When Did World War 2 Start? - CLT Livre

When Did World War 2 Start?

When Did World War 2 Start
28 1914 . – 11 1918 .12 1947 . – 26 1991 .25 1950 . – 27 1953 .

Why did World War 2 start?

Adolf 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 took more lives and destroyed more land and property around the globe than any previous war.

When did the US enter WW2?

Like this article? Read more in our online classroom. – From the Collection to the Classroom: Teaching History with The National WWII Museum Learn More The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, ended the debate over American intervention in both the Pacific and European theaters of World War II.

The day after the attack, Congress declared war on Imperial Japan with only a single dissenting vote. Germany and Italy— Japan’s allies—responded by declaring war against the United States. Faced with these realities and incensed by the attack on Pearl Harbor, everyday Americans enthusiastically supported the war effort.

Isolation was no longer an option.

How did Russia enter WW2?

The Soviet Union joined WW2 on September 17, 1939, when it invaded eastern Poland in coordination with Nazi Germany. The Soviet Union officially maintained neutrality during WW2 but cooperated with and assisted Germany.

How did Russia beat Germany in WW2?

German Defeat at Stalingrad After months of fierce fighting and heavy casualties, German forces (numbering now only about 91,000 surviving soldiers) surrender at Stalingrad on the Volga. Soviet forces launched a counteroffensive against the Germans arrayed at Stalingrad in mid-November 1942.

  • They quickly encircled an entire German army, more than 220,000 soldiers.
  • In February 1943, after months of fierce fighting and heavy casualties, the surviving German forces—only about 91,000 soldiers—surrendered.
  • After the victory at Stalingrad, the Soviet army remained on the offensive, liberating most of the Ukraine, and virtually all of Russia and eastern Belorussia during 1943.

The battle for the city of Stalingrad proved a decisive psychological turning point, ending a string of German victories in the summer of 1942 and beginning the long retreat westward. Germany proved unable to defeat the Soviet Union, which together with Great Britain and the United States, seized the initiative from Germany. German soldiers in the Soviet Union during a December 1943 Soviet offensive on the eastern front. —⁠US Holocaust Memorial Museum : German Defeat at Stalingrad

What ended World War 2?

Fort Belvoir, Virginia, 1941 Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information Black-and-White Negatives After the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor in December, 1941, the United States declared war on Japan. Germany and Italy declared war on the U.S.

A few days later, and the nation became fully engaged in the Second World War.U.S. involvement in the Second World War was quickly followed by a massive mobilization effort. With millions of men and women serving overseas in the nation’s armed forces, most of those who remained at home dedicated themselves to supporting the war effort in whatever means was available to them.

Women, who had worked as homemakers or had held jobs outside military-related industries, took jobs in aircraft manufacturing plants, munitions plants, military uniform production factories, and so on. As the need for steel and other resources increased, American citizens participated in rationing programs, as well as recycling and scrap metal drives.

  • Americans also supported the war effort with their hard-earned dollars by purchasing Liberty bonds.
  • Sold by the U.S.
  • Government, the bonds raised money for the war and helped the bond purchasers feel they were doing their part for the war effort. The U.S.
  • Entry into the war helped to get the nation’s economy back on its feet following the depression.

Although just ten years earlier, jobs were very difficult to come by, there were now jobs for nearly everyone who wanted one. With the creation of 17 million new jobs during the war, workers were afforded the opportunity to pay off old debts, as well as to begin saving some of their earnings.

  1. Not all Americans remaining at home gained favorably from the war.
  2. Fearing that Japan might invade the West Coast of the United States, the government rounded up thousands of Japanese Americans who lived on the West Coast, and confined them to internment camps.
  3. By 1948 when the internment program ended, tens of thousands of Japanese had suffered as internees.

In addition, German Americans, Italian Americans, Hungarians, Romanians and Bulgarians were also interned. On May 8, 1945, Germany surrendered. After the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan surrendered on September 2, 1945, and the Second World War came to an end.

Why did Japan bomb Pearl Harbour?

Why did Japan attack Pearl Harbor? On the 26th of November 1941, a Japanese attack fleet consisting of six aircraft carriers, two battleships, and hundreds of aircraft departed from Japan and began the long journey to an assembly point 230 miles north of the Hawaiian island of Oahu.

Their target, the U.S Pacific Fleet anchored at Pearl Harbor. Scheduled for the 7th of December, the attack would take the Americans by complete surprise paralyzing their fleet for months and costing thousands of lives. However, the attack would also change the course of the Second World War and spell ultimate doom for Imperial Japan.

So why did the Japanese attack Pearl Harbor in the first place and how did Japanese miscalculation in planning the attack doom them to defeat in the Second World War? Well to answer that question we first need to go back to the 1930s. So Japan had spent much of the early 20th century modernizing its economy and its military.

  1. So basically they wanted to build an empire sort of like that of Great Britain the United States and from that they could extract natural resources, exploit labor and build new trade routes and become one of the world’s great powers.
  2. But while japan had big ambitions there was one huge problem, the Japanese mainland did not have the natural resources required to build that empire.

Japan needed to get its hands on more coal iron and, in particular, oil to make its ambitions a reality. It was 1931 when Japan took its first major step towards empire-building, invading the Chinese province of Manchuria. Now Manchuria had many of the resources that Japan needed and gave them a firmer foothold on the Asian continent for future advances.

Over the next few years, Japan poked and prodded its way further into northern china before all-out war broke out between the two in July 1937. At first, things went very well for the Japanese, they won victory after victory. All the while carrying out major atrocities like the rape of Nanking and the terror bombing of Chinese civilians which drew widespread international condemnation.

By 1939 though the war had descended into a stalemate and as the Chinese grew in strength, the war became a serious drain on Japanese manpower and supplies. To win they would have to look elsewhere for the resources they needed. Meanwhile across the Pacific, the U.S was looking on with mounting concern.

After the U.S.A’s participation in the First World War they start to adopt an unofficial policy of non-interventionism and isolationism. So this basically means that they won’t go to war for their allies, or even get into alliances in the first place, and they won’t even provide aid either. And this actually starts to become official policy in the mid-1930s when the U.S congress starts to pass a series of neutrality acts.

But as congress was passing these acts the world around the U.S was getting a lot more violent and unstable. So though America had began the 1930s as a bastion of isolationism, the outbreak of war in Europe, as well as Japanese atrocities in China, brought a gradual shift in public opinion back towards interventionism.

  • That allowed U.S President Franklin D.
  • Roosevelt to sign a new neutrality act into law in 1939 which permitted the U.S to supply arms to Britain and France if they paid for and picked it up in their own ships.
  • This would later be followed up by the far more sweeping Lend-Lease in 1941 which included China and the Soviet Union and asked for no payment in return.

So although the U.S was still technically neutral, it was very clear whose side they were on and for Japan that was a huge problem. So the biggest resource that Japan needs at this point is oil. In 1939 all but 6% of its oil supply was imported with roughly 80% coming from the United States alone.

  1. Running out of oil would basically spell doom for their military campaign in China as well as their other territorial ambitions.
  2. There were also a host of other natural resources that Japan needed, but could only get through imports and that included scrap metal, coal, iron all things that are vital to their war effort and actually a lot of this stuff also comes from the United States.

To get those resources and grow its empire Japan had a choice to make between what became known as the northern and southern strategies. The northern strategy was backed by the Imperial Japanese Army and involved taking the oil, coal and iron-rich areas in China, Mongolia and Siberia.

  1. The southern strategy on the other hand was backed by the Imperial Japanese Navy and instead involved striking south into British Malaya and the Dutch East Indies, similarly rich in oil and rubber.
  2. By the mid-1930s the northern plan was already in full swing with attacks in Manchuria and China and this had led to border disputes with the Soviets.

These culminated in the huge Battle of Khalkhin Gol which the Soviet-Mongolian forces won a major victory. Suddenly Japan had to reconsider its plans. So japan’s defeat at Khalkhin Gol basically pours cold water on their plans for northward expansion in Siberia, as does the signing of a non-aggression pact between the Soviet Union and Germany in August 1939.

  1. When Germany invades the Soviet Union during Operation Barbarossa in June 1941 these plans for an invasion of Siberia are briefly reconsidered.
  2. But Japan is bogged down in China, they’re running out of natural resources and it just doesn’t happen.
  3. With the army bog down in China it was the navy who took up the mantle as Japan focused on its southern strategy instead.

This began in earnest in 1940 when, in order to cut a key Chinese supply route, Japan entered the northern parts of French Indochina in an agreement with the Vichy French government. This worked in isolating the Chinese, but the U.S saw it as yet another act of Japanese aggression that threatened U.S interests in the Pacific.

