Thursday, March 7, 2019


The modern world is still living with the consequences of World War 2, the most titanic conflict in history. 70 years ago on September 1st 1939, Germany invaded Poland without warning sparking the start of World War Two. By the evening of September 3rd, Britain and France were at war with Germany and within a week, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and South Africa had also joined the war. The world had been plunged into its second world war in 25 years. Six long and bloody years of total war, fought over many thousand of square kilometers followed. From the Hedgerows of Normandy to the streets of Stalingrad, the icy mountains of Norway to the sweltering deserts of Libya, the insect infested jungles of Burma to the coral reefed islands of the pacific. On land, sea and in the air, Poles fought Germans, Italians fought Americans and Japanese fought Australians in a conflict which was finally settled with the use of nuclear weapons. World War 2 involved every major world power in a war for global domination and at its end, more than 60 million people had lost their lives and most of Europe and large parts of Asia lay in ruins.

"The Second World War in Colour" or simply "Colour of War" as it is released here in Belgium is a very good documentary about WWII and how it affected life around the world between 1940 and 1945. The entire documentary is a collection of authentic images, all in colour, of which a lot have been previously unreleased. Some images can be quite shocking at times and no doubt leave you with a bitter impression on how horrible war can be. The commentator also reads out a lot of letters or diary fragments from people who lived or died during World War II. Knowing this, you might think that the documentary in a whole would loose coherence but it's quite the opposite because even though "Colour of War" is mainly a collection of authentic images and letters it felt like everything fitted together very well.

‘Boy’ SS soldiers, Nazis stealing boots from dead US troops and innocent civilians gunned down – harrowing images from new book show cruel reality of 1944 Battle of the Bulge, which inspired TV's epic Band of Brothers

'Armoured Warfare in the Battle of the Bulge' by Anthony Tucker-Jones and published by Pen and Sword Books, is available now

The full horror facing allied soldiers in one of the bloodiest, iciest and mentally demanding battles of the Second World War have been unveiled in a harrowing new book marking its 75th anniversary. 
In December 1944, Allied forces - primarily American - were caught by surprise by an overwhelming Nazi counterattack in the densely forested Ardennes region in eastern Belgium, northeast France, and Luxembourg.
The battle was devastatingly portrayed in the 2001 TV epic Band of Brothers, produced by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks, which won Emmy and Golden Globe awards for best miniseries.
The graphic photographs show shivering US troops hunkering down in snow-laden fox holes in brutal wintry conditions, dead allied soldiers being looted for their boots and warm clothing by Nazi aggressors, and murdered American soldiers and Belgian civilians in a frozen field, slain by the German SS in an atrocious war crime. 
Frozen-looking members of the 9th Infantry Regiment, US 2nd Infantry Division, taking cover from the German barrage during the Battle of the Bulge
Frozen-looking members of the 9th Infantry Regiment, US 2nd Infantry Division, taking cover from the German barrage during the Battle of the Bulge
After the Nazis were driven back over the Christmas period, it was discovered that it was responsible for the massacre of 362 American prisoners and 111 Belgian civilians in the Malmedy area of Belgium
After the Nazis were driven back over the Christmas period, it was discovered that it was responsible for the massacre of 362 American prisoners and 111 Belgian civilians in the Malmedy area of Belgium
Ice and snow start to gather on this dead German soldier. The Battle of the Bulge was characterised by heavy snow that impeded progress on both sides 
Ice and snow start to gather on this dead German soldier. The Battle of the Bulge was characterised by heavy snow that impeded progress on both sides 
Another remarkable shot shows the haunted faces of two captured German soldiers barely into their teenage years, and fierce allied soldiers facing down an assault in frozen Bastogne, famously one of the most punishing battlegrounds in the Second World War.
The gallery is included in Anthony Tucker-Jones' new book 'Armoured Warfare in the Battle of the Bulge', a gruesome yet forthright account of the conflict Winston Churchill described as 'undoubtedly the greatest American battle of the war'.
'The Battle of the Bulge was characterized by heavy snow that swathed the ground, impeding progress on both sides,' explained Tucker-Jones.The photos of the battle show just how bad the conditions became.
'Just four days after the German attack commenced the temperature plummeted and snow set in, making the battlefield more reminiscent of Stalingrad than the Western Front.
'The Ardennes proved to be no winter wonderland but a place of savagery and sudden death.'
Youngsters of the 12th SS Panzer Division captured by the Americans. Such recruits showed Hitler was running out of manpower
Youngsters of the 12th SS Panzer Division captured by the Americans. Such recruits showed Hitler was running out of manpower
Men of the 504th Parachute Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, supported by a tank. The division fought hard to hold the Germans in the area under thick layers of snow in December 1944
Men of the 504th Parachute Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, supported by a tank. The division fought hard to hold the Germans in the area under thick layers of snow in December 1944
American soldiers taken prisoner by members of Kampfgruppe Peiper in Stoumont, Belgium, on 19 December 1944. Their fate in unknown
American soldiers taken prisoner by members of Kampfgruppe Peiper in Stoumont, Belgium, on 19 December 1944. Their fate in unknown
After taking sizeable setbacks on both their Eastern and Western Front - including the significant D-Day Landings - the Nazis launched a massive counterattack on 16 December 1944, targeting allied forces in the area around the Ardennes forest in Belgium and Luxembourg.
Allied forces in the Ardennes consisted primarily of American troops, who were not as accustomed as the Germans to fight in the savage winter months and were initially pushed back by the speed and sheer firepower of the Nazi assault.
The Germans outnumbered allied forces by approximately three to one and their heavily armoured units pushed westwards through the middle of the American line, creating the 'bulge' that gave the battle its name.
However, their success was short-lived.
A dead German soldier photographed on the streets of Stavelot in January 1945. Hitler's last throw of the dice was ultimately unsuccessful and doomed his Reich to failure
A dead German soldier photographed on the streets of Stavelot in January 1945. Hitler's last throw of the dice was ultimately unsuccessful and doomed his Reich to failure
Frozen-looking GIs queue forfield rations. Keeping the troops fed and warm during one of the bloodiest, iciest and mentally demanding battles of the Second World War was no easy task
Frozen-looking GIs queue forfield rations. Keeping the troops fed and warm during one of the bloodiest, iciest and mentally demanding battles of the Second World War was no easy task
This M10 tank destroyer and its crew from the US 30th Infantry Division claimed four panzers during a fierce battle in Stavelot, Belgium
This M10 tank destroyer and its crew from the US 30th Infantry Division claimed four panzers during a fierce battle in Stavelot, Belgium
Microsoft shares inside look at their $1.5m ‘chamber of silence’

Loaded: 0%
Progress: 0%
Current Time
Duration Time

The rapid arrival of Allied reinforcements and the Americans' incredible defence of Bastogne and St Vith slowed the German war machine.
The Nazi offensive required men and resources that Germany no longer had after years of grinding war. 
Fuel shortages were also made worse by bad weather, which disrupted German supply lines.
But the weather, which had previously restricted Allied air support, eventually cleared and air attacks resumed.
By the end of December, the German advance had ground to a halt and just four weeks later, the allied forces had reclaimed all of their lost land.
Nazis are seen herelooting dead GIs at the crossroads in Honsfeld, Belgium. The man in the foreground has had his boot stolen by the Germans
Nazis are seen herelooting dead GIs at the crossroads in Honsfeld, Belgium. The man in the foreground has had his boot stolen by the Germans
A staged photo shows Kampfgruppe Hansen panzer grenadiers running past burning American vehicles caught on the open road
A staged photo shows Kampfgruppe Hansen panzer grenadiers running past burning American vehicles caught on the open road
Locals in the Ardennes region peer down on an overturned Panther Tank which has been rammed off the road and into the river
Locals in the Ardennes region peer down on an overturned Panther Tank which has been rammed off the road and into the river
But it came at a tragic cost, with US forces suffering 75,000 casualties including as many as 20,000 dead.
Unfortunately, one more grotesque surprise awaited the Americans.
After the Nazis were driven back, US troops discovered that the vanquished Ist SS Panzer Division had been responsible for the massacre of 362 American prisoners and 111 Belgian civilians in the Malmedy area of Belgium.
Unarmed and defenceless, the Americans and Belgians were lined up in the icy fields and callously machine-gunned down. Those who pretended to be dead were rooted out and shot at close range.
A café where terrified soldiers and civilians attempted to hide had its doors locked before being burnt down.
The Nazi officials responsible were tried for war crimes in 1946, with numerous death sentences handed out.
Paratroopers of the 101st pass comrades who were killed during the Christmas Eve bombing of Bastogne in 1944 lie among the debris of targeted buildings 
Paratroopers of the 101st pass comrades who were killed during the Christmas Eve bombing of Bastogne in 1944 lie among the debris of targeted buildings 
A Tiger II tank full of Nazies passing a column of American prisoners from the US 99th Infantry Division. They have a mixtureof uniforms. Most have retained their helmets, but few have the luxury of a greatcoat to keep them warm
A Tiger II tank full of Nazies passing a column of American prisoners from the US 99th Infantry Division. They have a mixtureof uniforms. Most have retained their helmets, but few have the luxury of a greatcoat to keep them warm
An American machine gun nest inside the snowy ground. Soldiers often had to sleep outside with little or no shelter for days on end 
An American machine gun nest inside the snowy ground. Soldiers often had to sleep outside with little or no shelter for days on end 
Ultimately, the bold but ill-fated counterattack by Hitler and his war cabinet was fundamental to the eventual collapse of the Third Reich and allied forces had pushed their way into German heartlands by Spring 1945.
Notwithstanding the courage of the Allied soldiers, historian Tucker-Jones suggests there was only one real victor in the Battle of the Bulge, the bitter weather.
'Only in the mountains of Italy and Tunisia had the Allies encountered such conditions before,' he continued.
'The Red Army, having already fought through three Russian winters, was well acclimatised, but for the British and Americans the snows came as a shock.
'Summoning the strength to fight in the snow despite being cold and hungry was no easy feat.
'The Germans for their part marred what was a highly audacious operation by committing a series of repugnant war crimes against both the American GIs and Belgian civilians.
'Not only did they leave a swathe of death and destruction across the Bulge, but also a trail of wanton murder.' 

About all the major events which happened during the period 1936-1945 are included. For example the German invansion in Poland and France, the bombing of London, Pearl Harbor, the confrontation between the American fleet and the German U-boats, Stalingrad, the American invasions of the Japanese islands, D-day, the Holocaust, Japanese Kamikazes, Hiroshima, ... it's all there.

Although the Empire of Japan was already at war with theRepublic of China in 1937,[2] the world war is generally said to have begun on 1 September 1939, with the invasion of Poland byGermany, and subsequent declarations of war on Germany byFrance and most of the countries of the British Empire andCommonwealth. Germany set out to establish a large empire inEurope. From late 1939 to early 1941, in a series of campaigns and treaties, Germany conquered or subdued much of continental Europe. Following the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, the nominally neutral Soviet Union fully or partially invaded, occupied and annexed territories of its six European neighbours,including Poland. The United Kingdom and its Commonwealth remained the only major force continuing the fight against the Axis, with battles taking place in North Africaas well as the long-running Battle of the Atlantic. In June 1941, the European Axis launched an invasion of the Soviet Union, giving a start to the largest land theatre of war in history, which tied down the major part of the Axis' military forces for the rest of the war. In December 1941, the Empire of Japan, which aimed to dominate East Asia and Indochina, joined the Axis,attacked the United States and European territories in the Pacific Ocean, and quickly conquered much of the West Pacific.

The Axis advance was stopped in 1942, after Japan lost a series of naval battles and European Axis troops were defeated inNorth Africaand, decisively, at Stalingrad. In 1943, with a series of German defeats in Eastern Europe, the Allied invasion ofFascist Italy, and American victories in the Pacific, the Axis lost the initiative and undertook strategic retreat on all fronts. In 1944, the Western Alliesinvaded France, while the Soviet Union regained all of its territorial losses and invaded Germany and its allies. The war in Europe ended with the capture of Berlin by Soviet and Polish troops and the subsequent German unconditional surrender on 8 May 1945. During 1944 and 1945 the United States defeated the Japanese Navy and captured key West Pacific islands, dropping atomic bombs on the country as the invasion of the Japanese archipelago became imminent. The war in Asia ended on 15 August 1945 when the Empire of Japan agreed to surrender.

The total victory of the Allies over the Axis in 1945 ended the conflict. World War II altered the political alignment and social structure of the world. The United Nations (UN) was established to foster international cooperation and prevent future conflicts. The great powers that were the victors of the war—the United States, Soviet Union, China, the United Kingdom, and France—became the permanent membersof the United Nations Security Council.[3] The Soviet Union and the United States emerged as rival superpowers, setting the stage for theCold War, which lasted for the next 46 years. Meanwhile, the influence of European great powers started to decline, while thedecolonisation of Asia and Africa began. Most countries whose industries had been damaged moved towards economic recovery. Political integration, especially in Europe, emerged as an effort to stabilise postwar relations.

Despite the pacific movement in the aftermath of the war,[10][11]the losses still caused irredentist and revanchist nationalism to became important in a number of European states. Irredentism and revanchism were strong in Germany because of the significant territorial, colonial, and financial losses incurred by the Treaty of Versailles. Under the treaty, Germany lost around 13 percent of its home territory and all of its overseas colonies, while German annexation of other states was prohibited, reparations were imposed, and limits were placed on the size and capability of the country's armed forces.[12] Meanwhile, theRussian Civil War had led to the creation of the Soviet Union.[13]

The German Empire was dissolved in the German Revolution of 1918–1919, and a democratic government, later known as theWeimar Republic, was created. The interwar period saw strife between supporters of the new republic and hardline opponents on both the right and left. Although Italy as an Entente ally made some territorial gains, Italian nationalists were angered that thepromises made by Britain and France to secure Italian entrance into the war were not fulfilled with the peace settlement. From 1922 to 1925, the Fascist movement led byBenito Mussolini seized power in Italy with a nationalist, totalitarian, and class collaborationist agenda that abolished representative democracy, repressed socialist, left wing and liberal forces, and pursued an aggressive foreign policy aimed at forcefully forging Italy as a world power—a "New Roman Empire".[14]

In Germany, the Nazi Party led by Adolf Hitler sought to establish a fascist government in Germany. With the onset of theGreat Depression, domestic support for the Nazis rose and, in 1933, Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany. In the aftermath of the Reichstag fire, Hitler created a totalitarian single-party state led by the Nazis.[15]

The Kuomintang (KMT) party in China launched a unification campaign against regional warlords and nominally unified China in the mid-1920s, but was soon embroiled in a civil waragainst its former Chinese communist allies.[16] In 1931, anincreasingly militaristic Japanese Empire, which had long sought influence in China[17] as the first step of what its government saw as the country's right to rule Asia, used the Mukden Incident as a pretext to launch an invasion of Manchuria and establish the puppet state of Manchukuo.[18]

Too weak to resist Japan, China appealed to the League of Nations for help. Japan withdrew from the League of Nations after being condemned for its incursion into Manchuria. The two nations then fought several battles, in ShanghaiRehe and Hebei, until the Tanggu Truce was signed in 1933. Thereafter, Chinese volunteer forces continued the resistance to Japanese aggression inManchuria, and Chahar and Suiyuan.[19]

Benito Mussolini (left) andAdolf Hitler (right)

Adolf Hitler, after an unsuccessful attempt to overthrow the German government in 1923, became the Chancellor of Germany in 1933. He abolished democracy, espousing a radical, racially motivated revision of the world order, and soon began a massive rearmament campaign.[20] Meanwhile, France, to secure its alliance, allowed Italy a free hand in Ethiopia, which Italy desired as a colonial possession. The situation was aggravated in early 1935 when the Territory of the Saar Basin was legally reunited with Germany and Hitler repudiated the Treaty of Versailles, accelerated his rearmament programme and introducedconscription.[21]

Hoping to contain Germany, the United Kingdom, France and Italy formed the Stresa Front. The Soviet Union, concerned due to Germany's goals of capturing vast areas of eastern Europe, wrote a treaty of mutual assistance with France. Before taking effect though, the Franco-Soviet pact was required to go through the bureaucracy of the League of Nations, which rendered it essentially toothless.[22][23] However, in June 1935, the United Kingdom made an independent naval agreement with Germany, easing prior restrictions. The United States, concerned with events in Europe and Asia, passed the Neutrality Act in August.[24] In October, Italy invaded Ethiopia, and Germany was the only major European nation to support the invasion. Italy subsequently dropped its objections to Germany's goal of absorbing Austria.[25]

Hitler defied the Versailles and Locarno treaties byremilitarizing the Rhineland in March 1936. He received little response from other European powers.[26] When the Spanish Civil War broke out in July, Hitler and Mussolini supported the fascist and authoritarian Nationalist forces in their civil war against the Soviet-supported Spanish Republic. Both sides used the conflict to test new weapons and methods of warfare,[27] with the Nationalists winning the war in early 1939. In October 1936, Germany and Italy formed the Rome-Berlin Axis. A month later, Germany and Japan signed the Anti-Comintern Pact, which Italy would join in the following year. In China, after the Xi'an Incident the Kuomintang and communist forces agreed on a ceasefire in order to present a united front to oppose Japan.[28]
Pre-war events
Italian invasion of Ethiopia (1935)

The Second Italo–Abyssinian War was a brief colonial war that began in October 1935 and ended in May 1936. The war was fought between the armed forces of the Kingdom of Italy (Regno d'Italia) and the armed forces of the Ethiopian Empire (also known as Abyssinia). The war resulted in the military occupation of Ethiopia and its annexation into the newly created colony of Italian East Africa (Africa Orientale Italiana, or AOI); in addition, it exposed the weakness of the League of Nations as a force to preserve peace. Both Italy and Ethiopia were member nations, but the League did nothing when the former clearly violated the League's own Article X.[29]
Spanish Civil War (1936-39)

Main article: Spanish Civil War

The ruins of Guernica after the bombing.

