: Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek
, Franklin D. Roosevelt
, and Winston Churchill
meeting at the Cairo Conference
The Allies of World War II were a group of countries that together opposed the Axis powers
during the Second World War
(1939–1945). The Allies promoted the alliance as a means to defeat Nazi Germany
, the Empire of Japan
, Fascist Italy
and their allies.
At the start of the war on 1 September 1939, the Allies consisted of Poland
, the United Kingdom
, and France
as well as their dependent states
, such as British India
. They were joined by the independent Dominion
s of the British Commonwealth
, New Zealand
and South Africa
. After the start of the German invasion of North Europe
until the Balkan Campaign
, the Netherlands
, and Yugoslavia
joined the Allies. After first having cooperated with Germany
in invading Poland
whilst remaining neutral in the Allied-Axis conflict, the Soviet Union
perforce joined the Allies in June 1941 after being invaded by Germany
. The United States
provided war materiel
and money to the Allies all along, and officially joined
in December 1941 after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor
had already been in a prolonged war
with Japan since the Marco Polo Bridge Incident
of 1937 and officially joined the Allies in December 1941.
The Big Three—the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union, and the United States—formed a Grand Alliance that was key to victory.
They controlled Allied strategy;
relations between the United Kingdom and the United States were especially close
. The alliance was formalized by the Declaration by United Nations
, on 1 January 1942. The Big Three together with China were referred to as a "trustee
ship of the powerful",
then were recognized as the "Four Powers" in the Declaration by United Nations and later as the "Four Policemen
" of the United Nations.
After the war ended, the Allied states became the basis of the modern United Nations
The origins of the Allied powers stem from the Allies of World War I
and cooperation of the victorious powers at the Paris Peace Conference, 1919
resented signing the Treaty of Versailles
. The new Weimar Republic
's legitimacy became shaken. However, the 1920s were peaceful.
With the Wall Street Crash of 1929
and the ensuing Great Depression
, political unrest in Europe soared including the rise in support of revanchist
nationalists in Germany who blamed the severity of the economic crisis on the Treaty of Versailles. By the early 1930s, the Nazi Party
led by Adolf Hitler
became the dominant revanchist movement in Germany and Hitler and the Nazis gained power
in 1933. The Nazi regime demanded the immediate cancellation of the Treaty of Versailles and made claims to German-populated Austria, and German-populated territories of Czechoslovakia. The likelihood of war was high, and the question was whether it could be avoided through strategies such as appeasement
In Asia, when Japan seized Manchuria
in 1931, the League of Nations
condemned it for aggression against China. Japan responded by leaving the League of Nations in March 1933. After four quiet years, the Sino-Japanese War
erupted in 1937 with Japanese forces invading China. The League of Nations condemned Japan's actions and initiated sanctions on Japan. The United States, in particular, was angered at Japan and sought to support China.
In March 1939, Germany took over Czechoslovakia
, violating the Munich Agreement
signed six months before, and demonstrating that the appeasement policy was a failure. Britain and France decided that Hitler had no intention to uphold diplomatic agreements and responded by preparing for war. On 31 March 1939, Britain formed the Anglo-Polish military alliance
in an effort to avert a German attack on the country. Also, the French had a long-standing alliance with Poland since 1921
. The Soviet Union
sought an alliance with the western powers, but Hitler ended the risk of a war with Stalin by signing the Nazi–Soviet non-aggression pact
in August 1939. The agreement secretly divided the independent states of Central and Eastern Europe between the two powers and assured adequate oil supplies for the German war machine.
On 1 September 1939, Germany invaded Poland
; two days later Britain and France declared war on Germany. Then, on 17 September 1939, the Soviet Union invaded Poland
from the east. Britain and France established the Anglo-French Supreme War Council
to coordinate military decisions. A Polish government-in-exile
was set up in London and it continued to be one of the Allies. After a quiet winter, Germany in April 1940 invaded and quickly defeated Denmark, Norway, Belgium, the Netherlands and France. Britain and its Empire stood alone against Hitler and Mussolini.
Before entering into an alliance, there was pre-emptive cooperation between the United Kingdom and the United States.
In addition, through US armament supplies in the form of Lend-Lease
, there was an effort to collaborate before the official forming of the alliance.
The First Inter-Allied Meeting
took place in London in early June 1941 between the United Kingdom, the four co-belligerent British Dominions (Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa), the eight governments in exile
, the Netherlands
) and Free France
. The Declaration of St James's Palace
at the meeting set out a first vision for the postwar world.
In June 1941, Hitler broke the non-aggression agreement with Stalin and Germany invaded the Soviet Union
, and the Soviet Union declared war on Germany. Britain agreed to an alliance with the Soviet Union
in July. The Atlantic Conference
followed in August 1941 between American President Franklin Roosevelt
and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill
which defined a common Anglo-American vision of the postwar world. At the Second Inter-Allied Meeting
in London in September 1941, the eight European governments in exile, together with the Soviet Union and representatives of the Free French Forces, unanimously adopted adherence to the common principles of policy set forth by Britain and the United States. In December, Japan attacked the US and Britain resulting in a state of war between the US and the Axis powers, with whom China also declared war. The main lines of World War II had formed. Churchill referred to the Grand Alliance of the United Kingdom, the United States, and the Soviet Union.
The alliance was one of convenience in the fight against the Axis powers
. The British had reason to ask for one as Germany
, and Imperial Japan
threatened not only the colonies of the British Empire
in North Africa and Asia but also the British mainland
. The United States felt that the Japanese and German expansion should be contained, but ruled out force until the attack by the Imperial Japanese Navy
on Pearl Harbor
on 7 December 1941. The Soviet Union, after the breaking of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact
by the instigation of Operation Barbarossa
in 1941, greatly despised German belligerence and the unchallenged Japanese expansion in the East, particularly considering their defeat in several previous wars with Japan. They also recognized, as the US and Britain had suggested, the advantages of a two-front war
The Big Three
Franklin D. Roosevelt
, Winston Churchill
, and Joseph Stalin
were The Big Three leaders. They were in frequent contact through ambassadors, top generals, foreign ministers and special emissaries such as the American Harry Hopkins
. It is also often called the "Strange Alliance", because it united the leaders of the world's greatest capitalist state
(the United States), the greatest socialist state
(the Soviet Union) and the greatest colonial power
(the United Kingdom).
Relations between them resulted in the major decisions that shaped the war effort and planned for the postwar world.
Cooperation between the United Kingdom and the United States was especially close
and included forming a Combined Chiefs of Staff
There were numerous high-level conferences
; in total Churchill attended 14 meetings, Roosevelt 12, and Stalin 5. Most visible were the three summit conferences that brought together the three top leaders. The Allied policy toward Germany and Japan evolved and developed at these three conferences.
(codename "Eureka") – first meeting of The Big Three (28 November 1943 –
1 December 1943)
* Yalta Conference
(codename "Argonaut") – second meeting of The Big Three (4–11 February 1945)
* Potsdam Conference
(codename "Terminal") – third and final meeting of The Big Three (Truman having taken over for Roosevelt, 17 July – 2 August 1945)
There were many tensions among the Big Three leaders, although they were not enough to break the alliance during wartime.
In 1942 Roosevelt proposed becoming, with China, the Four Policemen
of world peace. Although the 'Four Powers' were reflected in the wording of the Declaration by United Nations
, Roosevelt's proposal was not initially supported by Churchill or Stalin.
Division emerged over the length of time taken by the Western Allies to establish a second front
Stalin and the Soviets used the potential employment of the second front as an 'acid test' for their relations with the Anglo-American powers.
The Soviets were forced to use as much manpower as possible in the fight against the Germans, whereas the United States had the luxury of flexing industrial power, but with the "minimum possible expenditure of American lives."
