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      eHistory  >  World War II  >  Timeline Search
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World War II Timeline
Date Event
18 September 1931 Japan invades Manchuria
8 November 1932 Franklin D. Roosevelt elected President of the United States   [United States]
30 January 1933 Adolf Hitler becomes Chancellor of Germany
27 February 1933 Fire destroys the Reichstag in Berlin   [Germany]
25 March 1933 Japan withdraws from the League of Nations   [Japan]
14 October 1933 Hitler withdraws Germany from the League of Nations   [Germany]
19 August 1934 Adolph Hitler succeeds Hindenburg as leader of Germany
21 October 1934 Mao Tse-tung’s “Long March” begins
1 March 1935 Germany regains possession of the Saar
18 June 1935 Anglo-German Naval Treaty signed
3 October 1935 Italy invades Ethiopia
20 October 1935 Mao Tse-tung’s “Long March” concludes   [China]
7 March 1936 Germany occupies the Rhineland
5 May 1936 Italians occupy the capital of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa; Emperor Haile Selaissie flees to England
28 May 1937 Neville Chamberlain becomes the new British Prime Minister
12 June 1937 Purges begin in the Soviet Union
7 July 1937 Japan invades China; Sino-Japanese War begins
1 August 1937 The concentration camp at Buchenwald opens
13 December 1937 Nanking Massacre
12 March 1938 Germany invades and annexes Austria (Anschluss)   [Germany]
30 September 1938 Hitler, Chamberlain, Daladier, and Mussolini sign the Munich Agreement, which transfers the Sudetenland from Czechoslovakia to Germany   [Germany]
9 November 1938 Kristallnacht (Night of the Broken Glass); Thousands of synagogues and Jewish businesses destroyed throughout Germany   [Germany]
15 March 1939 Germany occupies Moravia and Bohemia   [Germany]
1 April 1939 Civil War ends in Spain
7 April 1939 Italian forces invade Albania
23 August 1939 Signing of the Nazi-Soviet Nonaggression Pact   [U.S.S.R.]
1 September 1939 World War II begins when Germany invades Poland   [Germany]
1 September 1939 Polish Campaign begins
1 September 1939 Norway, Finland, Switzerland declare their neutrality
3 September 1939 Britain and France declare war on Germany
3 September 1939 Winston Churchill joins Neville Chamberlain's war cabinet as first lord of the admiralty
4 September 1939 U-boat U-30 sinks the British liner SS Athenia with 1,418 people on board; most are saved
5 September 1939 First British freighter sunk by U-boat U-47
5 September 1939 US formally becomes a neutral country
6 September 1939 South Africa declares war on Germany
7 September 1939 French forces advance into Germany and capture two villages near Saarbrucken
8 September 1939 German army reaches outskirts of Warsaw
10 September 1939 British Expeditionary Force (BEF) starts landing in France; it is led by Field Marshal Gort
10 September 1939 Canada Declares war on Germany
12 September 1939 First meeting of Anglo-French Supreme War Council at Abbeville, France
14 September 1939 HMS Ark Royal attacked by U-boat U39; the U-boat is later sunk
15 September 1939 Russia and Japan sign a peace treaty;
17 September 1939 Soviet Union invades Poland per the secret German-Soviet Non-Aggression Treaty
17 September 1939 British aircraft carrier HMS Courageous sunk off Irish coast by U-boat U29
19 September 1939 In Poland, the Poznan and Pomorze armies surrender to the Germans
19 September 1939 German and Soviet forces meet at Brest-Litovsk
20 September 1939 HMS Fortune and HMS Forester sink U-Boat U27
21 September 1939 Prime Minister Armand Calinescu of Romania is assassinated by pro-Nazi members of the Iron Guard
22 September 1939 Britain introduces gasoline rationing
27 September 1939 Warsaw surrenders to the Germans
28 September 1939 Modlin surrenders to the Germans
29 September 1939 Germany and the Soviet Union partition Poland
30 September 1939 The Poles setup a government in exile in Paris; General Wladyslaw Sikorski is made commander-in-chief
30 September 1939 German pocket battleship Admiral Graf Spee sinks British ship SS Clement
2 October 1939 Countries from North and South America meet (Pan-American Conference) to setup a neutrality zone 300 miles off the coast of America
4 October 1939 Polish airforce flies their final mission
5 October 1939 British and French ships begin the search for the Graf Spee
