- Jan 2 - Japanese forces occupy Manila
- Jan 10 - Japanese forces invades Indonesia
- Jan 11 - Japanese forces occupy Malaysia
- Jan 12 - Japanese forces invade Burma
- Jan 13 - German U-boats begin to sink ships along the US East coast.
- Jan 21 - Rommel begins another offensive in North Africa
- Jan 25 - Japanese forces invade the Solomon islands
- Jan 26 - US troops begin to arrive in Britain
- Feb 15 - Singapore surrenders to the Japanese
- Mar 20 - "industrial scale" murder of jews by poison gas begins in Nazi death camps.
- Apr 18 - Doolittle's raid - US bombers bomb Tokyo.
- May 7 - Battle of the Coral Sea. One Japanese carrier and one American carrier are sunk
- May 6 - The last American troops in the Phillipines surrender
- May 8 - The German spring offensive in southern Russia begins.
- Jun 4 - The battle of Midway. Four Japanese carriers are sunk, and one American carrier. Japan's naval superiority is lost.
- Jul 3 - Japanese forces land in Guadalcanal
- Jul 28 - Stalin forbids further Russian retreats, at any cost.
- Aug 7 - US forces land in Guadalcanal
- Aug 13 - Montgomery becomes commander of the British 8th army in North Africa
- Aug 19 - Allied landing in Dieppe fails.
- Aug 23 - The German 6th army reach Stalingrad, the battle of Stalingrad begins.
- Sep 6 - The German advance in Stalingrad is stopped.
- Sep 23 - The battle of El Alamein in North Africa begins.
- Nov 8 - Allied forces land in western North Africa, at Rommel's back
- Nov 19 - The Russian flanking counter attack around Stalingrad begins
- Dec 19 - The Germans fail to break the encirclement of their army in Stalingrad
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