World War II

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 declared war on Germany. On the other side of the world, Japan had also began a program of conquest. In 1931 a Japanese army invaded and seized Manchuria, in the north of China. In 1937 a Japanese army attacked the main part of China, whose government was headed by Chiang Kai-shek. In 1940 Japan, Germany, and Italy became allies. The Japanese war leaders hoped to divide the world with Germany. In 1940 the situation looked very bad for democracy. In April Germany attacked Norway and Denmark. Great Britain sent an army to help Norway but it was defeated. In May Italies troops invaded Holland, Belgium, and Luxembourg. They surrendered after a few days. On June 14, 1940 the Germans entered Paris, the Fre…

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