Germany and Italy lent support to the Nationalist insurrectionled by general Francisco Franco in Spain. The Soviet Union supported the existing government, the Spanish Republic, which showed leftist tendencies. Both Germany and the USSR used thisproxy war as an opportunity to test improved weapons and tactics. The deliberate Bombing of Guernica by the GermanCondor Legion in April 1937 contributed to widespread concerns that the next major war would include extensive terror bombing attacks on civilians.[30][31]
Japanese invasion of China (1937)

Main article: Second Sino-Japanese War

A Chinese machine gun nest in the Battle of Shanghai, 1937.

In July 1937, Japan captured the former Chinese imperial capital of Beijing after instigating the Marco Polo Bridge Incident, which culminated in the Japanese campaign to invade all of China.[32] The Soviets quickly signed a non-aggression pact with China to lend materiel support, effectively ending China's prior cooperation with GermanyGeneralissimo Chiang Kai-shek deployed his best army to defend Shanghai, but after three months of fighting, Shanghai fell. The Japanese continued to push the Chinese forces back, capturing the capital Nanking in December 1937 and committed the Nanking Massacre.

In June 1938, Chinese forces stalled the Japanese advance byflooding the Yellow River; this manoeuvre bought time for the Chinese to prepare their defenses at Wuhan, but the city was taken by October.[33] Japanese military victories did not bring about the collapse of Chinese resistance that Japan had hoped to achieve, instead the Chinese government relocated inland toChongqing and continued the war.[34]
Japanese invasion of the Soviet Union and Mongolia (1938)

Soviet troops fought the Japanese during the Battle of Khalkhin Gol in Mongolia, 1939.

On 29 July 1938, the Japanese invaded the USSR and were checked at the Battle of Lake Khasan. Although the battle was a Soviet victory, the Japanese dismissed it as an inconclusive draw, and on 11 May 1939 decided to move the Japanese-Mongolian border up to the Khalkhin Gol River by force. After initial successes the Japanese assault on Mongolia was checked by the Red Army that inflicted the first major defeat on the JapaneseKwantung Army.[35][36]

These clashes convinced some factions in the Japanese government that they should focus on conciliating the Soviet government to avoid interference in the war against China and instead turn their military attention southward, towards the US and European holdings in the Pacific, and also prevented the sacking of experienced Soviet military leaders such as Georgy Zhukov, who would later play a vital role in the defence of Moscow.[37]
European occupations and agreements

From left to right (front): Chamberlain,Daladier, Hitler,Mussolini, and Ciano pictured before signing the Munich Agreement.

In Europe, Germany and Italy were becoming bolder. In March 1938, Germany annexed Austria, again provoking little responsefrom other European powers.[38] Encouraged, Hitler began pressing German claims on the Sudetenland, an area ofCzechoslovakia with a predominantly ethnic Germanpopulation; and soon France and Britain conceded this territory to Germany in the Munich Agreement, which was made against the wishes of the Czechoslovak government, in exchange for a promise of no further territorial demands.[39] Soon after that, however, Germany and Italy forced Czechoslovakia to cede additional territory to Hungary and Poland.[40] In March 1939, Germany invaded the remainder of Czechoslovakia and subsequently split it into the German Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia and the pro-German client state, the Slovak Republic.[41]

Alarmed, and with Hitler making further demands on Danzig, France and Britain guaranteed their support for Polish independence; when Italy conquered Albania in April 1939, the same guarantee was extended to Romania and Greece.[42]Shortly after the Franco-British pledge to Poland, Germany and Italy formalised their own alliance with the Pact of Steel.[43]

In August 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union signed theMolotov–Ribbentrop Pact,[44] a non-aggression treaty with a secret protocol. The parties gave each other rights, "in the event of a territorial and political rearrangement," to "spheres of influence" (western Poland and Lithuania for Germany, andeastern Poland, Finland, Estonia, Latvia and Bessarabia for the USSR). It also raised the question of continuing Polish independence.[45]
Course of the war
War breaks out in Europe (1939)

Common parade of GermanWehrmacht and Soviet Red Armyon 23 September 1939 in Brest,Eastern Poland at the end of the Invasion of Poland. At centre is Major General Heinz Guderianand at right is Brigadier Semyon Krivoshein.

On 1 September 1939, Germany and Slovakia—a client state in 1939—attacked Poland.[46] On 3 September France and Britain, followed by the countries of theCommonwealth,[47] declared war on Germany but provided little support to Poland other than asmall French attack into the Saarland.[48] Britain and France also began a naval blockade of Germany on 3 September which aimed to damage the country's economy and war effort.[49][50]

On 17 September, after signing a cease-fire with Japan, theSoviets also invaded Poland.[51] Poland's territory was divided between Germany and the Soviet Union, with Lithuania andSlovakia also receiving small shares. The Poles did not surrender; they established a Polish Underground State and an undergroundHome Army, and continued to fight with the Allies on all fronts outside Poland.[52]

About 100,000 Polish military personnel were evacuated to Romania and the Baltic countries; many of these soldiers later fought against the Germans in other theatres of the war.[53]Poland's Enigma codebreakers were also evacuated to France.[54] During this time, Japan launched its first attack against Changsha, a strategically important Chinese city, but was repulsed by late September.[55]

Following the invasion of Poland and a German-Soviet treaty governing Lithuania, the Soviet Union forced the Baltic countries to allow it to station Soviet troops in their countries under pacts of "mutual assistance."[56][57][58] Finland rejected territorial demands and was invaded by the Soviet Union in November 1939.[59] Theresulting conflict ended in March 1940 with Finnish concessions.[60] France and the United Kingdom, treating the Soviet attack on Finland as tantamount to entering the war on the side of the Germans, responded to the Soviet invasion by supporting the USSR's expulsion from the League of Nations.[58]

German troops by the Arc de Triomphe, Paris, after the 1940 fall of France.

In Western Europe, British troops deployed to the Continent, but in a phase nicknamed the Phoney War by the British and "Sitzkrieg" (sitting war) by the Germans, neither side launched major operations against the other until April 1940.[61] The Soviet Union and Germany entered a trade pact in February 1940, pursuant to which the Soviets received German military and industrial equipment in exchange for supplying raw materials to Germany to help circumvent the Allied blockade.[62]

In April 1940, Germany invaded Denmark and Norway to secure shipments of iron ore from Sweden, which the Allies were about to disrupt.[63] Denmarkimmediately capitulated, and despite Allied support, Norway was conquered within two months.[64] In May 1940 Britain invaded Iceland to preempt a possible German invasion of the island.[65] British discontent over the Norwegian campaign led to the replacement of Prime Minister Neville Chamberlainwith Winston Churchill on 10 May 1940.[66]
Axis advances

Germany invaded FranceBelgiumthe Netherlands, andLuxembourg on 10 May 1940.[67] The Netherlands and Belgiumwere overrun using blitzkriegtactics in a few days and weeks, respectively.[68] The French-fortified Maginot Line and the Allied forces in Belgium were circumvented by a flanking movement through the thickly wooded Ardennes region,[69]mistakenly perceived by French planners as an impenetrable natural barrier against armoured vehicles.[70]

British troops were forced to evacuate the continent at Dunkirk, abandoning their heavy equipment by early June.[71] On 10 June, Italy invaded France, declaring war on both France and the United Kingdom;[72] twelve days later France surrenderedand was soon divided into German and Italian occupation zones,[73] and an unoccupied rump state under the Vichy Regime. On 3 July, the British attacked the French fleet in Algeria to prevent its possible seizure by Germany.[74]

In June, during the last days of the Battle of France, the Soviet Union forcibly annexed Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania,[57] and then annexed the disputed Romanian region of Bessarabia. Meanwhile, Nazi-Soviet political rapprochement and economic cooperation[75][76] gradually stalled,[77][78] and both states began preparations for war.[79]

With France neutralized, Germany began an air superioritycampaign over Britain (the Battle of Britain) to prepare for an invasion.[80] The campaign failed, and the invasion plans were canceled by September.[80] Using newly captured French ports, the German Navy enjoyed success against an over-extendedRoyal Navy, using U-boats against British shipping in theAtlantic.[81] Italy began operations in the Mediterranean, initiating a siege of Malta in June, conquering British Somaliland in August, and making an incursion into British-held Egypt in September 1940. Japan increased its blockade of China in September by seizing several bases in the northern part of the now-isolated French Indochina.[82]

The Battle of Britain ended the German advance in Western Europe.

Throughout this period, the neutral United States took measures to assist China and the Western Allies. In November 1939, the American Neutrality Act was amended to allow "cash and carry" purchases by the Allies.[83] In 1940, following the German capture of Paris, the size of the United States Navywassignificantly increased and, after the Japanese incursion into Indochina, the United States embargoed iron, steel and mechanical parts against Japan.[84] In September, the United States further agreed to a trade of American destroyers for British bases.[85] Still, a large majority of the American public continued to oppose any direct military intervention into the conflict well into 1941.[86]

At the end of September 1940, the Tripartite Pact united Japan, Italy and Germany to formalize the Axis Powers. The Tripartite Pact stipulated that any country, with the exception of the Soviet Union, not in the war which attacked any Axis Power would be forced to go to war against all three.[87] During this time, the United States continued to support the United Kingdom and China by introducing the Lend-Lease policy authorizing the provision of materiel and other items[88]and creating a security zone spanning roughly half of the Atlantic Ocean where theUnited States Navy protected British convoys.[89] As a result, Germany and the United States found themselves engaged in sustained naval warfare in the North and Central Atlantic by October 1941, even though the United States remained officially neutral.[90][91]

The Axis expanded in November 1940 when Hungary, Slovakia and Romania joined the Tripartite Pact.[92] Romania would make the large contribution into the Axis war against the USSR, partially to recapture territory ceded to the USSR, partially to pursue its leader Ion Antonescu's desire to combat communism.[93] In October 1940, Italy invaded Greece but within days was repulsed and pushed back into Albania, where a stalemate soon occurred.[94] In December 1940, British Commonwealth forces began counter-offensives against Italian forces in Egypt andItalian East Africa.[95] By early 1941, with Italian forces having been pushed back into Libya by the Commonwealth, Churchill ordered a dispatch of troops from Africa to bolster the Greeks.[96] The Italian Navy also suffered significant defeats, with the Royal Navy putting three Italian battleships out of commission by a carrier attack at Taranto, and neutralising several more warships at theBattle of Cape Matapan.[97]

German paratroopers invading the Greek island of Crete, May 1941.

The Germans soon intervened to assist Italy. Hitler sent German forces to Libya in February, and by the end of March they hadlaunched an offensiveagainst the diminished Commonwealth forces.[98] In under a month, Commonwealth forces were pushed back into Egypt with the exception of thebesieged port of Tobruk.[99] The Commonwealth attempted to dislodge Axis forces in May and again in June, but failed on both occasions.[100] In early April, following Bulgaria's signing of the Tripartite Pact, the Germans intervened in the Balkans by invading Greeceand Yugoslavia following a coup; here too they made rapid progress, eventually forcing the Allies to evacuate after Germanyconquered the Greek island of Crete by the end of May.[101]

The Allies did have some successes during this time. In the Middle East, Commonwealth forces first quashed a coup in Iraqwhich had been supported by German aircraft from bases within Vichy-controlled Syria,[102] then, with the assistance of the Free Frenchinvaded Syria and Lebanon to prevent further such occurrences.[103] In the Atlantic, the British scored a much-needed public morale boost by sinking the German flagshipBismarck.[104]Perhaps most importantly, during the Battle of Britain the Royal Air Force had successfully resisted the Luftwaffe's assault, and the German bombing campaign largely ended in May 1941.[105]

In Asia, despite several offensives by both sides, the war between China and Japan was stalemated by 1940. In order to increase pressure on China by blocking supply routes, and to better position Japanese forces in the event of a war with the Western powers, Japan had seized military control of southern Indochina[106] In August of that year,Chinese communistslaunched an offensive in Central China; in retaliation, Japan instituted harsh measures (the Three Alls Policy) in occupied areas to reduce human and material resources for the communists.[107] Continued antipathy between Chinese communist and nationalist forces culminated in armed clashes in January 1941, effectively ending their co-operation.[108]

With the situation in Europe and Asia relatively stable, Germany, Japan, and the Soviet Union made preparations. With the Soviets wary of mounting tensions with Germany and the Japanese planning to take advantage of the European War by seizing resource-rich European possessions in Southeast Asia, the two powers signed the Soviet–Japanese Neutrality Pact in April 1941.[109]By contrast, the Germans were steadily making preparations for an attack on the Soviet Union, amassing forces on the Soviet border.[110]
War becomes global (1941)

German infantry and armoured vehiclesbattle the Soviet defenders on the streets of Kharkov, October 1941.

On 22 June 1941, Germany, along with other European Axis members and Finland, invaded the Soviet Union in Operation Barbarossa. The primary targets of this surprise offensive[111]were the Baltic region, Moscow and Ukraine, with an ultimate goal of ending the 1941 campaign near theArkhangelsk-Astrakhan line, connecting the Caspian and White Seas. Hitler's objectives were to eliminate the Soviet Union as a military power, exterminate Communism, generate Lebensraum ("living space")[112] by dispossessing the native population[113] and guarantee access to the strategic resources needed to defeat Germany's remaining rivals.[114]

Although the Red Army was preparing for strategic counter-offensives before the war,[115] Barbarossa forced the Soviet supreme command to adopt astrategic defence. During the summer, the Axis made significant gains into Soviet territory, inflicting immense losses in both personnel and materiel. By the middle of August, however, the German Army High Commanddecided to suspend the offensive of a considerably depletedArmy Group Centre, and to divert the 2nd Panzer Group to reinforce troops advancing towards central Ukraine and Leningrad.[116] The Kiev offensive was overwhelmingly successful, resulting in encirclement and elimination of four Soviet armies, and made further advance into Crimea and industrially developed Eastern Ukraine (the First Battle of Kharkov) possible.[117]

Soviet counter-attack during the battle of Moscow, December 1941.

The diversion of three quarters of the Axis troops and the majority of their air forces from France and the central Mediterranean to the Eastern Front[118]prompted Britain to reconsider its grand strategy.[119] In July, the UK and the Soviet Union formed a military alliance against Germany[120] The British and Soviets invaded Iran to secure the Persian Corridorand Iran's oil fields.[121] In August, the United Kingdom and the United States jointly issued theAtlantic Charter.[122]

By October, when Axis operational objectives in Ukraine and the Baltic region were achieved, with only the sieges ofLeningrad[123] and Sevastopolcontinuing,[124] a major offensive against Moscow had been renewed. After two months of fierce battles, the German army almost reached the outer suburbs of Moscow, where the exhausted troops[125] were forced to suspend their offensive.[126] Large territorial gains were made by Axis forces, but their campaign had failed to achieve its main objectives: two key cities remained in Soviet hands, the Sovietcapability to resist was not broken, and the Soviet Union retained a considerable part of its military potential. Theblitzkrieg phase of the war in Europe had ended.[127]

The Axis-controlled territory in Europe at the time of its maximal expansion (1941–42).

