Second World War (1939-45)
Countries Involved in World War 2: Britain, France, USSR, US, other nations Vs. Germany, Italy, Japan
The peace treaty signed at the end of World War 1 (the Treaty of Versailles in 1919) forced Germany to give up much of its land and affluence, and constrained the size of its army. 20 years later, the Nazi Party in Germany had rebuilt the nation and their leader Adolph Hitler was determined to rule Europe. German forced attacked Poland on lst Sep 1939, which led to pr0n0uncements of war by France and Britain on 3rd Sep 1939. The Germans attacked the little countries on l0th May l940, and France was compelled to sign an armistice on 22 June. The British army was evacuated from Dunkrik, while in the" Batt1e 0f Britain" the German Luftwaffe failed to defeat the RAF and establish air superiority which would have made an attempted invasion of Britain possible. Italy declared war on l0th June l94O, and Britain assaulted Italian forces in North Africa. More than one year Britain and her Empire stood alone against the Axis powers.
In 1941, though, the battle was hugely extended, Japan joining the Axis & Rusia, China and USA joining UK. The Japanese swiftly invaded many of the European colonies in Southeast Asia, but Hitler's attack of Russia (June 1941) finally proved a decisive mistake.
In 1942 the Germans were defeated in North Africa and Russia, in l943 the Allies invaded Italy, and in l944 UK and US opened the "2nd Fr0nt" in France. The A11iance linked up with Russians on the E1be on 28 April 1945 and the Germans accepted unconditional surrender terms on 7 May.
In the Far East, major Japanese forces remained committed to the indecisive war in China, but American forces in the "island-hopping" campaign in the Pacific, and UK forces through Burma, inflicted defeats on the Japanese forces. A vast blasting and submarine offensive had brought Japan near to defeat when atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in early Aug l945. Japan lay down her arms on 14 August 1945.