Contents 1 Chronology 2 Background 2.1 Europe 2.2 Asia 3 Pre-war events 3.1 Italian invasion of Ethiopia (1935) 3.2 Spanish Civil War (1936–39) 3.3 Japanese invasion of 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 (1939–40) 4.2 Western 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 & Mediterranean (1942–43) 4.7 Allies gain momentum (1943–44) 4.8 Allies close in (1944) 4.9 Axis collapse, Allied victory (1944–45) 5 Aftermath 6 Impact 6.1 Casualties and war crimes 6.2 Genocide, concentration camps, and slave labour 6.3 Occupation 6.4 Home fronts and production 6.5 Advances in technology and warfare 7 See also 8 Notes 9 Citations 10 References 11 Further reading 12 External links

Chronology See also: Timeline of World War II Timelines of World War II Chronological Prelude (in Asia in Europe) 1939 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 By topic Diplomacy Engagements Operations Battle of Europe air operations Eastern Front Manhattan Project United Kingdom home front v t e The start of the war in Europe is generally held to be 1 September 1939,[9][10] 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,[11][12] or even the Japanese invasion of Manchuria on 19 September 1931.[13][14] Others follow the British historian A. J. P. Taylor, who held that the Sino-Japanese War and war in 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.[15] The British historian Antony Beevor views the beginning of World War II as the Battles of Khalkhin Gol fought between Japan and the forces of Mongolia and the Soviet Union from May to September 1939.[16] 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 was signed in 1951.[17] A treaty regarding Germany's future allowed the reunification of East and West Germany to take place in 1990 and resolved other post-World War II issues.[18]

Background Main article: Causes of World War II Europe World War I had radically altered the political European map, with the defeat of the Central Powers—including Austria-Hungary, Germany, Bulgaria and the Ottoman Empire—and the 1917 Bolshevik seizure of power in Russia, which eventually led to the founding of the Soviet Union. Meanwhile, the victorious Allies of 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 and the Ottoman and Russian Empires. The League of Nations assembly, held in Geneva, Switzerland, 1930 To prevent a future world war, the 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,[19] its aftermath still caused irredentist and revanchist nationalism in several European states. These sentiments were especially marked in Germany because of the significant territorial, colonial, and financial losses incurred by the Treaty of Versailles. Under the treaty, Germany lost around 13 percent of its home territory and all of its overseas possessions, while German annexation of other states was prohibited, reparations were imposed, and limits were placed on the size and capability of the country's armed forces.[20] The German Empire was dissolved in the German Revolution of 1918–1919, and a democratic government, later known as the Weimar Republic, was created. The interwar period saw strife between supporters of the new republic and hardline opponents on both the right and left. Italy, as an Entente ally, had made some post-war territorial gains; however, Italian nationalists were angered that the promises made by Britain and France to secure Italian entrance into the war were not fulfilled in the peace settlement. From 1922 to 1925, the Fascist movement led by Benito Mussolini seized power in Italy with a nationalist, totalitarian, and class collaborationist agenda that abolished representative democracy, repressed socialist, left-wing and liberal forces, and pursued an aggressive expansionist foreign policy aimed at making Italy a world power, promising the creation of a "New Roman Empire".[21] Adolf Hitler at a German National Socialist political rally in Weimar, October 1930 Adolf Hitler, after an unsuccessful attempt to overthrow the German government in 1923, eventually became the Chancellor of Germany in 1933. He abolished democracy, espousing a radical, racially motivated revision of the world order, and soon began a massive rearmament campaign.[22] Meanwhile, France, to secure its alliance, allowed Italy a free hand in Ethiopia, which Italy desired as a colonial possession. The situation was aggravated in early 1935 when the Territory of the Saar Basin was legally reunited with Germany and Hitler repudiated the Treaty of Versailles, accelerated his rearmament programme, and introduced conscription.[23] To contain Germany, the United Kingdom, France and Italy formed the Stresa Front in April 1935; however, that June, the United Kingdom made an independent naval agreement with Germany, easing prior restrictions. The Soviet Union, concerned by Germany's goals of capturing vast areas of Eastern Europe, drafted a treaty of mutual assistance with France. Before taking effect though, the Franco-Soviet pact was required to go through the bureaucracy of the League of Nations, which rendered it essentially toothless.[24] The United States, concerned with events in Europe and Asia, passed the Neutrality Act in August of the same year.[25] Hitler defied the Versailles and Locarno treaties by remilitarising the Rhineland in March 1936, encountering little opposition.[26] In October 1936, Germany and Italy formed the Rome–Berlin Axis. A month later, Germany and Japan signed the Anti-Comintern Pact, which Italy would join in the following year. Asia The Kuomintang (KMT) party in China launched a unification campaign against regional warlords and nominally unified China in the mid-1920s, but was soon embroiled in a civil war against its former Chinese Communist Party allies[27] and new regional warlords. In 1931, an increasingly militaristic Empire of Japan, which had long sought influence in China[28] as the first step of what its government saw as the country's right to rule Asia, used the Mukden Incident as a pretext to launch an invasion of Manchuria and establish the puppet state of Manchukuo.[29] Too weak to resist Japan, China appealed to the League of Nations for help. Japan withdrew from the League of Nations after being condemned for its incursion into Manchuria. The two nations then fought several battles, in Shanghai, Rehe and Hebei, until the Tanggu Truce was signed in 1933. Thereafter, Chinese volunteer forces continued the resistance to Japanese aggression in Manchuria, and Chahar and Suiyuan.[30] After the 1936 Xi'an Incident, the Kuomintang and communist forces agreed on a ceasefire to present a united front to oppose Japan.[31]

Pre-war events Italian invasion of Ethiopia (1935) Main article: Second Italo-Ethiopian War Benito Mussolini inspecting troops during the Italo-Ethiopian War, 1935 The Second Italo–Abyssinian War was a brief colonial war that began in October 1935 and ended in May 1936. The war began with the invasion of the Ethiopian Empire (also known as Abyssinia) by the armed forces of the Kingdom of Italy (Regno d'Italia), which was launched from Italian Somaliland and Eritrea.[32] The war resulted in the military occupation of Ethiopia and its annexation into the newly created colony of Italian East Africa (Africa Orientale Italiana, or AOI); in addition it exposed the weakness of the League of Nations as a force to preserve peace. Both Italy and Ethiopia were member nations, but the League did nothing when the former clearly violated the League's Article X.[33] Germany was the only major European nation to openly support the invasion. Italy subsequently dropped its objections to Germany's goal of absorbing Austria.[34] Spanish Civil War (1936–39) Main article: Spanish Civil War The bombing of Guernica in 1937, during the Spanish Civil War, sparked Europe-wide fears that the next war would be based on bombing of cities with very high civilian casualties When civil war broke out in Spain, Hitler and Mussolini lent military support to the Nationalist rebels, led by General Francisco Franco. The Soviet Union supported the existing government, the Spanish Republic. Over 30,000 foreign volunteers, known as the International Brigades, also fought against the Nationalists. Both Germany and the USSR used this proxy war as an opportunity to test in combat their most advanced weapons and tactics. The Nationalists won the civil war in April 1939; Franco, now dictator, remained officially neutral during World War II but generally favoured the Axis.[35] His greatest collaboration with Germany was the sending of volunteers to fight on the Eastern Front.[36] Japanese invasion of China (1937) Main article: Second Sino-Japanese War Japanese Imperial Army soldiers during the Battle of Shanghai, 1937 In July 1937, Japan captured the former Chinese imperial capital of Peking after instigating the Marco Polo Bridge Incident, which culminated in the Japanese campaign to invade all of China.[37] The Soviets quickly signed a non-aggression pact with China to lend materiel support, effectively ending China's prior co-operation with Germany. From September to November, the Japanese attacked Taiyuan,[38][39] as well as engaging the Kuomintang Army around Xinkou[38][39] and Communist forces in Pingxingguan.[40][41] Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek deployed his best army to defend Shanghai, but, after three months of fighting, Shanghai fell. The Japanese continued to push the Chinese forces back, capturing the capital Nanking in December 1937. After the fall of Nanking, tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of Chinese civilians and disarmed combatants were murdered by the Japanese.[42][43] In March 1938, Nationalist Chinese forces won their first major victory at Taierzhuang but then the city of Xuzhou was taken by Japanese in May.[44] In June 1938, Chinese forces stalled the Japanese advance by flooding the Yellow River; this manoeuvre bought time for the Chinese to prepare their defences at Wuhan, but the city was taken by October.[45] Japanese military victories did not bring about the collapse of Chinese resistance that Japan had hoped to achieve; instead the Chinese government relocated inland to Chongqing and continued the war.[46][47] Soviet–Japanese border conflicts Red Army artillery unit during the Battle of Lake Khasan, 1938 Main article: Soviet–Japanese border conflicts In the mid-to-late 1930s, Japanese forces in Manchukuo had sporadic border clashes with the Soviet Union and the Mongolian People's Republic. The Japanese doctrine of Hokushin-ron, which emphasised Japan's expansion northward, was favoured by the Imperial Army during this time. With the Japanese defeat at Khalkin Gol in 1939, the ongoing Second Sino-Japanese War[48] and ally Nazi Germany pursuing neutrality with the Soviets, this policy would prove difficult to maintain. Japan and the Soviet Union eventually signed a Neutrality Pact in April 1941, and Japan adopted the doctrine of Nanshin-ron, promoted by the Navy, which took its focus southward, eventually leading to its war with the United States and the Western Allies.[49][50] European occupations and agreements Chamberlain, Daladier, Hitler, Mussolini, and Ciano pictured just before signing the Munich Agreement, 29 September 1938 In Europe, Germany and Italy were becoming more aggressive. In March 1938, Germany annexed Austria, again provoking little response from other European powers.[51] Encouraged, Hitler began pressing German claims on the Sudetenland, an area of Czechoslovakia with a predominantly ethnic German population; and soon Britain and France followed the counsel of British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain and conceded this territory to Germany in the Munich Agreement, which was made against the wishes of the Czechoslovak government, in exchange for a promise of no further territorial demands.[52] Soon afterwards, Germany and Italy forced Czechoslovakia to cede additional territory to Hungary and Poland annexed Czechoslovakia's Zaolzie region.[53] Although all of Germany's stated demands had been satisfied by the agreement, privately Hitler was furious that British interference had prevented him from seizing all of Czechoslovakia in one operation. In subsequent speeches Hitler attacked British and Jewish "war-mongers" and in January 1939 secretly ordered a major build-up of the German navy to challenge British naval supremacy. In March 1939, Germany invaded the remainder of Czechoslovakia and subsequently split it into the German Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia and a pro-German client state, the Slovak Republic.[54] Hitler also delivered an ultimatum to Lithuania, forcing the concession of the Klaipėda Region. Greatly alarmed and with Hitler making further demands on the Free City of Danzig, Britain and France guaranteed their support for Polish independence; when Italy conquered Albania in April 1939, the same guarantee was extended to Romania and Greece.[55] Shortly after the Franco-British pledge to Poland, Germany and Italy formalised their own alliance with the Pact of Steel.[56] Hitler accused Britain and Poland of trying to "encircle" Germany and renounced the Anglo-German Naval Agreement and the German–Polish Non-Aggression Pact. German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop (right) and the Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, after signing the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, 23 August 1939 In August 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union signed the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact,[57] a non-aggression treaty with a secret protocol. The parties gave each other rights to "spheres of influence" (western Poland and Lithuania for Germany; eastern Poland, Finland, Estonia, Latvia and Bessarabia for the USSR). It also raised the question of continuing Polish independence.[58] The agreement was crucial to Hitler because it assured that Germany would not have to face the prospect of a two-front war, as it had in World War I, after it defeated Poland. The situation reached a general crisis in late August as German troops continued to mobilise against the Polish border. In a private meeting with the Italian foreign minister, Count Ciano, Hitler asserted that Poland was a "doubtful neutral" that needed to either yield to his demands or be "liquidated" to prevent it from drawing off German troops in the future "unavoidable" war with the Western democracies. He did not believe Britain or France would intervene in the conflict.[59] On 23 August Hitler ordered the attack to proceed on 26 August, but upon hearing that Britain had concluded a formal mutual assistance pact with Poland and that Italy would maintain neutrality, he decided to delay it.[60] In response to British requests for direct negotiations to avoid war, Germany made demands on Poland, which only served as a pretext to worsen relations.[61] On 29 August, Hitler demanded that a Polish plenipotentiary immediately travel to Berlin to negotiate the handover of Danzig, and to allow a plebiscite in the Polish Corridor in which the German minority would vote on secession.[61] The Poles refused to comply with the German demands and on the night of 30–31 August in a violent meeting with the British ambassador Neville Henderson, Ribbentrop declared that Germany considered its claims rejected.[62]

