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History of the Second World War

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  • The Creation of the Treaty of Versailles

    The Creation of the Treaty of Versailles
    The Treaty of Versailles was one of he peace treaties at the end of the First World War. Of the many provisions in the treaty, one of the most important and controversial required Germany to accept responsibility for causing the war and, under the terms of articles 231–248 to disarm, make substantial territorial concessions and pay for damage
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    Italian Invasion of Ethiopia

    The Second Italo–Abyssinian War was a colonial war (various conflicts) that was fought between the Kingdom of Italy and the armed Ethopian Empire. The war resulted in the occupation of Ethiopia and the creation of the new colony of Italian East Africa.
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    The Spanish Civil War

    The Spanish Civil War was fought between the Spanish republic and The Nationalists, a rebel group led by Geneal Fransico Franco.Both Germany and the USSR (Union of Soviet Socialists and Republics) used this proxy war (a war that results when third parties as substitues for fighting each other directly) to test improved weapons and tactics.
  • Japanese Invasion of China

    Japanese Invasion of China
    In July 1937, Japan captured the former Chinese imperial capital of Beijing. After three months of fighting, Shanghai fell. Japan continued to push the Chinese forces back and captured Nanking in December 1937. In July 1938, Chinese slowed down Japan's forces, relocating to Chonqing to continue the war.
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    Second Sino-Japanese War

    was a military conflict fought primarily between the Republic of China and the Empire of Japan from 1937 to 1941. China fought Japan with some economic help from Germany, the Soviet Union and the United States. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, the war merged into the greater conflict of World War II as a major front of what is broadly known as the Pacific War.
  • Germany Annexes Austria

    Germany Annexes Austria
    Hitler went ahead with his plans to unify all German-speaking people. He annexed Austria then demanded the liberation of German people in the Sudetenland region of Czechoslovakia.
  • Japanese Invasion of the Soviet Union and Mongolia

    Japanese Invasion of the Soviet Union and Mongolia
    The Japanese invaded the USSR, ending with Soviet victory however, the Japanese saw it as a draw.
  • Treaty of Munich

    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. Chamberlain returned to England with a piece of paper signed by Hitler, proclaiming 'peace in our time.'
  • Britain rearms and reassures Poland

    Britain rearms and reassures Poland
    Britain had begun re-arming and a highly secret radar early warning system was installed along the east coast. Conscription was introduced and assurances were given to Poland, who was being threatened by the Fuhrer.
  • Hitler signs non-aggression pact with Stalin

    Hitler signs non-aggression pact with Stalin
    Hitler and Stalin (Russian president) signed a non-aggression pact which included secret clauses for the division of Poland.
  • World War II Begins

    World War II Begins
    On 1 September, 1939 Germany and Slovakia attacked Poland.
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    The Second World War

    The Second World War was a global war that involved the vast majority of the world's nations including 61 countries and 1.7 billion people.
  • Britain and France declare war

    Britain and France declare war
    On the 3 September 1939 Britain and France declare war on Germany after they invaded Poland.
  • Hitler invades Czechoslovakia

    Hitler invades Czechoslovakia
    Despite the assurances given by Hitler in the Treaty of Munich (Sept 1938), he marched into Czechoslovakia and occupied the country.
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    Phoney War

    The months following Britain's declaration of war are referred to as the 'phoney war' because Britain saw no military action.
  • Germany invades Denmark and Norway

    Germany invades Denmark and Norway
    Hitler invaded and occupied Denmark and Norway to safeguard supply routes of Swedish ore and also to establish a Norwegian base from which to break the British naval blockade on Germany.
  • Blitzkreig

    Hitler launched his blitzkrieg (lightning war) against Holland and Belgium. Rotterdam was bombed almost to extinction. Both countries were occupied.
  • Neville Chamberlain resign

    Neville Chamberlain resign
    Neville Chamberlain resigned after pressure from Labour members for a more active prosecution of the war and Winston Churchill became the new head of the wartime coalition government. Chamberlain gave Churchill his unreserved support
  • Dunkirk (Operation Dynamo)

    Dunkirk (Operation Dynamo)
    The British commander-in-chief, General Gort, had been forced to retreat to the coast at Dunkirk. The troops waited, under merciless fire, to be taken off the beaches. A call went out to all owners of sea-worthy vessels to travel to Dunkirk to take the troops off the beaches of Dunkirk. More than 338,000 men were rescued, among them some 140,000 French who would form the nucleus of the Free French army under a little known general, Charles de Gaulle.
  • Italy enters the war

    Italy enters the war
    Italy entered the war on the side of the Axis powers. Italy's motive for entering the war was the hope of rich pickings from the spoils of war.
  • France signs Armistice with Germany

