World War II Fast Facts


Here is a look at World War IIlasted from 1939 to 1945.

Paris Peace – Treaties made in Paris at the end World War I little satisfaction. Germany, Austria and the losers were particularly unhappy with the Paris Agreement, which required them to give up arms and make reparations. Germany agreed to sign the Treaty of Versailles only after the victors threatened to invade if Germany did not sign. Germany made its last payment of compensation in 2010.

Economic problems World War I devastated the economies of many countries. Although the European economy was stable in the 1920s, the Great Depression in the United States led to a recession in Europe. Communism and fascism gained strength after economic problems.

nationalism – A form of extreme patriotism developed in Europe that became even stronger after World War I, especially towards the defeated countries.

the dictatorship Political instability and unfavorable economic conditions led to the rise of authoritarian regimes in countries such as Germany, Italy, Japan and the Soviet Union.

Failure to appease – Czechoslovakia became an independent country after World War I, but by 1938, it was besieged by German territory. Hitler wanted to annex the Sudetenland, an area in western Czechoslovakia where many Germans lived. British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain wanted to appease Hitler and agreed to his demand for the Sudetenland after Hitler promised that he would not claim more territory. Hitler occupied the rest of Czechoslovakia in March 1939.

Germany, Japan, and Italy formed an alliance called the Axis Powers. Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and two countries created by Germany – Croatia and Slovakia – finally joined.

Main players:
Germany – Adolf Hitler, Der Fuhrer
Japan Admiral Hideki Tojo, Prime Minister
Italy – Benito Mussolini, Prime Minister

The United States, Great Britain, China, and the Soviet Union formed the Allies, the group against the Axis. From 1939 to 1944, at least 50 countries would eventually fight together. Thirteen more countries will participate in 1945 including: Australia, Belgium, Brazil, British Commonwealth, Canada, India, New Zealand, South Africa, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, France, Greece, Netherlands , Norway, Poland, Philippines and Yugoslavia.

Main players:
USA – Franklin D. Roosevelt, President
England – Winston Churchill, Prime Minister
China – Chiang Kai-shek, General
Soviet Union – Joseph Stalin, General

16,112,566 – Quantity US Army served in the conflict.
670,846 – Number of Americans injured.

Battle: 291.557
No combat: 113.842
Total in theaters: 405,399 yen

Australia: 23,365 people died; 39,803 people were injured
Shirt: 380,000 people died; 350,117 people were injured
Belgium: 7,760 people died; 14,500 people were injured
Bulgarian: 10,000 people died; 21,878 people were injured
Canada: 37,476 people died; 53,174 people were injured
China: 2,200,000 people died; 1,762,000 people were injured
France: 210,671 people died; 390,000 people were injured
Germany: 3,500,000 people died; 7,250,000 people were injured
England: 329,208 people died; 348,403 people were injured
Hungary: 140,000 people died; 89,313 people were injured
Italy: 77,494 people died; 120,000 people injured
Japan: 1,219,000 people died; 295,247 people were injured
Poland: 320,000 people died; 530,000 people were injured
Romania: 300,000 people died; unknown injury
Soviet Union: 7,500,000 people died; 5,000,000 injured
USA: 405,399 people died; 670,846 people were injured

About 70 million people fought in the armed forces of the Allied and Axis nations.

Finland never officially joined the Allies or the Axis and was at war with the Soviet Union at the outbreak of World War II. Needing help in 1940, the Finns allied with Nazi Germany to push back the Soviet Union. When peace between Finland and the Soviet Union was declared in 1944, Finland joined the Soviet Union to expel the Germans.

Switzerland, Spain, Portugal and Sweden declared neutrality during the war.

The Soviet Union lost the most soldiers, more than seven million.

The number of civilian casualties in World War II may never be known. Many deaths are from bombing, massacre, starvation, and other war-related causes.

Six million Jews died in Nazi concentration camps in war. Hundreds of thousands of Roma and people with mental or physical disabilities also perished.

The Lease Law was created to allow the United States to lend or lease weapons, equipment, or raw materials to any nation opposing the Axis. In the end, 38 countries received about $50 billion in aid. Most went to Great Britain and the Soviet Union.

In 1948, the United States created Marshall Plan to help rebuild war-torn Europe. In the end, 18 countries received $13 billion in food, machinery and other goods.

