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The History of WWII - Timeline

By nivanka
  • 1. What were the main causes of the war in Europe?

    After WWI ended temporary peace was settled among the countries of Europe, but deep inside tensions continued to boil. It all started with the Treaty of Versailles, when Germany was blamed for the entire thing and punished, and the tensions boiled even hotter when communism, fascism, and nazism began to form.
  • 1. What were the main causes of the war in Europe?

    When Hitler was appointed chancellor and gained power he began to remilitarize Germany. France and Britain cowardly reacted Hitler’s actions and tried to protest. Finally at the Munich Conference Germany gained further territories and agreed to stop expanding. The war was finally began when Germany broke that promise and invaded Poland, causing France and Great Britain to declare war on Germany.
  • 2. What were the main causes of the war in Asia?

    In Asia the war was mainly began by Japan’s constant invasion and meddling into China’s affairs, along with other entrances into Korea and Formosa. Soon they took over Manchuria and French Indochina. As Japan continued getting into feuds with China they also formed an alliance with Germany and Italy. As they were falling into political turmoil, they started the second Sino-Japanese War with China, who, after Japan’s brutality towards them, gained the support of the U.S.
  • 2. What were the main causes of war in Asia?

    The U.S. then went on an oil embargo from Japan, who were currently looking to secure British and Dutch colonies. After the Japanese prime minister resigned, the imperial Japanese navy took over and planned it’s attack on Pearl Harbor. After the brutal attack America declared war on Japan and Asia was officially put into WWII.
  • 3. What were the two ‘sides’ in the war? Which countries were on each?

    The Allies entered the war to stop Germany after they broke multiple rules set after WW1, such as invading other countries for their own needs, creating a military, and then later terrorizing many people in ruthless ways. The Axis Alliance was created mostly for the purpose of Germany trying to build up a powerful empire by occupying territory to the east and south, causing much conflict and leading to genocide.
  • 3. What were the two ‘sides’ in the war? Which countries were on each?

    World War 2 was fought between two sides; one side was the Allies and the other was known as the Axis Alliance. The Allies consisted of the United States of America, Canada, Britain, France, the Soviet Union, Australia, New Zealand, India and China. The Axis Alliance was formed in 1940 after signing the Tripartite Pact, and it consisted of Germany, Italy, and Japan.
  • 1931 - Japan Invades Manchuria

    1931 - Japan Invades Manchuria
    After dealing with overpopulation and economic struggles Japan used an explosion at the South Manchuria Railway as an act of Chinese violence against the Japanese, and although instructed by the government to not, the Japanese army invaded and occupied Manchuria, leaving nearby territories in fear.
  • 1933 - Hitler Appointed Chancellor

    1933 - Hitler Appointed Chancellor
    Hitler is appointed Chancellor by President Hindenburg and given the power to create a new government in Germany.
  • 1937 - Japanese Invasion of China (Second Sino-Japanese War)

    1937 - Japanese Invasion of China (Second Sino-Japanese War)
    Although Japan stated invading China in 1931, they didn’t start invading rapidly until 1937. Due to the fact that Japan’s army was much more prepared than China’s, they very quickly gained possession of most ports, large parts of the railroads, and major cities going both east and west. The fierce fighting of the Japanese completely drove the Chinese armies in the Shanghai area in November of 1937.
  • 1937 - Rape of Nanking

    1937 - Rape of Nanking
    After their success in Shanghai Japanese troops moved onto to conquer the city of Nanking. The troops were known for their brutality, which would be proven in this massacre. Murdering and raping hundreds of thousands citizens this massacre proved to the world that Japan’s army was willing to go to extreme lengths to get their victory in China.
  • 1937 - Rape of Nanking Cont.

    The left murdered bodies lying in the streets and worked to completely destroy the city, even killing refugees they promised would be left safe. They installed a puppet government that ruled the Chinese civilians that were left alive which lasted until the end of WWII.
  • 1939 - Ribbentrop/Molotov Pact

    1939 - Ribbentrop/Molotov Pact
    German foreign minister Joachim von Ribbentrop came to Moscow to meet with Stalin and Soviet foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov. Ribbentrop came with a proposal from Hitler the suggested that both countries commit to a nonaggression pact that would last 100 years but Stalin only agreed to 10 years. This agreement also stated either country would not aid a third party and the secret protocol that both parties would expect once Germany invaded Poland.
  • 1939 - Germany Invades Poland

    1939 - Germany Invades Poland
    Beginning their plans to invade Poland on August 23, Germany withheld and after learning of the pact Poland signed with Britain and France to help at any chance of a German attack Germany stepped back and set up a new plan. In the next few days Nazis dressed as Polish troops attacked Germany and murdered camp prisoners in Germany. This event was used in propaganda against Poland and on September 1 Germany began their invasion of Poland.
  • 1939 - Germany Invades Poland Cont.

