World War II Timeline

The European Theatre

Hitler Removes Non-Aryans From Their Jobs

April 7 1933

All the people that were not part of Hitler's "super-race" were removed from their government jobs. This was the first event leading towards the Holocaust.

Nuremberg Laws Passed


Jews were stripped of their citizenship, jobs, and property. They were also required to wear a Star of David on their clothing so they could be identified.

Hitler Plans to Absorb Austria and Czechloslovakia

November 5, 1937

Hitler has a meeting with his top military advisers and stated that Germany would have to absorb the land of its neighbors in order to prosper.

Hitler Marches on Austria

March 12, 1938

Hitler marches troops into Austria with no opposition and announces that Germany's union with Austria is complete a day later

Hitler Holds Munich Conference

September 30, 1938

Hitler invites Edouard Daladier and Neville Chamberlain to meet with him in Munich on the topic of Sudatenland. He claimed that this would be his "last territorial demand" and this meeting resulted in the signing of the Munich Agreement.

Kristallnacht "The Night of Broken Glass"

November 9, 1938 - November 10, 1938

Nazi troops attacked Jewish businesses, homes, and places of worship. Later, the Jews were blamed for this.

Hitler Takes Czechoslovakia

March 15, 1939

Hitler pours troops into Czechoslovakia and before nightfall, Hitler announces that Czechoslovakia has "ceased to exist".

The Soviet Union Declares Neutrality

August 23, 1939

Joseph Stalin signs a nonagression pact with Hitler, allowing Hitler to take Poland with no opposition. A secret pact was also signed, saying that Hitler and Stalin would divide Poland among them.

Hitler Launches an Attack on Poland

September 1, 1939 - September 30, 1939

Hitler attacks Poland, bringing planes and tanks over the border, officially beginning World War Two.

France and Britain Declare War on Germany

September 3, 1939

After Hitler broke the Munich Agreement France and Britain have no choice but to declare war on Germany and begin World War Two.

World War Two Begins

September 3, 1939

When Hitler attacked Poland he broke the Munich Agreement and began World War Two.

Sitzkrieg in France and Germany

October 1939 - April 9, 1940

France soldiers on the Maginot Line wait for something to happen with the German soldiers on the Siegfried Line.

Stalin Annexes Estonia, Latvia, Lithuana, and Finland

October 1939 - December 1939

Hitler Takes Over the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxemborg

April 1940 - May 1940

Hitler attacks and takes over the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxemborg to expand the Third Reich.

Hitler Attacks Denmark and Norway

April 9, 1940

Hitler attacks Denmark and Norway in order to build bases to strike at Great Britain.

France Falls

June 22, 1940

Hitler bypasses the Maginot Line by attacking through Belgium. He takes over the northern part of France and allows the French to have a Nazi-controlled government in Southern France.

The Blitz

September 7, 1940 - May 21, 1941

Hitler launches a bombing campaign in order to hurt the morales of Britain. It had very little effect.

Tripartite Pact Signed

September 27, 1940

This pact formed the Axis Powers between Germany, Italy, and Japan. This way, it the U.S. joined the war, it would have to fight on two fronts.

USSR Attacked

June 1941

Hitler attacks the USSR. The U.S. sends supplies to Stalin hoping to fight the Germans with them.

The Atlantic Charter

August 14, 1941

Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt pledged collective security, disarmament, self-determination, economic cooperation, and freedom of the seas. This later became the backbone for the United Nations.

U.S. Navy Begins to Protect Atlantic Ocean

September 1941

President Roosevelt gives the Navy permission to attack German submarines in the Atlantic for "self-defense".

Germany and Italy Declare War on the U.S.

December 11, 1941

After we declare war on Japan, Italy and Germany declare war on the U.S.

The "Final Solution" Reaches its Final Stage


Jews in concentration camps began to be killed off be poison gas.

Battle of Stalingrad

August 23,1942 - February 2 1943

Germany broke its nanaggression pact with the USSR and attacked. Much later, the Germans surrendered, and this was a major turning point of the war. From that point on, the Russian Army began to march toward Germany.

Operation Torch

November 1942 - May 1943

Dwight D. Eisenhower led Operation Torch, an African-based offensive as opposed to Churchill's suggestion of an attack across the English Channel. This turned out to be a success and a morale booster for American troops in Africa.

The Italian Campaign

june 1943 - 1945

Military leaders agreed to attack the "soft underbelly" of the Axis Powers, Italy, and move up into Germany. Sicily fell in the summer of 1943. The Battle of "Bloody Anzio" was resultant of Hitler not wanting to fight in Germany. This battle lasted about 4 months and German hostilities kept up until Germany was close to collapse in 1945.

Benito Mussolini is Forced into Resigning

July 25, 1943

After his loss of Sicily, Benito Mussolini was "the most hated man in Italy" and was forced into retirement before his arrest by the new king of Italy.

Operation Overlord (D-Day)

June 6, 1944

This massive offensive was the largest land/sea/air offensive in history and was launched from Great Britain to France. Nearly 3 million soldiers were launched onto 5 different beaches.

France Liberated

August 25, 1944

The force that launched D-Day continues to France and liberates Paris from Nazi control after 4 years of occupation.

The Battle of the Bulge

December 16, 1944 - January 16, 1945

A last-ditch effort on Hitler's part that ultimately failed. This was the largest turning point of the war as Hitler lost most of his army.

The Yalta Conference

February 4 1945 - February 11 1945

The Yalta Conference was held in Yalta, Russia between Stalin, Roosevelt, and Churchill to decide what would happen to Germany after their surrender. This meeting resulted in the United Nations and the Nuremburg Trials.

Hitler Commits Suicide

April 30, 1945

Hitler kills himself and his body, as well as that of his wife are burned according to Hitler's orders.

