Almost every stage of human history has witnessed wars that have been implemental in changing the world’s future, but the time span of 1939 to 1945 (World War 2) carries a different significance. In the showtime of 5 years, the Axis forces ruled the game in first half but the second half was dedicated to their sabotage by the Allied forces. Here are top 10 famous battles of World War 2, better known for toppling thrones and redrawing borders.
One of the largest airborne battle in history, “Operation Market Garden” was an attempt of Allies to cross the Siegfried Line as well as to capture the “Ruhr,” industrial heartland of Germany. This mission was fueled in German-occupied Netherlands but due to the lack of sophisticated weaponry and sufficient force, Allies were compelled to move back. After facing shameful defeat in this operation, Allies were severely criticized for their tactics and poor war strategy.
Battle of the Bulge was the last major attack by Nazi against the Allied forces. This battle was plotted to disrupt the alliance of America, Britain and France in the western portion of Europe. Initially, the Germans experienced a great deal of success but due to the lack of proper reinforcement and shortening in arsenal, their chances of success were cemented. In this battle, Third Army of General George S. Patton played a crucial role in defeating the Germans.
Better known as the biggest naval warfare of the World War 2, Battle of Midway was fought between the Imperial Japanese Navy and the United States Navy, marking the end of Japanese naval strength. Faulty assumptions of Japanese intelligence and groundbreaking success of American codebreakers were the main reasons behind the destruction of four Japanese aircraft carriers and a heavy cruiser. Debacle in the Pacific Campaign caused a great deprivation for the Japanese.
Counted among one of the bloodiest battles in the history of warfare, the Battle of Berlin stigmatized the ending up of World War 2 in Europe. Before the commencement of this battle, Germany’s border were trapped by the Soviet’s Red Army and finally on April 20, 1945, they started shelling. The fierce fighting of Red Army devastated the exhausted and badly equipped German forces. Knowing the conclusion of this battle, Adolf Hitler and his top-notch followers committed suicide, before the war was over.
An unsounded shock to the people of United States, strike on Pearl Harbor was a surprise military attack carried by the Imperial Japanese Navy. At 8.54 AM of December 7, 1941, the Pearl Harbor naval base of America was attacked by more than 350 Japanese fighters, bombers and torpedo planes. This hellacious attack devastated 188 American aircrafts, four United States Navy battleships, three destroyers, three cruisers, one minelayer and one anti-aircraft training ship. Apart from the destruction of shipyard, power station, torpedo storage facilities; 2,401 people were killed and more than 1250 were critically injured. Next day, contemporary American President, Franklin D. Roosevelt, declared war against Japan in his famous “Infamy Speech,” bringing the United States of America in World War 2.
Fought by the Soviet and German forces in the vicinity of Kursk, this battle of World War 2 is better known for providing the strategic initiative to the Red Army for further wars. Germans were trying to encircle the Red Army but their strategy was relatively slow as they were waiting for the arrival of new weapons and sophisticated tanks in their arsenal. Meanwhile, on the basis of informations gathered from the intelligence sources, Red Army created a series of defense strategies and wiped out the German forces with counter-offensives.
Standing as one of the most noteworthy military campaigns of the World War 2, this battle ripped up the power of Allied forces in Europe and resulted in unexpected collapse of France. During the Battle of France, French and British forces were evacuated from the war field and the northern and western portion of France were declared as German occupation zone. Till the Normandy Landings, France was under the occupancy of Axis forces.
One of the biggest battles fought completely by air forces, the Battle of Britain (Air Battle for Great Britain) was orchestrated by the German Air Force to attain air superiority over the Royal Air Force of England. Employing sophisticated terror bombing tactics, Luftwaffe, the German Air Force, devastated the ground infrastructure as well as the aircraft factories of Great Britain. Despite of the barbarian attack of Germans, the British RAF ravaged Luftwaffe over the skies of London and ended the journey of Hitler’s daredevils.
Battle of Stalingrad was fought between Soviet Union and the Nazi Germany and is well known for being one of the most brutal and bloodiest battles in the history of warfare, with nearly two million causalities from both sides. The German forces were successful in capturing over 90% area of the city of Stalingrad (now Volgograd) but it’s a matter of fact that the Red Army made a tremendous comeback and repelled the Germans out of borders. Amid extreme weather conditions, Soviet forces fought courageously and destroyed the German 6th Army.
A perfect illustration of behind-the-lines sabotage, the Battle of Normandy is the most gruesome and deadliest amphibious invasion in the history of warfare. On June 6 (D-Day), about 195,000 soldiers of Allied expeditionary forces landed on the Normandy coast in a stretch of 80 km and marked the beginning of the end of German regime by assassinating Nazi soldiers. According to a not-so-exact estimation, during the Battle of Normandy, over 425,000 soldiers of both sides were killed, injured or went missing.