WWII Summary

As we begin reading the diary, the effects of World War II on the United States are minimal, if you are 13 years old. In Europe, though, the Germans are building concentration camps and have begun bombing the British Isles. The Soviets have invaded Finland. Meat is being rationed in England and a 13 year old there would have been very concerned about the war. In Asia, the Japanese are actively aggressive in China. WWI is recent history- just twenty years earlier- so Georgia Dee’s parents would have been very concerned about all of this. They had newspapers, telephones, snail mail, and radio, but no television, computers and the Internet, or email. When they went to the movies, they showed newsreels before the show, and that’s how most people “saw” current events. They read the newspaper, they listened to the radio, and they went to “the show” and you will see that was an extremely popular activity during this era.

1940

January

The Germans sink a British destroyer, Finland fights off the Soviets, and rationing of food begins in England.

February

The Germans commence aggression toward Finland and Norway.

March

The Germans continue aggression to include Denmark, team up with Mussolini in Italy, France becomes concerned, and meat rationing in England begins. Japan sets up puppet government in Beijing.

April

Soviets massacre 22,000 Poles, Norway is embattled. The German Enigma Code is deciphered by British code breakers.

May

British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain resigns and Winston Churchill takes command. Germans invade Belgium, France, The Netherlands, and Luxembourg. Churchill asks the USA and Canada for assistance and raises the eligibility age for British soldiers to 36. Japan bombs China.

June

Germany bombs Paris, invades, and France surrenders. Italy declares war on France and Britain. Soviets invade Latvia and Estonia. Belgian government is in exile in France.

July

Italian Air Force bombs (British) Palestine. French government moves from Paris to Vichy. Germany bombs Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. US President Roosevelt asks Congress for large increases in military funding. Czechoslovakian government is in exile in London, and Belgian government moves there due to occupation of France.

August

USSR annexes Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia. Italy invades (British) Somalia in Africa. Chinese communists fight back the Japanese. Germany begins the Battle of Britain, accidentally bombs a church. Churchill authorizes retaliation by bombing Berlin, escalating the “London Blitz.” British use of newly invented RADAR gives them advantage.

September

Italy bombs Tel Aviv. Japanese occupy Vietnam. Germany, Japan, and Italy form an alliance. German Jews are required to wear yellow stars for identification. German bombers focus on London rather than Royal Air Force (RAF) bases, increasing civilian deaths. U.S. trades 50 destroyers to Britain, in exchange for land grants to allow establishment of overseas naval and air bases.

October

Germany continues to bomb London. Italy bombs Cairo, Bahrain, and attacks Greece. Warsaw (Poland) Jews are forcibly moved to ghetto. U.S. Begins draft registration for men 18-35 years old while President Roosevelt makes campaign promise not to send our boys to war.

November

Ireland refuses to allow the UK to use its ports as naval bases. Germany continues heavy bombing of England, notably Liverpool and Coventry. The Belgian government declares war on Italy. Warsaw ghetto is cordoned off.

December

Franco declines to allow Spain to enter the war. Italy loses grip on Africa, Greece. Germans and British continue to bomb the heck out of each other.

1941

January

Australian troops victorious in Libya, take Italian prisoners. Germans gain air command over the Mediterranean. Reports that Jews are being executed in Bucharest. German bombs take out 8 churches and an underground station.

February

British accept the surrender of Italians near Benghazi. British attack Italy. Churchill requests supplies from US. Austrian Jews deported to Polish ghettos. Germans bomb South Wales. British submarines sink Italian cruiser. British bomb Eritrea.

March

Hitler orders expansion of Auschwitz camp. U.S. President Roosevelt signs Lend Lease Act allowing allied nations to purchase military equipment and defer payment. Germany takes Libya, British retreat. Germans continue bombing London, hitting Buckingham Palace.

April

British take back Eritrean Capitol. Germany invades Yugoslavia and Greece, bombs Northern Ireland. Yugoslavia surrenders and sets up government in exile in London. Greek soldiers surrender to Germany in Albania. British begin to evacuate Greece, which surrenders. Still “neutral,” US starts sea patrols in North Atlantic.

