World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved the vast majority of the world's countries —including all of the great powers—forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis powers.
- 1 September 1939 – 2 September 1945, (6 years and 1 day)
- Allied victory, Fall of Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy and Imperial Japan, Allied military occupations of Germany, Japan, Austria and Korea, Beginning of the Nuclear Age, Dissolution of the League of Nations and creation of the United Nations, Emergence of the United States and the Soviet Union as rival superpowers and beginning of the Cold War (See Aftermath of World War II)
- Allies and Axis
- Course of The War
- Military Losses
- Civilian Losses
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The countries that joined the war were on one of two sides: the Axis and the Allies. The Axis Powers at the start of the war were Germany, Italy, and Japan. There were many meetings to create an alliance between those countries. Finland, Slovakia, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, and Thailandjoined the Axis later. As the war continued, some Axis countri...
World War I had greatly changed the way of diplomacy and politics in Asia, Europe, and Africa with the defeat of the Central Powers. The empires that had sided with the Central Powers were destroyed. Even the Russian Empire, which was on the Allied side, broke up and became the USSR (Soviet Union) after the Russian Civil War. The war also changed t...
War breaks out
World War II began in Europe on September 1, 1939, as Germany invaded Poland. On September 3, Britain and France declared war on Germany. They did not do much to help Poland but sent only a small French attack on Germany from the west. The Soviet Union soon invaded eastern Poland, on September 17.Finally, all of Poland was divided. Germany then signed an agreement to work together with the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union forced the Baltic countries to allow it to keep Soviet soldiers in their...
Axis early victories
On 10 May, Germany invaded France, Belgium, Holland, and Luxembourg and quickly defeated them by using tactics of massive force. The British were forced to leave mainland Europe at Dunkirk. On June 10, Italy invaded France and declared war on itand the United Kingdom. Soon, France was divided into occupation zones. Some were directly controlled by Germany and Italy, and the other was the zone of unoccupied Vichy France. By June 1940, the Soviet Union moved its soldiers into the Baltic states...
War becomes global
On June 22, 1941, the European Axis countries attacked the Soviet Union. This opened a new Eastern Front (World War II). During the summer, the Axis quickly captured Ukraine and the Baltic regions, which caused huge damage to the Soviets. Britain and the Soviet Union formed a military alliance in July. Although there was great progress in the last two months when winter arrived, the tired German army was forced to delay its attack just outside Moscow. That showed that the Axis had failed its...
The Allies managed to occupy Austria and Germany. Germany was divided into two. The Soviets controlled the east, and the Western Allies controlled the west. The Allies began denazification, removing Nazi ideas from public life in Germany, and most high-ranking Nazis were captured and brought to a special court. Germany lost a quarter of the land th...
Death and war crimes
There is no exact total number of deaths because many of them were unrecorded. Many studies said that more than 60 million people died in the war, mostly civilians. The Soviet Union lost around 27 million people, almost half of the recorded number of deaths, which means that 25% of the Soviets were killed or wounded in the war. About 85% of the total deaths were on the Allies, and the other 15% were on the Axis. Mostly, people died because they were sick, hungry to death, bombed, or the wrong...
Concentration camps and slave work
Other than the Holocaust, about 12 million people, mostly Eastern Europeans, were forced to work for the German economy. German concentration camps and Soviet gulagscaused many deaths. Both sides treated prisoners-of-war badly. That was the case even for Soviet soldiers who survived and returned home. Japanese prisoner-of-war camps, many of which were used as labour camps, also caused many deaths. The death rate of Western prisoners was 27.1%, seven times that of prisoners under Germans and I...
Home fronts and production
Before the war in Europe, the Allies had a larger population and economy than the Axis. If colonies were included, the GDP of the Allies would be twice that of the Axis.In Asia, however, China had a GDP only 38% higher than Japan if colonies were counted. The Allied economy and population compared with the Axis lessened with the early Axis victories. However, that was no longer the case after the United States and the Soviet Union joined the Allies in 1941. The Allies had a higher production...
Most authorities now agree that of the 30 million Soviets who bore arms, there were 13.6 million military deaths. *Total of which 7,800,000 were battlefield deaths **Including Australia, Canada, India, New Zealand, etc.
Deaths among civilians during this war, many of which resulted from famine and internal purges, such as in China and the Soviet Union, were colossal but less well documented than those by the fighting forces. Although the figures are the best available from authoritative sources and present a broad picture of the scale of civilian losses, the preci...
The Second World War pitted two alliances against each other, the Axis powersand the Allied powers; the Soviet Union served 35 million men and women, with the U.S serving 16 million, Germany 13 million, the British Empire 8.5 million and Japan 6 million. It is estimated that in total 127 million people were mobilised during the war.
La Segunda Guerra Mundial (en inglés original: The Second World War) es el título de la obra literaria histórica en seis volúmenes que narra el período desde el final de la Primera Guerra Mundial hasta julio de 1945, escrita por Winston Churchill.
Grand StrategyThe War at SeaThe Strategic Air Offensive against GermanyDefence of the United Kingdom, Basil Collier, 1957IntroductoryGeneral SeriesWar ProductionBritish Intelligence in the Second World WarSOE in France, M. R. D. Foot, 1966 (repr. 2004)The Emergency Medical ServicesThe Royal Air Force Medical ServicesThe Royal Naval Medical ServiceThe Army Medical ServicesThe Royal Air Force, 1939–45British Military Administration of Occupied Territories in Africa during the Years 1941–1947, Major-General Francis Rodd, 1948
- United Kingdom Military Series
- United Kingdom Civil Series
- Medical Volumes
- Supplementary HMSO Works
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