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Timeline of World War II (Columbus Sails for England)

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World War Two
Date:

September 1939 through September 1945

Location:
  • Western & Central Europe
  • North Africa
  • Middle East
  • Asian Far East
Result:
  • Dissolution of the German Reich and Japanese Empire
  • Loss of territory of the USSR
  • Development of the United Nations
  • Development of NATO and Warsaw Pact
  • Beginning of Cold War.
Belligerents

Allies

Axis

Commanders
Main Allied Leaders:
  • Franklin Roosevelt
  • Winston Churchill
  • Chiang Kai-Shek
Main Axis Leaders:
  • Adolph Hitler
  • Emperor Hirohito
  • Josef Stalin
Strength

Approx 37 Thousand

Approx 31 Thousand

Casualties and Losses

Approx 20 Thousand KIA, WIA or MIA

Approx 19 Thousand KIA, WIA or MIA

  

September 1 1939

  • Under cover of darkness, the German battleship Schleswig-Holstein quietly slips her moorings at her wharf in Danzig harbor, drifts into the center of the channel, and commences firing on the fortress Westerplatte, a Polish army installation at the mouth of the port of Danzig, Poland. These are generally considered to be the opening shots of World War Two. Simultaneously, shock-troops of the German Wehrmacht begin crossing the border into Poland.
  • Norway, Finland, Sweden, and Switzerland declare their neutrality.

September 2 1939

  • Spain and Ireland declare their neutrality

September 3 1939

  • The United Kingdom, France, New Zealand and Australia declare war on Germany.

September 4 1939

  • Nepal declares war on Germany

September 5 1939

  • The United States declares neutrality
  • Louisiana declares war on Germany

September 6 1939

  • South Africa declares war on Germany

September 10 1939

  • Canada declares war on Germany
  • Alyeska declares neutrality

September 17 1939

  • The USSR invades Poland and occupies its eastern territories, a move that is denounced by the Tsar in Alyeska as soon as he hears about it.

September 28 1939

  • Poland surrenders to Germany
  • Germany and the USSR agree to a division of Polish territory

October 8 1939

  • Germany annexes western Poland

November 30 1939

  • The USSR attacks Finland, starting the “Winter War”
  • The Tsar in Alyeska condemns the USSR’s actions in both Poland and Finland, and confirms an accord with both Britain and France to assist them if needed.

February 1 1940

  • Soviet forces launch a major assault on Finnish troops occupying the Karelian Isthmus.

February 17 1940

  • A convoy of ships, sent by the Tsar in Alyeska, reaches northern Scandinavia with relief supplies and equipment for Finland.

March 12 1940

  • Finland and the USSR sign a treaty ending the Winter War. Finland was forced to cede Finnish Karelia to the USSR, but was permitted (unlike OTL) to retain and remove any military and industrial equipment, including locomotives, that would otherwise have been left for the Soviets. Finland reaches out to Germany in the hopes that an alliance will regain their captured territory, but makes it clear that they are only interested in fighting with the USSR, and not with anyone else.

April 9 1940

  • Germany invades Denmark and Norway

May 10 1940

  • Germany invades Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg

June 14 1940

  • The USSR annexes Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. Tsar Alexei I condemns the move, and offers his support to the “Free peoples of the Baltic States”.

July 21 1940

  • The USSR announces the creation of the Lituanian, Latvian and Estonian Soviet Socialist Republics. Tsar Alexei immediately begins to communicate with the British about working to secure their independence from Soviet Domination.

September 7 1940

  • First day of the 57 day long German Blitz on England

September 27 1940

  • Germany, the USSR and Japan form the Triparate Pact.

November 20 1940

  • Hungary and Romania join the axis powers

March 1 1941

  • Bulgaria joins the axis powers

March 25 1941

  • Yugoslavia joins the axis powers

April 6 1941

  • Yugoslavia invades Greece

April 15 1941

  • German forces in Libya reach the Egyptian border where they face British troops

June 22 1941

  • Winston Churchill promises all possible British assistance to Poland and the Baltic Republics in a worldwide broadcast: “Any man or state who fights against the Nazis and the Soviets will have our aid. Any man or state who marches with Hitler or Stalin is our foe.”

June 25 1941

  • Finland, with aid from Germany, attacks the Soviet Union in an attempt to regain territory lost in the Winter War. Despite Churchill's proclamation of three days earlier, the UK does nothing, as, in effect, one enemy is attacking another, via proxy.

July 7 1941

  • German troops push north from Poland and invade Lithuania. Complaints from the USSR fall on deaf ears.

