World War II
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. Marked by mass deaths of civilians, including the Holocaust (in which approximately 11 million people were killed) and the strategic bombing of industrial and population centres (in which approximately one million were killed, and which included the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki), it resulted in an estimated 50 million to 85 million fatalities. These made World War II the deadliest conflict in human history.
The Empire of Japan aimed to dominate Asia and the Pacific and was already at war with the Republic of China in 1937, but the world war is generally said to have begun on 1 September 1939 with the invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany and subsequent declarations of war on Germany by France and the United Kingdom. Supplied by the Soviet Union, from late 1939 to early 1941, in a series of campaigns and treaties, Germany conquered or controlled much of continental Europe, and formed the Axis alliance with Italy and Japan. Under the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact of August 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union partitioned and annexed territories of their European neighbours, Poland, Finland, Romania and the Baltic states. The war continued primarily between the European Axis powers and the coalition of the United Kingdom and the British Commonwealth, with campaigns including the North Africa and East Africa campaigns, the aerial Battle of Britain, the Blitz bombing campaign, the Balkan Campaign as well as the long-running Battle of the Atlantic. On 22 June 1941, the European Axis powers launched an invasion of the Soviet Union, opening the largest land theatre of war in history, which trapped the major part of the Axis' military forces into a war of attrition. In December 1941, Japan attacked the United States and European colonies in the Pacific Ocean, and quickly conquered much of the Western Pacific.
The Axis advance halted in 1942 when Japan lost the critical Battle of Midway, near Hawaii, and Germany was defeated in North Africa and then, decisively, at Stalingrad in the Soviet Union. In 1943, with a series of German defeats on the Eastern Front, the Allied invasion of Sicily and the Allied invasion of Italy which brought about Italian surrender, and Allied victories in the Pacific, the Axis lost the initiative and undertook strategic retreat on all fronts. In 1944, the Western Allies invaded German-occupied France, while the Soviet Union regained all of its territorial losses and invaded Germany and its allies. During 1944 and 1945 the Japanese suffered major reverses in mainland Asia in South Central China and Burma, while the Allies crippled the Japanese Navy and captured key Western Pacific islands.
The war in Europe concluded with an invasion of Germany by the Western Allies and the Soviet Union, culminating in the capture of Berlin by Soviet troops and the subsequent German unconditional surrender on 8 May 1945. Following the Potsdam Declaration by the Allies on 26 July 1945 and the refusal of Japan to surrender under its terms, the United States dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 August and 9 August respectively. With an invasion of the Japanese archipelago imminent, the possibility of additional atomic bombings, and the Soviet Union's declaration of war on Japan and invasion of Manchuria, Japan surrendered on 15 August 1945. Thus ended the war in Asia, cementing the total victory of the Allies.
World War II altered the political alignment and social structure of the world. The United Nations (UN) was established to foster international co-operation and prevent future conflicts. The victorious great powers—the United States, the Soviet Union, China, the United Kingdom, and France—became the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council. The Soviet Union and the United States emerged as rival superpowers, setting the stage for the Cold War, which lasted for the next 46 years. Meanwhile, the influence of European great powers waned, while the decolonisation of Asia and Africa began. Most countries whose industries had been damaged moved towards economic recovery. Political integration, especially in Europe, emerged as an effort to end pre-war enmities and to create a common identity.
- 1 Chronology
- 2 Background
- 3 Pre-war events
- 4 Course of the war
- 4.1 War breaks out in Europe (1939–40)
- 4.2 Western Europe (1940–41)
- 4.3 Mediterranean (1940–41)
- 4.4 Axis attack on the USSR (1941)
- 4.5 War breaks out in the Pacific (1941)
- 4.6 Axis advance stalls (1942–43)
- 4.7 Allies gain momentum (1943–44)
- 4.8 Allies close in (1944)
- 4.9 Axis collapse, Allied victory (1944–45)
- 5 Aftermath
- 6 Impact
- 7 See also
- 8 Notes
- 9 Citations
- 10 References
- 11 External links
|Timelines of World War II|
The start of the war in Europe is generally held to be 1 September 1939, 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, or even the Japanese invasion of Manchuria on 19 September 1931.
Others follow the British historian A. J. P. Taylor, who held that the Sino-Japanese War and war in Europe and its colonies occurred simultaneously and the two wars merged in 1941. This article uses the conventional dating. Other starting dates sometimes used for World War II include the Italian invasion of Abyssinia on 3 October 1935. The British historian Antony Beevor views the beginning of World War II as the Battles of Khalkhin Gol fought between Japan and the forces of Mongolia and the Soviet Union from May to September 1939.
The exact date of the war's end is also not universally agreed upon. It was generally accepted at the time that the war ended with the armistice of 14 August 1945 (V-J Day), rather than the formal surrender of Japan (2 September 1945). A peace treaty with Japan was signed in 1951 to formally tie up any loose ends such as compensation to be paid to Allied prisoners of war who had been victims of atrocities. A treaty regarding Germany's future allowed the reunification of East and West Germany to take place in 1990 and resolved other post-World War II issues.
World War I had radically altered the political European map, with the defeat of the Central Powers—including Austria-Hungary, Germany and the Ottoman Empire—and the 1917 Bolshevik seizure of power in Russia, which eventually led to the founding of the Soviet Union. Meanwhile, the victorious Allies of World War I, such as France, Belgium, Italy, Greece and Romania, gained territory, and new nation-states were created out of the collapse of Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman and Russian Empires.
To prevent a future world war, the League of Nations was created during the 1919 Paris Peace Conference. The organisation's primary goals were to prevent armed conflict through collective security, military and naval disarmament, and settling international disputes through peaceful negotiations and arbitration.
Despite strong pacifist sentiment after World War I, its aftermath still caused irredentist and revanchist nationalism in several European states. These sentiments were especially marked in Germany because of the significant territorial, colonial, and financial losses incurred by the Treaty of Versailles. Under the treaty, Germany lost around 13 per cent of its home territory and all of its overseas possessions, while German annexation of other states was prohibited, reparations were imposed, and limits were placed on the size and capability of the country's armed forces.
The German Empire was dissolved in the German Revolution of 1918–1919, and a democratic government, later known as the Weimar Republic, was created. The interwar period saw strife between supporters of the new republic and hardline opponents on both the right and left. Italy, as an Entente ally, had made some post-war territorial gains; however, Italian nationalists were angered that the promises made by Britain and France to secure Italian entrance into the war were not fulfilled in the peace settlement. From 1922 to 1925, the Fascist movement led by Benito Mussolini seized power in Italy with a nationalist, totalitarian, and class collaborationist agenda that abolished representative democracy, repressed socialist, left-wing and liberal forces, and pursued an aggressive expansionist foreign policy aimed at making Italy a world power, promising the creation of a "New Roman Empire".
Adolf Hitler, after an unsuccessful attempt to overthrow the German government in 1923, eventually became the Chancellor of Germany in 1933. He abolished democracy, espousing a radical, racially motivated revision of the world order, and soon began a massive rearmament campaign. It was at this time that political scientists began to predict that a second Great War might take place.[page needed] Meanwhile, France, to secure its alliance, allowed Italy a free hand in Ethiopia, which Italy desired as a colonial possession. The situation was aggravated in early 1935 when the Territory of the Saar Basin was legally reunited with Germany and Hitler repudiated the Treaty of Versailles, accelerated his rearmament programme, and introduced conscription.
To contain Germany, the United Kingdom, France and Italy formed the Stresa Front in April 1935; however, that June, the United Kingdom made an independent naval agreement with Germany, easing prior restrictions. The Soviet Union, concerned by Germany's goals of capturing vast areas of Eastern Europe, drafted a treaty of mutual assistance with France. Before taking effect though, the Franco-Soviet pact was required to go through the bureaucracy of the League of Nations, which rendered it essentially toothless. The United States, concerned with events in Europe and Asia, passed the Neutrality Act in August of the same year.
Hitler defied the Versailles and Locarno treaties by remilitarising the Rhineland in March 1936, encountering little opposition. In October 1936, Germany and Italy formed the Rome–Berlin Axis. A month later, Germany and Japan signed the Anti-Comintern Pact, which Italy would join in the following year.
The Kuomintang (KMT) party in China launched a unification campaign against regional warlords and nominally unified China in the mid-1920s, but was soon embroiled in a civil war against its former Chinese Communist Party allies. In 1931, an increasingly militaristic Japanese Empire, which had long sought influence in China as the first step of what its government saw as the country's right to rule Asia, used the Mukden Incident as a pretext to launch an invasion of Manchuria and establish the puppet state of Manchukuo.
Too weak to resist Japan, China appealed to the League of Nations for help. Japan withdrew from the League of Nations after being condemned for its incursion into Manchuria. The two nations then fought several battles, in Shanghai, Rehe and Hebei, until the Tanggu Truce was signed in 1933. Thereafter, Chinese volunteer forces continued the resistance to Japanese aggression in Manchuria, and Chahar and Suiyuan. After the 1936 Xi'an Incident, the Kuomintang and communist forces agreed on a ceasefire to present a united front to oppose Japan.
Italian invasion of Ethiopia (1935)
The Second Italo–Abyssinian War was a brief colonial war that began in October 1935 and ended in May 1936. The war began with the invasion of the Ethiopian Empire (also known as Abyssinia) by the armed forces of the Kingdom of Italy (Regno d'Italia), which was launched from Italian Somaliland and Eritrea. The war resulted in the military occupation of Ethiopia and its annexation into the newly created colony of Italian East Africa (Africa Orientale Italiana, or AOI); in addition, it exposed the weakness of the League of Nations as a force to preserve peace. Both Italy and Ethiopia were member nations, but the League did nothing when the former clearly violated the League's Article X. Germany was the only major European nation to support the invasion. Italy subsequently dropped its objections to Germany's goal of absorbing Austria.
Spanish Civil War (1936–39)
When civil war broke out in Spain, Hitler and Mussolini lent military support to the Nationalist rebels, led by General Francisco Franco. The Soviet Union supported the existing government, the Spanish Republic. Over 30,000 foreign volunteers, known as the International Brigades, also fought against the Nationalists. Both Germany and the USSR used this proxy war as an opportunity to test in combat their most advanced weapons and tactics. The Nationalists won the civil war in April 1939; Franco, now dictator, bargained with both sides during the Second World War, but never concluded any major agreements. He did send volunteers to fight on the Eastern Front under German command but Spain remained neutral and did not allow either side to use its territory.[page needed]
Japanese invasion of China (1937)
In July 1937, Japan captured the former Chinese imperial capital of Beijing after instigating the Marco Polo Bridge Incident, which culminated in the Japanese campaign to invade all of China. The Soviets quickly signed a non-aggression pact with China to lend materiel support, effectively ending China's prior co-operation with Germany. Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek deployed his best army to defend Shanghai, but, after three months of fighting, Shanghai fell. The Japanese continued to push the Chinese forces back, capturing the capital Nanking in December 1937. After the fall of Nanking, tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of Chinese civilians and disarmed combatants were murdered by the Japanese.
In March 1938, Nationalist Chinese forces won their first major victory at Taierzhuang but then the city of Xuzhou was taken by Japanese in May. In June 1938, Chinese forces stalled the Japanese advance by flooding the Yellow River; this manoeuvre bought time for the Chinese to prepare their defences at Wuhan, but the city was taken by October. Japanese military victories did not bring about the collapse of Chinese resistance that Japan had hoped to achieve; instead the Chinese government relocated inland to Chongqing and continued the war.
Soviet-Japanese border conflicts
In the mid-to-late 1930s, Japanese forces in Manchukuo had sporadic border clashes with the Soviet Union and Mongolia. The Japanese doctrine of Hokushin-ron, which emphasised Japan's expansion northward, was favoured by the Imperial Army during this time. With the Japanese defeat at Khalkin Gol in 1939, the ongoing Second Sino-Japanese War and ally Nazi Germany pursuing neutrality with the Soviets, this policy would prove difficult to maintain. Japan and the Soviet Union eventually signed a Neutrality Pact in April 1941, and Japan adopted the doctrine of Nanshin-ron, promoted by the Navy, which took its focus southward, eventually leading to its war with the United States and the Western Allies.
European occupations and agreements
In Europe, Germany and Italy were becoming more aggressive. In March 1938, Germany annexed Austria, again provoking little response from other European powers. Encouraged, Hitler began pressing German claims on the Sudetenland, an area of Czechoslovakia with a predominantly ethnic German population; and soon Britain and France followed the counsel of British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain and conceded this territory to Germany in the Munich Agreement, which was made against the wishes of the Czechoslovak government, in exchange for a promise of no further territorial demands. Soon afterwards, Germany and Italy forced Czechoslovakia to cede additional territory to Hungary and Poland annexed Czechoslovakia's Zaolzie region.
Although all of Germany's stated demands had been satisfied by the agreement, privately Hitler was furious that British interference had prevented him from seizing all of Czechoslovakia in one operation. In subsequent speeches Hitler attacked British and Jewish "war-mongers" and in January 1939 secretly ordered a major build-up of the German navy to challenge British naval supremacy. In March 1939, Germany invaded the remainder of Czechoslovakia and subsequently split it into the German Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia and a pro-German client state, the Slovak Republic. Hitler also delivered an ultimatum to Lithuania, forcing the concession of the Klaipėda Region.
Greatly alarmed and with Hitler making further demands on the Free City of Danzig, Britain and France guaranteed their support for Polish independence; when Italy conquered Albania in April 1939, the same guarantee was extended to Romania and Greece. Shortly after the Franco-British pledge to Poland, Germany and Italy formalised their own alliance with the Pact of Steel. Hitler accused Britain and Poland of trying to "encircle" Germany and renounced the Anglo-German Naval Agreement and the German–Polish Non-Aggression Pact.
In August 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union signed the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, a non-aggression treaty with a secret protocol. The parties gave each other rights to "spheres of influence" (western Poland and Lithuania for Germany; eastern Poland, Finland, Estonia, Latvia and Bessarabia for the USSR). It also raised the question of continuing Polish independence. The agreement was crucial to Hitler because it assured that Germany would not have to face the prospect of a two-front war, as it had in World War I, after it defeated Poland.
The situation reached a general crisis in late August as German troops continued to mobilise against the Polish border. In a private meeting with the Italian foreign minister, Count Ciano, Hitler asserted that Poland was a "doubtful neutral" that needed to either yield to his demands or be "liquidated" to prevent it from drawing off German troops in the future "unavoidable" war with the Western democracies. He did not believe Britain or France would intervene in the conflict. On 23 August Hitler ordered the attack to proceed on 26 August, but upon hearing that Britain had concluded a formal mutual assistance pact with Poland and that Italy would maintain neutrality, he decided to delay it.
In response to British requests for direct negotiations to avoid war, Germany made demands on Poland, which only served as a pretext to worsen relations. On 29 August, Hitler demanded that a Polish plenipotentiary immediately travel to Berlin to negotiate the handover of Danzig, and to allow a plebiscite in the Polish Corridor in which the German minority would vote on secession. The Poles refused to comply with the German demands and on the night of 30–31 August in a violent meeting with the British ambassador Neville Henderson, Ribbentrop declared that Germany considered its claims rejected.
Course of the war
War breaks out in Europe (1939–40)
On 1 September 1939, Germany invaded Poland under the false pretext that the Poles had carried out a series of sabotage operations against German targets near the border. Two days later, on 3 September, after a British ultimatum to Germany to cease military operations was ignored, Britain and France, followed by the fully independent Dominions of the British Commonwealth—Australia (3 September), Canada (10 September), New Zealand (3 September), and South Africa (6 September)—declared war on Germany. However, initially the alliance provided limited direct military support to Poland, consisting of a cautious, half-hearted French probe into the Saarland. The Western Allies also began a naval blockade of Germany, which aimed to damage the country's economy and war effort. Germany responded by ordering U-boat warfare against Allied merchant and warships, which was to later escalate into the Battle of the Atlantic.
On 17 September 1939, after signing a cease-fire with Japan, the Soviets invaded Poland from the east. The Polish army was defeated and Warsaw surrendered to the Germans on 27 September, with final pockets of resistance surrendering on 6 October. Poland's territory was divided between Germany and the Soviet Union, with Lithuania and Slovakia also receiving small shares. After the defeat of Poland's armed forces, the Polish resistance established an Underground State and a partisan Home Army. About 100,000 Polish military personnel were evacuated to Romania and the Baltic countries; many of these soldiers later fought against the Germans in other theatres of the war. Poland's Enigma codebreakers were also evacuated to France.
On 6 October Hitler made a public peace overture to Britain and France, but said that the future of Poland was to be determined exclusively by Germany and the Soviet Union. Chamberlain rejected this on 12 October, saying "Past experience has shown that no reliance can be placed upon the promises of the present German Government." After this rejection Hitler ordered an immediate offensive against France, but bad weather forced repeated postponements until the spring of 1940.
After signing the German–Soviet Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Demarcation, the Soviet Union forced the Baltic countries—Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania—to allow it to station Soviet troops in their countries under pacts of "mutual assistance". Finland rejected territorial demands, prompting a Soviet invasion in November 1939. The resulting Winter War ended in March 1940 with Finnish concessions. Britain and France, treating the Soviet attack on Finland as tantamount to its entering the war on the side of the Germans, responded to the Soviet invasion by supporting the USSR's expulsion from the League of Nations.
