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World War II

World War II

The Second World War of 1939-1945 (this article is in Russian[ru]Вторая мировая война) — the war unleashed by Germany, Italy and Japan.

September 1, 1939 Germany invaded Poland. Britain[ru] and France on September 3 declared war on Germany. In April - May 1940, Nazi troops invaded Denmark and Norway, May 10, 1940 invaded Belgium (surrendered May 28), the Netherlands (capitulated May 14), Luxembourg, and then through their territory to France (surrendered on June 22, in the end of June in London committee was set free, with July 1942 - Fighting France). June 10, 1940 in the war on the side of Germany joined Italy. In April 1941, Germany invaded the territory of Greece and Yugoslavia.

June 22, 1941, Germany invaded the Soviet Union (see. Great Patriotic War of the Soviet Union, 1941-1945). Together with her were Hungary, Romania, Finland, Italy. On the Soviet-German front was from 62 to 70% of the operating divisions of Nazi Germany. The defeat of the enemy in the battle of Moscow 1941-42 meant the failure of Hitler's plan "blitzkrieg". The summer of 1941 was the beginning of the creation of the anti-Hitler coalition.

December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, Japan went to war against the United States[ru]. December 8 US, UK and other countries declared war on Japan. December 11 Germany and Italy declared war on the United States. In late 1941 - early 1942, Japan invaded Malaya, Indonesia, the Philippines, Burma, has created a threat of invasion in Australia (see. The Pacific campaign). On the Soviet-German front as a result of the summer offensive of the German fascist troops came to the Caucasus and the Volga.

Red Army's victory in the Battle of Stalingrad 1942-43 and the Battle of Kursk in 1943 led to the eventual loss of the German command of the strategic initiative. By May 1943 the Anglo-American troops was liberated North Africa (see. North African campaign). In July - August 1943, the Anglo-American forces landed on Sicily oostrove. September 3, 1943 Italy signed the instrument of surrender. At the Tehran Conference in 1943 was recognized as the paramount importance of the opening of the 2nd front in Europe by landing Anglo-French forces in Northern France.

In 1944, the Red Army liberated almost the entire territory of the Soviet Union. June 6, 1944 the Western Allies landed in France, thus opening the 2nd front in Europe, and in September 1944 with the active support of the French Resistance forces cleared from the Nazi occupiers almost the entire territory of France.

Soviet troops from mid-1944 began the liberation of Central and South-Eastern Europe, which was with the participation of the patriotic forces of these countries is completed in spring 1945. In April, the allied forces were released in northern Italy and parts of West Germany. At the Yalta Conference in 1945 agreed on plans for the final defeat of Nazi Germany, as well as the principles of the postwar world.

May 2, 1945 the Red Army was taken to Berlin. At midnight on May 8 at the Berlin suburb of Karlshorst representatives of the German High Command signed an act of unconditional surrender. May 11, the Red Army has been the Prague operation in 1945.

In the Pacific, American and British forces in 1944 and captured the Marianas Marshall, in 1945 - the Philippines and the Japanese island of Okinawa. The US Air Force dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima (6 August 1945) and Nagasaki (August 9), which is not justified by military necessity. August 8, 1945 the Soviet Union in accordance with the commitments made at the Yalta Conference, declared war and 9 August began hostilities against Japan; together with the Soviet Union[ru] made (10 August), the Mongolian People's Republic, August 11 on the offensive against the Japanese invaders crossed People's Liberation Army. Japan September 2, 1945 signed the act of unconditional surrender.

World War II was involved 72 country[ru]. In the countries involved in the war, were mobilized to 110 million. People. Killed during the war up to 62 million. People (including more than 27 million. Soviet citizens).

Details of the Second World War

September 1, 1939 troops of Nazi Germany suddenly invaded Poland. September 3 associated with Poland allied commitments in the war against Germany joined England and France. By September 10 it declared war on the British Dominions. Gradually, the war drew into its orbit 61 states (including the USSR and the United States), inhabited by 80% of the world's population; it lasted six years and cost about 60 million lives.

Causes of World War II

In one of the warring factions were Germany, Italy and Japan, the second - Britain, France and the United States. The danger of war is particularly intensified when in Germany in 1933, was established the Nazi dictatorship. German Chancellor Adolf Hitler sought to revise the Treaty of Versailles 1919, conquest others, especially Slavic lands and, ultimately, to world domination. Italy and Japan, though were on the winning side in the First World Warrus, were not satisfied with its results and look forward to the spheres of influence. Britain and France made efforts to withdraw from their countries threat of German aggression and send it to the east, to push the Nazis against Bolshevism. Such a policy is especially pronounced in the Munich Agreement in 1938, authorized the rejection of Czechoslovakia and the transfer of Germany the Sudetenland. Policy of appeasement pursued by Britain and France, was one of the reasons for the failure of creation while the anti-Hitler coalition with the USSR.