By early December, freshly mobilised reserves[128] allowed the Soviets to achieve numerical parity with Axis troops.[129] This, as well as intelligence data that established a minimal number of Soviet troops in the East sufficient to prevent any attack by the Japanese Kwantung Army,[130] allowed the Soviets to begin amassive counter-offensive that started on 5 December along a 1,000 kilometres (620 mi) front and pushed German troops 100–250 kilometres (62–160 mi) west.[131]

German successes in Europe encouraged Japan to increase pressure on European governments in south-east Asia. The Dutch government agreed to provide Japan oil supplies from theDutch East Indies, while refusing to hand over political control of the colonies.Vichy France, by contrast, agreed to a Japanese occupation of French Indochina.[132] In July 1941, the United States, United Kingdom and other Western governments reacted to the seizure of Indochina with a freeze on Japanese assets, while the United States (which supplied 80 percent of Japan's oil[133]) responded by placing a complete oil embargo.[134] That meant Japan was essentially forced to choose between abandoning its ambitions in Asia and the prosecution of the war against China, or seizing the natural resources it needed by force; the Japanese military did not consider the former an option, and many officers considered the oil embargo an unspoken declaration of war.[135]

Japan planned to rapidly seize European colonies in Asia to create a large defensive perimeter stretching into the Central Pacific; the Japanese would then be free to exploit the resources of Southeast Asia while exhausting the over-stretched Allies by fighting a defensive war.[136] To prevent American intervention while securing the perimeter it was further planned to neutralise the United States Pacific Fleetfrom the outset.[137] On 7 December (8 December in Asian time zones), 1941, Japan attacked British and American holdings with near-simultaneousoffensives against Southeast Asia and the Central Pacific.[138]These included an attack on the American fleet at Pearl Harbor,landings in Thailand and Malaya[138] and the battle of Hong Kong.

The February 1942 Fall of Singapore saw 80,000 Allied soldiers captured and enslaved by the Japanese.

These attacks led the U.S., Britain, Australia and other Allies to formally declare war on Japan. Germany and the other members of the Tripartite Pact responded by declaring war on the United States. In January, the United States, Britain, Soviet Union, China, and 22 smaller or exiled governments issued theDeclaration by United Nations, which affirmed the Atlantic Charter.[139] The Soviet Union did not adhere to the declaration; it maintained a neutrality agreement with Japan,[140][141] and exempted itself from the principle of self-determination.[122]From 1941, Stalin persistently asked Churchill, and then Roosevelt, to open a 'second front' in France.[142] The Eastern front became the major theatre of war in Europe and the many millions of Soviet casualties dwarfed the few hundred thousand of the Western Allies; Churchill and Roosevelt said they needed more preparation time, leading to claims they stalled to save Western lives at the expense of Soviet lives.[143]

Meanwhile, by the end of April 1942, Japan and its ally Thailand had almost fully conquered BurmaMalayathe Dutch East IndiesSingapore,[144] andRabaul, inflicting severe losses on Allied troops and taking a large number of prisoners. Despite a stubborn resistance in Corregidorthe Philippines was eventually captured in May 1942, forcing the government of thePhilippine Commonwealth into exile.[145] Japanese forces also achieved naval victories in the South China SeaJava Sea andIndian Ocean,[146] and bombed the Allied naval base at Darwin, Australia. The only real Allied success against Japan was a Chinese victory at Changsha in early January 1942.[147] These easy victories over unprepared opponents left Japan overconfident, as well as overextended.[148]

Germany retained the initiative as well. Exploiting dubious American naval command decisions, the German navy ravaged Allied shipping off the American Atlantic coast.[149] Despite considerable losses, European Axis members stopped a major Soviet offensive in Central and Southern Russia, keeping most territorial gains they achieved during the previous year.[150] In North Africa, the Germans launched an offensive in January, pushing the British back to positions at the Gazala Line by early February,[151] followed by a temporary lull in combat which Germany used to prepare for their upcoming offensives.[152]
Axis advance stalls (1942)

American dive bombers engage theMikuma at the Battle of Midway, June 1942.

In early May 1942, Japan initiated operations to capture Port Moresby by amphibious assault and thus sever communications and supply lines between the United States and Australia. The Allies, however, prevented the invasion by intercepting and defeating the Japanese naval forces in the Battle of the Coral Sea.[153] Japan's next plan, motivated by the earlier Doolittle Raid, was to seize Midway Atoll and lure American carriers into battle to be eliminated; as a diversion, Japan would also send forces to occupy the Aleutian Islands in Alaska.[154] In early June, Japan put its operations into action but the Americans, having broken Japanese naval codes in late May, were fully aware of the plans and force dispositions and used this knowledge toachieve a decisive victory at Midway over theImperial Japanese Navy.[155]

With its capacity for aggressive action greatly diminished as a result of the Midway battle, Japan chose to focus on a belated attempt to capture Port Moresby by an overland campaign in the Territory of Papua.[156] The Americans planned a counter-attack against Japanese positions in the southernSolomon Islands, primarily Guadalcanal, as a first step towards capturingRabaul, the main Japanese base in Southeast Asia.[157]

Both plans started in July, but by mid-September, the Battle for Guadalcanal took priority for the Japanese, and troops in New Guinea were ordered to withdraw from the Port Moresby area to the northern part of the island, where they faced Australian and United States troops in the Battle of Buna-Gona.[158]Guadalcanal soon became a focal point for both sides with heavy commitments of troops and ships in the battle for Guadalcanal. By the start of 1943, the Japanese were defeated on the island and withdrew their troops.[159] In Burma, Commonwealth forces mounted two operations. The first, an offensive into the Arakan region in late 1942, went disastrously, forcing a retreat back to India by May 1943.[160] The second was the insertion of irregular forces behind Japanese front-lines in February which, by the end of April, had achieved dubious results.[161]

Soviet soldiers attack a house during theBattle of Stalingrad, 1943.

On Germany's eastern front, the Axis defeated Soviet offensives in the Kerch Peninsula and at Kharkov,[162] and then launched their main summer offensive against southern Russia in June 1942, to seize the oil fields of the Caucasus and occupy Kubansteppe, while maintaining positions on the northern and central areas of the front. The Germans split the Army Group Southinto two groups: Army Group A struck lower Don River whileArmy Group B struck south-east to the Caucasus, towards Volga River.[163] The Soviets decided to make their stand at Stalingrad, which was in the path of the advancing German armies.

By mid-November the Germans had nearly taken Stalingrad in bitter street fighting when the Soviets began their second winter counter-offensive, starting with an encirclement of German forces at Stalingrad[164] and an assault on the Rzhev salient near Moscow, though the latter failed disastrously.[165] By early February 1943, the German Army had taken tremendous losses; German troops at Stalingrad had been forced to surrender[166]and the front-line had been pushed back beyond its position before the summer offensive. In mid-February, after the Soviet push had tapered off, the Germans launched another attack on Kharkov, creating a salient in their front line around the Russian city of Kursk.[167]

British Crusader tanks moving to forward positions during theNorth African Campaign.

By November 1941, Commonwealth forces had launched a counter-offensive, Operation Crusader, in North Africa, and reclaimed all the gains the Germans and Italians had made.[168]In the West, concerns the Japanese might use bases in Vichy-heldMadagascar caused the British to invade the island in early May 1942.[169] This success was offset soon after by an Axis offensive in Libya which pushed the Allies back into Egypt until Axis forces were stopped at El Alamein.[170] On the Continent, raids of Allied commandos on strategic targets, culminating in the disastrous Dieppe Raid,[171] demonstrated the Western Allies' inability to launch an invasion of continental Europe without much better preparation, equipment, and operational security.[172]

In August 1942, the Allies succeeded in repelling a second attack against El Alamein[173] and, at a high cost, managed to deliver desperately needed supplies to the besieged Malta.[174] A few months later, the Allies commenced an attack of their own in Egypt, dislodging the Axis forces and beginning a drive west across Libya.[175] This attack was followed up shortly after by anAnglo-American invasion of French North Africa, which resulted in the region joining the Allies.[176] Hitler responded to the French colony's defection by ordering the occupation of Vichy France;[176] although Vichy forces did not resist this violation of the armistice, they managed to scuttle their fleet to prevent its capture by German forces.[177] The now pincered Axis forces in Africa withdrew into Tunisia, which wasconquered by the Allies in May 1943.[178]
Allies gain momentum (1943)

A contemporary video showing bombing of Hamburg by the Allies.

Soviet Il-2 planes attacking a Wehrmachtcolumn during theBattle of Kursk, 1 July 1943.

Following the Guadalcanal Campaign, the Allies initiated several operations against Japan in the Pacific. In May 1943, Allied forces were sent toeliminate Japanese forces from the Aleutians,[179] and soon after began major operations to isolate Rabaul by capturing surrounding islands, and tobreach the Japanese Central Pacific perimeter at the Gilbert and Marshall Islands.[180] By the end of March 1944, the Allies had completed both of these objectives, and additionally neutralised the major Japanese base at Truk in the Caroline Islands. In April, the Allies then launched an operation toretake Western New Guinea.[181]

In the Soviet Union, both the Germans and the Soviets spent the spring and early summer of 1943 making preparations for large offensives in Central Russia. On 4 July 1943, Germany attacked Soviet forces around the Kursk Bulge. Within a week, German forces had exhausted themselves against the Soviets' deeply echeloned and well-constructed defences[182][183] and, for the first time in the war, Hitler cancelled the operation before it had achieved tactical or operational success.[184] This decision was partially affected by the Western Allies' invasion of Sicilylaunched on 9 July which, combined with previous Italian failures, resulted in the ousting and arrest of Mussolini later that month.[185]

On 12 July 1943, the Soviets launched their own counter-offensives, thereby dispelling any hopes of the German Army for victory or even stalemate in the east. The Soviet victory at Kursk heralded the downfall of German superiority,[186] giving the Soviet Union the initiative on the Eastern Front.[187][188]The Germans attempted to stabilise their eastern front along the hastily fortified Panther-Wotan line, however, the Soviets broke through it at Smolenskand by the Lower Dnieper Offensives.[189]

In early September 1943, the Western Allies invaded the Italian mainland, following an Italian armistice with the Allies.[190]Germany responded by disarming Italian forces, seizing military control of Italian areas,[191] and creating a series of defensive lines.[192] German special forces then rescued Mussolini, who then soon established a new client state in German occupied Italy named the Italian Social Republic.[193] The Western Allies fought through several lines until reaching the main German defensive line in mid-November.[194]

German operations in the Atlantic also suffered. By May 1943, as Allied counter-measures became increasingly effective, the resulting sizable German submarine losses forced a temporary halt of the German Atlantic naval campaign.[195] In November 1943, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill met withChiang Kai-shek in Cairo[196] and then with Joseph Stalin in Tehran.[197] The former conference determined the post-war return of Japanese territory,[196] while the latter included agreement that the Western Allies would invade Europe in 1944 and that the Soviet Union would declare war on Japan within three months of Germany's defeat.[197]

British troops firing a mortar during theBattle of Imphal, North East India, 1944.

From November 1943, during the seven-week Battle of Changde, the Chinese forced Japan to fight a costly war of attrition, while awaiting Allied relief.[198][199] In January 1944, the Allies launched a series of attacks in Italy against the line at Monte Cassino and attempted to outflank it withlandings at Anzio.[200]By the end of January, a major Soviet offensive expelled German forces from the Leningrad region,[201] ending the longest andmost lethal siege in history.

The following Soviet offensive was halted on the pre-war Estonian border by the German Army Group North aided byEstonians hoping to re-establish national independence. This delay slowed subsequent Soviet operations in the Baltic Searegion.[202] By late May 1944, the Soviets had liberated Crimea, largely expelled Axis forces from Ukraine, and made incursions into Romania, which were repulsed by the Axis troops.[203] The Allied offensives in Italy had succeeded and, at the expense of allowing several German divisions to retreat, on 4 June Rome was captured.[204]

The Allies experienced mixed fortunes in mainland Asia. In March 1944, the Japanese launched the first of two invasions, an operation against British positions in Assam, India,[205] and soon besieged Commonwealth positions at Imphal and Kohima.[206]In May 1944, British forces mounted a counter-offensive that drove Japanese troops back to Burma,[206] and Chinese forces that had invaded northern Burma in late 1943 besieged Japanese troops inMyitkyina.[207] The second Japanese invasionattempted to destroy China's main fighting forces, secure railways between Japanese-held territory and capture Allied airfields.[208] By June, the Japanese had conquered the province of Henan and begun a renewed attack against Changsha in theHunanprovince.[209]
Allies close in (1944)

Allied Invasion of Normandy, 6 June 1944

Red Army personnel and equipment crossing a river during the northern Summer of 1944

On 6 June 1944 (known as D-Day), after three years of Soviet pressure,[143] the Western Allies invaded northern France. After reassigning several Allied divisions from Italy, they also attackedsouthern France.[210] These landings were successful, and led to the defeat of the German Army units in France. Paris wasliberated by the local resistance assisted by the Free French Forces on 25 August[211] and the Western Allies continued topush back German forces in Western Europe during the latter part of the year. An attempt to advance into northern Germany spearheaded by a major airborne operation in the Netherlands ended with a failure.[212] After that, the Western Allies slowly pushed into Germany, unsuccessfully trying to cross the Rur river in a large offensive. In Italy the Allied advance also slowed down, when they ran into the last major German defensive line.

On 22 June, the Soviets launched a strategic offensive in Belarus (known as "Operation Bagration") that resulted in the almost complete destruction of the German Army Group Centre.[213]Soon after that, another Soviet strategic offensive forced German troops from Western Ukraine and Eastern Poland. The successful advance of Soviet troops prompted resistance forces in Poland to initiate several uprisings, though the largest of these, inWarsaw, as well as a Slovak Uprising in the south, were not assisted by the Soviets and were put down by German forces.[214] The Red Army'sstrategic offensive in eastern Romania cut off and destroyed the considerable German troops there and triggered a successful coup d'état in Romaniaand in Bulgaria, followed by those countries' shift to the Allied side.[215]

Polish insurgents during the Warsaw Uprising, in which around 200,000 civilians perished.

In September 1944, Soviet Red Army troops advanced intoYugoslavia and forced the rapid withdrawal of the German Army Groups E and F in Greece,Albania and Yugoslavia to rescue them from being cut off.[216] By this point, the Communist-led Partisans under Marshal Josip Broz Tito, who had led an increasingly successful guerrilla campaign against the occupation since 1941, controlled much of the territory of Yugoslavia and were engaged in delaying efforts against the German forces further south. In northern Serbia, the Red Army, with limited support from Bulgarian forces, assisted the Partisans in a joint liberation of the capital city of Belgrade on 20 October. A few days later, the Soviets launched a massive assault against German-occupied Hungary that lasted until the fall of Budapest in February 1945.[217] In contrast with impressive Soviet victories in the Balkans, the bitter Finnish resistance to the Soviet offensive in the Karelian Isthmus denied the Soviets occupation of Finland and led to the signing ofSoviet-Finnish armistice on relatively mild conditions,[218][219]with a subsequent shift to the Allied side by Finland.

