The World at War

Europe in the Age of Autocracy
by Richard Doody

A chronology of Dictatorial Regimes between the World Wars

Autocracy is a type of government in which the power of the ruler is not checked by any other instance. There is usually a form of constitution, but the ruler stands above it.

The period of 1917 to 1950 saw an unexpected multitude of nations taking the road to an autocratic government. Fascism and Communism were just two of its most extreme forms. In the following timeline, you will find the most important events of the European nations that took the road to autocracy before the Second World War. Beside these, there were a multitude of other nations around the world - be it South America or Asia - who followed the same "solution". Even in the democracies there were movements to solve the problems of uncertain times, economical crisis and political turmoil with following a person that promised strength and leadership.



Albania

1924 -

Dec. 13 - Ahmed Zoguís Yugoslav backed guerrilla army invades Albania overthrowing parliamentary regime of Fan Noli in two weeks.

1925 -

Jan. 31 - Zogu elected president for a seven year term. New constitution grants Zogu dictatorial powers including right to appoint and dismiss all ministers, veto legislation and name all administrative personnel and one third of the senate.
May - Treaty grants Italy right to exploit Albanian mineral resources, establish Albanian National Bank under Italian control and awards Italian shipping companies monopolies on freight and passenger transportation

1928 -

New constitution proclaims Albania a "kingdom" and Zogu becomes Zog I "King of the Albanians", abolishes the senate and establishes a unicameral National Assembly. Zog retains the dictatorial powers he enjoyed as president.

1939 -

Mar. 25 - Italy delivers ultimatum demanding right to occupy Albania
Apr. 7 - Italy invades Albania, Zog flees into exile first in Greece and later to London.
Apr. 12 - Albanian national assembly votes to unite the country with Italy. Victor Emmanuel III becomes King of Albania. Italians set up fascist administration under Shefqet Verlaci.

Index


Austria

1932 -

Nazi party registers strong gains in local elections

1933 -

Mar. - Dollfuß dissolves parliament begin to govern under 1917 emergency laws Nazi Party, KPO and Republikanischer Schutzbund outlawed
May - Dollfuß forms Vaterländische Front (Fatherland Front) to replace existing parties
Sept. - announces plans to organize Austria as a constitutionally Catholic German and corporatist state

1934 -

Feb. - SDAP and affiliated trade unions banned following unsuccessful general strike
May - Dollfußís constitution promulgated Fatherland Front become the only legal party
July 25 - Dollfuß killed in Nazi putsch. Army remains loyal to regime and coup fails. Kurt von Schuschnigg become chancellor.

1936 -

July 11 - Hitler signs agreement pledging German respect for Austrian independce and sovereignty. Von Schuschnigg agrees to bring members of the opposition into government.

1938 -

Feb. 12 - Schuschnigg meets with Hitler at Berchtesgaden. In face of German military threat he accepts demands for legalization of Austrian Nazi party. Schuschnigg returns to Vienna and begins planning plebiscite on the question of maintaining "a free and German, independent and social; a Christian and united Austria; for peace and work and equality of all who declare themselves for nation and fatherland"
Mar. 10 - Nazi sympathizers in the cabinent demand plebiscite be postponed. Schuschnigg agrees to cancellation and resigns.
Mar. 12 - German troops enter Austria
Apr. 10 - Austrian plebiscite approves Anschluss (annexation to Germany) Nazis announce 99.7% favorable result.

Index


Bulgaria

1919 -

BANU receives 28% of vote in parliamentary elections giving it a plurality but not a majority in the Subranie. BANU founder Aleksandur Stamboliiskiís political philosophy favors favors peasant and rural life and a government providing representation by profession rather than party. Stamboliiski fails in attempt to persuade two communist factions to join a coalition. Stamboliiski forms coalition with right wing parties.
Dec. - Beginning of three month long transport strike organized by communists and social democrats

1920 -

Feb. - Transport strike squashed by army and the Orange Guard, a militia formed by Stamboliiski to counter mass demonstrations by leftist parties.

  • Parliamentary election gives BANU a majority

  • 1921 -

    Stamboliiski begins two year campaign of repression against IMRO

    1922 -

    Leaders of the right wing National Alliance jailed by the Orange Guard.