V-E Day

May 8, 1945

Several days after Hitler's suicide Germany surrenders, leaving Japan as the only opposition to the Allied Forces.

The Pacific War

Japan Attacks the United States

December 7, 1941 8:00AM - December 7, 1941 9:30AM

Japanese fighter pilots bombed the Pearl Harbor naval base for an hour and a half, this attack brought the U.S. into the war.

The U.S. Declares War on Japan

December 8, 1941

After we were attacked at Pearl Harbor, President Roosevelt asks Congress for a formal declaration of war. It was approved quickly.

General Douglas MacArthur is Ordered to Leave the Philippines

March 11, 1942

After finding himself outnumbered by the Japanese in the Philippines, General Douglas MacArthur is ordered by President Roosevelt to leave.

Dolittle's Raid

April 18 1942

James Doolittle leads a Pearl-Harbor style raid over Tokyo to lift American spirits.

Batlle of the Coral Sea

May 4 1942 - May 8 1942

This battle took place around the Solomon Islands and and stopped the Japanese Empire's expansion to the southeast.

Battle of Midway

June 4, 1942 - June 7, 1942

This battle was fought around the Midway Islands and halted the Japanese Empire's expansion to the east.

Battle of Leyte Gulf

October 23, 1944 - October 26, 1944

The battle of Leyte Gulf was the first battle that implemented kamikaze pilots. While the U.S. did suffer losses due to the kamikazes, the Japanese Imperial Navy lost most of its ships and wasn't very effective in any subsequent battle.

Kamikaze Pilots Used

October 23 1944

This is the first battle that Japan orders kamikaze attacks on American ships.

The Battle of Iwo Jima

February 19 1945 - March 26 1945

The Battle of Iwo Jima was the second-to-last obstacle before taking Japan and was the location of the famous picture that the Iwo Jima memorial is modeled after.

The Battle of Okinawa

April 1 1945 - June 22 1945

This was the last battle obstacle before Japan and the losses of American life were massive. Churchill estimated that if the Allied Powers had to launch a D-Day style attack there would be about 1,000,000 American lives lost and 500,000 British lives lost. This was one of the deciding factors when Truman decided to drop the bombs.

Trinity Atomic Bomb a Sucess

July 16 1945

The first bomb test from the Manhattan project, codenamed Trinity was a success with the blast being visible from 180 miles away.

Hiroshima Bombed

August 6 1945

The B-29 Superfortress named Enola Gay dropped the atomic bomb codenamed Little Boy on Hiroshima decimating structures at a 1 mile radius and spreading radiation to any survivors, though no hereditary diseases have been reported as of yet.

Nagasaki Bombed

August 9 1945

When Japan refused to surrender after the first bombing, another B-29 Superfortress named Bockscar dropped the plutonium atom bomb codenamed Fat Man which leveled half of Nagasaki and spread hereditary nuclear radiation for generations to come forcing Japan to surrender.

V-J Day

August 14,1945

The nonformal surrender date of the Japanese marking the end of World War Two.

The Home Front

Neutrality Act of 1935

August 31, 1935

This law ensured full American neutrality, creating an embargo on arms and war materials.

Neutrality Act of 1936

February 1936

Renewed the Neutrality Act of 1935 and also forbade loans to other countries.

Neutrality Act of 1937

January 1937

Extended the expiration date of the other two acts and modified them to include the "cash and carry" principle, where the President could approve arms trade if the other country provided cash and transport for the weapons. This was set to expire in two years.

Neutrality Act of 1939

November 4, 1939

Allowed "cash and carry" privileges to any belligerent nation. Repealed Neutrality Acts of 1935 and 1937.

Selective Training and Service Act Passed

September 16, 1940

Made it so all men between 21 and 35 had to sign up for the draft for defense in a time of war.

Lend-Lease Act Passed

March 1941

This act allowed the U.S. to lend or lease arms to countries of its choosing, such as Great Britain.

The OSRD is Formed

June 28, 1941

The OSRD (Office of Scientific Research and Development) was formed to bring scientists into the war effort. It was ultiamtely used to bring new technology into the war and the creation of the atom bomb.

African-Americans Earn the End of Discrimination in Buisnesses

July 1941

A. Philip Randolph convinces President Roosevelt to issue Executive Order 8802, preventing discrimination in the workplace and offering equal treatment of all races.

OPA Established

August 28, 1941

The OPA (Office of Price Administration) froze wages, prices, and rents as well as began an organized rationing campaign.

Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt Meet

December 22, 1941 - January 12, 1942

Winston Churchill and FDR meet to develop the "Germany First" Strategy

Manhattan Project Started


The Manhattan Project was created to shorten the time of creating an atomic weapon as the estimated production time was 3-5 years.

NWLB Established

January 12 1942

The NWLB (National War Labor Board) limited wage increases, allowed negotiated benefits, and kept unions stable by preventing people from changing unions. It also instituted "Work or Fight", a policy where an employee would work with no complaints or be drafted into the military.

WPB Established

January 16, 1942

The WPB (War Production Board) rationed useful war materials and managed the production of war goods.

Japanese-Americans Interned

February 19,1942

All Japanese-Americans were ordered to bring what they could carry into these "relocation camps" after the attack of Pearl Harbor. They were forced to stay there until the end of the war.

Revenue Act of 1942

October 21, 1942

The Revenue Act of 1942 was passed to increase the income tax rate and add a 5% Victory Tax on all incomes over $624.

African Americans are Allowed to Fight

April 1943

After protesting for years, the government allows African-Americans to fight in combat positions instead of noncombat ones.

Smith-Connaly Act

June 25, 1943

This Act allowed the government the power to take over businesses that contribute to the war cause and are threatening to strike or are striking. This discouraged employees from striking.