This is a list of military engagements of World War II encompassing land, naval, and air engagements as well as campaigns, operations, defensive lines and sieges. Campaigns generally refer to broader strategic operations conducted over a large bit of territory and over a long period. Battles generally refer to short periods of intense combat localised to a specific area and over a specific period. However, use of the terms in naming such events is not consistent. For example, the Battle of the Atlantic was more or less an entire theatre of war, and the so-called battle lasted for the duration of the entire war. Another misnomer is the Battle of Britain, which by all rights should be considered a campaign, not a mere battle.
The Battle of the Atlantic was the longest continuous military campaign in World War II, running from 1939 to the defeat of Nazi Germany in 1945, and was a major part of the Naval history of World War II. At its core was the Allied naval blockade of Germany, announced the day after the declaration of war, and Germany's subsequent counter-blockade. It was at its height from mid-1940 through to the end of 1943.
The Battle of Britain was a military campaign of the Second World War, in which the Royal Air Force (RAF) defended the United Kingdom (UK) against large-scale attacks by Nazi Germany's air force, the Luftwaffe. It has been described as the first major military campaign fought entirely by air forces. The British officially recognise the battle's duration as being from 10 July until 31 October 1940, which overlaps the period of large-scale night attacks known as the Blitz, that lasted from 7 September 1940 to 11 May 1941. German historians do not accept this subdivision and regard the battle as a single campaign lasting from July 1940 to June 1941, including the Blitz.
|• Invasion of Poland||Poland invaded by Nazi Germany. |
|• Soviet invasion of Poland||Poland invaded by Soviet Union. |
|• Slovak invasion of Poland||Poland invaded by Slovakia|
|• Saar Offensive||French attack on Saarland.|
|• Winter War||Finland invaded by the Soviet Union and, initially, resists successfully.|| |
|• First Battle of Changsha||First Japanese attempt to take Changsha in China during the Second Sino-Japanese War.|
|• 1939–40 Winter Offensive||First large-scale Chinese counter-offensive operation.|
|• Battle of the River Plate||The Admiral Graf Spee chased into Montevideo harbour and later scuttled.|
|• Battle of the Atlantic||Name given to the conflicts in the Atlantic Ocean between 1940 and 1945.|
|• Winter War|| |
|• German invasion of Denmark|
|• Battle of Drøbak Sound||Took place on the first day of the German invasion of Norway.|
|• Battles of Narvik||Minor Allied victory in Norway.|
|• Battle of Namsos||Failed Allied attempt to halt the Germans in Norway.|
|• Invasion of Iceland|
|• Battle of the Netherlands||Germany defeats the Dutch in Europe during the opening stages of the first operation of the Battle of France, "Case Yellow" ( Fall Gelb ).|
|• Battle of Belgium||Germany defeats Belgium during the continuation of Fall Gelb.|
|• Battle of France|
|• Attack on Mers-el-Kébir||Operation "Catapult". Feared by the possibility of some French ships moored in the French Algeria could fall in Axis hands, the Royal Navy proceed to a bombardment of Mers-El-Kebir. One French warship is sunk and three others damaged. The operation is in fine a failure as most of the French ships leave to Toulon, southern France.|
|• Battle of Britain||The German Air Force ( Luftwaffe ) fails to defeat the British Royal Air Force as the precondition for the invasion of Britain.|
|• British Somaliland||Italian conquest of British Somaliland|
|• First Battle of French Indochina||The forces of Imperial Japan successfully invade French Indochina but leave the Vichy French forces in control.|
|• Battle of Dakar||An unsuccessful attempt by the Allies to capture the strategic port of Dakar from Vichy French control.|