Course of the war Further information: Diplomatic history of World War II War breaks out in Europe (1939–40) Soldiers of the German Wehrmacht tearing down the border crossing between Poland and the Free City of Danzig after the invasion, September 1939 On 1 September 1939, Germany invaded Poland under the false pretext that the Poles had carried out a series of sabotage operations against German targets near the border.[63] Two days later, on 3 September, after a British ultimatum to Germany to cease military operations was ignored, Britain and France, followed by the fully independent Dominions[64] of the British Commonwealth[65]—Australia (3 September), Canada (10 September), New Zealand (3 September), and South Africa (6 September)—declared war on Germany. However, initially the alliance provided limited direct military support to Poland, consisting of a cautious, half-hearted French probe into the Saarland.[66] The Western Allies also began a naval blockade of Germany, which aimed to damage the country's economy and war effort.[67] Germany responded by ordering U-boat warfare against Allied merchant and warships, which was to later escalate into the Battle of the Atlantic. German tanks near the city of Bydgoszcz, during the Invasion of Poland September 1939 On 17 September 1939, after signing a cease-fire with Japan, the Soviets invaded Poland from the east.[68] The Polish army was defeated and Warsaw surrendered to the Germans on 27 September with final pockets of resistance surrendering on 6 October. Poland's territory was divided between Germany and the Soviet Union, with Lithuania and Slovakia also receiving small shares. After the defeat of Poland's armed forces, the Polish resistance established an Underground State and a partisan Home Army.[69] About 100,000 Polish military personnel were evacuated to Romania and the Baltic countries; many of these soldiers later fought against the Germans in other theatres of the war.[70] Poland's Enigma codebreakers were also evacuated to France.[71] On 6 October, Hitler made a public peace overture to Britain and France, but said that the future of Poland was to be determined exclusively by Germany and the Soviet Union. Chamberlain rejected this on 12 October, saying "Past experience has shown that no reliance can be placed upon the promises of the present German Government."[62] After this rejection Hitler ordered an immediate offensive against France,[72] but bad weather forced repeated postponements until the spring of 1940.[73][74][75] German and Soviet army officers pictured shaking hands—after Nazi Germany and Soviet Union annexed new territories in Eastern Europe, 1939 After signing the German–Soviet Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Demarcation, the Soviet Union forced the Baltic countries—Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania—to allow it to station Soviet troops in their countries under pacts of "mutual assistance".[76][77][78] Finland rejected territorial demands, prompting a Soviet invasion in November 1939.[79] The resulting Winter War ended in March 1940 with Finnish concessions.[80] Britain and France, treating the Soviet attack on Finland as tantamount to its entering the war on the side of the Germans, responded to the Soviet invasion by supporting the USSR's expulsion from the League of Nations.[78] In June 1940, the Soviet Union forcibly annexed Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania,[77] and the disputed Romanian regions of Bessarabia, Northern Bukovina and Hertza. Meanwhile, Nazi-Soviet political rapprochement and economic co-operation[81][82] gradually stalled,[83][page needed][84] and both states began preparations for war.[85] Western Europe (1940–41) Main article: Western Front (World War II) Map of the French Maginot Line In April 1940, Germany invaded Denmark and Norway to protect shipments of iron ore from Sweden, which the Allies were attempting to cut off by unilaterally mining neutral Norwegian waters.[86] Denmark capitulated after a few hours, and despite Allied support, during which the important harbour of Narvik temporarily was recaptured from the Germans, Norway was conquered within two months.[87] British discontent over the Norwegian campaign led to the replacement of the British Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain, with Winston Churchill on 10 May 1940.[88] Germany launched an offensive against France and, adhering to the Manstein Plan also attacked the neutral nations of Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg on 10 May 1940.[89] That same day British forces landed in Iceland and the Faroes to preempt a possible German invasion of the islands.[90] The U.S., in close co-operation with the Danish envoy to Washington D.C., agreed to protect Greenland, laying the political framework for the formal establishment of bases in April 1941. The Netherlands and Belgium were overrun using blitzkrieg tactics in a few days and weeks, respectively.[91] The French-fortified Maginot Line and the main body of the Allied forces which had moved into Belgium were circumvented by a flanking movement through the thickly wooded Ardennes region,[92] mistakenly perceived by Allied planners as an impenetrable natural barrier against armoured vehicles.[93][94] As a result, the bulk of the Allied armies found themselves trapped in an encirclement and were beaten. The majority were taken prisoner, whilst over 300,000, mostly British and French, were evacuated from the continent at Dunkirk by early June, although abandoning almost all of their equipment.[95] On 10 June, Italy invaded France, declaring war on both France and the United Kingdom.[96] Paris fell to the Germans on 14 June and eight days later France signed an armistice with Germany and was soon divided into German and Italian occupation zones,[97] and an unoccupied rump state under the Vichy Regime, which, though officially neutral, was generally aligned with Germany. France kept its fleet but the British feared the Germans would seize it, so on 3 July, the British attacked it.[98] View of London after the German Blitz, 29 December 1940 The Battle of Britain[99] began in early July with Luftwaffe attacks on shipping and harbours.[100] On 19 July, Hitler again publicly offered to end the war, saying he had no desire to destroy the British Empire. The United Kingdom rejected this ultimatum.[101] The main German air superiority campaign started in August but failed to defeat RAF Fighter Command, and a proposed invasion was postponed indefinitely on 17 September. The German strategic bombing offensive intensified as night attacks on London and other cities in the Blitz, but largely failed to disrupt the British war effort.[100] German Luftwaffe, Heinkel He 111 bombers during the Battle of Britain Using newly captured French ports, the German Navy enjoyed success against an over-extended Royal Navy, using U-boats against British shipping in the Atlantic.[102] The British scored a significant victory on 27 May 1941 by sinking the German battleship Bismarck.[103] Perhaps most importantly, during the Battle of Britain the Royal Air Force had successfully resisted the Luftwaffe's assault, and the German bombing campaign largely ended in May 1941.[104] Throughout this period, the neutral United States took measures to assist China and the Western Allies. In November 1939, the American Neutrality Act was amended to allow "cash and carry" purchases by the Allies.[105] In 1940, following the German capture of Paris, the size of the United States Navy was significantly increased. In September, the United States further agreed to a trade of American destroyers for British bases.[106] Still, a large majority of the American public continued to oppose any direct military intervention into the conflict well into 1941.[107] Although Roosevelt had promised to keep the United States out of the war, he nevertheless took concrete steps to prepare for war. In December 1940 he accused Hitler of planning world conquest and ruled out negotiations as useless, calling for the US to become an "arsenal of democracy" and promoted the passage of Lend-Lease aid to support the British war effort.[101] In January 1941 secret high level staff talks with the British began for the purposes of determining how to defeat Germany should the US enter the war. They decided on a number of offensive policies, including an air offensive, the "early elimination" of Italy, raids, support of resistance groups, and the capture of positions to launch an offensive against Germany.[108] At the end of September 1940, the Tripartite Pact united Japan, Italy and Germany to formalise the Axis Powers. The Tripartite Pact stipulated that any country, with the exception of the Soviet Union, not in the war which attacked any Axis Power would be forced to go to war against all three.[109] The Axis expanded in November 1940 when Hungary, Slovakia and Romania joined the Tripartite Pact.[110] Romania would make a major contribution (as did Hungary) to the Axis war against the USSR, partially to recapture territory ceded to the USSR, partially to pursue its leader Ion Antonescu's desire to combat communism.[111] Mediterranean (1940–41) Main article: Mediterranean and Middle East theatre of World War II Soldiers of the British Commonwealth forces from the Australian Army's 9th Division during the Siege of Tobruk; North African Campaign, August 1941 Italy began operations in the Mediterranean, initiating a siege of Malta in June, conquering British Somaliland in August, and making an incursion into British-held Egypt in September 1940. In October 1940, Italy started the Greco-Italian War because of Mussolini's jealousy of Hitler's success but within days was repulsed with few territorial gains and a stalemate soon occurred.[112] The United Kingdom responded to Greek requests for assistance by sending troops to Crete and providing air support to Greece. Hitler decided that when the weather improved he would take action against Greece to assist the Italians and prevent the British from gaining a foothold in the Balkans, to strike against the British naval dominance of the Mediterranean, and to secure his hold on Romanian oil.[113] In December 1940, British Commonwealth forces began counter-offensives against Italian forces in Egypt and Italian East Africa.[114] The offensive in North Africa was highly successful and by early February 1941 Italy had lost control of eastern Libya and large numbers of Italian troops had been taken prisoner. The Italian Navy also suffered significant defeats, with the Royal Navy putting three Italian battleships out of commission by a carrier attack at Taranto, and neutralising several more warships at the Battle of Cape Matapan.[115] Captured German Afrika Korps soldiers, December 1941 The Germans soon intervened to assist Italy. Hitler sent German forces to Libya in February, and by the end of March the Axis had launched an offensive which drove back the Commonwealth forces which had been weakened to support Greece.[116] In under a month, Commonwealth forces were pushed back into Egypt with the exception of the besieged port of Tobruk that fell later.[117] The Commonwealth attempted to dislodge Axis forces in May and again in June, but failed on both occasions.[118] By late March 1941, following Bulgaria's signing of the Tripartite Pact, the Germans were in position to intervene in Greece. Plans were changed, however, because of developments in neighbouring Yugoslavia. The Yugoslav government had signed the Tripartite Pact on 25 March, only to be overthrown two days later by a British-encouraged coup. Hitler viewed the new regime as hostile and immediately decided to eliminate it. On 6 April Germany simultaneously invaded both Yugoslavia and Greece, making rapid progress and forcing both nations to surrender within the month. The British were driven from the Balkans after Germany conquered the Greek island of Crete by the end of May.[119] Although the Axis victory was swift, bitter partisan warfare subsequently broke out against the Axis occupation of Yugoslavia, which continued until the end of the war. The Allies did have some successes during this time. In the Middle East, Commonwealth forces first quashed an uprising in Iraq which had been supported by German aircraft from bases within Vichy-controlled Syria,[120] then, with the assistance of the Free French, invaded Syria and Lebanon to prevent further such occurrences.[121] Axis attack on the USSR (1941) Main article: Eastern Front (World War II) European theatre of World War II animation map, 1939–1945 — Red: Western Allies and Soviet Union after 1941; Green: Soviet Union before 1941; Blue: Axis Powers With the situation in Europe and Asia relatively stable, Germany, Japan, and the Soviet Union made preparations. With the Soviets wary of mounting tensions with Germany and the Japanese planning to take advantage of the European War by seizing resource-rich European possessions in Southeast Asia, the two powers signed the Soviet–Japanese Neutrality Pact in April 1941.[122] By contrast, the Germans were steadily making preparations for an attack on the Soviet Union, massing forces on the Soviet border.[123] Hitler believed that Britain's refusal to end the war was based on the hope that the United States and the Soviet Union would enter the war against Germany sooner or later.[124] He therefore decided to try to strengthen Germany's relations with the Soviets, or failing that, to attack and eliminate them as a factor. In November 1940, negotiations took place to determine if the Soviet Union would join the Tripartite Pact. The Soviets showed some interest, but asked for concessions from Finland, Bulgaria, Turkey, and Japan that Germany considered unacceptable. On 18 December 1940, Hitler issued the directive to prepare for an invasion of the Soviet Union. German soldiers during the invasion of the Soviet Union by the Axis powers, 1941 On 22 June 1941, Germany, supported by Italy and Romania, invaded the Soviet Union in Operation Barbarossa, with Germany accusing the Soviets of plotting against them. They were joined shortly by Finland and Hungary.[125] The primary targets of this surprise offensive[126][page needed] were the Baltic region, Moscow and Ukraine, with the ultimate goal of ending the 1941 campaign near the Arkhangelsk-Astrakhan line, from the Caspian to the White Seas. Hitler's objectives were to eliminate the Soviet Union as a military power, exterminate Communism, generate Lebensraum ("living space")[127] by dispossessing the native population[128][page needed] and guarantee access to the strategic resources needed to defeat Germany's remaining rivals.[129][page needed] Although the Red Army was preparing for strategic counter-offensives before the war,[130][page needed] Barbarossa forced the Soviet supreme command to adopt a strategic defence. During the summer, the Axis made significant gains into Soviet territory, inflicting immense losses in both personnel and materiel. By the middle of August, however, the German Army High Command decided to suspend the offensive of a considerably depleted Army Group Centre, and to divert the 2nd Panzer Group to reinforce troops advancing towards central Ukraine and Leningrad.[131][page needed] The Kiev offensive was overwhelmingly successful, resulting in encirclement and elimination of four Soviet armies, and made possible further advance into Crimea and industrially developed Eastern Ukraine (the First Battle of Kharkov).[132] Soviet civilians in Leningrad leaving destroyed houses, after a German bombardment of the city; Battle of Leningrad, 10 December 1942 The diversion of three quarters of the Axis troops and the majority of their air forces from France and the central Mediterranean to the Eastern Front[133] prompted Britain to reconsider its grand strategy.[134][page needed] In July, the UK and the Soviet Union formed a military alliance against Germany[135] The British and Soviets invaded neutral Iran to secure the Persian Corridor and Iran's oil fields.[136] In August, the United Kingdom and the United States jointly issued the Atlantic Charter.[137] By October Axis operational objectives in Ukraine and the Baltic region were achieved, with only the sieges of Leningrad[138][page needed] and Sevastopol continuing.[139] A major offensive against Moscow was renewed; after two months of fierce battles in increasingly harsh weather the German army almost reached the outer suburbs of Moscow, where the exhausted troops[140] were forced to suspend their offensive.[141] Large territorial gains were made by Axis forces, but their campaign had failed to achieve its main objectives: two key cities remained in Soviet hands, the Soviet capability to resist was not broken, and the Soviet Union retained a considerable part of its military potential. The blitzkrieg phase of the war in Europe had ended.[142][page needed] By early December, freshly mobilised reserves[143][page needed] allowed the Soviets to achieve numerical parity with Axis troops.[144] This, as well as intelligence data which established that a minimal number of Soviet troops in the East would be sufficient to deter any attack by the Japanese Kwantung Army,[145][page needed] allowed the Soviets to begin a massive counter-offensive that started on 5 December all along the front and pushed German troops 100–250 kilometres (62–155 mi) west.[146] War breaks out in the Pacific (1941) Main article: Pacific War In 1939, the United States had renounced its trade treaty with Japan; and, beginning with an aviation gasoline ban in July 1940, Japan became subject to increasing economic pressure.[101] During this time, Japan launched its first attack against Changsha, a strategically important Chinese city, but was repulsed by late September.[147] Despite several offensives by both sides, the war between China and Japan was stalemated by 1940. To increase pressure on China by blocking supply routes, and to better position Japanese forces in the event of a war with the Western powers, Japan invaded and occupied northern Indochina.[148] Afterwards, the United States embargoed iron, steel and mechanical parts against Japan.[149] Other sanctions soon followed. Chinese nationalist forces launched a large-scale counter-offensive in early 1940. In August, Chinese communists launched an offensive in Central China; in retaliation, Japan instituted harsh measures in occupied areas to reduce human and material resources for the communists.[150] Continued antipathy between Chinese communist and nationalist forces culminated in armed clashes in January 1941, effectively ending their co-operation.