World War 2 Timeline

  • The Anschluss

    The Anschluss
    In order to unite all German speaking countries, Adolf Hitler annexed the country of Austria into Germany, joining the two countries under his rule.
  • Period: to

    World War 2 Era

    A timeline showing and describing important dates within World War 2.
  • Treaty of Munich

    Treaty of Munich
    In order to attempt to satiate Germany before it went to war, a settlement was reached between Germany, Italy, France, and Great Britain that allowed the annexation of Sudetenland into Germany.
  • Britain Rearms

    Britain Rearms
    Britain began to re-arm itself in face of the conflict with Germany. It also created an official government plan to establish a chain of early-warning radar stations along the east coast of Britain.
  • Hitler's Invasion of Czechoslovakia

    Hitler's Invasion of Czechoslovakia
    Under the ruse of helping uprisings of the Slovak in Czechoslovakia, Hitler marched his armies into the country and began to occupy it, against the terms of the Munich Treaty.
  • The Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact

    The Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact
    A neutrality pact between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union signed in 1939. Hitler wanted this in order to invade Poland without having to deal with the Soviet Union.
  • Hitler Invades Poland

    Hitler Invades Poland
    Under the claim of a defensive action, Hitler invaded and attacked Poland, bombing its airfields, and attacking its navel forces.
  • France and Britain Declare War

    France and Britain Declare War
    Due to the invasion of Poland, Both France and Germany declare war on Germany. This was announced by Neville Chamberlain.
  • The Phoney War

    The Phoney War
    A period of time after the declaration of war on Germany where nothing of note happened.
  • Hitler invades Denmark and Norway

    Hitler invades Denmark and Norway
    Both to intervene in the planned French and British occupation of Norway, and to secure ore and other supplies and routes, Hitler attacks and takes over Both Denmark and Norway.
  • Blitzkrieg

    A quick and concentrated military technique that was earlier tested in the invasion of Poland, The Blitzkrieg was then used by Germany in order to dominate Holland and Belgium.
  • Chamberlain resigns

    Chamberlain resigns
    Through his mostly appeasing stance towards the threat of Hitler, Neville Chamberlain lost most of his political support and resigned his position. His position was taken over by Winston Churchill
  • Dunkirk

    Through the use of naval vessels and civilian boats,British and Allied forces in Europe were forced to evacuate the Dunkirk in order to escape the advancing German army.
  • Battle of Britain

    Battle of Britain
    After attacks on British radar stations and airfields, Germany attempted to destroy the British Royal Air Force. Ultimately, Hitler's attack was defeated due to Britain's air superiority.
  • Italy Joins the Axis Powers

    Italy Joins the Axis Powers
    Spurred by the fall of Germany's success in the war and the possible spoils it might receive, Italy joins the Germany in the Axis Powers and enters World War 2.
  • France signs armistice with Germany

    France signs armistice with Germany
    After Germany devastated regions of France, Marshall Petain signed an armistice with Germany and exited the war under Germany's power.
  • Tripartite Pact

    Tripartite Pact
    The Axis Powers united under the signing of this pact in Berlin. This sealed Germany's alliance with Japan and Italy.
  • British rout Italians in N. Africa

    British rout Italians in N. Africa
    Under the command of General Wavell, British forces pushed back against Italian invasion in a takeover of Northern Africa.
  • Italy and Germany attack Yugoslavia

    Italy and Germany attack Yugoslavia
    Hitler ordered for German and Italian Forces to invade and capture Yugoslavia in order to secure a flank to attack the Soviet Union.
  • Hitler attacks Russia

    Hitler attacks Russia
    In order to further his campaign, such as with attacks against communism and capturing of land and resources, Hitler directs his attacks towards Russia. The Russia was surprised by the attack, but entered into a treaty with Britain, and fought back on the eastern front.
  • Pearl Harbor

    Pearl Harbor
    Japan attacked a U.S. naval base located around Hawaii in order to cripple the U.S. Pacific Fleet. This caused thousands of American casualties and destroyed the Battleship U.S.S.
  • US declares war on Japan

