Aug 23, 1939 - The Soviet Union and Germany signed a non-aggression pact, which eased the way for Adolf Hitler's invasion of Poland.
World War II Begins
Sep 1, 1939 - World War II began when Adolf Hitler sent the German army into Poland.
Britain and France Declare War
Sep 3, 1939 - Great Britain and France declared war on Germany.
Wartime Prices and Trade Board
Sep 3, 1939 - The Wartime Prices and Trade Board was established to control inflation and to ensure that social unrest did not interfere with the upcoming war effort.
Canada Declares War on Germany
Sep 10, 1939 - Canada declared war on Germany, 7 days after Britain and France. The first Canadian troops left for England in December. Although "obliged to go to war at Britain's side," King's delay of a week was a symbolic gesture of independence.
First Troops Sail for Britain
Dec 10, 1939 - The first Canadian troop convoy sailed for Britain escorted out of Halifax by HMC ships Ottawa, Restigouche, Fraser and St. Laurent.
Air Training Plan Established
Dec 17, 1939 - The British Commonwealth Air Training Plan was established. Operating from 1940-45 the BCTATP trained some 131 000 airmen at over 350 schools - one-half the total Commonwealth aircrew - a decisive Canadian contribution to victory in WWII.
1st Division Lands in Europe
1939 - Troops of the 1st Canadian Division landed in England.
Liberals Win Federal Election
Mar 26, 1940 - In the federal election, the Liberals retained power with 178 seats. The Conservatives stayed at 39, the CCF won 8 and the Social Credit 10. King remained prime minister.
Vancouver Shipyards Gear up for War
Apr 11, 1940 - Vancouver shipyards began to build corvettes and minesweepers for action in the Battle of the Atlantic.
Evacuation from Dunkirk
May 26, 1940 to Jun 4, 1940 - In one of the epic events of naval history, some 300 000 British and Allied forces were evacuated from Dunkirk.
National Resources Mobilization
Jun 21, 1940 - The National Resources Mobilization Act responded to the public clamour for a more effective Canadian war effort that arose in the wake of the stunning German victories in Belgium and France.
Conscription Act Passed
Jun 21, 1940 - Parliament passed the National Resources Mobilization Act, providing for the conscription of able-bodied men for home defence. It was amended in 1942 by Bill 80, giving the government power to conscript for overseas service.
Women Enlist in Army
Jun 27, 1941 to Dec 31, 1941 - The federal government passed legislation that allowed women to enlist in the army.
Canada Declares War on Romania
Dec 7, 1941 - Canada declared war on Romania, Hungary, Finland and Japan.
Japanese Attack Hong Kong
Dec 8, 1941 - The Japanese attacked the mainland (Kowloon) side of Hong Kong, and Hong Kong itself on December 18. Hong Kong surrendered on December 25. Numerous Canadians were killed or died in Japanese prison camps.
Canada Declares War on Japan
Dec 8, 1941 - Canada joined Great Britain and the US in declaring war on Japan after the Japanese attacked the US Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor on Dec 7.
Hong Kong Surrenders
Dec 25, 1941 - Hong Kong surrendered to the Japanese forces. Of 1975 Canadians who surrendered, 557 were killed or died in prison camps.
Wartime Prices and Trade Board
1941 - The Wartime Prices and Trade Board established almost complete control over the economy.
Feb 26, 1942 - The federal government announced that all people of Japanese origin living in the coastal regions of British Columbia would be relocated to the BC interior or inland farming areas.
Aug 19, 1942 - Canadian and British troops raided the French port of Dieppe to test German defences. The raid lasted only 9 hours, but of the nearly 5000 Canadian soldiers involved, more than 900 were killed and 1874 taken prisoner.
RCAF Bomber Group
Jan 1, 1943 - The airmen of the Canadian bomber squadrons became part of 6 Group, the first non-British formation to become part of the RAF Bomber Command. They flew their first operation on January 3/4 laying mines off the Frisian Islands.
Invasion of Sicily
Jul 10, 1943 - The Canadian 1st Infantry Division and the 1st Tank Brigade took part in the invasion of Sicily.
Battle of Ortona
Dec 20, 1943 to Dec 27, 1943 - Infantry from the Loyal Edmonton Regiment and the Seaforth Highlanders of Canada attacked Ortona, Italy. The German forces withdrew on the night of December 27.
Normandy Landings (D-Day)
Jun 6, 1944 - The 3rd Canadian Division and 2nd and 3rd Armoured Brigades landed on the beaches at Courcelles, St Aubin and Bernières-sur-Mer on the Normandy Coast as part of the invasions that led to the liberation of Europe from Nazi occupation.
Liberation of Dieppe
Sep 1, 1944 - The 1st Canadian Army liberated Dieppe, scene of the previous disaster.
Burns in Italy
1944 - General E.L.M. Burns led the 1st Canadian Corps during operations in the Liri Valley, leading to the capture of Rome.
Migration Restrictions in Canada
1944 - Canadians were prohibited by law from moving to certain over-populated cities, including Victoria, New Westminster, BC, Hamilton, Toronto, Ottawa and Hull, Québec, without prior permission.
Canadian Casualties Announced
Jan 16, 1945 - Canadian casualties from the start of the Second World War to November 30, 1944, were reported at 78 985, including 28 040 killed.
First Conscripts Overseas
Jan 20, 1945 - The first of Canada's home defence forces conscripted for overseas duty arrived in Britain. The government confirmed that over 6000 "zombies" absent without leave in Canada would be classed as deserters.
Canada Attends UN Conference
Mar 5, 1945 - Canada was invited to attend the United Nations Conference in San Francisco.
Air Training Plan Closes
Mar 29, 1945 - A ceremony in Ottawa marked the closing of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan. One of Canada's major contributions to the Second World War, the plan trained 130 000 pilots.
End of World War II in Europe
May 7, 1945 - Hostilities ceased in Europe. The unconditional surrender of Germany was signed at Rheims on May 7, and it was ratified at Berlin on May 8.
May 7, 1945 - The Germans surrendered unconditionally to the western Allies, and to the Soviets the next day.
Canada Joins United Nations
Jun 26, 1945 - Canada joined the United Nations at its founding.
Japanese Formally Surrender
Sep 2, 1945 - The formal surrender of the Japanese took place on the battleship USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay, bringing World War II to a close. Altogether 1 086 771 Canadians, including 49 252 women, served in the armed forces. Total fatalities were 41 992.
Sep 5, 1945 - A Soviet cipher clerk, Igor Gouzenko, defected from the Soviet Embassy in Ottawa with secret documents suggesting the evidence of a Soviet spy ring in Canada.