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Chronology of the Second World War



Chronology of the Second World War Date
The German Army invades Czechoslovakia. 15th March, 1939
Edouard Daladier announces that France intends to increase defence spending. 17th March, 1939
Adolf Hitler demands the free city of Danzig in Poland. 21st March, 1939
Britain and France pledge to support Poland. 29th March, 1939
Italy invades and occupies Albania. 7th April, 1939
Britain and France pledge to support Romania and Greece. 13th April, 1939
Soviet Union proposes a triple alliance with Britain and France. 18th April, 1939
Sweden, Norway and Finland reject Germany's offer of non-aggression pacts. 17th May, 1939
Winston Churchill urges the government to form a military alliance with the Soviet Union. 9th July, 1939
Joseph Stalin and Adolf Hitler sign the Nazi-Soviet Pact. 23rd August, 1939.
Britain and Poland sign a treaty of mutal assistance. 25th August, 1939.
The German Army invades Poland and annexes the free city of Danzig. 1st September, 1939
Britain and France declare war on Nazi Germany. 3rd September, 1939
Parliament passes the National Services (Armed Forces) Act. 3rd September, 1939
Neville Chamberlain appoints Winston Churchill as First Lord of the Admiralty. 3rd September, 1939
The German Army reach the city of Brest-Litovsk on the Polish border with the Soviet Union. 17th September, 1939
The Red Army invades Poland. 17th September, 1939
Reinhard Heydrich announces that all Jews in Poland are to be imprisoned in Ghettos. 21st September, 1939
The Polish Army surrenders in Warsaw. 27th September, 1939
Franklin D. Roosevelt announces that the USA will remain neutral in the European war. 3rd October, 1939
The British battleship Royal Oak is sunk by U-boat captained by Gunther Prien. 14th October, 1939
The Schutz Staffeinel (SS) establish the first Jewish Ghetto in Piotrkow. 28th October, 1939
Germany formally annexes western Poland into the German Reich. 1st November, 1939
Joseph Stalin formally annexes eastern Poland into the Soviet Union. 2nd November, 1939
The Red Army invades Finland. 30th November, 1939
The Soviet Union is expelled from the League of Nations. 14th December, 1939
The Red Army attacks the Mannerheim Line in Finland. 11th February, 1940
Finland signs a peace treaty with the Soviet Union. 12th March, 1940
Paul Reynaud replaces Edouard Daladier as prime minister of France. 20th March, 1940
Britain and France agree not to sign a separate peace with Nazi Germany. 28th March, 1940
Neville Chamberlain appoints Lord Beaverbrook as minister of aircraft production. 3rd April, 1940
Soldiers in the British Army land at Namsos in Norway. 8th April, 1940
The German Army invades Denmark and Norway. 9th April, 1940
Adolf Hitler launches his Western Offensive and invades France. 10th May, 1940
Neville Chamberlain resigns as prime minister and is replaced by Winston Churchill. 10th May, 1940
Anthony Eden announces the formation of the Home Guard. 14th May, 1940
Netherlands surrenders and Queen Wilhelmina flees to England. 14th May, 1940
Parliament grants Winston Churchill and his government wide emergency powers. 22nd May, 1940
General Gerd von Rundstedt and the German Army pierce the French defences at Sedan. 23rd May, 1940
Adolf Hitler orders the German forces in France and Belgium to halt their advance. 23rd May, 1940
Adolf Hitler orders the German forces in resume their advance into France and Belgium. 25th May, 1940
Evacuation from Dunkirk begins. 27th May, 1940
Belgium surrender to the German Army and Leopold III is arrested. 28th May, 1940
Winston Churchill appoints Stafford Cripps as British ambassador to the Soviet Union. 30th May, 1940
The last of the 338,000 British, French and Belgian forces evacuated from Dunkirk. 4th June, 1940
