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World War 2 Timeline

Timeline of WW2 From 1939 to 1945

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Adolf Hitler poses with a group of Nazis soon after his appointment as Chancellor.

Adolf Hitler poses with a group of Nazis soon after his appointment as Chancellor. (February 1933).

(Picture courtesy of USHMM Photo Archives.)
World War 2 (WW2) was a long and bloody war that lasted for six years. Officially beginning on September 1, 1939 when Germany invaded Poland, World War 2 lasted until both the Germans and the Japanese had surrendered to the Allies in 1945. Find out what happened in this timeline of World War 2.

1939

  • August 23 - Germany and the Soviet Union sign the
  • Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact
  • September 1 - Germany invades Poland, starting World War 2
  • September 3 - Britain and France declare war on Germany
  • September - Battle of the Atlantic begins

1940

  • May - Auschwitz established
  • May 10 - Germany invades France, Belgium, and the Netherlands
  • May 26 - Evacuation begins of Allied troops from Dunkirk, France
  • June 10 - Italy declares war on France and Great Britain
  • June 22 - France surrenders to Germany
  • July 10 - Battle of Britain begins
  • September 16 - The United States begins its first peacetime draft

1941

  • March 11 - U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs the Lend-Lease bill
  • May 24 - The British ship Hood is sunk by Germany's Bismarck
  • May 27 - The Bismarck is sunk
  • June 22 - Germany invades the Soviet Union (Operation Barbarossa)
  • August 9 - Atlantic Conference begins
  • September 8 - Siege of Leningrad begins
  • December 7 - The Japanese launch a sneak attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
  • December 11 - Germany and Italy declare war on the United States; then the United States declares war on Germany and Italy

1942

  • January 20 - The Wannsee Conference
  • February 19 - Roosevelt issues Executive Order 9066, which allows the internment of Japanese Americans
  • April 18 - The Doolittle Raid on Japan
  • June 3 - The Battle of Midway begins
  • July 1 - First Battle of El Alamein begins
  • July 6 - Anne Frank and her family go into hiding
  • August 2 - Guadalcanal Campaign begins
  • August 21 - Battle of Stalingrad begins
  • October 23 - Second Battle of El Alamein begins
  • November 8 - The Allies invade North Africa (Operation Torch)

1943

  • January 14 - Casablanca Conference begins
  • February 2 - The Germans surrender at Stalingrad, Soviet Union
  • April 19 - The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising begins
  • July 5 - Battle of Kursk begins
  • July 25 - Mussolini resigns
  • September 3 - Italy surrenders
  • November 28 - Tehran Conference begins

1944

  • January 27 - After 900 days, the Siege of Leningrad is finally over
  • June 6 - D-Day
  • June 19 - Battle of the Philippine Sea
  • July 20 - Assassination attempt against Hitler fails
  • August 4 - Anne Frank and her family are discovered and arrested
  • August 25 - The Allies liberate Paris
  • October 23 - Battle of Leyte Gulf begins
  • December 16 - Battle of the Bulge begins

1945

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