May

British capture German ship and discover another Enigma code machine. British (RAF) bomb Iraq and Germany, notably sinking the battleship Bismarck. Germans bomb Northern Ireland, take out a US merchant ship, and land in Crete.

June

British begin rationing of clothing. Soviets deport 35,000 Lithuanians, 15,000 Latvians, and 10,000 Estonians to Siberia. German and Italian consulates in the United States are closed, staff deported, and civilian assets are seized. Germany invades Soviet Union. Albania (currently occupied by Italy) declares war on the Soviet Union. Finnish and German troops combine forces to launch attack on Soviet Union. Lithuanian militia massacres civilian Jews in the street.

July

Germans draft and execute a plan to exterminate Jews and “undesirables.” Soviet prisoners, Polish scientists and writers, native Jews in the Baltic states are deported and massacred. A concentration camp is built in Poland. Yugoslavia is broken up: Croatia has a pro-Axis government. Japanese occupation of French Indochina prompts US President Franklin D. Roosevelt to seize all Japanese assets in the United States. The V for Victory sign comes into popular use on the Allied side.

August

Japan takes Saigon, Vietnam and bombs Chunking, China. German occupiers confiscate civilian radios in Norway and close in on Leningrad. British and Soviet troops invade Iran to protect oil resources.

September

Jews under German rule are ordered to wear the Star of David, and 6,000 are murdered in Poland. Germans fire on U.S. Ship, though the U.S. is still neutral. Germans capture Kiev and murder over 30,000 Jews there, too. RAF continues bombing Germany.

October

Germany opens concentration camps and exterminates over 50,000 Jews in various locations. Germany moves toward Moscow but is slowed by weather. Soviets prepare for the German invasion. RAF continues to bomb Germany. The Japanese government changes hands and hope for peace in the Pacific fades. Neutral American ship is torpedoed and lost. Fighting also occurs in Egypt, Libya, Ukraine, and Iceland.

November

Allied Soviet leader Stalin declares that victory over Germany is near. Germany advances on southern Russia. Germans continue to kill Jews. RAF continues to bomb Germany. US Ambassador hears of planned attack on Pearl Harbor, warning is ignored.

December

The Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor, declare war on the US and United Kingdom, invade Thailand, Malaya, Burma, Borneo, Sumatra, and the Philippines; attack Guam Hong Kong, and Singapore. The US, UK, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Canada, India, and China declare war on Japan. Germany, Italy, Romania, Hungary, and Bulgaria declare war on US, with reciprocal action. UK declares war on Finland due to their continued aggression against Soviet allies. Germany’s advance on Moscow is thwarted by bad weather, and Soviets launch attack during blizzard. 20,000 Polish Jews are forced into ghetto. Elsewhere, 40,000 Jews are exterminated due to outbreak of typhus in Romanian concentration camp. First of 2710 US “Liberty Ships” built between 1941 and 1945 is launched.

1942

January

Twenty-six Allied countries sign United Nations Declaration, led by US, UK, USSR and China. Remaining countries begin to align themselves. Japan continues to advance throughout the Pacific. US troops land in Samoa and Northern Ireland. Germans retreat at several points but Hitler threatens to eradicate Jews, worldwide.

February

US Air Corps is established at UK bases. Japan takes Singapore, invades Bali, Java, and Timor, attacks northern territory of Australia. US evacuates the Philippines. Internment of Japanese-Americans begins in western US and Canada.

March

Japanese move toward New Guinea, Australia, Burma, and the Solomon Islands. US begins to land troops in New Caledonia. UK rations electricity, coal, and gas and decreases clothing ration. RAF bombs France and Germany, destroying the medieval center of Lubeck. Jews in Berlin must identify their homes.

April

US and Philippine troops are trapped on Bataan Peninsula and are attacked by Japanese. Japanese successful in Ceylon and Burma. RAF bombs Germany. Germany responds to Lubeck bombing by targeting UK sites of cultural or historical significance rather than military value.