    US declares war on Japan
    Because of the attack on Pearl Harbor by Japanese forces, The U.S joins World War 2 on Britain's side.
  • Japanese take Singapore

    Japanese take Singapore
    Japan invaded and captured the British Stronghold of Singapore. This was one of the worst British defeats and resulted in tens of thousands of British troops being captured.
  • Battle of Midway

    Battle of Midway
    The United States defended against a Japanese attack on Midway Atoll. The U.S. was able to destroy multiple Japanese aircraft carriers and begin to push back against Japan's Pacific advance.
  • Allies in N. Africa

    Allies in N. Africa
    Winston Churchill gave General Alexander the orders to destroy the German and Italian armies. In order to accomplish this, he built up supplies in Egypt an Libya. Alexander then transferred the campaign to General Montgomery.
  • Battle of El Alamein

    Battle of El Alamein
    A battle fought between commanders Montgomery and Rommel lead to allied victory in favor of Montgomery. This prompted both a retreat of the retreat of the Afrika Korps and The German surrender in North Africa.
  • Allies push into N. Africa

    Allies push into N. Africa
    The U.S. and Britain decided to fully wipe the German forces from North Africa. Under the lead of General Dwight Eisenhower the Allies took Algeria and Morocco back, and started heavily pressuring German forces.
  • Battle of Stalingrad

    Battle of Stalingrad
    In a battle for the Soviet city of Stalingrad, German forces attacked the city in order to secure oil fields. However, the Soviet Union successfully defended the city. This ended the German offense and marked the point in the war when the Allies gained the advantage.
  • Axis surrender N Africa

    Axis surrender N Africa
    After the defeat and surrender of the 1st Italian army, the rest of the Italian armies were swiftly defeated. This eliminated the Axis presence in Africa and released over 275,000 prisoners of war.
  • Allies invade Sicily

    Allies invade Sicily
    Code named operation Husky, the Allies began to invade Sicily in order to secure a stepping stone into conquering Italy.
  • Allies take Sicily

    Allies take Sicily
    After days of fighting, and with the help of an elaborate distraction called Operation Mincemeat which helped re-direct German troops, the Allies finally completely took Sicily.
  • Italy surrenders

    Italy surrenders
    Mussolini, the leader of Italy was replaced with General Pietro Badoglio. Italy's surrender to the Allied forces was signed in secret by a representative of Badoglio. However, Hitler launched his operation Axis, in which he occupied Italy and reinstated Mussolini as the head of the puppet government set up in Italy. This blocked further allied advance into Italy and caused Italian surrender to German forces.
  • Allies meet at Tehran

    Allies meet at Tehran
    In the first large meeting of the Allied leaders held in Tehran Iran, the allies came together in order to discuss the war and Germany.
  • Leningrad relieved

    Leningrad relieved
    In order to lift a German siege on the city of Leningrad the Soviet Union repelled German forces from the outskirts of the city. This also left Germany open for Russia to begin advancing from the west.
  • Rome liberated

    Rome liberated
    Rome was the first major city to be taken back from Germany by the Allied forces. American Soldiers, especially members of the 5th army, successfully captured the city after months of combat.
  • D-Day

    This day marks when the combined allied Forces of Britain, America, and others all attacked the beaches of Normandy. In one of the largest military assaults in history, more than 150,000 allied soldiers took the Normandy region. This marked the turning point of the war and the beginning of the end of the war in Europe.
  • Japanese evicted from Burma

    Japanese evicted from Burma
    Early in the war, Burma had been overtaken by Japanese force. But, British forces, along with the help of Chinese soldiers, reclaimed the city and ended its Japanese occupation.
  • Paris liberated

    Paris liberated
    Because of the French 2nd Armored Division and the U.S. 4th Infantry Division the four years of German occupation of Paris came to an end. The Allied troops easily took the city without much resistance. Hitler ordered a German commander to blow up famous monuments, but the commander refused and signed a formal surrender.
  • V2 Flying Bombs

