World war ii

World War II comes to Europe

  • Japan attacks Manchuria

    Japan attacks Manchuria
    The Japanese invasion of Manchuria began on September 18, 1931, when the Kwantung Army of the Empire of Japan invaded Manchuria immediately following the Mukden Incident.
  • Germany and Japan leave League of Nations

    Germany and Japan leave League of Nations
    On October 14, 1933, Germany renounced its role in the Conference for the Reduction and Limitation of Armaments. Japan itself would withdraw from the League of Nations in 1935 to pursue its own greater ambitions in the Far East.
  • US Neutrality Acts

    US Neutrality Acts
    In the 1930s, the United States Government enacted a series of laws designed to prevent the United States from being embroiled in a foreign war by clearly stating the terms of U.S. neutrality. Although many Americans had rallied to join President Woodrow Wilson’s crusade to make the world “safe for democracy” in 1917, by the 1930s critics argued that U.S. involvement in the First World War had been driven by bankers and munitions traders with business interests in Europe.
  • Japan attacks China

    Japan attacks China
    The Second Sino-Japanese War was a military conflict fought primarily between the Republic of China and the Empire of Japan from 1937 to 1945.
  • Germany takes Austria

    Germany takes Austria
    On March 12, 1938, German troops march into Austria to annex the German-speaking nation for the Third Reich.
  • Munich Peace Conference

    Munich Peace Conference
    Hitler had previously started rearming Germany in defiance of the Treaty of Versailles, reoccupied the Rhineland in 1936 and annexed Austria in 1938. He was now determined to seize the Sudetenland, which was in Czechoslovakia but had a substantial German population and important industrial resources.
  • Germany takes Czechoslovakia

    Germany takes Czechoslovakia
    On this day, Hitler’s forces invade and occupy Czechoslovakia. A nation sacrificed on the altar of the Munich Pact, which was a vain attempt to prevent Germany’s imperial aims.
  • Non-Aggression Pact

    Non-Aggression Pact
    On August 23, 1939–shortly before World War II (1939-45) broke out in Europe–enemies Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union surprised the world by signing the German-Soviet Nonaggression Pact, in which the two countries agreed to take no military action against each other for the next 10 years.
  • Germany Invades Poland

    Germany Invades Poland
    On this day in 1939, German forces bombard Poland on land and from the air, as Adolf Hitler seeks to regain lost territory and ultimately rule Poland. World War II had begun.
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    World War II comes to Europe

  • France Falls to the Germans

    France Falls to the Germans
    Just four days into the invasion German troops crossed the Meuse river, and had broken through the French lines. Attempts by the Allies to launch counterattacks by air and land either failed with heavy losses, or were thwarted by the pace of events.
  • Battle of Britain

    Battle of Britain
    The Battle of Britain is the name given to the Second World War defence of the United Kingdom by the Royal Air Force against an onslaught by the German Air Force which began at the end of June 1940.