<< 1936 World War II Timeline 1938 >>



6 January - United States: Congress outlaws arms shipments to the parties involved in the ongoing Spanish Civil War.

16 January - Europe: The Gestapo dissolves all Jewish youth organizations throughout the Reich.

17 January - Europe: Foreign warships are banned by Germany from passing through the Kiel Canal.

20 January - United States: Franklin D. Roosevelt begins his second term as President of the United States.

22 January - Europe: The German government asks its citizens not to patronize Jewish doctors.

23 January - Europe: Josef Stalin begins his second round of show trials for "counter-revolutionaries"

24 January - Europe: Hermann Goering orders Reinhard Heydrich to organize the emigration of all Jews still living within Germany.

30 January - Europe: Adolf Hitler issues a demand that all former colonies of Germany, taken from her in the first World War, be returned immediately. In the USSR the show trials conclude; 13 of 15 defendents are sentenced to death.

1 February - Europe: Hitler's government forbids German citizens from accepting any Nobel Prize.

8 February - Spain: Malaga falls to the advancing combined Nationalist and Italian forces.

10 February - Europe: All Catholic schools in Bavaria are shut down by the Nazis.

1 March - United States: The US Army Air Force receives the first B-17. This plane will serve as the primary Allied bomber over Europe.

18 March - Spain: Republican Loyalists defeat an Italian drive toward Madrid.

25 March - Europe: Yugoslavia and Italy sign nonaggression and neutrality pacts.

31 March - Africa: South Africa rejects Hitler's demands of 30 January, stating that it will not give up South West Africa.

11 April - Europe: The German Ministry of the Interior issues a decree revoking the citizenship of Jews.

20 April - Spain: General Francisco Franco announces that Spain is a totalitarian state and declares himself dicatator. Europe: Adolf Hitler celebrates his 48th birthday.

27 April - Spain: German aircraft level the Basque city of Guernica, killing 1600 civilians. The attack will inspire Pablo Picasso's mural, Guernica.

29 April - Europe: Hermann Goering, commander of the Luftwaffe, orders all production of 4-engine bombers ceased. Germany will fight World War II without a heavy bomber.

1 May - United States: In response to the Spanish Civil War, Franklin D. Roosevelt signs into law a bill extending American neutrality to include civil wars.

6 May - United States: The Zepplin Hindenburg crashes while attempting to land at Lakehurst, New Jersey.

9 May - Europe: In Germany, Jews are officially barred from receiving university degrees.

14 May - Europe: The performance of music from Beethoven and Mozart by Jews in forbidden in Germany.

28 May - Europe: Neville Chamberlain, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, replaces Stanley Baldwin as the Prime Minister of Britain.

30 May - Spain: In an effort to oppose Germany's interference in the Spanish Civil War, Loyalist aircraft attack the German battleship Deutschland, killing 26 and wounding 71.

31 May - Spain: The city of Almeira is destroyed by the German navy in retribution for the previous day's assault on the Deutschland.

1 June - Japan: Prince Konoye is appointed Prime Minister of Japan.

12 June - Europe: Joseph Stalin executes eight high ranking generals. This marks the beginning of his purges of the Red Army. 20,000 will die in this round of executions alone.

13 June - Europe: The Communist Party is banned by the Swiss canon of Geneva.

16 June - Europe: The Deutsche Volkskirche (German People's Church) is established as the official religion of Nazism.

18 June - Spain: Nationalist forces, aided by their German and Italian allies, capture Bilbao.

20 June - Europe: Fearing a German invasion, the Czech government institutes compulsory military training for those aged 6 to 60. Conscription, however, is limited to 17 to 30.

6 July - Europe: German Jews are prohibited from studying medicine.

7 July - China: The Second Sino-Japanese War begins with a clash between Chinese and Japanese patrols on the Marco Polo Bridge in Beijing. Because Japan never declares war, America is not bound by the Neutrality Act and FDR continues to ship weapons to China.

