WORLD WAR II 1937 - 1945

 

20,000,000 casualties of war

Pre 1941 Timeline  
 
1918 
  • November 11 - World War I ends with German defeat. 

1919 

  • April 28 - League of Nations founded. 
  • June 28 - Treaty of Versailles signed. 

1921 

  • July 29 - Adolph Hitler becomes leader of National Socialist or Nazi Party. 

1923 

  • November 8-9 - The Beer Hall Putsch. 

1925 

  • July 18 - Mein Kampf, Hitler's autobiography, is published. 

1926  

  • September 8 - Germany becomes a member of the League of Nations. 

1929 

  • October 29 - Stock market crashes. 

1930 

  • September 14 - Nazis win elections, becoming the second largest political party in Germany 

1932 

  • November 8 - Roosevelt is elected President of the US. 

1933 

  • January 30 - Hitler becomes Chancellor of Germany. 
  • February 27 - The Reichstag burns. 
  • 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 Jewish-owned shops. 
  • May 10 - Nazis burn books in Germany. 
  • June - Dachau concentration camp opened. 
  • July 14 - Nazi party named only party in Germany. 
  • October 14 - Germany leaves the League of Nations. 

1934 

  • June 30 - The Night of the Long Knives. 
  • July 25 - Austrian Chancellor Dolifuss is murdered by Nazis. 
  • August 2 - Hindenburg, the German President, dies. 
  • August 19 - Hitler becomes the Fuhrer. 

1935 

  • March 16 - Hitler begins military conscription, in violation of the Treaty of Versailles. 
  • September 15 - Nuremberg Race Laws strip German Jews of rights. 

1936  

  • 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 begins. 
  • August 1 - Berlin Olympic Games open. 
  • October 1 - Franco becomes head of Spain. 

1937  

  • June 11 - Purge of Soviet Army generals begun by Stalin. 
  • November 5 - During the Hossbach Conference, Hitler reveals plans for war. 

1938  

  • March 12-13 - Anschluss - German union with Austria. 
  • August 12 - Germany mobilizes military. 
  • 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 Broken Glass 

 
1939 

  • January 30 - Hitler threatens the Jews during a Reichstag speech. 
  • March 15-16 - Czechoslovakia taken by Germany. 
  • March 28 - End of Spanish Civil War. 
  • 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 begins. 
  • 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 on Germany. 
  • September 11 - Germany announces counter-blockade of Allies. 
  • September 16 - British establish convoy system for merchant shipping. 
  • September 17 - Poland invaded by Russia. 
  • 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 Office (RSHA). 
  • September 29 - Russia and Germany partition Poland. 
  • 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 armored cruiser. 
  • 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 Russia. 
  • 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, Uruguay. 
  • December 19 - A British destroyer intercepts Columbus, a German passenger liner, 450 miles east of Cape May, New Jersey.  Columbus is subsequently scuttled. 
  • December 27 - U.S. protests seizure of mail to Europe by British. 

1940 

  • 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 rationing. 
  • 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 peace treaty. 
  • 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 protection. 
  • 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  resigns. 
  • 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 Germany. 
  • 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 Dunkirk begins. 
  • 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 Allies. 
  • 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 announced. 
  • 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 navy. 
  • 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 emergency. 
  • 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 the Atlantic. 
  • July 2 - Export Control Act is passed. 
  • 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 begins. 
  • July 11 - Petain becomes head of the French Vichy government.  Frank Knox named Secretary of Navy. 
  • July 19 - Roosevelt signs Naval Expansion Act. 
  • 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 District. 
  • 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 Agreement. 
  • 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 Britain begins. 
  • 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 Egypt. 
  • September 15 - Massive German air raids on London, Southampton, Bristol, Cardiff, Liverpool and Manchester. 
  • September 16 - Selective Training and Service Act signed by Roosevelt. 
  • September 22 - France cedes airfields and agrees to admission of Japanese troops into northern Indochina. 
  • 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 Romania. 
  • 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 Greece. 
  • October 31 - Britain occupies Crete. 
  • November 1 - Naval Air Station is established at Alamed, California. 
  • November 5 - Roosevelt re-elected. 
  • 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 Axis. 
  • 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 Africa. 
  • 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 Palmyra. 
  • December 23 - Naval Air Station established at Key West. 
    December 29-30 - Germans stage a massive air raid on London.
 

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