A Military History Timeline of the 1900s

1901-present

Battle of the Somme. Public Domain

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1900s

  • September 7, 1901 - Boxer Rebellion ends in China
  • May 31, 1902 - Second Boer War: Fighting ends with the Treaty of Vereeniging
  • February 8, 1904 - Russo-Japanese War: Fighting begins when the Japanese attack the Russian fleet at Port Arthur
  • January 2, 1905 - Russo-Japanese War: Port Arthur Surrenders
  • September 5, 1905 - Russo-Japanese War: The Treaty of Portsmouth ends the conflict

    1910s

    • January 24, 1915 - World War I: The Royal Navy wins the Battle of Dogger Bank
    • April 22-May 25, 1915 - World War I: Allied and German forces fight the Second Battle of Ypres
    • September 25-October 14 - World War I: British forces take heavy losses during the Battle of Loos
    • December 23, 1916 - World War I: British Commonwealth forces win the Battle of Magdhaba in the Sinai Desert
    • March 9, 1916 - Mexican Revolution: The forces of Pancho Villa raid across the border and burn Columbus, NM
    • October 31-November 7, 1917 - World War I: General Sir Edmund Allenby wins the Third Battle of Gaza
    • April 6, 1917 - World War I: The United States enters the war
    • June 7, 1917 - World War I: General John J. Pershing arrives in England to take command of US forces in Europe
    • October 24-November 19, 1917 - World War I: Italian troops are routed at the Battle of Caporetto
    • November 7, 1917 - Russian Revolution: The Bolsheviks overthrow the Provisional Government, beginning the Russian Civil War
    • January 8, 1918 - World War I: President Woodrow Wilson outlines his Fourteen Points to Congress
    • June 1-28, 1918 - World War I: US Marines win the Battle of Belleau Wood
    • September 19-October 1, 1918 - World War I: British forces crush the Ottomans at the Battle of Megiddo
    • November 11, 1918 - World War I: An armistice is concluded ending World War I in a victory for the Allies.
    • June 28, 1919 - World War I: The Treaty of Versailles officially ends the war.

    1920s

    • June 1923 - Russian Civil War: Fighting ends with the Red capture of Vladivostok and the collapse of the Provisional Priamur Government
    • April 12, 1927 - Chinese Civil War: Fighting begins between the Kuomintang and Chinese Communist Party

      1930s

      • October 1934 - Chinese Civil War: The Long March retreat begins with Chinese Communists marching approx. 8,000 miles over 370 days
      • October 3, 1935 - Second Italo-Abyssinian War: The conflict begins when Italian troops invade Ethiopia
      • May 7, 1936 - Second Italo-Abyssinian War: Fighting ends with the capture of Addis Ababa and the Italian annexation of the country
      • July 17, 1936 - Spanish Civil War: The conflict begins following an attempted coup d'├ętat by Nationalist forces
      • April 26, 1937 - Spanish Civil War: The Condor Legion bombs Guernica
      • September 6-22, 1937 - Spanish Civil War: Republican forces are defeated at the Battle of El Mazuco
      • September 29/30, 1938 - World War II: The Munich Agreement cedes the Sudetenland to Nazi Germany
      • April 1, 1939 - Spanish Civil War: Nationalist forces crush the final Republican resistance ending the war.
      • September 1, 1939 - World War II: Nazi Germany invades Poland beginning World War II
      • November 30, 1939 - Winter War: Fighting between the Soviet Union and Finland begins when Russian troops cross the border following the faked shelling of Mainila
      • December 13, 1939 - World War II: British and German naval forces fight the Battle of the River Plate

      1940s

      • February 16, 1940 - World War II: British and German forces violated Norwegian neutrality in the Altmark Incident
      • March 12, 1940 - Winter War: The Moscow Peace Treaty ends the war in the Soviet's favor
      • June 22, 1940 - World War II: After a six-week campaign, Germany defeats France and forces the British to evacuate from Dunkirk
      • July 3, 1940 - World War II: The Royal Navy attacks Mers el Kebir
      • July 10-October 31, 1940 - World War II: The Royal Air Force wins the Battle of Britain
      • September 17, 1940 - World War II: Operation Sea Lion, the German invasion of Britain, is indefinitely postponed
      • November 11/12, 1940 - World War II: In a daring nighttime raid, British aircraft strike the Italian fleet at the Battle of Taranto
      • December 8, 1940 - World War II: British forces in Egypt launch Operation Compass which sweeps across the desert driving the Italians deep into Libya
      • March 11, 1941 - World War II: Pres. Franklin Roosevelt signs the Lend-Lease Act
      • March 27-29, 1941 - World War II: British naval forces defeat the Italians at the Battle of Cape Matapan
      • April 6-30, 1941 - World War II: German forces win the Battle of Greece
      • May 24, 1941 - World War II: HMS Hood is sunk at the Battle of the Denmark Strait

