A Timeline of World War II


On July 29, 1919, the Peace Treaty of Versailles ended the First World War, which was fought between Germany and the Allied Powers. The Treaty imposed on Germany legal and military restrictions and set out the reparations to be paid to the Allied forces. Germany lost many territories as well. The terms of the Treaty led to the following events:

1919-1929

1919 - Great Britain and the USA made guarantees to assist France in case of German invasion.

1919-1920 - In order to prevent another terrible war, the League of Nations was founded, and it had members from 42 countries initially.

1921- France and Poland signed a secret agreement to assist one another in case of German aggression.

1922 - Fascist Mussolini came to power in Italy.

1925 - Germany, Belgium, Great Britain, France, and Italy signed the Treaty of Mutual Guarantee in Locarno.

1926 - The Soviet Union and Germany signed the Treaty of Berlin. Germany became a member of the League of Nations.

1928 - The USA, Great Britain, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Japan, Czechoslovakia, and Poland signed the Pact of Paris.

1929 - The construction of the Maginot Line began in France.

1930-1938

1931 - Japan invaded Manchuria.

1932 - Soviet Union signed Non-Aggression Pacts with Finland, Poland, and France.

1933 - Hitler came to power and formed the Third Reich in Germany. Nazis banned all other parties and burnt books by Einstein, Freud, Thomas Mann, Jack London, Herbert G. Wells, and many others. Germany withdrew from the League of Nations.

1934 - Germany and Poland signed the Non-Aggression Declaration. The Night of the Long Knives took place in Germany. Hitler became Fűhrer of Germany.

1935 - Italy invaded Ethiopia, and started the Second Italo–Abyssinian War. The Nuremberg Race Laws were issued.

1936 - The Rome Berlin Axis was formed. Germany and Japan signed the Anti-Comintern Pact.

1938 - Germany announced union with Austria

World War II

1939 - In March, Germany invaded Czechoslovakia. In April, Italy invaded Albania. In August, Germany and the Soviet Union signed a secret non-aggression pact. On September 1, Germany invaded Poland. On September 3, Britain, France, New Zealand, and Australia declared war on Germany. That was the beginning of the Second World War.

1940 - In March, Finland surrendered to the Soviet Union. Over the next 3 months, Denmark, Netherlands, Belgium, and Norway surrendered to Germany. Italy declared war on France and Britain. In June, France surrendered to Germany. In July, the Battle of Britain began. Italy invaded Egypt and Greece. Hungary and Romania joined the Axis Powers.

1941 - Yugoslavia and Greece surrendered to Germany. Germans captured Minsk and surrounded Leningrad, and went on to take Kiev, Odessa, Kharkov, and Rostov. The Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. The USA and Britain declared war on Japan.

1942 - The Royal Air Force bombed Germany, and the USA bombed Japan. The Battle of the Coral Sea and the Battle of Midway started, as well as the Battle of El Alamein and the Battle of Alam el Halfa. The Battle of Stalingrad began.

1943 - Montgomery captured Tripoli. Americans bombed Germany for the first time, and the Germans surrendered in Stalingrad. The Allies landed in Sicily, Salerno, and Taranto. Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin met in Teheran.

1944 - The siege of Leningrad ended. German forces withdrew to the Adolf Hitler Line. D –Day landings took place. Polish Home Army uprising began in Warsaw. Operation Dragoon was started. The Allies liberated Paris, Dieppe, Atrois, Verdun, Abbeville, Rouen, Antwerp, and Brussels. The Battle of Bulge took place in the Ardennes.

1945 - Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin met in Yalta. The Allies took Köln and liberated Buchenwald. President Roosevelt died, and Truman became president. The Russians reached Berlin, and Hitler committed suicide. The first and the second atomic bombs were dropped. Churchill, Clemet Atlee, Stalin, and Truman met in Postdam. V-J Victory Day.

For more information about World War II, you can go to:

  • Treaty of Versailles : The complete Versailles treaty with all 440 articles, maps, photos, charts, and cartoons
  • The Third Reich : Information about the regime of Adolf Hitler and the National Socialist German Workers Party
  • The Battle of Britain : Royal Air Force history site with detailed information about the Battle of Britain, as well as daily reports, air power, units, and others
  • The Siege of Leningrad : Information about the history of St. Petersburg, including the 900-day “Blokada” with illustrations
  • Battle of the Coral Sea : Comprehensive information about the Battle of the Coral Sea, including records of commanders, battles, weapons, and others
  • The Battle of El Alamein : Brief information about the battles in the deserts of North Africa, as well as the commanders, and others
  • The Battle of Stalingrad : Information about the Battle of Stalingrad, as well as the roles of Chuikov, Paulus, Rokossovsky, and Stalin
  • D –Day Landings: Comprehensive information about the Normandy landings on June 6, 1944. Includes images
  • Operation Dragoon : Provides information about the Operation Dragoon and the assault on Southern France
  • V-J Victory Day : Information about the victory of the Allied forces, including the war in the Pacific, the surrender of Japan, battle maps, speeches, video clips, and others

Although World War II ended with the victory of the Allied forces, it was the most terrible war in the history of the world. More than 22 million soldiers and more than 40 million civilians died during the war.