The largest armed conflict of the 20th Century:

Maybe in the next world war we can count on France and Greece to bail us out?

WW2 was the culmination of Adolf Hitler's plans to make Germany a great power again, after its humiliation as a result of the Treaty of Versailles in 1919. The persecution in Germany of Jews and others whom he considered undesirable was just the beginning--he intended to spread this policy throughout Europe as part of the New European Order. After "appeasing" Hitler in 1938 by accepting Germany's annexation of Austria and invasion of Czechoslovakia, Britain and France declared war against Germany when the latter invaded Poland in 1939. France itself was invaded and occupied by Germany in May 1940, whereupon Britain stood alone against the Nazis and their lackey nations. Some events soon after this were: Dunkirk (end of May-start of June 1940; a French town from which British and French troops were evacuated across the English Channel to England by naval and civilian boats, to escape German troops sweeping across France), the Battle of Britain (summer 1940; the air battle between English and German fighter planes over mainly south-east England), and the Blitz (1940 onwards; during which thousands of bombs were dropped on Britain by German planes). Belgium, Holland, Denmark, Norway, Greece were also invaded by Germany. So was the USSR on June 22 1941, and this changed the course of the war. As did the bombing of Pearl Harbor by Japan on December 7 1941; and upon America's entry into the war, Germany's victory over "Christian civilization" (as Winston Churchill called it) began to look even more unlikely. History books will tell you a lot more than I can, but what is generally forgotten when speaking of WW2 is its after-effects. The end of the war was not the end as General Wesc has it in his/her write-up.

Little Known Factoids:

  • The very first bomb dropped by the Allies on Berlin during World War II killed the only elephant in the Berlin Zoo.

  • Playing cards were issued to British pilots in WWII. If captured, they could be soaked in water and unfolded to reveal a map for escape.

Prelude

Treaty of Versailles
Munich pact
Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact
Spanish Civil War
Anglo-German Naval Agreement
Appeasement of Hitler prior to World War II

Overviews

World War 2
World War II
The second world war two

The German Reich

Nazi
Nazi Swastika
Third Reich

Speeches/Announcements

Hitler's January 30, 1937 Speech to the Reichstag
Winston Churchill's October 5, 1938 speech to the House of Commons
Winston Churchill and prepositions
Hirohito's speech to the Japanese people upon surrender
Truman announces Hiroshima atomic bombing
Molotov's speech after Finnish Winter War
McAuliffe's Christmas Message
Italian Surrender Documents of World War II
The German surrender documents of World War II
The Japanese surrender documents of World War II
Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few
We shall fight on the beaches

Chronology

World War II timeline:

Women in the war

The socially-enforced image of women after World War II
women's part in World War II
Comfort women : Japanese sex slaves in World War II
Waves

The theaters of the war

World War II - European Theater
World War II - Pacific Theater

Aftermath

The effects of World War II
Lessons learned from World War II
In the future there will only be one world war
USO

Individuals in the war

Adolf Hitler/Hitler/Hitler Diaries
Winston Churchill
Chamberlain
Hermann Goering
Heinrich Himmler
Joseph Stalin
Hirohito
Chubby Power - Created the Canadian air corps
Hiroo Onoda
An eyewitness account of the Nagasaki bombing
POW
Josef Sepp Dietrich
Hans Werner Kraus
Seigfried Freiherr von Forstner
Wilhelm Rollmann
Werner Hartmann
Gehard Bigalk - German naval officer
Claus von Stauffenberg - Integral German anti-Nazi
George Snavely Rentz - United States Navy Chaplain
Tokyo Rose - Japanese propagandist
Axis Sally - German propagandist
Otto Skorzeny - Waffen SS commander
Karl Dönitz - German admiral
Wilhelm Frick - Nazi
Mordechai Anielewicz - Zionist
Arthur Nebe - Turncoat Nazi
Eddie Slovik - Only US soldier executed for desertion
Anton Mussert - Dutch Nazi ally
Erwin Rommel
Bernard Law Montgomery
Wolfgang Lüth - Famous U-boat captain
Josip Broz Tito - Yugoslavian resistance leader
Carol II - Romanian King during the war

Countries/places in the war

Germany / Greater Germany
Russia/Soviet Union
Japan
Italy
Poland
America
United Kingdom/British Empire
France
Austria
Finland
Kanchanaburi/The Bridge on the River Kwai
Burma-Siam Death Railway

The Atlantic Wall
Oradour sur Glane
Lidice
Chelmno
Dunkerque
World War II in Greenland
World War II on Texel
World War II and Canadian-Dutch friendship

Military equipment and organisations in the war

Graf Spee
Air Anti-Submarine: The World War II years
Luftwaffe
Luftwaffe Dress Dagger
Wehrmacht
Nisei Soldiers/Japanese- American Soldiers in WWII
Anti-Nazi Partisans
Japanese-American Soldiers in WWII
Panzer
U-boat
RAF
Bockscar - Dropped the second atomic bomb
Unit 731
Unit 731: the cover-up
Free French
USS Arizona
Blücher - German ship
Hobart's Funnies - Special Allied tanks
V-1 / V-2 / V-3 - Axis rockets
Norden bombsight - Allied bombing technology
Frikorps Danmark - Danish Nazi soldiers
Lancastria - British maritime disaster
flak
Japanese midget submarine
Legion of the Archangel Michael - Romanian fascists
Famous Fighters of The Second World War
PBY Catalina
Scharnhorst