|• Greco-Italian War|| Italian forces invade Greece from Albania and are repelled. Greek counter-attack drives Italians back into Albania. |
|• Battle of Gabon||Free French forces under General Charles De Gaulle take Libreville, Gabon, from Vichy French forces.|
|• Battle of Taranto||British carrier-based planes destroy the Italian fleet in Taranto Harbor.|
|• Hundred Regiments Offensive||Major offensive by the Chinese Red Army against the Imperial Japanese Army.|
|• Battle of Sidi Barrani||The first big British attack of the Western Desert campaign.|
|• Thailand during French-Thai War.|
|• Battle of the Litani River||Australian forces cross the Litani River to begin the Syria-Lebanon Campaign against Vichy French forces.|
|• Battle of Damascus||Commonwealth and Allied forces take Damascus from the Vichy French.|
|• Battle of Beirut||Commonwealth and Allied forces take Beirut and the Vichy French surrender all forces in Syria and Lebanon.|
|• Battle of Keren||Commonwealth and Allied forces defeat Italian forces at Keren in the decisive battle of the East African Campaign.|
|• Battle of Cape Matapan||British fleet defeats Italian fleet.|
|• Battle of Denmark Strait||The German battleship Bismarck sinks HMS Hood.|
|• Last battle of the battleship Bismarck||The German battleship Bismarck is sunk by the Royal Navy in response to the sinking of HMS Hood.|
|• Invasion of Yugoslavia||Germany and Axis allies invade Yugoslavia via Germany, Italy, Hungary, Bulgaria, and Albania.|
|• Battle of Greece|
|• Battle of Crete||German paratroopers capture Crete, but suffer many casualties.|
|• Operation Barbarossa||German invasion of the Soviet Union.|
|• Battle of Gondar||The final defeat of organized Italian forces in Italian East Africa by Commonwealth and Allied forces.|
|• Attack on Pearl Harbor||Surprise Japanese attack destroys almost all the US Pacific Fleet.|
|• Second Battle of Changsha||Japan's second unsuccessful attempt to take Changsha in China.|
|• Battle of Shanggao||Japanese 11th army attacked the headquarters of the Chinese 19th army.|
|• Battle of Thailand||Japan successfully invades and occupies Thailand.|
|• Battle of Hong Kong||Japan captures the British colony of Hong Kong.|
|• Battle of Guam (1941)||Japan successfully capture the American territory of Guam.|
|• Battle of Wake Island||Japan captures the atoll of Wake Island.|
|• Malayan Campaign|
|• Sinking of Prince of Wales and Repulse||Japanese defeated British naval forces.|
|• Battle of Bataan|
|• Battle of Dražgoše||First direct engagement between Slovenian partisans and German occupying forces.|
|• Battle of Makassar Strait||Japanese aircraft raid an American and Dutch convoy.|
|• Battle of Singapore|
|• Battle of the Java Sea||Japanese forces wipe out an Allied naval squadron.|
|• Battle of Badung Strait||Heavily outnumbered Japanese forces defeat an Allied night-time naval attack.|
|• Battle of Java||Japanese forces invade the island of Java|
|• Indian Ocean raid||Allied naval forces and shipping incur heavy losses during Japan's Fast Carrier Strike Force sortie.|
|• Battle of Christmas Island||The Japanese occupy Christmas Island without any resistance.|
|• Battle of Corregidor||Philippines lost to Japan.|
|• Japanese capture of Burma||Burma lost to Japan.|
|• Battle of Nanos||Eight hundred Italian soldiers lay siege to fifty Slovene partisans.|
|• Doolittle Raid||First air raid on Tokyo.|
|• Battle of the Coral Sea||First aircraft-carrier vs. aircraft-carrier battle. Japan wins tactically, but loses strategically.|
|• Battle of Gazala||German offensive in the desert south of Tobruk anticipated and nearly defeated, but ended with heavy losses to British armour, forcing a withdrawal. In a surprise strike, Tobruk was taken in a day. Rommel exploited the success by pursuing the British into Egypt, denying them time to recover from the defeat but was checked at El Alamein.|
|• Battle of Midway||Key defeat of Japanese naval forces in the Pacific; the Japanese lose four aircraft-carriers.|
|• Convoy PQ 17||A convoy of thirty-five ships leaves Iceland on June 17, bound for Murmansk. Eleven arrive on July 5.|