  • Coupled with Japan’s recent alliance with Nazi Germany and Italy, the U.S responded by imposing an embargo on iron, steel, and copper all of which were essential to Japan’s war industries and which were largely imported from the U.S.
  • But the Japanese did not learn their lesson and occupied even more of French Indochina in July 1941 as a launch point for invasions further south.

This time the Americans responded even more forcefully. So this time the U.S responds by freezing all of Japan’s assets in the United States and this prevents Japan from purchasing oil. And right after this is followed up by Britain and the Netherlands who control the Dutch East Indies imposing oil embargoes of their own.

  1. So in one fell swoop, Japan loses 94% of its oil supply.
  2. Japan was in a crisis.
  3. They first attempted to negotiate with the U.S who demanded their immediate withdrawal from China and the Tripartite Pact.
  4. But for Japan accepting those demands was akin to complete defeat.
  5. Unwilling to give up their imperial ambitions, the Japanese felt their only option was to seize the natural resources they needed by force.

That meant striking further south into British Malaya and the Dutch East Indies who were both friendly with the U.S. Japan believed that this time the U.S would almost certainly respond to their invasion with force of their own. The Japanese decided then that they had to blunt that U.S response by attacking the U.S Pacific Fleet at anchor Pearl Harbor in Hawaii.

By attacking Pearl Harbor Japan believes that it can severely cripple the U.S fleet and buy them time in the Pacific and Southeast Asia. So not only would they be able to launch their attacks without interference from the U.S they would also have time to dig in defensively and consolidate their gains.

So this is a really big gamble for Japan, they don’t actually believe that they can win a long-drawn-out war with the U.S so their strategy really hinges on a short war. They believe that the U.S probably won’t have the stomach to fight this costly war against a dug-in enemy thousands of miles away across the Pacific and they would instead negotiate for peace.

Allowing japan to retain some or all of its captured territories. On December 7th 1941 those plans were finally put into action. At 7:55 am the first attack wave of 183 aircraft appeared in the skies over Pearl Harbor, the Americans were taken completely by surprise. The wave was separated into three groups.

The first two groups of dive bombers and fighters targeted the hangars and parked aircraft of the island’s airbase. The aircraft there were stored wingtip to wingtip to prevent sabotage, but that made them easy pickings for the Japanese. The other group of bombers and torpedo bombers targeted the ships in the harbour, in particular, the battleships on ‘Battleship row’.

The Americans believed that the water was too shallow for a torpedo attack, but the Japanese had created a brand new kind of torpedo specifically designed for the waters of Pearl Harbor and it had a devastating effect. Within the first five minutes of the attack, four battleships were hit including the USS Oklahoma and the USS Arizona which exploded 10 minutes later killing 1,175 of its crew.

At 8:54 am the second attack wave of 170 aircraft began their attack. They were also separated into three groups attacking mostly the same targets, but with the base now on high alert, their attacks were less successful. In the space of just over an hour, the Japanese had sunk or damaged 18 American warships, including hits to all eight of the fleet’s battleships.

They destroyed 188 aircraft and severely damaged the base’s infrastructure. Crucially though, the three all-important U.S aircraft carriers were out on manoeuvres at the time of the attack and escaped unscathed. So because Japan are sort of anticipating this short war that’s going to lead to negotiations their target selection focuses on the battleships which are going to prevent the U.S Pacific Fleet from coming out into Pacific and Southeast Asia and stopping the Japanese and they’re not thinking about things like the fuel depots and the repair shops that are actually going to allow America to pursue a longer war in the Pacific.

The shallow depths meant that any ships that sunk, they didn’t sink far down so they were much easier to recover. Almost half of the deaths that day on the U.S side were from the USS Arizona when it was hit and exploded and the Imperial War Museum in London actually has a piece of the USS Arizona on display in its new Second World War galleries and this is actually the first time that part of the USS Arizona has been displayed outside of the United States.

  1. Initially, the attack worked perfectly.
  2. On the same day the Japanese launched more or less simultaneous attacks in the Pacific and Southeast Asia.
  3. Thailand surrendered within hours and quickly signed an alliance with Japan, while the U.S territories of Guam, Wake Island and the Philippines as well as the British territories of Malaya and Hong Kong all fell relatively quickly.

And on top of that two major British warships the HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse were sunk off the coast of Malaya by Japanese torpedo bombers. In the first months of 1942, Japan followed this up with attacks on the Dutch East Indies, British Burma and Singapore, New Guinea and the Solomon Islands and just as they’d hoped the U.S Pacific Fleet was unable to offer a response.

The Japanese then had completed their goal with speed and efficiency. They’d established their new empire and they finally had the natural resources they’d craved for so long. But there was one huge problem. So Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor pretty much has the opposite effect of what it was hoping for, you remember they were hoping for this negotiated peace.

So the day after the attack, President Roosevelt delivers his famous ‘day of infamy’ speech to congress in which he asked for a formal declaration of war against japan which congress quickly authorizes. So the U.S is officially now in the war. The vast resources of the United States power, raw materials, industrial production all had to be mobilized to meet the demands of total war.

So support for isolationism quickly melts away, there’s a rapid expansion of the U.S military with hundreds of thousands of men volunteering to join and the economy is fully mobilized onto a war footing. Japan’s hopes for a short war completely evaporate and they’ve now awoken this what many people call ‘sleeping giant’ and they’re now committed to this long war in the Pacific and Southeast Asia which ultimately they’ll lose.

The Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor was a huge gamble and one which did not pay off. Japan’s desire for an empire and the natural resources to go with it had slowly awoken the U.S from its isolationism. Bogged down in China and unable to attack the Soviets the Japanese decision to strike south resulted in a U.S oil embargo which gave Japan little choice other than to give up its ambitions or go to war.

Why did Japan join WW2?

The United States Declares War – After the attack on Pearl Harbor, Japan achieved a long series of military successes. In December 1941, Guam, Wake Island, and Hong Kong fell to the Japanese, followed in the first half of 1942 by the Philippines, the Dutch East Indies (Indonesia), Malaya, Singapore, and Burma.

  • Japanese troops also invaded neutral Thailand and pressured its leaders to declare war on the United States and Great Britain.
  • Only in mid-1942 were Australian and New Zealander forces in New Guinea and British forces in India able to halt the Japanese advance.
  • The turning point in the Pacific war came with the American naval victory in the Battle of Midway in June 1942.

The Japanese fleet sustained heavy losses and was turned back. In August 1942, American forces attacked the Japanese in the Solomon Islands, forcing a costly withdrawal of Japanese forces from the island of Guadalcanal in February 1943. Allied forces slowly gained naval and air supremacy in the Pacific, and moved methodically from island to island, conquering them and often sustaining significant casualties.

  1. The Japanese, however, successfully defended their positions on the Chinese mainland until 1945.
  2. In October 1944, American forces began retaking the Philippines from Japanese troops, who surrendered in August 1945.
  3. That same year, the United States Army Air Forces launched a strategic bombing campaign against Japan.

British forces recaptured Burma. In early 1945, American forces suffered heavy losses during the invasions of Iwo Jima (February) and Okinawa (April), an island of strategic importance off the coast of the Japanese home islands. Despite these casualties and suicidal Japanese air attacks, known as Kamikaze attacks, American forces conquered Okinawa in mid-June 1945.

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Did Japan and Germany fight together?

Did Japanese soldiers ever fight alongside German soldiers in world war two? | Notes and Queries | guardian.co.uk

  • Did Japanese soldiers ever fight alongside German soldiers in world war two?
  • John Cheese, London, UK
  • I cannot imagine so. My comment is based on the fact that only in North Africa and Italy did the Germans and Italians fight in the same sectors and they were much closer allies.
    1. Jack Hill, St Albans, England
  • I’m not sure about soldiers, but members of the Imperial Navy and the German Kriegsmarine served side by side when German U-Boats began operating in the far east, after the battle of the Atlantic began to go the Allies’ way. There were small U-Boat bases at Penang, Singapore, Batavia and Kobe. The far east fleet was commanded by Fregattenkaptain Wilhelm Dommes who was Chef der U-Boote im Sudraum, based in Penang.
    • Simon Fielding, Cirencester, UK
  • Apologies to Jack Hill, but he’s wrong; a few Italian units also served on the eastern front.
    1. Alex Swanson, Milton Keynes, UK
  • Italian air force planes and crews fought over England in the battle of Britain.
    • Craig Napier, Burleigh Heads, Australia
  • There are no recorded instances of Japanese and German troops actually fighting alongside one another, although the Japanese did allow the Germans to use some of their submarine bases in return for rocket and jet propulsion technology.
    1. Duncan Idaho, Hereford, UK
  • Japanese submarines assisted the Vichy French in resisting the Allied campaign in Madagascar, during 1942. The Allies feared that the island would be used as a Japanese naval base, and their fears were realised to an extent when one sub severely damaged the battleship HMS Ramillies.
    • Grant Lee, Perth, Australia
  • I believe that in 1945, Allied aircraft attacked German and Japanese submarines in the North Sea (the Japanese were carrying German technology bak to Japan). Perhaps one of the only times that German and Japanese servicmen fought together.
    1. Jo Meek, Coleshill, UK

: Did Japanese soldiers ever fight alongside German soldiers in world war two? | Notes and Queries | guardian.co.uk

Could the Allies have won without Russia?

