World War 2

The Second World War began in 1939 and ended in 1945 and engaged most of Europe and Asia into combat between the Allies and the Axis powers.

128,549 Questions
World War 2
World War 1
US in WW2

How many battles were there in World War 1?

Answer 89 BattlesAccording to "A Dictionary of Battles 1816-1976(1977) there were 89 battles in the First World War, all fronts included, though this does not include every skirmish or limited action that could not be considered a general "battle", perse. These engagements include, for instance, the Isonzo campaign in Italy that involved over ten separate phases over three years, as well as the East African campaign whereby the British tried desperately to hunt down the German Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck from the very beginning of the war until the German surrender. Obviously, this involved many small and fierce engagements, but it is one entry in this dictionary.

Nonetheless, I would answer 89 based on this reference material.

i went on a website recently, and gave up counting at 121 battles.

World War 2

What were some of the causes of World War 2?

The primary reason in short: England and France didn't want to share power with Germany, so they declared war.

World War 2
Harry Truman
Atomic Bombs

Why did Truman decide to use the atomic bomb against Japan?

he thought it would be a funny bruh moment

World War 2

When did World War 2 start?


Germany invaded Poland on September 1 and on September 3, 1939 France and Britain declared war on Germany.

However, despite the fact that the Allies did not declare war on Japan until December 1941, Japanese aggression included the occupation of Manchuria as early as 1931, and open war with China between 1937 and 1945. Their plans to control the western Pacific prompted their attack on the US fleet.


By convention the date generally given by historians is 1 September 1939, when Germany invaded Poland, but it wasn't an official war until 3 September 1939, when England and France declared war on Germany after Germany's invasion of Poland. It ended on September 2, 1945 with the surrender of Japan, after the United States dropped two atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The following other events are occasionally cited as possible starting points:

  • 3 September 1939: Britain and France declared war on Germany following the German invasion of Poland.
  • 7 July 1937: The Japanese invasion of China (the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War).
  • 1931: The Japanese invasion of Manchuria.
  • Others argue that the two world wars are one conflict separated only by a "ceasefire."

    Here are other significant dates of the war:

  • 10 June, 1940: Fascist Italy declares war on Britain and France.
  • 7 December, 1941: Japan attacks America without any declaration of war.
  • 8 December 8, 1941: America declares war on Japan.
  • 11 December, 1941: Germany and Fascist Italy declare war on America.
  • 8 September, 1943 Fascist Italy surrenders.
  • 13 October, 1943: Italy declares war on Germany.
  • 19 April, 1945: German forces in Italy surrender.
  • 8 May, 1945: Germany surrenders (VE Day, Victory in Europe Day).
  • 2 September, 1945: Japan surrenders (VJ Day, Victory over Japan Day). General Okamura Yasiyi submitted surrender to Douglas MacArthur and Admiral Chester Nimitz on the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay.


  • The end of WWII was in 1945. However, there were some Japanese soldiers on isolated islands in the Pacific who never got the message that the war ended (or they believed it was a trick) and they fought on for years afterward. Believe it or not, the last Japanese soldier to surrender was Second Lieutenant Hiroo Onada who emerged from the Philippine jungle in 1974 to finally surrender. His book, "No Surrender - My Thirty-Year War" is fascinating.


The commencement of World War 2 has different dates in different countries. To the Americans, World War 2 started on December 7th, 1941, when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. To Britain, France, Canada, Poland, World War 2 started on Sept. of 1939, when Nazi Germany attacked Poland. To Czechoslovakia, World War Two started in March of 1939, when Nazi Germany attacked them. To the Ethiopians, World War Two started in 1936, when Italy attacked. To the Chinese, it dates back to 1931, when Japan occupied Manchuria. The Russians date the start in June 1941 (not 1939).


World War 2 "started" on the 3rd of September, when Britain and France declared war on Germany. (They had a treaty with Poland). The war ended in early May 1945 in Europe, Hitler having committed suicide in April of that year. The war in Japan ended after their surrender to the Americans in response to the A-bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki - respectively the 6th and 9th of August 1945.


By a long-standing convention, the dates are usually given as 1939-1945, except in Russia, where they are usually given as 1941-1945. If one gives another starting date, one conveys the message that one is making some point or other, for example, that one is claiming that the sufferings of the Chinese have not been given the attention they deserve. As for the notion that WW1 and WW2 were one war with a 20-year truce, this is not meant literally.

World War II began on 9/3/39, 2 days after the invasion of Poland. Britain and France ordered Germany to halt the invasion of Poland and when they refused, Britain and France declared war.
Sept 01, 1939
September 1, 1939, when Germany invaded Poland.
World War 2

How did World War 2 begin?

What Started WW2

The question "How did World War 2 start?" or "What started World War 2?" can be considered distinct from "What caused World War 2?" For the latter, see the Related Question link.

There are many views on exactly when and where World War 2 started, and what started it.

The War in Europe

One view is that there was only one world war. It started in 1914 and finished in 1945, with a break from 1918-1939 while the Germans regrouped. (Kaiser Wilhelm, or at least the German General Staff, had similar foreign policy aims to those of Hitler: a vast program of expansion with visions of world domination.) However, this view of one long war, with a 20 year truce is often not meant literally, and needs treating with caution. Hindsight easily distorts. It is inaccurate to view the whole of the interwar period as one vast build-up to World War 2.More commonly, people believe World War 2 started in 1939. On 1 September 1939, Hitler and the Nazis faked a Polish attack on a minor German radio station in order to justify a German invasion of Poland. An hour later Hitler declared war on Poland stating one of his reasons for the invasion was because of "the attack by regular Polish troops on the Gleiwitz transmitter."

France and Britain had a defensive pact with Poland. This forced France and Britain to declare war on Germany, which they did on September 3.

The War in the PacificSome say World War 2 started in late 1931 with the Japanese invasion of Manchuria. This is sometimes referred to as the Mukden Incident. The major invasion of China by Japan was in 1937.

Japan had long been coveting mainland resources, invading China and (en route) Korea for centuries. Under the guise of The Co-Prosperity Sphere (8-Lands Under One Umbrella), Japan plotted an imperial takeover of Asia and the Pacific in the style of Western imperialism less than a century earlier.

