CURRENT VIEW: BY ERA












































Display Information
Printable Version

World War II Timeline, Digital History ID 2942

1921 July 29: Adolf Hitler becomes the leader of the National Socialist Workers Party.

1922 Hyperinflation ravages the German economy. The price of a loaf of bread rises from 163 marks in 1922 to 1,500,000 marks in September 1923, and 200,000,000,000 marks in November 1923.

1923 November 8-9: The failed Beer Hall Putsch, a Nazi attempt to seize the leaders of the Bavarian government at a rally in a Munich beer hall, brings Hitler his first national publicity.

1925 July 18: Hitler publishes the first volume of Mein Kampf, which outlines his political beliefs.

1928 August 27: The Kellogg-Briand Pact renounces war as an instrument of national policy.

1930 September 14: The Nazis receive the second largest number of votes in German elections.

1931-1932 Japan conquers Manchuria.

1933 January 30: Hitler is named Chancellor of Germany. February 27: The German Reichstag (capitol) burns to the ground. March 4: Franklin Roosevelt inaugurated for his first term as president. March 22: The Nazis open the Dachau concentration camp near Munich. March 23: The Enabling Act grants Hitler dictatorial powers. April 1: Nazis organize boycott of Jewish-owned shops. July 14: The Nazi party becomes Germany’s only legal political party.

1935 March 16: Hitler introduces a military draft in Germany. September 15: The Nuremberg Laws

1936 March 7: In violation of the Versailles Treaty ending WWI, 4,000 German troops occupy the Rhineland. May 9: Italian forces conquer Ethiopia. July 17: Civil War erupts in Spain, ending the country's five year experiment with democracy. Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini provide arms to Gen. Francisco Franco, who defeats the Loyalists in 1939 and imposes a dictatorship. August 1: Olympic games open in Berlin. Jesse Owens wins four medals at the Olympics in Berlin, rebutting Hitler's claims about the superiority of the Aryan race.

1937 May 1: A Neutrality Act prohibits the export of arms and ammunition to belligerents. July 7: Japan invades China. December 12: Japanese planes sink the U.S. gunboat Panay in Chinese waters, killing two. The Japanese government apologizes and pays reparations. December 13: Japanese sack the Chinese city of Nanking.

1938 January 28: President Roosevelt requests $800 million to build up the nation’s navy. March 12-13: Germany announces the “Anschluss” or union with Austria. May 26: The House of Representatives creates House Un-American Activities Committee.

September 29: Munich Pact: To avert war, Britain and France give in to Hitler's claim to the Sudetenland, the German-populated part of Czechoslovakia. Critics denounce the agreement as "appeasement." November 9-10: Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass.

1939 March 15-16: Germany seizes Czechoslovakia. March 28: The Spanish Civil War ends with the triumph of military leader Francisco Franco. April 9: Denied use of Constitution Hall by the Daughters of the American Revolution, contralto Marian Anderson sings at the Lincoln Memorial before 75,000 people. August 23: Germany and the Soviet Union sign a non-aggression pact. The two countries agree to divide Poland. September: World War II begins following Germany's invasion of Poland on September 1. September 3: Britain and France declare war on Germany September 15: Aviator Charles Lindbergh makes his first radio broadcast opposing American intervention in the conflict.

1940 April 9: Norway and Denmark fall to the Nazis. May 10: Winston Churchill succeeds Neville Chamberlain as Britain’s prime minister. May 10: Germany invades Belgium, France, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands May 10-29: Germany captures Holland, Belgium, and Luxemburg. May 26-June 4: 338,000 Allied forces, mainly British, are driven from continental Europe. They evacuate the continent at Dunkerque. June 14: The German army enters Paris July 10: The Battle of Britain begins June 28: The Smith Act outlaws organizations advocating the overthrow of the U.S. government. August-November: The Royal Air Force repels the German Luftwaffe. September 3: The U.S. provides Britain with 50 aging destroyers in exchange for 99-year leases on eight military bases in Newfoundland and the West Indies. September 16: The U.S. Congress approves a military draft. September 22: France’s Vichy government lets Japan establish air bases in Indo-China. September 27: Japan joins the Axis alliance.

