WWII Timeline

1939: September 1

Germany invadesĀ 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.

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