NOTE TO READERS “Milestones in the History of U.S. Foreign Relations” has been retired and is no longer maintained. For more information, please see the full notice, Although relations between the Soviet Union and the United States had been strained in the years before World War II, the U.S.-Soviet alliance of 1941–1945 was marked by a great degree of cooperation and was essential to securing the defeat of Nazi Germany. Department of Defense Pro-Soviet Poster As late as 1939, it seemed highly improbable that the United States and the Soviet Union would forge an alliance.U.S.-Soviet relations had soured significantly following Stalin’s decision to sign a non-aggression pact with Nazi Germany in August of 1939.

The Soviet occupation of eastern Poland in September and the “Winter War” against Finland in December led President Franklin Roosevelt to condemn the Soviet Union publicly as a “dictatorship as absolute as any other dictatorship in the world,” and to impose a “moral embargo” on the export of certain products to the Soviets.

Nevertheless, in spite of intense pressure to sever relations with the Soviet Union, Roosevelt never lost sight of the fact that Nazi Germany, not the Soviet Union, posed the greatest threat to world peace. In order to defeat that threat, Roosevelt confided that he “would hold hands with the devil” if necessary.

Following the Nazi defeat of France in June of 1940, Roosevelt grew wary of the increasing aggression of the Germans and made some diplomatic moves to improve relations with the Soviets. Beginning in July of 1940, a series of negotiations took place in Washington between Under-Secretary of State Sumner Welles and Soviet Ambassador Constantine Oumansky.

Welles refused to accede to Soviet demands that the United States recognize the changed borders of the Soviet Union after the Soviet seizure of territory in Finland, Poland, and Romania and the reincorporation of the Baltic Republics in August 1940, but the U.S.

Government did lift the embargo in January 1941. Furthermore, in March of 1941, Welles warned Oumansky of a future Nazi attack against the Soviet Union. Finally, during the Congressional debate concerning the passage of the Lend-Lease bill in early 1941, Roosevelt blocked attempts to exclude the Soviet Union from receiving U.S.

assistance. Under-Secretary of State Sumner Welles The most important factor in swaying the Soviets eventually to enter into an alliance with the United States was the Nazi decision to launch its invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941. President Roosevelt responded by dispatching his trusted aide Harry Lloyd Hopkins to Moscow in order to assess the Soviet military situation.

  • Although the War Department had warned the President that the Soviets would not last more than six weeks, after two one-on-one meetings with Soviet Premier Josef Stalin, Hopkins urged Roosevelt to assist the Soviets.
  • By the end of October, the first Lend-Lease aid to the Soviet Union was on its way.

The United States entered the war as a belligerent in late 1941 and thus began coordinating directly with the Soviets, and the British, as allies. Several issues arose during the war that threatened the alliance. These included the Soviet refusal to aide the Polish Home Army during the Warsaw Uprising of August 1944, and the decision of British and U.S.

officials to exclude the Soviets from secret negotiations with German officers in March of 1945 in an effort to secure the surrender of German troops in Italy. The most important disagreement, however, was over the opening of a second front in the West. Stalin’s troops struggled to hold the Eastern front against the Nazi forces, and the Soviets began pleading for a British invasion of France immediately after the Nazi invasion in 1941.

In 1942, Roosevelt unwisely promised the Soviets that the Allies would open the second front that autumn. Although Stalin only grumbled when the invasion was postponed until 1943, he exploded the following year when the invasion was postponed again until May of 1944. Harry Lloyd Hopkins In spite of these differences, the defeat of Nazi Germany was a joint endeavor that could not have been accomplished without close cooperation and shared sacrifices. Militarily, the Soviets fought valiantly and suffered staggering casualties on the Eastern Front.

  • When Great Britain and the United States finally invaded northern France in 1944, the Allies were finally able to drain Nazi Germany of its strength on two fronts.
  • Finally, two devastating atomic bomb attacks against Japan by the United States, coupled with the Soviets’ decision to break their neutrality pact with Japan by invading Manchuria, finally led to the end of the war in the Pacific.

Furthermore, during the wartime conferences at Tehran and Yalta, Roosevelt secured political concessions from Stalin and Soviet participation in the United Nations. While President Roosevelt harbored no illusions about Soviet designs in Eastern Europe, it was his great hope that if the United States made a sincere effort to satisfy legitimate Soviet security requirements in Eastern Europe and Northeast Asia, and to integrate the U.S.S.R.

Was Russia an ally in WW2?

Skip to Main Content of WWII – In World War II, the three great Allied powers—Great Britain, the United States, and the Soviet Union—formed a Grand Alliance that was the key to victory. But the alliance partners did not share common political aims, and did not always agree on how the war should be fought. Top Image: Soviet premier Joseph Stalin, US president Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and british Prime Minister Winston Churchill (left to right) at the Teheran Conference, 1943. (Library of Congress, LC-USZ62-32833.) British Prime Minister Winston Churchill once said, “The only thing worse than having allies is not having them.” In World War II, the three great Allied powers—Great Britain, the United States, and the Soviet Union—formed a Grand Alliance that was the key to victory.

  1. But the alliance partners did not share common political aims, and did not always agree on how the war should be fought.
  2. Churchill and US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt had been working together for some time when the United States entered the war in 1941.
  3. Roosevelt believed a British victory over the Axis was in America’s best interests, while Churchill believed such a victory was not possible without American assistance.

In 1940, the two leaders worked to find ways for America to help Britain hold on without violating its neutrality. The following year they met off the coast of Newfoundland to begin planning, in sweeping terms, the postwar world. Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin was a late addition to the Big Three.

  1. On New Year’s Day 1942, representatives of all three nations signed the United Nations Declaration, pledging to join hands to defeat the Axis powers.
  2. The Big Three faced considerable challenges in coordinating their efforts.
  3. Thousands of miles separated their capitals, which meant important decisions often had to be made by telephone or telegraph.

Although their representatives met frequently during the war, Roosevelt, Stalin, and Churchill only met twice in person. Stalin was deeply suspicious, to the point of paranoia, of both Roosevelt and Churchill. Politics and history also made the relationship difficult.

Stalin was deeply suspicious, to the point of paranoia, of both Roosevelt and Churchill. He knew his capitalist allies would likely oppose any attempt to expand Soviet influence in eastern Europe when the war ended. Stalin also complained incessantly about the Allied failure to mount a second front in western Europe before June 1944.

This front, he said, would reduce pressure on the Soviet Union by forcing Hitler to transfer forces from Russia to meet the Anglo-American invasion. Planning for the postwar era further strained relations between the Allied leaders. By the time the Big Three gathered for the last time at Yalta in February 1945, the Allies were closing in on Germany from both the east and west.

Several major questions had to be settled, chief among them the fate of Poland, which was then occupied by Soviet troops that were advancing on Berlin. Stalin demanded that part of Poland be transferred to the Soviet Union and that a Soviet-friendly communist government in the city of Lublin control the remainder of the country.

He also insisted that each of the Soviet Union’s satellite republics in eastern Europe receive separate votes in the newly created United Nations, even though these countries were controlled from Moscow. This alarmed Roosevelt and Churchill, but they were powerless to force Stalin to guarantee a democratic and independent Poland. Library of Congress, LC-USZ62-112542 The Yalta Conference ended in a compromise. Roosevelt and Churchill agreed to Stalin’s demands regarding Poland and the United Nations. Stalin, in return, agreed to hold elections in Poland so its people could choose their own government. He also agreed to declare war against Japan shortly after the German surrender.

Was Russia Axis or Allied?

Date: September 3, 1939 – September 2, 1945 Allied powers, coalition of countries that opposed the Axis powers (led by Germany, Italy, and Japan ) during World War II, The principal members of the Allies were the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union, the United States, and China (the “Big Four”), as well as France while it was unoccupied.

