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1940

World War II Timeline

March 12, 1940

Finland surrenders to the USSR, ending the brief Russo-Finnish war that began when the Soviets invaded Finland on November 30, 1939.

April 9, 1940

Denmark surrenders to Germany. Germany invades Norway.

May 10, 1940

Winston Churchill becomes the new Prime Minister of Britain, replacing Chamberlain. Germany invades the Netherlands (Holland); it surrenders four days later. Germany invades Belgium.

May 26, 1940

Operation Dynamo begins, the evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force from Dunkirk on the Belgian coast.

May 28, 1940

Belgium surrenders to Germany.

June 10, 1940

Norway surrenders to Germany. Italy declares war on Britain and France.

June 14, 1940

German troops enter Paris.

June 18, 1940

The USSR invades the Baltic states.

June 22, 1940

France surrenders to Germany.

June 30, 1940

Germany invades the Channel Islands. This will be the only part of Britain to be occupied by the Germans.

July 3, 1940

The British sink the French fleet at Oran.

July 10, 1940

The Battle of Britain begins. Germany bombs Britain, and the British defend themselves from the air in what Winston Churchill would call their "finest hour."

August 3, 1940

Italy invades British Somaliland, marking the beginning of World War II in Africa.

September 13, 1940

Italy invades Egypt.

September 27, 1940

Germany, Italy, and Japan sign the Tripartite Pact, making Japan part of the Axis.

October 7, 1940

Germany invades Romania.

October 28, 1940

Italy invades Greece, but fails to conquer it.

October 31, 1940

The Battle of Britain ends. The powerful German Luftwaffe fails to crush British morale.

November 14, 1940

Greece repels the Italian invasion.

November 20, 1940

Hungary and Romania sign the Tripartite Pact, becoming part of the Axis.

December 3, 1940

Greece invades Italian-held Albania.

December 11, 1940

British troops capture the Egyptian cities of Sidi Barrani (December 11) and Sollum (December 17) from the Italians.

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