World War II Timeline

By JakeMay
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    World War II TImeline

  • HItler's First Saturday Surprise

    HItler made the announcement that he was rebuilding the German Air Force, rearming the nation, and starting the military draft up again. Hitler claimed these actions were in the name of "defense". No country opposed HItler because they wanted to avoid another war and they also felt bad for Hitler because the Treaty of Versailles was so harsh. So, Hitler went on without oppostition.
  • Hitler's Second Saturday Surprise

    Hitler's Second Saturday Surprise
    HItler's troops and planes invaded the Rhineland almost exactly a year after he announced he was rebuilding the military. German general did not like this move becauase they thought the French would quickly defeat their poorly trained troops. But, France did not challenge Hitler's troops. They were reluctant to act without British support, and they also did not want another WWI. Hitler calmed most people's fears by saying the move was purely defensive, and Germany would never break the peace.
  • Hitler Invades Austria

    HItler wanted badly to add Austria to his German "empire". On February 12, HItler called a meeting with the Austrian Prime Minister, Kurt von Schnuschingg, during which Hitler threated and insulted the Prime Minister. Hitler gave Kurt 3 days to come to a decision. When Kurt denied Hitler Austria, Hitler invaded them a month later. When Hitler took a vote in Austria, 99.7% of the people said they were pleased with the move. No countries came to Austria's defense.
  • The Munich Agreement

    The Munich Agreement
    Around this time, Benito Mussolini (Italian dictator) called an emergency meeting between German, French, and British leaders to dicuss Hitler's demands to take control of the land on the borders of Czechoslovakia and Germany, called the Sudetenland. The Czechs did not want to give Hitler this land, but Hitler was unwilling to back down. France and Britain decided to give Hitler the land, as long as it was the last land demand from Hitler. They did not want a war with Hitler.
  • Hitler Controls Czechoslovakia and Demands Poland

    In his address to the Reichstag six years after becoming chancellor, Hitler talks about how other countries were hypocrits because they complained about Germany mistreating Jews while they too excluded them at times. Less than two months after this speech, Hitler took complete control of Czechoslovakia. Other countries were quiet aboout this development, but the US asked HItler not to harm 30 specific countries. Hitler replied with compliance and also with demands for part of Poland.
  • Hitler Invades Poland, Starts WW2

    Hitler Invades Poland, Starts WW2
    On this day, German soldiers and SS invaded Poland after an "attack" by Polish soldiers (actually a German hoax). Three days after the Germans declared war, Britain and France declared war on Germany. German soldiers immediately began singling out Polish Jews for imprisonment, tourture, and execution. This was the beginning of WW2.
  • Hitler Cracks Down on Jews

    Around this time of November 1939, Hitler installed severe regulations against Jews and native Poles in Poland, which had fallen and been absorbed into Germany. Educated Poles were qucikly sent off to concentration camps. But Jews had it worse. They were all forced to live together in large sections of cities called "ghettos". They were required to wear a yellow star on their clothes, and many were sent to the about 400 ghettos and 430 labor camps in Poland.
  • Germany Controls France

    Germany Controls France
    At this time, Hitler had control of most of Europe. He added France to the list of countries he had conquered, which included Denmark, Norway, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg. Britain ushered in a new prime minister, Winston Churchill, at this time as well. In the countries Germany conquered, they set up a government (military, SS, or civilian run) that focused on antisemitism. Thousands and thousands of Jews were sent off to work camps and concentration camps as well as death camps.
  • The Invasion of Russia

    Hitler decided that to completely exterminate European Jews, he needed to invade Russia, then known as the Soviet Union. This event was inexpected because Hitler had signed a non-aggression pact with the Soviet Union earlier in the war. Russian Jews were caught off guard, and the death tolls quickly climbed to 700,000 Jews killed by the end of 1941.
  • The US Enters the War

    The US Enters the War
    On December 7, Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, the US Naval base in Hawaii. The US promptly declared war on Japan. Japan went to Hitler to see if he would help them out against the Americans. Although officials warned HItler against siding with the Japanese, since they acted alone in attacking the US, Hitler joined forces with Japan and declared war on the US.