Skip to main content

World War II: Timeline

  • 1914-1918: World War I is fought involving 32 countries. Main combatants included: Austro-Hungarian Empire, German Empire, Ottoman Empire, and Bulgaria (Central Powers) against British Empire, France, Japanese Empire, Romania, United States (Allies). 
  • 1918 - November 9: German republic (Weimar Republic) declared. Kaiser Wilhelm II abdicates; end of the monarchy.
  • 1918 - November 10: Kaiser Wilhelm II goes into exile in the Netherlands.
  • 1918 -November 11: Armistice signed - Fighting on all fronts of World War I ceases.
  • 1918-1923: Years of political instability, clashes, and street battles in Germany (known as the German Revolution) follows the armistice.
  • 1919 - June 28: Treaty of Versailles signed, ends World War I. Germany accepts responsibility for World War I and the damage it caused. Germany to disarm, pay very large, crippling reparations, and give up territory.
  • 1922 - October 27-28, 1922: Benito Mussolini organizes March on Rome. King Victor Emmanuel III invites Mussolini and his National Fascist Party to form government.
  • 1923 - November 8-9, 1923: Beer Hall or Munich Putsch - Adolf Hitler and other leaders of the Nazi Party (Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei or in English, National Socialist German Workers Party), hoping to mimic Mussolini's success, make a failed armed attempt to take over the government in Munich, Bavaria. Hitler found guilty of treason but only serves nine months of a five year prison sentence.
  • 1925 - July 18, 1925: Hitler's Mein Kampf (My Struggle) published. Outlined Hitler's intentions for Germany to repudiate the Treaty of Versailles and conquer and occupy lands in Eastern Europe to create "living space" for Germany. He also espouses an anti-Jewish program centered on elimination (and ultimately murder) of Jews.
  • 1931 - September 18, 1931: Japan orchestrates the Mukden or Manchurian Incident as an excuse to invade and occupy Manchuria, China.
  • 1932 -March: Japan creates the client state of Manchukuo from the Manchuria region of China.
  • 1932 - November 6: Nazi Party ends up with 33% of the popular vote in the last free and fair German elections before Hitler gains total control of the government.
  • 1933 - January 30: Adolf Hitler appointed Chancellor of Germany by President Paul von Hindenburg
  • 1933 - February 28: As a response to the Reichstag fire President Hindenburg, at the behest of Hitler, suspends basic rights and authorizes detention without trial.
  • 1934 - August 1: Hitler's cabinet passes Law Concerning the Highest State Office of the Reich, which combines the offices of president and chancellor upon Hindenburg's death and creates the office of leader and chancellor (Fuhrer and Reichskanzler).
  • 1934 - August 2: President Paul von Hindenburg dies. Hitler's goal of total control of Germany officially realized. Tenets and beliefs of Nazism becomes the foundation of official German policy.
  • 1936-1939: Spanish Civil War provides opportunities for Hitler and Mussolini to support General Francisco Franco, who became the fascist dictator of Spain, and his Nationalists against leftist, Republican forces who were supplied arms and support by the Soviet Union.
  • July 8, 1937: Marco Polo Bridge incident marks the beginning of the Second Sino-Japanese War with Japan moving to occupy most of China.

Subject Guide

Library Media Resources Center
LaGuardia Community College
31-10 Thomson Avenue, room E101
Long Island City, NY 11101
Email the Library