[151] In March, the Japanese 11th army attacked the headquarters of the Chinese 19th army but was repulsed during Battle of Shanggao.[152] In September, Japan attempted to take the city of Changsha again and clashed with Chinese nationalist forces.[153] Mitsubishi A6M2 "Zero" fighters on the Imperial Japanese Navy aircraft carrier Shōkaku, just before the attack on Pearl Harbor German successes in Europe encouraged Japan to increase pressure on European governments in Southeast Asia. The Dutch government agreed to provide Japan some oil supplies from the Dutch East Indies, but negotiations for additional access to their resources ended in failure in June 1941.[154] In July 1941 Japan sent troops to southern Indochina, thus threatening British and Dutch possessions in the Far East. The United States, United Kingdom and other Western governments reacted to this move with a freeze on Japanese assets and a total oil embargo.[155][156] At the same time, Japan was planning an invasion of the Soviet Far East, intending to capitalize off the German invasion in the west, but abandoned the operation after the sanctions.[157] Since early 1941 the United States and Japan had been engaged in negotiations in an attempt to improve their strained relations and end the war in China. During these negotiations Japan advanced a number of proposals which were dismissed by the Americans as inadequate.[158] At the same time the US, Britain, and the Netherlands engaged in secret discussions for the joint defence of their territories, in the event of a Japanese attack against any of them.[159] Roosevelt reinforced the Philippines (an American protectorate scheduled for independence in 1946) and warned Japan that the US would react to Japanese attacks against any "neighboring countries".[159] USS Arizona during the Japanese surprise air attack on the American pacific fleet, 7 December 1941 Frustrated at the lack of progress and feeling the pinch of the American-British-Dutch sanctions, Japan prepared for war. On 20 November a new government under Hideki Tojo presented an interim proposal as its final offer. It called for the end of American aid to China and for the supply of oil and other resources to Japan. In exchange Japan promised not to launch any attacks in Southeast Asia and to withdraw its forces from southern Indochina.[158] The American counter-proposal of 26 November required that Japan evacuate all of China without conditions and conclude non-aggression pacts with all Pacific powers.[160] That meant Japan was essentially forced to choose between abandoning its ambitions in China, or seizing the natural resources it needed in the Dutch East Indies by force;[161] the Japanese military did not consider the former an option, and many officers considered the oil embargo an unspoken declaration of war.[162] Japan planned to rapidly seize European colonies in Asia to create a large defensive perimeter stretching into the Central Pacific; the Japanese would then be free to exploit the resources of Southeast Asia while exhausting the over-stretched Allies by fighting a defensive war.[163] To prevent American intervention while securing the perimeter it was further planned to neutralise the United States Pacific Fleet and the American military presence in the Philippines from the outset.[164] On 7 December 1941 (8 December in Asian time zones), Japan attacked British and American holdings with near-simultaneous offensives against Southeast Asia and the Central Pacific.[165] These included an attack on the American fleet at Pearl Harbor, the Philippines, landings in Thailand and Malaya[165] and the battle of Hong Kong. These attacks led the United States, Britain, China, Australia and several other states to formally declare war on Japan, whereas the Soviet Union, being heavily involved in large-scale hostilities with European Axis countries, maintained its neutrality agreement with Japan.[166] Germany, followed by the other Axis states, declared war on the United States[167] in solidarity with Japan, citing as justification the American attacks on German war vessels that had been ordered by Roosevelt.[125][168] Axis advance stalls (1942–43) Seated at the Casablanca Conference; US President Franklin D. Roosevelt and British PM Winston Churchill, January 1943 On 1 January 1942, the Allied Big Four[169]—the Soviet Union, China, Britain and the United States—and 22 smaller or exiled governments issued the Declaration by United Nations, thereby affirming the Atlantic Charter,[170] and agreeing to not to sign a separate peace with the Axis powers. During 1942, Allied officials debated on the appropriate grand strategy to pursue. All agreed that defeating Germany was the primary objective. The Americans favoured a straightforward, large-scale attack on Germany through France. The Soviets were also demanding a second front. The British, on the other hand, argued that military operations should target peripheral areas to wear out German strength, leading to increasing demoralisation, and bolster resistance forces. Germany itself would be subject to a heavy bombing campaign. An offensive against Germany would then be launched primarily by Allied armour without using large-scale armies.[171] Eventually, the British persuaded the Americans that a landing in France was infeasible in 1942 and they should instead focus on driving the Axis out of North Africa.[172] At the Casablanca Conference in early 1943, the Allies reiterated the statements issued in the 1942 Declaration by the United Nations, and demanded the unconditional surrender of their enemies. The British and Americans agreed to continue to press the initiative in the Mediterranean by invading Sicily to fully secure the Mediterranean supply routes.[173] Although the British argued for further operations in the Balkans to bring Turkey into the war, in May 1943, the Americans extracted a British commitment to limit Allied operations in the Mediterranean to an invasion of the Italian mainland and to invade France in 1944.[174] Pacific (1942–43) Map of Japanese military advances, until mid-1942 By the end of April 1942, Japan and its ally Thailand had almost fully conquered Burma, Malaya, the Dutch East Indies, Singapore, and Rabaul, inflicting severe losses on Allied troops and taking a large number of prisoners.[175] Despite stubborn resistance by Filipino and US forces, the Philippine Commonwealth was eventually captured in May 1942, forcing its government into exile.[176] On 16 April, in Burma, 7,000 British soldiers were encircled by the Japanese 33rd Division during the Battle of Yenangyaung and rescued by the Chinese 38th Division.[177] Japanese forces also achieved naval victories in the South China Sea, Java Sea and Indian Ocean,[178] and bombed the Allied naval base at Darwin, Australia. In January 1942, the only Allied success against Japan was a Chinese victory at Changsha.[179] These easy victories over unprepared US and European opponents left Japan overconfident, as well as overextended.[180] In early May 1942, Japan initiated operations to capture Port Moresby by amphibious assault and thus sever communications and supply lines between the United States and Australia. The planned invasion was thwarted when an Allied task force, centred on two American fleet carriers, fought Japanese naval forces to a draw in the Battle of the Coral Sea.[181] Japan's next plan, motivated by the earlier Doolittle Raid, was to seize Midway Atoll and lure American carriers into battle to be eliminated; as a diversion, Japan would also send forces to occupy the Aleutian Islands in Alaska.[182] In mid-May, Japan started the Zhejiang-Jiangxi Campaign in China, with the goal of inflicting retribution on the Chinese who aided the surviving American airmen in the Doolittle Raid by destroying air bases and fighting against the Chinese 23rd and 32nd Army Groups.[183][184] In early June, Japan put its operations into action but the Americans, having broken Japanese naval codes in late May, were fully aware of plans and order of battle, and used this knowledge to achieve a decisive victory at Midway over the Imperial Japanese Navy.[185] US Marines during the Guadalcanal Campaign, in the Pacific theatre, 1942 With its capacity for aggressive action greatly diminished as a result of the Midway battle, Japan chose to focus on a belated attempt to capture Port Moresby by an overland campaign in the Territory of Papua.[186] The Americans planned a counter-attack against Japanese positions in the southern Solomon Islands, primarily Guadalcanal, as a first step towards capturing Rabaul, the main Japanese base in Southeast Asia.[187] Both plans started in July, but by mid-September, the Battle for Guadalcanal took priority for the Japanese, and troops in New Guinea were ordered to withdraw from the Port Moresby area to the northern part of the island, where they faced Australian and United States troops in the Battle of Buna-Gona.[188] Guadalcanal soon became a focal point for both sides with heavy commitments of troops and ships in the battle for Guadalcanal. By the start of 1943, the Japanese were defeated on the island and withdrew their troops.[189] In Burma, Commonwealth forces mounted two operations. The first, an offensive into the Arakan region in late 1942, went disastrously, forcing a retreat back to India by May 1943.[190] The second was the insertion of irregular forces behind Japanese front-lines in February which, by the end of April, had achieved mixed results.[191] Eastern Front (1942–43) Red Army soldiers on the counterattack, during the Battle of Stalingrad, February 1943 Despite considerable losses, in early 1942 Germany and its allies stopped a major Soviet offensive in central and southern Russia, keeping most territorial gains they had achieved during the previous year.[192] In May the Germans defeated Soviet offensives in the Kerch Peninsula and at Kharkov,[193] and then launched their main summer offensive against southern Russia in June 1942, to seize the oil fields of the Caucasus and occupy Kuban steppe, while maintaining positions on the northern and central areas of the front. The Germans split Army Group South into two groups: Army Group A advanced to the lower Don River and struck south-east to the Caucasus, while Army Group B headed towards the Volga River. The Soviets decided to make their stand at Stalingrad on the Volga.[194] By mid-November, the Germans had nearly taken Stalingrad in bitter street fighting when the Soviets began their second winter counter-offensive, starting with an encirclement of German forces at Stalingrad[195] and an assault on the Rzhev salient near Moscow, though the latter failed disastrously.[196] By early February 1943, the German Army had taken tremendous losses; German troops at Stalingrad had been forced to surrender,[197] and the front-line had been pushed back beyond its position before the summer offensive. In mid-February, after the Soviet push had tapered off, the Germans launched another attack on Kharkov, creating a salient in their front line around the Soviet city of Kursk.[198] Western Europe/Atlantic & Mediterranean (1942–43) American 8th Air Force Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress bombing raid on the Focke-Wulf factory in Germany, 9 October 1943 Exploiting poor American naval command decisions, the German navy ravaged Allied shipping off the American Atlantic coast.[199] By November 1941, Commonwealth forces had launched a counter-offensive, Operation Crusader, in North Africa, and reclaimed all the gains the Germans and Italians had made.[200] In North Africa, the Germans launched an offensive in January, pushing the British back to positions at the Gazala Line by early February,[201] followed by a temporary lull in combat which Germany used to prepare for their upcoming offensives.[202] Concerns the Japanese might use bases in Vichy-held Madagascar caused the British to invade the island in early May 1942.[203] An Axis offensive in Libya forced an Allied retreat deep inside Egypt until Axis forces were stopped at El Alamein.[204] On the Continent, raids of Allied commandos on strategic targets, culminating in the disastrous Dieppe Raid,[205] demonstrated the Western Allies' inability to launch an invasion of continental Europe without much better preparation, equipment, and operational security.[206][page needed] In August 1942, the Allies succeeded in repelling a second attack against El Alamein[207] and, at a high cost, managed to deliver desperately needed supplies to the besieged Malta.[208] A few months later, the Allies commenced an attack of their own in Egypt, dislodging the Axis forces and beginning a drive west across Libya.[209] This attack was followed up shortly after by Anglo-American landings in French North Africa, which resulted in the region joining the Allies.[210] Hitler responded to the French colony's defection by ordering the occupation of Vichy France;[210] although Vichy forces did not resist this violation of the armistice, they managed to scuttle their fleet to prevent its capture by German forces.[210][211] The now pincered Axis forces in Africa withdrew into Tunisia, which was conquered by the Allies in May 1943.[210][212] In early 1943 the British and Americans began the Combined Bomber Offensive, a strategic bombing campaign against Germany. The goals were to disrupt the German war economy, reduce German morale, and "de-house" the civilian population.[213] Allies gain momentum (1943–44) US Navy SBD-5 scout plane flies patrol over USS Washington and USS Lexington during the Gilbert and Marshall Islands campaign, 1943 After the Guadalcanal Campaign, the Allies initiated several operations against Japan in the Pacific. In May 1943, Canadian and U.S. forces were sent to eliminate Japanese forces from the Aleutians.[214] Soon after, the U.S., with support from Australian and New Zealand forces, began major operations to isolate Rabaul by capturing surrounding islands, and breach the Japanese Central Pacific perimeter at the Gilbert and Marshall Islands.[215] By the end of March 1944, the Allies had completed both of these objectives, and had also neutralised the major Japanese base at Truk in the Caroline Islands. In April, the Allies launched an operation to retake Western New Guinea.[216] In the Soviet Union, both the Germans and the Soviets spent the spring and early summer of 1943 preparing for large offensives in central Russia. On 4 July 1943, Germany attacked Soviet forces around the Kursk Bulge. Within a week, German forces had exhausted themselves against the Soviets' deeply echeloned and well-constructed defences[217] and, for the first time in the war, Hitler cancelled the operation before it had achieved tactical or operational success.[218] This decision was partially affected by the Western Allies' invasion of Sicily launched on 9 July which, combined with previous Italian failures, resulted in the ousting and arrest of Mussolini later that month.[219] Also, in July 1943 the British firebombed Hamburg killing over 40,000 people.[220] Red Army troops, in a counter-offensive on German positions, at the Battle of Kursk, 1943 On 12 July 1943, the Soviets launched their own counter-offensives, thereby dispelling any chance of German victory or even stalemate in the east. The Soviet victory at Kursk marked the end of German superiority,[221] giving the Soviet Union the initiative on the Eastern Front.[222][223] The Germans tried to stabilise their eastern front along the hastily fortified Panther–Wotan line, but the Soviets broke through it at Smolensk and by the Lower Dnieper Offensives.[224] On 3 September 1943, the Western Allies invaded the Italian mainland, following Italy's armistice with the Allies.[225] Germany with the help of fascists responded by disarming Italian forces that were in many places without superior orders, seizing military control of Italian areas,[226] and creating a series of defensive lines.[227] German special forces then rescued Mussolini, who then soon established a new client state in German-occupied Italy named the Italian Social Republic,[228] causing an Italian civil war. The Western Allies fought through several lines until reaching the main German defensive line in mid-November.[229] The Allied leaders of the Asian and Pacific Theatre: Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Winston Churchill meeting at the Cairo Conference, 25 November 1943 German operations in the Atlantic also suffered. By May 1943, as Allied counter-measures became increasingly effective, the resulting sizeable German submarine losses forced a temporary halt of the German Atlantic naval campaign.[230] In November 1943, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill met with Chiang Kai-shek in Cairo and then with Joseph Stalin in Tehran.[231] The former conference determined the post-war return of Japanese territory[232] and the military planning for the Burma Campaign,[233] while the latter included agreement that the Western Allies would invade Europe in 1944 and that the Soviet Union would declare war on Japan within three months of Germany's defeat.