1939: September 1
Germany invades Poland. World War II begins.
1939: September 3
France and Great Britain declare war on Germany.
1940: April 9 – June 9
Germany invades and takes control of Denmark and Norway.
1940: May 10 – June 22
Germany uses quick strikes called blitzkrieg, meaning lightning war, to take over much of western Europe including the Netherlands, Belgium, and northern France.
1940: May 30
Winston Churchill becomes leader of the British government.
1940: June 10
Italy enters the war as a member of the Axis powers.
1940: July 10
Germany launches an air attack on Great Britain. These attacks last until the end of October and are known as the Battle of Britain.
1940: September 22
Germany, Italy, and Japan sign the Tripartite Pact creating the Axis Alliance.
1941: June 22
Germany and the Axis Powers attack Russia with a huge force of over four million troops.
1941: December 7
The Japanese attack the US Navy in Pearl Harbor. The next day the US enters World War II on the side of the Allies.
1942: June 4
The US Navy defeats the Japanese navy at the Battle of Midway.
1942 July 10
The Allies invade and take the island of Sicily.
1943: September 3
Italy surrenders to the Allies; however, Germany helps Mussolini to escape and set up a government in Northern Italy.
1944: June 6
D-day and the Normandy invasion. Allied forces invade France and push back the Germans.
1944: August 25
Paris is liberated from German control.
1944: December 16
The Germans launch a large attack in the Battle of the Bulge. They lose to the Allies sealing the fate of the German army.
1945: February 19
US Marines invade the island of Iwo Jima. After a fierce battle they capture the island.
1945: April 12
US President Franklin Roosevelt dies. He is succeeded by President Harry Truman.
1945: March 22
The US Third Army under General Patton crosses the Rhine River.
1945: April 30
Adolf Hitler commits suicide as he knows Germany has lost the war.
1945: May 7
Germany surrenders to the Allies.
1945: August 6
The United States drops the Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima, Japan. The city is devastated.
1945: August 9
Another atomic bomb is dropped on Nagasaki, Japan.
1945: September 2
Japan surrenders to US General Douglass MacArthur and the Allies.