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World War II A Timeline of Events
Timeline 1922 – Mussolini becomes dictator in Italy. He is known as “Il Duce”
Timeline 1924 – Stalin comes to power in the Soviet Union
Timeline 1929 –The Great Depression begins across Europe and the United States; the American stock market crashes
Timeline 1931 – Japan conquers Manchuria in northern China
Timeline 1932 – Hitler becomes Germany’s chancellor “Der Fürher”
Timeline May 1933 – Massive book burning in Berlin
Timeline 1935 – Italy invades Ethiopia in Africa. Haili Salasi, Ethiopia’s leader, makes a stand against Italy and begs for international help, but is unsuccessful.
Timeline September 15, 1935 Nuremberg Laws passed
Timeline Early 1936 – Hitler moves troops into the Rhineland, an area along the Rhine River bordering France. Britain urges appeasement.
Timeline Late 1936 – Mussolini and Hitler form the Rome – Berlin Axis. The “Third Reich” – the third incarnation of the Roman Empire - begins.
Timeline 1937 - Japan invades southern China
Timeline 1938 – Germany annexes Austria
Timeline November 9, 1938 – Kristelnacht – hundreds of synagogues are burned, windows in Jewish businesses are smashed, 91 Jews are murdered, 30,000 are arrested and sent to concentration camps
Timeline November 12, 1938 Jewish children are expelled from schools
Timeline 1939 – Germany signs a non-aggression pact with the Soviet Union. Czechoslovakia is partitioned. Neville Chamberlain, PM of Great Britain, proclaims, “Peace in our time.”
Timeline September 1, 1939 Germany invades Poland. World War II begins.
Timeline 1940 – Germany invades Denmark, Norway, Belgium, the Netherlands, and France using a technique called blitzkrieg, or lightning war.
Timeline 1940 – Japan joins the Axis
Timeline 1940 Germany bombs Great Britain; The Battle of Britain begins
Timeline 1941 – Germany invades the Soviet Union
Timeline 1941 – Tojo becomes Prime Minister of Japan
Timeline Summer 1941 Hitler’s “Final Solution to the Jewish Question” is begun, ultimately resulting in the deaths of 6 million Jewish people – the Holocaust
Timeline December 7, 1941 Japan bombs Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. The United States enters the war.
Timeline December 1941 – Japanese invades the Philippines
Timeline March 1942 – Allied forces under the command of Douglas MacArthur withdraw to Australia. MacArthur promises, “I shall return.”
Timeline 1942 - Bataan Death March 60 mile march of 75,000 American and Filipino POWs by the Japanese 11,000 men reportedly die
Timeline 1942 – Allied forces led by General Eisenhower invade North Africa and stop the German advance, led by General Rommel, at El Alamein, Egypt.
Timeline June 1942 – Battle of Midway is turning point of the war in the Pacific. Allies begin the process of island hopping to get close to the Japanese homeland.
Timeline August 1942 – February 1943 The Battle Guadalcanal is the first major land victory in the Pacific. It is made possible by Navajo Code Talkers.
Timeline 1943 – German troops surrender at Stalingrad in the Soviet Union.
Timeline 1943 – Allies invade Sicily. Italy surrenders.
Timeline June 6, 1944 - Allies invade Normandy – D-Day
Timeline 1944 – Paris is liberated
Timeline 1944 – Hitler launches the Battle of the Bulge; Stalin gains control of Eastern Europe
Timeline October 1944 – Allies invade the Philippines, liberating Manila by March. The Japanese increase their use of kamikazes.
Timeline Late 1944 – the Allies begin bombing Japan
Timeline February 1945 U.S. Marines invade Iwo Jima.
Timeline April 1945 – Allied forces invade Okinawa. 18,000 Americans die; 120,000 Japanese
Timeline 1945 – Allied forces advance on Berlin. Germany surrenders on May 7. This is called VE Day.
Timeline August 6, 1945 the Enola Gay drops an atomic bomb on the industrial city of Hiroshima. 75,000 people die.
Timeline August 9, 1945 a second atomic bomb is dropped on Nagasaki, killing 40,000.
Timeline September 2, 1945 Japan unconditionally surrenders aboard the battleship Missouri, VJ Day. The war is over.
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