From War to War: 1931-1939

Germany and Japan seize power,

Animated tank

1931 September,
Japan's rapidly expanding industrial economy required vast imports of raw materials as well as large markets for its finished export goods. The most obvious source of imports and outlet for exports was neighboring China, the world's most populous country.
Japanese forces occupy Manchuria (a very rich piece of land from self-righteous China with pit-coal, iron, copper, lead and gold.) and called it Manchukuo as an independent state, with their President Poe Yi.

Japanese troops

1931 September 18,
Units of the Japanese Kwantung Army attack the Chinese 7th Brigade at its barracks near Mukden. Japan sought to justify its actions by claiming that a section of the South Manchurian Railway had been sabotaged by the Chinese. In fact, Japanese officials in Tokyo and Manchuria contrived the incident; their objective was to acquire the region's natural resources and obtain strategic position against the Soviet Union. In an effort to have plausible deniability, the Japanese government widely used the term "Kwantung Army" to refer to forces it claimed it couldn't control. In fact, the military's control was always firm.

1931 November 27,
Finland and Russia sign no war of aggression treaty.

The first Autohahn was opened between Cologne and Bonn in 1932 before the Nazis came to power.
The express highways built in Gemany and widely regarded as a major achievement of the Third Reich. The first Autohahn (literally motor way') was opened between Cologne and Bonn in 1932 before the Nazis came to power. From 1928 the Weimar Repubhc's programne of public works included plans for national highways. The Nazis at first campaigned against the programme; once in power, they appointed the Munich engineer Fritz Todt Inspector General of German roads and claimed the credit for the programme themselves. At the beginning of WW 1 the German railway network had formed part of the General Staff's plans for mobilization and deployment for war. Similarly in the build-up to WW II the Autobahns had a role in moving troops and materials rapidly to the frontiers. They differed from other road systems in being designed for motor vehicles with a speed of at least 25 mph and having four 25-foot-wide lanes for each traffîc direction. In the 1930s the German Autohabn construction programme was unique in Europe. Over 30.000 workers were committed to the task, a figure which more than doubled in the later 1930s. The programme called for the construction of 7.000 miles of road, and though less than a quater was completed by the outbreak of war the Autobahn programme nevertheless provided for Germany a substantial modern road network long before its European rivals.

1932 January 9,
Emperor Hirohito survives an assassination attempt by a Korean nationalist. The official Kuomintang newspaper sided with the assassin, inflaming the Japanese populace.

1932 July,
The Nazi Party receives the largest share of the vote in German elections, but they fail to gain a majority.

Japanese Flag Nazi Flag

1932 November 8,
Franklin D.Roosevelt was elected President of the United States.

1933 January 30,
President Hindenburg, under the sway of the ultra-conservatives, appoints Hitler as Chancellor of Germany, Period of National-Socialismn is begon.

By summer 1932 the political thuggery of the Nazi Party has grow to become the larges group, 230 of the 608 seats in the Reichtstag and within 6 month Hitler is elected Chancellor, exploiting the weakness and bickering among his political rivals. Adolf Hitler became Chancellor of Germany in 1933, which is celebrated by Nazi parades in Berlin. Von Papen and Hitler agree on a coalition with Hitler as its head. Under his leadership the country developed into a ruthlessly aggressive totalitarian state. All forms of democratic government and political opposition were soon swept away. By coercion, repression and propaganda, the National Sozialist Party (NAZI) began to control German life. The Nazis pledged first to restore Germany to its 'rightful' place in Europe, and then to seek world power.

1933 February, Thirty-three Decrees published including the banning of rival political meetings or publications, the dissolution of the Prussian parliament. Raids on Communist Party offices. Hitler given emergency powers by presidential decree.

1933 February 3,
Hitler speakes to the Commanders of the "Reichswehr", his first speech; obtaining "Lebensraum im Osten" and ruthless "Germanisierung" of the capture areas.

