European theatre of World War II

European TheaterEuropean TheatreEuropean Theater of World War IIEuropeEuropeanEuropean Theatre of Operationswar in EuropeWorld War II in EuropeEuropean air campaignEuropean Theater of Operations
The European theatre of World War II was an area of heavy fighting across Europe, starting with Germany's invasion of Poland on 1 September 1939 and ending with the United States, the United Kingdom and France conquering most of Western Europe, the Soviet Union conquering most of Eastern Europe and Germany’s unconditional surrender on 8 May 1945 (Victory in Europe Day).wikipedia
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End of World War II in Europe

1945end of the war in Europeend of the war
The European theatre of World War II was an area of heavy fighting across Europe, starting with Germany's invasion of Poland on 1 September 1939 and ending with the United States, the United Kingdom and France conquering most of Western Europe, the Soviet Union conquering most of Eastern Europe and Germany’s unconditional surrender on 8 May 1945 (Victory in Europe Day).
The final battles of the European Theatre of World War II as well as the German surrender to the Allies took place in late April and early May 1945.

Western Front (World War II)

Western FrontChannel FrontNorth West Europe
The Allied powers fought the Axis powers on two major fronts (the Eastern Front and Western Front) as well as in a strategic bombing offensive and in the adjoining Mediterranean and Middle East theatre.
The Western Front was a military theatre of World War II encompassing Denmark, Norway, Luxembourg, Belgium, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, and Germany.

Eastern Front (World War II)

Eastern FrontGreat Patriotic WarGerman-Soviet War
The Allied powers fought the Axis powers on two major fronts (the Eastern Front and Western Front) as well as in a strategic bombing offensive and in the adjoining Mediterranean and Middle East theatre.
The Eastern Front was decisive in determining the outcome in the European theatre of operations in World War II, eventually serving as the main reason for the defeat of Nazi Germany and the Axis nations.

Nazi Germany

Third ReichGermanGermany
The European theatre of World War II was an area of heavy fighting across Europe, starting with Germany's invasion of Poland on 1 September 1939 and ending with the United States, the United Kingdom and France conquering most of Western Europe, the Soviet Union conquering most of Eastern Europe and Germany’s unconditional surrender on 8 May 1945 (Victory in Europe Day). Germany and the Soviet Union were sworn enemies, but following the Munich Agreement, which effectively handed over Czechoslovakia (a French and Soviet ally, and the only remaining presidential democracy in Central Europe) to Germany, political realities allowed the Soviet Union to sign a non-aggression pact (the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact) including a secret clause partitioning Poland, the Baltic Republics and Finland between the two spheres of influence.
Germany signed a non-aggression pact with the USSR, and invaded Poland on 1 September 1939, launching World War II in Europe.

Adolf Hitler

HitlerFührerthe leader
These resentments contributed to the political instability which made it possible for Adolf Hitler and his National Socialist Party to come to power, with Hitler's appointment as Chancellor of Germany in 1933. After Hitler took Germany out of the League of Nations, Mussolini of Fascist Italy and Hitler formed the Rome-Berlin axis, under a treaty known as the Pact of Steel.
During his dictatorship from 1933 to 1945, he initiated World War II in Europe by invading Poland on 1 September 1939.

Benito Mussolini

MussoliniBenitoDuce
After Hitler took Germany out of the League of Nations, Mussolini of Fascist Italy and Hitler formed the Rome-Berlin axis, under a treaty known as the Pact of Steel.
Mussolini planned to concentrate Italian forces on a major offensive against the British Empire in Africa and the Middle East, while expecting the collapse of the UK in the European theatre.

Second Polish Republic

PolandPolishinterwar Poland
Germany and the Soviet Union were sworn enemies, but following the Munich Agreement, which effectively handed over Czechoslovakia (a French and Soviet ally, and the only remaining presidential democracy in Central Europe) to Germany, political realities allowed the Soviet Union to sign a non-aggression pact (the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact) including a secret clause partitioning Poland, the Baltic Republics and Finland between the two spheres of influence.
The Second Republic ceased to exist in 1939, when Poland was invaded by Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union and the Slovak Republic, marking the beginning of the European theatre of World War II.

Battle of Kock (1939)

Battle of KockKockcapitulation of Kock
Poland fell within five weeks, with its last large operational units surrendering on 5 October after the Battle of Kock.
The Battle of Kock was the final battle in the invasion of Poland at the beginning of World War II in Europe.

Invasion of Poland

German invasion of Polandinvaded PolandSeptember Campaign
The European theatre of World War II was an area of heavy fighting across Europe, starting with Germany's invasion of Poland on 1 September 1939 and ending with the United States, the United Kingdom and France conquering most of Western Europe, the Soviet Union conquering most of Eastern Europe and Germany’s unconditional surrender on 8 May 1945 (Victory in Europe Day).
Fall Weiss was initiated on 1 September 1939, and was the first operation of Second World War in Europe.

Europe

EuropeanEUEuropean continent
The European theatre of World War II was an area of heavy fighting across Europe, starting with Germany's invasion of Poland on 1 September 1939 and ending with the United States, the United Kingdom and France conquering most of Western Europe, the Soviet Union conquering most of Eastern Europe and Germany’s unconditional surrender on 8 May 1945 (Victory in Europe Day).
Germany invaded Poland on 1 September 1939, prompting France and the United Kingdom to declare war on Germany on 3 September, opening the European Theatre of World War II.

Empire of Japan

JapaneseJapanImperial Japan
Later, the Empire of Japan, under the government of Hideki Tojo, would also join as an Axis power.
The United States entered the European Theatre and Pacific Theater in full force, thereby bringing the United States to World War II on the side of the Allies.

