Interactive Map: World War II in the Pacific
World War II (often abbreviated to WWII or WW2 ), also known as the Second World War , was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945, although related conflicts began earlier. It involved the vast majority of the worlds countries —including

World War II (often abbreviated to WWII or WW2 ), also known as the Second World War , was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945, although related conflicts began earlier. It involved the vast majority of the world's countries —including all of the great powers —eventually forming two opposing military alliances : the Allies and the Axis . It was the most widespread war in history, and directly involved more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. In a state of total war , the major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort , erasing the distinction between civilian and military resources.

World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history , marked by 50 million to 85 million fatalities, most of which were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres , the deliberate genocide of the Holocaust , strategic bombing , starvation, disease and the first use of nuclear weapons in history. [1] [2] [3] [4]

The start of the war in Europe is generally held to be 1 September 1939, [9] [10] beginning with the German invasion of Poland ; Britain and France declared war on Germany two days later. The dates for the beginning of war in the Pacific include the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War on 7 July 1937, [11] [12] or even the Japanese invasion of Manchuria on 19 September 1931. [13] [14]

We’ve been reworking our Holocaust Encyclopedia, and we would love for you to explore the new experience. Click the button at right to start using the new version. The version you are viewing now will remain online until June 30, 2018.

US troops land on Guadalcanal, in the Solomon Islands group. Guadalcanal was the focus of crucial battles in 1942–1943. American victory in the Solomons halted the Japanese advance in the South Pacific. Guadalcanal, August 1942.

Japanese expansion in East Asia began in 1931 with the invasion of Manchuria and continued in 1937 with a brutal attack on China. On September 27, 1940, Japan signed the Tripartite Pact with Germany and Italy, thus entering the military alliance known as the " Axis ." Seeking to curb Japanese aggression and force a withdrawal of Japanese forces from Manchuria and China, the United States imposed economic sanctions on Japan. Faced with severe shortages of oil and other natural resources and driven by the ambition to displace the United States as the dominant Pacific power, Japan decided to attack the United States and British forces in Asia and seize the resources of Southeast Asia.

Zhukov’s Greatest Defeat: The Red Army’s Epic Disaster in Operation Mars, 1942 (David M. Glantz. University Press of Kansas, 1999)

Map 17 . The German sweep southwards through France that resulted in the 22 June armistice. Note Italian incursions from the southeast (p.25)

Map 27 . Arctic convoys. The loss of Allied convoy PQ-17 in July 1942 proved a grievous blow to morale. Almost two-thirds of the ships involved failed to reach their destination, Archangel, and thousands of tons of urgently needed materiel were lost (p.39)

World War II (often abbreviated to WWII or WW2 ), also known as the Second World War , was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945, although related conflicts began earlier. It involved the vast majority of the world's countries —including all of the great powers —eventually forming two opposing military alliances : the Allies and the Axis . It was the most widespread war in history, and directly involved more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. In a state of total war , the major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort , erasing the distinction between civilian and military resources.

World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history , marked by 50 million to 85 million fatalities, most of which were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres , the deliberate genocide of the Holocaust , strategic bombing , starvation, disease and the first use of nuclear weapons in history. [1] [2] [3] [4]

The start of the war in Europe is generally held to be 1 September 1939, [9] [10] beginning with the German invasion of Poland ; Britain and France declared war on Germany two days later. The dates for the beginning of war in the Pacific include the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War on 7 July 1937, [11] [12] or even the Japanese invasion of Manchuria on 19 September 1931. [13] [14]

World War II (often abbreviated to WWII or WW2 ), also known as the Second World War , was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945, although related conflicts began earlier. It involved the vast majority of the world's countries —including all of the great powers —eventually forming two opposing military alliances : the Allies and the Axis . It was the most widespread war in history, and directly involved more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. In a state of total war , the major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort , erasing the distinction between civilian and military resources.

World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history , marked by 50 million to 85 million fatalities, most of which were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres , the deliberate genocide of the Holocaust , strategic bombing , starvation, disease and the first use of nuclear weapons in history. [1] [2] [3] [4]

The start of the war in Europe is generally held to be 1 September 1939, [9] [10] beginning with the German invasion of Poland ; Britain and France declared war on Germany two days later. The dates for the beginning of war in the Pacific include the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War on 7 July 1937, [11] [12] or even the Japanese invasion of Manchuria on 19 September 1931. [13] [14]

We’ve been reworking our Holocaust Encyclopedia, and we would love for you to explore the new experience. Click the button at right to start using the new version. The version you are viewing now will remain online until June 30, 2018.

US troops land on Guadalcanal, in the Solomon Islands group. Guadalcanal was the focus of crucial battles in 1942–1943. American victory in the Solomons halted the Japanese advance in the South Pacific. Guadalcanal, August 1942.

Japanese expansion in East Asia began in 1931 with the invasion of Manchuria and continued in 1937 with a brutal attack on China. On September 27, 1940, Japan signed the Tripartite Pact with Germany and Italy, thus entering the military alliance known as the " Axis ." Seeking to curb Japanese aggression and force a withdrawal of Japanese forces from Manchuria and China, the United States imposed economic sanctions on Japan. Faced with severe shortages of oil and other natural resources and driven by the ambition to displace the United States as the dominant Pacific power, Japan decided to attack the United States and British forces in Asia and seize the resources of Southeast Asia.

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