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WWII Timeline – Winter 1938

I’m continuing my WWII Timeline series with a look at January – March 1938 in this post.

A Timeline of WWII, Winter 1938

January 5, 1938

The Nazi Law on the Alteration of Family and Personal Names forbid Jews from changing their names.

January 28, 1938

President Roosevelt called for a massive rearmament program for the U.S.

February 1938

Adolf Hitler bullied Austrian Chancellor Kurt von Schuschnigg into giving him control of Austria’s interior ministry.

February 4, 1938

Adolf Hitler became commander-in-chief of the German armed forces, the Wehrmacht, and the German war minister.

February 5, 1938

The Nazi Law on the Profession of Auctioneer excluded Jews from the profession.

March 12, 1938
Germany announced Anschluss, a union with or annexation of Austria, which had a population of 200,000 Jews, most living in Vienna. Nazi troops entered Austria and began arresting and publicly humiliating the Austrian Jews, making them perform tasks such as getting on their hands and knees and scrubbing the pavement.

March 13, 1938

The new Nazi government in Vienna declared Austria a province of the Greater German Reich.

March 18, 1938

The Nazi Gun Law banned Jewish gun merchants.

Late March 1938

The SS was placed in charge of Jewish affairs in Austria and Adolf Eichmann established an Office for Jewish Emigration in Vienna.

Two weeks after the Anschluss, the National Socialist Gauleiter (regional head) of Upper Austria, August Eigruber, announced the building of a concentration camp at the town of Mauthausen on the Danube. Political opponents and those considered criminal or antisocial would be imprisoned at Mauthausen and forced to work in the granite quarries.

March 24 – April 7, 1938

Japan’s first military defeat in modern history occurred during the Battle of Taierzhuang. The Chinese killed approximately 16,000 Japanese soldiers during the two-week battle.

Sources:

This series of posts is based on a compilation of timelines from:

The Holocaust Encyclopedia

The History Place:

The National WWII Museum Interactive Timeline

The Mauthausen Concentration Camp

Antisemitic Legislation 1933 – 1939

World War II Chronicle by the Editors of Publications International, Ltd.

Most recent post from the series:

Fall 1937

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2019

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WWII Timeline – Fall 1937

I’m continuing my WWII Timeline series with a look at October – December 1937 in this post.

A Timeline of WWII, Fall 1937

November 5, 1937

Adolf Hitler held a secret conference in the Reich Chancellery to reveal his plans for the acquisition of Lebensraum, or living space, for the German people (at the expense of other European nations).

Attending the conference were:

  • German War Minister, Werner von Blomberg
  • Commander in Chief of the Army, Werner von Fritsch
  • Commander in Chief of the Navy, Erich Raeder
  • Commander in Chief of the Luftwaffe, Hermann Göring
  • Foreign Minister, Constantin von Neurath
  • Colonel Friedrich Hossbach

Colonel Hossbach took the minutes of the conference which resulted in the meeting being known as the Hossbach Conference, and his record of minutes the Hossbach Memorandum.

At the conference, Hitler swore the men to secrecy and told them that his words should be regarded as his last will and testament. Hitler expressed his view of and vision for Germany with these arguments and reasons:

  • Germany had a tightly packed racial core and was entitled to greater living space than in the case of other peoples.
  • History proved that expansion could only be carried out by breaking down resistance and taking risks, there had never been spaces without a master, and the attacker always comes up against a possessor. Where could Germany achieve the greatest gain at the lowest cost?
  • Germany’s two biggest problems, two hate inspired antagonists, Britain and France, to whom a German colossus in the center of Europe was a thorn in the flesh.
  • Germany’s problem could only be solved by means of force, but when and how remained to be seen.
  • Military action must be taken by 1943-1945 at the latest, to guard against military obsolescence and the aging of the Nazi movement. Germany must take the offensive while the rest of the world was still preparing its defenses.
  • The primary objective would be to seize Czechoslovakia and Austria to protect Germany’s eastern and southern flanks.
  • Hitler envisioned three different strategies (see Cases 1 – 3 in the Hossbach Conference link below) designed to capitalize on the present and future military and political problems of France and England.

Following the conference, Foreign Minister Constantin von Neurath suffered several heart attacks and asked to be relieved from his post.