The US opposed this movement and placed embargoes on Japan. Searching for supplies and rebelling against US intervention, Japan embarked on its Oriental conquest. Hoping to keep the US Air Force out of Japan's way, Admiral Yamamoto led the attack on Pearl Harbor. Unfortunately they opened fire 30 minutes before the proclamation of war was officially delivered, so many viewed it as a violation of military convention (Adm. Yamamoto regretted this fact; he admired Western military practices).

Note that one reason many people say WWII started in 1939 by Hitler's invasion of Poland instead of by Japan in 1937 is because the former is the moment when the first main Allied nation declared war on an Axis nation (Britain declares war on Germany). Rather than be specific and say the first shots of origin started with Japan's invasion, it is pointed out that no main Allied nation had declared war at that time.

The War in AfricaSome people consider the war in Africa as starting with the 1935 invasion of Ethiopia by Italy. However, few Italians take the view that Italy was at war from 1935-1945.

Here's more from Wiki s contributors:

  • For the European Theater it began with Germany's attack on Poland which drew England and France into the fray. Pearl Harbor marked the start of the Pacific Theater. Germany's declaration of war against the US folded them together into a worldwide conflict.
  • It began when Britain and France declared war on Germany in response to Germany's invasion of Poland.

Japan bombed US planes and installation at Pearl Harbor, drawing the US into the war.
World War 2

What countries took part in World War 2?

Allies Vs Axis Powers:World War 2 involved most of the world's nations which fought for either of two military alliances - the Axis Powers and the Allies.

The key members of the Allies of World War 1 - France, Britain, Russia and the United States once again fought against Germany but they also had to fight against their former allies of Italy and Japan which joined the Nazi Germany.

Just like World War 1, World War 2 started in Europe with the German invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939, which is traditionally viewed as the beginning of war.

Prior to 1939 Japan had invaded and was already at war with China. The United States refused to be drawn into the European war and remained neutral up until the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbour (by Japan).

Countries that Joined the Allies:Most of the countries of world joined the Allies although some of them were controlled by pro-Axis regimes. The original anti-German military alliance consisting of Poland, France and Britain was eventually joined by the following countries (by alphabetical order):
  • Aden Protectorate (former South Yemen)
  • Albania
  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Belgium
  • Bolivia
  • Brazil
  • British Malaya (today's Malaysia and Singapore)
  • British Raj (today's India, Bangladesh, Burma and Pakistan)
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • China
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Cuba
  • Cyprus
  • Czechoslovakia
  • Denmark
  • Dominican Republic
  • Dutch East Indies (present-day Indonesia and New Guinea)
  • Ecuador
  • El Salvador
  • French Indochina (today's Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam)
  • French Guiana
  • Greece
  • Guatemala
  • Guyana
  • Haiti
  • Honduras
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Mexico
  • Mongolia
  • The Netherlands
  • Newfoundland
  • New Zealand
  • Nicaragua
  • Norway
  • Palestine
  • Panama
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Soviet Union
  • Syria
  • Trucial States (today's United Arab Emirates)
  • Turkey
  • The United States
  • Uruguay
  • Venezuela
  • Yugoslavia

The Allied coalition also included all African countries except for Italian colonies of Somalia, Ethiopia and Italian North Africa (present-day Libya), and Spanish and Portuguese colonies of Mozambique, Angola, Spanish Sahara (present-day Western Sahara) and Portuguese Guinea (today's Guinea-Bissau) which were neutral like their colonial rulers. Countries such as Italy which later left the Axis powers and joined the Allies are not considered Allied states.

States that Allied Themselves with the Axis Powers:The Axis powers were officially founded by the Tripartite Pact signed between the Nazi Germany, Italy and Japan on September 27, 1940. Countries that allied themselves with the Axis powers include:
  • Bulgaria
  • Finland
  • Hungary
  • Romania
  • Vichy France
  • Thailand
  • Formosa (present-day Taiwan)
  • Manchuria

The Axis powers created a number of puppet states in occupied areas but they usually are not considered Axis states although some of them actively collaborated with the Axis such as the newly established Independent State of Croatia and the Slovak Republic. However, both of them ceased to exist after the end of World War 2 and were rejoined with Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia, respectively, both of which were Allied states.

Neutral Countries:Few countries remained neutral during the entire World War 2:
  • Switzerland
  • Sweden
  • Spain
  • Portugal
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Afghanistan
  • North Yemen
  • Oman
  • Nepal
  • Tibet and the above mentioned Spanish and Portuguese colonies in Africa.

germany, america, japan, russia, france, and england.
World War 2
War and Military History

What does the D stand for in D-Day?

Although there are a lot of interesting theories (“departure,” “deliverance,” and “doom,” to name a few), it doesn't really stand for anything. The term "D-Day" has been used by the U.S. military since at least 1918 as an “alliterative placeholder” for the day an operation is supposed to take place. This means that although we use it to refer to the invasion of Normandy in World War II, there's actually been a lot of D-Days.

The term was part of a larger system for keeping track of dates: D-3, for example, means three days before D-Day, and D+3 means three days after.

World War 2
US Navy

How many aircraft carriers does the US have?

As of 2012: 11

  • Enterprise class carriers:
    • Enterprise
  • Active Nimitz class carriers:
    • Nimitz
    • Dwight D. Eisenhower
    • Carl Vinson
    • Theodore Roosevelt
    • Abraham Lincoln
    • George Washington
    • John C. Stennis
    • Harry S. Truman
    • Ronald Reagan
    • George H.W. Bush
World War 2
World War 1
Canada in WW2

How many people were killed in World War 2?

Estimates range from about 50-70 million killed in World War 2. The Wikipedia article "World War II Casualties" favours the relatively high figure of 72 million. Of these, 61 million were on the Allied side and 11 million were on the Axis side. The article gives a figure of 23 million dead for the Soviet Union and 20 million for China. These figures of course include civilian dead. (Note that the figure for China was recently revised sharply upwards from earlier estimates of about 11 million).

For Germany the overall total is given as just under 7.4 million.

When scholarly sources differ on the number of deaths in a country, a range of war losses is given, in order to inform readers that the death toll is uncertain or disputed. One also needs to know whether the statistics, especially for civilian dead, include deaths from war-related famine and disease.