May

British move toward Madgascar. Pacific action is confused and chaotic on both sides. Soviets and Germans butt heads to little effect. Jews in Occupied Belgium and France forced to wear yellow star badges. US creates Women’s Auxiliary Army Corps. Action continues in Africa and Mediterranean.

June

US Navy defeats Japanese at Midway Island. Japanese occupy Aleutians. Germans burn Czech village, killing men and boys, women and girls taken to concentration camps. Action continues in Mediterranean and North Africa. US initiates Manhattan Project, nuclear weapons research. RAF continues to bomb Germany.

Yes, indeed, the US had been at war already one year. It was nothing compared to what the Europeans were, facing, though. Yet, the boys were all going to war, one by one.

July

Japanese secure strategic Solomon Island. Supply ship convoys from US to UK are increasingly successful in evading Germans. Americans fly first European air missions. RAF continues to bomb Germany. Germans open extermination camp in Poland and deport Jews from the Warsaw ghetto.

August

Japan bombs Oregon. US forces invade Solomon Islands. US, UK, and Canadian forces fight to free France. Riots break out as India fights for Independence and Gandhi is arrested. Germans approach Stalingrad, take Luxembourg.

September

Australian and US forces defeat Japanese in New Guinea. US gains ground in Pacific. Japanese continue to bomb Oregon. Irish Republican Army (IRA) riots in Northern Ireland. RAF bombs Germany. Germans murder over 3,00 Jews on Rosh Hoshana, Jewish New Year. Lots of back-and-forth in the Mediterranean and North Africa.

October

Heavy Pacific action. Allies agree that RAF will bomb at night, US will bomb during the day. RAF bombs North Africa. General Patton’s forces head toward North Africa from Virginia, by ship

November

US victorious over Japan in several Pacific theaters. Allied troops force retreat of Germans in North Africa. Germany responds by pushing further into previously unoccupied France. French scuttle their own ships to avoid capture by Germans. Soviets hang on to Stalingrad. Strategic bridge in Greece is blown up to halt supply route to Germans. Lots of activity in the Mediterranean. RAF bombs Germany.

December

Japanese pushed out of New Guinea. US bombs Italy, RAF bombs the Netherlands. Heavy fighting in North Africa. Germans try to rescue troops trapped in Stalingrad.US begins gasoline rationing and reports progress on nuclear program to President Roosevelt.

1943

January

Japanese continue to fight in the Solomon Islands but Allies retake New Guinea. Uprising of Jews in Polish ghetto. Soviets take bak Stalingrad. RAF bombs Germany.

February

US continues to succeed in the Pacific. Japanese POW’s revolt. Lots of activity in North Africa. RAF continues bombing raids on Germany.

March

US and Australian forces sink eight Japanese ships near New Guinea. Kraków ghetto is liquidated. Action in Ukraine, Burma, India, Tunisia, and Aleutians. Atlantic convoys are vulnerable to German U-Boats. Allies liberate a town in Greece. RAF bombs Germany.

April

Escaped Allied POWs report Japanese atrocities. Mass graves discovered in Poland. US and UK leaders discuss situation of European Jews. Warsaw Jews resist deportation, and train to Auschwitz is attacked by Belgians. Allies use long-range bombers against U-boats in Atlantic. Bolivia declares war on Germany, Japan, and Italy. RAF continues to bomb Germany.

May

Japanese bomb Australia and massacre 30,000 Chinese civilians. FDR and Winston Churchill meet to discuss future strategy and Churchill addresses US Congress. Allies take 250,000 prisoners in North Africa. Warsaw ghetto is destroyed and 54,000 Jews are killed or sent to death camp at Treblinka. Over 70 ships are sunk in the Atlantic- losses on both sides. US bombs Italy. RAF bombs Germany.

June

Japanese evacuate Aleutians, US grabs a few more islands in the South Pacific. Heavy bombing of Italy.