5 October 1939 Polish Campaign ends
6 October 1939 The last Polish armed forces surrender to the Germans
6 October 1939 German ship Deutschland sinks British ship Stonegate within US Neutrality zone
7 October 1939 British Expeditionary Force (BEF) landings end in France
8 October 1939 The first German airplane (Dornier flying-boat) is shot down by British aircraft
9 October 1939 Hitler issues War Directive No. 6 laying out invasion of France, Holland and Belgium (Plan Yellow)
12 October 1939 Hitler appoints Hans Frank to head General Government of Poland
13 October 1939 First attempt of combining U-boats into a Wolfpack fails
14 October 1939 U47, commanded by Gunther Prien, sinks the HMS Royal Oak at the anchorage in Scapa Flow dealing a major blow to British morale
16 October 1939 German forces retake villages in Saarbrucken
16 October 1939 German warships are order to torpedo Allied merchant ships without first giving warning
18 October 1939 Soviet Union invades Estonia
28 October 1939 First German plane (Heinkel HE 111) is shot down over Great Britain
10 November 1939 The Netherlands floods its primary defensive area
16 November 1939 Martial Law is declared in Czechoslovakia
17 November 1939 The Czechoslovakia National Committee is setup in France
23 November 1939 German battlecruiser Scharnhorst sinks British ship Rawalpindi
29 November 1939 Soviet Union attacks Finland without a declaration of war
30 November 1939 Finnish-Soviet War begins
30 November 1939 Helsinki is bombed by Soviet aircraft
5 December 1939 Soviet forces reach the Mannerheim line in Finland
13 December 1939 German cruisers Leipzig and Nurnberg disabled by British submarine Salmon
14 December 1939 League of Nations expels the Soviet Union
17 December 1939 The Admiral Graf Spee is scuttled by her captain Langsdorff at the entrance of Montevideo harbor in Uruguay
23 December 1939 The first Canadian troops land in Britain
28 December 1939 Britain starts to ration meat
4 January 1940 Hermann Goring is put in charge of Germany's war industry
27 January 1940 Planning of invasion of Norway by Germany begins
5 February 1940 Britain and France agree to send aid and troops to Finland
12 February 1940 The first parts of the Enigma machine are recovered from the sunken U-33
16 February 1940 British forces from the destroyer HMS Cossack rescues British prisoners aboard the German ship Altmark off Norway
21 February 1940 Construction begins at the Auschwitz concentration camp
2 March 1940 First naval action in the English Channel; passenger ship SS Domala is attacked by German bombers
3 March 1940 Russian General Grendal (13th Army) is dismissed due to poor performance in the action in Finland
11 March 1940 U-31 is sunk by a RAF Blenheim, the first sinking of a U-boat
12 March 1940 Russo-Finnish war ends; Finland cedes land to the Soviet Union   [U.S.S.R.]
12 March 1940 Finish-Soviet War ends
16 March 1940 First British civilian is killed during a German air raid at Scapa Flow
27 March 1940 Peter Fraser becomes Prime Minister in New Zealand
28 March 1940 Britain and France agree not to make a separate peace with Germany
6 April 1940 German fleet sails for Narvik, Norway
7 April 1940 Germany invades Norway and Denmark
9 April 1940 Battle of Invasion of Denmark   [Denmark]
9 April 1940 Invasion of Norway   [Norway]
9 April 1940 German warship Blucher (heavy cruiser) is sunk by Norwegian shore batteries
9 April 1940 German forces invade Denmark and Norway
10 April 1940 The light cruiser Konigsberg is sunk
13 April 1940 Eight German destroyers are sunk by the Royal navy near Narvik
14 April 1940 Allied troops land at Harstad, Norway
5 May 1940 German forces capture the British submarine HMS Shark
10 May 1940 Battle of Flanders
10 May 1940 Neville Chamberlain resigns as British Prime Minister; Winston Churchill replaces him
10 May 1940 Britain occupies Iceland
10 May 1940 Field Marshal Fedor von Bock's Army Group B invades Belgium and Netherlands
10 May 1940 Belgian fort Eben Emel is captured
10 May 1940 German forces invade Belgium and France
14 May 1940 Netherlands surrenders; Queen Wilhelmina flees to England
14 May 1940 German air force bombs Rotterdam
15 May 1940 Britain begins strategic bombing campaign against Germany when RAF bombs targets in the Ruhr
15 May 1940 Britain bans merchant shipping from the Mediterranean
