The Great Patriotic War: Germany Invades
World War II: The Eastern Front from Operation Barbarossa to Stalingrad (16 February 1942)
Historical Map of Russia & the former Soviet Union
On December 5, Soviet reinforcements from Siberia attacked the German troops around Moscow. Further counterattacks over December and January pushed back the German lines.
Meanwhile, on December 7, the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and the United States entered the war.
Soviet Winter Counter-offensive
Following the Battle of Moscow, the Soviets replenished their forces and pushed back against the Germans, advancing over 100 kilometers from the capital, but failing to destroy the German Army Group Center.
Attack on Pearl Harbor
At 7:48 am Hawaiian Time, Imperial Japanese fighters, bombers, and torpedo planes launched from six aircraft carriers mounted a surprise attack on the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii Territory. The attack damaged all eight US battleships present, sinking four, as well as hitting three cruisers, three destroyers, and two other ships. In addition, 188 US aircraft were destroyed and 2,403 Americans were killed, with another 1,178 wounded. Japanese losses were much lighter. The following day the US declared 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.
On 20 January 1942, senior Nazi officials met to discuss the "Final Solution to the Jewish question," agreeing on the establishment of work and extermination camps in occupied Eastern Europe with which to wipe out the population.