World War Two Timeline

By sdanzy
  • End of World War I

    End of World War I
    The fighting ended with the signing of an armistice (which is a fancy word for cease fire) which went into effect at 11:00 a.m. on November 11, 1918. It required the German forces to evacuate their positions and return to Germany. I think maybe they had to leave their artillery and other heavy weapons behind. After that a formal peace treaty was developed by the victorious powers at Versailles, France and Germany and Austria were given the choice of accepting it or continuing the war.
  • Period: to

    Beginning of WWII

    World War II was the largest-scale conflict the world has ever seen, involving 61 countries and covering more of the globe than any other war, either before or since. While the struggle began with only a few nations, it expanded to include every major world power before its end.
  • Hitler Joins the Nazi Party

    Hitler Joins the Nazi Party
    In 1919 Hitler was sent by the German army to spy on the predecessor of the Nazi party - the DAP. So he had to join it. It was very small and only one of about 80-90 extreme right-wing parties in the Munich area. The DAP was completely amateurish. It relied on handwritten and typed invitations to meetings, for example! The committee included almost all the active members.
  • Fascist Party is established under Mussolini in Italy

    Fascist Party is established under Mussolini in Italy
    Mussolini grew active in Italian politics in the first decade of the 1900s. He then spent time in exile in Switzerland and Austria, where he worked writing and editing socialist newspapers. He returned to Italy after serving in World War I and gained power and notoriety as a revolutionary nationalist. He founded the Fascist Party in 1919, used force and intimidation against political opponents and took power in 1922.
  • Establishment of the USSR

    Establishment of the USSR
    A former country of eastern Europe and northern Asia with coastlines on the Baltic and Black seas and the Arctic and Pacific oceans. It was established in December 1922 with the union of the Russian SFSR (proclaimed after the Russian Revolution of 1917) and various other soviet republics, including Belorussia and the Ukraine. In 1991 a number of consituent republics declared their independence, and the USSR was officially dissolved on December 31, 1991.
  • Death of Vladimir Lenin; control of USSR to Joseph Stalin; deaths of 8-13 million Russians

    Death of Vladimir Lenin; control of USSR to Joseph Stalin; deaths of 8-13 million Russians
    After Lenin's death in 1924, Stalin methodically went about destroying all the old leaders of the Party, taking advantage of their weakness for standing on arcane intellectual principle to simply divide and conquer them. At first, these people were removed from their posts and exiled abroad. Later, when he realized that their sharp tongues and pens were still capable of inveighing against him even from far away, Stalin switched tactics, culminating in a vast reign of terror and spectacular show
  • US and 61 other countries sign Kellogg-Briand Pact

    US and 61 other countries sign Kellogg-Briand Pact
    Also called the Pact of Paris, it was signed by 15 Nations on 27 August 1928 and pledged to never use war again to settle disputes. It was accepted by 60 plus countries but failed because it provided no effective enforcement mechanism. When Japan entered Manchuria in 1931 the League of Nations could protest but could not remove Japanese forces
  • Japanese invasion of Manchuria

    Japanese invasion of Manchuria
    The Japanese invasion of Manchuria occurred on September 19 1931, directly following the Mukden Incident, in which a Japanese railway in Mukden was dynamited by Chinese nationalists. The invasion was conducted by the Kwangtung army , that was conveniently stationed near the border with China. The invasion was conducted by General Honja, in direct violation from his orders from his superiors.
  • Hitler becomes Chancellor of Germany, establishing the Third Reich

    Hitler becomes Chancellor of Germany, establishing the Third Reich
    Adold Hitler was appointed Reich Chancellor by President Hindenburg on 30 January 1933 as the head of a coalition government made up of the NSDAP (Nazis) and the conservative nationalist DNVP (German Nationalists). In August 1934, following the death of President Hindenburg, Hitler proclaimed himself Führer (Leader) of Germany. He remained in office till he committed suicide on 30 April 1945.
  • Roosevelt takes office

    Roosevelt takes office
    March 4, 1933. Bitter cold weather could not keep away the 150,000 people gathered in front of the White House to see Franklin Delano Roosevelt inaugurated as the 32nd President of the United States. It is estimated that another 50 million people listened to his address over the radio.
    Although the President's acknowledged the grave situation that America faces today, he assured the nation that "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself."
  • Hitler begins miltary buildup