The Allies also included every other signatory to the Declaration by United Nations (January 1, 1942): Australia, Belgium, Canada, Costa Rica, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Greece, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Poland, South Africa, and Yugoslavia,

Later wartime signers were Mexico, the Philippines, Ethiopia, Iraq, Brazil, Bolivia, Iran, Colombia, Liberia, France, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Paraguay, Venezuela, Uruguay, Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Lebanon, The Allies began as an agreement between Poland, the United Kingdom, and France that the latter two would come to Poland’s aid if it were invaded by Germany. Britannica Quiz Pop Quiz: 17 Things to Know About World War II Denmark and Norway joined the Allies the next year when Germany invaded both countries on April 9, 1940. So too did the Low Countries (Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg) that May, once Germany repeated its World War I strategy of moving its forces through those countries to invade France,

All these new partnerships were short-lived, however, as Germany swiftly conquered each country. The same sequence of events would play out again in southeastern Europe: Greece and Yugoslavia joined the Allies on October 28, 1940, and April 6, 1941, respectively, but were soon occupied. With France surrendering on June 22, 1940, the United Kingdom and its former colonies were effectively the only Allies in action for over a year, from mid-1940 to mid-1941.

It was on June 22, 1941, that the British received an unexpected gift: the German invasion of the Soviet Union, This attack resulted in an Anglo-Soviet treaty on July 12, 1941—and unlike the smaller nations that had been so quickly overrun by the German war machine, the Soviet Union was capable of not only surviving its initial ambush but also helping the Allied cause beyond its own borders (e.g., invading Iran to ensure that its oil could not be used to fuel Axis vehicles).

With support from the American lend-lease program, the Soviet Union became a nightmare for the German military. Eventually, its forces would push the Germans all the way back to Berlin. On December 7 (December 8 in Asia), 1941, Japan attacked American, British, and Dutch military bases in the Pacific, East Asia, and Southeast Asia,

For reasons still debated today, Germany declared war on the United States as well, on December 11. Where once the United States had participated in the war only as a source of arms and other supplies for the Allies—serving as what Pres. Franklin.D. Roosevelt memorably called “an arsenal of democracy”—these aggressions brought it fully into the Allied fold.

  1. The attacks were perhaps the Axis powers’ greatest mistake.
  2. As in World War I, U.S.
  3. Production capacity dwarfed that of any other country with which it was allied or fought.
  4. By the end of the war, the U.S.
  5. Would produce almost two-thirds of all the Allies’ military equipment. The U.S.
  6. Also had the population to contribute a large number of troops, mobilizing over 16 million—more than any other Allied power save the Soviet Union.

Where the U.S. went, much of the Western Hemisphere followed. Countries that immediately declared war on members of the Axis powers in the wake of Japan’s attack included Costa Rica, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, and Panama. Get a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content. Subscribe Now After this new influx of partners, the Allied roster remained mostly stable until near the end of the war. Countries liberated from Axis occupation renewed their membership in the Allies.

In 1945 the inaugural meeting of the United Nations —formally called the United Nations Conference on International Organization (UNCIO)—led a number of previously neutral countries such as Saudi Arabia to join the Allies, as the organizing countries made allying with them against the Axis a precondition for attending.

The Allies therefore ended the war with 47 member states, all of which would become charter members of the United Nations when that body’s charter was signed on June 26, 1945. Adam Volle

Who are the Allies of Russia?

The foreign relations of the Russian Federation is the policy arm of the government of Russia which guides its interactions with other nations, their citizens, and foreign organizations. This article covers the foreign policy of the Russian Federation since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in late 1991.

  1. At present, Russia has no diplomatic relations with Ukraine due to the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine,
  2. Other than Ukraine, Russia also has no diplomatic relations with Georgia, Bhutan, Federated States of Micronesia and Solomon Islands,
  3. The Kremlin’s foreign policy debates show a conflict between three rival schools: Atlanticists, seeking a closer relationship with the United States and the Western World in general; Imperialists, seeking a recovery of the semi-hegemonic status lost during the previous decade; and Neo-Slavophiles, promoting the isolation of Russia within its own cultural sphere.

While Atlanticism was the dominant ideology during the first years of the new Russian Federation, under Andrei Kozyrev, it came under attack for its failure to defend Russian pre-eminence in the former USSR, The promotion of Yevgeny Primakov to Minister of Foreign Affairs in 1996 marked the beginning of a more nationalistic approach to foreign policy.

  1.  33–69  Another major trend has been Eurasianism, a school of thought that emerged during the early 20th century.
  2. Eurasianists assert that Russia is composed of Slavic, Turkic and Asiatic cultures and equates Liberalism with Eurocentric imperialism,
  3. One of the earliest ideologues of Eurasianism was the Russian historian Nikolai Trubetzkoy, who denounced the Europhilic Czar Peter I and advocated Russian embracal of the Asiatic “legacy of Chinggis Khan ” to establish a trans-continental Eurasian state.

Following the collapse of Soviet Union, Eurasianism gained public ascendency through the writings of philosopher Aleksander Dugin and has become the official ideological policy under the government of Vladimir Putin, Vladimir Putin’s presidency lasted from January 2000 to May 2008, and again from 2012 to the present.

Under Putin, Russia has engaged in several notable conflicts, including against the neighboring countries of Ukraine and Georgia, He recognized the independence of new republics within those countries. Relations with the United States in particular have sharply deteriorated between 2001 and 2022, while relations with the European Union deteriorated especially since Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.

In a poll conducted by Levada Center in 2021, 64% of Russian citizens identify Russia as a non-European country; while only 29% regard Russia to be part of Europe. On 24 February 2022, Russia launched a large-scale invasion of Ukraine, prompting the imposition of substantial economic and political sanctions by the European Union, the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, and other countries.

  1. The Russian government now has a specified ” Unfriendly Countries List ” which indicates those countries with which relations are now strained (or non-existent).
  2. Despite deteriorating relations with most of the international community since the invasion of Ukraine, Russia still maintains support and strong relations with certain countries, such as China, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Iran, Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Syria, North Korea, Myanmar, Eritrea, Mali, Zimbabwe, Central African Republic, and Burkina Faso Russia also maintains positive relations with countries that have been described as “Russia-leaning” according to The Economist,

These countries include Algeria, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Laos, Pakistan, Ethiopia, Sudan, and Uganda, Russia also maintains positive relations with countries considered neutral on the world stage such as India and Vietnam, With countries traditionally considered Western aligned, Russia maintains positive relations with Hungary, Serbia, Turkey, Qatar, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Israel,

Did USSR win ww2?

Stalin’s victory? The Soviet Union and World War II Published in,,, Ribbontrop, the German foreign minister, signing the Nazi–Soviet pact on 23 August 1939. Soviet foreign minister Molotov and Stalin stand in the background. (Interfoto) When World War II ended in 1945 few doubted that the victor’s laurels belonged mainly to Joseph Stalin.

Under his leadership the Soviet Union had just won the war of the century, and that victory was closely identified with his role as the country’s supreme commander. World War II was a global conflict of immense proportions in which 50 million people died, but at its heart was the epic struggle between Stalin and Hitler on the Eastern Front.

The war began with Hitler’s attack on Poland in September 1939 and was followed by the stunning German defeat of France in summer 1940. Not until June 1941 did Hitler launch his invasion of the Soviet Union—a state that posed a strategic threat to German domination of Europe as well as being an ideological rival and racial enemy.

  • At first all went well for Operation Barbarossa—the codename for the German invasion—as Hitler’s armies penetrated deep into Russia, reaching the outskirts of Leningrad and Moscow by the end of 1941.
  • In 1942, however, the Soviets turned the tables on the Germans and won a great victory at Stalingrad that spelled doom for the Wehrmacht.

In 1943 and 1944 the Red Army expelled the Germans from the rest of Russia and then began an invasion of Germany that culminated in the capture of Berlin in May 1945. Eighty per cent of combat on the Eastern Front Eighty per cent of all the combat of World War II took place on the Eastern Front.

  1. During the four years of the Soviet–German struggle the Red Army destroyed 600 enemy divisions (Italian, Hungarian, Romanian, Finnish, Croat, Slovak and Spanish as well as German).
  2. The Germans suffered ten million casualties (75% of their total wartime losses), including three million dead, while Hitler’s Axis allies lost another million.
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The Red Army destroyed 48,000 enemy tanks, 167,000 guns and 77,000 aircraft. In comparison, the contribution of Stalin’s western allies to the defeat of Germany was of secondary importance. Even after the Anglo-American invasion of France in June 1944 there were still twice as many German soldiers serving on the Eastern Front as in the West.

  • On the other hand, Britain and the United States did supply a huge quantity of material aid to the USSR that greatly facilitated the Soviet victory over Germany.
  • Even so, victory did not come cheap.
  • Red Army casualties totalled sixteen million, including eight million dead (three million in German POW camps).