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      • April 18, 1942 - World War II: The planes of the Doolittle Raid bomb Japan
      • May 4-8, 1942 - World War II: US forces turn back the Japanese advance against Port Moresby at the Battle of the Coral Sea. Fought entirely by aircraft, it was first naval battle in which the opposing ships never sighted each other.
      • May 5-6, 1942 - World War II: US and Filipino forces surrender after the Battle of Corregidor
      • May 26-June 21, 1942 - World War II: General Erwin Rommel wins the Battle of Gazala
      • June 4-7, 1942 - World War II: The US Pacific Fleet defeats the Japanese at the Battle of Midway, turning the tide in the Pacific
      • July 1-27, 1942 - World War II: Axis forces are halted at the First Battle of El Alamein
      • August 7, 1942 - World War II: Allied forces go on the offensive in the Pacific by landing on Guadalcanal
      • August 9, 1942 - World War II: Japanese naval forces win the Battle of Savo Island
      • August 9-15, 1942 - World War II: The Royal Navy resupplies Malta during Operation Pedestal
      • July 9, 1943 - World War II: Allied forces begin Operation Husky and invade Sicily
      • August 17, 1943 - World War II: American bombers conduct the massive Schweinfurt-Regensburg Raid
      • September 3-9, 1943 - World War II: American and British forces land in Italy
      • September 26, 1943 - World War II: Australian commandoes conduct Operation Jaywick in Singapore Harbor
      • November 2, 1943 - World War II: American forces win the Battle of Empress Augusta Bay
      • November 20-23, 1943 - World War II: American forces invade Tarawa
      • December 26, 1943 - World War II: British naval forces win the Battle of the North Cape
      • January 22, 1944 - World War II: Allied forces begin Operation Shingle and open the Battle of Anzio
      • January 31-February 3, 1944 - World War II: US troops fight the Battle of Kwajalein
      • February 17-18, 1944 - World War II: Operation Hailstone sees Allied aircraft attack the Japanese anchorage at Truk
      • February 17-May 18, 1944 - World War II: Allied forces fight and win the Battle of Monte Cassino
      • March 17-23, 1944 - World War II: Allied forces win the Battle of Eniwetok
      • March 24/25, 1944 - World War II: Allied POWs begin the Great Escape from Stalag Luft III
      • June 4, 1944 - World War II: Allied forces capture Rome
      • June 4, 1944 - World War II: Allied naval forces capture U-505
      • June 6, 1944 - World War II: British airborne forces execute Operation Deadstick
      • June 6, 1944 - World War II: The invasion of France begins with Allied troops coming ashore in Normandy
      • June 15, 1944 - World War II: The Allied invasion of the Marianas begins with landings on Saipan
      • June 19-20, 1944 - World War II: The US Navy wins the Battle of the Philippine Sea
      • July 21- August 10, 1944 - World War II: Allied troops recapture Guam
      • July 25-31, 1944 - World War II: Allied troops break out of Normandy during Operation Cobra

        August 15, 1944 - World War II: Allied troops land in southern France as part of Operation Dragoon

      • August 25, 1944 - World War II: French forces liberate Paris
      • September 15-November 27, 1944 - World War II: Allied forces fight and win the Battle of Peleliu
      • September 17, 1944 - World War II: American and British paratroopers land in Holland as part of Operation Market-Garden
      • October 23-26, 1944 - World War II: US naval forces defeat the Japanese at the Battle of Leyte Gulf, opening the way for the invasion of the Philippines
      • December 16, 1944 - World War II: German forces launch a massive offensive in the Ardennes, beginning the Battle of the Bulge. It ends in a decisive Allied victory the following month

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      • October 21, 1947 - Indo-Pakistani War of 1947: The war starts following the invasion of Kashmir by Pakistani troops
      • May 14, 1948 - Arab-Israeli War: Following its declaration of independence, Israel is attacked by its Arab neighbors
      • June 24, 1948 - Cold War: Berlin Blockade begins leading to the Berlin Airlift
      • July 20, 1949 - Arab-Israeli War: Israel makes peace with Syria ending the war

        1950s

        • June 25, 1950 - Korean War: North Korean troops cross the 38th Parallel beginning the Korean War
        • September 15, 1950 - Korean War: United Nations troops under General Douglas MacArthur land at Inchon and push the North Koreans back to the Yalu River
        • November 1950 - Korean War: Chinese forces enter the conflict, driving UN forces back over the 38th Parallel.
        • November 26-December 11, 1950 - Korean War: UN forces fight the Chinese at the Battle of Chosin Reservoir
        • March 14, 1951 - Korean War: Seoul is liberated by UN troops
        • June 27, 1953 - Korean War: Fighting ends following the establishment of a cease-fire between UN and North Korean/Chinese forces
        • July 26, 1953 - Cuban Revolution: The revolution begins following an attack on the Moncada Barracks
        • May 7, 1954 - First Indochina War: The French fortress at Dien Bien Phu falls effectively ending the war
        • November 1, 1954 - Algerian War: National Liberation Front guerrillas attack French targets across Algeria beginning the war
        • October 26, 1956 - Suez Crisis: Israeli troops drop into the Sinai, beginning the conquest of the peninsula

