When Hitler invaded Poland in September 1939, France and Britain declared war on Germany. After conquering Poland, Germany attacked France. France fell in June 1940, and soon the Nazis overran most of the rest of Europe and North Africa. Only Britain, led by Winston Churchill, was not defeated.
Following the attack on Peal Harbor, Japanese armies rolled over Southeast Asia, the Philippines, and the East Indies. The war in the Pacific was fought on land, at sea, and in the air. The turning point in the war in the Pacific came in June, 1942 at the Battle of Midway. In a four day battle fought between aircraft based on giant aircraft carriers, the U.S. destroyed hundreds of Japanese planes and regained control of the Pacific. The Japanese continued to fight on, however, even after the war in Europe ended.
On June 22, 1941, four million troops poured over the Russian border. Within one month, over two and half million Russians had been killed, wounded or captured. The Germans made tremendous advances into Russia – into portions of Moscow, Leningrad, and Stalingrad.And then winter hit. The Germans were caught in summer uniforms, and it was a bitter, cold winter that year.Stalin, using sheer force of numbers, threw another two million soldiers at the Germans.
jOn D-Day, June 6, 1944 , General Dwight Eisenhower led U.S. and Allied troops in an invasion of Normandy, France. The armies fought their way through France and Belgium and into Germany while Russian troops fought from the east. On May 7, 1945, Germany surrendered.
The Japanese fought on even after the war in Europe ended. Truman decided to use the newly developed atomic bomb to end the war quickly and prevent more U.S. casualties. The Enola Gay dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan on August 6, 1945, killing about 78,000 people and injuring 100,000 more. On August 9, a second bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, Japan, killing another 40,000 people.
jThe Holocaust was the systematic persecution and murder of approximately six million Jews by the Nazi regime. The Nazis, who came to power in Germany in January 1933, believed that Germans were "racially superior" and that the Jews, deemed "inferior," were "unworthy of life." During the era of the Holocaust, the Nazis also targeted other groups because of their perceived "racial inferiority".