    Hitler begins miltary buildup
    The military was also rebuilt, although at first in secret, as a strong German military was prohibited by the Treaty of Versailles. Eventually, though, Hitler would simply ignore the Treaty of Versailles altogether and rebuild the German military in the open. The other European powers did nothing to stop this military rebuilding, thus beginning their ill-fated policy of appeasement. As the economic plight of the German people began to improve, Hitler enjoyed more and more support.
  • Italian troops conquer Ethiopia

    Italian troops conquer Ethiopia
    The war in Ethiopia was begun by a border conflict on 5 December 1934. Of course, Italy had been building up troops and intentionally set off the spark that started the war. They wanted to get revenge for the defeat in 1896.
    On 9 May, 1935, Mussolini again stood on the balcony of Palazzo Venezia in Rome and proclaimed that the defeat of Adowa(1896) had been avenged with victory in Ethiopia. This marked the peak of Mussolini's popularity with his countrymen.
  • United States begins passing Neutrality Acts

    United States begins passing Neutrality Acts
    A series of acts passed in 1935, 1936, 1937, and 1939 to limit U.S. involvement in possible future wars and that was created in response to the belief that U.S. involvement in World War I resulted from loans and trade with the Allies. The 1935 act banned the shipment of war materials to belligerents and forbade U.S. citizens to travel on belligerent vessels. The 1936 act banned loans to belligerents. The 1937 act extended these provisions to civil wars.
  • Civil War begins in Spain under Francisco Franco

    Civil War begins in Spain under Francisco Franco
    Military revolt against the government of Spain. After the 1936 elections produced a Popular Front government supported mainly by left-wing parties, a military uprising began in garrison towns throughout Spain, led by the rebel Nationalists and supported by conservative elements in the clergy, military, and landowners as well as the fascist Falange.
  • German troops invade Rhineland

    German troops invade Rhineland
    Under the Treaty of Versailles the land along the Rhine was to be demilitarized. January of 1936 Hitler decided to re occupy the Rhineland. March 7, 1936 German military forces moved into the Rhineland. This forces consisted of only a few infantry battalions and a artillery battery. If the French moved in to stop the occupation the Germans had orders to retreat.
  • Japan invades China

    Japan invades China
    The events that eventually led to World War II in the Pacific began in Asia when Japan invaded China. Japan had undergone a period of rapid political consolidation and western industrialization. Japan's expansion goal in Asia, beyond power and prestige, was to gain raw materials and resources to continue its industrial growth and economic independence. Geographically, China also provided a natural buffer between Japan and her arch enemy, the Soviet Union
  • Hitler annouces secret plans for lebensraum

    Hitler annouces secret plans for lebensraum
    The people of Germany and many of the Reich's top leaders had no idea of the depth of their Führer's cynicism, but they would all find out sooner or later. For Germany's top Army leaders that revelation came on November 5th, 1937, when Hitler called a secret conference and bluntly outlined his plans to acquire Lebensraum at the expense of other nations
  • Hitler took over Austria

    Hitler took over Austria
    Hitler took over Austria in 1938 because many links were shared between Germany. He created an 'Anschluss' with Austria. Hitler also was born in Austria and this made him want Austria. Hitler also had the idea of 'Lebensraum' or Living room/space in which he gelt was needed, so he took Austria. Austria did not really mind this as it had economic problems within from being separated from Germany previously.
  • Munich Agreement; Sudetenland to Germany

    Munich Agreement; Sudetenland to Germany
    It was an act of appeasement. The agreement was signed in the early hours of 30 September 1938 (but dated 29 September). The purpose of the conference was to discuss the future of Czechoslovakia in the face of territorial demands made by Adolf Hitler. The agreement was signed by Nazi Germany, France, Britain, and Italy. The Sudetenland was of immense strategic importance to Czechoslovakia, as most of its border defenses were situated there, and many of its banks were located there as well.
  • Totalitarian government established in USSR

    Totalitarian government established in USSR
    A totalitarian government is one where there is only one party allowed - the ruling party. In Stalin's Russia this meant that the Communist Party was supreme. All criticism and opposition is eliminated. The people are expected to be totally loyal to the state and to the person at the head of the government. Stalin ruled as a dictator, commanding his people with absolute power. He conducted many purges against his rivals and introduced a new constitution which reinforced his power.
  • Czechoslovakia falls to Hitler

    Czechoslovakia falls to Hitler
    Hitler used the threat of force to obtain Austria and a similar threat would give him the Sudetenland of Czechoslovakia. More than three-quarters of the population of the Sudetenland were ethnic Germans. The area also contained key industries and was vital to the protection of Czechoslovakia. Without this area heavily fortified Czechoslovakia could not hope to withstand German aggression.
  • Franco is successful in Spain