|•Battle of the Aleutian Islands||Japanese invade and occupy two islands of Alaska's Aleutian archipelago as part of a feint designed to cover the Imperial Fleet's intended trap at Midway. Foreign troops are not expelled from US soil until the following|
|•Attack on Sydney Harbour||Japanese midget submarines attack Sydney harbour.|
|•First Battle of El Alamein||British Eighth Army stops Rommel's Axis forces invading Egypt.|
|•Second Battle of El Alamein||Montgomery's Eighth Army forces Rommel out of Egypt.|
|•Battle of Sevastopol||Captured by Germans after eight-month siege.|
|•Battle of Changsha (1942)||Chinese claim victory over Japanese.|
|•Kokoda Track Campaign||Australians and U.S. for the first time in World War II stop a Japanese offensive, this one to capture Port Moresby.|
|•Battle of Guadalcanal||Beginning of Allied action in Solomon Islands.|
|•Battle of Savo Island||Japanese sink four US cruisers.|
|•Battle of Dieppe||"Operation Jubilee" was an Allied amphibious raid on the German occupied port of Dieppe in France. A tactical disaster for the Allies. However lessons learned applied to later amphibious operations including D-Day.|
|•Battle of Stalingrad||City besieged by Paulus' German Sixth Army; from November 23 the Sixth Army is surrounded and destroyed by Soviets; bloodiest battle in history, 1.8 million dead approx.|
|•Battle of the Eastern Solomons||Japanese aircraft carrier Ryūjō sunk.|
|•Battle of Milne Bay||First time Japanese landing force had been driven back into sea.|
|•Battle of Buna-Gona||Australians and U.S. defeat Japanese on north coast of New Guinea.|
|•Battle of Wau||Australians defeat Japanese attempts to capture Wau, New Guinea.|
|•Battle of the Bismarck Sea||U.S. and Royal Australian Air Force planes attacked and sink most of a Japanese convoy carrying troops to reinforce Lae, New Guinea.|
|•Salamaua-Lae campaign||Australian and U.S. forces capture two major Japanese bases at Lae and at Salamaua.|
|•Operation Cartwheel||Operation to neutralize the major Japanese base at Rabaul.|
|•Battle of Cape Esperance||near Guadalcanal|
|•Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands||near Guadalcanal, USS Hornet (CV-8) sunk.|
|•Operation Torch||Allied landings in North Africa and successful Putsch of French Resistance in Algiers to prevent Vichyist forces opposition.|
|•Naval Battle of Guadalcanal||US defeats Japan, a turning point.|
|•Battle of Tassafaronga||off Guadalcanal|
|•Second Battle of Kharkov||Failed Soviet attempt to retake Kharkov.|
|•Battle of Changsha (1942)||Second Sino-Japanese War|
|•Battle of Madagascar||Allies capture Madagascar from Vichy France.|
|• Battle of Osankarica||About 2000 Germans massacred all 69 men and women of the Pohorje battalion. Germans lost 19 men dead and had 31 wounded.|
|• Battle of Rennell Island||Japanese bombers sink a cruiser.|
|• Third Battle of Kharkov||Germans retake Kharkov.|
|• Battle of the Kasserine Pass||Battle between US and German armored forces in Tunisia.|
|• Battle of Neretva||German Army offensive in southern Bosnia. Offensive launched to encircle and destroy the Yugoslavian Communist Partisan forces found there. Supporting the German forces in this effort were Italian, Ustaše, and Serbian Royalist Chetnik units. The partisans were badly mauled but managed to escape encirclement.|
|• Battle of the Komandorski Islands||Naval engagement between US and Japan in the Bering Sea. (Battle of the Ruhr) March 5, 1943 – July 31, 1943 – The Battle of the Ruhr of 1943 was a 5-month British campaign of strategic bombing during the Second World War against the Nazi Germany Ruhr Area, which had coke plants, steelworks, and 10 synthetic oil plants. The campaign bombed 26 major Combined Bomber Offensive targets. The targets included the Krupp armament works (Essen), the Nordstern synthetic-oil plant (Gelsenkirchen), and the Rheinmetal–Borsig plant in Düsseldorf. The latter was safely evacuated during the Battle of the Ruhr.Although not strictly part of the Ruhr area, the battle of the Ruhr included other cities such as Cologne which were within the Rhine-Ruhr region and considered part of the same "industrial complex". Some targets were not sites of heavy industrial production but part of the production and movement of materiel.|
