Portal:World War II

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The World War II Portal

Clockwise from top left: Commonwealth troops in the desert; Chinese civilians being buried alive by Japanese soldiers; Soviet forces during a winter offensive; Carrier-borne Japanese planes readying for take off; Soviet troops fighting in Berlin; A German submarine under attack.

World War II, or the Second World War, was a global military conflict. It began as the joining of what had initially been two separate conflicts, with the first beginning in Asia in 1937 (the Second Sino-Japanese War) and the other beginning in Europe in 1939 (the German and Soviet invasion of Poland).

The war split the majority of the world's nations into two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. It involved the mobilization of over 100 million military personnel, making it the most widespread war in history, and placed the participants in a state of "total war", which erased the distinction between civil and military resources and resulted in the complete activation of a nation's economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities for the purposes of the war effort. Over 70 million people, the majority of them civilians, were killed, making it the deadliest conflict in human history.

The Allies won the war, and as a result, the Soviet Union and the United States emerged as the world's leading superpowers. This set the stage for the Cold War, which lasted for the next 45 years. The United Nations was formed in the hope of preventing another such conflict. The self-determination spawned by the war accelerated decolonization movements in Asia and Africa, while Europe itself began moving toward integration.

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The 1939 Soviet invasion of Poland was a military operation that started without a formal declaration of war on 17 September 1939, during the early stages of World War II, sixteen days after the beginning of the Nazi German attack on Poland. It ended in a decisive victory for the Soviet Union's Red Army. In early 1939, the Soviet Union tried to form an alliance against Nazi Germany with the United Kingdom, France, Poland, and Romania; but several difficulties arose, including the refusal of Poland and Romania to allow Soviet troops transit rights through their territories as part of collective security. With the failure of the negotiations, the Soviets shifted from their anti-German stance and on 23 August 1939 signed the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact with Nazi Germany. As a result, on 1 September, the Germans invaded Poland from the west; and on 17 September, the Red Army invaded Poland from the east.The Soviet government announced that it was acting to protect the Ukrainians and Belarusians who lived in the eastern part of Poland, because the Polish state had collapsed in the face of the German attack and could no longer guarantee the security of its own citizens. The Red Army entered the eastern regions of Poland with seven field armies and between 450,000 and 1,000,000 troops.


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USS Iowa (BB-61) fires her 16-inch/50-caliber guns during a fire power demonstration sometime after her 1980s modernization.
The Iowa-class battleships were a class of six fast battleships ordered by the United States Navy in 1939 and 1940 to escort the Fast Carrier Task Forces that would operate in the Pacific Theater of World War II. Four were completed in the early to mid-1940s; two more were laid down, but they were canceled prior to completion and eventually scrapped. The ships served in every major U.S. war of the mid and latter half of the 20th century. In World War II, they defended aircraft carriers and shelled Japanese positions before being placed in reserve at the end of the war. Recalled for action during the Korean War, the battleships provided artillery support for UN forces fighting against North Korea. In 1968, New Jersey was recalled for action in the Vietnam War and shelled Communist targets near the Vietnamese Demilitarized Zone. All four were reactivated and armed with missiles during the 1980s as part of the 600-ship Navy. In 1991, Missouri and Wisconsin fired missiles and 16-inch (406 mm) guns at Iraqi targets during the Gulf War. All four battleships were decommissioned in the early 1990s as the Cold War drew to a close, and were initially removed from the Naval Vessel Register; however, at the insistence of the United States Congress, two were reinstated to the Naval Vessel Register for maintenance in the mothball fleet in 1995. These last two battleships were removed from the Naval Vessel Register in 2006.


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American soldiers of the 75th Division photographed in the Ardennes during the Battle of the Bulge.
The Ardennes Offensive (16 December 1944 – 25 January 1945) was a major German offensive on the Western Front and was launched towards the end of World War II. It was also Adolf Hitler's last offensive in the war. This offensive was called Unternehmen Wacht am Rhein (Operation The Guard on the Rhine) by the German armed forces (Wehrmacht). It was officially named the Battle of the Ardennes by the U.S. Army, but it is known to the general public simply as the Battle of the Bulge. The “bulge” was the initial incursion the Germans put into the Allies’ line of advance, as seen in maps presented in contemporary newspapers.The offensive was launched in the Ardennes. The German offensive was supported by subordinate operations known as Unternehmen Bodenplatte, Unternehmen Greif, and Unternehmen Währung. Germany’s planned goal for these operations was to split the British and American Allied line in half, capturing Antwerp, Belgium, and then proceeding to encircle and destroy four Allied armies, forcing the Western Allies to negotiate a peace treaty in the Axis Powers’ favor.


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The following are images from various World War II-related articles on Wikipedia.

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Supermarine Spitfire Mk XVI
Credit: Chowells
A Supermarine Spitfire Mark XVI. The Spitfire was an iconic British single-seat fighter used by the RAF and many Allied countries in the Second World War. The Spitfire saw service during the whole of WWII in all theatres of war, and in many different variants. It is often credited with winning the Battle of Britain.