Please see the related links for details. During world war II over 60 million people were killed 5,341 million jillion

World War 2

What were the effects of World War 2?

Effects of World War 2Complex and Detailed

World War 2 was unusual in that for the first time in modern history (perhaps 500 years?), civilians were killed in greater numbers than soldiers. This was despite WWII being the bloodiest 'soldiers' war in all history.

It is estimated that about 30,000,000 soldiers died in the conflict from battle ( a few million more from mistreatment at POWs, roughly half and half Allied and Axis). However, over 50,000,000 civilians died.

Civilians were deliberately targeted by the bombing raids conducted by the British against German targets, this being British government policy during the conflict. American bombers tried to be more 'accurate' and only attack targets of some military value - industries, military targets - but still caused many civilian deaths. German retaliation again Britain was by necessity scattered, killing perhaps 1/10th the number killed by British air crews.

Politically, World War 2 resulted in a weaker influence of Western Europe. Previously, Western Europe had shaped much of the way the world ran. After World War 2, though, when these nations were exhausted economically, militarily, etc. they began to BE shaped. The result was a bipolar equilibrium, that is, two superpowers: the United States and the Soviet Union.

In Russia there were millions of civilians who died. Some were targets of Nazi racial policy (Jews) and political motivation (communist party members). German military actions also killed many civilians such as the 1942 air raid on Stalingrad that killed about 60,000. Many civilians died of starvation to a large extent due to the Russian government policy of destroying all food supplies they could during retreats. Otherwise, the Russian army used civilians of all ages as cannon fodder to rush German defensive positions (useful to identify gun emplacements or even to just force the Germans to use up ammunition). Russians forces continued their brutal ways as they entered Germany and Poland. Probably two million defenseless German civilians were murdered outright by their armies.

Militarily, new technologies, from much improved tanks and airplanes to the deadly atomic bomb, had been developed to make wars faster and more brutal. Other developments that pertained to daily life were nylon, various other synthetics and other practical inventions. World War 2 brought about many changes. Women were finally granted the right to participate in voting in France and Italy. Women were also much more exposed to the work force as most of the men were off into the war.

Here is more input:

  • The Allied forces won WWII, and it pulled America out of the Great Depression, along with Great Britain and France who were still trying to pay us back from WWI. You see, we gave money to Germany to help pull them out of a depression, and Germany gave that money to Great Britain and France for war debts. GB and France would then give the money back to us, completing the circle. When we went into the Great Depression this money stopped flowing.
  • That requires a LONG answer, but in general terms it could be said that: The world got to be divided in two (mainly). Bloc 1, led by the USA/UK and the other one by the USSR and later on, Communist China. Communism expanded over the world, colonialism started to disappear for good (in theory!), and later, in '48, the Republic of Israel was formed, among other countries, but due to its position in the map this one is very special, also let's not forget that the Jews were just surviving the Holocaust. There is a lot more in expansion of Commmunism and the cold war, and the foundation of U.N.O. but that is too long to be answered here.
  • During the last year of WWII in Europe, the USSR had liberated the Eastern half of Europe, and the Allies had liberated the Western Half. After the war ended the USSR refused to retreat back to its old borders. (They DID capture this land fairly, had suffered the most deaths in the war, and when that happens you sorta do get pissed off...) When WWII ended it left Europe divided in two: Communism and Democracy. Patton during WWII had predicted that after the Axis was defeated the next enemy would be Communism. How right he was.!
  • After WWII the US entered the longest "war" it had ever been in through its history. Aside from the Cold War, we do still suffer from effects of WWII. In the second Persian Gulf war its impossible for Germany or Japan to provide military support due to the fact that they can't build up any army larger than a defense force.
  • In 1949, 12 nation set up the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Then in 1954, the South East Asia Treaty was created for defense of the Far East, created by Australia, Britain, France, New Zealand, Pakistan, the Philippines, Thailand, and the United States.
  • The good effects: More people had a job. Women had a chance to work. Independence for some nations. Hitler died. U.S.A had a end to their depression. The bad effects: Lots of people died. Bombs destroyed many buildings. Food shortage for nations. Children had their parents leave them to go to war. People lost family members. World was divided. Many countries became Communist. Countries were also short of food for a few years after the war.
  • The brutality did not end with the end of the war either. In particular the Soviets continued to brutalize the people of eastern Europe, especially the German civilians. Other nations such as the Chezchs, Poles, and French also killed many German civilians after the war.
  • The barriers of civilization that were broken down in WWI have never been repaired. WWII was merely the opening act to the modern warfare technique of deliberately killing civilians. Thus we see the wave of terrorist attacks against police, schools, and religious persons in Iraq and other nations right up to the the major world powers targeting each others populations centers with atomic weapons.
  • The end of the WW II led to imperialistic domination of USA, USSR in the world. AS the result, world witnessed strong opposing Superpowers trying to influence Third World countries, fighting wars on their soil and killing their weak economies. WW II was not fought for people, but greedy leaders... COLD WAR that's the main result of WW II, arms race, nuclear warheads built-up, your so-called 'democracy' vs. Communism - that's what was the result of horrible accident of people's stupidity.
  • Some of the effects of World War 2 were the destruction of cities and families and the unprecedentedly large number of deaths amongst civilians and soldiers. Those are the obvious answers. Another after effect of World War 2 was the Cold War. The world lived with the threat of nucleur warfare between the two most powerful nations, the United States and the Soviet Union.
  • Please have the hospitality of visiting a website: The site is a tribute to the men who fought in died in the Normandy landings on D-Day created by a 14 year old. (Something you should take the interest in learning about if you haven't already.)

Overly Simplistic

United Nations set up to avoid further world wars

Germany divided among France, Britain, US and USSR

cold war between US and USSR, potential nuclear war

Japan abandons its military bases in the Pacific to US and Britain

Korean war: North Korea, China, USSR v South Korea and US

World War 2
WW2 Allied Powers

What countries made up the Allies in World War 2?







History, Politics & Society
World War 2

How did the life of women differ after World War 2?

Have you ever seen the reallity TV show, where a family is picked to go backin timne and have to live inwartime England? "The 1940s House" It is great. See for yourself what changes did happened!

World War 2

What countries were neutral in World War 2?