1941 January 13: President Roosevelt calls on Congress to defend four essential freedoms: freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom from want, and freedom from fear. March 11: Lend-Lease. The U.S. provides Britain with arms and supplies. April 11: The Office of Price Administration is established with power to set production priorities and prices and institute rationing. June 25: President Roosevelt creates the Fair Employment Practices Committee. Summer: President Roosevelt freezes German, Italian, and Japanese assets and embargoes shipments of gasoline and scrap metal to Japan. June 22: Germany invades Russia in violation of the Nazi-Soviet Nonaggression Pact. July 26: President Roosevelt freezes Japanese assets in the United STates December 7: Japanese planes and submarines attack the American fleet anchored at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The surprise attacked heavily damaged or sank 19 ships and killed 3,457 soldiers, sailors, and civilians.

1942 January 20: Wansee Conference. The Nazis plan the "final solution" to the Jewish problem. February 7: The Pittsburgh Courier calls for a Double V campaign involving victory over America’s adversaries abroad and against discrimination at home. February 19: President Roosevelt authorizes the internment of 112,000 Japanese-Americans living along the Pacific coast. Japanese-Americans in Hawaii were not interned. More than 17,000 Japanese-Americans served in the U.S. armed forces during the war. April 10: The Bataan Death March begins. 10,000 U.S. and 45,000 Filipino prisoners of war are forced to march 120 miles to Pampanga Province. 5,200 Americans and thousands of Filipinos died during the forced march. April 18: "30 Seconds Over Tokyo." Col. Jimmy Doolittle's carrier-based aircraft bomb Tokyo. May 15: Gas rationing is put into effect, limiting drives to three gallons a week. June 3-6: The Battle of Midway. U.S. aircraft repel a Japanese assault in the Central Pacific, sinking 17 Japanese ships and shooting down 250 airplanes. June 13: President Roosevelt authorizes creation of the Office of War Information. July 25: British and American forces invade French North Africa. July 30: Congress authorizes the WAVES, a women’s auxiliary for service with the U.S. Army. December 2: A research team led by physicist Enrico Fermi produces the first successful atomic chain reaction at the University of Chicago.

1943 May 9-10: Some 250,000 German troops surrender in Tunisia, abandoning the last Nazi stronghold in Africa. May 27: Roosevelt signs an executive order prohibiting racial discrimination by government contractors. June 5-8: Zoot Suit Riots. Sailors in Los Angeles attack Mexican Americans. June 10: The United States institutes a withholding tax. June 20: An anti-black riot in Detroit results in the deaths of 25 blacks and nine whites. July 10: 150,000 British, American, and Canadian forces land in Sicily, conquering the island in five weeks. July 25: Benito Mussolini is forced to resign as head of Italy's government after 21 years of rule. September: British and American forces advance into Italy.

1944 June 6: D-Day. Over a 48-hour period, 156,000 Allied troops storm the beaches of Normandy in France, while 8000 Allied planes provide air cover. June 22: President Roosevelt signs the GI Bill of Rights, providing educational and vocational benefits for returning veterans. August 25: The liberation of Paris. October 22-27: The Battle of Leyte Gulf. At the largest naval battle in history, 166 U.S. ships and 1280 planes destroy five Japanese aircraft carriers, four battleships, 14 cruisers, and 43 other ships, and destroy 7000 aircraft. December 16: The last German counter-offense of the war, the Battle of the Bulge, begins.

1945 April 25-June 26: Representatives from 50 nations draft the United Nations charter in San Francisco. April 30: Adolf Hitler commits suicide in an underground bunker in Berlin. May 7: V-E Day. German forces surrender to the Allies. Germany is divided into four zones. June 26: Delegates from 50 nations draft the United Nations Charter in San Francisco. August 6: The Enola Gay, a B-29, drops an atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. On August 9, a second bomb is dropped on Nagasaki. September 2: Japan formally surrenders in a ceremony aboard the U.S.S. Missouri in Tokyo Bay. November 20: The Nuremberg tribunal convenes to hear cases of 22 high-ranking Nazis charged with war crimes. Twelve were given the death sentence, three received life terms, four were given 10-20 year prison terms, and three were acquitted. A war crimes trial in Tokyo in 1948 resulted in the hanging of Premier Tojo and six others.