20 Major Battles of World War II

US Assault Troops landing on Omaha beach during the Invasion of Normandy
US Assault Troops landing on Omaha beach during the Invasion of Normandy. Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

There were numerous battles in World War II. Some of these battles lasted only days while others took months or years. Some of the battles were notable for the material losses such as tanks or aircraft carriers while others were notable for the number of human losses.

Although this is not a comprehensive list of all battles of WWII, it is a list of the major battles of World War II.

A note about the dates: Somewhat surprisingly, historians don't all agree on the exact dates of battles.

For instance, some use the date that a city was surrounded while others prefer the date that major fighting commenced. For this list, I have used the dates that seemed the most agreed upon.

20 Major Battles of World War II

BattlesDates
AtlanticSeptember 1939 - May 1945
BerlinApril 16 - May 2, 1945
BritainJuly 10 - October 31, 1940
BulgeDecember 16, 1944 - January 25, 1945
El Alamein (First Battle)July 1-27, 1942
El Alamein (Second Battle)October 23 - November 4, 1942
Guadalcanal CampaignAugust 7, 1942 - February 9, 1943
Iwo JimaFebruary 19 - March 16, 1945
KurskJuly 5 - August 23, 1943
Leningrad (Siege)September 8, 1941 - January 27, 1944
Leyte GulfOctober 23-26, 1944
MidwayJune 3-6, 1942
Milne BayAugust 25 - September 5, 1942
Normandy (including D-Day)June 6 - August 25, 1944
OkinawaApril 1 - June 21, 1945
Operation BarbarossaJune 22, 1941 - December 1941
Operation TorchNovember 8-10, 1942
Pearl HarborDecember 7, 1941
Philippine SeaJune 19-20, 1944
StalingradAugust 21, 1942 - February 2, 1943