2 Prelude to The War Nov. 11, 1918: World War I ends. Jan. 16, : league of nations is founded (precursor of the U.N.), Stalin rises to power in Russia, Mussolini takes power in Italy, U.S. Stock Market crashes and Great Depression begins.Sep. 18, : Japan invades Manchuria, F.D.R. elected president, Hitler becomes Fuhrer of Germany under the Nazi party, creating a fascists totalitarian government.Oct. 3, 1935: Italy invades Abyssinia.Mar. 7, 1936: Hitler occupies the Rhineland in an attempt to bring the Arian Race to power and create a Third Reich, or Kingdom, centered in Germany .Jul Japan invades China, Germany annexes Austria, Munich pact, Germany occupies the Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia and agrees to stop taking land on threat of war from England and France.Nov. 9, 1938: “Kristallnacht” or The Night of Breaking Glass.
3 Prelude to The War (II)May 22, Nazi Germany and Italy sign “Pact of Steel”Aug. 23, 1939 Germany and Soviet Union sign Non-Aggression pact.
4 The War BeginsOn September 1st of 1939, Nazi Germany invades Poland, crossing the agreed to line in the Munich conference. The Nazi forces attack in a blitzkrieg (lighting war) and soon have Poland.Immediate following the attack France and England join forces and declare war on Germany.
5 U.S. Maintains Neutrality When the war begins the U.S. reaffirms its Neutrality however in November of 1939 F.D.R. institutes the “cash and carry” policy to aid the allies.
6 Quick VictoriesIn the months to come Hitler’s troops will take Norway, Denmark, Holland, Luxembourg, Belgium, and in the end occupy France.These victories leave Britain to stand alone against the Nazi army.In May of 1940 an aging Neville Chamberlain steps down from his position as Prime Minister of Great Britain, largely for the mistake of letting Hitler occupy the Studentenland, he is succeeded by Winston Churchill.From May 26- June 4th 1940 the allies lose the battle for France culminating at Dunkirk. They proceeded to retreat across the English Channel using more than 860 ships, most private yachts, smaller boats and the like, to safely carry the men back to England.
7 The Battle of BritainHitler now controlled the land from Russia to the coast of France, and his eyes turned to the last opposing power, Britain.From July 10th through October 31st 1940 the Luftwaffe (the German air force) bombarded Britain with wave after wave of bombers to destroy London and other major cities.However the R.A.F. (Royal Air Force) soon gains the upper hand and Hitler abandons his dreams of taking England.
8 Japan joins the Axis of Power In September of 1940 Japan signs the Tripartite Pact and officially becomes part of the Axis of Power along with Nazi Germany and Italy.Due to this latest development the U.S. imposes a trade embargo on Japan, cutting off any war supplies to the string of islands.In March of 1941 the U.S. passed the Lend-Lease Act, at this point their support of the allies is apparent and Japan begins to formulate its plan to attack.Soon after the Axis of Power takes Yugoslavia and Greece.
9 The War in AfricaOne of Hitler's next steps in creating a Third Reich is to take Africa, and he has left Erwin Rommel (a.k.a. “The Desert Fox”) to lead his panzer division the Afrika Korps to do so.However Rommel’s progress is halted by a band of Australian troops in the port city of Tobruk.
10 Six Months and Four Major Events In June of 1941 Hitler orders a blitzkrieg attack on Russia breaking the Non-Aggression Pact. His progress in the country is halted at Stalingrad, this will be one of the last major advances made by the Nazis for the remainder of the warOct. 1941: Auschwitz work camp and Birkenau death camp open in Poland.“Dec. 7th, 1941, a date which will live in infamy, the United States was suddenly and deliberately attacked by the empire of Japan.” – Franklin Delano Roosevelt after the attack on Pearl Harbor.Dec. 8th, 1941: the U.S. declares war on the Axis Powers.
11 1942Mar 18th 1942: Japanese-American concentration camps open in the U.S.Apr 9th 1942: The U.S. surrender to Japanese at Bataan.Jun. 4th 1942: Japanese attempt a surprise attack on Midway, however they lose the battle (due to a failed desalination pump). This is considered one of the greatest naval victories in history.Aug. 7th 1942: American marines invade the island of Guadalcanal to take a Japanese airbase.British troops defeat Rommel at El Almein Egypt.Nov 8th 1942: Operation Torch first American assault of the war, used as a pincer mover to corner Rommel’s troops and end the African front.
12 1943Jan. 12th 1943: the Nazi Troops are finally driven out of Stalingrad.Jul 10th 1943: Allied invasion of Sicily.Nov. 20th 1943: American troops invade Island of Tarawa and lose 2500 marines to take the well fortified island Japanese soldiers die and only 17 are taken captive.Dec. 12th 1943: the race has begun for the most destructive weapon of all time, the atom bomb.
13 D-Day: the Invasion of Normandy Operation Overlord, commonly known as D-day, was the code name given to the allied invasion of Normandy France which took place on June 6th 1944.During the early hours of the morning planes dropped allied paratroopers, including the 101st airborne, behind enemy lines. On the morning of the 6th the coast of France was assaulted by allied soldiers. most made little enemy contact for several miles inland however Utah and Omaha beaches suffered heavy causalities.The mission was a success and was hoped to end of the war by Christmas.
14 Operation MARKET-GARDEN A bold assault using the 101st Airborne, and once again dropping them behind enemy lines to seize key bridges in Holland for a straight shot to Germany.Needless to say it failed and cost 5,000 paratroopers their lives.
15 Battle of Leyte GulfOctober 23rd-26th 1944: General Macarthur returns to the Philippines to drive out the Japanese as he promised when his men were forced to retreat at the battle of Bataan.The Japanese lose 4 aircraft carriers, 3 battleships, 6 cruisers, and 14 destroyers and ultimately lose the battle.This is the first wide usage of the Kamikaze (meaning the divine wind) suicide attacks by the Japanese.
16 The Battle of the BulgeDec. 16th Jan. 28th 1945: After six months of driving the Nazis back, the allies find them selves stuck against stiff resistance and heavy artillery. The 101 becomes cut off in the woods just out side of the town of Bastogne.With little ammo, food, clothing, and men, the paratroopers hold out for a month.The paratroopers where rescued by General Patton, however to this day none of them will ever admit they needed to be rescued.Their stint in the forest earned them the name “The Battered Bastards of Bastogne.”
17 Jan 26th the end.Jan. 26th 1945: Auschwitz work camp and Birkenau death camp are liberated.Feb.19th 1945: the Battle of Iwo Jima.Apr 12th 1945: F.D.R. dies.May 8th 1945: Hitler commits suicide with wife and dog in a stronghold under bombardment from Russian forces. V-E day (Victory in Europe Day.)Aug. 6th 1945: The U.S. drops the Atomic bombs Fat Man, and Little Boy, on Japan in the cities of Hiroshima, and three days later Nagasaki, for the failure to send peace terms.Aug 14th 1945: V-J Day (Victory in Japan) this signals the end of the greatest and bloodiest war the world has ever seen, and the end of “civilized combat.”Ushering in the atomic age and the Cold War.