WORLD WAR II 1937 - 1945
20,000,000 casualties of war
|Pre 1941 Timeline
- November 11 - World War I ends
with German defeat.
- April 28 - League of Nations
- June 28 - Treaty of Versailles
- July 29 - Adolph Hitler becomes
leader of National Socialist or Nazi Party.
- November 8-9 - The Beer Hall
- July 18 - Mein Kampf, Hitler's
autobiography, is published.
- September 8 - Germany becomes a
member of the League of Nations.
- October 29 - Stock market
- September 14 - Nazis win
elections, becoming the second largest political party in Germany
- November 8 - Roosevelt is elected
President of the US.
- January 30 - Hitler becomes
Chancellor of Germany.
- February 27 - The Reichstag
- March 12 - The first concentration
camp is opened at Oranienburg, outside Berlin.
- March 23 - Hitler is given
dictatorial powers by the Enabling Act.
- April 1 - Nazis boycott
- May 10 - Nazis burn books in
- June - Dachau concentration camp
- July 14 - Nazi party named only
party in Germany.
- October 14 - Germany leaves the
League of Nations.
- June 30 - The Night of the Long
- July 25 - Austrian Chancellor
Dolifuss is murdered by Nazis.
- August 2 - Hindenburg, the German
- August 19 - Hitler becomes the
- March 16 - Hitler begins military
conscription, in violation of the Treaty of Versailles.
- September 15 - Nuremberg Race Laws
strip German Jews of rights.
- February 10 - The German Gestapo
is placed "above the law."
- March 27 - The Rhineland is
occupied by German soldiers.
- May 9 - Italy conquers Ethiopia.
- July 8 - Spanish Civil War
- August 1 - Berlin Olympic Games
- October 1 - Franco becomes head of
- June 11 - Purge of Soviet Army
generals begun by Stalin.
- November 5 - During the Hossbach
Conference, Hitler reveals plans for war.
- March 12-13 - Anschluss - German
union with Austria.
- August 12 - Germany mobilizes
- September 30 - Hitler is appeased
by British Prime Minister Chamberlain at Munich.
- October 15 - Sudetenland is
occupied by German soldiers. The Czech government resigns.
- November 9-10 - The Night of
- January 30 - Hitler threatens the
Jews during a Reichstag speech.
- March 15-16 - Czechoslovakia taken
- March 28 - End of Spanish Civil
- May 22 - "Pact of Steel" signed by
Germany and Italy.
- August 23 - Germany and Russia
sign Nonaggression Pact.
- August 25 - Mutual Assistance
Treaty signed by Britain and Poland.
- August 31 - British fleet is
mobilized and the evacuation of civilians from London begins.
- September 1 - Germany invades
Poland. Italy declares neutrality. World War II officially
- September 3 - England, France,
Australia and New Zealand declare war on Germany.
- September 5 - Two Neutrality
Proclamations issued by President Roosevelt. Roosevelt also orders
Navy to perform a neutrality patrol to track any belligerent
naval force approaching the U.S.'s Atlantic coast or the West
Indies. German troops cross the Vistula River in Poland.
- September 6 - Neutrality patrol
for Atlantic ocean formed under Rear Admiral A.W. Johnson,
Commander Atlantic Squadron.
- September 8 - Roosevelt declares a
limited national emergency and increases the enlisted strengths
of all armed forces and authorizes retired officers, men and
nurses to be recalled to active duty to the Navy and Marines.
Long range blockade of Germany announced by Allies.
- September 10 - Canada declares war
- September 11 - Germany announces
counter-blockade of Allies.
- September 16 - British establish
convoy system for merchant shipping.
- September 17 - Poland invaded by
- September 21 - Roosevelt asks for
arms embargo provisions of Neutrality Act to be repealed.
- September 27 - Warsaw surrenders.
Reinhard Heydrich named the leader of the new Reich Main Security
- September 29 - Russia and Germany
- October - Euthanasia of sick and
disabled begins in Germany.
- October 2 - Conference of Foreign
Ministers of American Republics approves Act of Panama. U.S. Navy
to patrol a neutrality zone 300 miles wide. U.S. notified by
Germany the merchant ships must submit to visit and search.
- October 8 - Assassination attempt
on Hitler fails.
- October 9 - U.S. freighter City of
Flint seized as contraband carrier by Deutschland, a German
- November 4 - Neutrality Act of
1939. Arms embargo repealed. Roosevelt declares area around
British Isles to be a combat zone.