July

Wins and losses on both sides in the Pacific. Italy and Germany are bombed by allies.

August

Action in Burma, Solomon Islands, and Aleutions. Neutral Sweden refuses to allow movement of German troops and supplies. Romani are gassed at Auschwitz. Bombing of Romania, Germany, and Italy.

September

Japanese continue to push in New Guinea. Italy drops out of the war. Germany begins evacuation of Berlin. Soviets declare war on Bulgaria, and Iran declares war on Germany. German troops occupy Rome, only to be bombed by Allies. Lots of action in the Mediterranean. Danes secretly ship Jews to Sweden. There are now over 22 million British in the services, Civil Defence or doing essential war work.

October

98 US civilian prisoners executed in the Pacific. Political changes in China. 300 Jews manage to escape a camp. Italy, liberated by the Allies, declares war on Germany. Allies seriously bomb Germany.

November

Heavy fighting all over the Pacific. Italy bombs The Vatican. The US bombs German-controlled Norway. Berlin is heavily bombed. US, UK, and Chinese leaders meet in Cairo to discuss strategy against Japan. US, UK, and Soviet leaders meet in Tehran to discuss strategy against Germany.

December

Germans bomb Italy, releasing mustard gas from Allied cargo ship.

1944

January, 1944

US invades Japanese-controlled Marshall Islands. US troops suffer losses in Italy. Soviets begin to move on Germans in the Ukraine and head toward Baltic countries. RAF bombs Germany.

February, 1944

US bombs and subsequently secures various Pacific Islands. Javanese revolt against Japanese. German victories in Italy, move on Estonia, continue to persist in Ukraine. Allies heavily bomb Germany.

March, 1944

Australia prepares for Japanese invasion, but Japanese move on India, instead. Fighting continues near New Guinea and Burma. Activity in Italy, Estonia, Austria, Ukraine, and Hungary. US keeps launching new ships. Germany is bombed, heavy Allied and civilian losses.

April, 1944

Japanese push on in India and launch new attack on China. US gets serious in New Guinea. Soviets take back Crimea and move into Ukraine. Allies bomb German-controlled Roumania, Hungary, and Italy. Italian government falls. Allied bombing of Paris causes civilian casualties. General DeGaulle takes command of Free French troops. D-Day preparations throughout the UK.

May, 1944

Japanese lose some ground in the Pacific and retreat from India. China invades Burma. Soviets control Crimea, evacuate Germans and Roumanians. Allies bomb continent, take back ground in Italy. D-Day preparations continue.

June, 1944

Fighting in the Pacific near New Guinea, Mariana Islands, and Marshall Islands. D-Day invasion begins: 155,000 Allied troops land on French beaches in amphibious vehicles and push inland. Allies gain ground in Italy. Germans retaliate by bombing England, causing heavy losses. Germans also massacre civilian French and Greeks. Soviets move on Belarus and Finland.

July, 1944

Allies victorious in the Marianas, Japanese have lost 30,000 troops. Allies bomb Tokyo. Japanese still fighting to control New Guinea. Several towns in France are liberated by British Troops. Allied reinforcements from Brazil arrive in Italy. Soviets liberate the first Polish concentration camp. Assassination attempt against Hitler is unsuccessful. US President Roosevelt announces intention to run for 4th term.

August, 1944

US takes last of strategic Marianas and controls all. Japanese pull completely out of India. Resistance rises up in Warsaw and Paris. Hitler’s revenge against last month’s assassination attempt gets personal. More Allied amphibious landings in South France. Germans lose ground in France, including Paris. Germans lose ground in Italy. Romania surrenders to Soviet forces, joins Allies.

September, 1944

US gains some ground in the Pacific in spite of heavy fighting elsewhere. Cease fire between Soviets and Finland. Soviets enter Bulgaria and push on in Poland. Belgium is liberated by Allies and government in exile returns home. 6,000 paratroops captured by Germans in Holland. Germany begins bombing England with V-2 guided missiles.

