World War 2 Key Events

A timeline of all the key events of the Second World War. Dates, summaries and additional information is all provided for a great informative read.

American Army Raising World War 2 Flag
American Army Raising World War 2 Flag | Source

Key Events / September 1938 - September 1945

Dates
Summary
Information
Mar 1938
Germany join Austria
Hitler unified all german speaking people
Sept 1938
Treaty of Munich
Hitler Threatened to Invade Czechoslovakia
March 1939
Hitler invades Czechoslovakia
Despite the assurances of the Treaty of Munich, Hitler still invaded Czechoslovakia and sucessfully occupied the country
April 1939
Britain reassures Poland
Britain began re-arming whilst a radar system was installed along the east cost of England, and conscription was introduced into poland.
Aug 1939
Russia and Germany sign pact
Hitler and Stalin signed a non-agression Pact, with secrets about the divisions of Poland
Sept 1939
Hitler Invades Poland
1st September is an official guideline for the start of the Second World War
Sept 1939
Britain and France declare war on Germany
Chamberlain announced the declaration of war on the radio
Nov 1939 - March 1940
The Winter War
The Finnish Armed Forces were heavily out-numbered by the Soviet offensives however they still managed to repel the offensives for much longer than they expected. The Soviet Union suffered far to many losses trying to invade Finland and as a consequence their international reputation was damaged, but in addition they did capture strategic territory in Finald, such as Lake Lagoda
April - May 1940
Hitler invades Denmark and Norway
Hitler invaded these countries to safeguard supply routes of Swedish ore
May 1940
Hitler launches Blitzkrieg
Hitler launched Blitzkrieg against Belgium and Holland
May 1940
Dunkirk
The British commander-in-chief, General Gort, had been forced to retreat to the coast at Dunkirk. The troops waited, under fire, to be taken off the beaches
June 1940
Italy enters war under the Axis power
Italy's motive for joining the war was for the countries growth
June 1940
France signs Armistice agreement with Germany
Germany now occupy france
July - October 1940
Battle of Britain
After the blitz upon London the Royal Air Force sucessfully defended against the German Air force - The Bombings now ceased
Sept 1940
Tripartite Pact
Germany, Italy and Japan become Allies
Dec 1940
British rout Italians in North Africa
The Italian troops in North Africa were routed out by British forces
Jan - March 1941
German and Italian forces invade
Yugoslavia, Greece and the Island of Crete is now under German control
June 1941
Hitler attacks Russia
Taken by surprise Stalin immediately signs an assistance treaty with Britain, the battle of the Eastern front commences - 20 Million casualties
Dec 1941
Pearl Harbour
The Japanese attacked American Harbours in Hawaii, Britain and USA declare war on Japan
June 1942
Battle of Midway
The USA defeated the Japanese navy
Oct 1942
Battle of El Alamein
Montgomery attacked the German and Italian lead forces in North Africa
Nov 1942
Battle of Stalingrad
Russia has their first victory over the German invasion
May 1943
Axis forces surrender in North Africa
British and American forces defeated the german and italian presence in North Africa
July - Aug 1943
Battle of Kursk
The Germans Challenged the Russians on the Eastern Front and this battle became one of the largest clashes of armour ever. The Russians staged a retaliatory offense of there own ruining Hitler's last stand in the Eastern Front
Aug 1943
Allies take Sicily
Allied forces have now taken control of Sicily
Sept 1943
Italy Surrenders
Mussolini has been thrown out of office and the new government accept surrending to the allied forces
Nov 1943
Allies Meet in Tehran
Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill met to make plans for a squeeze against Germany
June 1944
Rome Liberated
Although Italy surrendered, it was not until the allied forces could liberate Rome
June 1944
D-Day
The allied forces carried out an invasion in occupied france against German forces
Aug 1944
Paris Liberated
The capital of France was liberated from German forces
Aug - September 1944
Uprising in Warsaw, occupied Poland
The largest ever Civilian uprising in history commenced in occupied Poland against the Nazi Party
Oct 1944
Battle of Leyte Gulf
US and Australian combined forces fought the Japanese Imperial Army in an attempt to isolate Japanese occupied terrority in Southeast Asia. This battle was one of the largest Naval battles ever recorded, with four separate major naval offensives - This battle was also where the Kamikaze Pilot's were discovered
Dec 1944
Battle of the Bulge
The German forces were pushed back in there last defence
April 1945
Russians reach Berlin
The capital of Germany has been reached by Russian forces, shortly after US forces arrive
April 1945
Hitler commits suicide
Adolf Hitler, the leader of Germany has committed suicide
May 1945
German Forces Surrender
German forces in Italy, Holland and Denmark surrendered
May 1945
Donitz offers unconditional surrender
The sucessor to hitler: Donitz
May 1945
Victory in Europe
V.E day was celebrated all throughout Europe
Aug 1945
Soviet invasion of Manchuria
The Soviet invaded the Japanese state of Manchukuo which was the largest campaign in the Soviet-Japanese war. The Soviets decsively caught Manchukuo alongside other territories such as North Korea and Inner Mongolia. The success of the Soviet advances left the Japanese army rapidly in need of reinforcements. Without reinforcements the Soviets effectively forced the Japanese to surrender.
Aug 1945
The atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan
The Japanese generals refused to surrender, the US dropped the Atomic bomb on Hiroshima
Aug 1945
The atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, Japan
As the Japanese generals still would not surrender after Hiroshima, the US dropped another atomic bomb on Nagasaki
Aug 1945
Japanese surrender
The japanese unconditionally surrendered to the allied forces
Sep 1945
General MacArthur accepts the Japanese Surrender
World war 2 officially ends 2nd September 1945
Thanks for reading. If you have any suggestions for Key Events feel free to comment and I'll get back to you.

