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A time-line of World War II

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(Copyright © 2011 Piero Scaruffi)


18/9/1931: The Japanese army provokes an incident (at Mukden) and invades Manchuria without consulting with the Wakatsuki government
10/5/1933: Students of the University of Berlin burn thousands of books by Jewish authors
May 1933: Germany sends general Hans von Seeckt as a military advisor to China
Apr 1934: Germany sends general Alexander von Falkenhausen as a military advisor to China
Apr 1934: Germany sends general Alexander von Falkenhausen as a military advisor to China
3/10/1935: Mussolini invades Ethiopia
31/8/1935: The US Congress passes a "neutrality act" that outlaws sales of arms to all parties in a war
15/10/1936: Hitler and Mussolini sign a treaty of friendship and form the "Axis"
25/11/1936: Germany and Japan form the anti-Cominterm Pact to protect against communism
7/7/1937: A clash between Chinese and Japanese troops ("Marco Polo Incident") lead to a general war
10/7/1937: Japan invades Beijing
14/8/1937: Chiang's Chinese troops attack the Japanese garrison in Shanghai
13/12/1937: Japan invades Nanjing (350,000 Chinese are killed and 100,000 women are raped during the "rape of Nanking" in revenge for the Shanghai attack) and the Chinese nationalists move their capital to Chungking/ Chongqing
Mar 1938: Germany annexes Austria
21/5/1938: Japan conquers Suchow
26/7/1938: Japan conquers Kiukiang and carries out another massacre of Chinese civilians
21/10/1938: Japan captures Guangzhou/Canton
Dec 1938: Germany annexes the Sudeten from Czechoslovakia
1938: Synagogues and Jewish shops are destroyed by Nazist mobs in Germany ("Kristallnacht")
12/1938: German scientists split the uranium atom
10/1/1939: Hitler promises the extermination of the Jews if they cause another world war
Mar 1939: Germany invades Czechoslovakia, declares the protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, and occupies the Lithuanian port of Memel
27/3/1939: Japan conquers Kiangsi's capital Nanchang from the Chinese
7/4/1939: Italy invades and annexes Albania
25/7/1939: Hitler orders the first euthanasia on a German "unworthy of life", the beginning of program T4 ("Tiergartenstrasse 4 4")to eliminate all physical and mentally handicapped citizens
31/8/1939: Georgii Zhukov leads the Soviet Union and Mongolia to victory against Japan at the battle of Khalkhin Gol ("Nomonthan Incident")
23/8/1939: The Soviet Union and Germany sign a non-aggression pact including the partition of Poland (and assigns Latvia, Estonia, Finland and Romania's Bessarabia to the Soviet Union, and Lithuania to Germany)
1/9/1939: Germany invades Poland, whose population is 10% Jewish
2/9/1939: The cruise ship Athenia is sunk by a German submarine
3/9/1939: Britain, France, Australia, New Zealand, India and South Africa declare war on Germany
3/9/1939: Polish people attack ethnic Germans killing about 6,000 in a few weeks
6/9/1939: Germany conquers Krakow in Poland
10/9/1939: Canada declares war on Germany
17/9/1939: the Soviet Union invades Poland, ostensibly to defend Belorussian and Ukrainian minorities from Polish persecution
28/9/1939: Germany and the Soviet Union sign another treaty granting the Soviet Union the Baltis and Romania's Bessarabia
1/10/1939: Germany conquers Poland's capital Warsaw after more than 30,000 Poles have been killed
24/10/1939: Western Ukraine asks to become part of the Soviet Union
Oct 1939: Ethnic German militias (Selbstschutz) murder 10,000 Poles and Jews in Mniszek, Poland
Nov 1939: Ethnic German militias (Selbstschutz) and the Gestapo have murdered 6,000 Poles and Jews in Fordon, Poland
4/11/1939: The USA Congress passes a new neutrality act but legalizes the sale of arms to France and Britain
8/11/1939: and assassination attempt on Adolf Hitler in Munich fails
30/11/1939: the Soviet Union invades Finland, a one-million men army against a 150,000 men army
6/12/1939: Heisenberg reports on the possibility of building an atomic bomb for Germany
14/12/1939: The Soviet Union is expelled from the League of Nations
31/12/1939: 65,000 Polish civilians have been killed by German troops, mostly Jews, intellectuals, priests and aristocrats
?/1940: Japan bombs the Chinese city of Ningbo with fleas carrying the bubonic plague
1/1940: 250 gypsies (mostly children) are killed in the Buchenwald concentration camp
25/1/1940: Germany creates a Jewish ghetto in Lodz, Poland
