Course of World War 2

  • The Holocaust

    The Holocaust was the persecution and murder of apporx. 6 million Jews by the Nazis. The Nazis, who came to power in Germany in January 1933, believed that Germans were "racially superioir" and that the Jews were "unworthy of life." During the era of the Holocaust, the Nazis also targeted other groups because of their percieved "racial inferiority". Roma (Gypsies), the handicapped, and some of the Slavic peoples (Poles, Russians, and others.)
  • Treaty of Munich

    Hitler, Chamberlain, Daladier of France and Mussolini of Italy met in Munich and agreed that Hitler should have the Sudetanland of Czechoslovakia. The Czechs were not represented at the meeting and realising that no country would come to their aid were forced to surrender the Sudetenland to Germany. Hitler assured those at the meeting that this was the extent of his ambitions for expansion.
  • Hitler Invades Czechoslovakia

    Despite the assurances given by Hitler in the Treaty of Munich he marched into Czechoslovakia and occupied the country.
  • Hitler Invades Poland

    Adolf Hitler invaded Poland.
  • Britain and France Declare War on Germany

    Britain and France declared war on Germany.
  • Blitzkrieg

    Hitler launched his blitzkrieg (lightning war) against Holland and Belgium. Rotterdam was bombed almost to extinction. Both countries were occupied.
  • Hitler attacks Russia - Operation Barbarossa

    Hitler sent 3 million soldiers and 3,500 tanks into Russia. The Russians were taken by surprise as they had signed a treaty with Germany in 1939. Stalin immediately signed a mutual assistance treaty with Britain and launched an Eastern front battle that would claim 20 million casualties. The USA, which had been supplying arms to Britain under a 'Lend-Lease' agreement, offered similar aid to USSR.
  • Pearl Harbor

    The Japanese, who were already waging war against the Chinese, attacked the US pacific fleet at Pearl Harbour, Hawaii, as a preliminary to taking British, French and Dutch colonies in South East Asia.
  • Italy Surrenders

    Mussolini had been thrown out of office and the new government of Italy surrendered to the British and the USA. They then agreed to join the allies. The Germans took control of the Italian army, freed Mussolini from imprisonment and set him up as head of a puppet government in Northern Italy. This blocked any further allied advance through Italy.
  • Hitler Commits Suicide

    The German leader, Adolf Hitler committed suicide in his bombproof shelter together with his mistress, Eva Braun, who he had, at the last minute, made his wife.
  • Atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima

    The Japanese generals refused to surrender. The US dropped an atomic bomb on the island of Hiroshima.
  • Atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki

    The US dropped an atomic bomb on the island of Nagasaki as the Japanese had not surrendered following Hiroshima.
  • MacArthur accepts Japan's surrender

    US General, Douglas MacArthur, accepted Japan's surrender thus formally ending the second world war.