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(i) (i) (i) (i) (i)

Allied victory

* Collapse of Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
* Fall of Japanese and Italian Empires * Dissolution of the League of Nations
League of Nations
* Creation of the United Nations
United Nations
* Emergence of the United States
United States
and the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
as superpowers

* Beginning of the Cold War
Cold War
(more... )

PARTICIPANTS

ALLIED POWERS AXIS POWERS

COMMANDERS AND LEADERS

MAIN ALLIED LEADERS

* Joseph Stalin
Joseph Stalin
* Franklin D. Roosevelt * Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill
* Chiang Kai-shek
Chiang Kai-shek

MAIN AXIS LEADERS

* Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
* Hirohito * Benito Mussolini
Benito Mussolini

CASUALTIES AND LOSSES

* MILITARY DEAD: Over 16,000,000 * CIVILIAN DEAD: Over 45,000,000 * TOTAL DEAD: Over 61,000,000 (1937–45)

...further details

* MILITARY DEAD: Over 8,000,000 * CIVILIAN DEAD: Over 4,000,000 * TOTAL DEAD: Over 12,000,000 (1937–45)

...further details

* v * t * e

Campaigns of World War II

EUROPE Poland Phoney War Winter War
Winter War
Denmark
Denmark
& Norway
Norway
France font-size:115%">

* v * t * e

WORLD WAR II

ALPHABETICAL INDICES

* A B C D E F G H I J K L M * N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z * 0–9

NAVIGATION

*

* Campaigns * Countries * Equipment

*

* Lists * Outline * Timeline

*

* PORTAL * CATEGORY * BIBLIOGRAPHY

* v * t * e

WORLD WAR II (often abbreviated to WWII or WW2), also known as the SECOND WORLD WAR, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945, although related conflicts began earlier. The vast majority of the world\'s countries —including all of the great powers —eventually formed two opposing military alliances : the Allies and the Axis . It was the most global war in history; it directly involved more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. In a state of total war , the major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort , blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II
World War II
was the deadliest conflict in human history , marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of which were civilians in the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
and China. It included massacres , the genocide of the Holocaust
Holocaust
, strategic bombing , starvation, disease, and the first use of nuclear weapons in history.

The Empire of Japan
Empire of Japan
aimed to dominate Asia
Asia
and the Pacific and was already at war with the Republic of China
China
in 1937, but the world war is generally said to have begun on 1 September 1939 , the day of the invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
and the subsequent declarations of war on Germany by France and the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
. From late 1939 to early 1941, in a series of campaigns and treaties , Germany conquered or controlled much of continental Europe, and formed the Axis alliance with Italy and Japan
Japan
. Under the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact of August 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
partitioned and annexed territories of their European neighbours, Poland , Finland , Romania and the Baltic states
Baltic states
. The war continued primarily between the European Axis powers and the coalition of the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
and the British Commonwealth , with campaigns including the North Africa and East Africa campaigns, the aerial Battle of Britain
Battle of Britain
, the Blitz bombing campaign , and the Balkan Campaign , as well as the long-running Battle of the Atlantic
Battle of the Atlantic
. On 22 June 1941, the European Axis powers launched an invasion of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
, opening the largest land theatre of war in history , which trapped the major part of the Axis military forces into a war of attrition . In December 1941, Japan attacked the United States
United States
and European colonies in the Pacific Ocean, and quickly conquered much of the Western Pacific.

The Axis advance halted in 1942 when Japan
Japan
lost the critical Battle of Midway , and Germany and Italy were defeated in North Africa and then, decisively, at Stalingrad in the Soviet Union. In 1943, with a series of German defeats on the Eastern Front , the Allied invasion of Sicily and the Allied invasion of Italy which brought about Italian surrender, and Allied victories in the Pacific, the Axis lost the initiative and undertook strategic retreat on all fronts. In 1944, the Western Allies invaded German-occupied France , while the Soviet Union regained all of its territorial losses and invaded Germany and its allies. During 1944 and 1945 the Japanese suffered major reverses in mainland Asia
Asia
in South Central China
China
and Burma , while the Allies crippled the Japanese Navy and captured key Western Pacific islands.

