• First World War end

    Britain, France, the US, and other allies defeat Germany, bringing an end to World War I
  • Japanese invasion of Manchuria

    Seeking raw materials to fuel its growing industries, Japan invaded the Chinese province of Manchuria.
  • Hitler appointed german leader

    Adolf Hitler becomes chancellor of Germany and later assumes dictatorial powers. German rearmament takes off.
  • World War II begins

    Germany invades Poland, inciting Poland’s allies Britain and France to declare war on Germany.
  • Soviet Union invades Poland

    Working in concert with Hitler, Soviet leader Joseph Stalin orders the invasion of Poland, securing a share of Polish territory.
  • Warsaw captured

    Warsaw surrenders to German troops. Poland holds out for another 9 days before capitulating.
  • Uk wins War’s first Sea Battle

    British cruisers defeat a German pocket battleship at the Battle of the River Plate, the first major naval engagement of World War II.
  • Norway invaded

    Germany invades Norway, ending a 6-month period of limited land operations called the “Phony War.”
  • Churchill becomes prime minister

    Winston Churchill replaces Neville Chamberlain as British Prime Minister. The same day, Germany invades Belgium.
  • Miracle of Dunkirk

    The trapped British army evacuates to England from Dunkirk, France, surviving to fight another day.
  • Paris falls to Nazis

    Paris falls to German forces. France capitulates 11 days later.
  • Britain fights for its life

    The Battle of Britain pits German bombers against British fighters in a thwarted German prelude to invasion.
  • U.S plunged into war

    Japan attacks Pearl Harbor, starting war with the US. Sensing weakness, Hitler declares war on America 4 days later.