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World War II

Adolf Hitler salutes his troops as they march towards Poland 1 September
1939: Germany invades Poland

German forces attack Poland across all frontiers and its planes bomb Polish cities, including the capital, Warsaw - Britain and France prepare to declare war.


Neville Chamberlain in recording studio 3 September
1939: Britain and France declare war on Germany
Britain and France are at war with Germany following the invasion of Poland two days ago.

Winston Churchill (c), Air Minister Sir Kingsley Wood, (l), Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden (r) 10 May
1940: Churchill takes helm as Germans advance
German forces invade the Low Countries by air and land, while in London, Chamberlain is replaced by Churchill.

Troops board ship at Dunkirk 4 June
1940: Dunkirk rescue is over - Churchill defiant
As the last Allied soldier leaves Dunkirk, the British Prime Minister vows his forces "shall never surrender".

German soldiers parade through the Place de la Concorde 14 June
1940: German troops enter Paris
German troops march into Paris forcing French and allied troops to retreat.

World War II
10 Jul 1940: Luftwaffe launches Battle of Britain

07 Sep 1940: London blitzed by German bombers

15 Sep 1940: Victory for RAF in Battle of Britain

15 Nov 1940: Germans bomb Coventry to destruction

22 Jun 1941: Hitler invades the Soviet Union

14 Aug 1941: Secret meetings seal US-Britain alliance

07 Dec 1941: Japanese planes bomb Pearl Harbor

11 Dec 1941: Germany and Italy declare war on US

15 Feb 1942: Singapore forced to surrender

15 Apr 1942: Malta gets George Cross for bravery

07 Jun 1942: Japanese beaten in Battle of Midway

19 Aug 1942: Allies launch daring raid on Dieppe

04 Nov 1942: Rommel goes on the run at El Alamein

01 Dec 1942: Beveridge lays welfare foundations

17 Dec 1942: Britain condemns massacre of Jews

02 Feb 1943: Germans surrender at Stalingrad

16 May 1943: Germans crush Jewish uprising

17 May 1943: RAF raid smashes German dams

10 Jul 1943: Western Allies invade Sicily

25 Jul 1943: Italian dictator Mussolini quits

03 Sep 1943: Allied troops invade mainland Italy

08 Sep 1943: Italy's surrender announced

01 Dec 1943: Allies united after Tehran conference

27 Jan 1944: Leningrad siege ends after 900 days

18 May 1944: Monte Cassino falls to the Allies

05 Jun 1944: Celebrations as Rome is liberated

06 Jun 1944: D-Day marks start of Europe invasion

20 Jul 1944: Hitler survives assassination attempt

01 Aug 1944: Uprising to free Warsaw begins

25 Aug 1944: Paris is liberated as Germans surrender

17 Sep 1944: Airborne invasion of Holland begins

26 Sep 1944: Airborne troops retreat from Arnhem

03 Oct 1944: Poles surrender after Warsaw uprising

17 Dec 1944: Germany counter-attacks in Ardennes

27 Jan 1945: Auschwitz death camp liberated

07 Feb 1945: Black Sea talks plan defeat of Germany

14 Feb 1945: Thousands of bombs destroy Dresden

23 Feb 1945: US flag raised over Iwo Jima

15 Apr 1945: British troops liberate Bergen-Belsen

21 Apr 1945: Red Army enters outskirts of Berlin

27 Apr 1945: Russians and Americans link at Elbe

28 Apr 1945: Italian partisans kill Mussolini

01 May 1945: Germany announces Hitler is dead

07 May 1945: Germany signs unconditional surrender

08 May 1945: Rejoicing at end of war in Europe

21 Jun 1945: US troops take Okinawa

16 Jul 1945: Allied leaders gather at Potsdam

26 Jul 1945: Churchill loses general election

06 Aug 1945: US drops atomic bomb on Hiroshima

09 Aug 1945: Atom bomb hits Nagasaki

15 Aug 1945: Allied nations celebrate VJ Day

02 Sep 1945: Japan signs unconditional surrender

24 Oct 1945: United Nations Organisation is born

20 Nov 1945: Nuremberg trial of Nazis begins
Witness
0 'A miracle to leave'
Auschwitz survivor Yehuda Bacon's story

0
0 'You never forget'
Veteran Fred Bromley's memories of D-Day


In Pictures
0 How the BBC reported a world at war


In Pictures
0 Striking images of World War II


Frontline despatches
0 German Heinkel 111 bomber flies over London during the Battle of Britain - 1940 All about On This Day coverage of key events in World War II

On This Day
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How we showcase the BBC News archive

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0 20 October
Today's top news stories


 
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