These countries were neutral during the Second World War:

  • Eire (Republic if Ireland)
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Spain
  • Afghanistan
  • Portugal

Denmark was officially neutral but was occupied by Germany throughout the war.

Some countries in the Americas remained neutral until the closing few months of the war. These included Chile and Argentina

Also you can add Andorra, Guatemala, Liechtenstein, Saudi Arabia and Yemen to the list.

While the Northern Irish fought on the Allied side, the remainder of Ireland stayed neutral.

World War 2
History of the United States

How did World War 2 affect the US economy?

WW2 affected the economy of the United States in a positive manner. The unemployed population (around 25% of the American population) found jobs working in the factories where they manufactured aircraft, artillery, and other sources/supplies needed to effectively fight a global war on the monumental scale of the second World War. Since the unemployed have jobs, the Great Depression had ended and the United States became exceptionally prosperous in the period of WW2. We would rise to become the only extant superpower in the world and have the world's largest economy of which other countries around the globe rely on. Although, the might of some European and Asian countries who once exceeded the power of the United States have closed in the books of world history and possibly would not achieve the scale of power they once possessed ever again. To sum it up, the US benefitted from WW2 when a majority of the world (Britain, France, Germany, etc.) is under a permanent shadow of their once-dominant past.

World War 2
Britain in WW2
Winston Churchill

Who was prime minister after Winston Churchill?

Winston Churchill served as Prime Minister twice. 1940 - 1945 and 1951 - 1955. In between those two reigns was Clement Attlee. After Winston's last reign it was Anthony Eden.

A sovereign (king, queen, emperor, empress, czar, czarina) reigns.

A prime minister holds office.

World War 2
Decade - 1940s

What was life like in World War 2 in fashion music culture art etc?

If you really want to see what the fashions and music and art were like I suggest you watch the movies made during the wartime. There are probably a hundred movies you could see. There are books in the Library too. Hair was curled in curlers and worn curly and wavy. Straight hair on women was curled but the young girls had their hair braided. Some of the women braided their hair too. Many women had short, wavy or curly hair. The men had the hairstyle with the left hand part and it would be consider cut close to the head. Men wore suits, women wore dresses and no pants unless doing manufacturing for the war effort. Kids: The girls wore dresses and sometimes pants or shorts. Boys wore striped tee shirts or button down shirts with blue jeans and sneakers. The girls wore Mary Jane dress shoes or sneakers. Music was the swing band style music like Tommy Dorsey did. Women wore aprons over their dresses when they worked in the house. Some wore them from the time they got up until they changed into nightgowns or flannel pajamas. Many people fashioned themselves after the Hollywood stars.

World War 2
WW1 Homefront

Is there a list of military cross winners?


World War 2
Germany in WW2
US in WW2

How many Allied casualties were there during the occupation of Germany after World War 2?

Casualties after V-E DayThe exact numbers are hard to come by. I have read as high as 700. I don't know for sure. It took 7 years to eliminate all Nazi sympathizers.

Here is more input:

  • The final guerrilla resistance was not stamped out until 1948. They sniped, they planted bombs, and one of their favorite tricks was to stretch a rope across a road at the right height so that people riding in an open jeep would catch it in the neck. This could result in a broken neck or outright decapitation. The occupying forces executed guerillas when they caught them, the British used beheadings, and even resorted to taking and executing hostages.

Here is recommended reading:

  • "The Last Nazis: SS Werewolf Guerrilla Resistance in Europe, 1944-47" by Perry Biddiscombe; Stroud, Glouchestershire (Charleston, SC); Tempus Publishing, Ltd. 2000 ISBN: 0 7524 1793 2

It will thoroughly cover the topic of Allied Occupation Troops after V-E Day.

COMMENTIt's a strange thing, but Perry Biddiscombe's book is the only work that talks about 'Werewolf' guerrillas and it should be viewed very skeptically. There's no lack of American and British veterans who were in Germany in 1944-48. How many of them have mentioned areas that were dangerous because of Nazi guerrillas? On the contrary, most comment on how completely broken the German will to fight was.

Biddescombe offers no evidence to support his assertion. Surely, were there such resistance, the places, dates, names of victims, etc. would be available. Lacking such supporting evidence, one is tempted to dismiss the claim as urban myth. There was indisputably criminal violence in the aftermath of WWII, and the US Constabulary in Germany did have casualties, but the last confirmed instance of organized resistance was in Aachen in March of 1945. It seems that the work includes incidents that took place during the war.

It is widely suspected that talk of 'Werewolf' guellirras was 'talked up' by the Bush adminstration in order to try to explain insurgency in Iraq.

World War 2
War and Military History

What does the 'D' in D-Day stand for?

The 'D' in D-Day

"D-Day" and "H-Hour" are general terms used for the day and hour to mark the beginning of an important event.

By far the most well-known D-Day is June 6, 1944, when the Allied invasion of German-occupied France began in WWII.

The "D" was used to mark the day that a particular operation was to begin. Each operation had a D-day and an H-hour.

Because D-Day of Operation Overlord was the largest amphibious assault in military history, it became the popular expression to refer to June 6, 1944, and was not used to mark the first day of an operation thereafter - as far as I know. It basically took on the persona that the phrase "9/11" has taken to refer to the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.

General Eisenhwer and Winston Churchill may have tried to give the "D" an actual meaning for the benefit of the press and the civilians, but previous to that, it did not stand for anything except "day" (as noted previously).

Another response

Indeed, D = Day and H = Hour, but I will elaborate a little: The invasion (or any major operation) was planned way in advance without a date being assigned for commencement. This was done for security reasons and to keep the element of surprise so that the enemy response would be minimal. For purposes of planning, you assumed the operation would start at D-Day and H-hour, with the day and time to be determined later. Then you can plan for how things will proceed, starting from Day 1 - 0 hour and start counting as in D+1 day, D+2 day, etc. Only at the last minute did anyone know what day the whole thing would actually take place.

With June 6, 1944, for example, they had to wait on the weather, amongst other things.

World War 2

Was the Holocaust the same thing as World War 2?

No. World War 2 in Europe was a major war between the Allies (Britain, the U.S., Russia, Canada and many other countries on the one hand) and Germany, Italy and various other countries on the other. In Europe was initially triggered by the German invasion of Poland in September 1939 and lasted from 1939-1945.