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Hovhannes Khachatury Bagramyan was a Soviet Armenian military commander and Marshal of the Soviet Union. During World War II, Bagramyan was the first non-Slavic military officer to become a commander of a Front. He was among several Armenians in the Soviet Army who held the highest proportion of high ranking officers in the Soviet military during the war, and one of fifty Armenians who attained the rank of General in the same period. Bagramyan's experience in military planning as a chief of staff allowed him to distinguish himself as a capable commander in the early stages of the Soviet counter-offensives against Nazi Germany. He was given his first command of a unit in 1942, and in November 1943 received his most prestigious command as the commanding officer (CO) of the 1st Baltic Front. As the CO of the Baltic Front, he participated in the offensives which moved westward and pushed German forces out of the Baltic republics.


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"The moment the first American soldier sets foot on the Japanese mainland, all prisoners of war will be shot."
Hideki Tojo, June, 1945

Topics

World War II
Theatres Main events Specific articles Participants

Prelude
Causes
in Europe
in Asia

Main theatres
Europe
Eastern Europe
China
Mediterranean, Middle East and Africa
Asia and the Pacific
Atlantic

General timeline
Timeline

1939
Invasion of Poland
Winter War

1940
Invasion of Denmark/Norway
Battle of France
Battle of Britain

1941
Invasion of the Soviet Union
Battle of Moscow
Attack on Pearl Harbor

1942
Battle of Midway
Battle of Stalingrad
Second Battle of El Alamein

1943
Battle of Kursk
Guadalcanal campaign
Invasion of Italy

1944
Battle of Normandy
Operation Bagration
Battle of Leyte Gulf
Operation Market Garden
Battle of the Bulge

1945
Battle of Iwo Jima
Battle of Okinawa
Battle of Berlin
End in Europe
Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Surrender of Japan

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Blitzkrieg
Cryptography
Equipment
Home Front
Military engagements
Production
Resistance
Technology

Civilian impact and atrocities
Nanking Massacre
The Holocaust
Siege of Leningrad
Bataan Death March
Dutch famine of 1944
Bengal famine of 1943
Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Unit 731
Strategic bombings
Comfort women
Allied war crimes
German war crimes
Japanese war crimes

Aftermath
Effects
Casualties
Expulsion of Germans
Denazification
Cold War
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Decline of the British Empire

The Allies
Australia Australia
Belgium Belgium
Brazil Brazil
British Raj British India
Canada Canada
Czechoslovakia Czechoslovakia
Kingdom of Egypt Egypt
El Salvador El Salvador
French Third Republic France (after June 16, 1940: Free France Free France)
Kingdom of Greece Greece
Netherlands Netherlands
Dominion of New Zealand New Zealand
NorwayThe time allocated for running scripts has expired. Norway
Commonwealth of the PhilippinesThe time allocated for running scripts has expired. Philippines
PolandThe time allocated for running scripts has expired. Poland
Republic of China (1912–1949)The time allocated for running scripts has expired. Republic of China
Union of South AfricaThe time allocated for running scripts has expired. South Africa
Soviet UnionThe time allocated for running scripts has expired. Soviet Union
United KingdomThe time allocated for running scripts has expired. United Kingdom
United StatesThe time allocated for running scripts has expired. United States
Kingdom of YugoslaviaThe time allocated for running scripts has expired. Yugoslavia

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The Axis
Nazi GermanyThe time allocated for running scripts has expired. Germany
Kingdom of ItalyThe time allocated for running scripts has expired. Italy
Empire of JapanThe time allocated for running scripts has expired. Japan
 SlovakiaThe time allocated for running scripts has expired.
Kingdom of BulgariaThe time allocated for running scripts has expired. Bulgaria
 Independent State of CroatiaThe time allocated for running scripts has expired.
FinlandThe time allocated for running scripts has expired. Finland
 Vichy France
Kingdom of Hungary (1920–1946)The time allocated for running scripts has expired. Hungary
Kingdom of RomaniaThe time allocated for running scripts has expired. Romania
ThailandThe time allocated for running scripts has expired. Thailand

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The time allocated for running scripts has expired. From the World War II task force of the Military history WikiProject:

Attention needed
...to referencing and citation  • ...to coverage and accuracy  • ...to structure  • ...to grammar  • ...to supporting materials 
Popular pages
Full list
Cleanup needed
Battle of Kiev (1943)Battle of Ko ChangColditz CastleSpiritual national defenceTuskegee Airmen
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Battle of Uhtua-KiestinkiBattles of Repola-RukajärviBattle of SiiranmäkiBattle of ŁuckBattle of RówneBattle of Włodzimierz WołyńskiBattle of LubartówBattle of MiednikiBattle of JodłaFrancis BlanchainShinshou DraengerChrister Lyst HansenOve KampmanLeague for Combat PolicyJulien MelineOperation MittelmeerOperation RichardOtto ProgramMartin PoppelRoehm's AvengersPoul BruunRaoul BoulangerBattle of West Ukraine (1941)Battle of ZunyiLiberation of Denmark (currently redirect) • Operation Vado (currently redirect) • Finnish 19th Division (Continuation War)Finnish 11th Division (Continuation War)Finnish VII Corps (Continuation War)Finnish Cavalry Brigade1st Jaeger Brigade2nd Jaeger Brigade168th Rifle Division (Soviet Union)71st Rifle Division (Soviet Union)Group OinonenOperation Vesuvius (currently redirect) • Capture of Kassala (currently redirect) • Battle of PankowBrandenburg–Rathenow OffensiveJapanese internment of European civilians during World War IIMiranda de Ebro concentration campGerman occupation of the Netherlands (current redirect) • Soviet home front during World War IILabour Charter (Vichy France)Berles-Monchel and Aubigny-en-Artois massacres (1940) • Febvin-Palfart massacre (1940) • German massacres of French colonial prisoners of war1941 Nord-Pas de Calais miners' strikeSpitfire fundsGood War (historiography)Nederlandsche Oost CompagnieWest African Pioneers2nd Marching Battalion of Ubangui-ShariBataillon du PacifiquePersecution of freemasons in Nazi Germany and German-occupied EuropeMohammed El MaadiLégion Français des CombattantsLuxembourgers in the WehrmachtChantiers de la Jeunesse (Vichy France)
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Princess Irene BrigadeBattle of Bay of ViipuriDemilitarisationFree Dutch ForcesMartha DesrumeauxMochitsura HashimotoOperation CascadeOperation Tan No. 2Burma Area ArmyBattle of CourlandBattle of Munda PointBattle of Voronezh (1943)Drive on Munda PointFirst Battle of KharkovRace to BerlinMarie FourcadeDonald BlakesleeOperation NordwindBattle of Skerki BankMichael Sinclair (soldier)Battle of MaastrichtBattle of ZeelandLandings on RendovaNew Georgia counterattackOperation WaterfallPetsamo–Kirkenes OffensiveAmerican-British-Dutch-Australian CommandBattle of Viru HarborBattle of Wickham AnchorageWestern New Guinea campaign (and the individual battles of the campaign) • Operation BlockbusterOperation CooneyThe Holocaust in FranceKnowledge of the Holocaust in Nazi Germany and German-occupied EuropeFrancoist Spain and the HolocaustJapan campaignVolcano and Ryukyu Islands campaignmore
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Twelfth Army (United Kingdom)4th Airborne Division (United Kingdom)5th Airborne Division (United Kingdom)XVI Corps (United Kingdom)Battle of DakarBattle of the Lys (1940)Battle of ZeelandBattle of the GrebbebergFranco-Thai WarBattle of Ko ChangSwitzerland during the World WarsBerthe FraserWestern Allied invasion of GermanyLXXXIII Army Corps (Wehrmacht)
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Add an article here!
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Battle of Borneo (1941–42)Battle of ImphalGarderegiment Fuseliers Prinses IreneJapanese invasion of French IndochinaJapanese invasion of ThailandLuxembourg in World War IINew Georgia CampaignOperation CartwheelOperation ChastiseRoyal Netherlands Motorized Infantry BrigadeSolomon Islands campaignBattle of RadomSeishin OperationMoravia–Ostrava OffensivePanzerjäger
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5th Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment [The time allocated for running scripts has expired.]Novorossiysk-Taman Operation [The time allocated for running scripts has expired.]1943 Novorossiysk Operation [The time allocated for running scripts has expired.]1943 Air Battles over Kuban [The time allocated for running scripts has expired.]Battle of Rostov (1943) [The time allocated for running scripts has expired.]Battle of Olshansky [The time allocated for running scripts has expired.]Nalchik-Ordzhonikidzevskaya Operation [The time allocated for running scripts has expired.]Bukrinsky Landing [The time allocated for running scripts has expired.]Cape Tarhan Landing [The time allocated for running scripts has expired.]1942 Sudak Landing [The time allocated for running scripts has expired.]Mozdok-Malgobek Operation [The time allocated for running scripts has expired.]Alexander Sergeyevich Ksenofontov [The time allocated for running scripts has expired.]Henri de Vernejoul [The time allocated for running scripts has expired.]André Bergeret [The time allocated for running scripts has expired.]Battle of Nice [The time allocated for running scripts has expired.]Liberation de Saint-Malo [The time allocated for running scripts has expired.]Battle of Seuil Valley [The time allocated for running scripts has expired.]René-Jean-Paul Cassagne [The time allocated for running scripts has expired.]Cameroun's rallying to the Free French [The time allocated for running scripts has expired.]Battle of Bouno-Misaki [The time allocated for running scripts has expired.]

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