In June 1940, the Soviet Union forcibly annexed Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, and the disputed Romanian regions of Bessarabia, Northern Bukovina and Hertza. Meanwhile, Nazi-Soviet political rapprochement and economic co-operation gradually stalled,[page needed] and both states began preparations for war.
Western Europe (1940–41)
In April 1940, Germany invaded Denmark and Norway to protect shipments of iron ore from Sweden, which the Allies were attempting to cut off by unilaterally mining neutral Norwegian waters. Denmark capitulated after a few hours, and despite Allied support, during which the important harbour of Narvik temporarily was recaptured from the Germans, Norway was conquered within two months. British discontent over the Norwegian campaign led to the replacement of the British Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain, with Winston Churchill on 10 May 1940.
Germany launched an offensive against France and, adhering to the Manstein Plan also attacked the neutral nations of Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg on 10 May 1940. That same day British forces landed in Iceland and the Faroes to preempt a possible German invasion of the islands. The U.S., in close co-operation with the Danish envoy to Washington D.C., agreed to protect Greenland, laying the political framework for the formal establishment of bases in April 1941. The Netherlands and Belgium were overrun using blitzkrieg tactics in a few days and weeks, respectively. The French-fortified Maginot Line and the main body of the Allied forces which had moved into Belgium were circumvented by a flanking movement through the thickly wooded Ardennes region, mistakenly perceived by Allied planners as an impenetrable natural barrier against armoured vehicles. As a result, the bulk of the Allied armies found themselves trapped in an encirclement and were beaten. The majority were taken prisoner, whilst over 300,000, mostly British and French, were evacuated from the continent at Dunkirk by early June, although abandoning almost all of their equipment.
On 10 June, Italy invaded France, declaring war on both France and the United Kingdom. Paris fell to the Germans on 14 June and eight days later France signed an armistice with Germany and was soon divided into German and Italian occupation zones, and an unoccupied rump state under the Vichy Regime, which, though officially neutral, was generally aligned with Germany. France kept its fleet but the British feared the Germans would seize it, so on 3 July, the British attacked it.
The Battle of Britain began in early July with Luftwaffe attacks on shipping and harbours. On 19 July, Hitler again publicly offered to end the war, saying he had no desire to destroy the British Empire. The United Kingdom rejected this ultimatum. The main German air superiority campaign started in August but failed to defeat RAF Fighter Command, and a proposed invasion was postponed indefinitely on 17 September. The German strategic bombing offensive intensified as night attacks on London and other cities in the Blitz, but largely failed to disrupt the British war effort.
Using newly captured French ports, the German Navy enjoyed success against an over-extended Royal Navy, using U-boats against British shipping in the Atlantic. The British scored a significant victory on 27 May 1941 by sinking the German battleship Bismarck. Perhaps most importantly, during the Battle of Britain the Royal Air Force had successfully resisted the Luftwaffe's assault, and the German bombing campaign largely ended in May 1941.
Throughout this period, the neutral United States took measures to assist China and the Western Allies. In November 1939, the American Neutrality Act was amended to allow "cash and carry" purchases by the Allies. In 1940, following the German capture of Paris, the size of the United States Navy was significantly increased. In September, the United States further agreed to a trade of American destroyers for British bases. Still, a large majority of the American public continued to oppose any direct military intervention into the conflict well into 1941.
Although Roosevelt had promised to keep the United States out of the war, he nevertheless took concrete steps to prepare for war. In December 1940 he accused Hitler of planning world conquest and ruled out negotiations as useless, calling for the US to become an "arsenal of democracy" and promoted the passage of Lend-Lease aid to support the British war effort. In January 1941 secret high level staff talks with the British began for the purposes of determining how to defeat Germany should the US enter the war. They decided on a number of offensive policies, including an air offensive, the "early elimination" of Italy, raids, support of resistance groups, and the capture of positions to launch an offensive against Germany.
At the end of September 1940, the Tripartite Pact united Japan, Italy and Germany to formalise the Axis Powers. The Tripartite Pact stipulated that any country, with the exception of the Soviet Union, not in the war which attacked any Axis Power would be forced to go to war against all three. The Axis expanded in November 1940 when Hungary, Slovakia and Romania joined the Tripartite Pact. Romania would make a major contribution (as did Hungary) to the Axis war against the USSR, partially to recapture territory ceded to the USSR, partially to pursue its leader Ion Antonescu's desire to combat communism.
Italy began operations in the Mediterranean, initiating a siege of Malta in June, conquering British Somaliland in August, and making an incursion into British-held Egypt in September 1940. In October 1940, Italy started the Greco-Italian War because of Mussolini's jealousy of Hitler's success but within days was repulsed and pushed back into Albania, where a stalemate soon occurred. The United Kingdom responded to Greek requests for assistance by sending troops to Crete and providing air support to Greece. Hitler decided that when the weather improved he would take action against Greece to assist the Italians and prevent the British from gaining a foothold in the Balkans, to strike against the British naval dominance of the Mediterranean, and to secure his hold on Romanian oil.
In December 1940, British Commonwealth forces began counter-offensives against Italian forces in Egypt and Italian East Africa. The offensive in North Africa was highly successful and by early February 1941 Italy had lost control of eastern Libya and large numbers of Italian troops had been taken prisoner. The Italian Navy also suffered significant defeats, with the Royal Navy putting three Italian battleships out of commission by a carrier attack at Taranto, and neutralising several more warships at the Battle of Cape Matapan.
The Germans soon intervened to assist Italy. Hitler sent German forces to Libya in February, and by the end of March they had launched an offensive which drove back the Commonwealth forces which had been weakened to support Greece. In under a month, Commonwealth forces were pushed back into Egypt with the exception of the besieged port of Tobruk. The Commonwealth attempted to dislodge Axis forces in May and again in June, but failed on both occasions.
By late March 1941, following Bulgaria's signing of the Tripartite Pact, the Germans were in position to intervene in Greece. Plans were changed, however, because of developments in neighbouring Yugoslavia. The Yugoslav government had signed the Tripartite Pact on 25 March, only to be overthrown two days later by a British-encouraged coup. Hitler viewed the new regime as hostile and immediately decided to eliminate it. On 6 April Germany simultaneously invaded both Yugoslavia and Greece, making rapid progress and forcing both nations to surrender within the month. The British were driven from the Balkans after Germany conquered the Greek island of Crete by the end of May. Although the Axis victory was swift, bitter partisan warfare subsequently broke out against the Axis occupation of Yugoslavia, which continued until the end of the war.
The Allies did have some successes during this time. In the Middle East, Commonwealth forces first quashed an uprising in Iraq which had been supported by German aircraft from bases within Vichy-controlled Syria, then, with the assistance of the Free French, invaded Syria and Lebanon to prevent further such occurrences.
Axis attack on the USSR (1941)
With the situation in Europe and Asia relatively stable, Germany, Japan, and the Soviet Union made preparations. With the Soviets wary of mounting tensions with Germany and the Japanese planning to take advantage of the European War by seizing resource-rich European possessions in Southeast Asia, the two powers signed the Soviet–Japanese Neutrality Pact in April 1941. By contrast, the Germans were steadily making preparations for an attack on the Soviet Union, massing forces on the Soviet border.
Hitler believed that Britain's refusal to end the war was based on the hope that the United States and the Soviet Union would enter the war against Germany sooner or later. He therefore decided to try to strengthen Germany's relations with the Soviets, or failing that, to attack and eliminate them as a factor. In November 1940, negotiations took place to determine if the Soviet Union would join the Tripartite Pact. The Soviets showed some interest, but asked for concessions from Finland, Bulgaria, Turkey, and Japan that Germany considered unacceptable. On 18 December 1940, Hitler issued the directive to prepare for an invasion of the Soviet Union.
On 22 June 1941, Germany, supported by Italy and Romania, invaded the Soviet Union in Operation Barbarossa, with Germany accusing the Soviets of plotting against them. They were joined shortly by Finland and Hungary. The primary targets of this surprise offensive[page needed] were the Baltic region, Moscow and Ukraine, with the ultimate goal of ending the 1941 campaign near the Arkhangelsk-Astrakhan line, from the Caspian to the White Seas. Hitler's objectives were to eliminate the Soviet Union as a military power, exterminate Communism, generate Lebensraum ("living space") by dispossessing the native population[page needed] and guarantee access to the strategic resources needed to defeat Germany's remaining rivals.[page needed]
Although the Red Army was preparing for strategic counter-offensives before the war,[page needed] Barbarossa forced the Soviet supreme command to adopt a strategic defence. During the summer, the Axis made significant gains into Soviet territory, inflicting immense losses in both personnel and materiel. By the middle of August, however, the German Army High Command decided to suspend the offensive of a considerably depleted Army Group Centre, and to divert the 2nd Panzer Group to reinforce troops advancing towards central Ukraine and Leningrad.[page needed] The Kiev offensive was overwhelmingly successful, resulting in encirclement and elimination of four Soviet armies, and made possible further advance into Crimea and industrially developed Eastern Ukraine (the First Battle of Kharkov).
The diversion of three quarters of the Axis troops and the majority of their air forces from France and the central Mediterranean to the Eastern Front prompted Britain to reconsider its grand strategy.[page needed] In July, the UK and the Soviet Union formed a military alliance against Germany The British and Soviets invaded Iran to secure the Persian Corridor and Iran's oil fields. In August, the United Kingdom and the United States jointly issued the Atlantic Charter.
By October Axis operational objectives in Ukraine and the Baltic region were achieved, with only the sieges of Leningrad[page needed] and Sevastopol continuing. A major offensive against Moscow was renewed; after two months of fierce battles in increasingly harsh weather the German army almost reached the outer suburbs of Moscow, where the exhausted troops were forced to suspend their offensive. Large territorial gains were made by Axis forces, but their campaign had failed to achieve its main objectives: two key cities remained in Soviet hands, the Soviet capability to resist was not broken, and the Soviet Union retained a considerable part of its military potential. The blitzkrieg phase of the war in Europe had ended.[page needed]
By early December, freshly mobilised reserves[page needed] allowed the Soviets to achieve numerical parity with Axis troops. This, as well as intelligence data which established that a minimal number of Soviet troops in the East would be sufficient to deter any attack by the Japanese Kwantung Army,[page needed] allowed the Soviets to begin a massive counter-offensive that started on 5 December all along the front and pushed German troops 100–250 kilometres (62–155 mi) west.
War breaks out in the Pacific (1941)
In 1939, the United States had renounced its trade treaty with Japan; and, beginning with an aviation gasoline ban in July 1940, Japan became subject to increasing economic pressure. During this time, Japan launched its first attack against Changsha, a strategically important Chinese city, but was repulsed by late September. Despite several offensives by both sides, the war between China and Japan was stalemated by 1940. To increase pressure on China by blocking supply routes, and to better position Japanese forces in the event of a war with the Western powers, Japan invaded and occupied northern Indochina. Afterwards, the United States embargoed iron, steel and mechanical parts against Japan. Other sanctions soon followed.
In August of that year, Chinese communists launched an offensive in Central China; in retaliation, Japan instituted harsh measures in occupied areas to reduce human and material resources for the communists. Continued antipathy between Chinese communist and nationalist forces culminated in armed clashes in January 1941, effectively ending their co-operation. In March, the Japanese 11th army attacked the headquarters of the Chinese 19th army but was repulsed during Battle of Shanggao. In September, Japan attempted to take the city of Changsha again and clashed with Chinese nationalist forces.
German successes in Europe encouraged Japan to increase pressure on European governments in Southeast Asia. The Dutch government agreed to provide Japan some oil supplies from the Dutch East Indies, but negotiations for additional access to their resources ended in failure in June 1941. In July 1941 Japan sent troops to southern Indochina, thus threatening British and Dutch possessions in the Far East. The United States, United Kingdom and other Western governments reacted to this move with a freeze on Japanese assets and a total oil embargo.
Since early 1941 the United States and Japan had been engaged in negotiations in an attempt to improve their strained relations and end the war in China. During these negotiations Japan advanced a number of proposals which were dismissed by the Americans as inadequate. At the same time the US, Britain, and the Netherlands engaged in secret discussions for the joint defence of their territories, in the event of a Japanese attack against any of them. Roosevelt reinforced the Philippines (an American protectorate scheduled for independence in 1946) and warned Japan that the US would react to Japanese attacks against any "neighboring countries".
Frustrated at the lack of progress and feeling the pinch of the American-British-Dutch sanctions, Japan prepared for war, as IJA General Hideki Tojo became Imperial Japan's Prime Minister on 17 October. On 20 November it presented an interim proposal as its final offer. It called for the end of American aid to China and for the supply of oil and other resources to Japan. In exchange they promised not to launch any attacks in Southeast Asia and to withdraw their forces from their threatening positions in southern Indochina. The American counter-proposal of 26 November required that Japan evacuate all of China without conditions and conclude non-aggression pacts with all Pacific powers. That meant Japan was essentially forced to choose between abandoning its ambitions in China, or seizing the natural resources it needed in the Dutch East Indies by force; the Japanese military did not consider the former an option, and many officers considered the oil embargo an unspoken declaration of war.
Japan planned to rapidly seize European colonies in Asia to create a large defensive perimeter stretching into the Central Pacific; the Japanese would then be free to exploit the resources of Southeast Asia while exhausting the over-stretched Allies by fighting a defensive war. To prevent American intervention while securing the perimeter it was further planned to neutralise the United States Pacific Fleet and the American military presence in the Philippines from the outset. On 7 December 1941 (8 December in Asian time zones), Japan attacked British and American holdings with near-simultaneous offensives against Southeast Asia and the Central Pacific. These included an attack on the American fleet at Pearl Harbor, the Philippines, landings in Thailand and Malaya and the battle of Hong Kong.
These attacks led the United States, Britain, China, Australia and several other states to formally declare war on Japan, whereas the Soviet Union, being heavily involved in large-scale hostilities with European Axis countries, maintained its neutrality agreement with Japan. Germany, followed by the other Axis states, declared war on the United States in solidarity with Japan, citing as justification the American attacks on German war vessels that had been ordered by Roosevelt.
Axis advance stalls (1942–43)
In January 1942, the Allied Big Four (the United States, Britain, the Soviet Union and China) and 22 smaller or exiled governments issued the Declaration by United Nations, thereby affirming the Atlantic Charter, and agreeing to not to sign a separate peace with the Axis powers.
During 1942, Allied officials debated on the appropriate grand strategy to pursue. All agreed that defeating Germany was the primary objective. The Americans favoured a straightforward, large-scale attack on Germany through France. The Soviets were also demanding a second front. The British, on the other hand, argued that military operations should target peripheral areas to wear out German strength, leading to increasing demoralisation, and bolster resistance forces. Germany itself would be subject to a heavy bombing campaign. An offensive against Germany would then be launched primarily by Allied armour without using large-scale armies. Eventually, the British persuaded the Americans that a landing in France was infeasible in 1942 and they should instead focus on driving the Axis out of North Africa.
At the Casablanca Conference in early 1943, the Allies reiterated the statements issued in the 1942 Declaration by the United Nations, and demanded the unconditional surrender of their enemies. The British and Americans agreed to continue to press the initiative in the Mediterranean by invading Sicily to fully secure the Mediterranean supply routes. Although the British argued for further operations in the Balkans to bring Turkey into the war, in May 1943, the Americans extracted a British commitment to limit Allied operations in the Mediterranean to an invasion of the Italian mainland and to invade France in 1944.
By the end of April 1942, Japan and its ally Thailand had almost fully conquered Burma, Malaya, the Dutch East Indies, Singapore, and Rabaul, inflicting severe losses on Allied troops and taking a large number of prisoners. Despite stubborn resistance by Filipino and US forces, the Philippine Commonwealth was eventually captured in May 1942, forcing its government into exile. On 16 April, in Burma, 7,000 British soldiers were encircled by the Japanese 33rd Division during the Battle of Yenangyaung and rescued by the Chinese 38th Division. Japanese forces also achieved naval victories in the South China Sea, Java Sea and Indian Ocean, and bombed the Allied naval base at Darwin, Australia. In January 1942, the only Allied success against Japan was a Chinese victory at Changsha. These easy victories over unprepared US and European opponents left Japan overconfident, as well as overextended.
In early May 1942, Japan initiated operations to capture Port Moresby by amphibious assault and thus sever communications and supply lines between the United States and Australia. The planned invasion was thwarted when an Allied task force, centred on two American fleet carriers, fought Japanese naval forces to a draw in the Battle of the Coral Sea. Japan's next plan, motivated by the earlier Doolittle Raid, was to seize Midway Atoll and lure American carriers into battle to be eliminated; as a diversion, Japan would also send forces to occupy the Aleutian Islands in Alaska. In mid-May, Japan started the Zhejiang-Jiangxi Campaign in China, with the goal of inflicting retribution on the Chinese who aided the surviving American airmen in the Doolittle Raid by destroying air bases and fighting against the Chinese 23rd and 32nd Army Groups. In early June, Japan put its operations into action but the Americans, having broken Japanese naval codes in late May, were fully aware of plans and order of battle, and used this knowledge to achieve a decisive victory at Midway over the Imperial Japanese Navy.
With its capacity for aggressive action greatly diminished as a result of the Midway battle, Japan chose to focus on a belated attempt to capture Port Moresby by an overland campaign in the Territory of Papua. The Americans planned a counter-attack against Japanese positions in the southern Solomon Islands, primarily Guadalcanal, as a first step towards capturing Rabaul, the main Japanese base in Southeast Asia.
