World War 2 Timeline

  • Great Depression Begins

    Great Depression Begins
    This economic depression began with “Black Tuesday” 10/29/29 when the stock markets feel sharply with many stocks falling more than 75% creating the worst economic crisis in history affecting countries and millions of people around the world. The depression held the US in its grip until America’s entry into WWII in 1941 and during this period millions in America experienced starvation, homelessness, and extreme suffering.
  • Hitler becoms Chancellor of Germany

    Hitler becoms Chancellor of Germany
    Hitler was appointed Reich Chancellor by President Hindenberg as head of the NSDAP (Nazi) and DNVP (German Nationalists). At this point, Hitler then overthrew the constitution and took control of the government declaring himself der Fuhrer (the Leader.)
  • Roosevelt first elected president

    Roosevelt first elected president
    FDR waited until March to be inaugurated bc 20th Amendment, changed the inauguration date to January, was ratified too late for FDR. Immediately after inauguration, FDR worked w/Congress in session called 100 Days &took immediate steps to boost public confidence by declaring a bank holiday communicating directly with the public in series of radio talks& sending new bills to Congress to bring relief and reform to economy.
  • Nuremberg Laws

    Nuremberg Laws
    In Nuremberg, Bavaria these laws put into place by Hitler and the Nazi Party changed the status of German Jews to that of Jews in Germany, thus “legally” establishing the framework in Germany that led to the segregation, confinement, and extermination of Jews known as the Holocaust.
  • o Hitler & Mussolini form the Rome-Berlin Axis

    o	Hitler & Mussolini form the Rome-Berlin Axis
    This alliance was formed when Hitler and Mussolini officially announced that they were allies and that Italy would stand by Germany in case of war. The pact distanced Italy from other European governments and increased tension in the area. This pact may have caused Hitler to feel more secure in his efforts and set the stage for WWII.
  • Britain’s appeasement of Germany

    Britain’s appeasement of Germany
    Ended 1939. Period marked by England’s Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain who made an agreement with Hitler that Hitler would not seek to seek more territory after taking Sudetenland, a region of Czechoslovakia where many people of German descent lived. Chamberlain incorrectly believed that he had achieved “Peace in our time’ thinking that Hitler would stop with Sudetenland.
  • Japan Invades China

  • Germany invades Poland - blitzkrieg (start of WWII)

    Germany invades Poland - blitzkrieg (start of WWII)
    On Sept. 1st 1939 Germany invades Poland signaling the start of WWII and the Polish army is defeated in weeks. Warsaw surrenders to Germany on Sept. 27th 1939. England and France, standing by their guarantee of Poland’s border declare war on Germany on Sept. 3rd, 1939 two days after Germany invades Poland.
  • Germany invades Austria

    Germany invades Austria
    When Germany took over Austria many Austrian and German residents welcomed the unification. This invasion however, violated the Versailles Treaty and angered other European Leaders. Following the invasion of Austria, Hitler set his sights on Czechoslovakia.
  • Kristallnacht

    Lasted til Nov. 10. Kristallnacht means “Night of Broken Glass” and was when the Nazis staged a vicious pogrom or state sanctioned anti-Jewish riots when the windows of untold numbers of synagogues, Jewish owned stores, community centers, and homes were plundered and destroyed killing at least 91 Jewish people. Police and fire brigades stood by idly while this event happened creating a turning point in history by marking the intensification of Nazi anti-Jewish policy culminating in the Holocaust
  • Germany & Soviet Union have a nonaggression pact

    Germany & Soviet Union have a nonaggression pact
    This pact guaranteed that Germany and Russia would not attack each other. By signing it, Germany protected itself from having to fight a two front war in soon to be WWII and Russia was awarded land including parts of Poland and the Baltic States. The pact was broken when Nazi Germany attacked Russia on June 22, 1941.
  • o Germany invades Denmark, Norway, Belgium, and France (Vichy France)-

    o	Germany invades Denmark, Norway, Belgium, and France (Vichy France)-
    Ended in June. In April of 1940 Germany invaded Denmark and Norway, followed by Belgium in May, and France in June. These invasions were all part of Germany’s new method of warfare called “blitzkrieg” or “lightning war” which involved invading a country with speed and surprise using tanks, troops, and planes.
  • o German air force (Luftwaffe) bombs London and other civilian targets in the Battle of Britain

    o	German air force (Luftwaffe) bombs London and other civilian targets in the Battle of Britain
    The Battle of Britain Day was the first time the German Luftwaffe bombs London in a large attack. The RAF scrambles and is able to shoot down a number of German planes. By using radar, the RAF is able to continue to fight off the German air force despite repeated bombings in Britain through May, 1941 and Britain never surrenders.
  • Japan joins the Axis Powers

