Second World War (sep 1, 1939 – sep 2, 1945)
As political tensions grew in Europe during the 1930s, it was eventually on 1st September 1939 that Germany began to invade the country of Poland, and thus began the Second World War.
Following Germany's invasion of Poland, the Allied Britain and France immediately declared war on Germany, and attempted to cut off their supply of iron which came through Norway. Germany reacted to this by invading both Denmark and Norway in April 1940. A month later, Hitler's forces continued to push through Europe, capturing Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Belgium, and even France in a matter of weeks. Due to their occupation of Paris, Germany now had indirect control over France's colonies both in Africa and in the Middle East - despite this however, parts of the African colonies and the Belgian Congo chose to side with the Allies.
It was then in September 1940 that Germany and Italy signed a pact with the Japanese Empire, thus bringing the entire Asian war into the larger global conflict. As Italy then began to attack British Egypt, the whole Commonwealth of Nations joined the war, with the exception of Ireland.
In north eastern Europe, the Soviet Union decided to move it's soldiers into the Baltic states, taking over Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. They did this due to a secret agreement they had made with Germany previously, detailing that they would not attack each other and instead carve up Europe between them. Despite this agreement however, tensions between Germany and the Soviet Union grew as Germany wanted to use the resource-rich land in Russia, and the Soviet Union did not want to join the Axis Powers under Hitler's conditions.
Elsewhere, fighting began to occur in Africa between Italy's colonies and the Allied colonies, while in Europe, the Nazis failed to invade the United Kingdom despite many aerial bombings of major cities. Eventually, Germany instead decided to invade the Soviet Union and eliminate it as a military threat. Thus, in June 1941 Germany entered the USSR with the help of Italy, Romania, Finland, and Hungary in what's known as Operation Barbarossa.
While German forces were fighting in Russia, the Nazi soldiers remaining behind the front lines began to massacre populations of people they deemed inferior. Large facilities known as concentration camps were established across Europe, whereby black people, disabled people, Jews, and Jehovah's Witnesses, were among those brought to be tortured and killed. Eventually, over six million Jews in Europe would be murdered in a genocide that many refer to as the "Holocaust", meaning "completely burnt".
Over in Asia, the Japanese had managed to expand their empire further by taking control of France's colonies in Southeast Asia. In an attempt to try and stop this Japanese expansion, the United States put a ban on all trade of oil and steel. In response to this, the Japanese then attacked a US Naval base in Hawaii called Pearl Harbour. Due to the mass aerial bombings on Pearl Harbour, the United States of America subsequently joined the war on the side of the Allies. Despite this, Japan continued to invade Southeast Asia, attacking Hong Kong, the Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, and Malaysia in December 1941.
As the war continued on, the Allies eventually began to get the upper hand. In November 1942, forces made up of British and American soldiers invaded North Africa, taking back the former French colonies. In Russia, Soviet forces had managed to withstand a German invasion with the help of the Allies as well as the harsh climate conditions; but it was then in July 1943 that the Soviets made significant counterattacks pushing the German forces back into Central Europe. A year later, Allies landed on the shores of Normandy, and quickly invaded France, liberating another country of Nazi rule.
As the Allies then closed in on the German capital of Berlin, Adolf Hitler committed suicide in his bunker in the April of 1945. A week later, the Nazi Party surrendered and Germany was out of the war. Following this, the United Nations and Soviet Union joined forces to take down the Japanese Empire. The Soviets for their part began invading Manchukuo in northern China, while the United States commissioned a far deadlier attack.
Since scientists had managed to split the atom in 1937, the US Army had slowly been developing a nuclear weapon to use during the war. Eventually two explosive devices were constructed, and in August 1945 they were deployed to the Japanese archipelago. On 6th August the atomic bomb known as "Little Boy" was dropped on the city of Hiroshima directly killing 70,000 people in seconds, the majority of which were civilians. On 9th August, another atomic bomb, known as "Fat Man", was dropped on the city of Nagasaki where it instantly killed 35,000 people. The two bombs not only killed thousands of people on impact but also spread radiation into nearby populations. The attacks were the one and only time in history that nuclear weapons were used in conflict. On 2nd September 1945 the Japanese signed documents announcing their surrender, thus bringing the Second World War to an end.
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