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30 Sept 1938 Treaty of Munich

Hitler, Chamberlain, Daladier of France and Mussolini of Italy met in Munich and agreed that Hitler should have the Sudetanland of Czechoslovakia. The Czechs were not represented at the meeting and realizing that no country would come to their aid were forced to surrender the Sudetenland to Germany. Hitler assured those at the meeting that this was the extent of his ambitions for expansion. Chamberlain returned to England with a piece of paper signed by Hitler, proclaiming 'peace in our time.'

March 1939 Hitler invades Czechoslovakia

Despite the assurances given by Hitler in the Treaty of Munich (Sept 1938), he marched into Czechoslovakia and occupied the country.

1 Sept 1939 Hitler invades Poland

Adolf Hitler invaded Poland.

3 Sept 1939 Britain and France declare war on

Britain and France declared war on Germany. Neville Chamberlain broadcast the announcement that the country was at war.

Sept 1939-May 1940 'Phoney War'

The months following Britain's declaration of war are referred to as the 'phoney war' because Britain saw no military action.

10 May 1940 Blitzkrieg

Hitler launched his blitzkrieg (lightning war) against Holland and Belgium. Rotterdam was bombed almost to extinction. Both countries were occupied.

11 June 1940 Italy enter war on side of Axis powers

Italy entered the war on the side of the Axis powers. Italy's motive for entering the war was the hope of rich pickings from the spoils of war.

10 July - 31 October 1940 Battle of Britain

The Battle of Britain comprised four phases:
1. During July Hitler sent his Luftwaffe bombers to attack British ports. His aim was also to assess the speed and quality of response by the RAF.
2. During August the attacks on shipping continued but bombing raids were concentrated on RAF airfields.
3. The Blitz - From September 7th the city of London was heavily bombed. Hitler hoped to destroy the morale of the British people.
4. Night Bombing - With the failure of daylight bombing raids Hitler began a series of nightly bombing raids on London and other important industrial cities.
The RAF defended the skies and by October 31 the raids had ceased.

22 June 1941 Hitler attacks Russia - Operation Barbarossa

Hitler sent 3 million soldiers and 3,500 tanks into Russia. The Russians were taken by surprise as they had signed a treaty with Germany in 1939. Stalin immediately signed a mutual assistance treaty with Britain and launched an Eastern front battle that would claim 20 million casualties. The USA, which had been supplying arms to Britain under a 'Lend-Lease' agreement, offered similar aid to USSR.

7 Dec 1941 Pearl Harbor

The Japanese, who were already waging war against the Chinese, attacked the US pacific fleet at Pearl Harbour, Hawaii, as a preliminary to taking British, French and Dutch colonies in South East Asia.

8 Dec 1941 Britain and US declare war on Japan

Britain and the United States declared war on Japan.

Feb 1942 Japanese take Singapore

The Japanese captured Singapore from the British, taking some 60,000 prisoners.

June 1942 Battle of Midway

The USA defeated the Japanese navy at the Battle of Midway. Following this victory, the US navy was able to push the Japanese back.

Nov 1942 Battle of Stalingrad

The Russians won their first victory against Germany at the Battle of Stalingrad.

3 Sept 1943 Italy surrenders

Mussolini had been thrown out of office and the new government of Italy surrendered to the British and the USA. They then agreed to join the allies. The Germans took control of the Italian army, freed Mussolini from imprisonment and set him up as head of a puppet government in Northern Italy. This blocked any further allied advance through Italy.

6 June 1944 D-Day

The allies launched an attack on Germany's forces in Normandy, Western France. Thousands of transports carried an invasion army under the supreme command of general Eisenhower to the Normandy beaches. The Germans who had been fed false information about a landing near Calais, rushed troops to the area but were unable to prevent the allies from forming a solid bridgehead. For the allies it was essential to first capture a port.

July 1944 Japanese evicted from Burma

British forces under General Slim, with help from guerrilla-fighting Chindits led by Orde Wingate, evicted the Japanese from Burma.

8 Sept 1944 V2 Flying Bombs

The first V2 flying bombs killed three people in London.

Dec 1944 Battle of the Bulge

Germany launched its final defensive through the Ardennes region of Belgium. However, they were beaten back by the allies.

28 April 1945 Mussolini captured and executed

Italian partisans captured Mussolini and executed him.

30 April 1945 Hitler commits suicide

The German leader, Adolf Hitler committed suicide in his bombproof shelter together with his mistress, Eva Braun, who he had, at the last minute, made his wife.

4 May 1945 German forces surrender

German forces in north west Germany, Holland and Denmark surrendered to Montgomery on Luneburg Heath. Admiral Donitz, whom Hitler had nominated as his successor, tried to reach agreement to surrender to the Western allies but to continue to fight the Russians. His request was refused.

8 May 1945 V.E. day

Victory in Europe was celebrated.

6 Aug 1945 Atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima

The Japanese generals refused to surrender. The US dropped an atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima.

8 Aug 1945 Russia declares war on Japan

Russia declared war on Japan and invaded Japanese-ruled Manchuria.

9 Aug 1945 Atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki

The US dropped an atomic bomb on the port of Nagasaki as the Japanese had not surrendered following Hiroshima.

14 Aug 1945 Japanese surrender

The Japanese unconditionally surrendered to the allies ending the second world war.