The European Theatre of War

Timeline

1918
11/11/1918 World War One Armistice signed
1919
6/28/1918 Treaty of Versailles signed
1920
1/16/1920 League of Nations meets for the first time
1921
7/29/1921 Adolf Hitler assumes control of National Socialist German Workers (Nazi) Party
1922
10/24/1922 Benito Mussolini calls for fascist “Blackshirts” to March on Rome
10/29/1922 Mussolini appointed Premier by King Victor Emmanuel III
1923
11/8-9/1923 Hitler’s Munich Beer Hall Putsch fails
1925
1/3/1925 Mussolini dismisses Italian parliament, begins to assume dictatorial powers
7/18/1925 Hitler’s autobiography, Mein Kampf, is published
1929
10/29/1929 Wall Street Stock Market crashes
1931
9/18/1931 Japanese Army invades Manchuria
1932
11/8/1932 Franklin Delano Roosevelt elected President of the United States
1933
1/30/1933 Hitler appointed Chancellor of Germany by President Paul von Hindenburg
2/27/1933 German Reichstag burns down; communists blamed, arrested.
3/23/1933 Enabling Act passed by Reichstag; Hitler assumes dictatorial power
7/14/1933 Nazi party declared official party of Germany; all other parties banned
10/14/1933 Germany quits League of Nations
1934
6/30/1934 Hitler orders murder of SA Chief Ernst Roehm in “Night of the Long Knives”
8/2/1934 German President Paul von Hindenburg dies
8/19/1934 Hitler combines the offices of president and chancellor; assumes the title of Fuhrer
1935
3/16/1935 Military conscription introduced in Germany in violation of Versailles treaty
9/15/1935 Nuremberg race laws promulgated
10/3/1935 Italian Army invades Ethiopia
1936
3/7/1936 German troops remilitarize the Rhineland in violation of Versailles treaty
5/9/1936 Italian campaign in Ethiopia ends
7/17/1936 Spanish Civil War breaks out; Hitler and Mussolini send aid to Franco
10/1/1936 Franco becomes dictator of Spain
10/25/1936 Rome-Berlin “Axis” alliance formed
1937
1/19/1937 Japan withdraws from Washington Conference Treaty limiting the size of its navy
5/28/1937 Neville Chamberlain becomes Prime Minister of England
6/11/1937 Josef Stalin begins purge of Red Army
7/7/1937 Full-scale war erupts between China and Japan
1938
3/12/1938 Germany invades Austria; Anschluss (union) proclaimed
9/30/1938 Germany invades Austria; Anschluss (union) proclaimed
10/15/1938 Germany invades Austria; Anschluss (union) proclaimed
11/9-10/1938 Kristallnacht (Night of Broken Glass)
1939
3/15-16/1939 WGerman troops occupy the rest of Czechoslovakia in violation of Munich Agreement
3/28/1939 Spanish Civil War ends
8/23/1939 Nazi-Soviet nonagression pact signed
9/1/1939 German Army invades Poland
9/3/1939 Britain and France declare war on Germany
9/17/1939 Red Army invades Poland in accordance with Nazi-Soviet Pact
9/27/1939 Warsaw falls to the Nazis
11/30/1939 Red Army attacks Finland
9/14/1939 Soviet Union kicked out of League of Nations
1940
3/12/1940 Finland signs peace treaty with Soviet Union
4/9/1940 German Army invades Denmark and Norway
5/10/1940 German Army invades France, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands; Winston Churchill appointed British Prime Minister
5/15/1940 Holland capitulates to Nazis
5/26/1940 “Miracle at Dunkirk”
5/28/1940 Belgium capitulates to Nazis
6/10/1940 Norway capitulates to Nazis; Italy declares war on Britain and France
6/14/1940 Nazis take Paris
6/22/1940 France capitulates to Nazis
7/10/1940 Battle of Britain begins
7/23/1940 Red Army takes Baltic states of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia
8/3/1940 Italian Army invades British Somaliland
8/13/1940 Luftwaffe begins raids on British airfields and aircraft factories
8/23-24/1940 Off-course German bombers accidentally bomb London
8/25-26/1940 Royal Air Force mounts reprisal raid against Berlin
9/7/1940 German “blitz” on British cities begins in earnest
9/13/1940 Italian Army attacks Egypt
9/16/1940 Military conscription introduced in United States
9/27/1940 Tripartite alliance formed between Germany, Italy and Japan
10/7/1940 German troops occupy Romania
10/28/1940 Italian Army attacks Greece
11/5/1940 Roosevelt re-elected
11/10-11/1940 RAF raid cripples Italian fleet at Taranto
11/20/1940 Romania joins Axis
12/9-10/1940 British counter-attack begins against Italian Army in North Africa
1941
1/22/1941 British take Tobruk in North Africa from Nazis
2/11/1941 British Army attacks Italian Somaliland
2/12/1941 Erwin Rommel assumes command of German Afrika Korps
3/7/1941 British Army comes to the aid of Greece
3/11/1941 Lend-Lease Act signed by Roosevelt
4/6/1941 German Army hastily invades Yugoslavia and Greece
4/17/1941 Yugoslavia capitulates to Nazis
4/27/1941 Greece capitulates to Nazis
5/10/1941 Rudolf Hess flies to Scotland on “peace mission”
5/15/1941 British counter-attack in Egypt
5/24/1941 German battleship Bismarck sinks Hood, pride of the Royal Navy
5/27/1941 Royal Navy sinks Bismarck
6/8/1941 British Army invades Lebanon and Syria
6/22/1941 Hitler launches operation Barbarossa, the invasion of the Soviet Union
6/28/1941 Germans capture Soviet city of Minsk
7/3/1941 Stalin launches “scorched earth” policy
7/31/1941 Planning begins for “Final Solution,” the systematic destruction of the Jews
8/12/1941 Atlantic Charter signed by Roosevelt and Churchil
8/20/1941 German siege of Soviet city of Leningrad begins
9/1/1941 Jews order to wear yellow Star of David
9/19/1941 Germans capture Soviet city of Kiev
9/29/1941 German SS mass murders Russian Jews at Kiev
10/16/1941 Germans capture Soviet city of Odessa
10/17/1941 Hideki Tojo becomes Prime Minister of Japan
10/24/1941 Germans capture Soviet city of Kharkov
10/30/1941 German Army occupies the Crimea
11/20/1941 Germans capture the Soviet city of Rostov
11/27/1941 Red Army retakes Rostov
12/6/1941 Red Army launches major counter-offensive
12/7/1941 Japanese attack naval base at Pearl Harbor
12/8/1941 Roosevelt gives “Day of Infamy” speech; United States and Britain declare war on Japan
12/11/1941 Germany declares war on the United States
12/16/1941 Rommel’s Afrika Korps forced to retreat in North Africa
12/19/1941 Hitler assumes post of Commander in Chief of German Army
1942
1/1/1942 Mass gassing of Jews begins at Auschwitz
1/1/1942 Allies forge Declaration of the United Nations
1/13/1942 German U-boats begin sinking ships off American coast in “Operation Drumbeat
1/20/1942 Nazis coordinate “Final Solution” efforts at Wannsee Conference
1/21/1942 Rommel counter-attacks in North Africa
4/1/1942 American citizens of Japanese descent forced into “relocation centers”
5/8/1942 Germans launch summer offensive in the Crimea
5/30/1942 Royal Air Force launches first 1,000 bomber raid on Cologne, German
6/4/1942 Japanese Navy resoundingly defeated at Battle of Midway–war reaches its turning point in the Pacific; S.S. Leader Rheinhardt Heydrich dies of wounds sustained in partisan attack at Prague
6/5/1942 German siege of Sevastopol begins
6/10/1942 Nazis annihilate Czech town of Lidice in retaliation for Heydrich’s assassination
6/21/1942 German Afrika Korps recaptures Tobruk
7/3/1942 Sevastopol falls to German Army
7/5/1942 Nazi conquest of Crimea achieved
7/9/1942 German Army begins push towards Stalingrad
8/7/1942 General Bernard Montgomery assumes command of British Eighth Army in North Africa