Adding to the attrition was the death of sixteen million Soviet civilians. Among these were a million Soviet Jews, executed by the Germans in 1941–2 at the beginning of the Holocaust. Material damage to the Soviet Union was equally staggering: six million houses, 98,000 farms, 32,000 factories, 82,000 schools, 43,000 libraries, 6,000 hospitals, and thousands of miles of roads and railways were destroyed.

  • In total, the Soviet Union lost 25% of its national wealth and 14% of its population as a direct result of the war.
  • When the Red Army captured Berlin, the full extent of Soviet war damage was far from clear, but there was no doubt that the Soviets had fought a brutal war against a barbaric enemy and that the cost had been astronomical.

Some saw the Soviet victory as pyrrhic—a victory won at too great a cost. Others worried that German domination of Europe had been replaced by a Soviet and communist threat to the continent. But for most people in the allied world, Stalin’s victory—whatever the costs and problems it brought—was preferable to Hitler’s dream of a global racist empire. The structure of Soviet military and political decision-making during the Great Patriotic War. Stalin at war Stalin shared the military glory with his generals—above all with his deputy supreme commander, Marshal Georgi Zhukov—but Stalin’s role was political and economic as well as military.

  1. As supreme commander Stalin decided on military strategy and supervised all the big battles and operations.
  2. As People’s Commissar for Defence and chairman of the State Defence Council he was responsible for the country’s mobilisation for total war.
  3. As head of government Stalin represented the USSR at summit meetings with its British and American allies and corresponded on a regular basis with Winston Churchill and President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

As leader of the Communist Party it fell to him to rally the Soviet people for a patriotic war of national defence. (See diagram, p.43.) Stalin’s public image was that of a benign dictator, and hopes were high that his regime would evolve into a more liberal and democratic state.

  • But it was no secret that he was a ruthless dictator who presided over an authoritarian communist state that terrorised its own people.
  • During the war the harshest discipline was imposed, and Stalin brooked no wavering in the face of the enemy: some 170,000 Soviet military personnel were executed for treason, cowardice or ill discipline.

Whole communities and ethnic groups, accused of collective collaboration with the enemy, were uprooted and deported. At the end of the war millions of returning Soviet POWS were screened for disloyalty, and a quarter of a million of them were executed or re-imprisoned. The Nazi–Soviet non-aggression pact, August–September 1939. At the time much of this repression remained hidden, and public attention focused on Stalin’s image as a highly successful and very effective war leader. The contemporary impression was summed up by one of his earliest biographers, Isaac Deutscher, writing in 1948: ‘Many allied visitors who called at the Kremlin during the war were astonished to see on how many issues, great and small, military, political or diplomatic, Stalin took the final decision.

He was in effect his own commander-in-chief, his own minister of defence, his own quartermaster, his own minister of supply, his own foreign minister, and even his own chef de protocol, Thus he went on, day after day, throughout four years of hostilities—a prodigy of patience, tenacity, and vigilance, almost omnipresent, almost omniscient.’ The Nazi–Soviet pact But Stalin’s reputation soon began to take a battering.

When the wartime grand alliance with Britain and the United States gave way to the Cold War in 1947 the Soviet role in the Second World War was criticised by western propagandists. A particular target was the Nazi–Soviet non-aggression pact of 1939–41.

  1. This was a deal between Stalin and Hitler that gave the German dictator a free hand to attack Poland and to fight the British and French.
  2. In return for a promise of Soviet neutrality Stalin was given a sphere of influence in Eastern Europe, including territory in Poland.
  3. In accordance with this agreement the Soviets invaded Eastern Poland on 17 September 1939 and occupied the territory allocated to them by the pact.

(See map, p.43.) From the Soviet point of view, the invasion was justified by the fact that this territory had been forcibly occupied by the Poles in the wake of the Russo-Polish war of 1919–20. The territory’s inhabitants were mainly Ukrainian and Belorussian, and its reincorporation into the USSR meant the reunification of Eastern and Western Ukraine and Belorussia.

  • But the Red Army’s invasion was clearly an act of aggression and the process of integrating Western Belorussia and Western Ukraine into the USSR was very violent, including the deportation of 400,000 ethnic Poles to the Soviet interior.
  • Among their number were 20,000 Polish army officers and police officials, executed on Stalin’s orders in March–April 1940.

Britain went to war with Germany in defence of Poland, but the Soviet occupation of Eastern Poland was actually welcomed by Winston Churchill in a radio broadcast on 1 October 1939: ‘Russia has pursued a cold policy of self-interest. We could have wished that the Russian armies should be standing on their present line as the friends and allies of Poland instead of as invaders.

  1. But that the Russian armies should stand on this line was clearly necessary for the safety of Russia against the Nazi menace.
  2. I cannot forecast to you the action of Russia.
  3. It is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma; but perhaps there is a key.
  4. That key is Russian national interest.
  5. It cannot be in accordance with the interests or the safety of Russia that Germany should plant itself upon the shores of the Black Sea, or that it should overrun the Balkan states and subjugate the Slavonic peoples of south-eastern Europe.

That would be contrary to the historic life-interests of Russia.’ Operation Barbarossa, June–December 1941. Consistency was never Churchill’s strong point, and a few weeks later he was urging Anglo-French intervention in the Soviet war with Finland. This conflict had broken out at the end of November 1939 when the Finns resisted Stalin’s demands to join a Soviet-led bloc in the Baltic.

Churchill was willing to risk war with Russia because the real purpose of the Anglo-French expedition to Finland was to cut off Germany’s supplies of iron ore from Norway and Sweden. Faced with the escalation of their local war into a major conflict in Scandinavia, Stalin and the Finns agreed a peace treaty in March 1940.

Finland was forced to make various territorial concessions to the Soviets but the country retained its independence. Eventually Churchill was proved right: Stalin’s resistance to German domination of Europe prompted Hitler to invade the Soviet Union in 1941.

  • But in 1939–40 Stalin was intent on cooperating as much as he could with Hitler, and the Nazi–Soviet pact was followed by a period of close political, economic and military cooperation between the two states.
  • Stalin hoped that this collaboration would last a long time—long enough for him to prepare the country’s defences against a possible German attack.

Stalin saw war with Hitler as possible, even likely, but not inevitable. Stalin’s hopes for a durable deal with Hitler were not dented until the convening of a Soviet–German conference in Berlin in November 1940. Stalin was represented by his foreign minister, Vyacheslav Molotov, who was instructed to secure a new Nazi–Soviet pact that would guarantee the Soviet Union against German attack and extend Soviet–German spheres of influence arrangements to the Balkans.

Hitler’s counter-offer of a subordinate role in a German-led coalition of Germany, Italy, Japan and the Soviet Union was unacceptable to Stalin, who responded by reiterating the need for a new Nazi–Soviet pact. Hitler ignored this proposal and on 18 December 1940 issued the order for Operation Barbarossa.

From January 1941 it was clear that a German–Soviet war was coming. Diplomatic relations between the two countries continued to deteriorate; there was a massive build-up of German military might along Soviet borders, and multiple sources of intelligence information indicated that the Germans were preparing an invasion.

  • Stalin believed that to avoid a two-front war Hitler would not invade before he had defeated Britain.
  • He was also persuaded that the German military–political élite was split on the question of attacking the Soviet Union and that some adroit diplomacy could still avert war.
  • Above all, Stalin was confident that Soviet defences would hold when the Germans did attack and that there would be time to counter-mobilise his forces.

For this reason he resisted pressure from his generals for full-scale mobilisation prior to a German attack—an action that he thought might provoke an invasion by Hitler. Stalin was disastrously wrong. Hitler invaded Russia while still at war with Britain and the invasion came a lot sooner than the Soviet dictator expected. Stalin’s decision to remain in Moscow helped to steady a panic that was developing in the city, and he gave some stirring patriotic speeches to troops on their way to the front, such as here in Red Square, 7 November 1941. (David King Collection) The German invasion plan envisaged a quick and easy war in Russia that would see the Red Army destroyed within a few weeks and the country occupied along a line running from Archangel in the north to Astrakhan in the south.

  1. Thanks in part to Stalin’s miscalculations about the timing and immediate consequences of a German attack, Hitler almost achieved these goals.
  2. See map, p.44.) Only when the Red Army repelled a German attack on Moscow in November–December 1941 did the tide of war begin to turn in the Soviets’ favour.

Even so, Hitler was strong enough to attempt victory again in 1942, this time in a southern campaign that took his armies to Stalingrad. After his death Stalin came under attack in the Soviet Union for allowing himself to be so surprised by Hitler. Leading the assault was Nikita Khrushchev, his successor as Soviet leader.

