This Week in History

Listen to and learn about events that happened this week in history—including politics, war, crime, inventions, entertainment and fashion. Archive of events that have shaped history. For learners and teachers of English, with audio recording, vocabulary and quick quizzes.

3 September 1939

Allies Declare War On Nazi Germany

Great Britain, France, Australia and New Zealand declare war on Hitler's Nazi Germany.

In 1939, the Allied Forces of Great Britain, France, Australia and New Zealand responded to Nazi Germany's invasion of Poland by declaring war. Two days before war was declared, German forces had bombed Polish cities and towns, killing and injuring thousands. After the Germans failed to meet a deadline set by The Allies to retreat from Poland, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain announced on radio: "I have to tell you now that no such undertaking has been received and consequently this country is at war with Germany." This marked the beginning of World War II.

allied (adjective): on the same side in a war
declare (verb): announce
injure (verb): hurt physically
deadline (noun): the last possible date to get something done
retreat (verb): go back; withdraw
consequently (adverb): as a result

Quick Quiz:

British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain declared war because the Germans

  1. had failed to meet the Allies
  2. hadn't retreated from Poland
  3. hadn't set a deadline in time

The Allies set a deadline soon after the Germans had

  1. invaded Poland
  2. elected Hitler
  3. started World War 2

If a teacher sets a deadline for the submission of an essay, she expects her students to submit their essays

  1. before the deadline
  2. around the deadline
  3. after the deadline

Guide for Teachers - How to use This Week in History in your classes

Contributor: Matt Errey