The Second World War was a global war, starting with National Socialist Germany in the years 1939–45.
The Second World War (1939–45) came about through Adolf Hitler’s criminal expansion policy, which was aimed at eliminating the “dictate of Versailles” and gaining “living space in the east”. Germany’s allies were Italy and Japan (»axis« Berlin – Rome – Tokyo; hence »axis powers «).
In March 1938 Austria was “annexed” to the German Reich; In the Munich Agreement (1938) Germany was awarded the Sudetenland, but nevertheless occupied Czechoslovakia in March 1939. This breach of contractual agreements led England and France to sign bilateral treaties with the threatened Poland.
On August 23, 1939, Hitler concluded a secret non-aggression pact with Stalin ; on 1.9. Germany started the attack on Poland, what on 3.9. the declaration of war by Great Britain and France followed. On September 17 the Soviet Union attacked Poland from the east. Poland’s defense collapsed quickly: on September 27th. surrendered Warsaw, on October 6th. the last military resistance was extinguished.
On April 9, 1940, German troops occupied the neutral states of Denmark and Norway in order to secure the supply of Swedish ores. In the western campaign, which began on May 10, 1940, the German troops penetrated the Netherlands and Belgium and thus bypassed the defenses on the French eastern border (Maginot Line); The British troops deployed in France were encircled near Dunkirk, but were able to escape to Great Britain.
On June 22nd, 1940 France signed the armistice treaty; Most of the country was occupied, only in the south retained a French government (based in Vichy) under Marshal Philippe Pétain (1856-1951) limited government.
According to EHOTELAT,Italy entered the war on the German side on June 10, 1940, but suffered heavy defeats against British troops in North Africa. This made the deployment of the German Africa Corps (under General Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, 1891-1944) necessary.
Record of the Second World War
The Second World War, the most devastating military conflict in world history to date, claimed a total of 55 to 62 million deaths among the civilian population and soldiers. Of these, the USSR alone accounted for at least 27 million (previously stated by the Soviet Union as 20 million, including approx. 3.2 million prisoners of war), 5.25 for Germany, 4.5-6 for Poland, and around 1 for Yugoslavia Million (1.7 according to earlier official figures) and Japan 1.8 million. The USA had 318,000 war dead, Great Britain 386,000, France 810,000, Italy 330,000, Romania 378,000, Hungary 420,000, Finland 84,000 war deaths complain. Around 6 million European Jews fell victim to the Holocaust under National Socialist rule.
In addition to the unimaginably high number of deaths, the Second World War meant that around 20 million people had to flee their homeland or were driven out of it, deported or dragged off as forced laborers.
Germany, Italy and Japan left the world power system as great powers. In Europe, the USA and the USSR, which had risen to become a world power, brought about the decision after France succumbed to the German onslaught in 1940 and Great Britain alone was unable to break the rule of National Socialist Germany over most of the European continent. In accordance with the spheres of power and influence of the USA and the USSR, Europe (and Germany) was now factually divided (East-West conflict) and, during the Cold War, tied into two opposing economic, political and military blocs. Starting from Western Europe, the division of the continent sparked increased efforts for cooperation (European integration, Europe, history). The United Nations was founded in 1945 with the aim of ensuring world peace in the future and promoting international relations. In East Asia, on the other hand, the USA initially dominated. However, two communist states emerged here by 1949 with the People’s Republic of China and the “Democratic People’s Republic of Korea” (North Korea), and later others in Southeast Asia. The further decline of Great Britain and France, also as colonial powers (decolonization), became apparent, although they were among the main victorious powers. War criminals were tried against responsible German and Japanese politicians and the military in Nuremberg in 1945/46 and in Tokyo in 1946-48 guided.
Peace agreements were reached with Italy and Germany’s smaller allies (February 10, 1947 in Paris). The USA (along with its allies) concluded the San Francisco Peace Treaty with Japan in 1951. The restored state of Austria received a state treaty from the four victorious powers in 1955. Fundamental conflicting interests between the world powers in Central Europe opposed a mutual peace agreement with Germany from the start. However, in 1951 and the USSR in 1955, the Western Powers declared the state of war with all of Germany to be over. The final line was drawn, however, only in 1990 with the unification of the two post-war German states and the accompanying international treaties.