Noted People

  • Hitler - Adolf Hitler, the leader of Nazi Germany
  • Stalin - Yosef Stalin, Premier of the Soviet Union
  • Chamberlain & Churchill - Neville Chamberlain (1940) Prime minister of Britain, succeeded by Winston Churchchill the next prime minister Britain
  • Roosevelt - Franklin Roosevelt, 32 President of the United States
  • Mussolini - Benito Mussolini, Leader of the National Fascist Party of Italy
  • Donitz - Karl Donitz, Great Admiral in the German Forces was appointed successor of Adolf Hitler.

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Comments 23 comments

USHISTORY4YOU profile image

USHISTORY4YOU 5 years ago from Lemoore California

The Battle of Leyte Gulf was fought in October of 1944. It was and remains the largest Naval Engagement ever fought. You may want to include it on this list. In fact you seem to have missed a lot of the Pacific war.Iwo Jima,Guadalcanal.The invasion of Okinawa was second only to the D-Day invasion in size.Just to name of few that didn't make the list.


Sottway profile image

Sottway 5 years ago from Worldwide Author

Hey USHISTORY4YOU, thanks for your comment. I will certainly do some research so I can have a more robust list. I'll start with researching more about the Pacific War as its been cut pretty short. Thanks again for bringing this up.


USHISTORY4YOU profile image

USHISTORY4YOU 5 years ago from Lemoore California

The battle of Kursk fought in 1943 was the largest clash of armor ever to take place. It's another one you may want to look into.It's an interesting story. YouTube has some very informative video too


DNCalkins profile image

DNCalkins 5 years ago from The Cold-Blasted North

You may want to include the 'Winter War' fought in Finland from '39-'40. It's effect on raw Soviet power (with more than a quarter million casualties for essentially no strategic gain) in the early war is hard to discount.


USHISTORY4YOU profile image

USHISTORY4YOU 5 years ago from Lemoore California

You're right about that DNCalkins.The Russia's performance against the Fins also reinforced Hitler idea that the Red Army was a paper tiger that would "Cave in at the first kick at the door". It led him to feel that the Russias would give up without a fight. Which was a disastrous mis judgement on his part.


Sottway profile image

Sottway 5 years ago from Worldwide Author

Thanks for the reply DNCalkins, I appreciate all the comments coming to this newly created hub. At the moment I cannot adjust the hub in anyway because I am commenting from an iPad, but I am also saving notes for research with an aim to add another 10 summaries to the list, specifically the engages mentioned.


doban profile image

doban 5 years ago from Dallas

A good review


Sottway profile image

Sottway 5 years ago from Worldwide Author

Thanks for the great feedback Doban!


Sottway profile image

Sottway 5 years ago from Worldwide Author

I have now updated 5 new key events, some which both USHISTORY4U and DNCalkins suggested.

I've added them in bold so you can spot them out of the whole list if you want to take a look.

Thanks


USHISTORY4YOU profile image

USHISTORY4YOU 5 years ago from Lemoore California

Learning about these events was half the fun.It's not your fault that you missed some important things.In school most of the facts are glossed over.I wasn't taught anything really about the Russian Front.At the time I think they wanted to minimize what was taught about Russia. When I was growing up,Russia was the bad guys.But the war fought in Western Europe was small potatoes when you compare it with the massive battles that took place between the Wehrmacht and the Red Army.Keep reading,the facts are all there if you look hard enough.


Sottway profile image

Sottway 5 years ago from Worldwide Author

Thanks for checking back USHISTORY4U. You are right a lot of the facts are glossed over but the more I can fit in the merrier so I appreciate your earlier contribution.

Why do you reckon they wanted to minimise what was taught about Russia?

I've got most of my information from documentaries as well as my family, and as I'm from the UK I reckon this is why I'm forgetting the likes of the pacific theatre as its just not taught as much. Time for research!


anonymous 5 years ago

hello again sottway well done for the great hub so much information


USHISTORY4YOU profile image

USHISTORY4YOU 5 years ago from Lemoore California

In the Sixties the the Russians were the big boggy man here in the States. I don't want to sound trite, but to praise the heroics of the Brave Russian Soldier was something I guess they wanted to avoid at the time


Sottway profile image

Sottway 5 years ago from Worldwide Author

Ahhh right I see, thanks for answering my question USHISTORY.


CupClothing profile image

CupClothing 5 years ago from arlington

well written short summaries!


Sottway profile image

Sottway 5 years ago from Worldwide Author

Thank you once again CupClothing


Jfrint profile image

Jfrint 5 years ago

I could still think of a couple more events that I'd call key. Nonetheless this is a fantastic hub Sottway. Some of the battles described in the summaries have detailed additional information which improves the read. Well done.

Voted up!


Sottway profile image

Sottway 5 years ago from Worldwide Author

Thanks for reading Jfrint. What key events do you have in mind, care to suggest? I'm glad you appreciate the additional information!


Chash1 profile image

Chash1 4 years ago from Australia

a great effort again sottway. keep it up.


Sottway profile image

Sottway 4 years ago from Worldwide Author

Hey Chash1.

Thanks for the support.


sana 3 years ago

welcum


sam kid 3 years ago

i like trains


hbuygjvgh 2 years ago

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