|• Battle of Bismarck Sea||United States sinks Japanese transports.|
|• Battle of the Bering Sea||United States and Japanese navies fight an inconclusive battle.|
|• Battle of Attu||United States troops defeat and drive the Japanese off the Aleutian Islands of Alaska.|
|• Warsaw Ghetto Uprising||5,000 Jews and 2,000 Germans die, Jews confined.|
|• Battle of Sutjeska||Another attempt by German forces in Yugoslavia, this time supported by Italian, Bulgarian, and Serbian units, to encircle and destroy the Yugoslavian Communist Partisan forces in southern Bosnia. Again, the partisans were mauled but escaped.|
|• Battle of Castle Turjak||Slovene partisans took the castle guarded by the Slovene village sentries.|
|• Battle of Kursk||Germans attack Kursk salient at Orel and Belgorod, Russians drive them back. Arguably the largest tank battle ever fought.|
|• Allied invasion of Sicily||Allies take Sicily from the Italians and German armies.|
|• Allied invasion of Italy||Landings at Calabria, Taranto and Salerno.|
|• Dodecanese Campaign||Allied and German scramble to occupy the Dodecanese Islands. |
|• Battle of Smolensk||The Soviets attack 850,000 German troops near Smolensk Fortified Region, drive them back inflicting severe losses.|
|• Battle of Kiev (1943)||Kiev retaken by Soviets.|
|• Raid on Schweinfurt||milestone air battle between the Luftwaffe and the USAAF known as "Black Thursday."|
|• Schweinfurt-Regensburg mission||another major daylight air battle, first shuttle mission.|
|• Battle of Berlin||Germany successfully defend Berlin from the British Empire.|
|• Battle of Tarawa||First major American amphibious landing in the Pacific.|
|• Battle of Makin||Americans capture the atoll of Makin Atoll.|
|• Battle of the Bernhardt Line||U.S. 5th Army sustains 16,000 casualties fighting through the Mignano Gap to reach the Cassino defenses.|
|• Moro River Campaign|
|• Battle of Meiktila|
|• Battle of Monte Cassino||Four battles in Italy Jan - May. Allies finally breakthrough towards Rome.|
|• Battle of Monte Castelo||Also called Operation Encore, 25 November 1944 - 22 February 1945. The battle marked the Brazilian Expeditionary Force's entry into the land war in Europe.|
|• Battle of Anzio|
|• Battle of Kwajalein||American forces assault the islands of Kwajalein and Roi-Namur.|
|• Battle of the Admin Box||Japanese attempt a local counter-attack against an Allied offensive.|
|• Battle of Eniwetok||Battle between American and Japanese on Eniwetok Atoll.|
|• Battle of Imphal and Battle of Kohima||Attempted Japanese invasion of India fails with heavy losses.|
|• U Go offensive||Allied successfully defend Manipur from the Axis|
|• Operation Ichi-Go||Successful Japanese campaign to capture American air bases in China capable of sending bombers to Japan.|
|• Operation Rösselsprung||German attempt to capture Tito using airborne troops.|
|• Battle of Normandy||Allies invade northern France (Operation Overlord), hard fighting from Cherbourg to Caen, Germans surrounded and destroyed at Falaise.|
|• Battle of Saipan||The battle was fought on the island of Saipan in the Mariana Islands and resulted disastrous for Japanese forces since most died.|
|• Second Battle of Guam||American forces capture back Guam.|
|• Battle of Tinian||American forces capture Tinian.|
|• Operation Bagration||Soviet offensive destroys German Army Group Center on the Eastern Front.|
|• Battle of Philippine Sea||Major carrier battle; US lose 123 planes and destroy 315 Japanese planes.|
|• Battle of Tali-Ihantala||Finnish stop Soviet offensive.|
|• Warsaw Uprising||20,000 armed Poles against 55,000 Wehrmacht and SS. 90% of city destroyed, more than 250,000 casualties.|
|• Operation Dragoon||Allied invasion of Southern France.|
