World War II Timeline

  • Great Depression

    Great Depression
    The Great Depression begins with the Crash of 1929. It contributed to WWII because the dictators took advantage of people’s fears and made them promises in order to rise to power. Many people were poor and homeless, so these promises made by dictators sounded like a good way to get to a better life.
  • Japan conquers Manchuria in northern China

  • Hitler becomes Chancellor of Germany

    Hitler becomes Chancellor of Germany
    Hitler had failed taking over by force, so he started using his popularity in order to get voted into power. In the 1932 elections, Hitler was voted Chancellor of Germany. Other leaders thought that they could take advantage of Hitler, but they were wrong.
  • Roosevelt first elected president

    Roosevelt first elected president
    Hoover had brought the nation into deep depression, and after him, FDR tried to bring the nation back to wealth. Thanks to the New Deals, he was able to make things a little bit better. FDR wanted to stay neutral during WWII, but was forced to join when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor.
  • Nuremberg Laws

    Nuremberg Laws
    They were laws that brought immediate segregation to all Jews in Germany. They were brutal and this was the beginning of the stripping away of rights that lead to the Holocaust.
  • Hitler & Mussolini form the Rome-Berlin Axis

  • Japan invades China

  • Britain’s appeasement of Germany

    Britain’s appeasement of Germany
    Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain made an agreement with Hitler. He said that the Germans could have the Sudetenland if he stopped seeking territory. Many warned that Hitler would not stop.
  • Germany invades Austria

    Germany invades Austria
    Many citizens of Germany and Austria were happy with the unification and there wasn’t any violence. As Germans kept on advancing, Europe was on the brink of another war.
  • Kristallnacht

    Night of extreme violence all over German controlled areas targeting Jews. They killed and injured Jews as well as damaging property such as homes, stores, small-businesses, and churches. Government did nothing to stop it.
  • Germany & Soviet Union have a nonaggression pact

  • Germany invades Poland

    Germany invades Poland
    Germany invades Poland after promising they would not. They had the blitzkrieg, Germany’s mobile killing force, invade Poland. Great Britain and France declared war 2 days later. WWII had begun.
  • Germany invades Denmark, Norway, Belgium, and France

  • Japan joins the Axis Powers

  • German air force (Luftwaffe) bombs London and other civilian targets in the Battle of Britain

  • Lend-Lease Act

    Lend-Lease Act
    The United States wanted to stay neutral at the time, but this act allowed them to give supplies to the Allies. The United States lent the Allies more than 50 billion worth of goods and supplies. Congress passed this act in 1941, after Germany invaded the Soviet Union.
  • Germany invades the Soviet Union

  • The Nazis implement the “Final Solution”

    The Nazis implement the “Final Solution”
    The Final Solution was the Nazis decision to start bringing Jews and other groups of people to concentration and death camps. They moved them from ghettos to these camps were they were either instantly killed or put to work until they died of exhaustion. This was when the Nazis started genocide and purposely killed Jews and other groups by the million. The “Final Solution” started the holocaust.
  • Pearl Harbor

    Pearl Harbor
    Japanese planes attacked Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. The Americans were completely surprised by the attack. The Japanese heavily bombed the port, damaging much of it and killing tons of Americans. America declared war on Japan the next day and entered World War II.
  • Tuskegee Airmen

    Tuskegee Airmen
    Tuskegee Airmen were African American soldiers who fought in the United States Army. They served in segregated units because of racial prejudice. They had worse experiences than white soldiers did, and the African Americans were also paid less. Even though there was racial prejudice, the Tuskegee Airmen fought bravely and with honor.
  • Manhattan Project

    Manhattan Project
    The Manhattan project was a secret project started by the U.S government shortly after entering the war. It was meant to build the atomic bomb. They succeeded and were able to produce the bomb. It affected the war because the bomb was actually dropped on Japan.
  • Japanese-American incarceration

    Japanese-American incarceration
    After Pearl Harbor, Americans were afraid and racist towards Japanese Americans. They moved them from their homes and incarcerated them. Many of the Japanese Americans were born in the United States. These actions were driven by fear and hatred.
  • Bataan Death March

