World War two was a global military conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, which involved most of the world’s nations, including all of the great powers: eventually forming two opposing military alliances, the Allies and the Axis. It was the most widespread war in history, with more than 100 million military personnel mobilized. In a state of “total war,” the major participants placed their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities at the service of the war effort, erasing the distinction between civilian and military resources. Marked by significant events involving the mass death of civilians, including the Holocaust and the only use of nuclear weapons in warfare, it was the deadliest conflict in human history.resulting in 50 million to over 70 million fatalities.
- Hitler invades Poland on 1 September. Britain and France declare war on Germany two days later.
- Rationing starts in the UK.
- German ‘Blitzkrieg’ overwhelms Belgium, Holland and France.
- Churchill becomes Prime Minister of Britain.
- British Expeditionary Force evacuated from Dunkirk.
- British victory in Battle of Britain forces Hitler to postpone invasion plans.
- Hitler begins Operation Barbarossa – the invasion of Russia.
- The Blitz continues against Britain’s major cities.
- Allies take Tobruk in North Africa, and resist German attacks.
- Japan attacks Pearl Harbor, and the US enters the war.
- Germany suffers setbacks at Stalingrad and El Alamein.
- Singapore falls to the Japanese in February – around 25,000 prisoners taken.
- American naval victory at Battle of Midway, in June, marks turning point in Pacific War.
- Mass murder of Jewish people at Auschwitz begins.
- Surrender at Stalingrad marks Germany’s first major defeat.
- Allied victory in North Africa enables invasion of Italy to be launched.
- Italy surrenders, but Germany takes over the battle.
- British and Indian forces fight Japanese in Burma.
- Allies land at Anzio and bomb monastery at Monte Cassino.
- Soviet offensive gathers pace in Eastern Europe.
- D Day: The Allied invasion of France. Paris is liberated in August.
- Guam liberated by the US Okinawa, and Iwo Jima bombed.
- Auschwitz liberated by Soviet troops.
- Russians reach Berlin: Hitler commits suicide and Germany surrenders on 7 May.
- Truman becomes President of the US on Roosevelt’s death, and Attlee replaces Churchill.
- After atomic bombs are dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan surrenders on 14 August.
For more Reading:http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/worldwars/wwtwo/