Fascism in Italy

October 1922

Mussolini becomes Prime Minister.


October 1929

The American stock market crash starts a world-wide Depression, which is at its worst in most of Europe from the summer of 1931 through the end of 1932 and in some places much longer.

Germany starts to go at it alone

October 1933

The third Reich withdraws from the disarmament conference and the league of nations.

german-polish non-aggression pact

January 1934

This agreement, Hitler's first significant initiative in Eastern Europe.

German rearmament

March 1935

The third Reich repudits the disarmament clauses of the Treaty of Versailles and begins the rearm openly.

Reoccupation of Rhineland

March 1936

Nazi Germany repudiates the demilitarization clauses of the Treaty of Versailles and the Locarno Treaties.

Spanish Civil War

July 1936

A Civil War starts out in Spain, lasting until 1939.


March 1938

Germany annexes Austria after sudden crisis.

Start or WW2

September 1939

Germany's invasion of Poland is followed by British and French declarations of war on Germany. The Soviet Union, having signed the Nazi-Soviet Pact with Germany a week earlier, remains out of the war and in fact uses the terms of the Pact to justify its occupation of part of Poland, the Baltic States, and parts of Romania over the next year.

German conquest of the Balkans

April 1941

German armies conquer Yugoslavia and Greece in a few weeks.