World War II

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Social Studies
World War II

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World War II

World War II, also called Second World War conflict that involved virtually every part of the world during the years 1939–45. The principal belligerents were the Axis powers—Germany, Italy, and Japan—and the Allies—France, Great Britain, the United States, the Soviet Union, and, to a lesser extent, China. The war was in many respects a continuation, after an uneasy 20-year hiatus, of the disputes left unsettled by World War I. The 40,000,000–50,000,000 deaths incurred in World War II make it the bloodiest conflict, as well as the largest war, in history. Along with World War I, World War II was one of the great watersheds of 20th-century geopolitical history. It resulted in the extension of the Soviet Union’s power to nations of eastern Europe, enabled a communist movement to eventually achieve power in China, and marked the decisive shift of power in the world away from the states of western Europe and toward the United States and the Soviet Union.

March 7, 1945US troops cross the Rhine River at Remagen. April 16, 1945The Soviets launch their final offensive, encircling Berlin. April 1945Partisan units, led by Yugoslav Communist leader Josip Tito, capture Zagreb and topple the Ustasa regime. The top Ustasa leaders flee to Italy and Austria. April 30, 1945Hitler commits suicide. May 7, 1945Germany surrenders to the western Allies. May 9, 1945Germany surrenders to the Soviets. May 1945Allied troops conquer Okinawa, the last island stop before the Japanese islands. August 6, 1945The United States drops an atomic bomb on Hiroshima. August 8, 1945The Soviet Union declares war on Japan and invades Manchuria. August 9, 1945The United States drops an atomic bomb on Nagasaki. September 2, 1945Having agreed in principle to unconditional surrender on August 14, 1945, Japan formally surrenders, ending World War II. e


After World War II, the United States assumed a new position as a global superpower. America emerged from the war with minor casualties compared to the other Allies and to the Axis powers, and was also the only nation possessing the atomic bomb. Clearly, the United States was the leader in world affairs.


"World War II." Encyclopaedia Britannica. Encyclopaedia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2014. Web. 29 Jan. 2014. .

World War II

About WWII


"We no longer demand anything, we want war."


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