March 1974, Hiroo Onoda, a Japanese soldier still fighting, was found by a search party on Lubang Island in the Philippines. After believing the war was over by his former commanding officer, he was then flown to Manila and formally surrendered to President Ferdinand Marcos. Onoda passed away on January 16, 2014, at the age of 91.

September 1, 1939 year Germany invades Poland. Denmark, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Belgium and France soon fell under German control.

June 10, 1940 – Italy joined the war on Germany’s side by declaring war on Britain and France. The fighting spread to Greece and North Africa.

June 14, 1940 German troops enter Paris.

July 1940-September 1940 Germany and Great Britain fought each other in an air war, the Battle of Britain, along the British coastline.

September 7, 1940-May 1941 The German bombing campaign consisted of nightly air raids on London, known as the Blitz.

June 22, 1941 Germany invaded the Soviet Union.

December 7, 1941 – The Japanese attacked the US Navy base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, destroying more than half of the aircraft fleet and damaging all eight battleships. The Japanese also attacked Clark and Iba airfields in the Philippines, destroying more than half of the US Army aircraft there.

December 8, 1941 – America declares war on Japan. Japan invaded Hong Kong, Guam, the Wake Islands, Singapore and British Malaya.

December 11, 1941Germany and Italy declare war on the United States.

1942 The Allies halted the Axis advance in North Africa and the Soviet Union.

February 1942 Japan invaded the Malay peninsula. Singapore surrendered within a week.

June 4-6, 1942 Japan planned to invade the Hawaiian Islands, starting with Midway Island, but the United States deciphered the mission. Japan attacked Midway and lost four aircraft carriers and more than 200 planes and pilots in the first clear American victory.

August 19, 1942 year The battle for Stalingrad began as Germany pushed deeper into Russia.

August 1942-February 1943 U.S. Marines fight and hold Guadalcanal in the Pacific Ocean.

October 23, 1942 The British pushed the Axis back to Tunisia during the Second Battle of El Alamein.

February 1, 1943 The Germans at Stalingrad surrendered, largely defeated by the Soviet winter. The defeat marked the end of the German advance to the east.

July 10, 1943Allied forces landed in Italy.

July 25, 1943 The King of Italy was restored to full power, Mussolini was deposed and arrested.

November 1943-March 1944 U.S. Marines invaded the Solomon Islands at Bougainville to recapture it from Japan.

June 6, 1944D day, in which Allied forces landed on five beaches in Normandy: Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno, and Sword. The landings included more than 5,000 ships, 11,000 aircraft and more than 150,000 service personnel.

August 25, 1944 Free American and French forces liberate Paris.

January 27, 1945 year Soviet troops liberated the Auschwitz camp complex, located near Krakow, Poland.

February 19 to March 26, 1945U.S. Marines battle the Japanese for the island of Iwo Jima.

April 12, 1945 – Roosevelt died in Warm Springs, Georgia. Vice President Harry Truman is sworn in as president.

April 25, 1945 Soviet troops besieged Berlin.

April 28, 1945 Mussolini was killed trying to escape to Switzerland.

April 29, 1945 – American soldiers liberate the Dachau concentration camp outside Munich, Germany.

April 30, 1945 Hitler and his wife Eva Braun committed suicide.

May 7, 1945 – Germany surrenders in a red school house in Reims, Germany, Eisenhower’s headquarters. Victory Day in Europe (VE) is celebrated on May 8 because that is the date the armistice went into effect.

May 8, 1945 year Day VE. The war in Europe is officially over.

July 16, 1945 The first successful atomic bomb test in Alamogordo, New Mexico.

July 29, 1945 – Truman warned Japan that the country would be destroyed if it did not surrender unconditionally. Japan continued to fight.

August 6, 1945 The first atomic bomb used in war, nicknamed the Little Boy, was dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima, killing 140,000 people.

August 9, 1945After receiving no response from the Japanese government following the bombing of Hiroshima, a second atomic bomb, nicknamed Fat Man, was dropped on Nagasaki, killing 80,000 people.

August 14, 1945 – Japan agreed to unconditionally accept the terms of the Potsdam Declaration and end the war. Victory Day Japan (VJ) is declared.

September 2, 1945 – Japan officially signs its surrender aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay.


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