WWII & Cold War Timeline

  • Japan Invades China

    Japan Invades China
    This event initiated World War II in the Pacific.
  • Germany Invades Poland

    Germany Invades Poland
    This event initiated World War II in Europe.
  • Lend-Lease Act

    Lend-Lease Act
    After committing to help countries that oppose fascism, President Franklin D. Roosevelt led the United States in supplying the World War II allies with war materials.
  • Battle of Britain

    Battle of Britain
    The World War II air campaign started by the German Air Force against the United Kingdom.
  • Tripartite Pact

    Tripartite Pact
    This was the pact to signify the alliance of Germany, Italy, and Japan, collectively known as the Axis Powers.
  • Germany Takes Leningrad

    Germany Takes Leningrad
    On this date, Hitler declared a full scale siege on Leningrad, Soviet Union and received the help of Hungary, Finland, and Romania.
  • German Blitzkrieg on Soviet Union

    German Blitzkrieg on Soviet Union
    After gaining confidence from previous victories, the Germans invaded Leningrad and were very successful.However, when moving towards Moscow, the Soviet counterstrike and harsh climatic conditions drove the Germans back.
  • Bombing of Pearl Harbor

    Bombing of Pearl Harbor
    Japan brought in planes to bomb the United States naval ships; this event brought the United States into World War II.
  • Formation of the U.N.

    Formation of the U.N.
    This occurred when representatives from twenty-six nations in the war signed the Declaration of the United Nation in Washington. They pledged to use their resources against the Axis powers.
  • Wannsee Conference

    Wannsee Conference
    This was when Nazi officials met in Wannsee to plan the final solution. These new Nazi policies ordered that Jews be deported to Madagascar.
  • Battle of Midway

    Battle of Midway
    This was a naval battle in which the United States decimated Japan’s major ships and their best pilots.
  • D-Day

    This was the invasion of Normandy, in which the United States, Britain, and Canada went all around the beachheads of Normandy, France.
  • Yalta Conference

    Yalta Conference
    This important World War II conference planned the final defeat and recuperation of Germany (included the three Allied leaders).
  • Iwo Jima/Okinawa

    Iwo Jima/Okinawa
    These two islands were major targets for the United States in that they would provide a close range to Tokyo. The United States were able to gain control of the Pacific leading up to this event.
  • VE Day

    VE Day
    This occurred when the Germans finally surrendered to the Allies.
  • Hitler Commits Suicide

    Hitler Commits Suicide
    Hitler shot himself in the head and drank cyanide shortly after.
  • Potsdam Conference

    Potsdam Conference
    This conference was held by the three Allied leaders to negotiate the terms for the end of World War II.
  • Atomic Bombing of Hiroshima & Nagasaki

    Atomic Bombing of Hiroshima & Nagasaki
    Two major cities in Japan are decimated by the newly developed atomic bomb. This event showed the advancements of the United States in the arms race and signified the end of World War II.
  • VJ Day

    VJ Day
    This was the day that Japan surrendered unconditionally to the Allies, which ended World War II.
  • Truman Doctrine

    Truman Doctrine
    President Truman passed this doctrine that showed the United States' plan to give military aid and money to Turkey and Greece to prevent them from capitulating to the Soviet Union.
  • Marshall Plan

    Marshall Plan
    This plan helped rehabilitate countries in Europe after the war, and it also helped prevent the spread of communism.
  • NATO

    This was the North Atlantic Treaty Organization that included Belgium, Italy, Luxemborg, the Netherlands, Denmark, France, Great Britain, Iceland, Norway, Portugal, the United States, and Canada. It was a military alliance that strived to prevent the spread of communism.
  • Mao Zedong and People’s Republic of China

    Mao Zedong and People’s Republic of China
    This new government in China was formed by the Communist leader Mao Zedong and established a capital at Beijing.
  • Korean War

    Korean War
    This conflict occurred between North Korea and South Korea. North Korea was assisted by the Soviet Union; whereas, the United States and the United Nations defended the South Koreans from the northern invasion.
  • Stalin’s Death; Khrushchev

    Stalin’s Death; Khrushchev
    Joseph Stalin died on this day, while Nikita Khrushchev was selected as a member of the new Communist Party.
  • Vietnam War

    Vietnam War
    This conflict was between the communist government of North Vietnam and the United States backed South Vietnam.
  • Warsaw Pact

    Warsaw Pact
    This was the Soviet counteraction to NATO.
  • Sputnik

    This was the first orbital satellite to be launched into space. This event caused concern in the United States because of the desire to win the space race.
  • Berlin Wall

    Berlin Wall
    In response, East Germans fleeing the West side, the Soviet Union built a barrier to close off East Germany’s path to West Berlin.
  • Bay of Pigs

    Bay of Pigs
    John F. Kennedy initiates the Bay of Pigs invasion to send Cuban exiles to the island. This was for the purpose of causing a revolt against Castro; however, the plan failed.
  • Cuban Missile Crisis

    Cuban Missile Crisis
    This was a dangerous conflict between Cuba and the United States in which they came close to nuclear warfare.
  • Gorbachev

    This president of the Soviet Union fought to democratize his country’s political system, which eventually led to the breakup of the Soviet Union.
  • Soviet Union Falls

    Soviet Union Falls
    The Soviet Union split into fifteen separate countries and showed the victory of democracy over communism.