    Japan joins the Axis Powers
    Japan and Germany became allies and Japan hope to obtain technology from Germany to transform coal into fuel. They also wanted to create a hegemony or dominance over Eurasia.
  • Lend-Lease Act

    Lend-Lease Act
    This act authorized the US president to transfer arms or any other defense money to the government of any country who’s defense the president deemed vital to the defense of the US. It enabled the British to keep fighting Germany until events led to America entering the conflict. It brought the US one step closer to entry to the war.
  • Tuskegee Airmen

    Tuskegee Airmen
    The Tuskegee Airmen were first activated and were the first black servicemen to serve as military aviators in the US armed forces. They formed the 99th fighter squadron and consisted of 996 pilots who earned over 150 Distinguished Flying Crosses for their achievements. They helped pave the way for eventual integration of US forces under Harry Truman in 1948.
  • Germany invades the Soviet Union

    Germany invades the Soviet Union
    Germany inflicts heavy casualties on Soviet troops until December 1941 when the harshest winter in decades stops the Nazi advance.
  • The Nazis implement the “Final Solution”

    The Nazis implement the “Final Solution”
    German Herman Goering under Hitler’s orders gives instructions to prepare German authorities to prepare for the murder of every Jewish person under German rule. Concentration camps were built and Jewish people were forced into these camps to work and/or to be slaughtered.
  • Pearl Harbor

    Pearl Harbor
    “The day that will live in infamy” FDR, Japan in surprise attacked American Naval Base @Pearl Harbor, Hawaii using fighter planes w/barrage lasting 2 hours. 20 American naval vessels including 8 battle ships, almost 200 planes destroyed& over 2,000 American soldiers killed w/another 1,000 soldiers wounded. Next day FDR asked congress to declare war on Japan and three days later Germany and Italy declare war on the US and America enters WWII.
  • Rosie the Riveter

    Rosie the Riveter
    The pictorial debut of Rosie the Riveter “We Can Do It!” poster which symbolized the millions of American women who became part of the nations labor force working in Munitions factories, ship yards, and offices. She symbolized strong American women at work to help the United States WWII.
  • Japanese-American incarceration

    Japanese-American incarceration
    Executive order 9066 authorized the physical removal of all Japanese Americans on the west coast to remote internment camps. By June there were more than 110,000 Japanese Americans relocated to these camps w/extremely difficult living conditions&poor treatment by many military guards. This period of interment lasted for 2 and ½ years and ended on December 17th 1944 when they were allowed to return to their homes.
  • Bataan Death March

    Bataan Death March
    The US surrenders Bataan peninsula on the Philippine Island of Luzon to the Japanese. Approximately 75,000 Filipino and American Troops on Bataan forced by Japanese to make the arduous 65 mile march to prison camp in intense heat and subjected to harsh treatment by Japanese guards. 10,000 prisoners perished.
  • Manhattan Project

    Manhattan Project
    FDR signs order creating secret project to develop nuclear weapon. Originally named “Development of Substitute Materials” &later known as the Manhattan Project. As a result of this secret project and w/input from Einstein and Fermi, along with physicists from Columbia, University of Chicago, and UC-Berkley, the Nuclear Age began with the first nuclear bomb detonated on July 6th 1945 at Los Alamos, New Mexico.
  • Battle of Midway

    Battle of Midway
    The Battle of Midway begins which was one of the most decisive victories against Japan during WWII. In the four-day sea and air battle, the outnumbered US Pacific Fleet succeeds in destroying four Japanese aircraft carriers and 250 Japanese planes. It was a turning point in the war allowing the Americans to go on attack to liberate lands conquered by Japan.
  • British forces stop the German advance at El Alamein

    British forces stop the German advance at El Alamein
    In the Battle of El Alamein allied forces including the British, Indian, South African, and New Zealand troops, prevent German Field Marshal Rommel’s forces from controlling Egypt. This was a turning point in the War in North Africa.
  • Guadalcanal

    Ended Feb 21, 1943. The Japanese were building an airbase on Guadalcanal in the South Pacific and this 6-month campaign by US Forces was very brutal and fought under difficult climate conditions. The campaign was expensive for both sides and both sides suffered great losses but in the end, the US victory became the first significant land victory against the Japanese and it helped to bring a halt to the Japanese offensive in the Pacific.
  • German forces surrender at Stalingrad

    German forces surrender at Stalingrad
    German 6th Army leader, Von Paulus surrenders in Stalingrad to the Soviet 62nd Army. Diminishing resources, partisan guerilla attacks, and cruel Russian winter had taken their toll on the Germans and their only hope for survival was to surrender. Von Paulus joins the Russians and joins the Committee for Free Germany urging Germans to surrender on other battlegrounds in Russia.
  • D-Day

