On June 28, 1919, Germany and the Allied Powers signed the Treaty of Versailles, officially ending World War I also known then as the Great War.
On July 29, 1921, Adolf Hitler elected leader of the National Socialist Party (Nazi) in Germany.
On November 8-9, 1923, Hitler stages the famous Beer Hall Putsch in which Hitler gains more power.
On September 8, 1926, Germany is admitted into the League of Nations (a precursor to today’s United Nations.
On October 29, 1929, Stock Market crashes prompting the Great Depression.
On September 14, 1930, Nazi Party wins elections in Germany, making them the second largest political party in Germany.
On January 30, 1933, Adolf Hitler becomes Chancellor of Germany.
On March 23, 1933, Hitler assumes absolute dictatorial power due to the passage of the Enabling Act.
On July 14, 1933, Hitler makes the Nazi Party the only official political party in Germany.
On October 14, 1933, Germany opts to leave the League of Nations.
On July 25, 1934, Austrian Chancellor Engelbert Dollfuss is murdered by Nazis.
On August 2, 1934, German President Paul von Hindenberg dies in office.
On August 19, 1934, Adolf Hitler becomes Führer (leader) of all of Germany as he assumes the presidency as well as being Chancellor.
On March 16, 1935, Hitler introduces military conscription thus violating the terms of the Treaty of Versailles.
On September 15, 1935, Hitler’s Germany passes the Nuremberg Race Laws which strip Jews of all their rights.
On February 10, 1936, Hitler places the Gestapo above the law.
On March 7, 1936, German troops move in and occupies the Rhineland.
On November 5, 1937, Hitler reveals his plans for war and conquest.
On March 12-13, 1938, Hitler announces Germany’s union (annexation) of Austria.
On September 30, 1938, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain meets with Hitler and attempts to appease him.
On October 15, 1938, German troops occupy the Sudetenland (the northern, western and southwestern regions of then Czechoslovakia). Due to the invasion of German troops, the Czech government resigns.
On March 15-16, 1939, Nazi Germany occupies all of Czechoslovakia.
On May 22, 1939, Hitler signs Pact of Steel with Mussolini of Italy.
On August 31, 1939, Great Britain mobilizes its naval fleet and thousands of civilians begin evacuating London.
On September 1, 1939, Germany invades Poland.
On September 3, 1939, Great Britain, Australia, France and New Zealand declare war on Germany.
On September 4, 1939, British air force attacks German war ships.
On September 5, 1939, under President Roosevelt’s promise of peace, the United States declares they are taking a neutral stand on the war in Europe.
On September 10, 1939, Canada declares war on Germany. Battle of the Atlantic between Germany, Great Britain and Canada begins.
On September 27, 1939, the Polish government surrenders to Germany.
On September 29, 1939, Hitler and Stalin divide Poland.
On March 16, 1940, Germany launches air raid and bombs Scapa Flow Naval Base in Scotland.
On April 9, 1940, Germany launches invasions into Denmark and Norway.
On May 10, 1940, Winston Churchill becomes Prime Minister of Great Britain. Germany launches invasion of Belgium, France, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.
May 15, 1940, Netherlands surrenders to Germany.
May 26, 1940, Allied troops stationed at Dunkirk begin evacuation.
On June 3, 1940, Germany begins bombing Paris, France.
On June 10, 1940, Italy declares war on Great Britain and France as Norway surrenders to Germany.
On June 14, 1940, German troops invade Paris.
On June 22, 1940, France signs a treaty with Germany.
On July 1, 1940, German submarines begin attacking and sinking merchant ships in Atlantic.
On July 10, 1940, the Battle of Britain begins.
On August 13, 1940, Germany begins bombing factories and air fields in Great Britain.
On August 17, 1940, Hitler announces naval blockade of Great Britain.
On August 23, 1940, Germany begins bombing locations in London.
On August 25, 1940, Great Britain strikes back with air raid over Berlin.
On September 7, 1940, Germany launches their Blitz against Great Britain,
On September 15, 1940, Germany begins bombing Bristol, Cardiff, Liverpool, London, Manchester and Southampton.
On October 7, 1940, Germany launches invasion of Romania.
On this day, November 14, 1940, Germany begins bombing Coventry, England, home to a great many factories contributing to the war effort. Over two days, nearly 500 German bombers drop 150,000 incendiary bombs and 500 tons of high explosives on Coventry. At least 27 war factories and a large portion of the city are destroyed in the air raid. At least 568 men, women and children were killed in the bombings as much of Coventry burned. At least 60,000 buildings were destroyed including the once famous St. Michael’s Cathedral.
Why was Coventry chosen for the attack?
“Since the growth here of the cycle and motor trades in the closing decades of the 19th century, Coventry, with all its engineering skills and manufacturing capacity, had become the obvious place for the mass production of many war-related products. The First World War had prompted a build up of armament factories in the city, and this was ramped up once again with the imminent arrival of World War Two.”
“Most of our factories were turned over to war production, and among these were; Dunlop, who manufactured wheel discs, brakes, gun mechanisms and even barrage balloons, Hawker Siddeley, Vickers Armstrong, Armstrong Whitworth and Rolls Royce – producing aeroplanes, engines and all associated parts – including the complete Whitley twin engined heavy Bomber. Humber and Daimler also made armoured troop transporters and scout cars, and Cash’s and Courtaulds produced materials for things like parachutes. G.E.C. provided radio equipment, including the then new VHF sets, and British Thompson-Houston were turning out electro-magnetic components, such as magnetos and dynamos.”
Some conspiracy individuals wonder if Churchill caused the destruction of Coventry by bombing Berlin. Yet, with all of the war factories located in Coventry, it was definitely a military target for the Germans.
Sources for the above includes: Coventry: What Really Happened; The bombing of Coventry in 1940; Germans Bomb Coventry; Blitz – The Bombing of Coventry – November 1940; On This Day: Coventry Devastated By German Bombing; Coventry’s Blitz: Why Coventry?; Coventry Blitz: Was Destruction of Medieval Centre Hitler’s Revenge?; Coventry’s Blitz: Conspiracies and Myths; World War II in Europe