Top 25 significant events of World War 2

World War 2, also called the War of the Nations, was the most brutal conflict recorded. It virtually dragged every aspect of the world into gruesome combat from 1939 to 1945.

The principal contenders were categorized into two significant forces: the Allied powers-France, the USA, Great Britain, Soviet Union, and the Axis powers-Germany, Japan, and Italy.

There were an estimated 70-85 million casualties where death tolls peaked at 50-60 million a, war-related diseases and famine perished around 20-30 million people.

The continuation of World war 1, numerous unresolved disputes, and the ambitious motives of influential leaders like Adolf Hitler, and Benito Mussolini pushed the world into a swamp of massive destruction.

Cause of the Outbreak of WW2

The Great war culminated after signing the Versailles Treaty that accused Germany of most of the damages, leaving German people victimized and destitute.

Germany underwent several economic reforms to reinstate itself as a financially stable nation. The humiliation in the Versailles treaty led to the rise of Nazi ideology and Hitler’s dictatorship.

Similarly, Japan emerged as a leading power colonizing Manchuria, a Chinese territory. Germany and the Soviet Union signed a non-aggression pact which raised a significant worry in Paris.

Nevertheless, Hilter contemplated Stalin as his adversary, but they collaterally invaded Poland dividing the territories. Gradually, the pact broke while the Nazis laid an attack on the Soviet Union.

The Treaty of Munich was signed in 1938 that liberally permitted Hitler’s annexation of Czechoslovakia.

Hitler had previously annexed Rhineland and Austria defying the terms of the Versailles Treaty.

Furthermore, the Munich Treaty encouraged German Chancellor Hitler’s charge of French and British lands.

Some of the critical events that took place during the global war are listed below:

25. Hitler’s invasion of Poland(September 1, 1939)

Invasion of Poland, World War 2
Invasion of Poland, World War 2

Adolf Hitler, a ruthless German dictator unsatisfied with the verdict of the Versailles Treaty signed to remark the end of world war 1, attacked Poland on September 1, 1939.

Poland was accused of grouping with the Allies to attack Germany and even prosecuting Germans residing there.

In addition to it, a staged phony raid was laid on German radio stations to incriminate Poland falsely.

Hitler led a surprise attack on Polish territory with a strong military force, armed with 400 fighter planes, 2000 army tanks, and 900 bombers.

There were nearly 1.5 million men in the German army who were more mechanized than Polish forces.

East Prussia and Germany in the north, Slovakia and Silesia in the south, German units broke down Polish defenses. 

Even though Poland mobilized a few motorized ammunition and 300 planes, it stood no chance against German teams.

After fighting for several days, Poland faced defeat. 

Germans had adapted a speedy, concentrated armored war tactic which made them famous as “Blitzkrieg” or “lightning war.”

Finally, in October 1939, Germany annexed parts of Poland, including Warsaw city, Radom, Lublin, and the remaining parts, after successfully invading the Soviet Union.

24. Phony War (September 3, 1939- May 10, 1940)

A British 8-inch howitzer near the German border during the Phoney War
A British 8-inch howitzer near the German border during the Phoney War

In a failed attempt to prevent the German invasion of Poland, Britain and France faced a long and costly war with Germany leading to inaction in Europe.

The phony war was between September 1939- and May 1940 after Germany annexed Poland. This period was often referred to as “twilight war” by Winston Churchill and “Sitzkrieg” or “sitting war” by Germans.

In western Europe, considerable military interventions were taking place, although the public was unaware of it.

Symbolical indications of to what extent the British could drag the war were being showcased.

Athenia, a British passenger liner bound for Canada, was attacked by a German U-30 under the command of Lemp.

He claimed that he presumed Athenia to be a naval boat but could not differentiate between liners and naval ships in poor lighting.

Similarly, Britain air raided Germany with millions of leaflets known as “truth raids” to make the German public aware of evil Nazi Germany and to signify to German leaders their vulnerability to air bombings.

The British government emphasized strengthening its security by painting pillars with yellow-gas sensitive paints, distributing gas masks, and piling sandbags.

Since no bombing or fighting occurred, people thought no war was taking place, so evacuees returned home and stopped carrying gas masks.

Suddenly, Germany attacked Denmark and Norway on April 9, 1940, which broke this inactive interval.

