History: WW2

World War two started in 1939 and ended in 1945. WW2 was a global war involving around 57 countries. It was a fight between two major opposing alliances; The Allied Forces and the Axis Powers. The Axis powers were made up of three main powers, Italy(Benito Mussolini), Germany(Adolf Hitler) and Japan(Hirohito). The main Allies were the U.S.A(Franklin D. Roosevelt), UK(Winston Churchill), Soviet Union(Joseph Stalin) and China(Chiang Kai-shek). At first Nazi Germany started to expand it’s borders by invading nearby countries and formed a pact with the Soviet Union. Hitler and Stalin had originally planned on dividing the territories of Romania, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and Finland between themselves. At first, the UK and France tried resolving these growing problems peacefully by low-key saying “please stop”; however, when Poland was invaded they declared war on Germany. In 1940, Germany invaded Denmark and Norway to stop the Allies from cutting off their iron ore shipments from Sweden. Due to the losses in Norway, Winston Churchill was assigned to be Prime Minister in 1940; this was the same day Germany launched an attack on France. As soon as France fell, Germany tried to use the same tactic against the UK, attempting to take over quickly. However, the resistance the UK was showing stalled Hitler’s original plan. Hitler came to the conclusion that they were waiting/hoping for the U.S.A. and Soviet Union to join the war against the Axis. Although the Soviet Union worked with Germany, they weren’t officially part of the Axis, despite Germany’s attempts to convince them. Hitler then decided to invade the Soviet Union in 1941, but it was unsuccessful. This caused the Soviet Union to join the Allies against Germany. The Japanese had also launched a surprise attack on the U.S.A.(attack on Pearl Harbor), causing them to join the war as part of the Allies. Now, Germany had a major fight on two fronts and this is where Germany is said to have started to lose the war. The Axis endured many defeats after, and in 1943, Italy surrendered. Benito Mussolini was then kicked out of his dictatorship role and Gen. Pietro Badoglio, seeking peace, took his place. Only a month later, Italy joined the Allies by declaring war on Germany. On June 6, 1944(D-day), after years of Soviet pressure, the Allies launched an attack to take back northern France from the Germans. In Italy, there were several Allied units sent to attack the southern part of France, putting stress on the German army. Eventually, the Germans stationed in France were all defeated and the Allies set their sights on Germany. While the events of D-day were happening, the Soviets planned a strategic attack on Belarus, Ukraine and Poland in order to drive the German troops out. Then they went to cut off and later defeat a considerably large amount of German troops in Romania and Bulgaria. The Allies were closing in on Germany and they made a last attempt to take back ground, but it was in vain. On May 7, 1945, Germany surrendered, but the war wasn’t over. Japan was still fighting and showing no interest in surrendering to the Allies. Japanese pilots started to purposely crash their planes into Allied ships in order to do some kind of damage. This action caused a lot of deaths on both sides. Japan knew they wouldn’t be able to win, and was hoping to hold out until a cease fire was called. The Allies repeatedly tried to get them to surrender, but Japan kept refusing. In order to end the fighting, Roosevelt agreed to send two atomic bombs to two civilian populated cities. After the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan surrendered, fearing another cities destruction. In September 2, 1945 Japan signed the Surrender documents and the war officially ended. WW2 was a very violent and bloody war that cost nearly 70-85 million people their lives(civilian and soldiers alike). As a result, the war prompted people to rise for independence and revolutions. There is a lot more to WW2 than what was mentioned here. There are also many WW2 memorial sites around the world dedicated to honoring/remembering those lost in the war.

(learn more) (how many were involved) (Some memorial sites) (more sites)

Random Fact #9: World War 2

  • In all, the Allied Forces had about 16 million military deaths and at least 14 million civilian deaths.
  • In all, the Axis powers had about 8 million military deaths and at least 4 million civilian death( not including those who died in the Holocaust).
  • At least 17 million people were victims of Nazi persecution.
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt was the president of the U.S.A. during WW2.
  • Nazi’s also targeted Jehovah’s Witnesses, homosexuals, disabled people, the elderly, and Roma in the Holocaust.
  • The Americans officially joined the war in December 7, 1941.
  • Many Jews often dyed their hair to avoid being sent to die because they were “to old”.
  • Prisoners in concentration camps also used beet juice and even their own blood to give themselves a more healthy appearance because they often were a very sickly pale complexion.
  • Auschwitz–Birkenau camp had the highest death count at 1,100,000 deaths.
  • When the Auschwitz concentration camp was liberated by Soviet troops most of the prisoners were ill or dying.
  • One of the Russian officers who helped with the liberating of Auschwitz said, “I realized that they were prisoners and not workers so I called out, “You are free, come out!”. (Learn more about the liberation of Auschwitz)
  • There are many memorials honoring those who lost their lived in the war all across Europe: like in Germany, Washington DC, Poland, Japan, Italy, Russia, England and France to name a few. (Some memorial sites) (more sites)