  1. In a secret speech to the twentieth congress of the Soviet Communist Party in 1956 Khrushchev denounced many aspects of Stalin’s leadership, including his warlordship.
  2. According to Khrushchev, it was clear that the Germans were going to invade and that the invasion would have disastrous consequences for the Soviet Union if the country was not adequately prepared and mobilised.

When war broke out, claimed Khrushchev, Stalin went into a state of shock and did not come to his senses until other party leaders went to him and insisted that he continue to lead the country. Stalin recovered his nerve but his amateurish military leadership proved to be disastrous, argued Khrushchev.

Only the sacrifices of the Soviet people saved the country from defeat, and it was Stalin’s generals and his comrades in the party leadership who deserved the credit for victory. Khrushchev’s somewhat self-serving critique of Stalin’s war leadership was part of a more general effort by him to puncture the mythology generated by the cult of personality that surrounded the dictator until his death in 1953.

According to the personality cult, Stalin was a military genius who could do no wrong. Soviet defeats in the early years of the war were explained as part of the great Stalin’s plan to draw the Germans deep into Russia in order to annihilate them, while Soviet victories were all designed and directed by the dictator himself. The German advance in the south, summer 1942. But when Khrushchev fell from power in 1964 a different view of Stalin as warlord began to emerge. Those Soviet generals who had worked closely with Stalin testified to the dictator’s military talents, particularly after he had learned the painful lessons of defeat.

  • According to Zhukov, ‘Stalin made a big personal contribution to the victory over Nazi Germany and its allies.
  • His prestige was exceedingly high, and his appointment as supreme commander was wholeheartedly acclaimed by the people and the troops.
  • To err is human, and, of course, the supreme commander did make mistakes early in the war.

But he took them close to heart, gave them deep thought, and sought to draw due lessons from them so as never to repeat them again.’ This more positive view of Stalin’s role as supreme commander has been confirmed by the new evidence from the Russian archives that emerged after the collapse of Soviet communism in 1991.

It is clear from Stalin’s appointments diary, for example, that he did not suffer a nervous collapse when the Germans invaded. Stalin was certainly shocked by the extent of the early German successes, but he remained in control and maintained the coherence of his military and political command structure in the face of devastating defeats.

Even when the Germans were approaching Moscow Stalin did not waver and took some key decisions that helped to save the city. Zhukov was given command of Soviet defences and Stalin resisted the temptation to throw all his reserves into the defensive battle, saving some for a planned counter-offensive.

  1. His decision to remain in Moscow helped to steady a panic that was developing in the city, and he gave some stirring patriotic speeches to troops on their way to the front.
  2. Hrushchev’s criticism that Stalin always preferred offensive action and had little time for defence was more valid.
  3. When the Germans attacked in June 1941 he ordered a series of massive counter-offensives that made little headway but further disorganised Soviet defences.

Against the advice of his generals, he refused to withdraw his forces from Kiev, the Ukrainian capital. The result was that four Soviet armies—more than 40 divisions—were encircled by the Germans and 600,000 Soviet soldiers were killed, captured or went missing in action. Ruins of the factory district in besieged Stalingrad. One of the keys to success was maintaining a Red Army bridgehead in Stalingrad itself that would keep the Germans locked into a gruelling war of attrition for the city. (Interfoto) But it wasn’t just Stalin who was gung-ho for offensive action.

  • The offensivist orientation was integral to the Red Army’s military culture, and it was a doctrine to which all Stalin’s generals fully subscribed.
  • Most of Stalin’s mistakes during the early years of the Eastern Front war were made on the advice of his generals.
  • They, like him, were on a steep learning curve, and it took time and experience for them to develop better judgement—and the better they got at their job the more willing was Stalin to take their advice.

Victory at Stalingrad The great turning-point for Stalin and his generals came during the battle of Stalingrad. In summer 1942 the Germans re-launched their invasion of the USSR with a campaign in southern Russia designed to reach Baku and capture the oilfields that supplied 80% of the Soviet war economy’s fuel.

As in summer 1941, the Germans advanced very rapidly and Hitler was encouraged to think that his armies could simultaneously reach Baku and occupy Stalingrad. ‘Stalin’s city’ was a psychological as well as an industrial and strategic target for Hitler, and its capture would have been a devastating blow to Soviet morale.

(See map, p.46.) Stalin was slow to respond to the German threat in the south because he thought that Hitler’s main target was Moscow. Another problem was that some ill-conceived and badly prepared offensive operations in April–May 1942 had resulted in such severe losses that Soviet defences were in a badly weakened state when the Germans launched their southern campaign.

But when Hitler’s intentions became clear, Soviet defences in the Stalingrad area were strengthened and plans laid for a concentrated counter-offensive that would turn back the German advance. One of the keys to success was maintaining a Red Army bridgehead in Stalingrad itself that would keep the Germans locked into a gruelling war of attrition for the city.

This was the importance of the prolonged defensive battle of Stalingrad that the Soviets waged from August to November 1942. Victorious Soviet soldiers marching through the ruins of Stalingrad. Stalin and his generals had orchestrated a heroic defence of the city that was admired throughout the allied world. (Interfoto) The turning-point at Stalingrad came in November 1942, when the Soviets launched a multi-pronged offensive that surrounded Hitler’s armies in the city and threatened to cut off German forces advancing toward Baku.

In the event the Germans were able to execute a retreat that saved some of their southern armies, but their troops in Stalingrad remained trapped in the city and by early 1943 had either been wiped out or captured by the Red Army. When the dust had settled, the Germans and their allies had lost nearly 50 divisions and suffered casualties of one and a half million, including 150,000 dead in Stalingrad alone.

Hitler’s southern campaign was a complete failure, and the last real chance for the Germans to win the war on the Eastern Front had been lost. (See map, p.47.) Stalingrad was a triumph for Stalin and his generals. They had orchestrated a heroic defence of the city that was admired throughout the allied world, and demonstrated consummate operational art in the skilful execution of a complex strategic encirclement operation.

  • During the course of these operations the Soviet high command developed a coherence and dynamism that it maintained until the end of the war.
  • Central to this cohesion and creativity was Stalin’s leadership.
  • It was his authority and his handling of relations with and between his generals that united and energised the group.

Stalin continued to make mistakes—as did his generals—but these became fewer and less costly as the war progressed. After Stalingrad, German defeat on the Eastern Front was inevitable—as long as the Soviet people continued to make colossal sacrifices and providing that Stalin and his generals kept on winning the big battles.

The verdict on Stalin In an interview published in 1981 Averell Harriman, US ambassador in Moscow during the war, who had more direct dealings with Stalin than almost any other foreigner, summed up the dictator’s qualities as a warlord: ‘Stalin the war leader was popular, and there can be no doubt that he was the one who held the Soviet Union together.

I do not think anyone else could have done it. I’d like to emphasise my great admiration for Stalin the national leader in an emergency—one of those historic occasions when one man made such a difference. He had an enormous ability to absorb detail and to act on detail.

  • He was very much alert to the needs of the whole war machine.
  • These were not the characteristics of a bureaucrat, but rather those of an extremely able and vigorous war leader.’ Richard Overy’s verdict in his classic book Why the Allies won (1975) was that ‘Stalin brought a powerful will to bear on the Soviet war effort that motivated those around him and directed their energies.

In the process he expected and got exceptional sacrifices from his besieged people, revelations of the brutality of the wartime regime should not blind us to the fact that Stalin’s grip on the Soviet Union may have helped more than it hindered the pursuit of victory.’ In my book Stalin’s wars I take this argument a step further and argue that Stalin’s war leadership was indispensable to the Soviet victory and that without his personal contribution the war against Hitler may well have been lost. Geoffrey Roberts is Professor of History and International Relations at University College Cork. Further reading: C. Bellamy, Absolute war: Soviet Russia in the Second World War (Basingstoke, 2007).D. Glantz and J. House, When titans clashed: how the Red Army stopped Hitler (Kansas, 1995).E.

Why did Germany lose in Russia?

Although less well trained than their German counterparts, the Soviet Army was extremely large and they were more used to the difficult terrain than German troops. Having expected a quick victory, the German troops became more and more exhausted and they were unprepared for a Russian winter after months of warfare.

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How many people died in ww2?

World War II was the largest and most violent military conflict in human history. Official casualty sources estimate battle deaths at nearly 15 million military personnel and civilian deaths at over 38 million.

Who stopped World War 2?

Explore a timeline of key events before and during World War II. The mass murder of Europe’s Jews took place in the context of WWII. As German troops invaded and occupied more and more territory in Europe, the Soviet Union, and North Africa, the regime’s racial and antisemitic policies became more radical, moving from persecution to genocide.

