World War II

  • Mein Kampf

    Hitler's autobiography, written during his stint in jail after the Beer Hall Pusch, is filled with anti-Semitism and a psychology for manipulating the masses of civilians. This event led to war because it instilled very radical ideas in Hitler's mind.
  • Period: to

    World War II

    This timeline depicts the events during Hitler and the Nazis' reign and World War II.
  • Stock market crash

    People bought shares in popular companies with easy credit. To slow speculation, the Federal Reserve Bank tightened available credit. Brokers had to demand that their clients pay back the money they used to buy stock. The market soon collapsed.
  • The Great Depression

    The Great Depression was a result of the stock market crash. High tarriffs and budget cuts were common. Millions of people were unemployed, and small businesses and firms began to fail. This event led to war because the economic system failed, making everyone very vulerable.
  • Japanese invasion of Manchuria

    Japanese expansion began in September 1931 with an invasion of Manchuria. The Japanese officers blew up a railroad train in the Chinese province of Manchuria. The army then used the explosion as an excuse to take over the territory totally.
  • Japanese expansion begins

    From 1931 on, Japan continued to attack China. Ideologically, the Japanese military leadership saw itself as fully justified in its expansionism because of unfair Western domination in East Asia.By 1936-1937, Japan was spending 47% of its budget on arms. This event would lead to war because Japanese would continue to want more land.
  • Hitler comes to power

    Hitler had won a lot of support from conservatives by making the Reichstag look bad and targeted Jews, Communists, and Social Democrats. In 1933, Nazis and Communists did very well, but conservatives loathed the Communists and favored the Nazis, electing Hitler the chancellor of Germany. This event led to war because Hitler would become a radical dictator.
  • Enabling Act

    The Enabling Act suspended the constitution for four years and allowed Nazi laws to take effect without parliamentary approval. The Enabling Act was a way to advance the Nazi's creation of a people's community of like-minded Aryans, the "pure race". The Enabling Act would lead to war because of this.
  • Nuremberg Laws

    The Nuremberg Laws were a series of anti-Semitic laws passed by Germany in 1935 that deprived Jews of citizenship and prohibited marriage between Jews and other Germans. Jews were forced into slave labor, evicted from their apartments, and prevented from buying most clothing and food. This event would lead to war because the Nazis would wage war on minorities to create their perfect "Aryan" race.
  • Ethiopian War

    Benito Mussolini invades Ethiopia to demonstrate his regime's youth and vigor and to raise Italy's standing. Ethiopians resisted, but their capital, Addis Ababa, fell in the spring of 1936. This event would lead to war because Ethiopians would oppose the invasion, and Italy would only gain more power.
  • Remilitarization of the Rhineland

    Hitler defiantly sent his troops into what was supposed to be a permanently demilitarized zone in the Rhineland bordering France. The inhabitants greeted the Germans with wild enthusiasm. The French protested to the League of Nations, but the British simply accepted the German's move. The two dictators appeared as powerful heroes. This event would lead to war because the Rhineland supported the Germans and would be ready for conflict. They would be on their side when conflict came.
  • Spanish Civil War begins

    In 1936, a group of army officers led by General Francisco Franco staged an uprising against the republican government in Madrid. Hitler and Mussolini sent military personnel in support of Franco, gaining the opportunity to test new weapons and to practice the terror bombing of civilians. This would lead to war because of the Germans' success in testing terror bombing and new weapons.
  • Rape of Nanjing

    Hundreds of thousands of Chinese were massacred in the "Rape of Nanjing"--an atrocity named because of the brutality toward girls and women and other acts of torture perpetrated by the Japanese. This event would lead to war because of the atrocity of what the Japanese did.
  • Anschluss

    Anschluss was a German-Austrian merger after the Paris peace settlement stripped them of their empire. Hitler's troops simply entered Austria, and the annexation began the so-called unification of Aryan peoples into one greater German nation.
  • Munich Conference

    As the October deadline for Czechoslovakia approached, British prime minister Neville Chamberlain, French premier Edouard Daladier, and Benito Mussolini met with Hitler at Munich and agreed not to oppose Germany's claim to the Sudetenland. This event led to war because the Sudetenland would not like the other countries simply handing the country over to the Germans.
  • Appeasement

    Appeasement is the strategy of preventing a war by making concessions for legitimate grievances (in this case, the supposed insult to Germans in the Peace of Paris). Hitler warned that Czechoslovakia would have to grant autonomy to the German-populated border region, the Sudetenland, or face German invasion. The Western powers did not interfere.
  • Appeasement/Invasion of Czechoslovakia

    Hitler waited until March 1939 to invade the rest of Czechoslovakia. Britain and France responded by promising military support to Poland, Romania, Greece, and Turkey in case of Nazi nvasion. This event would lead to war because Czechoslovakia would be invaded, and Britain and France made a treaty to oppose the Nazi party.
  • Spanish Civil War ends

    Splinter groups and random armies with which the Republic defended itself could not hold, while the aid Franco received ultimately proved decisive. His troops defeated the republicans in 1939.
  • Japanese expansion ends

    On this date, Japan signed the Tripartite Pact with Germany and Italy, entering the "Axis" powers. This event would lead to war because Japan would be on the German side of the conflict, and the Germans would stop at nothing to create a perfect race.