Declarations of war during World War II

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Animated map of the European Theater of war during WW II

This is a timeline of formal Declarations of War during World War II.

A declaration of war is a formal act by which one nation goes to war against another. The declaration is usually an act of delivering a performative speech (not to be confused with a mere speech) or the presentation of a signed document by an authorized party of a national government in order to create a state of war between two or more sovereign states. The official international protocol for declaring war was defined in The Hague Peace Conference of 1907 (or Hague II).[1] For the diplomatic maneuvering behind these events which led to hostilities between nations during World War II, see the article entitled Diplomatic history of World War II.

List of war declarations[edit]

Below is a table showing the Outbreaks of Wars between Nations which occurred during World War II. Indicated are the dates (during the immediate build-up to, or during the course of, World War II), from which a de facto state of war existed between nations. The table shows both the "Initiator Nation(s)" and the nation at which the aggression was aimed, or "Targeted Nation(s)". Events listed include those in which there were simple diplomatic breaking of relations that did not involve any physical attack, as well as those involving overt declarations or acts of aggression.[2]

Outbreaks of Wars between Nations during World War II
Table Legend: Concerning "Declaration of War: Type." A = Attack without prior, formal declaration of war; U = State of war arrived at through use of ultimatum;
W = Formal declaration of war made.
Date Initiator Nation(s) Targeted Nation(s) Declaration of War: Type Notes/Comments Document/Event
1939-09-01  Nazi Germany  Poland A [3][4] German attack began at 4:44 am[3][5] Invasion
1939-09-03  British Empire
 France
 Nazi Germany U [3][4] At 11 O'clock (am) British PM, Neville Chamberlain publicly delivered his Ultimatum Speech.[4][6][7] Document
1939-09-03  Australia
 New Zealand
 Nazi Germany W[3][4]

Australia

New Zealand

1939-09-06  South Africa  Nazi Germany W[3][4] Declaration
1939-09-10  Canada  Nazi Germany W[3][4] Declaration
1939-09-17  Soviet Union  Poland A[3][4] Invasion
1939-11-30  Soviet Union  Finland A[3][4] First war between these nations. Invasion
1940-04-09  Nazi Germany  Denmark
 Norway
A[3] Invasion of Denmark
Invasion of Norway
1940-05-10  Nazi Germany  Belgium
 Netherlands
A/W[3][4] Date of the German offensive in the West, W from Belgium and the Netherlands.[8]

Belgium

Netherlands

1940-05-10  Nazi Germany  Luxembourg A[4] Luxembourg
1940-05-10  British Empire  Iceland A Invasion
1940-06-10  Italy  France
 British Empire
W[3][4] France and the UK
1940-06-10  Canada  Italy W[3] Declaration
1940-06-11  South Africa
 Australia
 New Zealand
 Italy W[3]

South Africa

Australia

New Zealand

1940-06-11  France  Italy [3] Declaration
1940-10-28  Italy  Greece U[4] Italy invades Greece Invasion
1941-04-06  Nazi Germany  Greece W[3][4] Invasion
1941-04-06  Nazi Germany
 Bulgaria
 Yugoslavia A[3][4] Invasion
1941-04-06  Italy
 Hungary
 Yugoslavia A[4] Invasion
1941-06-22  Nazi Germany
 Italy
 Romania
 Soviet Union A[3][4] A timed-declaration of war was given by Germany at the time of the attack[9] Invasion
1941-06-25  Finland  Soviet Union W Finland recognized a state of war with the Soviet Union; second war between these nations. Continuation War
1941-06-27  Hungary  Soviet Union W[4] Invasion
1941-12-06  British Empire  Finland U[4] Declaration
1941-12-07  British Empire  Romania
 Hungary
U[4] Declaration
1941-12-07  Japan  United States
 British Empire
A[3] W (Japanese point of view); A The "Western" (Attack on Pearl Harbor);

Declaration

Attack on Pearl Harbor

Invasion of Malaya

Attack on Singapore

Invasion of Hong Kong

1941-12-07  Canada
 Australia
 New Zealand
 Japan
 Finland
 Romania
 Hungary
W[4]

Canada

Australia

New Zealand

1941-12-07  United Kingdom  Romania
 Finland
 Hungary
W[4] Declaration
1941-12-07  Panama  Japan W[4] Declaration
1941-12-08  United States
 United Kingdom
 Australia
 Philippines
 Costa Rica
 Dominican Republic
 El Salvador
 Guatemala
 Haiti
 Honduras
 Netherlands
 New Zealand
 Nicaragua
 Japan
 Nazi Germany
W[4]

American declaration

British declaration

Australian declaration

Cost Rican declaration

Dominican Republic's declaration

Salvadorian declaration

Haitian declaration

Honduran declaration

Dutch declaration

New Zealand's declaration

Nicaraguan declaration

Philippine declaration

1941-12-08  South Africa  Japan W[4] South African declaration
1941-12-08  China  Nazi Germany
 Italy
 Japan
W[4] China and Japan had been at war since 1937 Second Sino-Japanese war