J. B. Priestley gives first BBC radio broadcast. 5th June, 1940
Benito Mussolini declares war on the Allies. 10th June, 1940
Gotthard Heinrici and the 12th Corps break through the Maginot Line. 14th June, 1940
The German Army enters Paris. 14th June, 1940
The USA rejects France's renewed appeal for help against the German Army. 15th June, 1940
Henri-Philippe Petain begins to negotiate an armistice with Germany. 17th June, 1940
France signs armistice with Nazi Germany and is divided into two zones. 22nd June, 1940
Winston Churchill recognizes Charles De Gaulle as leader of the Free French. 28th June, 1940
The Royal Navy destroys most of the French Navy at Mers-el-Kébir. 3rd July, 1940
Franklin D. Roosevelt bans the shipment of strategic materials to Japan. 5th July, 1940
Ark Royal sinks Dunkerqueat at Mers-el-Kébir. 6th July, 1940
The Luftwaffe launch the start of the Battle of Britain. 10th July, 1940
Henri-Philippe Petain becomes president of Vichy France. 11th July, 1940
Winston Churchill invites Hugh Dalton to establish the Special Operations Executive. 16th July, 1940
The Italian Army advances into British Somaliland. 3rd August, 1940
The Luftwaffe began attacking RAF Fighter Command's aircraft, airfields and installations. 13th August, 1940
The Luftwaffe carry out a all-night bombing raid on London and begins the Blitz. 23rd August, 1940
The Royal Air Force bombs Berlin. 25th August, 1940
Rodolfo Graziani and Italian Army make a rapid advance into Egypt. 13th September, 1940
City of Bernares sunk by a German torpedo killing 73 children on the way to Canada. 17th September, 1940
Winston Churchill decides to abandon the attempt to capture the port of Dakar. 25th September, 1940
Vidkun Quisling installed by the Germans as prime minister of Norway. 25th September, 1940
Yosuke Matsuoka of Japan signs the Tripartite Pact with Nazi Germany and Italy. 27th September, 1940
Winston Churchill appoints Kingsley Wood as Chancellor of the Exchequer. 3rd October, 1940
Winston Churchill appoints Ernest Bevin as Minister of Labour. 3rd October, 1940
Adolf Hitler postpones Operation Sealion. 12th October, 1940
Adolf Hitler meets Francisco Franco an attempt to persuade Spain to join the war. 23rd October, 1940
The Mustang P-51B makes its first flight. 26th October, 1940
The Italian Army invades Greece. 28th October, 1940
The Royal Navy attacks the Italian Navy at Taranto. 11th November, 1940
The Luftwaffe bomb Coventry killing 380 people and injuring 865. 14th November, 1940
The Royal Air Force bomb Hamburg in Germany. 16th November, 1940
Airbourbe radar successfully used by the Royal Air Force for the first time. 18th November, 1940
British Army captures Tobruk. 22nd January, 1941
Bulgaria signs the Tripartite Pact and joins forces with Germany, Italy and Japan. 1st March, 1941
The British Army invades Italian-controlled Ethiopia. 7th March, 1941
US Congress passes the Lend-Lease Act. 11th March, 1941
General Erwin Rommel mounts his first attack in the Desert War. 24th March, 1941
General Andrew Cunningham, commander of allied forces in East Africa, enters Addis Ababa.. 6th April, 1941
Italian Army in Ethiopia surrenders to Allied forces. 6th April, 1941
Germany, Italy and Bulgaria invade Yugoslavia. 10th April, 1941
General Paul von Kleist and the 1st Panzer Group enter Belgrade. 12th April, 1941
Yosuke Matsuoka of Japan signs non-aggression pact with Soviet Union. 14th April, 1941
Yugoslavia surrenders to the German Army. 17th April, 1941
Marmaduke Pattle, RAF's leading war ace, killed while fighting in Greece. 20th April, 1941
Greece surrenders to the German Army. 21st April, 1941
General Erwin Rommel and his army enter Egypt. 25th April, 1941
The Luftwaffe destroy the House of Commons in Westminster. 10th May, 1941
Rudolf Hess flies to Scotland and is arrested by the authorities. 10th May, 1941