1/2/1940: Stalin appoints Semyon Konstantinovich Timoshenko in charge of the Finnish front after Finland enters Soviet territory
21/2/1940: the Soviet Union bombs Sweden
12/3/1940: Finland surrenders to the Soviet Union after the Soviet Union lost 84,000 soldiers and Finland 25,000
23/3/1940: Finland signs a peace treaty with the Soviet Union ceding Karelia
March 1940: Japan establishes the puppet regime of Ching-wei Wang over China
9/4/1940: Germany invades Denmark and Norway ("Operation Weseruebung")
16/4/1940: the Soviet Union begin massacring 22,000 Polish soldiers and civilians in the woods of Katyn
28/4/1940: British, French and Polish troops land in NorwaBritish, French and Polish troops land in Norway
10/5/1940: Germany invades Belgium and Holland
10/5/1940: British prime minister Neville Chamberlain resigns and is replaced by Winston Churchill
11/5/1940: Britain bombs the region of Westphalia in Germany
12/5/1940: Germany invades France
14/5/1940: Holland surrenders
19/5/1940: Britain bombs Bremen and Hamburg
20/5/1940: the German army reaches the English Channel
24/5/1940: Hilter halts German troops that have surrounded British troops in Dunkerquee
26/5/1940: Britain evacuates more than 300,000 surrounded British and French troops from Dunkerque ("Operation Dynamo")
27/5/1940: Belgium surrenders
4/6/1940: Germany enters Paris
27/6/1940: Romania is forced by Stalin to surrender Bessarabia (Moldova) to the Soviet Union
10/6/1940: Norway surrenders
10/6/1940: Italy declares war on Britain and France and invades France
14/6/1940: Germany sets up a concentration camp at Auschwitz in Poland
14/6/1940: German troops enter Paris
17/6/1940: Charles de Gaulle flees to Britain
18/6/1940: Churchill delivers his "Their Finest Hour" speech to the House of Commons while Charles de Gaulle broadcasts a radio message from the BBC to France
18/6/1940: the Soviet Union invades Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania
18/6/1940: Sweden allows Germany passage through its territory
22/6/1940: France surrenders to Germany after 92,000 French soldiers have been killed and two million have been taken prisoners, and a new government, led by Philippe Petain, moves the capital to Vichy, leaving Germany in control of 3/5th of the country but preserving the colonies
28/6/1940: Britain recognizes the French government in exile of general Charles de Gaulle while Hitler tours Paris
28/6/1940: The Soviet Union seizes Bessarabia and northern Bukovina from Romania
3/7/1940: Britain attacks the French fleet at Mers-el-Kebir killing 1,297 French sailors
10/7/1940: Germany bombs Britain
10/7/1940: France gives Petain full dictatorial powers, ending the Third Republic
?/7/1940: Italy invades British Sudan from Ethiopia
3/8/1940: Italy invades British Somaliland with 250,000 soldiers
3/8/1940: The Soviet Union admits Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia
13/8/1940: German warplanes raid British airfields and a British naval base
15/8/1940: 1,790 German warplanes bomb Britain from northern France, Norway and Denmark
17/8/1940: the German navy blockades the British Isles
20/8/1940: Mao launches the Hundred Regiments Offensive against Japan
24/8/1940: German warplanes bomb London, probably by mistake
25/8/1940: Britain bombs Berlin
6/9/1940: Ion Antonescu stages a coup in Romania and turns the kingdom into a fascist dictatorship
7/9/1940: the German Luftwaffe launches 652 bombers on London (the "blitz"), dropping one million bombs in two months and killing 23,000 civilians in four months
13/9/1940: Italy invades Egypt from Libya, 215,000 Italian soldiers versus 36,000 Egyptian soldiers
27/9/1940: Germany, Italy and Japan sign the "Tripartite Treaty"
29/9/1940: Britain begins shipping war materials to China from Burma
7/10/1940: Germany invades Romania
28/10/1940: Italy invades Greece
13/11/1940: Britain bombs Berlin while the Soviet foreign minister Molotov is discussing with Hitler about joining the tripartite pact and attacking British India
14/11/1940: Greece launches a counteroffensive against the Italian invaders and invades Italian Albania
20/11/1940: Hungary enters the war on Germany's side
23/11/1940: Romania enters the war on Germany's side
23/11/1940: Slovakia enters the war on Germany's side
26/11/1940: Germany creates a walled ghetto for the 500,000 Jews of Warszaw, Poland
9/12/1940: Britain launches a counteroffensive in Egypt
31/12/1940: Britain has placed orders for arms to the USA totaling about $4.5 billion, thereby generating an economic boom in the USA