August 23, 1939, a few days before the German attack on Poland, was awarded the Soviet-German non-aggression pact. By the USSR in "areas of interest" with Germany, provided in a secret additional protocol to the treaty, Hitler received the consent of the introduction of its troops in Western Ukrainerus and Western Belorussia. Treaty gave the USSR postponement of entry into the war in Europe. However, it led to the annexation of the Soviet Union in 1939-40, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.

The first period of the Second World War

In Poland, the German army, having superiority, especially in tanks and aircraft, able to carry out the strategy of "blitzkrieg" (lightning war). In the first weeks of fighting the Polish troops were defeated, the Polish government fled to Romania. In this situation, the Soviet Union, using the agreement with Germany, entered September 17, 1939 the forces in eastern Poland, where he lived mostly Ukrainian and Belarusian population. Britain and France promised effective help Poland did not have their troops on the Western Front has been dormant. In April 1940, German troops occupied Denmark, then Norway. May 10 they attacked the brunt of the west: invaded Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and launched an offensive against France.

France surrendered on June 22, and the Anglo-French coalition ceased to exist. Much of France was occupied by the German army, the southern part remained under the rule of the collaborationist government of Philippe Ptain Henri. The British Expeditionary Force in difficult conditions was evacuated across the Channel (see. Dunkirk evacuation). June 10, 1940 in the war on Germany's side came Fascist Italy's armed forces have occupied part of France and invaded from Libya to Egypt, where in December were stopped by British troops. In April-May 1941, the German army with the support of Italian troops invaded Yugoslavia and Greece. The danger of the Nazi invasion hung over England, Air Force, which in 1940 caused considerable damage to the German Air Force.

European conflagration spread to other continents. Italo-German troops launched an offensive in North Africa. They expected to start in autumn 1941 to the conquest of the Middle East, followed by India, which is expected to meet German and Japanese forces.

The German attack on the USSR

Plans for the invasion of the Soviet Union began to be discussed in the German military headquarters shortly after the defeat of France. In December 1940, was signed by the directive "Barbarossa", which provides a lightning defeat of the Soviet Union (a maximum period of 5 months), rapid occupation of the most important parts of the country, the capture of Moscow and the yield on the line Arkhangelsk - Astrakhan. Operations against the British, it was decided to postpone until the complete defeat of the USSR.

June 22, 1941, Nazi Germany and its allies brought down the Soviet Union hit a huge force - 190 divisions (5.5 million. People), more than 3 thousand tanks, about 5,000 aircraft. To wage war against the Soviet Union coalition was formed, the basis of which was the "Anti-Comintern Pact", and then Tripartite Pact (the so-called Tripartite), concluded in 1940 between Germany, Italy and Japan. To actively participate in aggression were involved troops Romania, Finland, Hungary. In order to provide military and economic campaign against the Soviet Union used the resources of almost all European countries. In addition, in the fighting on the Soviet-German front was attended by Italian troops, the Spanish division, Croatian, Slovak, French parts, units of volunteers from other countries occupied by Germany.

The Soviet Union was not prepared to resist the Nazi invasion. The Red Army was in the process of reorganization. The Supreme Command of the eve of the war was repressed. The Soviet government (especially Joseph Stalin) committed errors in determining the timing of the start of the war. Fear of provoking Germany led to the fact that the army and navy were not promptly alerted.

Summer and autumn of 1941 were the most critical for the Soviet Union. Nazi troops invaded the country to a depth of 850 to 1200 km. Millions of people were killed at the front, were in occupation or in the Nazi camps. However, Germany did not achieve its strategic objectives capture Leningrad and Moscow. The Red Army in heavy fighting wore out the enemy forces. Industrial enterprises were evacuated to the east. In the rear of the enemy deployed guerrilla war.

Bleed advancing Wehrmacht groups, Soviet troops during the Battle of Moscow went 5-6 in December 1941 in a counteroffensive. The enemy was driven back to the west to 100-350 km. The victory of the Red Army in the winter of 1941-42 was the beginning of a fundamental turning point in the war. The peoples of the occupied countries stepped up the fight against the invaders.

The US and Britain carried out in the USSR significant military supplies. The protocol was signed on deliveries at the joint conference of the USSR, the USA and Great Britain in Moscow in October 1941. US provided military products the USSR on the basis of the law the Lend-Lease. Military aid to allies, primarily aircraft and motor vehicles, has contributed significantly to the Soviet Union in the war.