September 18, 1931 Japan invades Manchuria. October 2, 1935–May 1936 Fascist Italy invades, conquers, and annexes Ethiopia. October 25–November 1, 1936 Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy sign a treaty of cooperation on October 25. On November 1, the Rome-Berlin Axis is announced. November 25, 1936 Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan sign the Anti-Comintern Pact. The pact is directed against the Soviet Union and the international Communist movement. July 7, 1937 Japan invades China. November 26, 1937 Italy joins Germany and Japan in the Anti-Comintern Pact. March 11–13, 1938 Germany incorporates Austria in the Anschluss,

September 29, 1938 Germany, Italy, Great Britain, and France sign the Munich agreement which forces the Czechoslovak Republic to cede the Sudetenland, including key Czechoslovak military defense positions, to Nazi Germany. March 14–15, 1939 Under German pressure, the Slovaks declare their independence and form a Slovak Republic. The Germans occupy the dismantled Czech lands in violation of the Munich agreement and form the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. March 31, 1939 France and Great Britain guarantee the integrity of the borders of the Polish state. April 7–15, 1939 Fascist Italy invades and annexes Albania. August 23, 1939 Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union sign a non-aggression agreement and a secret protocol dividing eastern Europe into spheres of influence. September 1, 1939 Germany invades Poland, initiating World War II in Europe, September 3, 1939 Honoring their guarantee of Poland’s borders, Great Britain and France declare war on Germany. September 17, 1939 The Soviet Union invades Poland from the east. The Polish government flees into exile via Romania, first to France and then later to Great Britain. September 27–29, 1939 Warsaw surrenders on September 27. Germany and the Soviet Union divide Poland between them. November 30, 1939–March 12, 1940 The Soviet Union invades Finland, initiating the so-called Winter War. The Finns sue for an armistice and cede the northern shores of Lake Ladoga to the Soviet Union. They also cede the small Finnish coastline on the Arctic Sea. April 9, 1940–June 9, 1940 Germany invades Denmark and Norway, Denmark surrenders on the day of the attack. Norway holds out until June 9. May 10, 1940–June 22, 1940 Germany attacks western Europe, specifically France and the neutral Low Countries (Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg). Luxembourg is occupied on May 10; the Netherlands surrenders on May 14; and Belgium surrenders on May 28. On June 22, France signs an armistice agreement by which the Germans occupy the northern half of the country and the entire Atlantic coastline. In southern France, a collaborationist regime with its capital in Vichy is established. June 10, 1940 Italy enters the war. Italy invades southern France on June 21. June 28, 1940 The Soviet Union forces Romania to cede the eastern province of Bessarabia and the northern half of Bukovina to Soviet Ukraine. June 14, 1940–August 6, 1940 The Soviet Union occupies the Baltic states (Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania) on June 14–18. On July 14–15, it engineers Communist coup d’états in each of these countries and then annexes them as Soviet Republics on August 3–6. July 10, 1940–October 31, 1940 The air war known as the Battle of Britain ends in defeat for Nazi Germany. August 30, 1940 Second Vienna Award: Germany and Italy arbitrate a decision on the division of the disputed province of Transylvania between Romania and Hungary. The loss of northern Transylvania forces Romanian King Carol to abdicate in favor of his son, Michael, and brings to power a dictatorship under General Ion Antonescu. September 13, 1940 The Italians invade British-controlled Egypt from Italian-controlled Libya. September 27, 1940 Germany, Italy, and Japan sign the Tripartite Pact. October 1940 Italy invades Greece from Albania on October 28. November 1940 Hungary (November 20), Romania (November 23), and Slovakia (November 24) join the Axis, February 1941 The Germans send the Afrika Korps to North Africa to reinforce the faltering Italians. March 1, 1941 Bulgaria joins the Axis, April 6, 1941–June 1941 Germany, Italy, and Hungary invade Yugoslavia and, together with Bulgaria, dismember it. Yugoslavia surrenders on April 17. Germany and Bulgaria invade Greece in support of the Italians. Resistance in Greece ceases in early June 1941. April 10, 1941 The leaders of the terrorist Ustaša movement proclaim the so-called Independent State of Croatia. Recognized immediately by Germany and Italy, the new state includes the province of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Croatia joins the Axis powers formally on June 15, 1941. June 22, 1941–November 1941 Nazi Germany and its Axis partners (except Bulgaria) invade the Soviet Union, Finland, seeking redress for the territorial losses in the armistice concluding the so-called Winter War, agrees to participate in the invasion. The Germans quickly overrun the Baltic states and, joined by the Finns, lay siege to Leningrad (St. Petersburg) by September. In the center, the Germans capture Smolensk in early August and drive on Moscow by October. In the south, German and Romanian troops capture Kiev (Kyiv) in September and capture Rostov on the Don River in November. December 6, 1941 A Soviet counteroffensive drives the Germans from the Moscow suburbs in chaotic retreat. December 7, 1941 Japan bombs Pearl Harbor, December 8, 1941 The United States declares war on Japan, entering World War II. Japanese troops land in the Philippines, French Indochina (Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia), and British Singapore. The Japanese occupy the Philippines, Indochina, and Singapore by April 1942 and take control of Burma in May. December 11–13, 1941 Nazi Germany and its Axis partners declare war on the United States. May 30, 1942–May 1945 The British bomb Köln (Cologne), in the start of a bombing campaign that brings the war home to Germany. Over the next three years Anglo-American bombing reduces urban Germany to rubble. June 1942 The US Navy halts the Japanese naval advance in the central Pacific at Midway. June 28, 1942–September 1942 Germany and its Axis partners launch a new offensive in the Soviet Union. German troops fight their way into Stalingrad (Volgograd) on the Volga River by mid-September and penetrate deep into the Caucasus after securing the Crimean Peninsula. With German forces in North Africa having penetrated Egypt, Germany was at the height of its military success in World War II.