The Holocaust refers to:

  1. The Nazi genocide of the Jews in 1941-45 during World War 2. In all, a total of about six million Jews were murdered.
  2. In addition, many others were murdered on the basis of group identity, including 'gypsies', Jehovah's Witnesses, homosexuals, Polish intellectuals, Communists and others. Historians generally do not include these groups in the Holocaust.
  3. The Holocaust was a kind of 'subplot' of World War 2. Saying this is not intended to diminish its significance but to put it in the context of World War 2
  4. Some historians, such as Christopher Browning, see the Holocaust as part of a wider campaign by the Nazis to rid the world of what the latter called 'Jewish Bolshevism' ('Jewish Communism').



  • When the Nazis invaded Poland, Belgium, the Netherlands, France, and the Soviet Union ('Russia') it was for land.
  • The Nazis invaded country after country, and this brought more and more Jews under German control. As a result, the Nazis' self-inflicted 'Jewish problem' grew and grew for them. (In particular, the invasion of Poland and, later, of the Soviet Union, brought a huge increase in the number of Jews under Nazi rule).
  • The war shielded the Holocaust from outside intervention, in much the same way as World War 1 shielded the Ottoman Turkish genocide of the Armenians in 1915.
  • The Nazis conducted the Holocaust largely in Poland, which is difficult to reach from Allied bomber bases in, say, Britain.
World War 2
Australia in WW2

How and why did Australia's relationship with Britain and the US change during World War 2?

Australia and Britain were very close, mainly due to the fact that Britain founded Australia, and Australia considered them their "mother country". However in World War 2, the relationship started to change, and it started with the British Prime Minister Churchill diverting Australia's 6th and 7th Divisions to reinforce their own troops in Burma when Australia needed them for their defense due to the Japanese advance. This was done without consultation, but eventually, Australian Prime Minister Curtin, managed to get the troops back. This caused some of the changes between Australia and Great Britain. Another reason is because Britain could not help Australia when they needed them most, even when Australia helped Britain when they needed it. This caused PM Curtin to publicly appeal to the US for military assistance, and this was done on 27 December, 1941 (I think). The US came immediately, as they were also eager to drive back the Japanese who bombed Pearl Harbour. The US commander Douglas MacArthur arrived in March the next year and became Supreme Commander of all Allied Forces in the South-West Pacific, and Australia became his headquarters for command. The US military assistance was vital in driving back the Japanese, and they were considered as saviors by Australians. However, as time wore on, the relationship began to sour, with Australian commanders resenting MacArthur's arrogant manner and the way he deployed Australian troops and undervalued their efforts. Sometimes, fights would occur, which occasionally became serious, resulting with deaths. However, the US did help Australia drive the Japanese back and win the war. The original relationship between Britain and Australia resumed, but with Australia being more cautious and independent.

Ever since WWI, Australia's relationship with its traditional ally and mother country Britain had been waning. The senseless slaughter of the ANZAC's at Galipoli is credited to the 'birth' of the new Australian nation and spirit. Australians decided that their troops would never be put in complete control of the British ever again. So Australia (still closely tied with Britain because it was a colony) went in search for a new 'mother' nation. The Americans were the answer. America (A growing world power) and Australia announced that it would now work as closely with the Americans as possible. Despite all this when WW2 broke out the Australian soldiers were still sent off to help the British fight 'their war' and were not allowed to withdraw when the troops were needed to defend their own country. The big transfer of 'mother' nations came when the Japanese began to expand further and further into south east Asia, and threatening Australia. The Australian PM appealed to the US President directly and gave the message that Australia would be at Americas 'beck-and-call' as long as they helped fight the Japanese, prevent invasion of Australia and free south east Asia. With the bombing of Pearl Harbour America not only entered the war but sent huge numbers of army units to the south pacific to help fight off the Japanese. The alliance of the US and Australia began during WW1 but really took off during ww2 and both countries are still closely aligned today.

Britain's Prime Minister Churchill, without the consultation with Australia's prime minister Curtin commanded Australian troops to fight in the middle east for Britain's defenses.

Also because Britain in the end was having enough trouble of her own dealing with Nazi Germany, Australia realised she could not rely on Britain anymore and turned to the US.

Britain is Australians mother country; Australia looked up to Britain for everything. When War was declared by Britain the prime minister of Australia also declared war. �It is my melancholy duty to inform you officially that in consequence of persistence by Germany and her invasion of Poland, Great Britain has declared war upon her and that, as a result, Australia is also at war.� When Australia needed its troops at Australia because Japan was attacking they got them back. Australia looked to Britain for help but they said no and this is were America came in. Australia's relationships during WW2 undertook serious changes that still affect us today. Australia stopped looking to Britain for the support it used to and started looking to America. American and Australian troops disliked each other but worked together on that battle field. The Americans were brought into the war due to Pearl Harbour and Australia formed a relationship with them almost immediately. I think that this downfall in Australian and Britain's friendship wasn't smart because even though Australia is still in the commonwealth and ruled by the queen, we still look to America and our allies with America rather than Britain.

Australia had always depended on a great power for protection and that power had always been Britain, the Mother Country. Now Britain was fighting for its own survival against Germany and the Nazis. Britain's Empire in the far East was falling to Japan. So instead of focusing on Britain for protection, Australia's interests shifted to America. John Curtin (Australia's PM at the time) soon realized that the US alone has the power and capacity to assist Australia if ever there was an invasion from Japan, which was foreseen. Also the fact that Britain did not come to Australia's aid when they were under attack weakened their relationship somewhat. Australia was just a minion of the "Mother Country" to be protected at all costs.

This is just my opinion, but here goes. the ANZACS was part of the commonwealth and her military served at the pleasure of the King, under "British Officers" In WW1 the Aussies felt their men were used as cannon fodder (which they were) and they could see the same thing happening again They thought the Brits had left their men to die in SE Asia. The opinion of most Australians is that the British will fight to the last Australian. And by the way they were no better treated by the Americans. They have been sorely treated from the time of Galipoli until now.