23. Battle of France(May 10,1940-June 25, 1940)

British and French troops evacuated from Dunkirk arrive at Dove
British and French troops evacuated from Dunkirk arrive at Dove

After a successful invasion of Denmark, the German minister commanded Norway’s surrender on April 9, 1940, as the Danish king, terrified of Nazi forces, dropped down his weapons.

German forces marched towards Amsterdam, Rotterdam, with concentrated forces fiercely air bombing the Netherlands; on May 12, 1940, the Dutch commander surrendered to German-Nazi.

On May 10, 1940, Germany charged southeastern Belgium and northern Luxembourg contrary to the assumptions of French and British commanders.

The main Blitz was through the Ardennes forest in southeast Belgium, shattering the French defense line and advancing towards the coast.

A two-day battle at Sedan ended as a loss for the French defenders. German troops moved towards the seaport of Dunkirk, France, and fought the Battle of Dunkirk (May 26,1940-June 4, 1940).

However, the combat was more of a retreat than a counterattack on the Axis power.

British Expeditionary Commander General John Gort led an evacuation oF Allied troops under the order of Winston Churchill, who had recently headed British governance after Neville Chamberlain resigned on May 13, 1940.

On the other hand, Nazi armies launched operation “Dynamo,” followed by relentless bombing. Despite the attack, British forces retreated successfully.

On June 14, Paris was declared an open city, not to be defended to prevent its destruction after French forces withdrew from the city.

Finally, France requested an armistice to be signed on June 22, 1940, marking France’s surrender.

22. Italy’s entrance on the side of Axis power(June 1940)

Mussolini and Hitler 1940
Mussolini and Hitler, 1940

Italy remained non-belligerent until June 1940, until it entered the war on the side of the Axis powers.

It was said to have joined hands with Axis as Italy’s imperial ambitions were similar to German policy.

Benito Mussolini, a leading Italian fascist, was ambitious to establish Italy as potent as during the Roman empire. He had extensive desires to colonize Ethiopia and Albania after the French defeat.

Despite the opposition of foreign minister Galeazzo Ciano, Mussolini declared Italy’s entrance into the war.

It led to an attack on the French Alps in June, which halted after signing an armistice between France and Germany.

See also  Top 10 Major Causes of World War 2

The real war for Italy originated when it charged Greece in 1941 from Albania, causing a calamitous campaign that obliged Germans to take Greece under their control.

21. Battle of Britain(July 10, 1940)

An Observer Corps spotter scans the skies of London
An Observer Corps spotter scans the skies of London

The Battle of Britain started just after the battle of France terminated. It was the first battle in history solely fought in the air between the German Air force “Luftwaffe” and the British Air force “Royal Air Force.”

Upon victorious outcomes in the war with France, Germany’s next target on the list was Great Britain. But it was not a piece of cake to conquer such a strong nation.

On July 10, 1940, pilots and air force crew took it to the skies for aero control over Germany, Britain, and the English channel.

Initially, Germany attacked small towns near the southern coast; later on, after realizing the Royal Air Force’s formidable power, a bombardment on airways and radars started.

Hitler gave the code “Operation Sea Lion” to the invasion plans.

The Luftwaffe mobilized Messerschmitt Bf109 and the Bf110, whereas the RAF used Hurricane Mk and Spitfire Mk fighter planes.

Hitler ordered the bombing of London on September 15, 1940, which led to a severe bombing in London for almost 57 nights in a row. This was known as the Blitz that lasted till May 1941.

Britain had the upper hands in the war due to the poor lining of the Luftwaffe. Germans could not manage their fighter planes and sustain RAF’s modernized technology.

Britain had better geographical knowledge and used radars to alert incoming rivals. So, Hitler called off bombing attacks by October 1940 after Britain weakened its air-force superiority.

The Battle of Britain proved to be a significant turning point, which halted Hitler’s rise to power and a considerable triumph for the Allies.

20. Tripartite Pact(September 27, 1940)

Signing ceremony for the Axis Powers Tripartite Pact
Signing ceremony for the Axis Powers Tripartite Pact

Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan, and Fascist Italy came together as the Axis power after signing a pact on September 27, 1940.

The Tripartite Pact contained six major arts that respected each other’s mutual leadership.

Japan recognized Germany and Italy’s leadership in European nations. Similarly, Germany and Italy appreciated Japan’s leadership in East Asia.

It was solely directed towards the neutral United States to ponder its joining hands with the Allies’ power wisely.