Declaration

1941-12-09  Australia
 New Zealand
 Japan W[4]

Australian declaration

New Zealand's declaration

1941-12-11  Nazi Germany
 Italy
 United States W[3][4]

German declaration

Italian declaration

1941-12-11  United States  Nazi Germany
 Italy
W[3] Germany

Italy

1941-12-11 Polish government-in-exile  Japan W[3] Japan rejected declaration of War. Prime Minister Hideki Tōjō's answer was following: "We don't accept the Polish declaration of war. The Poles, fighting for their freedom, declared war under the British pressure".
1941-12-12  Romania
 Bulgaria
 United States
 United Kingdom
W[4]

Romanian declaration

Bulgarian declaration

1941-12-13  United Kingdom
 New Zealand
 South Africa
 Bulgaria W[4]

British declaration

New Zealand's declaration

South African declaration

1941-12-13  Hungary  United States W[4] Declaration
1941-12-14 Croatia  United States
 United Kingdom
W[4] Declaration
1941-12-16 Czechoslovak government-in-exile all countries at war with the United States, United Kingdom, or the Soviet Union W Declaration
1941-12-17  Albania  United States W Declaration
1941-12-19  Nicaragua  Bulgaria
 Hungary
 Romania
W Declaration
1941-12-20  Belgium  Japan W Declaration
1942-01-01 United Nations Axis powers W Declared during Arcadia Conference Declaration
1942-01-06  Australia  Bulgaria W Declaration
1942-01-25  United Kingdom
 New Zealand
 South Africa
 Thailand W

British declaration

New Zealand's declaration

South African declaration

1942-05-22  Mexico  Nazi Germany
 Italy
 Japan
W[4] Declaration
1942-08-22  Brazil  Nazi Germany
 Italy
W Declaration
1943-04-02  Bolivia Axis members W Declaration
1943-09-09  Iran  Nazi Germany W Declaration
1943-10-13  Italy  Nazi Germany W[3] Italy had changed side after the fall of Mussolini. The Declaration of War was given by Pietro Badoglio to the German ambassador in Madrid.[3] Declaration
1944-08-25  Romania  Nazi Germany
 Hungary
W Romania switched sides Declaration
1944-09-05  Soviet Union  Bulgaria W Declaration
1944-09-08  Bulgaria  Nazi Germany W Bulgaria switched sides Declaration
1945-02-02  Ecuador  Nazi Germany
 Japan
W Ecuadorian declaration
1945-02-07  Argentina
 Paraguay
 Nazi Germany
 Japan
W

Argentinean declaration

Paraguayan declaration

1945-02-12  Peru  Nazi Germany
 Japan
W Declaration
1945-02-15  Venezuela
 Uruguay
 Nazi Germany
 Japan
W

Venezuelan declaration

Uruguayan declaration

1945-02-21  San Marino  Nazi Germany W Declaration
1945-02-23  Turkey  Nazi Germany
 Japan
W Declaration
1945-02-24  Egypt  Nazi Germany
 Japan
W Declaration
1945-02-26  Syria
 Lebanon
 Nazi Germany
 Japan
W Declaration
1945-04-01  Saudi Arabia  Japan W Declaration
1945-04-03  Finland  Nazi Germany W Finland switched sides Lapland War
1945-04-11  Chile  Japan W Declaration
1945-07-06  Brazil  Japan W Declaration
1945-07-14  Italy  Japan W Declaration
1945-08-08  Soviet Union  Japan W[3] Last outbreak of war during the entire Second World War. Declaration

Literature[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ On the Opening of Hostilities; 1907; Yale Law School Library; retrieved March 2014.
  2. ^ Note:In rare cases, war between two nations occurred twice, with an intermittent period of peace. The list here does not include peace treaties or periods of any armistices.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x "2194 Days of War"; (1977); Salmaggi, C. & Pallasvini, A.; ISBN 91-582-0426-1; per tables included. [Italian; American]
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af Timeline Data; World at War online; retrieved February 2014.
  5. ^ On This Day
  6. ^ Note: Included in the speech: "...This morning, the British Ambassador in Berlin handed the German Government a final note, stating that unless we heard from them by 11 O'clock that they were prepared at once to withdraw their troops from Poland a state of war would exist between us. I have to tell you now that no such undertaking has been received and that consequently this country is at war with Germany..."
  7. ^ 1939: Britain and France declare war on Germany, BBC
  8. ^ Swedish Encyklopedia; "Bonniers Lexikon" (Vol. 1); (c.1960s); table in article by Andra Världskriget: The Second World War; Pp. 461-462.
  9. ^ "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich"; Shirer, William L