Timeline with Photos
Jump to: 1939 - 1940 - 1941 - 1942 - 1943 - 1944 - 1945
November 11 - World
War I ends with German defeat.
April 28 - League of Nations founded.
June 28 - Signing
of the Treaty of Versailles.
July 29 - Adolf Hitler becomes leader
of National Socialist (Nazi) Party.
November 8/9 - Hitler's Beer Hall Putsch.
July 18 - Hitler's book "Mein Kampf" published.
September 8 - Germany admitted to League
October 29 - Stock Market on Wall Street
September 14 - Germans elect Nazis making
them the 2nd largest political party in Germany.
November 8 - Franklin Roosevelt elected President
of the United States.
January 30 - Adolf
Hitler becomes Chancellor of Germany.
February 27 - The
German Reichstag burns.
March 12 - First
concentration camp opened at Oranienburg outside Berlin.
March 23 - Enabling
Act gives Hitler dictatorial power.
April 1 - Nazi
boycott of Jewish owned shops.
May 10 - Nazis
burn books in Germany.
In June - Nazis open Dachau concentration camp.
July 14 - Nazi Party declared Germany's only
October 14 - Germany quits the League
June 30 - The
Nazi "Night of the Long Knives."
July 25 - Nazis murder Austrian Chancellor
August 2 - German President Hindenburg
August 19 - Adolf
Hitler becomes Führer of Germany.
March 16 - Hitler violates the Treaty
of Versailles by introducing military conscription.
September 15 - German
Jews stripped of rights by Nuremberg Race Laws.
February 10 - The German Gestapo is placed
above the law.
March 7 - German troops occupy the
May 9 - Mussolini's Italian forces
July 18 - Civil war erupts in Spain.
August 1 - Olympic games begin in Berlin.
October 1 - Franco declared head of Spanish
June 11 - Soviet leader Josef Stalin begins
a purge of Red Army generals.
November 5 - Hitler
reveals war plans during Hossbach Conference.
March 12/13 - Germany
announces 'Anschluss' (union) with Austria.
August 12 - German military mobilizes.
September 30 - British Prime Minister
Chamberlain appeases Hitler at Munich.
October 15 - German
troops occupy the Sudetenland; Czech government resigns.
November 9/10 - Kristallnacht
- The Night of Broken Glass.
See also: The History Place - Holocaust
January 30, 1939 - Hitler
threatens Jews during Reichstag speech.
March 15/16 - Nazis take Czechoslovakia.
March 28, 1939 - Spanish Civil war
May 22, 1939 - Nazis sign 'Pact of
Steel' with Italy.
August 23, 1939 - Nazis
and Soviets sign Pact.
August 25, 1939 - Britain and Poland
sign a Mutual Assistance Treaty.
August 31, 1939 - British fleet mobilizes;
Civilian evacuations begin from London.
September 1, 1939 - Nazis invade Poland.
September 3, 1939 - Britain, France, Australia
and New Zealand declare war on Germany.
September 4, 1939 - British Royal Air Force
attacks the German Navy.
September 5, 1939 - United States proclaims
its neutrality; German troops cross the Vistula River in Poland.
September 10, 1939 - Canada declares war
on Germany; Battle of the Atlantic begins.
September 17, 1939 - Soviets invade Poland.
September 27, 1939 - Warsaw surrenders to Nazis; Reinhard
Heydrich becomes the leader of new Reich Main Security Office (RSHA).
See also: The History Place - Biography of Reinhard Heydrich.
September 29, 1939 - Nazis and Soviets
divide up Poland.
In October - Nazis
begin euthanasia on sick and disabled in Germany.
November 8, 1939 - Assassination attempt
on Hitler fails.
November 30, 1939 - Soviets attack Finland.
December 14, 1939 - Soviet Union expelled
from the League of Nations.
January 8, 1940 - Rationing begins in
March 12, 1940 - Finland signs a peace
treaty with Soviets.
March 16, 1940 - Germans bomb Scapa
Flow naval base near Scotland.
April 9, 1940 - Nazis invade Denmark
May 10, 1940 - Nazis invade France,
Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands; Winston Churchill becomes British
May 15, 1940 - Holland surrenders
to the Nazis.
May 26, 1940 - Evacuation of Allied
troops from Dunkirk begins.
May 28, 1940 - Belgium surrenders
to the Nazis.
June 3, 1940 - Germans bomb Paris; Dunkirk evacuation ends.
June 10, 1940 - Norway surrenders
to the Nazis; Italy declares war on Britain and France.
June 14, 1940 - Germans
June 16, 1940 - Marshal Pétain
becomes French Prime Minister.
June 18, 1940 - Hitler
and Mussolini meet in Munich; Soviets begin occupation of the Baltic
June 22, 1940 - France signs an armistice
with Nazi Germany.
June 23, 1940 - Hitler tours Paris.
June 28, 1940 - Britain recognizes
General Charles de Gaulle as the Free French leader.
July 1, 1940 - German U-boats attack
merchant ships in the Atlantic.
July 5, 1940 - French Vichy government
breaks off relations with Britain.
July 10, 1940 - Battle of Britain
July 23, 1940 - Soviets take Lithuania,
Latvia and Estonia.
August 3-19 - Italians occupy British
Somaliland in East Africa.
August 13, 1940 - German bombing offensive
against airfields and factories in England.
August 15, 1940 - Air battles and daylight
raids over Britain.
August 17, 1940 - Hitler declares a
blockade of the British Isles.
August 23/24 - First German air raids
on Central London.
August 25/26 - First
British air raid on Berlin.
September 3, 1940 - Hitler plans Operation
Sea Lion (the invasion of Britain).
September 7, 1940 - German
Blitz against Britain begins.
September 13, 1940 - Italians invade Egypt.
September 15, 1940 - Massive
German air raids on London, Southampton, Bristol, Cardiff, Liverpool and
September 16, 1940 - United States military
conscription bill passed.
September 27, 1940 - Tripartite (Axis)
Pact signed by Germany, Italy and Japan.
October 7, 1940 - German troops enter
October 12, 1940 - Germans postpone Operation
Sea Lion until Spring of 1941.
October 28, 1940 - Italy invades Greece.
November 5, 1940 - Roosevelt re-elected
as U.S. president.
November 10/11 - Torpedo bomber raid
cripples the Italian fleet at Taranto, Italy.
November 14/15 - Germans bomb Coventry,
November 20, 1940 - Hungary joins the
November 22, 1940 - Greeks defeat the
Italian 9th Army.
November 23, 1940 - Romania joins the
December 9/10 - British begin a western
desert offensive in North Africa against the Italians.
December 29/30 - Massive
German air raid on London.
January 22, 1941 - Tobruk in North Africa
falls to the British and Australians.
February 11, 1941 - British forces advance
into Italian Somaliland in East Africa.
February 12, 1941 - German General Erwin
Rommel arrives in Tripoli, North Africa.
February 14, 1941 - First units of German
'Afrika Korps' arrive in North Africa.
March 7, 1941 - British forces arrive
March 11, 1941 - President Roosevelt
signs the Lend-Lease Act.
March 27, 1941 - A coup in Yugoslavia
overthrows the pro-Axis government.
April 3, 1941 - Pro-Axis regime set
up in Iraq.
April 6, 1941 - Nazis invade Greece
April 14, 1941 - Rommel attacks Tobruk.
April 17, 1941 - Yugoslavia surrenders
to the Nazis.
April 27, 1941 - Greece surrenders
to the Nazis.
May 1, 1941 - German attack on Tobruk is repulsed.
May 10, 1941 - Deputy Führer
Rudolph Hess flies to Scotland.
See also: The History Place - Biography
of Rudolph Hess
May 10/11 - Heavy German bombing
of London; British bomb Hamburg.
May 15, 1941 - Operation
Brevity begins (the British counter-attack in Egypt).
May 24, 1941 - Sinking of the British
ship Hood by the Bismarck.
May 27, 1941 - Sinking of the Bismarck
by the British Navy.
June 4, 1941 - Pro-Allied government
installed in Iraq.
June 8, 1941 - Allies invade Syria
June 14, 1941 - United States freezes
German and Italian assets in America.
June 22, 1941 - Germany attacks Soviet Union
as Operation Barbarossa begins.
In June - Nazi
SS-Einsatzgruppen begin mass murder.
June 28, 1941 - Germans capture Minsk.
July 3, 1941 - Stalin calls for a
scorched earth policy.
July 10, 1941 - Germans cross the
River Dnieper in the Ukraine.
July 12, 1941 - Mutual Assistance
agreement between British and Soviets.
July 14, 1941 - British occupy Syria.
July 26, 1941 - Roosevelt freezes
Japanese assets in United States and suspends relations.
July 31, 1941 - Göring instructs Heydrich to prepare for the
August 1, 1941 - United States announces
an oil embargo against aggressor states.
August 14, 1941 - Roosevelt
and Churchill announce the Atlantic Charter.
August 20, 1941 - Nazi siege of Leningrad
September 1, 1941 - Nazis
order Jews to wear yellow stars.
September 3, 1941 - First experimental
use of gas chambers at Auschwitz.
September 19, 1941 - Nazis take Kiev.
September 29, 1941 - Nazis murder 33,771
Jews at Kiev.
October 2, 1941 - Operation
Typhoon begins (German advance on Moscow).
October 16, 1941 - Germans take Odessa.
October 24, 1941 - Germans take Kharkov.
October 30, 1941 - Germans reach Sevastopol.
November 13, 1941 - British aircraft carrier
Ark Royal is sunk off Gibraltar by a U-boat.
November 20, 1941 - Germans take Rostov.
November 27, 1941 - Soviet troops retake
December 5, 1941 - German attack on Moscow
December 6, 1941 - Soviet Army launches
a major counter-offensive around Moscow.
December 7, 1941 - Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor; Hitler
issues the Night and Fog decree.
December 8, 1941 - United
States and Britain declare war on Japan.
December 11, 1941 - Hitler declares war on the United States.
December 16, 1941 - Rommel begins a retreat
to El Agheila in North Africa.
December 19, 1941 - Hitler takes complete
control of the German Army.
January 1, 1942 - Declaration of the
United Nations signed by 26 Allied nations.
January 13, 1942 - Germans begin a U-boat
offensive along east coast of USA.
January 20, 1942 - SS
Leader Heydrich holds the Wannsee Conference to coordinate the "Final
Solution of the Jewish Question."
January 21, 1942 - Rommel's counter-offensive
from El Agheila begins.
January 26, 1942 - First American forces
arrive in Great Britain.
In April - Japanese-Americans
sent to relocation centers.
April 23, 1942 - German air raids
begin against cathedral cities in Britain.
May 8, 1942 - German summer offensive
begins in the Crimea.
May 26, 1942 - Rommel begins an offensive
against the Gazala Line.
May 27, 1942 - SS Leader Heydrich
attacked in Prague.
May 30, 1942 - First thousand-bomber
British air raid (against Cologne).
In June - Mass murder of Jews by
gassing begins at Auschwitz.
June 4, 1942 - Heydrich dies of wounds.
June 5, 1942 - Germans besiege Sevastopol.
June 10, 1942 - Nazis liquidate Lidice in reprisal for Heydrich's
June 21, 1942 - Rommel captures Tobruk.
June 25, 1942 - General Dwight D. Eisenhower arrives
June 30, 1942 - Rommel reaches El
Alamein near Cairo, Egypt.
July 1-30 - First Battle of El Alamein.
July 3, 1942 - Germans take Sevastopol.
July 5, 1942 - Soviet resistance
in the Crimea ends.
July 9, 1942 - Germans begin a drive
toward Stalingrad in the USSR.
July 22, 1942 - First deportations
from the Warsaw Ghetto to concentration camps; Treblinka extermination
August 7, 1942 - British General Bernard
Montgomery takes command of Eighth Army in North Africa.
August 12, 1942 - Stalin and Churchill meet in Moscow.
August 17, 1942 - First all-American air attack in Europe.
August 23, 1942 - Massive German air
raid on Stalingrad.
September 2, 1942 - Rommel driven back
by Montgomery in the Battle of Alam Halfa.
September 13, 1942 - Battle of Stalingrad
October 5, 1942 - A German eyewitness observes SS mass murder.
October 18, 1942 - Hitler orders the
execution of all captured British commandos.
November 1, 1942 - Operation
Supercharge (Allies break Axis lines at El Alamein).
November 8, 1942 - Operation
Torch begins (U.S. invasion of North Africa).
November 11, 1942 - Germans and Italians
invade unoccupied Vichy France.
November 19, 1942 - Soviet counter-offensive
at Stalingrad begins.
December 2, 1942 - Professor Enrico Fermi
sets up an atomic reactor in Chicago.
December 13, 1942 - Rommel withdraws from
December 16, 1942 - Soviets defeat Italian
troops on the River Don in the USSR.
December 17, 1942 - British Foreign Secretary
Eden tells the British House of Commons of mass executions of Jews by
Nazis; U.S. declares those crimes will be avenged.
December 31, 1942 - Battle of the Barents
Sea between German and British ships.
January 2/3 - Germans begin a withdrawal
from the Caucasus.
January 10, 1943 - Soviets begin an offensive
against the Germans in Stalingrad.
January 14-24 - Casablanca
conference between Churchill and Roosevelt. During the conference,
Roosevelt announces the war can end only with "unconditional German
January 23, 1943 - Montgomery's
Eighth Army takes Tripoli.
January 27, 1943 - First bombing raid
by Americans on Germany (at Wilhelmshaven).
February 2, 1943 - Germans surrender at
Stalingrad in the first big defeat of Hitler's armies.
February 8, 1943 - Soviet troops take
February 14-25 - Battle of Kasserine Pass
between the U.S. 1st Armored Division and German Panzers in North Africa.
February 16, 1943 - Soviets re-take Kharkov.
February 18, 1943 -
Nazis arrest White Rose resistance leaders in Munich.
March 2, 1943 - Germans begin a withdrawal
from Tunisia, Africa.
March 15, 1943 - Germans re-capture
March 16-20 - Battle of Atlantic
climaxes with 27 merchant ships sunk by German
March 20-28 - Montgomery's Eighth
Army breaks through the Mareth Line in Tunisia.
April 6/7 - Axis forces in Tunisia
begin a withdrawal toward Enfidaville as American and British forces link.
April 19, 1943 - Waffen-SS attacks Jewish resistance in the Warsaw
May 7, 1943 - Allies take Tunisia.
May 13, 1943 - German and Italian
troops surrender in North Africa.
May 16, 1943 - Jewish resistance
in the Warsaw Ghetto ends.
May 16/17 - British air raid on the
May 22, 1943 - Dönitz suspends
U-boat operations in the North Atlantic.
June 10, 1943 - 'Pointblank' directive to improve Allied bombing strategy issued.
June 11, 1943 - Himmler orders the liquidation of all Jewish ghettos in Poland.
July 5, 1943 - Germans begin their
last offensive against Kursk.
July 9/10 - Allies
land in Sicily.
July 19, 1943 - Allies bomb Rome.
July 22, 1943 - Americans capture
July 24, 1943 - British bombing raid
July 25/26 - Mussolini arrested and
the Italian Fascist government falls; Marshal Pietro Badoglio takes over
and negotiates with Allies.
July 27/28 - Allied air raid causes
a firestorm in Hamburg.
August 12-17 - Germans evacuate Sicily.
August 17, 1943 - American daylight
air raids on Regensburg and Schweinfurt in Germany; Allies reach Messina,
August 23, 1943 - Soviet troops recapture
September 8, 1943 - Italian surrender
to Allies is announced.
September 9, 1943 - Allied landings at
Salerno and Taranto.
September 11, 1943 - Germans occupy Rome.
September 12, 1943 - Germans rescue Mussolini.
September 23, 1943 - Mussolini re-establishes
a Fascist government.
October 1, 1943 - Allies enter Naples,
October 4, 1943 - SS-Reichsführer Himmler gives speech
October 13, 1943 - Italy declares war
on Germany; Second American air raid on Schweinfurt.
November 6, 1943 - Russians recapture
Kiev in the Ukraine.
November 18, 1943 - Large British air
raid on Berlin.
November 28, 1943 - Roosevelt,
Churchill, Stalin meet at Teheran.
December 24-26 - Soviets launch offensives
on the Ukrainian front.
January 6, 1944 - Soviet troops advance
January 17, 1944 - First
attack toward Cassino, Italy.
January 22, 1944 - Allies land at Anzio in Italy.
January 27, 1944 - Leningrad relieved
after a 900-day siege.
February 15-18 - Allies bomb the monastery
at Monte Cassino.
February 16, 1944 - Germans
counter-attack against the Anzio beachhead.
March 4, 1944 - Soviet troops begin
an offensive on the Belorussian front; First major daylight bombing raid
on Berlin by the Allies.
March 15, 1944 - Second Allied attempt to capture Monte Cassino begins.
March 18, 1944 - British drop 3000
tons of bombs during an air raid on Hamburg,
April 8, 1944 - Soviet troops begin
an offensive to liberate Crimea.
May 9, 1944 - Soviet troops recapture
May 11, 1944 - Allies attack the
Gustav Line south of Rome.
May 12, 1944 - Germans surrender
in the Crimea.
May 15, 1944 - Germans withdraw to
the Adolf Hitler Line.
May 25, 1944 - Germans retreat from
June 5, 1944 - Allies enter Rome.
June 6, 1944 - D-Day landings on the northern coast of France.
June 9, 1944 - Soviet offensive against
the Finnish front begins.
June 10, 1944 - Nazis
liquidate the town of Oradour-sur-Glane in France.
June 13, 1944 - First
German V-1 rocket attack on Britain.
June 22, 1944 - Operation
Bagration begins (the Soviet summer offensive).
June 27, 1944 - U.S.
troops liberate Cherbourg, France.
July 3, 1944 - 'Battle of the Hedgerows'
in Normandy; Soviets capture Minsk.
July 9, 1944 - British and Canadian
troops capture Caen, France.
July 18, 1944 - U.S. troops reach St. Lô, France.
July 20, 1944 - Assassination
attempt by German Army officers against Hitler fails.
July 24, 1944 - Soviet troops liberate
first concentration camp at Majdanek.
July 25-30 - Operation Cobra (U.S. troops break out west of St. Lô).
July 28, 1944 - Soviet troops take
Brest-Litovsk. U.S. troops take Coutances.
August 1, 1944 - Polish Home Army uprising
against Nazis in Warsaw begins; U.S. troops reach Avranches.
August 4, 1944 - Anne Frank and family
arrested by the Gestapo in Amsterdam, Holland.
August 7, 1944 - Germans begin a major
counter-attack toward Avranches.
August 15, 1944 - Operation Dragoon
begins (the Allied invasion of Southern France).
August 19, 1944 - Resistance uprising in Paris.
August 19/20 - Soviet offensive in the
Balkans begins with an attack on Romania.
August 20, 1944 - Allies encircle Germans in the Falaise Pocket.
August 25, 1944 - Liberation of Paris.
August 29, 1944 - Slovak uprising begins.
August 31, 1944 - Soviet troops take
September 1-4 - Verdun,
Dieppe, Artois, Rouen, Abbeville, Antwerp and Brussels liberated by Allies.
September 4, 1944 - Finland and the Soviet
Union agree to a cease-fire.
September 13, 1944 - U.S.
troops reach the Siegfried Line in western Germany.
September 17, 1944 - Operation
Market Garden begins (Allied airborne assault on Holland).
