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World War 2 Timeline

1929

The Great Depression. The American economy crashes and German people are hit badly with poverty.

This is because they are still recovering from the First World War and used American loans to help them rebuild the economy.

stock market crash and panic

People do not have enough to eat and there are no jobs. They look for a new leadership that will help them get back on their feet.

Hitler’s Nazi party come up with a slogan to make people vote for them: ‘work and bread’ (‘Arbeit Und Brot’). Nazi propaganda (mass media to brainwash people) begins.

newspaper

1933

January 30

Adolf Hitler is elected Chancellor (like prime minister) of Germany. He has a party called the Nazi party who takes power.

Hitler introduces censorship (where there are limits on what newspapers can say), and passes the Enabling Act. The Enabling Act makes him dictator for at least four years.

This means he cannot be voted out.

Enabling Act

1934

Hitler merges the posts of chancellor and president.

1936

October 25

Nazi Germany and the Fascist government from Italy form the Rome-Berlin Axis Treaty (a pact agreeing to support each other).

Hitler Mussolini pact
Hitler and Mussolini meeting in Munich, Germany, June 1940

1936

25th November

Japan and Germany sign a pact to fight against Russia and communism called the ‘Anti-Comintern’ pact.

1937

July 7

Japan invades China.

China facts

1938

March 12

Hitler invades Austria and takes it over: this is known as ‘Anschluss’.

1939

September 1

Germany invades Poland and World War 2 begins.

poland-flag

1939

September 3

France and Great Britain declare war on Germany.

1940

April 9 to June 9

Germany takes control of Denmark and Norway.

denmark-flag

1940

May 10 to June 22

German has a policy called Blitzkrieg (‘lightening war’) to very quickly take a lot of western Europe including the Netherlands, Belgium, and northern France.

1940

May 30

Winston Churchill becomes prime minister in Britain.

Winston Churchill

1940

June 10

Italy joins the war (on Germany’s side as a member of the Axis Powers).

1940

July 10 – October

The Battle of Britain: Germany attacks Great Britain in the air.

The Battle of Britain

1940

September 22

Germany, Italy, and Japan join to sign the Tripartite Pact (the Axis Alliance).

1941

June 22

The Axis Powers attack Russia with over four million troops.

russia-flag

1941

December 7

Pearl Harbor: A Japanese attack on the US navy. The next day the US enters World War II (on the Allies’ side).

Pearl Harbor USS Arizona

1942

June 4

The Battle of Midway: the US navy defeats the Japanese navy.

1942

July 10

The Allies invade Italy (and take the island of Sicily).

italy boot

1943

September 3

Italy surrenders to the Allies but Germany helps Mussolini to escape and set up a government in Northern Italy.

1944

June 6

D-day and the Normandy invasion. Allied forces invade France and push back the Germans.

1944

August 25

Paris (which was under German control) is freed.

eiffel-tower

1944

December 16

The Battle of the Bulge: Germans launch a huge attack but lose to the Allies.

1945

February 19

US Marines invade the island of Iwo Jima and seize control from Japan.

Franklin D Roosevelt painting

1945

April 12

US President Franklin Roosevelt dies and Harry Truman replaces him.

Harry S. Truman picture

1945

March 22

The US Third Army (under General Patton) crosses the Rhine River in Germany.

rhine-river-map

1945

April 30

Adolf Hitler commits suicide because he knows Germany has lost the war.

1945

May 7

Germany surrenders.

german flag

1945

August 6

The United States drops the Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima, Japan. The city is devastated and many innocent people are killed.

weapons-explosion

1945

August 9

Another atomic bomb is dropped on Nagasaki, Japan.

1945

September 2

Japan surrenders to US General Douglass MacArthur and the Allies.

World War 2

Loading bombs onto a World War II plane

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