|• Battle of Debrecen||Soviets gain ground in Hungary but German and Hungarian forces manage to withdraw relatively intact after both sides suffer similar losses.|
|• Gothic Line offensive||British 8th Army and U.S. 5th Army attempt unsuccessfully to break into the north Italian plains.|
|• Battle of Arnhem||The major battle of Operation Market Garden; Allies reach but fail to cross the Rhine; British First Airborne Division destroyed.|
|• Battle of Peleliu||A fight to capture an airstrip on a speck of coral in the western Pacific.|
|• Battle of Aachen||Aachen was the first major German city to face invasion during World War II.|
|• Battle of the Scheldt||Decisive Canadian victory, solved the logistical problems of the Allies, and opened the port of Antwerp for supplies directly to the front.|
|• Battle of Crucifix Hill||The 18th Infantry, U.S. 1st Infantry Division take Crucifix Hill, a crucial position to help surround Aachen. Cpt. Bobbie E. Brown is awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroics.|
|• Battle of Angaur||American forces capture an island in Palau.|
|• Battle of Hurtgen Forest||Stubborn German defense, appalling losses to US army.|
|• Battle of Leyte||American and Filipino guerrillas forces capture Leyte.|
|• Battle of Leyte Gulf||The largest air-sea battle in history.|
|• Operation Queen||was a joint British-American operation during World War II at the Western Front between Aachen and the Rur river.|
|• Battle of Mindoro|
|• Battle of the Bulge||German counterattack in Ardennes; General McAuliffe says "NUTS" at Bastogne.|
|• Operation Elephant||Allied offensive against a German bridgehead at Kapelsche Veer in the Netherlands.|
|• Raid at Cabanatuan||US Army Rangers rescue Bataan and Corregidor POWs from Japanese prison camp.|
|• Prague Offensive||1st, 4th, and 2nd Ukrainian Fronts of the Soviet Army crushed the last concentration of German troops (over 1,000,000 men in two army groups) in southeastern Germany and Czechoslovakia. These troops were Army Group Centre and the remnants of Army Group Ostmark.|
|• Operation Spring Awakening||The last desperate German offensive of the war, launched around Lake Balaton, in Hungary.|
|• Battle of Bataan||U.S. and Philippine Forces retake the historic Bataan Peninsula.|
|• Battle of Manila||City totally devastated after month-long battle between the American, Filipino and Japanese forces; 100,000 civilians killed.|
|• Battle of Luzon||The battle where Mexico entered World War II, contributing pilots to help the United States and the Philippines defeat Japan in the South Pacific, with a loss of 37,870 Allied soldiers and 217,000 Japanese soldiers, resulting in an Allied victory|
|• Battle of Corregidor||Spectacular combined U.S. and Philippine assault retakes island bastion from Japanese forces.|
|• Raid at Los Baños||U.S. Airborne Task Force rescues more than 2,000 Allied POWs and civilian internees held by Japanese.|
|• Battle of Mindanao||U.S. Eighth Army together with the Philippine Commonwealth troops completes the recapture of Southern Philippines.|
|• Operation Varsity||134 Allied gliders land troops in Weisel.|
|• Battle of the Visayas||U.S. Eighth Army together with the Philippine Commonwealth troops retakes central Philippine islands.|
|• Battle of Meiktila and Mandalay||Japanese defeated in decisive battle in Central Burma|
|• Battle of Iwo Jima||After a month, U.S. Forces take main offshore Japanese island.|
|• Battle of West Henan–North Hubei||Indecisive battle between China and Japan. Japan controls airbases after battle.|
|• Battle of Halbe||Part of Battle of Berlin, Germans unable to break out.|
|• Battle of Berlin||Soviet forces encircle and capture German capital; Hitler commits suicide.|
|• Battle of Hamburg||British forces capture German city.|
|• Battle for Castle Itter||Troops of the 23rd Tank Battalion of the 12th Armored Division, Wehrmacht, SS-Hauptsturmführer Kurt-Siegfried Schrader, and recently freed French prisoners of war defended Itter Castle against an attacking force from the 17th SS Panzergrenadier Division.|
