The span of World War II saw six different Februarys and you might expect these wars were faced with extreme cold and freezing temperatures — and you’d be halfway correct. But the month of February looks very different across the globe — ranging from extreme heat to extreme cold. Many of the battles that took place in February were very significant in WWII and had large effects on the world today.
Read on to learn more about some major battles that took place during WWII in the month of February.
Battle of Stalingrad
The Battle of Stalingrad took place in the Soviet Union from August 1942 – February 1943. This battle is known for being the largest confrontation during WWII and one of the deadliest battles in modern warfare.
It was a major turning point in WWII; resulting in victory for the Allies and detrimental losses for Nazi Germany. It’s reported that the Germans weren’t prepared for the negative 20°F temperatures which came at the end of this battle — and is a factor in why they lost.
The death count of the Battle of Stalingrad totaled over 1 million — with even more injuries.
Battle of Eniwetok
The Battle of Eniwetok took place on Eniwtok Atoll, a tropical, sunny atoll that belongs to the Marshall Islands. This battle began on February 18th and ended on February 21st, 1944.
The two countries fighting in this battle were the United States and Japan. The United States wanted to capture the island so they could be close enough to safely launch bombs on the Japanese.
This battle ended in a victory for the Americans but resulted in 2,677 Japanese deaths and 262 American deaths.
The United States utilized this atoll by building a seaplane station and two airstrips they used during the remainder of WWII.
Battle of Manila
This month-long battle took place in the city of Manila in the Philippines from February 3rd, – March 3rd, 1945. It was also the first urban battle to ever take place in this part of the world.
The United States won this battle over Japan and successfully liberated the people of the Philippines from Japanese occupation.
However, this war also resulted in well over 100,000 deaths of Filipino civilians and complete destruction of the city’s historical architecture and cultural sites.
Action of 9 February
On February 9, 1945 in the North Sea two submarines prepared for the only, submerged submarine to submarine combat during WWII.
The battle was between German U-Boat, U-864, and British Submarine, HMS Venturer.
What began as a secret German mission, known as Operation Caesar, to transfer important technology to the Japanese resulted in a standoff under the sea.
The Venturer detected U-864 and launched all four of its torpedoes with 17.5 seconds in between fires.
In response, the U-864 dove deeper to dodge the missiles but was eventually struck and broken in two.
Battle of Iwo Jima
The Battle of Iwo Jima took place on the Volcano Islands in the Japanese Empire from February 19 – March 26, 1945.
The goal of this battle was to obtain a location where American planes could land and take off when attacking Japan.
About 7,000 Americans were killed in battle but after the island was captured, it was then used to save the lives of 24,000 airmen that had to make emergency landings.
This was also where the famous picture “Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima” was taken. This image has stood as a symbol of the teamwork and dedication that was necessary for victory in such harsh conditions.
We hope you enjoyed learning about all these World War II battles that took place during the month of February and that it served as a reminder to honor all the lives that were lost in the battle for freedom across the globe.