    V2 Flying Bombs
    This was the world's first long-range guided ballistic missile. It was developed by Germany as a vengeance weapon in order to retaliate for allied bombings. The first bombs was launched at London and killed 3 people.
  • Battle of the Bulge

    Battle of the Bulge
    The last major German offensive of the war. German forces selected a weak spot in the advancing line of American forces. This cost Germany crippling losses of men and equipment.
  • Allies cross the Rhine

    Allies cross the Rhine
    The allied forces were forced to cross the Rhine as a large assault on Oppenhiem. They were able to surprise German troops as they did not prepare artillery beforehand. The allies were able to encircle the area due to troops crossing the Rhine at different areas.
  • Death of Roosevelt

    Death of Roosevelt
    After his health substantially declined in the years of war, President Franklin Roosevelt died of Intracerebral hemorrhage. President Harry Truman took over after Roosevelt's death and found out about a secret bomb program that Roosevelt was working on.
  • Russians reach Berlin

    Russians reach Berlin
    Due to Germany's looming defeat, Russia began to forward its advances into the west. After a race to the city between two Soviet marshals, the Russian forces captured the city with some difficulty.
  • Mussolini captured and executed

    Mussolini captured and executed
    The fascist leader of Italy, Mussolini, was captured with his wife by Italian partisans due to him propping up his rule though Hitler's power. He was executed though firing squad after trying to flee the country.
  • Hitler commits suicide

    	Hitler commits suicide
    Possibly due to the losing of the war and the incoming pressure of the allied forces, Hitler and his wife choose to commit suicide. They consumed cyanide capsules and Hitler shot himself in the head.
  • German forces Begin to surrender

    German forces Begin to surrender
    Many German forces begin to surrender to allied forces due to greater and greater chances of defeat at allied hands. The suicide of Hitler was the tipping point at which many German forces began to stop fighting.
  • German forces surrender

    German forces  surrender
    In Italy, German forces completely surrendered. An agreement of peace with western troops was attempted to be made in order to keep fighting Russian forces, however, this German offer was denied.
  • Donitz offers unconditional surrender

    Donitz offers unconditional surrender
    Due to looming defeat at the hand of the allies, General Alfred Jodl, who was representing German high command, signed and issued the complete surrender of all German forces.
  • V.E. day

    V.E. day
    This commemorates the victory of the allies over Germany and celebrates the end of the war. Many German soldiers halted in a cease fire, and those that sought to escape were captured. Over 2 million soldiers were captured.
  • Churchill loses election

    Churchill loses election
    Winston Churchill was forced to step down as prime minister of the United Kingdom as his party lost the vote to Clement Atlee's labour party. It was found that many disliked him due to how much focus he put on winning the war over other tasks.
  • Atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima

    	Atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima
    Due to the refusal of Japanese officers to surrender, President Truman found a way to bring a quick end to the war. In order to spare American casualties, he utilized the atomic bomb that was being developed and dropped it onto the city of Hiroshima.
  • Russia declares war on Japan

    Russia declares war on Japan
    The soviet Union declared war on Japan in order to put an end to its threat. It began to march 1 million troops toward the city of Manchuria which was under occupation by Japanese troops. This surprised Japan and ended it horrible casualties.
  • Atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki

    Atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki
    Due to the lax stance Japan's war council took on the first bombing, The U.S. decided to push further and release another bomb on the city of Nagasaki. This pushed the emperor of Japan to go to the war council and push for a surrender personally.
  • Japanese surrender

    Japanese surrender
    Most likely due to the bombing and the emperor's insistence of surrender, Japan finally formally surrendered to the Allies. This was officially announced over Japanese radio that day.
  • MacArthur accepts Japan’s surrender

    MacArthur accepts Japan’s surrender
    Appointed by President Truman, U.S. General Douglas MacArthur oversaw Japans official surrender. This was the point that all the major parties of the Axis had surrendered and officially marked the end to World War 2.