|world war 2 summary timeline and important dates|
American author Ernest Hemingway publishes For Whom the Bell Tolls, a novel about a young American in Spain who joins an antifascist guerrilla force in the Spanish Civil War.
Apr 1, 1940Hitler Seizes Low Countries
Adolf Hitler takes neutral Denmark, Norway, Belgium, Holland, and Luxembourg.
Apr 1940Germany Pummels France
German fighter planes and ground troops pummel France.
Apr 1940Hitler Defeats France
Britain forces retreat from France and Adolf Hitler's armies defeat French forces.
May 1940Allied Support Grows
The Committee to Defend America by Aiding the Allies is founded.
May 1940Fleet Moved to Pearl Harbor
President Franklin D. Roosevelt moves the United States Pacific Fleet base from San Diego, California to Pearl Harbor in Hawaii.
May 16, 1940Roosevelt Increases Defense Spending
In a speech to Congress, President Franklin D. Roosevelt requests new defense spending, an enlarged army, and an expanded air fleet. Public opinion favors the new defense program.
Jun 10, 1940Italy Attacks France
Benito Mussolini's Italian forces attack France from the south.
Jun 22, 1940
RANGEEND_HITLERMOVES France, crushed, surrenders to Germany and signs an armistice. Great Britain now stands alone against the Axis powers.
Jul 26, 1940U.S. Withholds Gas from Japan
The United States orders gasoline withheld from Japan sparking protest from the Japanese government.
Aug 1940Congress Enacts Draft
Congress appropriates $16 billion for defense needs, and enacts the first peacetime draft in American history.
Sep 1940America First Committee Formed
The America First Committee is formed.
Sep 3, 1940Roosevelt Aids Britain
President Franklin D. Roosevelt makes a deal to give Great Britain 50 destroyers in exchange for naval bases in Newfoundland, Bermuda, and sites in the Caribbean and the South Atlantic.
Sep 25, 1940U.S. Extends Japanese Embargo
The United States extends the Japanese embargo to include iron and steel.
Sep 27, 1940Japan Joins Axis
Responding to the embargoes imposed by the United States, Japan joins the German-Italian coalition.
Oct 29, 1940Draftees to Camps
The first draft numbers are drawn, sending thousands of draftees to drill camps all over the country.
Nov 1940Roosevelt Reelected for Third Term
In the presidential election, Democrats break with the two-term tradition and renominate Franklin D. Roosevelt for a third term. Republicans nominate Wendell L. Willkie, a public-utilities executive who shared FDR's views on the war in Europe. Franklin D. Roosevelt defeats Wendell L. Willkie by nearly 5 million popular votes.
Dec 1940U.S. Cracks Japanese Code
United States Naval Intelligence cryptographers crack Japan's secret communications code and learn that Japan intends to conquer China.
Dec 29, 1940Arsenal of Democracy
President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivers a fireside chat to the American people announcing, "We must be the great arsenal of democracy."
Jan 6, 1941Lend-Lease Program
Before the U.S. Congress, President Franklin D. Roosevelt proposes a "lend-lease" program, which would deliver arms to Great Britain to be paid for following the war's end. Congress approves the bill.
Mar 30, 1941U.S. Seizes Axis Ships
President Franklin D. Roosevelt orders the United States Coast Guard to seize German ships that sail into American ports. 65 Axis ships are held in "protective custody."
May 15, 1941Robin Moor
In the South Atlantic the American merchant ship Robin Moor is sunk by a German torpedo. President Franklin D. Roosevelt responds to the German attack by declaring a national emergency.
Jun 16, 1941Axis Consulates Closed
President Franklin D. Roosevelt demands Germany and Italy close their American consulates located in the United States.
Jun 22, 1941Germany Invades Soviet Union
Germany invades the Soviet Union violating the Nonaggression Pact. U.S. Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson estimates that it will take Hitler less than three months to conquer the Soviet Union.
Jun 24, 1941US Aids Soviets
The United States extends lend-lease aid to the Soviet Union.
Jul 7, 1941US Defends Iceland
President Franklin D. Roosevelt announces that the United States will take over defense of Iceland for the duration of the war.
Aug 9, 1941Roosevelt and Churchill Draft Atlantic Charter
On a British battleship, President Franklin D. Roosevelt meets with the Prime Minister of Great Britain, Winston Churchill. The two leaders write up the Atlantic Charter.
Aug 17, 1941Roosevelt Warns Japanese
President Franklin D. Roosevelt warns the Japanese government to cease all aggression toward neighboring countries or else face United States forces.
Sep 4, 1941Greer
Provoked by the American destroyer Greer, a German submarine fires on the ship. In response to the attack, President Franklin D. Roosevelt orders the navy to shoot any Axis battleships they encounter.
Oct 17, 1941U.S.S. Kearny
German submarines damage the U.S.S. Kearny in a skirmish near Iceland, killing 11.
Reuban James Sunk
The U.S. destroyer Reuben James is sunk near Iceland, killing 115 seamen.
Nov 1941Merchant Ships Armed
In response to the destruction of the battleship Reuben James, the U.S. Congress authorizes American merchant ships to carry arms.
Nov 1941Lend-Lease to Soviets
The United States extends "lend-lease" to the Soviet Union.
Nov 3, 1941Japanese Decide to Attack
The Japanese government decides to attack Pearl Harbor if negotiations with the United States fail.
Nov 29, 1941U.S. Learns Japanese Plan
U.S. Naval cryptographers learn from secret code that Japan plans aggressive action if an agreement with the United States is not met.
Dec 1, 1941Japan Ignores US Requests
Japan dismisses American demands to withdraw forces from China.
Dec 7, 1941Pearl Harbor
Japanese fighter planes attack the American base at Pearl Harbor destroying U.S. aircraft and naval vessels, and killing 2,355 U.S. servicemen and 68 civilians.
Dec 11, 1941US At War
Germany and Italy, Japan's axis partners, declare war on the United States. The United States declares war on Germany, Italy, and Japan.
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