Battles of WWII
The Battles of WWII, from beginning to end, hope u have fun reading, we sure did. ^^
The Battle of Poland: WWII officially begun on September 1st of 1939. This happened when the German army (Wehrmacht) invaded the country of Poland. The Germans had claimed for many years that part of northern Poland was rightfully theirs. This battle was very important because it demonstrated the German Blitzkrieg strategy. This fast moving attack called Blitzkrieg, destroyed Poland in two weeks. German Stuka bombers and light tanks terrorized the Poles until they surrendered. This ignited the declaration of war by France and Britain.
Operation Weserübung: Operation Weserübung was the German codename for Nazi Germany's assault on Denmark and Norway during World War II. On April 9, 1940 Nazi Germany invaded Denmark and Norway simultaneously. The Danish and the Norwegians surrendered a few hours later.
Battle of the Netherlands: The Battle of the Netherlands was part of Case Yellow, the German invasion of the Low Countries (Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands) and France during World War II. The battle lasted from May 10, 1940 until May 17, 1940, during which Nazi Germany conquered and occupied the Netherlands. The battle ended after the devastating bombing of Rotterdam by the Luftwaffe and the subsequent decision of the Dutch military to surrender to prevent other cities from suffering the same fate.
Attack on the Low Countries: The Low Countries--Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands--hoped to remain neutral after World War II began. However, Germany launched a blitzkrieg against them on May 10, 1940. The Low Countries immediately requested Allied help. But Luxembourg surrendered in one day, and the Netherlands in five days. British and French forces rushed into Belgium and fell into a German trap. As the Allied forces raced northward, the main German invasion cut behind them through the Belgian Ardennes Forest to the south. The Germans reached the English Channel on May 21. King Leopold III of Belgium surrendered on May 28, 1940.
Battle of France: In World War II, the Battle of France, also known as the Fall of France, was the German invasion of France, executed 10 May 1940, which ended the Phony War. German armored units pushed through the Ardennes, outmaneuvered the Maginot Line and unhinged the Allied defenders. Paris was occupied and the French government fled to Bordeaux. France was divided into a German occupation zone in the north and west, a small Italian occupation zone in the southeast and a collaborationist government in the south, Vichy France.
The Battle of the Atlantic: Was the longest continuous military campaign of World War II, running from 1939 right through to the defeat of Nazi Germany in 1945, and was at its height from mid-1940 through to about the end of 1943. The campaign pitted the German Navy’s surface raiders and U-boats against Allied convoys from North America and the South Atlantic to the United Kingdom and Russia, protected mainly by the British and Canadian navies and air forces, later aided by United States ships and aircraft. The German U-boats were joined by Italian submarines after Italy entered the war in June 1940.
The name ‘Battle of the Atlantic’, first coined by Winston Churchill in 1941, is a partial misnomer for a campaign that began on the first day of the European war and lasted for six years, involved thousands of ships and stretched over hundreds of miles of the vast ocean and seas in a succession of more than 100 convoy battles and perhaps 1,000 single-ship encounters. Tactical advantage switched back and forth over the next six years as new weapons, tactics and counter-measures were developed by both sides. The British and their allies gradually gained the upper hand, driving the German surface raiders from the ocean by the middle of 1941 and decisively defeating the U-boats in a series of convoy battles between March and May 1943. Promising new German submarines arrived in 1945, too late to affect the course of the war.
Battle of Britain: The German bomber attack began in July of 1940, when the Luftwaffe sent 485 bombers and 1000 fighter plane missions across the English Channel. The British installed brand-new technology which helped them find out about the German planes. Winston Churchill calculated that British factories could build planes faster than Germany was able to shoot them down. With this new technology, called radar, pilots could detect German planes and anticipate where they were and could defend themselves. This virtually won the battle of Britain. The battle ended when Hitler called off the attack on Great Britain.
Pearl Harbor: The United States imposed an oil embargo on Imperial Japan, as a form of retaliation they secretly decided to wage war on the U.S; on December 7th in 1941 the Japanese commenced a surprise air strike on Pearl Harbor. The Americans knew that the Japanese were coming because they had radar; however, poor management led them to believe that these were American planes arriving from California. The Japanese used the element of surprise to overtake Pearl Harbor a U.S naval base in Hawaii, they destroyed 18 of the 96 American ships anchored at Pearl Harbor, including 8 battle ships; 4600 men were killed or wounded. This attack provoked the Americans to declare war on the Japanese.