On April 24, 1941, during the second world war, great Britain began evacuating its troops from Greece.

Entry into World War II the United States. Scaling War

December 7, 1941 attack on the US military base at Pearl Harbor, Japan went to war against the United States. December 8 the US, UK and several other states have declared war on Japan on December 11, Germany and Italy declared war on the United States. Entry into the war the United States and Japan affected the balance of power, increased scale armed struggle. Anti-Hitler coalition has increased substantially.

January 1, 1942, 26 States (USSR, USA, UK, China, Canada, and others.) Signed the Declaration of the United Nations. The participants pledged to use its military and economic resources to fight against the fascist bloc. The most important decisions on matters of war and the postwar world on a democratic basis was taken at the joint conference of the leaders (Roosevelt, Stalin, Churchill) leading the Allied Powers - Hitler allies of the USSR, the US and Britain in Tehran (1943) , Yalta and Potsdam (1945).

In 1941 - the first half of 1942 years in the Pacific, in South-East Asia and North Africa, allies of the USSR retreated. Japan occupied parts of China, French Indochina, Malaya, Burma, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines present, Hong Kong, reached the approaches to Australia and India.

Using the absence of a second front in Western Europe against the Soviet Union and focus maximum effort, Nazi troops crossed the summer of 1942 in an offensive to capture Stalingrad and the Caucasus, and thereby deprive the USSR of resources necessary for the conduct of war. The heroic defense of Stalingrad thwart the plans of Hitler's command. November 19, 1942, Soviet troops launched a counteroffensive, completed by February 1943 the environment and the complete elimination of more than 330 thousandth enemy forces at Stalingrad. Red Army seized the strategic initiative, launched a general offensive.

In autumn 1942 Western allies to halt the advance of the enemy in North Africa and the borders of India. The victory of the British 8th Army under General Bernard Law Montgomery Alameynsky at El Alamein (October 1942) and landing in North Africa, the Anglo-American troops (November 1942) turn the tide in favor of the Allies in this theater of operations. The success of the naval forces of the USA in the battle of Midway (June 1942) to improve their situation in the Pacific.

One of the main events of the war in 1943 - the victory of the Red Army in the Battle of Kursk. Only in the area Prokhorovka (south of Kursk), where on July 12 was the largest tank battle of World War II, the enemy lost 400 tanks and more than 10 thousand killed. Nazi Germany and its allies were forced onto the defensive on all fronts. In the autumn of 1943, Soviet troops were able to cross the Dnieper. The liberation of the right bank of Ukraine. In the same year the troops of the Western Allies landed in Italy. In 1943 - the sea lanes in the Atlantic Ocean where the United States Navy and the United Kingdom gradually gained the upper hand in the fight against German submarines. Came a radical change in the Second World War in general.

In 1944, the largest in the Soviet-German front became Belarusian strategic operation, which resulted in the Soviet troops reached the border of Poland. The Red Army began to liberate the captured aggressor countries in Eastern and Central Europe. One of the tasks of the Byelorussian operation was to assist Normandy landing operation.

The opening of a second front in Europe. The end of the Second World War

June 6 to launch a major amphibious operation of allied forces in World War II - Normandy landings (in northern France). It marked the opening of a second front in Europe, which the USSR counted in 1942. However, after opening the main front in the war remained a Soviet-German, which operated in the 1.8 - 2.8 times more troops of the fascist bloc, than on other fronts.

In 1944, the United States and Britain launched an offensive in the Pacific Ocean and the China-Burma theater. In Europe, the winter 1944 - 1945 years in the Ardennes operation Germans inflicted a serious defeat the Allied forces. Get out of the difficult situation they helped winter offensive of the Red Army, initiated at the request of the allies ahead of schedule. In Italy, Allied forces slowly moved to the north, and with the help of guerrillas captured in early May throughout the country. In the Pacific, the US military defeat of the Japanese navy, approached directly to Japan.

April 25, 1945 near the town of Torgau on the Elbe troops of the 1st Ukrainian front Marshal Ivan Stepanovich Konev met with the troops of the American 1st us army General Courtney Hodges. The territory of Germany and the remains of the Wehrmacht were dissected — as a result of the meeting of the allied forces, the remains of the German armed forces were split into two parts — North and South.

In April - May 1945, Soviet troops in Berlin and Prague operations defeated the last group of the German army and met with the Western Allies. The troops of the US and UK, as part of which were fighting units of the "Fighting France", released a number of countries in Western Europe, partially Austria and Czechoslovakia. German armed forces surrendered unconditionally. On May 8, most of Europe and May 9 in the Soviet Union became the Victory Day.