By the start of July, Commonwealth forces in Southeast Asia had repelled the Japanese sieges in Assam, pushing the Japanese back to the Chindwin River[220] while the Chinese captured Myitkyina. In China, the Japanese were having greater successes, having finally captured Changsha in mid-June and the city of Hengyang by early August.[221] Soon after, they further invaded the province of Guangxi, winning major engagements against Chinese forces at Guilin and Liuzhou by the end of November[222] and successfully linking up their forces in China and Indochina by the middle of December.[223]

In the Pacific, American forces continued to press back the Japanese perimeter. In mid-June 1944 they began their offensive against the Mariana and Palau islands, and decisively defeated Japanese forces in the Battle of the Philippine Sea. These defeats led to the resignation of Japanese Prime Minister Tōjō and provided the United States with air bases to launch intensive heavy bomber attacks on the Japanese home islands. In late October, American forces invaded the Filipino island of Leyte; soon after, Allied naval forces scored another large victory during the Battle of Leyte Gulf, one of the largest naval battles in history.[224]
Axis collapse, Allied victory (1945)

On 16 December 1944, Germany attempted its last desperate measure for success on the Western Front by using most of its remaining reserves to launch a massive counter-offensive in the Ardennes to attempt to split the Western Allies, encircle large portions of Western Allied troops and capture their primary supply port at Antwerp in order to prompt a political settlement.[225] By January, the offensive had been repulsed with no strategic objectives fulfilled.[225] In Italy, the Western Allies remained stalemated at the German defensive line. In mid-January 1945, the Soviets attacked in Poland, pushing from the Vistula to the Oder river in Germany, and overran East Prussia.[226] On 4 February, U.S., British, and Soviet leaders met for theYalta Conference. They agreed on the occupation of post-war Germany,[227] and on when the Soviet Union would join the war against Japan.[228]

In February, the Soviets invaded Silesia and Pomerania, whileWestern Allies entered Western Germany and closed to theRhine river. By March, the Western Allies crossed the Rhinenorth andsouth of the Ruhrencircling the German Army Group B,[229] while the Soviets advanced to Vienna. In early April, the Western Allies finally pushed forward in Italy and swept across Western Germany, while Soviet forces stormed Berlin in late April; the two forces linked up on Elbe river on 25 April. On 30 April 1945, the Reichstag was captured, signalling the military defeat of the Third Reich.[230]

Several changes in leadership occurred during this period. On 12 April, U.S. President Roosevelt died and was succeeded by Harry Truman. Benito Mussolini was killed by Italian partisans on 28 April.[231] Two days later, Hitler committed suicide, and was succeeded by Grand Admiral Karl Dönitz.[232]

German forces surrendered in Italy on 29 April. The German instrument of surrender was signed on 7 May in Reims,[233] and ratified on 8 May in Berlin.[234] German Army Group Centreresisted in Prague until 11 May.[235]

In the Pacific theatre, American forces accompanied by the forces of the Philippine Commonwealth advanced in thePhilippinesclearing Leyte by the end of April 1945. They landed on Luzon in January 1945 and captured Manila in March following a battle which reduced the city to ruins. Fighting continued on Luzon, Mindanao and other islands of the Philippines until the end of the war.[236]

In May 1945, Australian troops landed in Borneo, overrunning the oilfields there. British, American and Chinese forces defeated the Japanese in northern Burma in March, and the British pushed on to reach Rangoon by 3 May.[237] Chinese forces started to counterattack in Battle of West Hunan that occurred between 6 April and 7 June 1945. American forces also moved towards Japan, taking Iwo Jima by March, and Okinawa by the end of June.[238] American bombers destroyed Japanese cities, and American submarines cut off Japanese imports.[239]

On 11 July, the Allied leaders met in Potsdam, Germany. Theyconfirmed earlier agreements about Germany,[240] and reiterated the demand for unconditional surrender of all Japanese forces by Japan, specifically stating that "the alternative for Japan is prompt and utter destruction".[241]During this conference the United Kingdom held its general election, and Clement Attlee replaced Churchill as Prime Minister.[242]

As Japan continued to ignore the Potsdam terms, the United States dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities ofHiroshima and Nagasaki in early August. Between the two bombings, the Soviets, pursuant to the Yalta agreement, invaded Japanese-held Manchuria, and quickly defeated the Kwantung Army, which was the largest Japanese fighting force.[243][244]The Red Army also captured Sakhalin Island and the Kuril Islands. On 15 August 1945 Japan surrendered, with thesurrender documents finally signed aboard the deck of the American battleship USS Missouri on 2 September 1945, ending the war.

When the Germans invaded Poland on 1 September 1939 the world went to war for the second time in 27 years. One country, albeit overtly expansionist in its aims, had simply invaded another, but the omens were not good. Unbelievably, so soon after 'the war that will end war', nations and their leaders had allowed another conflict to threaten the planet. The scope of this new war was not yet apparent, the truth dawning gradually; this one would last six years, involve more than two hundred countries which caused millions of people to suffer, costing 55 million lives and material damage of some 3 billion dollars, it affected the lives of three quarters of the worlds population and influence the lives of the majority of the world's inhabitants to some degree. Within months of the German move into Poland much of Europe had been occupied by the rampaging Blitzkrieg techniques of the Third Reich's military forces and everyone, even residents of far distant nations, was 'at war', their resources in men and material committed to the cause, on one side or the other. The Battle of Britain was at its height, Hitler's plans to invade England were close to being given the 'green light', and an awful dread filled many a heart.

This war was fought on the Mediterranean, the Atlantic and the Pacific, and in four major land campaigns, in theSoviet UnionNorth Africa and the Mediterranean, Western Europe and the Far East. No less than 56 countries were involved in these violent conflicts, most of which were fought out to the bitter end between equally well-trained and well-equipped armies, battling day and night for dear life. It was a war that was more cruel, bitter and extensive than any other war in history. The war against Japan was fought over two-thirds of the world's surface, with America and her allies taking part in vast air, land and sea battles. It turned WW II into global conflict and ended it with the drawning of nuclear era.

Now, fifty years on from the end of that wretched war, only a few remain who can accurately recall the way the war developed on a day-by-day basis, in what order alliances were formed, when summit meetings were held, invasions mounted and repelled, set-piece batties won or lost, how personalities met with success or failure, and the actual reasons why national moods ebbed and flowed. And yet, World War Two is destined to be studied as a momentous historical event for generations to come, by students of all ages, backgrounds and levels of knowledge. The l939~45 war is history, pure history, and a topic we should all understand and be able to discuss.

By 1942 the Japanese controlled most of the Pacific area(Corregidor Photos), Malaya. Parts of Burma and Thailand, Indo-China, Hong Kong, the Dutch East Indies and thePhilippines. However, the navies of America and Japan fought two epic battles in April and June that changed the course of World War II. Victories in the Coral Sea and at Midway Island shifted the advantage to the Allies in the Pacific.

The four-day Battle of the Coral Sea started when the Americans decoded Japanese invasion plans for Port Moresby, New Guinea, and Tulagi, in the Solomon Islands. America sent a naval force to stop the Japanese troops. The enemy ships never met each other, but from May 2 through May 6, both fleets attacked each other with waves of fighter planes and bombers. The Japanese lost 70 planes and its light carrier Shoho. The American losses included 66 planes and the aircraft carrier Lexington, a vital oceangoing carrier. Although victorious in terms of ship tonnage sunk, Japan lost too many fighter pilots to continue with the invasions. Thus its southward advances were halted.

A month later, American triumphed again at Midway. Once again they became aware of the Japanese plans, and lay in wait for the huge fleet of 86 warship sent by Japan to attack the tiny island in the Pacific. On June 3, the Japanese launched an attack on the two westernmost Aleutian islands, Kiska and Attu (the only American soil to be occupied by the Japanese during the war), in order to the divert the Americans' attention. The next day, a swarm of Japanese carrier-launched planes bombed Midway. The Americans responded with three consecutive air attacks on the Japanese, each a failure. But on June 5, the Americans bombing raid sank three Japanese aircraft carriers. His fleet devastated, Japanese admiral Yamamoto retreated west. The Japanese lost four aircraft carriers, a cruiser, 332 planes and 3500 lives; the Americans: one aircraft carrier, a destroyer, 147 planes and 307 lives.

Although the bloodiest battles of the Pacific were yet to come, the Japanese army never recovered from these defeats.

By June 1942, the Japanese controlled most of the Pacificarea (Corregidor Photos), Malaya. Parts of Burma and Thailand, Indo-China, Hong Kong, the Dutch East Indies and the Philippines. However, the navies of America and Japan fought two epic battles in April and June that changed the course of World War II. Victories in the Coral Sea and at Midway Island shifted the advantage to the Allies in the Pacific.

The four-day Battle of the Coral Sea started when the Americans decoded Japanese invasion plans for Port Moresby, New Guinea, and Tulagi, in the Solomon Islands. America sent a naval force to stop the Japanese troops. The enemy ships never met each other, but from May 2 through May 6, both fleets attacked each other with waves of fighter planes and bombers. The Japanese lost 70 planes and its light carrier Shoho. The American losses included 66 planes and the aircraft carrier Lexington, a vital oceangoing carrier. Although victorious in terms of ship tonnage sunk, Japan lost too many fighter pilots to continue with the invasions. Thus its southward advances were halted.

A month later, American triumphed again at Midway. Once again they became aware of the Japanese plans, and lay in wait for the huge fleet of 86 warship sent by Japan to attack the tiny island in the Pacific. On June 3, the Japanese launched an attack on the two westernmost Aleutian islands, Kiska and Attu (the only American soil to be occupied by the Japanese during the war), in order to the divert the Americans' attention. The next day, a swarm of Japanese carrier-launched planes bombed Midway. The Americans responded with three consecutive air attacks on the Japanese, each a failure. But on June 5, the Americans bombing raid sank three Japanese aircraft carriers. His fleet devastated, Japanese admiral Yamamoto retreated west. The Japanese lost four aircraft carriers, a cruiser, 332 planes and 3500 lives; the Americans: one aircraft carrier, a destroyer, 147 planes and 307 lives.

Although the bloodiest battles of the Pacific were yet to come, the Japanese army never recovered from these defeats.

typical church like this one in Tanay, Rizal where someparents maybe married and some classmates maybebaptized hastily during World War II

Bataan Death March April 1942 In March of 1942 U.S General Douglas MacArthur and president Quezon fled the country. The cruelty of the Japanese military occupation of the Philippines was very brutal an aspect of samurai barbarism. The 76,000 starving and sick American and Filipino Defenders in Bataan surrendered to the Japanese on April 9,1942. The Japanese led their captives on a cruel and criminal Death March in which 7-10,000 died or were murdered before arriving at camp O'Donell 10 days later.

2,000 ships, 4,000 landing craft and 11,000 airplanes were involved in the largest seaborne invasion

ever. Allied troops crossed the choppy English Channel toward Normandy on June 6, 1944, on Operation Overlord: the regaining of northern Europe after four years of Nazi occupation.

First planned for 1942, the landing had been repeatedly postponed, this time with a delay of 24-hours caused by the worst storm in a quarter century. D-Day (a term referring to the first day of any military operation, but now associated with this 1944 invasion) started with paratroop raids before sunrise. Minesweepers (ships equipped for detecting and removing sea mines) cleared the waters while warships and bombers fiercely attacked enemy positions. Pre-manuafactured floating harbours were moved into place.

At 6.30am, American, British and Canadian troops under General Montgomery began swarming from landing craft onto beaches codenamed Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword. After wading through the icy waves or charging towards land on amphibious

(able to travel on water and on land) tanks, the troops struggled past steel obstacles and barbed wired to recapture

the first patches of French soil.

At the end of the day, 155,000 men were onshore. Landings and Battle of Leyte Gulf

While preparations for the large-scale landing was too massive to conceal, the Germans did not put up a good defence because of disputes between Hitler, Field Marshall Erwin Rommel (overseer of military operations in France) and Runstedt (commander-in-chief in the west). They quarrelled over the probable invasion point and the best line of defence. When the attack came, Hitler took it as a diversionary tactic (an intentional distraction), and held back his forces for the "real" invasion.

Resistance was strong only initially at Omaha Beach, with 3,000 Americans casualties on the first day of fighting. The Allied invaders quickly spread out along 100 miles of coastline. However, Normandy's Nazi-occupied cities were harder to regain. Cherbourg held out for ten gruelling days, while Caen held out more than a month.

By mid-August, the Allies had broken out Normandy, and were sweeping across France. The Low Countries (the low-lying countries between Germany and France – the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg), and Germany itself, lay before them.

At the order of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, General MacArthur was evacuated from the Philippines in March 1942. Given command of Allied forces in the Southwest Pacific area, he directed the successful defense of southeastern New Guinea, and beginning later in 1942, the counteroffensive that ultimately swept the Japanese from the region, leading to his return to the Philippines with the October 1944 invasion of Leyte. Promoted to General of the Army shortly before the end of 1944, MacArthur subsequently oversaw the liberation of the rest of the Philippines. After Japan capitulated in August 1945General MacArthur presided over the formal surrender ceremonies and, during the next five years, was responsible for demilitarizing the defeated nation and reforming its political and economic life.

Having been stretched thin along the 700-mile Eastern Front, losing in the

Balkans, and encircled in Lithuania, the German forces fell. The Soviets quickly took Warsaw (Poland) and Lódz. Hitler withdrew from

the Ardennes (a wooded plateau in the Champagne-Ardenne region of France; the site of intense fighting in World Wars I and II)

on the Western Front and rushed to Budapest in hopes of holding Hungary. By February, some Soviet divisions stood only 40 miles from


On March 23, the Allies attacked across the Rhine River. The Canadian 1st Army trudged through the Netherlands, the British 2nd drove

to the Baltic Sea, and US forces fanned out from Magdeburg to the Czech and Austrian borderOradour-Sur Glane

Meanwhile, the Soviet pressed on, wreakin

g revengeful atrocities and driving hordes of refugees before them. By mid-April, they had taken Vienna, Danzig, and Königsberg. On April 25, they met with the Americans– with toasts and embraces – on the Elbe River. Remains of Krefeld and Brandenburg

Berlin fell on May 2, Axis forces in Italy and Austria surrendered the same day. On May 4, five days after Hitler’s suicide, his counterparts in Germany, Holland and Denmark followed suit. And on May 7, in Reims, France, the German High Command (represented by German General Alfred Jodl and Admiral Hans Friedeburg) surrended unconditionally. Only in Czechoslovakia did fighting go on for a few more days. On May 8, five years and eight months after it started, the war in Europe was officially over.

In the following weeks, the Allies arrested every Nazi official they could find on war-crimes charges. Hitler’s dream of a Thousand-Year Reich (empire) lasted only 12 years.

The below collection focuses on The Pacific War, a term referring to parts of World War II that took place in the Pacific Ocean, the islands of the Pacific and the Far East. The start of The Pacific War is generally considered to be the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on December 7, 1941. The Pacific War pitted the Allies against the Empire of Japan and culminated with the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August of 1945, Victory over Japan Day on August 15, 1945 and the official surrender of Japan aboard the battleship U.S.S. Missouri in Tokyo Bay on September 2, 1945.

World War Two

The causes, events and people of the most destructive war in history.
World War Two: Key Events
World War Two: Summary Outline of Key Events - A guide to the key events of World War Two.
The Gathering Storm

Had Britain's wartime leader truly stood alone in his opposition to appeasement, or did he rewrite history to portray himself in a better light? By Professor John Charmley.
The Ending of World War One - Germany had high hopes of winning World War One - especially after astonishing advances early in1918.
The Rise of Adolf Hitler - From aimless drifter to brutal dictator, by Jeremy Noakes
Hitler's Leadership Style by Dr Geoffrey Megargee
Nazi Propaganda by Professor David Welch
Blitzkrieg: Germany's 'Lightning War'

How did this new doctrine of speed, flexibility and surprise deliver a string of stunning victories for Hitler's armies? By Robert T Foley
Voices of Dunkirk - Listen to eight survivors of the Dunkirk evacuation recount their stories
Invasion of Poland - The gamble that led to war, by Bradley Lightbody
Spinning Dunkirk - Miracle or propaganda? By Professor Duncan Anderson
France, 1940: 1 Squadron by Christopher Shores
The Fall of France by Dr Gary Sheffield
Dunkirk by Bruce Robinson
Norway Campaign by Helen Cleary
The Fall of France by Bruce Robinson
Britain Stands Alone

The rows were explosive, the challenges enormous, but he led Britain through the war with unique assurance. By Dr Geoffrey Best.
Audio: Churchill and World War Two - Audio of three of Winston Churchill's speeches to the British nation during World War Two.
The German Threat to Britain in World War Two - Was an invasion likely? By Dan Cruickshank
The Battle of Britain - Explore the Battle of Britain with clips from BBC programmes
Battlefield Academy: WW2 Mission - Defend Britain from air attack by the Luftwaffe
WW2 Movies: The Bombers and the Bombed - An interactive animation looking at the air war
The Battle of the Atlantic - Britain's fight for survival, by Dr Gary Sheffield
The Battle of the Atlantic Game - Defeat the U-boats and guide your convoy to safety
Battle of Britain by Bruce Robinson
Battle of the Atlantic by Helen Cleary
Channel Islands Invaded by Bruce Robinson
The Blitz by Bruce Robinson
The Allies in Retreat

Why did Hitler believe that the East should provide lebensraum (living space) for the German people? By Jeremy Noakes.
Pearl Harbor: A Rude Awakening - Bruce Robinson explores the factors that led to the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor.
Hitler's Invasion of Russia in World War Two - The rationale, by Laurence Rees
The Dieppe Raid - A disastrous blunder, by Julian Thompson
The Burma Campaign 1941 - 1945 - The 'forgotten war', by Michael Hickey
Animated Map: The Burma Campaign - A step-by-step guide to the campaign
Rommel in the Desert by Dr Niall Barr
Burma Campaign by Bruce Robinson
Dieppe Raid by Helen Cleary
Siege of Malta by Helen Cleary
The Tide of War Turns