    1923 -

    Stamboliiski assassinated by agents of IMRO, a pro-autonomy Macedonian terrorist organization. A coalition of BANU opponents (IMRO, the National Alliance, army factions and social democrats) led by Aleksandur Tsankov takes control of the country.
    Sept. - Communist uprising suppressed.

    1924 -

    Communist party outlawed, militants led by exiled Georgi Dimitrov become dominant faction in the party.

    1925 -

    Communists bomb Sveta Nedelia Cathedral while Tsar Boris III is present, 100 killed, government begins reign of terror against the communists and agrarians

    1927 -

    Communists resurface as the Bulgarian Workers Party

    1931 -

    Government of Andrei Liapchev defeated in last parliamentary election based on proportional representation. Zveno, a small coalition with ties to most Bulgarian parties and fascist Italy, advocates reform and consolidation existing political institutions so that state power could be used in direct promotion of economic growth.

    1932 -

    Aleksandur Tsankov establishes the National Socialist Movement, Bulgariaís first serious fascist party.

    1934 -

    Colonel Damian Velchev, with military and Zveno support, overthrows government in a rightist coup. Kimon Georgiev named prime minister and begins taking dictatorial powers. Zveno abolishes all political parties, implements press censorship and declares that henceforth the Subranie would represent classes of society and not political parties.

    1935 -

    Tsar Boris III aided by military and civilian factions removes Zveno from power and declares a royal dictatorship.

    1938 -

    Boris permits elections for a new Subraine. Only individual candidates allowed to run in carefully supervised election, party candidate lists are prohibited

    1940 -

    Pro-German Premier Bogdan Filov replaces pro-Western Premier Georgi Kioseivanov

  • Treaty of Craiova - Romania cedes Dobruja to Bulgaria under German pressure
  • Bulgaria signs commercial treaty with the Soviet Union

  • 1941 -

    Mar. - Bulgaria signs Tripartite Pact with Germany in advance of German invasion of Greece

    Index


    Czecheslovakia

    1929 -

    Vojtech Tuka leader of the Nastupists (radical wing of the Slovak Populist Party) arrested. Tuka had maintained contacts with Austria, Hungary and the Nazis throughout the Ď20s; organized the Rodobrana (paramilitary units) and published literature subversive to the new Czech state. The Nastupists became the dominant force in the SPP after Tukaís trial and the party became more totalitarian in its leanings.

    1933 -

    Sudeten Nazi Party dissolved. German nationals and Sudeten Nazis expelled from local government positions.
    Oct. 1 - Konrad Henlein forms the Sudetendeutsche Heimatfront (Sudeten German Home Front) championing autonomy within the Czech state.

    1935 -

    Sudetendeutsche Heimatfront becomes the Sudeten German Party (SdP) winning 60% of German vote in May election. Henlein is in secret contact with Germany and receives financial backing from German Nazis.

    1938 -

    Mar. 22 - Gustav Hackerís German Agrarian Party merged with SdP
    Mar. 24 - German Christian Socialist Party suspends its activities
    Mar. 28 - Henlein meets with Hitler, offers SdP as agent for German aims in Czechoslovakia. SdP instructed to make unacceptable demands on the Czech government.
    Apr. 24 - SdP issues its Carlsbad Decrees demanding complete autonomy for Sudetenland and freedom to profess Nazi ideology
    May 20 - Czechoslovakia begins partial mobilization in response to rumors of German troop movements.
    May 30 - Hitler signs directive to begin war against Czechoslovakia by Oct. 1
    Sept. - Slovak Populist Party presses demands for autonomy
    Sept. 2 - British send Walter Runciman to negotiate settlement of Sudeten German demands, President Benes agrees to accept Carlsbad Decrees.
    Sept. 13 - SdP breaks off negotiations
    Sept. 15 - Henlein flies to Germany and issues a proclamation demanding return of Sudetenland to Germany. Hilter meets with Chamberlain at Berchtesgaden and demands return of Sudetenland claiming that Czech were slaughtering the German inhabitants. British and French governments agree to the demand and issue ultimatum to the Czechs making future French support for Czechoslovakia contingent on its acceptance.
    Sept. 21 - Czech government capitulates but Hitler makes additional demands on behalf of Hungary and Poland.
    Sept. 23 - new Czech cabinet led by General Jan Syrovy decrees start of general mobilization. Soviet Union announces support for Czechs but President Benes refuses to go to war without support of the western allies.
    Sept. 28/29 - Hitler meets with Chamberlain, Daladier and Mussolini at Munich. Czechoslovakia is not invited or consulted. British and French agree to German occupation of the Sudetenland to be completed by October 10th. Hungary receives 11,882 sq, km in Slovakia and Ruthenia. Poland acquires Tesin and two small areas in northern Slovakia.
    Sept. 30 - Czechoslovak government capitulates to Munich agreement.
    Oct. 5 - Executive committee of the Slovak Populist Party meets in Zilina to form an autonomous government under Monsignor Jozef Tiso.
    Oct. 8 - Russo/Ukrainophiles agree to establish autonomous government for Carpatho-Ukraine.