Doolittle Raid: The Doolittle Raid was a short air strike on Japan on April 12, 1942. This was to boost the morale of the American people. This caused virtually no physical damage, but caused panic to the Japanese public because the government promised their homeland would not be attacked.
Battle of the Coral Sea: The Battle of the Coral Sea, fought between the 4th and 8th of May, with most of the fighting happening on the 7th and 8th of May, 1942, was the first fleet action in which aircraft carriers engaged each other, and the first naval battle in human history in which neither side's ships sighted or fired directly upon the other. The battle is considered a tactical victory for Japan since the aircraft carrier USS Lexington was lost, while Japan only lost a light carrier in the battle. Coral Sea was a strategic victory for the Allies as the Japanese abandoned their attempt to land troops to take Port Moresby, New Guinea. The engagement ended with no clear victor, but the damage suffered and experience gained by both sides set the stage for the Battle of Midway one month later.
Battle of Stalingrad: The Battle of Stalingrad was a battle between Germany and its allies and the Soviet Union for the Soviet city of Stalingrad that took place between August 21, 1942 and February 2, 1943. It was the turning point of World War II in Europe and was arguably the bloodiest battle in human history, with combined casualties estimated above 1.5 million. The battle is taken to include the German siege of the southern Russian city of Stalingrad (now Volgograd), the battle inside the city, and the Soviet counter-offensive which eventually trapped and destroyed the German Sixth Army and other Axis forces around the city.
As a result of the battle, the Axis powers suffered roughly 850,000 casualties (one-quarter of their strength on the Eastern Front), and lost a huge amount of supplies and equipment. The Axis forces were never able to fully recover from this loss and were eventually forced into a long retreat out of Eastern Europe. Generalfeldmarschall Friedrich Paulus disobeyed Hitler and surrendered.
Battle of Midway: The Battle of Midway was a pivotal naval battle. It took place from June 4 to June 7, 1942. During the battle, the United States Navy defeated a Japanese attack against Midway Atoll (located northwest of Hawaii) and destroyed four Japanese aircraft carriers and a heavy cruiser while losing a carrier and a destroyer.
The battle was a crushing defeat for the Japanese and is widely regarded as the most important naval battle of World War II. The battle permanently weakened the Japanese Navy, particularly through the loss of over 200 naval aviators. Strategically, the U.S. Navy was able to seize the initiative in the Pacific and go on the offensive.
The Japanese plan of attack, which included a secondary attack against the Aleutian Islands, was to lure America's few remaining carriers into a trap and sink them. The Japanese also intended to occupy Midway Atoll to extend Japan's defensive perimeter farther from its home islands. This operation was considered preparatory for further attacks against Fiji and Samoa, as well as the invasion of Hawaii.
The Battle of the Aleutian Islands: The Battle of the Aleutian Islands was a struggle over the Aleutian Islands, part of Alaska, in the Pacific campaign of World War II from June 6, 1942 – August 15, 1943. A small Japanese force occupied the islands of Attu and Kiska but the remoteness of the islands and the difficulties of weather and terrain meant that it took nearly a year for a large U.S. force to eject them. The islands had very little strategic value for either side, but control of the Aleutians would prevent a possible U.S. attack across the Northern Pacific. Similarly, the U.S. feared that the islands would be used as bases from which to launch aerial assaults against the West Coast, and it became a matter of national pride to expel the first invaders to set foot on American soil since the War of 1812. But Japan lacked both a long-range bomber and the resources to establish and operate an air base in the Aleutians.
The Battle of Guadalcanal: The Battle of Guadalcanal , also known as the Guadalcanal Campaign , was fought between August 7, 1942 and February 7, 1943 in the Pacific theatre of World War II. This campaign, fought on the ground, at sea, and in the air, pitted Allied forces against Imperial Japanese forces, and was a decisive, strategically significant campaign of World War II. The fighting took place on and around the island of Guadalcanal in the southern Solomon Islands and was the first major offensive launched by Allied forces against the Empire of Japan.