6/1/1941: Britain invades Italian Libya, capturing more than 100,000 prisoners
19/1/1941: Britain invades Italian Ethiopia
29/1/1941: The USA deploys troops in Greenland
11/2/1941: Britain invades Italian Somalia
7/2/1941: The Italians surrender to Britain in Lybia
12/2/1941: Hitler appoints Erwin Rommel commander of the German army in Africa to recapture Lybia lost by Italy
16/2/1941: 10,000 jews are deported from Wien (Vienna)
2/1941: Hitler dispatches Erwin Rommel to Africa (the Afrika Corps)
1/3/1941: Bulgaria enters the war on Germany's side
11/3/1941: The US Congress passes the "Lend-Lease Act" authorizing the president to sell arms to Britain, China and the Soviet Union
25/3/1941: Germany forces Yugoslavia to join the Tripartite Pact
27/3/1941: A coup ousts the king of Yugoslavia
30/3/1941: Hitler tells his generals that "this is a war of extermination"
4/1941: The USA organizes mercenary pilots, the Flying Tigers, under the command of Claire Chennault, to defend the Burma Road into China against the Japanese
3/4/1941: Rasch Ali Gailani seizes power in Iraq and enters the war on Germany's side
4/4/1941: Britain reaches Addis Abeda, Ethiopia
4/1941: In just one month the Allies have lost 688,000 tons of shipping to the German U-boats
5/4/1941: Yugoslavia signs a treaty of friendship with the Soviet Union
6/4/1941: Germany bombs Yugoslavia's capital Belgrade and kills more than 10,000 civilians in two days and invades Yugoslavia with help from Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria
6/4/1941: Germany invades Greece (mainly to protect the oilfields of Ploesti in Romania) after 40,000 Italian soldiers have died fighting the Greeks
10/4/1941: Croatia declares its independence from Yugoslavia and enters the war on Germany's side
13/4/1941: The Soviet Union and Japan sign a non-aggression pact
17/4/1941: Yugoslavia surrenders and Germany establishes a puppet state in Serbia, Croatia becomes a fascist state under Italian protectorate, Italy annexes most of Slovenia, Dalmatia and Kosovo, and Montenegro becomes an Italian protectorate
18/4/1941: The Greek prime minister Alexandros Koryzis commits suicide
19/4/1941: Bulgaria invades Yugoslavia's Macedonia
26/4/1941: Greece surrenders and Germany enters Athens while Britain has to evacuate more than 40,000 soldiers
2/5/1941: Britain attacks Iraq
4/5/1941: Hitler tells the Reichstag that Nazi state will last one thousand years
10/5/1941: The French police begin to round up thousands of Jews
20/5/1941: Germany launches an airborne invasion of Crete, the first time in history that an invasion relies mainly on paratroopers
27/5/1941: Britain sinks the Bismarck, the largest battleships ever built by Germany
1/6/1941: Crete surrenders but the Germans have suffered huge casualties due to civilian resistance and the British cracking of the Enigma code
2/5/1941: Herbert Backe devises the Hunger Plan to kill by starvation 30 million Soviet citizens and free land for German colonizers
16/5/1941: Italy surrenders in Africa and Ethiopia regains its independence
31/5/1941: Britain enters Bagdad
8/6/1941: Britain invades Syria and Lebanon, colonies of Vichy France allied with Germany
14/6/1941: The Soviet Union deports 60,000 Estonians, 34,000 Latvians and 38,000 Lithuanians to Siberia
22/6/1941: Germany, Finland, Romania and Hungary (3.6 million soldiers) launch a surprise invasion of the Soviet Union ("Operation Barbarossa") from East Prussia (north, into the Baltic states), Poland (center, into Belarussia) and Romania (south, into Ukraine), and Italy too declares war on the Soviet Union
24/6/1941: The retreating Soviet Union massacres prisoners, including 10,000 Polish prisoners and 10,000 prisoners in Bessarabia and the Baltic states
26/6/1941: Finland and Hungary declare war on the Soviet Union
30/6/1941: The Ukrainian militia allied with Germany kills 4,000 Jews in Lviv
7/7/1941: US troops replace British and Canadian troops in Iceland
8/7/1941: Germany and Finland lay siege to Leningrad, the beginning of the longest siege in centuries
9/7/1941: Germany conquers Belarus from the Soviet Union
12/7/1941: The Vichy French surrender in Syria and Britain transfers Syria to the French government in exile
7/1941: the USA declares an oil embargo against Japan
16/7/1941: Germany conquers Smolensk from the Soviet Union and captures 700,000 prisoners
21/7/1941: Germany bombs Moscow
24/7/1941: Japan invades Indochina, a French colony
8/1941: The Ustasha of Croatia open the concentration camp at Jasenovac, one of the several in which more than 300,000 Serbs, Bosnians and Jews will be killed