Hitler’s vision and casual acceptance of the immense risks of starting a war in Europe shocked his colleagues and conference attendees, especially German War Minister Werner von Blomberg and Commander in Chief of the German Army Werner von Fritsch. Both repeatedly emphasized that Britain and France must not appear as Germany’s enemies. Blomberg and Fritsch’s continuing opposition to Hitler’s war plans resulted in their removals via trumped up scandals within three months.

With the removal of the top echelon of the Army, Hitler assumed supreme command with Wilhelm Keitel as chief of the high command.

November 6, 1937

Italy joined the Anti-Comintern (Communist International) Pact. Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan previously signed the pact, which was directed against the international Communist movement, in November 1936.

November 8, 1937

Chinese resistance in Shanghai ended. The Japanese victory claimed 100,000 Chinese troops and as many as 200,000 civilians.

In Munich, Germany, a traveling exhibit called “The Eternal Jew” opened which promoted stereotypes of Jews and the Nazi perceptions of their danger to the world.

December 11, 1937

Italy withdrew from the League of Nations.

December 12, 1937

Japan bombed the US gunboat Panay on the Yangtze River in China.

December 13, 1937

Nanking fell to the Japanese. During the following “Rape of Nanking” more than 200,000 Chinese civilians were slaughtered.

Sources:

More detail on the Hossbach Conference and Hossbach Memorandum from The History Place

This series of posts is based on a compilation of timelines from:

The Holocaust Encyclopedia

The History Place:

The National WWII Museum Interactive Timeline

World War II Chronicle by the Editors of Publications International, Ltd.

Most recent post from the series:

Summer 1937

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2019

WWII Timeline – Summer 1937

I’m continuing my WWII Timeline series with a look at July – September 1937 in this post.

A Timeline of WWII, Summer 1937

July 2, 1937

On aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart’s attempt to make a circumnavigational flight of the globe, she and navigator Fred Noonan disappeared on a leg of the flight from Papua, New Guinea to Howland Island.

July 7, 1937

A conflict between the Republic of China’s National Revolutionary Army and the Imperial Japanese Army near the Marco Polo Bridge outside Beijing, China (known as the “Marco Polo Bridge Incident”) led to warfare between China and Japan. This Japanese invasion of China was a prelude into World War II in the Pacific.

July 31, 1937

Japanese troops occupied Peking, China.

August 22, 1937

A U.S. Gallup poll showed that 43% of Americans supported China, 2% supported Japan, and 55% supported neither.

September 19, 1937

The Japanese launched air raids against Nanking and Canton, China.

Sources:

This series of posts is based on a compilation of timelines from:

The Holocaust Encyclopedia

The History Place:

The National WWII Museum Interactive Timeline

World War II Chronicle by the Editors of Publications International, Ltd.

Most recent post from the series:

Spring 1937

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2019

WWII Timeline – Spring 1937

I’m continuing my WWII Timeline series with a look at April – June 1937 in this post.

But before I begin the timeline, I’d like to note that seventy-four years ago today, February 6, 1945, the march out of Stalag Luft IV, the POW camp in which my Dad was held prisoner, began.

A Timeline of WWII, Spring 1937

April 27, 1937

The Spanish city of Guernica was destroyed by German war planes and becomes symbol of anti-fascism.

May 28, 1937

Neville Chamberlain succeeded Stanley Baldwin to become prime minister of Great Britain.

June 11, 1937

Soviet leader Josef Stalin began a purge of Red Army generals.

Sources:

This series of posts is based on a compilation of timelines from:

The Holocaust Encyclopedia

The History Place:

The National WWII Museum Interactive Timeline

World War II Chronicle by the Editors of Publications International, Ltd.

Most recent post from the series:

Winter 1937

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2019

WWII Timeline – Winter 1937

I’m continuing my WWII Timeline series with a look at January – March 1937 in this post.

A Timeline of WWII, Winter 1937

January 1937

The Nazis banned Jews from many professional occupations including teaching, accounting, and dentistry. Jews were also denied tax reductions and child allowances.

January 19, 1937

Japan officially stopped adhering to the Washington Conference Treaty of 1921 which limited the size of its Navy.

January 27, 1937

China Nationalists and Communists agreed to combine forces against Japan.