|• Battle of Triest||British army and Yugoslav capture the city.|
|• Battle of Tarakan||Allied attack as part of the Borneo campaign.|
|• Battle of Poljana||(14–15 May 1945) Battle between Yugoslav partisans and HOS (Croatia), German wehrmacht, Slovene Home Guard...|
|• Battle of Odžak||Last battle of World War II in Europe. Between Yugoslav partisans and HOS (Croatia) from 19 April to 25 May 1945.|
|• Battle of West Hunan||Chinese victory in final battle to expel Japan.|
|• Battle of Okinawa||US takes Japanese Island in the Ryūkyūs; many casualties to both sides.|
|• Battle of North Borneo||Australian victory during final stages of World War II in the Pacific.|
|• Battle of Balikpapan||Allied victory over Japan.|
|• Battle of Manchuria||Soviet forces liberate Manchuria.|
The Siege of Warsaw in 1939 was fought between the Polish Warsaw Army garrisoned and entrenched in Warsaw and the invading German Army.
The siege of Leningrad was a prolonged military blockade undertaken from the south by the Army Group North of Nazi Germany against the Soviet city of Leningrad on the Eastern Front in World War II. The Finnish army invaded from the north, co-operating with the Germans until Finland had recaptured territory lost in the recent Winter War, but refused to make further approaches to the city.
The Battle of Lwów was a World War II battle for the control over the Polish city of Lwów between the Polish Army and the invading Wehrmacht and the Red Army. The city was seen as the key to the so-called Romanian Bridgehead and was defended at all cost.
This is a timeline for the Battle of the Atlantic (1939–1945) in World War II.
The Battle of the Mediterranean was the name given to the naval campaign fought in the Mediterranean Sea during World War II, from 10 June 1940 to 2 May 1945.
The Battle of the Coral Sea, fought from 4–8 May 1942, was a major naval battle between the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) and naval and air forces from the United States and Australia, taking place in the Pacific Theatre of World War II. The battle is historically significant as the first action in which aircraft carriers engaged each other, as well as the first in which the opposing ships neither sighted nor fired directly upon one another.
The Battle of Midway was a decisive naval battle in the Pacific Theater of World War II that took place between 4 and 7 June 1942, only six months after Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor and one month after the Battle of the Coral Sea. The United States Navy under Admirals Chester W. Nimitz, Frank Jack Fletcher, and Raymond A. Spruance defeated an attacking fleet of the Imperial Japanese Navy under Admirals Isoroku Yamamoto, Chūichi Nagumo, and Nobutake Kondō near Midway Atoll, inflicting devastating damage on the Japanese fleet that proved irreparable. Military historian John Keegan called it "the most stunning and decisive blow in the history of naval warfare", while naval historian Craig Symonds called it "one of the most consequential naval engagements in world history, ranking alongside Salamis, Trafalgar, and Tsushima Strait, as both tactically decisive and strategically influential."
Strategic bombing during World War II was the sustained aerial attack on railways, harbours, cities, workers' and civilian housing, and industrial districts in enemy territory during World War II. Strategic bombing is a military strategy which is distinct from both close air support of ground forces and tactical air power.
The Baedeker Blitz or Baedeker raids were a series of attacks by the Luftwaffe on English cities during the Second World War.
The Coventry Blitz was a series of bombing raids that took place on the English city of Coventry. The city was bombed many times during the Second World War by the German Air Force (Luftwaffe). The most devastating of these attacks occurred on the evening of 14 November 1940 and continued into the morning of 15 November.
