World War 2

Main

The German Path to War

Germany prepares for war with Soviet Union

1920

As early as the 1920s, Hitler had indicated that a Nazi regime would find this land to the east- in the Soviet Union. Germany therefore must prepare for war with the Soviet Union.

Churchill warns British house of Commons

1938

In 1938, after France and Great Britain gave in to Hitler's demands for territory in Czechoslovakia, Churchill gave a stern warning to the British house of Commons.

The First Steps

Hitler announces new air force

March 9, 1935

On March 9, 1935, Hitler announced the creation of a new air force. One week later, he began a military draft that would expand Germany's army from 100,000 to 550,000.

Hitler sends troops to Rhineland

March 7, 1936

Hitler believed the Western states would not use force to maintain the Treaty of Versailles. Hence, on March 7, 1936 he sent troops into the Rhineland.

New Alliances

Italy invades Ethiopia

October 1935

Benito Mussolini had long dreamed of creating a new roman empire in the Mediterranean, and, in October 1935, Fascist Italy invaded Ethiopia.

Germany & Italy send troops to Spain

1936

In 1936, both Germany and Italy sent troops to Spain to help General Francisco Franco in the Spanish Civil War.

Hitler & Mussolini make an agreement

October 1936

In October 1936, Mussolini and Hitler made an agreement recognizing their common political and economic interests.

Mussolini speaks of new alliance

November 1936

In November 1936, Mussolini spoke of the new alliance between Italy and Germany, called the Rome-Berlin Axis.

Union with Austria

Germany is a World Power

1937

By 1937, Germany was once more a "world power", as Hitler proclaimed.

Austria annexed to Germany

March 13, 1938

March 13, 1938, after his triumphal return to his native land, Hitler annexed Austria to Germany.

Demands and Appeasement

Hitler demands that Germany be given the Sudetenland

September 15, 1938

On September 15, 1938, Hitler demanded that Germany be given the Sudetenland, an area in northwestern Czechoslovakia that was inhabited largely by Germans.

Great Britain and France react

Hitler invades Bohemia & Moravia

March 1939

In March 1939, Hitler invaded and took control of Bohemia and Moravia in western Czechoslovakia.

Hitler is the greatest german of them all

March 15, 1939

On the evening of March 15, 1939, Hitler triumphantly declared in Prague that he would be known as the greatest German of them all.

Hitler and the Soviets

Nazi-Soviet Nonaggression Pact

August 23, 1939

On August 23, 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union signed the Nazi-Soviet Nonaggression Pact.

Germany invades Poland

September 1, 1939

September 1, 1939, German forces invaded Poland.

War declared on Germany

September 3, 1939

On September 3, 1939, Britain and France declared war on Germany.

The Japanese Path to War

Japanese soldiers seize Manchuria

September 1931

In September 1931, Japanese soldiers had seized Manchuria, which had natural resources that Japan needed.

Militants gain control of Japanese politics

1934 - 1935

By the mid-1930s, militants connected to the government and the armed forces had gained control of Japanese politics.

War with China

Chiand ends military forces

December 1936

In December 1936, Chiang ended his military efforts against the Communists and formed a united front against the Japanese.

Clashes south of beijing

July 1937

In July 1937, Chinese and Japanese forces clashed south of Beijing.

The New Asian Order

Germany signs nonaggression pact

August 1939

Germany signs a nonaggression pact with the Soviets.