World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global conflict that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries , including all of the great powers , fought as part of two opposing military alliances : the Allies and the Axis .
- Allies of World War II
It quickly entered World War II, officially declaring war on...
- Allies of World War II
Il 1º settembre, alle 04:45 del mattino, le truppe tedesche attraversarono la frontiera polacca; due giorni dopo Francia e Regno Unito dichiararono guerra alla Germania, dando inizio alla seconda guerra mondiale.
- Invasione tedesca della Polonia
- Vittoria finale degli Alleati
World War II (WWII or WW2) was a global war that involved fighting in most of the world. Most countries fought from 1939 to 1945, but some started fighting in 1937. Most of the world's countries, including all of the great powers, fought as part of two military alliances: the Allies and the Axis Powers.
- September 1, 1939 – September 2, 1945, (6 years and 1 day)
- Europe, Pacific, Atlantic, South-East Asia, China, Middle East, Mediterranean, North Africa, Horn of Africa, Australia, briefly North and South America
- Strategic Background
- War Crimes
- See Also
- Further Reading
- External Links
Even before the victory in the North African campaign in May 1943, there was disagreement among the Allies on the best strategy to defeat the Axis. The British, especially the Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, advocated their traditional naval-based peripheral strategy. Even with a large army, but greater naval power, the traditio...
Invasion of Sicily
The initial plan was for landings in the south-east, south and north-west areas of the island which would lead to the rapid capture of key Axis airfields and except for Messina, all the main ports on the island. This would allow a rapid Allied build-up, as well as denying their use to the Axis.This was altered into a reduced number of landings but with more concentration of force. The Allied invasion of Sicily , Operation Husky, began on 9 July 1943 with both amphibious and airborne landings...
Invasion of mainland Italy
Forces of the British Eighth Army, still under Montgomery, landed in the 'toe' of Italy on 3 September 1943 in Operation Baytown, the day the Italian government agreed to an armistice with the Allies. The armistice was publicly announced on 8 September by two broadcasts, first by General Eisenhower and then by a proclamation by Marshal Badoglio. Although the German forces prepared to defend without Italian assistance, only two of their divisions opposite the Eighth Army and one at Salerno wer...
Allied advance on Rome
In early October 1943, Hitler was persuaded by his Army Group Commander in Southern Italy, Field Marshal Albert Kesselring, that the defence of Italy should be conducted as far away from Germany as possible. This would make the most of the natural defensive geography of Central Italy, whilst denying the Allies the easy capture of a succession of airfields, each one being ever closer to Germany. Hitler was also convinced that yielding southern Italy would provide the Allies with a springboard...
Research in 2016 funded by the German government found the number of victims of Nazi war crimes in Italy to be 22,000. The victims were primarily Italian civilians, sometimes in retaliation for partisan attacks, and Italian Jews. Approximately 14,000 Italian non-Jewish civilians, often women, children and elderly, have been documented to have died in over 5,300 individual instances of war crimes committed by Nazi Germany. The largest of those was the Marzabotto massacre, where in excess of 77...
Allied war crimes during the conflict were reported, including killing of civilians (such as the Canicattì massacre), execution of prisoners (such as two massacres at Biscari airfield on 14 July 1943), and rape (most notably the marocchinate).FootnotesCitationsMavrogordato, Ralph S. (2000) . "Chapter 12: Hitler's Decision on the Defense of Italy". In Kent Roberts Greenfield (ed.). Command Decisions. United States Army Center of Military History. CM...Matthews, Sidney T. (2000) . "Chapter 14: General Clark's Decision to Drive to Rome". In Kent Roberts Greenfield (ed.). Command Decisions. United States Army Center of Military History. CMH P...Brown, Shaun R. G. (1986). The Loyal Edmonton Regiment at War, 1943–1945 (MA, Wilfrid Laurier University, 1984). Ottawa: National Library of Canada. ISBN 978-0-31519-038-2. Retrieved 4 March 2016.
- 9 July 1943 – 2 May 1945, (1 year, 10 months and 23 days)
- Allied Victory, End of Fascist rule in Italy (1943), Surrender of German Army Group C (1945), Death of Benito Mussolini (1945)
- Italy, San Marino, Vatican City
- Division of the Kingdom of Italy (1943), Collapse of the Italian Social Republic (1945)
The causes of World War II have been given considerable attention by historians. The immediate precipitating event was the invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany on September 1, 1939, and the subsequent declarations of war on Germany made by Britain and France , but many other prior events have been suggested as ultimate causes.
Estimated total Soviet military war dead in 1941–45 on the Eastern Front (World War II) including missing in action, POWs and Soviet partisans range from 8.6 to 10.6 million. There were an additional 127,000 war dead in 1939–40 during the Winter War with Finland.