Timelines for Significant World War 2 Related Subjects  
  The Battle of the Atlantic  
  The Battle of the Atlantic was the longest continuous military campaign of World War II, began on the first day of the European war in September 1939 and lasted for six years until the defeat of Nazi Germany in 1945. The Battle of the Atlantic pitted U-boats and other warships of the Kriegsmarine (German Navy) against Allied convoys and their protectors. The convoys of merchant ships, coming mainly from the Americas and going to the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union, were protected for the most part by the British and Canadian navies and air forces and aided by the United States after September 13, 1941. Tactical advantage switched back and forth over the six years as new weapons, tactics and counter-measures were developed by both sides. The British and their allies gradually gained the upper hand, driving the German surface raiders from the ocean by the end of 1942 and decisively defeating the U-boats in a series of convoy battles between March and May 1943.  
   
  The Mechelen Incident  
  The Mechelen Incident of January 1940 was an event during the Phony War. A German aircraft with an officer on-board carrying the plans for Fall Gelb (Case Yellow), a German attack on the Low Countries, crash-landed in neutral Belgium. This revealed the plans to the French and British command and caused an immediate crisis situation that however soon abated.  
   
  The Halsey-Doolittle Raid on Japan  
  The Halsey-Doolittle Raid, conducted on April 18, 1942, was the first air raid by the United States to strike the Japanese Home Islands during World War II. By demonstrating that Japan itself was vulnerable to American air attack, it provided a vital morale boost and opportunity for U.S. retaliation after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.  
   
  The Allied Nuclear Research Program and the Atomic Bombs Dropped on Japan  
  Nuclear research was conducted by all major participants in World War 2. The Americans were successful in producing two atomic bombs which they dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945, which helped end the war.  
   
  Sinking the Bismarck  
  The SMS Bismarck was the first of two Bismarck-class battleships built for the German Kriegsmarine during World War 2. The SMS Bismarck conducted only one offensive operation, codenamed Rheinübung, in May 1941. The ship, along with the heavy cruiser SMS Prinz Eugen, was to break out into the Atlantic Ocean and raid Allied shipping from North America to Great Britain. The two ships were detected and at the Battle of Denmark Strait, the SMS Bismarck engaged and destroyed the battlecruiser HMS Hood. The destruction of the HMS Hood spurred a relentless pursuit by the Royal Navy by dozens of warships. Two days later, while steaming for the relative safety of occupied France, the SMS Bismarck was attacked by Fairey Swordfish torpedo bombers from the aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal. One torpedo hit jammed the battleship's steering gear. The following morning, the SMS Bismarck was destroyed by a pair of British battleships.  
   
  Atomic Research by Nazi Germany  
  German theoretical physicist Dr. Werner Heisenberg led the atomic research efforts by Nazi Germany. Various factors prevented the Germans from achieving any real success in this endeavor.  
   
  Sino-Japanese Incidents  
  There were a number of Sino-Japanese political and military incidents from the 1920s to the onset of the Pacific War where the Japanese staged or attempted coup d’états where the Japanese military engaged in minor battles and major invasions.  
   
  The Luftwaffe  
  At the outset of the war, the Luftwaffe was one of the most modern, powerful, and experienced air forces in the world. The Luftwaffe was central to the German operational methods using close air support to supplement ground forces. In the second half of 1940, the Luftwaffe lost the Battle of Britain over the skies of England, the first all-air battle. Following the military failures on the Eastern Front, from 1942 onwards, the Luftwaffe went into a steady, gradual decline that saw it outnumbered and overwhelmed by the sheer number of Allied aircraft being deployed against it. Towards the end of the war, the Luftwaffe was no longer a major factor.  
   
  The Royal Air Force  
  The Royal Air Force (RAF) was a separate arm of the British military. The RAF underwent a rapid expansion prior to World War 2 to achieve parity with the rapidly expanding German Luftwaffe. The expansion continued throughout the war. In the late summer and early fall of 1940 the RAF fought the Battle of Britain against the Luftwaffe, helping foil Germany’s plans for an invasion of the United Kingdom. The battle prompted Prime Minister Winston S. Churchill to say in the House of Commons on August 20, "Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few". The largest RAF effort during the war was the strategic bombing campaign against Germany by Bomber Command. While RAF bombing of Germany began almost immediately upon the outbreak of war, under the leadership of Air Chief Marshal Alfred T. Harris, these attacks became increasingly devastating from 1942 onward as new technology and greater numbers of superior aircraft became available. The RAF Bomber Command principally adopted night-time area bombing on German cities.  
   
  The Rise of the Nazi Party  
  The Nazi party was founded from the far-right racist German nationalist movement and the violent anti-communist Freikorps paramilitaries that fought against the uprisings of communist revolutionaries in post First World War Germany. The Party was taken over by Adolf Hitler in 1925 but languished in political power until the Great Depression. The failure of Germany’s political parties to effectively deal with the economic conditions led to the emergence of the Nazi Party as a political party in the early 1930s. In 1931 Hitler was able to maneuver events into the appointment of the Chancellorship. Hitler used the Reichstag fire of February 27, 1933 to obtain emergency powers and in March the Enabling Act was passed by the Reichstag conferring dictatorial powers to Hitler.  
   
