A Military History Timeline of the 1900s

Battles and Wars Fought From 1901 to 2000

Battle of the Somme. Public Domain

1900s

1910s

  • April 21-November 23, 1914 - Mexican Revolution: American forces land and occupy Vera Cruz
  • 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'état 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

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
  • May 27, 1941 - World War II: Following aerial attacks from HMS Ark Royal and fire from British battleships, the German battleship Bismarck is sunk in the North Atlantic
  • June 22, 1941 - World War II: German forces invade the Soviet Union opening the Eastern Front
  • 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
  • August 19, 1942 - World War II: The Dieppe Raid ends in disaster for Allied troops
  • August 24-25, 1942 - World War II: Allied and Japanese forces fight the Battle of the Eastern Solomons
  • August 25-September 7, 1942 - World War II: Allied force on New Guinea win the Battle of Milne Bay
  • August 30-September 5, 1942 - World War II: British forces halt Field Marshal Erwin Rommel at the Battle of Alam Halfa
  • October 10/11, 1942 - World War II: Allied naval units win the Battle of Cape Esperance
  • October 23-November 4, 1942 - World War II: British forces under Lieutenant General Bernard Montgomery begin the Second Battle of El Alamein
  • October 25-27, 1942 - World War II: American and Japanese naval forces fight the Battle of Santa Cruz
  • November 8-10, 1942 - World War II: American forces land in North Africa as part of Operation Torch

    November 12-15, 1942 - World War II: Allied forces win the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal

  • November 27, 1942 - World War II: The French fleet is scuttled at Toulon during Operation Lila
  • November 30, 1942 - World War II: Japanese forces win the Battle of Tassafaronga
  • January 29-30, 1943 - World War II: Japanese aircraft win the Battle of Rennell Island
  • February 19-25, 1943 - World War II: American troops area defeated at the Battle of Kasserine Pass
  • March 2-4, 1943 - World War II: Allied aircraft win the Battle of the Bismarck Sea
  • April 18, 1943 - World War II: Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto is killed by Allied aircraft during Operation Vengeance
  • April 19-May 16, 1943 - World War II: The Germans suppress the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising in Poland
  • May 17, 1943 - World War II: As part of Operation Chastise RAF bombers strike dams in Germany
  • 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
  • February 9, 1945 - World War II: HMS Venturer sinks U-864 in the only known battle where one submerged submarine sank another
  • February 19, 1945 - World War II: US Marines land on Iwo Jima
  • March 8, 1945 - World War II: US forces secure the Ludendorff Bridge over the Rhine
  • March 24, 1945 - World War II: Allied forces airdrop over the Rhine during Operation Varsity
  • April 1, 1945 - World War II: Allied forces invade the island of Okinawa
  • April 7, 1945 - World War II: The battleship Yamato is sunk during Operation Ten-Go
  • April 16-19, 1945 - World War II: Soviet forces win the Battle of the Seelow Heights
  • April 29-May 8, 1945: World War II: Operations Manna & Chowhound deliver food to the starving population of the Netherlands
  • May 2, 1945 - World War II: Berlin falls to Soviet forces
  • May 7, 1945 - World War II: Nazi Germany surrenders to the Allies, ending the war in Europe
  • August 6, 1945 - World War II: The B-29 Superfortress Enola Gay drops the first atom bomb on the city of Hiroshima
  • September 2, 1945 - World War II: The Japanese surrender aboard the battleship USS Missouri ending the war in the Pacific
  • December 19, 1946 - First Indochina War: Fighting begins between French and Viet Minh forces around Hanoi​
  • 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
  • March 24-April 4 - Iraq War: American forces fight the Battle of Najaf
  • April 9, 2003 - Iraq War: US forces occupy Baghdad
  • December 13, 2003 - Iraq War: Saddam Hussein is captured by members of the US 4th Infantry Division and Task Force 121
  • November 7-16, 2004 - Iraq War: Coalition forces fight the Second Battle of Fallujah
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Your Citation
Hickman, Kennedy. "A Military History Timeline of the 1900s." ThoughtCo, Jan. 18, 2018, thoughtco.com/1900s-military-history-timeline-2361264. Hickman, Kennedy. (2018, January 18). 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 May 22, 2018).