WWII Timeline


Adolf Hitler becomes Chancellor of Germany

January 30, 1933

Adolf Hitler, leader of the Nazi Party, becomes chancellor of Germany and almost immediately begins consolidating his power and imprisoning his political enemies


November 9, 1938

Kristallnacht (Night of Broken Glass): a series of coordinated attacks against Jews throughout Germany.

Lend- Lease Act

March 11, 1941

At the urging of FDR, US Congress passes Lend- Lease Act, which provides the British, the only European power left fighting Nazi Germany, with much needed war supplies.

Bombing at Pearl Harbor

December 7,1941

Japanese naval and air force attack the US naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, plunging the United States into WWII.

Executive Order 9066

February 19, 1942

FDR signs Executive Order 9066, which soon leads to the internment in isolated camps of more than 110,000 Japanese Americans for the remainder of the war.

WAAC Created

May 15, 1942

The Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) is created, giving women an opportunity to serve in the Army.

"Rosie the Riveter" First Appears

May 29, 1943

“Rosie the Riveter” appears on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post as a tribute to women working in defense factories.

Tuskegee Airmen's First Combat Mission

June 2, 1943

The Tuskegee Airmen, African American pilots trained at Tuskegee Airfield in Alabama, undertake their first combat missions protecting bombers flying over Europe.

D- Day takes place

June 6, 1944

D-Day: in the largest invasion in WWII, Allied forces storm the beach in Normandy, France.

Battle of the Bulge

December 16, 1944

Battle of the Bulge: Germany’s last offensive in Western Europe threatens to push the Americans back toward the Atlantic. It would become known as the largest and bloodiest battle the US fought during WWII.

Soviet Troops Liberate Auschwitz

January 26, 1945

Soviet troops liberate Auschwitz death camp in southern Poland.

Yalta Conference

February 4, 1945

British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, US President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Soviet General Secretary Joseph Stalin meet at Yalta, Soviet Union, to discuss post- war reorganization of Europe

Flag at Iwo Jima Raised

February 23, 1945

US Marines raise the flag atop Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima, four days into the 36 day battle for the tiny Japanese- held island.

V-E Day

May 8, 1945

Victory in Europe (V-E Day) is declared as Germany offers unconditional surrender to the Allies.

Hiroshima and Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Attack

August 6, 1945 - August 9, 1945

The US Army Air Force drops two nearly developed atomic bombs, one each on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Japanese Sign Surrender Documents- War Ends

September 2, 1945

Following their announcement of surrender two weeks earlier, Japanese dignitaries sign the official surrender documents aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay, ending WWII.

Nuremberg War Crime Trials

November 2, 1945

The Nuremberg War Crimes Trials of top Nazi political and military leaders begins; many of the horrors to the Holocaust are brought to the public’s attention.