Both plans started in July, but by mid-September, the Battle for Guadalcanal took priority for the Japanese, and troops in New Guinea were ordered to withdraw from the Port Moresby area to the northern part of the island, where they faced Australian and United States troops in the Battle of Buna-Gona. Guadalcanal soon became a focal point for both sides with heavy commitments of troops and ships in the battle for Guadalcanal. By the start of 1943, the Japanese were defeated on the island and withdrew their troops. In Burma, Commonwealth forces mounted two operations. The first, an offensive into the Arakan region in late 1942, went disastrously, forcing a retreat back to India by May 1943. The second was the insertion of irregular forces behind Japanese front-lines in February which, by the end of April, had achieved mixed results.
Eastern Front (1942–43)
Despite considerable losses, in early 1942 Germany and its allies stopped a major Soviet offensive in central and southern Russia, keeping most territorial gains they had achieved during the previous year. In May the Germans defeated Soviet offensives in the Kerch Peninsula and at Kharkov, and then launched their main summer offensive against southern Russia in June 1942, to seize the oil fields of the Caucasus and occupy Kuban steppe, while maintaining positions on the northern and central areas of the front. The Germans split Army Group South into two groups: Army Group A advanced to the lower Don River and struck south-east to the Caucasus, while Army Group B headed towards the Volga River. The Soviets decided to make their stand at Stalingrad on the Volga.
By mid-November, the Germans had nearly taken Stalingrad in bitter street fighting when the Soviets began their second winter counter-offensive, starting with an encirclement of German forces at Stalingrad and an assault on the Rzhev salient near Moscow, though the latter failed disastrously. By early February 1943, the German Army had taken tremendous losses; German troops at Stalingrad had been forced to surrender, and the front-line had been pushed back beyond its position before the summer offensive. In mid-February, after the Soviet push had tapered off, the Germans launched another attack on Kharkov, creating a salient in their front line around the Russian city of Kursk.
Western Europe/Atlantic & Mediterranean (1942–43)
Exploiting poor American naval command decisions, the German navy ravaged Allied shipping off the American Atlantic coast. By November 1941, Commonwealth forces had launched a counter-offensive, Operation Crusader, in North Africa, and reclaimed all the gains the Germans and Italians had made. In North Africa, the Germans launched an offensive in January, pushing the British back to positions at the Gazala Line by early February, followed by a temporary lull in combat which Germany used to prepare for their upcoming offensives. Concerns the Japanese might use bases in Vichy-held Madagascar caused the British to invade the island in early May 1942. An Axis offensive in Libya forced an Allied retreat deep inside Egypt until Axis forces were stopped at El Alamein. On the Continent, raids of Allied commandos on strategic targets, culminating in the disastrous Dieppe Raid, demonstrated the Western Allies' inability to launch an invasion of continental Europe without much better preparation, equipment, and operational security.[page needed]
In August 1942, the Allies succeeded in repelling a second attack against El Alamein and, at a high cost, managed to deliver desperately needed supplies to the besieged Malta. A few months later, the Allies commenced an attack of their own in Egypt, dislodging the Axis forces and beginning a drive west across Libya. This attack was followed up shortly after by Anglo-American landings in French North Africa, which resulted in the region joining the Allies. Hitler responded to the French colony's defection by ordering the occupation of Vichy France; although Vichy forces did not resist this violation of the armistice, they managed to scuttle their fleet to prevent its capture by German forces. The now pincered Axis forces in Africa withdrew into Tunisia, which was conquered by the Allies in May 1943.
In early 1943 the British and Americans began the Combined Bomber Offensive, a strategic bombing campaign against Germany. The goals were to disrupt the German war economy, reduce German morale, and "de-house" the civilian population.
Allies gain momentum (1943–44)
After the Guadalcanal Campaign, the Allies initiated several operations against Japan in the Pacific. In May 1943, Canadian and U.S. forces were sent to eliminate Japanese forces from the Aleutians. Soon after, the U.S., with support from Australian and New Zealand forces, began major operations to isolate Rabaul by capturing surrounding islands, and breach the Japanese Central Pacific perimeter at the Gilbert and Marshall Islands. By the end of March 1944, the Allies had completed both of these objectives, and had also neutralised the major Japanese base at Truk in the Caroline Islands. In April, the Allies launched an operation to retake Western New Guinea. In the Soviet Union, both the Germans and the Soviets spent the spring and early summer of 1943 preparing for large offensives in central Russia. On 4 July 1943, Germany attacked Soviet forces around the Kursk Bulge. Within a week, German forces had exhausted themselves against the Soviets' deeply echeloned and well-constructed defences and, for the first time in the war, Hitler cancelled the operation before it had achieved tactical or operational success. This decision was partially affected by the Western Allies' invasion of Sicily launched on 9 July which, combined with previous Italian failures, resulted in the ousting and arrest of Mussolini later that month. Also, in July 1943 the British firebombed Hamburg killing over 40,000 people.
On 12 July 1943, the Soviets launched their own counter-offensives, thereby dispelling any chance of German victory or even stalemate in the east. The Soviet victory at Kursk marked the end of German superiority, giving the Soviet Union the initiative on the Eastern Front. The Germans tried to stabilise their eastern front along the hastily fortified Panther–Wotan line, but the Soviets broke through it at Smolensk and by the Lower Dnieper Offensives.
On 3 September 1943, the Western Allies invaded the Italian mainland, following Italy's armistice with the Allies. Germany responded by disarming Italian forces, seizing military control of Italian areas, and creating a series of defensive lines. German special forces then rescued Mussolini, who then soon established a new client state in German occupied Italy named the Italian Social Republic, causing an Italian civil war. The Western Allies fought through several lines until reaching the main German defensive line in mid-November.
German operations in the Atlantic also suffered. By May 1943, as Allied counter-measures became increasingly effective, the resulting sizeable German submarine losses forced a temporary halt of the German Atlantic naval campaign. In November 1943, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill met with Chiang Kai-shek in Cairo and then with Joseph Stalin in Tehran. The former conference determined the post-war return of Japanese territory and the military planning for Burma Campaign , while the latter included agreement that the Western Allies would invade Europe in 1944 and that the Soviet Union would declare war on Japan within three months of Germany's defeat.
From November 1943, during the seven-week Battle of Changde, the Chinese forced Japan to fight a costly war of attrition, while awaiting Allied relief. In January 1944, the Allies launched a series of attacks in Italy against the line at Monte Cassino and tried to outflank it with landings at Anzio. By the end of January, a major Soviet offensive expelled German forces from the Leningrad region, ending the longest and most lethal siege in history.
The following Soviet offensive was halted on the pre-war Estonian border by the German Army Group North aided by Estonians hoping to re-establish national independence. This delay slowed subsequent Soviet operations in the Baltic Sea region. By late May 1944, the Soviets had liberated Crimea, largely expelled Axis forces from Ukraine, and made incursions into Romania, which were repulsed by the Axis troops. The Allied offensives in Italy had succeeded and, at the expense of allowing several German divisions to retreat, on 4 June, Rome was captured.
The Allies had mixed success in mainland Asia. In March 1944, the Japanese launched the first of two invasions, an operation against British positions in Assam, India, and soon besieged Commonwealth positions at Imphal and Kohima. In May 1944, British forces mounted a counter-offensive that drove Japanese troops back to Burma, and Chinese forces that had invaded northern Burma in late 1943 besieged Japanese troops in Myitkyina. The second Japanese invasion of China aimed to destroy China's main fighting forces, secure railways between Japanese-held territory and capture Allied airfields. By June, the Japanese had conquered the province of Henan and begun a new attack on Changsha in the Hunan province.
Allies close in (1944)
On 6 June 1944 (known as D-Day), after three years of Soviet pressure, the Western Allies invaded northern France. After reassigning several Allied divisions from Italy, they also attacked southern France. These landings were successful, and led to the defeat of the German Army units in France. Paris was liberated by the local resistance assisted by the Free French Forces, both led by General Charles de Gaulle, on 25 August and the Western Allies continued to push back German forces in western Europe during the latter part of the year. An attempt to advance into northern Germany spearheaded by a major airborne operation in the Netherlands failed. After that, the Western Allies slowly pushed into Germany, but failed to cross the Ruhr river in a large offensive. In Italy, Allied advance also slowed due to the last major German defensive line.
On 22 June, the Soviets launched a strategic offensive in Belarus ("Operation Bagration") that destroyed the German Army Group Centre almost completely. Soon after that another Soviet strategic offensive forced German troops from Western Ukraine and Eastern Poland. The Soviet advance prompted resistance forces in Poland to initiate several uprisings against the German occupation. However, the largest of these in Warsaw, where German soldiers massacred 200,000 civilians, and a national uprising in Slovakia, did not receive Soviet support and were subsequently suppressed by the Germans. The Red Army's strategic offensive in eastern Romania cut off and destroyed the considerable German troops there and triggered a successful coup d'état in Romania and in Bulgaria, followed by those countries' shift to the Allied side.
In September 1944, Soviet troops advanced into Yugoslavia and forced the rapid withdrawal of German Army Groups E and F in Greece, Albania and Yugoslavia to rescue them from being cut off. By this point, the Communist-led Partisans under Marshal Josip Broz Tito, who had led an increasingly successful guerrilla campaign against the occupation since 1941, controlled much of the territory of Yugoslavia and engaged in delaying efforts against German forces further south. In northern Serbia, the Red Army, with limited support from Bulgarian forces, assisted the Partisans in a joint liberation of the capital city of Belgrade on 20 October. A few days later, the Soviets launched a massive assault against German-occupied Hungary that lasted until the fall of Budapest in February 1945. Unlike impressive Soviet victories in the Balkans, bitter Finnish resistance to the Soviet offensive in the Karelian Isthmus denied the Soviets occupation of Finland and led to a Soviet-Finnish armistice on relatively mild conditions, although Finland was forced to fight their former allies.
By the start of July 1944, Commonwealth forces in Southeast Asia had repelled the Japanese sieges in Assam, pushing the Japanese back to the Chindwin River while the Chinese captured Myitkyina. In China, the Japanese had more successes, having finally captured Changsha in mid-June and the city of Hengyang by early August. Soon after, they invaded the province of Guangxi, winning major engagements against Chinese forces at Guilin and Liuzhou by the end of November and successfully linking up their forces in China and Indochina by mid-December.
In the Pacific, US forces continued to press back the Japanese perimeter. In mid-June 1944, they began their offensive against the Mariana and Palau islands, and decisively defeated Japanese forces in the Battle of the Philippine Sea. These defeats led to the resignation of the Japanese Prime Minister, Hideki Tojo, and provided the United States with air bases to launch intensive heavy bomber attacks on the Japanese home islands. In late October, American forces invaded the Filipino island of Leyte; soon after, Allied naval forces scored another large victory in the Battle of Leyte Gulf, one of the largest naval battles in history.
Axis collapse, Allied victory (1944–45)
On 16 December 1944, Germany made a last attempt on the Western Front by using most of its remaining reserves to launch a massive counter-offensive in the Ardennes to split the Western Allies, encircle large portions of Western Allied troops and capture their primary supply port at Antwerp to prompt a political settlement. By January, the offensive had been repulsed with no strategic objectives fulfilled. In Italy, the Western Allies remained stalemated at the German defensive line. In mid-January 1945, the Soviets and Poles attacked in Poland, pushing from the Vistula to the Oder river in Germany, and overran East Prussia. On 4 February, US, British, and Soviet leaders met for the Yalta Conference. They agreed on the occupation of post-war Germany, and on when the Soviet Union would join the war against Japan.
In February, the Soviets entered Silesia and Pomerania, while Western Allies entered western Germany and closed to the Rhine river. By March, the Western Allies crossed the Rhine north and south of the Ruhr, encircling the German Army Group B, while the Soviets advanced to Vienna. In early April, the Western Allies finally pushed forward in Italy and swept across western Germany, while Soviet and Polish forces stormed Berlin in late April. American and Soviet forces met at the Elbe river on 25 April. On 30 April 1945, the Reichstag was captured, signalling the military defeat of Nazi Germany.
Several changes in leadership occurred during this period. On 12 April, President Roosevelt died and was succeeded by Harry Truman. Benito Mussolini was killed by Italian partisans on 28 April. Two days later, Hitler committed suicide, and was succeeded by Grand Admiral Karl Dönitz.
German forces surrendered in Italy on 29 April. Total and unconditional surrender was signed on 7 May, to be effective by the end of 8 May. German Army Group Centre resisted in Prague until 11 May.
In the Pacific theatre, American forces accompanied by the forces of the Philippine Commonwealth advanced in the Philippines, clearing Leyte by the end of April 1945. They landed on Luzon in January 1945 and recaptured Manila in March following a battle which reduced the city to ruins. Fighting continued on Luzon, Mindanao, and other islands of the Philippines until the end of the war. Meanwhile, the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) were destroying strategic and populated cities and towns in Japan in an effort to destroy Japanese war industry and civilian morale. On the night of 9–10 March, USAAF B-29 bombers struck Tokyo with thousands of incendiary bombs, which killed 100,000 civilians and destroyed 16 square miles within a few hours. Over the next five months, the USAAF firebombed a total of 67 Japanese cities, killing 393,000 civilians and destroying 65% of built up areas.
In May 1945, Australian troops landed in Borneo, over-running the oilfields there. British, American, and Chinese forces defeated the Japanese in northern Burma in March, and the British pushed on to reach Rangoon by 3 May. Chinese forces started to counterattack in Battle of West Hunan that occurred between 6 April and 7 June 1945. American naval and amphibious forces also moved towards Japan, taking Iwo Jima by March, and Okinawa by the end of June. At the same time, American submarines cut off Japanese imports, drastically reducing Japan's ability to supply its overseas forces.
On 11 July, Allied leaders met in Potsdam, Germany. They confirmed earlier agreements about Germany, and reiterated the demand for unconditional surrender of all Japanese forces by Japan, specifically stating that "the alternative for Japan is prompt and utter destruction". During this conference, the United Kingdom held its general election, and Clement Attlee replaced Churchill as Prime Minister.
The Allies called for unconditional Japanese surrender in the Potsdam Declaration of 27 July, but the Japanese government rejected the call. In early August, the USAAF dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The Allies justified the atomic bombings as a military necessity to avoid invading the Japanese home islands which would cost the lives of between 250,000–500,000 Allied servicemen and millions of Japanese troops and civilians. Between the two bombings, the Soviets, pursuant to the Yalta agreement, invaded Japanese-held Manchuria, and quickly defeated the Kwantung Army, which was the largest Japanese fighting force. The Red Army also captured Sakhalin Island and the Kuril Islands. On 15 August 1945, Japan surrendered, with the surrender documents finally signed on the deck of the American battleship USS Missouri on 2 September 1945, ending the war.
The Allies established occupation administrations in Austria and Germany. The former became a neutral state, non-aligned with any political bloc. The latter was divided into western and eastern occupation zones controlled by the Western Allies and the USSR, accordingly. A denazification programme in Germany led to the prosecution of Nazi war criminals and the removal of ex-Nazis from power, although this policy moved towards amnesty and re-integration of ex-Nazis into West German society.
Germany lost a quarter of its pre-war (1937) territory. Among the eastern territories, Silesia, Neumark and most of Pomerania were taken over by Poland, East Prussia was divided between Poland and the USSR, followed by the expulsion of the 9 million Germans from these provinces, as well as the expulsion of 3 million Germans from the Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia to Germany. By the 1950s, every fifth West German was a refugee from the east. The Soviet Union also took over the Polish provinces east of the Curzon line, from which 2 million Poles were expelled; north-east Romania, parts of eastern Finland, and the three Baltic states were also incorporated into the USSR.
In an effort to maintain peace, the Allies formed the United Nations, which officially came into existence on 24 October 1945, and adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, as a common standard for all member nations. The great powers that were the victors of the war—the United States, Soviet Union, China, Britain, and France—formed the permanent members of the UN's Security Council. The five permanent members remain so to the present, although there have been two seat changes, between the Republic of China and the People's Republic of China in 1971, and between the Soviet Union and its successor state, the Russian Federation, following the dissolution of the Soviet Union. The alliance between the Western Allies and the Soviet Union had begun to deteriorate even before the war was over.
Germany had been de facto divided, and two independent states, the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic were created within the borders of Allied and Soviet occupation zones, accordingly. The rest of Europe was also divided into Western and Soviet spheres of influence. Most eastern and central European countries fell into the Soviet sphere, which led to establishment of Communist-led regimes, with full or partial support of the Soviet occupation authorities. As a result, Poland, Hungary, East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Romania, and Albania became Soviet satellite states. Communist Yugoslavia conducted a fully independent policy, causing tension with the USSR.
Post-war division of the world was formalised by two international military alliances, the United States-led NATO and the Soviet-led Warsaw Pact; the long period of political tensions and military competition between them, the Cold War, would be accompanied by an unprecedented arms race and proxy wars.
In Asia, the United States led the occupation of Japan and administrated Japan's former islands in the Western Pacific, while the Soviets annexed Sakhalin and the Kuril Islands. Korea, formerly under Japanese rule, was divided and occupied by the Soviet Union in the North and the US in the South between 1945 and 1948. Separate republics emerged on both sides of the 38th parallel in 1948, each claiming to be the legitimate government for all of Korea, which led ultimately to the Korean War.