    1939 -

    Mar. 14 - Slovak Diet declares independence. Carpatho-Ukraine declares independence but is occupied by Hungarian troops along with eastern Slovakia.
    Mar. 15 - German troops enter Bohemia and Moravia unopposed.
    Mar. 16 - Hitler proclaims Bohemia and Moravia a German Protectorate at Hradcany Castle, Prague.

    Index


    Estonia

    1924 -

    Dec. 1 - coup attempt by the outlawed Estonian Communist Party squashed

    1934 -

    Mar. 12 - K. Pats and J. Laidoner take over government in a bloodless coup to forestall implementation of newly approved constitution sponsored by fascist veterans organization led by Arturs Sirk. The so called "Period of Silence" commences. The Riigikogu (parliament) is adjourned and the country is governed under a declaration of defence.
    Oct. 2 - The Riigikogu is adjourned for a final time.

    1935 -

    Mar. 5 - Political party activities prohibited and the Isamaaliit (Patriotic League) is formed to support the regime. Restrictions imposed on the press.

    1938 -

    Feb. - Elections to parliament under a new constitution giving the president more power over the assembly return parties favoring policies of the old regime to power.
    Apr. 28 - K. Pats elected president

    1940 -

    June 17 - Estonia occupied by Soviet troops and incorporated in the Soviet Union shortly thereafter.

    Index


    Germany

    1919 -

    Feb. - Weimar Constitution adopted - Article 48 "the emergency clause" accords the president dictatorial rights to intervene in the territorial states for the purpose of enforcing constitutional and federal laws and/or to restore public order.

  • Adolf Hitler joins the Bavarian German Workers Party

  • 1920 -

    Bavarian GWP changes it name to National Socialist German Workers Party (National Sozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei - NSDAP)

    1921 -

    Hitler assumes leadership of the NSDAP.

    1923 -

    Nov. - NSDAP with support of General Ludendorff attempts to overthrow the government of Bavaria. The "Beer Hall putsch" fails. Hitler is arrested. During his imprisonment he writes Mein Kampf.

    1924 -

    Dec. - Hitler released from prison.

    1928 -

    May - NSDAP polls 2.6% of vote in Reichstag elections.

    1930 -

    NSDAP polls 18.3% of vote in Reichstag elections finishes second to the SDP with 38.2%

    1932 -

    June - NSDAP with cooperation of the Communist (KDP) brings down the government of Heinrich Brüning.
    July - Reichstag elections doubles NSDAP representation making it the strongest German political party. Hitler refuses Chancellor Franz von Papenís offer to join the cabinent as vice-chancellor.
    Nov. - Reichstag election, NSDAP share of the vote declines. KDP increases its representation
    Dec. - General Kurt von Schleicher appointed chancellor but is unable to form a governing coalition without cooperation of Hitler.

    1933 -

    Jan. 30 - von Papen and von Schleicher prevail upon President Hindenburg to appoint Hitler to chancellorship of a coalition government.
    Feb. 26 - The Reichstag building set on fire. Nazis blame the fire on Communists
    Feb. 28 - Hindenburg envokes Article 48, the emergency clause of the constitution, and issues a decree authorizing the SA to arrest socialist and liberal leaders and large numbers of communists. State governments not controlled by Nazis are dissolved and subordinated to control of the central government.
    Mar. - Reichstag passes an act according Hitlerís cabinet dictatorial powers for a period of four years by a vote of 441 to 81. Hitler implements a policy of Gleichschaltung, subordinating all independent institutions to Nazi control. Civil service and judiciary purged of "non Aryans". Remaining members required to swear an oath of personal loyalty to the Führer. Geheime Staatspolizei created and Peopleís Tribunal established to deal with treason cases. State governments replaced by Reich governors directly responsible to Hitler. Trade unions dissolved
    July - Germany declared legally, a one party National Socialist state.

