World War II Timeline

Timeline of World War II From 1939 to 1945

Adolf Hitler poses with a group of Nazis soon after his appointment as Chancellor.
Adolf Hitler poses with a group of Nazis soon after his appointment as Chancellor. (February 1933). (Picture courtesy of USHMM Photo Archives.)

World War II (WWII) was a long and bloody war that lasted for six years. Officially beginning on September 1, 1939 when Germany invaded Poland, World War II lasted until both the Germans and the Japanese had surrendered to the Allies in 1945. Find out what happened in this timeline of World War II.

1939

  • August 23 - Germany and the Soviet Union sign the
  • Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact
  • September 1 - Germany invades Poland, starting World War II
  • September 3 - Britain and France declare war on Germany
  • September - Battle of the Atlantic begins

1940

  • May - Auschwitz established
  • May 10 - Germany invades France, Belgium, and the Netherlands
  • May 26 - Evacuation begins of Allied troops from Dunkirk, France
  • June 10 - Italy declares war on France and Great Britain
  • June 22 - France surrenders to Germany
  • July 10 - Battle of Britain begins
  • September 16 - The United States begins its first peacetime draft

1941

    1942

    1943

    1944

    1945

    • February 4 - Yalta Conference begins
    • February 13 - Allies begin bombing Dresden
    • February 19 - Battle of Iwo Jima begins
    • April 1 - Battle of Okinawa
    • April 12 - Franklin D. Roosevelt dies
    • April 16 - Battle of Berlin begins
    • April 28 - Mussolini is hanged by Italian partisans
    • April 30 - Adolf Hitler commits suicide
    • May 7 - Germany signs an unconditional surrender