Australia's relationship between England and the USA endured a critical turning point as a result of the war. When the war broke out in 1939, Australia considered itself apart of the British Empire, and has always supported Britain's interests. So in 1939 when WW11 broke out, Australia declared its support for Britain and troops of the 6th, 7th and 9th battalion were sent to the Middle East, 27000 Australians in the air force were involved in the Empire Air Training Scheme that provided air crews to fight in Britain, and half the Australian navy went to the Mediterranean to assist the war effort. There was always the mutual agreement that if support was required in Australia, Britain would immediately come to her aid. The reality was that when Australia was attacked in 1942, Britain failed to keep their promise to Australia and did not provide support or aid. Australia became aware that they were both vulnerable and alone, and since the British government had neither the will nor power to support Austria, the Australian government turned to the USA. The realisation that the British empire had failed to support Australia was an important turning point in Australia's relationship with Britain. The USA did come to Australia's aid in 1942 but the motive was very much in America's self interest. Given the danger of Japanese advances form the North and the failure of Britain's support, the Australian government had little choice but to comply with the US military plans and strategy. Britain was no longer considered as Australia's protector and provider but instead America resumed the role. WW11 marked the beginning for Australia's relationship with America that would be further demonstrated through Australia's support to the USA in future wars.

Note: The war against Germany and Italy is commonly referred to as the "European theater", however, reference to this war against Germany and Italy (and other nations) also includes actions in North Africa and the Middle East.

Australian relations at the beginning of WWII were much the same as they had been in WWI. Australia still felt the need to support Britain as a 'mother' country and in 1939 went to war for her. Men joined the war effort such as to support Britain and to enforce Australia in her own right. During WWII Australian's believed that they were safe: both because of the facts that the country is so secluded and because in Singapore stood a British naval force that would act as a front line between Australia and any impending attack from Japan. The fall of Singapore to the Japanese Army in 1942 is considered to be Britain's worst defeat in WWII. The fall of Singapore was not only a humiliation to Britain but it also worked as a shock to Australia. Australia felt the full force of WWII for the first time as the Japanese threat was on their borders. Australia felt the loss of Singapore severely as it had been a major defense between them and Britain. In 1941 after Pearl Harbour but before the fall of Singapore PM Curtin of Australia made a powerful appeal. This appeal however was not directed to Britain but to America. "Without any inhibition of any kind, i make it clear that Australia looks to America, free of any pangs of the traditional kinship with Britain..." He went on to say that he had plan which involved America as a keystone. The Sydney Morning herald published in 1942: "Australia is the last bastion between Japan and America. If Australia goes, America is wide open..." In some opinions 'Britain would fight to the last Australia. In others 'Britain had left Australians to die in Singapore'. Whatever the reason whether the British had too much on their plate or they just felt that Australians would always look up to them, when Australia was in the open, Britain was not there to help. As a result of this Australia turned to America for aid. Australia complied with American plans and strategy to fight Japan. In the end it was not Britain we turned to for help but America, and this was a major step towards our position with them today.

Australia's alliance with Britain and the USA changed during the World War 2. Winston Churchill wanted to send the troops to Burma, to fight and protect the land for Britain, whilst John Curtin wished to send the troops to South East Asia to fight and protect Australia, and to prevent the arrival of the Japanese coming into Australian Territory. He established that Australia would be better-off to protect their own country, and America would assist them in protecting their country.

Australia's relationship with Britain changed for various reasons. Australia at the time had little people and we were not a very powerful country. With little economic statues (after the Great Depression) and little men to fight for war, Australia wasn't very strong to fight for war and protect there own country. Britain was one of the most powerful and richest countries with headquarters all over the world including Singapore. Because Britain to Australia was known as the mother country, when Britain decided to go to war so did Australia as they felt it was there duty and had to be loyal. Britain became self fish and 100s of 1000's of men were over fighting in the Mediterranean and Middle East to support Britain and their country, and Australia had no one supporting the home front. After Japan entering the war and bombing pearl harbour invading Indonesia, Papua, New Guinea etc and Australia being there next target, Britain head quarters in Singapore falling, things for Australia were heating up. the prime minister began to realise we need a better allies, USA was not involved until pearl harbour was bombed and then after discussion USA and Australia joined forces and Australia demanded all their troops from Europe and Britain to return home and fight for their country. This is how and why the relationship with Britain ceased and USA's grew bigger with us.

Australia's relationship with Britain and America changed in ww2 as before ww2, Australia was very loyal to its mother country of Britain. It always went to Britain's help, like the ANZACS in ww1. The same thing happened in ww2. When Churchill asked for men from Menzies, Australia gave. But our national security was undermined when the Japanese were taking over the Pacific. They quickly took China, Burma, Thailand, Indo-China and the Malay Peninsula. This caused worry back home which increased when the British warships, the Repulse and the Prince of Wales were sunk off the Malay coast on the 10th December 1941. This was a major blow for Britain's naval strength in the region and Singapore's defenses. Due to its lack of security in the region, Australia looked to America for help on the 27th December 1941. Curtin said,I make it quite clear that Australia looks to America free of any pangs as to our traditional links or kinship with the UK. This said, Singapore fell on the 15th February 1942 with the biggest mass surrender of all time. (85000 Allied troops including 15000 Australians)

Britain was Australian Mother country, Australia looked up to Britain for everything. When Britain declared they were going into war, naturally Prime minister of Australia also declared war." It is my melancholy duty to inform you officially that in consequence of persistence by Germany and her invasion of Poland, Great Britain has declared war upon her and that, as a result, Australia is also at war" Australia was a weak country with little people and were suffering after the depression, they needed Britain. Australia soon needed help itself, they were threatened by the Japanese. They turned to Britain for help, but their mother country didn't help at all. Prime Minister John Curtin ordered the Australian troops who had completed action in the middle east to return to Australia. Winston Churchill had no part of it, he wanted the Australian troops to continue assisting with England's defeat of Germany. It was obvious that Britain could no longer help Australia and so they were on their own. Australia was still closely tied with Britain because it was a colon but they had no choice other then to look for a new 'mother' nation. Australia then made a decision that still affects today, Australia decided to turn to America for the help they needed. At first the change to mother nations went well. The Australian solders got on with the American soldiers, but not for long. The American Governor General started to become very biased towards the American soldiers. The Australian soldiers soon started to resent the Americans as they got many more rights, and the Australian girls found that the American men were interesting and paid more attention to them. They were described as "over paid, over sexed and over here". Not only did the American soldiers get more rights, but when an Australian soldier did do something great they weren't rewarded for there bravery and skills.