Churchill said that there was never a victory before it and never a defeat after it. How important was this epic victory? By Professor Richard Holmes.
Animated Map: The Battle of El Alamein - A step-by-step guide to the battle
Animated Map: The North African Campaign - A step-by-step guide to the campaign
The Battle of Midway - From ambush to victory in the Pacific, by Andrew Lambert
Aerial Reconnaissance in World War Two Gallery - Intelligence from above, by Allan Williams
Battle of the Atlantic - Overcoming the U-boat threat, by Dr Gary Sheffield
The Soviet-German War 1941 - 1945 by Professor Richard Overy
Dambusters Raid by Phil Edwards
The Axis in Retreat

Has an obsession with the Allied landings in Normandy given a distorted view of the achievements of the Italian campaign? By Professor Richard Holmes.
Animated Map: The Italian Campaign - A step-by-step guide to the campaign
World War Two: The Battle of Monte Cassino - Was it worth it? By Professor Richard Holmes
The Burma Campaign 1941 - 1945 - From defeat to victory, by Michael Hickey
Animated Map: The Burma Campaign - A step-by-step guide to the campaign
The Sinking of the 'Scharnhorst' - A blow to German pride, by Norman Fenton
British Bombing Strategy in World War Two - The moral dilemmas of the air war, by Detlef Siebert
The Air War, and British Bomber Crews, in World War Two - The price they paid, by Mark Fielder
Germany's Final Measures in World War Two - Hitler's search for a miracle, by Louise Wilmot
Japan: No Surrender in World War Two - The policy's terrible cost, by David Powers
Allied Landings in Italy by Phil Edwards
Allied Landings in Sicily by Phil Edwards
Battle of Monte Cassino by Phil Edwards
Defence of Imphal and Kohima by Bruce Robinson
Scharnhorst Sunk by Helen Cleary
Special Section: D-Day and Operation Overlord

How meticulous planning, good luck and sheer guts ensured the success of history's largest amphibious invasion. By Duncan Anderson.
Voices of D-Day - Listen to the voices of eight people who experienced D-Day first-hand.
Animated Map: The D-Day Landings - A step-by-step guide to the invasion
WW2 Movies: D-Day - An interactive animation looking at the landings
From Gallipoli to D-Day - The Allies' steep learning curve, by Peter Hart
The Dieppe Raid - A disaster, but with valuable lessons, by Julian Thompson
Operation Overlord: D-Day to Paris - How the liberation of Western Europe began, by Lloyd Clark
Animated Map: Operation Overlord - A step-by-step guide to the campaign
From D-Day to Berlin Gallery - The bloody slog of the war's last year
The Allies at War - The Allied leaders' uneasy relationships, by Simon Berthon
GI Joe: US Soldiers of World War Two - The American contribution, by Captain Dale Dye
Caen Captured by Phil Edwards
Caen Offensive by Phil Edwards
Closing the Falaise Gap by Phil Edwards
Gold Beach by Phil Edwards
Juno Beach by Phil Edwards
Operation Overlord by Phil Edwards
Pegasus Bridge by Phil Edwards
Sword Beach by Phil Edwards
Victory in Europe and Japan

How Operation Market Garden could have shortened the war by six months - and why it failed at the last moment. By Mark Fielder.
Animated Map: The Battle of Arnhem - A step-by-step guide to the operation
The Battle of the Bulge - Hitler's last offensive, by Robin Cross
Liberation of the Concentration Camps - The Allies' horrific discoveries, by Dr Stephen A Hart
Genocide Under the Nazis Timeline - The drip-drip of events that led to genocide
The Battle for Berlin in World War Two - The carnage of the Soviet campaign, by Tilman Remme
Victory in Europe Day - How the news was greeted, by Dr Gary Sheffield
World War Two: How the Allies Won by Professor Richard Overy
Battle of the Bulge by Phil Edwards
Market-Garden by Phil Edwards
V E Day by Helen Cleary
V-weapons Attack Britain by Helen Cleary
VJ Day by Helen Cleary
Post-war Reconstruction and Retribution

Labour's landslide in the 1945 general election remains one of the greatest shocks in British political history. How did Churchill fail to win? By Dr Paul Addison.
Nuremberg: Nazis On Trial by Professor Richard Overy
Making Justice at Nuremberg, 1945 - 1946 by Professor Richard Overy
Special Section: The Secret War

The Allies established occupation administrations in Austria andGermany. The former became a neutral state, non-aligned with any political bloc. The latter was divided into western and eastern occupation zones controlled by the Western Allies and the USSR, accordingly. A denazification program in Germany led to the prosecution of Nazi war criminals and the removal of ex-Nazis from power, although this policy moved towards amnesty and re-integration of ex-Nazis into West German society.[245]

Germany lost a quarter of its pre-war (1937) territory, the eastern territories: SilesiaNeumark and most of Pomeraniawere taken over by Poland; East Prussia was divided between Poland and the USSR, followed by the expulsion of the 9 million Germans from these provinces, as well as of 3 million Germans from the Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia, to Germany. By the 1950s, every fifth West German was a refugee from the east. The USSR also took over the Polish provinces east of the Curzon line(from which 2 million Poles were expelled),[246] Eastern Romania,[247][248]and part of eastern Finland[249] and threeBaltic states.[250][251]

Prime Minister Winston Churchill gives the "Victory" sign to crowds in London onVictory in Europe Day.

In an effort to maintain peace,[252] the Allies formed the United Nations, which officially came into existence on 24 October 1945,[253] and adopted TheUniversal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, as a common standard for all member nations.[254] The great powers that were the victors of the war—the United States, Soviet Union, China, Britain, and France—formed the permanent members of the UN's Security Council.[3] The five permanent members remain so to the present, although there have been two seat changes, between the Republic of China and the People's Republic of China in 1971, and between the Soviet Union and its successor state, the Russian Federation, following the dissolution of the Soviet Union. The alliance between the Western Allies and the Soviet Union had begun to deteriorate even before the war was over.[255]

Germany had been de facto divided, and two independent states,Federal Republic of Germany and German Democratic Republic[256] were created within the borders of Allied and Soviet occupation zones, accordingly. The rest of Europe was also divided onto Western and Soviet spheres of influence.[257]Most eastern and central European countries fell into the Soviet sphere, which led to establishment of Communist led regimes, with full or partial support of the Soviet occupation authorities. As a result, PolandHungary,[258] Czechoslovakia,[259] Romania,Albania,[260] and East Germanybecame Soviet Satellite states. Communist Yugoslavia conducted a fully independent policy causing tension with the USSR.[261]

Post-war division of the world was formalised by two international military alliances, the United States-led NATO and the Soviet-led Warsaw Pact;[262]the long period of political tensions and military competition between them, the Cold War, would be accompanied by an unprecedented arms race and proxy wars.[263]

In Asia, the United States led the occupation of Japan andadministrated Japan's former islands in the Western Pacific, while the Soviets annexedSakhalin and the Kuril Islands.[264]Korea, formerly under Japanese rule, was divided and occupied by the US in the South and the Soviet Union in the North between 1945 and 1948. Separate republics emerged on both sides of the 38th parallel in 1948, each claiming to be the legitimate government for all of Korea, which led ultimately to the Korean War.[265]

In China, nationalist and communist forces resumed the civil war in June 1946. Communist forces were victorious and established the People's Republic of China on the mainland, while nationalist forces retreated to Taiwan in 1949.[266] In the Middle East, the Arab rejection of the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine and the creation of Israel marked the escalation of the Arab-Israeli conflict. While European colonial powers attempted to retain some or all of their colonial empires, their losses of prestige and resources during the war rendered this unsuccessful, leading todecolonisation.[267][268]

The global economy suffered heavily from the war, although participating nations were affected differently. The US emerged much richer than any other nation; it had a baby boom and by 1950 its gross domestic product per person was much higher than that of any of the other powers and it dominated the world economy.[269][270] The UK and US pursued a policy of industrial disarmament in Western Germany in the years 1945–1948.[271]Due to international trade interdependencies this led to European economic stagnation and delayed European recovery for several years.[272][273]

Recovery began with the mid 1948 currency reform in Western Germany, and was sped up by the liberalization of European economic policy that the Marshall plan (1948–1951) both directly and indirectly caused.[274][275] The post 1948 West German recovery has been called the German economic miracle.[276] Also the Italian[277][278] and French economies rebounded.[279] By contrast, the United Kingdom was in a state of economic ruin,[280] and continued relative economic decline for decades.[281]

The Soviet Union, despite enormous human and material losses, also experienced rapid increase in production in the immediate post-war era.[282] Japan experienced incredibly rapid economic growth, becoming one of the most powerful economies in the world by the 1980s.[283] China returned to its pre-war industrial production by 1952.


December 7, 1941: This picture, taken by a Japanese photographer, shows how American ships are clustered together before the surprise Japanese aerial attack on Pear Harbor, Hawaii, on Sunday morning, Dec. 7, 1941. Minutes later the full impact of the assault was felt and Pearl Harbor became a flaming target. (AP Photo)


December 7, 1941: Sailors stand among wrecked airplanes at Ford Island Naval Air Station as they watch the explosion of the USS Shaw in the background, during the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. (AP Photo)


December 7, 1941: The battleship USS Arizona belches smoke as it topples over into the sea during a Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The ship sank with more than 80 percent of its 1,500-man crew. The attack, which left 2,343 Americans dead and 916 missing, broke the backbone of the U.S. Pacific Fleet and forced America out of a policy of isolationism. President Franklin D. Roosevelt announced that it was "a date which will live in infamy" and Congress declared war on Japan the morning after. (AP Photo)


December 7, 1941: Eight miles from Pearl Harbor, shrapnel from a Japanese bomb riddled this car and killed three civilians in the attack. Two of the victims can be seen in the front seat. The Navy reported there was no nearby military objective. (AP Photo/U.S. Navy)


December 7, 1941: Heavy damage is seen on the destroyers, U.S.S. Cassin and the U.S.S. Downes, stationed at Pearl Harbor after the Japanese attack on the Hawaiian island. (AP Photo/U.S. Navy)


Wreckage, identified by the U.S. Navy as a Japanese torpedo plane , was salvaged from the bottom of Pearl Harbor following the surorise attack Dec. 7, 1941. (AP Photo)


The shattered wreckage of American planes bombed by the Japanese in their attack on Pearl Harbor is strewn on Hickam Field, Dec. 7, 1941. (AP Photo)


April 18, 1942: A B-25 Mitchell bomber takes off from the USS Hornet's flight deck for the initial air raid on Tokyo, Japan, a secret military mission U.S. President Roosevelt referred to as Shangri-La. (AP Photo)


June 1942: The USS Lexington, U.S. Navy aircraft carrier, explodes after being bombed by Japanese planes in the Battle of the Coral Sea in the South Pacific during World War II. (AP Photo)


June 4, 1942: The U.S. aircraft carrier Yorktown, left, and the other fighting ships of a United States task force in the Pacific, throw up an umbrella of anti-aircraft fire to beat off a squadron of Japanese torpedo planes attacking the carrier during the battle of Midway. (AP Photo)


August 3, 1942: After hammering Port Moresby for two days, Japanese bombers finally sank this Australian transport which sends up a cloud of smoke. She drifted onto a reef and heeled over. Flaming oil can be seen at left. The men in a small boat, foreground, are looking for victims. (AP Photo)

May 1945: Plaza Goiti, Downtown Manila


# P-51 "Mustang" fighter in flight, Inglewood, California, The Mustang, built by North American Aviation, Incorporated, is the only American-built fighter used by the Royal Air Force of Great Britain. Photo taken in October, 1942. (Alfred Palmer/OWI/LOC) #


Marine lieutenant, glider pilot in training, ready for take-off, at Page Field, Parris Island, South Carolina, in May, 1942. (Alfred Palmer/OWI/LOC) #


Women are trained as engine mechanics in thorough Douglas training methods, at the Douglas Aircraft Company in Long Beach, California, in October of 1942. (Alfred Palmer/OWI/LOC) #


An American pineapple, of the kind the Axis finds hard to digest, is ready to leave the hand of an infantryman in training at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. (Alfred Palmer/OWI/LOC) #

Marine Corps glider in flight out of Parris Island, South Carolina, in May of 1942. (Alfred Palmer/OWI/LOC) #

A Marine parachuting at Parris Island, South Carolina, in May of 1942. (Alfred Palmer/OWI/LOC) #

A parade of M-4 (General Sherman) and M-3 (General Grant) tanks in training maneuvers, at Ft. Knox, Kentucky. Note the lower design of the M-4, the larger gun in the turret and the two hatches in front of the turret. Photographed in June of 1942. (Alfred Palmer/OWI/LOC)

Suicide cliff where thousands of civilians jumped to their death in WWII. As a result of the Japanese defeat in the battle, Japanese Prime Minister Hideki Tojo fell from power. Immediately after the news of the defeat reached Tokyo, Tojo was relieved as head of the Japanese Army; and on 18 July 1944, Tojo and his entire cabinet resigned. After the battle, Saipan became an important base for further operations in the Marianas, and then for the invasion of the Philippines in October 1944. Bombers based at Saipan attacked the Philippines, the Ryukyu Islands and Japan. Japanese Army Captain Sakeo Oba held out in the mountains with forty-six men until he surrendered on December 1, 1945.

Once upon a time, the planning of the greatest seaborne invasion ever took place. Four years in the preparation, Operation Overlord, the Allied invasion of Normandy on 6 June 1944, marked the beginning of the end of World War II and the eventual liberation of Europe. Over 425,000 Allied and German troops were killed, wounded or went missing during the Battle of Normandy. This figure includes nearly 37,000 dead amongst the ground forces and a further 16,714 deaths amongst the Allied air forces. Of the Allied casualties, 83,045 were from 21st Army Group (British, Canadian and Polish ground forces), 125,847 from the US ground forces. The losses of the German forces during the Battle of Normandy can only be estimated. Roughly 200,000 German troops were killed or wounded. The Allies also captured 200,000 prisoners of war.Today, twenty-seven war cemeteries hold the remains of over 110,000 dead from both sides: 77,866 German, 9386 American, 17,769 British, 5002 Canadian and 650 Poles.