    1934 -

    Aug. - Hindenburg dies. Hitler combines offices of President and Chancellor in violation of emergency decrees. The combination of offices is subsequently approved in a national plebiscite. The Army swears an oath of allegiance pledging unconditional obedience to Hitler.

    1935 -

    Nuremburg laws strip Jews of citizenship and restrict relationships between "Aryans" and Jews.
    Mar. - Hitler announces introduction of conscription with the intention of expanding the army from 100,000 to 550,000 troops and creation of an air force in violation of the Treaty of Versailles
    June - Anglo-German Naval Pact ensures British naval superiority in return for acceptance of German rearmament.

    1936 -

    Mar. - German troops reoccupy the Rhineland
    Aug. - The Olympic Games in Berlin see a high mark in international recognition of Hitler. Athlets from autocratic nations are unusually successful.
    Nov. - Germany and Italy form the Rome-Berlin Axis

    1938 -

    Mar. 13 - Austria annexed to the German Reich
    Oct. 1 - Sudetenland annex to the German Reich
    Nov. 9 - Kristallnacht - persecution of Jews turns from random acts of violence to systematic elimination.

    1939 -

    Mar. - German protectorate over Bohemia and Moravia established.
    Sept. 1 - Germany troops invade Poland.
    Sept. 3 - France and Britain declare war on Germany.

    Index


    Greece

    1923 -

    Monarchy abolished following Greek loses in war with Turkey. The dozen years of the 1st Republic marked by a series of coups and dictatorships

    1935 -

    Monarchy restored King George II returns after referendum marked by fraud.

    1936 -

    Aug. 4 - Royal dictatorship established with retired General Ioannis Metaxas as head of government.

    1940 -

    Oct. 28 - Greece rejects Italian ultimatum demanding free passage of troops through Greek territory. Italy invades Greece but Italians are driven back across border into Albania.

    1941 -

    Apr. 6 - Germans invade and occupy Greece

    Index


    Hungary

    1919 -

    Mar. 19 - Allied mission in Budapest hands P.M. Mihaly Karolyi a note delineating Hungaryís post war boundaries. Karolyi resigns rather than accept the new boundaries.
    Mar. 21 - Social Democrats hand power to a government of "Peoples Commissars". The Communists led by Bela Kun government and announce the establishment of the Hungarian Soviet Republic.
    June 25 - Kunís government declares a dictatorship of the proletariat, nationalizes industrial and commercial businesses, housing, transport, banking, medicine, cultural institutions and all landholdings of more than 40.5 hectares.
    Aug. 1 - Romanian troops occupy and loot Budapest ousting Kunís regime. Kun fled, first to Vienna, and finally to the Soviet Union where he was executed in the 1930s in a Stalinist purge.

    1920 -

    Jan. - Hungarian parliment restores the monarchy but postpones electing a king pending restoration of civil order. Admiral Miklos Horthy, elected Regent with power to appoint the prime minister, veto legislation, dissolve the parliament and command the armed forces.
    July - Horthy appoints Pal Teleki prime minister. Teleki government sets quotas limiting admission of Jew to universities.

    1931 -

    Aug. - Horthy appoints Gyula Gombos prime minister after Gombos agrees to maintain the existing political system. Gombos publicly renounces the vehement anti-semitism he earlier espoused.

    1936 -

    Sept. - Gombos tells German officials that he intends to establish a Nazi style government in Hungary with in two years. Gombos dies a month later.

    1938 -

    Hungary renounces restrictions on size of its armed forces.

  • Government of Kalman Daranyi passes first of the "Jewish laws" limiting Jews to 20% of positions in certain businesses and professions.

  • 1939 -

    Feb. - Prime Minister Bela Imredy, who drafted a second set of harsher anti- Jewish laws, forced to resign when opponents produced documents showing that Imredyís grandfather was a Jew. Imredyís successor, Pal Teleki, pushed passage of the second Jewish Law, which broadened the definition of "Jewishness" and cut quotas for Jews permitted in the professions.
    June - Arrow Cross, the Hungarian equivalent of the Nazi Party, finishes second in parliamentry elections.

    1940 -

    Sept. - Hungary allows passage of German troops on their way to Romania.
    Nov. 20 - Hungary sign alliance with Germany, Italy and Japan.

