WWII Timeline

By: Aleck Rettew

European Theatre

Munich Conference

September 28, 1938 - September 29, 1938

Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, French Premier Edouard Daladier, and British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain signed the Munich Pact, which seals the fate of Czechoslovakia, virtually handing it over to Germany in the name of peace.

Kristallnacht or The Night of Broken Glass

November 9, 1938

Nazis in Germany torched synagogues, vandalized Jewish homes, schools and businesses and killed close to 100 Jews. In the aftermath of Kristallnacht, some 30,000 Jewish men were arrested and sent to Nazi concentration camps.

German Invasion of Poland

September 1, 1939

The German-Soviet Pact of August 1939, which stated that Poland was to be partitioned between the two powers, enabled Germany to attack Poland without the fear of Soviet intervention. On September 1, 1939, Germany invaded Poland. The Polish army was defeated within weeks of the invasion.

France Surrenders to Germany

June 22, 1940

The French government signed an armistice with Nazi Germany just six weeks after the Nazis launched their invasion of Western Europe.

The Battle of Britain

July 10, 1940 - October 31, 1940

The Battle of Britain ended when Germany's Luftwaffe failed to gain air superiority over the Royal Air Force despite months of targeting Britain's air bases, military posts and, ultimately, its civilian population.

Lend-Lease Act

March 11, 1941

The Lend-Lease Act was the principal means for providing U.S. military aid to foreign nations of the Allied Powers

Operation Barbarossa

June 22, 1941 - December 5, 1941

Germany invaded the Soviet Union. Codenamed Operation Barbarossa, it was the largest military operation in history, involving more than 3 million Axis troops and 3,500 tanks. This event led the Soviet Union to leave the Axis Powers and join the Allies.

The Battle of Stalingrad

August 23, 1942 - February 2, 1943

General Paulus surrendered what remained of his army-some 91,000 men. About 150,000 Germans had died in the fighting. The Soviet victory at Stalingrad was a great humiliation for Hitler, who had elevated the battle's importance in German opinion.

The Battle of El Alamein

October 23, 1942 - November 11, 1942

Fought at El Alamein in Egypt, 60 miles west of Alexandria. The German Afrika Korps under Rommel was halted in its advance towards the Nile by the British 8th Army under Montgomery, giving a decisive British victory.

Warsaw Ghetto Uprising

April 19, 1943 - May 16, 1943

Residents of the Jewish ghetto in Nazi-occupied Warsaw, Poland, staged an armed revolt against deportations to extermination camps.

D'DAY or Operation Overlord

June 6, 1944

The Allied Forces of Britain, America, Canada, and France attacked German forces on the coast of Normandy, France. With a huge force of over 150,000 soldiers, the Allies attacked and gained a victory that became the turning point for World War II in Europe.

The Battle of the Bulge

December 16, 1944 - January 25, 1945

The Battle of the Bulge, also known as the Ardennes Offensive, was the largest battle fought on the Western Front in Europe during World War II; it is also the largest battle ever fought by the United States Army.

The Yalta Conference

February 4, 1945 - February 11, 1945

The Yalta Conference was the second wartime meeting of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin and U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt. During the conference, the three leaders agreed to demand Germany’s unconditional surrender and began plans for a post-war world.

V-E Day

May 8, 1945

Victory in Europe Day marks the formal acceptance by the Allies of World War II of Nazi Germany's unconditional surrender of its armed forces.

Nuremburg Trials

November 20, 1945 - October 1, 1946

Judges from the Allied powers--Great Britain, France, the Soviet Union, and the United States--presided over the hearings of twenty-two major Nazi criminals. Twelve prominent Nazis were sentenced to death.

Pacific Theatre

Japanese Attack on Pearl Harbor

December 7, 1941

Japanese planes attacked the United States Naval Base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii Territory. The bombing killed more than 2,300 Americans. It completely destroyed the American battleship U.S.S.

The Bataan Death March

April 9, 1942 - April 15, 1942

The Bataan Death March was when the Japanese forced 76,000 captured Allied soldiers (Filipinos and Americans) to march about 80 miles across the Bataan Peninsula. The march took place in April of 1942.

The Battle of Coral Sea

May 4, 1942 - May 8, 1942

The Battle of the Coral Sea was a major naval battle in the Pacific Theater of World War II between the Imperial Japanese Navy and naval and air forces from the United States and Australia.

The Battle of Midway

June 4, 1942 - June 7, 1942

The United States Navy decisively defeated an attacking fleet of the Imperial Japanese Navy near Midway Atoll, inflicting devastating damage on the Japanese fleet that proved irreparable.

The Battle of Guadalcanal

August 7, 1942 - February 9, 1943

Guadalcanal was the first major offensive and a decisive victory for the Allies in the Pacific theater. With Japanese troops stationed in this section of the Solomon Islands, U.S. marines launched a surprise attack in August 1942 and took control of an air base under construction.

The Battle of Leyte Gulf

October 23, 1944 - October 26, 1944

It was the largest naval battle ever fought, ending in the eclipse of the Imperial Japanese Navy and its last sortie in force. Leyte Gulf also was the scene of the first organized use of Kamikaze aircraft by the Japanese.

The Battle of Iwo Jima

February 19, 1945 - March 26, 1945

The American amphibious invasion of Iwo Jima during World War II stemmed from the need for a base near the Japanese coast. Following elaborate preparatory air and naval bombardment, three U.S. marine divisions landed on the island in February 1945.

The Battle of Okinawa

April 1, 1945 - June 22, 1945

The Battle of Okinawa, also known as Operation Iceberg, took place in April-June 1945. It was the largest amphibious landing in the Pacific theater of World War II. It also resulted in the largest casualties with over 100,000 Japanese casualties and 50,000 casualties for the Allies.

The Potsdam Declaration

July 26, 1945

The Potsdam Declaration or the Proclamation Defining Terms for Japanese Surrender is a statement that called for the surrender of all Japanese armed forces.

Atomic Bomb Dropped on Hiroshima

August 6, 1945

An American B-29 bomber dropped the world's first deployed atomic bomb over the Japanese city of Hiroshima. The explosion wiped out 90 percent of the city and immediately killed 80,000 people; tens of thousands more would later die of radiation exposure.

Atomic Bomb Dropped on Nagasaki

August 9, 1945

An atomic bomb deployed by America just three days after the deployment of the atomic bomb over Hiroshima.

V-J Day

September 2, 1945

Victory Over Japan Day occurred on September 2, 1945, when Japan's formal surrender took place aboard the U.S.S. Missouri, anchored in Tokyo Bay.

Timeline Created by Aleck Rettew