WWII TIMELINE

  • Period: to

    WWII

    Events leading up to, during, and after WWII. Also events in Pennsylvannia around this time.
  • Germany Invades Poland

    Germany Invades Poland
    Just before dawn, German tanks, infantry and cavalry penetrated Polish territory with a total of 1.5 million troops. German Plane filled the sky with bombs, killing many innocent civilians.
  • Peace Demonstration

    Peace Demonstration
    Thousands of persons of all faiths attended the county fair. They joined in a peace demonstration as Great Britain declared war on Nazi Germany.
  • Defense Program

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

    France surrenders to Germany
    The Armistice was signed showing France's surrender to Germany. Under its terms, two thirds of France was to be occupied by the Germans. The French army was to be disbanded. In addition, France must bear the cost of the German invasion.
  • Pear Harbor

    Pear Harbor
    In Oahu, Hawaii the Japanese shocked the world by bombing the American naval base at Pearl Harbor.This attack was the turning point for America and for the War. On December 8, the nation was gathered around its radios to hear President Roosevelt deliver his Day of Infamy speech. That same day, Congress declared war on Japan. On December 11, Congress declared war on Germany.
  • Pittsburgh's in shock over Pearl Harbor

    Pittsburgh's in shock over Pearl Harbor
    Pittsburgh was shocked over the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
    More than 1200 Pittsburgh young men volunteered for enlistment in the armed services in one day.
  • The Battle of Midway

    The Battle of Midway
    The Battle of Midway was fought near the Central Pacific island of Midway. Before this battle the Japanese were on offensive. The Japanese had planned to capture Midway to to entrap and destroy the U.S. Pacific Fleet. Because of communication intelligence successes, the U.S. Pacific Fleet surprised the Japanese forces, sinking the four Japanese carriers, that had attacked Pearl Harbor only six months before.
  • Westinghouse

    Westinghouse
    Employment at Westinghouse East Pittsburgh Works peaks at 21,000 workers. They produce switchgear, turbines, motors, and other war essentials,
  • The Battle of Stalingrad

    The Battle of Stalingrad
    One of the most brutal battles in World War Two was fought between the Germany and Russia. Hitler ordered that the city be invaided. The Russians could not let the Germans get hold of the oil fields in the Caucasus. Stalin’s order was "Not a step backwards". After a lot of fighting Hitler's Germans surrendered.
  • First Atomic Pile

    First Atomic Pile
    U.S. scientists build first atomic pile, using Westinghouse-produced uranium. Which soon helps with the atomic bombs dropped later in the war.
  • D Day

    D Day
    Allied forces landed in the beaches of Normandy, After more than two days of bloody fighting. Although many died, the Allies eventually took control of the beach and fought their way inland against Germany. A major win for Allied forces.
  • Pittsburgh Rally

    Pittsburgh Rally
    In a mass rally outside the East Pittsburgh plant, 20,000 employees of Westinghouse reaffirmed a no-strike pledge for duration of the war.
  • War Loans

    War Loans
    The fifth War Loan went $5,000,000 over the $334,914,500 quota for the 19-county Western Pennsylvania area. This made an incredible mark on the Western PA area.
  • Allie Liberate Paris

    Allie Liberate Paris
    The new Free French wireless station reported the German commander of the Paris region, General Dietrich von Choltitz, signed a surrender at Montparnasse station in front of General Leclerc and Colonel Rol, commander of the Forces Francaises de l'Interieur in the Paris region.
  • The Battle of the Bulge

    The Battle of the Bulge
    The Battle of the Bulge was the last major Nazi offensive against the Allies in World War Two.The Battle of the Bulge was the largest battle fought by the Americans in World War Two. 600,000 American troops were involved in the battle. The Americans lost 81,000 men while the Germans lost 100,000 killed, wounded and captured.
  • Steel Production Slows

    Steel Production Slows
    Work stoppages were reduced 50 per cent during the year by a United States Steel -- United Steel Workers agreement on principle of a "fair day's work for a fair day's pay," setting up 32 job classifications and eliminating "speed up."
  • Battle of Iwo Jima

    Battle of Iwo Jima
    The Americans had cut the island in two by the end of the first day despite taking over 2,400 casualties. On Day 2, the Marines attacked Mount Suribachi. Here they found fanatical Japanese defence and Suribachi was taken on February 23rd after three days of fighting. The tiny island had taken America over one month to take. The Marines lost 6,891 men killed and 18,070 wounded. Out of the 22,000 Japanese soldiers on the island, only 212 were taken prisoners.
  • Production is Lost

    Production is Lost
    Heavy production losses resulted and 25,000 persons in industry were idled by swollen rivers which rose to a crest of 33.4 feet. This was a major loss for the industries in Pittsburgh.
  • City Celebrates War

    City Celebrates War
    The city marked the 100th anniversary of its great fire of 1845 with a parade and pageantry. They celebrated throughout the day.
  • FDR dies, Truman becomes President

    FDR dies, Truman becomes President
    In Warm Springs, Georgia around1 p.m. FDR suddenly complained of a awful pain in the back of his head. Then he collapsed unconscious from a massive cerebral hemorrhage Vice President Harry S. Truman was left to run the United States as we were still in WWII.
  • Mourning FDR

    Mourning FDR
    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.
  • 33rd President

    33rd President
    Harry Truman was the 33rd President of the United States he became president on April 12, 1945, when President Roosevelt died.
  • Hitler's Suicide

    Hitler's Suicide
    Hitler and his wife went back into their private quarters while Bormann and Goebbels stood quietly nearby. Several moments later a gunshot was heard. After waiting a few moments, at 3:30 p.m., Bormann and Goebbels entered and found the body of Hitler sprawled on the sofa, dripping with blood from a gunshot to his right temple. Eva Braun had died from swallowing poison.
  • VE Day

    VE Day
    May 8 marks the day of victory for Allies in World War II.
    After Hitler's death in the ruins of Berlin, the unconditional surrender of Germany was signed at Rheims on May 7 and ratified at Berlin on May 8.
  • Atomic Bomb Dropped on Hiroshima

    Atomic Bomb Dropped on Hiroshima
    The Hiroshima bomb, known as "Little Boy" contained 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.
  • Atomic Bomb Dropped on Nagasaki

    Atomic Bomb Dropped on Nagasaki
    American forces dropped an atomic bomb on Nagasaki.The bomb was dropped by parachute from an American B29 Bomber. It exploded about 1,625 ft (500m) above the ground and is believed to have completely destroyed the city on the Japanese island of Kyushu.
  • Steel Mills

    Steel Mills
    Russian labor leaders arrived to tour the district's steel mills. This happened in eary August.
  • VJ Day

    VJ Day
    "Victory over Japan Day," or simply "V-J Day." Japan surrendered to the Allies, ending WWII.
  • Surrender of Japan In Pittsburgh

    Surrender of Japan In Pittsburgh
    The city was jubilant over the surrender of Japan. They knew that this was going to help end the war and they were estatic.
  • Canceling of War Contracts

    Canceling of War Contracts
    Pittsburgh district industries laid off 7000 workers as the first cancellation of a war contract became effective.