- November 28 - Russia denounces
1932 Non-Aggression Pact with Finland.
- November 30 - Finland invaded by
- December 14 - Russia is expelled
from the League of Nations.
- December 17 - The Admiral Graf
Spee, a German armored cruiser, is scuttled off of Montevideo,
- December 19 - A British destroyer
intercepts Columbus, a German passenger liner, 450 miles
east of Cape May, New Jersey. Columbus is subsequently
- December 27 - U.S. protests
seizure of mail to Europe by British.
- January 1 - Tenth Naval District,
headquartered in San Juan, Puerto Rico, is established.
- January 2 - Charles Edison named
Secretary of the Navy.
- January 6 - Admiral J.O.
Richardson named Commander in Chief, United States Fleet.
- January 8 - British begin
- January 20 - Delay of American
shipping at Gibraltar protested by United States.
- January 23 - Britain and France
announce that they will attack any German vessel found in the
Pan-American Safety Zone.
- January 26 - United State-Japanese
Trade Treaty of 1911 expires.
- March 3 - Russo-Finnish War ends.
- March 12 - Finland and Russia sign
- March 16 - Scapa Flow naval base
near Scotland is bombed by the Germans.
- April 2 - U.S. Fleet leaves for
maneuvers near the Hawaiian Islands.
- April 9 - Denmark and Norway
invaded by Germany.
- April 10 - Roosevelt extends
maritime danger zone to Scandinavia.
- April 25 - The carrier USS Wasp
CV-7 is commissioned in Boston.
- May 3 - Greenland asks U.S. for
- May 7 - Pacific Fleet ordered to
remain indefinitely in Hawaiian waters by Roosevelt.
- May 10 - Germany invades France,
Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. Neutrality act expanded
to Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands by Roosevelt.
Churchill becomes Prime Minister of Britain after Chamberlain
- May 11 - French and British forces
land in Netherlands West Indies. Maintenance of political and
economic status quo in Netherlands East Indies demanded by
Japanese Foreign Minister.
- May 14 - Netherlands surrenders to
Germany. Germany breaks through French lines at Sedan, France.
- May 15 - Holland surrenders to
- May 16 - Roosevelt asks for
$1,182,000,000.00 in national defense funds.
- May 17 - Plan for recommissioning
35 destroyers announced by Roosevelt.
- May 21 - Allied armies encircled
as Germans reach the English Channel at Abbevile, France.
- May 26 - Allied evacuation at
- May 28 - Belgium surrenders.
National Defense Advisory Committee is established.
- June 1 - The battleship USS
Washington (BB-56) is launched at Philadelphia.
- June 4 - Dunkirk evacuation
completed. Germans bomb Paris.
- June 9 - Norway evacuated by
- June 10 - Italy invades France
after declaring war on France and England. Canada declares war
on Italy. Norway surrenders to Germany.
- June 12 - Navy awards contracts
for 22 new warships. Japan-Thailand Non-Aggression Pact is
- June 13 - The battleship USS
North Carolina (BB-55) is launched at New York Naval Yard.
- June 14 - Germany occupies Paris.
Roosevelt signs 11% Naval Expansion Act, increasing the carrier,
cruiser, and submarine tonnage of the Navy by 167,000 tons, and
auxiliary shipping by 75,000 tons.
- June 15 - An act to increase naval
aviation to a strength of not more than 10,000 aircraft is
approved by Roosevelt.
- June 16 - Marshal Petain become
the Prime Minister of France.
- June 17 - France asks for
armistice with Germany. Russia occupies Latvia and Estonia. U.S.
Chief of Naval Operations asks for $4,000,000,000 for a two ocean
- June 18 - Hitler meets with
Mussolini in Munich.
- June 20 - France opens northern
Indochina to the Japanese. Under Secretary of the Navy, a new
office, is established for the duration of the war.
- June 22 - France and Germany sign
armistice at Compiegne, France. New Japanese cabinet formed.
- June 23 - Hitler tours Paris.
- June 24 - France and Italy sign
armistice. Britain asked by Japanese to close the Burma Road.
Charles Edison resigns as Secretary of the Navy; Lewis Compton
named acting Secretary.
- June 25 - Hostilities cease as
Franco-German armistice becomes effective.
- June 27 - Romania cedes Bessarabia
and northern Bukovina to Russia. Roosevelt declares a national
- June 28 - General Charles de
Gaulle is recognized by the British as the Free French Leader.
- June 30 - Germany begins
occupation of the Channel Islands.