Roosevelt delayed until 1944 to enforce a second front in Europe; in the meantime he had endorsed the British proposal to invade North Africa, straining Anglo-American and Soviet relations.
The essential ideological differences between the United States and the Soviet Union strained their relationship. Tensions between the two countries had existed for decades, with the Soviets remembering America's participation in the armed intervention
against the Bolsheviks
in the Russian Civil War
as well as its long refusal to recognize the Soviet Union's existence as a state. The original terms of the Lend-Lease
loan were amended towards the Soviets, to be put in line with British terms. The United States would now expect interest with the repayment from the Soviets, following the initiation of the Operation Barbarossa
, at the end of the war—the United States were not looking to support any "postwar Soviet reconstruction efforts", which eventually manifested into the Molotov Plan
. At the Tehran conference
, Stalin judged Roosevelt to be a "lightweight compared to the more formidable Churchill". During the meetings from 1943–1945, there were disputes over the growing list of demands from the USSR.
Tensions increased further when Roosevelt died and his successor Harry Truman
rejected demands put forth by Stalin.
Roosevelt understood that cultural differences could doom the alliance and, as opposed to the likes of Truman and W. Averell Harriman
, Roosevelt wanted to play down these tensions. Roosevelt felt he "understood Stalin's psychology" which aided him in cooperating more successfully with the Soviet Union in comparison to Truman, stating "Stalin was too anxious to prove a point... he suffered from an inferiority complex."
During December 1941, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt
devised the name "United Nations" for the Allies and proposed it to British Prime Minister Winston Churchill
He referred to the Big Three and China as a "trustee
ship of the powerful", and then later the "Four Powers
Declaration by United Nations
The alliance was formalised in the Declaration by United Nations
signed on 1 January 1942.
These were the 26 signatories of the declaration:
* Costa Rica
* Dominican Republic
* El Salvador
* New Zealand
* Soviet Union
* South Africa
* United Kingdom
* United States
The United Nations began growing immediately after its formation. In 1942, Mexico, the Philippines and Ethiopia adhered to the declaration. The African state had been restored in its independence by British forces after the Italian defeat on Amba Alagi
in 1941, while the Philippines, still dependent on Washington but granted international diplomatic recognition, was allowed to join on 10 June despite their occupation by Japan.
In 1943, the Declaration was signed by Iraq, Iran, Brazil, Bolivia and Colombia. A Tripartite Treaty of Alliance with Britain and the USSR formalised Iran's assistance to the Allies. In Rio de Janeiro
, Brazilian dictator Getúlio Vargas
was considered near to fascist ideas, but realistically joined the United Nations after their evident successes.
In 1944, Liberia and France signed. The French situation was very confused. Free French
forces were recognized only by Britain, while the United States considered Vichy France
to be the legal government of the country until Operation Overlord
, while also preparing US occupation francs
. Winston Churchill urged Roosevelt to restore France to its status of a major power after the liberation of Paris in August 1944; the Prime Minister feared that after the war, Britain could remain the sole great power in Europe facing the Communist threat, as it was in 1940 and 1941 against Nazism.
During the early part of 1945, Peru, Chile, Paraguay, Venezuela, Uruguay, Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Syria (these latter two French colonies had been declared independent states by British occupation troops, despite protests by Pétain and later De Gaulle) and Ecuador became signatories. Ukraine
, which were not independent states but parts of the Soviet Union, were accepted as members of the United Nations as a way to provide greater influence to Stalin, who had only Yugoslavia as a communist partner in the alliance.
Major affiliated state combatants
British Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain
delivered his ''Ultimatum Speech'' on 3 September 1939 which declared war on Germany
, a few hours before France. As the Statute of Westminster 1931
was not yet ratified by the parliaments of Australia and New Zealand, the British declaration of war on Germany also applied to those dominions
. The other dominions and members of the British Commonwealth
declared war from 3 September 1939, all within one week of each other; these countries were Canada
and South Africa
as well as Nepal
During the war, Churchill attended seventeen Allied conferences
at which key decisions and agreements were made. He was "the most important of the Allied leaders during the first half of World War II".
Africa colonies and dependencies
British West Africa
and the British colonies in East and Southern Africa participated, mainly in the North African, East African and Middle-Eastern theatres. Two West African and one East African division served in the Burma Campaign
was a self-governing colony, having received responsible government
in 1923. It was not a sovereign dominion. It governed itself internally and controlled its own armed forces, but had no diplomatic autonomy, and, therefore, was officially at war as soon as Britain was at war. The Southern Rhodesian colonial government issued a symbolic declaration of war nevertheless on 3 September 1939, which made no difference diplomatically but preceded the declarations of war made by all other British dominions and colonies.
American colonies and dependencies
These included: the British West Indies
, British Honduras
, British Guiana
and the Falkland Islands
. The Dominion of Newfoundland
was directly ruled as a royal colony from 1933–49, run by a governor appointed by London who made the decisions regarding Newfoundland.
included the areas and peoples covered by later India
and (until 1937) Burma/Myanmar
, which later became a separate colony.
covers the areas of Peninsular Malaysia
, while British Borneo
covers the area of Brunei
, including Sabah
Territories controlled by the Colonial Office
, namely the Crown Colonies
, were controlled politically by the UK and therefore also entered hostilities with Britain's declaration of war. At the outbreak of World War II, the British Indian Army
numbered 205,000 men. Later during World War II, the Indian Army
became the largest all-volunteer force in history, rising to over 2.5 million men in size.
Indian soldiers earned 30 Victoria Cross
es during the Second World War. It suffered 87,000 military casualties (more than any Crown colony but fewer than the United Kingdom). The UK suffered 382,000 military casualties.
Protectorates included: Kuwait
was a protectorate of the United Kingdom formally established in 1899. The Trucial States
were protectorates in the Persian Gulf.
was a mandate dependency created in the peace agreements after World War I
from the former territory of the Ottoman Empire
The Cyprus Regiment
was formed by the British Government during the Second World War and made part of the British Army structure. It was mostly Greek Cypriot
volunteers and Turkish-speaking Cypriot inhabitants of Cyprus but also included other Commonwealth nationalities. On a brief visit to Cyprus in 1943, Winston Churchill praised the "soldiers of the Cyprus Regiment who have served honourably on many fields from Libya to Dunkirk". About 30,000 Cypriots served in the Cyprus Regiment. The regiment was involved in action from the very start and served at Dunkirk
, in the Greek Campaign
(about 600 soldiers were captured in Kalamata
in 1941), North Africa (Operation Compass
), France, the Middle East and Italy. Many soldiers were taken prisoner especially at the beginning of the war and were interned in various PoW camps (Stalag
) including Lamsdorf (Stalag VIII-B
), Stalag IVC at Wistritz bei Teplitz and Stalag 4b near Most in the Czech Republic. The soldiers captured in Kalamata were transported by train to prisoner of war camps.
After Germany invaded Poland, France declared war on Germany
on 3 September 1939.
[Speeches that Reshaped the World.]
In January 1940, French Prime Minister Édouard Daladier
made a major speech denouncing the actions of Germany:
France experienced several major phases of action during World War II:
* The "Phoney War
" of 1939–1940, also called ''drôle de guerre'' in France, ''dziwna wojna'' in Poland (both meaning "Strange War"), or the ''"Sitzkrieg"'' ("Sitting War") in Germany.
