World History 1941

About the history of the world in 1941, World War II continued as Germany invaded Russia, Japan attacked Pearl Harbor.



June 22 The German war machine, now in control of all continental Europe except Russia, gave up its bid to capture England and instead wheeled east into the Soviet Union in violation of the German-Russian nonaggression pact. Over 2 million Nazi troops, supplemented by forces from Romania, Hungary, and Finland, advanced along a 2,000-mi. front in what was expected to be another successful blitz. As German units pressed to within 40 mi. of Moscow, Stalin's government evacuated the capital and set up shop 500 mi. to the east at Kuibyshev on the Volga River. Although the sacking of Moscow was under Hitler's personal direction, the brutal Russian winter blunted the German thrust and thus saved the capital, and ultimately the country, from Nazi conquest.

Dec. 7 Japanese planes and submarines attacked the American fleet anchored at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The act brought the U.S. into the war. (See "Eyewitness Reports on Highlights of U.S. History," Chap. 3.)

Dec. 8-26 A dozen Japanese battalions invaded and conquered Hong Kong. Meanwhile, the 14th Japanese Army stormed the Philippines.

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