In China, nationalist and communist forces resumed the civil war in June 1946. Communist forces were victorious and established the People's Republic of China on the mainland, while nationalist forces retreated to Taiwan in 1949. In the Middle East, the Arab rejection of the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine and the creation of Israel marked the escalation of the Arab–Israeli conflict. While European powers attempted to retain some or all of their colonial empires, their losses of prestige and resources during the war rendered this unsuccessful, leading to decolonisation.
The global economy suffered heavily from the war, although participating nations were affected differently. The US emerged much richer than any other nation; it had a baby boom and by 1950 its gross domestic product per person was much higher than that of any of the other powers and it dominated the world economy. The UK and US pursued a policy of industrial disarmament in Western Germany in the years 1945–1948. Because of international trade interdependencies this led to European economic stagnation and delayed European recovery for several years.
Recovery began with the mid-1948 currency reform in Western Germany, and was sped up by the liberalisation of European economic policy that the Marshall Plan (1948–1951) both directly and indirectly caused. The post-1948 West German recovery has been called the German economic miracle. Italy also experienced an economic boom and the French economy rebounded. By contrast, the United Kingdom was in a state of economic ruin, and although it received a quarter of the total Marshall Plan assistance, more than any other European country, continued relative economic decline for decades.
The Soviet Union, despite enormous human and material losses, also experienced rapid increase in production in the immediate post-war era. Japan experienced incredibly rapid economic growth, becoming one of the most powerful economies in the world by the 1980s. China returned to its pre-war industrial production by 1952.
Casualties and war crimes
Estimates for the total number of casualties in the war vary, because many deaths went unrecorded. Most suggest that some 60 million people died in the war, including about 20 million military personnel and 40 million civilians. Many of the civilians died because of deliberate genocide, massacres, mass-bombings, disease, and starvation.
The Soviet Union lost around 27 million people during the war, including 8.7 million military and 19 million civilian deaths. The largest portion of military dead were 5.7 million ethnic Russians, followed by 1.3 million ethnic Ukrainians. A quarter of the people in the Soviet Union were wounded or killed. Germany sustained 5.3 million military losses, mostly on the Eastern Front and during the final battles in Germany.
Of the total number of deaths in World War II, approximately 85 per cent—mostly Soviet and Chinese—were on the Allied side and 15 per cent were on the Axis side. Many of these deaths were caused by war crimes committed by German and Japanese forces in occupied territories. An estimated 11 to 17 million civilians died either as a direct or as an indirect result of Nazi ideological policies, including the systematic genocide of around 6 million Jews during the Holocaust, along with a further 5 to 6 million ethnic Poles and other Slavs (including Ukrainians and Belarusians)—Roma, homosexuals, and other ethnic and minority groups. Hundreds of thousands (varying estimates) of ethnic Serbs, along with gypsies and Jews, were murdered by the Axis-aligned Croatian Ustaše in Yugoslavia, and retribution-related killings were committed just after the war ended.
In Asia and the Pacific, between 3 million and more than 10 million civilians, mostly Chinese (estimated at 7.5 million), were killed by the Japanese occupation forces. The best-known Japanese atrocity was the Nanking Massacre, in which fifty to three hundred thousand Chinese civilians were raped and murdered. Mitsuyoshi Himeta reported that 2.7 million casualties occurred during the Sankō Sakusen. General Yasuji Okamura implemented the policy in Heipei and Shantung.
Axis forces employed biological and chemical weapons. The Imperial Japanese Army used a variety of such weapons during its invasion and occupation of China (see Unit 731) and in early conflicts against the Soviets. Both the Germans and Japanese tested such weapons against civilians and, sometimes on prisoners of war.
The Soviet Union was responsible for the Katyn massacre of 22,000 Polish officers, and the imprisonment or execution of thousands of political prisoners by the NKVD, in the Baltic states, and eastern Poland annexed by the Red Army.
The mass-bombing of cities in Europe and Asia has often been called a war crime. However, no positive or specific customary international humanitarian law with respect to aerial warfare existed before or during World War II.
Concentration camps, slave labour, and genocide
The German government led by Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party was responsible for the Holocaust, the killing of approximately 6 million Jews, as well as 2.7 million ethnic Poles, and 4 million others who were deemed "unworthy of life" (including the disabled and mentally ill, Soviet prisoners of war, homosexuals, Freemasons, Jehovah's Witnesses, and Romani) as part of a programme of deliberate extermination. About 12 million, most of whom were Eastern Europeans, were employed in the German war economy as forced labourers.
In addition to Nazi concentration camps, the Soviet gulags (labour camps) led to the death of citizens of occupied countries such as Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia, as well as German prisoners of war (POWs) and even Soviet citizens who had been or were thought to be supporters of the Nazis. Sixty per cent of Soviet POWs of the Germans died during the war. Richard Overy gives the number of 5.7 million Soviet POWs. Of those, 57 per cent died or were killed, a total of 3.6 million. Soviet ex-POWs and repatriated civilians were treated with great suspicion as potential Nazi collaborators, and some of them were sent to the Gulag upon being checked by the NKVD.
Japanese prisoner-of-war camps, many of which were used as labour camps, also had high death rates. The International Military Tribunal for the Far East found the death rate of Western prisoners was 27.1 per cent (for American POWs, 37 per cent), seven times that of POWs under the Germans and Italians. While 37,583 prisoners from the UK, 28,500 from the Netherlands, and 14,473 from the United States were released after the surrender of Japan, the number of Chinese released was only 56.
According to historian Zhifen Ju, at least five million Chinese civilians from northern China and Manchukuo were enslaved between 1935 and 1941 by the East Asia Development Board, or Kōain, for work in mines and war industries. After 1942, the number reached 10 million. The US Library of Congress estimates that in Java, between 4 and 10 million rōmusha (Japanese: "manual labourers"), were forced to work by the Japanese military. About 270,000 of these Javanese labourers were sent to other Japanese-held areas in South East Asia, and only 52,000 were repatriated to Java.
On 19 February 1942, Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, interning about 100,000 Japanese living on the West Coast. Canada had a similar programme. In addition, 14,000 German and Italian citizens who had been assessed as being security risks were also interned.
In accordance with the Allied agreement made at the Yalta Conference millions of POWs and civilians were used as forced labour by the Soviet Union. In Hungary's case, Hungarians were forced to work for the Soviet Union until 1955.
In Europe, occupation came under two forms. In Western, Northern, and Central Europe (France, Norway, Denmark, the Low Countries, and the annexed portions of Czechoslovakia) Germany established economic policies through which it collected roughly 69.5 billion reichmarks (27.8 billion US Dollars) by the end of the war, this figure does not include the sizeable plunder of industrial products, military equipment, raw materials and other goods. Thus, the income from occupied nations was over 40 per cent of the income Germany collected from taxation, a figure which increased to nearly 40 per cent of total German income as the war went on.
In the East, the much hoped for bounties of Lebensraum were never attained as fluctuating front-lines and Soviet scorched earth policies denied resources to the German invaders. Unlike in the West, the Nazi racial policy encouraged extreme brutality against what it considered to be the "inferior people" of Slavic descent; most German advances were thus followed by mass executions. Although resistance groups formed in most occupied territories, they did not significantly hamper German operations in either the East or the West until late 1943.
In Asia, Japan termed nations under its occupation as being part of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere, essentially a Japanese hegemony which it claimed was for purposes of liberating colonised peoples. Although Japanese forces were originally welcomed as liberators from European domination in some territories, their excessive brutality turned local public opinion against them within weeks. During Japan's initial conquest it captured 4,000,000 barrels (640,000 m3) of oil (~5.5×105 tonnes) left behind by retreating Allied forces, and by 1943 was able to get production in the Dutch East Indies up to 50 million barrels (~6.8×106 t), 76 per cent of its 1940 output rate.
Home fronts and production
In Europe, before the outbreak of the war, the Allies had significant advantages in both population and economics. In 1938, the Western Allies (United Kingdom, France, Poland and British Dominions) had a 30 per cent larger population and a 30 per cent higher gross domestic product than the European Axis (Germany and Italy); if colonies are included, it then gives the Allies more than a 5:1 advantage in population and nearly 2:1 advantage in GDP. In Asia at the same time, China had roughly six times the population of Japan, but only an 89 per cent higher GDP; this is reduced to three times the population and only a 38 per cent higher GDP if Japanese colonies are included.
Though the Allies' economic and population advantages were largely mitigated during the initial rapid blitzkrieg attacks of Germany and Japan, they became the decisive factor by 1942, after the United States and Soviet Union joined the Allies, as the war largely settled into one of attrition. While the Allies' ability to out-produce the Axis is often attributed to the Allies having more access to natural resources, other factors, such as Germany and Japan's reluctance to employ women in the labour force, Allied strategic bombing, and Germany's late shift to a war economy contributed significantly. Additionally, neither Germany nor Japan planned to fight a protracted war, and were not equipped to do so. To improve their production, Germany and Japan used millions of slave labourers; Germany used about 12 million people, mostly from Eastern Europe, while Japan used more than 18 million people in Far East Asia.
Advances in technology and warfare
Aircraft were used for reconnaissance, as fighters, bombers, and ground-support, and each role was advanced considerably. Innovation included airlift (the capability to quickly move limited high-priority supplies, equipment, and personnel); and of strategic bombing (the bombing of enemy industrial and population centres to destroy the enemy's ability to wage war). Anti-aircraft weaponry also advanced, including defences such as radar and surface-to-air artillery, such as the German 88 mm gun. The use of the jet aircraft was pioneered and, though late introduction meant it had little impact, it led to jets becoming standard in air forces worldwide.
Advances were made in nearly every aspect of naval warfare, most notably with aircraft carriers and submarines. Although aeronautical warfare had relatively little success at the start of the war, actions at Taranto, Pearl Harbor, and the Coral Sea established the carrier as the dominant capital ship in place of the battleship.
In the Atlantic, escort carriers proved to be a vital part of Allied convoys, increasing the effective protection radius and helping to close the Mid-Atlantic gap. Carriers were also more economical than battleships because of the relatively low cost of aircraft and their not requiring to be as heavily armoured. Submarines, which had proved to be an effective weapon during the First World War, were anticipated by all sides to be important in the second. The British focused development on anti-submarine weaponry and tactics, such as sonar and convoys, while Germany focused on improving its offensive capability, with designs such as the Type VII submarine and wolfpack tactics. Gradually, improving Allied technologies such as the Leigh light, hedgehog, squid, and homing torpedoes proved victorious.
Land warfare changed from the static front lines of World War I to increased mobility and combined arms. The tank, which had been used predominantly for infantry support in the First World War, had evolved into the primary weapon. In the late 1930s, tank design was considerably more advanced than it had been during World War I, and advances continued throughout the war with increases in speed, armour and firepower.
At the start of the war, most commanders thought enemy tanks should be met by tanks with superior specifications. This idea was challenged by the poor performance of the relatively light early tank guns against armour, and German doctrine of avoiding tank-versus-tank combat. This, along with Germany's use of combined arms, were among the key elements of their highly successful blitzkrieg tactics across Poland and France. Many means of destroying tanks, including indirect artillery, anti-tank guns (both towed and self-propelled), mines, short-ranged infantry antitank weapons, and other tanks were utilised. Even with large-scale mechanisation, infantry remained the backbone of all forces, and throughout the war, most infantry were equipped similarly to World War I.
The portable machine gun spread, a notable example being the German MG34, and various submachine guns which were suited to close combat in urban and jungle settings. The assault rifle, a late war development incorporating many features of the rifle and submachine gun, became the standard postwar infantry weapon for most armed forces.
Most major belligerents attempted to solve the problems of complexity and security involved in using large codebooks for cryptography by designing ciphering machines, the most well known being the German Enigma machine. Development of SIGINT (signals intelligence) and cryptanalysis enabled the countering process of decryption. Notable examples were the Allied decryption of Japanese naval codes and British Ultra, a pioneering method for decoding Enigma benefiting from information given to Britain by the Polish Cipher Bureau, which had been decoding early versions of Enigma before the war. Another aspect of military intelligence was the use of deception, which the Allies used to great effect, such as in operations Mincemeat and Bodyguard. Other technological and engineering feats achieved during, or as a result of, the war include the world's first programmable computers (Z3, Colossus, and ENIAC), guided missiles and modern rockets, the Manhattan Project's development of nuclear weapons, operations research and the development of artificial harbours and oil pipelines under the English Channel.
- Air warfare of World War II
- Bibliography of World War II
- Declarations of war during World War II
- Historiography of World War II
- Home front during World War II
- List of World War II battles
- List of Allied World War II conferences
- List of World War II military operations
- Lists of World War II military equipment
- Women in World War II
- World War II in popular culture
- List of World War II films
- The World Wars (miniseries) The World Wars is a three-part, six-hour event miniseries by the History Channel that premiered on Monday, 26 May 2014, (Memorial Day) airing for three consecutive nights. An extended version of the series with never before seen footage was subsequently broadcast on H2 and in more than 160 countries on 22 June 2014
- Apocalypse: The Second World War (2009), a six-part French documentary by Daniel Costelle and Isabelle Clarke about World War II
- Battlefield, a documentary television series initially issued in 1994–5, that explores many important World War II battles
- BBC History of World War II, a television series, initially issued from 1989 to 2005.
- The World at War (1974), a 26-part Thames Television series that covers most aspects of World War II from many points of view. It includes interviews with many key figures including Karl Dönitz, Albert Speer, and Anthony Eden.
- Ian Kershaw 'Hell on Earth' in To Hell and Back: Europe 1914–1949. 1-49
- While various other dates have been proposed as the date on which World War II began or ended, this is the time span most frequently cited.
- Upon his death in 1989, Emperor Hirohito was posthumously proclaimed Emperor Shōwa. While either use is considered acceptable, his English name (Hirohito) is used here as it is this name by which he was known to most of the West during World War II.
- Fitzgerald 2011, p. 4.
- Hedgepeth & Saidel 2010, p. 16.
- James A. Tyner (3 March 2009). War, Violence, and Population: Making the Body Count. The Guilford Press; 1 edition. p. 49. ISBN 1-6062-3038-7.
- Sommerville 2008, p. 5 (2011 ed.).
- Barrett & Shyu 2001, p. 6.
- Axelrod, Alan (2007) Encyclopedia of World War II, Volume 1. Infobase Publishing. pp. 659.
- The UN Security Council, retrieved 15 May 2012
- Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council; José Manuel Durão Barroso, President of the European Commission (10 December 2012). "From War to Peace: A European Tale". Nobel Lecture by the European Union. Retrieved 4 January 2014.
- Weinberg 2005, p. 6.
- Wells, Anne Sharp (2014) Historical Dictionary of World War II: The War against Germany and Italy. Rowman & Littlefield Publishing. pp. 7.
- Ferris, John; Mawdsley, Evan (2015). The Cambridge History of the Second World War, Volume I: Fighting the War. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Förster & Gessler 2005, p. 64.
- Ghuhl, Wernar (2007) Imperial Japan's World War Two Transaction Publishers pg 7, pg. 30
- Polmar, Norman; Thomas B. Allen (1991) World War II: America at war, 1941–1945 ISBN 978-0394585307
- Ben-Horin 1943, p. 169; Taylor 1979, p. 124; Yisreelit, Hevrah Mizrahit (1965). Asian and African Studies, p. 191.
For 1941 see Taylor 1961, p. vii; Kellogg, William O (2003). American History the Easy Way. Barron's Educational Series. p. 236 ISBN 0-7641-1973-7.
There is also the viewpoint that both World War I and World War II are part of the same "European Civil War" or "Second Thirty Years War": Canfora 2006, p. 155; Prins 2002, p. 11.
- Beevor 2012, p. 10.
- Masaya 1990, p. 4.
- "History of German-American Relations » 1989–1994 – Reunification » "Two-plus-Four-Treaty": Treaty on the Final Settlement with Respect to Germany, September 12, 1990". usa.usembassy.de. Retrieved 6 May 2012.
- Ingram 2006, pp. 76–8.
- Kantowicz 1999, p. 149.
- Shaw 2000, p. 35.
- Brody 1999, p. 4.
- Dawood & Mitra 2012.
- Zalampas 1989, p. 62.
- Mandelbaum 1988, p. 96; Record 2005, p. 50.
- Schmitz 2000, p. 124.
- Adamthwaite 1992, p. 52.
- Preston 1998, p. 104.
- Myers & Peattie 1987, p. 458.
- Smith & Steadman 2004, p. 28.
- Coogan 1993: "Although some Chinese troops in the Northeast managed to retreat south, others were trapped by the advancing Japanese Army and were faced with the choice of resistance in defiance of orders, or surrender. A few commanders submitted, receiving high office in the puppet government, but others took up arms against the invader. The forces they commanded were the first of the volunteer armies."
- Busky 2002, p. 10.
- Andrea L. Stanton; Edward Ramsamy; Peter J. Seybolt. Cultural Sociology of the Middle East, Asia, and Africa: An Encyclopedia. p. 308. Retrieved 2014-04-06.
- Barker 1971, pp. 131–2.
- Kitson 2001, p. 231.
- Payne 2008.
- Eastman 1986, pp. 547–51.
- Levene, Mark and Roberts, Penny. The Massacre in History. 1999, page 223-4
- Totten, Samuel. Dictionary of Genocide. 2008, 298–9.
- Hsu & Chang 1971, pp. 221–230.
- Eastman 1986, p. 566.