* The Battle of France
in May–June 1940, which resulted in the defeat of the Allies, the fall of the French Third Republic
, the German occupation of northern and western France
, and the creation of the rump state Vichy France
, which received diplomatic recognition from the Axis and most neutral countries including the United States
* The period of resistance against the occupation
and Franco-French struggle for control of the colonies between the Vichy regime and the Free French
, who continued the fight on the Allies' side after the Appeal of 18 June
by General Charles de Gaulle
, recognized by the United Kingdom as France's government-in-exile. It culminated in the Allied landings in North Africa
on 11 November 1942, when Vichy ceased to exist as an independent entity after having been invaded by both the Axis
and the Allies simultaneously, being thereafter only the nominal government in charge during the occupation of France. Vichy forces in French North Africa switched allegiance and merged with
the Free French to participate in the campaigns of Tunisia
and of Italy
and the invasion of Corsica
* The liberation of mainland France
beginning with D-Day
on 6 June 1944 and operation Overlord
, and then with operation Dragoon
on 15 August 1944, leading to the Liberation of Paris
on 25 August 1944 by the Free French 2e Division Blindée
and the installation of the Provisional Government of the French Republic
in the newly liberated capital.
* Participation of the re-established provisional French Republic's First Army
in the Allied advance from Paris to the Rhine
and the Western Allied invasion of Germany
until V-E Day
on 8 May 1945.
Colonies and dependencies
In Africa these included: French West Africa
, French Equatorial Africa
, the League of Nations mandates of French Cameroun
and French Togoland
, French Madagascar
, French Somaliland
, and the protectorates of French Tunisia
and French Morocco
was then not a colony or dependency but a fully-fledged part of metropolitan France
=In Asia and Oceania
In Asia and Oceania these included: French Polynesia
, Wallis and Futuna
, New Caledonia
, the New Hebrides
, French Indochina
, French India
, the mandates of Greater Lebanon
and French Syria
. The French government in 1936 attempted to grant independence to its mandate of Syria
in the Franco-Syrian Treaty of Independence of 1936
signed by France and Syria. However, opposition to the treaty grew in France and the treaty was not ratified. Syria had become an official republic in 1930 and was largely self-governing. In 1941, a British-led invasion supported by Free French forces expelled Vichy French forces in operation Exporter
=In the Americas
In the Americas these included: Martinique
, French Guiana
and Saint Pierre and Miquelon
In the lead up to the war between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany, relations between the two states underwent several stages. General Secretary Joseph Stalin
and the government of the Soviet Union had supported so-called popular front
movements of anti-fascists
including communists and non-communists from 1935 to 1939.
[Paul Bushkovitch. ''A Concise History of Russia''. Cambridge, England, UK; New York, New York, US: Cambridge University Press, 2012. P. 390–391.]
The popular front strategy was terminated from 1939 to 1941 when the Soviet Union cooperated with Germany in 1939 in the occupation and partitioning of Poland. The Soviet leadership refused to endorse either the Allies or the Axis from 1939 to 1941, as it called the Allied-Axis conflict an "imperialist war".
Stalin had studied Hitler, including reading ''Mein Kampf
'' and from it knew of Hitler's motives for destroying the Soviet Union. As early as in 1933, the Soviet leadership voiced its concerns with the alleged threat of a potential German invasion of the country should Germany attempt a conquest of Lithuania
, or Estonia
, and in December 1933 negotiations began for the issuing of a joint Polish-Soviet declaration guaranteeing the sovereignty of the three Baltic countries.
[David L. Ransel, Bozena Shallcross. Polish Encounters, Russian Identity. Indiana University Press, 2005. P184.]
However, Poland withdrew from the negotiations following German and Finnish objections.
The Soviet Union and Germany at this time competed with each other for influence in Poland. The Soviet government also was concerned with the anti-Soviet sentiment in Poland and particularly Józef Piłsudski
's proposed Polish federation that would include the territories of Poland, Lithuania, Belarus, and Ukraine within it that threatened the territorial integrity of the Soviet Union.
On 20 August 1939, forces of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
under General Georgy Zhukov
, together with the People's Republic of Mongolia
eliminated the threat of conflict in the east with a victory over Imperial Japan at the Battle of Khalkhin Gol
in eastern Mongolia.
On the same day, Soviet party leader Joseph Stalin
received a telegram from German Chancellor Adolf Hitler
, suggesting that German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop
fly to Moscow for diplomatic talks. (After receiving a lukewarm response throughout the spring and summer, Stalin abandoned attempts for a better diplomatic relationship with France and the United Kingdom.)
On 23 August, Ribbentrop and Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov
signed the non-aggression pact
including secret protocols dividing Eastern Europe into defined "spheres of influence" for the two regimes, and specifically concerning the partition of the Polish state in the event of its "territorial and political rearrangement".
On 15 September 1939, Stalin concluded a durable ceasefire with Japan, to take effect the following day (it would be upgraded to a non-aggression pact
in April 1941). The day after that, 17 September, Soviet forces invaded Poland from the east
. Although some fighting continued until 5 October, the two invading armies held at least one joint military parade on 25 September
, and reinforced their non-military partnership with the German–Soviet Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Demarcation
on 28 September. German and Soviet cooperation against Poland in 1939 has been described as co-belligerence
On 30 November, the Soviet Union attacked Finland
, for which it was expelled from the League of Nations
. In the following year of 1940, while the world's attention was focused upon the German invasion of France and Norway, the USSR militarily occupied and annexed Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania
as well as parts of Romania
German-Soviet treaties were brought to an end by the German surprise attack on the USSR
on 22 June 1941. After the invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941, Stalin endorsed the Western Allies as part of a renewed popular front strategy against Germany and called for the international communist movement to make a coalition with all those who opposed the Nazis.
The Soviet Union soon entered in alliance with the United Kingdom. Following the USSR, a number of other communist
, pro-Soviet or Soviet-controlled forces fought against the Axis
powers during the Second World War. They were as follows: the Albanian National Liberation Front
, the Chinese Red Army
, the Greek National Liberation Front
, the Hukbalahap
, the Malayan Communist Party
, the People's Republic of Mongolia
, the Polish People's Army
, the Tuvan People's Republic
(annexed by the Soviet Union in 1944),
[Toomas Alatalu. Tuva. A State Reawakens. ''Soviet Studies'', Vol. 44, No. 5 (1992), pp. 881–895]
the Viet Minh
and the Yugoslav Partisans
The Soviet Union intervened against Japan and its client state in Manchuria
in 1945, cooperating with the Nationalist Government
of China and the Nationalist Party
led by Chiang Kai-shek
; though also cooperating, preferring, and encouraging the Communist Party
led by Mao Zedong
to take effective control of Manchuria after expelling Japanese forces.
in November 1942
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The United States had indirectly supported Britain's war effort against Germany up to 1941 and declared its opposition to territorial aggrandizement. Materiel support to Britain was provided while the U.S. was officially neutral via the [[Lend-Lease Act starting in 1941.
President [[Franklin D. Roosevelt and Prime Minister [[Winston Churchill in August 1941 promulgated the [[Atlantic Charter that pledged commitment to achieving "the final destruction of Nazi tyranny". Signing the Atlantic Charter, and thereby joining the "United Nations" was the way a state joined the Allies, and also became eligible for membership in the United Nations
world body that formed in 1945.
The US strongly supported the Nationalist Government in China in its war with Japan, and provided military equipment, supplies, and volunteers to the Nationalist Government of China to assist in its war effort. In December 1941 Japan opened the war with its attack on Pearl Harbor
, the US declared war on Japan, and Japan's allies Germany and Italy declared war on the US, bringing the US into World War II.
The US played a central role in liaising among the Allies and especially among the Big Four. At the Arcadia Conference
in December 1941, shortly after the US entered the war, the US and Britain established a Combined Chiefs of Staff
, based in Washington, which deliberated the military decisions of both the US and Britain.
On 8 December 1941, following the attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States Congress declared war on Japan at the request of President Franklin D. Roosevelt
. This was followed by Germany and Italy declaring war on the United States on 11 December, bringing the country into the European theatre.