    Bataan Death March
    After fighting in the Philippines, American and Filipino soldiers had to surrender to the Japanese. The Japanese marched more than 75,000 soldiers in a death march to prison camps. Many died during the march and the rest were taken to prison camps.
  • Battle of Midway

    Battle of Midway
    This was one of the turning points for the war in the Pacific. The United States were able to attack Japan and destroy most of their aircraft carriers. After this battle, japan was on the defensive until the war was over.
  • Guadalcanal

    It was the first major U.S. land victory in the war in the Pacific. The U.S. marines came ashore in August and fought for 6 long months. Americans finally won the battle which caused a lot of destruction for the Japanese.
  • British forces stop the German advance at El Alamein

  • German forces surrender at Stalingrad

    German forces surrender at Stalingrad
    After months of brutal fighting, The Soviet Union defeats the Nazis and forces them to retreat. The Soviets completely destroyed part of the Nazi army and this was major turning point in the war. This victory also allowed Russia to start advancing toward Berlin.
  • Rosie the Riveter

    Rosie the Riveter
    Rosie the Riveter was a character that represented women working in factories during all of World War II. She represented strong women who worked on the home front and helped the war effort.
  • D-Day

    The Allies staged the greatest land-water-air invasion ever. They invaded France in three waves. First they dropped parachutes to confuse the enemy. Then airplanes bombed the enemy lines. Then ship carries soldiers into the coast to take over the beaches and take over France. While many lives were lost, this was a success for the Allies and it was a major turning point.
  • Battle of the Bulge

    Battle of the Bulge
    This was Hitler’s final push. The Nazis completely surprised the Allies and the death toll was incredible. After long fighting the Allies were able to defeat the Nazis and the deaths for the Nazi army were incredible. Hitler’s army was now in ruins.
  • Iwo Jima

    Iwo Jima
    Marines invaded this island and took it from the Japanese. This island allowed them to be closer to Japan. They placed the American flag on the island but the fighting continued for several days later.
  • Yalta Conference

    Yalta Conference
    Major Allied leader meet to decide what to do with the post war world. They also had to figure out what to do with Germany.
  • Okinawa

    This is an island really close to Japan. It was important for the U.S. marines to invade this island to continue advancing towards Japan. More than 18,000 Americans dead, but the Japanese causalities were more than 120,000.
  • Roosevelt dies, Truman becomes president

  • Allied forces advance on Berlin, Germany surrenders

    Allied forces advance on Berlin, Germany surrenders
    This is Victory in Europe day. After the Soviets arrived in Berlin, Hitler killed himself along with his family and his closest officials. Germany surrendered 2 days later, and the next day (May 8th), the war was over.
  • Formation of the United Nations

    Formation of the United Nations
    50 nations ratified the charter, creating a new international peace keeping body known as the United Nations. President Roosevelt urged Americans not to turn their back on the world again. The United States in actually a member of the United Nations.
  • Potsdam Conference

    Potsdam Conference
    Allies held this conference to plan how to end the war in the Pacific and what to do with the Nazis. They decided to put the Nazis war criminals on trial.
  • Atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima & Nagasaki

    Atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima & Nagasaki
    The atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. This explosion killed more than 75,000 civilians. It also turned five square miles into complete nothingness. The whole city was a wasteland. Japan still refused to surrender. On August 9, 1945, another atomic bomb destroyed the city of Nagasaki, killing 40,000 people. Japan surrendered a few days later.
  • o Japanese officials sign an official letter of surrender on the U.S.S. Missouri, ending World War II

  • Nuremberg Trials

    Nuremberg Trials
    There were 24 defendants, including some of Hitler’s top officials. Herman Goring, who was the creator and head to Gestapo (secret police), was put under trial. They were charged with crimes against humanity. 19 were found guilty and 12 were sentenced to death. They decided that people were responsible for their actions, even in war time. They went on until Ocotber, 1946.
  • Marshall Plan

    Marshall Plan
    Congress approved Secretary of State George Marshall’s plan to help boost European economies. The U.S. gave more than $13 billion to help the nations of Europe get back on their feet.