- Taylor 2009, pp. 150–2.
- Sella 1983, pp. 651–87.
- Beevor 2012, p. 342.
- Goldman, Stuart D. (28 August 2012). "The Forgotten Soviet-Japanese War of 1939". The Diplomat. Retrieved 26 June 2015.
- Timothy Neeno. "Nomonhan: The Second Russo-Japanese War". MilitaryHistoryOnline.com. Retrieved 26 June 2015.
- Collier & Pedley 2000, p. 144.
- Kershaw 2001, pp. 121–2.
- Kershaw 2001, p. 157.
- Davies 2006, pp. 143–4 (2008 ed.).
- Lowe & Marzari 2002, p. 330.
- Dear & Foot 2001, p. 234.
- Shore 2003, p. 108.
- Dear & Foot 2001, p. 608.
- Minutes of the conference between the Fuehrer and the Italian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Count Ciano, in the presence of the Reich Foreign Minister of Obersalzberg on 12 August 1939 in Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression Volume IV Document No. 1871-PS
- "The German Campaign In Poland (1939)". Retrieved 29 October 2014.
- "The Danzig Crisis". ww2db.com.
- "Major international events of 1939, with explanation". Ibiblio.org.
- Evans 2008, pp. 1–2.
- Jackson 2006, p. 58.
- Weinberg 2005, pp. 64–5.
- Keegan 1997, p. 35.
Cienciala 2010, p. 128, observes that, while it is true that Poland was far away, making it difficult for the French and British to provide support, "[f]ew Western historians of World War II ... know that the British had committed to bomb Germany if it attacked Poland, but did not do so except for one raid on the base of Wilhelmshafen. The French, who committed to attack Germany in the west, had no intention of doing so."
- Beevor 2012, p. 32; Dear & Foot 2001, pp. 248–9; Roskill 1954, p. 64.
- Zaloga 2002, pp. 80, 83.
- Hempel 2005, p. 24.
- Zaloga 2002, pp. 88–9.
- Budiansky 2001, pp. 120–1.
- Nuremberg Documents C-62/GB86, a directive from Hitler in October 1939 which concludes: "The attack [on France] is to be launched this Autumn if conditions are at all possible."
- Liddell Hart 1977, pp. 39–40.
- Bullock 1990, pp. 563–4, 566, 568–9, 574–5 (1983 ed.).
- Blitzkrieg: From the Rise of Hitler to the Fall of Dunkirk, L Deighton, Jonathan Cape, 1993, p186-7. Deighton states that "the offensive was postponed twenty-nine times before it finally took place."
- Smith et al. 2002, p. 24.
- Bilinsky 1999, p. 9.
- Murray & Millett 2001, pp. 55–6.
- Spring 1986, p. 207-226.
- Hanhimäki 1997, p. 12.
- Ferguson 2006, pp. 367, 376, 379, 417.
- Snyder 2010, p. 118ff.
- Koch 1983.
- Roberts 2006, p. 56.
- Roberts 2006, p. 59.
- Murray & Millett 2001, pp. 57–63.
- Commager 2004, p. 9.
- Reynolds 2006, p. 76.
- Evans 2008, pp. 122–3.
- Dear & Foot 2001, p. 436. The Americans later relieved the British, with marines arriving in Reykjavik on 7 July 1941 (Schofield 1981, p. 122).
- Shirer 1990, pp. 721–3.
- Keegan 1997, pp. 59–60.
- Regan 2004, p. 152.
- Liddell Hart 1977, p. 48.
- Keegan 1997, pp. 66–7.
- Overy & Wheatcroft 1999, p. 207.
- Umbreit 1991, p. 311.
- Brown 2004, p. xxx.
- Keegan 1997, p. 72.
- Murray 1983, The Battle of Britain.
- "Major international events of 1940, with explanation". Ibiblio.org.
- Goldstein 2004, p. 35. Aircraft played a highly important role in defeating the German U-boats (Schofield 1981, p. 122).
- Steury 1987, p. 209; Zetterling & Tamelander 2009, p. 282.
- Dear & Foot 2001, pp. 108–9.
- Overy & Wheatcroft 1999, pp. 328–30.
- Maingot 1994, p. 52.
- Cantril 1940, p. 390.
- Skinner Watson, Mark. "Coordination With Britain". US Army in WWII – Chief of Staff: Prewar Plans and Operations.
- Bilhartz & Elliott 2007, p. 179.
- Dear & Foot 2001, p. 877.
- Dear & Foot 2001, pp. 745–6.
- Clogg 2002, p. 118.
- Evans 2008, pp. 146, 152; US Army 1986, pp. 4–6
- Jowett 2001, pp. 9–10.
- Jackson 2006, p. 106.
- Laurier 2001, pp. 7–8.
- Murray & Millett 2001, pp. 263–7.
- Macksey 1997, pp. 61–3.
- Weinberg 2005, p. 229.
- Watson 2003, p. 80.
- Jackson 2006, p. 154.
- Garver 1988, p. 114.
- Weinberg 2005, p. 195.
- Murray 1983, p. 69.
- Klooz, Marle; Wiley, Evelyn (1944), Events leading up to World War II – Chronological History, 78th Congress, 2d Session – House Document N. 541, Director: Humphrey, Richard A., Washington: US Government Printing Office, pp. 267–312 (1941).
- Sella 1978.
- Kershaw 2007, pp. 66–9.
- Steinberg 1995.
- Hauner 1978.
- Roberts 1995.
- Wilt 1981.
- Erickson 2003, pp. 114–37.
- Glantz 2001, p. 9.
- Farrell 1993.
- Keeble 1990, p. 29.
- Bueno de Mesquita et al. 2003, p. 425.
- Beevor 2012, p. 220.
- Kleinfeld 1983.
- Jukes 2001, p. 113.
- Glantz 2001, p. 26: "By 1 November [the Wehrmacht] had lost fully 20% of its committed strength (686,000 men), up to 2/3 of its ½-million motor vehicles, and 65 percent of its tanks. The German Army High Command (OKH) rated its 136 divisions as equivalent to 83 full-strength divisions."
- Reinhardt 1992, p. 227.
- Milward 1964.
- Rotundo 1986.
- Glantz 2001, p. 26.
- Garthoff 1969.
- Beevor 1998, pp. 41–2; Evans 2008, pp. 213–4, notes that "Zhukov had pushed the Germans back where they had launched Operation Typhoon two months before. ... Only Stalin's decision to attack all along the front instead of concentrating his forces in an all-out assault against the retreating German Army Group Centre prevented the disaster from being even worse."
- Jowett & Andrew 2002, p. 14.
- Overy & Wheatcroft 1999, p. 289.
- Morison 2002, p. 60.
- Joes 2004, p. 224.
- Fairbank & Goldman 2006, p. 320.
- Hsu & Chang 1971, p. 30.
- Hsu & Chang 1971, p. 33.
- "Japanese Policy and Strategy 1931 – July 1941". US Army in WWII – Strategy and Command: The First Two Years. pp. 45–66.
- Anderson 1975, p. 201.
- Evans & Peattie 2012, p. 456.
- "The decision for War". US Army in WWII – Strategy and Command: The First Two Years. pp. 113–27.
- "The Showdown With Japan Aug–Dec 1941". US Army in WWII – Strategic Planning for Coalition Warfare. pp. 63–96.
- The United States Replies. Investigation of the Pearl Harbor attack.
- Painter 2012, p. 26: "The United States cut off oil exports to Japan in the summer of 1941, forcing Japanese leaders to choose between going to war to seize the oil fields of the Netherlands East Indies or giving in to U.S. pressure."
Wood 2007, p. 9, listing various military and diplomatic developments, observes that "the threat to Japan was not purely economic."
- Lightbody 2004, p. 125.
- Weinberg 2005, p. 310; Dower 1986, p. 5, calls attention to the fact that "the Allied struggle against Japan exposed the racist underpinnings of the European and American colonial structure. Japan did not invade independent countries in southern Asia. It invaded colonial outposts which the Westerners had dominated for generations, taking absolutely for granted their racial and cultural superiority over their Asian subjects." Dower goes on to note that, before the horrors of Japanese occupation made themselves felt, many Asians responded favourably to the victories of the Imperial Japanese forces.
- Wood 2007, pp. 11–2.
- Wohlstetter 1962, pp. 341–3.
- Dunn 1998, p. 157. According to May 1955, p. 155, Churchill stated: "Russian declaration of war on Japan would be greatly to our advantage, provided, but only provided, that Russians are confident that will not impair their Western Front."
- Adolf Hitler's Declaration of War against the United States in Wikisource.
- Klooz, Marle; Wiley, Evelyn (1944), Events leading up to World War II – Chronological History, 78th Congress, 2d Session – House Document N. 541, Director: Humphrey, Richard A., Washington: US Government Printing Office, p. 310 (1941).
- Bosworth & Maiolo 2015, pp. 313–314.
- Mingst & Karns 2007, p. 22.
- "The First Full Dress Debate over Strategic Deployment. Dec 1941 – Jan 1942". US Army in WWII – Strategic Planning for Coalition Warfare. pp. 97–119.
- "The Elimination of the Alternatives. Jul–Aug 1942". US Army in WWII – Strategic Planning for Coalition Warfare. pp. 266–92.
- "Casablanca – Beginning of an Era: January 1943". US Army in WWII – Strategic Planning for Coalition Warfare. pp. 18–42.
- "The Trident Conference – New Patterns: May 1943". US Army in WWII – Strategic Planning for Coalition Warfare. pp. 126–45.
- Beevor 2012, pp. 247–267, 345.
- Lewis 1953, p. 529 (Table 11).
- Slim 1956, pp. 71–4.
- Grove 1995, p. 362.
- Ch'i 1992, p. 158.
- Perez 1998, p. 145.
- Maddox 1992, pp. 111–2.
- Salecker 2001, p. 186.
- Schoppa 2011, p. 28.
- Chevrier & Chomiczewski & Garrigue 2004, p.19.
- Ropp 2000, p. 368.
- Weinberg 2005, p. 339.
- Gilbert, Adrian (2003). The Encyclopedia of Warfare: From Earliest Times to the Present Day. Globe Pequot. p. 259. ISBN 1-59228-027-7.
- Swain 2001, p. 197.
- Hane 2001, p. 340.
- Marston 2005, p. 111.
- Brayley 2002, p. 9.
- Glantz 2001, p. 31.
- Read 2004, p. 764.
- Davies 2006, p. 100 (2008 ed.).
- Beevor 1998, pp. 239–65.
- Black 2003, p. 119.
- Beevor 1998, pp. 383–91.
- Erickson 2001, p. 142.
- Milner 1990, p. 52.
- Beevor 2012, pp. 224–8.
- Molinari 2007, p. 91.
- Mitcham 2007, p. 31.
- Beevor 2012, pp. 380–1.
- Rich 1992, p. 178.
- Gordon 2004, p. 129.
- Neillands 2005.
- Keegan 1997, p. 277.
- Smith 2002.
- Thomas & Andrew 1998, p. 8.
- Ross 1997, p. 38.
- Bonner & Bonner 2001, p. 24.
- Collier 2003, p. 11.
- "The Civilians" United States Strategic Bombing Survey Summary Report (European War)
- Thompson & Randall 2008, p. 164.
- Kennedy 2001, p. 610.
- Rottman 2002, p. 228.
- Glantz 1986; Glantz 1989, pp. 149–59.
- Kershaw 2001, p. 592.
- O'Reilly 2001, p. 32.
- Overy 1995, pp. 119–120.
- Bellamy 2007, p. 595.
- O'Reilly 2001, p. 35.
- Healy 1992, p. 90.
- Glantz 2001, pp. 50–5.
- Kolko 1990, p. 45: "On September 3, as Allied forces landed in Italy, Badoglio agreed to a secret armistice in the hope the Allies would land a major force north of Rome and save his government and the king. But when this didn't happen he desperately attempted to call off his bargain with Eisenhower, who cut short the matter on 8 September by announcing news of its existence. The next day the hero of Abyssinia, his king, and a small retinue deserted Rome for the southeast tip of Italy, leaving most of Italy to the Nazis."
- Mazower 2008, p. 362.
- Hart, Hart & Hughes 2000, p. 151.
- Read & Fisher 2002, p. 129.
- Padfield 1998, pp. 335–6.
- Kolko 1990, pp. 211, 235, 267–8.
- Iriye 1981, p. 154.
- Mitter 2014, p. 286.
- Polley 2000, p. 148.
- Beevor 2012, pp. 268–74.
- Ch'i 1992, p. 161.
- Hsu & Chang 1971, pp. 412–416, Map 38
- Weinberg 2005, pp. 660–1.
- Glantz 2002, pp. 327–66.
- Glantz 2002, pp. 367–414.
- Chubarov 2001, p. 122.
- Holland 2008, pp. 169–84; Beevor 2012, pp. 568–73.
The weeks after the fall of Rome saw a dramatic upswing in German atrocities in Italy (Mazower 2008, pp. 500–2). The period featured massacres with victims in the hundreds at Civitella (de Grazia & Paggi 1991; Belco 2010), Fosse Ardeatine (Portelli 2003), and Sant'Anna di Stazzema (Gordon 2012, pp. 10–1), and is capped with the Marzabotto massacre.
- Lightbody 2004, p. 224.
- Zeiler 2004, p. 60.
- Beevor 2012, pp. 555–60.
- Ch'i 1992, p. 163.
- Coble 2003, p. 85.
- Rees 2008, pp. 406–7: "Stalin always believed that Britain and America were delaying the second front so that the Soviet Union would bear the brunt of the war."
- Weinberg 2005, p. 695.
- Badsey 1990, p. 91.
- Dear & Foot 2001, p. 562.
- Forrest, Evans & Gibbons 2012, p. 191
- Zaloga 1996, p. 7: "It was the most calamitous defeat of all the German armed forces in World War II."
- Berend 1996, p. 8.
- "Armistice Negotiations and Soviet Occupation". US Library of Congress. Retrieved 14 November 2009.
The coup speeded the Red Army's advance, and the Soviet Union later awarded Michael the Order of Victory for his personal courage in overthrowing Antonescu and putting an end to Romania's war against the Allies. Western historians uniformly point out that the Communists played only a supporting role in the coup; postwar Romanian historians, however, ascribe to the Communists the decisive role in Antonescu's overthrow
- Evans 2008, p. 653.
- Wiest & Barbier 2002, pp. 65–6.
- Wiktor, Christian L (1998). Multilateral Treaty Calendar – 1648–1995. Kluwer Law International. p. 426. ISBN 90-411-0584-0.
- Newton 2004.
- Marston 2005, p. 120.
- Jowett & Andrew 2002, p. 8.
- Howard 2004, p. 140.
- Drea 2003, p. 54.
- Cook & Bewes 1997, p. 305.
- Parker 2004, pp. xiii–xiv, 6–8, 68–70, 329–330
- Glantz 2001, p. 85.
- Beevor 2012, pp. 709–22.
- Buchanan 2006, p. 21.
- Shepardson 1998.
- O'Reilly 2001, p. 244.
- Kershaw 2001, p. 823.
- Evans 2008, p. 737.
- Glantz 1998, p. 24.
- Chant, Christopher (1986). The Encyclopedia of Codenames of World War II. Routledge & Kegan Paul. p. 118. ISBN 0-7102-0718-2.
- John Dower (2007). "Lessons from Iwo Jima". Perspectives. 45 (6): 54–56.
- Drea 2003, p. 57.
- Jowett & Andrew 2002, p. 6.
- Poirier, Michel Thomas (20 October 1999). "Results of the German and American Submarine Campaigns of World War II". U.S. Navy. Archived from the original on 9 April 2008. Retrieved 13 April 2008.
- Williams 2006, p. 90.
- Miscamble 2007, p. 201.
- Miscamble 2007, pp. 203–4.
- Charles F. Brower (16 October 2012). Defeating Japan: The Joint Chiefs of Staff and Strategy in the Pacific War, 1943–1945. Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 133–144.
- Glantz 2005.
- Pape 1993.
- Beevor 2012, p. 776.
- Frei 2002, pp. 41–66.
- Roberts 2006, p. 43.
- Roberts 2006, p. 55.
- Shirer 1990, p. 794.
- Kennedy-Pipe 1995.
- Wettig 2008, pp. 20–1.
- Senn 2007, p. ?.
- Yoder 1997, p. 39.
- "History of the UN". United Nations. Archived from the original on 18 February 2010. Retrieved 25 January 2010.
- Waltz 2002.
The UDHR is viewable here .
- Kantowicz 2000, p. 6.
- Wettig 2008, pp. 96–100.
- Trachtenberg 1999, p. 33.
- Applebaum 2012.
- Naimark 2010.
- Swain 1992.
- Borstelmann 2005, p. 318.
- Leffler & Westad 2010.
- Weinberg 2005, p. 911.
- Stueck 2010.
- Lynch 2010, pp. 12–3.
- Roberts 1997, p. 589.
- Darwin 2007, pp. 441–3, 464–8.
- Dear & Foot 2001, p. 1006; Harrison 1998, pp. 34–5.
- Balabkins 1964, p. 207.
- Petrov 1967, p. 263.
- Balabkins 1964, pp. 208, 209.
- DeLong & Eichengreen 1993, pp. 190, 191
- Balabkins 1964, p. 212.
- Wolf 1993, pp. 29, 30, 32
- Bull & Newell 2005, pp. 20, 21
- Ritchie 1992, p. 23.