9/13/1942 German attack on Stalingrad begins
11/3/1942 Afrika Korps decisively defeated by British at El Alamein
11/8/1942 Allied invasion of North Africa begins in “Operation Torch”
11/11/1942 Axis forces occupy Vichy France
11/19/1942 Soviet forces encircle German Sixth Army at Stalingrad
12/31/1942 German and British ships engage in the Battle of the Barents Sea
1943
1/2-3/1943 German Army retreats from Caucasus
1/10/1943 Red Army begins siege of German-occupied Stalingrad
1/14-23/1943 Roosevelt and Churchill meet at Casablanca, issue unconditional surrender demand
1/23/1943 British forces take Tripoli
1/27/1943 U.S. Air Force opens daylight bombing campaign with attack on Wilhelmshaven, Germany
2/2/1943 German Sixth Army at Stalingrad surrenders to the Russians; war in Europe reaches its turning point
2/8/1943 Red Army takes Kursk
2/14-25/1943 Battle of Kasserine Pass fought in North Africa between German and U.S. forces
2/16/1943 Red Army retakes Kharkov
3/2/1943 Afrika Korps withdraws from Tunisia
3/15/1943 Germany Army recaptures Kharkov
3/16-20/1943 German submarines achieve their largest tonnage total of the war
4/19/1943 S.S. begins “liquidation” of the Warsaw ghetto
5/7/1943 Allies capture Tunisia
5/13/1943 remaining Axis troops in North Africa surrender to Allies
5/16-17/1943 RAF targets German industry in the Ruhr
5/22/1943 U-boat operations suspended in the North Atlantic due to steep losses
6/11/1943 Nazis order destruction of Polish ghettos
7/5/1943 Largest tank battle in history begins at Kursk
7/9-10/1943 Allied forces land on Sicily
7/22/1943 American forces take Palermo, Sicily
7/25-26/1943 Mussolini and the Fascists overthrown
7/27-28/1943 Allied bombing raid creates firestorm in Hamburg, Germany
8/12-17/1943 Axis forces withdraw from Sicily
8/17/1943 USAF suffers steep losses in bombing run on ball-bearing plants at Regensburg and Schweinfurt, Germany
8/23/1943 Red Army retakes Karkhov
9/8/1943 New Italian government announces Italy’s surrender
9/9/1943 Allied forces land in Salerno and Taranto, Italy
9/11/1943 German Army occupies Italy
9/12/1943 Nazi commandos rescue Mussolini
9/23/1943 Fascist government re-established in Italy
10/1/1943 Allies take Naples
11/6/1943 Red Army recaptures Kiev
11/28/1943 “Big Three” of Roosevelt, Stalin and Churchill meet at Tehran
12/24-26/1943 Soviets begin large offensive in Ukraine
1944
1/6/1944 Red Army advances into Poland
1/22/1944 Allied forces land at Anzio, Italy
1/27/1944 Red Army breaks 900-day siege of Leningrad
1/31/1944 American forces invade Kwajalein
2/16/1944 German 14th Army counter-attacks at Anzio
2/18-22/1944 American forces take Eniwetok
4/8/1944 Red Army begins offensive in the Crimea
5/9/1944 Soviet troops recapture Sevastopol
5/12/1944 German forces in the Crimea surrender
6/5/1944 Allied forces enter Rome
6/6/1944 D-Day: invasion of Europe begins with Allied landings at Normandy
6/9/1944 Red Army advances into Finland
6/13/1944 Germans begin launching V-1 rockets against London
6/15/1944 American marines invade Saipan
6/19-20/1944 “Marianas Turkey Shoot” results in destruction of over 200 Japanese aircraft
6/22/1944 Red Army begins massive summer offensive
6/27/1944 American forces liberate Cherbourg
7/3/1944 Soviet forces recapture Minsk
7/9/1944 Allied troops liberate Caen
7/18/1944 American troops liberate St Lo.
7/20/1944 Hitler survives assassination attempt
7/24/1944 Soviet forces liberate concentration camp at Majdanek
7/25-30/1944 Allied forces break-out of Normandy encirclement in “Operation Cobra”
7/28/1944 Red Army recaptures Brest-Litovsk
8/1/1944 Polish Home Army begins revolt against Nazis in Warsaw
8/15/1944 Allies invade Southern France
8/19-20/1944 Soviet forces invade Romania
8/23/1944 Rumania capitulates to Soviets
8/25/1944 Paris liberated
8/31/1944 Red Army takes Bucharest
9/3/1944 Brussels liberated
9/4/1944 Antwerp liberated
9/8/1944 Soviets and Finns sign peace treaty
9/13/1944 American troops reach the Siegfried Line in western Germany
9/26/1944 Red Army occupies Estonia
10/2/1944 Nazis brutally crush revolt in Warsaw; Allies advance into Germany
10/5/1944 British invade Greece
10/14/1944 British liberate Athens; Rommel forced to commit suicide for alleged involvement in July assassination plot against Hitler
10/20/1944 Belgrade, Yugoslavia falls to Soviet forces
10/23-26/1944 U.S. naval forces destroy remnants of Japanese Navy at the Battle of Leyte Gulf, the largest naval engagement in history
11/7/1944 Roosevelt elected to fourth term
12/3/1944 Civil war erupts in Greece; Japanese retreat in Burma
12/15/1944 American forces invade Phillipine island of Mindoro
12/16/1944 German Army launches “Battle of the Bulge” offensive on the Western Front
12/17/1944 Waffen SS executes 81 American prisoners of war in “Malmedy Massacre”
1945
1/9/1945 American forces invade Phillipine island of Luzon
1/16/1945 Battle of the Bulge ends in German defeat
1/17/1945 Red Army liberates Warsaw
1/19/1945 German lines on Eastern Front collapse; full retreat begins
1/20/1945 Hungary signs armistice with Allies
1/26/1945 Soviets liberate Auschwitz
1/27/1945 Red Army occupies Lithuania
2/4-11/1945 Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin meet at Yalta Conference
2/13-14/1945 Allied incendiary raid creates firestorm in Dresden
2/19/1945 American forces land on Iwo Jima
3/3/1945 American forces liberate Manila in the Phillipines; Finland declares war on Germany
3/7/1945 Allies capture Cologne; Ludendorff Rail Bridge on Rhine River captured intact at Ramagen
3/9/1945 Tokyo firebombed
3/16/1945 Japanese resistance on Iwo Jima ends
3/21/1945 Allies take Mandalay, Burma
3/30/1945 Red Army liberates Danzig
4/1/1945 American troops encircle German forces in the Ruhr
4/12/1945 Franklin Delano Roosevelt dies of stroke; Harry Truman becomes President; Allies liberate Belsen and Buchenwald concentration camps
4/16/1945 Red Army launches Berlin offensive; Allies take Nuremberg
4/18/1945 German forces in the Ruhr capitulate
4/28/1945 Mussolini hanged by Italian partisans; Venice falls to Allied forces
4/29/1945 Dachau concentration camp liberated
4/30/1945 Adolf Hitler and wife Eva Braun commit suicide in Chancellery bunker
5/2/1945 All German forces in Italy surrender
5/7/1945 Unconditional surrender of all German forces
5/8/1945 Victory in Europe (VE) Day
5/23/1945 SS Reichfuhrer Heinrich Himmler commits suicide
6/5/1945 Allies divide Germany into occupation zones
6/26/1945 United Nations World Charter signed in San Francisco
7/16/1945 First U.S. atomic bomb tested at Los Alamos, New Mexico; Potsdam Conference begins
7/26/1945 Clement Attlee becomes British Prime Minister
8/6/1945 First atomic bomb dropped Hiroshima
8/8/1945 Soviet Union declares war on Japan; Soviet forces invade Manchuria
8/9/1945 Second atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki
8/14/1945 Unconditional surrender of Japanese forces
8/15/1945 Victory over Japan (VJ) Day
9/2/1945 Japanese delegation signs instrument of surrender aboard battleship Missouri in Tokyo Bay
11/20/1945 Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal begins

Source: The History Place

FAQ’s:

a_day_that_changed_america_d-day1D-Day, June 6, 1944 FAQ’s:

What does the “D” in D-Day stand for?

