World War II battle

Allied troops on the beach at Dunkirk waiting for evacuation

Dunkirk Evacuation

Code-named Operation Dynamo, the Dunkirk Evacuation took place May 26 to June 4, 1940, during World War II as part of the Battle of France. During the operation, more than 338,000 Allied troops were successfully evacuated from the beach at Dunkirk (Dunkerque) following the German invasion of France.  Background When Germany invaded Belgium and the …Read More

USS St. Lo explodes after being hit by a kamikaze aircraft during Battle of Leyte Gulf

Battle of Leyte Gulf

From October 23–26, 1944, the Japanese navy unsuccessfully went up against the U.S. navy off the coast of the Philippines in one of the largest naval battles in history. The Japanese loss at Leyte Gulf would give the Americans unchallenged dominance in the Pacific for the rest of World War II. Background & Objectives The …Read More

Parade passes through the Arc de Triomphe on August 26, 1944, following the liberation of Paris

Liberation of Paris

On August 25, 1944, German forces surrendered Paris to Allied troops, ending four years of occupation. This day and the battles that led up to it are known as the Liberation of Paris. Background As Operation Overlord drew to an end, reclaiming Paris was not considered a main Allied objective. Hitler had threatened complete destruction …Read More

Paratroops landing in the Netherlands during Operation Market Garden in September 1944

Operation Market Garden

Operation Market Garden was an unsuccessful British-American airborne invasion of the Netherlands (Holland) during World War II that lasted September 17-25, 1944. It was the largest airborne operation of the war, involving more than 34,000 airborne troops. Background Operation Market Garden was intended to advance the Allies across the Rhine River into Germany’s industrial heartland. …Read More

German forces entering Warsaw in September 1939 during Invasion of Poland

1939 Invasion of Poland

On September 1, 1939, Germany invaded neighboring Poland in what is considered the opening conflict of World War II. Background In the year and a half leading up to the invasion, Adolf Hitler had been expanding Germany’s territory. On August 23, 1939, Germany signed a nonaggression pact with the Soviet Union that had a secret …Read More

Operation Barbarossa

Operation Barbarossa

Operation Barbarossa was Nazi Germany’s invasion of the Soviet Union during World War II. Lasting June 22 to December 5, 1941, it was a massive engagement, involving millions of troops along an 1,800-mile front. Germany’s eventual failure was a major setback for the country, as it forced them to fight a war on two fronts …Read More