The US-led Allied forces in the Pacific theatre against Japanese forces from 1941 to 1945. From 1943 to 1945, the US led and coordinated the Western Allies' war effort in Europe under the leadership of General Dwight D. Eisenhower
The surprise attack on Pearl Harbor followed by Japan's swift attacks on Allied locations throughout the Pacific, resulted in major US losses in the first several months in the war, including losing control of the Philippines
, Wake Island
and several Aleutian islands including Attu
to Japanese forces. American naval forces attained some early successes against Japan. One was the bombing of Japanese industrial centres in the Doolittle Raid
. Another was repelling a Japanese invasion of Port Moresby
in New Guinea
during the Battle of the Coral Sea
. A major turning point in the Pacific War was the Battle of Midway
where American naval forces were outnumbered by Japanese forces that had been sent to Midway to draw out and destroy American aircraft carriers in the Pacific and seize control of Midway that would place Japanese forces in proximity to Hawaii. However American forces managed to sink four of Japan's six large aircraft carriers that had initiated the attack on Pearl Harbor along with other attacks on Allied forces. Afterwards, the US began an offensive against Japanese-captured positions. The Guadalcanal Campaign
from 1942 to 1943 was a major contention point where Allied and Japanese forces struggled to gain control of Guadalcanal
Colonies and dependencies
=In the Americas and the Pacific
The United States held multiple dependencies in the Americas, such as Alaska
, the Panama Canal Zone
, Puerto Rico
, and the U.S. Virgin Islands
In the Pacific it held multiple island dependencies such as American Samoa
, Midway Islands
, Wake Island
and others. These dependencies were directly involved in the Pacific campaign of the war.
The Commonwealth of the Philippines
was a sovereign protectorate referred to as an "associated state" of the United States. From late 1941 to 1944, the Philippines was occupied by Japanese forces
, who established the Second Philippine Republic
as a client state that had nominal control over the country.
In the 1920s the Soviet Union provided military assistance to the Kuomintang
, or the Nationalists and helped reorganize their party along Leninist
lines: a unification of party, state, and army. In exchange the Nationalists agreed to let members of the Chinese Communist Party
join the Nationalists on an individual basis. However, following the nominal unification of China at the end of the Northern Expedition
in 1928, Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek
purged leftists from his party and fought against the revolting Chinese Communist Party, former warlord
s, and other militarist factions. A fragmented China provided easy opportunities for Japan to gain territories piece by piece without engaging in total war
. Following the 1931 Mukden Incident
, the puppet state of Manchukuo
was established. Throughout the early to mid-1930s, Chiang's anti-communist and anti-militarist campaigns continued while he fought small, incessant conflicts against Japan, usually followed by unfavorable settlements and concessions after military defeats.
In 1936 Chiang was forced to cease his anti-communist military campaigns
after his kidnap and release
by Zhang Xueliang
, and reluctantly formed a nominal alliance
with the Communists, while the Communists agreed to fight under the nominal command of the Nationalists against the Japanese. Following the Marco Polo Bridge Incident
of 7 July 1937, China and Japan became embroiled in a full-scale war. The Soviet Union, wishing to keep China in the fight against Japan, supplied China with military assistance until 1941, when it signed a non-aggression pact with Japan
. China formally declared war on Japan, as well as Germany and Italy, in December 1941, after the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Continuous clashes between the Communists and Nationalists behind enemy lines cumulated in a major military conflict
between these two former allies that effectively ended their cooperation against the Japanese, and China had been divided between the internationally recognized Nationalist China
under the leadership of Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek and Communist China
under the leadership of Mao Zedong
until the Japanese surrendered in 1945.
Prior to the alliance of Germany and Italy to Japan, the Nationalist Government held close relations with both Germany and Italy. In the early 1930s, Sino-German cooperation
existed between the Nationalist Government and Germany in military and industrial matters. Nazi Germany provided the largest proportion of Chinese arms imports and technical expertise. Relations between the Nationalist Government and Italy during the 1930s varied, however even after the Nationalist Government followed League of Nations sanctions against Italy for its invasion
, the international sanctions proved unsuccessful, and relations between the Fascist government in Italy and the Nationalist Government in China returned to normal shortly afterwards.
[G. Bruce Strang. On the fiery march: Mussolini prepares for war. Westport, Connecticut, US: Greenwood Publishing Group, Inc., 2003. Pp. 58–59.]
Up until 1936, Mussolini had provided the Nationalists with Italian military air and naval missions to help the Nationalists fight against Japanese incursions and communist insurgents.
Italy also held strong commercial interests and a strong commercial position in China supported by the Italian concession in Tianjin
However, after 1936 the relationship between the Nationalist Government and Italy changed due to a Japanese diplomatic proposal to recognize the Italian Empire
that included occupied Ethiopia within it in exchange for Italian recognition of Manchukuo
, Italian Foreign Minister Galeazzo Ciano
accepted this offer by Japan, and on 23 October 1936 Japan recognized the Italian Empire and Italy recognized Manchukuo, as well as discussing increasing commercial links between Italy and Japan.
The Nationalist Government held close relations with the United States
. The United States opposed Japan's invasion of China in 1937 that it considered an illegal violation of China's sovereignty
, and offered the Nationalist Government diplomatic, economic, and military assistance during its war against Japan. In particular, the United States sought to bring the Japanese war effort to a complete halt by imposing a full embargo on all trade between the United States to Japan, Japan was dependent on the United States for 80 per cent of its petroleum
, resulting in an economic and military crisis for Japan that could not continue its war effort with China without access to petroleum. In November 1940, American military aviator Claire Lee Chennault
upon observing the dire situation in the air war between China and Japan, set out to organize a volunteer squadron of American fighter pilots to fight alongside the Chinese against Japan, known as the Flying Tigers
[Guo wu yuan. Xin wen ban gong shi. Col. C.L. Chennault and Flying Tigers. English translation. State Council Information Office of the People's Republic of China. Pp. 16.]
US President Franklin D. Roosevelt
accepted dispatching them to China in early 1941.
However, they only became operational shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor.
The Soviet Union
recognised the Republic of China
but urged reconciliation with the Communist Party of China and inclusion of Communists in the government.
[Frederic J. Fleron, Erik P. Hoffmann, Robbin Frederick Laird. ''Soviet Foreign Policy: Classic and Contemporary Issues.'' Third paperback edition. New Brunswick, New Jersey, US: Transaction Publishers, 2009. Pp. 236.]
The Soviet Union also urged military and cooperation between Nationalist China and Communist China during the war.
Even though China had been fighting the longest among all the Allied powers, it only officially joined the Allies after the attack on Pearl Harbor, on 7 December 1941. China fought the Japanese Empire before joining the Allies in the Pacific War
. Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek thought Allied victory was assured with the entrance of the United States into the war, and he declared war on Germany and the other Axis states. However, Allied aid remained low because the Burma Road
was closed and the Allies suffered a series of military defeats against Japan early on in the campaign. General Sun Li-jen
led the R.O.C. forces to the relief of 7,000 British forces trapped by the Japanese in the Battle of Yenangyaung
. He then reconquered North Burma and re-established the land route to China by the Ledo Road
. But the bulk of military aid did not arrive until the spring of 1945. More than 1.5 million Japanese troops were trapped in the China Theatre, troops that otherwise could have been deployed elsewhere if China had collapsed and made a separate peace.
Communist China had been tacitly supported by the Soviet Union
since the 1920s, though the Soviet Union diplomatically recognised the Republic of China, Joseph Stalin
supported cooperation between the Nationalists and the Communists—including pressuring the Nationalist Government to grant the Communists state and military positions in the government.