15 May 1940 Great Britain begins Strategic Air Offensive against Germany
17 May 1940 German forces capture Brussels
22 May 1940 RAF loses its last air field in France
24 May 1940 Germans halt their advance on Dunkirk
26 May 1940 Battle of Dunkirk
26 May 1940 Evacuation of Allied troops from Dunkirk begins
27 May 1940 Allied forces capture Narvik
28 May 1940 Belgium surrenders
28 May 1940 First ship (Mona's Isle) arrives at Dunkirk to rescue troops
1 June 1940 Britain announces the evacuation from Norway
3 June 1940 Evacuation of Dunkirk ends
4 June 1940 Scharnhorst and Gneisenau leave Kiel
5 June 1940 Battle of France
8 June 1940 Aircraft carrier HMS Glorious sunk by Scharnhorst
9 June 1940 The last Allied troops leave Narvik for Great Britain; the German conquest of Norway is complete
10 June 1940 Italy declares war on Britain and France
11 June 1940 The French government leaves Paris for Tours
11 June 1940 First air combat between Britain and Italy at Cyrenaica and Malta
14 June 1940 German forces enter Paris
14 June 1940 German forces take Paris, France
15 June 1940 The Soviet Union occupies Lithuania
18 June 1940 Brigadier-General Charles de Gaulle broadcasts from London; he urges French to fight on
18 June 1940 RAF bombs Hamburg and Bremen
21 June 1940 Italy attacks France
22 June 1940 France under Petain signs armistice with Germany at Rethondes   [Germany]
24 June 1940 France signs armistice with Italy
28 June 1940 Charles de Gaulle is recognized as the leader of the Free French
30 June 1940 German forces occupy the Channel Islands (part of the British Isles)
1 July 1940 Task Force H, operating in the Mediterranean, is created with HMS Ark Royal, HMS Hood plus other ships
3 July 1940 Task Force H attempts to destroy French ships at Oran, Algeria; only one ship is sunk
4 July 1940 Airplanes from carrier HMS Hermes attack the French battleship Richelieu
4 July 1940 Italians enter Sudan
9 July 1940 First naval action between Britain and Italy; HMS Warspite fires on Italian battleship Guilio Cesare
10 July 1940 First heavy air attack on Britain by Germany starts the Battle of Britain
13 July 1940 Italians enter Kenya
14 July 1940 Soviet Union annexes Baltic states
16 July 1940 Hitler issues Directive 16 outlining the Invasion of Britain (Operation Sealion)
19 July 1940 President Franklin Roosevelt signs the Two-Ocean Navy Expansion Act
19 July 1940 Italian light cruiser Bartolomeo is sunk by the Australian navy; first large ship loss by Italy
22 July 1940 Britain creates the SOE - Special Operations Executive - to act against German forces in occupied Europe
1 August 1940 Hitler issues Directive 17 updating the Invasion of Britain plan; target date is September 19 - 26
13 August 1940 Battle of Britain begins in earnest as the first large air offensive begins with almost 500 bombing sorties by Germany
15 August 1940 Italian forces force British troops to evacuate the post of Berbera in East Africa; this is the only Italian victory over the British in the war
24 August 1940 German battleship Bismarck enters service
24 August 1940 By accident a German bomber drops bombs on London
25 August 1940 In reprisal for the attack on 24 August 1940 the RAF bombs Berlin
2 September 1940 United States agrees to supply Britain with 50 early-model destroyers
7 September 1940 Germany begins blitz against London
12 September 1940 Italian Tenth Army commanded by Marshal Rodolpho Graziani invades Egypt   [Egypt]
12 September 1940 Italian forces invade Libya and Egypt
15 September 1940 Battle of Britain Day; RAF scrambles all of its fighters; the Germans lose 56 aircraft, the British 26
20 September 1940 Convoy HX-72 is attacked by a German submarine Wolfpack; 12 of 41 ships are sunk
21 September 1940 Germany, Italy, and Japan sign the Tripartite Pact   [Germany]
23 September 1940 A British naval force led by Admiral John Cunningham and Free French troops led by Charles de Gaulle attack Dakar; the invasion is repulsed by Vichy forces
26 September 1940 In reaction to the Dakar attack, Vichy forces bomb Gibraltar
27 September 1940 Tripartite pact is signed by Germany, Italy and Japan
30 September 1940 Luftwaffe switches from daylight to night bombing over England
6 October 1940 Hitler sends troops in Romania
12 October 1940 Hitler cancels Invasion of Britain
23 October 1940 Hitler meets with Franco