Sources:

This series of posts is based on a compilation of timelines from:

The Holocaust Encyclopedia

The History Place:

The National WWII Museum Interactive Timeline

World War II Chronicle by the Editors of Publications International, Ltd.

Most recent post from the series:

Fall 1936

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2019

WWII Timeline – Fall 1936

I’m continuing my WWII Timeline series with a look at October – December 1936 in this post.

A Timeline of WWII, Fall 1936

October 1, 1936

Spain’s Nationalists declare Franco head of Spain.

October 25, 1936
Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy sign a treaty of cooperation or friendship.

October 29, 1936

Soviet tanks and planes see action in Spain on the side of the Loyalists.

November 1, 1936

Roosevelt is re-elected to his second term as U.S. president.

Germany and Italy announce a Rome-Berlin Axis one week after signing a treaty of friendship on October 25. Benito Mussolini, speaking to a crowd in Milan, said,

the line between Rome and Berlin is not a partition but rather an axis around which all European states…can also collaborate.

This was the first time Axis was used to mean Italy and its allies. The main Axis powers were Germany, Italy, and Japan. Germany was led by Adolf Hitler and dominated most of continental Europe; Italy was led by Benito Mussolini and dominated the Mediterranean Sea; and Japan was led by Emperor Hirohito and dominated East Asia and the Pacific.

November 6, 1936

Germany’s “Condor Legion” of planes and pilots arrives in Spain to support the Nationalists.

November 18, 1936

Germany and Italy formally recognize General Francisco Franco’s new Spanish government.

November 25, 1936

Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan sign the Anti-Comintern (Communist International) Pact which was directed against the international Communist movement.

December 1936

In China, General Chang Hsueh-liang orchestrated the kidnapping of Chinese Nationalist leader Chiang Kai-shek. His intent was to force Chiang Kai-shek to concentrate his time and energy on confronting the Japanese rather than the Chinese Communists.

December 11, 1936

George VI is crowned King of England. His brother, Edward VIII, had married American divorcée Wallis Simpson and had abdicated the throne. George VI’s daughter, Queen Elizabeth, would succeed him upon his death in 1952 .

Sources:

This series of posts is based on a compilation of timelines from:

The Holocaust Encyclopedia

The History Place:

The National WWII Museum Interactive Timeline

Anti-Comintern Pact on Wikipedia

World War II Chronicle by the Editors of Publications International, Ltd.

Most recent post from the series:

Summer 1936

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2019

WWII Timeline – Summer 1936

I’m continuing my WWII Timeline series with a look at July – September 1936 in this post.

A Timeline of WWII, Summer 1936

July 17, 1936

Civil war erupts in Spain. Fascist General Francisco Franco leads the “Nationalists” against the “Loyalists.” Germany’s Hitler and Italy’s Mussolini assist by flying Franco’s troops from Spanish Morocco to Spain. They later also send planes and troops to help Franco fight the Spanish Republic.

August 1936

The Nazis set up an Office for Combating Homosexuality and Abortions (by healthy women).

August 1, 1936

The 1936 Summer Olympic Games, which had been awarded to Germany before Adolf Hitler rose to power, begin in Berlin. During the Olympics, in an attempt to gain favorable public opinion from foreign visitors, Hitler and the top Nazis refrain from taking any actions against Jews.

August 7, 1936

The subject of Laura Hillenbrand’s non-fiction best-seller Unbroken, Olympic runner Louis Zamperini finished 8th in the 5000-meter men’s event at that Olympics with a time of 14:46:8. But Zamperini’s final lap of 56 seconds was unheard of. It was rare for a final lap in a 5000-meter race to be run in under a minute. Afterwards, Zamperini and Hitler shook hands, and Hitler said, “Ah, you’re the boy with the fast finish.”

September 15, 1936

Spain’s Loyalist government protests the shipment of arms to Germany’s and Italy’s Nationalists.

Sources:

This series of posts is based on a compilation of timelines from:

The Holocaust Encyclopedia

The History Place:

The National WWII Museum Interactive Timeline

Wikipedia:  Louis Zamperini

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

World War II Chronicle by the Editors of Publications International, Ltd.

Most recent post from the series:

Spring 1936

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2018

WWII Timeline – Spring 1936

I’m continuing my WWII Timeline series with a look at April – June 1936 in this post.