4/8/1941: The Soviet Union releases 200,000 Polish prisorners of war to form an allied army
25/8/1941: Britain and the Soviet Union invade Iran, that becomes the main transit point for supplies going to the Soviet Union
31/8/1941: More than 70,000 German citizens have been killed in German gas chambers during program T4
3/9/1941: The insecticide Zyklon B is used to kill Soviet and Polish prisoners at Auschwitz
9/1941: The Soviet Union begins the deportation of 375,000 Volga Germans to Siberia and Kazakhstan
15/9/1941: German troops and Ukrainian militias kill more than 20,000 Jews at Berdichev
18/9/1941: Germany captures Kiev, the capital of Ukraine
29/9/1941: German troops and Ukrainian militias kill 33,771 Jews at the Babi Yar ravine in the Ukrainian capital Kiev
30/9/1941: Germany launches the first attack on Moscow
10/10/1941: Stalin appoints Zhukov in charge of the western front
14/10/1941: German troops are 100 kms from Moscow
15/10/1941: The Soviet Union evacuates the government from Moscow to Kuibyshev as panic spreads in the streets of Moscow
15/10/1941: Romanian troops conquer Odessa after a long siege
17/10/1941: general Hideki Tojo is appointed prime minister of Japan
22/10/1941: German and Romanian troops (mostly the Romanians) begin killing about 30,000 Jews and 15,000 gypsies in Ukraine (the "Odessa massacre")
31/10/1941: Germany has already captured 3 million Soviet prisoners
25/11/1941: Germany lays siege to Moscow
30/11/1941: German troops and Latvian militias kill 25,000 Jews in ten days in the Rumbula forest of Latvia
3/12/1941: Yasuji Okamura enacts the "Three Alls Policy" against the communist-held Chinese regions: "kill all, burn all, loot all" that cause the population to decline from 44 million to 25 million
5/12/1941: Soviet troops begin a counteroffensive against German troops about to enter Moscow
6/12/1941: Britain declares war on Finland
7/12/1941: the Japanese navy attacks the USA fleet at Pearl Harbor
7/12/1941: Japan invades Thailand and Malaysia
8/12/1941: Japan attacks Kota Bahru in Malaysia
8/12/1941: Japan bombs Singapore
8/12/1941: Britain and the USA declare war on Japan
8/12/1941: Japan invades Shanghai
8/12/1941: Japan invades the Phillipines
9/12/1941: Egypt, Mexico, Panama and Cuba declare war on Japan, soon followed by New Zealand, South Africa, India, Bolivia, etc.
10/12/1941: The Japanese land in the island of Guam in the Pacific
11/12/1941: Germany and Italy declare war on the USA
13/12/1941: Bulgaria, Hungary, Croatia, Slovakia and Romania declare war on the USA
22/12/1941: Japan invades the Philippines
23/12/1941: Japan attacks Burma/Myanmar to cut off supplies to the Chinese nationalists
25/12/1941: Japan captures Hong Kong
2/1/1942: Japanese troops enter Manila in the Philippines
1/1942: At the Wannsee Conference Germany approves the "final solution" to exterminate the Jews
10/1/1942: Japan invades Indonesia
12/1/1942: Japan invades Burma
13/1/1942: German U-boats attack the USA
20/1/1942: Reinhard Heydrich plans a "final solution" for the Jews, with Adolf Eichmann in charge of rounding up all Jews outside Poland, and Jews executed upon arrival in Minsk, Kaunas and Riga
26/1/1942: the USA sends the first troops to Britain
2/1942: The Soviet Union starts a project for an atomic bomb led by Igor Vasilievich Kurchatov
15/2/1942: Japan captures Singapore
15/9/1942: Japan begins the construction of the Burma railway employing British prisoners of war and forced local workers
17/2/1942: Japan kills thousands of ethnic Chinese in Singapore
19/2/1942: Japan bombs Darwin in Australia
23/2/1942: A Soviet submarine sinks the ramshackle ship Struma, killing 768 Jews that are escaping from Romania towards British Palestine
24/2/1942: The "Struma", a ship full of Jewish emigrants and denied entry in Turkey under British pressure, is accidentally torpedoed by a Soviet submarine killing all 769 passengers
1/3/1942: Japan conquers Rangoon in Burma/Myanmar
17/3/1942: Belzec is the first concentration camp to adopt gas chambers for exterminating Jews
20/3/1942: the gas chamber is inaugurated at Auschwitz
31/3/1942: in the first three months of 1942 the German U-boats (submarines) sink more oil tanks than the USA builds
18/4/1942: USA bombers drop bombs on Tokyo, Yokohama, Osaka-Kobe and Nagoya
?/4/1942: to punish Chinese villages who helped the USA airmen who bombed Tokyo, Japanese troops kill 250,000 Chinese civilians ("operation Sei-Go")
14/2/1942: Japan invades Sumatra in Indonesia and seizes its oilfields
