World War II
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The United Nations was established in order to
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Hi, my name is Neville Miller and today on About.com we're talking about the Second World War, the biggest conflict all humanity has ever faced. It went on from September 1st 1939 to September 2nd 1945.World War II is a direct result of the expansionist ambitions of Nazi Germany's leader, Adolph Hitler.  The War started on September 1st of 1939 when Germany invaded Poland, despite of the warnings of France and Britain. On September 3rd, France, Britain and their empires declared war on Germany.  It lead to the opposition of two main military alliances: the Allies - namely Russia, the US, France, England and China; and the Axis - primarily composed of Germany, Italy and Japan.Between 1939 and 1942, the Axis powers occupied a big part of Europe, using blitzkrieg or aerial bombing tactics. By the end of 1940, Germany had invaded Denmark, Norway, Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands - regardless of their neutrality - as well as the Baltic countries.
France signed the armistice with Germany on June 22nd, which lead to a forced economic collaboration with the Nazis. Germany was soon joined by Italy, which declared War on France and Britain on June 10th of 1940.
At the end of 1940 Britain stood against Germany, thanks to its powerful naval fleet and its well-organized aviation. The US also provided economic help to Britain. In the East, on June 22nd, 1941, Hitler launched the biggest military offensive in history against Russia: Operation Barbarossa . Thus, Russia entered the War against Germany, joining sides with the Allies.The United States joined the conflict December 7th,1941, when its naval fleet was attacked at Pearl Harbor by Japan. It marked the beginning of the Pacific war.
In June 1942, the US won a decisive victory against Japan's Navy, in the Battle of Midway. It was the beginning of the Pacific Ocean reconquest by the US.  In Europe, Russia stood almost alone against the Nazis. But the German Army ended up failing in Russia, and surrendering January 30th, 1943.
Meanwhile, the Allies landed in North Africa, during Operation Torch of November 1942 . By May 1943, the Allies were occupying all of North Africa and progressing towards Europe.
By June 6th, 1944, the Allies pulled-off the largest amphibious invasion in history: as 126 Allied ships debarked on the Normandy coast, in France. They helped liberate France and Belgium: Paris was freed August 25th,1944.
Slowly, the Allies closed in on Germany. Hitler committed suicide on April 30th, 1945  and Germany officially surrendered just days later, on May 8th. In August 1945, the US dropped two atomic bombs on Japan.
The War continued until September 2nd,1945, when the Japanese Imperial Empire surrendered, marking the end of World War II. It was a total victory of the Allies over the Axis.World War II was the largest armed conflict in history. It included the majority of the world's nations and took place on almost all continents. More than 100 million soldiers were involved in the conflict with around 62 million military and civilians were killed.
Russia suffered the largest losses of life with more than 26 million. World War II was the first time civilian casualties outnumbered military casualties.World War II was also the setting for the biggest genocide in History. After the Final Solution of January 1942, Jews were killed in extermination camps. The most infamous one is Auschwitz.
At the end of the World War, two superpowers emerged: the US and Russia. The United Nations was established in order to prevent future wars.
This was a quick glance at World War II. For more information, be sure to check About.com.
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