World War II (abr. WWII or WW2), also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945, although related conflicts began earlier. It involved the vast majority of the world's countries—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. It was the most widespread war in history, and directly involved more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. In a state of total war, the major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, erasing the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 million to 85 million fatalities, most of which were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the deliberate genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, starvation, disease and the first use of nuclear weapons in history.
National Socialism in GermanyEdit
The Nazi Party and Adolf Hitler began to undergo power in 1919, and it started off with him joining the German Workers' Party. It was then renamed to the National Socialist German Workers' Party, or more commonly known as Nazi Party. In the 1920s, the Nazis had already latched onto the very weak political government of Germany, making them able to express their ideals easier. As the years went on, Hitler rallied more and more people to join on his side, as he would "lead them to a better life". Germany after WWI was devastated by debt, which was worse than the United States.This made it even easier for Hitler to gain power. By the early 1930s, the Nazis had become the largest party in Germany.
By the 1929 market crash in the US, the communists and Nazis were able to denounce democracy, and have a chance to prove that their political ideology was better than the US'. This led to the democracy campaigners to suffer from heavy losses in the political elections due to a spread of word of how evil democracy is. At this time, the Nazis had about a million people who were apart of them. The Nazis had tried several times to put Hitler onto the Chancellor's seat, but fell just short of it by other political leaders. However, the inability to gain control wasn't very short, as in 1933, he was appointed Chancellor of Germany. Many of the people who opposed the Nazis had failed to act against it, and Hitler was able to seize total control.
Eventually the Nazis began to suspend civil rights and political opposition. All of the communists were kicked out of any seat in power. He continue to take away freedoms from the people. He even got a stamped letter saying that he had the free will to do what he wants without consent of parliament. He and his party also spread antisemitism amongst the people, allowing them to have a common enemy. Hitler took his control and used it with force and intimidation.
Fascism in ItalyEdit
At the same time in Italy, Benito Mussolini was gaining power from a new political ideology called fascism. They would claim themselves to be the best nationalists and wanted what was only right for their country. The Italian fascists took against Liberalism and gathered a stronger suit of being a heavily conservative ideology. The people known as the Blackshirts, which were a mix of World War I veterans and ideal socialists, were taken under Mussolini's wing. However, it wasn't just democracy that was against fascism, but instead feminists as well, as Mussolini had a deal of women's suffrage movement in Italy, which was partially taken into account by the fascists. Although some recognize Nazi Germany to be fascist, this isn't true, as Nazism was a much more extreme form of both fascism and totalitarian.
World War II officially began on September 1, 1939 with the German invasion of Poland, which was to look like a Polish espionage mission against Germany. At this time, Hitler made a non-aggression pact with Joseph Stalin of the Soviet Union, which that they wouldn't attack each other. They also made an agreement to invade Poland together: Germany from the west, and the Soviets from the east. Two days later, the UK and France, along with the British Commonwealth, declared war on Germany. The Germans made a new style of warfare, Blitzkrieg, which was a lightning-fast attack with full armor. Poland fell in just a week and a half. The remaining soldiers of Poland evacuated to Romania.
On the sixth of October of that year, Hitler wanted a peace agreement with France and the UK. Chamberlain, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom at that time, rejected the peace offering. Hitler answered to the denial with a full attack against France. Due to bad weather, it was postponed to Spring of the next year. Meanwhile in the Soviet Union, they were stationing troops along the Baltic nations, as for peace. Finland rejected this idea, causing the Soviets to invade Finland. This gave the USSR bad relations with the Allies, causing the Russian seat to be kicked out of the League of Nations.
Spring of 1940 Germany invaded Denmark and Norway, both falling in just two months. By this time, the UK was doing nothing to protect themselves, which forced Chamberlain out of office, whom was replaced by Winston Churchill. Before invading France, Germany invaded Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg for a closer front. The French were using an outdated form of military equipment, which wouldn't hold against the German's blitzkrieg offensive. However, the French also put their strongest fortifications on the Maginot Line (French fortifications built in the 1930s to protect themselves from the growing German threat), which the Germans easily avoided by going around the Line by going through Belgium. France did not expect this, and quickly abandoned their posts, leaving all of the artillery behind. As the French were fleeing for their lives, Italy declared war on both the UK and France, and invaded them from the south. Paris fell to the Germans soon after and France surrendered. The remaining French militants were being evacuated off the coast into the UK. France was then divided into Italian zones and German zones.
By now Hitler had his sights on the UK. He figured if he could get the United Kingdom, he could move across north and invade Canada, and finally the United States. In order to do this, he ordered for bombers and fighter planes to attack the city of London in hopes of gaining air superiority. Then he could move on to destroying the ships blocking the English Channel, and finally move in ships carrying soldiers to invade Britain. The Germans began bombing, in hopes of succeeding, as they have so far never lost in the war. Over the course of several months, the Royal Air Force (RAF) managed to keep the Germans from attaining air superiority, and eventually Hitler called back his bombers.
