of France and the collaborationist Vichy regime during World War II. Marshal Henri-Philippe Petain signed an armistice with Germany on 22nd June. The agreement divided France into occupied and unoccupied zones. The Germans would control three-fifths of the country. The remaining section administered by the French government at Vichy under Petain. Provisions of the armistice included:
The French Army disbanded.
1.5 million French soldiers captured were to remain prisoners of war.
The French Government instructed its citizens not to fight against the Germans.
France had to pay the occupation costs of the German troops. General Charles De Gaulle escaped to England. A group of scientists and lawyers published a clandestine newspaper calling on the French people to resist German occupation. Escaped soldiers from the French Army fled to the forests. Eventually they joined together to form the Maquis. It began to organize attacks on German forces. They also helped downed Allied airman. The Communist Party established the resistance group, Front National. Three important French resistance leaders, Jean Moulin, Jean-Pierre Lévy and Emmanuel d'Astier, emerged in France. Other French resistance groups, including, Francs-Tireur and Liberation-sud formed. General Charles De Gaulle wanted to unite these French resistance groups under his leadership. Jean Moulin, was sent back to France to unite the various groups. Jean Moulin persuaded the eight major French resistance groups to form the Conseil National de la Resistance (CNR). During D-day landings in June, 1944, the Maquis and other resistance rose up to help. The resistance groups was able to slow down the 2nd SS Panzer Division from getting to the Normandy beaches. After the war General Dwight D. Eisenhower wrote: "Throughout France the Resistance had been of inestimable value in the campaign. Without their great assistance the liberation of France would have consumed a much longer time and meant greater losses to ourselves."
The Enigma machine was invented by Albert Scherbius. The Enigma was originally patented commercial product. The Enigma offered more than 712 million possible key combinations. The inventor of Enigma tried to sell his machine to large corporations. In 1935, the Nazi navy bought the rights and restricted the sale to the army. The Enigma was a cipher machine that was used by the German Forces during WW11, to encrypt messages sent by radio. The Germans thought that the Enigma was so secure that even the capture of a machine by the Allies was not considered serious. May 9, 1941: As the German submarine U-110 sunk, the crew abandonned ship. The ship was captured by British destructor HMS Aubretia. The British boarded the Sub, and succeeded in capturing an Enigma machine. They also captured the books containing the planned settings for the rotors. The center of the British codebreaking effort was based at Bletchley Park. Several machines called "Turing bombes" were constructed to test and reduce the number of possible keys for each message before decryption. Various types of Enigma machines were used by the Italians and Japanese.
Japanese Invasion Of Burma
11th December, 1941: Japanese army of 35,000 soldiers invaded Burma. At the time, Burma was defended by a few units of the British Army. March 1942: General William Slim given command of Allied troops in Burma. Joined by two Chinese armies. 2nd May, 1942: Allied commander in Burma, ordered a general retreat to India. 1943: General Slim makes failed attempt to recapture Akyab. Lord Mountbatten becomes head of Southeast Asia Command. March 1944: Successfull defence of Assam against Japanese Army. 24th February, 1944: Major General Frank Merrill attack 18th Japanese Division in Burma. General Joseph Stilwell gained control of Hakawing Valley. 5th March, 1944: Operation Thursday was launched. Chindits destroyed Japanese roads, railways, bridges and convoys. Myitkyina was taken on 3rd August, 1944. Wanting taken in January, 1945. Meiktila on 4th March. Then Lashio. 3rd May, 1945: Operation Dracula began. Rangoon was taken on 6th May 1945.
Tokyo World War Two
The first bombing raids on Tokyo began in late 1944. B-29 Stratafortress heavy bombers operated from bases in the Mariana Islands in their raids on Tokyo. After the capture of Iwo Jima, the U.S. increased its bombing of Tokyo. "Firestorms" (Incendiary bombs, filled with highly combustible chemicals, were dropped in clusters over a specific target. After the area caught fire, the air above become extremely hot and rose rapidly. Cold air rushed in at ground level, and people were sucked into the fire), were used by the U.S. on Tokyo. 9th - 10th March, 1945, raids on Tokyo almost destroyed the city.
Belgium World War Two
On May 10, 1940, Belgium was invaded by Germany. The Germans moved fast and by May 28, Belgium had surrendered. General Alexander von Falkenhausen became the military governor. It was not until 1944 that the liberation of Belgium by Allied forces started. In September 1944, the British 2nd Army seized Antwerp. Belgium was finally liberated in 1945. At the beginning of World War Two, Belgium had a policy of neutrality. But eventually Leopold declared Belgium for the Allies. Howver it was too late to stop the Germans.
Berlin the Final Days
On April 16, 1945, Stalin ammassed 20 armies, 6,300 tanks and 8,500 aircraft to capture Berlin.
Under an earlier agreement, the Allied armies halted their advance on the city.
Initially, the weakened German forces repelled the Russians.
But soon were overcome by the Russians.
By April 24 the Soviet army surrounded the city.
Fighting went "street to street", and "house to house".
Russian troops moved towards Hitler's chancellery in the city's center. Hitler forced 13 to 16 year old boys to be accepted into the SS and die for Berlin.
Any boys who were found hiding were hanged as traitors by the SS.
Dead boys bodies were hung up on trees and lamp posts. Hitler ordered Berlin to be destroyed. Hitler's last act of brutality was having his SS troops blow up a German damn and drown thousands. On April 30, Hitler transferred all power to his second-in-command.
Hitler gave poison to his wife an dog.
He should shot himself dead. On May 7, German forces surrendered to the Allied Powers unconditionally.
On May 8, Germany surrendered to the Soviet Union.
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