28 October 1940 Italy invades Greece; six divisions led by General Visconti Prasca attack northwest Greece
29 October 1940 Britain occupies Crete
5 November 1940 President Roosevelt elected to a third term
5 November 1940 German ship Admiral Scheer sinks six ships from convoy HX-84
14 November 1940 Greek forces launch large-scale counter-attack against Italian forces
14 November 1940 Coventry is ravaged by German bombers
16 November 1940 In reprisal for the Coventry raid, Britain bombs Berlin, Hamburg and Bremen
20 November 1940 Hungary becomes part of Axis powers
22 November 1940 Romania becomes an Axis power
23 November 1940 Romania joins the Axis powers
5 December 1940 Greek forces enter Albania pushing the Italians back
8 December 1940 Battle of Sidi Barrani
23 December 1940 Anthony Eden appointed British Foreign Secretary; Lord Halifax appointed Ambassador to the US
  1941 Battle of Crimea begins
  1941 Battle of Crimea ends
2 January 1941 US announces it will build 200 freighters -- the Liberty ships
5 January 1941 After their defeat at Bardia, Italian forces retreat to Tobruk
6 January 1941 British troops of the XIII Corps, led by General Sir Richard O'Connor, surround Tobruk
8 January 1941 British planes bomb Italian battleships Giulio Cesare and Vittorio Veneto at Naples harbor
10 January 1941 US Congress starts debates on Lend-Lease program
11 January 1941 Hitler orders creation of the Afrika Korps
14 January 1941 German commerce raider Pinguin attacks Arctic whaling fleet
16 January 1941 British carrier Illustrious hit by German aircraft at Malta
19 January 1941 Hitler meets with Mussolini at Berghof
19 January 1941 British forces invade Eritrea
23 January 1941 HMS Illustrious leaves Malta for Alexandria
26 January 1941 Italians withdraw from Mechili
1 February 1941 German heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper leaves Brest
3 February 1941 Germany army commanders present Russian invasion plan to Hitler
5 February 1941 British troops capture 5,000 Italian prisoners at Beda Fromm
7 February 1941 The fall of Beda Fromm marks the end of the first British offensive in North Africa; length of campaign was ten weeks; it covered 500 miles; and the British destroy 130,000 men of the Italian Tenth Army
8 February 1941 First German troops leave for North Africa from Naples
9 February 1941 British ships HMS Ark Royal, HMS Renown and HMS Malaya attack Italian harbors Genoa, Livorno, and La Spezia
10 February 1941 First British paratroop operation ends with the capture of the entire force at Taranto
11 February 1941 First German troops (5th Light Division) land in North Africa at Tripoli
11 February 1941 Admiral Hipper attacks Convoy HG-53; one ship is sunk
12 February 1941 General Erwin Rommel arrives in North Africa; he is under the command of Italian General Gariboldi
12 February 1941 Admiral Hipper attacks Convoy SLS-64; nine ships sunk or damaged
22 February 1941 Scharnhorst and Gneisenau sink five ships
24 February 1941 British ship HMS Dainty is sunk by German planes at Tobruk
25 February 1941 Mogadishu is captured by Allied forces
26 February 1941 Eleven ships of convoy OB-290 are sunk by German planes; U47 called in the attack
1 March 1941 Bulgaria become Axis power, joins Tripartite Pact   [Bulgaria]
2 March 1941 German troops enter Bulgaria
4 March 1941 British troops land in Greece
4 March 1941 British Commando units launch the Lofoten Raid; the troops land at Lofoten Islands off Norway; 215 German prisoners captured
7 March 1941 U47 commanded by Prien is sunk by depth-charges
10 March 1941 British forces enter Abyssinia
11 March 1941 The US Congress passes the Lend-Lease Bill which will provide billions of dollars of war materials to the Allied powers   [United States]
16 March 1941 The first successful use of radar by surface ships to sink a U-boat (U99)
27 March 1941 Coup in Yugoslavia; General Simovic becomes head of government
31 March 1941 15th Panzer Division lands in Tripoli
5 April 1941 German troops invade Yugoslavia
6 April 1941 Battle of Yugoslavia   [Yugoslavia]
6 April 1941 British Generals O'Connor and Neame are captured by German forces in North Africa
8 April 1941 Allied troops capture Massawa in East Africa
8 April 1941 229 British bombers attack Kiel in the largest single target raid for the RAF so far
8 April 1941 German heavy bombers attack Belgrade; bombing continues for two more days
