• Germany Invades Poland

    1.5 million German troops invade Poland all along its border with German-controlled territory. At the same time, the German Luftwaffe bombed Polish airfields, and German warships and U-boats attacked Polish naval forces in the Baltic Sea.
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    World War II

  • Britain and France defend Poland

    Honoring their guarantee of Poland’s borders, Great Britain and France declare war on Germany.
  • Soviets invade Poland

    Attempting to defeat the Nazis, the Soviets come into Poland from the East.
  • Warsaw Surrenders

    Polish government flees into Romania as the Nazis take Warsaw. The country is split between the Soviets and Nazis.
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    Winter War

    Soviet Union invades Finland, and the Finns sue for armistace, cede north.
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    Germany invades Denmark and Norway

    Denmark surrenders on the first day, Norway holds until June 9
  • Germany occupies Luxembourg

  • Netherlands surrender to Germany

  • Belgium surrenders to Germany

  • Italy enters the war

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    Germany invades the Baltic States

    Engineering Communist coup d’états in each of them on July 14–15, and then annexing them as Soviet Republics on August 3–6.
  • Italy invades southern France

  • Armistace Agreement

    France signs an armistice agreement by which the Germans occupy the northern half of the country and the entire Atlantic coastline. In southern France, a collaborationist regime with its capital in Vichy is established.
  • Soviet Union forces Romania to cede

    The Soviet Union forces Romania to cede the eastern province of Bessarabia and the northern half of Bukovina to the Soviet Ukraine.
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    Battle of Britain

    The air war known as the Battle of Britain ends in defeat for Nazi Germany.
  • Second Vienna Award

    Transylvania is divided between Romania and Hungary, and the loss of northern Transylvania forces Romanian King Carol to abdicate in favor of his son, Michael, and brings to power a dictatorship under General Ion Antonescu.
  • Italy invades Egypt

    The Italians invade the British-controlled African nation through Libya.
  • Tripartite Pact

    Germany, Italy and Japan sign the Tripartite Pact, bringing together the axis of allies. The three nations agreed that for the next ten years they would "stand by and co-operate with one another in... their prime purpose to establish and maintain a new order of things... to promote the mutual prosperity and welfare of the peoples concerned."
  • Italy invades Greece

    Coming through Albania, the Italians take Greece.
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    Slovakia, Hungary, and Romania join the axis

  • Bulgaria joins the axis

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    Yugoslavia conquered

    Germany, Italy, Hungary, and Bulgaria invade and dismember Yugoslavia. Yugoslavia surrenders on April 17. Germany and Bulgaria invade Greece in support of the Italians. Resistance in Greece ceases in early June 1941.
  • Germans invade Soviet Union

    Nazi Germany and its Axis partners (except Bulgaria) invade the Soviet Union. Finland, seeking redress for the territorial losses in the armistice concluding the Winter War, joins the Axis just before the invasion.
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    Battle of Kiev

    Nearly the entire Southwestern Front of the Red Army was encircled with the Germans claiming 665,000 captured in Kiev. The Nazis take over the city.
  • Siege of Leningrad

    Germans sieze Leningrad when the last road to the city was severed.
  • Germans flee Moscow suburbs

    A Soviet counteroffensive drives the Germans from the Moscow suburbs in chaotic retreat.
  • Japan bombs Pearl Harbor

    Over 2400 American soldiers killed at Pearl Harbor after Japanese planes bomb and destroy the harbor. The attack came as a profound shock to the American people and led directly to the American entry into World War II in both the Pacific and European theaters.
  • US enters the war

    The United States declares war on Japan, entering World War II.
  • Germany declares war on US

    Nazi Germany and its Axis partners declare war on the United States.
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    The British bomb Köln

    This is the first time the war is brought home to Germany in WWII. Forces Hitler and his forces to concentrate on local areas as well as foreign expansion. Over the next three years Anglo-American bombing reduces urban Germany to rubble.
  • US and British Navies halt Japanese advances in the Pacific

    This was the famous battle of Midway. This battle prevented the Japanese from advancing and is recognized as a turning point in the war. Arguably the most important naval battle of the entire conflict. First naval loss for Japan since 1863.
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    Germany opens eastern front with Russia

    This signifies a misstep by Hitler and his Axis allies. He goes against Russia and opens up a two front war which was ultimatley part of his downfall. German troops fight their way into Stalingrad (Volgograd) on the Volga River by mid-September and penetrate deep into the Caucasus after securing the Crimean Peninsula.
  • British Troops defend Egypt

    British troops defeat axis powers in Egypt at El Alamein, sending the Axis forces in chaotic retreat across Libya to the eastern border of Tunisia.
  • British Troops arrive in French North Africa

    US and British troops land at several points on the beaches of Algeria and Morocco in French North Africa. The failure of the Vichy French troops to defend against the invasion enables the Allies to move swiftly to the western border of Tunisia, and triggers the German occupation of southern France on November 11.
  • US troops halt the Japanese island-hopping

