World War II
Infobox collage for WWII.PNG
(clockwise from top left)
Chinese forces in the Battle of Wanjialing Australian 25-pounder guns during the First Battle of El Alamein German Stuka dive bombers on the Eastern Front in December 1943 American naval force in the Lingayen Gulf Wilhelm Keitel signing the German Instrument of Surrender Soviet troops in the Battle of Stalingrad
Date
1 September 1939 – 2 September 1945
(6 years and 1 day)a
Location Europe, Pacific, Atlantic, South-East Asia, China, Middle East, Mediterranean, North Africa, Horn of Africa, Australia, briefly North and South America
Result
Allied victory
Collapse of Nazi Germany
Fall of Japanese and Italian Empires
Dissolution of the League of Nations
Creation of the United Nations
Emergence of the United States and the Soviet Union as rival superpowers
Beginning of the Cold War (more…)
Participants
Allies Axis
Commanders and leaders
Main Allied leaders
Soviet Union Joseph Stalin
United States Franklin D. Roosevelt
United Kingdom Winston Churchill
Republic of China (1912–1949) Chiang Kai-shek
Main Axis leaders
Nazi Germany Adolf Hitler
Empire of Japan Hirohito
Kingdom of Italy Benito Mussolini
Casualties and losses
Military dead:
Over 16,000,000
Civilian dead:
Over 45,000,000
Total dead:
Over 61,000,000
(1937–1945)
…further details
Military dead:
Over 8,000,000
Civilian dead:
Over 4,000,000
Total dead:
Over 12,000,000
(1937–1945)
…further details
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Campaigns of World War II
World War II
Alphabetical indices
A B C D E F G H I J K L M
N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
0–9
Navigation
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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. The vast majority of the world’s countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. It was the most global war in history; it 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, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.1234

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