Operation Retribution, also known as Operation Punishment, was the April 1941 German bombing of Belgrade, the capital of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, in retaliation for the coup d'état that overthrew the government that had signed the Tripartite Pact. The bombing occurred in the first days of the German-led Axis invasion of Yugoslavia during World War II. The Royal Yugoslav Army Air Force (VVKJ) had only 77 modern fighter aircraft available to defend Belgrade against the hundreds of German fighters and bombers that struck in the first wave early on 6 April. Three days prior, VVKJ Major Vladimir Kren had defected to the Germans, disclosing the locations of multiple military assets, as well as elucidating the VVKJ's codes.
Small to medium-sized raiding operations were carried out by both Allied and Axis armies during World War II. The modus operandi used included guerrilla attacks by partisans in occupied territory and/or combined operations involving the landing and removal of specialised light infantry, such as commandos, by means of small boats.
A commando is a soldier or operative of an elite light infantry or special operations force often specializing in amphibious landings, parachuting or abseiling.
The European Theater of Operations, United States Army (ETOUSA) was a United States Army formation which directed US Army operations in parts of Europe from 1942 to 1945. It referred to Army Ground Forces, United States Army Air Forces, and Army Service Forces operations north of Italy and the Mediterranean coast, in the European Theater of World War II. It was bordered to the south by the North African Theater of Operations, US Army (NATOUSA), which later became the Mediterranean Theater of Operations (MTOUSA).
The United Kingdom, along with most of its Dominions and Crown colonies declared war on Nazi Germany in September 1939, after the German invasion of Poland. War with Japan began in December 1941, after it attacked British colonies in Asia. The Axis powers were defeated by the Allies in 1945.
The European theatre of World War II, also known as the Second European War, was an area of heavy fighting across Europe, starting with Germany's invasion of Poland on 1 September 1939 and ending with the United States, the United Kingdom and France conquering most of Western Europe, the Soviet Union conquering most of Eastern Europe and Germany’s unconditional surrender on 8 May 1945. The Allied powers fought the Axis powers on two major fronts as well as in a strategic bombing offensive and in the adjoining Mediterranean and Middle East theatre.
The Western Front was a military theatre of World War II encompassing Denmark, Norway, Luxembourg, Belgium, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, and Germany. World War II military engagements in Southern Europe and elsewhere are generally considered under separate headings. The Western Front was marked by two phases of large-scale combat operations. The first phase saw the capitulation of the Netherlands, Belgium, and France during May and June 1940 after their defeat in the Low Countries and the northern half of France, and continued into an air war between Germany and Britain that climaxed with the Battle of Britain. The second phase consisted of large-scale ground combat, which began in June 1944 with the Allied landings in Normandy and continued until the defeat of Germany in May 1945.
The North West Europe campaign was the term used by the British Commonwealth armed forces for the campaigns in North West Europe, including its skies and adjoining waters during World War II. The term Western Front has also sometimes been used informally. The United States military prefers the term European Theater of Operations.
Battle Honours are awarded by the Sovereign to Royal Air Force squadrons to commemorate the squadron's role in a particular operation.
The Allied leaders of World War II listed below comprise the important political and military figures who fought for or supported the Allies during World War II. Engaged in total war, they had to adapt to new types of modern warfare, on the military, psychological and economic fronts.
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to World War II:
No. 9 Commando was a battalion-sized British Commando unit raised by the British Army during the Second World War. It took part in raids across the English Channel and in the Mediterranean, ending the war in Italy as part of the 2nd Special Service Brigade. Like all Army commando units it was disbanded in 1946.
No. 44 Commando was a battalion size formation in the British Commandos, formed during the Second World War. The Commando was assigned to the 3rd Special Service Brigade and served in the Burma Campaign.
No. 46 Commando was a battalion size formation of the Royal Marines, part of the British Commandos, formed in August 1943 during the Second World War. The Commando was assigned to the 4th Special Service Brigade and served in North-west Europe and took part in the D-Day landings, as well as operations around Ostend and Antwerp, before being disbanded after the war in January 1946.