World War II
World War II took place during 1939-1945. This war killed more people, disrupted more lives, destroyed more property, and had more far reaching consequences than any other war in history.
It began on September 1,1939, when Poland was invaded by Germany. Adolf Hitler, Germany's dictator, had built Germany into a powerful war machine. This machine quickly crushed Poland, Denmark, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Belgium, Norway, and France. By June 1940, Great Britain stood alone against Hitler. Also in June Italy joined the war on Germany's side. The fighting then spread to Greece and the Soviet Union.
The United States entered the war on December 7, 1941 when the Japanese attacked U.S. Pacific Fleet that was stationed in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The attack was an initial success for the Japanese. In the aftermath it caused the United States, Canada and Great Britain to declare war on Japan, on December 8, 1941. On December 11, Germany and Italy declared war on the U.S.
The war raged on for three years with heavy losses for both the Allies and the Axis powers. On June 6, 1944, the Invasion of Normandy, France (D-Day) began. D-Day was the largest military operation that has ever been executed. The invasion was a huge success and for many months the Allies forced the Axis powers back to Germany. The Soviet Army surrounded the city, but Hitler ordered the German Army to fight on. A surprising event occurred on April 30,1945 when Adolf Hitler committed suicide. Finally on May 7th the Germans surrendered to General Dwight Eisenhower.
The war in the Pacific was mainly fought against Japan. After Pearl Harbor the Japanese captured most of Southeast Asia and a large majority of the islands in the Pacific. Early on the Japanese dominated the Allied forces. After the Battle of Midway things began to get better for the Allies. The Allied forces defeated the Japanese in many battles in the South Pacific, and recaptured the islands of Guam, Saipan, and Tinian. The Allies liberated the Phillipines which took General Macarthur two and a half years to get back. Once the islands, were captured, they began to close in on Japan. On August 7, 1945 President Harry Truman ordered the dropping of the Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima. When the Japanese failed to respond, they dropped a larger bomb on Nagasaki. The Japanese then surrendered, ending World War II.
The picture shows General Douglas MacArthur
at the official surrender of the Japanese in August
The soldiers traveling The Battan Death March.
Shown above are US Marines just after landing in
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