World War 2 Timeline
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.
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.
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.
Hitler merges the posts of chancellor and president.
Nazi Germany and the Fascist government from Italy form the Rome-Berlin Axis Treaty (a pact agreeing to support each other).
Japan and Germany sign a pact to fight against Russia and communism called the ‘Anti-Comintern’ pact.
Japan invades China.
Hitler invades Austria and takes it over: this is known as ‘Anschluss’.
Germany invades Poland and World War 2 begins.
France and Great Britain declare war on Germany.
April 9 to June 9
Germany takes control of Denmark and Norway.
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.
Winston Churchill becomes prime minister in Britain.
Italy joins the war (on Germany’s side as a member of the Axis Powers).
July 10 – October
The Battle of Britain: Germany attacks Great Britain in the air.
Germany, Italy, and Japan join to sign the Tripartite Pact (the Axis Alliance).
The Axis Powers attack Russia with over four million troops.
Pearl Harbor: A Japanese attack on the US navy. The next day the US enters World War II (on the Allies’ side).
The Battle of Midway: the US navy defeats the Japanese navy.
The Allies invade Italy (and take the island of Sicily).
Italy surrenders to the Allies but Germany helps Mussolini to escape and set up a government in Northern Italy.
D-day and the Normandy invasion. Allied forces invade France and push back the Germans.
Paris (which was under German control) is freed.
The Battle of the Bulge: Germans launch a huge attack but lose to the Allies.
US Marines invade the island of Iwo Jima and seize control from Japan.
US President Franklin Roosevelt dies and Harry Truman replaces him.
The US Third Army (under General Patton) crosses the Rhine River in Germany.
Adolf Hitler commits suicide because he knows Germany has lost the war.
The United States drops the Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima, Japan. The city is devastated and many innocent people are killed.
Another atomic bomb is dropped on Nagasaki, Japan.
Japan surrenders to US General Douglass MacArthur and the Allies.