Normandy landingsBattle of FranceThe HolocaustAttack on Pearl HarborBattle of BritainAtomic bombings of Hiroshima and NagasakiSurrender of JapanWorld War IIIsraeli Declaration of IndependenceNuremberg trialsMarshall PlanENIAC
Above title bar: events during World War II (1939–1945): From left to right: Troops in an LCVP landing craft approaching Omaha Beach on D-Day; Adolf Hitler visits Paris, soon after the Battle of France; The Holocaust occurs as Nazi Germany carries out a programme of systematic state-sponsored genocide, during which approximately six million European Jews are killed; The Japanese attack on the American naval base of Pearl Harbor launches the United States into the war; An Observer Corps spotter scans the skies of London during the Battle of Britain; The atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are the first uses of nuclear weapons, killing over a quarter million people and leading to the Japanese surrender; Japanese Foreign Minister Mamoru Shigemitsu signs the Instrument of Surrender on behalf of the Japanese Government, on board USS Missouri, effectively ending the war.

Below title bar: events after World War II: From left to right: The Declaration of the State of Israel in 1948; The Nuremberg trials are held after the war, in which the prominent members of the political, military, and economic leadership of the defeated Nazi Germany are prosecuted; After the war, the United States carries out the Marshall Plan, which aims at rebuilding Western Europe; ENIAC, the world's first general-purpose electronic computer.
Millennium:2nd millennium

The 1940s (pronounced "nineteen-forties" and commonly abbreviated as the "Forties") was a decade of the Gregorian calendar that began on January 1, 1940, and ended on December 31, 1949.

Most of World War II took place in the first half of the decade, which had a profound effect on most countries and people in Europe, Asia, and elsewhere. The consequences of the war lingered well into the second half of the decade, with a war-weary Europe divided between the jostling spheres of influence of the Western world and the Soviet Union, leading to the beginning of the Cold War. To some degree internal and external tensions in the post-war era were managed by new institutions, including the United Nations, the welfare state, and the Bretton Woods system, facilitating the post–World War II economic expansion, which lasted well into the 1970s. The conditions of the post-war world encouraged decolonization and the emergence of new states and governments, with India, Pakistan, Israel, Vietnam, and others declaring independence, although rarely without bloodshed. The decade also witnessed the early beginnings of new technologies (such as computers, nuclear power, and jet propulsion), often first developed in tandem with the war effort, and later adapted and improved upon in the post-war era.

Politics and wars


In Green: Nazi Germany at its peak (1942):
  Civilian-administered occupied territories (Reichskommissariat and General Government)
  Military-administered occupied territories (Militärverwaltung)

Major political changes

  • Establishment of the United Nations Charter (June 26, 1945) effective (October 24, 1945).
  • Establishment of the defence alliance NATO April 4, 1949.

Internal conflicts

Decolonization and independence

David Ben-Gurion proclaiming Israeli independence from the United Kingdom on May 14, 1948
Mao Zedong proclaiming the establishment of the People's Republic of China on October 1, 1949.

Prominent political events

Other Languages
العربية: عقد 1940
aragonés: Anyos 1940
asturianu: Década de 1940
azərbaycanca: 1940-cı illər
Bân-lâm-gú: 1940 nî-tāi
беларуская: 1940-я
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: 1940-я
български: 1940-те
bosanski: 1940-e
Чӑвашла: 1940-мĕш çулсем
čeština: 1940–1949
Cymraeg: 1940au
dansk: 1940'erne
davvisámegiella: 1940-lohku
Deutsch: 1940er
Ελληνικά: Δεκαετία 1940
emiliàn e rumagnòl: An 1940
эрзянь: 1940 це иеть
español: Años 1940
Esperanto: 1940-aj jaroj
Fiji Hindi: 1940s
føroyskt: 1940-árini
français: Années 1940
Gaeilge: 1940idí
Gàidhlig: 1940an
贛語: 1940年代
客家語/Hak-kâ-ngî: 1940 ngièn-thoi
한국어: 1940년대
hrvatski: 1940-ih
Bahasa Indonesia: 1940-an
interlingua: Annos 1940
Ирон: 1940-тæ
íslenska: 1941-1950
italiano: Anni 1940
Jawa: 1940-an
ქართული: 1940-იანები
Kiswahili: Miaka ya 1940
Latina: Anni 1940
latviešu: 1940. gadi
Ligure: Anni 1940
Livvinkarjala: 1940-lugu vuvvet
македонски: 1940-ти
Bahasa Melayu: 1940-an
Mìng-dĕ̤ng-ngṳ̄: 1940 nièng-dâi
Nederlands: 1940-1949
日本語: 1940年代
norsk nynorsk: 1940-åra
Nouormand: Annaées 1940
олык марий: 1940 ийла
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: 1940-lar
ਪੰਜਾਬੀ: 1940 ਦਾ ਦਹਾਕਾ
português: Década de 1940
română: Anii 1940
Runa Simi: 1940 watakuna
русский: 1940-е годы
саха тыла: 1940-с
Sesotho sa Leboa: 1940s
shqip: Vitet 1940
sicilianu: 1940ini
Simple English: 1940s
slovenščina: 1940.
српски / srpski: 1940-е
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: 1940-e
Sunda: 1940-an
suomi: 1940-luku
svenska: 1940-talet
தமிழ்: 1940கள்
татарча/tatarça: 1940-еллар
Türkmençe: 1940ýý
українська: 1940-ві
Tiếng Việt: Thập niên 1940
吴语: 1940年代
ייִדיש: 1940ער
粵語: 1940年代
中文: 1940年代