10 Facts About World War II
Although World War II ended decades ago, it is still a popular topic since it was one of the most violent and complex wars in human history. Here are 10 facts about World War II that may give you a simple overview.
1. The war lasted for 6 years
Although regional conflicts had appeared before, the World War II officially started on 1st September, 1939 and ended on 2nd September, 1945.
2. The war started when Nazi Germany invaded Poland
The dictator of German Reich, Adolf Hitler, along with the Nazis invaded Poland as a start of their evil plans: ruling over the whole world.
Afterwards, Britain and France declared war on Germany. Then many other countries got involved in this fierce and the deadliest war in human history.
3. WWII involved the vast majority of countries worldwide
It ranged from Europe to Asia, from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and 60 countries and regions and more than 2 billion people were involved in the war.
These countries made a pact to help each other, there were two sides called The Allies and The Axis.
The major countries on each side were: The Allies: UK, Soviet Union, China, USA The Axis: Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan, Fascist Italy
4. Millions of innocent people were killed, especially Jews
The Holocaust is also known as the Shoah. There were about six million Jews heinously targeted and murdered by Nazi Germany and its collaborators. It was the genocide of European Jews, around two-thirds of Jewish in Europe lost their lives in WWII.
Adolf Hitler and the Nazis were obsessed with 'racial purity'. They wanted to make sure that anyone who didn’t fit the so-called criteria was eliminated.
The Nazis also put more than a million of innocent people to concentration camps and forced them to do hard labors or even used them as subjects for various kinds of inhumane experiments. Only few survived from the Holocaust.
5. Some significant battles in WWII
The Navy, Air Force and Armies are involved in World War 2. Those countries used numberless bombs, missiles and tanks that caused massive damages.
Among all the battles in WWII, there are some significant battles:
Battle of Britain; Pearl Harbor; Battle of Berlin; Normandy Invasion; Battle of Stalingrad.
6. VE Day is on 8th May each year
After Adolf Hitler ended his own life, Nazi Germany surrendered and signed the unconditional surrender to the Allies, the war in Europe was declared to end.
7. Fascist countries in the Axis were defeated in different time
After Nazi Germany surrendered, there were still several countries such as the USA, China, and Soviet Union defending against Imperial Japan. World War 2 officially ended when Japan surrendered on 2nd September, 1945. The Allies eventually won the war after six years fighting.
8. Not all countries chose to join the Allies or the Axis
During World War II, some countries remained ‘neutral’, such as Sweden, Switzerland.
9. The Swastika has different meaning before Nazis stole it
The swastika symbol has become synonymous with fascism, antisemitism, and Nazi. However, this ancient geometric symbol had actually been used for good meaning by Hindus, Buddhists and Jains for millennia. Such a pity that Hitler had ruined it.
10. Hitler's private train was once called 'Amerika'
The Fuhrersonderzug, the Fuhrer's special train that Adolf Hitler traveled in, was codenamed "Amerika". Apparently, the Nazis realized that was an inappropriate name for the mobile headquarters of Germany, so they changed it to "Brandenburg".
As the great historian John Keegan says, World War II was "the largest single event in human history," a conflict "fought across six of the world's seven continents and all its oceans. It killed millions of human beings, left hundreds of millions of others wounded in mind or body and materially devastated much of the heartland of civilization."