Course of the War
According to the decisions taken in the Paris Peace Conference, Poland had been made an independent kingdom. East Prussia was separated from Germany. Now, Hitler wanted to unite East Prussia with Germany. Hitler invaded Poland on September 1, 1939. Great Britain declared war against Germany on September 3. Second World War started.
In April 1940, Germany captured Denmark and Norway. In May 1940, Holland and Belgium were conquered. Germany attacked France and captured it in June 1940.
Italy fought against the British forces in North Africa. Mussolini attacked Greece and captured it with German support. Yugoslavia and Crete were occupied by the Germans.
After the fall of France, Britain was left alone. Hence, Hitler wanted to attack England by air. There was continuous air force attack on Britain. But the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Churchill saved England. Germany could not conquer Britain.
Germany made a mistake of invading the Soviet Union, despite a non-aggression pact. One of the important battles was the Battle of Stalingrad. For five months the battle went on. It involved 2 million men, 2000 tanks and 2000 aero-planes. The invading German army was driven back. In February1943, about 90,000 German soldiers surrendered. This was a turning point of the war.
In December 1941, Japan attacked the Pearl Harbour. This tragedy dragged the U.S.A. into the war. General MacArther was made the supreme commander of the Pacific region. Lord Mountbatten, the Commander of South East Asia drove the Japanese from Burma.
In Africa, Abyssinia was conquered by the U.S.A. from Italy. The Italian Somaliland was also conquered. The British General Montgomery captured Libya from Germans. He also conquered Tripoli and entered Tunisia. In 1942 Algeria fell. In 1943 Sicily was captured by the British and U.S. troops. North Africa was cleared of Italian and German troops. The mainland of Italy was attacked. There was a revolt in Italy and Mussolini was arrested, but he managed to escape with German help. In September 1943, Italy surrendered unconditionally. Mussolini was captured and killed by his own people in April 1945.
In 1944 the Allied forces entered into France and expelled the German army from France. After that the Allied forces attacked Germany from the Southwest. Russia invaded Germany from the East. On 2 May 1945 Russian army entered Berlin. Hitler committed suicide. Germany surrendered.
Even after the surrender of Germany, Japan continued the war. USA dropped two atom bombs on Hiroshima (6th August) and on Nagasaki (9th August). Following this Japan surrendered on 14th August 1945.
The Second World War was over. At the end of the war, some 13 million Europeans were killed and 17 million civilians had died as a result of the fighting. All major cities were in ruins. Agriculture was ruined. People of the entire world had to face untold miseries, directly or indirectly.
Results of the Second World War
In this war, about 15 Million soldiers and 10 million civilians lost their lives.
An important result of the Second World War was that it brought to an end the colonial Empire of the European countries in Asia and Africa.
Multi-polar world became bi-polar world.
The USA and USSR emerged as Super Powers.
Cold War started as an ideological war between USA and USSR