The “D” does not stand for “Deliverance”, “Doom”, “Debarkation” or similar words. In fact, it does not stand for anything. The “D” is derived from the word “Day”. “D-Day” means the day on which a military operation begins. The term “D-Day” has been used for many different operations, but it is now generally only used to refer to the Allied landings in Normandy on 6 June 1944.

Why was the expression “D-Day” used?

When a military operation is being planned, its actual date and time is not always known exactly. The term “D-Day” was therefore used to mean the date on which operations would begin, whenever that was to be. The day before D-Day was known as “D-1”, while the day after D-Day was “D+1”, and so on. This meant that if the projected date of an operation changed, all the dates in the plan did not also need to be changed. This actually happened in the case of the Normandy Landings. D-Day in Normandy was originally intended to be on 5 June 1944, but at the last minute bad weather delayed it until the following day. The armed forces also used the expression “H-Hour” for the time during the day at which operations were to begin.

What were Operation Overlord, Operation Neptune and the Battle of Normandy? When did they take place?

The armed forces use code names to refer to the planning and execution of specific military operations. Operation Overlord was the codename for the Allied invasion of north-west Europe. The assault phase of Operation Overlord was known as Operation Neptune. This operation involved landing the troops on the beaches, and all other associated supporting operations required to establish a beachhead in France. Operation Neptune began on D-Day (6 June 1944) and ended on 30 June 1944. By this time, the Allies had established a firm foothold in Normandy. Operation Overlord also began on D-Day, and continued until Allied forces crossed the River Seine on 19 August 1944. The Battle of Normandy is the name given to the fighting in Normandy between D-Day and the end of August 1944.

Which Allied nations took part in the fighting?

The majority of troops who landed on the D-Day beaches were from the United Kingdom, Canada and the US. However, troops from many other countries participated in D-Day and the Battle of Normandy, in all the different armed services: Australia, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, France, Greece, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway and Poland.

How many Allied troops were involved in D-Day?

On D-Day, the Allies landed around 156,000 troops in Normandy. The American forces landed numbered 73,000: 23,250 on Utah Beach, 34,250 on Omaha Beach, and 15,500 airborne troops. In the British and Canadian sector, 83,115 troops were landed (61,715 of them British): 24,970 on Gold Beach, 21,400 on Juno Beach, 28,845 on Sword Beach, and 7900 airborne troops.

11,590 aircraft were available to support the landings. On D-Day, Allied aircraft flew 14,674 sorties, and 127 were lost.

In the airborne landings on both flanks of the beaches, 2395 aircraft and 867 gliders of the RAF and USAAF were used on D-Day.

Operation Neptune involved huge naval forces, including 6939 vessels: 1213 naval combat ships, 4126 landing ships and landing craft, 736 ancillary craft and 864 merchant vessels. Some 195,700 personnel were assigned to Operation Neptune: 52,889 US, 112,824 British, and 4988 from other Allied countries.

By the end of 11 June (D + 5), 326,547 troops, 54,186 vehicles and 104,428 tons of supplies had been landed on the beaches.

As well as the troops who landed in Normandy on D-Day, and those in supporting roles at sea and in the air, millions more men and women in the Allied countries were involved in the preparations for D-Day. They played thousands of different roles, both in the armed forces and as civilians.

How many Allied and German casualties were there on D-Day, and in the Battle of Normandy?

“Casualties” refers to all losses suffered by the armed forces: killed, wounded, missing in action (meaning that their bodies were not found) and prisoners of war. There is no “official” casualty figure for D-Day. Under the circumstances, accurate record keeping was very difficult. For example, some troops who were listed as missing may actually have landed in the wrong place, and have rejoined their parent unit only later.

In April and May 1944, the Allied air forces lost nearly 12,000 men and over 2,000 aircraft in operations which paved the way for D-Day.

The Allied casualties figures for D-Day have generally been estimated at 10,000, including 2500 dead. Broken down by nationality, the usual D-Day casualty figures are approximately 2700 British, 946 Canadians, and 6603 Americans. However recent painstaking research by the US National D-Day Memorial Foundation has achieved a more accurate – and much higher – figure for the Allied personnel who were killed on D-Day. They have recorded the names of individual Allied personnel killed on 6 June 1944 in Operation Overlord, and so far they have verified 2499 American D-Day fatalities and 1915 from the other Allied nations, a total of 4414 dead (much higher than the traditional figure of 2500 dead). Further research may mean that these numbers will increase slightly in future. The details of this research will in due course be available on the Foundation’s website at www.dday.org. This new research means that the casualty figures given for individual units in the next few paragraphs are no doubt inaccurate, and hopefully more accurate figures will one day be calculated.

Casualties on the British beaches were roughly 1000 on Gold Beach and the same number on Sword Beach. The remainder of the British losses were amongst the airborne troops: some 600 were killed or wounded, and 600 more were missing; 100 glider pilots also became casualties. The losses of 3rd Canadian Division at Juno Beach have been given as 340 killed, 574 wounded and 47 taken prisoner.

The breakdown of US casualties was 1465 dead, 3184 wounded, 1928 missing and 26 captured. Of the total US figure, 2499 casualties were from the US airborne troops (238 of them being deaths). The casualties at Utah Beach were relatively light: 197, including 60 missing. However, the US 1st and 29th Divisions together suffered around 2000 casualties at Omaha Beach.

The total German casualties on D-Day are not known, but are estimated as being between 4000 and 9000 men.

Naval losses for June 1944 included 24 warships and 35 merchantmen or auxiliaries sunk, and a further 120 vessels damaged.

Over 425,000 Allied and German troops were killed, wounded or went missing during the Battle of Normandy. This figure includes over 209,000 Allied casualties, with nearly 37,000 dead amongst the ground forces and a further 16,714 deaths amongst the Allied air forces. Of the Allied casualties, 83,045 were from 21st Army Group (British, Canadian and Polish ground forces), 125,847 from the US ground forces. The losses of the German forces during the Battle of Normandy can only be estimated. Roughly 200,000 German troops were killed or wounded. The Allies also captured 200,000 prisoners of war (not included in the 425,000 total, above). During the fighting around the Falaise Pocket (August 1944) alone, the Germans suffered losses of around 90,000, including prisoners.

Today, twenty-seven war cemeteries hold the remains of over 110,000 dead from both sides: 77,866 German, 9386 American, 17,769 British, 5002 Canadian and 650 Poles.

Between 15,000 and 20,000 French civilians were killed, mainly as a result of Allied bombing. Thousands more fled their homes to escape the fighting.