Frank Whittle's jet-propelled Gloster E28 takes its first flight. 15th May, 1941
The Bismarck sinks the British battlecruiser Hood. 24th May, 1941
The Bismarck attacked and sunk by the Royal Navy. 27th May, 1941
The Bismarck is sunk by the British Navy. 26th May 1941
The British government introduces plans to ration clothes and furniture. 1st June, 1941
Syria invaded by British Army and Free French forces. 8th June, 1941
Operation Punishment comes to and end. 22nd June, 1941
Adolf Hitler launches Operation Barbarossa. 22nd June, 1941
Finland declares war on the Soviet Union. 25th June, 1941
Hungary declares war on the Soviet Union. 27th June, 1941
Armistice signed in Syria. 12th July, 1941
Soviet Union and Britain sign an agreement of mutual aid. 12th July, 1941
Richard Acland launches the Common Wealth Party. 26th July, 1941
The German Army advances on Leningrad. 12th August, 1941
Military forces from Soviet Union and Britain invade Iran. 25th August, 1941
The German Army captures Kiev, the Ukrainian capital in the Soviet Union. 20th September, 1941
The German Army advances on Moscow. 6th October, 1941
The Royal Air Force bombs the German city of Nuremberg. 13th October, 1941
General Hideki Tojo becomes prime minister of Japan. 16th October, 1941
Masha Bruskina, first Soviet partisan to be executed in public by the German Army. 26th October, 1941
The British aircraft carrier, Ark Royal is sunk off Gibraltar. 13th November, 1941
Emperor Hirohito officially approves the attack on the United States. 1st December, 1941
Britain declares war on Finland, Hungary and Romania. 5th December, 1941
Japanese forces attack the US Fleet at Pearl Harbor. 7th December, 1941
Japanese troops invade Malaya, Thailand and the Philippines. 8th December, 1941
Japanese forces sink the Prince of Wales and Repulse off the east coast of Malaya. 10th December, 1941
Japanese troops invade Burma. 11th December, 1941
America First Committee is dissolved. 11th December, 1941
The National Service Act, that conscripted unmarried women, was passed by Parliament. 18th December, 1941
Adolf Hitler sacks Heinrich von Brauchitsch as commander in chief of the German Army. 19th December, 1941
Japanese Army capture Manila, the capital of the Philippines. 22nd December, 1941
Hong Kong surrendered with the loss of its 12,000 garrison 25th December, 1941
Japanese Army capture Kuala Lumpur, the capital of the Malaya. 11th January, 1942
Reinhard Heydrich organizes the Wannsee Conference. 20th January, 1942
General Arthur Percival orders retreat to Singapore. 25th January, 1942
USA government announces the establishment of relocation camps for Japanese Americans. 29th January, 1942
Japanese troops land on the northwest corner of Singapore 8th February, 1942
The Scharnhorst and the Prinz Eugen start their successfully break out of Brest. 12th February, 1942
General Arthur Percival surrenders Singapore to Japanese. 15th February, 1942
Japanese Air Force bomb Darwin in Australia. 19th February, 1942
General Douglas MacArthur and the United States forces leave the Philippines 22nd February, 1942
The Royal Air Force bomb Lubeck in Germany. 23rd March, 1942
Allied raid on St Nazaire. 27th March, 1942
Hermann Balck and the 3rd Panzer Division captures Salonika. 9th April, 1942
George VI awards the George Cross to the people of Malta. 9th April, 1942
The United States Air Force bomb Tokyo. 18th April, 1942
Pierre Laval becomes minister of foreign affairs in Vichy France. 18th April, 1942
The Luftwaffe start bombing Exeter, Bath and other historic cities in Britain. 23rd April, 1942
Japanese Army capture Mandalay in Burma. 1st May 1942
Start of the battle of Coral Sea. 6th May, 1942
Reinhard Heydrich is shot in Prague by Czech resistance fighters. 27th May, 1942
Arthur Harris orders the first 1000 bomber attack on Germany at Cologne. 30th May, 1942