Heinkel He 177

He 177He 177BHe 177A
Therefore, German bombers were smaller than their British equivalents, and Germany never developed a fully successful four engined heavy bomber equivalent to the Lancaster or B-17, with only the similarly sized Heinkel He 177A placed into production and made operational for such duties with the Luftwaffe in the later war years.
The He 177 was the only operational long-range heavy bomber available to the Luftwaffe during the war years that had a payload/range capability similar to the four-engined heavy bombers flown by the USAAF and RAF in the European theatre; it had higher cruising and maximum speeds.

Eighth Air Force

VIII Bomber Command8th Air ForceEighth
From 1942 onwards, the efforts of Bomber Command were supplemented by the Eighth Air Force of the United States Army Air Forces, U.S. Army Air Forces units being deployed to England to join the assault on mainland Europe on 4 July 1942.
Established on 22 February 1944 by the redesignation of VIII Bomber Command at RAF Daws Hill in High Wycombe, England, the Eighth Army Air Force (8 AAF) was a United States Army Air Forces combat air force in the European Theater of World War II (1939/41–1945), engaging in operations primarily in the Northern Europe area of responsibility; carrying out strategic bombing of enemy targets in France, the Low Countries, and Germany; and engaging in air-to-air fighter combat against enemy aircraft until the German capitulation in May 1945.

Bombing of Dresden in World War II

bombing of DresdenDresdenfirebombing of Dresden
On 14 February 1945, a raid on Dresden produced one of the most devastating fires in history.
The bombing of Dresden was a British/American aerial bombing attack on the city of Dresden, the capital of the German state of Saxony, during World War II in the European Theatre.

Operation Barbarossa

German invasion of the Soviet Unioninvasion of the Soviet UnionGerman invasion
During the beginning raids of Operation Barbarossa the Luftwaffe wiped out the majority of the Soviet air forces.
The conclusion of this pact was followed by the German invasion of Poland on 1 September that triggered the outbreak of World War II in Europe, then the Soviet invasion of Poland that led to the annexation of the eastern part of the country.

Theater (warfare)

theatertheatretheatre of war
The European theatre of World War II was an area of heavy fighting across Europe, starting with Germany's invasion of Poland on 1 September 1939 and ending with the United States, the United Kingdom and France conquering most of Western Europe, the Soviet Union conquering most of Eastern Europe and Germany’s unconditional surrender on 8 May 1945 (Victory in Europe Day).

Mediterranean and Middle East theatre of World War II

Mediterranean theatreMiddle EastMediterranean
The Allied powers fought the Axis powers on two major fronts (the Eastern Front and Western Front) as well as in a strategic bombing offensive and in the adjoining Mediterranean and Middle East theatre.
In early September supreme command of the 6th Army Group moved from AFHQ to SHAEF and the 6th Army Group moved out of the Mediterranean Theatre and into the European Theatre fighting as one of three Allied army groups on the Western Front.

Free France

Free FrenchFree French ForcesFree French Army
The General de Gaulle proclaimed himself the legitimate leader of Free France and vowed to continue to fight.
The Normandie-Niemen Regiment, founded at the suggestion of Charles de Gaulle, was a fighter regiment of the Free French Air Force that served on the Eastern Front of the European Theatre of World War II with the 1st Air Army.

Red Army

Soviet Red ArmySoviet ArmySoviet
8 million Red Army troops died facing the Germans and their allies in the Eastern Front.
The Red Army provided the largest land force in the Allied victory in the European theatre of World War II, and its invasion of Manchuria assisted the unconditional surrender of Imperial Japan.

Kingdom of Italy

ItalyItalianFascist Italy
On 10 June Italy declared war on both France and the United Kingdom, but did not gain any significant success in this campaign.
Hesitance remained from the King and military commander Pietro Badoglio, who warned Mussolini that Italy had too few tanks, armoured vehicles and aircraft available to be able to carry out a long-term war; Badoglio told Mussolini "It is suicide" for Italy to get involved in the European conflict.

Battle of Berlin

Berlin OffensiveBerlinBattle for Berlin
He remained in Berlin, the crumbling Nazi capital, even as the city was encircled and trapped by the Soviets and the Battle of Berlin raged.
The Battle of Berlin, designated the Berlin Strategic Offensive Operation by the Soviet Union, and also known as the Fall of Berlin, was one of the last major offensives of the European theatre of World War II.

Death of Benito Mussolini

1945deathexecution of Mussolini
Hitler, learning of Mussolini's death, realized that the end had finally come.
The death of Benito Mussolini, the deposed Italian fascist dictator, occurred on 28 April 1945, in the final days of World War II in Europe, when he was summarily executed by an Italian partisan in the small village of Giulino di Mezzegra in northern Italy.

United States Army

U.S. ArmyUS ArmyArmy
A long grinding campaign six weeks long followed as American, British, and Canadian forces were slowly built up in the beachhead, and German forces slowly worn down.
On the European front, U.S. Army troops formed a significant portion of the forces that captured North Africa and Sicily and later fought in Italy.

European–African–Middle Eastern Campaign Medal

European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign MedalEuropean-African-Middle East Campaign MedalEAME Campaign Medal
The medal was intended to recognize those military service members who had performed military duty in the European Theater (to include North Africa and the Middle East) during the years of the Second World War.

Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress

B-17 Flying FortressB-17Boeing B-17
Therefore, German bombers were smaller than their British equivalents, and Germany never developed a fully successful four engined heavy bomber equivalent to the Lancaster or B-17, with only the similarly sized Heinkel He 177A placed into production and made operational for such duties with the Luftwaffe in the later war years.
Its main use was in Europe, where its shorter range and smaller bombload relative to other aircraft did not hamper it as much as in the Pacific Theater.