10 Key Dates in World War Two | History Hit

10 Key Dates in World War Two

James Carson

08 Aug 2018

World War Two was the biggest war ever fought – lasting close to six years in Europe, 80 million people were killed in the conflict.

The most important dates are really about context, and these would be different depending which country you’re from. However, a number of dates are clearly pivotal moments over the course of the entire war, and we’ve collected five from each of the European and Eastern theatres to put into a graphic.

The date for the start of the war is 1-3 September 1939 – when Germany invaded Poland and then France and Britain declared war on Germany.

Taylor Downing, historian, writer and broadcaster, joins Dan on the podcast to draw the startling parallels between events in 1942 and today. They discuss just how unpopular Churchill became in 1942 against the backdrop of a new low of public morale, the two votes attacking his leadership in the Commons and the emergence of a serious political rival. As people began to claim that Churchill was not up to the job and that his leadership was failing badly, it was 1942 that was in fact Britain’s real darkest hour.
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Key Dates in World War Two

Erwin Rommel, the ‘Desert Fox’, known as such because from 1940 until the end of 1942, he led his troops across the deserts of North Africa and towards the Middle East with an often uncanny sense of his enemies' plans and weaknesses. In this episode, we uncover the secret to this success. Gershom Gorenberg has been investigating the Nazi’s use of intelligence, and how codebreaking was eventually used against them. Listen to hear more about the forgotten, secret heroes of the Second World War from Gershom, an expert historian, journalist and author of 'War of Shadows: Codebreakers, Spies, and the Secret Struggle to Drive the Nazis from the Middle East'.
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James Carson

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