The United States did not show any concern regarding the pact as it practiced isolationism.

The pact was invoked when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor in the United States in 1941. Thus, the U.S. led a counterattack on Japan on December 8, the same year.

In support of Japan, Italy and Germany jointly attacked the U.S.

Japan and Germany had contrasting ideologies as they were appeasing their agendas, which served as a reason behind the failure of the Tripartite Pact.

19. Operation Barbarossa(June 22, 1941)

Operation Barbarossa
Operation Barbarossa

Hitler assaulted Russia on June 22, 1941, despite the pact signed between Germany and Russia in 1939.

The contract had guaranteed to prevent interference in each other’s affairs which Hitler deliberately broke.

The campaign was code-named “Operation Barbarossa” to include a complete invasion of Russian territories like Ukraine.

The ultimate goal behind the attack was to establish the “Garden of Eden” out of colonized lands in the east.

Hitler wanted the expulsion of Jews and Slavic races from Russia for the settlement of Aryan Germans in resource-rich lands.

In addition to it, the invasion would also ensure better living spaces for the survival of future German generations.

After Russia assaulted Romania in 1940, Hitler took it as a threat to his Balkan oil supply.

He immediately moved infantry and armored divisions into Poland as a counterthreat to Russia in response to it.

The movement had originated as a defensive mechanism converted into a striking plan in no time.

Britain in the western hemisphere and Russia in the eastern hemisphere were two significant powers Germany was vulnerable to.

Attack on Russia seemed to be the only alternative Hitler was left with as Britain was not near to facing defeats.

The most dynamic conquering forces in history, Germany had deployed around 3 million men with 3000 tanks, 7000 artillery, and nineteen panzer divisions against Russia.

Despite several warnings from advisers, Hitler went to war on the second front.

18. Pearl Harbor(December 7, 1941)

Photo of Battleship taken from a Japanese plane at the beginning of the attack
Photo of Battleship taken from a Japanese plane at the beginning of the attack

Pearl Harbor, U.S. naval base in Hawaii, was swooped by Japan on December 7, 1941.

American Intelligence officials expected a Japanese attack on the South Pacific region bordering Europe but were stunned after Japan’s sudden stroke.

The primary reason was the Japanese’s preventive measures to halt U.S. pacific fleet’s interference in the Japanese military interventions in Southeast Asia.

Disappointed with Japanese aggression toward China during the Nanking Massacre in 1937, the U.S. imposed economic sanctions and trade embargoes on Japan.

Instead of weakening Japan, it helped to strengthen its self-dependency. In the hope of uplifting economic sanctions, Japan attacked the U.S. so that it could negotiate.

On December 7, 1941, Japan launched an attack on Pearl Harbor, raining bombs and bullets over American naval vessels.

Around 8 am on Sunday, Japanese fighter planes were seen above the American sky.

The air raiding destroyed over 300 fighter planes, 20 American naval vessels, and approximately 3000 deaths.

An 1800-pound bomb landed on the deck of the USS Arizona, shattering it into pieces. Likewise, USS Oklahoma slipped underwater.

The Japanese failed to cripple the Pacific fleet entirely as the most crucial elements: aircraft carriers were away from the base that day.

However, many battleships were damaged but were salvaged quickly as onshore repair shops remained intact.

Similarly, oil storage deposits, submarine docks, and shipyards ashore remained untouched so that the U.S. could rebound swiftly after the attack.

17. Britain and U.S. declared war on Japan(December 8, 1941)

President Roosevelt signs the Declaration of War on Japan on December 8 1941
President Roosevelt signed the Declaration of War on Japan on December 8, 1941

The Pearl Harbor incident on December 7, 1941, enraged the U.S., who had initially had no intentions of involving in the war. The U.S. had remained neutral, ensuring its safety while Europe settled its issues.

Franklin D Roosevelt, the then U.S. president, requested a joint Congress session immediately after the Pearl Harbor incident.

Congress approved the proposal, so the U.S. officially declared war on Japan on December 8, 1941.

Japan had harmed British lines of defense in Malaya on the borders of Thailand to ensure its main oil supply from Dutch East Indies.

To secure the oil supplies, conquering Malaya and the Philippines was necessary.

Japanese troops struck British forces two before the Pearl Harbor attack. As a result, Britain also declared war against Japan on the same day the U.S. did. 