9 April 1941 German troops capture Thessaloniki in Greece
9 April 1941 237 German bombers raid Birmingham
10 April 1941 German forces capture Zagreb; some Croats defect to German side
10 April 1941 First military encounter between Germany and the US; destroyer Niblack attacks a U-boat
11 April 1941 Tobruk completely surrounded by German troops
11 April 1941 First escape from the POW camp at Colditz castle; escapee is French officer Alain le Ray
13 April 1941 Russian and Japan sign a neutrality agreement
13 April 1941 Japan and Soviet Union sign neutrality agreement
16 April 1941 Ante Pavelic is elected head of Croatia, a new sovereign state with close ties to Germany   [Croatia]
17 April 1941 Yugoslavia surrenders to Germany 12 days after the invasion
18 April 1941 Alexander Korizis, prime minister of Greece commits suicide
19 April 1941 British troops arrive in Iraq
21 April 1941 The Greek army surrenders to the Germans
24 April 1941 Allies and Greek royals evacuate from Greece to Crete
5 May 1941 Emperor Haile Selaissie re-enters Addis Ababa; he is the first lawful sovereign to return in triumph to his country
10 May 1941 Rudolph Hess, deputy leader of the Nazi Party, crash lands near Glasgow, Scotland; his true mission is still a mystery
10 May 1941 Last heavy bombing mission by the Luftwaffe in the Battle of Britain
13 May 1941 Martin Bormann becomes the new deputy leader of the Nazi Party
14 May 1941 Aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal
16 May 1941 German aircraft bomb Crete
17 May 1941 The Italian commander in East Africa, the Duke of Aosta -- Prince Amedeo Umberto, surrenders his forces to the British
19 May 1941 Germany releases 100,000 French POWs in return for greater collaboration with Vichy France
20 May 1941 Battle of Crete
21 May 1941 British battleship HMS Prince of Wales and battlecruiser HMS Hood leave Scapa Flow; their mission is to find and sink the Bismarck
22 May 1941 British aircraft carrier HMS Victorious and battleship King George V join the hunt for the Bismarck
23 May 1941 Bismarck is found sailing between Greenland and Iceland
24 May 1941 Bismarck and Prince Eugen engage and sink HMS Hood, only 3 people out of 1416 live; HMS Prince of Wales damaged
24 May 1941 Aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal and battlecruiser HMS Renown leave from Gibraltar to join the hunt for the Bismarck
26 May 1941 As the Bismarck nears Brest she is spotted by a British patrol plane
26 May 1941 Aircraft from the HMS Ark Royal score two hits on the Bismarck slowing the battleship down
27 May 1941 Allied troops begin to evacuate Crete
28 May 1941 Allied troop evacuation of Crete ends; 16,500 soldiers are evacuated, most to Egypt
31 May 1941 The last of the Allied troops on Crete surrender to the Germans
1 June 1941 British cruiser HMS Calcutta is sunk off Crete
1 June 1941 British troops enter Baghdad
1 June 1941 British leave Crete
8 June 1941 British forces invade Syria, attacking Vichy French forces
9 June 1941 The Luftwaffe begins to position aircraft in forward positions for the attack on Russia
15 June 1941 British forces begin counter-attack at Halfaya (Operation Battleaxe) to relieve pressure at Tobruk
17 June 1941 Operation Battleaxe ends in failure for the British
22 June 1941 Germany invades Soviet Union in Operation Barbarossa   [Germany]
23 June 1941 German submarine Wolfpack attacks convey HX-133; two U-boats are lost; 5 merchant ships are sunk
25 June 1941 The British submarine HMS Parthian sinks French submarine Souffleur
27 June 1941 Battle of Minsk
29 June 1941 Finland declares war on Russia
30 June 1941 General Archibald Wavell is replace as commander-in-chief, Middle East by Churchill; General Claude Auchinleck is the new commander
1 July 1941 RAF bombs Brest harbor damaging the Prince Eugen
3 July 1941 Vichy forces in Syria surrender to the Allies
7 July 1941 US forces arrive in Iceland allowing the British to free up valuable soldiers for action else where
10 July 1941 Four Italian divisions leave for the Eastern Front
11 July 1941 President Roosevelt asks for appropriations of $3.3 billion for the US Navy and $4.7 billion for the US Army
12 July 1941 Russians and British agree not to make a separate peace with Germany
16 July 1941 Battle of Smolensk
23 July 1941 Italian aircraft attack a supply convoy heading to Malta; numerous ships are damaged including a cruiser