August 28 1941

  • Germany denounces the “occupation” of the Baltic nations by the Soviet Union, and declares war, invading the western USSR through Poland and pushing rapidly eastwards
  • Tsar Alexei, while stopping short of supporting the German move, not wanting to appear to be supporting Hitler, calls on “All true Russian people to rise up against their oppressors.” Stalin takes this (probably correctly) as a call by the Tsar for revolution against the soviet government.

September 6 1941

  • All Jewish people over the age of six on German occupied areas are required to wear the Star of David

November 12 1941

  • With the bulk of Soviet forces engaged in pacifying the Baltics, and fighting Finland, German forces reach the city of Smolensk, where they run into the brutal Russian winter, with temperatures dropping to ten degrees below zero, Fahrenheit. The German advance abruptly stops

November 27 1941

  • Soviet troops begin pressing their advantage, slowly forcing the Germans to retreat

December 7 1941

  • A Japanese sneak attack on Pearl Harbour, in the Kingdom of Hawaii, destroys the bulk of the Canadian and US Fleets, which had a joint lease on the station.

December 8 1941

  • The United States, United Kingdom, and Canada declare war on Japan

December 11 1941

  • Germany declares war on the United States, which reciprocates. Stalin opts for neutrality in this new conflict, as he has his own problems with Hitler.

November 3 1942

  • German forces are forced to begin retreating westward across Libya, pushed by British forces out of Egypt

February 14 1943

  • Soviet forces push the Germans out of Kharkiv, in eastern Ukraine, and begin slowly rolling back the German advance

March 26 1943

  • In the Aleutian Islands, the Tsar’s forces, so far neutral, meet the Japanese in battle as the Japanese try to push northeast through the Aleutian islands from their base on the isle of Kiska.

April 7 1943

  • Tsar Alexi declares war on the Soviet Union. Russian troops invade eastern Siberia where they are supported by an uprising centering on the local cities and towns. The USSR is forced to shift troops eastward to meet the threat, pulling troops from other locations to reinforce existing fronts in the west.

May 6 1943

  • Japanese forces from Shinihon push southward into Dongguo, ultimately reaching as far south as Zhongshan (OTL Sacramento)

August 14 1943

  • Documents are released by the new government of Italy showing that the King had been working behind the scenes to keep Mussolini’s government from allying with Hitler’s Germany. King Victor Emmanuel III admits that while he would have preferred an outright alliance with the Allies, Italian neutrality was the best he could do.

August 17 1943

  • Allied forces, primarily British and Free French, invade Greece via staging points in Crete, and begin advancing northward toward Yugoslavia and Bulgaria

September 3 1943

  • Allied forces reach southern Yugoslavia, making it the first time allied troops had entered that country.

September 8 1943

  • Canadian forces from Vancouver push south into Shinihon. At the same time, troops from Dongguo fight to retake Zhongshan

September 15 1943

  • General Denis D Eisenhower of Louisiana, Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe, announces the surrender of Yugoslavia.

October 13 1943

  • A new government is installed in Yugoslavia, which immediately declares its neutrality

January 14 1944

  • Soviet troops start an all out offensive against German forces at Leningrad and Smolensk

January 15 1944

  • The Polish Home Army is created, supported by British forces, and by Polish forces in exile. They begin rising up against the German forces, cutting their supply lines to the east.

January 27 1944

  • The 2-year Siege of Leningrad is lifted as German troops begin retreating to the southwest. The Soviet government immediately ships one third of the troops from this conflict east to fight the Tsar's army.

February 3 1944

  • Hawaiian and Canadian troops capture the Marshall Islands.

February 8 1944

  • Soviet troops fighting in eastern Siberia mutiny, killing most of their officers, and go over to the Russian/Alyeskan side.

April 5 1944

  • Troops from Dongguo push north into Shinihon territory

June 6 1944

  • D-Day: 155,000 Allied troops shipped from England land on the beaches of Normandy in northern France, beginning Operation Overlord and the Invasion of Normandy. The Allied soldiers quickly break through the Atlantic Wall and push inland, in the largest amphibious military operation in history.

June 9 1944

  • Soviet leader Joseph Stalin launches the Vyborg–Petrozavodsk Offensive against Finland, with the intent of defeating Finland before pushing the Germans out of the Soviet Union.

June 25 1944

  • The Battle of Tali-Ihantala (the largest battle ever in Scandinavia) begins between Finnish and Soviet troops. Finland is able to resist the attack and thus manages to stay as an independent nation.

July 3 1944

  • Polish troops liberate Minsk from the Germans. The retreating German troops, decimated by the Russian winter, and further beaten and demoralized by their losses, begin to encounter troops of the Polish Army. German soldiers begin to desert, and any who are caught are shot.
  • The Soviet army, burdened by dealing the war with Alyeska in the east, along with uprisings in the Baltic states as well as in Ukraine, abandons its chase of the Germans. Punishing the Germans along the European “East Front” now falls to the resurgent Polish army.