1933 February 27,
The German Reichstag is set ablaze. Four Communists are tried and executed for setting the fire.

1933 March,
(till January, 1934) Period of Gleichschaltung (co-ordination under Nazi control) of most aspects of German society. Official boycott of Jewish shops and professional men.
The Nazis open the first concentration camp at Dachau, just outside Munich, Germany.
The first prisoners arrived in Oranienburg in march 1933. These were most opponents of the Nazi regime and put into camps by police and the 'auxiliary police', the SA.
Wild camps (Wilde Lager).
Concentration camps came into being almost immediately on Hitler's assumption of power but members of the SA and local Nazi officials were not prepared to wait for the construction of even the earliest `authorized' camps like Dachau. They therefore established makeshift or `wild' camps to hold the thousands of untried, unsentenced prisoners whom they were arresting on the merest suspicion of opposition to the regime. The wild camps were closed down as the SS, under Theodor Eicke, took over responsibility for concentration camp construction and administration.

1933 March,
The SA and SS intimidate the German population, lay hand on the country, German becomes a authoritarian state. The Waffen-SS of the 1930's was originally Hitler's personal troops, under his direct command for whatever purposes he wanted to use them for. It was a very small organization at that time, and didn't expand tremendously until 1943.

Theodor Eicke becomes Commandant of Dachau.
Japan's leaves the League of Nations and moves against Manchuria.

1933 March 13,
Joseph Goebbels rewarded with the position of Reich Minister for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda. He played a crucial role in bringing Hitler to the centre of the political stage.
Goebbels, Dr Joseph (1897-1945); Goebbels became involved with the Nazis in the 1920s, directly allying himself with Hitler in 1926. He built up the Nazi following in Berlin between 1926-30. Goebbels was made responsible for the Nazi party propaganda machine in 1929 and between 1933-45 he served as Minister of Enlightenment and Propaganda. After the defeat of German forces at Stalingrad he took on the role as Reich Commissioner for Total Mobilisation. He committed suicide on 1 May 1945 in Hitler's bunker.


1933 October 19,
Germany's quits from the League of Nations and its withdrawl from all disarmament talks.

1934 January 26,
Germany signs a ten-year treaty of non-aggression with Poland.

1934 Februari 7,
Beginning of Germans great economic war preparation, decided by the "Reichsverteidigungsrat" in Germany.
Germany began to rearm and to create an air force. In 1935 it regained the Saar and in March 1936, the army re-occupied the demilitarised Rhineland. Two years later, Anschluss (union) with Austria was achieved. Hitler was making ready for outright war.

1934 March 1,
Henry Pu-yi was crowned emperor of Manchukuo. Skirmishes continue between Japanese and Chinese troops.

1934 June 30,
The Night of the Long Knives, Hitler eliminates much of the political and military opposition within Germany; more than 1.000 people are assassinated and others are removed from positions of influence. (the alleged threat of a "second Revolution" is ended, the power of the SA destroyed, the regular army placated), the "Röhm-Putsch" defeat; Hitler purges the Nazi Party of all who could oppose him, killed are Erich Klausener, leader of de "Katholische Aktion", F.M.Gerlich, General von Bedow, General von Schleicher and Edgar Jung.

1934 June 30- July 2,
The SS murders over 1000 of Hitler's most dangerous opponents within and outside of the Nazi Party.

1934 July 25,
Austrian Nazis killed Chancellor Dollfus and seize power. Unsuccessful "National Socialism" Putsch in Vienna.

1934 August 2,
German President von Hindenburg dies; Adolf Hitler declares himself Führer as well as Chancellor of Germany and demands the loyalty of the armed forces and civilians. The Nazi salute and cries of 'Heil Hitler!', already compulsory between Party members since 1926, now become the norm in German life.

1934 September 19,
The Soviet Union joins the League of Nations.

1934 October 9,
The Foreign Minister of France, Barthou and King Alexander of Yugoslavia are killed by Croatian terrorists in Marseille, France.

1934 December,
The Japanese stopped the Washington Naval Treaty.

Italy moves against Abyssinia, fightings between Italian and Abyssinian forces on the border of Italian Somaliland and Ethiopia.
Badoglio, Field Marshal Pietro (1871-1956)
Badoglio served with distinction during the First World War. After the war he became Chief of Staff, Governor of Libya and Viceroy of Eithiopia. He resigned as Chief of Staff after the defeat of Italian forces in Greece in December 1940. From 1942 Badoglio was a key conspirator against Mussolini and in July 1943 succeeded him. He signed the armistice with the Allied forces in September 1943.