    1941 -

    Apr. - Hungary occupies former territories in Yugoslavia after that country is invaded by Germany.

    Index


    Italy

    1919 -

    Versailles conference refuses Italian demands for territory in Dalmatia and the city of Fiume. Rightist legion led by Gabriel DíAnnunzio occupies Fiume.

  • Benito Mussolini founds Fascisti di Combattimento

  • 1920 -

    Treaty of Rapallo cedes Dalmatia to Yugoslavia and declares Fiume a "free city"

    1921 -

    Mussolini is one of 35 Fascisti elected to a seat in parliamentary elections. Fascisti movement transformed into the Partito Nazionale Fascista.

    1922 -

    Oct. 28 - Mussoliniís Fascists march on Rome. King Victor Emmanuel invites Mussolini to form a government

    1923 -

    Italy annexes Fiume by agreement with Yugoslavia

    1924 -

    Parliamentary election gives PNF a majority.

    1926 -

    Mussolini assumes dictatorial powers, dissolves opposition parties, introduces press censorship and changes to electoral process. Il Duce, "the leader", as Mussolini styles himself forestalls any challengers by assuming control of as many as seven ministries simultaneously including, interior, foreign affairs, colonies and armed forces as well as leadership of the Fascist Party and its militia.

    1931 -

    Istituto Mobiliare Italiano created to provide credit for industry

    1933 -

    Istituto per la Riconstruzione Industriale created beginning era of large scale public intervention in private economy.

    1935 -

    Italy invades Ethiopia

    1936 -

    Mussolini and Hitler sign agreement creating the Rome-Berlin axis Italy provides aid to Franco forces in Spanish Civil War

    1939 -

    Pact of Steel increases Italian links to Germany

    1940 -

    June 10 - Italy enters WW2 declaring war on France

    1943 -

    July 25 - Mussolini dismissed as premier after American invasion of Sicily. Marshal Pietro Badoglio becomes premier.
    Sept. 3 - Badoglio signs armistice with Allies. Italy declares war on Germany

  • Mussolini is rescued from prison by German troops and forms a puppet government "Repubblica Sociale Italiana" in German occupied portion of northern Italy.

  • 1945 -

    Apr. 28 - Mussolini captured and executed by partisans as he attempts to flee to Switzerland

    Index


    Latvia

    1934 -

    May 15 - Prime Minister Karlis Ulmanis dissolves the Saeima (parliament) and begins dictatorial rule.

    1940 -

    June 17 - Latvia occupied by Soviet troops and incorporated into the Soviet Union shortly thereafter.

    Index


    Lithuania

    1926 -

    Dec. 17 - Military and conservative led coup headed by Antanas Smetona take control of the country. Liberals and Leftists expelled from the Seimas (parliament). Smetona elected president with Augustinas Voldemas as premier.

    1939 -

    Oct - Lithuania signs mutual assistance treaty with the Soviet Union. Years of friction with Germany over city of Memel having raised fears of German invasion.

    1940 -

    June 17 - Lithuania occupied by Soviet troops
    July 15 - Lithuanian assembly elected from single party slate, only the Communist Working Peopleís Bloc allowed to participate. New assembly requests incorporation of Lithuania into the Soviet Union
    Aug. 3 - Soviets accept Lithuanian proposal for incorporation

    Index


    Poland

    1926 -

    DATUM - Marshall Pilsudski assumes power after military coup. The Pilsudski regime governed with a mix of democratic and dictatorial elements but after his death in 1935 drifted towards more open authoritarianism.

    Index


    Portugal

    1926 -

    May 26 - General Manuel Gomes da Costa announces he will march from Braga to Lisbon and assume power
    May 28 - Gomes da Costa makes a symbolic entry to Lisbon unopposed. The dramatic gesture is meant to emulate Mussoliniís 1922 march on Rome.
    May 29 - Prime Minister da Silva resigns
    May 30 - President Machado turns power over to navy Commander Jose Cabecadas
    July 9 - General Carmona named head of the military government

    1928 -

    Apr. 27 - Carmona names Antonio Salazar minister of finance. Salazar accepts the post after being granted complete control of all expenditures by all government ministries.

    1930 -

    May 28 - Salazar delivers a speech calling for the implementation of a new constitution to create an authoritarian order he calls the Estado Novo (New State).

