After the 1936 Xi'an Incident, the Kuomintang and communist forces agreed on a ceasefire to present a united front to oppose Japan. In so doing, the Allied line began to have a bulge in it, hence the name Battle of the Bulge. Here is a timeline of major events during the war. Thus, when Nazi Germany annexed Austria (called the Anschluss) in March 1938, the world did not react. Here is a timeline of major events during the war. The end of the year saw Winston Churchill and Josef Stalin meeting in Iran to discuss the invasion of France. 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 invaded and occupied northern Indochina in September, 1940. The U.S. landed on Okinawa on April 1, 1945, but for five days, the Japanese did not attack. At 4:45 a.m. on September 1, 1939, Germany attacked Poland.  During Japan's initial conquest it captured 4,000,000 barrels (640,000 m3) of oil (~5.5×105 tonnes) left behind by retreating Allied forces, and by 1943 was able to get production in the Dutch East Indies up to 50 million barrels (~6.8×10^6 t), 76 per cent of its 1940 output rate. The first day of the battle, known as D-Day, was extremely important. The invasion began as ordered.  The first German attack of the war came against the Polish defenses at Westerplatte. The main combatants were the Axis powers (Germany, Italy, and Japan) and the Allies (France, Great Britain, the United States, the Soviet Union, and, to a lesser extent, China). ", Blitzkrieg: From the Rise of Hitler to the Fall of Dunkirk, L Deighton, Jonathan Cape, 1993, pp. , On 12 July 1943, the Soviets launched their own counter-offensives, thereby dispelling any chance of German victory or even stalemate in the east. , In Asia and the Pacific, between 3 million and more than 10 million civilians, mostly Chinese (estimated at 7.5 million), were killed by the Japanese occupation forces. “Research Starters: Worldwide Deaths in World War II: The National WWII Museum: New Orleans.” The National WWII Museum | New Orleans.
 The Soviet Union supported the existing government, the Spanish Republic. In March 1944, the Japanese launched the first of two invasions, an operation against British positions in Assam, India, and soon besieged Commonwealth positions at Imphal and Kohima. In exchange for land, the Soviet Union agreed to not attack Germany.
, Japan planned to rapidly seize European colonies in Asia to create a large defensive perimeter stretching into the Central Pacific. , In June 1940, the Soviet Union forcibly annexed Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, and the disputed Romanian regions of Bessarabia, northern Bukovina and Hertza. The British, on the other hand, argued that military operations should target peripheral areas to wear out German strength, leading to increasing demoralisation, and bolster resistance forces. Get exclusive access to content from our 1768 First Edition with your subscription. To circumvent the strong Maginot Line fortifications on the Franco-German border, Germany directed its attack at the neutral nations of Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg. February 13: Allies begin bombing Dresden. The use of the jet aircraft was pioneered and, though late introduction meant it had little impact, it led to jets becoming standard in air forces worldwide. In April, the Allies launched an operation to retake Western New Guinea. 2014, doi: 10.1162/REST_a_00353.
, The Soviet Union, despite enormous human and material losses, also experienced rapid increase in production in the immediate post-war era. Hitler committed suicide on April 30, 1945, and the war in Europe ended on May 8.  In the Atlantic, escort carriers proved to be a vital part of Allied convoys, increasing the effective protection radius and helping to close the Mid-Atlantic gap. Many of the civilians died because of deliberate genocide, massacres, mass bombings, disease, and starvation. Italy, as an Entente ally, had made some post-war territorial gains; however, Italian nationalists were angered that the promises made by the United Kingdom and France to secure Italian entrance into the war were not fulfilled in the peace settlement. , On 6 June 1944 (known as D-Day), after three years of Soviet pressure, the Western Allies invaded northern France. , On 1 September 1939, Germany invaded Poland after having staged several false flag border incidents as a pretext to initiate the invasion.  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. From September to November, the Japanese attacked Taiyuan, engaged the Kuomintang Army around Xinkou, and fought Communist forces in Pingxingguan. The Allied landings at Normandy on June 6, 1944, opened a second front in Europe, and Germany’s abortive offensive at the Ardennes in the winter of 1944–45 marked the Third Reich’s final push in the west. Published by gamigo AG.
 Between June and July, they invaded and occupied the French possessions Syria and Lebanon, with the assistance of the Free French. Please select which sections you would like to print: Corrections?
 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. With France defeated, Hitler turned his sights to Great Britain, intending to conquer it as well in Operation Sea Lion (Unternehmen Seelowe). American troops played a big role in battles to take back France in 1944, including landings on Normandy beaches that caught the Germans by surprise.  Unlike in the West, the Nazi racial policy encouraged extreme brutality against what it considered to be the "inferior people" of Slavic descent; most German advances were thus followed by mass executions. War2Glory is a real-time MMO browser game, set during the great conflict of World War II.
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