24 July 1941 British aircraft raid the Scharnhorst at harbor in La Pallice; Scharnhorst is put out of action for the rest of the year
26 July 1941 General MacArthur is appointed commander of US troops in the Philippines
26 July 1941 The US and Britain freeze Japanese assets in their respective countries
27 July 1941 Japan occupies French Indo-China
31 July 1941 General Cruwell is now head of the Afrika Korps; General Rommel is head of the Panzer Group Afrika
31 July 1941 Soviet T34 tanks are used on the Eastern Front for the first time
1 August 1941 The US bans the export of oil and aviation fuel outside of the Western Hemisphere (except for Britain) in a move against Japan
2 August 1941 The US extends Lend-Lease to include Russia
3 August 1941 Bishop of Munster, Clemens August Graf, speaks out against Nazi atrocities
7 August 1941 Stalin appoints himself commander-in-chief of the army
8 August 1941 The Russians send a bombing raid against Berlin; one plane gets through and drops its bombs
9 August 1941 Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt meet in Newfoundland to discuss the war
9 August 1941 Atlantic Charter adopted
12 August 1941 The first British bombing raid to use the Gee navigation device attack a railway target at Munchen-Gladbach
14 August 1941 Britain and US sign the Atlantic Charter
14 August 1941 German spie Josef Jakobs is executed at the Tower of London
18 August 1941 Hitler orders the deportaton of the remainder of Jews in Berlin deported to the ghettos in Poland
21 August 1941 German forces cut the railroad between Leningrad and Moscow
21 August 1941 The first Artic convoy for Russia leaves Iceland
24 August 1941 Vichy France passes anti-terrorist laws in order to combat the Resistance; terrorists are to be given the death penalty
27 August 1941 Assination attempt fails against Pierre Laval the vice-premier of Vichy France
28 August 1941 The Iranian government resigns; the new government begins talk with the Allies
29 August 1941 Mussolini meets with Hitler at Rastenberg in East Prussia
30 August 1941 General Milan Nedic is made head of Nazi puppet state of Serbia
1 September 1941 Hitler orders that all Jews over the age of six in occupied Europe must wear a Star of David on their clothes
3 September 1941 Russia calls up all men aged 18 or over for military service
4 September 1941 Soldiers of the Legion of French Volunteers leave Paris to join the German army on the Eastern Front
4 September 1941 US destroyer Greer and U652 engaged in combat off the coast of Iceland
8 September 1941 Siege of Lenigrad begins; Leningrad surrounded by German and Finnish troops   [Russia]
8 September 1941 First use of the American B-17 Flying Fortress by the British in a mission targeted at Norway
8 September 1941 600,000 ethnic Germans in the Volga region are exiled to Siberia in fear of fifth column activities
11 September 1941 The first British Hawker Typhoon fighter enters service
16 September 1941 Allies occupy Tehran; Shah of Persia, Reza Shah Pahlevi, abdicates; his Allied friendly son, Mohammad Reza replaces him
16 September 1941 Convoy HX-150, the first convoy to get formal protection from the US Navy, leaves for Europe from Halifax, Canada
18 September 1941 Roosevelt asks for appropriations of $5.9 billion for Lend-Lease
19 September 1941 Battle of Kiev begins
23 September 1941 Charles de Gaulle announces in London the formation of a national committee as the legitimate French government in exile
24 September 1941 The first German submarine enters the Mediterranean via Gibraltar
25 September 1941 German forces cut off the Crimea from the rest of Russia
26 September 1941 Battle of Kiev ends
27 September 1941 First set of Liberty ships are launched in the US
28 September 1941 Allied representatives meet in Moscow; first time major Allied combatants meet
29 September 1941 Reinhart Heydrich becomes deputy protector of Bohemia and Moravia
1 October 1941 Japanese troops are repulsed at Changsha
2 October 1941 Battle of Moscow begins   [Germany]
2 October 1941 The Messerschmitt ME163A rocket aircraft sets a new speed record of 623 mph   [Germany]
9 October 1941 Turkey signs trade agreement with Germany
12 October 1941 Civilians start to leave Moscow as German troops advance on the city
16 October 1941 Japanese Prime Minister Prince Fumimaro Konoye resigns; General Hideki Tojo becomes Prime Minister