16. Doolittle bomb raids in Japan(April 18, 1942)

Doolittle taking off from USS Hornet for the raid
Doolittle taking off from USS Hornet for the raid

James Doolittle, a U.S colonel, bombarded Japan on April 18, 1942, to avenge Pearl Harbor.

Fighter aircraft proved to be a significant war element in world war 2, where the American B-25 medium bomber was one of the most famous planes.

The B-25 was built for low altitude fighting and used in the Pacific due to the short take-off distance.

It was accompanied by an assistant carrier USS Hornet, aerial gunnery, and a squadron in the air force profound at low-level bombing.

At the midday of April 18, Japanese skies were showered with a series of bombs thrashing its critical industrial cities.

Almost 24 twenty-four planes carrying four bombs, each packed with 128 four-pound incendiary bomblets, thundered Japan.

The American aviation crew created havoc where target areas and innocent civilians have also perished.

After bombing a military base where civilians resided, too, American morality got humiliated.

Short-distance aircraft could not resist in the air for longer, so they took shelter in China after their mission. The Chinese generosity summoned a horrific calamity upon themselves.

The Japanese military killed around 10,000 Chinese civilians searching for Doolittle’s men. They raided Chuchow against China, avenging its support towards Doolittle’s salvation.

Doolittle air raids gained fame in American war history; meanwhile, Japan shifted its focus on rejuvenating air forces.

See also  Top 10 Major Battles of World War 2

15. Battles of Midway, El Alamein, and Stalingrad (June 1942-November, 1942)

The centre of Stalingrad after the battle
The center of Stalingrad after the battle

The Battle of Midway was epic combat between the U.S. Navy and the Imperial Japanese navy on Midway island.

To replicate the Pearl Harbor attack, Japan led a sudden assault on the American naval base on Midway island near the Pacific Ocean.

The Japanese navy attacked the U.S. Pacific fleet to establish sole control over the Pacific region. However, U.S. forces destroyed hundreds of aircraft and submarines under Japanese possession.

The battle turned out to be a significant twist in the war as the Japanese navy could never replenish the loss, marking its downfall and a substantial victory for the U.S.

Britain and Germany participated in the battle of El Alamein against each other for the occupation of North Africa.

Italy had invaded Egypt, which threatened Britain’s vital access Suez canal and Persian oil; later on, Germany stepped in on behalf of its ally.

British troops built a solid defensive line that German panzers could not pierce, so Nazi Germany faced a miserable defeat. It marked the beginning of the nemesis of the Axis power in North Africa.

The battle of Stalingrad was the deadliest and most protracted battle in the entire war, causing thousands of casualties.

Hilter wanted to occupy Stalin to get access to the Volga, a crucial transport route for Nazis.

Germany had already invaded the Soviet Union in 1941 to take over Stalingrad, a major industrial city; Nazis marched towards it in 1942.

It would grant them southern Russia control and oil deposits.

Fierce combat between Nazi troops and the Red Army, where Russians launched Operation Uranus against Germans, ended with German loss.

Most of the Nazi soldiers fled, while about 30,000 were trapped.

14. Italy surrendered(September 8, 1943)

German coal entering Italy through the Brenner Pass
German coal entering Italy through the Brenner Pass

On September 8, 1942, Italy officially surrendered to the Allies following weeks of negotiations. General Dwight Eisenhower publicly announced the unconditional surrender known as the “volte-face.”

After the downfall of the Fascist government and Benito Mussolini, Hitler had planned to annex Italy to keep it off the Allies.

He launched Operation Axis to keep Italian navy vessels away from the Allies, so Roma’s Italian battleship was sunk.

As per the negotiations, Italy allowed the Allies to capture southern Italy to beat the Germans back to the peninsula, known as “Operation Avalanche.”

Italian military forces outside the peninsula collapsed and were annexed under German control.

After German troops entered Italy, General Badoglio and King Emanuel fled to southeastern Italy to establish a new fascist government.

German armies were trapped after seizing the port of Naples and successfully capturing Salerno.

Similarly, Germans were swiped off from Taranto and Calabria after the Allies capitulated Italy, tattering the Tripartite pact.

The former allies fought viciously in the combat, resulting in 100,000 deaths on both sides.

13. Rome Liberation(June 5, 1944)

Propaganda inscription on the wall of a bombed building
Propaganda inscription on the wall of a bombed building

After Italy’s armistice with the Allied forces, the Italian military collapsed in September 1944.