Start of the battle of Midway. 3rd June, 1942
The Gestapo destroy the village of Lidice in Czechoslovakia. 10th June, 1942
Erwin Rommel defeats Neil Richie at Gazala. 14th June, 1942
Erwin Rommel and the German Army captures Tobruk. 21st June, 1942
General Erich von Manstein captures Sevastopol on the Black Sea. 2nd July, 1942
Donald Bennett appointed as commander of the Pathfinder Force. 5th July, 1942
Japanese Army land on Guadalcanal. 7th July, 1942
The Messerschmitt Me 262 makes its first test flight. 18th July, 1942
The Royal Air Force bomb Hamburg in Germany. 26th July, 1942
Alexander Vandegrift and the US Marines land on Guadalcanal. 7th August, 1942
The US Marines use the Navajo Code for the first time. 7th August, 1942
General Bernard Montgomery is appointed commander of the British 8th Army. 13th August, 1942
The Flying Fortress begins making first daylight bombing raids on Europe. 17th August, 1942
5,000 Canadian and 1,000 British troops raid the port of Dieppe in France. 19th August, 1942
The German Army enters Stalingrad. 24th August, 1942
The Duke of Kent dies in an air crash in Scotland. 25th August, 1942
Erwin Rommel attacks Eighth Army at Alam el Halfa. 30th August, 1942
The B-29 Stratafortress makes its first flight. 21st September, 1942
General Bernard Montgomery orders counter-attack at El Alamein. 23rd October, 1942
Thomas Kinkaid faces Nobutake Kondo at the Battle of Santa Cruz Islands. 26th October, 1942
Hornet is sunk during the Battle of Santa Cruz Islands. 27th October, 1942
The German Army defeated at El Alamein. 4th November, 1942
General Dwight D. Eisenhower,leads the invasion of Tunisia. 8th November, 1942
Admiral Jean Darlan surrenders French North Africa to Dwight D. Eisenhower. 11th November, 1942
Adolf Hitler orders the occupation of Vichy France. 11th November, 1942
Benito Mussolini orders the occupation of Corsica. 11th November, 1942
The British Army recaptures Tobruk. 12th November, 1942
Admiral William Halsey leads successful naval campain at Guadalcana. 13th November, 1942
Erich von Manstein and the 4th Panzer Army begin the attempt to relieve the 6th Army. 12th December, 1942
Admiral Jean Darlan assassinated by member of French Resistance in Algiers. 24th December, 1942
The Luftwaffe renews its air attacks on London. 18th January, 1943
The Allies capture Tripoli. 23rd January, 1943
British and US military aircraft begin round-the-clock bombing of Nazi Germany. 25th February, 1943
Jurgen von Arnium replaces Erwin Rommel as commander of the Deutsches Afrika Korps. 9th March, 1943
Germany announces the discovery of 4,443 Polish officers at Katyn in the Soviet Union. 13th April, 1943
Yitzhak Zuckerman leads the Warsaw Uprising. 19th April, 1943
The Allies capture Tunis. 7th May, 1943
Over 130,000 members of the German Army surrender in Tunisia. 13th May, 1943
Wing Commander Guy Gibson leads the Dambusters Raid. 16th May, 1943
Jean Moulin holds the first meeting of the Conseil National de la Resistance in Paris. 27th May, 1943
Jean Moulin, leader of the French Resistance, murdered by the Gestapo. 8th July, 1943
A German aircraft bombs Whitehall Cinema in East Grinstead and kills 235 people. 9th July, 1943
Allied troops land on German-occupied Sicily. 10th July, 1943
Air Marshall Arthur Harris orders further bombing of Hamburg. 24th July, 1943
Victor Emmanuel III dismisses Benito Mussolini from office in Italy. 25th July, 1943
The Red Army recaptures the city of Kharkov. 23rd August, 1943
Bernard Montgomery and the 8th Army land at Reggio in Italy. 3rd September, 1943
The Tirpitz and Scharnhorst bombard the Spitzbergen weather station. 7th September, 1943
Benito Mussolini is rescued from prison by a team led by Otto Skorzeny. 12th September, 1943
Benito Mussolini establishes a new fascist government at Salo on Lake Garda, Italy. 15th September, 1943