  Timeline for the Hawker Fury interceptor-fighter  
  The Hawker Fury was a British biplane fighter aircraft used by the Royal Air Force in the 1930s. The planes were used by RAF Fighter Command until January 1939 when they were replaced primarily with Gloster Gladiators. After their front line service ended, they continued to be used for training purposes. Although phased out from RAF squadrons, the Hawker Fury was still used by some foreign air forces in the early 1940s.  
   
  Timeline for the Supermarine Spitfire interceptor-fighter  
  The Supermarine Spitfire was a British single-seat fighter aircraft that was used by the Royal Air Force and many other Allied countries throughout the World War 2. The Spitfire was designed as a short-range, high-performance interceptor aircraft. The Spitfire's elliptical wing had a thin cross-section, allowing a higher top speed than many of its contemporary fighters. During the Battle of Britain, the Spitfire was perceived by the public as the RAF fighter of the battle, even though the more numerous Hawker Hurricane shouldered a greater proportion of the burden against the Luftwaffe. The Spitfire units had a lower attrition rate and a higher victory to loss ratio than those flying Hurricanes. After the Battle of Britain, the Spitfire became the backbone of RAF Fighter Command, and saw action in the European, Mediterranean, Pacific and the South-East Asian theatres. The Spitfire served many roles including interceptor, photo-reconnaissance, fighter-bomber, carrier-based fighter, and trainer.  
   
  First Battle of El Alamein  
  The First Battle of El Alamein was a battle of the Western Desert Campaign in June 1942 fought between Axis forces of the Panzer Army Africa commanded by Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, and Allied (specifically, British Imperial forces from Britain, India, Australia, South Africa, and New Zealand) of the British Eighth Army commanded by General Claude Auchinleck. The battle halted the second and final advance by the Axis forces into Egypt. El Alamein was only 66 mi from the key Mediterranean port of Alexandria.  
   
  The German Tanker Altmark  
  The Altmark was a German tanker most noted for refueling the German pocket battleship SMS Admiral Graf Spee and being involved in the Altmark Incident which was a naval skirmish between the Royal Navy and the Kreigsmarine. The incident occurred on February 16, 1940 and involved liberating British sailors taken prisoner by the SMS Admiral Graf Spee. It took place in what was, at that time, neutral Norwegian waters. To date, it is the last major boarding action fought by the Royal Navy.  
   
  The German Commerce Raider Atlantis  
  The German auxiliary cruiser Atlantis (HSK 2), known to the Kriegsmarine as Schiff 16 and to the Royal Navy as Raider-C, was a converted German auxiliary cruiser or commerce raider. During the Atlantis travelled more than 100,000 miles in 602 days and sank or captured 22 ships totaling 144,384 ton. The Atlantis was sunk on November 21, 1941 by the heavy cruiser HMS Devonshire in the South Atlantic Ocean. The Atlantis was commanded by Kapitän zur See Bernhard Rogge, who received the Oak Leaves to the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross.  
   
  The German Commerce Raider Michel  
  The German auxiliary cruiser Michel (HSK 2), known to the Kriegsmarine as Schiff 28 and to the Royal Navy as Raider-H, was a converted German auxiliary cruiser or commerce raider. During the war the Michel sank or captured 18 ships totaling 126,632 ton. The Michel was sunk on September 11, 1943 by the submarine USS Tarpon off Chichi Jima, Bonin Islands in the western Pacific Ocean. The Michel was the last of the German commerce raiders to operate.  
   
  Timeline for the 1943-44 Tule Lake Segregation Center Protests  
  Tule Lake Segregation Center in California was the camp holding over 12,000 Japanese Americans who had been declared disloyal because they were unwilling to swear to the Loyalty Oath. The internees at Tule Lake staged a strike for over two months and the administration had brought in workers from other camps to work the fields causing dissension in the camp.  
   
  The Timeline for the Freighter Mount Shasta - 1931  
  The Freighter Mount Shasta was used as a naval target for U.S. Army Air Corps bombers in August, 1931. Publicly unable to find it on their first attempt and the inability to sink it completely on the second attempt spurred the Air Corps to open a school to develop coast defense navigation and plotting equipment and tactics.  
     
  The Long Range Desert Group  
  The Long Range Desert Group was a reconnaissance and raiding unit of the British Army during the North African desert campaigns. The LRDG was formed specifically to carry out deep penetration, covert reconnaissance patrols and intelligence missions from behind Italian lines. After time they would sometimes engaged in combat operations.  
   
     
   
 

The objective of WW2Timelines.com is to provide a day by day account of the events that lead up to and were part of the greatest conflict known to mankind. There are accounts for the activities of each particular day and timelines for subjects and personalities. It is the of this website intent to provide an unbiased account of the war. Analysis, effects caused by an event, or prior or subsequent pertinent events are presented separately and indicated as text that is italicized.

 
   
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