Italy’s northern and central part was under German control, whereas the Allies took over the southern region.

Operation Diadem was launched by deploying the U.S. 5th Army and the British 8th Army on May 11, 1944. It was directed to break the Gustav Line, opening the way to Rome.

The capturing of Rome would cause Germans to flee from Italy and force it to free France.

Thus, after German generals abandoned Gustav Line, the Allies marched forward on May 25, 1944.

The Italian forces were sent to the Adriatic front so that they could not participate in the liberation of Rome.

12. D-Day(June 6, 1944)

Men of the 16th Infantry Regiment US 1st Infantry Division wading ashore on Omaha Beach
Men of the 16th Infantry Regiment US 1st Infantry Division wade ashore on Omaha Beach

The Battle of Normandy lasted from June 1944-August 1944, resulting in the further liberation of Europe from German control after Italy.

Also known as D-Day, the Allies launched Operation Overlord on the French coast in the Normandy region.

General Dwight Eisenhower led the operation deceiving German forces that the attack was targeted at Pas-de-Calais instead of Normandy.

The Allies put on an act including pseudo radio signal transmissions and fake armory transport.

Bad weather delayed the campaign on June 5; hence by the dawn of June 6, hundreds of paratroopers and gliders landed behind enemy lines.

The British, Canadian, and U.S. forces captured beaches like Gold, Juno, and Utah.

By dawn on the very day, the Allied troops successfully took over the Normandy beaches and later liberated Paris, marking the beginning of the end of the war in Europe.

11. V2 Flying bombs(September 8, 1944)

A V2 launched from Test Stand VII in summer 1943
A V2 launched from Test Stand VII in the summer 1943

Germany had progressed in inventions of advanced machinery by the summer of 1944. A secret missile known as the V1 flying bomb was fired on southern England.

Around 9000 V1s, pilotless monoplane missiles showered on England, but the British Royal Air Force disintegrated most of them.

Similarly, Wernher von Braun Hermann Oberth developed another secret rocket named as V2 flying bomb at the rocket research center at Peenemunde.

It was a long-distance rocket capable of traveling with a one-ton warhead at supersonic speed.

Germany fired more than 5000 V2 rockets at Britain, causing over 3000 mortality after the heartbreaking loss at D-Day landings in September 1944.

10. Battle of Bulge (December 16, 1944)

An American soldier escorts a German crewman from his wrecked Panther tank
An American soldier escorts a German crew member from his wrecked Panther tank

The greatest American battle in world war 2, the Battle of Bulge, became Adolf Hitler’s final offense. Intending to split Allies in their drive towards Germany, Hitler despondently failed.

The battle lasted from December 16, 1944- to January 25, 1945, in the Ardennes forest of Belgian port. Enduring six weeks, 30 German divisions attacked American troops.

The German forces failed to divide the British, American, and French armies that pounded over in a bulge, resulting in Nazi defeat.

In harsh, wintry weather, with about 8 inches of snow and continuously falling temperature, Allied soldiers resisted the Germans.

The costliest battle where Americans suffered 100,000 fatalities resulted from Germany’s terrible decision to battle in unfavorable weather.

It was also unable to prevent Allies aircraft from supporting their ground troops.

9. Russian invasion of Berlin(April 15, 1945)

The Brandenburg Gate the ruins of Berlin June 1945
The Brandenburg Gate the ruins of Berlin June 1945

Germany had begun to crumble after the D-Day landings in the concluding years of the war, followed by a series of trounces to the Allies. Berlin occupancy seemed like a symbolic triumph over Adolf Hitler.

Germany had potent minds who excelled in atomic weaponry research that would undoubtedly cause massive troubles to the Allies.

Although most inventions had been dispatched already, the scientists were still in Berlin.

The Allies marched swiftly to pull up activities of such people. Likewise, the Nazi’s numerous invasions of Russia enraged Joseph Stalin.

He was in an utter hurry that Americans might surpass them, so Stalin ceased Berlin on April 15, 1945.

The battle for Berlin’s plan made the British feel sidelined, as Winston Churchill was not consulted beforehand.

Millions of shells were showered upon Nazis; still, it took almost three days to break off German defense lines.

Stalin’s hurry caused the Red Army to 30,000 casualties; meanwhile, Germany lost 10,000 men, but Berlin was successfully captured.