August 7, 1942–February 9, 1943 For the first time, Allied forces go on the offensive against Japanese forces by landing on and taking Tulagi, Florida, and Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands. October 23–24, 1942 British troops defeat the Germans and Italians at El Alamein in Egypt, sending the Axis forces in chaotic retreat across Libya to the eastern border of Tunisia. November 8, 1942 US and British troops land at several points on the beaches of Algeria and Morocco in French North Africa. The failure of the Vichy French troops to defend against the invasion enables the Allies to move swiftly to the western border of Tunisia and triggers the German occupation of southern France on November 11. November 23, 1942–February 2, 1943 Soviet troops counterattack, breaking through the Hungarian and Romanian lines northwest and southwest of Stalingrad and trapping the German Sixth Army in the city. Forbidden by Hitler to retreat or try to break out of the Soviet ring, the survivors of the Sixth Army surrender on January 30 and February 2, 1943. May 13, 1943 Axis forces in Tunisia surrender to the Allies, ending the North African campaign. July 5, 1943 The Germans launch a massive tank offensive near Kursk in the Soviet Union. The Soviets blunt the attack within a week and begin an offensive initiative of their own. July 10, 1943 US and British troops land on Sicily. By mid-August, the Allies control Sicily. July 25, 1943 The Fascist Grand Council deposes Benito Mussolini, enabling Italian Marshall Pietro Badoglio to form a new government. September 8, 1943 The Badoglio government surrenders unconditionally to the Allies. The Germans immediately seize control of Rome and northern Italy, establishing a puppet Fascist regime under Mussolini, who is freed from imprisonment by German commandos on September 12. September 9, 1943 Allied troops land on the beaches of Salerno near Naples. November 6, 1943 Soviet troops liberate Kiev. January 22, 1944 Allied troops land successfully near Anzio, just south of Rome. March 19, 1944 Fearing Hungary’s intention to desert the Axis partnership, the Germans occupy Hungary and compel the regent, Admiral Miklos Horthy, to appoint a pro-German minister president. June 4, 1944 Allied troops liberate Rome. Within six weeks, Anglo-American bombers could hit targets in eastern Germany for the first time. June 6, 1944 British, US, and Canadian troops successfully land on the Normandy beaches of France, opening a “Second Front” against the Germans. June 22, 1944 The Soviets launch a massive offensive in eastern Belorussia (Belarus), destroying the German Army Group Center and driving westward to the Vistula River toward Warsaw in central Poland by August 1. July 25, 1944 Allied forces break out of the Normandy beachhead and race eastward towards Paris, August 1, 1944–October 5, 1944 The Home Army (the non-communist Polish resistance) rises up against the Germans in an effort to liberate Warsaw before the arrival of Soviet troops. The Soviet advance halts on the east bank of the Vistula. On October 5, the Germans accept the surrender of the remnants of the Home Army forces fighting in Warsaw. August 15, 1944 Allied forces land in southern France near Nice and advance rapidly towards the Rhine River to the northeast. August 20–25, 1944 Allied troops reach Paris. On August 25, Free French forces, supported by Allied troops, enter the French capital. By September, the Allies reach the German border. By December, virtually all of France, most of Belgium, and part of the southern Netherlands are liberated. August 23, 1944 The appearance of Soviet troops on the Prut River induces the Romanian opposition to overthrow the Antonescu regime. The new government concludes an armistice and immediately switches sides in the war. The Romanian turnaround compels Bulgaria to surrender on September 8, and the Germans to evacuate Greece, Albania, and southern Yugoslavia in October. August 29, 1944–October 28, 1944 Under the leadership of the Slovak National Council, consisting of both Communists and non-Communists, underground Slovak resistance units rise against the Germans and the indigenous fascist Slovak regime. In late October, the Germans capture Banská Bystrica, the headquarters of the uprising, and put an end to organized resistance. September 4, 1944 Finland agrees to sign an armistice with the Soviet Union and to expel German forces. October 15, 1944 The Hungarian fascist Arrow Cross movement carries out a coup d’état with German support to prevent the Hungarian government from pursuing negotiations for surrender to the Soviets. October 20, 1944 US troops land in the Philippines. December 16, 1944 The Germans launch a final offensive in the west, known as the Battle of the Bulge, in an attempt to re-conquer Belgium and split the Allied forces along the German border. By January 1, 1945, the Germans are in retreat. January 12, 1945 The Soviets launch a new offensive, liberating Warsaw and Krakow in January. They capture Budapest after a two-month siege on February 13, driving the Germans and their Hungarian collaborators out of Hungary in early April. March 7, 1945 US troops cross the Rhine River at Remagen, April 4, 1945 The capture of Bratislava forces Slovakia to surrender. April 13, 1945 Soviet forces capture Vienna. April 16, 1945 The Soviets launch their final offensive, encircling Berlin. April 1945 Partisan units, led by Yugoslav Communist leader Josip Tito, capture Zagreb and topple the Ustaša regime. The top Ustaša leaders flee to Italy and Austria. April 30, 1945 Hitler commits suicide. May 7–8, 1945 Germany signs an unconditional surrender at the headquarters of US General Dwight D. Eisenhower, Commander of Allied forces in northwest Europe, at Reims on May 7. The surrender takes effect on May 8 at 11:01 PM Central European time (CET). May 8, 1945 Germany signs a second, very similar, document of surrender in Berlin. It also comes into effect on May 8 at 11:01 PM CET. In Moscow, this was already after midnight on May 9. May 1945 Allied troops conquer Okinawa, the last island stop before the main Japanese islands. August 6, 1945 The United States drops an atomic bomb on Hiroshima. August 8, 1945 The Soviet Union declares war on Japan and invades Manchuria. August 9, 1945 The United States drops an atomic bomb on Nagasaki. September 2, 1945 Having agreed in principle to unconditional surrender on August 14, 1945, Japan formally surrenders, ending World War II.

How many died in hiroshima?

The US produced the first nuclear weapons during the Second World War following extensive scientific research dubbed the Manhattan Project, led by J Robert Oppenheimer, When they dropped two bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, the world had never experienced anything like it before.

Did Japan ever apologize for Pearl Harbor?

Background – At the end of the Pacific Theater of World War II, the Imperial Japanese government accepted the terms of the Potsdam Declaration, In 1945, the unconditional surrender of the Empire of Japan was formally confirmed aboard the Allied battleship, USS Missouri (BB-63),

Was Hiroshima revenge for Pearl Harbor?

President Harry S. Truman made the decision to use the atomic bomb against Japan in hopes that it would speed up the end of World War II, and also as retaliation for their attack on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor, which killed more than 2,400 Americans.

Why did Germany start both world wars?

If it was not hardships resulting from the treaty of 1919 that caused Germany to go to war again in 1939, what was the actual cause? A part of the cause was undoubtedly the business depression that started in the late 1920’s. All countries suffered from this depression, the United States as much as any—and Germany less than some other countries.

Everywhere there were bank crashes, business failures, and millions of workers unemployed. In no other countries, except Japan and Italy, did this lead people to think of war as a remedy. But in Germany certain groups that wanted another war used the depression to make many of the people believe that their sufferings were due to the malice of the countries which had defeated them in World War I.

The fact that those countries were suffering equally was disregarded. The troubles of the Germans were blamed largely on reparations payments—though no reparations were being paid, or had, in reality, ever been paid, except out of money advanced by the Allies.

By propaganda on an immense scale, the misery and discontent resulting from the depression were turned into hatred of other countries. A belief was fostered that the way of escape for Germany would be through extending its territory and increasing its wealth at the expense of those other countries—if need be, by war.

But long before the depression, and years before Hitler came to power, there were two groups of Germans who were determined not to accept Germany’s defeat in the first World War as final. These were, first, the officers, especially the higher officers, of the old professional army, and second, the heads of some of the big industrial organizations and trusts, especially the munitions manufacturers.

These worked together, and their platform (“Pan-Germanism”) even before the first World War demanded the expansion of Germany’s power and territory by force of arms. The defeat of 1918 did not cause them to give up their program; they believed the defeat was only a temporary setback. These groups, however, had no very large support among the German people until the National Socialist (Nazi) Party was formed.

This party was founded and headed by men with great skill in political organization and in arousing resentful feelings among the masses. The military group and some of the industrial magnates, who provided money for the Nazi party’s political campaigns, thought to use it as a tool.

  • Hitler himself was at first a paid secret agent of a clique of army officers, though in the end he became far more powerful than his original backers and far more ruthless.
  • But to understand fully what happened in Germany in these twenty years, and especially in the 1930’s, it is necessary—many students of German history think—to understand certain ideas and feelings which influenced many Germans long before Hitler’s regime, but for which he became the most effective propagandist.

One of these is the belief that the Germans are a superior race, the “master race” of the world, who have a right and a duty to extend their power and impose their ideas and their kind of civilization upon all other and “inferior” peoples. Especially after the last war, this belief, preached by hundreds of writers and orators, gained an enormous hold upon the German mind—the more easily because it gave relief from the sense of inferiority and the humiliation which had been caused by defeat.

  • All who accepted it were bound to look forward to another and a bigger war—a war for world supremacy—as necessary and desirable.
  • Today Germany belongs to us, Tomorrow the whole world” the Hitler Youth sang in one of their marching songs.
  • It was largely by playing upon these ideas and feelings and by arousing hatred against Jews, bankers, Communists, German believers in democracy, and all democratic foreign countries, that the Nazi party got great masses of the German people to support it, so that by 1933 it was the largest single political party in Germany.

In that year the German people were in part persuaded and in part terrorized into giving Adolf Hitler absolute power. That he would in time use this power to start another war, many Germans who could read, or who had heard the speeches of Hitler and other Nazi orators, must have realized.

Why did Japan get involved in WW2?

The United States Declares War – After the attack on Pearl Harbor, Japan achieved a long series of military successes. In December 1941, Guam, Wake Island, and Hong Kong fell to the Japanese, followed in the first half of 1942 by the Philippines, the Dutch East Indies (Indonesia), Malaya, Singapore, and Burma.

Japanese troops also invaded neutral Thailand and pressured its leaders to declare war on the United States and Great Britain. Only in mid-1942 were Australian and New Zealander forces in New Guinea and British forces in India able to halt the Japanese advance. The turning point in the Pacific war came with the American naval victory in the Battle of Midway in June 1942.

The Japanese fleet sustained heavy losses and was turned back. In August 1942, American forces attacked the Japanese in the Solomon Islands, forcing a costly withdrawal of Japanese forces from the island of Guadalcanal in February 1943. Allied forces slowly gained naval and air supremacy in the Pacific, and moved methodically from island to island, conquering them and often sustaining significant casualties.

  • The Japanese, however, successfully defended their positions on the Chinese mainland until 1945.
  • In October 1944, American forces began retaking the Philippines from Japanese troops, who surrendered in August 1945.
  • That same year, the United States Army Air Forces launched a strategic bombing campaign against Japan.

British forces recaptured Burma. In early 1945, American forces suffered heavy losses during the invasions of Iwo Jima (February) and Okinawa (April), an island of strategic importance off the coast of the Japanese home islands. Despite these casualties and suicidal Japanese air attacks, known as Kamikaze attacks, American forces conquered Okinawa in mid-June 1945.

What was the deadliest war in history?

World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China.