The Second World War

Article

October 17, 2021

World War II - the largest world war in history, lasting from September 1, 1939 to September 2, 1945 (in Europe until May 8/9, 1945). The area of ​​hostilities covered almost all of Europe, East and Southeast Asia, North Africa, parts of the Middle East, the islands of Oceania and all the oceans. Some episodes of the war even took place in the Arctic and North America. Apart from most European countries and their colonies, the countries of North America, South America and Asia participated in it. The main parties to the conflict were the Axis states and the states of the anti-Nazi coalition (the allies). 1.7 billion people participated in the war, including 110 million people with weapons. According to various estimates, from 50 to 78 million people died there. The beginning of the war is assumed to be September 1, 1939 - the German aggression against Poland. On September 3, 1939, after the Third Reich ignored the ultimatum regarding the immediate withdrawal of troops from Poland, Great Britain and France declared war on the Third Reich (in Western literature this date is sometimes given as the beginning of the World War). In the historiography of the USSR and contemporary Russian, the concept of the so-called Great Patriotic War - from June 22, 1941, the Third Reich attack on the USSR to May 9, 1945 - repeated surrender of the Third Reich in Berlin, according to Moscow time. Soviet and contemporary Russian historiography rejects the participation of the USSR in the war on the side of the Third Reich in 1939-1941 - from the Ribbentrop-Molotov pact of August 23, 1939 and the German-Soviet treaty on borders and friendship of September 28, 1939 (the USSR's aggression against Poland , the winter war against Finland, the occupation of the Baltic states and the occupation of Bessarabia and northern Bukovina) to the attack of the Third Reich on the USSR. The United States entered the war against the Axis powers on December 7, 1941, following the Japanese attack on the American navy base at Pearl Harbor, Japan's declaration of war and then December 11, 1941 by the Third Reich. The Second World War ended: the act of unconditional surrender of the Third Reich was signed on May 7, 1945 in Reims, with the entry into force on May 8, 1945, which ended hostilities in Europe, and the act of unconditional surrender of Japan signed on September 2, 1945 on board the USS Missouri battleship in Tokyo Bay, which definitely ended hostilities of World War II, although individual units, especially Japanese, continued their resistance on a small scale.

Before the war

The harbinger of the coming conflict was the growing nationalist sentiment and expansionist aspirations on the part of several totalitarian states that we now refer to as the Axis states. The beginning of an aggressive policy towards its neighbors was given by Japan through the annexation of Manchuria in September 1931 and the creation of the puppet state of Manchukuo. The next step was the attack of Italy, ruled by Benito Mussolini, on Abyssinia (the Italo-Abyssinian War) and the Sino-Japanese War. The policy of the main Western states was conclusive (eg Czechoslovakia - the Munich Agreement, October 1938), leading to the conviction of the Axis governments about the possibility of further demands. In Spain, a bloody civil war had raged since 1936, in which the intervening fascist states and republican troops supported by thousands of volunteers (also from Poland) clashed. Mexico and the Soviet Union openly supported the republic. On the part of Italy, an example of breaking international law and expansionism was the occupation of Albania in the spring of 1939. However, the main cause of the world war in Europe was the conscious striving for war by the Third Reich ruled by Adolf Hitler in order to implement his criminal plans. Initially, these were steps to abolish

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