World War 2 Timeline

  • Japan’s Invasion of China

    Japan’s Invasion of China
    A clash between Chinese and Japanese troops in North China that was followed by indications of intensified military activity on the part of Japan.
  • Germany invades Poland

    Germany invades Poland
    Germany used over 2,000 tanks and 1,000 planes to brake Poland's defenses and advance to Warsaw.
  • German Blitzkrieg on Soviet Union

    German Blitzkrieg on Soviet Union
    Hitler’s failed Blitzkrieg against the Soviet Union was one of the turning points of the war.
  • Battle of Britain

    Battle of Britain
    The successful defense of Great Britain against the air raids conducted by the German Air Force.
  • Tripartite Pact

    Tripartite Pact
    The pact signed by Germany, Italy, and Japan to become allies and provide mutual assistance for one another.
  • Lend-Lease Act

    Lend-Lease Act
    The principal means for providing U.S. military aid to foreign nations during World War II.
  • Germany Takes Leningrad

    Germany Takes Leningrad
    Germans surrounde the city of Leningrad and surrounds them, forcing many of the citizens to starve to death.
  • Bombing of Pearl Harbor

    Bombing of Pearl Harbor
    Hundreds of Japanese fighter planes attacked the American naval base at Pearl Harbor near Honolulu, Hawaii just before 8 a.m.
  • Formation of the U.N.

    Formation of the U.N.
    Representatives of 26 nations at war with the Axis powers met in Washington to sign the Declaration of the United Nations.
  • Wannsee Conference

    Wannsee Conference
    Nazi Party and German government officials gathered in Wannsee to discuss what they called the "Final Solution of the Jewish Question."
  • Battle of Midway

    Battle of Midway
    The strategic high water mark of Japan's Pacific Ocean war.
  • D-Day

    D-Day
    The day that the Battle of Normandy (resulted in the Allied liberation of Western Europe from Nazi Germany’s control) began.
  • Yalta Conference

    Yalta Conference
    Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin made important decisions regarding the future progress of the war and the postwar world.
  • Iwo Jima/Okinawa

    Iwo Jima/Okinawa
    The two islands that were crucial to the invasion of Japan.
  • Hitler’s Suicide

    Hitler’s Suicide
    Adolf Hitler, dictator of Germany, burrowed away in a refurbished air-raid shelter, consumed a cyanide capsule, then shot himself with a pistol.
  • VE Day

    VE Day
    The formal celebration of the Allies' victory in Europe during World War II.
  • Potsdam Conference

    Potsdam Conference
    The Big Three (Stalin, Churchill, and Truman) met in Potsdam, Germany to negotiate terms for the end of the war
  • Atomic Bombing of Hiroshima & Nagasaki

    Atomic Bombing of Hiroshima & Nagasaki
    The United States used atomic bombs to flatten the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and kill tens of thousands of people.
  • VJ Day

    VJ Day
    It was announced that Japan had surrendered unconditionally to the Allies, ending World War II.
  • Truman Doctrine

    Truman Doctrine
    President Truman established that the United States would provide political, military and economic assistance to all democratic nations under threat from authoritarian forces.
  • Marshall Plan

    Marshall Plan
    A call for a comprehensive program to rebuild Europe.
  • NATO

    NATO
    An intergovernmental military alliance based on the North Atlantic Treaty.
  • Mao Zedong & People’s Republic of China

    Mao Zedong & People’s Republic of China
    Naming himself head of state, communist revolutionary Mao Zedong officially proclaims the existence of the People's Republic of China.
  • Korean War

    Korean War
    The Korean War began as a civil war between North and South Korea, but the conflict soon became international.
  • Stalin’s death; Khrushchev

    Stalin’s death; Khrushchev
    After Stalin dies in early March, Khrushchev is selected as one of the five men named to the new office of Secratariat of the Communist Party.
  • Warsaw Pact

    Warsaw Pact
    A treaty establishing a mutual defense organization that put the Soviets in command of the armed forces of the member states.
  • Vietnam War

    Vietnam War
    The prolonged struggle between nationalist forces attempting to unify the country of Vietnam under a communist government and the United States attempting to prevent the spread of communism.
  • Sputnik

    Sputnik
    The Soviet Union launched teh first articial Earth satellite.
  • Bay of Pigs

    Bay of Pigs
    Cuban exiles launched what became a botched invasion at the Bay of Pigs on the south coast of Cuba.
  • Berlin Wall

    Berlin Wall
    A barrier constructed by the German Democratic Republic that completely cut off West Berlin from surrounding East Germany and from East Berlin. It was destoryed on November 9, 1989.
  • Cuban Missile Crisis

    Cuban Missile Crisis
    After the US had placed nuclear missiles in Turkey and Italy, aimed at Moscow, and the failed US attempt to overthrow Cuba, Khrushchev proposed the idea of placing Soviet nuclear missiles in Cuba to prevent any future invasion attempt.
  • Gorbachev

    Gorbachev
    Gorbachev became the first president of the Soviet Union in 1990, and won the Nobel Prize for Peace that same year.
  • Soviet Union Falls

    Soviet Union Falls
    The Soviet Union broke into fifteen separate countries.