World war 2 by far remains one of the most widespread, brutal and well documented conflicts of the history. The impact of it on the present day is immense and will be there forever .
Though Spread majorly over 6 years from 1939 – 1945, there were certain important dates which decided the course of the war and ultimately the destiny of the little fragile world we know of. Here are the 10 most important dates one should remember.
March 23rd , 1933
This was the day When ADOLF HITLER , the leader of National socialist democratic party or otherwise the Nazis became a de-facto dictator of Germany. Appointed as Chancellor on January 30th of the same year, he still had certain restrictions on himself by the German constitution but after the so called “ENABLING ACT” passed on the fore mentioned date, he got the powers to rule by an iron hand.
Less than a year from this date, Hitler would be having full control over the legislative and executive branches of the government, with all political opposition murdered, deported to concentration camps or sent in exile .
September 1st , 1939
Easily one of the most important dates in this list. After merging Austria and Czechoslovakia into the German Reich without a single shot fired, it was on this fateful day when the Nazi Germany attacked its eastern neighbour POLAND with its full might. Two days later, Britain and France would declare war on Germany and hence would set the scene for what will come to be known as World war 2.
This will just be the start of a conflict which will go on for 6 years and will be reason for the deaths of millions of military personnel and civilians alike.
July 10th , 1940
After the successful conquest of FRANCE, the only cause of concern for Hilter was Britain. Though Britain and France remain primarily a major reason for Nazi germany’s relentless march in the eastern Europe in the year before, it was now that they would face the full wrath of the monster they thought they could tame.
It was on this day that the battle of Britain commenced with the bombing of British cities, factories and other strategically important locations at the hands of the LUFTWAFFE, the German Air Force. After a year of air raids and suffering an unsustainable loss, the Nazis would ultimately be defeated although by the time they stop, 90,000 civilians would be dead .
December 7th , 1941
The sleeping American giant which until this day was happy playing neutral was going to be awaken to a horrible reality. The Japanese attacked the American pacific fleet stationed in Pearl Harbour, Hawaii islands which changed the course of the war in a way no one would have imagined.
The USA until this day was only helping its ally UK with all the machines and resources it could provide but it was this day when America was forcefully dragged into the war which it will master in the years to come. It also wont be wrong to say that had this attack not happened, America was never going to become what it is today.
February 2nd , 1943
This was the day when the so called invincible SIXTH ARMY of Germany surrendered in STALINGRAD. This was the day when the myth of Nazi immortality was shattered to pieces. The battle of Stalingrad which commenced merely five months ago came to end on this day, but by the time it ended, it had well earned the reputation to go down as the most brutal of the battles in the history of mankind.
By the time it ended, around 2 million military personnel were dead. More than 90,000 German soldiers would be taken as prisoners of war of which only 5500 will return alive twelve years later in 1955. This was the first major defeat Hitler tasted in a land battle and perhaps the point where death certificate of Nazi Germany was signed.
June 6th , 1944
Also known as the D-DAY, this was the day when the allied powers including USA, UK, CANADA and FRANCE executed the rather impossible of task of gaining a strong foothold in the mainland Europe. Code named as OPERATION OVERLORD, the amphibious assault was done at five beachheads in the NORMANDY region of France leaving 10,000 casualties in its wake. Less than a year from this day, Nazi Germany will cease to exist.
May 8th , 1945
Just a little bit more than a fortnight ago, Adolf hitler has committed suicide by taking a cyanide pill and a bullet straight through his head. It was on this day that Nazi Germany was finally brought to its knees but not before more than 100,000 lie dead in the BATTLE OF BERLIN which was the final battle in the european theatre of world war 2. This took place in every nook and corner of the already battered German capital which saw hand to hand combat on streets, inside houses and every other place one can imagine.
June 23rd , 1945
In the Pacific theatre where imperialist JAPAN was fighting with brutal ferocity, giving no reasons to the Americans to celebrate (the war has ended in Europe by this time). Battle of OKINAWA was the last battle which will see the American and Japanese clash head to head on an island just 340 kms away from mainland Japan. It will see ferocious KAMIKAZE attacks where in Japanese pilots intentionally crash their planes into american ships causing deadly chaos. It will also see the death of 200,000 people on both sides including heavy civilian casualties on the Japanese side. It was on this date that Japan lost Okinawa island to USA. Less than three months from this date, two nuclear bombs will be dropped on Japan and the world will never be the same.
August 6th / August 9th , 1945
Given the high casualties at the Battle of Okinawa 3 months ago, the US war department calculated 10 million Japanese casualties and 1.7 million of their own if Japanese mainland is invaded. It was here when the new American president HARRY.S.TRUMAN unleashed the most fearsome weapon humankind has ever known.
At 8:09 AM, 9200 feet above HIROSHIMA, Colonel PAUL TIBBETS initialized his weapon, 6 minutes later at 8:15 AM, a nuclear bomb weighing 4400 kg was dropped. Three days later , another bomb weighing 4,670 kg called FATMAN was dropped on NAGASAKI. In the ensuing moments some 250,000 perished and the world changed forever.
September 2nd , 1945
This is the date officially considered to be the end of the second world war. The penultimate day of the bloodiest conflict in the history of mankind when Imperial Japan surrendered on board USS MISSOURI in the TOKYO BAY. This conflict which started some six years ago, a war which saw over 100 million people from 30 countries invloved directly. Also, a war which also saw 60 million people perish to the desires of a handful of madmen who knew nothing beyond their power.