Ep 141209776

WWII Timeline

By jamzlai
  • Adolf Hitler's rise to power in Germany

    Adolf Hitler's rise to power in Germany
    In Germany, Adolf Hitler had followed a path to power similar to Mussolini’s. At the end of World War I, Hitler had been a jobless soldier drifting around Germany. In 1919, he joined a struggling group called the National Socialist German Workers’ Party, better known as the Nazi Party. Despite its name, this party had no ties to socialism.
  • Mein Kampf

    Mein Kampf
    In his book Mein Kampf, Hitler set forth the basic beliefs of Nazism that became the plan of action for the Nazi Party. Nazism, the German brand of fascism, was based on extreme nationalism.
  • Benito Mussolini's fascist government in Italy

    Benito Mussolini's fascist government in Italy
    Benito Mussolini was establishing a totalitarian regime in
    Italy, where unemployment and inflation produced bitter strikes, some communist-led. Alarmed by these threats, the middle and upper classes demanded stronger leadership. Mussolini took advantage of this situation. A powerful speaker, Mussolini knew how to appeal to Italy’s wounded national pride.
  • Joseph Stalin's totalitarian government in the Soviet Union

    Joseph Stalin's totalitarian government in the Soviet Union
    In Russia, hopes for democracy gave way to civil war, resulting in the establishment of a communist state, officially called the Soviet Union, in 1922. After V. I. Lenin died in 1924, Joseph Stalin, whose last name means “man of steel,” took control of the country. Stalin focused on creating a model communist state. In so doing, he made
    both agricultural and industrial growth the prime economic goals of the Soviet Union.
  • Japanese Invasion of Manchuria

    Japanese Invasion of Manchuria
    Ignoring the protests of more moderate Japanese officials, the militarists launched a surprise attack and seized control of the Chinese province of Manchuria in 1931.
  • Storm troopers

    Storm troopers
    By 1932, some 6 million Germans were unemployed. Many men who
    were out of work joined Hitler’s private army, the storm troopers (or Brown Shirts).
  • Third Reich

    Third Reich
    Hitler quickly dismantled Germany’s democratic Weimar Republic. In its place he established the Third Reich, or Third German Empire. According to Hitler, the Third Reich would be a “Thousand-Year Reich”—it would last for a thousand years.
  • Hitler's Military build-up in Germany

    Hitler's Military build-up in Germany
    In 1933, Hitler pulled Germany out of the League. In 1935, he began a military buildup in violation of the Treaty of Versailles. A year later, he sent troops into the Rhineland, a German region bordering France and Belgium that was demilitarized as a result of the Treaty of Versailles.
  • Hitler invades the Rhineland

    Hitler invades the Rhineland
    In 1935, he began a military buildup in violation of the Treaty of Versailles. A year later, he sent troops into the Rhineland, a German region bordering France and Belgium that was demilitarized as a result of the Treaty of Versailles.
  • Mussolini's invasion of Ethiopia

    Mussolini's invasion of Ethiopia
    Meanwhile, Mussolini began building his new Roman Empire. His first target was Ethiopia, one of Africa’s few remaining independent countries.
  • Francisco Franco

    Francisco Franco
    In 1936, a group of Spanish army officers led by General Francisco Franco, rebelled against the Spanish republic.
  • Rome-Berlin Axis

    Rome-Berlin Axis
    The war forged a close relationship between the German and Italian dictators, who signed a formal alliance known as the Rome-Berlin Axis.
  • Hitler's Anschluss

    Hitler's Anschluss
    On March 12, 1938, German troops marched into Austria unopposed. A day later, Germany announced that its Anschluss, or “union,” with Austria was complete.
  • Munich Agreement

    Munich Agreement
    Turned the Sudetenland over to Germany without a single shot being fired.
  • Nonaggression Pact

    Nonaggression Pact
    As tensions rose over Poland, Stalin surprised everyone by signing a nonaggression pact with Hitler. Once bitter enemies, on August 23, 1939 fascist Germany and communist Russia now committed never to attack each other.
  • Blitzkrieg

    German tanks raced across the Polish countryside, spreading terror and confusion. This invasion was the first test of Germany’s newest military strategy, the blitzkrieg, or lightning war.
  • Britain and France Declare War

    Britain and France Declare War
    On September 3, two days following the terror in Poland, Britain and France declared war on Germany.
  • Hitler's invasion of Denmark and Norway

    Hitler's invasion of Denmark and Norway
    Denmark and Norway in order “to protect freedom and independence.” But in truth, Hitler planned to build bases along the coasts to strike at Great Britain.
  • Phony War

    Phony War
    The blitzkrieg had given way to what the Germans called the sitzkrieg (“sitting war”), and what some newspapers referred to as the phony war.
  • Hitler's Invasion of the Netherlands

    Hitler's Invasion of the Netherlands
    Hitler turned against the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg, which were overrun by the end of May.
  • Germany and Italy's Invasion of France

