Events of WWII

D-Day

D-day; codenamed Operation Overload, took place on June 6,1944 during WWII. This invasion involved over 156,000 British, American, and Canadian forces landing on a 50-mile stretch of a heavily secured coast of France's Normady Region.  The first day of the invasion, shortly after midnight, three divisions parachuted down behind German lines. They were then followed in the early hours by thousands of seaborne soldiers.  This was the largest land-sea-air operation in army history.

Pearl Harbor

The attack on Pearl Harbor was a surprise military strike conducted by the Imperial Japanese Navy against the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on the morning of December 7, 1941 (December 8 in Japan). The attack led to the United States; entry into World War II. The attack was intended as a preventive action in order to keep the U.S. Pacific Fleet from interfering with military actions the Empire of Japan was planning in Southeast Asia against overseas territories of the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and the United States. The base was attacked by 353 Japanese fighters, bombers and torpedo planes in two waves, launched from six aircraft carriers. The following day (December 8), the United States declared war on Japan. Clandestine support of Britain (for example the Neutrality Patrol) was replaced by active alliance. Subsequent operations by the U.S. prompted Germany and Italy to declare war on the U.S. on December 11, which was reciprocated by the U.S. the same day.

Stalingrad

The Battle of Stalingrad (August 23, 1942 – February 2, 1943) was the major battle of World War II in which Nazi Germany and its allies fought the Soviet Union for control of the city of Stalingrad in the southwestern Soviet Union. Marked by constant close quarters combat and disregard for military and civilian casualties by both sides, it is among the bloodiest battles in the history of warfare. The German offensive to capture Stalingrad began in late summer 1942 using the 6th army and elements of the 4th Panzer Army. The attack was supported by intensive Luftwaffe bombing that reduced much of the city to rubble. On 19 November 1942, the Red Army launched Operation Uranus, a two-pronged attack targeting the weaker Romanian and Hungarian forces protecting the German 6th Army's flanks. By the beginning of February 1943, the Axis forces in Stalingrad had exhausted their ammunition and food. The remaining elements of the 6th Army surrendered. The battle lasted five months, one week, and three days.

Flying Tigers

The first American Volunteer Group (AVG) of the Chinese Air force in 1941-1942. This group was composed of pilots from the United States Army, Navy, and Marines Corps. They recruited under presidential authority and commanded by Claire Lee Chennault. The ground crew and headquarters staff were also mostly recruited from the U.S. military, along with some civilians. The Flying Tigers were known for their ironic faces drawn on the front of their planes. Their original purpose was to aid the Chinese in theater against the Japanese, but didn't go into combat until after Pearl Harbor.


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Rationing

America experienced rationing for the first time in World War II. Some products that were rationed during World War II were sugar, meat, coffee, typewriters, fuel oil, gasoline, rubber, and automobiles. Food rationing probably affected most Americans the most. Each American was issued a book of ration coupons each month. Rationed goods were assigned a price and point value. Families were not restricted to certain quantities of rationed goods. But once their coupons were used up, they could not buy rationed goods until the next month. Families were encouraged to plant victory gardens. These gardens supplied a major part of the vegetable supply during the War. Rubber and gas were the most vital product rationed. Limited fuel supplies during the war affected America in many ways. Gas rationing was done differently than food rationing. Car owners had to register and were given windshield sticker based on how the car or other vehicle was used. Pleasure driving was prohibited. The government decided to launch a propoganda campaign to sell the importance of the war effort and to lure women into working. They promoted the fictional character of “Rosie the Riveter” as the ideal woman worker: loyal, efficient, patriotic, and pretty.

Winston Churchill

Though not at first seeing the threat that Adolph Hitler posed when he rose to power in 1933, Churchill gradually became a leading advocate for British rearmament. By 1938, as Germany began controlling its neighbors, Churchill had become a staunch critic of British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain's policy of appeasement toward the Nazis. On September 3, 1939, the day that Britain declared war on Germany, Churchill was appointed First Lord of the Admiralty and a member of the War Cabinet, and by April, 1940, he became chairman of the Military Coordinating Committee. Quickly, Churchill formed a coalition cabinet of leaders from the Labor, Liberal and Conservative parties. He placed intelligent and talented men in key positions. On June 18, 1940, Churchill made one of his iconic speeches to the House of Commons, warning that "the Battle of Britain" was about to begin.


General Dwight D. Eisenhower

Trained at Westpoint, he was an excellent administrator quickly advancing through various staff and command positions. In 1941, he became the chief of staff of the Third Army. By June 1942 he was made U.S. Commander in Europe.While in Europe, Eisenhower was valued a planner, mediator, and public relations person.In November 1942, Gen. Eisenhower commanded the invasion of North Africa. September1943. Toward the end of 1943 he was chosen to command the invasion of France, a project he could throw himself into with enthusiasm.On June 6, 1944 the Allied invasion of Normandy began with the largest combined force in history. For more information on General Eisenhower's role in World War II, read Eisenhower's memoirs "Crusade in Europe, "1948.


General George S. Patton

Known as "Old Blood and Guts" he was the only U.S. General feared by Rommel, his German counterpart in the North African Campaign. He and his armored tank division played a pivotal role in stopping the German counterattack at The Battle of the Bulge.He survived the war but died of injuries suffered in a jeep crash in 1945.


Benito Mussolini

was the prime minister of Italy (1922-1943). A former journalist, he went to politics and formed the Fascist party, whose ideology, Fascism, called for a one-party state, total obedience, patriotic nationalism, and aggressive militarism. Mussolini was eager to demonstrate the "strength" of his regime by invading weaker neighbors. In 1935 he invaded and occupied the peaceful Ethiopia from Italy's nearby colony in East Africa. In 1936, the two Fascist dictators, Hitler and Mussolini, signed an alliance. In 1939 he invaded and occupied his small neighbor Albania, and Mussolini then enhanced his alliance with Hitler to a full military alliance. Mussolini knew that his military was not very effective, but when the Germans defeated the French and British forces in mid 1940 he thought it was safe enough for him to attack Britain and the collapsing France too and declared war, and in October 1940 he also invaded Greece, and was repelled. Mussolini had a million soldiers in Libya, and he sent them to attack the small British force in Egypt.


Weapons of World War II

Weapons of the Sky:


  • Reconnaissance aircraft
  • Bomber planes
  • Fighter planes
  • Transporter planes
  • Gliders
  • Jet fighters
  • Helicopters



Weapons of Land:


  • Bayonet
  • Sade
  • Pistol
  • Hand Grenade
  • Rifle
  • Machine Gun



Weapons of the Sea:


  • Battleships (used for weapon and troop transportation)
  • Destroyers (used for weapon transportation)
  • Aircraft carriers (used for weapon and troop transportation)
  • Minesweepers (used for troop transportation)
  • Hydrofoils (used for weapon and troop transportation)
  • U-boats (used for weapon transportation)


Dropping the Bomb

U.S. President Harry S. Truman, discouraged by the Japanese response to the Potsdam Conference's demand for unconditional surrender, made the decision to use the atom bomb to end the war in order to prevent what he predicted would be a much greater loss of life were the United States to invade the Japanese mainland. On August 6, 1945 at 8:15 a.m. an American B-29 bomber, the Enola Gay, drops the world's first atom bomb, over the city of Hiroshima. Approximately 80,000 people are killed as a direct result of the blast, and another 35,000 are injured. At least another 60,000 would be dead by the end of the year from the effects of the fallout. The lasting effects of survivors from the radiation are different types of cancer, hypertension, and thyroid and gastrointestinal problems. Not only are there effects of of physical problems, but also came with a political standpoint/power struggle between countries.