This is a list of World War II battles, sorted by front location.
World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 70 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.
Operation Brevity was a limited offensive conducted in mid-May 1941, during the Western Desert Campaign of the Second World War. Conceived by the commander-in-chief of the British Middle East Command, General Archibald Wavell, Brevity was intended to be a rapid blow against weak Axis front-line forces in the Sollum–Capuzzo–Bardia area of the border between Egypt and Libya. Although the operation got off to a promising start, throwing the Axis high command into confusion, most of its early gains were lost to local counter-attacks, and with German reinforcements being rushed to the front the operation was called off after one day.
Operation Skorpion or Unternehmen Skorpion was a military operation during the Western Desert Campaign of the Second World War. The operation was fought by Axis forces under the command of Colonel Maximilian von Herff and British forces under Lieutenant-General William "Strafer" Gott. A counter-attack was made on British positions at Halfaya Pass in north-western Egypt, which had been captured during Operation Brevity (15–16 May).Unternehmen Skorpion was the second offensive operation commanded by Rommel in Africa.
Operation Battleaxe was a British Army operation during the Second World War in June 1941, to clear eastern Cyrenaica of German and Italian forces and raise the Siege of Tobruk. It was the first time during the war that a significant German force fought on the defensive. The British lost over half of their tanks on the first day and only one of three attacks succeeded.
The rapid British advance during Operation Compass forced the Italian 10th Army to evacuate Cyrenaica, the eastern province of Libya. In late January, the British learned that the Italians were retreating along the Litoranea Balbo from Benghazi. The 7th Armoured Division was dispatched to intercept the remnants of the 10th Army by moving through the desert, south of the Jebel Akhdar via Msus and Antelat as the 6th Australian Division pursued the Italians along the coast road, north of the jebel. The terrain was hard going for the British tanks and Combeforce, a flying column of wheeled vehicles, was sent ahead across the chord of the jebel.
Operation Sonnenblume was the name given to the dispatch of German troops to North Africa in February 1941, during the Second World War. The Italian 10th Army had been destroyed by the British and Allied Western Desert Force attacks during Operation Compass (9 December 1940 – 9 February 1941). The first units of the new Deutsches Afrikakorps departed Naples for Africa and arrived on 11 February 1941. On 14 February, advanced units of the 5th Light Afrika Division, Aufklärungsbataillon 3 and Panzerjägerabteilung 39 arrived in Tripoli, Libya and were sent immediately to the front line at Sirte.
The Siege of Tobruk lasted for 241 days in 1941, after Axis forces advanced through Cyrenaica from El Agheila in Operation Sonnenblume against Allied forces in Libya, during the Western Desert Campaign (1940–1943) of the Second World War. In late 1940, the Allies had defeated the Italian 10th Army during Operation Compass (9 December 1940 – 9 February 1941) and trapped the remnants at Beda Fomm. During early 1941, much of the Western Desert Force (WDF) was sent to the Greek and Syrian campaigns. As German troops and Italian reinforcements reached Libya, only a skeleton Allied force remained, short of equipment and supplies.
The Siege of Giarabub in Libya, was an engagement between Commonwealth and Italian forces, during the Western Desert Campaign of the Second World War. In the aftermath of Operazione E, the invasion of Libya by the Italian 10th Army (9–16 September 1940), Operation Compass (9–16 December) by the Western Desert Force (WDF), the Battle of Sidi Barrani and the pursuit of the 10th Army into Cyrenaica (16 December 1940 – 9 February 1941) the fortified Italian position at the Al Jaghbub Oasis was besieged by parts of the 6th Australian Division.
The Battle of Bardia was fought between 3 and 5 January 1941, as part of Operation Compass, the first military operation of the Western Desert Campaign of the Second World War. It was the first battle of the war in which an Australian Army formation took part, the first to be commanded by an Australian general and the first to be planned by an Australian staff. The 6th Australian Division assaulted the strongly held Italian fortress of Bardia, Libya, assisted by air support and naval gunfire and under the cover of an artillery barrage. The 16th Australian Infantry Brigade attacked at dawn from the west, where the defences were known to be weak. Sappers blew gaps in the barbed wire with Bangalore torpedoes and filled in and broke down the sides of the anti-tank ditch with picks and shovels. This allowed the infantry and 23 Matilda II tanks of the 7th Royal Tank Regiment to enter the fortress and capture all their objectives, along with 8,000 prisoners.
The Capture of Kufra/Prise de Koufra was part of the Allied Western Desert Campaign during the Second World War. Kufra is a basin and oasis group in the Kufra District of south-eastern Cyrenaica in the Libyan Desert. In 1940, it was part of the colony of Libia Italiana, which was part of Africa Settentrionale Italiana (ASI), which was established in 1934. The battle, resulted in the capture of Kufra by Free French Forces and the British Long Range Desert Group from the Italian and Libyan garrison.
The Italian invasion of Egypt was an offensive in the Second World War, against British, Commonwealth and Free French forces in Egypt. The invasion by the Italian 10th Army ended border skirmishing on the frontier and began the Western Desert Campaign (1940–1943) proper. The goal of the Italian forces in Libya was to seize the Suez Canal by advancing along the Egyptian coast. After numerous delays, the scope of the offensive was reduced to an advance as far as Sidi Barrani, with attacks on British forces in the area.