[234] Ruins of the Benedictine monastery, during the Battle of Monte Cassino; Italian Campaign, May 1944 From November 1943, during the seven-week Battle of Changde, the Chinese forced Japan to fight a costly war of attrition, while awaiting Allied relief.[235][236][237] In January 1944, the Allies launched a series of attacks in Italy against the line at Monte Cassino and tried to outflank it with landings at Anzio.[238] By the end of January, a major Soviet offensive expelled German forces from the Leningrad region,[239] ending the longest and most lethal siege in history. The following Soviet offensive was halted on the pre-war Estonian border by the German Army Group North aided by Estonians hoping to re-establish national independence. This delay slowed subsequent Soviet operations in the Baltic Sea region.[240] By late May 1944, the Soviets had liberated Crimea, largely expelled Axis forces from Ukraine, and made incursions into Romania, which were repulsed by the Axis troops.[241] The Allied offensives in Italy had succeeded and, at the expense of allowing several German divisions to retreat, on 4 June, Rome was captured.[242] The Allies had mixed success in mainland Asia. In March 1944, the Japanese launched the first of two invasions, an operation against British positions in Assam, India,[243] and soon besieged Commonwealth positions at Imphal and Kohima.[244] In May 1944, British forces mounted a counter-offensive that drove Japanese troops back to Burma,[244] and Chinese forces that had invaded northern Burma in late 1943 besieged Japanese troops in Myitkyina.[245] The second Japanese invasion of China aimed to destroy China's main fighting forces, secure railways between Japanese-held territory and capture Allied airfields.[246] By June, the Japanese had conquered the province of Henan and begun a new attack on Changsha in the Hunan province.[247] Allies close in (1944) American troops approaching Omaha Beach, during the Invasion of Normandy on D-Day, 6 June 1944 On 6 June 1944 (known as D-Day), after three years of Soviet pressure,[248] the Western Allies invaded northern France. After reassigning several Allied divisions from Italy, they also attacked southern France.[249] These landings were successful, and led to the defeat of the German Army units in France. Paris was liberated by the local resistance assisted by the Free French Forces, both led by General Charles de Gaulle, on 25 August[250] and the Western Allies continued to push back German forces in western Europe during the latter part of the year. An attempt to advance into northern Germany spearheaded by a major airborne operation in the Netherlands failed.[251] After that, the Western Allies slowly pushed into Germany, but failed to cross the Ruhr river in a large offensive. In Italy, Allied advance also slowed due to the last major German defensive line.[252] German SS soldiers from the Dirlewanger Brigade, tasked with suppressing the Warsaw Uprising against Nazi occupation, August 1944 On 22 June, the Soviets launched a strategic offensive in Belarus ("Operation Bagration") that destroyed the German Army Group Centre almost completely.[253] Soon after that another Soviet strategic offensive forced German troops from Western Ukraine and Eastern Poland. The Soviet advance prompted resistance forces in Poland to initiate several uprisings against the German occupation. However, the largest of these in Warsaw, where German soldiers massacred 200,000 civilians, and a national uprising in Slovakia, did not receive Soviet support and were subsequently suppressed by the Germans.[254] The Red Army's strategic offensive in eastern Romania cut off and destroyed the considerable German troops there and triggered a successful coup d'état in Romania and in Bulgaria, followed by those countries' shift to the Allied side.[255] In September 1944, Soviet troops advanced into Yugoslavia and forced the rapid withdrawal of German Army Groups E and F in Greece, Albania and Yugoslavia to rescue them from being cut off.[256] By this point, the Communist-led Partisans under Marshal Josip Broz Tito, who had led an increasingly successful guerrilla campaign against the occupation since 1941, controlled much of the territory of Yugoslavia and engaged in delaying efforts against German forces further south. In northern Serbia, the Red Army, with limited support from Bulgarian forces, assisted the Partisans in a joint liberation of the capital city of Belgrade on 20 October. A few days later, the Soviets launched a massive assault against German-occupied Hungary that lasted until the fall of Budapest in February 1945.[257] Unlike impressive Soviet victories in the Balkans, bitter Finnish resistance to the Soviet offensive in the Karelian Isthmus denied the Soviets occupation of Finland and led to a Soviet-Finnish armistice on relatively mild conditions,[258][259] although Finland was forced to fight their former allies. General Douglas MacArthur lands at Leyte, during the Battle of Leyte, 20 October 1944 By the start of July 1944, Commonwealth forces in Southeast Asia had repelled the Japanese sieges in Assam, pushing the Japanese back to the Chindwin River[260] while the Chinese captured Myitkyina. In September 1944, Chinese force captured the Mount Song to reopen the Burma Road.[261] In China, the Japanese had more successes, having finally captured Changsha in mid-June and the city of Hengyang by early August.[262] Soon after, they invaded the province of Guangxi, winning major engagements against Chinese forces at Guilin and Liuzhou by the end of November[263] and successfully linking up their forces in China and Indochina by mid-December.[264] In the Pacific, US forces continued to press back the Japanese perimeter. In mid-June 1944, they began their offensive against the Mariana and Palau islands, and decisively defeated Japanese forces in the Battle of the Philippine Sea. These defeats led to the resignation of the Japanese Prime Minister, Hideki Tojo, and provided the United States with air bases to launch intensive heavy bomber attacks on the Japanese home islands. In late October, American forces invaded the Filipino island of Leyte; soon after, Allied naval forces scored another large victory in the Battle of Leyte Gulf, one of the largest naval battles in history.[265] Axis collapse, Allied victory (1944–45) Yalta Conference held in February 1945, with Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Joseph Stalin On 16 December 1944, Germany made a last attempt on the Western Front by using most of its remaining reserves to launch a massive counter-offensive in the Ardennes and along the French–German border to split the Western Allies, encircle large portions of Western Allied troops and capture their primary supply port at Antwerp to prompt a political settlement.[266] By January, the offensive had been repulsed with no strategic objectives fulfilled.[266] In Italy, the Western Allies remained stalemated at the German defensive line. In mid-January 1945, the Soviets and Poles attacked in Poland, pushing from the Vistula to the Oder river in Germany, and overran East Prussia.[267] On 4 February, Soviet, British and US leaders met for the Yalta Conference. They agreed on the occupation of post-war Germany, and on when the Soviet Union would join the war against Japan.[268] In February, the Soviets entered Silesia and Pomerania, while Western Allies entered western Germany and closed to the Rhine river. By March, the Western Allies crossed the Rhine north and south of the Ruhr, encircling the German Army Group B,[269] while the Soviets advanced to Vienna. In early April, the Western Allies finally pushed forward in Italy and swept across western Germany capturing Hamburg and Nuremberg, while Soviet and Polish forces stormed Berlin in late April. American and Soviet forces met at the Elbe river on 25 April. On 30 April 1945, the Reichstag was captured, signalling the military defeat of Nazi Germany.[270] Several changes in leadership occurred during this period. On 12 April, President Roosevelt died and was succeeded by Harry S. Truman. Benito Mussolini was killed by Italian partisans on 28 April.[271] Two days later, Hitler committed suicide, and was succeeded by Grand Admiral Karl Dönitz.[272] The German Reichstag after its capture by the Allied forces, 3 June 1945 German forces surrendered in Italy on 29 April. Total and unconditional surrender was signed on 7 May, to be effective by the end of 8 May.[273] German Army Group Centre resisted in Prague until 11 May.[274] In the Pacific theatre, American forces accompanied by the forces of the Philippine Commonwealth advanced in the Philippines, clearing Leyte by the end of April 1945. They landed on Luzon in January 1945 and recaptured Manila in March following a battle which reduced the city to ruins. Fighting continued on Luzon, Mindanao, and other islands of the Philippines until the end of the war.[275] Meanwhile, the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) were destroying strategic and populated cities and towns in Japan in an effort to destroy Japanese war industry and civilian morale. On the night of 9–10 March, USAAF B-29 bombers struck Tokyo with thousands of incendiary bombs, which killed 100,000 civilians and destroyed 16 square miles (41 km2) within a few hours. Over the next five months, the USAAF firebombed a total of 67 Japanese cities, killing 393,000 civilians and destroying 65% of built-up areas.[276] In May 1945, Australian troops landed in Borneo, overrunning the oilfields there. British, American, and Chinese forces defeated the Japanese in northern Burma in March, and the British pushed on to reach Rangoon by 3 May.[277] Chinese forces started to counterattack in Battle of West Hunan that occurred between 6 April and 7 June 1945. American naval and amphibious forces also moved towards Japan, taking Iwo Jima by March, and Okinawa by the end of June.[278] At the same time, American submarines cut off Japanese imports, drastically reducing Japan's ability to supply its overseas forces.[279] Japanese foreign affairs minister Mamoru Shigemitsu signs the Japanese Instrument of Surrender on board USS Missouri, 2 September 1945 On 11 July, Allied leaders met in Potsdam, Germany. They confirmed earlier agreements about Germany,[280] and reiterated the demand for unconditional surrender of all Japanese forces by Japan, specifically stating that "the alternative for Japan is prompt and utter destruction".[281] During this conference, the United Kingdom held its general election, and Clement Attlee replaced Churchill as Prime Minister.[282] The Allies called for unconditional Japanese surrender in the Potsdam Declaration of 27 July, but the Japanese government rejected the call. In early August, the USAAF dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The Allies justified the atomic bombings as a military necessity to avoid invading the Japanese home islands which would cost the lives of between 250,000 and 500,000 Allied servicemen and millions of Japanese troops and civilians.[283] Between the two bombings, the Soviets, pursuant to the Yalta agreement, invaded Japanese-held Manchuria, and quickly defeated the Kwantung Army, which was the largest Japanese fighting force.[284][285] The Red Army also captured Sakhalin Island and the Kuril Islands. On 15 August 1945, Japan surrendered, with the surrender documents finally signed at Tokyo Bay on the deck of the American battleship USS Missouri on 2 September 1945, ending the war.[286]

Aftermath Main articles: Aftermath of World War II and Consequences of Nazism Defendants at the Nuremberg trials, where the Allied forces prosecuted prominent members of the political, military, judicial and economic leadership of Nazi Germany for crimes against humanity The Allies established occupation administrations in Austria and Germany. The former became a neutral state, non-aligned with any political bloc. The latter was divided into western and eastern occupation zones controlled by the Western Allies and the USSR, accordingly. A denazification programme in Germany led to the prosecution of Nazi war criminals and the removal of ex-Nazis from power, although this policy moved towards amnesty and re-integration of ex-Nazis into West German society.[287] Ruins of Warsaw in January 1945, after the deliberate destruction of the city by the occupying German forces Germany lost a quarter of its pre-war (1937) territory. Among the eastern territories, Silesia, Neumark and most of Pomerania were taken over by Poland, East Prussia was divided between Poland and the USSR, followed by the expulsion of the 9 million Germans from these provinces, as well as the expulsion of 3 million Germans from the Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia to Germany. By the 1950s, every fifth West German was a refugee from the east. The Soviet Union also took over the Polish provinces east of the Curzon line, from which 2 million Poles were expelled;[288] north-east Romania,[289][290] parts of eastern Finland,[291] and the three Baltic states were also incorporated into the USSR.[292][293] In an effort to maintain world peace,[294] the Allies formed the United Nations, which officially came into existence on 24 October 1945,[295] and adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, as a common standard for all member nations.[296] The great powers that were the victors of the war—France, China, Britain, the Soviet Union and the United States—became the permanent members of the UN's Security Council.[7] The five permanent members remain so to the present, although there have been two seat changes, between the Republic of China and the People's Republic of China in 1971, and between the Soviet Union and its successor state, the Russian Federation, following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. The alliance between the Western Allies and the Soviet Union had begun to deteriorate even before the war was over.[297] Post-war Soviet territorial expansion resulted in Central and Eastern European border changes, the creation of a Communist Bloc and start of the Cold War Germany had been de facto divided, and two independent states, the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic[298] were created within the borders of Allied and Soviet occupation zones, accordingly. The rest of Europe was also divided into Western and Soviet spheres of influence.[299] Most eastern and central European countries fell into the Soviet sphere, which led to establishment of Communist-led regimes, with full or partial support of the Soviet occupation authorities. As a result, East Germany,[300] Poland, Hungary, Romania, Czechoslovakia, and Albania[301] became Soviet satellite states. Communist Yugoslavia conducted a fully independent policy, causing tension with the USSR.[302] Post-war division of the world was formalised by two international military alliances, the United States-led NATO and the Soviet-led Warsaw Pact;[303] the long period of political tensions and military competition between them, the Cold War, would be accompanied by an unprecedented arms race and proxy wars.[304] In Asia, the United States led the occupation of Japan and administrated Japan's former islands in the Western Pacific, while the Soviets annexed Sakhalin and the Kuril Islands.[305] Korea, formerly under Japanese rule, was divided and occupied by the Soviet Union in the North and the US in the South between 1945 and 1948. Separate republics emerged on both sides of the 38th parallel in 1948, each claiming to be the legitimate government for all of Korea, which led ultimately to the Korean War.[306] David Ben-Gurion proclaiming the Israeli Declaration of Independence at the Independence Hall, 14 May 1948 In China, nationalist and communist forces resumed the civil war in June 1946. Communist forces were victorious and established the People's Republic of China on the mainland, while nationalist forces retreated to Taiwan in 1949.[307] In the Middle East, the Arab rejection of the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine and the creation of Israel marked the escalation of the Arab–Israeli conflict. While European powers attempted to retain some or all of their colonial empires, their losses of prestige and resources during the war rendered this unsuccessful, leading to decolonisation.[308][309] The global economy suffered heavily from the war, although participating nations were affected differently. The US emerged much richer than any other nation; it had a baby boom and by 1950 its gross domestic product per person was much higher than that of any of the other powers and it dominated the world economy.[310] The UK and US pursued a policy of industrial disarmament in Western Germany in the years 1945–1948.[311] Because of international trade interdependencies this led to European economic stagnation and delayed European recovery for several years.[312][313] Recovery began with the mid-1948 currency reform in Western Germany, and was sped up by the liberalisation of European economic policy that the Marshall Plan (1948–1951) both directly and indirectly caused.[314][315] The post-1948 West German recovery has been called the German economic miracle.[316] Italy also experienced an economic boom[317] and the French economy rebounded.[318] By contrast, the United Kingdom was in a state of economic ruin,[319] and although it received a quarter of the total Marshall Plan assistance, more than any other European country,[320] continued relative economic decline for decades.[321] The Soviet Union, despite enormous human and material losses, also experienced rapid increase in production in the immediate post-war era.[322] Japan experienced incredibly rapid economic growth, becoming one of the most powerful economies in the world by the 1980s.[323] China returned to its pre-war industrial production by 1952.[324]