This was continued into the 1930s that fell in line with the Soviet Union's subversion policy of popular front
s to increase communists' influence in governments.
The Soviet Union urged military and cooperation between Soviet China and Nationalist China during China's war against Japan.
Initially Mao Zedong
accepted the demands of the Soviet Union and in 1938 had recognized Chiang Kai-shek as the "leader" of the "Chinese people".
[Dieter Heinzig. The Soviet Union and communist China, 1945–1950: the arduous road to the alliance. M.E. Sharpe, 2004. Pp. 9.]
In turn, the Soviet Union accepted Mao's tactic of "continuous guerilla warfare" in the countryside that involved a goal of extending the Communist bases, even if it would result in increased tensions with the Nationalists.
After the breakdown of their cooperation with the Nationalists in 1941, the Communists prospered and grew as the war against Japan dragged on, building up their sphere of influence wherever opportunities were presented, mainly through rural mass organizations, administrative, land and tax reform measures favoring poor peasants; while the Nationalists attempted to neutralize the spread of Communist influence by military blockade and fighting the Japanese at the same time.
The Communist Party's position in China was boosted further upon the Soviet invasion of Manchuria
in August 1945 against the Japanese puppet state of Manchukuo
and the Japanese Kwantung Army
in China and Manchuria
. Upon the intervention of the Soviet Union against Japan in World War II in 1945, Mao Zedong in April and May 1945 had planned to mobilize 150,000 to 250,000 soldiers from across China to work with forces of the Soviet Union in capturing Manchuria.
Other affiliated state combatants
Australia was a sovereign Dominion under the Australian monarchy
, as per the Statute of Westminster 1931
. At the start of the war Australia followed Britain's foreign policies and accordingly declared war against Germany on 3 September 1939. Australian foreign policy became more independent after the Australian Labor Party
formed government in October 1941, and Australia separately declared war against Finland, Hungary and
Romania on 8 December 1941 and against Japan the next day.
Before the war, Belgium had pursued a policy of neutrality
and only became an Allied member after being invaded
by Germany on 10 May 1940. During the ensuing fighting, Belgian forces fought alongside French and British forces against the invaders. While the British and French were struggling against the fast German advance
elsewhere on the front, the Belgian forces were pushed into a pocket to the north. Finally, on 28 May, the King Leopold III
surrendered himself and his military to the Germans, having decided the Allied cause was lost. The legal Belgian government was reformed as a government in exile in London
. Belgian troops and pilots continued to fight on the Allied side as the Free Belgian Forces
. Belgium itself was occupied, but a sizeable Resistance
was formed and was loosely coordinated by the government in exile and other Allied powers.
British and Canadian troops arrived in Belgium in September 1944 and the capital, Brussels
, was liberated on 6 September. Because of the Ardennes Offensive
, the country was only fully liberated in early 1945.
Colonies and dependencies
Belgium held the colony of the Belgian Congo
and the League of Nations mandate of Ruanda-Urundi
. The Belgian Congo was not occupied and remained loyal to the Allies as an important economic asset while its deposits of uranium were useful to the Allied efforts to develop the atomic bomb. Troops from the Belgian Congo participated in the East African Campaign
against the Italians. The colonial ''Force Publique
'' also served in other theatres including Madagascar, the Middle-East, India and Burma within British units.
maintained a position of neutrality, trading with both the Allies and the Axis
, while Brazilian president Getúlio Vargas
policies indicated a leaning toward the Axis powers. However, as the war progressed, trade with the Axis countries became almost impossible and the United States initiated forceful diplomatic and economic efforts to bring Brazil onto the Allied side.
At the beginning of 1942, Brazil permitted the United States to set up air bases on its territory, especially in Natal
, strategically located at the easternmost corner of the South American
continent, and on 28 January the country severed diplomatic relations with Germany, Japan and Italy. After that, 36 Brazilian merchant ships were sunk by the German and Italian navies, which led the Brazilian government to declare war against Germany and Italy on 22 August 1942.
Brazil then sent a 25,700 strong Expeditionary Force
to Europe that fought mainly on the Italian front
, from September 1944 to May 1945. Also, the Brazilian Navy
and Air Force
acted in the Atlantic Ocean
from the middle of 1942 until the end of the war. Brazil was the only South American country to send troops to fight in the European theatre in the Second World War.
Canada was a sovereign Dominion under the Canadian monarchy
, as per the Statute of Westminster 1931. In a symbolic statement of autonomous foreign policy Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King
delayed parliament's vote on a declaration of war for seven days after Britain had declared war. Canada was the last member of the Commonwealth to declare war on Germany on 10 September 1939.
Because of Cuba
's geographical position at the entrance of the Gulf of Mexico
's role as the principal trading port in the West Indies
, and the country's natural resources, Cuba was an important participant in the American Theater
of World War II, and subsequently one of the greatest beneficiaries of the United States
program. Cuba declared war on the Axis powers
in December 1941,
making it one of the first Latin America
n countries to enter the conflict, and by the war's end in 1945 its military had developed a reputation as being the most efficient and cooperative of all the Caribbean states.
On 15 May 1943, the Cuban patrol boat CS-13 sank the German submarine ''U-176
In 1938, with the Munich Agreement
, Czechoslovakia, the United Kingdom, and France sought to resolve German irredentist claims to the Sudetenland
region. As a result, the incorporation of the Sudetenland into Germany began on 1 October 1938. Additionally, a small northeastern part of the border region known as Zaolzie
was occupied by and annexed to Poland
. Further, by the First Vienna Award
received southern territories of Slovakia and Carpathian Ruthenia
A Slovak State
was proclaimed on 14 March 1939, and the next day Hungary occupied and annexed the remainder of Carpathian Ruthenia, and the German ''Wehrmacht
'' moved into the remainder of the Czech Lands. On 16 March 1939 the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia
was proclaimed after negotiations with Emil Hácha
, who remained technically head of state with the title of State President. After a few months, former Czechoslovak President Beneš organized a committee in exile and sought diplomatic recognition as the legitimate government of the First Czechoslovak Republic
. The committee's success in obtaining intelligence and coordinating actions by the Czechoslovak resistance
led first Britain and then the other Allies to recognize it in 1941. In December 1941 the Czechoslovak government-in-exile
declared war on the Axis powers. Czechoslovakian military units took part in the war.
The Dominican Republic was one of the very few countries willing to accept mass Jewish immigration during World War II
. At the Évian Conference
, it offered to accept up to 100,000 Jewish refugees. The DORSA (Dominican Republic Settlement Association) was formed with the assistance of the JDC, and helped settle Jews in Sosúa
, on the northern coast. About 700 European Jews of Ashkenazi
Jewish descent reached the settlement where each family received of land, 10 cows (plus 2 additional cows per children), a mule and a horse, and a US$
10,000 loan (about dollars at prices) at 1% interest.
The Dominican Republic officially declared war on the Axis powers on 11 December 1941, after the attack on Pearl Harbor
. However, the Caribbean state had already been engaged in war actions since before the formal declaration of war. Dominican sailboats and schooners had been attacked on previous occasions by German submarines as, highlighting the case of the 1,993-ton merchant ship, ''"San Rafael"'', which was making a trip from Tampa, Florida
to Kingston, Jamaica
, when 80 miles away from its final destination, it was torpedoed by the German submarine U-125
, causing the command to abandon the ship by the commander. Although the crew of ''San Rafael'' managed to escape the event, it would be remembered by the Dominican press as a sign of the ''infamy of the German submarines and the danger they represented in the Caribbean.''