8. Execution of Benito Mussolini(April 28, 1945)

Benito Mussolini Portrait
Benito Mussolini Portrait

On April 28, 1945, Benito Mussolini was executed by his Italian partisans near the Swiss border. After being accused of Italy’s dangerous position, Mussolini fled to Switzerland.

He was shot and hanged near a gas station and his mistress Clara Petacci. After the German occupation of northern Italy, he was made head of a puppet government.

Italy’s surrender and marching of Allied power towards the Italian peninsula left Mussolini with no alternative but to run away.

He never wanted to fall into the hands of the Allies, and he planned to settle in a neutral nation.

7. Hitler’s suicide(April 30, 1945)

Hitler performs the Nazi salute
Hitler performs the Nazi salute

A 1000-year Reich dream of Hitler was never fulfilled as he committed suicide on April 30, 1945.

He was testified to have swallowed a cyanide pill and then shot himself in the bunker in Berlin and his newlywed bride Eva Braun.

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Hitler’s downfall began in 1943 when he lost the Battle of Stalingrad against the Red Army. Simultaneously, battles fought at Normandy, France, in June 1944 began to push German troops back to Berlin.

By July 1944, Nazi generals had already realized their worsening situation, so they plotted to remove Hitler from power.

Several assassination attempts were also made anonymously against Hitler.

After the invasion of Berlin by the Soviet Union, Hitler limited his presence to his bunker and terminated himself in the same bunker two days after Mussolini’s execution.

6. Germany surrendered (May 7, 1945)

The German Instrument of Surrender signed at Reims 7 May 1945
The German Instrument of Surrender was signed at Reims on 7 May 1945

German troops were limited to Berlin towards the end of the war in 1945. With Hilter dead and his cruel dictatorship coming to an end, surrendering seemed favorable to Germany.

Hitler appointed Karl Dönitz as his successor and deputized Alfred Jodl as the Armed Forces chief to bargain an armistice with General Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Donitz wanted to buy some time to clear as many German forces out of Russia’s path with the hope that it might continue the war.

But aware of Donitz’s intentions, Eisenhower insisted Jodl on signing an agreement without any negotiations.

Jodl signed an unconditional surrender agreement on May 7, 1945, which Stalin profusely opposed.

Stalin wanted it to be signed in Berlin and by the most superior German official.

On May 8, 1945, the agreement was signed in the presence of Soviet marshal Zhukov, putting a full stop to Germany’s further war progression.

The V.E. day was declared on May 8 to mark the most significant victory of the Allies over the Axis.

5. Atomic blast on Hiroshima(August 6, 1945)

Strike order for the Hiroshima bombing on 5 August 1945
Strike order for the Hiroshima bombing on 5 August 1945

The war ended in Europe after Germany surrendered by July 1945; however, Japan in the Asian region was reluctant to drop off its ambitions.

The only way to suppress the Japanese surrender was to invade its island. In terms of nuclear weapons, America used a B-29 bomber to drop an atomic bomb on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945.

The bomb was named “Little boy,”; a gun-type uranium bomb weighing around 97000 pounds dropped from an elevation of 31,000 feet.

At 8:15 am, air raid sirens went off twice in Hiroshima until the little boy exploded 1500 feet above the city with a force of 15,000 tons.

Forty-five seconds later the bombing, 80,000 men, women, and children perished in a blinking instant. Vast buildings of economic importance were devastated by the hazardous radiation from the bomb.

Thousands of people were buried under the debris of their homes, incinerated and disfigured by the atomic radiation.

The aftermath of the bombing came up with several genetic mutations in the future generation of survivors due to the nuclear emissions.

The attack was intended to push Japan towards surrender; however, Japan did not cease its active participation in the war.

4. Russia declared war on Japan(August 8, 1945)

Retreat of Russian soldiers after the Battle of Mukden
The retreat of Russian soldiers after the Battle of Mukden

The Soviet Union officially announced war on Japan on August 8, 1945, gushing nearly 1.6 million men in Japan occupied Manchuria.

The Japanese troop did not expect an attack from Russia until 1946 as it was busy with Germany.

The sudden and speedy strike left Japan in utmost shock, where it lost 80,000 men in comparison to 8,000 lost by Russia.

The atomic bombing in Hiroshima showed no effect as expected on Japan’s surrender.

Despite a substantial number of Japanese troops in the Chinese colony of Japan in Manchuria, Russia was able to beat off Japan.

The promise made by Stalin to the British and American leaders at the Tehran conference, Russia laid an assault to defeat Japan following the downfall of Nazi Germany.