Italy's new prime minister, Pietro Badoglio, signs armistice with the Allies. 23rd September, 1943
The Red Army recaptures the city of Smolensk. 25th September, 1943
Corsica becomes the first region of France to be liberated. September 1943
General Mark Clark and 5th Army capture Naples. 13th October, 1943
Italy's prime minister, Pietro Badoglio, declares war on Germany. 13th October, 1943
Evans Carlson and the 2nd Raider Battalion land in Guadalcana. 4th November, 1943
The Red Army recaptures the city of Kiev. 6th November, 1943
The intensive bombing of Berlin by the RAF begins. 18th November, 1943
Allied invasion of the Gilbert Islands. 20th November, 1943
Eduard Benes and Joseph Stalin sign a Soviet-Czech peace treaty in Moscow. 12th December, 1943
The Scharnhorst is sunk by the Duke of York off the coast of Norway. 26th December, 1943
Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Joseph Stalin meet at Tehran in Iran. 28th December, 1943
General John Lucas and US 5th Army land at Anzio. 22nd January, 1944
Allied invasion of the Marshall Islands. 31st January, 1944
Allied forces bomb monastery at Monte Cassino. 15th February, 1944
The Luftwaffe make their heaviest raids on London since May 1941. 19th February, 1944
Merrill's Marauders begin their first campaign in Burma. 24th February, 1944
Orde Wingate launches Operation Thursday in Burma. 5th March, 1944
United States Air Force begin daylight air attacks on Berlin. 6th March, 1944
Orde Wingate killed in plane crash in Burma. 14th March, 1944
Pierre Brossolette, one of the leaders of the French Resistance, murdered by the Gestapo. 22nd March, 1944
Paul von Kleist and Erich von Manstein recalled to Germany and sacked by Adolf Hitler. 29th March, 1944
Allied bombing of Nuremberg Raid. 30th March, 1944
The German Army evacuates Sevastopol. 9th May, 1944
Allied troops take Monte Cassino. 18th May, 1944
General Mark Clark and Allied troops capture Rome. 4th June, 1944
Second Front opened with Allied landings in Normandy. 6th June, 1944
Pietro Badoglio resigns and Invanoe Bonomi forms new government in Italy. 9th June, 1944
The SS carry out a revenge attack on the Maquis at Oradour-sur-Glane. 10th June, 1944
First V1 Flying bomb lands on Britain. 13th June, 1944
The Red Army recaptures the city of Minsk. 3rd July, 1944
Allied troops capture Caen in Normandy. 9th July, 1944
Hideki Tojo resigns as prime minister of Japan. 18th July, 1944
July Plot against Adolf Hitler fails. 20th July, 1944
Polish resistance forces in Warsaw rebel against German occupation. 1st August, 1944
V1 Flying bomb brought down by a Gloster Meteor, Britain's first jet-fighter. 4th August, 1944
Allied troops land on the French coast between the ports of Toulon and Cannes. 14th August, 1944
Ernst Thaelmann is executed at Buchenwald. 18th August, 1944
United States Army enters Paris. 24th August, 1944
Romania declares war on Germany. 25th August, 1944
British troops enter Brussels, the capital of Belgium. 4th September, 1944
First V2 Rocket lands on Britain. 8th September, 1944
The French provisional government abolishes the Vichy legislature. 10th September, 1944
Allied troops enter Nazi Germany. 11th September, 1944
Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt meet in Quebec to discuss post-war Germany. 11th September, 1944
Romania signs an armistice with the United States, Britain and the Soviet Union. 12th September, 1944
Start of Operation Market Garden. 17th September, 1944
Finland signs an armistice with the Soviet Union. 19th September, 1944
Allied troops forced to withdraw from Arnhem. 25th September, 1944
Adolf Hitler calls up all remaining males between 16 and 60 in Germany for army service. 25th September, 1944
Canadian troops liberate the French port of Calais. 28th September, 1944