    France signs Armistice with Germany
    The French, Marshall Petain, signed an armistice with Germany taking France, which had been devastated, out of the war and into German occupation.
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    Battle of Britain

    the Second World War air campaign waged by the German Air Force (Luftwaffe) against the United Kingdom during the summer and autumn of 1940. The objective of the campaign was to gain air superiority over the Royal Air Force (RAF), especially Fighter Command.
  • Tripartite Pact

    Tripartite Pact
    This pact of mutual alliance was signed by Germany, Italy and Japan.
  • Italy and Germany attack Yugoslavia

    Italy and Germany attack Yugoslavia
    German and Italian troops attacked Yugoslavia, Greece and the island of Crete
  • Hitler attacks Russia - Operation Barbarossa

    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.
  • Bombing of Pearl Harbour

    Bombing of Pearl Harbour
    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.
  • Britain and the United States declared war on Japan.

    Britain and the United States declared war on Japan.
    Britain and the United States declared war on Japan.
  • Japanese take Singapore

    Japanese take Singapore
    The Japanese captured Singapore from the British, taking some 60,000 prisoners.
  • Battle of Midway

    Battle of Midway
    The USA defeated the Japanese navy at the Battle of Midway. Following this victory, the US navy was able to push the Japanese back.
  • Allies in North Africa

    Allies in North Africa
    General Alexander was given a hand-written directive from Churchill ordering that his main directive was to be the destruction of the German-Italian army commanded by Field-Marshall Rommell together with all its supplies and establishments in Egypt and Libya. As soon as sufficient material had been built up, Alexander handed the campaign over to General Montgomery.
  • Battle of Alamein

    Battle of Alamein
    Montgomery attacked the German-Italian army in North Africa with a massive bombardment followed by an armoured attack.
  • Battle of Stalingard

    Battle of Stalingard
    The Russians won their first victory against Germany at the Battle of Stalingrad.
  • Allies push North Africa

    Allies push North Africa
    The British and American forces managed to defeat the Axis forces in North Africa
  • The allied troops had won the island of Sicily.

    The allied troops had won the island of Sicily.
    Allied troops take Sicily.
  • Italy surrenders

    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.
  • Allies meet at Tehran

    Allies meet at Tehran
    Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill met to co-ordinate plans for a simultaneous squeeze on Germany. They also discussed post war settlements. Churchill mistrusted Stalin; Roosevelt anxious to show that the West would not stand against Russia, went along with Stalin's wishes for a second front in France and no diversions further east. Churchill was over-ruled and the fate of post-war Eastern Europe was thus decided.
  • D-Day

    The allies launched an attack on Germany's forces in Normandy, Western France. Thousands of transports carried an invasion army under the supreme command of general Eisenhower to the Normandy beaches. The Germans who had been fed false information about a landing near Calais, rushed troops to the area but were unable to prevent the allies from forming a solid bridgehead. For the allies it was essential to first capture a port.
  • Death of Roosevelt

    Death of Roosevelt
    President Roosevelt died. He was succeeded by President Truman.
  • Mussolini captured and executed

    Mussolini captured and executed
    Italian partisans captured Mussolini and executed him.
  • Hitler commits suicide

    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.
  • German forces surrender

    German forces surrender
    German forces in north west Germany, Holland and Denmark surrendered to Montgomery on Luneburg Heath. Admiral Donitz, whom Hitler had nominated as his successor, tried to reach agreement to surrender to the Western allies but to continue to fight the Russians. His request was refused.
  • V.E Day

    V.E Day
    Victory in Europe was celebrated.
  • Churchill loses election

    Churchill loses election
    Winston Churchill lost the election to Clement Atlee's Labour Party. The Labour party promised sweeping social reforms including nationalisation of the coal and railway industries and the creation of a welfare state. The Labour party gained 393 seats to the Conservatives 213. It was generally accepted that the landslide victory for Labour was due to the men and women of the armed services who did not want to resume civilian life under the conditions that they had before they entered service.
  • Atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima

    Atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima
    The Japanese generals refused to surrender. The US dropped an atomic bomb on the island of Hiroshima.
  • Russia declares war on Japan

    Russia declares war on Japan
    Russia declared war on Japan and invaded Japanese-ruled Manchuria.
  • Atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki

    Atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki
    The US dropped an atomic bomb on the island of Nagasaki as the Japanese had not surrendered following Hiroshima.
  • Japanese surrender

    Japanese surrender
    The Japanese unconditionally surrendered to the allies ending the second world war.
  • MacArthur accepts Japan's surrender

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