D-Day by the numbers

Operation Neptune/Overlord

195,701 – Number of personnel assigned to Operation Neptune (sailors and soldiers)

25,000 – Number of Navy allies crews engaged in the framework of Operation Neptune

15,500 – Number of U.S. airborne units parachuted on June 6, 1944 at midnight

11,590 – Number of aircrafts provided for the operation Neptune (fighters, bombers, transport and reconnaissance aircrafts, gliders)

10,750 – Number of trips of the Allied air forces during 24 hours on June 6, 1944

9,500 – Number of Allied attack and support planes on flight on D-Day

7,900 – Number of British airborne units parachuted on June 6, 1944 at midnight

6,939 – Total number of ships deployed during operation Neptune

6,460 – Number of warships and civilian ships deployed during the amphibious assault

1,900 – Number of aircrafts and gliders used in the night of June 5 to 6, 1944

319 – Total interventions of the Luftwaffe (German Air Force) on June 6, 1944

200 – Number of warships that participated in the naval bombardment of June 6, 1944 (battleships, monitors, cruisers and destroyers)

120 – Number of damaged Allied ships (June 6 to 30, 1944)

59 – Number of sunk Allied ships (June 6 to 30, 1944)

The landings on June 6, 1944 in Normandy

156,000 – Number of soldiers who took part in the Normandy landings

132,000 – Number of Allied soldiers who have landed on June 6, 1944 at midnight

73,000 – Number of British soldiers who have landed on June 6, 1944 at midnight

59,000 – Number of American soldiers who have landed on June 6, 1944 at midnight

34,250 – Number of U.S. soldiers landed on Omaha Beach on June 6, 1944 at midnight

28,845 – Number of British soldiers landed on Sword Beach on June 6, 1944 at midnight

24,970 – Number of British soldiers landed on Gold Beach on June 6, 1944 at midnight

23,250 – Number of U.S. soldiers landed on Utah Beach on June 6, 1944 at midnight

21,400 – Number of Canadian soldiers landed on Juno Beach on June 6, 1944 at midnight

10,500 – Number of allied losses on June 6 at midnight (killed, wounded, missing, prisoners)

10,000 – Estimated number of the German losses on June 6, 19444 at midnight

117 – Number of French soldiers belonging to the Kieffer commando landed on Sword Beach

WWII by the numbers

Number of Americans who served in World War II: 16.1 million

Average amount of time each U.S. military serviceman served overseas during World War II: 16 months

Estimated number of people serving in World War II worldwide: 1.9 billion

Estimated number of U.S. soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines killed in battle during World War II: 292,000

… of U.S. troops who perished outside of battle during World War II: 114,000

… of U.S. troops wounded during World War II: 672,000

… of deaths, in total, sustained by U.S. forces during World War II: 405,000

… of U.S. military deaths as a percent of the total United States population: 0.4%

Estimated number of deaths sustained worldwide during World War II: 72 million

Estimated total number of European Jews killed in the Nazi Holocaust: 6 million

Estimated number of German Jews killed in the Holocaust: 125,000

Estimated number of Polish Jews killed in the Holocaust: 3 million

Estimated number of deaths sustained by Polish military forces during World War II: 123,000

… by French military forces during World War II: 213,000

… by British military forces: 373,000

… by Chinese military forces: 1.3 million

… by Japanese military forces: 1.3 million

… by German military forces: 3.5 million

… by Russian military forces: 11 million

Estimated number of British civilians killed during World War II: 93,000

… of French civilians killed during World War II: 350,000

… of Japanese civilians killed: 672,000

… of German civilians killed: 780,000

… of Polish civilians killed: 5.7 million

… of Russian civilians killed: 7 million

Nazi Body Count

Scott Manning
April 1, 2009

The Nazi Body Count represents non-battle deaths caused by Nazi Germany between 1933 and 1945. This includes genocide, execution of civilians and POWs, forced labor that resulted in deaths, bombing of civilian populations, imposed famine and resulting diseases, and “euthanasia.” These numbers do not include civilians who got caught in the cross-fire of battle.

The numbers are mid-estimates. The source for the numbers, R. J. Rummel’s Democide: Nazi Genocide and Mass Murder, uses of a method of accumulating all available estimates typically from government sources or scholarly examinations. The estimates are sorted by lows, mids, and highs. Averages are determined from the estimates to arrive at a low-estimate (the minimum), a mid-estimate (the more probable), and a high-estimate (the least likely).1

The Nazi body counts are grouped by country and sorted from highest to lowest. Also, an occupation death rate is provided for the countries that Nazi Germany actually occupied. This number was determined by dividing the 1939 population estimate by the body count to give the percentage that a citizen of that country was likely to be killed during that time period. An appendix at the end lists the sources for the population estimates.

Subsequent articles will examine each country in detail: Their relationship with Nazi Germany and more information on the numbers.

Nazi Body Count: 20,946,000 Non-Battle Deaths

1. USSR
Body Count: 12,250,0002
Occupation Death Rate: 18.85%
Deaths caused between 1941-1945

* 6,500,000 died through imposed famine and resulting diseases
* 3,000,000 killed POWs
* 1,224,000 killed through executions, massacres, or bombing of civilian populations3
* 876,000 killed Jews
* 650,000 died through forced labor

2. Poland
Body Count: 5,400,0004
Occupation Death Rate: 15.39%
Deaths caused between 1939-1945

* 3,000,000 killed Jews
* 2,300,000 killed or died through forced labor.

3. Nazi Germany
Body Count: 762,0005
Deaths caused between 1933-1945

* 288,000 killed through executions and purges, or died through forced labor
* 173,000 killed through “euthanasia”6
* 160,000 killed Jews
* 88,000 Germans died in February, 1945 during forced evacuation from Eastern territories
* 55,000 killed homosexuals.

4. Yugoslavia
Body Count: 625,0007
Occupation Death Rate: 3.98%
Deaths caused between 1941-1945

* 588,000 killed through massacres and bombing of civilian populations, died through forced labor, or killed Serbians
* 37,000 killed Jews

5. Hungary
Body Count: 406,0008
Occupation Death Rate: 3.01%
Deaths caused between 1941-1945.

* 378,000 killed Jews
* 28,000 killed Gypsies

6. France
Body Count: 256,0009
Occupation Death Rate: 0.61%
Deaths caused between 1940-1945

* 158,000 killed or died through forced labor
* 98,000 killed Jews

7. Czechoslovakia
Body Count: 214,00010
Occupation Death Rate: 1.41%
Deaths caused between 1939-1945

* 150,000 killed Jews
* 56,000 killed or executed
* 8,000 killed Gypsies

8. Lithuania
Body Count: 176,18211
Occupation Death Rate: 7.21%
Deaths caused between 1941-1945
176,182 killed Jews and Gypsies, executed, or died during deportation.

9. Netherlands
Body Count: 175,70612
Occupation Death Rate: 1.99%
Deaths caused between 1940-1945

* 108,000 killed Jews
* 35,000 died through forced labor
* 17,000 killings and massacres of hostages
* 15,000 died through imposed famine and resulting diseases
* 706 killed through bombing of civilian populations

10. Greece
Body Count: 140,00013
Occupation Death Rate: 1.94%
Deaths caused between 1941-1945

* 73,000 killings and massacres of hostages, or died through imposed famine and resulting diseases
* 67,000 killed Jews

11. Austria
Body Count: 133,00014
Occupation Death Rate: 1.97%
Deaths caused between 1938-1945

* 65,000 killed Gypsies
* 58,000 killed Jews
* 10,000 killed or executed

12. United Kingdom
Body Count: 87,60015
Deaths caused between 1940-1945
87,600 were killed through bombing of civilian populations or were killed POWs.

13. Latvia
Body Count: 69,54516
Occupation Death Rate: 3.56%
Deaths caused between 1941-1945
69,545 killed Jews and Gypsies, executed or died during deportation.

