World War II
English: World War II

World War II
Infobox collage for WWII.PNG
(clockwise from top left)
  • Chinese forces in the Battle of Wanjialing
  • Australian 25-pounder guns during the First Battle of El Alamein
  • German Stuka dive bombers on the Eastern Front in December 1943
  • US naval force in the Lingayen Gulf
  • Wilhelm Keitel signing the German Instrument of Surrender
  • Soviet troops in the Battle of Stalingrad
Date
  • 1 September 1939 – 2 September 1945 (1939-09-01 – 1945-09-02)
  • (6 years and 1 day)[a]
Location
Europe, Pacific, Atlantic, South-East Asia, China, Middle East, Mediterranean, North Africa, Horn of Africa, Australia, briefly North and South America
Result
Participants
AlliesAxis
Commanders and leaders
Main Allied leadersMain Axis leaders
Casualties and losses
  • Military dead:
  • Over 16,000,000
  • Civilian dead:
  • Over 45,000,000
  • Total dead:
  • Over 61,000,000
  • (1937–1945)
  • Military dead:
  • Over 8,000,000
  • Civilian dead:
  • Over 4,000,000
  • Total dead:
  • Over 12,000,000
  • (1937–1945)

World War II (WWII or WW2), also called the Second World War and, in the Soviet Union, the Great Patriotic War, and in Japan, the Second Sino-Japanese War, was a global war involving fighting in most of the world and most countries. Most countries fought in the years 1939–1945 but some started fighting in 1937. Most of the world's countries, including all the great powers, fought as part of two military alliances: the Allies and the Axis Powers. World War II was the largest and deadliest conflict in all of history. It involved more countries, cost more money, involved more people, and killed more people than any other war in history.[1] Between 50 to 85 million people died.[2][3] The majority were civilians. It included massacres, the deliberate genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, starvation, disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons against civilians in history.

The two sides were the Allies (at first China, France and Britain, joined by the Soviet Union, United States and others) and the Axis (Germany, Italy and Japan). The war in Asia began when Japan invaded China on July 7, 1937.[4] The war began in Europe when Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939. France and Britain reacted by declaring war on Germany. By 1941, much of Europe was under German control, including France. Only Britain remained fighting against the Axis in North Africa, the Mediterranean, and the Atlantic. Germany gave up plans to invade Britain after losing an airplane battle. In June 1941, Germany invaded the Soviet Union, starting the largest area of war in history. On December 7, 1941, Japan attacked the United States at Pearl Harbor and invaded British and French colonies in Asia, and the two wars became one.

The Japanese victories were stopped in 1942, and in that same year the Soviets won the huge Battle of Stalingrad. After that, the Allies started to fight back from all sides. The Axis were forced back in the Soviet Union, lost North Africa, and, starting in 1943, were forced to defend Italy.[5] In 1944, the Allies invaded France, and came into Germany from the west,[6] while the Soviets came in from the east. Germany surrendered on 8 May 1945. Japan formally surrendered on September 2, 1945. The war ended with the Allied victory.

After the war, the United Nations was set up to develop support between countries and to prevent future wars. The Cold War among the major winners soon started, but they did not fight each other in an actual war. Decolonization of Asia and Africa, where those countries controlled by European countries were given their independence, happened as well. This was because European power was weakened from the war. Economic recovery and the political integration (the process of uniting countries) were among other results of the war.

The two sides

The countries that joined the war were on one of two sides: the Axis and the Allies.

The Axis Powers at the start of the war were Germany, Italy and Japan. There were many meetings to create the alliance between these countries.[7][8][9][10] Finland, Slovakia, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, and Thailand joined the Axis later. As the war continued, some Axis countries changed to join the Allies instead, such as Italy.

The Allied Powers were the United Kingdom and some Commonwealth members, France, Poland, Yugoslavia, Greece, Belgium and China at the start of the war. China had been fighting a civil war. In June 1941, Germany attacked the Soviet Union in Operation Barbarossa. In December 1941 came Japan's Attack on Pearl Harbor against the United States. These two large, powerful countries then joined the Allies.

Other Languages
Alemannisch: Zweiter Weltkrieg
Basa Banyumasan: Perang Donya II
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Другая сусьветная вайна
Bislama: Wol Wo Tu
brezhoneg: Eil Brezel-bed
Chavacano de Zamboanga: Segunda Guerra Mundial
davvisámegiella: Nubbi máilmmisoahti
dolnoserbski: Druga swětowa wójna
emiliàn e rumagnòl: Secånda guèra mundièl
English: World War II
Esperanto: Dua mondmilito
estremeñu: II Guerra Mundial
Fiji Hindi: World War II
Gàidhlig: An Dàrna Cogadh
客家語/Hak-kâ-ngî: Thi-ngi-chhṳ Sṳ-kie Thai-chan
hornjoserbsce: Druha swětowa wójna
Bahasa Indonesia: Perang Dunia II
къарачай-малкъар: Экинчи дуния къазауат
Kreyòl ayisyen: Dezyèm Gè mondyal
لۊری شومالی: جٱنڳ جهونی دۏئم
Lëtzebuergesch: Zweete Weltkrich
Lingua Franca Nova: Gera Mundal Du
مازِرونی: جهونی جنگ دوم
Bahasa Melayu: Perang Dunia Kedua
Minangkabau: Parang Dunia II
မြန်မာဘာသာ: ဒုတိယ ကမ္ဘာစစ်
Dorerin Naoero: Eaket Eb II
Nedersaksies: Tweede Wereldoorlog
नेपाल भाषा: तःहताः २
Nordfriisk: Naist Wäältkrich
Norfuk / Pitkern: Werl War II
norsk nynorsk: Andre verdskrigen
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Ikkinchi jahon urushi
Patois: Wol Waar II
Plattdüütsch: Tweete Weltkrieg
qırımtatarca: Ekinci Cian cenki
Ripoarisch: Zweide Weltkresch
slovenščina: Druga svetovna vojna
српски / srpski: Други светски рат
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Drugi svjetski rat
Türkmençe: İkinji Jahan Urşy
ئۇيغۇرچە / Uyghurche: ئىككىنچى دۇنيا ئۇرۇشى
vepsän kel’: Toine mail'man soda
Volapük: Volakrig telid
žemaitėška: Ontra svieta vaina
kriyòl gwiyannen: Ségonn Lagèr mondyal