16 October 1941 Petain orders the arrest of former prime ministers Daladier, Blum, and Reynaud
17 October 1941 All US merchant ships in Asian waters are ordered to dock at friendly harbors
18 October 1941 Tojo becomes Japanese Prime Minister
21 October 1941 Fifty hostages are executed in Nantes, France in retaliation of the assasination of the regional military commander Lieutenant-Colonel Karl Holz
23 October 1941 General de Gaulle requests that the French Resistance stop assassinating German soldiers to avoid German retaliation against French civilians
24 October 1941 German troops capture Kharkov
25 October 1941 British battleship HMS Prince of Wales leaves for Singapore; Prince of Wales is desginated the flagship of the Far East fleet
27 October 1941 Lord Louis Mountbatten appointed director of Combined Operations (commando forces)
30 October 1941 US gives Russia a $1 billion interest free loan in order to buy Lend-Lease equipment
31 October 1941 US destroyer Reuben James is sunk while escorting a convoy in the Atlantic
3 November 1941 German forces capture Kursk
3 November 1941 Germans take Kursk
10 November 1941 The Japanese fleet charged with attacking Pearl Harbor under Admiral Nagumo leaves Tokyo
11 November 1941 US extends Lend-Lease to include the Free French
13 November 1941 US Congress revises the Neutrality Act of 1939 to allow US merchant ships to unload munitions in British ports
14 November 1941 Aircraft carrier Ark Royal sinks near Gibraltar after sustaining damage by a U-Boat the day before
18 November 1941 US light tank M3 Stuart first used (with British troops during Operation Crusader)
18 November 1941 A small British commando unit attempts to capture or kill General Rommel; the raid fails
21 November 1941 First attempt to break-out of Tobruk by Allied troops fails
22 November 1941 German raider Atlantis sunk by HMS Devonshire off the coast of West Africa; Atlantis had sunk 22 Allied ships
24 November 1941 German forces withdraw from Rostov
25 November 1941 Battleship HMS Barham is sunk by U-boat; Barham, the second British battleship to be sunk, is the only Allied battleship sunk in open seas by a U-Boat
26 November 1941 Lieutenant-General Ritchie takes command of the British Eigth Army; he replaces Lieutenant-General Cunningham
27 November 1941 The last Italian troops in Ethiopia surrender to the British
27 November 1941 Free French General Georges Catroux proclaims Lebanon's independence
29 November 1941 General von Reichenau replaces Field Marshal von Rundstedt of Army Group South after Rundstedt withdrew from Rostov which was against Hitler's standing order of no retreats
30 November 1941 First successful use of air-to-surface radar when a British bomber finds and sinks U206
6 December 1941 Soviet army begins counter offensive against Germans
7 December 1941 Japanese launch surprise attack on U.S. fleet at Pearl Harbor   [United States]
8 December 1941 United States declares war on Japan   [United States]
10 December 1941 Prince of Wales sunk
11 December 1941 Germany and Italy declare war on United States
14 December 1941 Japan invades Burma
24 December 1941 Japan takes Wake Island
25 December 1941 Japan takes Hong Kong
1 January 1942 Allies sign the UN Declaration
13 January 1942 Internment of Japanese-Americans begins
18 January 1942 Battle of Moscow ends   [Germany]
31 January 1942 Battle of Singapore
8 March 1942 Japanese forces take New Guinea
18 April 1942 Doolittle’s raid on Tokyo
7 May 1942 Battle of Coral Sea begins
8 May 1942 American forces at Corregidor in the Philippines surrender   [United States]
20 May 1942 British leave Burma
30 May 1942 Great Britain launches a 1000 bomber raid against Germany
3 June 1942 Battle of Sevastopol
4 June 1942 Americans destroy 4 Japanese aircraft carriers at the battle of Midway   [United States]
4 June 1942 Battle of Midway begins
21 June 1942 Germans take Tobruk
1 July 1942 Battle of El Alamein I begins
7 August 1942 United States Marines land on Guadalcanal   [United States]
19 August 1942 Battle of Dieppe
19 August 1942 British and Canadian forces blunder raid on Dieppe
23 August 1942 Battle of Stalingrad begins   [Russia]
23 October 1942 The British 8th Army under General Bernard Montgomery defeats Axis army at the Second Battle of El Alamein   [United Kingdom]
