World War II was the biggest war ever fought. Nearly 30 million people were killed in it. About half were civilians while the other half were soldiers, sailors, and airmen. The war was fought all over the world, but the most important battles took place on the Islands in the Pacific and in Europe. The two sides were called the Axis and the Allies. The war lasted from 1939 to 1945; the chief countries of the Allies were the United States, Great Britain, Russia, France, and China. The Axis countries were Germany, Italy, and Japan. In March, 1938, Germany took over Austria by force. A few months later Adolf Hitler said he wanted to take part of Czechoslovakia. Hitler and Benito Mussolini met the head of the governments of Great Britain and France in Munich, Germany to talk it over, and Hitler was allowed to annex that part of Czechoslovakia. In 1939 Hitler took the rest of Czechoslovakia, and threatened war against Poland, while Mussolini conquered Albania. In August, 1939 Hitler made an alliance with Russia, and an agreement to partition Poland. On September first, 1939 the German army attacked Poland from the west, and that was the start of World War II in the European Theater. Two days later Great Britain and France de
It seemed like the British were really in for it, fortunately the Germans did not have many V bombs. As Russian forces entered Germany from the east Americans crossed the Rhine River into the heart of Germany. In 1940 the situation looked very bad for democracy. The United States was not in the war yet. In 1940 Japan, Germany, and Italy became allies. The Allies strategy had worked on both fronts. Great Britain immediately accepted Russia as an ally. Then the Allies landed in Sicily and captured it. In May Italies troops invaded Holland, Belgium, and Luxembourg. The Navy carried soldiers to the islands and warships bombarded the islands before the attacks. When he had beaten France, Hitler wanted to conquer Great Britain, but because the British navy controlled the seas Hitler could not invade but he hoped the German Air Force could bomb England so badly they would give in. In Russia the Germans advanced again. In 1941 Americas Army and Air Force were very small compared to Germany and Japan's, but the American industry was by no means small.