Even though the attack would violate the Soviet-Japanese pact signed in 1941, Stalin kept his words.

3. Atomic bombing on Nagasaki(August 9, 1945)

Strike order for the Nagasaki bombing as posted 8 August 1945
Strike order for the Nagasaki bombing as posted 8 August 1945

The final devastating event in the second world war was Nagasaki Bombing on August 9, 1945. Three days after the Hiroshima bombing, Nagasaki also met the same fate.

Nagasaki was an important city as it was the home to weapon production in Japan, but its hilly topography made it less desirable to Americans.

Initially, Kokura was the target, but Nagasaki became the last-minute target due to the thick haze topped with smoke.

A B-29 American car named Bock’s car left Tinian carrying the bomb loaded into an airplane Enola Gay flew.

“Fat man” was a plutonium bomb weighing 10,800 pounds with greater complexity than the little man dropped on Hiroshima.

The fat man exploded 1650 feet above Nagasaki with a yield of 21 kilotons capable of causing 40 percent more harm than the little man and was dropped at 11 am local time.

Fourteen thousand homes burst into the fire while people vaporized, followed by radiation poisoning, a havoc scenario in Nagasaki.

Building and infrastructure collapsed into pieces causing 100,000 deaths, majorly civilian mortality.

People within one kilometer in contact with ground zero instantly died. The aftermath of the bombing was seen as radiation-related cancers in the survivors.

Indeed, the U.S. compelled Japan to surrender unconditionally after the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombing, but it violated warfare morals by assaulting civilians.

Although Japan was already ready to submit to the Allies, the atomic bombing was not justifiable.

2. Japan surrendered(August 14, 1945)

Representatives of the Empire of Japan stand aboard USS Missouri prior to signing of the Instrument of Surrender
Representatives of the Empire of Japan stand aboard USS Missouri prior to signing of the Instrument of Surrender

The Japanese defeats lined up one after another when its navy and air force were destroyed by the summer of 1945. The series of air raids and nuclear bombings had incapacitated the Japanese military.

American had occupied Okinawa, a Japanese island that would become the main homeland attack for Japan under the control of general Mac Arthur.

The operation was named “Operation Olympics,” set for November 1945.

The invasion was vowed to be the deadliest seaborne charge; however, a new option popped out before U.S. forces used miracle atomic bombs.

Prior to the strafe on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Allies had released an ultimatum.

But the Japanese prime minister paid no heed to the Potsdam Declaration. So, the U.S. president ordered Enola Gay to airstrike Japanese cities causing millions of casualties.

Meanwhile, the Soviet Union also charged Japan on Manchuria, followed by another fatal bombing in Nagasaki that terrorized Japan.

On August 14, 1945, Japanese emperor Hirohito backed a proposal to accept the Potsdam Declaration.

The Japanese supreme council obeyed Hirohito’s acceptance of the proposal and relayed the message to the Allied delegates.

1. Military Leader MacArthur accepted Japan’s surrender(September 2, 1945)

Douglas MacArthur signs formal surrender
Douglas MacArthur signs formal surrender

The United States accepted Japan’s unconditional surrender on September 2, 1945.

The path for great peace was paved when MacArthur representing the U.S., headed for the occupation of Japan after the resignation.

On September 2, Allied warships counting over 250 laid at the anchor of Tokyo Bay. The flags of the U.S., Soviet Union, Britain, and China hovered over the Missouri deck. 

On behalf of the Japanese government, the Japanese foreign minister signed the unconditional surrender that ended the war in Asia. Thus the second world war finally marked its termination.

Formation of Israel

Nazi holocaust forces many Jews to escape from Germany and settle illegally in Palestine.

During the second world war, Jews practiced terrorism against British forces in Palestine.

The League of Nations, former United Nations, adopted a Partition agreement that divided Palestine into Arab and Jewish states.

After the war, Jewish controlled Israel ending the British mandate in May 1948.

Conclusion

The failure of peace maintenance by the League of Nations served as the principal cause of war breakout.

Eventually, Hitler emerged as a German Chancellor practicing dictatorship.

With an extreme desire for acquisition to power Germany, Japan initiated annexation campaigns that gradually involved the U.K., U.S, France also in the war.

The war caused immense loss of lives and infrastructures that overthrew Axis powers into defeats and halted WW2 in September 1945.

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