Impact Casualties and war crimes Main articles: World War II casualties and List of war crimes § 1939–1945: World War II World War II deaths Estimates for the total number of casualties in the war vary, because many deaths went unrecorded. Most suggest that some 60 million people died in the war, including about 20 million military personnel and 40 million civilians.[325][326][327] Many of the civilians died because of deliberate genocide, massacres, mass-bombings, disease, and starvation. The Soviet Union lost around 27 million people during the war,[328] including 8.7 million military and 19 million civilian deaths. The largest portion of military dead were 5.7 million ethnic Russians, followed by 1.3 million ethnic Ukrainians.[329] A quarter of the people in the Soviet Union were wounded or killed.[330] Germany sustained 5.3 million military losses, mostly on the Eastern Front and during the final battles in Germany.[331] Of the total number of deaths in World War II, approximately 85 per cent—mostly Soviet and Chinese—were on the Allied side and 15 per cent were on the Axis side.[332] Many of these deaths were caused by war crimes committed by German and Japanese forces in occupied territories. An estimated 11[333] to 17 million[334] civilians died either as a direct or as an indirect result of Nazi racist policies, including the Holocaust of around 6 million Jews, half of whom were Polish citizens, along with a further minimum 1.9 million ethnic Poles.[335][336] Millions of other Slavs (including Russians, Ukrainians and Belarusians), Roma, homosexuals, and other ethnic and minority groups were also killed.[337][334] Hundreds of thousands (varying estimates) of ethnic Serbs, along with gypsies and Jews, were murdered by the Axis-aligned Croatian Ustaše in Yugoslavia,[338] and retribution-related killings were committed just after the war ended. Chinese civilians being buried alive by soldiers of the Imperial Japanese Army, during the Nanking Massacre, December 1937 In Asia and the Pacific, between 3 million and more than 10 million civilians, mostly Chinese (estimated at 7.5 million[339]), were killed by the Japanese occupation forces.[340] The best-known Japanese atrocity was the Nanking Massacre, in which fifty to three hundred thousand Chinese civilians were raped and murdered.[341] Mitsuyoshi Himeta reported that 2.7 million casualties occurred during the Sankō Sakusen. General Yasuji Okamura implemented the policy in Heipei and Shantung.[342] Axis forces employed biological and chemical weapons. The Imperial Japanese Army used a variety of such weapons during its invasion and occupation of China (see Unit 731)[343][344] and in early conflicts against the Soviets.[345] Both the Germans and Japanese tested such weapons against civilians[346] and, sometimes on prisoners of war.[347] The Soviet Union was responsible for the Katyn massacre of 22,000 Polish officers,[348] and the imprisonment or execution of thousands of political prisoners by the NKVD,[349] in the Baltic states, and eastern Poland annexed by the Red Army. The mass-bombing of cities in Europe and Asia has often been called a war crime. However, no positive or specific customary international humanitarian law with respect to aerial warfare existed before or during World War II.[350] Genocide, concentration camps, and slave labour Main articles: Genocide, The Holocaust, Nazi concentration camps, Extermination camp, Forced labour under German rule during World War II, Kidnapping of children by Nazi Germany, and Nazi human experimentation Schutzstaffel (SS) female camp guards remove prisoners' bodies from lorries and carry them to a mass grave, inside the German Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, 1945 The German government led by Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party was responsible for the Holocaust, the killing of approximately 6 million Jews, as well as 2.7 million ethnic Poles,[351] and 4 million others who were deemed "unworthy of life" (including the disabled and mentally ill, Soviet prisoners of war, homosexuals, Freemasons, Jehovah's Witnesses, and Romani) as part of a programme of deliberate extermination. About 12 million, most of whom were Eastern Europeans, were employed in the German war economy as forced labourers.[352] In addition to Nazi concentration camps, the Soviet gulags (labour camps) led to the death of citizens of occupied countries such as Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia, as well as German prisoners of war (POWs) and even Soviet citizens who had been or were thought to be supporters of the Nazis.[353] Sixty per cent of Soviet POWs of the Germans died during the war.[354] Richard Overy gives the number of 5.7 million Soviet POWs. Of those, 57 per cent died or were killed, a total of 3.6 million.[355] Soviet ex-POWs and repatriated civilians were treated with great suspicion as potential Nazi collaborators, and some of them were sent to the Gulag upon being checked by the NKVD.[356] Prisoner identity photograph taken by the German SS of a Polish girl deported as forced labour to Auschwitz, December 1942 Japanese prisoner-of-war camps, many of which were used as labour camps, also had high death rates. The International Military Tribunal for the Far East found the death rate of Western prisoners was 27.1 per cent (for American POWs, 37 per cent),[357] seven times that of POWs under the Germans and Italians.[358] While 37,583 prisoners from the UK, 28,500 from the Netherlands, and 14,473 from the United States were released after the surrender of Japan, the number of Chinese released was only 56.[359] According to historian Zhifen Ju, at least five million Chinese civilians from northern China and Manchukuo were enslaved between 1935 and 1941 by the East Asia Development Board, or Kōain, for work in mines and war industries. After 1942, the number reached 10 million.[360] The US Library of Congress estimates that in Java, between 4 and 10 million rōmusha (Japanese: "manual labourers"), were forced to work by the Japanese military. About 270,000 of these Javanese labourers were sent to other Japanese-held areas in South East Asia, and only 52,000 were repatriated to Java.[361] On 19 February 1942, Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, interning about 100,000 Japanese living on the West Coast. Canada had a similar programme.[362][363] In addition, 14,000 German and Italian citizens who had been assessed as being security risks were also interned.[364] In accordance with the Allied agreement made at the Yalta Conference millions of POWs and civilians were used as forced labour by the Soviet Union.[365] In Hungary's case, Hungarians were forced to work for the Soviet Union until 1955.[366] Occupation Main articles: German-occupied Europe, Collaboration with the Axis Powers during World War II, Resistance during World War II, and Nazi plunder Polish civilians wearing blindfolds photographed just before their execution by German soldiers in Palmiry forest, 1940 In Europe, occupation came under two forms. In Western, Northern, and Central Europe (France, Norway, Denmark, the Low Countries, and the annexed portions of Czechoslovakia) Germany established economic policies through which it collected roughly 69.5 billion reichmarks (27.8 billion US Dollars) by the end of the war, this figure does not include the sizeable plunder of industrial products, military equipment, raw materials and other goods.[367] Thus, the income from occupied nations was over 40 per cent of the income Germany collected from taxation, a figure which increased to nearly 40 per cent of total German income as the war went on.[368] Russian Academy of Sciences reported in 1995 civilian victims in the Soviet Union at German hands totalled 13.7 million dead, twenty percent of the 68 million persons in the occupied USSR In the East, the intended gains of Lebensraum were never attained as fluctuating front-lines and Soviet scorched earth policies denied resources to the German invaders.[369] Unlike in the West, the Nazi racial policy encouraged extreme brutality against what it considered to be the "inferior people" of Slavic descent; most German advances were thus followed by mass executions.[370] Although resistance groups formed in most occupied territories, they did not significantly hamper German operations in either the East[371] or the West[372] until late 1943. In Asia, Japan termed nations under its occupation as being part of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere, essentially a Japanese hegemony which it claimed was for purposes of liberating colonised peoples.[373] Although Japanese forces were originally welcomed as liberators from European domination in some territories, their excessive brutality turned local public opinion against them within weeks.[374] During Japan's initial conquest it captured 4,000,000 barrels (640,000 m3) of oil (~5.5×105 tonnes) left behind by retreating Allied forces, and by 1943 was able to get production in the Dutch East Indies up to 50 million barrels (~6.8×10^6 t), 76 per cent of its 1940 output rate.[374] Home fronts and production Main articles: Military production during World War II and Home front during World War II Allied to Axis GDP ratio In Europe, before the outbreak of the war, the Allies had significant advantages in both population and economics. In 1938, the Western Allies (United Kingdom, France, Poland and British Dominions) had a 30 per cent larger population and a 30 per cent higher gross domestic product than the European Axis powers (Germany and Italy); if colonies are included, it then gives the Allies more than a 5:1 advantage in population and nearly 2:1 advantage in GDP.[375] In Asia at the same time, China had roughly six times the population of Japan, but only an 89 per cent higher GDP; this is reduced to three times the population and only a 38 per cent higher GDP if Japanese colonies are included.[375] The United States provided about two-thirds of all the ordnance used by the Allies in terms of warships, transports, warplanes, artillery, tanks, trucks, and ammunition.[376] Though the Allies' economic and population advantages were largely mitigated during the initial rapid blitzkrieg attacks of Germany and Japan, they became the decisive factor by 1942, after the United States and Soviet Union joined the Allies, as the war largely settled into one of attrition.[377] While the Allies' ability to out-produce the Axis is often attributed to the Allies having more access to natural resources, other factors, such as Germany and Japan's reluctance to employ women in the labour force,[378] Allied strategic bombing,[379] and Germany's late shift to a war economy[380] contributed significantly. Additionally, neither Germany nor Japan planned to fight a protracted war, and were not equipped to do so.[381] To improve their production, Germany and Japan used millions of slave labourers;[382] Germany used about 12 million people, mostly from Eastern Europe,[352] while Japan used more than 18 million people in Far East Asia.[360][361] Advances in technology and warfare Main article: Technology during World War II B-29 Superfortress strategic bombers on the Boeing assembly line in Wichita, Kansas, 1944 Aircraft were used for reconnaissance, as fighters, bombers, and ground-support, and each role was advanced considerably. Innovation included airlift (the capability to quickly move limited high-priority supplies, equipment, and personnel);[383] and of strategic bombing (the bombing of enemy industrial and population centres to destroy the enemy's ability to wage war).[384] Anti-aircraft weaponry also advanced, including defences such as radar and surface-to-air artillery, such as the German 88 mm gun. The use of the jet aircraft was pioneered and, though late introduction meant it had little impact, it led to jets becoming standard in air forces worldwide.[385] Advances were made in nearly every aspect of naval warfare, most notably with aircraft carriers and submarines. Although aeronautical warfare had relatively little success at the start of the war, actions at Taranto, Pearl Harbor, and the Coral Sea established the carrier as the dominant capital ship in place of the battleship.[386][387][388] In the Atlantic, escort carriers proved to be a vital part of Allied convoys, increasing the effective protection radius and helping to close the Mid-Atlantic gap.[389] Carriers were also more economical than battleships because of the relatively low cost of aircraft[390] and their not requiring to be as heavily armoured.[391] Submarines, which had proved to be an effective weapon during the First World War,[392] were anticipated by all sides to be important in the second. The British focused development on anti-submarine weaponry and tactics, such as sonar and convoys, while Germany focused on improving its offensive capability, with designs such as the Type VII submarine and wolfpack tactics.[393] Gradually, improving Allied technologies such as the Leigh light, hedgehog, squid, and homing torpedoes proved victorious. A V-2 rocket launched from a fixed site in Peenemünde, 21 June 1943 Land warfare changed from the static front lines of World War I to increased mobility and combined arms. The tank, which had been used predominantly for infantry support in the First World War, had evolved into the primary weapon.[394] In the late 1930s, tank design was considerably more advanced than it had been during World War I,[395] and advances continued throughout the war with increases in speed, armour and firepower. At the start of the war, most commanders thought enemy tanks should be met by tanks with superior specifications.[396] This idea was challenged by the poor performance of the relatively light early tank guns against armour, and German doctrine of avoiding tank-versus-tank combat. This, along with Germany's use of combined arms, were among the key elements of their highly successful blitzkrieg tactics across Poland and France.[394] Many means of destroying tanks, including indirect artillery, anti-tank guns (both towed and self-propelled), mines, short-ranged infantry antitank weapons, and other tanks were used.[396] Even with large-scale mechanisation, infantry remained the backbone of all forces,[397] and throughout the war, most infantry were equipped similarly to World War I.[398] Nuclear Gadget being raised to the top of the detonation "shot tower", at Alamogordo Bombing Range; Trinity nuclear test, New Mexico, July 1945 The portable machine gun spread, a notable example being the German MG34, and various submachine guns which were suited to close combat in urban and jungle settings.[398] The assault rifle, a late war development incorporating many features of the rifle and submachine gun, became the standard postwar infantry weapon for most armed forces.[399] Most major belligerents attempted to solve the problems of complexity and security involved in using large codebooks for cryptography by designing ciphering machines, the most well known being the German Enigma machine.[400] Development of SIGINT (signals intelligence) and cryptanalysis enabled the countering process of decryption. Notable examples were the Allied decryption of Japanese naval codes[401] and British Ultra, a pioneering method for decoding Enigma benefiting from information given to Britain by the Polish Cipher Bureau, which had been decoding early versions of Enigma before the war.[402] Another aspect of military intelligence was the use of deception, which the Allies used to great effect, such as in operations Mincemeat and Bodyguard.[401][403] Other technological and engineering feats achieved during, or as a result of, the war include the world's first programmable computers (Z3, Colossus, and ENIAC), guided missiles and modern rockets, the Manhattan Project's development of nuclear weapons, operations research and the development of artificial harbours and oil pipelines under the English Channel.