The war in Europe
Europe
concluded with an invasion of Germany by the Western Allies and the Soviet Union, culminating in the capture of Berlin by Soviet troops, the suicide of Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
and the subsequent German unconditional surrender on 8 May 1945 . Following the Potsdam Declaration by the Allies on 26 July 1945 and the refusal of Japan
Japan
to surrender under its terms, the United States
United States
dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima
Hiroshima
and Nagasaki
Nagasaki
on 6 and 9 August respectively. With an invasion of the Japanese archipelago imminent, the possibility of additional atomic bombings and the Soviet invasion of Manchuria , Japan
Japan
formally surrendered on 2 September 1945. Thus ended the war in Asia, cementing the total victory of the Allies.

World War II
World War II
changed the political alignment and social structure of the world. The United Nations
United Nations
(UN) was established to foster international co-operation and prevent future conflicts. The victorious great powers —China, France, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States—became the permanent members of the United Nations
United Nations
Security Council . The Soviet Union
Soviet Union
and the United States emerged as rival superpowers , setting the stage for the Cold War , which lasted for the next 46 years. Meanwhile, the influence of European great powers waned, while the decolonisation of Africa and Asia
Asia
began. Most countries whose industries had been damaged moved towards economic recovery . Political integration, especially in Europe
Europe
, emerged as an effort to end pre-war enmities and to create a common identity.

CONTENTS

* 1 Chronology

* 2 Background

* 2.1 Europe
Europe
* 2.2 Asia
Asia

* 3 Pre-war events

* 3.1 Italian invasion of Ethiopia (1935) * 3.2 Spanish Civil War
Spanish Civil War
(1936–39) * 3.3 Japanese invasion of China
China
(1937) * 3.4 Soviet–Japanese border conflicts * 3.5 European occupations and agreements

* 4 Course of the war

* 4.1 War breaks out in Europe
Europe
(1939–40) * 4.2 Western Europe
Europe
(1940–41) * 4.3 Mediterranean (1940–41) * 4.4 Axis attack on the USSR (1941) * 4.5 War breaks out in the Pacific (1941)

* 4.6 Axis advance stalls (1942–43)

* 4.6.1 Pacific (1942–43) * 4.6.2 Eastern Front (1942–43) * 4.6.3 Western Europe/Atlantic font-size:115%">

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The start of the war in Europe
Europe
is generally held to be 1 September 1939, beginning with the German invasion of Poland ; Britain and France declared war on Germany two days later. The dates for the beginning of war in the Pacific include the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War on 7 July 1937, or even the Japanese invasion of Manchuria on 19 September 1931.

Others follow the British historian A. J. P. Taylor , who held that the Sino-Japanese War and war in Europe
Europe
and its colonies occurred simultaneously and the two wars merged in 1941. This article uses the conventional dating. Other starting dates sometimes used for World War II include the Italian invasion of Abyssinia on 3 October 1935. The British historian Antony Beevor
Antony Beevor
views the beginning of World War II
World War II
as the Battles of Khalkhin Gol fought between Japan
Japan
and the forces of Mongolia
Mongolia
and the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
from May to September 1939.

The exact date of the war's end is also not universally agreed upon. It was generally accepted at the time that the war ended with the armistice of 14 August 1945 (V-J Day ), rather than the formal surrender of Japan, which was on 2 September 1945. A peace treaty with Japan
Japan
was signed in 1951. A treaty regarding Germany\'s future allowed the reunification of East and West Germany
West Germany
to take place in 1990 and resolved other post- World War II
World War II
issues.

BACKGROUND

Main article: Causes of World War II

EUROPE

World War I
World War I
had radically altered the political European map, with the defeat of the Central Powers —including Austria-Hungary
Austria-Hungary
, Germany , Bulgaria
Bulgaria
and the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
—and the 1917 Bolshevik seizure of power in Russia
Russia
, which eventually led to the founding of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
. Meanwhile, the victorious Allies of World War I
World War I
, such as France, Belgium, Italy, Romania and Greece, gained territory, and new nation-states were created out of the collapse of Austria-Hungary
Austria-Hungary
and the Ottoman and Russian Empires . The League of Nations assembly, held in Geneva
Geneva
, Switzerland
Switzerland
, 1930

To prevent a future world war, the League of Nations
League of Nations
was created during the 1919 Paris Peace Conference . The organisation's primary goals were to prevent armed conflict through collective security , military and naval disarmament , and settling international disputes through peaceful negotiations and arbitration.

Despite strong pacifist sentiment after World War I
World War I
,

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