A German armored tank crosses the Aisne River in France, on June 21, 1940, one day before the surrender of France. (AP Photo) 


Waves of German paratroopers land on snow-covered rock ledges in the Norwegian port and city of Narvik, during the German invasion of the Scandinavian country. (AP Photo) # 


The remains of a naval battle in Narvik, Norway in 1940. Several battles between German and Norwegian forces took place in the Ofotfjord in the spring of 1940. (LOC) # 


A group of German Gebirgsjägers (mountain troops) in action in Narvik, Norway, in 1940.(Deutsches Bundesarchiv/German Federal Archive) # 


German soldiers move through a burning Norwegian village, in April 1940, during the German invasion. (AP Photo) # 


Members of a British Royal Air Force bombing squadron hold thumbs up on April 22, 1940, as they return to home base from an attack on German warships off Bergen, Norway. (AP Photo) # 


An aircraft spotter on the roof of a building in London, England, with St. Paul's Cathedral in the background. (National Archives) # 


German bombs miss their targets and explode in the sea during an air raid on Dover, England, in July 1940. (AP Photo) # 


Members of the Black Watch, one of the famed Scottish regiments, undergo rough training in South Coast sector of England, in 1940. The men were training to be combat parachutists. (AP Photo) # 

The Royal Irish Fusiliers of the British expeditionary forces come to the aid of French farmers whose horses have been commandeered by the French Army. A tank is hitched to a plow to help with the spring tilling of the soil on March 27, 1940. (AP Photo) # 

Belgian women tearfully have goodbye to husbands and sons leaving for the front line as the threat of invasion hung heavily over their homeland, on May 11, 1940. (AP Photo) # 

A formation of German Ju 87 Stuka dive bombers are flying over an unknown location, in this May 29, 1940 photo. (AP Photo) #

A German soldier operates his antiaircraft gun at an unknown location, in support of the German troops as they march into Danish territory, on April 9, 1940. (AP Photo) # 

Reconnaissance squads head the German advance into Luxembourg, on May 10, 1940. (AP Photo) # 

German parachute troops descending on Fort Eben Emael in Belgium, on May 30, 1940, part of a larger surprise attack. (AP Photo) # 

French soldiers load a piece of artillery in a wood somewhere in the Western Front on May 29, 1940. The shell will be fired into the Nazi-occupied sector of the soldiers' homeland. (AP Photo) # 

A formation of German Dornier Do 17Z light bombers, flying over France on June 21, 1940.(Deutsches Bundesarchiv/German Federal Archive) # 

German parachute troops man a machine gun post in the Netherlands, on June 2, 1940. This photo came from a camera found on German parachute troops who were taken prisoner. (AP Photo) # 

Belgians blasted this bridge across the Meuse River in the town of Dinant, Belgium, but shortly, a wooden bridge built by German sappers was standing next to the ruins, on June 20, 1940. (AP Photo) # 

A woman, fleeing from her home with the few possessions she can carry, takes cover behind a tree by the roadside, somewhere in Belgium, on May 18, 1940, during an aerial attack by Nazi planes. Her bicycle, with her belongings tied to it, rests against the tree, to which she clings for protection. (AP Photo) # 

Hundreds of thousands of British and French troops who had fled advancing German forces massed on the beach of Dunkirk, France, on June 4, 1940, awaiting ships to carry them to England. (AP Photo) # 

British and French troops wade through shallow water along the beach at Dunkirk, France on June 13, 1940 toward small rescue craft that will bring them to England. Some 700 private vessels joined dozens of military craft to ferry the men across the channel. (AP Photo) # 

Men of the British Expeditionary Force safely arrive home after their fight in Flanders on June 6, 1940. More than 330,000 soldiers were rescued from Dunkirk in the mission code-named Operation Dynamo. (AP Photo) #

French tanks pass through a bombarded French town on their way to the front line in France, on May 25, 1940. (AP Photo) # 

Women waving Union Jacks greet passing soldiers, all Canadians, as they march from the docks after disembarking in France on June 18, 1940. (AP Photo) # 

Some of the 350 refugee British children who arrived in New York City on July 8, 1940, aboard the British liner Samaria. They were the first large contingent of English children sent from the isles to be free of the impending Nazi invasion. (AP Photo/Becker) # 

German troops walk down a deserted street in Luxembourg, on May 21, 1940, with rifles, pistols and grenades ready to protect themselves. (AP Photo) # 

Bombs let loose by the Royal Air Force during a raid on Abbeville Aerodrome -- now held by Germans -- in France, on July 20, 1940.(AP Photo) # 

Refugees leave their ruined town in Belgium, after it had been bombed by the Germans, carrying what little of their personal belongings they managed to salvage, on May 19, 1940. (AP Photo) # 

Nazi motorcyclists pass through a destroyed town in France in 1940. (Deutsches Bundesarchiv/German Federal Archive) # 

A crowd of women, children and soldiers of the German Wehrmacht give the Nazi salute on June 19, 1940, at an unknown location in Germany. (AP Photo) # 

Civilian victims of a German air raid near Antwerp, Belgium, on June 13, 1940. British troops said these people were cycling to work when German planes swept over, attacking and leaving them to die beside a wheat field. (AP Photo) # 

British Prime Minister Winston Churchill inspects Britain's Grenadier guards standing at attention in front of Light Bren gun armored units in July, 1940. (AP Photo) # 

An allied soldier thrusts the plunger of an explosive mechanism that will blast a bridge to delay the Nazi advance, in the Leuven region of Belgium, on June 1, 1940, before this area fell to the Germans. (AP Photo) # 

A tandem bicycle carries a whole Belgian family of four with some of their belongings strapped to their backs, as they flee from the advancing Nazis into France, on June 14, 1940. (AP Photo) # 

Adolf Hitler poses in Paris with the Eiffel Tower in the background, one day after the formal capitulation of France, on June 23, 1940. He is accompanied by Albert Speer, German Reichsminister of armaments and Hitler's chief architect, left, and Arno Breker, professor of visual arts in Berlin and Hitler's favorite sculptor, right. An unknown cameraman seen in the foreground is filming the event. Photo provided by the German War Department. (AP Photo/German War Department) # 

French destroyer Mogador, in flames after being shelled during the British attack on Mers-el-Kebir, French Algeria, on July 3, 1940. After France signed an armistice with Germany, the British government moved to destroy what it could of the French Navy, trying to prevent the ships from falling into German hands. Several ships were badly damaged, one sunk, and 1,297 French sailors were killed in the attack.(Jacques Mulard/CC-BY-SA# 

Heavy mortars of Hitler's Army are set in position under cliffs on the French side of the English Channel, at Fecamp, France, in 1940, as Germany occupied France and the low countries. (AP Photo) # 

A German soldier stands in the tower of the cathedral, gazing down upon the captured French city of Strasbourg on July 15, 1940. Adolf Hitler visited the city in June of 1940, declaring plans for the Strasbourg Cathedral, stating that it should become a "national sanctuary of the German people." (AP Photo)


Aug. 7, 1942: Members of the crew of a U.S. Destroyer get a good look at a Japanese twin-motored bomber shot down by U.S. aircraft near Tulagi in the first day of fighting for possession of the southern Solomon Islands. One third of the end of the fuselage was shot off. Barely discernible above the waves, one member of the crew of the plane clings to the starboard wing. (AP Photo/US Navy)

U.S. Army Air Force B-25B Mitchell medium bomber, one of sixteen involved in the mission, takes off from the flight deck of the USS Hornet for an air raid on the Japanese Home Islands, on April 18, 1942. The attack, later known as the Doolittle Raid, inflicted limited damage, but gave a huge boost to American morale after the attacks on Pearl Harbor months earlier. (AP Photo)

A crew member checks the lashings on his bomber aboard the USS Hornet, while behind him other crews check their planes in preparation for the Doolittle Raid on April 18, 1942. (NARA) #

Posing in front of a bomber is Crew No. 1 of the Doolittle Raid, from the 34th Bombardment Squadron, Lt. Col. James H. Doolittle, pilot (2nd from left); Lt. Richard E. Cole, co-pilot; Lt. Henry A. Potter, navigator; SSgt. Fred A. Braemer, bombardier; SSgt. Paul J. Leonard, flight engineer/gunner. (U.S. Air Force photo) #

American B-25B bombers rest on the flight deck of the USS Hornet, approaching the spot where the planes were launched on their raid on Tokyo, April 13, 1942. Escort ship in left background. (AP Photo) #

A U.S. Army Air Force B-25B bomber leaves the deck of the USS Hornet, for the historic raid on Tokyo under Maj. Gen. James Doolittle, on April 18, 1942. Each aircraft carried three 500-pound high-explosive bombs and one incendiary bomb. (AP Photo) #

Above Tokyo, smoke rises from strikes on the Japanese mainland as the bombs dropped by Doolittle's raiders hit their targets on April 18, 1942. Unable to land the huge aircraft back on the USS Hornet, and running low on fuel, the bombers continued westward attempting to land in a friendly area in China. (NARA) #

Ryozo Asano, left, spokesman for a group of diversified Japanese family enterprises called the Zaibatsu, inspects the wreckage of his steel plant in Tokyo, after the first U.S. air raid on Japan's capital, April 18, 1942. He is accompanied by an unidentified aide. Thirteen targets were struck, including an oil tank farm, a steel mill, and an aircraft carrier under construction. Some 50 Japanese lost their lives. (AP Photo) #

Chinese village before being reunited with other airmen in April of 1942. Most of the crew members made it to China, either crash landing, or bailing out over land. The assistance given by the Chinese to the airmen spurred the Japanese Imperial Army to carry out a retaliatory action called the Zhejiang-Jiangxi Campaign -- over the course of four months, entire villages were destroyed, and an estimated 250,000 Chinese civilians were killed. (AP Photo/U.S. Army Air Force) #


Lt. Col. James Doolittle, who led the April, 1942 air raid on Tokyo, addresses a throng of aircraft workers at the North American Aviation plant on June 1, 1942. He said that "Shangri La," the mythical land identified by President Roosevelt as the place where the bombers came from, "is right here in this North American plant." (AP Photo) #


Aug. 29, 1942: After landing in force, U.S. Marines pause on the beach of Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands before advancing inland against the Japanese during World War II. (AP Photo)


Aug. 1942: U.S. Marines approach the Japanese occupied Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands during World War II. (AP Photo)


Aug. 1942: U.S. Marines, with full battle kits, charge ashore on Guadalcanal Island from a landing barge during the early phase of the U.S. offensive in the Solomon Islands during World War II. (AP Photo)


Sept. 16, 1942: Crewmen picking their way along the sloping flight deck of the aircraft carrier Yorktown as the ship listed, head for damaged sections to see if they can patch up the crippled ship. Later, they had to abandon the carrier and two strikes from a Japanese submarine's torpedoes sent the ship down to the sea floor after the battle of Midway. (AP Photo/U.S. Navy)


Oct. 29, 1942: U.S. Marines man a .75 MM gun on Guadalcanal Island in the Solomon Islands during World War II. (AP Photo)


October 16, 1942: Six U.S. Navy scout planes are seen in flight above their carrier. (AP Photo)


Nov. 3, 1942: Pushing through New Guinea jungles in a jeep, General Douglas MacArthur inspects the positions and movements of Allied Forces, who would push the Japanese away from Port Moresby and back over the Owen Stanley Mountain range. (AP Photo)


November 5, 1942: With the towering 20,300 feet peak of Mt. McKinley as a backdrop, a formation of U.S. Army Air Force A-29 planes drone along on the alert in defense in Alaska during World War II. (AP Photo)


Nov. 4, 1942: Two alert U.S. Marines stand beside their small tank on Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands during World War II. The military tank was used against the Japanese in the battle of the Tenaru River during the early stages of fighting. (AP Photo)


May 1942: After defending the island for nearly a month, American and Filipino soldiers surrender to Japanese invasion troops on Corregidor island, Philippines. This photograph was captured from the Japanese during Japan's three-year occupation. (AP Photo)


January 1943: The bodies of three American soldiers, fallen in the battle for Buna and Gona, lie on the beach of the island in the Papua New Guinea region during World War II. (AP Photo)


January 1943: While on a bombing run over Salamau, New Guinea, before its capture by Allied forces, photographer Sgt. John A. Boiteau aboard an army Liberator took this photograph of a B-24 Liberator during World War II. Bomb bursts can be seen below in lower left and a ship at upper right along the beach. (AP Photo/U.S. Army Force)


February 2, 1943: An American jeep proceeds along a trail through the jungle on Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands during World War II. (AP Photo)


Jan. 26, 1943: An infantryman is on guard on Grassy Knoll in Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands during World War II. (AP Photo)


January 1943: Two American soldiers of the 32nd Division cautiously fire into a Japanese dugout before entering it for inspection during a drive on Buna, which resulted in a defeat of Japanese forces in the Papaun peninsula of New Guinea during World War II. (AP Photo/U.S. Army Signal Corps)


Jan. 21, 1943: Native stretcher bearers rest in the shade of a coconut grove as they and the wounded American soldiers they are carrying from the front lines at Buna, New Guinea take the opportunity to relax. The wounded are on their way to makeshift hospitals in the rear. (AP Photo)


Feb. 1943: Soldiers of the Australian forces advance through a coconut grove and kunai grass in Japanese occupied New Guinea during World War II. The smoke is from mortar fire during the fierce fighting in the final assault which took Buna, the Japanese stronghold. (AP Photo)


March 22, 1943: Technical Sgt. R.W. Greenwood, a Marine, sits in the cockpit of a Grumman Wildcat fighter plane, based at Henderson Field, Guadalcanal, that is credited with shooting down 19 Japanese aircraft, as illustrated by the number of Japanese flags on his plane. Several different pilots have flown the ship during successful missions, but Sgt. Greenwood has remained plane captain. (AP Photo)


May 11, 1943: American invasion troops of the 7th Infantry Division approach a landing area code-named Beach Red in the western arm of Holtz Bay, on Japanese-occupied Attu island in Alaska. (AP Photo)


June 23, 1943: U.S. Army reinforcements land on a beach in Attu, Alaska on during World War II. U.S. troops invaded Attu on May 11 to expel the Japanese from the Aleutians. (AP Photo)


July 6,1943: Across this valley on Attu up above the fog line that obscures the tops of the mountains lie the passes that lead to Holtz Bay and Chichagof Bay. In the Valley at right center leading back into the mountains are strong Japanese positions shown. Attu Island was the site of the only World War II land battle on United States soil. (AP Photo)


June 4, 1943: A wounded U.S. Marine is given a plasma transfusion by nurse Mae Olson aboard an aerial evacuation unit, over Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands. (AP Photo)


August 1943: Wounded American soldiers are seen as they lie aboard a lighter onshore at Munda Point, New Georgia island. (AP Photo)


November 1943: A U.S. soldier wounded in the initial invasion at Empress Augusta Bay is being hoisted aboard a Coast Guard-manned transport off shore of Bougainville island. (AP Photo)


Sept. 11, 1943: After three days of fighting on the front lines on Munda, a Marine's tank crew take a rest, during which their machine guns are overhauled. This platoon wiped out 30 Japanese pill boxes. Left to right are: Pfc. Arnold McKenzie, Los Angeles, Calif.; Joseph Lodico, Sharon, Mass.; Pvt. Noel M. Billups, Columbus Ohio; and Staff Sgt. Douglas Ayres, Los Angeles. (AP Photo)


November 2, 1943: A B-25 bomber of the U.S. Army 5th Air Force strikes against a Japanese ship in the harbor at Rabaul, New Britain during an air raid on the Japanese-held air and naval base. (AP Photo)


November 1943: As the invasion at Empress Augusta Bay gets under way on Bougainville, U.S. troops are seen climbing over the side of a Coast Guard-manned combat transport to enter the landing barges. (AP Photo)


Nov. 11, 1943: A supply ship, one of two that the Japanese were able to work through U.S. Air attacks, explodes in Rangoon Harbor (center) after a direct hit by a bomb from a Tenth U.S. Air Force Plane. Hits also were scored on port facilities, seen smoking (top center). Note numerous small craft moored at docks and offshore, (right). (AP Photo)


November 20, 1943: Under attack from Japanese machine gun fire on the right flank, men of the 165th Infantry are seen as the wade through coral bottom water on Yellow Beach Two, Butaritari, during the assault on the Makin atoll, Gilbert Islands. (AP Photo)


Nov. 11, 1943: Crewmen of a U.S. Coast Guard combat transport go for a swim under the hull of a Japanese landmark in the Solomon Islands during World War II. The boat is the Kinugawa Maru, beached by the Japanese after being riddled by American gunners. Coast guardsmen took part in the original invasion of the Solomons. (AP Photo)


Dec. 1943: American Navajo Indians from Southwest United States, members of the 158th U.S. Infantry, are seen on a beach in the Solomon Islands. They are in their traditional dress for a tribal ceremony at Christmastime. From left to right are, Pfc. Dale Winney, Gallup, N.M; Pvt. Perry Toney, Holbrook, Ariz.; Pfc. Joe Gishi, Holbrook; and Pfc. Joe Taraha, Gallup. (AP Photo/U.S. Army Signal Corps)


December 26, 1943: U.S. Marines are seen from above as they wade through rough water to take the beach at Cape Gloucester on New Britain, Papua New Guinea. (AP Photo)


Dec. 26, 1943: U.S. Marines march ashore as they arrive in six landing crafts at Cape Gloucester on the northwestern coast of New Britain Island, New Guinea. The Allied forces made a second big invasion operation of the Japanese occupied island in an attempt to capture the big air base of Rabual, on the southwestern coast of the island. (AP Photo/U.S. Coast Guard)


January 1944: U.S. Marines carry their weapons and ammunition overhead as they wade through a wetland area at Cape Gloucester, New Britain Island. (AP Photo)


January 1944: U.S. Marines come ashore from the mouth of a Coast Guard manned LST, during the invasion of New Britain Island, at Cape Gloucester. (AP Photo)


January 1944: These U.S. Marine Raiders, with the reputation of being skillful jungle fighters, pose in front of a Japanese stronghold they conquered at Cape Totkina, Bougainville. (AP Photo)


February 23, 1944: Captain Carter, upper center with map, briefs his men for amphibious assault operations at Arawe, New Britain aboard a troop transport ship. (AP Photo)


February 1944: A wounded marine receives treatment from a Navy medical corpsman at a jungle first aid station behind the lines on New Britain Island, New Guinea, in the Battle for the Strategic Japanese air field on Cape Gloucester during World War II. (AP Photo/U.S. Marine Corps)


May 1944: The first wave of U.S. Infantrymen leave their higgins boats and race through the surf for the beach during the invasion of Wakde Island, Dutch New Guinea during World War II. (AP Photo/U.S. Army Signal Corps)