    After declining the ultimatum that Britain offered them Britain, France, Australia, New Zealand, and India declared war against Germany (Sept. 3). Yet these countries offered little aid and Poland was quickly taken over by Germany’s military strategy of blitzkrieg.
  • 1939 - Soviet Union Invades Poland

    1939 - Soviet Union Invades Poland
    Although Poland continued fighting the Nazis, all hope was lost on September 17 when the Soviet Union began invading Poland from the east. On September 28 the Warsaw Garrison surrendered to Germany and the USSR and Poland was once again divided up by their powerful neighbors.
  • 1939 to 1940 - Germany Blitzkrieg

    1939 to 1940 - Germany Blitzkrieg
    Known as "lightning war", this military tactic used by Germany during the start of WWII (and in multiple other cases) proved very successful for the Germans. It granted them victories in Poland, Belgium, the Netherlands, and France. The tactic consists of using a combination of air force attacks and ground force attacks, with tanks, airplanes, and artillery. After it's successful results Britain, US and other countries adopted this form of fighting, which transformed WWII.
  • 1939 to 1940 - Phoney War

    1939 to 1940 - Phoney War
    A time period between Sep. 3 1939 to May 10, 1940 when not much fighting or battle went on in the Western Front (Britain, France, etc.)
  • 1940 - Katyn massacre

    1940 - Katyn massacre
    After Germany invaded the USSR and broke the non-aggression pact the USSR began forming an army with Poland to attack Germany. The Polish government, which was exiled in London, called for the Soviet Union to use 15,000 Polish soldiers originally put in Soviet Union concentration camps to attack Germany, but the Soviets claimed that all the soldiers ran off to Manchuria and couldn’t be found. In 1943 German Nazis discovered mass graves, in the Katyn forest, of Polish soldiers.
  • 1940 - Katyn Massacre Cont.

    1940 - Katyn Massacre Cont.
    The incident was originally blamed on Germany, but after further examination the bodies were dated back to 1940, a time when the Soviets occupied the Katyn Forest region. Diplomatic relations were broken between Poland and the USSR, and the countless victims of stalinism grew. The horrendous tragedy was one of the largest hoaxes and secrets attempted by the Soviets. The Soviets were able to kill 22,000 Polish soldiers without anyone finding out for 3 years.
  • 1940 - Fall of France

    1940 - Fall of France
    After Germany invaded France on May 10, 1940, it only took the 46 days to completely take over the country. Once Britain ditched them, France knew they couldn't withstand the superior German army, who used Blitzkrieg military tactics and advance artillery to take over the majority of the country. Paris was taken over on June 14 and the prime minister resigned on June 16. On June 25th France finally surrendered to the Germans. This event showed the lack of leadership and strength the Allies had.
  • 1940 - Fall of France Cont.

    France's surrender also allowed Germans to occupy more space and create a larger empire.
  • 1940 - Battle of Dunkirk

    1940 - Battle of Dunkirk
    The heroic battle and evacuation of Dunkirk holds a great place in history. After invading France from Belgium and the Netherlands, Germany began moving in on the coast of France through the English Channel. Although planning to attack right away the German army was given a 3-day halt order, giving Allied troops enough time to evacuate the city. and set up a defensive line. Many swam miles to reach Britain but the evacuation successfully rescued 330,000 Allied troops from falling France.
  • 1940 - Tripartite Pact

    1940 - Tripartite Pact
    Created an allied agreement between Germany, Italy, and Japan.
  • 1941- Attack on Pearl Harbor

    1941- Attack on Pearl Harbor
    The Attack of Pearl Harbor took place on December 7, 1941. This was a tragic day where Japanese planes attacked the United States Naval Base in Hawaii by bombing them. This took the ill-prepared US by surprise and killed over 2,000 Americans. The damage also included the sunkage and demolishment of many ships, aircrafts, battleships, and plenty of land. Japan did this as an attempt to stop the US from continuing to be a threat on natural resources and expansion Japan wanted.
  • 1942 - Bataan Death March

    1942 - Bataan Death March
    Japan's military was advancing quickly and soon came to takeover the Philippines, in which the defeated and forced surrender to Filipino/American force at the Battle of Bataan. After Japan's win they began the Bataan Death March, where the brutally forced thousands of Filipino and American soldiers to march some 66 miles to Camp O' Donnell where they were place in labor camps and forced to work. More than 60,000 soldiers died from starvation, bayonets, disease, etc on the march.
  • 1942 - Bataan Death March Cont.

