World war 2

World War II Timeline

  • Rise of Fascist Dictators in Europe

    Rise of Fascist Dictators in Europe
    In the two decades following World War I, many countries of the world experienced economic depression. In response to the economic disaster, some nations fell prey to totalitarian dictators. These dictators promised to restore economies, order and national pride. This occured in Europe in the countries of Germany and Italy. Hitler and Mussolini rose to power.
  • Japanese aggression of Asia

    Japanese aggression of Asia
    Japan's imperial government viewed the Soviet Union as the main threat to Japan's conquests on the mainland of Asia. China was the primary target. Japan looked for allies who would be comfortable with military aggression, and would support Japan in the event of a military confrontation with Russia. Adolf Hitler and the Germans became allies. On November 25, 1936 they signed the Anti-Comintern Pact to spread communism.
  • Annexation of Austria

    Annexation of Austria
    Austria was Adolf Hitler's birth country, and was the first country to be annexed by Hitler's Nazi Germany. Hitller wanted to spread the influence of the Nazi Party into Austria. From a military perspective, the annexation of Austria provided the German military five incomplete divisions (two infantry, two mountain, and one armored). Also, Czechoslovakia became surrounded by Germany on three sides, with its borders nearly indefensible to German invasion.
  • Munich Conference

    Munich Conference
    At the Munich conference Hitler demanded that Sudetenland should be added to German territory. Britain and France wanted to keep the peace, so they gave into his demands. Britian and France got Czechoslovakia to give the land to Hitler. In return, Hitler promised that he had no need to expand Germany.
  • Nazi-Soviet Pact

    Nazi-Soviet Pact
    Representatives from Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union met and signed the Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact. This pact guaranteed that the two countries would not attack each other. The Soviet Union was awarded land. The pact was broken when Nazi Germany attacked the Soviet Union less than two years later, on June 22, 1941.
  • Phoney War

    Phoney War
    It was a time during the first winter of the was when not much happened. The French hid behind the Maginot Line and British troops waited with them. This occured after the blitzkreif attack on Poland. Then in April 1940 the war broke out again.
  • Battle of Atlantic

    Battle of Atlantic
    This battle lasted from September 1939 until the defeat of Germany in 1945. It was the war’s longest continuous military campaign. During 6 years of naval warfare, German U-boats and warships, and Italian submarines fought against Allied ships transporting military equipment and supplies across the Atlantic to Great Britain and Russia. This battle was fought to control the Atlantic shipping lanes and spread over thousands of miles.
  • Fall of France

    Fall of France
    The German invasion of France began on 10 May 1940. France had the largest army in western Europe. It had the Maginot line, which turned out to be useless due to the new "blitzkrieg" method of warfare. Without France the only country left in Europe to fight off the Nazis was England.
  • Miracle at Dunkirk

    Miracle at Dunkirk
    The advancing German Army trapped the British and French armies on the beaches around Dunkirk, France. 330,000 men were trapped here and were a sitting target for the Germans. The evacuation of the men trapped on Dunkirk, was called a "miracle" by Winston Churchill. This evacuation was also termed "Operation Dynamo" by Britain.
  • Battle of Britain

    Battle of Britain
    On 18 June 1940, Churchill gave a speech to the British people, announcing that the Battle of France was over., but the Battle of Britain was about to begin. Four days later, France surrendered to Germany. So Hitler turned his attention to Britain. Eleven days later, on what became known as 'Battle of Britain Day', the Royal Air Force destroyed the huge formations in the skies above London and the south coast. Hitler's airforce failed to gain superiority.
  • Nazi Genocide

    Nazi Genocide
    This was Hitler's way of getting rid of people he felt were inferior, specifically the Jews. Hitler and the Nazis took Jews from all over Europe and sent them to death camps where millions were killed. In these camps families were separated. Also, the weak were immediately killed. Others were worked to death, or sent to gas chambers to die.
  • Operation Barberosa

    Operation Barberosa
    Hitler wanted to conquer the Soviet Union to gain riches by obtaining theire natural resources . He launched Operation Barbarossa to do so. He caught Russia off guard when his Blitzkrieg invaded Russia, but had to stop his advance to wait out the bitter Russian winter. During Operation Barbarossa thousands of Hitler's forces died from the cold winter, while 2.5 million Russian soldiers died defending their country.
  • Attack on Pearl Harbor

