Military history

Chronology of Main Events


13 March: Germany declares Austria to be part of the Third Reich

29 September: Munich conference agrees to the transfer of the Sudetenland to Germany, but guarantees the remaining borders of Czechoslovakia


15 March: Germans invade ‘post-Munich’ Czechoslovakia

31 March: British guarantee to Poland

23 August: Non-aggression pact signed between Germany and the Soviet Union

1 September: German troops invade Poland and annex Danzig

3 September: Britain and France declare war on Germany

17 September: Red Army enters Poland from the east

28 September: German troops capture Warsaw

30 November: Russians invade Finland

14 December: Soviet Union expelled from the League of Nations


11 February: Soviet attack on the cd

3 March: Red Army captures Vyborg (Viipuri)

12 March: Finland signs peace treaty with USSR, ceding the Karelian isthmus and the shores of Lake Ladoga

10 May: Germans invade Holland, Belgium and Luxembourg

29 May: Beginning of British evacuation from Dunkirk (to 3 June)

14 June: Germans enter Paris

17–23 June: Russians occupy Baltic states

22 June: France signs armistice with Germany

11–18 August: Peak of the Battle of Britain

7 September: First blitz over London

9 December: 8th Army begins offensive in north Africa


22 June: Germany invades the Soviet Union; Finland attacks Soviet Karelia

27 June: Romania declares war on Russia

28 June: Germans capture Minsk

3 July: Stalin’s first wartime broadcast to the Soviet people

16 July: Germans reach Smolensk

25 July: Germans capture Tallinn

30 August: Mga, the last rail link to Leningrad, is captured by the Germans

17 September: Encirclement of Soviet troops near Kiev

30 September: Beginning of the Battle of Moscow

2 October: Germans capture Orel

12 October: Germans capture Kaluga

13 October: Germans capture Kalinin (Tver)

16 October: Height of the ‘Moscow panic’

20 October: State of siege declared in Moscow

30 October: Siege of Sevastopol begins in the Crimea

3 November: Germans capture Kursk

22 November: Germans break into Klin

26 November: Germans capture Istra

6 December: Soviet counter-offensive begins near Moscow

7 December: Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor and raid British Malaya

8 December: USA and Britain declare war on Japan

15 December: Soviets recapture Klin and Istra

25 December: Russians begin to establish bridgehead in eastern Crimea

30 December: Soviets recapture Kaluga


15 February: Singapore falls to Japanese

8 May: Germans attack in eastern Crimea

12 May: Unsuccessful Soviet offensive opened near Kharkov

20 May: Germans retake the Kerch peninsula

3 July: Fall of Sevastopol

30 July: Stalin’s order no. 227, ‘Not a Step Back.’

23 August: 40,000 killed in air raid on Stalingrad

13 September: Launch of German offensive to take Stalingrad

23 October: Beginning of Battle of El Alamein

19 November: Launch of Soviet counter-offensive near Stalingrad


31 January: Paulus surrenders at Stalingrad

2 February: Final German surrender at Stalingrad

8 February: Soviets recapture Kursk

14 February: Soviets take Rostov

16 February: Soviets take Kharkov

15 March: Germans recapture Kharkov

5 July: Beginning of German offensive at Kursk

12 July: Soviet counter-offensive launched near Kursk

5 August: Russians take Orel and Belgorod

23 August: Soviets capture Kharkov

3 September: Allies invade Italy

25 September: Smolensk recaptured by Red Army

6 November: Soviets recapture Kiev


27 January: Final relief of Leningrad

2 April: Soviets enter Romania

9 May: Liberation of Sevastopol

13 May: Final defeat of Germans in the Crimea

18 May: NKVD troops round up Crimean Tatars, who are exiled to central Asia

6 June: Allies invade Normandy

22 June: Launch of Operation Bagration in Belorussia

3 July: Soviets recapture Minsk and take about 100,000 German prisoners

18 July: Red Army troops under Rokossovsky enter Poland

1 August: Beginning of Warsaw Rising

25 August: Liberation of Paris

2 October: Surrender of Polish nationalist forces in Warsaw


17 January: Soviet troops take the ruined city of Warsaw

4 February: Beginning of Yalta conference

13 February: Budapest falls to Soviets

9 April: Surrender of Koenigsberg to Soviets

13 April: Russians take Vienna

16 April: Launch of final offensive for Berlin

23 April: Russians reach Berlin

30 April: Hitler and his closest aides commit suicide

2 May: Berlin surrenders to Russians

8 May: ‘VE Day’. Keitel surrenders to Zhukov near Berlin (final documents signed just after midnight on 9 May)

9 May: Russians take Prague. Official ‘Victory Day’ in Soviet Union

17 July: Potsdam conference opens

6 August: Atomic bomb on Hiroshima

8 August: Soviet Union declares war on Japan

9 August: Atomic bomb on Nagasaki

14 August: Japan agrees to surrender

2 September: Japan signs capitulation on board USS Missouri

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