A World War II Timeline


A Historical Inevitability

January 30, 1933 - August 19, 1934

With Germany forced to pay (perhaps unfair) reparations following WWI and the subsequent invasions under the casus-belli of acquiring that debts made Hitler a historical inevitability; Germany was inevitably to become a haven for ultra-nationalists whose hurt pride would lead them to be both desperate and vengeful in their pursuit of German liberation and supremacy.

in January, 1933, Adolf Hitler became chancellor of Germany and effectively became dictator; on August 19, 1934, Hitler becomes Fuhrer of the 3rd Reich.

Nuremberg Laws

September 15, 1935

Hitler's Nazi part institutes the Nuremberg Race Laws which strip Jewish-Germans of their citizenship and began the anti-Semitic holocaust.

German Re-Occupation of the Rhineland

March 7, 1936

In May, 1936, the French government signed a treaty with the USSR; 'provoked' by this treaty, a month later Germany violated the treaty of Versailles (WWI) and occupies the demilitarized Rhineland on the border of France. Surprisingly it drew little criticism

The Rome-Berlin Axis

October 25, 1936 - 1945

In 1936, the Italian-German alliance evolved from the anti-Comintern pact between Germany and Japan, and was later formalized as a military pact of cooperation with the Tripartite pact in 1940.

Nazi Annexation of Austria

March 12, 1938

Anschluss Österreichs was the German occupation and annexation of Austria, a traditionally German land previously forbidden from union with Germany.

The Munich Agreement

September 30, 1938

Or, as Czechs call it, the Munich Dictate; it ceded Sudetenland from Czechoslovakia to Germany who claimed that it belonged to them thanks to a concentration of German peoples in the area. It is regarded as one of a few acts of appeasement which were ceded to Hitler so as to avoid a second world war (because we all know that helps).

The Invasion of Poland & the Start of WWII

September 1, 1939

in 193 9Hitler (As well as Russia) invaded Poland and split the land between the two empires, this being the final straw for the allies France & Britain who 2 days later declared war on Germany.

German Invasion of Denmark & Norway

April 9, 1940

Germany invades Denmark & Norway, starting its invasion of Scandinavia.

It took Hitler all of one day to annex Denmark, the shortest invasion in history. In Norway Germany occupied the country via a puppet government, with the exiled king operating ineffectivly from London.

The Axis Expands

November, 1940

in 1940, Slovakia, Hungary, and Romania join Germany, Italy, and Japan in the Axis.

First Use of Gas in Death Camps

September 3, 1941

The first recorded use of gas on imprisoned Jews in the Auschwitz death camp

The Axis leaves Africa

May 13, 1943

Allied forces drive Axis forces out of French Tunisia, ending the North African campaign.

Hitler Commits Suicide

April 30, 1945

Germany Surrenders to the Allied Powers

May 7, 1945

Germany Surrenders to Soviet Russia

May 9, 1945

Italy & Japan

Mussolini takes Italy by storm

October, 1922 - July 24, 1943

In Italy Mussolini took power in 1922 as PM. His reign was to be characterized as a one-party dictatorship loyal to religion and for the founding of fascism; his regime was a reaction to unruly socialism elements which he proceeded to arrest, murder, and suppress. On July 24, 1943, Mussolini lost the election in the Grand Council of Fascism - the next day he was arrested by the king, formally ending his position of power.

Italian Conquest of Ethiopia

October 2, 1935 - May 9, 1936

Also known as the Second Italo–Abyssinian War; in 1935, Italy declared war on Ethiopia which it later annexed as part of Italian East Africa. This is important in that it proved the League of Nations to be a completely useless organization which could not enforce its mandates.

Japanese Occupation of China

July 7, 1937 - August, 1945

Japan, under false premises (Mukden incident), invades Chinese Manchuria and establishes its own puppet nation of Manchukuo (满洲国) as it expands its Empire in the Pacific & Asia. This would later lead to its reprimanding by the League of Nations and its subsequent withdrawel from afore mentioned league in 1933.

Annexation of Albania

April 7, 1939

Italy, under Mussolini, expanded the Italian Empire to include Albania with less than a week's worth of fighting.

Yugoslavia & Greece Collapse

April, 1941

In 1940 Benito Mussolini issued Greece an ultimatum - occupation by the Italian Empire, or die. The response was "Alors, c'est la guerre", or "Then it is war".

In Yugoslavia axis forces occupied and distributed it amongst Italy, Hungary, Bulgaria, and Germany. They had to later fight the Communist Guerrilla Republican National Liberation Army.

Allied Conquest of Sicily

July 10, 1943

In July, 1943, Allies conquered Southern Italy and wrestle it from Mussolini which resulted in his subsequent loss of power

The Fall of Rome

June 4, 1944

Rome falls to the Allies, the 1st allied city to be captured; this opened up Berlin to Allied bombings.

The Bombing of Hiroshima

August 6, 1945

The United States drops an atomic bomb on Hiroshima.