- Minford 1993, p. 117.
- Schain 2001.
- Emadi-Coffin 2002, p. 64.
- Smith 1993, p. 32.
- Neary 1992, p. 49.
- Genzberger, Christine (1994). China Business: The Portable Encyclopedia for Doing Business with China. Petaluma, California: World Trade Press. p. 4. ISBN 0-9631864-3-4.
- O'Brien, Prof. Joseph V. "World War II: Combatants and Casualties (1937–1945)". Obee's History Page. John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Archived from the original on 25 December 2010. Retrieved 28 December 2013.
- White, Matthew. "Source List and Detailed Death Tolls for the Twentieth Century Hemoclysm". Historical Atlas of the Twentieth Century. Matthew White's Homepage. Retrieved 20 April 2007.
- "World War II Fatalities". secondworldwar.co.uk. Retrieved 20 April 2007.
- Hosking 2006, p. 242
- Ellman & Maksudov 1994.
- Smith 1994, p. 204.
- Herf 2003.
- Florida Center for Instructional Technology (2005). "Victims". A Teacher's Guide to the Holocaust. University of South Florida. Retrieved 2 February 2008.
- Niewyk & Nicosia 2000, pp. 45–52.
- "Non-Jewish Holocaust Victims : The 5,000,000 others". BBC. April 2006. Retrieved 4 August 2013.
- Evans 2008, pp. 158–60, 234–6.
- Dear & Foot 2001, p. 290.
- Rummell, R. J. "Statistics". Freedom, Democide, War. The University of Hawaii System. Retrieved 25 January 2010.
- Chang 1997, p. 102.
- Bix 2000, p. ?.
- Gold, Hal (1996). Unit 731 testimony. Tuttle. pp. 75–7. ISBN 0-8048-3565-9.
- Tucker & Roberts 2004, p. 320.
- Harris 2002, p. 74.
- Lee 2002, p. 69.
- "Japan tested chemical weapons on Aussie POW: new evidence". The Japan Times Online. 27 July 2004. Retrieved 25 January 2010.[dead link]
- Kużniar-Plota, Małgorzata (30 November 2004). "Decision to commence investigation into Katyn Massacre". Departmental Commission for the Prosecution of Crimes against the Polish Nation. Retrieved 4 August 2011.
- Robert Gellately. Lenin, Stalin, and Hitler: The Age of Social Catastrophe. Knopf, 2007 ISBN 1-4000-4005-1 p. 391
- Terror from the Sky: The Bombing of German Cities in World War II. Berghahn Books. 2010. p. 167. ISBN 1-84545-844-3.
- Institute of National Remembrance, Polska 1939–1945 Straty osobowe i ofiary represji pod dwiema okupacjami. Materski and Szarota. page 9 "Total Polish population losses under German occupation are currently calculated at about 2 770 000".
- Marek, Michael (27 October 2005). "Final Compensation Pending for Former Nazi Forced Laborers". dw-world.de. Deutsche Welle. Archived from the original on 19 January 2010. Retrieved 19 January 2010.
- Applebaum 2003.
- Herbert 1994, p. 222
- Overy 2004, pp. 568–9.
- Zemskov V.N. On repatriation of Soviet citizens. Istoriya SSSR., 1990, No.4, (in Russian). See also  (online version), and Bacon 1992; Ellman 2002.
- "Japanese Atrocities in the Philippines". American Experience: the Bataan Rescue. PBS Online. Archived from the original on 19 January 2010. Retrieved 18 January 2010.
- Tanaka 1996, pp. 2–3.
- Bix 2000, p. 360.
- Ju, Zhifen (June 2002). "Japan's atrocities of conscripting and abusing north China draughtees after the outbreak of the Pacific war". Joint Study of the Sino-Japanese War:Minutes of the June 2002 Conference. Harvard University Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Archived from the original on 21 May 2012. Retrieved 28 December 2013.
- "Indonesia: World War II and the Struggle For Independence, 1942–50; The Japanese Occupation, 1942–45". Library of Congress. 1992. Retrieved 9 February 2007.
- "Manzanar National Historic Site". U.S. National Park Service. Retrieved 21 February 2012.
- Department of Labour of Canada (24 January 1947). Report on the Re-establishment of Japanese in Canada, 1944–1946. Department of Labour. Office of the Prime Minister. p. 23. ISBN 0-405-11266-1.
- Kennedy 2001, pp. 749–50.
- Davidson 1999, p. 121.
- Stark, Tamás. ""Malenki Robot" – Hungarian Forced Labourers in the Soviet Union (1944–1955)" (PDF). Minorities Research. Retrieved 22 January 2010.
- Liberman 1996, p. 42.
- Milward 1992, p. 138.
- Milward 1992, p. 148.
- Barber & Harrison 2006, p. 232.
- Hill 2005, p. 5.
- Christofferson & Christofferson 2006, p. 156
- Radtke 1997, p. 107.
- Rahn 2001, p. 266.
- Harrison 1998, p. 3.
- Harrison 1998, p. 2.
- Bernstein 1991, p. 267.
- Griffith, Charles (1999). The Quest: Haywood Hansell and American Strategic Bombing in World War II. DIANE Publishing. p. 203. ISBN 1-58566-069-8.
- Overy 1994, p. 26.
- BBSU 1998, p. 84; Lindberg & Todd 2001, p. 126..
- Unidas, Naciones (2005). World Economic And Social Survey 2004: International Migration. United Nations Pubns. p. 23. ISBN 92-1-109147-0.
- Tucker & Roberts 2004, p. 76.
- Levine 1992, p. 227.
- Klavans, Di Benedetto & Prudom 1997; Ward 2010, pp. 247–51.
- Tucker & Roberts 2004, p. 163.
- Bishop, Chris; Chant, Chris (2004). Aircraft Carriers: The World's Greatest Naval Vessels and Their Aircraft. Wigston, Leics: Silverdale Books. p. 7. ISBN 1-84509-079-9.
- Chenoweth, H. Avery; Nihart, Brooke (2005). Semper Fi: The Definitive Illustrated History of the U.S. Marines. New York: Main Street. p. 180. ISBN 1-4027-3099-3.
- Sumner & Baker 2001, p. 25.
- Hearn 2007, p. 14.
- Gardiner & Brown 2004, p. 52.
- Burcher & Rydill 1995, p. 15.
- Burcher & Rydill 1995, p. 16.
- Tucker & Roberts 2004, p. 125.
- Dupuy, Trevor Nevitt (1982). The Evolution of Weapons and Warfare. Jane's Information Group. p. 231. ISBN 0-7106-0123-9.
- Tucker & Roberts 2004, p. 108.
- Tucker & Roberts 2004, p. 734.
- Cowley & Parker 2001, p. 221.
- "Infantry Weapons Of World War 2". Grey Falcon (Black Sun). Retrieved 14 November 2009.
These all-purpose guns were developed and used by the German army in the 2nd half of World War 2 as a result of studies which showed that the ordinary rifle's long range is much longer than needed, since the soldiers almost always fired at enemies closer than half of its effective range. The assault rifle is a balanced compromise between the rifle and the sub-machine gun, having sufficient range and accuracy to be used as a rifle, combined with the rapid-rate automatic firepower of the sub machine gun. Thanks to these combined advantages, assault rifles such as the American M-16 and the Russian AK-47 are the basic weapon of the modern soldier
- Sprague, Oliver; Griffiths, Hugh (2006). "The AK-47: the worlds favourite killing machine" (PDF). controlarms.org. p. 1. Archived from the original (PDF) on 30 April 2011. Retrieved 14 November 2009.
- Ratcliff 2006, p. 11.
- Schoenherr, Steven (2007). "Code Breaking in World War II". History Department at the University of San Diego. Archived from the original on 9 May 2008. Retrieved 15 November 2009.
- Macintyre, Ben (10 December 2010). "Bravery of thousands of Poles was vital in securing victory". The Times. London. p. 27.
- Rowe, Neil C.; Rothstein, Hy. "Deception for Defense of Information Systems: Analogies from Conventional Warfare". Departments of Computer Science and Defense Analysis U.S. Naval Postgraduate School. Air University. Retrieved 15 November 2009.
- Kershaw, Ian (2015). To Hell and Back: Europe 1914 - 1949. Penguin Books. pp. 346–407.
- Adamthwaite, Anthony P. (1992). The Making of the Second World War. New York: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-90716-0.
- Aksar, Yusuf (2004). Implementing Intnl Humanitaria: From the AD Hoc Tribunals to a Permanent International Criminal Court. London and New York, NY: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-7146-5584-0.
- Anderson, Irvine H., Jr. (1975). "The 1941 De Facto Embargo on Oil to Japan: A Bureaucratic Reflex". The Pacific Historical Review. 44 (2). JSTOR 3638003.
- Applebaum, Anne (2003). Gulag: A History of the Soviet Camps. London: Allen Lane. ISBN 978-0-7139-9322-6.
- ——— (2012). Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe 1944–56. London: Allen Lane. ISBN 978-0-7139-9868-9.
- Bacon, Edwin (1992). "Glasnost' and the Gulag: New Information on Soviet Forced Labour around World War II". Soviet Studies. 44 (6): 1069–1086. JSTOR 152330. doi:10.1080/09668139208412066.
- Badsey, Stephen (1990). Normandy 1944: Allied Landings and Breakout. Oxford: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 978-0-85045-921-0.
- Balabkins, Nicholas (1964). Germany Under Direct Controls: Economic Aspects of Industrial Disarmament 1945–1948. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press. ISBN 978-0-8135-0449-0.
- Barber, John; Harrison, Mark (2006). "Patriotic War, 1941–1945". In Ronald Grigor Suny, ed.,' The Cambridge History of Russia, Volume III: The Twentieth Century (pp. 217–242). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-81144-6.
- Barker, A. J. (1971). The Rape of Ethiopia 1936. New York, NY: Ballantine Books. ISBN 978-0-345-02462-6.
- Barrett, David P.; Shyu, Lawrence N. (2001). China in the Anti-Japanese War, 1937–1945: Politics, Culture and Society. New York, NY: Peter Lang. ISBN 978-0-8204-4556-4.
- Beevor, Antony (1998). Stalingrad. New York, NY: Viking. ISBN 978-0-670-87095-0.
- ——— (2006). The Battle for Spain: The Spanish Civil War 1936–1939. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson. ISBN 978-0-297-84832-5.
- ——— (2012). The Second World War. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson. ISBN 978-0-297-84497-6.
- Belco, Victoria (2010). War, Massacre, and Recovery in Central Italy: 1943–1948. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. ISBN 978-0-8020-9314-1.
- Bellamy, Chris T. (2007). Absolute War: Soviet Russia in the Second World War. New York, NY: Alfred A. Knopf. ISBN 978-0-375-41086-4.
- Ben-Horin, Eliahu (1943). The Middle East: Crossroads of History. New York, NY: W. W. Norton & Company.
- Berend, Ivan T. (1996). Central and Eastern Europe, 1944–1993: Detour from the Periphery to the Periphery. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-55066-6.
- Bernstein, Gail Lee (1991). Recreating Japanese Women, 1600–1945. Berkeley & Los Angeles, CA: University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-07017-2.
- Bilhartz, Terry D.; Elliott, Alan C. (2007). Currents in American History: A Brief History of the United States. Armonk, NY: M. E. Sharpe. ISBN 978-0-7656-1821-4.
- Bilinsky, Yaroslav (1999). Endgame in NATO's Enlargement: The Baltic States and Ukraine. Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0-275-96363-7.
- Bix, Herbert P. (2000). Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan. New York, NY: HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0-06-019314-0.
- Black, Jeremy (2003). World War Two: A Military History. Abingdon and New York, NY: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-30534-1.
- Blinkhorn, Martin (2006) . Mussolini and Fascist Italy (3rd ed.). Abingdon and New York, NY: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-26206-4.
- Bonner, Kit; Bonner, Carolyn (2001). Warship Boneyards. Osceola, WI: MBI Publishing Company. ISBN 978-0-7603-0870-7.
- Borstelmann, Thomas (2005). "The United States, the Cold War, and the color line". In Melvyn P. Leffler and David S. Painter, eds., Origins of the Cold War: An International History (pp. 317–332) (2nd ed.). Abingdon & New York, NY: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-34109-7.
- Bosworth, Richard; Maiolo, Joseph (2015). The Cambridge History of the Second World War Volume 2: Politics and Ideology. The Cambridge History of the Second World War (3 vol). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 313–314.
- Brayley, Martin J. (2002). The British Army 1939–45, Volume 3: The Far East. Oxford: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84176-238-8.
- British Bombing Survey Unit (1998). The Strategic Air War Against Germany, 1939–1945. London and Portland, OR: Frank Cass Publishers. ISBN 978-0-7146-4722-7.
- Brody, J. Kenneth (1999). The Avoidable War: Pierre Laval and the Politics of Reality, 1935–1936. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers. ISBN 978-0-7658-0622-2.
- Brown, David (2004). The Road to Oran: Anglo-French Naval Relations, September 1939 – July 1940. London & New York, NY: Frank Cass. ISBN 978-0-7146-5461-4.
- Buchanan, Tom (2006). Europe's Troubled Peace, 1945–2000. Oxford & Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing. ISBN 978-0-631-22162-3.
- Budiansky, Stephen (2001). Battle of Wits: The Complete Story of Codebreaking in World War II. London: Penguin Books. ISBN 978-0-14-028105-7.
- ——— (2004). Air Power: The Men, Machines, and Ideas that Revolutionized War, from Kitty Hawk to Gulf War II. London: Viking. ISBN 978-0-670-03285-3.
- Bueno de Mesquita, Bruce; Smith, Alastair; Siverson, Randolph M.; Morrow, James D. (2003). The Logic of Political Survival. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. ISBN 978-0-262-02546-1.
- Bull, Martin J.; Newell, James L. (2005). Italian Politics: Adjustment Under Duress. Polity. ISBN 978-0-7456-1298-0.
- Bullock, Alan (1990). Hitler: A Study in Tyranny. London: Penguin Books. ISBN 978-014013564-0.
- Burcher, Roy; Rydill, Louis (1995). Concepts in Submarine Design. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-55926-3.
- Busky, Donald F. (2002). Communism in History and Theory: Asia, Africa, and the Americas. Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers. ISBN 0-275-97733-1.
- Canfora, Luciano (2006) . Democracy in Europe: A History. Oxford & Malden MA: Blackwell Publishing. ISBN 978-1-4051-1131-7.
- Cantril, Hadley (1940). "America Faces the War: A Study in Public Opinion". Public Opinion Quarterly. 4 (3): 387–407. JSTOR 2745078. doi:10.1086/265420.
- Chaney, Otto Preston (1996). Zhukov (Revised ed.). Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press. ISBN 978-0-8061-2807-8.
- Chang, Iris (1997). The Rape of Nanking: The Forgotten Holocaust of World War II. New York, NY: Basic Books. ISBN 978-0-465-06835-7.
- Christofferson, Thomas R.; Christofferson, Michael S. (2006). France During World War II: From Defeat to Liberation. New York, NY: Fordham University Press. ISBN 978-0-8232-2562-0.
- Chubarov, Alexander (2001). Russia's Bitter Path to Modernity: A History of the Soviet and Post-Soviet Eras. London & New York, NY: Continuum. ISBN 978-0-8264-1350-5.
- Ch'i, Hsi-Sheng (1992). "The Military Dimension, 1942–1945". In James C. Hsiung and Steven I. Levine, eds., China's Bitter Victory: War with Japan, 1937–45 (pp. 157–184). Armonk, NY: M. E. Sharpe. ISBN 978-1-56324-246-5.
- Cienciala, Anna M. (2010). "Another look at the Poles and Poland during World War II". The Polish Review. 55 (1): 123–143. JSTOR 25779864.
- Clogg, Richard (2002). A Concise History of Greece (2nd ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-80872-9.
- Coble, Parks M. (2003). Chinese Capitalists in Japan's New Order: The Occupied Lower Yangzi, 1937–1945. Berkeley & Los Angeles, CA: University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-23268-6.
- Collier, Paul (2003). The Second World War (4): The Mediterranean 1940–1945. Oxford: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84176-539-6.
- Collier, Martin; Pedley, Philip (2000). Germany 1919–45. Oxford: Heinemann. ISBN 978-0-435-32721-7.
- Commager, Henry Steele (2004). The Story of the Second World War. Brassey's. ISBN 978-1-57488-741-9.
- Coogan, Anthony (1993). "The Volunteer Armies of Northeast China". History Today. 43. Retrieved 6 May 2012.
- Cook, Chris; Bewes, Diccon (1997). What Happened Where: A Guide to Places and Events in Twentieth-Century History. London: UCL Press. ISBN 978-1-85728-532-1.
- Coox, Alvin D. (1990). Nomonhan: Japan Against Russia, 1939. Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press. ISBN 978-0-8047-1160-9.
- Cowley, Robert; Parker, Geoffrey, eds. (2001). The Reader's Companion to Military History. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Company. ISBN 978-0-618-12742-9.
- Darwin, John (2007). After Tamerlane: The Rise & Fall of Global Empires 1400–2000. London: Penguin Books. ISBN 978-0-14-101022-9.
- Davidson, Eugene (1999). The Death and Life of Germany: An Account of the American Occupation. University of Missouri Press. ISBN 0-8262-1249-2.