        1960s

        • April 15-19, 1961 - Cuban Revolution: The American-backed Bay of Pigs invasion fails
        • January 1959 - Vietnam War: The North Vietnamese Central Committee issues a secret resolution calling for an "armed struggle" in South Vietnam
        • August 2, 1964 - Vietnam War: The Gulf of Tonkin Incident occurs when North Vietnamese gunboats attack American destroyers
        • March 2, 1965 - Vietnam War: Operation Rolling Thunder begins as US aircraft start bombing North Vietnam
        • August 1965 - Indo-Pakistani War of 1965: The conflict begins when Pakistan launches Operation Gibraltar in Indian Kashmir
        • August 17-24, 1965 - Vietnam War: US forces begin offensive operations in Vietnam with Operation Starlight
        • November 14-18, 1965 - Vietnam War: US troops fight the Battle of Ia Drang in Vietnam
        • June 5-10, 1967 - Six-Day War: Israel attacks and defeats Egypt, Syria, and Jordan
        • November 3-22, 1967 - Vietnam War: American forces win the Battle of Dak To
        • January 21, 1968 - Vietnam War: North Vietnamese forces launch the Tet Offensive
        • January 23, 1968 - Cold War: The Pueblo Incident takes place when the North Koreans board and capture USS Pueblo in international waters
        • April 8, 1968 - Vietnam War: US troops relieve the besieged Marines at Khe Sanh
        • May 10-20, 1969 - Vietnam War: US troops fight the Battle of Hamburger Hill
        • July 14-18, 1969 - Central America: El Salvador and Honduras fight the Football War

        1970s

        • April 29, 1970 - Vietnam War: American and South Vietnamese forces begin attacking into Cambodia
        • November 21, 1970 - Vietnam War: US Special Forces raid the POW camp at Son Tay
        • December 3-16, 1971 - Indo-Pakistani War of 1971: The war begins when India intervenes in the Bangladesh Liberation War
        • March 30, 1972 - Vietnam War: The People's Army of North Vietnam begins the Easter Offensive
        • January 27, 1973 - Vietnam War: The Paris Peace Accords are signed ending US involvement in the conflict
        • October 6-26, 1973 - Yom Kippur War: After initial losses, Israel defeats Egypt and Syria
        • April 30, 1975 - Vietnam War: Following the fall of Saigon, South Vietnam surrenders ending the war
        • July 4, 1976 - International Terrorism: Israeli commandoes land at Entebbe Airport in Uganda and rescue the passengers of Air France Flight 139
        • December 25, 1979 - Soviet-Afghan War: Soviet airborne forces enter Afghanistan beginning the conflict

          1980s

          • September 22, 1980 - Iran-Iraq War: Iraq invades Iran beginning a war that lasts eight years
          • April 2-June 14, 1982 - Falklands War: Following the Argentinean invasion of the Falklands, the islands are liberated by the British
          • October 25-December 15, 1983 - Invasion of Grenada: After the deposition and execution of Prime Minister Maurice Bishop, US forces invade and capture the island.
          • April 15, 1986 - International Terrorism: American aircraft bomb Libya in retaliation for an attack on a West Berlin night club
          • December 20, 1989-January 31, 1990 - Invasion of Panama: US forces invade Panama to oust dictator Manuel Noriega

          1990s

          • August 2, 1990 - Gulf War: Iraqi troops invade Kuwait
          • January 17, 1991 - Gulf War: Operation Desert Storm begins with American and coalition aircraft striking targets in Iraq and Kuwait
          • February 24, 1991 - Gulf War: Coalition ground forces advance into Kuwait and Iraq
          • February 27, 1991 - Gulf War: Fighting ends as Kuwait is liberated
          • June 25, 1991 - Former Yugoslavia: The first of the wars in the former Yugoslavia begins with the Ten-Day War in Slovenia
          • March 24-June 10, 1999 - Kosovo War: NATO aircraft bomb Yugoslav forces in Kosovo

          2000s

          • September 11, 2001 - War on Terror: Al Qaeda attacks the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington
          • October 7, 2001 - War on Terror: American and British aircraft begin bombing Taliban forces in Afghanistan
          • December 12-17, 2001 - War on Terror: Coalition forces fight the Battle of Tora Bora
          • March 19, 2003 - Iraq War: US and British aircraft begin bombing Iraq as a prelude to the ground invasion
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          Your Citation
          Hickman, Kennedy. "A Military History Timeline of the 1900s." ThoughtCo, Apr. 21, 2017, thoughtco.com/1900s-military-history-timeline-2361264. Hickman, Kennedy. (2017, April 21). A Military History Timeline of the 1900s. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/1900s-military-history-timeline-2361264 Hickman, Kennedy. "A Military History Timeline of the 1900s." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/1900s-military-history-timeline-2361264 (accessed December 18, 2017).