9/3/1942: Japan conquers Java from an allied force of Dutch, US, Australian and British ships
12/4/1942: Japanese troops massacre 400 Filipino officers at Batanga
3/5/1942: Japan invades the Solomon Islands
6/5/1942: The last US and Filipino soldiers surrender and Japan completes the invasion of the Philippines, taking 76,000 US and Filipino prisoners
8/5/1942: The USA repels the Japanese from the Solomon Islands ("Coral Sea battle")
5/1942: Rommel launches an assault against the British in North Africa
15/5/1942: Britain abandons Burma to Japan
22/5/1942: Mexico declares war on Germany and Italy
26/5/1942: German and Italian troops under Rommel's command attack British, French, New Zealander and South African troops in Egypt
27/5/1942: An assassination attempt against Reinhard Heydrich fails in Prague
30/5/1942: Britain bombs Koln
4/6/1942: The USA navy defeats the Japanese navy in the Midway battle, which ends with the sinking of five aircraft carriers (one USA and four Japanese) and the destruction of 250 Japanese aircrafts
17/6/1942: US president Roosevelt authorizes a project to develop an atomic bomb
21/6/1942: German and Italian troops take Tobruk in Egypt
28/6/1942: Germany begins a summer offensive towards Stalingrad ("Operation Blue")
22/7/1942: Jews are deported from Warsaw to the Treblinka concentration camp
23/7/1942: Germany captures Rostov-on-Don
8/8/1942: Gandhi calls for Britain to leave India and Britain arrests him
11/8/1942: The USA launches the Manhattan Project to develop an atomic bomb
22/8/1942: Brazil declares war on Germany and Italy
30/8/1942: Rommel's troops are stopped by the British in Egypt
9/9/1942: Germany lays siege to Stalingrad
14/10/1942: Germany carries out a mass execution of Jews from the Mizocz ghetto, Ukraine
10/1942: Britain counterattacks in North Africa
19/11/1942: The Soviet Union repulses the German invasion of Caucasus and the Romanians in the north
2/12/1942: Fermi achieves a nuclear reaction in Chicago
12/1942: A famine caused by Japan's seizure of Burma's rice fields kills 1.5 million in one year in India's Bengal region and diseases kill another million
31/12/1942: More than 4 million Jews have been killed in German extermination camps and 1.35 million Jews have been killed in the Soviet Union by either German troops or allied militias
1943: Nazi doctor Josef Mengele begins experimenting on twins (and later on midgits, dwarfs, hunchbacks) at Auschwitz's concentration camp (3000 between 1943 and 1944)
8/1/1943: The Jews of Warsaw stage an uprising
14/1/1943: Churchill and Roosevelt hold a conference at Casablanca, Morocco
31/1/1943: the main German forces in Stalingrad surrender to the Soviet Union, the first major defeat of Germany in World War II, thus ending a six-month battle that has killed 2 million people, including 500,000 civilians
8/2/1943: the USA captures Guadalcanal from Japan
21/2/1943: general Hideki Tojo becomes military dictator of Japan
22/2/1943: the Soviet Union bombs Sweden
26/2/1943: the Soviet Union bombds Finland
27/2/1943: Norwegian partisans destroy Germany's heavy water factory in Norway, thus killing German hopes for an atomic bomb
15/3/1943: Robert Oppenheimer is appointed director of the Los Alamos center (Manhattan Project)
31/3/1943: German U-boats sink 108 ships in the month of march alone
31/3/1943: The allied troops coming from Morocco and the ones coming from Egypt meet in Tunisia, ending the war in North Africa
19/3/1943: Germany invades Hungary
7/4/1943: Bolivia declares war on Germany and Italy
13/4/1943: Germany discovers the mass graves of Katyn in Poland where thousands of Polish officers were secretely killed by the Soviet Union
25/4/1943: 16,000 POws and 80,000 Asian slave labourers die during the construction of a 415 km Japanese railway between Thailand and Burma (till 24/6/1944)
12/5/1943: German troops in the Crimea surrender to the Soviet Union
13/5/1943: German and Italian troops in North Africa surrender to Britain
16/5/1943: German troops destroy the Warsaw ghetto after quelling the rebellion and killing thousands of Jews
31/5/1943: The USA and Britain destroy 30% of Germany's U-boats in may alone
5/7/1943: Germany is defeated by the Soviet Union at Kursk, the largest tank battle of the war
9/7/1943: the USA and Britain under general Patton land in Sicily
25/7/1943: Mussolini is overthrown in Italy
1943: Six million Poles (including three million Jews) are killed in Nazist death camps at Maidanek, Birkenau, and Auschwitz
