The War Expands

World War II: Blitzkrieg

Europe 1942.012

The War Expands

World War II in Europe from the fall of Poland to Stalingrad (20 January 1942)

Historical Map of Europe & the Mediterranean

Beginning in December, a Russian counterattack pushed the German army back from Moscow. Meanwhile on the other side of the globe, Japan launched a surprise attack on the U.S. fleet at Pearl Harbor. Hitler quickly moved to support his Japanese allies by declaring war on the Americans.

Main Events

Soviet Winter Counter-offensive

Attack on Pearl Harbor

At 7:48 am Hawaiian Time, Imperial Japanese fighters, bombers, and torpedo planes launched from six aircraft carriers mount a surprise attack on the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii Territory. The attack damages all eight US battleships present, sinking four, as well as hitting three cruisers, three destroyers, and two other ships. In addition, 188 US aircraft are destroyed and 2,403 Americans are killed, with another 1,178 wounded. Japanese losses are much lighter. The following day the US declares war on Japan.

Germany at war with U.S.

Claiming that US President Franklin Roosevelt had repeatedly violated all rules of neutrality, and noting in particular his "shoot on sight" order, Nazi Germany declared war against the United States of America. The decision to declare war was made by German leader Adolf Hitler, almost without consultation. Later that day, the United States responded by declaring war on Germany.

Wannsee Conference between senior Nazi officials decides on 'Final Solution to the Jewish question'

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