Chronology of World War II

The complete chronology of the Second World War in short form - you just need to know!

23 August 1939

Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union sign a non-aggression pact and a secret annex to it, according to which Europe is divided into spheres of influence.

September 1, 1939

Germany invades Poland, starting World War II in Europe.

September 3, 1939

Fulfilling their obligations to Poland, Great Britain and France declare war on Germany.

September 17, 1939

The Soviet Union invades Poland from the east.

September 27-29, 1939

Warsaw surrenders on September 27. The Polish government goes into exile via Romania. Germany and the Soviet Union are dividing Poland among themselves.

November 30, 1939 - March 12, 1940

The Soviet Union attacks Finland, unleashing the so-called Winter War. The Finns ask for an armistice and are forced to cede the Karelian Isthmus and the northern shore of Lake Ladoga to the Soviet Union.

April 9 - June 9, 1940

Germany invades Denmark and Norway. Denmark surrenders on the day of the attack; Norway resists until June 9th.

May 10 - June 22, 1940

Germany invades western Europe - France and the neutral Benelux countries. Luxembourg is occupied on May 10; The Netherlands surrenders on May 14; Belgium - May 28. On June 22, France signs an armistice agreement, according to which German troops occupy the northern part of the country and the entire Atlantic coast. In the southern part of France, a collaborationist regime is established with the capital in Vichy.

June 10, 1940

Italy enters the war. June 21 Italy invades southern France.

June 28, 1940

The USSR forces Romania to cede the eastern region of Bessarabia and the northern half of Bukovina to Soviet Ukraine.

June 14 - August 6, 1940

On June 14-18, the Soviet Union occupies the Baltic states, on July 14-15, organizes a communist coup in each of them, and then, on August 3-6, annexes them as Soviet republics.

July 10 - October 31, 1940

The air war against England, known as the Battle of Britain, ends with the defeat of Nazi Germany.

August 30, 1940

Second Vienna Arbitration: Germany and Italy decide to split disputed Transylvania between Romania and Hungary. The loss of northern Transylvania leads to the fact that the Romanian king Karol II abdicates in favor of his son Mihai, and the dictatorial regime of General Ion Antonescu comes to power.

September 13, 1940

Italians attack British-controlled Egypt from their own Libya.

September 27, 1940

Germany, Italy and Japan sign the Trilateral Pact.

October 1940

On October 28, Italy invades Greece from Albanian territory.

November 1940

Slovakia (November 23), Hungary (November 20) and Romania (November 22) join the German coalition.

February 1941

Germany sends its Afrika Korps to North Africa to support the hesitant Italians.

March 1, 1941

Bulgaria joins Axis.

April 6 - June 1941

Germany, Italy, Hungary and Bulgaria invade and divide Yugoslavia. On April 17, Yugoslavia surrenders. Germany and Bulgaria attack Greece, helping the Italians. Greece ends resistance in early June 1941.

April 10, 1941

The leaders of the Ustasha terrorist movement proclaim the so-called Independent State of Croatia. Immediately recognized by Germany and Italy, the new state also includes Bosnia and Herzegovina. Croatia officially joins the Axis states on June 15, 1941.

June 22 - November 1941

Nazi Germany and its allies (with the exception of Bulgaria) attack the Soviet Union. Finland, seeking to reclaim territories lost during the Winter War, joins the Axis just before the invasion. The Germans quickly seize the Baltic states and by September, with the support of the joined Finns, they besieged Leningrad (St. Petersburg). On the central front, German troops occupied Smolensk in early August and were approaching Moscow by October. In the south, German and Romanian troops capture Kiev in September, and Rostov-on-Don in November.

December 6, 1941

The Soviet Union's counteroffensive forces the Nazis to retreat in disarray from Moscow.

December 7, 1941

Japan is bombing Pearl Harbor.

December 8, 1941

USA declares war on Japan and enters World War II. Japanese troops land in the Philippines, French Indochina (Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia) and British Singapore. By April 1942, the Philippines, Indochina and Singapore were occupied by the Japanese.

December 11-13, 1941

Nazi Germany and its allies declare war on the United States.

May 30, 1942 - May 1945

The British bombed Cologne, thus for the first time transferring hostilities to the territory of Germany itself. Over the next three years, Anglo-American aviation almost completely destroys major cities in Germany.

June 1942

British and American naval forces halt the advance of the Japanese fleet in the central Pacific Ocean near the Midway Islands.

June 28 - September 1942

Germany and her allies launch a new offensive in the Soviet Union. German troops by mid-September make their way to Stalingrad (Volgograd) on the Volga and invade the Caucasus, having previously captured the Crimean Peninsula.

August - November 1942

US forces halt Japanese advance towards Australia in the Battle of Guadalcanal (Solomon Islands).

October 23-24, 1942

The British army defeats Germany and Italy at the Battle of El Alamein, Egypt, forcing the forces of the fascist bloc to retreat indiscriminately through Libya to the eastern border of Tunisia.

November 8, 1942

American and British troops land at several locations along the coast of Algeria and Morocco in French North Africa. An unsuccessful attempt by the Vichy French army to thwart the invasion allows the Allies to quickly reach the western border of Tunisia and results in Germany occupying southern France on November 11.