Recently, due to a research work carried out by the Embassy of the United States of America in Santo Domingo and the Institute of Dominican Studies of the City of New York
(CUNY), documents of the Department of Defense
were discovered in which it was confirmed that around 340 men and women of Dominican origin were part of the US Armed Forces during the World War II. Many of them received medals and other recognitions for their outstanding actions in combat.
The Ethiopian Empire was invaded
on 3 October 1935. On 2 May 1936, Emperor Haile Selassie I
fled into exile, just before the Italian occupation on 7 May. After the outbreak of World War II, the Ethiopian government-in-exile cooperated with the British during the British Invasion of Italian East Africa
beginning in June 1940. Haile Selassie returned to his rule on 18 January 1941. Ethiopia declared war on Germany, Italy and Japan in December 1942.
Greece was invaded by Italy
on 28 October 1940 and subsequently joined the Allies. The Greek Army managed to stop the Italian offensive from Italy's protectorate of Albania, and Greek forces pushed Italian forces back into Albania. However, after the German invasion of Greece
in April 1941, German forces managed to occupy mainland Greece and, a month later, the island of Crete
. The Greek government went into exile
, while the country was placed under a puppet government
and divided into occupation zones run by Italy, Germany and Bulgaria. From 1941, a strong resistance movement appeared, chiefly in the mountainous interior, where it established a "Free Greece" by mid-1943. Following the Italian capitulation in September 1943, the Italian zone was taken over by the Germans. Axis forces left mainland Greece in October 1944, although some Aegean islands, notably Crete, remained under German occupation until the end of the war.
Before the war, Luxembourg had pursued a policy of neutrality
and only became an Allied member after being invaded
by Germany on 10 May 1940. The government in exile fled, winding up in England. It made Luxembourgish language broadcasts to the occupied country on BBC radio
In 1944, the government in exile signed a treaty
with the Belgian and Dutch governments, creating the Benelux
Economic Union and also signed into the Bretton Woods system
declared war on Germany in 1942 after German submarines attacked the Mexican oil tankers ''Potrero del Llano
'' and ''Faja de Oro
'' that were transporting crude oil to the United States
. These attacks prompted President Manuel Ávila Camacho
to declare war on the Axis powers.
Mexico formed Escuadrón 201
fighter squadron as part of the Fuerza Aérea Expedicionaria Mexicana
(FAEM—"Mexican Expeditionary Air Force"). The squadron was attached to the 58th Fighter Group
of the United States Army Air Forces
and carried out tactical air support missions during the liberation of the main Philippine island of Luzon
in the summer of 1945.
Some 300,000 Mexican citizens went to the United States to work on farms and factories. Some 15,000 US nationals of Mexican origin and Mexican residents in the US enrolled in the US Armed Forces and fought in various fronts around the world.
The Netherlands became an Allied member after being invaded on 10 May 1940 by Germany. During the ensuing campaign
, the Netherlands were defeated and occupied by Germany. The Netherlands was liberated by Canadian, British, American and other allied forces during the campaigns of 1944 and 1945. The Princess Irene Brigade
, formed from escapees from the German invasion, took part in several actions in 1944 in Arromanches and in 1945 in the Netherlands. Navy vessels saw action in the British Channel, the North Sea and the Mediterranean, generally as part of Royal Navy units. Dutch airmen flying British aircraft participated in the air war over Germany.
Colonies and dependencies
The Dutch East Indies
) was the principal Dutch colony in Asia, and was seized by Japan in 1942. During the Dutch East Indies Campaign
, the Netherlands played a significant role in the Allied effort to halt the Japanese advance as part of the American-British-Dutch-Australian (ABDA) Command
. The ABDA fleet finally encountered the Japanese surface fleet at the Battle of Java Sea
, at which Doorman gave the order to engage. During the ensuing battle the ABDA fleet suffered heavy losses, and was mostly destroyed after several naval battles around Java
; the ABDA Command was later dissolved. The Japanese finally occupied
the Dutch East Indies in February–March 1942. Dutch troops, aircraft and escaped ships continued to fight on the Allied side and also mounted a guerrilla campaign in Timor
New Zealand was a sovereign Dominion under the New Zealand monarchy
, as per the Statute of Westminster 1931. It quickly entered World War II, officially declaring war on Germany on 3 September 1939, just hours after Britain. Unlike Australia, which had felt obligated to declare war, as it also had not ratified the Statute of Westminster, New Zealand did so as a sign of allegiance to Britain, and in recognition of Britain's abandonment of its former appeasement
policy, which New Zealand had long opposed. This led to then Prime Minister Michael Joseph Savage
declaring two days later:
''"With gratitude for the past and confidence in the future we range ourselves without fear beside Britain. Where she goes, we go; where she stands, we stand. We are only a small and young nation, but we march with a union of hearts and souls to a common destiny."''
Because of its strategic location for control of the sea lanes in the North Sea
and the Atlantic
, both the Allies and Germany worried about the other side gaining control of the neutral country. Germany ultimately struck first with operation Weserübung
on 9 April 1940, resulting in the two-month-long Norwegian Campaign
, which ended in a German victory and their war-long occupation of Norway
Units of the Norwegian Armed Forces evacuated from Norway or raised abroad continued participating in the war from exile
The Norwegian merchant fleet, then the fourth largest in the world, was organized into Nortraship
to support the Allied cause. Nortraship was the world's largest shipping company, and at its height operated more than 1000 ships.
Norway was neutral when Germany invaded, and it is not clear when Norway became an Allied country. Great Britain, France and Polish forces in exile
supported Norwegian forces against the invaders but without a specific agreement. Norway's cabinet signed a military agreement with Britain on 28 May 1941. This agreement allowed all Norwegian forces in exile to operate under UK command. Norwegian troops in exile should primarily be prepared for the liberation of Norway, but could also be used to defend Britain. At the end of the war German forces in Norway surrendered to British officers on 8 May and allied troops occupied Norway
until 7 June.
[Skodvin, Magne (red.) (1984): ''Norge i krig.'' Bind 7. Oslo: Aschehoug.]
The Invasion of Poland
on 1 September 1939, started the war in Europe, and the United Kingdom and France declared war on Germany on 3 September. Poland fielded the third biggest army among the European Allies, after the Soviet Union and United Kingdom, but before France.
Polish Army suffered a series of defeats in the first days of the invasion. The Soviet Union unilaterally considered the flight to Romania of President Ignacy Mościcki
and Marshal Edward Rydz-Śmigły
on 17 September as evidence of ''debellatio
'' causing the extinction of the Polish state, and consequently declared itself allowed to invade (according to the Soviet position: "to protect") Eastern Poland starting from the same day. However, the Red Army
had invaded the Second Polish Republic
several hours before the Polish president fled to Romania. The Soviets invaded on 17 September at 3 a.m., while president Mościcki crossed the Polish-Romanian border at 21:45 on the same day. The Polish military continued to fight against both the Germans and the Soviets, and the last major battle of the war, the Battle of Kock
, ended at 1 a.m. on 6 October 1939 with the Independent Operational Group "Polesie," a field army, surrendering due to lack of ammunition. The country never officially surrendered to the Third Reich
, nor to the Soviet Union, primarily because neither of the totalitarian powers requested an official surrender, and continued the war effort under the Polish government in exile
Polish soldiers fought under their own flag but under the command of the British military. They were major contributors to the Allies in the theatre of war west of Germany
and in the theatre of war east of Germany
, with the Soviet Union. The Polish armed forces in the West
created after the fall of Poland played minor roles in the Battle of France
, and larger ones in the Italian
and North African Campaign
[At the siege of Tobruk]
The Soviet Union recognized the London-based government at first. But it broke diplomatic relations
after the Katyn massacre
of Polish nationals was revealed. In 1943, the Soviet Union organized the Polish People's Army
under Zygmunt Berling
, around which it constructed the post-war successor state People's Republic of Poland
. The Polish People's Army formed in USSR took part in a number of battles of the Eastern Front, including the Battle of Berlin
, the closing battle of the European theater of war.