See also Air warfare of World War II Bibliography of World War II Declarations of war during World War II Historiography of World War II Home front during World War II List of World War II battles List of Allied World War II conferences List of World War II documentary films List of World War II military operations Lists of World War II military equipment Naval history of World War II Women in World War II World War II in popular culture List of World War II films World War III Holocaust

Notes ^ While various other dates have been proposed as the date on which World War II began or ended, this is the time span most frequently cited. ^ Upon his death in 1989, Emperor Hirohito was posthumously proclaimed Emperor Shōwa. While either use is considered acceptable, his English name (Hirohito) is used here as it is this name by which he was known to most of the West during World War II.

Citations ^ Gilbert 2001, p. 291. ^ James A. Tyner (3 March 2009). War, Violence, and Population: Making the Body Count. The Guilford Press; 1 edition. p. 49. ISBN 1-6062-3038-7.  ^ Sommerville 2008, p. 5 (2011 ed.). ^ "BBC - Tyne - Roots - Non-Jewish Holocaust Victims : The 5,000,000 others". Retrieved 27 August 2017.  ^ Barrett & Shyu 2001, p. 6. ^ Axelrod, Alan (2007) Encyclopedia of World War II, Volume 1. Infobase Publishing. pp. 659. ^ a b The UN Security Council, retrieved 15 May 2012  ^ Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council; José Manuel Durão Barroso, President of the European Commission (10 December 2012). "From War to Peace: A European Tale". Nobel Lecture by the European Union. Retrieved 4 January 2014.  ^ Weinberg 2005, p. 6. ^ Wells, Anne Sharp (2014) Historical Dictionary of World War II: The War against Germany and Italy. Rowman & Littlefield Publishing. pp. 7. ^ Ferris, John; Mawdsley, Evan (2015). The Cambridge History of the Second World War, Volume I: Fighting the War. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.  ^ Förster & Gessler 2005, p. 64. ^ Ghuhl, Wernar (2007) Imperial Japan's World War Two Transaction Publishers pg 7, pg. 30 ^ Polmar, Norman; Thomas B. Allen (1991) World War II: America at war, 1941–1945 ISBN 978-0394585307 ^ Ben-Horin 1943, p. 169; Taylor 1979, p. 124; Yisreelit, Hevrah Mizrahit (1965). Asian and African Studies, p. 191. For 1941 see Taylor 1961, p. vii; Kellogg, William O (2003). American History the Easy Way. Barron's Educational Series. p. 236 ISBN 0-7641-1973-7. There is also the viewpoint that both World War I and World War II are part of the same "European Civil War" or "Second Thirty Years War": Canfora 2006, p. 155; Prins 2002, p. 11. ^ Beevor 2012, p. 10. ^ Masaya 1990, p. 4. ^ "History of German-American Relations » 1989–1994 – Reunification » "Two-plus-Four-Treaty": Treaty on the Final Settlement with Respect to Germany, September 12, 1990". Retrieved 6 May 2012.  ^ Ingram 2006, pp. 76–8. ^ Kantowicz 1999, p. 149. ^ Shaw 2000, p. 35. ^ Brody 1999, p. 4. ^ Zalampas 1989, p. 62. ^ Mandelbaum 1988, p. 96; Record 2005, p. 50. ^ Schmitz 2000, p. 124. ^ Adamthwaite 1992, p. 52. ^ Preston 1998, p. 104. ^ Myers & Peattie 1987, p. 458. ^ Smith & Steadman 2004, p. 28. ^ Coogan 1993: "Although some Chinese troops in the Northeast managed to retreat south, others were trapped by the advancing Japanese Army and were faced with the choice of resistance in defiance of orders, or surrender. A few commanders submitted, receiving high office in the puppet government, but others took up arms against the invader. The forces they commanded were the first of the volunteer armies." ^ Busky 2002, p. 10. ^ Andrea L. Stanton; Edward Ramsamy; Peter J. Seybolt (5 January 2012). Cultural Sociology of the Middle East, Asia, and Africa: An Encyclopedia. p. 308. ISBN 9781412981767. Retrieved 6 April 2014.  ^ Barker 1971, pp. 131–2. ^ Kitson 2001, p. 231. ^ Payne 2008, p. 271. ^ Payne 2008, p. 146. ^ Eastman 1986, pp. 547–51. ^ a b Guo 2005 ^ a b Hsu & Chang 1971, pp. 195–200. ^ Tucker, Spencer C. (23 December 2009). "A Global Chronology of Conflict: From the Ancient World to the Modern Middle East [6 volumes]: From the Ancient World to the Modern Middle East". ABC-CLIO. Retrieved 27 August 2017 – via Google Books.  ^ Yang Kuisong, "On the reconstruction of the facts of the Battle of Pingxingguan" ^ Levene, Mark and Roberts, Penny. The Massacre in History. 1999, page 223-4 ^ Totten, Samuel. Dictionary of Genocide. 2008, 298–9. ^ Hsu & Chang 1971, pp. 221–230. ^ Eastman 1986, p. 566. ^ Taylor 2009, pp. 150–2. ^ Sella 1983, pp. 651–87. ^ Beevor 2012, p. 342. ^ Goldman, Stuart D. (28 August 2012). "The Forgotten Soviet-Japanese War of 1939". The Diplomat. Retrieved 26 June 2015.  ^ Timothy Neeno. "Nomonhan: The Second Russo-Japanese War". Retrieved 26 June 2015.  ^ Collier & Pedley 2000, p. 144. ^ Kershaw 2001, pp. 121–2. ^ Kershaw 2001, p. 157. ^ Davies 2006, pp. 143–4 (2008 ed.). ^ Lowe & Marzari 2002, p. 330. ^ Dear & Foot 2001, p. 234. ^ Shore 2003, p. 108. ^ Dear & Foot 2001, p. 608. ^ Minutes of the conference between the Fuehrer and the Italian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Count Ciano, in the presence of the Reich Foreign Minister of Obersalzberg on 12 August 1939 in Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression Volume IV Document No. 1871-PS ^ "The German Campaign In Poland (1939)". Retrieved 29 October 2014.  ^ a b "The Danzig Crisis".  ^ a b "Major international events of 1939, with explanation".  ^ Evans 2008, pp. 1–2. ^ Jackson 2006, p. 58. ^ Weinberg 2005, pp. 64–5. ^ Keegan 1997, p. 35. Cienciala 2010, p. 128, observes that, while it is true that Poland was far away, making it difficult for the French and British to provide support, "[f]ew Western historians of World War II ... know that the British had committed to bomb Germany if it attacked Poland, but did not do so except for one raid on the base of Wilhelmshafen. The French, who committed to attack Germany in the west, had no intention of doing so." ^ Beevor 2012, p. 32; Dear & Foot 2001, pp. 248–9; Roskill 1954, p. 64. ^ Zaloga 2002, pp. 80, 83. ^ Hempel 2005, p. 24. ^ Zaloga 2002, pp. 88–9. ^ Budiansky 2001, pp. 120–1. ^ Nuremberg Documents C-62/GB86, a directive from Hitler in October 1939 which concludes: "The attack [on France] is to be launched this Autumn if conditions are at all possible." ^ Liddell Hart 1977, pp. 39–40. ^ Bullock 1990, pp. 563–4, 566, 568–9, 574–5 (1983 ed.). ^ Blitzkrieg: From the Rise of Hitler to the Fall of Dunkirk, L Deighton, Jonathan Cape, 1993, p186-7. Deighton states that "the offensive was postponed twenty-nine times before it finally took place." ^ Smith et al. 2002, p. 24. ^ a b Bilinsky 1999, p. 9. ^ a b Murray & Millett 2001, pp. 55–6. ^ Spring 1986, p. 207-226. ^ Hanhimäki 1997, p. 12. ^ Ferguson 2006, pp. 367, 376, 379, 417. ^ Snyder 2010, p. 118ff. ^ Koch 1983. ^ Roberts 2006, p. 56. ^ Roberts 2006, p. 59. ^ Murray & Millett 2001, pp. 57–63. ^ Commager 2004, p. 9. ^ Reynolds 2006, p. 76. ^ Evans 2008, pp. 122–3. ^ Dear & Foot 2001, p. 436. The Americans later relieved the British, with marines arriving in Reykjavik on 7 July 1941 (Schofield 1981, p. 122). ^ Shirer 1990, pp. 721–3. ^ Keegan 1997, pp. 59–60. ^ Regan 2004, p. 152. ^ Liddell Hart 1977, p. 48. ^ Keegan 1997, pp. 66–7. ^ Overy & Wheatcroft 1999, p. 207. ^ Umbreit 1991, p. 311. ^ Brown 2004, p. xxx. ^ Keegan 1997, p. 72. ^ a b Murray 1983, The Battle of Britain. ^ a b c "Major international events of 1940, with explanation".  ^ Goldstein 2004, p. 35. Aircraft played a highly important role in defeating the German U-boats (Schofield 1981, p. 122). ^ Steury 1987, p. 209; Zetterling & Tamelander 2009, p. 282. ^ Dear & Foot 2001, pp. 108–9. ^ Overy & Wheatcroft 1999, pp. 328–30. ^ Maingot 1994, p. 52. ^ Cantril 1940, p. 390. ^ Skinner Watson, Mark. "Coordination With Britain". US Army in WWII – Chief of Staff: Prewar Plans and Operations.  ^ Bilhartz & Elliott 2007, p. 179. ^ Dear & Foot 2001, p. 877. ^ Dear & Foot 2001, pp. 745–6. ^ Clogg 2002, p. 118. ^ Evans 2008, pp. 146, 152; US Army 1986, pp. 4–6 ^ Jowett 2001, pp. 9–10. ^ Jackson 2006, p. 106. ^ Laurier 2001, pp. 7–8. ^ Murray & Millett 2001, pp. 263–7. ^ Macksey 1997, pp. 61–3. ^ Weinberg 2005, p. 229. ^ Watson 2003, p. 80. ^ Jackson 2006, p. 154. ^ Garver 1988, p. 114. ^ Weinberg 2005, p. 195. ^ Murray 1983, p. 69. ^ a b Klooz, Marle; Wiley, Evelyn (1944), Events leading up to World War II – Chronological History, 78th Congress, 2d Session – House Document N. 541, Director: Humphrey, Richard A., Washington: US Government Printing Office, pp. 267–312 (1941) . ^ Sella 1978. ^ Kershaw 2007, pp. 66–9. ^ Steinberg 1995. ^ Hauner 1978. ^ Roberts 1995. ^ Wilt 1981. ^ Erickson 2003, pp. 114–37. ^ Glantz 2001, p. 9. ^ Farrell 1993. ^ Keeble 1990, p. 29. ^ Bueno de Mesquita et al. 2003, p. 425. ^ Beevor 2012, p. 220. ^ Kleinfeld 1983. ^ Jukes 2001, p. 113. ^ Glantz 2001, p. 26: "By 1 November [the Wehrmacht] had lost fully 20% of its committed strength (686,000 men), up to 2/3 of its ½-million motor vehicles, and 65 percent of its tanks. The German Army High Command (OKH) rated its 136 divisions as equivalent to 83 full-strength divisions." ^ Reinhardt 1992, p. 227. ^ Milward 1964. ^ Rotundo 1986. ^ Glantz 2001, p. 26. ^ Garthoff 1969. ^ Beevor 1998, pp. 41–2; Evans 2008, pp. 213–4, notes that "Zhukov had pushed the Germans back where they had launched Operation Typhoon two months before. ... Only Stalin's decision to attack all along the front instead of concentrating his forces in an all-out assault against the retreating German Army Group Centre prevented the disaster from being even worse." ^ Jowett & Andrew 2002, p. 14. ^ Overy & Wheatcroft 1999, p. 289. ^ Morison 2002, p. 60. ^ Joes 2004, p. 224. ^ Fairbank & Goldman 2006, p. 320. ^ Hsu & Chang 1971, p. 30. ^ Hsu & Chang 1971, p. 33. ^ "Japanese Policy and Strategy 1931 – July 1941". US Army in WWII – Strategy and Command: The First Two Years. pp. 45–66.  ^ Anderson 1975, p. 201. ^ Evans & Peattie 2012, p. 456. ^ Coox, Alvin (1985). Nomonhan: Japan against Russia, 1939. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press. pp. 1046–1049. ISBN 0-8047-1835-0.  ^ a b "The decision for War". US Army in WWII – Strategy and Command: The First Two Years. pp. 113–27.  ^ a b "The Showdown With Japan Aug–Dec 1941". US Army in WWII – Strategic Planning for Coalition Warfare. pp. 63–96.  ^ The United States Replies. Investigation of the Pearl Harbor attack. ^ Painter 2012, p. 26: "The United States cut off oil exports to Japan in the summer of 1941, forcing Japanese leaders to choose between going to war to seize the oil fields of the Netherlands East Indies or giving in to U.S. pressure." Wood 2007, p. 9, listing various military and diplomatic developments, observes that "the threat to Japan was not purely economic." ^ Lightbody 2004, p. 125. ^ Weinberg 2005, p. 310; Dower 1986, p. 5, calls attention to the fact that "the Allied struggle against Japan exposed the racist underpinnings of the European and American colonial structure. Japan did not invade independent countries in southern Asia. It invaded colonial outposts which the Westerners had dominated for generations, taking absolutely for granted their racial and cultural superiority over their Asian subjects." Dower goes on to note that, before the horrors of Japanese occupation made themselves felt, many Asians responded favourably to the victories of the Imperial Japanese forces. ^ Wood 2007, pp. 11–2. ^ a b Wohlstetter 1962, pp. 341–3. ^ Dunn 1998, p. 157. According to May 1955, p. 155, Churchill stated: "Russian declaration of war on Japan would be greatly to our advantage, provided, but only provided, that Russians are confident that will not impair their Western Front." ^ Adolf Hitler's Declaration of War against the United States in Wikisource. ^ Klooz, Marle; Wiley, Evelyn (1944), Events leading up to World War II – Chronological History, 78th Congress, 2d Session – House Document N. 541, Director: Humphrey, Richard A., Washington: US Government Printing Office, p. 310 (1941) . ^ Bosworth & Maiolo 2015, pp. 313–314. ^ Mingst & Karns 2007, p. 22. ^ "The First Full Dress Debate over Strategic Deployment. Dec 1941 – Jan 1942". US Army in WWII – Strategic Planning for Coalition Warfare. pp. 97–119.  ^ "The Elimination of the Alternatives. Jul–Aug 1942". US Army in WWII – Strategic Planning for Coalition Warfare. pp. 266–92.  ^ "Casablanca – Beginning of an Era: January 1943". US Army in WWII – Strategic Planning for Coalition Warfare. pp. 18–42.  ^ "The Trident Conference – New Patterns: May 1943". US Army in WWII – Strategic Planning for Coalition Warfare. pp. 126–45.  ^ Beevor 2012, pp. 247–267, 345. ^ Lewis 1953, p. 529 (Table 11). ^ Slim 1956, pp. 71–4. ^ Grove 1995, p. 362. ^ Ch'i 1992, p. 158. ^ Perez 1998, p. 145. ^ Maddox 1992, pp. 111–2. ^ Salecker 2001, p. 186. ^ Schoppa 2011, p. 28. ^ Chevrier & Chomiczewski & Garrigue 2004, p.19. ^ Ropp 2000, p. 368. ^ Weinberg 2005, p. 339. ^ Gilbert, Adrian (2003). The Encyclopedia of Warfare: From Earliest Times to the Present Day. Globe Pequot. p. 259. ISBN 1-59228-027-7.  ^ Swain 2001, p. 197. ^ Hane 2001, p. 340. ^ Marston 2005, p. 111. ^ Brayley 2002, p. 9. ^ Glantz 2001, p. 31. ^ Read 2004, p. 764. ^ Davies 2006, p. 100 (2008 ed.). ^ Beevor 1998, pp. 239–65. ^ Black 2003, p. 119. ^ Beevor 1998, pp. 383–91. ^ Erickson 2001, p. 142. ^ Milner 1990, p. 52. ^ Beevor 2012, pp. 224–8. ^ Molinari 2007, p. 91. ^ Mitcham 2007, p. 31. ^ Beevor 2012, pp. 380–1. ^ Rich 1992, p. 178. ^ Gordon 2004, p. 129. ^ Neillands 2005. ^ Keegan 1997, p. 277. ^ Smith 2002. ^ Thomas & Andrew 1998, p. 8. ^ a b c d Ross 1997, p. 38. ^ Bonner & Bonner 2001, p. 24. ^ Collier 2003, p. 11. ^ "The Civilians" United States Strategic Bombing Survey Summary Report (European War) ^ Thompson & Randall 2008, p. 164. ^ Kennedy 2001, p. 610. ^ Rottman 2002, p. 228. ^ Glantz 1986; Glantz 1989, pp. 149–59. ^ Kershaw 2001, p. 592. ^ O'Reilly 2001, p. 32. ^ Overy 1995, pp. 119–120. ^ Bellamy 2007, p. 595. ^ O'Reilly 2001, p. 35. ^ Healy 1992, p. 90. ^ Glantz 2001, pp. 50–5. ^ Kolko 1990, p. 45 ^ Mazower 2008, p. 362. ^ Hart, Hart & Hughes 2000, p. 151. ^ Blinkhorn 2006, p. 52. ^ Read & Fisher 2002, p. 129. ^ Padfield 1998, pp. 335–6. ^ Kolko 1990, pp. 211, 235, 267–8. ^ Iriye 1981, p. 154. ^ Mitter 2014, p. 286. ^ Polley 2000, p. 148. ^ Beevor 2012, pp. 268–74. ^ Ch'i 1992, p. 161. ^ Hsu & Chang 1971, pp. 412–416, Map 38 ^ Weinberg 2005, pp. 660–1. ^ Glantz 2002, pp. 327–66. ^ Glantz 2002, pp. 367–414. ^ Chubarov 2001, p. 122. ^ Holland 2008, pp. 169–84; Beevor 2012, pp. 568–73. 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ISBN 978-0-7603-1401-2.  Williams, Andrew (2006). Liberalism and War: The Victors and the Vanquished. Abingdon & New York, NY: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-35980-1.  Wilt, Alan F. (1981). "Hitler's Late Summer Pause in 1941". Military Affairs. 45 (4): 187–91. doi:10.2307/1987464. JSTOR 1987464.  Wohlstetter, Roberta (1962). Pearl Harbor: Warning and Decision. Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press. ISBN 978-0-8047-0597-4.  Wolf, Holger C. (1993). "The Lucky Miracle: Germany 1945–1951". In Rudiger Dornbusch, Wilhelm Nölling and Richard Layard, eds., Postwar Economic Reconstruction and Lessons for the East Today (pp. 29–56). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. ISBN 978-0-262-04136-2.  Wood, James B. (2007). Japanese Military Strategy in the Pacific War: Was Defeat Inevitable?. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 978-0-7425-5339-2.  Yoder, Amos (1997). The Evolution of the United Nations System (3rd ed.). London & Washington, DC: Taylor & Francis. ISBN 1-56032-546-1.  Zalampas, Michael (1989). Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich in American magazines, 1923–1939. Bowling Green University Popular Press. ISBN 0-87972-462-5.  Zaloga, Steven J. (1996). Bagration 1944: The Destruction of Army Group Centre. Oxford: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 978-1-85532-478-7.  ——— (2002). Poland 1939: The Birth of Blitzkrieg. Oxford: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84176-408-5.  Zeiler, Thomas W. and Daniel M. DuBois, eds. A Companion to World War II (2 vol 2013), 1030pp; comprehensive overview by scholars Zeiler, Thomas W. (2004). Unconditional Defeat: Japan, America, and the End of World War II. Wilmington, DE: Scholarly Resources. ISBN 978-0-8420-2991-9.  Zetterling, Niklas; Tamelander, Michael (2009). Bismarck: The Final Days of Germany's Greatest Battleship. Drexel Hill, PA: Casemate. ISBN 978-1-935149-04-0. 

Further reading Aksar, Yusuf (2004). Implementing Intnl Humanitaria: From the AD Hoc Tribunals to a Permanent International Criminal Court. London and New York, NY: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-7146-5584-0.  Beevor, Antony (2006). The Battle for Spain: The Spanish Civil War 1936–1939. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson. ISBN 978-0-297-84832-5.  Budiansky, Stephen (2004). Air Power: The Men, Machines, and Ideas that Revolutionized War, from Kitty Hawk to Gulf War II. London: Viking. ISBN 978-0-670-03285-3.  Chaney, Otto Preston (1996). Zhukov (Revised ed.). Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press. ISBN 978-0-8061-2807-8.  Coox, Alvin D. (1990). Nomonhan: Japan Against Russia, 1939. Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press. ISBN 978-0-8047-1160-9.  Douglas, R. M. (2012). Orderly and Humane: The Expulsion of the Germans After the Second World War. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-16660-6.  Ferraro, Kathleen J. (2008). "Reviews: Taken by Force: Rape and American GIs in Europe during WWII by J. Robert Lilly". Contemporary Sociology. 37 (6): 585–586. doi:10.1177/009430610803700640. JSTOR 20444365.  Graham, Helen (2005). The Spanish Civil War: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford & New York, New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-280377-8.  Hatfield, Kenneth K. (2003). Heartland Heroes: Remembering World War II. Columbia, MO: University of Missouri Press. ISBN 978-0-8262-1460-7.  Judt, Tony; Snyder, Timothy (2012). Thinking the Twentieth Century: Intellectuals and Politics in the Twentieth Century. London: William Heinemann. ISBN 978-0-434-01742-3.  Kelly, Nigel; Rees, Rosemary; Shuter, Jane (1998). Twentieth Century World. London: Heinemann. ISBN 978-0-435-30983-1.  Lilly, J. Robert (2007). Taken by Force: Rape and American GIs in Europe during World War II. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-0-230-50647-3.  O'Hara, Vincent (2004). The German Fleet at War, 1939–1945. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 9781591146513.  Parker, R.A.C. (April 1956). "The First Capitulation: France and the Rhineland Crisis of 1936". World Politics. 8 (3): 355–373. doi:10.2307/2008855. JSTOR 2008855. 

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MussoliniGaleazzo CianoMunich AgreementAnschlussAppeasement Of HitlerSudetenlandCzechoslovakiaEthnic GermanNeville ChamberlainMunich AgreementFirst Vienna AwardHungaryZaolziePlan ZGerman Occupation Of CzechoslovakiaProtectorate Of Bohemia And MoraviaClient StateSlovak Republic (1939–1945)1939 German Ultimatum To LithuaniaKlaipėda RegionFree City Of DanzigAnglo-Polish Military AllianceItalian Invasion Of AlbaniaGreeceFranco-Polish Military AlliancePact Of SteelAnglo-German Naval AgreementGerman–Polish Non-Aggression PactEnlargeJoachim Von RibbentropJoseph StalinMolotov–Ribbentrop PactMolotov–Ribbentrop PactSecond Polish RepublicLithuaniaTerritories Of Poland Annexed By The Soviet UnionEstoniaBessarabiaCount CianoPlenipotentiaryDanzigPlebiscitePolish CorridorNeville HendersonDiplomatic History Of World War IIEnlargeWehrmachtSecond Polish RepublicFree City Of DanzigGerman Invasion Of PolandGleiwitz IncidentDominionCommonwealth Of NationsAustraliaCanadaNew ZealandSouth AfricaPhoney WarSaar OffensiveAllies Of World War IIBlockade Of Germany (1939–45)Submarine WarfareBattle Of The AtlanticEnlargeBydgoszczInvasion Of PolandBattles Of Khalkhin GolSoviet Invasion Of PolandBattle Of Warsaw (1939)Polish Areas Annexed By Nazi GermanyTerritories Of Poland Annexed By The Soviet UnionTerritorial Changes Of PolandSlovak Invasion Of Poland (1939)Polish Underground StateHome ArmyRomanian BridgeheadBiuro SzyfrówEnlargeNazi GermanySoviet UnionEastern EuropeGerman–Soviet Frontier TreatyBaltic StatesBackground Of The Occupation Of The Baltic StatesWinter WarMoscow Peace TreatySoviet Occupation Of The Baltic States (1940)Soviet Occupation Of Bessarabia And Northern BukovinaWikipedia:Citing SourcesWestern Front (World War II)EnlargeMaginot LineOperation WeserübungSwedish Iron-ore Mining During World War IIOperation WilfredDenmarkNorwegian CampaignNarvikNorwayNorway DebateNeville ChamberlainWinston ChurchillBattle Of FranceManstein PlanBattle Of BelgiumBattle Of The NetherlandsGerman Invasion Of LuxembourgInvasion Of IcelandBritish Occupation Of The Faroe IslandsHenrik KauffmannGreenland In World War IINetherlands In World War IIBelgium In World War IIBlitzkriegMaginot LineArdennesDunkirk EvacuationItalian Invasion Of FranceArmistice Of 22 June 1940German Military Administration In Occupied France During World War IIItalian Occupation Of FranceRump StateVichy RegimeAttack On Mers-el-KébirEnlargeLondonThe BlitzBattle Of BritainKanalkampfBritish EmpireAdlertagRAF Fighter CommandOperation Sea LionStrategic BombingThe BlitzEnlargeLuftwaffeHeinkel He 111Battle Of BritainBattle Of The AtlanticRoyal NavyU-boatBattle Of The AtlanticLast Battle Of The Battleship BismarckRoyal Air ForceNeutrality Acts Of 1930sCash And Carry (World War II)United States NavyTwo-Ocean Navy ActDestroyers For Bases AgreementArsenal Of DemocracyLend-LeaseTripartite PactAxis PowersKingdom Of RomaniaRomania In World War IIHungary In World War IISoviet Occupation Of Bessarabia And Northern BukovinaIon AntonescuMediterranean And Middle East Theatre Of World War IIEnlargeBritish Empire In World War II9th Division (Australia)Siege Of TobrukNorth African CampaignSiege Of Malta (World War II)Italian Conquest Of British SomalilandItalian Invasion Of EgyptGreco-Italian WarOperation CompassEast African Campaign (World War II)Regia MarinaBattle Of TarantoBattle Of Cape MatapanEnlargeAfrika KorpsOperation SonnenblumeAxis Desert Offensive (1941)Siege Of TobrukOperation BrevityOperation BattleaxeBulgariaTripartite PactYugoslaviaYugoslav Coup D'étatInvasion Of YugoslaviaBattle Of GreeceBattle Of CreteAxis Occupation Of YugoslaviaAnglo-Iraqi WarFrench Mandate Of SyriaFree FrenchSyria–Lebanon CampaignEastern Front (World War II)EnlargeEuropean Theatre Of World War IIAllies Of World War IISoviet UnionAxis PowersSoutheast AsiaSoviet–Japanese Neutrality PactGerman–Soviet Axis TalksEnlargeAxis PowersOperation BarbarossaWikipedia:Citing SourcesBaltic RegionUkraineStrategic Goal (military)A-A LineCaspian SeaWhite SeaLebensraumGeneralplan OstWikipedia:Citing SourcesWikipedia:Citing SourcesRed ArmyCounter-offensiveWikipedia:Citing SourcesStavkaStrategic DefenceOberkommando Des HeeresBattle Of Smolensk (1941)Army Group Centre2nd Panzer GroupWikipedia:Citing SourcesBattle Of Kiev (1941)Crimean CampaignFirst Battle Of KharkovEnlargeLeningradBattle Of LeningradEastern Front (World War II)Grand StrategyWikipedia:Citing SourcesAnglo-Soviet