MArch 1944: Hundreds of pictures of pin-up girls adorn the entire wall of this bomber crew shack on Adak Island in the Aleutians in Alaska during World War II. (AP Photo)


March 1944: Following in the cover of a tank, American infantrymen secure an area on Bougainville, Solomon Islands after Japanese forces infiltrated their lines during the night. (AP Photo)


June 1944: U.S. Marines move up the beach on Saipan under heavy machine gun fire, during landing operations at the island of the Mariana group. (AP Photo)


June 1944: A Japanese bomber is shot down as it attempted to attack the USS Kitkun Bay, near the Mariana Islands. (AP Photo)


June 1944: Two U.S. Marines are seen crawling to their assigned positions under enemy fire on the beach at Saipan, Mariana Islands. (AP Photo)


July 1944: Columns of troop-packed LCIs trail in the wake of a Coast Guard-manned transport ship en route for the invasion of Cape Sansapor, New Guinea. The deck of the LST is densely packed with heavy military machinery and other war supplies. (AP Photo)



July 1944: U.S. Marines walk away from a Japanese foxhole after blowing it up with explosives, during the invasion at Saipan, in the Mariana Islands. (AP Photo)


July 1944: U.S. Army reinforcement troops are seen as they disembark from LST's in the background and proceed across the coral reef toward Saipan beach, Mariana Islands. (AP Photo)


July 27, 1944: Flak fills the sky as U.S. antiaircraft guns fight off a Japanese attack during the invasion of Saipan, Mariana Islands. (AP Photo)


March 10, 1945: U.S. troops in the Pacific islands continued to find enemy holdouts long after the main Japanese forces had either surrendered or disappeared. Guam was considered cleared by August 12, 1944, but parts of the island were still dangerous half a year later. Here, patrolling Marines pass a dead Japanese sniper. These Marines may belong to the Fifty-second Defense Battalion, one of two black units sent to the Pacific. (Charles P. Gorry, AP Staff/AP Archives)


August 24, 1944: Curtiss Helldivers from the Fast Carrier Task Force 58 are seen midair on a mission over Saipan, in the Mariana Islands. (AP Photo)


September 13, 1944: Japanese-occupied harbor of Cebu is under attack by U.S. Navy carrier-based fighter planes, at Cebu island, Philippines. (AP Photo)


October 20, 1944: U.S. troops head toward the beaches of Leyte island during the amphibious assault to reconquest the Philippines. (AP Photo)


Nov. 1944: American soldiers take cover from fire of a Japanese machine gun in the Philippines during World War II. The troops are part of the first wave to land on Leyte Island in the Philippine invasion. (AP Photo/U.S. Army Signal Corps)


October 20, 1944: Gen. Douglas MacArthur, center, is accompanied by his officers and Sergio Osmena, president of the Philippines in exile, extreme left, as he wades ashore during landing operations at Leyte, Philippines, after U.S. forces recaptured the beach of the Japanese-occupied island. To his left is Lt. Gen. Richard K. Sutherland, his chief of staff. (AP Photo)


November 1944: A U.S. Marine flamethrowing tank attacks a Japanese pillbox, during the invasion of Saipan, in the Mariana Islands. (AP Photo)


November 12, 1944: U.S. medics are seen as they treat wounded comrades at an portable surgical unit during the 36th Division's drive on Pinwe, Burma. (AP Photo)


November 1944: Ground crew members prepare bombs to be loaded into the racks of the waiting B-29 Superforts, at a U.S. airbase on Saipan, in the Mariana Islands. (AP Photo)


November 1944: U.S. landing ship tanks are seen from above as they pour military equipment onto the shores of Leyte island, to support invading forces in the Philippines. (AP Photo)


November 1944: Two Coast Guard-manned landing ships open their jaws as U.S. soldiers line up to build sandbag piers out to the ramps, on Leyte island, Philippines. (AP Photo)


Nov. 25, 1944: Firefighters are almost hidden by smoke as they turn their hoses on many small fires started on the flight deck of the USS Intrepid after a Japanese suicide plane crashed into the carrier while it was operating off the coast of Luzon, the Philippines. (AP Photo/U.S. Navy)


Nov. 25, 1944: Wounded sailors are treated on the flight deck of the USS Intrepid after a Japanese suicide pilot crashed his plane on the carrier's deck while it sailed off the coast of Luzon, the Philippines, during World War II. (AP Photo/U.S. Navy)


Nov. 26, 1944: Burial at sea ceremonies are held aboard the USS Intrepid for members of the crew lost after the carrier was hit by a Japanese suicide pilot while operating off the coast of Luzon, the Philippines, during World War II. Sixteen men were killed in the kamikaze attack. (AP Photo/U.S. Navy)


December 12, 1944: After being hit in a Japanese air raid, a B-29 Superfortress explodes in ball of fire, while crewmen of the U.S. air base try to fight the inferno on Saipan, Mariana Islands. (AP Photo)


December 1944: U.S. soldiers at the Saipan airbase, in the Mariana Islands, watch as a B-29 Superfortress takes off for an air raid on the Japanese mainland. (AP Photo)


Feb. 1945: U.S. paratroopers of the 503rd Paratroop Regiment float to earth on Corregidor, a rocky island strategically located at the entrance of Manila Bay on Luzon Island, Philippines during World War II. (AP Photo/U.S. Army Signal Corps)


Feb. 13, 1945: Two Yank Infantrymen of the hard fighting 37th American division, climb through some Japanese barbed wire during street fighting in Manila in the Philippines. (AP Photo)


Feb. 1945: This general view shows amtracs bogged down in the sands along the beaches of Iwo Jima after the American invasion of the Japanese stronghold during World War II. In the background, U.S. Marines and Coast Guard beach parties operate communications and command posts and fox hole "hospitals" as assault troops push back the enemy from established beaches on the Volcano Island. (AP Photo/U.S. Coast Guard)


February 1945: The booted feet of a dead Japanese soldier, foreground, protrude from beneath a mound of earth on Iwo Jima during the American invasion of the Japanese Volcano Island stronghold in World War II. U.S. Marines can be seen nearby in foxholes. (AP Photo/Joe Rosenthal)


Feb. 19, 1945: In the Pacific theater of World War II, U.S. Marines hit the beach and charge over a dune on Iwo Jima in the Volcano Islands during the start of one of the deadliest battles of the war against Japan. (AP Photo/Joe Rosenthal)


Feb. 19, 1945: U.S. Fourth Division Marines move in from the beach on Iwo Jima, the Japanese Volcanic Island. A dead Marine lies at right in the foreground. Mt. Suribachi, in the background, was turned into a beehive of guns by Japanese troops. It was scaled by the U.S. Marines, who took control. (AP Photo/Joe Rosenthal)


February, 19, 1945: U.S. Marines of the 5th Divsion inch their way up a sand dune on Red Beach No. 1 toward Mount Suribachi, as the smoke of the battle drifts over them during the initial invasion on Iwo Jima. (AP Photo)


Feb. 23, 1945: U.S. Marines of the 28th Regiment, 5th Division, raise the American flag atop Mt. Suribachi, Iwo Jima. Strategically located only 660 miles from Tokyo, the Pacific island became the site of one of the bloodiest, most famous battles of World War II against Japan. (AP Photo/Joe Rosenthal)


Feb. 25, 1945: U.S. Corpsmen carry a wounded Marine on a stretcher to an evacuation boat on the beach at Iwo Jima while other Marines huddle in a foxhole during invasion of the Japanese Volcano Island stronghold in World War II. The U.S. invasion fleet can be seen offshore. (AP Photo/Joe Rosenthal)


Feb. 28, 1945: Wounded when Jap fire made a direct hit on an Amtrac, a Marine is transferred by Coast Guardsmen to a landing craft off the flaming shore of Iwo Jima, Japan on D-Day. After darting in with boatloads of Marines, a Coast Guard-manned landing craft ran back to sea with casualties to LST's, specially fitted as temporary hospital ships. Intense enemy fire exacted a heavy toll as the beachhead was established on the island fortress only 750 miles from Tokyo. (AP Photo)


March 1945: U.S. Marines prepare graves in the cemetery of the third and Fourth Marine Divisions for their buddies who died in taking the island of Iwo Jima, Japan, during World War II. (AP Photo/U.S. Navy)


March 16, 1945: A U.S. Marine approaches a Japanese soldier on Iwo Jima, Japan during World War II. The Japanese soldier was buried for 1 1/2 days in this shell hole playing dead and ready with a live grenade inches away from his hand. The Marines feared he might be further booby trapped underneath his body after knocking the grenade to the bottom of the shell hole. Promising no resistance, the prisoner is given a cigarette he asked for and was dragged free from the hole. (AP Photo)


April 1945: White markers designate the final resting place for hundreds of Third and Fourth Marine Division fighters, who died during the invasion of Iwo Jima in World War II, in this cemetery located near the beach where the U.S. Marines first established a beachhead. In the background, an American flag flies at half staff in tribute to the late President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who died in Warm Springs, Ga., on April 12. (AP Photo/Murray Befeler)


July 9, 1945: A B-29 burns furiously after an emergency landing on Iwo Jima, Japan while returning from a raid on the Japanese Mainland. Army Air Forces caption says the plane was badly shot up on the raid but the fire resulted from damage to hydraulic systems which caused a locked brake and a crash upon landing. (AP Photo)


April 21, 1945: A B-29 Superfortress rests on a dirt mound after it crash landed with two engines working at Iwo Jima, Japan during World War II. The U.S. Air Force plane was damaged in a raid over Tokyo. (AP Photo/Murray Befeler)


March 1945: Japanese night raiders are greeted with a lacework of antiaircraft fire by the U.S. Marine defenders of Yontan airfield, on Okinawa during World War II. In the foreground are Marine Corsair fighter planes of the "Hells Belles" squadron standing silhouetted against the sky. (AP Photo)


March 19, 1945: The USS Santa Fe lies alongside the heavily listing USS Franklin to provide assistance after the aircraft carrier had been hit and set afire by a single Japanese dive bomber, during the Okinawa invasion off the coast of Honshu, Japan. (AP Photo)


April 13. 1945: About 350 miles from the Japanese mainland, U.S. invasion forces establish a beachhead on Okinawa island. Pouring out war supplies and military equipment, the landing crafts fill the sea to the horizon, where stand the battleships of the U.S. fleet. (AP Photo)


May 11, 1945: While supporting the Okinawa invasion, the USS Bunker Hill is hit and severely damaged by two Japanese Kamikaze planes off the coast of Kyushu, Japan. The ship suffered 372 dead and 264 injured. (AP Photo)


July 1945: Australian troops storm ashore in the first assault wave to take Balikpapan on the southeast coast of oil-rich Borneo. Standing in the LST, Coast Guard Combat Photographer James L. Lonergan is documenting the landing operations. (AP Photo)


Aug. 6, 1945: This picture made from the town of Yoshiura on the other side of the mountain north of Hiroshima, Japan, shows the smoke rising from the explosion of the atomic bomb at Hiroshima. It was picked up from an Australian engineer at Kure, Japan. Note the radiation spots on the negative caused by the explosion of the A-bomb, almost ruining the film. (AP Photo)


Aug. 6, 1945: Japanese victims wait to receive first aid in the southern part of Hiroshima, Japan, a few hours after the U.S. atomic bomb exploded in the heart of the city. The explosion of the first A-bomb, known as "Little Boy," instantly killed 66,000 people and injured another 69,000 people. (AP Photo)


Aug. 9, 1945: A massive column of billowing smoke, thousands of feet high, mushrooms over the city of Nagasaki, Japan, after an atomic bomb was dropped by the United States. A B-29 plane delivered the blast killing approximately 70,000 people, with thousands dying later of radiation effects. The attack came three days after the U.S. dropped the world's first atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. The attacks brought about Japan's unconditional surrender. (AP Photo/U.S.Signal Corps)


Aug. 9, 1945: Terraced hillsides surrounding Nagasaki did little to lessen the destructiveness of the bomb dropped on this Japanese city. The city was almost completely destroyed except for a lone house standing here and there. (AP Photo)


August 10, 1945: An arrow marks the spot where the A-bomb struck at Nagasaki, Japan. Much of the bombed area is still desolate, the trees on the hills in the background remained charred and dwarfed from the blast and little reconstruction, except of wooden shacks as homes, has taken place. (AP Photo)


Sept. 3, 1945: This desolated area, with only some buildings standing here and there is what was left of Hiroshima, Japan after the first atomic bomb was dropped. (AP Photo)


August 14, 1945: A sailor and a nurse kiss passionately in Manhattan's Times Square, as New York City celebrates the end of World War II. The celebration followed the official announcement that Japan had accepted the terms of Potsdam and surrendered. (AP Photo/Victor Jorgensen)


August 14, 1945: A jubilant crowd of American Italians are seen as they wave flags and toss papers in the air while celebrating Japan's unconditional surrender in their neighborhood in New York City. (AP Photo)


September 2, 1945: F4U and F6F fighter planes are flying in formation over the USS Missouri, while the surrender ceremonies to end World War II take place aboard the U.S. Navy battleship. (AP Photo)


September 2, 1945: Spectators and correspondents from all over the world pick vantage positions on the deck of the USS Missouri, in Tokyo Bay to watch the formal Japanese surrender ceremony marking the end of World War II. (AP Photo, Frank Filan)


September 2, 1945: Gen. Douglas MacArthur signs the Japanese surrender documents aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay. Lt. Gen. Jonathan Wainwright, left foreground, who surrendered Bataan to the Japanese, and British Lt. Gen. A. E. Percival, next to Wainwright, who surrendered Singapore, observe the ceremony marking the end of World War II. (AP Photo)


February 19, 1945: The first landings on Iwo Jima. (US Navy photo)


February 1945: Amphibious tractors underway of the coast of Iwo Jima. (US Navy photo)
The Landings 65 Years Ago, How time passed us by

Supreme Commander Dwight Eisenhower gives the order of the day “Full victory – Nothing else” to paratroopers of the 101st Airborne Division at the Royal Air Force base in Greenham Common, England, three hours before the men board their planes to participate in the first assault wave of the invasion of the continent of Europe, June 5, 1944. (AP Photo)

Lieutenant Harrie W. James, USNR, of New York, N.Y., briefs officers and men who participated in landing operations during the invasion of Southern France June 5, 1944 on the day before D-Day. (AP Photo)

Sight of a low-flying Allied plane sends Nazi soldiers rushing for shelter on a beach in France, before D-Day June 1944. Their fears were premature; the fliers were taking photos of German coastal barriers in preparation for the invasion, which took place June 6. (AP Photo)

Airborne troops prepare for the descent on Europe of D-Day invasion June 6, 1944. (AP Photo)

American paratroopers, heavily armed, sit inside a military plane as they soar over the English Channel en route to the Normandy French coast for the Allied D-Day invasion of the German stronghold during World War II, June 6, 1944. (AP Photo)

U.S. paratroopers fix their static lines before a jump before dawn over Normandy on D-Day June 6, 1944, in France. The decision to launch the airborne attack in darkness instead of waiting for first light was probably one of the few Allied missteps on June 6, and there was much to criticize both in the training and equipment given to paratroopers and glider-borne troops of the 82nd and 101st airborne divisions. Improvements were called for after the invasion; the hard-won knowledge would be used to advantage later. (AP Photo/Army Signal Corps)

U.S. serviceman attend a Protestant service aboard a landing craft before the D-Day invasion on the coast of France, June 5, 1944. (AP Photo/Pete Carroll)

U.S. reinforcements wade through the surf from a landing craft in the days following D-Day and the Allied invasion of Nazi-occupied France at Normandy in June 1944 during World War II. (AP Photo/Bert Brandt)

After landing at the shore, these British troops wait for the signal to move forward, during the initial Allied landing operations in Normandy, France, June 6, 1944. (AP Photo)

Barrage balloons are used for aerial protection as part of the invasion fleet, carrying men and supplies as they move across the channel towards the French invasion coast. .(AP Photo /Peter Carroll )

This June 6, 1944 photo released by Nathan Kline, shows a B-26 Marauder flying toward France during the D-Day invasion. (AP Photo/ Courtesy of Nathan Kline)

Wounded British troops from the South Lancashire and Middlesex regiments are being helped ashore at Sword Beach, June 6, 1944, during the D-Day invasion of German occupied France during World War II. (AP Photo)

American soldiers and supplies arrive on the shore of the French coast of German-occupied Normandy during the Allied D-Day invasion on June 6, 1944 in World War II. (AP Photo)