    Attack on Pearl Harbor
    On the morning of December 7, 1941, the Japanese launched a surprise air attack on the U.S. Naval Base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. More than 2,400 Americans died and 21 ships had either been sunk or damaged. More than 188 U.S. aircraft destroyed.
    The Pearl Harbor attack had two immediate goals for the Japanese - the destruction of American aircraft carriers, and the sinking of as many other ships as possible, especially battleships.
  • Battle of Midway

    Battle of Midway
    This was the most important navy battle of WWII. It was fought near the Central Pacific island of Midway. The USA beat the Imperial Japanese Navy. The Japanese had planned to capture Midway to use as an advance base, as well as to entrap and destroy the U.S. Pacific Fleet. Because of communication intelligence, the U.S. Pacific Fleet surprised the Japanese forces, sinking the four Japanese carriers that attacked Pearl Harbor 6 months earlier.
  • Battle of Stalingrad

    Battle of Stalingrad
    This battle is considered by many historians to have been the turning point in World War II in Europe. This battle destroyed the German army in Russia. The Germans experienced a massive loss of manpower and equipment, the Germans simply did nothave enough manpower and could not cope with the Russian advance to Germany when it came.
  • Battle of El Alamein

    Battle of El Alamein
    This battle was fought in the deserts of North Africa. It was viewed as one of the decisive victories of World War II. It was primarily fought between two of the outstanding commanders of World War II, Montgomery and Rommel. The Allies were victorious and the Germans surrendered in North Africa in May 1943.
  • Invasion of Italy

    Invasion of Italy
    After the victory in North Africa the Allied powers of Britain and the USA headed to Italy. First they invaded Sicily, and then South Italy. Then Germany entered Italy to help them. This caused the allies to be deterred. Overall the invasion of Italy weakened the German Army because they had to fight on more than one geographical area.
  • D-Day

    D-Day was also referred to as "Operation Overload". This is when Allies invaded Normandy, France. The landings were conducted in two phases. There was an airborne assault and an amphibious landing. General Eisenhower led the assualt.
  • United Nations

    United Nations
    In August 1941 Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt, signed the Atlantic Charter. It was a proposal for international collaboration in maintaining peace and security, as well as economic stability. Franklin D. Roosevelt coined the phrase “United Nations” on January 1st, 1942 when making reference to the 26 Allied nations. Today it is an important organization in maintaining world peace.
  • Battle of Okinawa

    Battle of Okinawa
    The battle of Okinawa was also known as Operation Iceberg. It took place in April-June 1945. It was the largest amphibious landing in the Pacific. It resulted in the largest number of casualties. There were more than 100,000 Japanese casualties and 50,000 casualties for the Allies.
  • Battle of Berlin

    Battle of Berlin
    The Battle for Berlin all but marked the end of World War II in Europe. It was fought between April and May 1945. The Russian victory saw the end of Hitler's Third Reich. It was also one of the war's bloodiest and most important battles. It's outcome shaped international politics for decades to come.
  • Nazis Defeated

    Nazis Defeated
    On May 6th General Alfred Jodl arrived at General Dwight Eisenhower’s temporary headquarters in Reims, France to sign the surrender document. Nazi Germany surrendered on May 7th 1945. This marked the end of World War II in Europe. It is believed that Adolf Hitler committed suicide.
  • Use of Atomic Weapons

    Use of Atomic Weapons
    The atomic bomb was used first by the Americans. It ended the war but caused massive destruction. The bomb was intended to get the Japanes to surrender without a huge loss of American lives. Nagasaki and Hiroshima.
  • Surrender of Japan

    Surrender of Japan
    On Sunday, September 2 1945 more than 250 Allied warships were anchored in Tokyo Bay, Japan. The flags from the Allies flew above the deck of the ship Missouri. Just after 9 a.m. Tokyo time, The Japanese Foreign Minister Shigemitsu signed on behalf of the Japanese government. General Umezu signed for the Japanese armed forces. Japan had surrendered.