During the war Australia looked to USA when threatened with invasion since USA would suffer greatly from Australia's invasion and Britain was too busy in Europe. This alliance with the USA made Australia less Dependant on Britain. After the war Australia became more independent since it was less dependent on Britain.

Australia's relationship stayed strong with Britain throughout the war, their friendship didn't fail, although there were some points where Australian soldiers thought it was all for nothing

After war broke out in Europe and the Middle-East, in September 1939, Britain (and her colonies) declared war on Germany, thus bringing Australia into the war. At the time, Australia saw Britain as its major source of Protection and security, and decided to respect the ties of Kinship it had with Britain, consequently entering the second world war. However when the Japanese attacked the US naval base, Pearl Harbour(Hawaii), on the 7th December 1941, the war was extended to the Pacific. On February 15th 1942, Britain's naval base, in Singapore, was also attacked by the Japanese. This left Australia vulnerable, and John Curtin, the Australian Prime Minister, turned to the USA for help. The USA were already fighting in the Pacific, and accepted Curtin's plea for help. US troops began to arrive in Australia, influencing Australia's culture, and triggered the change in how Australian society saw itself - as an extension of Great Britain, to 'true-blue' Australian. Sydney and Newcastle were next to be attacked by Japanese migit Submarines in May 1942, but after the defeat of the Japanese in the Battle of Mid-way (Papua New Guinea), the tables were soon turned on the Japanese, soon bringing the American and Australian troops, (under command of the US general MacArthur) to victory, and ending the Japanese threat of invasion to Australia, (or so they thought that was their plan at the time, but that matter is still being debated today). After originally having only strong ties with Britain, during WW1, Australia looked more towards the United States of America for assistance in WW2, extending its links of kinship, marketing and trade, to around the world. I've missed out some stuff... but o'well

Australia's relationship with Britain changed for various reasons. Australia at the time had little people and we were not a very powerful country. with little economic statues (after the Great Depression) and little men to fight for war, Australia wasn't very strong to fight for war and protect there own country. Britain was one of the most powerful and richest countries with headquarters all over the world including Singapore.Because Britain to Australia was known as the mother country, when Britain decided to go to war so did Australia as they felt it was there duty and had to be loyal. Britain became self fish and 100s of 1000's of men were over fighting in the Mediterranean and middle east to support Britain and their country, and Australia had no one supporting the home front. After japan entering the war and bombing pearl harbour invading Indonesia papua new guinea etc and Australia being there next target, and Britain head quarters in Singapore falling things for Australia were heating up. and the prime minister began to realise we need a better ally .USA was not involved until pearl harbour was bombed and then after discussion USA and Australia joined forces and Australia demanded all their troops from Europe and Britain to return home and fight for their country.This is how and why the relationship with Britain ceased and USA's grew bigger with us.

Here's a few contributing facts to the change in attitude towards England during the second world war. Australia, as a former English colony was still very 'English' had always relied on England to protect the country from invaders. With a powerfully manned English outpost in Singapore, Australia always hada a feeling of safety and never worried about building up a powerful defence force. During the war English forces were stretched thin and when the threat of invasion from the powerful Japanese loomed over the Country their was a sudden feeling of vulnerability, which was escalated to an almost intense fear when two of the strongest English Naval Vessels were sunk off the coast of Singapore by an overwhelming Japanese force. With the Germans wreaking havoc in Europe, and now Japan over running the Pacific, the defenseless nation of Australia felt it was time to develop a sense of independence, and started enlistment for a second AIF (Australian Imperial Forces) division.

Australia's relationships during WW2 undertook serious changes that still affect us today. Australia stopped looking to Britain for the support it used to and started looking to America. American and Australian troops disliked each other but worked together on that battle field. The Americans were brought into the war due to Pearl Harbour and Australia formed a relationship with them almost immediately.

Australia was a self governing dominion within the British Empire. As such it depended on Britain for its defense and came to Britain's aid when the war broke out. In 1940 and 1941 Britain was committing virtually every resource it had and every one it could gather from the Empire, to fighting Germany. Australia was sending all the troops it could spare to be used in that fight. Most of them were in North Africa. Suddenly Japan attacked in the Pacific. Britain had no additional strength to use to meet her obligations to defend Australia. Much of Australia's strength was on the other side of the world. The United States stepped forward and assumed the responsibility of providing for Australia's defense. Although Australia remained a British Dominion, it came under the protection of the United States. Naturally its relations with both of those countries changed significantly.

After the fall of Singapore the Australian people and army didn't look to Britain for it's defense anymore. The Australians felt that they had been betrayed by the British, instead they looked to the yanks for help and after the successful defense of New Guinea, Australia and Yankee relations improved even though there were constant fights between the American and Australian army (most notably the Battle of Brisbane and Battle of Fremantle).

How Did Australia's relationship with England and the USA change during World War II?

At the beginning of World War 2 Australia's links with Britain were close but this wasn't the case at the end of the war, Australia had looked towards America for its own safety as Britain had proven that they weren't powerful as they use to be, the fall of Singapore being an example that effected Australia's links with Britain as they surrounded without even trying to fight back.

John Curtin made a new years speech about Australia looking towards America as he believed that Britain wouldn't be able to defend Australia if they were under attack so he decided to make Australia's links with America stronger. Curtin had arguments with Churchill the Prime minister of Britain about bringing Australia's troops back form the Middle East as Churchill moved them there without even asking Curtin. Churchill apologized and sent the troops back to Australia's mainland to defend as what Curtin wanted, this weakening the links between Australia and Britain more.

With America by our sides Australian fought the Pacific War together, after the war America, New Zealand and Australia singed a mutual defense agreement.

Can I just add, that the relationship was not between England and such forth, it was between Britain. The Scot's and the Irish had a great deal to play in the British empire - Going as far as Glasgow being known as the "Second City of the Empire". Also, the founding of Britain was due to the Scottish king inheriting the English throne.

During WW2, Australia was fighting away from home. Then the allies started to attack Asia and the Pacific region. When this happened, Australia realized that Britain was losing its touch. Australia realized that if anything was to happen to them, Britain would not be able to protect them, thus drifting away.