1935 January,
The Saar region vote (91%) for a Union with Germany again.

1935 March 16,
Germany introduces compulsory military service and announces plans to create 36 divisions. Germany presents the existence of the Luftwaffe, infringe The Treaty of Versailles.

The Economic War preparation of Germany
1935/1936 1936/1937 1937/1938
Infantry. div. 24 36 32
Motor. inf. div - - 5
Armoured div. 3 3 3
Cavalry div. 3 1 1
Mountain div. 1 1 1
Reserve div. - 4 8
"Landwehr" div. - 21 21
Total Div. 31 66 71

1935 June 18,
The Anglo-German Naval Agreement is signed, ratio of tonnage 35:100. Anglo-German Naval Convention signals Britain's unwillingness to defend the Versailles settlement.

1935 September 15,
Promulgation of the Nuremberg Laws relegates Jews to a separate second-class status in Germany, prohibits intermarriage and sexual relations with Germans.

1935 October 3,
Italian forces invade Abyssinia. Italian would like to be the great power around the Mediterranean.
The League of Nations decides economic sanctions against Italië.

1936 March 7,
German military re-occupation of the Rhineland successfully challenges France's willingness to act in defense of the Versailles settlement.
Hitler's first real 'coup de main'in foreign policy. Comprising all German territory west of the Rhine and a thirty-mile strip east of the river, which included Cologne, Dussldorf and Bonn, the Rhineland had been demilitarized at Versailles. On 7 March 1936, in an operation code-named Winter Exercise, Hitler ordered a slender German force to reoccupy the zone, on the ground that the France-Soviet Pact had broken the Treaty of Locarno. Orders to the Wehrmacht during this first attempt to reverse a major item in the Treaty of Versailles were to retreat immediately if French forces moved to oppose the occupation. In the ensuring crisis Hitler's resolute stance split France and Great Britain diplomatically and ensured the international acceptance of this 'fait accompli'.

Over the Rhine
German troops over the Rhine bridges into the Rhineland.
1936 May 5,
Italian forces occupy and owns Abyssinia. King Haile Selassie I flees the country (Addis Abeda).
Haile Selassie, Emperor of Abyssinia (1892-1975) Ras Tafai (as he was then known) was born into the ruling family of Abyssinia and did much to improve health and education standards, taking his country into the League of Nations in 1924. He became Haile Selassie on being crowned Emperor in 1930. When Italian forces captured Abyssinia in 1936, he was forced into exile. In February 1941 allied forces under the command of the British General Sir Alan Cunningham conquered the Italians in Abyssinia and Haile Selassie resumed his task of modernising the country and acting as elder statesman to the emergent African nations.
Victor Emmanuel II King of Abyssinia.

1936 July,
Outbreak of Spanish Civil War. Monarchist Calvo Sotelo killed on the 13, lead to The Spanish Civil War. On 18 July The Spanish Civil War begins, where Germany and Italy intervene in this War, they try out there waepons (Messerschmitt Bf 109) and where the new factions within Europe become more deeply etched. For Hitler offers the chance to play a leading role in a substantial conflict and provides him with a testbed for military and machinery, especially for his luftwaffe.

1936 November,
Germany and Japan conclude the Anti-Comintern Pact, directed against the communisme. The "As Rome-Berlin" formed after capture Abyssinia.

