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The End of World War II

Page history last edited by Mr. Hengsterman 1 month, 4 weeks ago



Endgame, 1945: The Final Chapter of World War II

As the war concludes a buoyant time of grand expectations and an unprecedented faith in our

 government, and our leaders is  embodied in an optimistic spirit about the post war world. 





1939: On August 23, Germany and the U.S.S.R. signed the Non-Aggression Pact



1939 On September 1, Germany invaded Poland.  World War II officially began on September 3, when Great Britain and France declared war on Germany.





1940:  Germany occupied the neutral countries of Norway and Denmark, Holland, Belgium, and Luxemburg were conquered when German troops bypassed the Maginot Line (a defensive line of fortifications between France and Germany).  In June, France surrendered to German forces leaving Great Britain alone to fight Germany.  The first turning point for the Allies was the Battle of Britain in August. The Royal Air Force repulsed the German Luftwaffe, and saved Britain from attack.  In November, Romania and Hungary joined the Axis alliance. 


1941: On June 22nd, Hitler broke the Non-Aggression Pact and invaded the Soviet Union. 





1941 On December 7, Japan attacked Pearl Harbor bringing the U.S. into World War II.  Japan simultaneously invaded Wake Island, Guam, British Malasia, Singapore, Dutch East Indies, Burma, Thailand, and the Philippines.  In November, General Dwight Eisenhower landed in Africa and took Casablanca, Oran, and the Algiers.


Pearl Harbor attack | Date, History, Map, Casualties, Timeline, & Facts |  Britannica 



1942:  On June 3-6, the Battle of Midway took place in the Pacific.  Japan lost four aircraft carriers and about 275 planes.  This was the turning point in the Pacific War for the U.S.  Soviet troops stopped the Nazi offensive at Stalingrad in the fall.  Over 300,000 German troops were captured and Soviet troops began an offensive which lasted until 1945 when Soviet troops invaded German soil.


Related image


The American success at Midway was a major victory over the Imperial Japanese Navy


1943:  Over 250,000 Axis troops surrendered on May 13 bringing the North Africa campaign to a close.  On July 9, the Allies invaded Italy on the island of Sicily.  Mussolini was overthrown on July 25.

1944:  General Eisenhower was made Supreme Commander of Allied troops in June.  On June 6, “D-Day,Allied troops successfully invaded Europe by crossing the English Channel opening up a second front against Nazi Germany.  By September, American troops were on German soil.  In the Pacific war, the Philippines fell to the United States.


156,000 Troops deployed during Operation Overload



US 2,499

other Allied deaths 1,914



US 6,603

UK 2,709

Canada 946


Examining Operation Overload [D-Day]  


Image result for ike at d day

 Greenham Common Airfield in England about 8:30 p.m. on June 5, 1944. Wallace Strobel's  22nd birthday.

 The photograph of Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower speaking to 1st Lt. Wallace Strobel of Company E, 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division on the eve of D-Day, June 5, 1944, remains one of the most compelling and iconic images of World War II. "He (Eisenhower) asked my name and which state I was from," Strobel related. "I gave him my name and that I was from Michigan. He then said, "Oh yes, Michigan, great fishing there. Been there several times and like it.'"




1945: Battle at Iwo Jima  [Feb 19, 1945 to Mar 26, 1945 in the Pacific War theater]

For seventy four days before the American landings planes had been bombing the heavily fortified base on Iwo Jima. Marines of the 4th and 5th Divisions made the landing under cover from their own ships. In some of the bloodiest fighting of World War II, it’s believed that all but 200 or so of the 21,000 Japanese forces on the island were killed, as were almost 7,000 Marines. But once the fighting was over, the strategic value of Iwo Jima was called into question. The Americans secured victory on Iwo Jima on March 26, 1945 



Flags of Our Fathers by James Bradley, Ron Powers: 9780385730648 |  PenguinRandomHouse.com: Books




NPR: Marine Corps Misidentified Man In Iconic Iwo Jima Photo ( 2 minute listen)




Sergeant Michael Strank(August 3, 1921 – March 13, 1979) from Pennsylvania 

He joined the Civilian Conservation Corps, served for 18 months, and afterwards became a Pennsylvania state highway laborer.


Corporal Harlon Block(November 6, 1924 – March 1, 1945) from Texas


Private First Class Franklin Sousley(September 19, 1925 – March 21, 1945) from Kentucky



Corporals (then Privates First Class) 

Ira Hayes  (January 12, 1923 – January 24, 1955) from Arizona


Harold Schultz(January 12, 1923 – January 24, 1955)   from Michigan


Harold Keller(August 3, 1921 – March 13, 1979) from Iowa


Iconic Ground Zero Flag Donated to 9/11 Memorial Museum | National  September 11 Memorial & Museum


The firefighters pictured were Brooklyn-based firefighters.   Daniel McWilliams and George Johnson are still active firefighters. William “Billy” Eisengrein is now retired. The original flag in the photo went missing shortly after the image was taken and its whereabouts remain unknown. The mystery was explored in CNN's 2013 film The Flag. 


National Museum of the Marine Corps / Fentress Architects ...


National Museum of the Marine Corps



1945  May 8th  Victory in Europe Day, generally known as VE Day (United Kingdom) or V-E Day (America), is a day celebrating the formal acceptance by the Allies of World War II of Nazi Germany's unconditional surrender of its armed forces.




FDR at War Conferences  


World War II Photo: Harry S. Truman

The Truman Show 



 Potsdam Conference 






The Atomic Bomb (1942 to 1946)  The Manhattan Project was responsible for developing the atomic bomb for the U.S.  On July 16, 1945, the first atomic bomb was detonated in the desert of New Mexico.  Three weeks later, on August 6, the U.S. dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan and three days later on Nagasaki, Japan.  Japan officially surrendered on August 14th.



“ Nobody was more disturbed over the use of the atomic bomb than I am, but I was greatly disturbed over the unwarranted attack by the Japanese on Pearl Harbor, and then murder of our prisoners of war. The only language they seem to understand  is the one we have been using to bombard them. When you have to deal with a beast, you have to treat him as a beast.”    Harry Truman


Review of Executive Action






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