Meanwhile, America was not involved in the war. when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, the US was drawn into the war, so Australia and America worked together, and formed a close friendship.

After the bombing in of the British base in Singapore, Australia slightly lost trust in Britain and Britain was busy, so Australia went to US for help. The United States agreed because the location of Australia could also benefit them during the war and they could help protect Australia.

Australia's relationship with Britain changed because Australia was becoming a independent country and they were to fend for themselves. America was one of the most powerful countries, and still is, which meant that they had major influence over all the other countries.

The biggest change was the difference in perceived threat between Germany and Japan. Germany was bombing England, Japan had bombed Darwin. If you're Australian you want to repel the Japanese, if you're English you want to repel the Germans. Generally, the UK was in the 'driver's seat' in the relationship between the UK and Australia and England's obvious bias to fight the Germans first obviously caused some resentment in Australia (at least until the threat against Australia subsided).

Australian Alliances WW2

Australia had troops in Europe fighting for the British Empire. Due to the threat of invasion from Japan Australia wanted assistance and troops sent home to ensure that the threat of invasion did not eventuate. Britain denied this request however America offered assistance and thus General McAuthor came to Australia and since then Australia has had close political ties with America.

The shortest answer is to say that Australia felt very 'let down' by Britain in WWII. Australia had sent, loyally, troops to almost every engagement of the British including the Boer War and WWI, and it was always expected that in return Britain and its supreme navy would protect Australia in time of need (the country being too vast and population too small to mount any reasonable self-defense at that time). With the fall of Singapore in WWII to the Imperial Japanese Army, the British presence in Asia and the Pacific was over. With Britain unable to spare troops from the European theater, and unwilling even to allow Australian troops in the Middle East to return to defend Australia, the spirit in Australia turned from one of support for Britain to disappointment in Britain. But focusing on the immediate need which was to prevent Japanese invasion of Australia, Australians also recognized the urgent need then to find an alternative Big Brother to protect them. In came the US with their massive forces in the Pacific. From that time until now, the US relationship has been the mainstay of Australian defense policy, hoping as earlier with Britain that if ever an enemy chose to attack Australia, the US would help out. In the meantime the price Australia pays for this 'insurance' is to send troops to most of the US' main military actions such as Iraq. So the change in WWII was a truly dramatic change in direction in defense reliance.

Britain was taking on Hitler, such a small country taking on the biggest threat at the time and Australia expected Britain to send over British troops (even though they were 100% tied up taking on Nazi Germany) and risk loosing Britain's war to help them. If Britain wasn't taking on the biggest threat at the time, then they would have helped Australia like agreed. Alongside taking on Germany, Britain was taking on Italy and the Soviet Union

Germany had taken over (or allied to), Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Belgium, France, Czechoslovakia, Sweden, Egypt, Malta, Japan. Britain was taking them on, yet Australia became annoyed because Britain did what they did and effectively helped win the war.

Relations should not have gone sour simply because Britain was fighting in their own war. Sure Australia helped out Britain, but the difference was at anytime Australia was helping Britain, they weren't in their own major war at the time.

World War 2
Stamp Collecting (Philately)
WW2 Homefront

What is the value of World War 2 ration books with all the unused stamps intact?

World War 2 Ration Books

  • The war ration was not very high. The war ration stamps are very common and the demand for them in the collector's circle is not very high. A complete book might get $10, whereas partial books and single stamps are not going to be anywhere near as valuable.

    The sentimental value is of more value, as it reminds people of the struggles and their contribution to the war effort.

  • I agree completely with the sentimental value when finding out that in 1945+, one had to use these stamps to purchase food. Families also had to do an inventory of what they had in their pantry, and they would have to actually subtract their stamps from the book, based on their inventory.
  • Rationing ended in 1945; ration stamps obviously have no objective economic value. But they are collected by some people, so they have subjective collectible value. The best way to find the current going prices would be to search eBay auctions for stamps like yours.
  • Fewer of the ration stamps were used in Books 2 & 3, making them less valuable.

    Click on the Related Link for more information.

World War 2
Japan in WW2
History of Japan

Why wasn't Hirohito executed as a war crime in world war 2?

By getting to keep their Emperor was the one condition the Japanese insisted on before they would surrender. The Japanese believed he was a living god, but he had to admit to the Japanese people that he was not divine, not a god. He spoke to the Japanese people in a radio address at that time, and it was the first time the people had ever heard his voice.

The US and the British had made a big deal out of insisting on "unconditional surrender" of the Axis powers, because Roosevelt had shot off his mouth to reporters at the Casablanca Conference saying that this was the policy they had agreed on. This was a mistake. It allowed the Germans to make propaganda saying the Allies were out for the complete destruction of Germany, therefore we have no choice but to fight on to the bitter end.

World War 2
Germany in WW2
Adolf Hitler

Can you explain simply why the Nazis hated the Jews?

Putting it as simply as possible:

  • The Nazis thought that the German Jews were 'alien', 'un-German' and a 'corrupting influence' on Germany and that they were encouraging immorality.
  • The Nazis believed that the Jews were Communists (and that Communism was a specifically Jewish ideology).
  • There were strange conspiracy theories that claimed that the Jews were trying to achieve 'world domination'.
  • The Nazis said that the Jews were enemies of Germany, and that Jews and Germans were locked in a struggle to the death. (This was another of those conspiracy theories that many Nazis took seriously).
  • The Nazis believed that the Jews had made Germany lose World War 1.
  • The Nazis subscribed to racialist theories that claimed that the Jews were inferior to others.
  • However, Nazi propaganda also portrayed them as very clever indeed, very dangerous and close to achieving world domination: the two don't even begin to fit.
  • With the start of World War 2 in September 1939 Hitler became obsessed with the idea that 'the Jews' had started the war.
  • Earlier, 'religious' hostility to Judaism had often demonized the Jews and painted them as sinister and evil.
  • Because some Jews were affluent and influential, they represented political positions in opposition to Hitler, and were targeted like others he saw as rivals.

All this was much more important than stories about what a Jew might or might not have done to Hitler in his childhood. There is no firm evidence that Hitler was anti-Jewish before about 1916. Beware of naive explanations.

For fuller answers click on the related questions below.

World War 2
World War 1
WW2 Axis Powers

How many soldiers died in World War 2?

more than 1


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