1937 January 17,
Adolf Hitler ended with the Treaty of Versailles.

1937 March 4,
Encyclical (letter) of Pope Pius XI "Mit brennender Sorge" against the "Völkisches Neuheidentum".

1937 May,
Neville Chamberlain becomes Prime Minister of Great Britain (England); "Appeasement-policy".

Chamberlain, Neville (1869-1940)
As the son of Joseph Chamberlain and half-brother of Austen, Neville Chamberlain was born into one of the leading Conservative Party families. After a background in business and local politics he entered national politics in 1916, finally becoming Prime Minister in May 1937. Although he had little experience of foreign affairs his career as Prime Minister was dominated by European crises. In the attempt to preserve peace and buy time for a major re-armament programme, he adopted the policy of appeasement. In September 1939 Chamberlain's government reluctantly honoured their pledge to Poland and went to war with Germany. In May 1940 during a debate in the House of Commons concerning the campaign in Norway, Labour forced a vote of censure and the Government's majority was cut from 240 to 81. Chamberlain resigned three days later. Already a sick man, he served as Lord President of the Council in Churchill's coalition until his death six months later.

1937 June,
The Soviet Communist Party purges the Soviet Army. Over 35.000 are arrested and executed.

1937 July 7,
The conflict on the Marco-Polobridge in Peking leads to the Japanese-Chinese War.On 9 July Japanese invade Peking.

Japanese tank
From 1920 the Japanese armored car, the Type 92 Osaha , very fast due its light armor, equipped with a 95 machine gun.

Japanese lightbomber
The Japanese Ki-48 was a twin-engine light bomber, and was popular in the late 1930's.Despite their speed, it was vulnerable because of its weak defensive guns and armor, with 77mm machineguns, and carry several 5001b bombs.

Japanese Forces potential
The Japanese Land Forces
1937 930.000 men
1938 1.102.000 men
1939 1.196.000 men
The Japanese Air Force, squadrons
Figh-ters Light Fighter-Bombers Heavy Fighter-Bombers Scouting Planes total
1937 21 12 9 12 54
1938 24 16 17 13 70
1939 28 26 19 18 91

1937 December,
Japan's plan for the extension is along the coast of weak China, in no connection with the actions in Europe. Japanese forces capture Nanking, real China.

1938 February 4,
The War Ministry of Germany, Von Blomberg and Freiherr Von Fritsch is discharge. It is replace by the Armed Forces High Command (Oberkommando der Wehrmacht, or OKW) with Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel as its head and Von Ribbentrop Minister For Foreign Affairs.

1938 March 12,
Anschluss: Austria is annexed to the "Greater German Reich Groszdeutschland" ("Blumenkrieg"). On 15 March Hitler in Vienna.

Hittler in Vienna
Hittler in Vienna. Austria is to be considered a province of The Third Reich.
1938 April 26,
Order to the declaration of all Jews fortunes above 5.000 Reichsmarken.

1938 May 20,
Czechoslovakia mobilizes its military.

1938 June,
Chinese forces breach the dykes along the Yellow River to slow the Japan advancing forces. Over 1.000.000 Chinese peasants dies in the floods and fighting.

1938 July,
Soviet and Japanese forces battle near Lake Hassan on the border of Manchukuo.

1938 September 15,
British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain undertake a journey to visit Adolf Hitler in Bergchtesgarden.

1938 September 30,
Munich Conference (Agreement): Britain (British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain) France (Daladier) and Italy (Mussoline) grant Czechoslovakia's Sudetenland to Hitler to avoid war; Hitler gives Chamberlain his personal word on future cooperation (the height of the policy of Appeasement): ("Peace in our time").

1938 October 1,
Germany owns the Sudetenland of Czechoslovakia.

Across Czechoslovakia's border
German troops over the border of Czechoslovakia.
1938 November,
Japan proclaims a "New Order in East Asia", with Japan as the lead nation.

1938 November 9,
"Kristallnacht" (Night of Broken Glass): Nazi authorities orchestrate a nationwide pogrom against Germany's Jewish population. Nazi destroy the homes, shops and synagogues of Jews in Germany following the murder of German diplomat Ernst vom Rath, a diplomatic assistant, by Herschel Grynszpan a French Jew in the German Embassy in Paris.
191 synagogues burns, 76 destroyed, 20.000 Jews arrested.

1938 November 10,
Adolf Hitler set the press the task, to prepare the german people for a very long war.

1938 November 28,
Limitation freedom of movement for Jews; forbidden driving licence, visit theatre, concert and cinema for the Jews.

Tank line

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