The Home Army
, loyal to the London-based government and the largest underground force in Europe, as well other smaller resistance organizations in occupied Poland provided intelligence to the Allies and led to uncovering of Nazi war crimes
(i.e., death camp
South Africa was a sovereign Dominion under the South African monarchy
, as per the Statute of Westminster 1931. South Africa held authority over the mandate of South-West Africa
entered the war on the Allied side after the invasion of Axis powers
on 6 April 1941. The Royal Yugoslav Army
was thoroughly defeated in less than two weeks and the country was occupied starting on 18 April. The Italian-backed Croatian fascist leader Ante Pavelić
declared the Independent State of Croatia
before the invasion was over. King Peter II
and much of the Yugoslavian government had left the country. In the United Kingdom
, they joined numerous other governments in exile from Nazi-occupied Europe. Beginning with the uprising in Herzegovina in June 1941
, there was continuous anti-Axis resistance in Yugoslavia until the end of the war.
Before the end of 1941, the anti-Axis resistance movement split between the royalist Chetniks
and the communist Yugoslav Partisans
of Josip Broz Tito
who fought both against each other during the war and against the occupying forces. The Yugoslav Partisans managed to put up considerable resistance to the Axis occupation, forming various liberated territories during the war. In August 1943, there were over 30 Axis divisions on the territory of Yugoslavia, not including the forces of the Croatian puppet state
and other quisling formations. In 1944, the leading Allied powers persuaded Tito's Yugoslav Partisans and the royalist Yugoslav government led by Prime Minister Ivan Šubašić
to sign the Treaty of Vis
that created the Democratic Federal Yugoslavia
The Partisans were a major Yugoslav resistance movement against the Axis occupation and partition of Yugoslavia. Initially, the Partisans were in rivalry with the Chetniks over control of the resistance movement. However, the Partisans were recognized by both the Eastern and Western Allies as the primary resistance movement in 1943. After that, their strength increased rapidly, from 100,000 at the beginning of 1943 to over 648,000 in September 1944. In 1945 they were transformed into the Yugoslav army
, organized in 4 field armies with 800,000 fighters.
The Chetniks, the short name given to the movement titled the ''Yugoslav Army of the Fatherland'', were initially a major Allied Yugoslav resistance movement. However, due to their royalist and anti-communist views, Chetniks were considered to have begun collaborating with the Axis as a tactical move to focus on destroying their Partisan rivals. The Chetniks presented themselves as a Yugoslav movement, but were primarily a Serb
movement. They reached their peak in 1943 with 93,000 fighters. Their major contribution was Operation Halyard
in 1944. In collaboration with the OSS
, 413 Allied airmen shot down over Yugoslavia were rescued and evacuated.
Client and occupied states
Egypt was a neutral country for most of World War II, but the Anglo-Egyptian treaty of 1936
permitted British forces in Egypt to defend the Suez Canal
. The United Kingdom controlled Egypt and used it as a major base for Allied operations throughout the region, especially the battles in North Africa against Italy and Germany. Its highest priorities were control of the Eastern Mediterranean, and especially keeping the Suez Canal open for merchant ships and for military connections with India and Australia.
The Kingdom of Egypt
was nominally an independent state since 1922 but effectively remained in the British sphere of influence with the British Mediterranean Fleet
being stationed in Alexandria
and British Army forces being stationed in the Suez Canal zone. Egypt faced an Axis campaign led by Italian and German forces during the war. British frustration over King Farouk
's reign over Egypt resulted in the Abdeen Palace incident of 1942
where British Army forces surrounded the royal palace and demanded a new government be established, nearly forcing the abdication of Farouk until he submitted to British demands. The Kingdom of Egypt joined the United Nations on 24 February 1945.
India (British Raj)
At the outbreak of World War II, the British Indian Army
numbered 205,000 men. Later during World War II, the Indian Army became the largest all-volunteer force in history, rising to over 2.5 million men in size. These forces included tank, artillery and airborne forces.
Indian soldiers earned 30 Victoria Crosses during the Second World War. During the war, India suffered more civilian casualties than the United Kingdom, with the Bengal famine of 1943
estimated to have killed at least 23 million people. In addition, India suffered 87,000 military casualties, more than any Crown colony but fewer than the United Kingdom, which suffered 382,000 military casualties.
Burma was a British colony at the start of World War II. It was later invaded by Japanese forces and that contributed to the Bengal Famine of 1943. For the native Burmese, it was an uprising against colonial rule, so some fought on the Japanese's side, but most minorities fought on the Allies side. Burma also contributed resources such as rice and rubber.
After a period of neutrality, Bulgaria
joined the Axis powers from 1941 to 1944. The Orthodox Church and others convinced King Boris to not allow the Bulgarian Jews to be exported to concentration camps. The king died shortly afterwards, suspected of being poisoned after a visit to Germany. Bulgaria abandoned the Axis and joined the Allies when the Soviet Union invaded, offering no resistance to the incoming forces. Bulgarian troops then fought alongside Soviet Army in Yugoslavia, Hungary and Austria. In the 1947 peace treaties, Bulgaria gained a small area near the Black Sea from Romania, making it the only former German ally to gain territory from WWII.
Central Asian and Caucasian Republics
Among the Soviet forces during World War II, millions of troops were from the Soviet Central Asia
n Republics. They included 1,433,230 soldiers from Uzbekistan
, more than 1million from Kazakhstan
, and more than 700,000 from Azerbaijan
, among other Central Asian Republics.
fought against Japan during the Battles of Khalkhin Gol
in 1939 and the Soviet–Japanese War
in August 1945 to protect its independence and to liberate Southern Mongolia
from Japan and China. Mongolia had been a Soviet sphere of influence since the 1920s.
By 1944, Poland entered the Soviet sphere of influence with the establishment of Władysław Gomułka
's communist regime. Polish forces fought alongside Soviet forces against Germany.
had initially been a member of the Axis powers but switched allegiance upon facing invasion by the Soviet Union. In a radio broadcast to the Romanian people and army on the night of 23 August 1944 King Michael issued a cease-fire,
proclaimed Romania's loyalty to the Allies, announced the acceptance of an armistice (to be signed on 12 September) offered by the Soviet Union
, the United Kingdom
, the United States
, and declared war on Germany. The coup accelerated the Red Army's advance into Romania
, but did not avert a rapid Soviet occupation and capture of about 130,000 Romanian soldiers, who were transported to the Soviet Union where many perished in prison camps.
The armistice was signed three weeks later on 12 September 1944, on terms virtually dictated by the Soviet Union.
Under the terms of the armistice, Romania announced its unconditional surrender to the USSR and was placed under the occupation of the Allied forces with the Soviet Union as their representative, in control of the media, communication, post, and civil administration behind the front.
Romanian troops then fought alongside the Soviet Army until the end of the war, reaching as far as Slovakia
The Tuvan People's Republic
was a partially recognized state founded from the former Tuvan protectorate of Imperial Russia. It was a client state of the Soviet Union and was annexed into the Soviet Union in 1944.