November 23, 1942 - February 2, 1943

The Soviet army counterattacks, breaks through the lines of the Hungarian and Romanian troops north and south of Stalingrad and blocks the German Sixth Army in the city. The remnants of the Sixth Army, which Hitler forbade to retreat or try to break out of the encirclement, capitulate on January 30 and February 2, 1943.

May 13, 1943

The troops of the fascist bloc in Tunisia surrender to the Allies, ending the North African campaign.

July 10, 1943

American and British troops land in Sicily. By mid-August, the Allies take control of Sicily.

July 5, 1943

German troops launch a massive tank attack near Kursk. The Soviet army repels the attack for a week, and then goes on the offensive.

July 25, 1943

The Grand Council of the Italian Fascist Party dismisses Benito Mussolini and instructs Marshal Pietro Badoglio to form a new government.

September 8, 1943

The Badoglio government surrenders unconditionally to the Allies. Germany immediately seized control of Rome and northern Italy, establishing a puppet regime led by Mussolini, freed from imprisonment by a German sabotage detachment on September 12.

September 9, 1943

Allied forces land on the Salerno coast near Naples.

November 6, 1943

The Soviet army liberates Kiev.

January 22, 1944

Allied forces successfully land near Anzio, just south of Rome.

March 19, 1944

Anticipating Hungary's intention to withdraw from the Axis coalition, Germany occupies Hungary and forces its ruler, Admiral Miklos Horthy, to appoint a pro-German prime minister.

June 4, 1944

Allied forces liberate Rome. Anglo-American bombers hit targets in eastern Germany for the first time; this continues for six weeks.

June 6, 1944

British and American troops successfully land on the coast of Normandy (France), opening the Second Front against Germany.

June 22, 1944

Soviet troops begin a massive offensive in Belarus (Belarus), destroying the German army of the Center group, and by August 1 are heading west to the Vistula and Warsaw (central Poland).

July 25, 1944

The Anglo-American army breaks out of the Normandy bridgehead and moves east towards Paris.

August 1 - October 5, 1944

The Polish anti-communist Army of Hometown raises an uprising against the German regime, trying to liberate Warsaw before the arrival of the Soviet troops. The advance of the Soviet army is suspended on the eastern bank of the Vistula. On October 5, the remnants of the Home Army that fought in Warsaw surrender to the Germans.

August 15, 1944

Allied forces land in southern France near Nice and move quickly northeast towards the Rhine.

August 20-25, 1944

Allied forces reach Paris. On August 25, the French Free Army, supported by the Allied Forces, enters Paris. By September, the Allies reach the German border; by December, almost all of France, most of Belgium and part of the southern Netherlands were liberated.

23 August 1944

The appearance of the Soviet army on the Prut river prompts the Romanian opposition to overthrow the Antonescu regime. The new government concludes a truce and immediately goes over to the side of the Allies. This turn in Romanian policy forces Bulgaria to surrender on September 8 and Germany to leave Greece, Albania and southern Yugoslavia in October.

August 29 - October 27, 1944

The underground units of the Slovak Resistance under the leadership of the Slovak National Council, which includes both communists and anti-communists, are raising an uprising against the German authorities and the local fascist regime. On October 27, the Germans capture the town of Banska Bystrica, where the rebel headquarters is located, and suppress organized resistance.

September 12, 1944

Finland concludes a truce with the Soviet Union and withdraws from the Axis coalition.

October 20, 1944

American troops land in the Philippines.

October 15, 1944

The Hungarian Fascist Arrow Cross Party carries out a pro-German coup d'état to prevent the Hungarian government from negotiating surrender with the Soviet Union.

December 16, 1944

Germany is launching a final offensive on the western front, known as the Battle of the Ardennes, in an attempt to retake Belgium and divide the Allied forces stationed along the German border. By January 1, 1945, the Germans are forced to retreat.

January 12, 1945

The Soviet army undertakes a new offensive: in January it liberates Warsaw and Krakow; February 13, after a two-month siege, captures Budapest; in early April expels Germans and Hungarian collaborators from Hungary; taking Bratislava on April 4, forces Slovakia to capitulate; April 13 enters Vienna.

March 7, 1945

US troops cross the Rhine at Remagen.

April 16, 1945

Soviet troops launch a decisive offensive, encircling Berlin.

April 1945

Partisan detachments led by the leader of the Yugoslav communists Josip Broz Tito capture Zagreb and overthrow the Ustasha regime. The leaders of the Ustasha party flee to Italy and Austria.

April 30, 1945

Hitler commits suicide.

May 7, 1945

Germany capitulates to the Western Allies.

May 9, 1945

Germany capitulates to the Soviet Union.

May 1945

Allied forces capture Okinawa, the last island on the way to the Japanese archipelago.

August 6, 1945

The United States drops an atomic bomb on Hiroshima.

August 8, 1945

The Soviet Union declares war on Japan and invades Manchuria.

August 9, 1945

The United States drops an atomic bomb on Nagasaki.

September 2, 1945

Japan, which agreed to the terms of unconditional surrender on August 14, 1945, officially surrenders, thereby putting an end to the Second World War.