14. Romania
Body Count: 70,00017
Deaths caused between 1941-1945
70,000 Jews were killed.

15. Italy
Body Count: 64,00018
Occupation Death Rate: 0.15%
Deaths caused between 1943-1945

* 56,000 killed POWs and reprisal murders
* 8,000 killed Jews

16. Belgium
Body Count: 50,50019
Occupation Death Rate: 0.60%
Deaths caused between 1941-1945

* 40,000 killed Jews
* 10,000 died through forced labor or were executed
* 500 killed Gypsies

17. Spain
Body Count: 21,60020
Deaths caused between 1937-1945

* 20,000 died through forced labor or were executed
* 1,600 bombing of civilian population in Guernica in 1938

18. Independent State of Croatia
Body Count: 21,00021
Deaths caused between 1941-1945

* 20,000 rounded up and shot after the Battle of Kozara in July, 1942
* 1,000 killed Gypsies

19. Estonia
Body Count: 9,27222
Occupation Death Rate: 0.83%
Deaths caused between 1941-1945
9,272 killed Jews and Gypsies, were executed, or died during deportation.

20. Bulgaria
Body Count: 7,00023
Deaths caused between 1941-1945
7,000 Jews were killed.

21. United States of America
Body Count: 2,03824
Deaths caused between 1942-1945
2,038 POWs were killed.

22. Luxembourg
Body Count: 2,20025
Deaths caused between 1940-1945

* 2,000 killed Jews
* 200 killed Gypsies

23. Norway
Body Count: 1,50026
Occupation Death Rate: 0.05%
Deaths caused between 1940-1945
1,500 Jews were killed.

24. Denmark
Body Count: 70027
Deaths caused between 1939-1945

* 500 killed Jews
* 200 killed

25. Italian Libya
Body Count: 56228
Deaths caused between 1939-1945
562 Jews were killed.

26. Albanian Kingdom
Body Count: 20029
Deaths caused between 1943-1945
200 Jews were killed.

27. Finland
Body Count: 630
Deaths caused between 1941-1945
6 Jews were killed.

Appendix

The following population estimates were used to determine the occupation death rates for the countries. Unless otherwise noted, the estimates come from International Statistical Year-Book 1940/1941 published by the League of Nations in 194131.

Populations of Countries Occupied by Nazi Germany
Country Year Population
Austria 1937 6,760,00032
Belgium 1939 8,396,000
Czechoslovakia 1937 15,213,00033
Denmark 1939 3,825,000
Estonia 1939 1,122,000
France 1939 41,950,000
Greece 1939 7,201,000
Hungary 1939 13,500,000
Italy 1939 13,300,000
Latvia 1939 1,951,000
Lithuania 1939 2,442,000
Luxembourg 1939 301,000
Netherlands 1939 8,834,000
Norway 1939 2,937,000
Poland 1938 35,090,000
USSR 1942 65,000,00034
Yugosolavia 1939 15,703,000

The Pacific Theatre of War

1941

December 7, 1941 – Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; also attack the Philippines, Wake Island, Guam, Malaya, Thailand, Shanghai and Midway.
December 8, 1941 – U.S. and Britain declare war on Japan. Japanese land near Singapore and enter Thailand.
December 9, 1941 – China declares war on Japan.
December 10, 1941 – Japanese invade the Philippines and also seize Guam.
December 11, 1941 – Japanese invade Burma.
December 15, 1941 – First Japanese merchant ship sunk by a U.S. submarine.
December 16, 1941 – Japanese invade British Borneo.
December 18, 1941 – Japanese invade Hong Kong.
December 22, 1941 – Japanese invade Luzon in the Philippines.
December 23, 1941 – General Douglas MacArthur begins a withdrawal from Manila to Bataan; Japanese take Wake Island.
December 25, 1941 – British surrender at Hong Kong.
December 26, 1941 – Manila declared an open city.
December 27, 1941 – Japanese bomb Manila.

1942

January 2, 1942 – Manila and U.S. Naval base at Cavite captured by the Japanese.
January 7, 1942 – Japanese attack Bataan in the Philippines.
January 11, 1942 – Japanese invade Dutch East Indies and Dutch Borneo.
January 16, 1942 – Japanese begin an advance into Burma.
January 18, 1942 – German-Japanese-Italian military agreement signed in Berlin.
January 19, 1942 – Japanese take North Borneo.
January 23, 1942 – Japanese take Rabaul on New Britain in the Solomon Islands and also invade Bougainville, the largest island.
January 27, 1942 – First Japanese warship sunk by a U.S. submarine.
January 30/31 – The British withdraw into Singapore. The siege of Singapore then begins.
February 1, 1942 – First U.S. aircraft carrier offensive of the war as YORKTOWN and ENTERPRISE conduct air raids on Japanese bases in the Gilbert and Marshall Islands.
February 2, 1942 – Japanese invade Java in the Dutch East Indies.
February 8/9 – Japanese invade Singapore.
February 14, 1942 – Japanese invade Sumatra in the Dutch East Indies.
February 15, 1942 – British surrender at Singapore.
February 19, 1942 – Largest Japanese air raid since Pearl Harbor occurs against Darwin, Australia; Japanese invade Bali.
February 20, 1942 – First U.S. fighter ace of the war, Lt. Edward O’Hare from the LEXINGTON in action off Rabaul.
February 22, 1942 – President Franklin D. Roosevelt orders General MacArthur out of the Philippines.
February 23, 1942 – First Japanese attack on the U.S. mainland as a submarine shells an oil refinery near Santa Barbara, California.
February 24, 1942 – ENTERPRISE attacks Japanese on Wake Island.
February 26, 1942 – First U.S. carrier, the LANGLEY, is sunk by Japanese bombers.
February 27- March 1 – Japanese naval victory in the Battle of the Java Sea as the largest U.S. warship in the Far East, the HOUSTON, is sunk.
March 4, 1942 – Two Japanese flying boats bomb Pearl Harbor; ENTERPRISE attacks Marcus Island, just 1000 miles from Japan.
March 7, 1942 – British evacuate Rangoon in Burma; Japanese invade Salamaua and Lae on New Guinea.
March 8, 1942 – The Dutch on Java surrender to Japanese.
March 11, 1942 – Gen. MacArthur leaves Corregidor and is flown to Australia. Gen. Jonathan Wainwright becomes the new U.S. commander.
March 18, 1942 – Gen. MacArthur appointed commander of the Southwest Pacific Theater by President Roosevelt.
March 18, 1942 – War Relocation Authority established in the U.S. which eventually will round up 120,000 Japanese-Americans and transport them to barb-wired relocation centers. Despite the internment, over 17,000 Japanese-Americans sign up and fight for the U.S. in World War II in Europe, including the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, the most decorated unit in U.S. history.
March 23, 1942 – Japanese invade the Andaman Islands in the Bay of Bengal.
March 24, 1942 – Admiral Chester Nimitz appointed as Commander in Chief of the U.S. Pacific theater.
April 3, 1942 – Japanese attack U.S. and Filipino troops at Bataan.
April 6, 1942 – First U.S. troops arrive in Australia.
April 9, 1942 – U.S. forces on Bataan surrender unconditionally to the Japanese.
April 10, 1942 – Bataan Death March begins as 76,000 Allied POWs including 12,000 Americans are forced to walk 60 miles under a blazing sun without food or water toward a new POW camp, resulting in over 5,000 American deaths.
April 18, 1942 – Surprise U.S. ‘Doolittle’ B-25 air raid from the HORNET against Tokyo boosts Allied morale.
April 29, 1942 – Japanese take central Burma.
May 1, 1942 – Japanese occupy Mandalay in Burma.
May 3, 1942 – Japanese take Tulagi in the Solomon Islands.
May 5, 1942 – Japanese prepare to invade Midway and the Aleutian Islands.
May 6, 1942 – Japanese take Corregidor as Gen. Wainwright unconditionally surrenders all U.S. And Filipino forces in the Philippines.
May 7-8, 1942 – Japan suffers its first defeat of the war during the Battle of the Coral Sea off New Guinea – the first time in history that two opposing carrier forces fought only using aircraft without the opposing ships ever sighting each other.
May 12, 1942 – The last U.S. Troops holding out in the Philippines surrender on Mindanao.
May 20, 1942 – Japanese complete the capture of Burma and reach India.
June 4-5, 1942 – Turning point in the war occurs with a decisive victory for the U.S. against Japan in the Battle of Midway as squadrons of U.S. torpedo planes and dive bombers from ENTERPRISE, HORNET, and YORKTOWN attack and destroy four Japanese carriers, a cruiser, and damage another cruiser and two destroyers. U.S. loses YORKTOWN.
June 7, 1942 – Japanese invade the Aleutian Islands.
June 9, 1942 – Japanese postpone further plans to take Midway.
July 21, 1942 – Japanese land troops near Gona on New Guinea.
August 7, 1942 – The first U.S. amphibious landing of the Pacific War occurs as 1st Marine Division invades Tulagi and Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands.
August 8, 1942 – U.S. Marines take the unfinished airfield on Guadalcanal and name it Henderson Field after Maj. Lofton Henderson, a hero of Midway.
August 8/9 – A major U.S. naval disaster off Savo Island, north of Guadalcanal, as eight Japanese warships wage a night attack and sink three U.S. heavy cruisers, an Australian cruiser, and one U.S. destroyer, all in less than an hour. Another U.S. cruiser and two destroyers are damaged. Over 1,500 Allied crewmen are lost.
August 17, 1942 – 122 U.S. Marine raiders, transported by submarine, attack Makin Atoll in the Gilbert Islands.
August 21, 1942 – U.S. Marines repulse first major Japanese ground attack on Guadalcanal.
August 24, 1942 – U.S. And Japanese carriers meet in the Battle of the Eastern Solomons resulting in a Japanese defeat.
August 29, 1942 – The Red Cross announces Japan refuses to allow safe passage of ships containing supplies for U.S. POWs.
August 30, 1942 – U.S. Troops invade Adak Island in the Aleutian Islands.
September 9/10 – A Japanese floatplane flies two missions dropping incendiary bombs on U.S. forests in the state of Oregon – the only bombing of the continental U.S. during the war. Newspapers in the U.S. voluntarily withhold this information.
September 12-14 – Battle of Bloody Ridge on Guadalcanal.
September 15, 1942 – A Japanese submarine torpedo attack near the Solomon Islands results in the sinking of the Carrier WASP, Destroyer O’BRIEN and damage to the Battleship NORTH CAROLINA.
September 27, 1942 – British offensive in Burma.
October 11/12 – U.S. cruisers and destroyers defeat a Japanese task force in the Battle of Cape Esperance off Guadalcanal.
October 13, 1942 – The first U.S. Army troops, the 164th Infantry Regiment, land on Guadalcanal.
October 14/15 – Japanese bombard Henderson Field at night from warships then send troops ashore onto Guadalcanal in the morning as U.S. planes attack.
October 15/17 – Japanese bombard Henderson Field at night again from warships.
October 18, 1942 – Vice Admiral William F. Halsey named as the new commander of the South Pacific Area, in charge of the Solomons-New Guinea campaign.
October 26, 1942 – Battle of Santa Cruz off Guadalcanal between U.S. And Japanese warships results in the loss of the Carrier HORNET.
November 14/15 – U.S. And Japanese warships clash again off Guadalcanal resulting in the sinking of the U.S. Cruiser JUNEAU and the deaths of the five Sullivan brothers.
November 23/24 – Japanese air raid on Darwin, Australia.
November 30/31 – Battle of Tasafaronga off Guadalcanal.
December 2, 1942 – Enrico Fermi conducts the worlds first nuclear chain reaction test at the University of Chicago.
December 20-24 – Japanese air raids on Calcutta, India.
December 31, 1942 – Emperor Hirohito of Japan gives permission to his troops to withdraw from Guadalcanal after five months of bloody fighting against U.S. Forces