The Germans had been using U-boats for the first and now the second World War. They're easy and cheap to make, which is why Germans continued to build them. Hitler figured that they should build a battleship, which would go around and destroy all of the other battleships that the Allies had. After construction, Hitler was proud of creating the Bismarck, which lived a short time before being destroyed by small British boats. Hitler wanted to make another, but was advised to stay with the U-boats, as building another battleship would be too expensive and not worth it.
| || || || || |
|The War in the Mediterranean|
|The Invasion of the Soviet Union|
War in The PacificEdit
- The Battle of the Philippines, occurred in 1941-1942, land battle, Japanese Victory
- The Battle of Singapore, occurred in 1942, siege, Japanese Victory
- The Battle of Coral Sea, occurred in 1942, naval battle, American Victory
- The Battle of Guadalcanal, occurred in 1942-1943, land battle, Allied (American) Victory
- The Battle of Midway, occurred in 1942, naval battle, Allied (American) Victory
- The Battle of Leyte Gulf, occurred in 1944, land battle, Allied (American) Victory
- The Battle of Philippine Sea, occurred in 1944, Allied (American) Victory
- The Battle of Iwo Jima, occurred in 1945, land battle, Allied (American) Victory
- The Battle of Okinawa, occurred in 1945, land battle, Allied (American) Victory
|January 1933||-||Adolf Hitler becomes Germany's Chancellor.|
|July 1937||Second Sino - Japanese War||The Japan Empire invades the Republic of China.|
|March - Oct 1938||-||Germany annexes Austria and the Sudetenland.|
|March 1939||Germany invades Czechoslovakia||Germany had occupied Czechoslovakia despite the assurances given by him.|
|March /April 1939||-||The Great Britain rearms and reassures Poland, who was being threatened by the Fuhrer.|
|23 August 1939||-||Hitler and Stalin signed a non - aggression pact which included secret clauses for the division of Poland.|
|1 September 1939||Germany invades Poland||Germany had occupied Poland.|
|3 September 1939||-||Britain and France declare war on Germany.|
|17 September 1939||The Soviet Union invades Poland||The Soviet Union invades Poland, honoring the German - Soviet pact.|
|September 1939 - May 1940||Phoney War||The months following Britain’s declaration of war are referred to as the ‘Phoney War’ because Britain saw no military action.|
|November 1939 - March 1940||The Winter War||The Soviet Union occupied Finland.|
|April 1940||Germany invades Luxembourg, Denmark and Norway||Germany occupied Luxembourg, Denmark and Norway.|
|10 May 1940||Blitzkrieg||Hitler launched his blitzkrieg ( Lightning War ) against Netherlands and Belgium. Both countries were occupied.|
|13 May 1940||-||Neville Chamberlain resigned after pressure from Labour members for a more active prosecution of the war and Winston Churchill became the new head of the wartime coalition government.|
|26 May 1940 - 4 June 1940||-||The British commander-in-chief, General Gort, had been forced to retreat to the coast at Dunkirk. The troops waited, under merciless fire, to be taken off the beaches. A call went out to all owners of sea-worthy vessels to travel to Dunkirk to take the troops off the beaches of Dunkirk. More than 338,000 men were rescued, among them some 140,000 French who would form the nucleus of the Free French army under a little known general, Charles de Gaulle. More than 330,000 surrounded Allied soldiers escape into England.|
|May 1940 - June 1940||Battle of France||Germany's Mobile Warfare defeats the Allies.|
|10 June 1940||Italy invades France||Italy occupied France.|
|11 June 1940||-||Italy enter war on side of Axis powers|
|22 June 1940||-||France signs armistice with Germany|
|10 July 1940 – 31 October 1940||Battle of Britain||The Battle of Britain comprised four phases:|
1. During July, Hitler sent his Luftwaffe bombers to attack British ports. His aim was also to assess the speed and quality of response by the RAF.
|9 September 1940||Italy invades British' Egypt||Italy occupies British' Egypt, the North African Campaign begins.|
|22 Sept 1940||Japan invades French Indochina||Japan occupies French Indochina, effectively blockading China from importing arms.|
|25 September 1940||-||Tripartite Pact of mutual alliance was signed by Germany, Italy and Japan.|
|November 1940 - March 1941||-||Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria joined the Axis Powers.|
- ↑ 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". http://www.bbc.co.uk/tyne/content/articles/2005/01/20/holocaust_memorial_other_victims_feature.shtml. Retrieved on 27 August 2017.