Carrying full equipment, American assault troops move onto a beachhead code-named Omaha Beach, on the northern coast of France on June 6, 1944, during the Allied invasion of the Normandy coast. (AP Photo)

Sitting in the cover of their foxholes, American soldiers of the Allied Expeditionary Force secure a beachhead during initial landing operations at Normandy, France, June 6, 1944. In the background amphibious tanks and other equipment crowd the beach, while landing craft bring more troops and material ashore. (AP Photo/Weston Hayes)

Canadian troops in landing crafts approach a stretch of coastline code-named Juno Beach, near Bernieres-sur-mer, as the Allied Normandy invasion gets under way, on June 6, 1944. (AP Photo)

Members of an American landing unit help their exhausted comrades ashore during the Normandy invasion, June 6, 1944. The men reached the zone code-named Utah Beach, near Sainte Mere Eglise, on a life raft after their landing craft was hit and sunk by German coastal defenses. (AP Photo)

A U.S. Coast Guard LCI, heavily listing to port, moves alongside a transport ship to evacuate her troops, during the initial Normandy landing operations in France, on June 6, 1944. Moments later the craft will capsize and sink. Note that helmeted infantrymen, with full packs, are all standing to starboard side of the ship. (AP Photo)

Men and assault vehicles storm the Normandy Beach of France, as allied landing craft arrive at their destination on D-Day, June 6, 1944. Note men coming ashore in surf and vehicles starting inland. (AP Photo)

Out of the open bow doors of a Landing Craft, American troops and jeeps go ashore on the beach of the Normandy coast of France, June 6, 1944. (AP Photo)

Lt. William V. Patten, centre of group, wearing overseas cap, briefs his crew at a port in England before the invasion of France began June 6, 1944. Patten and his ship are veterans of Tunisia, Salerno, Anzio and Licata. (AP Photo)

Under the cover of naval shell fire, American infantrymen wade ashore from their landing craft during the initial Normandy landing operations in France, June 6, 1944. (AP Photo/Peter Carroll)

A U.S. Coast Guard landing barge, tightly packed with helmeted soldiers, approaches the shore at Normandy, France, during initial Allied landing operations, June 6, 1944. These barges ride back and forth across the English Channel, bringing wave after wave of reinforcement troops to the Allied beachheads. (AP Photo)

Under heavy German machine gun fire, American infantrymen wade ashore off the ramp of a Coast Guard landing craft on June 8, 1944, during the invasion of the French coast of Normandy in World War II. (AP Photo)

US assault troops approach Utah Beach in a barge, 06 June 1944 as Allied forces storm the Normand beaches on D-Day. D-Day, is still one of the world’s most gut-wrenching and consequential battles, as the Allied landing in Normandy led to the liberation of France which marked the turning point in the Western theater of World War II. AFP PHOTO

A tribute to an unknown American soldier, who lost his life fighting in the landing operations of the Allied Forces, marks the sand of Normandy’s shore, in June 1944. (AP Photo)

U.S. Army medical personnel administer a plasma transfusion to a wounded comrade, who survived when his landing craft went down off the coast of Normandy, France, in the early days of the Allied landing operations in June 1944. (AP Photo)

German prisoners of war are led away by Allied forces from Utah Beach, on June 6, 1944, during landing operations at the Normandy coast, France. (AP Photo)

U.S doughboys are brought ashore on the Northern Coast of France following the D-Day invasion of Normandy in World War II on June 13, 1944. The exhausted soldiers on the rubber life raft are being pulled by a group of comrades. (AP Photo/U.S. Army Signal Corps)

Allied forces camp out in fox holes, caves and tents on this hillside overlooking the beach at Normandy, France, during the D-Day invasion in World War II. (AP Photo/Bede Irvin)

One year after the D-Day landings in Normandy, a lone U.S. soldier guards a knocked out German gun position on “Utah” Beach, France, May 28, 1945. (AP Photo/Peter J. Carroll)

One year after the D-Day landings in Normandy, German prisoners landscape the area around a former German pill box at Saint-Laurent-sur-Mer, France, near “Omaha” Beach, May 28, 1945. The pill box, with a knocked out gun still visible, will be made into a monument dedicated to U.S. assault forces. (AP Photo/Peter J. Carroll)

One year after the D-Day landings in Normandy, German prisoners landscape the first U.S. cemetery at Saint-Laurent-sur-Mer, France, near “Omaha” Beach, May 28, 1945. (AP Photo/Peter J. Carroll)

Gen. Dwight Eisenhower stands on the cliff overlooking Omaha Beach on the Normandy coast in France as he makes an anniversary visit to the scene of the 1945 D-Day landing of the Allied troops, June 9, 1951. (AP Photo)

Pointe du Hoc. Omaha Beach, pocked by D-Day bombardment. On June 6th. 1944, five Normandy beaches were stormed by British, Canadian and American troops to free Europe from the German occupation. Ever since, each year on June 6th, Normandy coast lures veterans and pilgrims. (Ph: Alexandra BOULAT)


Pebbles with poppies painted on are seen on the beach of Saint-Aubin-sur-Mer on June 5, 2009 during a ceremony in memory of Canadian troops which landed in 1944 at the Nan Red point on Saint-Aubin beach. Each poppy painted by students represents a soldier killed here during World War II. Preparations are underway for the upcoming D-Day celebrations to mark the 65th anniversary of the June 6, 1944 allied landings in France, then occupied by Nazi Germany. US President Barack Obama is to lead commemorations attended by thousands of Americans on June 6 at the ceremony above Omaha Beach, where more than 9,000 US troops fought and died in June 1944. (DANIAU/AFP/Getty Images)

Normandy veterans Frank Allen (R), 85, and Cyril Askew, 92, both from Liverpool, England, look at the French coastline on a cross channel ferry on June 4, 2009 from Portsmouth, England to Caen, France. Several hundred of the remaining veterans of the Normandy campaign are travelling to France to take part in commemorations to mark the 65th anniversary of the D-Day landings in 1944. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

The sun shines on headstones in the British Cemetery on June 5 2009 in Bayeux, France. Several hundred of the remaining veterans of the Normandy campaign are travelling to France to take part in commemorations to mark the 65th anniversary of the D-Day landings in 1944. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

British school children help to place 4000 Union Jack flags bearing messages on Gold Beach on June 5, 2009 in Asnelles, France. The Royal British Legion has raised £1.8 million for veterans and tomorrow on the 65th anniversary of the D-Day landings a further 6000 flags will be placed on Gold beach, the location where British forces landed on 6th June 1944. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

A US jeep drives by Saint-Laurent-sur-Mer beach, Normandy, western France on June 4, 2009 during preparations for the upcoming D-Day celebrations to mark the 65th anniversary of the June 6, 1944 allied landings in France, then occupied by Nazi Germany. US President Barack Obama is to lead commemorations attended by thousands of Americans on June 6 at the ceremony above Omaha Beach, where more than 9,000 US troops fought and died in June 1944. (JOEL SAGET/AFP/Getty Images)

A US veteran wears his medals during a commemoration ceremony on June 5, 2009 at the German Military Cemetery of La Cambe, Normandy. Preparations are underway for the upcoming D-Day celebrations to mark the 65th anniversary of the June 6, 1944 allied landings in France, then occupied by Nazi Germany. US President Barack Obama is to lead commemorations attended by thousands of Americans on June 6 at the ceremony above Omaha Beach, where more than 9,000 US troops fought and died in June 1944. (JOEL SAGET/AFP/Getty Images)

The German artillery battery situated at Longues-sur-Mer is a classic example of the Atlantic Wall fortification. The actual guns are still in place, west of Arromanches, installed by the Germans in September, 1943. The Batterie is in an ideal position, 215 feet above sea level and was well able to threaten the Invasion fleet. From late 1943 onwards, the site was bombed several times including two heavy raids in the week before D-Day when 1500 tons of bombs were dropped on it. (SIPA)

A child plays with a map of the landing beaches in the American Cemetery of Colleville, western France, Thursday, June 4, 2009. U.S. President Barack Obama will attend the 65th Anniversary of the D-day on June 6th in Normandy. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

A US veteran takes pictures of German soldiers tombs during a commemoration ceremony on June 5, 2009 at the German Military Cemetery of La Cambe, Normandy. Preparations are underway for the upcoming D-Day celebrations to mark the 65th anniversary of the June 6, 1944 allied landings in France, then occupied by Nazi Germany. US President Barack Obama is to lead commemorations attended by thousands of Americans on June 6 at the ceremony above Omaha Beach, where more than 9,000 US troops fought and died in June 1944. (JOEL SAGET/AFP/Getty Images)

A remembrance cross left by British Royal Navy veteran, Harry Buckley, 84, is pictured on the beach of Colleville-Montgomery on June 5, 2009 where he landed during the 1944 allied operations in France. Preparations are underway for the upcoming D-Day celebrations to mark the 65th anniversary of the June 6, 1944 allied landings in France, then occupied by Nazi Germany. US President Barack Obama is to lead commemorations attended by thousands of Americans on June 6 at the ceremony above Omaha Beach, where more than 9,000 US troops fought and died in June 1944. (MYCHELE DANIAU/AFP/Getty Images)

British veteran John Lang, 90, visists the American cemetery on June 5, 2009 in Colleville-sur-Mer. Preparations are underway for the upcoming D-Day celebrations to mark the 65th anniversary of the June 6, 1944 allied landings in France, then occupied by Nazi Germany. US President Barack Obama is to lead commemorations attended by thousands of Americans on June 6 at the ceremony above Omaha Beach, where more than 9,000 US troops fought and died in June 1944. (MARCEL MOCHET/AFP/Getty Images)

The broad sands of Utah Beach lead to a country side scarred by remains of German fortification. On June 6th, 1944, five Normandy beaches were stormed by British, Canadian and American troops to free Europe from the German occupation. Ever since, each year on June 6th, Normandy coast lures veterans and pilgrims. (Ph: Alexandra BOULAT)

A bird is seen at the American cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer, Normandy, western France, on June 4, 2009 as take place the preparations of the ceremonies commemorating the 65th anniversary of the D-Day Allied landings on the beaches of Normandy. US President Barack Obama will meet his French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy and attend a ceremony at a cliff-top US war cemetery. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Prince Charles and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper will also attend the solemn commemoration at Colleville-sur-Mer, which overlooks the US landing zone dubbed, Omaha Beach. (JOEL SAGET/AFP/Getty Images)

The remains of the World War II Mulberry dock at Arromanches in Normandy. The Mulberry dock consisted of a huge pre-fabricated steel and concrete landing system, built in England and towed by ship across the Channel, greatly aiding the allied landings at Arromanches in 1944. (SIPA)

D-Day veteran George Taylor (left), 86, a Sapper in the Royal Engineers during World War Two, with Percy Lewis of the 1st Buckinghamshire Battalion, walk along the beach in Arromanches, France, ahead of the 65th anniversary of the D-Day landings on Saturday. Picture date: Thursday June 4, 2009. Thousands of Second World War veterans landed in Normandy today in a peaceful invasion of the beaches where they fought for the greatest victory in naval history on D-Day 65 years ago. (Gareth Fuller/PA)

Eric Toylon (right), a 6th Airbourne glider pilot during World War Two shares his memories with war enthusiasts during a wreath laying ceremony at the Bayeux Military Cemetery in Normandy, France, ahead of tomorrow’s 65th anniversary of the D-Day landings. (Gareth Fuller/PA)

British paratroopers from the 3rd Parachute Battailon, England, land in a wheat field outside the village of Ranville, near Caen, Western France, Friday, June 5, 2009, as troops re-enact part of the bloody allied landings of D-Day, the Allied armada which fought its way inland in the unfolding World War II Battle of Normandy, France. President Barack Obama and French President Nicolas Sarkozy will attend with other leaders the 65th Anniversary of the D-day landings on June 6 in Normandy. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

British Royal Navy veteran, Harry Buckley, 84, wipes his tears on the beach of Colleville-Montgomery on June 5, 2009 where he landed during the 1944 allied operations in France. Preparations are underway for the upcoming D-Day celebrations to mark the 65th anniversary of the June 6, 1944 allied landings in France, then occupied by Nazi Germany. US President Barack Obama is to lead commemorations attended by thousands of Americans on June 6 at the ceremony above Omaha Beach, where more than 9,000 US troops fought and died in June 1944. (MYCHELE DANIAU/AFP/Getty Images)

This image may contain graphic or
objectionable content
Click to view image

A Malayan mother expresses her grief over the loss of her child whose body (at right) lies where the youngster was killed by a Japanese bomb fragment in one of the last raids before the city fell, in Singapore, on March 13, 1942. (AP Photo) #

Workmen clear up raid debris in Singapore on January 17, 1942, after a Japanese bombing raid on the British naval base. (AP Photo) #

The conference at which Singapore surrendered on February 15, 1942. Man seated at left, facing camera, is identified as Lieut. Gen. Tomoyuki Yamashita, the Japanese Commander. Man in right foreground, profile to camera, is identified as Lieut. Gen. A. E. Percival, British commander. (AP Photo) #

A large freighter settles slowly after being hit by Japanese bombs alongside of one of Singapore's docks on February 12, 1942. Smoke from other struck objectives billows over the waterfront in this photo by C. Yates McDaniel, Associated Press correspondent, who was among the last to leave the besieged port on February 12. The next day his ship was bombed and he reached safety after further harrowing experience. (AP Photo/C. Yates McDaniel) #

An American soldier stands tense in his foxhole on Bataan peninsula, in the Philippines, waiting to hurl a flaming bottle bomb at an oncoming Japanese tank, in April of 1942. (AP Photo) #

A big coastal gun is fired from fortified American positions on Corregidor Island, at the entrance to Manila Bay on the Philippines, on May 6, 1942. (AP Photo) #

Japanese forces use flame-throwers while attacking a fortified emplacement on Corregidor Island, in the Philippines in May of 1942. (NARA) #

Billows of smoke from burning buildings pour over the wall which encloses Manila's Intramuros district, sometime in 1942. (AP Photo) #

American soldiers line up as they surrender their arms to the Japanese at the naval base of Mariveles on Bataan Peninsula in the Philippines in April of 1942. (AP Photo) #

Japanese soldiers stand guard over American war prisoners just before the start of the "Bataan Death March" in 1942. This photograph was stolen from the Japanese during Japan's three-year occupation. (AP Photo/U.S. Marine Corps) #

American and Filipino prisoners of war captured by the Japanese are shown at the start of the Death March after the surrender of Bataan on April 9, 1942, near Mariveles in the Philippines. Starting from Mariveles on April 10, some 75,000 American and Filipino prisoners of war were force-marched to Camp O'Donnell, a new prison camp 65 miles away. The prisoners, weakened after a three-month siege, were harassed by Japanese troops for days as they marched, the slow or sick killed with bayonets or swords. (AP Photo) #

American prisoners of war carry their wounded and sick during the Bataan Death March in April of 1942. This photo was taken from the Japanese during their three year occupation of the Philippines. (AP Photo/U.S. Army) # 

These prisoners were photographed along the Bataan Death March in April of 1942. They have their hands tied behind their backs. The estimates of the number of deaths that occurred along the march vary quite a bit, but some 5,000 to 10,000 Filipino and 600 to 650 American prisoners of war died before they could reach Camp O'Donnell. Thousands more would die in poor conditions at the camp in the following weeks. (NARA) #

A wave breaks over the main deck of the fleet oiler USS Neosho, engulfing the hose crew, as she refuels USS Yorktown in early May 1942, shortly before the Battle of Coral Sea in the South Pacific. The Neosho was lost in that battle. (NARA) #

A Japanese aircraft carrier is bombed by a U.S. Navy plane in the Battle of the Coral Sea, in May of 1942. This was the first naval battle in history in which neither side's ships ever sighted or fired directly upon the other. (AP Photo)#

Crewmen abandon ship on board the aircraft carrier USS Lexington, after the carrier was hit by Japanese torpedoes and bombs during the Battle of the Coral Sea. Note the destroyer alongside taking on survivors. The USS Phelps eventually torpedoed the stricken carrier, scuttling it and sending it to the bottom of the sea. (U.S. Navy Aviation Museum) #

The USS Lexington explodes after being bombed by Japanese planes in the Battle of the Coral Sea in May of 1942. More than 200 of the carrier's 2,951-man crew went down with the ship. While Japanese forces won a tactical battle, a number of their damaged ships were unable to participate in the upcoming pivotal Battle of Midway, which took place one month later. (AP Photo) #

No comments: