History Timeline

World War 2 Timeline



YEAR 1939

  • September 1 - Nazi Germany invades Poland starting the World War II.

  • September 3 - France and Great Britain declare war on Germany.

  • September 4 - Winston Churchill is appointed the First Lord of the Admiralty.

  • September 10 - Canada declares war on Germany.

  • September 17 - Eastern Poland is invaded by the Soviet troops.

  • September 18 - Polish President Ignacy Moscicki and Commander-in-Chief of the Polish Army Edward Rydz-Smigly leave Poland for Romania where they are both interned.

  • September 27 - Warsaw capitulates.

  • September 28 - Poland is divided between the Nazi Germany and the USSR with the German-Soviet Boundary and Friendship Treaty signed by both foreign ministers Vyacheslav Molotov and Joachim von Ribbentrop.

  • October 2 - The United States of America and members of Organization of American States (except for Canada) declare neutrality in the war.

  • October 6 - France and Great Britain reject Hitler's peace proposal.

  • October 8 - Western Poland is annexed by the Nazi Germany.

  • October 10 - The Jews from Poland are deported to the Lublin Ghetto.

  • November 18 - Georg Elser's attempt to assassinate Hitler fails.

  • November 30 - The Red Army invades Finland starting the so-called Winter War.

YEAR 1940

  • March 12 - The Moscow Peace Treaty ends the Winter War. Finland cedes Karelia, part of the Salla area and some other territories to the USSR but preserves its independence.

  • April 9 - The Germans invade Denmark and Norway.

  • April 15 - British troops land in Norway but pull out of the country by May 2.

  • May 10 - The Germans invade the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg.

  • May 10 - Winston Churchill replaces Neville Chamberlain as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

  • May 15 - The Dutch army capitulates.

  • May 21 - French cities of Amiens and Arras fall to the Germans.

  • May 28 - Belgium surrenders.

  • May 26 - Beginning of the Dunkirk evacuation.

  • June 10 - Italy declares war on Britain and France.

  • June 10 - Italy invades France.

  • June 14 - The German troops enter Paris.

  • June 16 - Philippe Petain becomes French premier.

  • June 17 - The Soviet Union occupies Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

  • June 18 - General Charles de Gaulle forms the French government in exile and proclaims himself the legal representative of France.

  • June 22 - The French sign an armistice with the Nazi Germany at Compiegne Forest, the same site where the 1918 Armistice was signed.

  • June 27 - The Red Army invades Romania.

  • July 10 - Establishment of the Vichy France.

  • July 10 - Hitler launches air campaign against the United Kingdom, known as the Battle of Britain.

  • September 2 - The United States and the United Kingdom conclude the Destroyers for Bases Agreement. Britain obtains 50 destroyers from the US Navy in exchange for land right on various British possessions for the US naval and air bases.

  • September 7 - The Germans start the Blitz, a sustained bombing of Britain.

  • September 16 - The Italians invade Egypt.

  • September 17 - Hitler indefinitely postpones the Operation Sea Lion, a plan to invade Britain.

  • September 22 - The Japanese invade Indochina.

  • September 27 - The Tripartite Pact is signed by Germany, Italy and Japan in Berlin.

  • October 12 - The Germans enter Bucharest.

  • October 28 - The Italian invasion of Greece from Albania fails. The Greeks immediately launch a counterattack and advance into Albania.

  • November 20 - Hungary joins the Tripartite Pact.

  • November 23 - Romania signs the Tripartite Pact.

  • November 24 - The Slovak Republic signs the Tripartite Pact.

  • November 5 - Franklin D. Roosevelt is reelected President of the United States.

  • December 8 - The Allies launch the Operation Compass.

  • December 15 - The Italians are forced to withdraw from Egypt to Libya.

YEAR 1941

  • February 9 - The Allies decisively defeat the Italians in the Operation Compass and capture almost whole Cyrenaica (eastern coast of today's Libya).

  • February 12 - The first units of the German Afrika Korps under the command of Erwin Rommel arrive in Tripoli, Libya.

  • March 1 - Bulgaria joins the Tripartite Pact.

  • March 11 - The Lend Lease Act is passed by the US Congress allowing the allied countries to purchase military equipment and pay for it after the end of the war.

  • March 25 - Yugoslav government signs the Tripartite Pact.

  • March 27 - Anti-Axis Serbian public and military overthrow the government and the Regent, Prince Paul.

  • April 5 - The British forces capture Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.

  • April 6 - The Axis Powers launch the Balkans Campaign - invasion of Greece and Yugoslavia.

  • April 10 - Creation of the Independent State of Croatia, a puppet state of Nazi Germany.

  • April 13- The Soviet-Japanese Neutrality Pact is signed in Moscow.

  • April 17 - Yugoslavia surrenders.

  • May 20 - Hitler's Deputy in the Nazi Party, Rudolf Hess is captured in Scotland on his self-appointed mission to negotiate peace with the United Kingdom.

  • May 20 - The German paratroopers land in Crete starting the Battle of Crete.

  • May 27 - The German battleship Bismarck is sunk.

  • June 22 - Nazi Germany invades the Soviet Union (Operation Barbarossa).

  • June 28 - German troops capture Minsk.

  • July 1 - Claude Auchinleck replaces Archibald Wavell as Commander-in-Chief of the Middle East Command.

  • July 7 - Iceland is occupied by the United States.

  • July 12 - The United Kingdom and the Soviet Union sign the assistant pact.

  • July 27 - The Germans invade Ukraine.

  • August 14 - US President Franklin D. Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill issue the Atlantic Charter.

  • August 25 - The British and Soviet troops invade Persia (Iran).

  • September 19 - The Germans capture Kiev.

  • October 17 - General Hideki Tojo replaces Prince Fumimaro Konoe as Prime Minister of Japan.

  • December 7 - The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

  • December 8 - The United States and Britain declare war on Japan.

  • December 11 - Germany and Italy declare war on the United States and vice versa.

  • December 5 - The Germans call off the attack on Moscow.

  • December 25 - Hong Kong surrenders to the Japanese.

YEAR 1942

  • January 2 - Manilla falls to the Japanese.

  • January 11 - The Germans launch the Operation Drumbeat commonly known as the Second Happy Time during which the Axis submarines attack the merchant ships in the Atlantic.

  • January 10 - The Japanese capture Kuala Lumpur.

  • January 20 - The Wannsee Conference was held by the Nazi officials on the "Final solution of the Jewish question".

  • January 21 - Erwin Rommel launches a surprising counterattack at El Agheila.

  • February 15 - The Japanese capture Singapore.

  • February 28 - The Japanese invade Java.

  • March 8 - Rangoon is captured by the Japanese.

  • April 9 - The Japanese capture Bataan.

  • May 4 - May 8 - The Battle of the Coral Sea ends with Japanese tactical victory but it turned out to be a strategic victory for the Allies.

  • May 6 - Corregidor falls to the Japanese.

  • June 3 - June 7 - The United States Navy decisively defeats the Imperial Japanese Navy in the Battle of Midway.

  • June 21 - Tobruk is recaptured by the Afrika Korps.

  • July 1 - July 21 - The First Battle of El Alamein between the Axis forces under the command of Erwin Rommel and the Allies ends tactically inconclusive but the battle was proved to be a strategic victory for the Allies.

  • July 4 - Sevastopol is captured by the Germans.

  • August 7 - The Allies launch the Guadalcanal Campaign.

  • August 19 - The Allies suffer severe losses in the Dieppe Raid also known as the Operation Jubilee.

  • September 8 - The German Army Group North and the Finnish defense forces start the Siege of Leningrad.

  • October 23 - November 3 - The English under the command of Bernard Montgomery decisively defeat the Axis forces in the Second Battle of El Alamein and force Erwin Rommel to retreat.

  • November 8 - The Allies invade Vichy-controlled Morocco and Algeria (Operation Torch).

  • November 11 - The Germans invade Vichy France.

  • November 12 - November 15 - The Allies decisively defeat the Imperial Japanese Navy in the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal also known as the Battle of the Solomons.

  • November 13 - The British recapture Tobruk.

  • November 22 - The Red Army under the command of General Georgy Zhukov encircles the Germans in Stalingrad (Operation Uranus).

YEAR 1943

  • January 14 - January 24 - Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Charles de Gaulle meet at the Casablanca Conference.

  • January 15 - The Japanese begin to withdraw from Guadalcanal.

  • January 23 - Tripoli falls to the Allies.

  • January 30 - Karl Dönitz replaces Erich Raeder as Commander-in-Chief of the German Navy and Grand Admiral of the Naval High Command.

  • January 31 - Field Marshal Friedrich Paulus surrenders at Stalingrad.

  • February 18 - Joseph Goebbels declares a "Total War" against the Allies in his speech at the Berlin Sportpalast.

  • March 26 - The British Eight Army breaks through the Mareth Line in southern Tunisia.

  • April 13 - The Germans discover mass graves of the Poles killed in the Katyn massacre.

  • April 19 - May 16 - The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.

  • May 11- The American troops invade the Attu Island in the Aleutian Islands.

  • May 13 - The German Africa Korps and the Italian forces in North Africa surrender.

  • May 24 - Karl Dönitz orders the German U-boats to withdraw from the Atlantic.

  • June 3 - The French Committee of National Liberation is formed by Henri Giraud and Charles the Gaulle.

  • June 30 - The American troops land on Rendova Island.

  • July 5 - August 23 - The Germans are defeated by the Red Army in the Battle of Kursk, the largest tank battle in history.

  • July 22 - Allied invasion of Sicily.

  • July 25 - Benito Mussolini is arrested.

  • August 17 - August 24 - Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and William Lyon Mackenzie King meet at the First Quebec Conference.

  • September 3 - The Allies invade the mainland Italy.

  • September 8 - Italy capitulates.

  • September 10 - The Germans occupy Rome.

  • September 12 - Benito Mussolini is rescued from the prison by the German paratroopers.

  • September 23 - The Italian Social Republic is established by Benito Mussolini in northern Italy.

  • September 25 - Smolensk falls to the Red Army.

  • October 13 - Italy declares war on Germany.

  • November 1 - The American troops land on Bougainville in the Solomon Islands.

  • November 6 - The Red Army captures Kiev.

  • November 22 - November 26 - Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and Chiang Kai-shek (Chairman of the Nationalist Government of China) meet at the Cairo Conference.

  • November 28 - December 1 - Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin meet at the Tehran Conference.

YEAR 1944

  • January 11 - Count Galeazzo Ciano, Mussolini's son-in-law and Italian foreign minister is executed.

  • January 22 - The Allies land at Anzio in Italy starting the Operation Shingle.

  • January 27 - The Red Army lifts the Siege of Leningrad.

  • March 4 - The Soviet Union launches the Narva Offensive.

  • March 19 - Hungary is occupied by the Germans.

  • April 22 - The Allies land in New Guinea.

  • May 9 - Sevastopol (Crimea) is captured by the Red Army.

  • May 12- Crimea is liberated by the Red Army.

  • May 18 - The Allies win the Battle of Monte Cassino (started on January 17) but suffer severe casualties.

  • June 4 - The Allies enter Rome.

  • June 6 - Beginning of D-Day, landing of allied troops in Normandy.

  • June 9 - The Soviet Union launches an offensive against Finland.

  • June 10 - The village of Oradour-sur-Glane is completely destroyed and all its 642 inhabitants including women and children massacred by the German Waffen-SS company.

  • June 12/13 - Hitler launches V1 Flying Bomb attack on England.

  • June 15 - July 9 - The US Marines capture Saipan in the Mariana Islands from the Japanese.

  • June 19 - The US Navy decisively defeats the Imperial Japanese Navy in the Battle of the Philippine Sea.

  • June 22 - The Soviet Union launches the Operation Bagration forcing the Germans to withdraw from Belarus and eastern Poland by August 19.

  • June 27 - The Allies liberate the city of Cherbourg.

  • July 3 - Minsk is liberated by the Red Army.

  • July 9 - Caen is liberated by the Allies.

  • July 13 - The Red Army captures Vilna in Lithuania.

  • July 18 - General Hideki Tojo resigns as chief minister of the Japanese government.

  • July 20 - The July 20 Plot, an attempt to assassinate Hitler carried out by Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg fails.

