World History 1944-1945


Singapore Surrenders, Java Sea, Bomber Attacks Tokyo, Battle of the Coral Sea, Philippines Surrender, 1,000 Aircraft Raid on Cologne, Battle of Midway,Guadalcanal– Savo Island, Raid on Dieppe, Guadalcanal– Eastern Solomons, Stalingrad, Guadalcanal– Cape Esperance, El Alamein, Battle Of Santa Cruz Islands, Operation Torch, Japanese Americans Interned, Nuclear Chain Reaction, Casablanca Conference, Surrender at Stalingrad, Bombing of Germany, Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, Battle of Kursk,Palermo, Quebec Conference, Allies Land in Italy, Teheran Conferance

1944 US Troops Land at Anzio - American forces landed at Anzio, just south of Naples, in an attempt to out-flank the Germans. German resistance was fierce, and there were fears that the beachhead would not hold. Determined fighting by American forces ultimately secured the beachhead.
1944 Russians Recapture Kerch Peninsula- In April, the Soviets began an attack on the Kerch Peninsula (Crimea). The Germans held the Crimea, even though their military position had become untenable. Within a month, the Soviets had liberated the area.
1944 Russian Troops Cross Polish Border - Advancing Russian troops, led by General Vatutin, crossed the Polish frontier from the Ukraine. The German forces, which were severly depleted, could do little to halt the Soviet advance.
1944 Monte Cassino Falls To Allies- The town of Monte Cassino fell to the allies on May 18. With the fall of Monte Cassino, the whole Gustav Line crumbled, and the road to Rome was open to US and other Allied troops.
1944 Rome Liberated - On June 4, American forces, under the command of General Mark Clark, entered Rome, from which the Nazis were quickly retreating. The capture of Rome marked the first Axis capital captured by Allied forces.
1944 D-Day- On June 6, 1944, 45 Allied divisions, with almost 3 million men led by General Eisenhower, began landing on Normandy Beach in France. Within three weeks, Allied troops had captured all of the Normandy peninsula and port of Cherbourg. By the end of August, Paris was liberated, and Allied forces continued toward Germany.
1944 Battle of The Philippine Seas- Nine Japanese carriers, accompanied by battleships and cruisers, attempted to attack an American force led by 15 carriers, covering the landings in Saipan. The battle became known as the "Marina's Turkey Shoot." The Japanese started the battle with 430 carrier aircraft. When it ended, they had only 35 left. Almost all were shot down, by the American fighters and anti-aircraft guns, while attempting to attack the US force. In addition, two Japanese fleet carriers were sunk by submarines, and one by air attack.
1944 Bretton Woods Conference - The United States was committed to establishing a framework for the post-war world that would ensure economic development and stability. In July 1944, it sponsored the U.N. Monetary and Financial Conference in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire.

Forty-four nations attended the Conference. A plan was agreed upon to establish an International Monetary Fund to help stabilize currencies and promote international trade. The delegates also agreed to the establishment of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, which later came to be known as the World Bank.
1944 Southern France Invaded - Allied forces landed in Southern France. They met limited opposition and were able to quickly capture Toulon and Marseilles.
1944 Paris Liberated - Allied forces, led by the French Second Armored Division commanded by Major General Lecleric, liberated Paris on August 25. The liberation of Paris was hastened by an open rebellion by Parisians against the Nazis in the days leading to the liberation. The next day, US and British forces entered the city and were greeted by quite an emotional welcome.
1944 Market Garden Fails - After liberating Antwerp and Brussels, Belgium, the Allies planned a very ambitious operation to capture the bridges over the Rhine. The plan entailed the landing of paratroopers at Arnhem Bridge. They were to hold the bridge until advancing ground forces could reinforce them. The ground forces failed, however, to make the link up, and the airborne troops at Arnhem were wiped out.
1944 Dumbarton-Oaks Conference - This meeting was attended by representatives of the US, Great Britain, the Soviet Union and China. At the conference, delegates discussed the charter of a new, permanent, post-war international organization. The conference laid the groundwork for the creation of the United Nations.
1944 Battle Of Leyte–Surigao Straits- The last major naval battle of the Pacific took place off Leyte after the American landing there. The Japanese divided their forces into three groups. The first blood was drawn by American submarines Darter and Dace, which sank two Japanese cruisers and reported the positions of the Japanese ships. An air battle ensued, which resulted in the sinking of the light carrier Princeton. The Americans sank the super battleship Musashi.

The last engagement between battleships then began. A Japanese force of two battleships, with cruisers and destroyers, attempted to penetrate the Leyte Gulf through the Surigao Straits. Awaiting them were two forces of destroyers, a force of cruisers and six battleships. In one of the most one-sided victories of the American Navy, the Japanese ships were hit first by the destroyers, then by the cruisers, and then by the battleships, which were all perfectly positioned and mostly equipped with advance fire control radar. The two Japanese battleships were soon sunk, as well as three destroyers. Other than damage to one destroyer, the US force suffered no losses.
1944 Philippines Liberated - On October 20, 1944, American forces began their return to the Philippines by landing on Leyte. In January, they landed on the main island of Luzon. After a bitter battle, they reached the capital, Manila, on February 2. The Japanese lost 170,000 men in the Philippines, compared to American casualties of 8,000.
1944 Battle Of Leyte–Samar - The second stage of the battle occurred when a Japanese force of battleships and cruisers, led by Admiral Kurita, came upon a force of escort carriers of task force Tafy 3, commanded by Rear Admiral AF Sprague, off Samar. The escort carriers were hit repeatedly by the guns of the Japanese force. However, daring attacks by three American destroyers, as well as desperate attacks by all of the carrier planes, succeeded in driving off the superior Japanese force. The Americans lost only the escort carriers Gambier Bay and St Lo. Two destroyers and a destroyer escort that had gallantly attacked the Japanese battleships were also lost. The invasion fleet, however, was safe.

