The Beginning of World War II

  • Germany Invades Czechoslovakia

    Germany Invades Czechoslovakia
    On this date, the Nazis marched into the remainder of Czechoslovakia, concluding its annexation and conquest of the country.
  • The Soviet-Nazi (Molotov-Ribbentrop) Pact

    The Soviet-Nazi (Molotov-Ribbentrop) Pact
    Signed on August 23rd, 1939, it ensured peace between Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia in the event of war. It also contained a secret protocol, with plans to divide Europe between the Nazis and the Soviets. In addition, Hitler did not want to have to fight a war on two fronts, and this ensured he could focus on France and Britain.
  • The Invasion of Poland

    The Invasion of Poland
    Nazi Germany invades Poland from the north, south and west, starting the Second World War. Two days later, Britain and France declare war on Germany.
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    The Phoney War (Sitzkrieg)

    A lack of military actions earned this initial stage of World War II the name "Phoney War", or the Sitzkrieg ("The Sitting War", a play on the Nazis' tactic of Blitzkrieg "Lightning War").
  • Canada Declares War

    Canada Declares War
    Canada declares war on Nazi Germany, its first-ever independent declaration of war in its' history. By the war's end, Canada would have possessed the fourth-largest air force and the third-largest surface fleet in the world, in addition to over 1,000,000 men serving in military uniform.
  • The Invasion of Norway and Denmark

    The Invasion of Norway and Denmark
    Hitler's Nazis invade Norway and Denmark, capturing the two nations in just over two months. Both were of strategic importance to future Nazi operations, esepecially for Kreigsmarine operations.
  • Invasion of France

    Invasion of France
    Nazi Germany invaded France, and conquered the entire nation in less than eight weeks. Germany now had almost all of continental Europe under its control, and the Allies were pushed almost completely out of the entire continent, save the Balkans region.
  • Invasion of Holland and Belgium

    Invasion of Holland and Belgium
    Nazi Germany invades the Netherlands, in addition to its invasion of France. The battle ends in less than a week, when the nations of the Netherlands surrender to the Nazis.
  • Miracle at Dunkirk

    Miracle at Dunkirk
    Involving the evacuation of 340,000 soldiers from France to Britain, it was a critical mistake on the part of the Nazis, as it ensured the Allies would have hundreds of thousands of soldiers to continue the war. Over 900 small craft and other vessels participated in the evacuation.
  • The Fall of France

    The Fall of France
    France surrenders to Germany, signing an armistice- in the same railway carraige the Germans had surrendered in at the end of World War I. This officially concluded the invasion of Western Europe, and left Britain standing alone as the only major Allied power.
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    Batlte of Britain

    Nazi Germany begins a massive air campaign against Britain, seding thousands of planes a day over British territory to bombard its ports, cities, and annihilate its air force, in preparation for Operation Sea Lion, the invasion of Britain itself. The battle ended in a descisive British victory, and is considered one of the makor turning points in the war.
  • Operation Barbarossa

    Operation Barbarossa
    Germany invades the entire Soviet Union, smashing through completely unprepared Russian forces. In just under 6 months, the Nazis made it to the gates of Moscow, enjoying successes through 1942, before being pushed back, eventually into Germany itself for the remainder of the war.
  • Attack on Pearl Harbor

    Attack on Pearl Harbor
    Imperial Japan, using a massive force of aircraft carriers and escort ships, launch an enormous air attack on the American naval base on Pearl Harbor. Multiple ships, including the battleship USS Arizona, are sunk, and the United States declared war on Japan the very next day.