Timeline: The Second World War

By ericwu
  • Invasion of Poland

    Invasion of Poland
    This event marked the main event that led to Second World War when the German Luftwaffe (airforce) and Panzer (tank) divisions attacked Poland using the "Blitzkrieg" or lightning war method. Britain and France declared war on Germany two days later, but there was little they could do. The Polish airforce was taken out and they did not possess any motorized divisions and still relied heavily on cavalry. on September 17th, the Soviet Union attacked Poland and by the 29th, Poland was eliminated.
  • Period: to

    World War II

    A World War II Timeline depicting some major events.
  • Battle of the Atlantic

    Battle of the Atlantic
    This was the ongoing struggle of Britian trying to keep her sea lanes open from North America and her empire. German Submarines and bombers damaged shipping destroying allied ships faster than they were being produced. During the spring of 1943, German U-boats sank 107 Allied ships in a 20 day period. After this incident, radar became available on naval support groups to guide aircraft and Allied ships were now organized into convoys protected by warships. This created a safe trade route.
  • Winter War

    Winter War
    The Winter War was a military conflict between the Soviet Union and Finland. Although Finland was drastically outnumbered in the terms of soldiers, aircraft, and tanks, the morale and efficiency of the Soviet forces had been crippled by Stalin's Great Purge allowing the Finns to take out many forces. Finland eventually surrendered to the Soviets and signed a peace treaty on the 12th of March, 1940. This was the first event leading up to "Barbarossa", Germany's betrayal.
  • Evacuation of Dunkirk

    Evacuation of Dunkirk
    This was the evacuation of Allied soldiers from the beaches and harbours of Dunkirk when British, French, and Belgian troops were trapped by Hitler's forces. 340,000 troops were evacuated between may 27th and june 4th by the British navy and practically any sea vessel such as fishing boats and ferries. Hitler could have eliminated these forces who were trapped but did not, allowing the Allied troops to live to fight another day as well as providing them with a moral victory.
  • Fall of France

    Fall of France
    The German forces quickly drove through France after Dunkirk. Mussolini declared war on France on June 10th. the French forces were virtually useless to the blitzkrieg strategy. On June 14th, Germany entered Paris and caused France to surrender on the 22nd. France fell quickly because the Maginot Line was useless, France did not use their tanks effectively, the French airforce lacked quality compared to the Luftwaffe, and the extreme left and right groups both opposed the war.
  • Battle of Britain

    Battle of Britain
    This was a battle between Goering's Luftwaffe and the Royal Air Force for the control of the English Channel. The Luftwaffe began air raids on convoys in the Channel in July, air fields on August 12, and radar stations. British planes were outnumbered 3:1 but possessed better fighter planes and had advanced radar. Hitler tried to break the will of the British but failed and postponed the invasion at the end of September. This was the first time Hitler had been denied conquest.
  • Barbarossa

    Hitler attacked a 2000 mile long front from the Baltic to the Black Sea, betraying Stalin and the Nazi-Soviet Non Aggression Pact they formed. Most of the Soviet airforce was destroyed within the first day. The Red Army lacked experienced leadership due to the Purges by Stalin. Stalin invoked the scorched earth policy where the retreating civilians would prevent the Germans from gaining any resources. Eventually Nazi forces were 50 km from Moscow, but had to stop due to the cold Russian winter.
  • Battle of Stalingrad

    Battle of Stalingrad
    Hitler's forces attacked the suburbs of Stalingrad, taking large sections of it. They took each street and each building, resulting in a large amount of casualties on both sides. The Red Army eventually fought back and by February 2nd 1943, 300,000 german troops surrendered. Hitler lost some of his best troops, was denied access to the Caucasus oil fields and was now forced to be defensive. This battle marked the beginning of Eastern Europe's liberation.
  • Battle of El Alamein

    Battle of El Alamein
    Whoever won the battle in El Alamein would control the Suez Canal, a strategic strip of water. General Montgomery and his troops defeated General Rommel and forced the German/Italian troops to retreat across Africa. The Suez Canal was not taken, denying Hitler access to the Middle East’s oil. This victory proved that Hitler’s best forces could be beaten and showed the ability of tank and aircraft warfare in North Africa along with sophisticated strategies and tactics.
  • Italian Campaign

    Italian Campaign
    Allied forces attacked Sicily using an amphibious attack. The Italian and German troops eventually forced to evacuate, clearing a landing for the Italian mainland. Mussolini and his fascist government was deposed of on September 8, 1943 but was saved by Hitler and placed in the North as a puppet dictator. Allied forces would take Rome on June 4, 1945 and Mussolini would be captured in late April by partisans. This occupied many German troops, making them unavailable to defend France.
  • Normandy Invasion

    Normandy Invasion
    175,000 men would be involved in an amphibious assault. Allied troops had to take five beaches: beaches named Utah and Omaha were taken by the Americans, Gold and Sword by the British, and Canada took Juno. Allies were able to capture all of these beaches by the end of the day. This event is also known as Operation Overlord, D-Day, opening a Second Front, and "The Longest Day". The event was initially supposed to take place a day earlier, but was delayed due to weather issues.
  • Battle of the Bulge

    Battle of the Bulge
    The Battle of the Bulge was the last major offensive by the Germans, launched towards an Allied front in the Ardennes, Belgium. 200,000 German troops attacked 80,000 Allies but were stopped on Christmas day 60 miles in. Bombers flew over Germany nonstop and invasions took place. Soviet and American forces met south of Berlin in April, cutting the German military in two. Hitler committed suicide on April 30, Berlin fell to the Soviets on May 2, and Germany unconditionally surrendered on May 7.