Who Won World War II? The Allies' Decisive Victory
World War II was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The Allies, led by the United States, the Soviet Union, and the United Kingdom, ultimately defeated the Axis powers, led by Germany, Italy, and Japan.
World War II was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The war involved the vast majority of the world's countries—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. In a state of total war, directly involving more than 100 million personnel from more than 30 countries, 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. Tens of millions of people died due to genocides (including the Holocaust), premeditated death from starvation, massacres, and disease. Aircraft played a major role in the conflict, including in the strategic bombing of population centers, the development of nuclear weapons, and the only two uses of such in war.
The Allies were a coalition of countries that fought against the Axis powers during World War II. The Allies were led by the United States, the Soviet Union, and the United Kingdom. Other major Allied powers included France, China, and Canada.
The United States entered the war in December 1941 after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The United States provided the Allies with massive economic and military aid, including the lend-lease program and the Manhattan Project.
The Soviet Union entered the war in June 1941 after the German invasion of the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union bore the brunt of the fighting against Germany on the Eastern Front.
The United Kingdom entered the war in September 1939 after Germany invaded Poland. The United Kingdom was the only major European power to remain at war with Germany throughout the war.
The Axis powers were a coalition of countries that fought against the Allies during World War II. The Axis powers were led by Germany, Italy, and Japan.
Germany was the leading Axis power. Germany invaded Poland in September 1939, starting the war. Germany also invaded France, the Soviet Union, and other countries.
Italy joined the war in June 1940. Italy invaded Greece and North Africa.
Japan joined the war in December 1941. Japan attacked the United States, Great Britain, and other countries in the Pacific.
The Defeat of the Axis
The Allies defeated the Axis in 1945. The Soviet Union defeated Germany on the Eastern Front. The United States defeated Japan in the Pacific.
The Allies signed the Potsdam Declaration on July 26, 1945, demanding the unconditional surrender of Japan. Japan refused to surrender, and the United States dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and 9, 1945. Japan surrendered on August 15, 1945.
The Allies' victory in World War II was a decisive turning point in world history. The war ended the Nazi regime in Germany, the fascist regime in Italy, and the imperial regime in Japan. The war also led to the founding of the United Nations, which was created to prevent future wars.