27/7/1943: a British bombing erases 6 sq kms of downtown Hamburg killing 40,000 civilians in two hours
8/9/1943: the new Italian government surrenders to the USA and Britain
10/9/1943: Germany invades Italy, enters Rome and frees Mussolini who sets up a republic in nothern Italy
14/9/1943: In three days the Germans kill more than 500 people in Crete (massacres of Viannos and Kondomari) in retaliation for the civilian resistance
9/1943: John von Neumann joins the Los Alamos team
25/9/1943: The Soviet Union recaptures Smolensk
13/10/1943: the new government of Italy declares war on Germany
3/11/1943: German troops kill 43,000 Jews at the Majdanek concentration camp
28/11/1943: Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin hold a conference in Teheran, Iran
12/1943: British scientists join the Los Alamos team
16/1/1944: Dwight Eisenhower is appointed commander of the allied forces in Europe
22/1/1944: the Allies land in Anzio, Italy ("Operation Shingle")
26/1/1944: Leningrad is liberated by the Soviet Union
2/1944: Rudolf Spanner at the Danzig Anatomical Institute uses the bodies of prisoners of war for making soap and leather
12/5/1944: the Allies bomb German factories of synthetic fuel
18/5/1944: the Allies capture Monte Cassino from Germany (the "Gustav Line")
4/6/1944: the Allies enter Rome
6/6/1944: the Allies land in Normandy and begin the invasion of France ("D-Day")
13/6/1944: Germany begins bombing Britain with V1 bombs
22/6/1944: The Soviet Union attacks the German positions in the Baltics, Ukraine and Belarus
3/7/1944: The Soviet Union liberates Minsk, capital of Belarus
19/7/1944: general Kuniaka Koiso becomes prime minister of Japan
20/7/1944: Hitler narrowly escapes another assassination attempt
1/8/1944: Polish partisans stage an insurrection in Warsaw, but 40,000 are killed and the city is destroyed
20/8/1944: the Soviet Union invades Romania
26/8/1944: Romania switches sides, cedes Bessarabia to the Soviet Union and attacks Hungary
25/8/1944: the Allies enter Paris
8/1944: The Polish resistance attacks the Germans
3/9/1944: Belgium is liberated by the Allies
5/9/1944: The Soviet Union declares war on Bulgaria and invades it
8/9/1944: Germany begins bombing Britain with V2 rockets
11/9/1944: the Allies invade Germany
24/9/1944: the Soviet Union invades Czechoslovakia
1/10/1944: the Soviet Union invades Yugoslavia
2/10/1944: The Germans in Warsaw surrender after 200,000 people have been killed in two months
14/10/1944: Erwin Rommel commits suicide after a failed coup against Hitler
23/10/1944: the Soviet Union invades Germany
10/1944: Rommel is forced to commit suicide
4/11/1944: the allies liberate Greece
4/12/1944: civil war erupts in Greece
9/1/1945: the USA lands on the Phillipines
17/1/1945: the Soviet Union liberates Warsaw
27/1/1945: the Soviet Union liberates Auschwitz
3/2/1945: the USA conducts the first firebombing on Japan (Kobe)
3/2/1945: The Soviet Union reaches the Oder river
11/2/1945: Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin hold a conference in Yalta
13/2/1945: Two waves of British and US bombers annihilate downtown Dresden, a city of no military importance full of refugees, killing between 25,000 and 135,000 civilians (Gobbels claims 250,000)
16/2/1945: Klaus Fuchs gives the Soviet Union secrets about the atomic bomb
19/2/1945: the USA land on Iwo Jima
23/2/1945: the USA conducts the first firebombing on Tokyo
3/3/1945: Finland declares war on Germany
9/3/1945: the USA conducts the second firebombing on Tokyo, destroying most of the city (25 sq kms) and killing about 100,000 civilians
5/4/1945: admiral Suzuki is appointed prime minister of Japan
11/4/1945: the allies liberate Buchenwald
12/4/1945: Roosevelt dies and Harry Truman becomes president of the USA
13/4/1945: the Soviet Union enters Vienna
16/4/1945: the Soviet Union lays siege to Berlin
23/4/1945: the Soviet Union enters Berlin
25/4/1945: Soviet and USA troops meet on the Elbe river
28/4/1945: Mussolini is captured and hanged by Italian partisans
29/4/1945: the USA liberates the Dachau concentration camp
30/4/1945: as Soviet troops are closing in on his bunker, Adolf Hitler commits suicide together with Joseph Goebbels
7/5/1945: Germany surrenders
9/5/1945: Hermann Goering is captured by the USA
9/5/1945: the Soviet Union enters Prague
23/5/1945: Heinrich Himmler commits suicide
26/5/1945: the USA conducts a third firebombing on Tokyo
6/1945: The USA prepares a plan for the invasion of Japan
1/7/1945: USA, Britain and France enter Berlin