17 July - Europe: Britain and Germany sign another naval treaty.

19 July - Europe: The Ettersberg concentration camp opens.

28 July - China: The Japanese air force destroys Nankai University in Tietsin, alleging that it was providing harbor for anti-Japanese activists. Europe: In Germany, the Ettersberg concentration camp is renamed to Buchenwald.

31 July - China: Japanese troops route the last defenders of Beijing, completing the conquest of that city.

3 August - Europe: Italy follows Germany's lead and bans Jews from all universities.

13 August - Europe: The Reich Ministry of Education issues an order for all Germans with knowledge of a foreign language to register.

25 August - China: The Japanese Imperial Navy begins a blockade of all ports on the Chinese coast.

29 August - Asia: The USSR and China sign a nonaggression treaty.

19 September - China: Nanking and Canton are attacked by units from the Japanese air force.

22 September - China: The United States condemns the bombings of Nanking and Canton.

25 September - China: The Japanese 5th Division is successfully ambushed by a force of Communist Chinese, killing 3,000 Japanese. It is the first real victory for China in the war.

5 October - United States: Breaking his long-held pro-neutrality stance, President Roosevelt warns against continued American isolationism, saying that aggressors must be "quarantined".

13 October - Europe: Germany signs a treaty with Belgium, guaranteeing that country's independence.

20 October - Europe: Nazi police begin the picketing of Jewish shops and market stalls.

21 October - Spain: Francisco Franco completes his conquest of northern Spain with the capture of Gijon.

28 October - Spain: The Loyalist government relocates its capital to Barcelona from Valencia.

5 November - Europe: The Air Raid Precautions Bill is introduced into the British House of Commons. Hitler issues the Hossbach Memorandum to the commanders of the German army, navy, and airforce, outlining for the first time his plans for a future war in Europe and the destruction of Czechoslovakia.

6 November - Europe: Italy joins the Anti-Comintern Pact already adopted by Germany and Japan, forming the Triple Alliance that would come to be recognized as "the Axis".

9 November - China: Shanghai is declared secure by its Japanese conquerors.

17 November - Europe: A four-day series of meetings between Edward Wood, Lord Halifax, of Britain and Hitler begins. These meetings mark the beginning of Britain's policy of appeasement.

21 November - China: China relocates her capital from Nanking to Wuhan in the face of the advancing Japanese army.

1 December - Europe: A French diplomatic mission begins a 17-day tour of eastern Europe in hopes of strengthening France's anti-Germany alliance system.

5 December - Spain: Loyalist forces begin a counteroffensive against Franco's troops.

9 December - China: Japanese forces reach the Chinese city of Nanking.

11 December - Europe: Italy recalls its delegation from the League of Nations and withdraws its membership in the body.

12 December - China: Japanese forces sink the USS Panay on the Yangtze River. This is the first US casualty of the war.

13 December - China: The Japanese enter Nanking after having routed all of its defenders. The Rape of Nanking begins

14 December - Europe: The German government declares Gypsies to be "inveterate criminals" and orders all those identified as "asocial" to be sent to concentration camps.

21 December - Europe: The British government officially rejects a proposition to divide Palestine into two states, one Arab and one Jewish.

27 December - Europe: Fascists come to power in Romania.

- Thanks to Frankie for correcting me on the former name of Namibia.
  • http://www.euronet.nl/users/wilfried/ww2/tot-1939.htm
  • http://www.humanitas-international.org/showcase/chronography/timebase/1937tbse.htm
  • http://www.teachers.nl/_download/ eng_TIMELINES%20anne&.doc
  • http://www.blountweb.com/blountcountymilitary/wars/ww2/timelines/up_to_1941.htm
  • http://www.usd230.k12.ks.us/PICTT/timelines/prewar.html
  • http://www.ucc.uconn.edu/~ww2oh/Timeline.htm

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