    The defeat was humiliating for American forces and set the stage for Japans takeover of the Philippines. It coincided with the Attack on Pearl Harbor and proved Japan's power over the allies.
  • 1942- Battle of Stalingrad

    1942- Battle of Stalingrad
    In the Battle of Stalingrad, Nazi Germany and its allies fought against the Soviet Union over the control of a city in southern Russia, Stalingrad. This battle lasted over 5 months and resulted in nearly 2 million deaths. The Soviet Union successfully defended the city of Stalingrad. This was an embarrassing loss for Hitler.
  • 1943 - Warsaw Ghetto Uprising

    1943 - Warsaw Ghetto Uprising
    During the duration of WWII many Jewish ghettos were established throughout eastern Europe. Many were located in Poland and from the years 1941-1943 many of them put up resistance to German troops. In the summer of 1942 the Warsaw Ghetto, located in Warsaw, Poland, began planning for a rebellion against German troops. After discovering what happens to the ghetto members who are deported to camps they decided they wouldn’t put up with it anymore.
  • 1943 - Warsaw Ghetto Uprising Cont.

    They created the Z.O.B (Zydowska Organizacja Bojowa.) and using their small supply of weapons they began their resistance on April 13, 1942 and lasted a month until May 19. They were defeated by the Nazis and deported to the camps. Their success gave a small amount of hope to other ghettos and inspired more rebellion.
  • 1944- D-Day (Normandy Invasion)

    1944- D-Day (Normandy Invasion)
    This event is also known as “the beginning of the end of the war”. On June 6th of 1944, American, British, and Canadian forces landed on five beaches along the coast of France known as the Normandy region. Nearly 4,000 Allied troops lost their lives while around 156,000 Allied troops successfully took over the beaches. Germans phased huge confusion from this event and coming after not knowing what to do.
  • 1945 - Liberation of Concentration Camps

    1945 - Liberation of Concentration Camps
    Beginning 1944, Soviet troops began moving in on German occupied spaces in Poland. The Germans, fearing that their concentration camps would be exposed, burned everything as quickly as possible, but it was too late.The Soviet Union, along with America and Britain, began find the concentration camps, most of which were in Poland, and liberating them. They saved as many prisoners and as much information as possible. The world was finally exposed to the horrendous actions of the Nazis.
  • 1945- Operation Thunderclap

    1945- Operation Thunderclap
    On February 13, 1945, Allied forces attacked the German city of Dresden using more than 3,400 explosives to strategically bomb them. It killed more than 135,000 people and put Germany on the verge of surrender. This became known as one of three single most destructive bombs dropped in WW2. It is believed that the goal of this was mostly used to punish Germany and weaken them.
  • 1945 - Battle of Iwo Jima

    1945 - Battle of Iwo Jima
    The Japanese island Iwo Jima holds the place of one of the longest, hardest fought battles of the U.S. Marines. After multiple days of fighting the Americans defeated the Japanese troops, who heavily fortified and defended the island, and raised the American flag on significant points of the island’s volcano. The miraculous victory gave hope to America and proved that their strength was growing.
  • 1945 - Battle of Okinawa

    1945 - Battle of Okinawa
    The Battle of Okinawa holds a significant place in the history of WWII as it was the last major battle to occur during the war. It was the next battle after Iwo Jima, and the last one to take place in the Ryukyu Islands before the U.S. actually entered Japan. Including fighting on land, air, and in water, the battle lasted until June 22.
  • 1945 - Battle of Okinawa Cont.

    It consisted of multiple casualties on both sides, but the U.S.’s victory gave them the clear path to Japan, which they didn’t plan on entering right away. This battle led to the dropping of the deadliest military weapon in existence at the time. It was also the deadliest battle to occur in the Pacific War.
  • Fate of the Dictators - Mussolini

    Fate of the Dictators - Mussolini
    Benito Mussolini was the first dictator of WWII to fall, early in 1945, after being ousted from politics. He was originally saved by Germans, but when he tried to escape Italy to Spain the communists found and shot him dead, then hung him up for people to spit on him and throw rocks at his deceased body.
  • Fate of the Dictators - Hitler

    Fate of the Dictators - Hitler
    Hitler, after discovering that the Russians were closing in on Germany, escaped to the bunkers of the Chancellery Building to commit his suicide, in order to prevent himself from ending up like Mussolini. He apparently shot himself in the temple, was burned by his soldiers by request, and the rest of his remains were found and destroyed by the Russian Army (contrary to many other theories about Hitler's “death”). As the war so to a close so did the torturous reign of Adolf Hitler.
  • Fate of the Dictators - Hitler

    Fate of the Dictators - Hitler
    Hitler, after discovering that the Russians were closing in on Germany, escaped to the bunkers of the Chancellery Building to commit his suicide, in order to prevent himself from ending up like Mussolini. He apparently shot himself in the temple, was burned by his soldiers by request, and the rest of his remains were found and destroyed by the Russian Army (contrary to many other theories about Hitler's “death”)
  • 1945- VE Day

