The war in Europe concluded with the liberation of German-occupied territories, and the invasion of Germany by the Western Allies and the Soviet Union, culminating in the fall of Berlin to Soviet troops, Hitler's suicide and the German unconditional surrender on 8 May 1945.
The following countries have the highest estimated World War II casualties: the Soviet Union (20 to 27 million), China (15 to 20 million), Germany (6 to 7.4 million), Poland (5.9 to 6 million), Dutch East Indies/Indonesia (3 to 4 million), Japan (2.5 to 3.1 million), India (2.2 to 3 million), Yugoslavia (1 to 1.7 ...
The Soviet Union lost its most productive citizens—more than twenty million died in the war. Although the costs for the United States were grave, they were less debilitating, and they opened important opportunities.
On 10 October 1945, Control Council Law No. 2 was also passed, formally abolishing all national socialist organisations. Declaration Regarding the Defeat of Germany and the Assumption of Supreme Authority by Allied Powers was signed by the four Allies on 5 June.
On September 2, World War II ended when U.S. General Douglas MacArthur accepted Japan's formal surrender aboard the U.S. battleship Missouri, anchored in Tokyo Bay along with a flotilla of more than 250 Allied warships.
It was determined that submarine blockade of the Japanese islands had brought economic defeat by preventing exploitation of Japan's new colonies, sinking merchant tonnage, and convincing Japanese leaders of the hopelessness of the war. Bombing brought the consciousness of defeat to the people.
World War II was the biggest and deadliest war in history, involving more than 30 countries. Sparked by the 1939 Nazi invasion of Poland, the war dragged on for six bloody years until the Allies defeated Nazi Germany and Japan in 1945.
Who won World War I? The Allies won World War I after four years of combat and the deaths of some 8.5 million soldiers as a result of battle wounds or disease. Read more about the Treaty of Versailles. In many ways, the peace treaty that ended World War I set the stage for World War II.
France surrendered to the Nazis in 1940 for complex reasons. The proximate cause, of course, was the success of the German invasion, which left metropolitan France at the mercy of Nazi armies. But the German victory opened profound rifts in French society.
Japan surrenders, bringing an end to WWII. Aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay, Japan formally surrenders to the Allies, bringing an end to World War II.
Belarus suffered the worst devastation of any country during the war in terms of a percentage of its population. Over a quarter of its population, 2,290,000 people, died during the conflict. In terms of total numbers, the Soviet Union bore an incredible brunt of casualties during WWII.
Chinese suffering during the war is not in dispute. Some 14 million Chinese died and up to 100 million became refugees during the eight years of the conflict with Japan from 1937 to 1945.
Truman announced Japan's surrender and the end of World War II. The news spread quickly and celebrations erupted across the United States. On September 2, 1945, formal surrender documents were signed aboard the USS Missouri, designating the day as the official Victory over Japan Day (V-J Day).
The country's imperial overstretch (opening multiple fronts in Africa, the Balkans, Eastern Europe, and the Mediterranean) ultimately resulted in its defeat in the war, as the Italian empire collapsed after disastrous defeats in the Eastern European and North African campaigns.
Japan launched a surprise attack on the Philippines on December 8, 1941, just ten hours after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Initial aerial bombardment was followed by landings of ground troops both north and south of Manila.
Major Alliances during World War II (1939-1945)
The three principal partners in what was eventually referred to as the Axis alliance were Germany, Italy, and Japan.
After more than four years of Nazi occupation, Paris is liberated by the French 2nd Armored Division and the U.S. 4th Infantry Division.
But to Germany's surprise, Britain, although apparently defeated and certainly painfully exposed and isolated, did not surrender. It did not even seek to come to terms with Germany.
Hitler's invasion of Poland in September 1939 drove Great Britain and France to declare war on Germany, marking the beginning of World War II. Over the next six years, the conflict would take more lives and destroy more land and property around the globe than any previous war.
The Battle of Verdun, 21 February-15 December 1916, became the longest battle in modern history. It was originally planned by the German Chief of General Staff, Erich von Falkenhayn to secure victory for Germany on the Western Front.
The Japanese attack on the US naval base in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, led President Franklin Roosevelt to declare war on Japan. A few days later, Nazi Germany declared war on the United States, and America entered World War II against the Axis powers.
While Westerners tend to see the war through the lens of events such as D-Day or the Battle of Britain, it was a conflict largely won by the Soviet Union. An incredible eight out of 10 German war casualties occurred on the Eastern Front.
Britain's victory in the Battle of Britain demonstrated the courage and resilience of the country's military and its people and allowed them to remain free from Nazi occupation. It also enabled the Americans to establish a base of operations in England to invade Normandy on D-Day in 1944.
An estimated 40,000,000 to 50,000,000 people died during World War II. Among the Allied powers, the U.S.S.R. suffered the greatest total number of dead: perhaps 18,000,000. An estimated 5,800,000 Poles died, which was 20 percent of Poland's prewar population.