Joseph Stalin Timeline

Joseph Stalin Timeline in Chronological Order
1878Dec 18. Joseph Stalin is born in Gori, Georgia.
1899Stalin joins the Marxist Russian Social Democratic Labour Party.
1902Stalin is arrested for the first time, and exiled to Siberia.
1904Stalin is released from exile and returns to Georgia.

Nov. The Bolshevik Revolution in Russia brings the Communist Party to power.

Stalin is appointed People’s Commissar for Nationalities.

1922Stalin becomes General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

Jan 21. Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin dies.

Stalin becomes one of the most powerful figures in the Soviet Union.


Stalin begins his campaign to eliminate opposition to his rule within the Communist Party.

He purges Trotskyists and other perceived enemies of the state from the party.


Stalin orders the assassination of his political rival, Sergei Kirov.

The Great Purge, a campaign of repression and terror, begins in which many leading party officials are arrested, tortured, and executed.


Stalin presides over the first of the Moscow Show Trials, in which leading Communist Party officials are accused of treason and executed.

Stalin’s Great Purge intensifies.


Aug 23. Stalin signs a non-aggression pact with Nazi Germany, known as the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact.

The Soviet Union invades Finland in the Winter War.


Jun 22. Nazi Germany invades the Soviet Union, beginning the Eastern Front of World War II.

Stalin becomes the head of the Soviet Union’s war effort, and begins to consolidate power.


Stalin’s forces begin to push back against the Germans, who had initially made significant gains.

The Soviet Union becomes one of the main Allied powers in World War II.


Nov 28. The Tehran Conference is held, with Stalin, Winston Churchill, and Franklin D. Roosevelt discussing military strategy and post-war plans.

Stalin demands a second front in Europe to relieve pressure on the Soviet Union.


Feb 4-11. The Yalta Conference is held, with Stalin, Churchill, and Roosevelt making plans for the post-war world.

May 9. Nazi Germany surrenders, ending World War II in Europe.

Stalin declares war on Japan and invades Manchuria.


Churchill delivers his “Iron Curtain” speech, warning of the Soviet Union’s growing influence in Eastern Europe.

Stalin begins to establish Communist governments throughout Eastern Europe.

1948Stalin orders a blockade of West Berlin, leading to the Berlin Airlift by the United States and its allies.
1950Stalin’s son, Yakov, dies in a German prison camp.
1952Stalin becomes increasingly paranoid and purges more perceived enemies from the party.

Mar 5. Stalin dies at the age of 74.

His successor, Nikita Khrushchev, begins a process of de-Stalinization in the Soviet Union.