Operation Compass was the first large Allied military operation of the Western Desert Campaign (1940–1943) during the Second World War. British and other Commonwealth and Allied forces attacked Italian forces in western Egypt and Cyrenaica, the eastern province of Libya, from December 1940 to February 1941. The Western Desert Force with about 36,000 men, advanced from Mersa Matruh in Egypt on a five-day raid against the Italian positions of the 10th Army, which had about 150,000 men in fortified posts around Sidi Barrani in Egypt and in Cyrenaica.
The Battle of Sidi Barrani(10–11 December 1940) was the opening battle of Operation Compass, the first big British attack of the Western Desert Campaign of the Second World War. Sidi Barrani on the Mediterranean coast in Egypt, had been occupied by the Italian 10th Army, during the Italian invasion of Egypt (9–16 September 1940) and was attacked by British, Commonwealth and imperial troops, who re-captured the port. While retreating from Sidi Barrani and Buq Buq, the 10th Army divisions crowded on the coast road and were easy targets for HMS Terror and two gunboats, which bombarded the Sollum area all day and most of the night of 11 December. By late on 12 December, the only Italian positions left in Egypt were at the approaches to Sollum and the vicinity of Sidi Omar. The British took 38,300 prisoners for a loss of 624 men and prolonged the five-day raid on Italian positions in Egypt, eventually capturing Cyrenaica and most of the 10th Army.
Battles of Khalkhin Gol 11 May 1939 – 16 Sep 1939
The Asiatic-Pacific Theater, was the theater of operations of U.S. forces during World War II in the Pacific War during 1941–45. From mid-1942 until the end of the war in 1945, there were two U.S. operational commands in the Pacific. The Pacific Ocean Areas (POA), divided into the Central Pacific Area, the North Pacific Area and the South Pacific Area, were commanded by Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, Commander-in-Chief Pacific Ocean Areas. The South West Pacific Area (SWPA) was commanded by General Douglas MacArthur, Supreme Allied Commander South West Pacific Area. During 1945, the United States added the United States Strategic Air Forces in the Pacific, commanded by General Carl A. Spaatz.
The Asiatic–Pacific Campaign Medal is a United States military award of the Second World War, which was awarded to any member of the United States Armed Forces who served in the Asiatic-Pacific Theater from 1941 to 1945. The medal was created on November 6, 1942 by Executive Order 9265 issued by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The medal was designed by Thomas Hudson Jones; the reverse side was designed by Adolph Alexander Weinman which is the same design as used on the reverse of the American Campaign Medal and European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal.
Below is the timeline of the events of the Eastern Front of World War II, the conflict between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union from 1941 to 1945.
The 13th Panzer Division was an armoured division in the German Army, the Wehrmacht, during World War II, established in 1940.
Battle Honours are awarded by the Sovereign to Royal Air Force squadrons to commemorate the squadron's role in a particular operation.
The German 18th Infantry Division was formed on 1 October 1934 as Infanterieführer III in Liegnitz and renamed 18. Infanterie-Division on 15 October 1935. Mobilized in August 1939 it participated in the Invasion of Poland and in 1940 in the Battle of France. After the French campaign the division was motorized and redesignated 18th Motorized Infantry Division on 1 November 1940 serving on the Eastern Front for the remainder of the war. In June 1943 the division was redesignated 18th Panzergrenadier Division.
The South West Pacific theatre, during World War II, was a major theatre of the war between the Allies and the Axis. It included the Philippines, the Dutch East Indies, Borneo, Australia and its mandate Territory of New Guinea and the western part of the Solomon Islands. This area was defined by the Allied powers' South West Pacific Area (SWPA) command.
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to World War II:
The strategic operations of the Red Army in World War II were major military events carried out between 1941 and 1945 on the Eastern Front or in 1945 in the Far East during the Second World War. Such operations typically involved at least one Red Army Front - the largest functional unit of the Soviet armed forces. The operations could be defensive, offensive, a withdrawal, an encirclement, or a siege - always conducted by at least two Services of the armed forces and often included the naval forces. In most cases the Stavka divided the strategic operations into operational phases which were large operations in their own right. In very few cases the phases were tactical, such as those requiring amphibious landings.
Prior to World War II, the Indian Ocean was an important maritime trade route between European nations and their colonial territories in East Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, British India, Indochina, the East Indies (Indonesia), and Australia for a long time. Naval presence was dominated by the Royal Navy Eastern Fleet and the Royal Australian Navy as World War II began, with a major portion of the Royal Netherlands Navy operating in the Dutch East Indies and the Red Sea Flotilla of the Italian Regia Marina operating from Massawa.
The 7th Infantry Division was a formation of the German Wehrmacht during World War II. It was formed 1 October 1934 in Munich from the Artillerieführer VII staff and renamed 7. Infanterie-Division with the disclosure of German rearmament on 15 October 1935. In preparation of the Invasion of Poland, the division was transferred to Slovak Republik on 1 August 1939. The division surrendered to Soviet forces near Stutthof after the unconditional surrender of 8 May 1945.
XIII Army Corps was a corps of the German Army during World War II. Made up of several divisions, which varied from time to time, it was formed in Nuremberg on 1 October 1937.