AgreementAnglo-Soviet Invasion Of IranPersian CorridorOil FieldAtlantic CharterOperational ObjectiveSiege Of LeningradWikipedia:Citing SourcesSiege Of Sevastopol (1941–42)Battle Of MoscowMilitary CapabilityPhase (combat)Wikipedia:Citing SourcesMilitary Reserve ForceWikipedia:Citing SourcesRichard SorgeKwantung ArmyWikipedia:Citing SourcesSoviet Offensive (1941–1942)Pacific WarAviation GasolineBattle Of Changsha (1939)1939–40 Winter OffensiveJapanese Invasion Of French IndochinaEmbargo1939–40 Winter OffensiveCommunist Party Of ChinaHundred Regiments OffensiveThree Alls PolicyNew Fourth Army IncidentBattle Of ShanggaoBattle Of Changsha (1941)EnlargeMitsubishi A6M2Imperial Japanese NavyJapanese Aircraft Carrier ShōkakuNaval Station Pearl HarborSoutheast AsiaDutch East IndiesKantokuenCommonwealth Of The PhilippinesEnlargeUSS Arizona (BB-39)United States Pacific FleetUnited States Pacific FleetJapanese Expansion (1941–1942)Attack On Pearl HarborPhilippines Campaign (1941–42)Malayan CampaignBattle Of Hong KongUnited States Declaration Of War On JapanUnited Kingdom Declaration Of War On JapanEnlargeCasablanca ConferenceFranklin D. RooseveltWinston ChurchillFour PolicemenDeclaration By United NationsAtlantic CharterSeparate PeaceGrand StrategyEurope FirstOperation SledgehammerCasablanca ConferenceUnconditional SurrenderEnlargeJapanese Conquest Of BurmaBattle Of MalayaDutch East Indies CampaignBattle Of SingaporeRabaulPhilippines Campaign (1941–42)Philippine CommonwealthBattle Of YenangyaungSinking Of Prince Of Wales And RepulseBattle Of The Java SeaIndian Ocean Raid (1942)Bombing Of DarwinDarwin, Northern TerritoryBattle Of Changsha (1942)Operation MoAmphibious AssaultBattle Of The Coral SeaDoolittle RaidMidway AtollAleutian Islands CampaignZhejiang-Jiangxi CampaignJapanese Naval CodesBattle Of MidwayImperial Japanese NavyEnlargeUnited States Marine CorpsGuadalcanal CampaignPacific Ocean Theater Of World War IIPort MoresbyKokoda Track CampaignTerritory Of PapuaSolomon IslandsGuadalcanalRabaulGuadalcanal CampaignOro ProvinceBattle Of Buna-GonaOperation KeArakan Campaign 1942–43Operation LongclothEnlargeRed ArmyBattle Of StalingradBattle Of The Kerch PeninsulaSecond Battle Of KharkovCase BlueBaku Oil FieldsKubanSteppeArmy Group SouthArmy Group ADon River (Russia)Army Group BVolga RiverBattle Of StalingradUrban WarfareOperation UranusOperation MarsThird Battle Of KharkovSalients, Re-entrants And PocketsKurskEnlarge8th Air ForceBoeing B-17 Flying FortressSecond Happy TimeOperation CrusaderGazala LineMadagascarBattle Of MadagascarBattle Of GazalaFirst Battle Of El AlameinCommandoDieppe RaidWikipedia:Citing SourcesBattle Of Alam El HalfaOperation PedestalSecond Battle Of El AlameinOperation TorchCase AntonScuttling Of The French Fleet In ToulonTunisiaTunisian CampaignCombined Bomber OffensiveDe-housingEnlargeDouglas SBD DauntlessScout PlaneUSS Washington (BB-56)USS Lexington (CV-2)Aleutian Islands CampaignOperation CartwheelGilbert And Marshall Islands CampaignOperation HailstoneCaroline IslandsWestern New Guinea CampaignBattle Of KurskAllied Invasion Of SicilyBombing Of Hamburg In World War IIEnlargeRed ArmyBattle Of KurskOperation KutuzovPanther–Wotan LineBattle Of Smolensk (1943)Lower Dnieper OffensiveAllied Invasion Of ItalyArmistice Of CassibileGran Sasso RaidItalian Social RepublicItalian Civil WarWinter LineEnlargePacific WarChiang Kai-shekFranklin D. RooseveltWinston ChurchillCairo Conference (1943)Black May (1943)Franklin D. RooseveltChiang Kai-shekCairo ConferenceTehran ConferenceBurma CampaignEnlargeMonte CassinoBattle Of Monte CassinoItalian Campaign (World War II)Battle Of ChangdeBattle Of Monte CassinoOperation ShingleLeningrad FrontSiege Of LeningradLeningrad OblastList Of Battles By CasualtiesLeningrad–Novgorod OffensiveBattle Of Narva (1944)Army Group NorthOccupation Of Estonia By Nazi GermanyEstonian Government-in-exileBaltic SeaCrimean OffensiveFirst Jassy–Kishinev OffensiveOperation U-GoBattle Of ImphalBattle Of KohimaBattle Of Northern Burma And Western YunnanSiege Of MyitkyinaMyitkyinaOperation Ichi-GoHenanBattle Of Changsha (1944)HunanEnlargeOmaha BeachInvasion Of NormandyD-DayNormandy LandingsInvasion Of NormandyOperation DragoonFalaise PocketLiberation Of ParisFrench ResistanceFree French ForcesCharles De GaulleAllied Advance From Paris To The RhineOperation Market GardenOperation QueenGothic LineEnlargeSchutzstaffelDirlewanger BrigadeWarsaw UprisingOperation BagrationArmy Group CentreLvov–Sandomierz OffensiveArmia KrajowaOperation TempestWarsaw UprisingSlovak National UprisingSlovak Republic (1939–1945)Jassy–Kishinev OffensiveArmy Group South UkraineKing Michael's CoupBulgarian Coup D'état Of 1944Democratic Federal YugoslaviaArmy Group EArmy Group FAxis Occupation Of GreeceAlbanian Kingdom (1943–44)Yugoslav PartisansJosip Broz TitoWorld War II In YugoslaviaSerbia (1941–1944)Red ArmyBelgrade OffensiveBudapest OffensiveOperation PanzerfaustBattle Of BudapestContinuation WarVyborg–Petrozavodsk OffensiveKarelian IsthmusMoscow ArmisticeLapland WarEnlargeDouglas MacArthurLeyteBattle Of LeyteChindwin RiverBattle Of Mount SongBurma RoadDefense Of HengyangBattle Of Guilin–LiuzhouMariana And Palau Islands CampaignBattle Of The Philippine SeaHideki TojoBattle Of LeyteBattle Of Leyte GulfEnlargeYalta ConferenceWinston ChurchillFranklin D. RooseveltJoseph StalinBattle Of The BulgeOperation NordwindAntwerpVistula–Oder OffensiveEast Prussian OffensiveYalta ConferenceSilesian OffensivesEast Pomeranian OffensiveWestern Allied Invasion Of GermanyRhineOperation PlunderRemagenRhine-RuhrRuhr PocketViennaSpring 1945 Offensive In ItalyBattle Of Hamburg (1945)Battle Of Nuremberg (1945)Battle Of BerlinElbe DayReichstag BuildingHarry S. TrumanDeath Of Benito MussoliniItalian Resistance MovementDeath Of Adolf HitlerGrand AdmiralKarl DönitzEnlargeReichstag BuildingGerman Instrument Of SurrenderVictory In Europe DayVictory Day (Eastern Front)Prague OffensivePhilippine CommonwealthPhilippines Campaign (1944–1945)Battle Of LeyteBattle Of LuzonBattle Of Manila (1945)Battle Of MindanaoEnd Of World War II In AsiaUnited States Army Air ForcesBoeing B-29 SuperfortressBomberBombing Of TokyoIncendiary DeviceAir Raids On JapanBorneo Campaign (1945)Burma CampaignRangoonBattle Of West HunanBattle Of Iwo JimaBattle Of OkinawaAllied Submarines In The Pacific WarEnlargeMamoru ShigemitsuJapanese Instrument Of SurrenderUSS Missouri (BB-63)Potsdam ConferencePotsdam AgreementUnited Kingdom General Election, 1945Clement AttleePotsdam DeclarationAtomic Bombings Of Hiroshima And NagasakiHiroshimaNagasakiOperation DownfallSoviet Invasion Of ManchuriaKwantung ArmySakhalinKuril IslandsSurrender Of JapanJapanese Instrument Of SurrenderTokyo BayUSS Missouri (BB-63)Aftermath Of World War IIConsequences Of NazismEnlargeNuremberg TrialsNazi GermanyCrimes Against HumanityAllied-occupied AustriaAllied-occupied GermanyDenazificationNuremberg TrialsEnlargeWarsawPlanned Destruction Of WarsawSilesiaNeumarkPomeraniaEast PrussiaFlight And Expulsion Of Germans (1944–50)SudetenlandCurzon LinePolish Population Transfers (1944–1946)Baltic StatesSoviet Occupation Of The Baltic States (1944)World PeaceUnited NationsUniversal Declaration Of Human RightsMember States Of The United NationsPermanent Members Of The United Nations Security CouncilUnited Nations Security CouncilUnited Nations General Assembly Resolution 2758TaiwanChinaSuccessor StateRussiaDissolution Of The Soviet UnionEnlargeCentral EuropeEastern EuropeEastern BlocCold WarWest GermanyEast GermanyBizoneSoviet Occupation ZoneSpheres Of InfluenceEastern BlocEast GermanyPolish People's RepublicHungarian People's RepublicSocialist Republic Of RomaniaCzechoslovak Socialist RepublicPeople's Socialist Republic Of AlbaniaSatellite StateSocialist Federal Republic Of YugoslaviaNon-Aligned MovementTito–Stalin SplitNATOWarsaw PactCold WarArms RaceProxy WarOccupation Of JapanTrust Territory Of The Pacific IslandsSakhalinKuril IslandsKoreaKorea Under Japanese RuleDivision Of KoreaNorth KoreaSouth KoreaKorean WarEnlargeDavid Ben-GurionIsraeli Declaration Of IndependenceIndependence Hall (Israel)Chinese Civil WarTaiwanUnited Nations Partition Plan For PalestineCreation Of IsraelArab–Israeli ConflictColonial EmpireDecolonizationPost–World War II Baby BoomAllied Plans For German Industry After World War IIDeutsche MarkMarshall PlanWirtschaftswunderItalian Economic MiracleTrente GlorieusesJapanese Post-war Economic MiracleWorld War II CasualtiesList Of War CrimesEnlargeBattle Casualties Of World War IIGenocideList Of MassacresStrategic Bombing During World War IIInfectious DiseaseStarvationRussiansUkrainiansWar Crimes Of The WehrmachtJapanese War CrimesThe HolocaustRomani PeoplePersecution Of Homosexuals In Nazi Germany And The HolocaustSerbsUstašeYugoslaviaBleiburg RepatriationsEnlargeImperial Japanese ArmyNanking MassacreNanking MassacreThree Alls PolicyYasuji OkamuraShantungBiological WarfareChemical WarfareImperial Japanese ArmySecond Sino-Japanese WarUnit 731Battles Of Khalkhin GolJapanese Human Experimentation On The ChinesePrisoner Of WarKatyn MassacreNKVDOccupation Of The Baltic StatesTerritories Of Poland Annexed By The Soviet UnionPositive International LawCustomary International LawInternational Humanitarian LawAerial WarfareGenocideThe HolocaustNazi Concentration CampsExtermination CampForced Labour Under German Rule During World War IIKidnapping Of Children By Nazi GermanyNazi Human ExperimentationEnlargeSchutzstaffelBergen-Belsen Concentration CampAdolf HitlerNazi PartyThe HolocaustNazi Crimes Against The Polish NationLife Unworthy Of LifeDisabilityMental DisorderGerman Mistreatment Of Soviet Prisoners Of WarHomosexualsFreemasonsJehovah's WitnessesRomani PeopleOstarbeiterForced Labour Under German Rule During World War IINazi Concentration CampsGulagLabor CampPrisoner Of WarGerman Mistreatment Of Soviet Prisoners Of WarRichard OveryEnlargeSSCzesława KwokaAuschwitzPrisoner-of-war CampInternational Military Tribunal For The Far EastSurrender Of JapanEast Asia Development BoardJavaRōmushaExecutive Order 9066Yalta ConferenceForeign Forced Labor In The Soviet UnionForced Labor Of Hungarians In The Soviet UnionGerman-occupied EuropeCollaboration With The Axis Powers During World War IIResistance During World War IINazi PlunderEnlargePalmiry MassacreProtectorate Of Bohemia And MoraviaNazi PlunderEnlargeRussian Academy Of SciencesWorld War II Casualties Of The Soviet UnionLebensraumScorched EarthRacial Policy Of Nazi GermanyUntermenschGeneralplan OstResistance During World War IIGreater East Asia Co-Prosperity SphereHegemonyMilitary Production During World War IIHome Front During World War IIEnlargeAttrition WarfareLabour ForceStrategic Bombing During World War IIWar EconomySlave LabourForced Labour Under German Rule During World War IISlavery In JapanTechnology During World War IIEnlargeBoeing B-29 SuperfortressStrategic BombersBoeingWichita, KansasReconnaissance AircraftFighter AircraftBomberClose Air SupportAirliftStrategic BombingAnti-aircraft WarfareRadar88 Mm GunJet AircraftNaval WarfareAeronauticsBattle Of TarantoAttack On Pearl HarborBattle Of The Coral SeaEscort CarrierMid-Atlantic GapWorld War IAnti-submarine WarfareAnti-submarine WeaponSonarGerman Type VII SubmarineWolfpack (naval Tactic)Leigh LightHedgehog (weapon)Squid (weapon)Mark 24 MineEnlargeV-2 RocketPeenemündeLand WarfareCombined ArmsTankTanks In World War IIAnti-tank WarfareIndirect FireAnti-tank GunSelf-propelled GunAnti-tank MineEnlargeAlamogordo Bombing And Gunnery RangeTrinity (nuclear Test)New MexicoMG34Submachine GunClose CombatAssault RifleCodebookCryptographyCipherEnigma 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