World War II was a world wide conflict between the Allied and Axis powers. It went on for 6 years between 1939 and 1945 and finally came to an end with the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and in total 60 million deaths occurred.
While the Axis consisted of Germany, Italy and Japan, the European countries had separate goals to that of Japan. It was through the common enemies that they became allies, so World War II is really split into two parts, Germany and Italy’s genocidal attacks (the Holocaust) on Europe, and Japans conquest to expand into Asia.
There are many causes to the start of the war, but the biggest is accredited to state Germany was left in at the end of World War I. It was economically crippled and the treaty of Versailles meant that it found it hard to rebuild its self and to advance technologically. This caused problems right at the start for the new Weimar Republic, Germany’s first democracy. It enabled the more radically extreme parties to gain power, one of which was called the Nazi party. The Nazi’s were headed by Adolf Hitler, and by the end of the great depression, he had over 100000 members. As its parliamentary standing and credibility increased, Hitler managed to convince Hindenburg to make him a Chancellor. This gave Hitler all the power he needed to start to turn the German people to his plans, and by 1939 Hitler began his campaign on conquering Europe, by invading Poland, which caused England and France to retaliate, causing World War II. Over the years, Germany slowly conquered Norway, the Netherlands, Belgium and France, with the help of Italy. Britain was the only country to stand firm to Hitlers onslaught, mainly due to the success of the British Air force and the Royal Navy.
Within these years, Hitler started his campaign to exterminate all impure races, including Jews, blacks, disabled people and many others deemed to be inferior to his Arian race. This resulted in the Holocaust with nearly as many as six million Jewish deaths, 10% of the total toll by the end of the war.
In 1941, Hitler turned his attention to Russia and launched a surprise campaign. While all seemed to be going well, Hitler had made a critical mistake, and through the Russian winter, Russian troops managed to capture a vast portion of his Army, causing the remainder to retreat. The Russian troops perused the remainder of Germany’s army, all the way to Berlin where Europe’s part of the war ended as the other allied troops had swept through Italy and France to meet them. Hitler committed suicide in an underground bunker.
Japan wanted to expand itself into eastern Asia, and began its bloody campaign on July 7th 1937. It attacked China and then started to launch surprise attacks on several countries, one being the USA at Pearl Harbor, which brought the Americans into World War I. Through another 6 months of success, allied troops finally managed to turn the tables and halted Japans progress through Asia. With a lot of key battles being won, the Allies managed to start pushing Japan back. In the end Japan surrendered after the USA dropped two nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, resulting in the instant destruction of these two cities.
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