The final act in the battle occurred when US aircraft attacked the Northern Japanese force. Three Japanese carriers were sunk, as well as a cruiser and destroyer. Most of the remaining vessels were heavily damaged.
1944 First B-29 Raids on Japan - The US airforce, flying B-29 bombers -- the most poweful planes of the war -- began strategic bombing raids against Japan. The raids, which grew in size, slowly destroyed all of Japan's industrial capabilities.
1944 Battle of the Bulge - The German forces made a surprise attack against US forces in Belgium. The Germans made rapid progress, but were unable to capture the city of Bastogne, where American forces were encircled. The US and the British were able to counterattack, and the Germans were forced to withdraw, but not before US forces lost 35,000 men.


1945 Auschwitz Liberated- Soviet forces liberated the largest German concentration/death camp, Auschwitz. The Germans had killed 2,500,000 at Auschwitz, the great majority of which were Jews. By April, the full horrow of the Holocaust had become clear when US forces liberated the concentration camps of Bergen-Belsen and Dachau.
1945 Yalta Conference - President Roosevelt, Prime Minister Churchill, and Marshal Stalin, met at Yalta in the Southern Soviet Union. The meeting was a continuation of the earlier dialogue between Churchill and Stalin. In that meeting, Churchill and Stalin had discussed spheres of influence in post-war Europe, and Churchill was reported to have written down a list of countries in which he recorded both nations and percentages. Accordingly, he wrote down: Romania-90%, Soviets-10%, Allied Yugoslavia-50%, Allies-50%.

The meeting began on February 2.

The first order of business was a discussion of when the Soviets would enter the war against the Japanese. The Soviets agreed to enter the war within three months of the end of the war with Germany. The Soviets' political demands included the transfer of the Kurile Islands to the U.S.S.R., recognition of Soviet sovereignty over Outer Mongolia and other concessions. Finally, the United States and the Soviet Union agreed to a four-power trusteeship over Korea.

At the conference, Roosevelt agreed that the new borders of Poland would be the Curzon line -- the boundary which had existed at the end of World War I before the Russo-Polish war. In return, the Poles would receive land from Germany, thus moving the border of Poland westward.

One of the most significant issues discussed was the rulership of Poland. It was agreed that the Soviet puppet-regime, called the "Lublin Poles," would initially rule. This agreement called for free and democratic elections in Poland.

The three parties agreed to four-party control of Germany.

The major disagreement over the operations of the United Nations was resolved, with the Soviets agreeing to the American proposal regarding the use of the veto in the Security Council. The Soviets requested that two of their republics receive separate representation in the U.N. The US and the United Kingdom agreed.

The Yalta Conference, to this day, is seen by many as an example of Western appeasment of the Soviets. Others perceive the conference as a reflection of the power of Soviet troops advancing on Germany at the time.
1945 Fire-Bombing of Dresden -The Allied air forces bombed the city of Dresden in repeated waves. The waves resulted in the creation of a fire storm that consumed 11 square miles of the center of the city.
1945 US Forces Land On Iwo Jima - US forces landed on Iwo Jima, 750 miles south of Tokyo. The landings were heavily opposed by the Japanese, who fought to the death. Nevertheless, the US Marines overwhelmed the defenders in a few days.
1945 US Forces Cross Rhine at Remagen- On March 7, US troops reached the Rhine, and found one of the bridges across the Rhine, at Remagen, still standing. As American troops attempted to cross the bridge, the Germans set off a charge, but it failed to destroy the bridge, and soon the Americans were across the Rhine.
1945 San Francisco Conference -On April 25, 1945, the United Nations Founding Conference met in San Francisco. Secretary of State Stettinius headed the US delegation. In order to avoid the problems Wilson encountered with the League of Nations, the US delegations included representatives from both major branches of Congress.

The only purpose of the San Francisco Conference was the establishment of a charter for the new organization. The smaller powers at the conference attempted, unsuccessfully, to have the power of the "big five" limited.
1945 Germany Surrenders - On May 8, German forces officially surrendered. Signing for the Germans was Chief of Staff General Jodl. The surrender ceremony took place at Eisenhower's headquarters at Reims.
1945 Potsdam Conference -The three allies met on July 17, 1945, in Potsdam, Germany. As the conference opened, American President Truman received word of the successful detonation of the atomic bomb.
It was agreed that Germany would initially be governed by the Allied Control Council, made up of military commanders from the four zones of occupation. It was agreed that each of the occupiers would take reparations from their own zones, since the western zones included most of the industrial areas. The Western powers agreed to transfer 10% of the industrial equipment of their zone to the Soviets, and another 15% for food and other raw materials.

The Polish problem could not be solved, however, and the Western powers would not recognize the western borders of Germany.
1945 Atomic Bomb Dropped on Hiroshima -On August 6, the US Airforce dropped an atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. The city was destroyed and over 70,000 were killed immediately from the effects of the blast. Three days later, a second bomb destroyed Nagasaki.
1945 Japan Surrenders -On September 2, the Japanese formally surrendered aboard the Battleship Missouri in Tokyo Harbor. Two attacks by atomic bombs finally convinced the Japanese government that further resistance was useless.