Battles of World War II by Year and Theater The European Theater (Western Europe), the Eastern Front, the Mediterranean/North Africa Theater, and the Pacific Theater were the primary battlegrounds of World War II. The war began in 1939 with the invasion of Poland by Germany and Italy, followed by the expansion of Hitler's Nazi Party into other European countries. In 1941, the United States entered the war after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, by Japan.
During World War II, many cities experienced massive destruction at the hands of air raids, artillery fire, and nuclear weapons. Large parts of many cities were also destroyed by invading armies. However, some cities emerged more damaged than others by comparison. Here are the five largest cities in World War II: London, Manchester, Birmingham, Sheffield, and Leeds.
Many towns and villages across Britain had been bombed out during the Battle of Britain, so the government built shelters for people to go to in case another invasion occurred. These "Tube stations" provided refuge for up to 20,000 people each.
New York City was also heavily bombarded during the war but it wasn't until late 1942 that the first of several major attacks happened. The German submarine U-boat was responsible for most of the city's damage; they would travel along the east coast of America looking for ships to torpedo.
During World War II, there were two main theaters of operations: the European Theatre and the Pacific Theatre. The European Theatre of WWII spanned the whole continent, from the Atlantic to the Ural Mountains. Campaigns throughout the Middle East and North Africa were also included. The Pacific Theater covered all of Asia and part of Oceania.
In both theaters, the most common form of military engagement was the air battle. Wars were often decided by who had the more effective air force. In both theaters, the key weapon was the aircraft carrier, which could shoot down enemy planes while protecting its own troops from attack. Land battles were also important in both theaters; however, they usually involved larger armies than those found in either theater.
The largest army in history fought in the Asian-Pacific Theater. At its peak, the Japanese army consisted of approximately 80 million soldiers, making it the largest fighting force in history. However, due to poor leadership and attrition due to combat and disease, their actual size at the end of the war was about 70 million people. The American army during this time period consisted of approximately 200,000 men. However, due to manpower shortages, women were allowed to join the Army in large numbers. There were even some units formed entirely of African-Americans called "colored divisions."
In the European Theater, Nazi Germany and its allies fielded several huge armies that clashed on several occasions.
The territories of the Empire of Japan dominated the Pacific Theater of World War II. At its height, the empire included eastern China, Southeast Asia, Oceania's islands, and even the Aleutian Islands in North America. After Japan's defeat in 1945, these areas were returned to the control of their own governments.
The Japanese empire was ruled by the military government of Hirohito. The emperor did not want war but he could do nothing to stop his generals. By the time the war ended, over 20 million people worldwide had been killed.
The European Theatre was another large region of conflict during World War II. It was divided into three parts: Europe west of Russia, Europe east of Russia, and Africa. Germany was the only country to fight on two fronts for most of the war years; because of this, it suffered many losses at the hands of both the Allied forces and the Soviet Army.
After Hitler came to power in 1933, Germany became more and more obsessed with building planes, tanks, and other weapons of war. In 1937, Hitler started building up military strength by expanding the size of the German army. This made Germany popular among countries who wanted to buy its weapons. In 1939, Germany signed a treaty with Poland setting up an armed border between them. This caused France and England to go to war with Germany instead.
The Western Front was a World War II military theater that included Denmark, Norway, Luxembourg, Belgium, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, and Germany. During WWII, military conflicts in southern Europe and elsewhere were typically regarded as distinct theatres. However today they are combined into a single front called the European Front.
The Eastern Front was another name for the Soviet-German Border during WWII.
The Arctic Front was the name given to the battlefronts in WWII between Russia and Finland/Germany.
The Africa Coast Line refers to the Allied and Axis forces on the African coast during WWII. The line ran from Gibraltar across Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt to Sudan and Ethiopia.
The Italian Front was the name given to the battlefront in WWII between Italy and Germany. The front extended from the Alps through northern Italy and down to Sicily where it ended at the Strait of Messina on the Mediterranean Sea.
The Japanese Front was the name given to the battlefront in WWII between Japan and China (mainland and Taiwan). The front extended from the Pacific Ocean to the Chinese border near Mukden (Shenyang) in Manchuria.
The Norwegian Front was the name given to the battlefront in WWII between Norway and Germany.
The Pacific War was a major World War II theater that spanned the Pacific Ocean, East Asia, and Southeast Asia, with key battles taking place as far south as northern Australia and as far north as the Aleutian Islands. It began on 9 August 1941 with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
In a campaign lasting nearly eight years, two nations fought for control of the Pacific: the United States and Japan. The war started out as a conflict between these two countries, but eventually involved many other nations, including China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Taiwan, and others.
At its beginning, the war appeared to be one between two military superpowers, but it soon became clear that both Japan and the United States were committed to fighting this war until no one could fight any more.
Japan's initial goal was to seize parts of Asia with which it had historical connections; specifically, islands controlled by other countries that provided access to the Pacific Ocean. The Japanese planned to build an empire that would include most of Asia.
To achieve this goal, they needed resources that could be used for manufacturing equipment and weapons. These included metals (especially steel), oil, and food products. In addition, they needed transport ships to carry their soldiers and supplies across the ocean.