World War 2 Timeline


Hitler Becomes Chancellor

January 30, 1933

Adolf Hitler becomes Chancellor of Germany.


November 10, 1938

During the German Kristallnacht (Night of Broken Glass), 7500 Jewish businesses are looted, 191 synagogues are set afire, nearly 100 Jews are killed, and tens of thousands are sent to concentration camps.

Germany Invades Poland.

September 1, 1939

German troops invade Poland on the ground while Hitler's air force bombs Polish cities from the sky.

World War II Starts

September 1, 1939

World War ii Begins.

Britain and France Declare War.

September 3, 1939

Britain and France declare war on Germany honoring their commitment to Poland. President Franklin D. Roosevelt invokes the Neutrality Act but notes, "Even a neutral cannot be asked to close his mind or his conscience.

canada declares war on germany.

September 10, 1939

Canada declares war on Germany.

Hitler Seizes Low Countries.

Apr 1, 1940

Adolf Hitler takes neutral Denmark, Norway, Belgium, Holland, and Luxembourg.

Roosevelt Aids Britain

Sep 3, 1940

President Franklin D. Roosevelt makes a deal to give Great Britain 50 destroyers in exchange for naval bases in Newfoundland, Bermuda, and sites in the Caribbean and the South Atlantic.

Germany Invades Soviet Union

Jun 22, 1941

Germany invades the Soviet Union violating the Nonaggression Pact. U.S. Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson estimates that it will take Hitler less than three months to conquer the Soviet Union.

Roosevelt Warns Japanese

Aug 17, 1941

President Franklin D. Roosevelt warns the Japanese government to cease all aggression toward neighboring countries or else face United States forces.

Japanese Decide to Attack

Nov 3, 1941

The Japanese government decides to attack Pearl Harbor if negotiations with the United States fail.

U.S. Learns Japanese Plan

Nov 29, 1941

U.S. Naval cryptographers learn from secret code that Japan plans aggressive action if an agreement with the United States is not met.

Pearl Harbor

Dec 7, 1941

Japanese fighter planes attack the American base at Pearl Harbor destroying U.S. aircraft and naval vessels, and killing 2,355 U.S. servicemen and 68 civilians.

United States At War.

Dec 11, 1941

Germany and Italy, Japan's axis partners, declare war on the United States. The United States declares war on Germany, Italy, and Japan.

Italy Surrenders

Sep 8, 1943

RANGEEND_ITALY The Italian government officially surrenders to the Allied powers; still, German forces occupy much of Italy.


June 6, 1944

The first of nearly 3 million Allied soldiers arrive in Normandy, on the northern shores of France.

FDR Dies

Apr 12, 1945

President Franklin D. Roosevelt dies of a cerebral hemorrhage in Warm Springs, Georgia.
Harry Truman becomes President.

Hitler Commits Suicide.

May 1, 1945

Adolf Hitler commits suicide in Berlin.

Germany Surrenders

May 7, 1945

The German army signs an unconditional surrender to allies.

V-E Day: Victory in Europe for the Allies

May 8, 1945

Now Allied forces focus on defeating Japan, with the U.S. in the forefront of
this attack.

1st Atomic Bomb

Aug 6, 1945

The United States drops an atomic bomb—the first to be used in warfare—on Hiroshima, killing 75,000 people instantly, and injuring more than 100,000.

Soviet Union Enters Pacific.

Aug 8, 1945

With still no surrender from Japan, the Soviet Union enters the Pacific war as promised in Yalta, defeating Japanese forces in Manchuria.

2nd Atomic Bomb

Aug 9, 1945

2nd Atomic Bomb Dropped in Nagasaki, Japan.

World War II Ends

Sep 2, 1945

A formal surrender ceremony is conducted in Tokyo Bay on the U.S. battleship Missouri. World War II officially ends.