In the Mediterranean. Italy entered the war on June 10, 1940, with an army of 1,500,000, a modern navy, and a highly rated air force. The first naval action in the Mediterranean came on July 20. It resulted in the sinking of the Italian cruiser Bartolomeo Colleone by the Australian cruiser Sydney. Italy attacked Greece on October 28, and the British, in an effort to secure the eastern Mediterranean, sent troops to the Greek island of Crete. The British struck at the Italian fleet at Taranto on November 11-12. In this action, planes from the carrier Illustrious damaged three battleships and a cruiser, crippling the Italian fleet.
This World War II timeline highlights postwar events from October 1945-September 1951. The time period after the war saw a great deal of instability as relations between Russia and the Allies soured. Get information on Europe and Japan after World War II.
In 1939, a group of scientists, many having recently arrived in the United States after fleeing Nazi persecution in Germany, informed government officials that recent experiments conducted in Germany had demonstrated the feasibility of building an atomic weapon.