1943

January 2, 1943 – Allies take Buna in New Guinea.
January 22, 1943 – Allies defeat Japanese at Sanananda on New Guinea.
February 1, 1943 – Japanese begin evacuation of Guadalcanal.
February 8, 1943 – British-Indian forces begin guerrilla operations against Japanese in Burma.
February 9, 1943 – Japanese resistance on Guadalcanal ends.
March 2-4 – U.S. victory over Japanese in the Battle of Bismarck Sea.
April 18, 1943 – U.S. code breakers pinpoint the location of Japanese Admiral Yamamoto flying in a Japanese bomber near Bougainville in the Solomon Islands. Eighteen P-38 fighters then locate and shoot down Yamamoto.
April 21, 1943 – President Roosevelt announces the Japanese have executed several airmen from the Doolittle Raid.
April 22, 1943 – Japan announces captured Allied pilots will be given “one way tickets to hell.”
May 10, 1943 – U.S. Troops invade Attu in the Aleutian Islands.
May 14, 1943 – A Japanese submarine sinks the Australian hospital ship CENTAUR resulting in 299 dead.
May 31, 1943 – Japanese end their occupation of the Aleutian Islands as the U.S. completes the capture of Attu.
June 1, 1943 – U.S. begins submarine warfare against Japanese shipping.
June 21, 1943 – Allies advance to New Georgia, Solomon Islands.
July 8, 1943 – B-24 Liberators flying from Midway bomb Japanese on Wake Island.
August 1/2 – A group of 15 U.S. PT-boats attempt to block Japanese convoys south of Kolombangra Island in the Solomon Islands. PT-109, commanded by Lt. John F. Kennedy, is rammed and sunk by the Japanese Cruiser AMAGIRI, killing two and badly injuring others. The crew survives as Kennedy aids one badly injured man by towing him to a nearby atoll.
August 6/7, 1943 – Battle of Vella Gulf in the Solomon Islands.
August 25, 1943 – Allies complete the occupation of New Georgia.
September 4, 1943 – Allies recapture Lae-Salamaua, New Guinea.
October 7, 1943 – Japanese execute approximately 100 American POWs on Wake Island.
October 26, 1943 – Emperor Hirohito states his country’s situation is now “truly grave.”
November 1, 1943 – U.S. Marines invade Bougainville in the Solomon Islands.
November 2, 1943 – Battle of Empress Augustusta Bay.
November 20, 1943 – U.S. Troops invade Makin and Tarawa in the Gilbert Islands.
November 23, 1943 – Japanese end resistance on Makin and Tarawa.
December 15, 1943 – U.S. Troops land on the Arawe Peninsula of New Britain in the Solomon Islands.
December 26, 1943 – Full Allied assault on New Britain as 1st Division Marines invade Cape Gloucester.

