World War II: A Timeline

We all know of World War II. It was quite possibly one of the world’s most influential periods, and because of this, it has been discussed and referenced time and time again. And even though we are constantly reminded of the war, we sometimes forget how it was started or what actually happened. Considering just how much the war has impacted my life and family, and how much it means to me, I’ve decide to offer a brief overview of the events of World War II.


September 18, 1931

On this date, a small group of Japanese soldiers launched an attack in Manchuria. This was done in an attempt to gain control of China’s rich resources in the area. It was the beginning of a violent decade, and this date is considered by many to be the leading incident that led to the beginning of World War II.


September 1, 1939

Where the Japanese attack in Manchuria set up the pieces for a massive, global war, the Nazi German invasion of Poland officially started one. On this day, Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Germany descended upon Poland and forced England and France’s hands into declaring war. The second world war had begun.


April-December 1940

During this period, Nazi Germany’s army continued its malicious invasion of several countries, including France. Eventually, Nazi Germany conquered France, and Hitler had won a major battle.


December 7, 1941

As Hitler moves his invasion from Western Europe to Eastern Europe, Japan sets its sights on America. This is probably one of the most recognizable dates of the war, at least for Americans. Japan’s bombing of Pearl Harbor brought a neutral America into the war. This was a major turning point for the war.


June-September 1942

Hitler’s forces, while strong at first, were eventually repelled by Stalin’s Red Army in Stalingrad.


June 6, 1944

The big day. D-Day. On this day, British and American troops gathered together in one of the largest armadas in history and landed on the shores of Normandy, France.


February-May 1945

By the point, the war in Europe was ending. Stalin’s army was pushing back against Germany, the Allied forces were showing their force and liberating once-Nazi-occupied countries, and Hitler was hunkered down in his underground bunker.


May 7, 1945

Nazi Germany surrenders to the Allied Forces.


It was one of the worst times in human history. Anywhere from 50 to 80 million people died during the war. Atrocious war crimes were committed and millions of innocent lives were lost. Hopefully this timeline of events provides a good idea of what happened, and sparks some interest to learn even more about the war to end all wars.