20th Century Wars Timeline

World War OneThis timeline details all the main wars that happened during the 20th Century


1899, 11th October to 1902, 31st May
Second Boer War (South African War)
Fought between: British Empire against South African Republic, Orange Free State
Location: South Africa
Result: British Victory, South African Republic and Orange Free State collapsed
1904, 8th February to 1905, 5th September
Russo-Japanese War
Fought between: Russian Empire against Japan
Location: Manchuria, Korean Peninsula, Sea of Japan
Result: Japanese Victory
1912, 8th October to 1913, 13th May
First Balkan War
Fought between: Ottoman Empire against Balkan League (Greece, Serbia, Montenegro, Bulgaria)
Location: Balkan Peninsula
Result: Balkan League victory
1913, 16th June 1913 to 18th July
Second Balkan War
Fought between: Bulgaria against Greece, Serbia, Montenegro, Ottoman Empire, Romania
Location: Balkan Peninsula
Result – Bulgarian defeat
1914, 28th July to 1918, 11th November
Fought between: Central Powers – Germany, Austria-Hungary, Ottoman Empire, Bulgaria against Allies (Entente) – British Empire, France, Russia
Location: Europe, Africa, Middle East, Pacific, Atlantic Ocean
Result: Allied Victory
1918, May to 1920, November
Russian Civil War
Fought between: Red Bolsheviks against White Tsarist
Location: Russian Empire
Result: Bolshevik victory
1920, 7th May to 1920, 12th October
Polish-Soviet War
Fought between: Soviet Union against Poland
Location: Central Europe
Result: Polish victory
1927, 12th April to 1950, 1st May (paused to fight Sino Japanese War)
Chinese Civil War
Fought between: Chinese Nationalists against Chinese Communist Party
Location: China
Result: Communist Party victory
1936, 17th July to 1939, 1st April
Spanish Civil War
Fought between: Spanish Nationalists against Spanish Republicans
Location: Spain
Result: Spanish Nationalist victory,
1937, 7th July to 1945, 9th September
Second Sino-Japanese War from 1941 part of World War Two
Fought between: China against Japan
Location: China and Burma (Myanmar)
Result: Chinese victory
1939, 1st September to 1945, 2nd September
Fought between: Axis Powers – Germany, Italy, Japan, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria against Allies – Soviet Union, United Kingdom, United States, France, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, Greece, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, South Africa, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia
Location: Europe, North Africa, south-east Asia, China, Japan, Middle East, Mediterranean, Atlantic, Pacific
Result: Allied victory
5th July 1941 to 31st July 1941
Ecuadorian-Peruvian War/ War of 1941
Fought between: Ecuador and Peru
Location: Ecuador/Peru border region
Result: Ecuador renounced land claims against Peru and Peru agreed to withdraw troops from Ecuador
1945, August to 1950, April
Chinese Civil War
Fought between: Chinese Communist Party against Chinese Nationalists
Location: China
Result: Communist Party victory
1946, 30th March to 1949, 16th October
Greek Civil War
Fought between: Greek Government against Greek Communists
Location: Greece
Result: Greek Government victory
1946, 19th December to 1954, 1st August
First Indochina War
Fought between: France, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia against Viet Minh
Location: Vietnam
Result: Viet Minh victory, Vietnam partitioned to North and South
1947 to 1991
Fought between: USA, NATO, Western Bloc against USSR, Warsaw Pact, Eastern Bloc
Location: Global
Result: Ended when the USSR fell
1950, 25th June to 1953, 27th June
Korean War (part of the Cold War)
Fought between: South Korea, United States, United Kingdom against North Korea, China, Soviet Union
Location: Korean Peninsula
Result: Inconclusive
1954, 1st November to 1962, 19th March
Algerian War
Fought between: Algeria against France
Location: Algeria
Result: Algeria gained independence from France
1959, 26th September to 1975, 30th April
Vietnam War (part of the Cold War)
Fought between: South Vietnam, United States against North Vietnam, Viet Cong, Khmer Rouge
Location: Vietnam
Result: North Vietnam victory
1965, 15th August to 1965, 30th September
Indo-Pakistani War
Fought between: India against Pakistan
Location: India/Pakistan border
Result: Stalemate
1967, 30th May to 1970, 15th January
Biafran War/ Nigerian Civil War
Fought between: Biafran Republic against Nigeria
Location: Nigeria
Result: Biafran defeat, Biafra became part of Nigeria
1967, 5th June to 1967, 10th June
Six Day War
Fought between: Israel against Egypt, Syria, Jordan
Location: Middle East
Result: Israeli victory
1971, 3rd December to 1971, 16th December
Indo-Pakistani War
Fought between: India against Pakistan
Location: India/Pakistan east and western borders
Result: Indian victory, east Pakistan became Bangladesh
1973, 6th October to 1973, 24th October
Yom Kippur War
Fought between: Israel against Syria
Location: Golan Heights, Sinai region, Suez Canal
Result: Israeli victory
1979, 25th December to 1989, February
Soviet-Afghan War
Fought between: Soviet Union against Afghanistan
Location: Afghanistan
Result: Afghan victory
19th March 1982 to 14th June 1982
Fought between: United Kingdom and Argentina
Result: United Kingdom prevented Argentina from taking the Falkland Islands.
1988, 1st March to 1999, 10th June
Kosovo War
Fought between: Kosovo, Albania, Croatia, NATO against Yugoslavia
Location: Yugoslavia, Kosovo, Albania
Result: Yugoslav troops withdrew from Kosovo
1990, 2nd August to 1991, 3rd March
Gulf War
Fought between: Kuwait, UN Security Forces against Iraq
Location: Iraq
Result: Iraq defeat
1991, 31st March to 1995, 12th November
Croatian War of Independence
Fought between: Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina against Yugoslavia, Serbs
Location: Croatia
Result: Croatian victory
1991, 27th June to 1991, 7th July
The Ten Day War
Fought between: Slovenia against Yugoslavia
Location: Slovenia
Result: Slovenian victory
1992, 1st March to 1995, 14th December
Bosnian War
Fought between: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, NATO against Yugoslavia
Location: Bosnia and Herzegovina
Result: Stalemate, partition of Bosnia and Herzegovina
1994, 4th May to 1994, 7th July
Yemen Civil War
Fought between: Republic of Yemen, United States, Jordan, Qatar, Egypt, Sudan, Iran, India against Democratic Republic of Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Lebanon, Iraq, Libya, Kuwait, Bahrain, UAE, Cuba, N Korea, China
Location: Yemen
Result: Republic of Yemen victory
1994, 11th December to 1996, 29th August
First Chechen War
Fought between: Chechen Republic of Ichkeria against Russia
Location: Chechnya, Dagestan
Result: Chechen victory
1996, 24th October to 16th May 1997
First Congo War
Fought between: Zaire, Sudan and Rwandan forces against Alliance of Democratic Forces for Liberation of the Congo (ADFL) – Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi, Angola and Eritrea supported by the USA
Location: Zaire (Democratic Republic of the Congo), Sudan, Uganda
Result: ADFL Victory
1998, 2nd August to 2003, 18th July
Second Congo War (Great War of Africa)
Fought between: Democratic Republic of the Congo, Angola, Chad, Namibia and Zimbabwe against Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi
Location: Democratic Republic of the Congo
Result: Stalemate


First published 2015; updated and re-published Oct 26 2021 @ 12:25 pm – Updated – [last-modified]

Harvard Reference for this page:

Heather Y Wheeler. (2015 – 2021). 20th Century Wars Timeline.

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