1944

January 9, 1944 – British and Indian troops recapture Maungdaw in Burma.
January 31, 1944 – U.S. Troops invade Kwajalein in the Marshall Islands.
February 1-7, 1944 – U.S. Troops capture Kwajalein and Majura Atolls in the Marshall Islands.
February 17/18 – U.S. Carrier-based planes destroy the Japanese naval base at Truk in the Caroline Islands.
February 20, 1944 – U.S. Carrier-based and land-based planes destroy the Japanese base at Rabaul.
February 23, 1944 – U.S. Carrier-based planes attack the Mariana Islands.
February 24, 1944 – Merrill’s Marauders begin a ground campaign in northern Burma.
March 5, 1944 – Gen. Wingate’s groups begin operations behind Japanese lines in Burma.
March 15, 1944 – Japanese begin offensive toward Imphal and Kohima.
April 17, 1944 – Japanese begin their last offensive in China, attacking U.S. air bases in eastern China.
April 22, 1944 – Allies invade Aitape and Hollandia in New Guinea.
May 27, 1944 – Allies invade Biak Island, New Guinea.
June 5, 1944 – The first mission by B-29 Superfortress bombers occurs as 77 planes bomb Japanese railway facilities at Bangkok, Thailand.
June 15, 1944 – U.S. Marines invade Saipan in the Mariana Islands.
June 15/16 – The first bombing raid on Japan since the Doolittle raid of April 1942, as 47 B-29s based in Bengel, India, target the steel works at Yawata.
June 19, 1944 – The “Marianas Turkey Shoot” occurs as U.S. Carrier-based fighters shoot down 220 Japanese planes, while only 20 American planes are lost.
July 8, 1944 – Japanese withdraw from Imphal.
July 19, 1944 – U.S. Marines invade Guam in the Marianas.
July 24, 1944 – U.S. Marines invade Tinian.
July 27, 1944 – American troops complete the liberation of Guam.
August 3, 1944 – U.S. And Chinese troops take Myitkyina after a two month siege.
August 8, 1944 – American troops complete the capture of the Mariana Islands.
September 15, 1944 – U.S. Troops invade Morotai and the Paulaus.
October 11, 1944 – U.S. Air raids against Okinawa.
October 18, 1944 – Fourteen B-29s based on the Marianas attack the Japanese base at Truk.
October 20, 1944 – U.S. Sixth Army invades Leyte in the Philippines.
October 23-26 – Battle of Leyte Gulf results in a decisive U.S. Naval victory.
October 25, 1944 – The first suicide air (Kamikaze) attacks occur against U.S. warships in Leyte Gulf. By the end of the war, Japan will have sent an estimated 2,257 aircraft. “The only weapon I feared in the war,” Adm. Halsey will say later.
November 11, 1944 – Iwo Jima bombarded by the U.S. Navy.
November 24, 1944 – Twenty four B-29s bomb the Nakajima aircraft factory near Tokyo.
December 15, 1944 – U.S. Troops invade Mindoro in the Philippines.
December 17, 1944 – The U.S. Army Air Force begins preparations for dropping the Atomic Bomb by establishing the 509th Composite Group to operate the B-29s that will deliver the bomb.

1945

January 3, 1945 – Gen. MacArthur is placed in command of all U.S. ground forces and Adm. Nimitz in command of all naval forces in preparation for planned assaults against Iwo Jima, Okinawa and Japan itself.
January 4, 1945 – British occupy Akyab in Burma.
January 9, 1945 – U.S. Sixth Army invades Lingayen Gulf on Luzon in the Philippines.
January 11, 1945 – Air raid against Japanese bases in Indochina by U.S. Carrier-based planes.
January 28, 1945 – The Burma road is reopened.
February 3, 1945 – U.S. Sixth Army attacks Japanese in Manila.
February 16, 1945 – U.S. Troops recapture Bataan in the Philippines.
February 19, 1945 – U.S. Marines invade Iwo Jima.
March 1, 1945 – A U.S. submarine sinks a Japanese merchant ship loaded with supplies for Allied POWs, resulting in a court martial for the captain of the submarine, since the ship had been granted safe passage by the U.S. Government.
March 2, 1945 – U.S. airborne troops recapture Corregidor in the Philippines.
March 3, 1945 – U.S. And Filipino troops take Manila.
March 9/10 – Fifteen square miles of Tokyo erupts in flames after it is fire bombed by 279 B-29s.
March 10, 1945 – U.S. Eighth Army invades Zamboanga Peninsula on Mindanao in the Philippines.
March 20, 1945 – British troops liberate Mandalay, Burma.
March 27, 1945 – B-29s lay mines in Japan’s Shimonoseki Strait to interrupt shipping.
April 1, 1945 – The final amphibious landing of the war occurs as the U.S. Tenth Army invades Okinawa.
April 7, 1945 – B-29s fly their first fighter-escorted mission against Japan with P-51 Mustangs based on Iwo Jima; U.S. Carrier-based fighters sink the super battleship YAMATO and several escort vessels which planned to attack U.S. Forces at Okinawa.
April 12, 1945 – President Roosevelt dies, succeeded by Harry S. Truman.
May 8, 1945 – Victory in Europe Day.
May 20, 1945 – Japanese begin withdrawal from China.
May 25, 1945 – U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff approve Operation Olympic, the invasion of Japan, scheduled for November 1.
June 9, 1945 – Japanese Premier Suzuki announces Japan will fight to the very end rather than accept unconditional surrender.
June 18, 1945 – Japanese resistance ends on Mindanao in the Philippines.
June 22, 1945 – Japanese resistance ends on Okinawa as the U.S. Tenth Army completes its capture.
June 28, 1945 – MacArthur’s headquarters announces the end of all Japanese resistance in the Philippines.
July 5, 1945 – Liberation of Philippines declared.
July 10, 1945 – 1,000 bomber raids against Japan begin.
July 14, 1945 – The first U.S. Naval bombardment of Japanese home islands.
July 16, 1945 – First Atomic Bomb is successfully tested in the U.S.
July 26, 1945 – Components of the Atomic Bomb “Little Boy” are unloaded at Tinian Island in the South Pacific.
July 29, 1945 – A Japanese submarine sinks the Cruiser INDIANAPOLIS resulting in the loss of 881 crewmen. The ship sinks before a radio message can be sent out leaving survivors adrift for two days.
August 6, 1945 – First Atomic Bomb dropped on Hiroshima from a B-29 flown by Col. Paul Tibbets.
August 8, 1945 – U.S.S.R. declares war on Japan then invades Manchuria.
August 9, 1945 – Second Atomic Bomb is dropped on Nagasaki from a B-29 flown by Maj. Charles Sweeney — Emperor Hirohito and Japanese Prime Minister Suzuki then decide to seek an immediate peace with the Allies.
August 14, 1945 – Japanese accept unconditional surrender; Gen. MacArthur is appointed to head the occupation forces in Japan.
August 16, 1945 – Gen. Wainwright, a POW since May 6, 1942, is released from a POW camp in Manchuria.
August 27, 1945 – B-29s drop supplies to Allied POWs in China.
August 29, 1945 – The Soviets shoot down a B-29 dropping supplies to POWs in Korea; U.S. Troops land near Tokyo to begin the occupation of Japan.
August 30, 1945 – The British reoccupy Hong Kong.
September 2, 1945 – Formal Japanese surrender ceremony on board the MISSOURI in Tokyo Bay as 1,000 carrier-based planes fly overhead; President Truman declares VJ Day.
September 3, 1945 – The Japanese commander in the Philippines, Gen. Yamashita, surrenders to Gen. Wainwright at Baguio.
September 4, 1945 – Japanese troops on Wake Island surrender.
September 5, 1945 – British land in Singapore.
September 8, 1945 – MacArthur enters Tokyo.
September 9, 1945 – Japanese in Korea surrender.
September 13, 1945 – Japanese in Burma surrender.
October 24, 1945 – United Nations is born.

Source: The History Place

Overview of The Pacific War

Even before Pearl Harbor, President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the American military chiefs had agreed on a common strategy with Great Britain: Germany, the most powerful and dangerous of the Axis powers, must be defeated first. Only enough military resources would be devoted to the Pacific to hold the Japanese west of an Alaska-Hawaii-Panama defensive line.

Competition for limited resources between the Allied commanders of the European and Pacific theaters was actually less intense than might have been expected. The Pacific was a naval war, and little U.S. offensive naval power was required in the Atlantic besides landing craft. Aside from the U-boats, the Germans posed no threat in Atlantic waters. U-boat defense primarily required many small, fast escort vessels. Then too, almost the entire British Navy was deployed in the Atlantic. Thus, American offensive naval power — especially the fast carrier task forces — could be committed to the Pacific war.

