"Scars have the strange power to remind us that our past is real."

Cormac McCarthy

Last updated 4 October  2019  © Julia Edwards

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Lucy was born in 1928

1939

1940

1941

1942

1943

1944

1945

6 June

 

 

20 July

24 Aug

3 Sept

 

 

 

21 Oct

16 Dec to

25 Jan

16 April

30 April

 

 

8 May

 

2 Sept

18 Jan

 

 

 

30 Jan

 

 

13 Feb

1 Sept

3 Sept

6 April

1 to 7 May

 

22 June

9 April

10 May

 

 

 

26 May

 

 

 

30 June

 

10 July to

31 Oct

 

7 Sept

 

 

 

20 to 22 Dec

July

7 Dec

28 March

April & May

 

19 Nov

10 July

July to Nov

3 Sept

13 Oct

 

 

18 Nov

Germany invaded Poland

Britain declared war on Germany

Germany invaded and occupied Denmark and Norway

Winston Churchill became Prime Minister of Britain. The same day, Germany invaded and began occupation of the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg and France.

Beginning of emergency evacuation of British and French troops from Dunkirk in France. By the time this ended on 4 June, almost 340,000 men had been rescued.

Germany invaded and occupied the Channel Islands.

Battle of Britain fought in the skies by the Royal Air Force against the Luftwaffe.

Bombing of British cities known as the Blitz began in London. Liverpool was bombed for the first time at the end of August. Fifty further raids on the city took place between September and December.

Three nights of heavy air raids on Liverpool, known as the 'Christmas Blitz'

Fighting continued in North Africa throughout 1941 and 1942, having begun in June 1940. It finally ended in May 1943.

Germany invaded Yugoslavia and Greece.

The 'May Blitz' on Liverpool: by the time German bombing of Liverpool ended, an estimated 70% of houses in Bootle (Lucy's district) had been destroyed or damaged.

 

Beginning of 'Operation Barbarossa', which was the German invasion of the Soviet Union. This caused the Soviet Union to join the Allies (Britain and France) and marked the end of the Blitz, as Adolf Hitler turned his attention and forces eastwards.

Although large numbers of Jews had already been rounded up and killed by this time, in July 1941 Adolf Hitler asked his senior officials to come up with a plan for exterminating the Jews in a more organised way. The plan was known as the 'Final Solution' and involved concentration camps with gas chambers. The systematic killing of Jews in World War Two is called the Holocaust.

Japanese forces (on the same side as Germany) made a surprise attack on the American naval base at Pearl Harbour on 7 December. The United States joined the Allies in fighting Japan and Germany the next day.

The British RAF bombed the historic city of Lübeck in Germany, destroying many old and beautiful buildings and targeting civilians.

The Luftwaffe began a bombing campaign on historic British cities, including Exeter, Bath, York, Canterbury and Norwich, in retaliation for Lübeck. These raids were known as the Baedecker raids after the Baedecker guidebook for tourists.

Battle of Stalingrad: Soviet forces launched a counter-attack on the Germans at Stalingrad. This began to turn the war in favour of the Soviet Union (and therefore the Allies).

The Allied invasion of Sicily (an island that is part of Italy) marked the beginning of Allied attacks on the huge area of Europe under the control of the Germany and its allies. Italy had been an ally of Nazi Germany since 1936.

Operation Gomorrha: Allied bombing of Hamburg which lasted until November, killing more than 42,000 people.

Allies invaded Italy, which was defended by German forces.

New Italian government changed sides in the war and joined the Allies by declaring war on Germany.

The RAF bombed Berlin for the first time, beginning a campaign that would continue until the end of the war.

D-Day: 155,000 Allied troops landed on the beaches of Normandy beginning Operation Overlord, the Allied invasion of France.

Hitler survived a plot to assassinate him. The plotters were executed.

Liberation of Paris by the Allies.

Liberation of Brussels by the Allies. However, deportations of Jews from Nazi occupied countries still continued: Anne Frank and her family arrived at Auschwitz concentration camp on 6 September 1944.

Aachen (in Germany) was captured by American troops.

Battle of the Bulge: the Germans launched a surprise counter-attack on the Allied forces in the Ardennes in Belgium. This was the bloodiest battle of WW2 for the Americans.

With Allied forces moving in from all sides, the Nazis evacuated Auschwitz concentration camp, leaving those too sick to move behind (to die) and forcing the rest to march across Germany. Nine days later, Soviet forces liberated Auschwitz and another camp at Birkenau.

Adolf Hitler made his last speech on radio (having already moved into his bunker in Berlin) declaring Germany would still triumph.

British and American planes bombed Dresden (see the page on Bomber Harris). On the same day, Soviet forces took Budapest. The Allies continued to bomb German cities heavily over the next two months.

Beginning of the Battle of Berlin.

Adolf Hitler and his new wife (married to him the day before!) committed suicide in his bunker.

VE Day (Victory in Europe): people celebrated Germany's surrender.

VJ Day (Victory in Japan): people celebrated Japan's surrender.

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