16/7/1945: the USA tests the first atomic bomb
16/7/1945: Truman, Stalin and Churchill meet at the Potsdam Conference to discuss post-war Europe
22/7/1945: the USA wins the battle of Okinawa, the last major island battle, but with a casualty rate of 35%
7/1945: Churchill is defeated at the elections by the Labour Party in the biggest landslide since 1906
13/9/1945: Japan surrenders in Burma
6/8/1945: the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima kills more than 100,000 civilians
8/8/1945: the Soviet Union attacks Japan killing 500,000 Japanese in two weeks
9/8/1945: the nuclear bombing of Nagasaki kills more than 100,000 civilians
14/8/1945: Japan surrenders to the USA
9/9/1945: Japan surrenders to China
9/9/1945: British troops regain Burma/Myanmar
24/10/1945: the winning power create the United Nations
20/11/1945: the remnants of the Nazi regime are tried at the Nueremberg trial
1945: out of the 90,000 German soldiers who surrendered in Stalingrad, only 5,000 returned to Germany alive


Deaths in World War II

Sources: Ragz, Gerhard Weinberg, History.net, Wikipedia
Country Military Deaths Civilian Deaths
Due to War
Total Deaths
Allies
Australia 23,365 - 23,365
Belgium 12,000 76,000 88,000
Brazil 943 N/A 1,000
Britain 264,443 92,673 357,000
Canada 37,476 - 37,476
China 2,000,000 7,750,000 9,750,000
Czechoslovakia 10,000 215,000 225,000
Denmark 1,800 2,000 4,000
Estonia 15,000 6,000 21,000
France 213,324 350,000 563,000
Greece 88,300 325,000 413,000
Gypsies - 350,000 350,000
India 24,338 - 24,338
Indonesia - 4,000,000 4,000,000
Latvia - 70,000 70,000
Lithuania 30,000 140,000 170,000
Malaysia - 100,000 100,000
Netherlands 7,900 200,000 208,000
New Zealand 10,033 - 10,033
Norway 3,000 7,000 10,000
Philippines 27,000 91,000 118,000
Poland 320,000 5,675,000 5,800,000
South Africa 6,840 - 6,840
Soviet Union (minus Ukraine) 12,000,000 3,000,000 15,000,000
Ukraine 6,019,000 4,000,000 10,000,000
USA 405,500 - 405,500
Vietnam - 1,000,000 1,000,000
Yugoslavia 305,000 1,200,000 1,505,000
Axis
Bulgaria 10,000 10,000 20,000
Finland 82,000 2,000 84,000
Germany 3,500,000 780,000 4,200,000
Hungary 200,000 640,000 840,000
Italy 242,322 152,941 395,000
Japan 1,300,000 953,000 2,253,000
Romania 300,000 200,000 500,000
Total 58,000,000

These numbers include about six million Jews:
  • Austria 60,000
  • Belgium 25,000
  • Czechoslovakia 250,000
  • France 70,000
  • Germany 170,000
  • Holland 104,000
  • Hungary 550,000
  • Italy 8,000
  • Latvia 70,000
  • Lithuania 140,000
  • Poland 3,200,000
  • Romania 270,000
  • Soviet Union 1,000,000
  • Yugoslavia 55,000

World News | Politics | History | Editor

Sharing the Responsibility: The winners write the history

  • Britain: Britain had one of the largest crowd of Hitler sympathizers in the world
  • France: very few French volunteered to fight against Hitler
  • Italy: there were no partisans fighting Mussolini before he started losing the war
  • Poland: anti-semitism was already rampant before Hitler invaded Poland
  • Romania: Romania was second only to Germany in killing Jews and Gypsies (200-300,000)
  • Soviet Union: many Soviet citizens welcomed Hitler's army and enrolled to fight against Stalin
  • Soviet Union: unprovoked attacks of Poland (1939), Finland (1939), Lithuania (1940), Latvia (1940), Estonia (1940), Bulgaria (1944), Japan (1945) and continued occupation of Ukraine
  • USA: opposition to the war against Hitler was always high
On the other hand...
  • Germany: many German officers, intellectuals and politicians plotted to overthrow Hitler throughout his reign, with two major assassination attempts in 1939 and 1944 (and one involving Rommel himself) On the other hand...
Mass murder was not a German exclusive:
  • The German invasion of France in 1940 caused minimal destruction to historical buildings and few civilian casualties, but the Allied invasion of Germany killed about one million German civilians and destroyed thousands of monuments
  • The German blitz on Britain of 1939-40 killed 40,000 civilians, but the Allied bombing offensive of 1943-45 killed about 500,000 German civilians (British concentrated on night-time carpet bombing of German cities, which killed mostly civilians, whereas Americans concentrated on daytime bombing of industrial and military targets)
  • Throughout the war, Stalin continued the purges he had begun in the 1930s, killing dissidents at the rate of one million per year (Robert Conquest's estimate, largely confirmed by the secret archives opened after the fall of the Soviet Union).
