Oil Paintings Gallery
It was early morning, December 7,1941. As the sun was just beginning to rise in Oahu, Hawaii, a fleet of Japanese naval air forces were taking off from their respective aircraft carriers in various locations in the Pacific Ocean. Just as many of the islanders were waking up for breakfast, it happened. The Japanese air fleet had arrived with a vengeance. No one was prepared for what was occurring. Pearl Harbor, the United States' center for military action in the Pacific Ocean, was almost completely destroyed. Anger toward the Japanese spread quickly throughout the entire country, and this anger led to the United States' entry into World War II.
Was Pearl Harbour a conspiracy? It seems that everything that the Japanese were planning to do was known to the United States. So why all this sacrifice?
The public and Congress were overwhelmingly against entering the war in Europe, and President Roosevelt had promised not to enter war UNLESS attacked. But Roosevelt needed the attack to declare war to Hitler. He needed public outrage and that required big sacrifice. In order to have the full support of the American people it was desirable to make sure that the Japanese be the ones to attack so that there should remain no doubt in anyone's mind as to who were the aggressors.
Listen to Roosevelt announcing the attack to the Senate
The Japanese air raids which struck the military installations at Pealr Harbour were devastating: 18 warships were sunk or seriously damaged; 347 planes destroyed or disabled; Hickam, Wheeler, Ford Island, Kaneohe and Ewa in flames. The human loss was much heavier: 2,403 Americans died and 1,178 were wounded.
All of the ships were salvaged except for the USS Ariziona on which 1,177 men found their death.
The battle of Stalingrad
The Battle for Stalingrad was one of the most memorable events of the World War II.
Over 700,000 soldiers and civilians were killed in bitter hand-to-hand fighting at Stalingrad, while others perished of cold, deprived of proper clothing to withstand sub-zero temperatures, of hunger due to the inadequacy of supplies, and of disease.
"Soldiers went mad with hunger, cold and despair. Many soldiers did not flinch from cannibalism to roast liver and kidneys they slashed out of their dead comrades' bodies after they ate all cats and dogs in the area," said Professor Gerhard Daengler, 87, World War II veteran ,"Nazi war with the Soviet Union was a criminal warfare since the day it broke out".
Paulus (the Sixth Army commander) pleaded with Hitler to allow them to attempt a fighting withdrawal but his pleas fell on deaf ears. The Fuhrer replied, 'Capitulation is impossible. The Sixth Army will do its historic duty at Stalingrad until the last man ...'.
Stalin insisted on holding the city named after him and Hitler wanted to seize it for its symbolism and propaganda value.