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World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...
Timeline of Events
1936
3.7.1936
World War II (Prelude to): In violation of the Locarno Pact and the Treaty of Versailles, Germany reoccupies the Rhineland.
1937
8.14.1937
Chinese Air Force Day: The beginning of air-to-air combat of the Second Sino-Japanese War and World War II in general, when 6 Imperial Japanese Mitsubishi G3M bombers are shot down by the Nationalist Chinese Air Force while raiding Chinese air bases.
1939
3.22.1939
World War II: Germany takes Memel from Lithuania.
4.7.1939
World War II: Italy invades Albania.
5.22.1939
World War II: Germany and Italy sign the Pact of Steel.
8.23.1939
World War II: Germany and the Soviet Union sign a non-aggression treaty, the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. In a secret addition to the pact, the Baltic states, Finland, Romania, and Poland are divided between the two nations.
9.1.1939
World War II: Nazi Germany invades Poland, beginning the war in Europe.
9.2.1939
World War II: following the start of the invasion of Poland the previous day, the Free City of Danzig (now Gdańsk, Poland) is annexed by Nazi Germany.
9.3.1939
World War II: France, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia declare war on Germany after the invasion of Poland, forming the Allies.
9.6.1939
World War II: The Battle of Barking Creek.
9.10.1939
World War II: The submarine HMS Oxley is mistakenly sunk by the submarine HMS Triton near Norway and becomes the Royal Navy's first loss.
9.17.1939
World War II: The Soviet Union joins Nazi Germany's invasion of Poland during the Polish Defensive War of 1939.
9.18.1939
World War II: Polish government of Ignacy Mościcki flees to Romania.
9.28.1939
Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union agree on a division of Poland after their invasion during World War II.
10.6.1939
World War II: The last Polish army is defeated.
10.8.1939
World War II: Germany annexes Western Poland.
10.16.1939
World War II: First attack on British territory by the German Luftwaffe.
11.4.1939
World War II: U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt orders the United States Customs Service to implement the Neutrality Act of 1939, allowing cash-and-carry purchases of weapons by belligerents.
11.6.1939
World War II: Sonderaktion Krakau takes place.
12.4.1939
World War II: ''HMS Nelson'' is struck by a mine (laid by ''U-31'') off the Scottish coast and is laid up for repairs until August 1940.
12.13.1939
World War II: Battle of the River Plate
12.17.1939
World War II: Battle of the River Plate
12.24.1939
World War II: Pope Pius XII makes a Christmas Eve appeal for peace.
1940
1.8.1940
World War II: Britain introduces food rationing.
2.16.1940
World War II: Altmark Incident: The German tanker Altmark is boarded by sailors from the British destroyer HMS Cossack. 299 British prisoners are freed.
2.29.1940
In a ceremony held in Berkeley, California, because of the war, physicist Ernest Lawrence receives the 1939 Nobel Prize in Physics from Sweden's Consul General in San Francisco.
3.18.1940
World War II: Axis Powers
4.8.1940
World War II: The United Kingdom and France announce that they have mined Norwegian territorial waters to prevent their use by German supply ships.
4.9.1940
World War II: Operation Weserübung
4.14.1940
World War II: Royal Marines land in Namsos, Norway in preparation for a larger force to arrive two days later.
5.5.1940
World War II: Norwegian refugees form a government-in-exile in London
5.9.1940
World War II: The German submarine ''U-9'' sinks the French coastal submarine Doris near Den Helder.
5.10.1940
World War II: The first German bombs of the war fall on England at Chilham and Petham, in Kent.
5.13.1940
World War II: Germany's conquest of France begins as the German army crosses the Meuse. Winston Churchill makes his "blood, toil, tears, and sweat" speech to the House of Commons.
5.14.1940
World War II: Rotterdam is bombed by the German Luftwaffe.
5.15.1940
World War II: After fierce fighting, the poorly trained and equipped Dutch troops surrender to Germany, marking the beginning of five years of occupation.
5.17.1940
World War II: Germany occupies Brussels, Belgium.
5.25.1940
World War II: The Battle of Dunkirk begins.
5.26.1940
World War II: Battle of Dunkirk
5.27.1940
World War II: In the Le Paradis massacre, 99 soldiers from a Royal Norfolk Regiment unit are shot after surrendering to German troops. Two survive.