Fulfilling allied commitments, as well as to ensure the security of its Far Eastern borders, the Soviet Union on the night of August 9, 1945 entered the war against Japan. The Red Army forced the Japanese government to acknowledge final defeat. Atomic bombings of US aircraft Japanese cities of Hiroshima (August 6) and Nagasaki (August 9), subsequently condemned by the world community, have also played a part in this. September 2, 1945 signing of the Instrument of Surrender of Japan World War II ended. November 20, 1945 began the Nuremberg trial of the main group of German Nazi war criminals.

The price of victory was extremely loud. The Soviet Union, which bore the brunt of the war, lost more than 27 million. People. The national wealth of the country has decreased by almost 30% (in the UK - 0.8% in the US - 0.4%).

Results of the Second World War led to major political changes in the international arena, the gradual development of the trend towards cooperation among states with different social systems. In order to prevent new global conflicts, create a post-war system of security and cooperation between the two countries at the end of the war was the creation of the United Nations (UN), whose Charter was signed on June 26, 1945 in San Francisco, 50 states (USSR, USA, Britain, China and others). (M. Ju. Mjagkov)

Reserve army

In the Great Patriotic War of the Soviet troops entered the 28th reserve army, in which the drawing force for the guns were camels. It was formed in Astrakhan during the fighting at Stalingrad: the lack of cars and horses forced to fish in the vicinity of wild camels and tame them. Most of the 350 animals died on the battlefield in various battles, and gradually transferred to the surviving part of the household and "demobilized" in zoos. Two camels named Yasha Masha and the soldiers came to Berlin.

In the Great Patriotic War of the Soviet troops entered the 28th reserve army, in which the drawing force for the guns were camels. It was formed in Astrakhan during the fighting at Stalingrad: the lack of cars and horses forced to fish in the vicinity of wild camels and tame them. Most of the 350 animals died on the battlefield in various battles, and gradually transferred to the surviving part of the household and "demobilized" in zoos. Two camels named Yasha Masha and the soldiers came to Berlin.

Attempts to destroy the German race

In 1944, us President Franklin Delano Roosevelt told Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau (the latter recorded it in his diary):

"We need to either castrate the entire German population or treat them in a way that they are no longer able to produce people who are able to continue to do the same things."

In 1940 and 1941, a journalist from the newspaper Jewish Chronicle TK Kaufman (a friend of one of the closest advisors Roosevelt, S. Rosman) two editions of the book " Germany must die!" In it, he proposed to divide the territory of Germany between five countries and to sterilize German men and women — 25 people per doctor[ru] per day; for 3 months, all the Germans had to be sterilized, and 60 years later the German nation was to disappear.

There were other proposals, in particular, to change the heredity and, accordingly, the identity of the Germans. So, at the very beginning of 1943, an anthropologist from Harvard, Professor Ernest Huton, proposed to change the inheritance of the Germans by forced metisation of German men and women. His scheme was simple: captured German soldiers and officers (10-12 million) are taken out of the country and placed in camps, and the remaining German Germans are forced to marry with soldiers of the occupation troops and with immigrants brought specially for this purpose.

In 1944, at the 2nd Quebec conference, Roosevelt, Churchill and Morgenthau discussed the plan proposed by the latter. According to the plan, Germany was to be subjected to forced agrarian, and its population was reduced to 25 million people, and a significant part of it was to be physically destroyed. Somehow the information about the Morgenthau plan leaked outwards, the Germans made a fuss and the Anglo-Americans had to officially abandon the plan.

The main fronts of World War II

The invasion of the USSR

Summer 1942 campaign. The initial period of the Battle of Stalingrad (June 1942 - November 1942)

Radical change (November 1942 - December 1943)

Offensive in Belarus and Western Ukraine (December 1943 - September 1944)

Offensive in Karelia and in the Balkans (September 1944 - January 1945)

The final phase of the war. The capitulation of Germany (January - May 1945)

Songs dedicated to the war

"Farewell Slav" — march
"Katyusha" (M. Blatner - M. Isakovsky) - T. Syniavska
"The Dark Night" - Ivan Kozlovsky
"Victory Day", App. Joseph Kobzon
"Bow to those great years" - Joseph Kobzon, music. Pahmutova
"Holy War"
"Holy War" - Melody
"Road to Berlin" - Leonid Osipovich Utesov
"Winds in the close stove fire" - Leonid Utyosov
"The Dark Night" - Utyosov
"Guerrilla beard" - L.O. Utyosov
"We need one victory" - Nina Urgant, music[ru] Alexandra Pakhmutova
"Unknown Soldier" - Maya Kristalinskaya
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