    1932 -

    July 5 - Military government of General de Oliveira resigns. Salazar appointed prime minister.

    1933 -

    New constitution, dictated by Salazar, establishes the "New State". Salazar continues as prime minister and leader of the sole legal political party, the Uniao Nacional. Legislative and executive power vested in Salazar. The National Assembly is allowed to initiate legislation only if it does not involve expenditure of government funds. Official workerís syndicates replace free trade unions.

    1939 -

    Salazar protests German invasion of Poland

    1940 -

    Salazar expresses confidence in ultimate victory of the Allies. Portugal remains neutral but maintains links to Britain.

    1943 -

    Portugal grants bases in the Azores to the United States and Britain.

    Index


    Romania

    1930s -

    Corneilu Zelea Codreanu, "Capitanul" of the Iron Guard calls for war against Jews and communists. The Iron Guard becomes the largest fascist party in the Balkans.

    1933 -

    Premier Ion Duca assassinated by member of the Iron Guard.

    1937 -

    Dec. - Dec. - King Carol hands the government over to a coalition of far right parties. Jews are barred from the civil service and the army and forbidden to buy property and the practice of certain professions.

    1938 -

    Apr. - King Carol suspends the Constitution and proclaims a royal dictatorship.
    Apr. 19 - Police arrest Codreanu and other high ranking Iron Guards.
    Nov. - Codreanu and 13 other Iron Guards gunned down in "escape attempt".

    1939 -

    Mar. 23 - Romania and Germany sign ten year pact allowing German exploitation of Romanian natural resources.
    Sept. 21 - Iron Guards assassinate neutralist premier Armand Calinescu.

    1940 -

    June 26 - Soviet Union delivers ultimatum demanding Romania return Bessarabia and turnover Bukovina. Romania submits.
    Aug. - Bulgaria reclaims Dobruja with German and Soviet backing. German and Italian foreign ministers meet with the Romanians in Vienna and present an ultimatum demanding the return of Transylvania to Hungary. Romania again submits.
    Sept. - coalition of Iron Guards and the Military led by the premier, General Ion Antonescu, force King Carol to abdicate. New restrictions imposed on Jews, Greeks and Armenian businessmen.
    Oct. 8 - German troops begin entering Romania
    Nov. - German and Romanian troops begin roundup and disarmament of most disruptive elements of the Iron Guard.
    Nov. 23 - Romania joins the Axis Powers.

    1941 -

    Jan. - Iron Guard revolt suppressed by German and Romanian troops.

    Index


    Russia / Soviet Union

    1917 -

    Nov. 6 - Provisional government of Alexander Kerensky orders the Bolshevik press closed. Bolsheviks call on supporter to defend the Petrograd Soviet from this counter revolutionary action. Bolsheviks take control of government buildings, cabinet of the provisional government captured in Winter Palace.
    Nov. 7 - Lenin proclaims downfall of the provisional government. The Second Congress of Soviets meets and ratifies Bolshevik takeover after moderate members of the Mensheviks and Socialist Revolutionary Party quit the session. Bolsheviks issue a series of decrees ratifying peasant land seizures, worker control of industry, abolishing class privileges, nationalizing banking and establishing revolutionary tribunals to take the place of courts. Cheka, the soviet secret police, created to persecute enemies of the state.
    Nov. - Elections for a Constituent Assembly gives Bolsheviks a quarter of the seats

    1918 -

    Jan. - Soviet government dissolves the Constituent Assembly after a one day session, ending parliamentary democracy.
    Mar. 3 - Soviets sign Treaty of Brest-Litovsk with Germany ending Russian participation in WW1. Russia gives up control of Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland, Finland and the Ukraine to Germany and the Transcausus to Turkey
    July 17 - Czar Nicholas and royal family executed at Ekaterinburg.
    Nov. - Soviets renounce Treaty of Brest-Litovsk after Allied defeat of Germany and attempt to reestablish control of lost territories. Soviet republics established in Belorussia - Jan. 1919, Ukraine - Mar. 1919, Azerbaizhan - Apr. 1920, Armeniav- Nov. 1920 and Georgia - Mar. 1921. Other lost territories remain independent

    1921 -

    Mar. - Lenin announces the New Economic Policy at Tenth Congress of the Russian Communist Party. Under the NEP state gives up control agriculture, services and small scale industry. Monetary system and market forces reintroduced, peasants permitted to dispose of produce at market and grain requisitioning replaced by taxation.

