World War II is considered to be the deadliest war that has happened, killing over 70 million people.
The war was between countries that formed two groups: the “Allies” which consisted of the Allied Powers of Britain, France, China, Russia and the United States and the “Axis” Powers which consisted of Germany, Italy, and Japan.
Germany was being led by a fascist dictator named Adolf Hitler. His goal was to rule all of Europe and in his attempt to get more land the German troops invaded Poland on September 1st, 1939.
When Hitler refused to call a halt to the invasion, Britain and France made a declaration of war against Germany. This was the beginning of WW II.
Hitler and the German troops continued to advance and attack countries throughout Europe. By 1941 the Germans had invaded and overtaken France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Holland, Norway, Denmark, Greece, Yugoslavia, and had made an attempted and failed invasion on the USSR.
Hitler and the Nazis had specific goals in their invasions: to strip all of the wealth from the invaded country to support the war effort and Germany and to kill or imprison all of those people that didn’t fit their image of what a German should look like.
They began with the imprisonment of all those of the Jewish faith, and then extended it to gypsies, anyone with a mental or physical disability, all people of color, and eventually the news media that didn’t support them, and all those that were professors or intellects.
The Jewish people suffered the highest casualties with over 6 million dead and thousands more in the detention camps.
During the time that Germany was battling in the takeover of Europe, the country of Japan had its eyes on total control of all of Asia and the Pacific.
Prior to the official start of WW II, in 1937, Emperor Hirohito of Japan attacked China and this caused many years of conflict between the two countries.
The United States had managed to avoid participating in the war until the moment on December 8, 1941, when Japan bombed the American Naval Base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, destroying a majority of the U.S. fleet.
It was at that time that the United States made the declaration of war against Japan and this also included their German allies.
There were a few countries in Europe that managed to remain neutral. This means that they made the choice to not join either of the major groups that were fighting.
Neutral countries during WW2
An Allied army made the crossing in 1944 from Britain over to France to free them from Nazi rule and oppressions. It was a year later that Allied armies invaded Germany and forced a surrender from the Germans.
The response from the attacks from Japan on Pearl Harbor was met by the United States with the dropping of two nuclear bombs: one on Hiroshima and the other on Nagasaki. In August of that year, Japan also surrendered to the Allied forces and World War II was officially over.