  • July 23 - King Michael of Romania leads the coup d'etat against pro-Nazi Prime Minister Ion Antonescu, breaks off with the Axis and joins the Allies.

  • July 28 - Brest-Litovsk is captured by the Soviet forces.

  • July 31 - The First United States Army breaks through the German lines at Avranches (Operation Cobra).

  • August 1 - Outbreak of the Warsaw Uprising.

  • August 15 - The Allies land in southern France starting the Operation Dragoon.

  • August 21 - October 7 - The Dumbarton Oaks Conference attended by the representatives of the Soviet Union, the Unites States, the United Kingdom and China results in agreement about the basic structure of the United Nations.

  • August 25 - The Allies liberate Paris.

  • August 30 - The Red Army enters Bucharest.

  • September 2 - Finland signs an armistice with the Soviet Union.

  • September 3 - Brussels is liberated by the Allies.

  • September 12 - September 16 - The Morgenthau Plan, a plan for the postwar Germany proposed and named after Henry Morgenthau, Jr., United States Secretary of Treasury is presented at the Second Quebec Conference.

  • September 16 - The Soviet forces enter Sofia.

  • September 30 - The Germans in Calais surrender to the Canadian troops.

  • October 2 - The Polish Home Army, a Polish resistance movement to liberate Warsaw surrenders to the Germans.

  • October 14 - German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel commits suicide.

  • October 18 - Hitler orders conscription of all males between the ages of 16 to 60 years (Volkssturm).

  • October 20 - The Yugoslav Partizans and Soviet forces liberate Belgrade.

  • October 21 - Aachen is captured by the Allies.

  • November 7 - Franklin D. Roosevelt is reelected President of the United States.

  • December 16 - The Germans launch the Ardennes Offensive, also known as the Battle of the Bulge.

  • December 31 - Hungary declares war on Germany.

YEAR 1945

  • January 1 - The Polish Committee of National Liberation is proclaimed the Provisional Government of Republic of Poland despite the protests of the Polish government-in-exile.

  • January 12 - The Red Army launches a major offensive in East Prussia.

  • January 17 - The Red Army liberates Warsaw.

  • February 4 - February 11- Joseph Stalin, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill meet at the Yalta Conference to discuss reorganization of Europe after the war.

  • February 5 - March 3 - The US forces capture Manila.

  • February 13 - The Red Army captures Budapest.

  • February 13/14 - The Bombing of Dresden.

  • February 19 - March 26 - Iwo Jima is captured by the US troops.

  • April 1 - The US forces land on Okinawa starting the Operation Iceberg.

  • April 9 - Wilhelm Canaris, German admiral and member of the German resistance is executed.

  • April 10 - Buchenwald concentration camp is liberated by the US forces.

  • April 12 - US President Franklin D. Roosevelt dies and is succeeded by Vice President Harry S. Truman.

  • April 13 - The Soviet forces capture Vienna.

  • April 25 - The Soviet and German troops meet at the River Elbe near Torgau in Germany.

  • April 28 - Benito Mussolini and his mistress Clara Petacci are captured and executed by the Italian partisans.

  • April 30 - Adolf Hitler and his wife Eva Braun commit suicide.

  • May 1 - Joseph Goebbels commits suicide.

  • May 2 - Berlin is captured by the Red Army.

  • May 3 - Rangoon is liberated the Allies.

  • May 7 - Germany unconditionally surrenders.

  • May 9 - The Red Army enters Prague.

  • June 5 - The Allies divide Germany into four occupation zones.

  • June 22 - The Allies capture Okinawa.

  • June 26 - Signature of the United Nations Charter in San Francisco.

  • July 17 - August 2 - The Potsdam Conference.

  • July 26 - Winston Churchill is defeated by Clement Attlee in the United Kingdom general election.

  • August 6 - The "Little Boy", the first atomic bomb is dropped on Hiroshima.

  • August 8 - The USSR declares war on Japan.

  • August 9 - The "Fat Man", a second atomic bomb is dropped on Nagasaki.

  • August 14 - Japanese announcement of unconditional surrender ends the World War II (formally on September 2 when the Japanese representatives and General Douglas MacArthur on behalf of the Allies sign the Japanese Instrument of Surrender on the US battleship Missouri).

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