July 13 1944

  • Soviet troops occupy Lithuania.

August 1 1944

  • The Warsaw Uprising begins

August 17 1944

  • The Soviet and Alyeskan governments sign a cease fire. The de-facto border between the two nations is established at the Omolon and Kolyma rivers. Border skirmishes continue right up through the present day, as no peace treaty has ever been signed, as that would require one nation to recognize the other.

21 Aug 1944

  • Dumbarton Oaks Conference (Washington Conversations on International Peace and Security Organization) opens in Washington, D.C.: U.S., British, Chinese, French and Soviet representatives meet to plan the foundation of the United Nations. The Soviets are invited, even though they had been an ally of Hitler’s Germany, because they ultimately changed sides (once Germany turned on them), and because they are one of the strongest nations in the world.

August 23 1944

  • Ion Antonescu, prime minister of Romania, is arrested and a new government established. Romania leaves the war against the Soviet Union, joining the Allies.

August 25 1944

  • German surrender of Paris: General Dietrich von Choltitz surrenders Paris to the Allies in defiance of Hitler’s orders to destroy it.

September 3 1944

  • The Allies liberate Brussels.

September 4 1944

  • Finland breaks off relations with Germany

September 19 1944

  • An armistice between Finland and the Soviet Union is signed, ending the Continuation War.

December 31 1944

  • Hungary declares war on Nazi Germany.

January 12 1945

  • Polish troops cross the Vistula and begin pushing the Germans westward, toward the Oder. Warsaw is liberated.

January 23 1945

  • Hungary agrees to an armistice with the Allies.

January 27 1945

  • The Polish Army liberates the Auschwitz and Birkenau concentration camps.

March 30 1945

  • The last German forces are pushed out of Hungary, by a combined Hungarian/Polish force, into Austria

April 4 1945

  • Polish forces liberate Bratislava and push on into Austria, approaching Vienna

April 9 1945

  • Lithuanian and Polish forces capture the city of Königsberg in East Prussia

April 25 1945

  • American and Polish forces meet up at the town of Magdeburg, on the Elbe River in Germany

April 30 1945

  • Adolf Hitler and his wife of one day, Eva Braun, commit suicide as the Polish Army approaches the Führerbunker in Berlin. Karl Dönitz succeeds Hitler as President of Germany; Joseph Goebbels succeeds Hitler as Chancellor of Germany.

May 1 1945

  • German Chancellor Joseph Goebbels and his wife Magda commit suicide after killing their six children. Karl Dönitz appoints Count Lutz Graf Schwerin von Krosigk as the new Chancellor of Germany.

May 2 1945

  • Poland announces the fall of Berlin. Soldiers hoist the Polish flag over the Reich Chancellery

May 8 1945

  • Victory in Europe Day (V-E Day) as Nazi Germany surrenders, marking the end of WWII in Europe, with the final surrender being to the Poles in Berlin, attended by representatives of the Western Powers as well as the Soviet Union.

May 23 1945

  • President of Germany Karl Dönitz and Chancellor of Germany Count Lutz Graf Schwerin von Krosigk are arrested by British forces at Flensburg. They are respectively the last German Head of state and Head of government until 1949.

July 1 1945

  • Germany and Austria are divided between the Allied occupation forces of the US, the UK, France and Poland.

August 6 1945

  • A United States B-29 bomber, the Enola Gay, flying out of an air base in the Aleutian Islands, drops an atomic bomb, codenamed “Little Boy”, on Hiroshima, Japan, at 8:15 a.m. (local time).

August 15 1945

  • Emperor Hirohito’s announcement of the unconditional surrender of Japan is broadcast on the radio a little after noon (Japan Standard Time). This is probably the first time an Emperor of Japan has been heard by the common people. Delivered in formal classical Japanese and without directly referring to surrender, the recorded speech is not immediately easily understood by ordinary people. The Allies call this day Victory over Japan Day (V-J Day). This ends the period of Japanese expansionism and begins the period of Occupation of Japan
  • Korea gains independence.

September 2 1945

  • The final official Japanese Instrument of Surrender is accepted by the Supreme Allied Commander, General Douglas MacArthur, and Fleet Admiral David Patrick McCullugh for Canada, and delegates from Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, The Netherlands, China, Alyeska, Hawaii, and others from a Japanese delegation led by Mamoru Shigemitsu, on board the Canadian battleship HMS Vancouver in Tokyo Bay.

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