  • Needless to say, the countries that were "liberated" by the Soviet Union were not any better off after the war than they had been during the German occupation: many more Polish, Czech and Hungarian citizens were killed by the communist regimes than had been killed by the pro-Hitler regimes.
  • The Soviet Union lost 25 million people during the war, of which nine million were soldiers and 16 million were civilians; but that includes Russian civilians "as well as" non-Russian civilians of the other Soviet republics. Statistics tend to count the people killed by the Soviet Union inside the borders of the Soviet Union (i.e., Ukrainians, Lithuanians, etc) as if they had been killed by Hitler's troops, when they were in fact many of them were killed by Stalin's troops. For example, Ukraine (technically, a republic of the Soviet Union) suffered the greatest loss of human lives in the entire Europe (six million soldiers, four million civilians and 600,000 Jews), but many of them were killed by the Soviet army not by the German army. Both the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) and the Galicia Division (or Divizia) fought against both Hitler and Stalin: they are all counted as "Soviet casualties" of the war.
  • Another country that got away relatively easily from its war crimes is Japan. If one counts civilian casualties only, Japan's invasions were far more brutal than Germany's invasions. They killed, enslaved and raped millions of civilians. Japan was the only country to use chemical weapons, and it pioneered biological warfare by dropping plague, cholera and anthrax germs on Chinese villages. The number of people submitted to medical experiments in Japan's secret labs is much higher than the number of German prisoners who suffered the same fate. Nobody will ever know the number of "sex slaves" who were used (probably more than one million) and who died (sources say up to 90%). Prisoners of war in German camps were not mistreated (only 1% died) but prisoners of war in Japanese camps were used as slave labourers (and 31% died). If one includes China and all the occupied countries (Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia, etc), Japan caused the death of about 20 million civilians, far more than those caused by Germany.

Sharing the Responsibility: where are the innocents?

  • Italy: ally of Hitler
  • Finland: ally of Hitler
  • Hungary: ally of Hitler
  • Romania: ally of Hitler
  • Bulgaria: ally of Hitler
  • Slovakia: ally of Hitler
  • Croatia: ally of Hitler
  • France: ally of Hitler
  • Holland: 20,000 Dutchmen volunteered to serve in the SS
  • Norway: thousands enrolled in the German army
  • Switzerland: banker of Hitler, deported thousands of Jews
  • Spain: did not participate, but supported Hitler
  • Portugal: did not participate, but supported Hitler
  • USA: declared netutrality after Germany started war (in may 1933, Roosevelt referred to Hitler and Mussolini as great reformers, and in 1935 he spoke of Mussolini as "that fine Italian gentleman")
  • Sweden: let Germany use its territory in order to avoid an invasion
  • Ireland: declared netutrality after Germany started war
  • Soviet Union: secret pact with Hitler to split Poland

Sharing the Responsibility: Japan's holocausts

  • 13/12/1937 - 3/1938: Rape of Nanking or "Nanjing Datusha" (369,366 Chinese killed, and 80,000 women raped)
  • 18/4/1942: 250,000 Chinese civilians murdered in retaliation for Chinese help to USA airmen
  • 13/12/1943: The Nazis kill 496 men in Kalavryta, Greece
  • 23/12/1943 - 14/2/1944: Rape of Manila (all male Filipinos 14 and older condemmed to die, 100,000 killed)
  • 1937-45: Forced prostitution or "jugun ianfu" (400,000 Chinese women, 250,000 Korean women, 90% death rate, largest and most deadly mass rape recorded in history)
  • 1933: Shiro Ishii'ss medical experiments in Manchuria (victims vivisected while still alive)
  • Only nation that used biological weapons in WW II
    • 1939: Shiro Ishii's biological experiments in Harbin, China (10,000 prisoners died)
    • 1940: Air bombing of Chinese villages with germs of bubonic plague (october 1940, Quzhou), cholera (1940, Yunnan), anthrax, etc (200,000 die)
  • Only nation that used chemical weapons in WW II
  • POW camps
    • 10 million Asians were used as slaves and only 5,000 or so survivors may still be alive.
    • Death rate in Japanese prisoner camps: 38.2 %
    • 25/4/1943-6/44: 16,000 PoWs and 80,000 Asian slave labourers died constructing the Thai-Burma railway
  • Japan is responsible for the casualties of more than 20 millions in Asia
World News | Politics | History | Editor
Pictures of the Manhattan Project (first atomic bomb)
(Copyright © 2011 Piero Scaruffi)