- Davies, Norman (2006). Europe at War 1939–1945: No Simple Victory. London: Macmillan. ix+544 pages. ISBN 9780333692851. OCLC 70401618.
- Dawood, Mary; Mitra, Anu (2012). "Hidden agendas and hidden illness". Diversity and Equality in Health and Care. 9 (4): 297–298.
- Dear, I. C. B.; Foot, M. R. D., eds. (2001) . The Oxford Companion to World War II. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-860446-4.
- DeLong, J. Bradford; Eichengreen, Barry (1993). "The Marshall Plan: History's Most Successful Structural Adjustment Program". In Rudiger Dornbusch, Wilhelm Nölling and Richard Layard, eds., Postwar Economic Reconstruction and Lessons for the East Today (pp. 189–230). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. ISBN 978-0-262-04136-2.
- Douglas, R. M. (2012). Orderly and Humane: The Expulsion of the Germans After the Second World War. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-16660-6.
- Dower, John W. (1986). War Without Mercy: Race and Power in the Pacific War. New York, NY: Pantheon Books. ISBN 978-0-394-50030-0.
- Drea, Edward J. (2003). In the Service of the Emperor: Essays on the Imperial Japanese Army. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press. ISBN 978-0-8032-6638-4.
- de Grazia, Victoria; Paggi, Leonardo (Autumn 1991). "Story of an Ordinary Massacre: Civitella della Chiana, 29 June, 1944". Cardozo Studies in Law and Literature. 3: 153–169. JSTOR 743479. doi:10.1525/lal.1991.3.2.02a00030.
- Dunn, Dennis J. (1998). Caught Between Roosevelt & Stalin: America's Ambassadors to Moscow. Lexington, KY: University Press of Kentucky. ISBN 978-0-8131-2023-2.
- Eastman, Lloyd E. (1986). "Nationalist China during the Sino-Japanese War 1937–1945". In John K. Fairbank and Denis Twitchett, eds., The Cambridge History of China, Volume 13: Republican China 1912–1949, Part 2. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-24338-4.
- Ellman, Michael (2002). "Soviet Repression Statistics: Some Comments" (PDF). Europe-Asia Studies. 54 (7): 1151–1172. JSTOR 826310. doi:10.1080/0966813022000017177. Copy
- ———; Maksudov, S. (1994). "Soviet Deaths in the Great Patriotic War: A Note" (PDF). Europe-Asia Studies. 46 (4): 671–680. JSTOR 152934. PMID 12288331. doi:10.1080/09668139408412190.
- Emadi-Coffin, Barbara (2002). Rethinking International Organization: Deregulation and Global Governance. London and New York, NY: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-19540-9.
- Erickson, John (2001). "Moskalenko". In Shukman, Harold. Stalin's Generals. London: Phoenix Press. pp. 137–154. ISBN 978-1-84212-513-7.
- ——— (2003). The Road to Stalingrad. London: Cassell Military. ISBN 978-0-304-36541-8.
- Evans, David C.; Peattie, Mark R. (2012) . Kaigun: Strategy, Tactics, and Technology in the Imperial Japanese Navy. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 978-1-59114-244-7.
- Evans, Richard J. (2008). The Third Reich at War. London: Allen Lane. ISBN 978-0-7139-9742-2.
- Fairbank, John King; Goldman, Merle (2006) . China: A New History (2nd ed.). Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-674-01828-0.
- Farrell, Brian P. (1993). "Yes, Prime Minister: Barbarossa, Whipcord, and the Basis of British Grand Strategy, Autumn 1941". Journal of Military History. 57 (4): 599–625. JSTOR 2944096. doi:10.2307/2944096.
- Ferguson, Niall (2006). The War of the World: Twentieth-Century Conflict and the Descent of the West. Penguin. ISBN 978-0-14-311239-6.
- Ferraro, Kathleen J. (2008). "Reviews: Taken by Force: Rape and American GIs in Europe during WWII by J. Robert Lilly". Contemporary Sociology. 37 (6): 585–586. JSTOR 20444365. doi:10.1177/009430610803700640.
- Fitzgerald, Stephanie (2011). Children of the Holocaust. Mankato, MN: Compass Point Books. ISBN 9780756543907.
- Forrest, Glen; Evans, Anthony; Gibbons, David (2012). The Illustrated Timeline of Military History. New York: The Rosen Publishing Group. ISBN 9781448847945.
- Förster, Stig; Gessler, Myriam (2005). "The Ultimate Horror: Reflections on Total War and Genocide". In Roger Chickering, Stig Förster and Bernd Greiner, eds., A World at Total War: Global Conflict and the Politics of Destruction, 1937–1945 (pp. 53–68). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-83432-2.
- Frei, Norbert (2002). Adenauer's Germany and the Nazi Past: The Politics of Amnesty and Integration. New York, NY: Columbia University Press. ISBN 978-0-231-11882-8.
- Gardiner, Robert; Brown, David K., eds. (2004). The Eclipse of the Big Gun: The Warship 1906–1945. London: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 978-0-85177-953-9.
- Garthoff, Raymond L. (1969). "The Soviet Manchurian Campaign, August 1945". Military Affairs. 33 (2): 312–336. JSTOR 1983926. doi:10.2307/1983926.
- Garver, John W. (1988). Chinese-Soviet Relations, 1937–1945: The Diplomacy of Chinese Nationalism. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-505432-3.
- Glantz, David M. (1986). "Soviet Defensive Tactics at Kursk, July 1943". CSI Report No. 11. Combined Arms Research Library. OCLC 278029256. Archived from the original on 6 March 2008. Retrieved 15 July 2013.
- ——— (1989). Soviet Military Deception in the Second World War. Abingdon and New York, NY: Frank Cass. ISBN 978-0-7146-3347-3.
- ——— (1998). When Titans Clashed: How the Red Army Stopped Hitler. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas. ISBN 978-0-7006-0899-7.
- ——— (2001). "The Soviet-German War 1941–45 Myths and Realities: A Survey Essay" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 June 2011.
- ——— (2002). The Battle for Leningrad: 1941–1944. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas. ISBN 978-0-7006-1208-6.
- ——— (2005). "August Storm: The Soviet Strategic Offensive in Manchuria". Leavenworth Papers. Combined Arms Research Library. OCLC 78918907. Archived from the original on 2 March 2008. Retrieved 15 July 2013.
- Goldstein, Margaret J. (2004). World War II: Europe. Minneapolis: Lerner Publications. ISBN 978-0-8225-0139-8.
- Gordon, Andrew (2004). "The greatest military armada ever launched". In Jane Penrose, ed., The D-Day Companion (pp. 127–144). Oxford: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84176-779-6.
- Gordon, Robert S. C. (2012). The Holocaust in Italian Culture, 1944–2010. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. ISBN 978-0-8047-6346-2.
- Graham, Helen (2005). The Spanish Civil War: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford & New York, NY: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-280377-8.
- Grove, Eric J. (1995). "A Service Vindicated, 1939–1946". In J. R. Hill, ed., The Oxford Illustrated History of the Royal Navy (pp. 348–380). Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-211675-8.
- Hane, Mikiso (2001). Modern Japan: A Historical Survey (3rd ed.). Boulder, CO: Westview Press. ISBN 978-0-8133-3756-2.
- Hanhimäki, Jussi M. (1997). Containing Coexistence: America, Russia, and the "Finnish Solution". Kent, OH: Kent State University Press. ISBN 978-0-87338-558-9.
- Harris, Sheldon H. (2002). Factories of Death: Japanese Biological Warfare, 1932–1945, and the American Cover-up (2nd ed.). London and New York, NY: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-93214-1.
- Harrison, Mark (1998). "The economics of World War II: an overview". In Mark Harrison, ed., The Economics of World War II: Six Great Powers in International Comparison (pp. 1–42). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-62046-8.
- Hart, Stephen; Hart, Russell; Hughes, Matthew (2000). The German Soldier in World War II. Osceola, WI: MBI Publishing Company. ISBN 978-1-86227-073-2.
- Hatfield, Kenneth K. (2003). Heartland Heroes: Remembering World War II. Columbia, MO: University of Missouri Press. ISBN 978-0-8262-1460-7.
- Hauner, Milan (1978). "Did Hitler Want a World Dominion?". Journal of Contemporary History. 13 (1): 15–32. JSTOR 260090. doi:10.1177/002200947801300102.
- Healy, Mark (1992). Kursk 1943: The Tide Turns in the East. Oxford: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 978-1-85532-211-0.
- Hearn, Chester G. (2007). Carriers in Combat: The Air War at Sea. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books. ISBN 978-0-8117-3398-4.
- Hedgepeth, Sonja; Saidel, Rochelle (2010). Sexual Violence against Jewish Women During the Holocaust. Lebanon, NH: University Press of New England. ISBN 9781584659044.
- Hempel, Andrew (2005). Poland in World War II: An Illustrated Military History. New York, NY: Hippocrene Books. ISBN 978-0-7818-1004-3.
- Herbert, Ulrich (1994). "Labor as spoils of conquest, 1933–1945". In David F. Crew, ed., Nazism and German Society, 1933–1945 (pp. 219–273). London and New York, NY: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-08239-6.
- Herf, Jeffrey (2003). "The Nazi Extermination Camps and the Ally to the East. Could the Red Army and Air Force Have Stopped or Slowed the Final Solution?". Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History. 4 (4): 913–930. doi:10.1353/kri.2003.0059.
- Hill, Alexander (2005). The War Behind The Eastern Front: The Soviet Partisan Movement In North-West Russia 1941–1944. London & New York, NY: Frank Cass. ISBN 978-0-7146-5711-0.
- Holland, James (2008). Italy's Sorrow: A Year of War 1944–45. London: HarperPress. ISBN 978-0-00-717645-8.
- Hosking, Geoffrey A. (2006). Rulers and Victims: The Russians in the Soviet Union. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-674-02178-5.
- Howard, Joshua H. (2004). Workers at War: Labor in China's Arsenals, 1937–1953. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. ISBN 978-0-8047-4896-4.
- Hsu, Long-hsuen; Chang, Ming-kai (1971). History of The Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945) 2nd Ed. Chung Wu Publishers. ASIN B00005W210.
- Ingram, Norman (2006). "Pacifism". In Lawrence D. Kritzman and Brian J. Reilly, eds., The Columbia History Of Twentieth-Century French Thought (pp. 76–78). New York, NY: Columbia University Press. ISBN 978-0-231-10791-4.
- Iriye, Akira (1981). Power and Culture: The Japanese-American War, 1941–1945. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-674-69580-1.
- Jackson, Ashley (2006). The British Empire and the Second World War. London & New York, NY: Hambledon Continuum. ISBN 978-1-85285-417-1.
- Joes, Anthony James (2004). Resisting Rebellion: The History And Politics of Counterinsurgency. Lexington, KE: University Press of Kentucky. ISBN 978-0-8131-2339-4.
- Jowett, Philip S. (2001). The Italian Army 1940–45, Volume 2: Africa 1940–43. Oxford: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 978-1-85532-865-5.
- ———; Andrew, Stephen (2002). The Japanese Army, 1931–45. Oxford: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84176-353-8.
- Judt, Tony; Snyder, Timothy (2012). Thinking the Twentieth Century: Intellectuals and Politics in the Twentieth Century. London: William Heinemann. ISBN 978-0-434-01742-3.
- Jukes, Geoffrey (2001). "Kuznetzov". In Harold Shukman, ed., Stalin's Generals (pp. 109–116). London: Phoenix Press. ISBN 978-1-84212-513-7.
- Kantowicz, Edward R. (1999). The Rage of Nations. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company. ISBN 978-0-8028-4455-2.
- ——— (2000). Coming Apart, Coming Together. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company. ISBN 978-0-8028-4456-9.
- Keeble, Curtis (1990). "The historical perspective". In Alex Pravda and Peter J. Duncan, eds., Soviet-British Relations Since the 1970s. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-37494-1.
- Keegan, John (1997). The Second World War. London: Pimlico. ISBN 978-0-7126-7348-8.
- Kelly, Nigel; Rees, Rosemary; Shuter, Jane (1998). Twentieth Century World. London: Heinemann. ISBN 978-0-435-30983-1.
- Kennedy, David M. (2001). Freedom from Fear: The American People in Depression and War, 1929–1945. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-514403-1.
- Kennedy-Pipe, Caroline (1995). Stalin's Cold War: Soviet Strategies in Europe, 1943–56. Manchester: Manchester University Press. ISBN 978-0-7190-4201-0.
- Kershaw, Ian (2001). Hitler, 1936–1945: Nemesis. New York, NY: W. W. Norton & Company. ISBN 978-0-393-04994-7.
- ——— (2007). Fateful Choices: Ten Decisions That Changed the World, 1940–1941. London: Allen Lane. ISBN 978-0-7139-9712-5.
- Kitson, Alison (2001). Germany 1858–1990: Hope, Terror, and Revival. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-913417-5.
- Klavans, Richard A.; Di Benedetto, C. Anthony; Prudom, Melanie J. (1997). "Understanding Competitive Interactions: The U.S. Commercial Aircraft Market". Journal of Managerial Issues. 9 (1): 13–361. JSTOR 40604127.
- Kleinfeld, Gerald R. (1983). "Hitler's Strike for Tikhvin". Military Affairs. 47 (3): 122–128. JSTOR 1988082. doi:10.2307/1988082.
- Koch, H. W. (1983). "Hitler's 'Programme' and the Genesis of Operation 'Barbarossa'". The Historical Journal. 26 (4): 891–920. JSTOR 2639289.
- Kolko, Gabriel (1990) . The Politics of War: The World and United States Foreign Policy, 1943–1945. New York, NY: Random House. ISBN 978-0-679-72757-6.
- Laurier, Jim (2001). Tobruk 1941: Rommel's Opening Move. Oxford: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84176-092-6.
- Lee, En-han (2002). "The Nanking Massacre Reassessed: A Study of the Sino-Japanese Controversy over the Factual Number of Massacred Victims". In Robert Sabella, Fei Fei Li and David Liu, eds., Nanking 1937: Memory and Healing (pp. 47–74). Armonk, NY: M. E. Sharpe. ISBN 978-0-7656-0816-1.
- Leffler, Melvyn P.; Westad, Odd Arne, eds. (2010). The Cambridge History of the Cold War (3 volumes). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-83938-9.
- Levine, Alan J. (1992). The Strategic Bombing of Germany, 1940–1945. Westport, CT: Praeger. ISBN 978-0-275-94319-6.
- Lewis, Morton (1953). "Japanese Plans and American Defenses". In Greenfield, Kent Roberts. The Fall of the Philippines. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office. Library of Congress Catalogue Card Number: 53-63678.
- Liberman, Peter (1996). Does Conquest Pay?: The Exploitation of Occupied Industrial Societies. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0-691-02986-3.
- Liddell Hart, Basil (1977). History of the Second World War (4th ed.). London: Pan. ISBN 9780330237703.
- Lightbody, Bradley (2004). The Second World War: Ambitions to Nemesis. London & New York, NY: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-22404-8.
- Lilly, J. Robert (2007). Taken by Force: Rape and American GIs in Europe during World War II. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-0-230-50647-3.
- Lindberg, Michael; Todd, Daniel (2001). Brown-, Green- and Blue-Water Fleets: the Influence of Geography on Naval Warfare, 1861 to the Present. Westport, CT: Praeger. ISBN 978-0-275-96486-3.
- Lowe, C. J.; Marzari, F. (2002). Italian Foreign Policy 1870–1940. London: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-26681-9.
- Lynch, Michael (2010). The Chinese Civil War 1945–49. Oxford: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84176-671-3.
- Macksey, Kenneth (1997) . Rommel: Battles and Campaigns. Cambridge, MA: Da Capo Press. ISBN 978-0-306-80786-2.
- Maddox, Robert James (1992). The United States and World War II. Boulder, CO: Westview Press. ISBN 978-0-8133-0437-3.
- Maingot, Anthony P. (1994). The United States and the Caribbean: Challenges of an Asymmetrical Relationship. Boulder, CO: Westview Press. ISBN 978-0-8133-2241-4.
- Mandelbaum, Michael (1988). The Fate of Nations: The Search for National Security in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries. Cambridge University Press. p. 96. ISBN 0-521-35790-X.
- Marston, Daniel (2005). The Pacific War Companion: From Pearl Harbor to Hiroshima. Oxford: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84176-882-3.
- Masaya, Shiraishi (1990). Japanese Relations with Vietnam, 1951–1987. Ithaca, NY: SEAP Publications. ISBN 978-0-87727-122-2.
- May, Ernest R. (1955). "The United States, the Soviet Union, and the Far Eastern War, 1941–1945". Pacific Historical Review. 24 (2): 153–174. JSTOR 3634575. doi:10.2307/3634575.
- Mazower, Mark (2008). Hitler's Empire: Nazi Rule in Occupied Europe. London: Allen Lane. ISBN 978-1-59420-188-2.
- Milner, Marc (1990). "The Battle of the Atlantic". In John Gooch, ed., Decisive Campaigns of the Second World War (pp. 45–66). Abingdon: Frank Cass. ISBN 978-0-7146-3369-5.
- Milward, A. S. (1964). "The End of the Blitzkrieg". The Economic History Review. 16 (3): 499–518. JSTOR 2592851. doi:10.2307/2592851.
- ——— (1992) . War, Economy, and Society, 1939–1945. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-03942-1.
