1. Education
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

World War II Timeline

Timeline of World War II From 1939 to 1945

By

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 II (WWII) was a long and bloody war that lasted for six years. Officially beginning on September 1, 1939 when Germany invaded Poland, World War II 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 II.

1939

  • August 23 - Germany and the Soviet Union sign the
  • Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact
  • September 1 - Germany invades Poland, starting World War II
  • 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

  1. About.com
  2. Education
  3. 20th Century History
  4. Wars & Conflicts
  5. World War II
  6. World War II Timeline - 20th Century History

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.