    This prevents Japanese advances towards Australia at Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands. Keeps the Japanese expansions at bay. Makes the war in the pacific more centrally located.
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    Russian Counter Attack

    Soviet troops counterattack, breaking through the Hungarian and Romanian lines northwest and southwest of Stalingrad and trapping the German Sixth Army in the city. Forbidden by Hitler to retreat or try to break out of the Soviet ring, the survivors of the Sixth Army surrender on January 30 and February 2, 1943.
  • Soviet troops liberate Kiev

  • Axis forces in Africa Surrender

    Axis forces in Tunisia surrender to the Allies, ending the North African campaign of the war
  • German Tank offensive in Russia

    The Germans launch a massive tank offensive near Kursk in the Soviet Union. The Soviets blunt the attack within a week and begin an offensive initiative of their own.
  • Allies land in Sicily

    US and British troops land on Sicily. By mid-August, the Allies control Sicily.
  • Mussolini ousted as ruler

    The Fascist Grand Council deposes Benito Mussolini, enabling Italian marshall Pietro Badoglio to form a new government.
  • Italy Surrenders but not really

    The Badoglio government surrenders unconditionally to the Allies. The Germans immediately seize control of Rome and northern Italy, establishing a puppet Fascist regime under Mussolini, who is freed from imprisonment by German commandos on September 12.
  • Allied troops land on the beaches of Salerno near Naples.

  • Allied troops land successfully near Anzio, just south of Rome.

  • Germany Occupys Hungary

    Fearing Hungary’s intention to desert the Axis partnership, the Germans occupy Hungary and compel the regent, Admiral Miklos Horthy, to appoint a pro-German minister president.
  • Rome is liberated from German Control!

    Allied troops liberate Rome. Within six weeks, Anglo-American bombers could hit targets in eastern Germany for the first time. This was a big deal because the people of Rome did not like being occupied by Germans.
  • The battle of Normandy

    British and US troops successfully land on the Normandy beaches of France, opening a “Second Front” against the Germans.
  • Soviets launch assualt

    The Soviets launch a massive offensive in eastern Byelorussia (Belarus), destroying the German Army Group Center and driving westward to the Vistula River across from Warsaw in central Poland by August 1.
  • Allies push past Normandy Beach

    Anglo-American forces break out of the Normandy beachhead and race eastward towards Paris.
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    Liberation of Warsaw

    The non-communist underground Home Army rises up against the Germans in an effort to liberate Warsaw before the arrival of Soviet troops. The Soviet advance halts on the east bank of the Vistula. On October 5, the Germans accept the surrender of the remnants of the Home Army forces fighting in Warsaw.
  • Allied Forces advance through France

    Allied forces land in southern France near Nice and advance rapidly towards the Rhine River to the northeast.
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    Allied troops reach Paris!

    On August 25, Free French forces, supported by Allied troops, enter the French capital. By September, the Allies reach the German border; by December, virtually all of France, most of Belgium, and part of the southern Netherlands are liberated.
  • Romanian opposition overthrow sthe Antonescu regime

    The appearance of Soviet troops on the Prut River induces the Romanian opposition to overthrow the Antonescu regime. The new government concludes an armistice and immediately switches sides in the war. The Romanian turnaround compels Bulgaria to surrender on September 8, and the Germans to evacuate Greece, Albania, and southern Yugoslavia in October.
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    Slovakian resistance

    Under the leadership of the Slovak National Council, consisting of both Communists and non-Communists, underground Slovak resistance units rise against the Germans and the indigenous fascist Slovak regime. In late October, the Germans capture Banská Bystrica, the headquarters of the uprising, and put an end to organized resistance.
  • Finland leaves the Axis powers

  • Arrow Cross movement

    The Hungarian fascist Arrow Cross movement carries out a coup d’état with German support to prevent the Hungarian government from pursuing negotiations for surrender to the Soviets.
  • Battle of the Bulge

    The final German Offensive in the West in an attempt to re-conquer Belgium and split the Allied forces along the German border. By January 1, 1945, the Germans are in retreat.
  • New soviet offensive

    The Soviets launch a new offensive, liberating Warsaw and Krakow in January, capturing Budapest after a two-month siege on February 13, driving the Germans and their Hungarian collaborators out of Hungary in early April, forcing the surrender of Slovakia with the capture of Bratislava on April 4, and capturing Vienna on April 13.
  • US troops cross the Rhine River at Remagen.

  • End of the Ustasa regime

    Partisan units, led by Yugoslav Communist leader Josip Tito, capture Zagreb and topple the Ustasa regime. The top Ustasa leaders flee to Italy and Austria.
  • The Soviets launch their final offensive, encircling Berlin.

  • Hitler Commits Suicide

  • Germany Surrenders to the Western Allies

  • Germany Surrenders to Russia

  • US conquers Okinawa

  • First Bomb is dropped on Hiroshima

  • Russia declares war on Japan and invade Manchuria

  • 2nd Bomb is dropped Nagasaki

  • The end of WWII