WWII Timetoast Timeline

  • Nazi invasion of Poland

    Nazi invasion of Poland
    On September 1, 1939, Germany invaded Poland. The Polish army was defeated within weeks of the invasion. German units, with more than 2,000 tanks and over 1,000 planes, broke through Polish defenses along the border and advanced on Warsaw in a massive encirclement attack. After heavy shelling and bombing, Warsaw surrendered to the Germans on September 27, 1939.
  • Germany invades Norway

    Germany invades Norway
    Control of Norway’s extensive coastline was very important in the battle for control of the North Sea and easing the passage of German warships and submarines into the Atlantic. The control of Norway would also aid Germany’s ability to import iron ore from Sweden. Rather than seize Norway, they wanted to rely on Norway remaining neutral in the war and the Allies respecting this neutrality. The Norwegians also believed that the British Navy would be available to them if the Germans invaded.
  • Battle of Britain

    Battle of Britain
    The Germans attempted to subdue Great Britain by utilizing air attacks. Germany attacked all major cities and military installations. British forced the Germans to pay a heavy price for their bombing. By the end of October, when the winter weather made the threat of invasion unlikely, the Germans had lost 2,375 planes, compared to 800 British planes lost.
  • German Forces Invade Greece and Yugoslavia

    German Forces Invade Greece and Yugoslavia
    The Germans invaded Yugoslavia, after a coup in Belgrade that overthrew the pro-German government and replaced it with one committed to neutrality. At the same time, the Germans invaded Greece. German troops reached Athens by April 27th. Hitler intervened in the war in this fashion to secure his southern flank in anticipation of the imminent invasion of the Soviet Union.
  • German Battleship Bismark Sunk

    German Battleship Bismark Sunk
    The German battleship, "Bismark," was the largest warship ever commisioned . On May 26th, a plane from the "Ark Royal" attacked the "Bismark." A torpedo hit its rudder and disabled the steering. That night, battleships "Rodney" and "King George" attacked the "Bismark" with their big guns. Together with torpedos from the "Doretshire," they sank the "Bismark".
  • Battle of the Coral Sea

    Battle of the Coral Sea
    The Japanese were advancing toward Australia, with the intention of assaulting Port Moseby. US task forces engaged a Japanese force in the Coral Sea. It was the first battle in which two naval forces engaged, without ever coming within shooting distance of each other. Japanese planes managed to sink the American carrier "Lexington" and damage the "Yorktown." The Americans sank a Japanese light-carrier and put two Japanese cruisers out of commission, halting the Japanese advance.
  • British Are Victorious At El Alamein

    British Are Victorious At El Alamein
    German forces, under the command of Rommel, met the British forces, under the command of General Montgomery at El Alamein. Montgomery had a two-to-one advantage in tanks, and was victorious. The victory in El Alamain eliminated the German threat to the Suez Canal and the Middle East.
  • Daylight Bombing of Germany

    Daylight Bombing of Germany
    US forces began daylight bombing of targets in Germany. The first attacks were against German naval targets, but a few days later, the US launched its first air raid against Berlin. The British would continue to bomb at night and the Americans would begin daylight raids. This would put aditional stress on the Germans defenses, forcing them to defend 24 hours a day.
  • D Day

    D Day
    45 Allied divisions with almost 3 million men, led by General Eisenhower, began landing on Normandy Beach, in France. Within three weeks, Allied troops had captured all of the Normandy peninsula and port of Cherbourg. By the end of August, Paris was liberated, and Allied forces continued toward Germany.
  • The first Atomic Bomb dropped on Japan

    The first Atomic Bomb dropped on Japan
    The first atomic bomb has been dropped by a United States aircraft on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. The bomb, known as "Little Boy" - a reference to former President Roosevelt, contained the equivalent of between 12 and 15,000 tons of TNT and devastated an area of five square miles (13 square kilometres). More than 60% of the buildings in the city were destroyed. Japan surrendered to the Allies on 14 August 1945.