    1945- VE Day
    May 8th of 1945 marks the day of when German troops throughout Europe finally put down their arms. Both Britain and the US celebrate this day known as Victory in Europe Day. On this day people put out many flags and banners, and rejoiced at the thought of success and that the war was close to over, people could finally see the end! Even parties were held.
  • 1945 - Potsdam Declaration

    1945 - Potsdam Declaration
    On July 26 Great Britain, China and the U.S. announced the Potsdam Declaration to Japan, which was an ultimatum for their surrender and issued the outcome of if they accepted it and if they didn’t,during the Potsdam Conference. Although initially giving a mixed response to the ultimatum, Japan finally accepted it on September 2, after the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It resulted in Japan’s ultimate destiny after WWII freed multiple countries they had taken control of.
  • 1945 - Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

    1945 - Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
    Beginning in 1940 the U.S began funding an atomic weapons development program, which they nicknamed “The Manhattan Project” to protect themselves from rumored nuclear weapons being made in Europe. After the Allies defeated Germany in 1945, it was thought the war has been put to an end, but Japan believed otherwise. They vowed that they would fight bitterly to the end of the war, so America had to make a decision. The only way to put this whole to an end quickly was to use their new atomic bombs.
  • 1945 - Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki Cont.

    1945 - Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki Cont.
    On August 6 U.S. troops dropped “Little Boy” on Hiroshima, but it wasn’t enough to make Japan surrender. So on August 9 “Fat Man” was dropped on the city of Nagasaki and Japan finally surrendered on August 15. Victory in Japan spread quickly, and the war as the world knew it was over, with the official surrender being signed on September 2.
  • 1945 - VJ Day

    1945 - VJ Day
    Known as Victory over Japan Day, this holiday was celebrated even before September 2 all over the world (except Japan, Germany, etc.). But on it’s official date, Sept. 2, people all over the world viewed a day with no more fighting and complete joy. It didn’t put an end to the fears surrounding the war, nor did it fix other problems experienced in the world even before the war, but after long years of fighting it was good to finally be able to celebrate.
  • 1945 - VJ Day Cont.

    1945 - VJ Day Cont.
    VJ Day also represents other holidays in various countries, such as in Korea it’s Independence Day and in Australia it’s VP Day (Victory in the Pacific). This marks the beginning of America’s dominating world power status and the end of the war.
  • Creation of the United Nations

    Creation of the United Nations
    On October 24, 1945 fifty-one member states joined the United Nations, an intergovernmental organization that replaced the League of Nations. Yet these state members met even earlier in 1942 and signed the Declaration of the UN, where they agreed to use all their resources again the Axis Powers. When they were officially established in 1945 the members agreed that their goal was to create peace among the worlds powers and prevent anything such as WWII or WWI from ever happening again.
  • Creation of the United Nations Cont.

    Unlike the League of Nations, Russia and America played a large role in the creation of this organization. The establishment now has 193 state members.
  • Fate of the Dictators - Tojo

    Fate of the Dictators - Tojo
    Although Japan’s dictator was really truly it’s military, who attacked China at the beginning of WWII without the emperor’s consent, their leader was Hideki Tojo. Appointed as Minister for War in 1940, a Prime Minister in 1941, the military general took aim at the U.S., who he saw as weak, but was proven wrong during the surrender of Japan in 1945.
  • Fate of the Dictators - Tojo Cont.

    While attempting to avoid U.S.troops by committing suicide, the honorary way of a Japanese soldier, he missed his heart with the gunshot attempt and was nursed back to help by Americans. His people now saw him as a coward and looked down on their previous leader, who was charged of multiple war crimes and executed on December 23, 1948.
  • Creation of NATO

    Creation of NATO
    Known as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, NATO was established in 1949. It’s creators, America, Canada, and other Western European nations, made the alliance in order to protect themselves from possible expansion of the communist Soviet Union. In the next few years the USSR created a rival alliance, the Warsaw Pact. NATO would go on to play a large role in the Cold War.
  • Fate of the Dictators - Stalin

    Fate of the Dictators - Stalin
    Stalin was the last of the WWII dictators to go, living until the age of 73, until the year 1953. After the war he remained effective in power, governing as a brutal Soviet dictator. Finally, to the relief of the people, he suffered a heart attack on March 1 and fought until March 5. He is remembered as the Russian protector from the Nazis, but also as a Russian mass murderer.
  • The Warsaw Pact

    The Warsaw Pact
    After the creation of NATO the Soviet Union realized the threat it was facing and created the Warsaw Pact, forcing all its East European states into the pact. Signed in Warsaw, Poland the pact emphasized that each country in it should protect themselves if an enemy were to ever attack. The USSR controlled organization was unsuccessful and by the 1980’s countries began rebelling against the USSR and leaving the pact. By 1991 it had officially disbanded, along with the dissolution of the USSR.