WWII Timeline

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    WWII Timeline

  • Germany Invades 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 their border.
  • Peace Demonstration in Pittsburgh

    Thousands of people of all faiths, attended the county fair joined in a peace demonstration. This happened when Great Britain declared war on Nazi Germany.
  • Planning Mobilization for the Nation's Defense Program

    Industrial leaders met with public officials to plan mobilization of Pittsburgh district resources for the nation's defense program. This defense program costed $5,000,000,000.
  • France surrenders to Germany

    The French abandon Paris, declaring it an open city, allowing Germany to enter on June 14th without resistance. After this, they know the war is over, so the French government call on the Germans for an armistice that will end the fighting.
  • Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor

    The first attack wave targets airfields and battleships, while the second targets other ships and shipyard facilities. In this, 2,403 men were dead, 188 planes were destroyed and a crippled Pacific Fleet included 8 damaged or destroyed battle ships.
  • Pittsburgh Volunteers for Army

    Pittsburgh Volunteers for Army
    In one day, more than 1,200 Pittsburgh young men volunteered for enlistment in the armed services. This involvement of Pittsburgh and many other cities made up the army.
  • Battle of Midway

    The Battle of Midway was fought near the Central Pacific island of Midway. This was between the U.S. and Japan. In the end, the Americans and their Allies took the offensive in the Pacific.
  • Philip Murray elected President of the United Steel Workers of America

    Philip Murray elected President of the United Steel Workers of America
    The United Steel Workers of America, follower to the Steel Workers Organizing Committee, in a convention at Cleveland, elected Philip Murray its first president. He was to make $20,000 a year.
  • The Battle of the Stalingrad

    The failure of the German Army was nothing but a disaster. A complete army group was lost at Stalingrad and 91,000 Germans were taken prisoner. The battle at Stalingrad bled the German army dry in Russia and after this defeat, the Germany Army was in full retreat.
  • Pittsburgh and West Virginia Railroad

    Pittsburgh and West Virginia Railroad
    The Pittsburgh and West Virginia Railroad began razing its huge steel train shed behind the old Wabash Station. They consigned it to the Pittsburgh scrap drive.
  • D Day

    On June 6, 1944, under the code name Operation "Overlord," U.S., British and Canadian troops landed on the beaches of Normandy, France. The Allies had an overwhelming advantage in naval and air power. On D-Day alone, the Allies flew 14,000 attacks, while the German air force managed only 500. On June 11, Allied troops overcame German resistance to unite the invasion beaches.
  • Rally outside the East Pittsburgh plan of Westinghouse

    Rally outside the East Pittsburgh plan of Westinghouse
    In a mass rally outside the East Pittsburgh plant, 20,000 employees of Westinghouse confirmed a no-strike pledge. This pledge lasted for the duration of the war.
  • Pittsburgh District Plants

    Pittsburgh District Plants
    A survey showed that war contracts completed to date or underway in Pittsburgh district plants totaled $903,398,644. Delivered to its front lines was $322,000,000.
  • Allies liberate (free) Paris

    After four years of being under control, Paris was finally liberated by the Allies when the French Resistance began. The Unites States' and the Free French Army were reinforced resulting in the end of Operation Overload. France was restored and the Vichy government was exiled to Germany.
  • Pittsburgh Realty Values Drop

    Pittsburgh Realty Values Drop
    Pittsburgh realty values dropped to $980,000,000, which was the lowest point in 25 years. And about $30,000,000 under the 1941 assessment.
  • Battle of the Bulge

    This was the last major Nazi offensive against the Allies in World War Two. The battle was a last time attempt by Hitler to split the Allies in two because of their drive towards Germany. Hitler organized a massive attack on the Allies, which worked at first. However, the German army was running out of fuel, which led to the defeat. This was the largest battle fought by Americans with 81,000 lost men. The Germans lost 100,000 killed, wounded and captured.
  • Battle of Iwo Jima

    The tiny island had taken America over one month to take. The Marines lost 6,891 men and 18,070 were wounded. Out of the 22,000 Japanese soldiers on the island, only 212 were taken prisoners.
  • Heavy Production Losses

    Heavy Production Losses
    Heavy production losses occured and 25,000 people in industry were abandoned. This was because of the flooding rivers which rose to a height of 33.4 feet.
  • FDR dies, Truman becomes president

    FDR dies from a stroke while vacationing in Warm Spring, Georgia. His vice president, Harry S. Truman then is inauguated into office and becomes president.
  • Mourning for President Franklin D. Roosevelt

    Mourning for President Franklin D. Roosevelt
    The city and county governments, business, schools, and all other activities were suspended. All churches scheduled special prayer services, and Mayor Scully asked all amusement places to close in mourning for President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
  • Hitler commits suicide

    In a bunker under his headquarters in Berlin, Adolf Hitler commits suicide by swallowing a cyanide capsule and shooting himself in the head. Soon after, the Germany surrendered to the Allies, ending his dreams of a "1,000-year" Reich.
  • VE Day

    VE Day, or Victory in Europe, was the day on which the Allies announced the surrender of German forces in Europe. The day before, in Reims, France, German officer Alfred Jodl signed documents of unconditional surrender.
  • Dr. Paul R. Anderson elected President of Pennsylvania College for Woman

    Dr. Paul R. Anderson elected President of Pennsylvania College for Woman
    Dr. Paul R. Anderson, dean of Lawrence College in Appleton, Wisconsin, was elected president of Pennsylvania College for Women. He took the place of Dr. Herbert L. Spencer.
  • George E. Evan died

    George E. Evan died
    Councilman George E. Evan died at the age of 69. He was the chairman of the Pittsburgh Housing Authority and a pioneer in slum-clearance planning,
  • Atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima

    In the early morning hours of August 6, 1945, a B-29 bomber took off from the island of Tinian and headed north toward Japan. The bomber's primary target was the city of Hiroshima. Hiroshima had a civilian population of almost 300,000 and was an important military center, containing about 43,000 soldiers.
  • Atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki

    Truman's order of July 25th had authorized the dropping of additional bombs as soon as they were ready. On August 9, 1945, a B-29 lifted off from Tinian and headed toward the second primary target: Nagasaki, a large industrial center. Almost everything up to half a mile from ground was completely destroyed.
  • Russian Labor Leaders tour Steel Mills

    Russian Labor Leaders tour Steel Mills
    Russian labor leaders arrived to tour Pittsburgh's steel mills. They arrived to find out what is used to produce some of the products.
  • VJ Day

    The day was called VJ day to represent victory of Japan. It was called this because Japan surrendered to the Allied forces on this day, ending World War II.
  • Laying off of Workers

    Laying off of Workers
    Pittsburgh district industries laid off 7000 workers as the first cancellation of a war contract became effective.
  • Governor Ridge was born

    Governor Ridge was born
    Born Aug. 26, 1945, in Pittsburgh's Steel Valley, Gov. Ridge was raised in a working class family in veterans' public housing in Erie.