    Franco is successful in Spain
    Franco's troops conquered Catalonia in a whirlwind campaign during the first two months of 1939. Tarragona fell on 14 January, followed by Barcelona on 26 January and Girona on 5 February. Five days after the fall of Girona, the last resistance in Catalonia was broken. On 27 February, the United Kingdom and France recognized the Franco regime. Franco declares the end of the war. However, small pockets of Republicans fight on. Only Madrid and a few other strongholds remained for the Republican
  • Russian army into Finland

    Russian army into Finland
    Russia penetrates into East Karelia, in Finland, as it fights to gain back control of territory that had already been ceded to it. According to the terms of the Treaty of Moscow of 1940, Finland was forced to surrender parts of its southeastern territory, including the Karelian Isthmus, to the Soviet Union, which was eager to create a buffer zone for Leningrad.
  • The Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact; divide Poland

    The Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact; divide Poland
    Adolf Hitler was preparing for war. Though he was hoping to acquire Poland without force (as he had annexed Austria the year before), Hitler was planning against the possibility of a two front war. Since fighting a two front war in World War I had split Germany's forces, it had weakened and undermined their offensive; thus, played a large role in Germany losing the First World War. Hitler was determined not to repeat the same mistakes. So, he planned ahead and made a pact with the Soviets
  • German invasion of Poland; Blitzhrieg

    German invasion of Poland; Blitzhrieg
    The Invasion of Poland effectively began the Second World War. German mechanized and airborne components poured over the border in well-coordinated fast-moving land offensives and accurate air attacks in what became known as the "Lightning War" or Blitzkrieg. The Poles put up a valiant defense of their country but they - and soon the whole of Europe - would prove no match for the might of the Nazi war machine.
  • British and French defeat at Dunkirk

    British and French defeat at Dunkirk
    On the night of May 9/10, 1940, German forces attacked the Low Countries. Moving to their aid, French troops and the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) were unable to prevent their fall. On May 14, German panzers tore through the Ardennes and began driving to the English Channel. Despite their best efforts, the BEF, Belgian, and French forces were unable to halt the German advance. Six days later, German forces reached the coast, effectively cutting off the BEF as well as a large number of Allied
  • Operation Weserübung

    Operation Weserübung
    Operation Weserübung was the German codename for Nazi Germany's assault on Denmark and Norway during World War II and the opening operation of the Norwegian Campaign. (The term means Weser Exercise or Operation Weser, the Weser being a German river.)
    In the early morning of April 9, 1940 — Wesertag ("Weser Day") — Germany invaded Denmark and Norway, ostensibly as a preventive maneuver against a planned (and openly discussed) Franco-British occupation of both these countries; upon arrival envoys
  • Defeat of the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg by Germany

    Defeat of the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg by Germany
    The Battle of the Netherlands was part of Case Yellow and France during World War II. The battle lasted from 10 May 1940 until 14 May 1940 when the main Dutch forces surrendered. However, Dutch troops in the province of Zealand continued to resist the Wehrmacht until 17 May when Germany completed its occupation of the whole nation. The Battle of the Netherlands saw one of the first major uses of paratroopers to occupy crucial targets prior to ground troops reaching the area.
  • Italy enters the war on the side of Germany and invades France

    Italy enters the war on the side of Germany and invades France
    When Mussolini saw how easily Germany was running over France and the allies in western Europe, he decided to declare war on the Allies and gain some easy spoils. When the Italians invaded soutern France, they were in for a rude shock. They were stopped cold. Only the capitulation of the French and the forming of the Vichy gov't stopped the Allies from going over onto the offensive. Mussolini was upset by his sad performance and decided to prove to the world that the Roman empire had resurfaced.
  • France surrenders to Germany

    France surrenders to Germany
    During this period, Hitler built up his forces on Germany's western frontier. In April 1940, German forces invaded Denmark and Norway. In May 1940, Hitler's forces attacked France, conquering the Luxembourg, Netherlands and Belgium in the process. France surrendered on 22 June 1940. These victories persuaded Benito Mussolini of Italy to join the war on Hitler's side on 10 June 1940.
  • Plans for an invasion of Great Britain; beginning of the Battle of Britain.

    Plans for an invasion of Great Britain; beginning of the Battle of Britain.
    The Battle of Britain was the German air force's attempt to gain air superiority over the RAF from July to September 1940. Their ultimate failure was one of the turning points of World War Two and prevented Germany from invading Britain.