8 November 1942 Allied forces land in North Africa
27 November 1942 French scuttle their fleet at Toulon
  1943 Battle of White Russia begins
  1943 Battle of White Russia ends
23 January 1943 British take Tripoli
27 January 1943 American 8th Air Force conducts its first raid against Germany
1 February 1943 Chindits launch their first Burmese operation
2 February 1943 Remnants of the German 6th Army surrender at Stalingrad   [U.S.S.R.]
14 February 1943 Battle of Kasserine Pass
19 February 1943 Battle of Kassarine Pass
20 March 1943 Battle of Mareth
10 April 1943 Battle of Ukraine ends
3 May 1943 Battle of Tunisia   [Tunisia]
3 May 1943 Allies take Tunis
12 May 1943 The North African campaign of WWII ends as German forces surrender   [Germany]
13 May 1943 Germans give up North Africa
10 June 1943 The Combined Bomber Offensive launches Operation Pointblank, a strategic bombing campaign against German industry and civilian morale   [United States]
20 June 1943 New Georgia Campaign begins
5 July 1943 Battle of Kursk
5 July 1943 Battle of Kursk, Russia, begins
9 July 1943 Battle of Sicily, Invasion of   [Italy]
9 July 1943 Allied forces launch amphibious invasion of Sicily   [Italy]
23 July 1943 Battle of Ukraine begins
25 July 1943 Mussolini resigns
17 August 1943 Raids against Schweinfurt, Germany, begins
3 September 1943 Allies land in Italy
8 September 1943 Italy surrenders to the Allies   [Italy]
9 September 1943 Battle of Salerno begins   [Italy]
18 September 1943 Battle of Salerno ends
13 October 1943 Italy declares war on Germany
20 November 1943 Marines land on Tarawa
28 November 1943 Teheran Conference
22 January 1944 Battle of Anzio
27 January 1944 Leningrad Siege lifted
31 January 1944 American troops take Marshall Islands
12 February 1944 Battle of Cassino
14 February 1944 Battle of Monte Casino
6 June 1944 D-Day, the Allied Invasion of Normandy, France   [France]
13 June 1944 Germans launch their first V-1 rockets
15 June 1944 American Troops to Saipan
19 June 1944 Battle of Philippine Sea
 July 1944 Battle of Poland-East Prussia
18 July 1944 Tojo out of power in Japan
20 July 1944 Assassination attempt against Hitler—fails
25 July 1944 Battle of St Lo Breakout
1 August 1944 Battle of Warsaw
20 August 1944 Battle of Balkans begins
25 August 1944 Germans surrender Paris
4 September 1944 Allies take Antwerp
8 September 1944 Germans launch their first V-2s against allies
8 September 1944 Bulgaria surrenders to Soviet Union
15 September 1944 U. S. Marines land on the island of Peleliu
17 September 1944 Battle of Arnhem
17 September 1944 Allied armored and airborne forces fail to secure Rhine crossing in Operation Market-Garden   [United States]
21 September 1944 Dumbarton Oaks Conference
20 October 1944 Battle of Balkans ends
20 October 1944 Allied forces launch amphibious invasion of the Philippines   [Japan]
21 October 1944 Allies take Aachen, Germany
24 October 1944 Battle of Leyte Gulf
6 November 1944 Franklin D. Roosevelt wins presidential election for fourth time   [United States]
12 November 1944 German ship Tirpitz sunk
16 December 1944 Battle of the Bulge (Ardennes) begins   [Germany]
16 December 1944 Battle of Saint-Vith
17 December 1944 Battle of Bastogne
17 January 1945 Soviets take Warsaw
25 January 1945 Battle of the Bulge (Ardennes) ends
4 February 1945 Yalta Conference begins
19 February 1945 U. S. Marines land on the island of Iwo Jima   [United States]
7 March 1945 Patton’s Third Army crosses the Rhine at Remagan
1 April 1945 Battle of Okinawa   [Japan]
1 April 1945 American operations against Okinawa begin
12 April 1945 President Roosevelt dies, succeeded by Harry Truman
16 April 1945 Battle of Berlin
25 April 1945 San Francisco Conference begins
28 April 1945 Mussolini assassinated
30 April 1945 Adolf Hitler commits suicide in Berlin; Karl Dönitz appointed leader of Germany   [Germany]
30 April 1945 Hitler commits suicide
2 May 1945 Soviets take Berlin
8 May 1945 Germany surrenders (V-E Day)
16 July 1945 ‘Trinity” test at Alamogordo, New Mexico
17 July 1945 Potsdam Conference begins
6 August 1945 Atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan   [Japan]
9 August 1945 Atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki, Japan   [Japan]
14 August 1945 Japanese surrender; World War II ends
2 September 1945 Japanese sign surrender terms on board the USS Missouri   [United States]
21 December 1945 George Smith Patton, Jr. dies   [United States]

Go here for timeline sources.

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