The German Army crushes Warsaw Uprising. 2nd October, 1944
The British Army land in German-occupied Greece. 4th October, 1944
The Red Army enters Czechoslovakia. 6th October, 1944
Winston Churchill, Joseph Stalin and Franklin D. Roosevelt meet in Moscow. 9th October, 1944
Erwin Rommel is forced to commit suicide by the Nazi government. 14th October, 1944
General Douglas MacArthur returns to the Philippines. 20th October, 1944
General Walter Krueger and the US 6th Army landed on Leyte. 22nd October, 1944
The Battle of Leyte Gulf begins. 24th October, 1944
Bulgaria signs an armistice with the Allies. 28th October, 1944
The Tirpitz is sunk after being hit by Tallboy bombs. 12th November, 1944
The Red Army establish new government in Hungary. 21st December, 1944
The British 14th Army begin a new offensive in Burma. 3rd January, 1945
US forces make landings on the island of Luzon. 9th January, 1945
The Red Army liberate Warsaw. 17th January, 1945
The Red Army capture Budapest. 18th January, 1945
Start of Operation Ten-Go. 2nd February, 1945
Winston Churchill, Joseph Stalin and Franklin D. Roosevelt meet at the Yalta Conference. 4th February, 1945
Air Marshall Arthur Harris orders the bombing of Dresden. 13th February, 1945
United States Army land on Iwo Jima. 19th February, 1945
United States Army capture Manila, the capital of the Philippines. 28th February, 1945
United States Army Air Force creates firestorm in Tokyo. 9th March, 1945
British and Indian troops capture Mandalay in Burma. 20th March, 1945
United States Army cross the River Rhine between Mainz and Mannheim. 22nd March, 1945
Last V2 Rocket lands on Britain. 27th March, 1945
The Red Army enters Austria. 29th March, 1945
United States Army land on Okinawa. 1st April, 1945
A 700 plane kamikaze attack sink and damage 13 US destroyers.. 6th April, 1945
The Japanese giant battleship Yamato sunk off Okinawa. 7th April, 1945
General Harold Alexander and British forces mount a new offensive in northern Italy. 9th April, 1945
Pastor Dietrich Bonhoffer is hanged by the Nazi authorities. 9th April, 1945
Franklin D. Roosevelt dies and is replaced by Harry S. Truman. 12th April, 1945
Liberation of Belsen and Buchenwald. 13th April, 1945
Ernie Pyle, America's most famous war journalist, killed by Japanese sniper. 17th April, 1945
Liberation of Dachau. 25th April , 1945
United Nations Conference held in San Francisco. 25th April , 1945
Benito Mussolini is executed in Milan by Italian partisans. 28th April , 1945
German forces in Italy surrender to the Allies. 29th April , 1945
Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun commit suicide. 30th April, 1945
Joseph Goebbels commits suicide. 1st May , 1945
Commander of German troops in Berlin surrenders. 2nd May, 1945
Queen Wilhelmina returns to the Netherlands. 2nd May, 1945
Frank Messervy and his troops captures Ragoon in Burma. 3rd May, 1945
All military forces in Germany surrender to the Allies. 4th May, 1945
Denmark liberated by Allied trrops. 5th May, 1945
End of the Battle of the Atlantic. 7th May, 1945
General Alfred Jodl signs the official surrender of Germany. 8th May, 1945
Winston Churchill announces VE day. 8th May, 1945
The German Army in Czechoslovakia surrender to the Red Army. 9th May, 1945
Heinrich Himmler commits suicide. 22nd May, 1945
William Joyce (Lord Haw Haw) is captured at Flensburg. 28th May, 1945
Manhattan Project scientists test atom bomb at Alamogordo, New Mexico. 16th July, 1945
United States Army Air Force drops atom bomb on Hiroshima. 6th August, 1945
United States Army Air Force drops atom bomb on Nagasaki. 9th August , 1945
General Tomoyuki Yamashita surrenders army in the Philippines. 2nd September, 1945
General Douglas MacArthur accepts Japanese surrender in Tokyo Bay. 2nd September, 1945


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