A Timeline of WWII, Spring 1936

May 2, 1936

The leader of Abyssinia, Haile Selassie, fled the capital, Addis Ababa, as the country is overrun by Italian troops.

May 9, 1936

In an invasion that began October 2, 1935, Mussolini’s Italian forces conquer and annex Ethiopia.

May 12, 1936

Italy renounces its membership in the League of Nations.

June 17, 1936

Heinrich Himmler is appointed Reichsführer-SS, chief of the German Police. The second-most powerful man in Nazi Germany, he was head of the SS, the Gestapo, and all of the Third Reich’s police and security forces.

In 1936, Himmler spoke to his SS and instructed them:

I know there are many people in Germany who feel sick at the very sight of this black (SS) uniform. We understand this and we do not expect to be loved…All those who have Germany at heart, will and should respect us. All those who in some way or at some time have a bad conscience in respect to the Führer and the nation should fear us. For these people we have constructed an organization called the SD (SS security service) and in the same way…the Gestapo (secret state police)…

Unconditional and highest freedom of will comes from obedience, from service to our Weltanschauung (world view), obedience which is prepared to render each and every sacrifice to pride, to external honor and to all which is dear to us personally, obedience which never falters but unconditionally follows every order which comes from the Führer or legally from superiors…

He won their obedience and when the order came from Hitler to exterminate the Jews, they obeyed.

Sources:

This series of posts is based on a compilation of timelines from:

The Holocaust Encyclopedia

The History Place:

The National WWII Museum Interactive Timeline

World War II Chronicle by the Editors of Publications International, Ltd.

Most recent post from the series:

Winter 1936

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2018

WWII Timeline – Winter 1936

I’m continuing my WWII Timeline series with a look at January – March 1936 in this post.

A Timeline of WWII, Winter 1936

February 10, 1936

The German Gestapo, under Heinrich Himmler, assumes absolute control over internal German security, placing them above the law.

March 1936

SS-Totenkopfverbände (SS-TV) – in English, the SS Death’s Head (skull and crossbones) division – is established to administer the Nazi concentration camps.

March 7, 1936

In violation of the Versailles Treaty, Nazi troops occupy the Rhineland.

March 29, 1936

Ninety-eight percent of Germans vote for Hitler’s policy of re-militarization.

Sources:

This series of posts is based on a compilation of timelines from:

The Holocaust Encyclopedia

The History Place:

The National WWII Museum Interactive Timeline

World War II Chronicle by the Editors of Publications International, Ltd.

Most recent post from the series:

Fall 1935

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2018

WWII Timeline – Fall 1935

I’m continuing my WWII Timeline series with a look at October – December 1935 in this post.

A Timeline of WWII, Fall 1935

October 3,1935

Benito Mussolini, leader of the Fascist Party and Prime Minister of Italy, ordered his troops into Abyssinia (the historical name of the Ethiopian Empire in Africa). The invasion was known as the Second Italo-Abyssinian War. The League of Nations called for economic sanctions against Italy, but there was no enforcement.

December 1935

The Hoare-Laval Pact was proposed by British Foreign Secretary Samuel Hoare and French Prime Minister Pierre Laval for the purpose of ending the Second Italo-Abyssinian War. The proposed pact would partition Abyssinia, which would achieve Mussolin’s goal of making it into an Italian colony.

According to the pact, France and Britain would each give Italy part of Abyssinia with guaranteed access to the ocean. The proposed pact was strongly opposed in both Britain and France and was never finalized. British Foreign Secretary Samuel Hoare lost his position.

December 12, 1935

Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler founded the Lebensborn (source or fount of life) program. The program’s purpose was to produce a German “super race” by selective breeding between young German women demonstrating the idealized Aryan characteristics, and SS officers and others who were considered to be racially pure. Once pregnant, the women were provided with excellent medical care in special medical facilities.

Sources:

This series of posts is based on a compilation of timelines from:

The Holocaust Encyclopedia

The History Place:

The National WWII Museum Interactive Timeline

Wikipedia: Second Italo-Ethiopian War

Wikipedia: Hoare-Laval Pact

Wikipedia: Lebensborn

World War II Chronicle by the Editors of Publications International, Ltd.

Most recent post from the series:

Summer 1935

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2018