Russia Invades Manchukuo

August 9, 1945

Russia invades Manchuria in 1945 at the end of WWII attacking Japan after a 4 year long peace. After the defeat of Japan's Kwantung Army (the largest army of Japan), Japan became scared and this is found to have contributed greatly to Japanese surrender in WWII as well as the bombs. (take that 'murica!)

The Bombing of Nagasaki

August 9, 1945

The United States drops an atomic bomb on Nagasaki.

Japanese Surrender & The End of WWII

September 2, 1945

The Japanese Surrender to US forces and end WWII.

The Allies (Europe)

A Great Purge

June 11, 1937 - 1939

In Soviet Russia, Stalin who was paranoid began the execution of anywhere from 700,000 to 2 million Russians and Russian officers - many of them members of the Bolshevik party who were seen as a threat to Stalin's supreme power.

Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact

August 23, 1939 - June 22, 1941

Better understood as the Russian-German Pact of Non-Aggression, provided that Russia and Germany not attack each other so that Russia could fight Japan singularly, and Germany could take on the allies. However both knew the pact was a bunch of BS and Hitler terminated it in June of 1941 with an invasion of Russia.

Soviets Attack Finland

November 30, 1939

Soviet Russia invades Finland & is kicked out of the League of Nations.

Nazis invade Western Europe; Churchill takes the PM

May 10, 1940

Nazis invade France, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands; Winston Churchill becomes British Prime Minister.

Vichy France

July 1940 - September 1944

France under the regime of Marshal Philippe Pétain from the Nazi German defeat of France; it held Southern France & its colonies, and ceded Northern France to Germany and collaborated with the Nazi German government.

The Soviet Empire Expands

July 23, 1940

In 1940, the Soviet Empire expands to include Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania - both for the strategic value of the states and to protect them from Nazi occupation.

Operation Barbarossa

June 22, 1941 - December 5, 1941

Germany began the largest invasion in history on Russia. Hitler thought he might defeat Germany quickly... then again, so did Napoleon who also was moronic enough to fight Russia into the WINTER. Thus, despite early defeats, Russia began to win battles such as the Battle of Stalingrad which, coupled with General Winter, defeated Hitler's force.

Roosevelt and Churchill Announce the Atlantic Charter

August 14, 1941

The purpose of the Atlantic Charter was to set the goals of ending the war; the renunciation of all aggression, right to self-government, access to raw materials, freedom from want and fear, freedom of the seas, and disarmament of aggressor nations.

The Seige of Leningrad

September 8, 1941 - January 27, 1944

Or, if preferred, St. Petersburg, it was one of the longest and most destructive sieges in history, resulting in the death of 3.5 million soldiers and 1 million civilians. This city was one of the three strategic goals of operation Barbarossa.

Russia Drives Hitler Out of Moscow

December 6, 1941

Russian troops win victory and force German troops to retreat from Moscow which they had almost taken.

The Allies (America)

Canada Enters the War

September 10, 1939

Canada joins the war against Hitler, as well as New Zealand (Sept. 3), Australia (Sept. 4), and South Africa (Sept. 10).

Roosevelt Remains

November 5, 1940 - April 12, 1945

Roosevelt wins the US elections and maintains his 3rd election as president.

A Day of Infamy

December 7, 1941

On December 7th, following a trade embargo on valuable goods, Japan bombed the US harbour in Hawaii causing the US to formally join WWII and declare war on the Axis powers.

Island Hopping

1943 - 1945

The US pursued a strategy of Island hopping on the Japanese front using each island as a strategic naval-port/air-base pursuing the ultimate goal of achieving an island base close enough to bomb the Japanese mainland.


June 6, 1944

160,000 Allied troops landed along a 50-mile stretch of heavily-fortified French coastline to fight Nazi Germany on the beaches of Normandy, France and later march into Nazi occupied Europe.


May, 1945

Allied troops conquer Okinawa, the last island stop before the Japanese islands.


The Spanish Civil War

July 17, 1936 - April 1, 1939

In 1936 Spain broke out in Civil war. The Fascists led by General Fransisco Franco fought from the North and West, and were supported by both Hitler and Mussolini, as well as Portugal; the Republicans - a coalition of Anarchists, socialists, and Republicans fought the fascists with volunteers from around the world (around 32-35,000 in the International Brigades), Anarcho-socialists (the trade Union CNT-FAI), socialists/communists (the POUM and UGT), as well as from nations such as Mexico and the USSR. The war was lost to the fascists because the USSR supported forces - during the war - arrested, imprisoned, and murdered many anarchists and 'trotskyist' soldiers and party members who didn't believe in Stalinism.

Notable International Brigade members:
Ernest Hemingway,
George Orwell,
Emma Goldman

Ireland Becomes Independent of the UK


Ireland, known traditionally its rebellious spirit and hatred of the English finally severs all ties with England (minus N. Ireland) and becomes a fully independent state.