    1922 -

    Last foreign interventionist troops withdraw from Siberia ending outside support for White forces ending civil war.
    Apr. - Stalin named general secretary of the Communist Party.
    May - Lenin temporarily incapacitated by stroke - troika of Stalin, Kamenev and Zinovíev takes control of the Politburo in opposition to Trotsky
    Dec. - Union of Soviet Socialist Republics established with Russia, Belorussia, Ukraine and the Transcaucasian Republics giving political authority to Communist leadership in Moscow

    1924 -

    Jan. - Lenin dies

    1928 -

    Stalin scraps the NEP in favor of centralized planning. The State Planning Commission formulates the first of the Five Year Plans. Collectivization of Agriculture is the main focus of the first Five Year Plan. Resistance to collectivization is crushed by deportation of dissidents to Siberia and withholding of food shipments, widespread famine kills millions. The famine is particularly harsh in the Ukraine.

    1934 -

    Dec. - Stalin begins purge of opponents within the Party. Sergei Kirov, party chief in Leningrad, who advocates a more moderate policy towards the peasantry is assassinated.

    1936 -

    DATUM - beginning of Moscow "show trials" Zinovíev, Kamenev and Bukharin confess to crimes against the state and are executed

    1939 -

    Aug. 23 - Nazi-Soviet Nonaggression Pact signed, agreement declares that in the event one country becomes involved in war the other will remain neutral. Secret protocol of the pact partitions Poland between Germany and the Soviets and assigns the Baltic countries the Soviet sphere of influence
    Sept. 17 - Soviets invade Poland from the east
    Nov. - Soviet invasion of Finland

    1940 -

    Mar. - end of winter war with Finland. Finns forced to cede strategic territories to Soviets.

  • Leon Trotsky assassinated by Soviet agents in Mexico

  • 1941 -

    June 22 - Germany troops invade the Soviet Union "Operation Barbarossa"

    Index


    Spain

    1923 -

    General Miguel Primo de Rivera takes power, dissolves parliament and rules and rules through directorates with backing by the military.

    1930 -

    de Rivera resigns in the midst of an economic crises and dies in exile a short time later.

    1931 -

    municipal election produce substanial vote for anti-monarchist parties. King Alfonso XIII leaves the country after failing to secure backing of the army. Republican regime restored.

    1936 -

    July - Jose Calvo Sotelo, leader of the rightist National Block, assassinated in retaliation for the murder of a policeman by fascists.

  • Police and militia loyal to the government suppress revolts by army garrisons in Madrid and Barcelona.
  • General Emilio Mola establishes headquarters at Burgos. Northern Spain and rightist strongholds in Navarre and Aragon rally to the army.
  • Republicans turn back army drive on Madrid.
  • General Franco seizes control of Spanish Morrocco. Germany and Italy provide transport to move Francoís army from Africa to Spain. Francoís forces occupy most major southern cities.
    Oct. - Military junta forms a government at Burgos. Franco named head of state with rank of Generalissimo and title of "El Caudillo". The regime is recognized by Germany and Italy.

  • 1939 -

    Jan. - Madrid falls to the Nationalists.
    Mar. 31 - Last Republican forces surrender to the Nationalists ending the Civil War.

    Index


    Yugoslavia

    1921 -

    Communist attempt assassinate King Aleksandar. A month later they murder the interior minister. The Skupstina (federal assembly) passes laws suppressing the Communist Party.

    1929 -

    Jan. - King Aleksandar abrogates the constitution, dissolves the Assembly, bans political parties and declares a Royal Dictatorship.

    1931 -

    Aleksandar ends personal rule. New constitution provides for limited return to democracy. Political parties legalized but all religious, ethnic and regional organizations threatening the integrity and order of the state are banned.

    1934 -

    Oct. - King Alksandar assassinated in Marseilles by a Bulgarian agent of the Ustase (Croat terrorist organization) with assistance from Italy and Hungary.

    1941 -

    Mar. 25 - Yugoslav government sign Tripartite Pact aligning the country with the Axis.
    Mar. 27 - Pro-Allied military coup led by General Dusan Simovic overthrows the government.
    Apr. 6 - Germans bomb Belgrade.
    Apr. 17 - last resisting Yugoslav forces unconditionally surrender.

    Index


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    Contributed by Richard Doody

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