- Minford, Patrick (1993). "Reconstruction and the UK Postwar Welfare State: False Start and New Beginning". In Rudiger Dornbusch, Wilhelm Nölling and Richard Layard, eds., Postwar Economic Reconstruction and Lessons for the East Today (pp. 115–138). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. ISBN 978-0-262-04136-2.
- Mingst, Karen A.; Karns, Margaret P. (2007). United Nations in the Twenty-First Century (3rd ed.). Boulder, CO: Westview Press. ISBN 978-0-8133-4346-4.
- Miscamble, Wilson D. (2007). From Roosevelt to Truman: Potsdam, Hiroshima, and the Cold War. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-86244-8.
- Mitcham, Samuel W. (2007) . Rommel's Desert War: The Life and Death of the Afrika Korps. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books. ISBN 978-0-8117-3413-4.
- Mitter, Rana (2014). Forgotten Ally: China's World War II, 1937–1945. Mariner Books. ISBN 978-0544334502.
- Molinari, Andrea (2007). Desert Raiders: Axis and Allied Special Forces 1940–43. Oxford: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84603-006-2.
- Morison, Samuel Eliot (2002). History of United States Naval Operations in World War II, Volume 14: Victory in the Pacific, 1945. Champaign, IL: University of Illinois Press. ISBN 978-0-252-07065-5.
- Murray, Williamson (1983). Strategy for Defeat: The Luftwaffe, 1933–1945. Maxwell Air Force Base, AL: Air University Press. ISBN 978-1-4294-9235-5.
- ———; Millett, Allan Reed (2001). A War to Be Won: Fighting the Second World War. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-674-00680-5.
- Myers, Ramon; Peattie, Mark (1987). The Japanese Colonial Empire, 1895–1945. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0-691-10222-1.
- Naimark, Norman (2010). "The Sovietization of Eastern Europe, 1944–1953". In Melvyn P. Leffler and Odd Arne Westad, eds., The Cambridge History of the Cold War, Volume I: Origins (pp. 175–197). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-83719-4.
- Neary, Ian (1992). "Japan". In Martin Harrop, ed., Power and Policy in Liberal Democracies (pp. 49–70). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-34579-8.
- Neillands, Robin (2005). The Dieppe Raid: The Story of the Disastrous 1942 Expedition. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press. ISBN 978-0-253-34781-7.
- Newton, Steven H. (2004). Retreat from Leningrad: Army Group North, 1944/1945. Atglen, PA: Schiffer Books. ISBN 978-0-88740-806-9.
- Niewyk, Donald L.; Nicosia, Francis (2000). The Columbia Guide to the Holocaust. New York, NY: Columbia University Press. ISBN 978-0-231-11200-0.
- O'Hara, Vincent (2004). The German Fleet at War, 1939–1945. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 9781591146513.
- Overy, Richard (1994). War and Economy in the Third Reich. New York, NY: Clarendon Press. ISBN 978-0-19-820290-5.
- ——— (1995). Why the Allies Won. London: Pimlico. ISBN 978-0-712-67453-9.
- ——— (2004). The Dictators: Hitler's Germany, Stalin's Russia. New York, NY: W. W. Norton & Company. ISBN 978-0-393-02030-4.
- ———; Wheatcroft, Andrew (1999). The Road to War (2nd ed.). London: Penguin Books. ISBN 978-0-14-028530-7.
- O'Reilly, Charles T. (2001). Forgotten Battles: Italy's War of Liberation, 1943–1945. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books. ISBN 978-0-7391-0195-7.
- Painter, David S. (2012). "Oil and the American Century" (PDF). The Journal of American History. 99 (1): 24–39. doi:10.1093/jahist/jas073.
- Padfield, Peter (1998). War Beneath the Sea: Submarine Conflict During World War II. New York, NY: John Wiley. ISBN 978-0-471-24945-0.
- Pape, Robert A. (1993). "Why Japan Surrendered". International Security. 18 (2): 154–201. JSTOR 2539100. doi:10.2307/2539100.
- Parker, R.A.C. (April 1956). "The First Capitulation: France and the Rhineland Crisis of 1936". World Politics. 8 (3): 355–373. doi:10.2307/2008855.
- Parker, Danny S. (2004). Battle of the Bulge: Hitler's Ardennes Offensive, 1944–1945 (New ed.). Cambridge, MA: Da Capo Press. ISBN 978-0-306-81391-7.
- Payne, Stanley G. (2008). Franco and Hitler: Spain, Germany, and World War II. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-12282-4.
- Perez, Louis G. (1998). The History of Japan. Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0-313-30296-1.
- Petrov, Vladimir (1967). Money and Conquest: Allied Occupation Currencies in World War II. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 978-0-8018-0530-1.
- Polley, Martin (2000). An A–Z of Modern Europe Since 1789. London and New York, NY: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-18597-4.
- Portelli, Alessandro (2003). The Order Has Been Carried Out: History, Memory, and Meaning of a Nazi Massacre in Rome. Basingstoke & New York, NYPalgrave Macmillan978-1403980083.
- Preston, P. W. (1998). Pacific Asia in the Global System: An Introduction. Oxford & Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishers. ISBN 978-0-631-20238-7.
- Prins, Gwyn (2002). The Heart of War: On Power, Conflict and Obligation in the Twenty-First Century. London & New York, NY: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-36960-2.
- Radtke, K. W. (1997). "'Strategic' concepts underlying the so-called Hirota foreign policy, 1933–7". In Aiko Ikeo, ed., Economic Development in Twentieth Century East Asia: The International Context (pp. 100–120). London and New York, NY: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-14900-6.
- Rahn, Werner (2001). "The War in the Pacific". In Horst Boog, Werner Rahn, Reinhard Stumpf and Bernd Wegner, eds., Germany and the Second World War, Volume VI: The Global War (pp. 191–298). Oxford: Clarendon Press. ISBN 978-0-19-822888-2.
- Ratcliff, R. A. (2006). Delusions of Intelligence: Enigma, Ultra, and the End of Secure Ciphers. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-85522-8.
- Read, Anthony (2004). The Devil's Disciples: Hitler's Inner Circle. New York, NY: W. W. Norton & Company. ISBN 978-0-393-04800-1.
- Read, Anthony; Fisher, David (2002) . The Fall Of Berlin. London: Pimlico. ISBN 978-0-7126-0695-0.
- Record, Jeffery (2005). Appeasement Reconsidered: Investigating the Mythology of the 1930s (PDF). DIANE Publishing. p. 50. ISBN 1-58487-216-0. Retrieved 15 November 2009.
- Rees, Laurence (2008). World War II Behind Closed Doors: Stalin, the Nazis and the West. London: BBC Books. ISBN 978-0-563-49335-8.
- Regan, Geoffrey (2004). The Brassey's Book of Military Blunders. Brassey's. ISBN 978-1-57488-252-0.
- Reinhardt, Klaus (1992). Moscow – The Turning Point: The Failure of Hitler's Strategy in the Winter of 1941–42. Oxford: Berg. ISBN 978-0-85496-695-0.
- Reynolds, David (2006). From World War to Cold War: Churchill, Roosevelt, and the International History of the 1940s. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-928411-5.
- Rich, Norman (1992) . Hitler's War Aims, Volume I: Ideology, the Nazi State, and the Course of Expansion. New York, NY: W. W. Norton & Company. ISBN 978-0-393-00802-9.
- Ritchie, Ella (1992). "France". In Martin Harrop, ed., Power and Policy in Liberal Democracies (pp. 23–48). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-34579-8.
- Roberts, Cynthia A. (1995). "Planning for War: The Red Army and the Catastrophe of 1941". Europe-Asia Studies. 47 (8): 1293–1326. JSTOR 153299. doi:10.1080/09668139508412322.
- Roberts, Geoffrey (2006). Stalin's Wars: From World War to Cold War, 1939–1953. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-11204-7.
- Roberts, J. M. (1997). The Penguin History of Europe. London: Penguin Books. ISBN 978-0-14-026561-3.
- Ropp, Theodore (2000). War in the Modern World (Revised ed.). Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 978-0-8018-6445-2.
- Roskill, S. W. (1954). The War at Sea 1939–1945, Volume 1: The Defensive. History of the Second World War. United Kingdom Military Series. London: HMSO.
- Ross, Steven T. (1997). American War Plans, 1941–1945: The Test of Battle. Abingdon and New York, NY: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-7146-4634-3.
- Rottman, Gordon L. (2002). World War II Pacific Island Guide: A Geo-Military Study. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press. ISBN 978-0-313-31395-0.
- Rotundo, Louis (1986). "The Creation of Soviet Reserves and the 1941 Campaign". Military Affairs. 50 (1): 21–8. JSTOR 1988530. doi:10.2307/1988530.
- Salecker, Gene Eric (2001). Fortress Against the Sun: The B-17 Flying Fortress in the Pacific. Conshohocken, PA: Combined Publishing. ISBN 978-1-58097-049-5.
- Schain, Martin A., ed. (2001). The Marshall Plan Fifty Years Later. London: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-0-333-92983-4.
- Schmitz, David F. (2000). Henry L. Stimson: The First Wise Man. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 978-0-8420-2632-1.
- Schofield, B. B. (1981). "The Defeat of the U-Boats during World War II". Journal of Contemporary History. 16 (1): 119–129. JSTOR 260619. doi:10.1177/002200948101600107.
- Schoppa, R. Keith (2011). In a Sea of Bitterness, Refugees during the Sino-Japanese War. Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-6740-5988-7.
- Sella, Amnon (1978). ""Barbarossa": Surprise Attack and Communication". Journal of Contemporary History. 13 (3): 555–583. JSTOR 260209. doi:10.1177/002200947801300308.
- ——— (1983). "Khalkhin-Gol: The Forgotten War". Journal of Contemporary History. 18 (4): 651–687. JSTOR 260307.
- Senn, Alfred Erich (2007). Lithuania 1940: Revolution from Above. Amsterdam & New York, NY: Rodopi. ISBN 978-90-420-2225-6.
- Shaw, Anthony (2000). World War II: Day by Day. Osceola, WI: MBI Publishing Company. ISBN 978-0-7603-0939-1.
- Shepardson, Donald E. (1998). "The Fall of Berlin and the Rise of a Myth". Journal of Military History. 62 (1): 135–154. JSTOR 120398. doi:10.2307/120398.
- Shirer, William L. (1990) . The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-671-72868-7.
- Shore, Zachary (2003). What Hitler Knew: The Battle for Information in Nazi Foreign Policy. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-518261-3.
- Slim, William (1956). Defeat into Victory. London: Cassell. ISBN 0-304-29114-5.
- Smith, Alan (1993). Russia and the World Economy: Problems of Integration. London: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-08924-1.
- Smith, J.W. (1994). The World's Wasted Wealth 2: Save Our Wealth, Save Our Environment. Institute for Economic Democracy. ISBN 0-9624423-2-1.
- Smith, Peter C. (2002) . Pedestal: The Convoy That Saved Malta (5th ed.). Manchester: Goodall. ISBN 978-0-907579-19-9.
- Smith, David J.; Pabriks, Artis; Purs, Aldis; Lane, Thomas (2002). The Baltic States: Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. London: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-28580-3.
- Smith, Winston; Steadman, Ralph (2004). All Riot on the Western Front, Volume 3. Last Gasp. ISBN 978-0-86719-616-0.
- Snyder, Timothy (2010). Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin. London: The Bodley Head. ISBN 978-0-224-08141-2.
- Sommerville, Donald (2008). The Complete Illustrated History of World War Two: An Authoritative Account of the Deadliest Conflict in Human History with Analysis of Decisive Encounters and Landmark Engagements. Leicester: Lorenz Books. ISBN 978-075481898-4.
- Spring, D. W. (1986). "The Soviet Decision for War against Finland, 30 November 1939". Soviet Studies. 38 (2): 207–226. JSTOR 151203. doi:10.1080/09668138608411636.
- Steinberg, Jonathan (1995). "The Third Reich Reflected: German Civil Administration in the Occupied Soviet Union, 1941–4". The English Historical Review. 110 (437): 620–651. JSTOR 578338. doi:10.1093/ehr/cx.437.620.
- Steury, Donald P. (1987). "Naval Intelligence, the Atlantic Campaign and the Sinking of the Bismarck: A Study in the Integration of Intelligence into the Conduct of Naval Warfare". Journal of Contemporary History. 22 (2): 209–233. JSTOR 260931. doi:10.1177/002200948702200202.
- Stueck, William (2010). "The Korean War". In Melvyn P. Leffler and Odd Arne Westad, eds., The Cambridge History of the Cold War, Volume I: Origins (pp. 266–287). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-83719-4.
- Sumner, Ian; Baker, Alix (2001). The Royal Navy 1939–45. Oxford: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84176-195-4.
- Swain, Bruce (2001). A Chronology of Australian Armed Forces at War 1939–45. Crows Nest: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 978-1-86508-352-0.
- Swain, Geoffrey (1992). "The Cominform: Tito's International?". The Historical Journal. 35 (3): 641–663. doi:10.1017/S0018246X00026017.
- Tanaka, Yuki (1996). Hidden Horrors: Japanese War Crimes in World War II. Boulder, CO: Westview Press. ISBN 978-0-8133-2717-4.
- Taylor, A. J. P. (1961). The Origins of the Second World War. London: Hamish Hamilton.
- ——— (1979). How Wars Begin. London: Hamish Hamilton. ISBN 978-0-241-10017-2.
- Taylor, Jay (2009). The Generalissimo: Chiang Kai-shek and the Struggle for Modern China. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-674-03338-2.
- Thomas, Nigel; Andrew, Stephen (1998). German Army 1939–1945 (2): North Africa & Balkans. Oxford: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 978-1-85532-640-8.
- Thompson, John Herd; Randall, Stephen J. (2008). Canada and the United States: Ambivalent Allies (4th ed.). Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press. ISBN 978-0-8203-3113-3.
- Trachtenberg, Marc (1999). A Constructed Peace: The Making of the European Settlement, 1945–1963. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0-691-00273-6.
- Tucker, Spencer C.; Roberts, Priscilla Mary (2004). Encyclopedia of World War II: A Political, Social, and Military History. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 1-57607-999-6.
- Umbreit, Hans (1991). "The Battle for Hegemony in Western Europe". In P. S. Falla, ed., Germany and the Second World War, Volume 2: Germany's Initial Conquests in Europe (pp. 227–326). Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-822885-1.
- United States Army (1986) . The German Campaigns in the Balkans (Spring 1941). Washington, DC: Department of the Army.
- Waltz, Susan (2002). "Reclaiming and Rebuilding the History of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights". Third World Quarterly. 23 (3): 437–448. JSTOR 3993535. doi:10.1080/01436590220138378.
- Ward, Thomas A. (2010). Aerospace Propulsion Systems. Singapore: John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-0-470-82497-9.
- Watson, William E. (2003). Tricolor and Crescent: France and the Islamic World. Westport, CT: Praeger. ISBN 0-275-97470-7.
- Weinberg, Gerhard L. (2005). A World at Arms: A Global History of World War II (2nd ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-85316-3.; comprehensive overview with emphasis on diplomacy
- Wettig, Gerhard (2008). Stalin and the Cold War in Europe: The Emergence and Development of East-West Conflict, 1939–1953. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 978-0-7425-5542-6.
- Wiest, Andrew; Barbier, M. K. (2002). Strategy and Tactics: Infantry Warfare. St Paul, MN: MBI Publishing Company. ISBN 978-0-7603-1401-2.
- Williams, Andrew (2006). Liberalism and War: The Victors and the Vanquished. Abingdon & New York, NY: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-35980-1.
- Wilt, Alan F. (1981). "Hitler's Late Summer Pause in 1941". Military Affairs. 45 (4): 187–91. JSTOR 1987464. doi:10.2307/1987464.
- Wohlstetter, Roberta (1962). Pearl Harbor: Warning and Decision. Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press. ISBN 978-0-8047-0597-4.
- Wolf, Holger C. (1993). "The Lucky Miracle: Germany 1945–1951". In Rudiger Dornbusch, Wilhelm Nölling and Richard Layard, eds., Postwar Economic Reconstruction and Lessons for the East Today (pp. 29–56). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. ISBN 978-0-262-04136-2.
- Wood, James B. (2007). Japanese Military Strategy in the Pacific War: Was Defeat Inevitable?. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 978-0-7425-5339-2.
- Yoder, Amos (1997). The Evolution of the United Nations System (3rd ed.). London & Washington, DC: Taylor & Francis. ISBN 1-56032-546-1.
- Zalampas, Michael (1989). Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich in American magazines, 1923–1939. Bowling Green University Popular Press. ISBN 0-87972-462-5.
- Zaloga, Steven J. (1996). Bagration 1944: The Destruction of Army Group Centre. Oxford: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 978-1-85532-478-7.
- ——— (2002). Poland 1939: The Birth of Blitzkrieg. Oxford: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84176-408-5.
- Zeiler, Thomas W. and Daniel M. DuBois, eds. A Companion to World War II (2 vol 2013), 1030pp; comprehensive overview by scholars
- Zeiler, Thomas W. (2004). Unconditional Defeat: Japan, America, and the End of World War II. Wilmington, DE: Scholarly Resources. ISBN 978-0-8420-2991-9.
- Zetterling, Niklas; Tamelander, Michael (2009). Bismarck: The Final Days of Germany's Greatest Battleship. Drexel Hill, PA: Casemate. ISBN 978-1-935149-04-0.