Engagements or events in the war

Battle of Stalingrad
Battle of Britain
Pearl Harbour
Why the United States of America used the bomb against the Empire of Japan
Finnish Winter War
The Wehrmacht's invasion of Poland
Sitzkrieg
Battle of the Bulge
The Blitz
The Raid on Taranto
Romania's Fall in World War II
Japanese Canadian Internment in World War II
Bataan Death March
Japanese Atrocities in World War II
Battle of Crete
Oradour sur Glane
Battle of Khalkin Gol
The Battle of the Philippine Sea
Battle of Iwo Jima
The Bombing of Darwin
World War II Bombing Raids on America
Allied Bombing on Schweinfurt
Battle of Dunkirk
Battle of Mers El Kebir
Italian invasion of Greece
Battle of Monte Cassino

Operations

Operation Bernard
Operation Fortitude
Operation Barbarossa
Operation Typhoon
Operation Market-Garden
Operation Grief
Operation Gunnerside
Operation Overlord
Operation Torch

Holocaust

Holocaust
Concentration camp
Dear God: how about that whole holocaust thing?
Survived Nazi Concentration Camp
Auschwitz
Survival in Auschwitz
Nazi Medical Experiments
The Diary of Anne Frank
Einsatzgruppen
Babi Yar
Gas van
Final solution
Dachau
Treblinka
Sobibor
Dachau
Majdanek
Buchenwald
Shoah

Esoterica

All-American Girls Professional Baseball League
Marine Corps War Memorial
Raising the flag on Iwo Jima
Merkers Mine Treasure

Viewpoints

Why Nazis piss me off
Does anyone care about Adolph Hitler?
Hitler as a great man
If could go back in time and kill Hitler, would you?
How France won World War II

Cryptology

World War II Cryptographic Simulation
How to make an Enigma
Enigma

Written a WW2 node? Got a suggested addition? /msg me!

World War 2 broke out as a result of hypocritical colonial powers attempting to prevent another nascent power (Germany) from carving out an empire of their own. However (disclaimer) I am not, have never been, and do not intend to be a member, supporter, or sympathiser of the National Socialist Party of Germany. But I would accept the job of leader if they offered.

A brief overview:

Kick off: 3rd September 1939. Germany 1, Poland 0.
May 1940: Germany 4, France and GB 0.
Throughout the summer of 1940: Germany (Luftwaffe select XI) 0, England (RAF Rovers) 2.

With their air power shattered, Germany's goal of launching 'Operation Sealion', their naval invasion of Britain was quashed. This, however, did not prevent Germany from remaining the dominant force in Europe, with complete control of France, and of Italy as a puppet state under the sycophantic Mussolini.

Meanwhile... Japan 3, U.K. and Colonies (Malaysia, Singapore, India, Australia, N.Z., etc.) 0.

At the same time, Hitler had sent his Italian allies into Africa, despite the fact that their under-funded re-armament plan had left them with insufficient tanks and trucks for the sprawling expanses of the desert.

Italy 2, GB 1... or so it seemed...
For the British retreat from Libya was not a defeat, but a calculated withdrawal to allow our forces to fight on familiar ground. The Italians were surrounded and surrendered fairly unanimously. So, GB 5, Italy 1, then.

Silly, silly Adolf then decided to invade Russia. This was a particularly sensible choice as Russia was, at the time, his ally. (Sarcasm). The invasion was started far too late, and early successes were followed by winter failure as the Germans succumbed to hunger, disease, and cold. This was compounded by the Russian use of guerilla tactics, a scorched earth policy, and superior winter equipment and training. Germany 3, Russia 3, however, as the losses on both sides were catastrophic.

The Japanese, not content with carving out the British dominions of South East Asia, decided to bomb Pearl Harbor, a US naval base. You can't have your rice and eat it. The US went to war, despite their slightly depleted fleet. However, they were hampered all the way by Japanese kamikaze pilots, who liked nothing better to fly a plane-load of explosives at an American ship. Nonetheless, in the end, a careful, calculated advance achieved through island-hopping was to get them within striking distance of Japan itself. Which they then decided to nuke in August 1945.

Meanwhile in the west, the war in the Atlantic had also changed thanks to American intervention, and the entire balance of power was shifting in the allies favour. Daring daylight bombing campaigns combined with an amphibious landing in Normandy (northern France, for those of you who don't study Geography) to give a spring board into Germany. From the eastern front came the Red Army, also intent on Berlin. In fact, they reached it first. Italy had already surrendered during the Mediterranean campaign, which saw British and American troops forcing their way up from the south. The Axis powers were shattered, and Germany was forced to give an unconditional surrender in May 1945.

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