September 26, 1944 - Soviet troops occupy
October 2, 1944 - Warsaw Uprising ends
as the Polish Home Army surrenders to the Germans.
October 10-29 - Soviet troops capture
October 14, 1944 - Allies liberate Athens;
Rommel commits suicide.
October 21, 1944 - Massive German surrender at Aachen, Germany.
October 30, 1944 - Last use of gas chambers
November 20, 1944 - French troops drive
through the 'Beffort Gap' to reach the Rhine.
November 24, 1944 - French capture Strasbourg.
December 4, 1944 - Civil War in Greece;
Athens placed under martial law.
December 16-27 - Battle
of the Bulge in the Ardennes.
December 17, 1944 - Waffen-SS murder 81 U.S. POWs at Malmedy.
December 26, 1944 - Patton relieves Bastogne.
December 27, 1944 - Soviet troops besiege
January 1-17 - Germans withdraw from
January 16, 1945 - U.S. 1st and 3rd Armies
link up after a month long separation during the Battle of the Bulge.
January 17, 1945 - Soviet troops capture
January 26, 1945 - Soviet troops liberate
February 4-11 - Roosevelt,
Churchill, Stalin meet at Yalta.
February 13/14 - Dresden is destroyed
by a firestorm after Allied bombing raids.
March 6, 1945 - Last German offensive
of the war begins to defend oil fields in Hungary.
March 7, 1945 - Allies take Cologne and establish a bridge across
the Rhine at Remagen.
March 30, 1945 - Soviet troops capture
In April - Allies
discover stolen Nazi art and wealth hidden in German salt mines.
April 1, 1945 - U.S. troops encircle
Germans in the Ruhr; Allied offensive in northern
April 12, 1945 - Allies liberate Buchenwald and Belsen concentration
President Roosevelt dies. Harry Truman becomes President.
April 16, 1945 - Soviet troops begin
their final attack on Berlin; Americans enter Nuremberg.
April 18, 1945 - German forces in
the Ruhr surrender.
April 21, 1945 - Soviets reach Berlin.
April 28, 1945 - Mussolini is captured
and hanged by Italian partisans; Allies take Venice.
April 29, 1945 - U.S. 7th Army liberates Dachau.
April 30, 1945 - Adolf
Hitler commits suicide.
May 2, 1945 - German troops in Italy
May 7, 1945 - Unconditional surrender of all German forces to Allies.
May 8, 1945 - V-E
(Victory in Europe) Day.
May 9, 1945 - Hermann Göring
is captured by members of the U.S. 7th Army.
May 23, 1945 - SS-Reichsführer
Himmler commits suicide; German High Command and Provisional Government
June 5, 1945 - Allies divide up Germany
and Berlin and take over the government.
June 26, 1945 - United
Nations Charter is signed in San Francisco.
July 1, 1945 - American, British, and
French troops move into Berlin.
July 16, 1945 - First U.S. atomic
bomb test; Potsdam Conference begins.
July 26, 1945 - Atlee succeeds Churchill
as British Prime Minister.
August 6, 1945 - First atomic bomb dropped,
on Hiroshima, Japan.
August 8, 1945 - Soviets declares war
on Japan and invade Manchuria.
August 9, 1945 - Second atomic bomb dropped, on Nagasaki, Japan.
August 14, 1945 - Japanese
agree to unconditional surrender.
September 2, 1945 - Japanese
sign the surrender agreement; V-J (Victory
over Japan) Day.
October 24, 1945 - United Nations is
November 20, 1945 - Nuremberg war crimes trials begin.
October 16 - Hermann Göring commits
suicide two hours before his scheduled execution.
Statistics of World War II
Copyright © 1996 The History
Place All Rights Reserved
See also: The History Place three-part narrative history of Adolf Hitler (62 chapters)
I. The Rise of Hitler - from unknown to dictator of Germany.
II. The Triumph of Hitler - the prewar years of Nazi Germany.
III. The Defeat of Hitler - the quest for a Nazi empire.
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