The Guadalcanal campaign marked the first significant strategic combined arms victory by Allied forces over Japanese forces in the Pacific theatre. For this reason, the Guadalcanal campaign is often referred to as a "turning point" in the war. The campaign marked the beginning of the transition by Allied forces from defensive operations to the strategic offensive while the forces of Japan were thereafter forced to cease strategic offensive operations and instead concentrate on strategic defense, culminating in the ultimate defeat of Japan and the end of World War II.
Operation Torch: Operation Torch (initially called Operation Gymnast) was the British-American invasion of French North Africa in World War II during the North African Campaign, started November 8, 1942.
The Soviet Union had pressed the United States and Britain to start operations in Europe, and open a second front to reduce the pressure of German forces on the Russian troops. While the American commanders favored Operation Sledgehammer, landing in Occupied Europe as soon as possible, the British commanders believed that such a course would end in disaster. An attack on French North Africa was proposed instead, which would clear the Axis from North Africa, improve naval control of the Mediterranean and prepare an invasion of Southern Europe in 1943. American President Roosevelt suspected the African operation would rule out an invasion of Europe in 1943 but agreed to support Churchill.
Battle of Kursk:
The Battle of Kursk or Kursk Campaign also called Unternehmen Zitadelle by the German Army (Operation Citadel in English), was fought from July 4, 1943 to July 20, 1943. Having good intelligence on Hitler's intentions, the Soviets established and managed to conceal elaborate layered defense works, mine fields, and stage and disguise large reserve forces poised for a tactical and strategic counterattack end game typical of defensive battle plans. Overall, the campaign, which included the famous sub-battle at Prokhorovka, remains the largest armored engagement of all time, and included the most costly single day of aerial warfare in history. The Germans saw the Battle of Kursk as Operation Zitadelle only; the Soviets saw Zitadelle as the defensive phase of the battle, followed by Operation Kutuzov and Operation Polkovodets Rumyantsev as an offensive phase.
Though the Germans planned and initiated an offensive strike, the well-planned Soviet defense not only managed to frustrate their ambitions but also enabled the Soviets to follow up the successful defense with counteroffensives—Operation Kutuzov and Operation Polkovodets Rumyantsev—and exhausted the German abilities in the theater. The subsequent counterattacks retook Oryol (August 5), Belgorod (August 5) and Kharkov (August 23), pushing back the Germans across a broad front, the first successful major Soviet summer offensive of the War.
(Allied invasion of Sicily): The Allied invasion of Sicily began on the night of the July 9-10, 1943, and ended August 17 in an Allied victory. The invasion of the island was codenamed Operation Husky and it launched the Italian Campaign.
Husky was the largest amphibious operation of World War II in terms of men landed on the beaches and of frontage. Strategically, the Sicilian operation achieved the goals set out for it by Allied planners. Axis air and naval forces were driven from the island; the Mediterranean Sea lanes were opened and Mussolini had been toppled from power. It opened the way to the Allied invasion of Italy, which had not necessarily been seen as a follow-up to Husky.
The Battle of Tarawa: The Battle of Tarawa was a battle in the Pacific Theatre of World War II, largely fought from November 20-23, 1943. It was the second time the United States was on the offensive (the Battle of Guadalcanal had been the first), and the first offensive in the critical central Pacific region. It was also the first time in the war that the United States faced serious Japanese opposition to a US amphibious landing. Previous landings met little or no initial resistance; Tarawa was to be different. The 4500 Japanese defenders were well-supplied and well-prepared; they fought almost to the last man, exacting a heavy toll on the American Marines.
Operation Overlord/The Battle of Normandy: The Battle of Normandy was fought between June 6th, 1944 and August 24th, 1944. The Normandy invasion, codenamed Operation Overlord, was the largest sea borne invasion in history, involving almost three million troops crossing the English Channel from England to Normandy in the then German-occupied France. It is most commonly known by the name D-Day. The primary Allied formations that saw combat in Normandy came from the United States of America, United Kingdom and Canada. The invasion began with overnight parachute and glider landings, air attacks, naval bombardments. The early morning amphibious phase began on June 6. The “D-Day” forces deployed from bases along the south coast of England. This battle continued for more than two months and concluded with the liberation of Paris and the fall of the Falaise pocket in late August 1944. The Allies lost 57,200 men and 173,000 were wounded or missing. Germany lost 23,019 men, 67,060 were wounded and 198,616 were missing & captured.
