The Nazis began the blitzkrieg (or “lighting war”) of several European countries, including Poland, Denmark, Norway, Belguim, France, and the Netherlands. Blitzkrieg attacks combined forces of mechanized infantry, tank divisions, and air support to devastate invaded countries and led to many quick surrenders.
President Roosevelt signed Executive Order #9066, which authorized the designation of military areas “from which any or all persons may be excluded.” The order was used to remove Japanese Americans to internment camps.
After a months-long battle at Stalingrad, Soviet troops recaptured the city in a key victory. The victory came at a great price in civilian and military casualties—as many as two million between the Russians and the Axis powers. The battle weakened German military might and damaged German morale.
A Japanese balloon bomb caused the only World War II combat casualties in the continental United States. Six people—five teenagers and their Sunday school teacher—were killed when the bomb landed in rural Oregon.
President Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill issued the Atlantic Charter, a joint statement on behalf of the United States and Britain that highlighted the two nations’ “common principles” and plans for cooperation in the creation of “a better future for the world.”
Having intercepted Japanese intelligence, American forces repulsed an attack over the Pacific in the Battle of Midway and destroyed much of the Japanese air fleet. Midway was arguably the most important battle of the war in the Pacific, as American forces under the command of Admiral Chester Nimitz sank four Japanese carriers and destroyed 248 Japanese plans.