October, 1944

US wins major battle against Japanese in the Philippines, and is making use of Marianas Islands as important bases. Soviet troops enter Yugoslavia, Latvia, Slovakia, Hungary, East Prussia and Romania. Canadians move into Holland. Allies move into Greece, which is now having civil war issues. Allies take first German town. Germans put down Warsaw uprising, Soviets never went to aid the Poles.

November, 1944

US raids Tokyo, bombs Singapore. Kamikaze pilots attack American ships. Japanese are still pushing hard into China. Famine in Greece: British troops deliver food. Canadian troops secure total liberation of Belgium. Mutiny and then massacre of West African French troops in Senegal. Germans continue to bomb England even as Hitler retreats to Germany. Germans begin to disassemble and destroy extermination camps. US President Roosevelt is elected to a fourth term.

December, 1944

US bombs Japan and the Philippines. Japanese massacre over 100 POW’s in the Philippines. Civil unrest in Athens, Greece is marked by shooting unarmed protestors. Soviet troops enter Budapest, Allies continue to push in Italy. Allies bomb Germany, Germans bomb England.

1945

January, 1945

US bombs a railroad bridge in Thailand, Taiwan, Tokyo, and enters the Philippines. Japanese retreat somewhat in Burma, but kamikaze strikes against US ships are more and more frequent. Soviet army enters Warsaw, Poland, East Prussia, liberates Lithuania, and enters Auschwitz, the German concentration camp. US troops kill dozens of German POW’s in Belgium. Germans are still aggressive in France, though Hitler is now holed up in his bunker in Berlin. Interned Japanese-Americans are released.

February, 1945

US bombs Japan, including Tokyo, Yokohama, and takes out naval port at Singapore. Land-based fighting begins in Philippines. Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Venezuela, Egypt, Turkey, and Syria declare war on Germany and Japan. Massive bombing of Germany: Dresden and Prague (oops!) Cleanup of remaining Germans and liberation of France and Belgium.

March, 1945

US liberates Manila, Philippines, clears major road in Burma, and firebombs various targets in Japan. Japanese overthrow French government in Vietnam. Soviets are victorious in Hungary, move into Austria, and prepare to enter Berlin. Finland and Argentina declare war on Germany. Germans bomb England and Belgium, but are in retreat elsewhere. Allies bomb Axis stronghold in Denmark and move into Germany on several fronts.

April, 1945

US troops begin battle in Okinawa, Japan, continue moving in the Philippines, and firebomb Tokyo. Japanese sink US battleships and launch kamikaze attacks. Soviets fight in Austria, Slovakia, move into Berlin, and effectively end the war in Italy. RAF destroys last two significant German battleships. Spain breaks off diplomatic relations with Japan, Switzerland closes border with Germany. Two concentration camps are liberated, German forces start to fall apart, Hitler commits suicide, Goebbels becomes Chancellor. Meanwhile, US President Franklin D. Roosevelt has suddenly died and Harry S. Truman has become president.

May 1945

Six people killed in rural Oregon by an undetonated device dropped by Japanese. Pacific activity includes forays into Borneo, Burma, Philippines, and New Guinea. French colony Vietnam is divided for strategic ouster of the Japanese by British (south) and Chinese (north). Kamikazes still attacking US battleships, US is still bombing Japan. War ends in Italy. New German Chancellor Goebbels commits suicide as troops surrender throughout Europe. Concentration camps are liberated, final European battle occurs in Yugoslavia. German surrender is unconditional. Syria and Lebanon demand freedom from French control.

June 1945

Fighting continues throughout Pacific. Japanese are retreating in China. Germany is divided. The United Nations Charter is signed.

July 1945

Norway and Italy declare war on Japan. The Philippines are liberated and Allies land at Borneo. Bombing of Tokyo continues and Kobe and Nagoya are attacked. US conducts first test of an atomic weapon in New Mexico.

August 1945

US drops atomic bombs on Japan, which subsequently surrenders. Potsdam Conference (European agreements) ends. With the exception of some messy cleanup, World War Two is ended.

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