Following the attack on the Allied nation of Poland, Britain and France declare war on Germany.
June 22, 1941
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Nazi Germany invades Poland’s capital in a massive encirclement attack. Within weeks of the invasion, German forces defeat the Polish army and receive Warsaw’s official surrender.
September 13, 1940
Germany, Italy, and Japan sign the Tripartite Pact in Berlin to formalize the alliance of the Axis Powers. The Pact provides for mutual assistance should any of its members suffer attack by any nation not already involved in the war.
December 7, 1941
In the largest German military effort of World War II, Nazi Germany launches Operation Barbarossa, the invasion of the Soviet Union. Within a few weeks, the Soviet Union has formally joined the Allied nations.
Italian troops invade British-controlled Egypt in an attempt to expand Italian territories in North Africa and capture the strategically important Suez Canal.
Japan launches a surprise attack on American soil and bombs Hawaii’s naval base at Pearl Harbor on the island of Oahu. More than 2,300 American soldiers and sailors die in the attack, and another 1,100 are wounded.