    Aka Operation Overlord, D-Day was largest seaborne military assault in history&involved 156,000 American, British,&Canadian forces headed by American General Dwight D. Eisenhower who landed on 5 beaches along a 50 mile stretch of heavily fortified coast of Normandy. Allied Forces met heavy German resistance but able to push inland securing safe landing zones for reinforcements.German failure to defend Normandy doomed Hitler’s dream of Nazi controlled "Fortress Europe" &marked end for GermanyWWII
  • Battle of the Bulge

    Battle of the Bulge
    Counter offensive launched by German Army following D-Day defeat. Battle of the Bulge was one of the largest, costliest&bloodiest battles fought by the US in WWII. Germans forces pushed into the poorly- roaded, rugged, heavily forested region of Ardennes, Belgium trying to secure vital bridgeheads and the line defining the Allied Front took on the appearance of a large bulge thus the name, battle of the Bulge. It was an Allied victory but not without huge costs as over 100K US soldiers died.
  • Yalta Conference

    Yalta Conference
    Ended Feb 11. In this meeting British Prime Minister Churchill, Soviet Premier Stalin, and US President FDR, met as WWII was winding down to discuss what to do following Germany’s unconditional surrender. They agreed to set up zones in the conquered nation to be occupied and run by the US, Britain, Russia, and France. Also, they discussed international peacekeeping and what kinds of governments they would set up in eastern Europe after the war.
  • Iwo Jima

    Iwo Jima
    Ended March 26. In this battle the Americans invaded the key island of Iwo Jima, 575 mi. from Japan. They wanted to establish a place for B-29 bombers if they were damaged over Japan to land without refueling and as a base for escort fighters to assist in the bombing campaign. The Japanese fought from a network of caves, elaborate dugouts, tunnels, and under ground installations making them difficult to find and destroy.
  • Okinawa

    This was the last and biggest of the Pacific Island Battles of WWII. It is considered by many to be the most difficult of the pacific campaign and thousands of US (over 18,000) and Japanese troops (over 120,000) died, including the commanding General for the US who died in artillery fire as well as the commanding Japanese general who committed suicide.
  • Roosevelt dies, Truman becomes president

  • Formation of United Nations

    Formation of United Nations
    50 nations met in San Francisco to discuss a new peacekeeping organization to replace the weak and ineffective League of Nations. June 26, 1945- all 50 nations ratified the charter, creating a new international peacekeeping body know n as the “U.N.” President Roosevelt had urged Americans not to turn their backs on the world again. Unlike the League of Nations, the United States is a member of the U.N.
  • Allied forces advance on Berlin, Germany surrenders

    Allied forces advance on Berlin, Germany surrenders
    Ended May 8. On May 2nd the Soviet Army captures Berlin 2 days after Hitler commits suicide. May 4th German forces in Holland, Denmark, and Northwest Germany surrender to British forces. May 7th Germany signs Armistice Agreement marking their surrender in the French city of Reims. German officials also signed separate surrender doc. to Russians in Berlin that same day. May 8th official cessation of fighting and designation of VE-DAY (Victory in Europe) by Allies.
  • Potsdam Conference

    Potsdam Conference
    Ended Aug 2. Allies held the Potsdam Conference to plan the war’s end. Decision was made to put Nazi war criminals on trial.
  • Atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima August 6th 1945 & Nagasaki August 9th 1945

    Atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima August 6th 1945 & Nagasaki August 9th 1945
    On August 6th 1945 after Japanese would not give in to President Truman’s demand to surrender, the b29 bomber, Enola Gay, was authorized to drop an atomic bomb on the industrial city of Hiroshima killing more than 75,000 people and turning 5 sq. miles into a wasteland. The Japanese still refused to surrender and on August 9th 1945 the US drops a second a-bomb on Nagasaki, killing another 40,000 people. On August 14th Japan surrenders and on Sep. 2nd signs official letter of surrender.
  • Japanese officials sign an official letter of surrender on the U.S.S. Missouri, ending World War II

  • Nuremberg Trials

    Nuremberg Trials
    Ended Oct 1, 1946. 24 defendants, including some of Hitler’s top officials. Hermann Goring, creator and head of Gestapo (Secret Police)- charged with crimes agai nst humanity. 19 found guilty, 12 sentenced to death. People are responsible for their own actions, even during war time.
  • Japan Conquers Manchuria in northern China

    Japan Conquers Manchuria in northern China
    Japan desired to be an imperial power and wanted to dominate China economically and politically by securing China’s raw materials and wealth. Starting with the successful invasion of Manchuria in 1937 within 5 months Japan had over one million Chinese under Japanese control and had murdered over 250,000 people. Over next eight years Japan ruled over the areas under control with an iron hand and by the time Japan surrendered in August 1945, over 4 mill. Chinese were dead and 60 mill. homeless.
  • Marshall Plan

    Marshall Plan
    Congress approved the plan put forth by Secretary of State, George Marshall, to help boost European economies. The U.S. gave more than $13 billion to help the nations of Europe get back on their feet.