January 5th: Hoare-Belisha dismissed as Minister of War.
January 8th: food rationing began in the UK (butter, bacon and sugar)
February 1st: Major Soviet offensive against Finland starts.
February 14th: Britain announced that merchant ships in the North Sea would be armed.
February 15th: Nazi Germany announced that all UK merchant ships in the North Sea would be classed as warships.
February 17th: The UK government made plans to evacuate 400,000 children to rural areas.
March 13th: Treaty of Moscow ended the Winter War.
March 20th: Daladier was overthrown as head of the French government and replaced by Reynaud.
April 8th: The Royal Navy started laying mines in Norwegian waters.
April 9th: Nazi Germany invaded Denmark and Norway thus ending the Phoney War.
May 10th: Nazi Germany invaded the Netherlands, Luxemburg and Belgium. Churchill replaced Chamberlain as UK Prime Minister.
May 11th: Churchill gave Bomber Command permission to bomb Berlin.
May 13th: France was attacked at Sedan.
May 14th: The Luftwaffe attacked Rotterdam and inflicted 30,000 casualties. The UK government made its first appeal for Local Defence Volunteers – later the Home Guard.
May 15th: The RAF attacked the Ruhr. The first major tank versus tank battle of World War Two occurred at Philippeville. German tanks advanced 37 miles into France. The Netherlands surrendered.
May 18th: The major port of Antwerp surrendered.
May 20th: German tanks reached Abbeville and cut off Allied forces in the north of France.
May 21st: Allied forces launched a counter-offensive at Arras.
May 24th: Hitler ordered a halt to the advance of German armour.
May 26th: Allied forces were trapped at Dunkirk and Operation Dynamo started.
May 28th: Belgium surrendered.
June 4th: The evacuation from Dunkirk ended.
June 5th: Germany launched a full-scale attack against French forces at the Somme.
June 7th: German forces advanced 37 miles into France spearheaded by Rommel’s force.
June 10th: Mussolini declared war on France.
June 13th: French troops leave Paris.
June 14th: German troops entered Paris.
June 16th: Raynaud’s cabinet, in Bordeaux, was ousted by Pétain.
June 17th: Pétain broadcasted to the French people urging them to stop fighting. He also asked the Germans for the terms of an armistice.
June 18th: The RAF attacked Hamburg and Bremen.
June 20th: Italy launched an offensive on the Alpine front.
June 21st: A delegation from France met Hitler at Rethonde.
June 22nd: France surrendered and was effectively split in two. The north was governed by the Germans and the south became known as Vichy France under the control of Pétain.
June 24th: France signed an armistice with Italy.
July 16th: Hitler issued his plans for Operation Sealion – the invasion of the UK. It was officially known as ‘Directive 16, Preparations for the Landing Operation against England’.
August 1st: Hitler ordered the destruction of the Royal Air Force as a precursor to the German invasion.
August 5th: The Battle of Britain began.
August 13th: ‘Eagle Day’ – the German Luftwaffe launched 1,485 sorties against Britain. The Luftwaffe lost 45 planes and the RAF 13.
August 15th: Germany launched the most intense attack on Great Britain – 1,790 sorties. The Luftwaffe lost 75 planes and the RAF 34. The Greek cruiser “Helle” was torpedoed and sunk – the Italians were strongly suspected of doing this.
August 20th: Italy announced the total blockade of all Britain’s Mediterranean and African territories.
August 24th Central London was attacked for the first time by the Luftwaffe
August 25th: The RAF launched its first attack on Berlin.
September 3rd: Lend-Lease was signed.
September 7th: The Blitz on London started with an attack by 300 German bombers supported by 600 fighters.
September 13th: Italy invaded Egypt.
September 15th: The RAF claimed to have shot down 183 German planes during the day – an exaggerated claim.
September 17th: Hitler announced that Operation Sealion was to be postponed “until further notice”.
September 28th: The Battle of Britain ended.
October 12th: Operation Sealion was formally cancelled as Hitler concentrated his attention towards the USSR.
October 28th: Italy attacked Greece.
November 11th: The Royal Navy attacked the Italian fleet at Taranto and destroyed 3 battleships.
November 14th: Coventry suffered extensive damage during a bombing raid.
December 9th: The British Army started it campaign in North Africa with Operation Compass.