- July 1 - Navy awards contracts for
44 vessels. Headquarters, Marine Corps Air Wing, is established
in San Diego, California. German U-boats attack merchant ships in
- July 2 - Export Control Act is
- July 3 - British seize French
naval vessels in British ports and attack French naval vessels in
Oran and Mers-el-Kebir.
- July 5 - Roosevelt invokes Export
Control Act against Japan. Vichy France breaks off diplomatic
relations with Great Britain.
- July 10 - Battle of Britain
- July 11 - Petain becomes head of
the French Vichy government. Frank Knox named Secretary of Navy.
- July 19 - Roosevelt signs Naval
- July 23 - Soviets complete
occupation of the Baltics.
- July 30 - Conference of Foreign
Ministers of the American Republics signs the Act of Havana
calling for unified action.
- August 1 - Alaskan Sector
established as a military command within the Thirteenth Naval
- August 3-19 - Italian troops
occupy British Somaliland.
- August 5 - U.S. and France reach
Green-Slade-Robert Agreement, an understanding on the status of
French warships and aircraft in the French West Indies.
- August 13 - German bombing
offensive against airfields and factories in Britain.
- August 15 - American officers
arrive in London for informal staff conversations with British
officers. Naval Air Station at Miami is established.
- August 17 - Hitler declares a
blockade of the British Isles.
- August 18 - Permanent Joint Board
for the Defense of the U.S. and Canada provided for by Ogdensburg
- August 22 - James Forrestal named
first Under Secretary of the Navy.
- August 23-24 - First German air
raids on central London.
- August 25-26 - First British air
raids on Berlin.
- August 27 - Roosevelt authorized
to call Army Reserve and National Guard components into Federal
service for 1 year.
- August 30 - Japanese military
occupation of ports, airfields and railroads in northern Indochina
agreed to by France.
- August 31 - Sixty thousand
National Guardsmen called to Federal service.
- September 3 - Destroyers for Bases
agreement with Britain. Operation Sealion, the invasion of
Britain, planned by Hitler.
- September 6 - Eight destroyers
transferred to Britain.
- September 7 - German Blitz against
- September 9 - Germany warns that
all ships within war zones are subject to attack, regardless of
nationality. U.S. Navy awards contracts for 210 ships, including
12 carriers and 7 battleships.
- September 13 - Italy invades
- September 15 - Massive German air
raids on London, Southampton, Bristol, Cardiff, Liverpool and
- September 16 - Selective Training
and Service Act signed by Roosevelt.
- September 22 - France cedes
airfields and agrees to admission of Japanese troops into northern
- September 24 - Defense
Communications Board is established.
- September 27 - Tripartite Pact
signed by Germany, Italy and Japan.
- September 29 - U.S. Marines arrive
at Midway Island to install defenses.
- October 5 - Organized Naval
Reserves placed on short notice for call to active duty.
- October 7 - German troops enter
- October 8 - Japan protests U.S.
embargo on aviation fuel and scrap metal. U.S. citizens advised to
leave the Far East.
- October 12 - Operation Sealion
postponed until spring, 1941.
- October 15 - Naval Air Station
established at Jacksonville, Florida.
- October 16 - Sixteen million men
register for the draft.
- October 28 - Italy invades
- October 31 - Britain occupies
- November 1 - Naval Air Station is
established at Alamed, California.
- November 5 - Roosevelt
- November 8 - USS City of
Rayvilles hits a German mine off Cape Otway, Australia and
sinks. Admiral Nomura named Japanese Ambassador to the U.S.
- November 11-12 - Torpedo attack by
British naval aircraft against Italian fleet at Taranto.
- November 14 - Greeks repel
Italians back into Albania.
- November 20 - Hungary joins the
- November 22 - Italian 9th Army
defeated by Greeks.
- November 23 - Romania joins the
Axis. Retired Admiral W.D. Leahy named Ambassador to France.
- November 30 - U.S. lends $50
million to China for currency stabilization, and grants an
additional $50 million credit for purchase of supplies.
- December 9-10 - The British begin
the western desert offensive against the Italians in North
- December 11 - The British capture
Sidi Barrani, Egypt from the Italians.
- December 12 - Alaskan Units of the
Coast Guard establish Headquarters at Ketchikan.
- December 17 - Rear Admiral E.J.
King named Commander Patrol Force, U.S. Fleet. The British
recapture Sollum, Egypt.
- December 19 - Secretary of the
Navy is given control and jurisdiction over the Pacific island of
- December 23 - Naval Air Station
established at Key West.
December 29-30 - Germans stage a massive air raid on London.
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