Did you know? – 1940s

In 1940, saw the invasion of multiple countries such as Holland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Denmark, .Norway and culminating in the invasion of France which lasted just 6 weeks. This year also saw the start of the Battle of Britain in which Germany and Britain fought over control of Britain’s skies integral to any future invasion of Britain. The Lascaux cave paintings were also discovered this year with depictions of animals dating back to the Stone Age

In 1941, the war was escalated with the invasion of the Soviet Union by Germany in what was codenamed Operation Barbarossa. The war was further escalated with the attack on Pearl Harbour by Japan which brought about the American entry into the war after Germany also declared war on America.

In 1942, the war was being waged in Africa, Eastern Europe, Russia and the Pacific. However things would start to turn in the war with axis forces starting to be pushed back and the decisive battle of Stalingrad beginning to be fought.

In 1943, the war was definitely going in the opposite direction than it had been just a couple of years before with the turning point of the Stalingrad causing a German retreat that would eventually end in Berlin. There were also advances for British and American troops in North Africa and the invasion of Italy.

In 1944, mainland Europe would now be fought in the east, south and west after the invasion of Normandy as a part of Operation Overlord. This now means that Germany is being pushed back on all sides and by the end of the year Paris would be liberated and the push into Germany would be beginning.


In 1945, the war comes to an end after fighting for many years in a number of countries and after millions have died. War with Japan was brought to an end after the dropping of two atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

In 1946, trials are beginning to bring those who committed atrocities under the Nazi regime during the holocaust to justice. This is also the start of the breakdown in relations between the west and Russia and the beginning of the cold war.

In 1947, the world was still trying to rebuild after the damage caused in WW2. This was mainly led by the US who gave out large sums of money to countries devastated by war in return these countries would also stop the spread of communism thus working towards an objective of the US’ foreign policy which was the containment of communism.

In 1948, the Olympics were held for the first time since 1936 in London which was still damaged after the bombings that had taken place during the war. The state of Israel was also created giving a homeland to Jews who had been horribly treated during the war.

In 1949, china became a communist country and so meant that a significant portion of the world’s population was living in a communist country. This was also the year that the first non-stop flight around the world took place.