WORLD WAR II

Timeline created by a001754
  • The Germans had reached Paris

    The Germans had reached Paris
    The French surrender was ratified in the armistice agreement signed at Compiègne on 22 June.
  • The miraculous evacuation of Allied troops from Dunkirk saved 193,000 British and 145,000 French troops

    The miraculous evacuation of Allied troops from Dunkirk saved 193,000 British and 145,000 French troops
    Although some 80,000 were left behind, Operation Dynamo far exceeded the expectation of rescuing only 45,000. The Operation used 200 Royal Navy ships and 600 volunteer vessels
  • Neville Chamberlain declared war on Germany

    Neville Chamberlain declared war on Germany
    Two days after their invasion of Poland, his speech was followed by what would become the familiar sound of air raid sirens.
  • Clash near the Marco Polo Bridge, close to Beijing

    Clash near the Marco Polo Bridge, close to Beijing
    The triggering of the full-scale war with China that lasted until 1945 began with an obscure clash involving a Japanese unit on night manoeuvres near the Marco Polo Bridge southwest of Beijing on the night of 7–8 July 1937.
  • The Nazi-Soviet Pact was signed

    The Nazi-Soviet Pact was signed
    The Pact saw Germany and the USSR carve up central-eastern Europe between themselves and pave the way for German invasion of Poland
  • The Nazi invasion of Poland was the final straw for the British

    The Nazi invasion of Poland was the final straw for the British
    Britain had guaranteed Polish sovereignty after Hitler flouted the Munich Agreement by annexing Czechoslovakia. They declared war on Germany on 3 September.
  • Britain and France remained committed to appeasement

    Britain and France remained committed to appeasement
    This was despite some internal dissent, in the face of increasingly inflammatory Nazi actions.
  • Germans launch offensive in the West

    Germans launch offensive in the West
    The German unwillingness to limit their war to the conquest of Poland and to launch meaningful peace talks meant that the Second World War broadened out. Hitler was eager to profit from the ability Poland’s defeat offered for Germany to fight on only one front and argued that Germany enjoyed a window of opportunity thanks to being more prepared for war than Britain or France.
  • It was part of a longer-term invasion plan by the Nazis

    It was part of a longer-term invasion plan by the Nazis
    Hitler ordered planning to begin for an invasion of Britain on 2 July 1940. But the Nazi leader specified air and naval superiority over the English Channel and proposed landing points before any invasion.
  • This meant its aircraft were outnumbered by the Luftwaffe’s

    This meant its aircraft were outnumbered by the Luftwaffe’s
    The Luftwaffe could deploy 1,029 fighter aircraft, 998 bombers, 261 dive-bombers, 151 reconnaissance planes and 80 coastal planes.
  • Battle of Britain begins

    Battle of Britain begins
    The first concerted attack on British airfields was launched on 12 August 1940. The fall of France ensured that German airbases were now close to Britain. The Luftwaffe (German air force) was instructed to help prepare the way for invasion by driving British warships from the Channel.
  • The first British air raid on a concentrated civilian population was over Mannheim

    The first British air raid on a concentrated civilian population was over Mannheim
    In response to Luftwaffe raids on Britain, the RAF launched Operation Abigail Rachel against Mannheim. The "first deliberate terror raid" of World War II took place on the night of 16/17 December 1940.
  • Total civilian deaths during the Blitz were around 40,000

    Total civilian deaths during the Blitz were around 40,000
    The Blitz effectively ended when Operation Sealion was abandoned in May 1941. By the end of the war about 60,000 British civilians had died through German bombing.
  • Launching of Operation Barbarossa

    Launching of Operation Barbarossa
    Hitler’s overconfidence and contempt for other political systems reinforced his belief that Germany had to conquer the Soviet Union in order to fulfill her destiny and obtain Lebensraum (living space). He was convinced that a clash with Communism was inevitable, and was concerned about Stalin’s intentions.
  • Attack on Pearl Harbor

    Attack on Pearl Harbor
    The Japanese attack on the United States meant the conflict was clearly a world war. Japan could have restricted itself to attacking the British and Dutch colonies in South-East Asia, but, instead chose to also attack America in order to prevent it from opposing Japanese expansion. This led to a surprise attack on the base of the American Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor on the island of Oahu in the Hawaiian archipelago.
  • Battle of Midway

    Battle of Midway
    The continued capacity of the American navy, however, was shown clearly, on 4 June, with the American victory in the battle of Midway, a naval-air battle of unprecedented scale. This battle also reflected the superiority of American repair efforts and intelligence. So also did the combination of fighter support with carriers (in defence) and of fighters and bombers (in attack) was crucial.
  • Germans launch battle of Kursk

    Germans launch battle of Kursk
    The Germans were outnumbered by the Soviets who had prepared a defence system that thwarted the German tank offensive. After heavy losses and only modest gains, Hitler cancelled the operation that had cost him much strength. Having stopped the Germans, the Soviets were now in a position to counterattack. The Germans were now to be driven back in a near-continuous process.
  • D-Day

    D-Day
    The Allied landings in northern France – known as D-Day – began on 6 June 1944. American, British and Canadian forces landed in Normandy, as Operation Neptune (the landings) paved the way for Operation Overlord (the invasion). Under the overall command of Eisenhower, the Allies benefited from well-organised and effective naval support for the invasion and from air superiority. In addition, a successful deception exercise, Operation Fortitude, ensured that the Normandy landing was a surprise.
  • Battle of Leyte Gulf

    Battle of Leyte Gulf
    The Americans used their naval and air superiority, already strong and rapidly growing, to mount a reconquest of the Philippines from October 1944. That operation helped ensure a naval battle: that of Leyte Gulf of 23–26 October, the largest naval battle of the war and one (or rather a series of engagements) that secured American maritime superiority in the western Pacific.
  • Dropping of second atom bomb, on Nagasaki

    Dropping of second atom bomb, on Nagasaki
    This made more of an impact than the first bomb, dropped on Hiroshima on 6 August 1945. It now seemed likely that the Americans could mount an inexorable process of bombing. As a result, Japan agreed to surrender unconditionally. An Imperial broadcast on 15 August announced the end of hostilities. It followed Emperor Hirohito’s intervention at the Imperial Conference on 9 and 14 August.