The Battle of Saipan: The Battle of Saipan was a battle fought on the island of Saipan in the Mariana Islands from the 15th of June in 1944 to the 9th of July in 1944. The American 2nd and 4th Marine Divisions and 27th Infantry Division, commanded by Lieutenant General Holland Smith defeated the 43rd Division of the Imperial Japanese Army commanded by Lieutenant General Yoshitsugu Saito. 3,426 Allied soldiers were killed and 13,160 were wounded. 24,000 Japanese soldiers were killed, around 5000 committed suicide and 921 were taken as prisoners.
The Battle of the Philippine Sea: The Battle of the Philippine Sea, also known as the First Battle of the Philippine Sea, was an air-sea battle of the Pacific campaign of World War II fought between the U.S. Navy and the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) on 19 and June 20, 1944, off the Mariana Islands. The action was a disaster for the Japanese forces, who lost almost all of their carrier-borne aircraft and a third of the carriers involved in the battle. After the battle, the aircraft carrier force of the IJN was no longer militarily effective.
Battle of Leyte Gulf: The Battle of Leyte Gulf, also known as the Second Battle of the Philippine Sea, was the largest naval battle in modern history. It was in the seas surrounding the Philippine island of Leyte from 23 October to 26 October 1944 between the Allies and the Empire of Japan. The Allied navies inflicted a serious defeat on the outnumbered Imperial Japanese Navy. The battle was the last major naval engagement of World War II. The "Battle" of Leyte Gulf was actually a campaign consisting of four interrelated battles: the Battle of the Sibuyan Sea, the Battle of Surigao Strait, the Battle of Cape Engaño and the Battle of Samar. The Allies suffered from a loss of 3,500 dead; 1 aircraft carrier, 2 escort carriers, 2 destroyers and 1 destroyer escort was sunk. The Japanese lost 10,000 men; 4 aircraft carriers, 3 battleships, 8 cruisers and 12 destroyers were sunk.
Battle of the Bulge: The Ardennes Offensive (called Unternehmen: Wacht am Rhein (Watch on the Rhine) by the German military and officially named the Battle of the Ardennes by the U.S. Army (and known to the general public as the Battle of the Bulge), started on December 16, 1944 and ended on January 25, 1945. Wacht am Rhein was supported by smaller operations known as Bodenplatte, Greif, and Wahrung. The Ardennes attack was planned in total secrecy in almost total radio silence. Allied intelligence failed completely to detect the upcoming offensive. Most of the American casualties occurred within the first three days of battle, when two of the 106th Division’s three regiments were forced to surrender. In spite of the lack of intelligence the Allies were victorious, and the Germans had begun to run out of supplies.
Battle of Iwo Jima: The Battle of Iwo Jima was fought by the United States of America and Japan in February and March 1945. The U.S. invasion, known as Operation Detachment, was aimed at capturing the airfields on Iwo Jima. The battle was marked by some of the fiercest fighting of the campaign. The Imperial Japanese Army positions on the island were heavily fortified, with vast bunkers, hidden artillery, and over 11 miles of tunnels. Iwo Jima was the first American attack on the Japanese Home Islands, and the Imperial soldiers defended their positions tenaciously; of the 22,000 Japanese soldiers present at the beginning of the battle, 20,000 were killed and only 216 taken prisoner.
Battle of Okinawa: The Battle of Okinawa, fought on the Japanese island of Okinawa, was the largest amphibious assault during the Pacific campaigns of World War II. It was fought from April 1, 1945 - June 21, 1945. The battle has been referred to as the "Typhoon of Steel" in English, and tetsu no ame ("rain of steel") or tetsu no bofu ("violent wind of steel") in Japanese. The nicknames refer to the ferocity of the fighting, the intensity of gunfire involved, and sheer numbers of Allied ships and armoured vehicles that assaulted the island. Okinawa had a large civilian population, of whom at least 150,000 were killed during the battle, while the Japanese army attempted to defend the island they had invaded centuries earlier.