More than distance separated the two wars; they differed fundamentally in strategy and command and in the character of the fighting. In Europe the war was planned and conducted in combination with powerful Allies. Strategic decisions had to be argued and agreed to by the American and British chiefs of staff, and, on occasion, even by President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill. Operational planning was conducted, at least at the higher levels, by combined Anglo-American staffs. In the Pacific the United States also had Allies — Australia and New Zealand. Yet the ratio of U.S. to Allied forces was much higher there than in Europe, and in consequence strategy and planning were almost wholly in American hands.

Eisenhower, the Supreme Commander in Europe, had no counterpart in the Pacific. From the beginning of the war, rivalry between the Army and the Navy marked the conflict. The two services competed for command, territory, and resources. In the vast Pacific, an ocean dotted with thousands of coral islands, there should have been ample room for both. But interservice rivalries and great distances prevented a single unified commander from being named, until General Douglas MacArthur became Supreme Commander, Allied Powers (SCAP), in the last days of the war. Instead, the Pacific was divided into area commands. The two most important were MacArthur’s Southwest Pacific Area (SWPA) and Admiral Chester Nimitz’s Pacific Ocean Areas (POA). POA, in turn, was subdivided into North Pacific, Central Pacific, and South Pacific commands. Nimitz personally retained command of the Central Pacific.

Fighting in the Pacific was unlike fighting in Europe. The campaigns in Europe were characterized by huge ground forces driving overland into the heart of the enemy’s country. Both in MacArthur’s SWPA and Nimitz’s POA, the Pacific war was a seemingly endless series of amphibious landings and island-hopping campaigns where naval power, air power, and shipping, rather than large and heavy ground forces, were of paramount importance.

Yet for the soldiers and marines who assaulted the countless beaches, the Pacific war was even more brutal and deadly than the war in Europe. Japanese defenders always dug in, reinforced their bunkers with coconut logs, and fought until they were killed. They almost never surrendered. On Betio in the Tarawa Atoll in November 1943 the marines suffered 3,301 casualties, including 900 killed in action, for a bit of coral 3 miles long and 800 yards wide. At Iwo Jima in February and March 1945 the marines lost almost 6,000 dead and over 17,000 wounded and fought for five weeks to take an island less than five miles long. At Iwo no battalion suffered fewer than 50 percent casualties, and many sustained even higher losses. In the southwest Pacific, MacArthur’s casualties were proportionately fewer. Fighting on the larger land masses of New Guinea and the Philippines, he had more room to maneuver, and he could almost always “hit ’em where they ain’t.”

The history of the war in the Pacific falls neatly into three periods. The first six months of the war, from December 1941 to May 1942, were a time of unbroken Japanese military victory. At the-height of Japanese expansion in mid-1942, the tide turned. The period from mid-1942 to mid-1943 saw Japanese strategic thrusts into the south and central Pacific blunted by the carrier battles of the Coral Sea (May 1942) and Midway (June 1942). Limited U.S. offensives in the Solomons and in the Papuan area of eastern New Guinea were launched in the last months of 1942. Both offensives were begun on a shoestring, and both came close to failure. Yet they represented the end of defeat in the Pacific and the first tentative steps toward victory. Those steps became great leaps in 1944 and 1945. Two amphibious offensives developed, as MacArthur advanced across the northern coast of New Guinea into the Philippines and Nimitz island-hopped 2,000 miles across the central Pacific from the Gilbert Islands to Okinawa.

Source: World War II Info

Notes

* Rummel provides a more detailed explanation for his methods and procedures on his website. This same explanation is provided in each of his books related to death estimates. R. J. Rummel, “Estimating Democide: Methods and Procedures,” University of Hawaii, http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/METHOD.HTM. [back]
* R. J. Rummel, Democide: Nazi Genocide and Mass Murder (New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers, 1992), 127-131. [back]
* This number is determined by Rummel’s estimate that of the 3,600,000 that died in this category, about 2,376,000 were the responsibility of the Soviet government. Rummel 1992, 131. [back]
* After Rummel breaks down the causes of death, he comes up with a mid-estimate of 5,300,000. This is very close to the official Polish Report of 5,400,000, which Rummel chooses to rely on for the final mid-estimate. Rummel 1992, 124-125. [back]
* Rummel 1992, 116-118. [back]
* Those killed through the euthanasia program included the “malformed, old, diseased, senile, or mentally backward in the judgment of the doctors in charge.” These were not people electing to die. Rummel 1992, 47. [back]
* This excludes those killed in the Independent State of Croatia. Rummel 1992, 132-133. [back]
* Rummel 1992, 119-120. [back]
* Rummel 1992, 114-116. [back]
* Rummel 1992, 112-113. [back]
* Rummel had estimates for Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. Rummel took this sum and averaged it with a separate overall estimate for the Baltic States. In order to determine an estimate for a country, the country’s ratio of the first summed estimate was applied to the overall Baltic average. Lithuania’s portion of the new estimate would be about 176,182. Rummel 1992, 108-110. [back]
* Rummel 1992, 122-123. [back]
* Rummel 1992, 118-119 [back]
* Rummel 1992, 108. [back]
* Rummel 1992, 127. [back]
* Rummel had estimates for Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. Rummel took this sum and averaged it with a separate overall estimate for the Baltic States. In order to determine an estimate for a country, the country’s ratio of the first summed estimate was applied to the overall Baltic average. Latvia’s portion of the new estimate would be about 69,545. Rummel 1992, 108-110. [back]
* Rummel 1992, 125-127. [back]
* Rummel 1992, 120-121. [back]
* Rummel rounds up to 51,000. Rummel 1992, 110. [back]
* Rummel 1992, 127. [back]
* Rummel 1992, 111-112. [back]
* Rummel had estimates for Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. Rummel took this sum and averaged it with a separate overall estimate for the Baltic States. In order to determine an estimate for a country, the country’s ratio of the first summed estimate was applied to the overall Baltic average. Estonia’s portion of the new estimate would be about 9,272. Rummel 1992, 108-110. [back]
* Rummel 1992, 111. [back]
* Rummel 1992, 107. [back]
* Rummel rounds down to 2,000 in his final estimate. Rummel 1992, 121-122. [back]
* Rummel 1992,123- 124. [back]
* Rummel 1992, 114. [back]
* Rummel 1992, 121. [back]
* Rummel 1992, 108. [back]
* Rummel 1992, 114. [back]
* Economic Intelligence Service, Economic Intelligence Service, International Statistical Year-Book 1940/1941 (Geneva: Series of League of Nations Publications, 1941), 14, 16, 17. [back]
* League of Nations Economic Intelligence Service, International Statistical Year-Book 1937/1938 (Geneva: Series of League of Nations Publications, 1938), 20. [back]
* League of Nations Economic Intelligence Service 1938, 20. [back]
* This is the estimated population of USSR territory occupied by Nazi Germany. Leonid D. Grenkevich and Josef Washington Hall, The Soviet Partisan Movement 1941-1945: A Critical Historiographical Analysis (Portland: Frank Class, 1999), 98. [back]

References

Grenkevich, Leonid D. and Josef Washington Hall. The Soviet partisan movement 1941-1945: A Critical Historiographical Analysis. Portland: Frank Class, 1999.

League of Nations Economic Intelligence Service. International Statistical Year-Book 1937/1938. Geneva: Series of League of Nations Publications, 1941.

League of Nations Economic Intelligence Service. International Statistical Year-Book 1940/1941. Geneva: Series of League of Nations Publications, 1941.

Rummel, R. J. Democide: Nazi Genocide and Mass Murder. New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers, 1992.

Rummel, R. J. “Estimating Democide: Methods and Procedures.” University of Hawaii. http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/METHOD.HTM (accessed November 12, 2008).