    Germany and Italy's Invasion of France
    A few days later, Italy entered the war on the side of Germany and invaded France from the south as the Germans closed in on Paris from the north.
  • Marshal Philippe Petain

    Marshal Philippe Petain
    Germans would occupy the northern part of France, and a Nazi-controlled puppet government, headed by Marshal Philippe Pétain, would be set up at Vichy, in southern France.
  • The Battle of Britain

    The Battle of Britain
    In the summer of 1940, the Germans began to assemble an invasion fleet along the French coast. Because its naval power could not compete with that of Britain, Germany also launched an air war at the same time.
  • Lend-Lease Act

    Lend-Lease Act
    Isolationists argued bitterly against the plan, but most Americans favored it, and Congress passed the Lend Lease Act in March 1941.
  • Pearl Harbor Attack

    Pearl Harbor Attack
    A Japanese dive-bomber swooped low over Pearl Harbor— the largest U.S. naval base in the Pacific. The bomber was followed by more than 180 Japanese warplanes launched from six aircraft carriers.
  • Battle of the Atlantic

    Battle of the Atlantic
    After the attack on Pearl Harbor, Hitler ordered submarine raids against ships along America’s east coast. The German aim in the Battle of the Atlantic was to prevent food and war materials from
    reaching Great Britain and the Soviet Union. Britain depended on supplies from the sea.
  • Internment

    Internment, or confinement, of 1,444 Japanese Americans, 1 percent of Hawaii’s Japanese-American population.
  • U.S. Convoy System

    U.S. Convoy System
    The Allies responded by organizing their cargo ships into convoys. Convoys were groups of ships traveling together for mutual protection, as they had done in the First World War. The convoys were escorted across the Atlantic by destroyers equipped with sonar for detecting submarines underwater.
  • Women's Auxiliary Army Corps

    Women's Auxiliary Army Corps
    The military’s work force needs were so great that Army Chief of Staff General George Marshall pushed for the formation of a Women’s Auxiliary Army Corps.
  • Manhattan Project

    Manhattan Project
    Because much of the early research was performed at Columbia University in Manhattan, the Manhattan Project became the codename for research work that extended across the country.
  • Office of Price Administration

    Office of Price Administration
    Roosevelt responded to this threat by creating the Office of Price Administration (OPA). The OPA fought inflation by freezing prices on most goods.
  • War Productions Board

    War Productions Board
    Besides controlling inflation, the government needed to ensure that the armed forces and war industries received the resources they needed to win the war. The War Production Board (WPB) assumed that responsibility. The WPB decided which companies would convert from peacetime to wartime production and allocated raw materials to key industries.
  • Battle of Stalingrad

    Battle of Stalingrad
    In the summer of 1942, the Germans took the offensive in the southern Soviet Union. Hitler hoped to capture Soviet oil fields in the Caucasus Mountains. He also wanted to wipe out Stalingrad, a major industrial center on the Volga River.
  • Operation Torch

    Operation Torch
  • Unconditional Surrender

    Unconditional Surrender
    Even before the battle in North Africa was won, Roosevelt, Churchill, and their commanders met in Casablanca. At this meeting, the two leaders agreed to accept only the unconditional surrender of the Axis powers.
  • Bloody Anzio

    Bloody Anzio
    One of the hardest battles the Allies encountered in Europe was fought less than 40 miles from Rome. This battle, “Bloody Anzio,” lasted four months—until the end of May 1944—and left about 25,000 Allied and 30,000 Axis casualties.
  • Korematsu v. United States

    Korematsu v. United States
    Japanese Americans fought for justice, both in the courts and in Congress. The initial results were discouraging. In 1944, the Supreme Court decided, in Korematsu v. United States, that the government’s policy of evacuating Japanese Americans to camps was justified on the basis of “military necessity.”
  • D-Day

    Banking on a forecast for clearing skies, Eisenhower gave the go-ahead for D-Day—June 6, 1944, the first day of the invasion. Shortly after midnight, three divisions parachuted down behind German lines.
  • The Battle of the Bulge

    The Battle of the Bulge
    Tanks drove 60 miles into Allied territory, creating a bulge in the lines that gave this desperate last ditch offensive its name, the Battle of the Bulge.
  • Harry S. Truman

    Harry S. Truman
    On April 12, 1945, while posing for a portrait in Warm Springs, Georgia, the president had a stroke and died. That night, Vice President Harry S. Truman became the nation’s 33rd president.
  • Death of Hitler

    Death of Hitler
    “I die with a happy heart aware of the immeasurable deeds of our
    soldiers at the front. I myself and my wife choose to die in order to escape the disgrace of . . . capitulation,” he said. The next day Hitler shot himself while his new wife swallowed poison.
  • V-E Day

    V-E Day
    On May 8, 1945, the Allies celebrated V-E Day—Victory in Europe Day. The war in Europe was finally over.