Featured article World War II
that lasted from 1939 to 1945, although related conflicts began earlier. It involved
the vast majority of the world's countries
—including all of the
—eventually forming two opposing
. It was the most widespread war in history, and directly involved more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. In a state of
, the major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the
, erasing the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the
, marked by 50 million to 85 million fatalities, most of which were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included
, the deliberate
, starvation, disease and the first use of
in history. (
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