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'Italiawhich was launched from Italian Somaliland and Eritrea. Both Italy and Ethiopia were member nations, but the League did little when the former clearly violated Article X of the League's Covenant.
Visit Website Did you know? As early asin his memoir and propaganda tract "Mein Kampf" My StruggleAdolf Hitler had predicted a general European war that would result in "the extermination of the Jewish race in Germany.
In the mids, he began the rearmament of Germany, secretly and in violation of the Versailles Treaty. After signing alliances with Italy and Japan against the Soviet UnionHitler sent troops to occupy Austria in and the following year annexed Czechoslovakia. Hitler had long planned an invasion of Poland, a nation to which Great Britain and France had guaranteed military support if it was attacked by Germany.
The pact with Stalin meant that Hitler would not face a war on two fronts once he invaded Poland, and would have Soviet assistance in conquering and dividing the nation itself. On September 17, Soviet troops invaded Poland from the east. Under attack from both sides, Poland fell quickly, and by early Germany and the Soviet Union had divided control over the nation, according to a secret protocol appended to the Nonaggression Pact.
In fact, the Germans broke through the line with their tanks and planes and continued to the rear, rendering it useless. Hitler now turned his attention to Britain, which had the defensive advantage of being separated from the Continent by the English Channel.
To pave the way for an amphibious invasion dubbed Operation Sea LionGerman planes bombed Britain extensively throughout the summer ofincluding night raids on London and other industrial centers that caused heavy civilian casualties and damage.
Arguments between Hitler and his commanders delayed the next German advance until October, when it was stalled by a Soviet counteroffensive and the onset of harsh winter weather.
World War II in the Pacific With Britain facing Germany in Europe, the United States was the only nation capable of combating Japanese aggression, which by late included an expansion of its ongoing war with China and the seizure of European colonial holdings in the Far East.
On December 7,Japanese aircraft attacked the major U.
Germany and the other Axis Powers promptly declared war on the United States. After a long string of Japanese victories, the U. Pacific Fleet won the Battle of Midway in Junewhich proved to be a turning point in the war. On Guadalcanal, one of the southern Solomon Islands, the Allies also had success against Japanese forces in a series of battles from August to Februaryhelping turn the tide further in the Pacific.
In mid, Allied naval forces began an aggressive counterattack against Japan, involving a series of amphibious assaults on key Japanese-held islands in the Pacific.
The approach of winter, along with dwindling food and medical supplies, spelled the end for German troops there, and the last of them surrendered on January 31, Soviet troops soon advanced into Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Romania, while Hitler gathered his forces to drive the Americans and British back from Germany in the Battle of the Bulge December Januarythe last major German offensive of the war.
An intensive aerial bombardment in February preceded the Allied land invasion of Germany, and by the time Germany formally surrendered on May 8, Soviet forces had occupied much of the country. Hitler was already dead, having committed suicide on April 30 in his Berlin bunker.
Post-war Germany would be divided into four occupation zones, to be controlled by the Soviet Union, Britain, the United States and France. Heavy casualties sustained in the campaigns at Iwo Jima February and Okinawa April-Juneand fears of the even costlier land invasion of Japan led Truman to authorize the use of a new and devastating weapon—the atomic bomb—on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in early August.
On August 10, the Japanese government issued a statement declaring they would accept the terms of the Potsdam Declaration, and on September 2, U. World War II proved to be the most devastating international conflict in history, taking the lives of some 35 to 60 million people, including 6 million Jews who died at the hands of the Nazis.
Millions more were injured, and still more lost their homes and property. The legacy of the war would include the spread of communism from the Soviet Union into eastern Europe as well as its eventual triumph in China, and the global shift in power from Europe to two rival superpowers—the United States and the Soviet Union—that would soon face off against each other in the Cold War.
Start your free trial today.Mar 28, · Find out more about the history of World War II, including videos, interesting articles, pictures, historical features and more. Oops, there's a problem. Sep 02, · Impact of war on everyday life.
Shell shock. Censorship and propaganda. British naval blockade leads to starvation diets in Germany. German submarine warfare. News about World War II ().
Commentary and archival information about World War II () from The New York Times. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China.
It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and . World War II was the biggest and deadliest war in history, involving more than 30 countries.
Sparked by the Nazi invasion of Poland, the war dragged on for six bloody years until the Allies. 10 Significant World War II Sites There’s nothing quite like getting out to sea and sailing the mighty waters and if you’ve ever experienced it, there’s a.