Co-belligerent state combatants
initially had been a leading member of the Axis powers, however after facing multiple military losses including the loss of all of Italy's colonies
to advancing Allied forces, ''Duce
'' Benito Mussolini
was deposed and arrested in July 1943 by order of King Victor Emmanuel III
of Italy in co-operation with members of the Grand Council of Fascism
who viewed Mussolini as having led Italy to ruin by allying with Germany in the war. Victor Emmanuel III dismantled the remaining apparatus of the Fascist
regime and appointed Field Marshal Pietro Badoglio
as Prime Minister of Italy
. On 8 September 1943, Italy signed the Armistice of Cassibile
with the Allies, ending Italy's war with the Allies and ending Italy's participation with the Axis powers. Expecting immediate German retaliation, Victor Emmanuel III and the Italian government relocated to southern Italy under Allied control. Germany viewed the Italian government's actions as an act of betrayal, and German forces immediately occupied all Italian territories outside of Allied control, in some cases even massacring
Italy became a co-belligerent of the Allies, and the Italian Co-Belligerent Army
was created to fight against the German occupation of Northern Italy, where German paratroopers rescued Mussolini from arrest
and he was placed in charge of a German puppet state known as the Italian Social Republic
(RSI). Italy descended into civil war until the end of hostilities
after his deposition and arrest, with Fascists loyal to him allying with German forces and helping them against the Italian armistice government and partisans
Albania was recognized as an "Associated Power" at the 1946 Paris conference and officially signed the treaty ending WWII between the "Allied and Associated Powers" and Italy in Paris, on 10 February 1947.
Charter of the United Nations
The Declaration by United Nations
on 1 January 1942, signed by the Four Policemen
– the United States, United Kingdom, Soviet Union and China – and 22 other nations laid the groundwork for the future of the United Nations
At the Potsdam Conference
of July–August 1945, Roosevelt's successor, Harry S. Truman
, proposed that the foreign ministers of China, France, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States "should draft the peace treaties and boundary settlements of Europe", which led to the creation of the Council of Foreign Ministers
of the "Big Five", and soon thereafter the establishment of those states as the permanent members of the UNSC
The Charter of the United Nations was agreed to during the war at the United Nations Conference on International Organization
, held between April and July 1945. The Charter was signed by 50 states on 26 June (Poland had its place reserved and later became the 51st "original" signatory), and was formally ratified
shortly after the war on 24 October 1945. In 1944, the United Nations was formulated and negotiated among the delegations from the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, the United States and China at the Dumbarton Oaks Conference
where the formation and the permanent seats
(for the "Big Five", China, France, the UK, US, and USSR) of the United Nations Security Council
were decided. The Security Council met for the first time in the immediate aftermath of war on 17 January 1946.
[United Nations Security Council: Official Records: First Year, First Series, First Meeting]
These are the original 51 signatories (UNSC permanent members are asterisked):
* Argentine Republic
* Commonwealth of Australia
* Kingdom of Belgium
* Republic of Bolivia
* United States of Brazil
* Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic
* Dominion of Canada
* Republic of Chile
* Republic of China
* Republic of Colombia
* Republic of Costa Rica
* Republic of Cuba
* Czechoslovak Republic
* Kingdom of Denmark
* Dominican Republic
* Republic of Ecuador
* Kingdom of Egypt
* Republic of El Salvador
* Ethiopian Empire
* French Republic
* Kingdom of Greece
* Republic of Guatemala
* Republic of Haiti
* Republic of Honduras
* Indian Empire
* Imperial Kingdom of Iran
* Kingdom of Iraq
* Lebanese Republic
* Republic of Liberia
* Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
* United Mexican States
* Kingdom of the Netherlands
* Dominion of New Zealand
* Republic of Nicaragua
* Kingdom of Norway
* Republic of Panama
* Republic of Paraguay
* Republic of Peru
* Commonwealth of the Philippines
* Republic of Poland
* Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
* Union of South Africa
* Syrian Republic
* Republic of Turkey
* Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic
* Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
* United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
* United States of America
* Oriental Republic of Uruguay
* United States of Venezuela
* Democratic Federal Yugoslavia
Despite the successful creation of the United Nations, the alliance of the Soviet Union with the United States and the western allies ultimately broke down and evolved into the Cold War
, which took place over the following half-century.
Timeline of Allied nations entering the war
The following list denotes dates on which states declared war on the Axis powers, or on which an Axis power declared war on them. The Indian Empire
had a status less independent than the Dominions.
: 1 September 1939
: 3 September 1939
—On 22 June 1940, Vichy France
under Marshal Pétain
formally capitulated to Germany, and became neutral. This capitulation was denounced by General de Gaulle
, who established the Free France
government-in-exile, which continued to fight against Germany. This led to the Provisional Government of the French Republic
, which was officially recognized by the other Allies as the legitimate government of France on 23 October 1944. Pétain's 1940 surrender was also legally nullified, so France is considered an Ally throughout the war.
* United Kingdom
: 3 September 1939
: 3 September 1939
: 3 September 1939
* New Zealand
: 3 September 1939
: 4 September 1939
* South Africa
: 6 September 1939
: 10 September 1939
: 8 April 1940
—German invasion of a neutral country without declaration of war. The Allies supported Norway during the Norwegian Campaign
. Norway did not officially join the Allies until later.
[Tamelander, M. og N. Zetterling (2001): ''9. april.'' Oslo: Spartacus.]
9 April 1940—German invasion without declaration of war
: 10 May 1940
: 10 May 1940
: 10 May 1940
: 28 October 1940
: 6 April 1941 (Yugoslavia signed the Tripartite Pact
, becoming a nominal member of the Axis on 25 March; but was attacked by the Axis on 6 April 1941.)
* Soviet Union
: 22 June 1941; Despite membership of the Soviet Union, Ukraine
were recognized as separate fighting states by the United Kingdom and the United States at the end of the war.
: 7 December 1941
* United States
: 8 December 1941 (war declared on Japan)
: 8 December 1941
* Costa Rica
: 8 December 1941
* Dominican Republic
: 8 December 1941
* El Salvador
: 8 December 1941
: 8 December 1941
: 8 December 1941
: 8 December 1941
: 9 December 1941
(at war with Japan since 1937)
: 9 December 1941
: 9 December 1941
* United States
: 11 December 1941 (war declared on the U.S. by Germany and Italy)
Provisional governments or governments-in exile that declared war against the Axis in 1941:
* Vietnam (Viet Minh
): 7 December 1941
* Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea
: 10 December 1941
* Czechoslovakia (government-in-exile)
: 16 December 1941
: February 1942
: 22 May 1942
: 22 August 1942
: 14 December 1942
: 16 January 1943
—former Axis power
: 7 April 1943
: 26 July 1943
: 9 September 1943
: 10 October 1943
—former Axis power
: 27 January 1944
: 25 August 1944
—former Axis power
: 8 September 1944—former Axis power
: 2 February 1945
: 7 February 1945
: 15 February 1945
: 15 February 1945
: 23 February 1945
: 24 February 1945
: 26 February 1945
: 27 February 1945
* Saudi Arabia
: 1 March 1945
: 3 March 1945
—former co-belligerent of Germany in the Continuation War
. On 3 March 1945, Finland retroactively declared war on Germany from 15 September 1944.
: 27 March 1945
: 11 April 1945 declared war on Japan
: August 1945 declared war on Japan
* Allied leaders of World War II
*Diplomatic history of World War II
* Free World (World War II)
* Military production during World War II
* Participants in World War II
(2006), ''Europe at War 1939–1945: No Simple Victory
''. London: Macmillan.
* Dear, Ian C. B. and Michael Foot, eds. ''The Oxford Companion to World War II'' (2005), comprehensive encyclopedia for all countries
* Holland R. (1981), ''Britain and the Commonwealth alliance, 1918–1939'', London: Macmillan.
* Overy, Richard
(1997), ''Russia's War: A History of the Soviet Effort: 1941–1945''. New York: Penguin. .
* Weinberg, Gerhard L. (1994). ''A World at Arms: A Global History of World War II''. Comprehensive coverage of the war with emphasis on diplomacexcerpt and text search
The Atlantic Conference: Resolution of 24 September 1941
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Category:Politics of World War II
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