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  • A History of World War Two, Belligerents in the Second World War
    December 9 941 United Kingdom September 3 1939 Government in Exile France September 3 1939 Brazil May 2 1942 India September 3 1939 Action taken by government in London Mexico May 22 1942 Ethiopia December 1 1942 Australia September 3 1939 Iraq January i6 1943 New Zealand September 3 1939 Bolivia April 7 1943 Union of South Africa September 6 1939 Iran September 9 1943 Canada September 10 1939 Colombia November 26 1943 Norway April 8 9 1940 Belgium May 10 1940 Liberia January 27 1944 Luxemburg May 10 I940 Ecuador February 2 1945 Netherlands May to 1940 Paraguay February 8 1945 Greece October 28 11940 Peru February 11 1945 Yugoslavia April 6 1941 Union of Soviet Socialist Republics June 22 1941 Previously invaded Poland Sept 17 1939 at war with Finland Nov 30 1939 declared war on Japan August 8 1945 Chile February 12 I945 Venezuela February 14 1945 Uruguay February 22 1945 United States December 7 I941 Turkey February 23 1945 Philippine Commonwealth December7 1941 Egypt February 26 1945 Panama December 7 1941 Syria February 26 1945 Costa Rica December 8 1941 Lebanon February7 1945 Dominican Republic December 8 1941 Saudi Arabia March 1 1945 Nicaragua December 8

    Original URL path: http://history-world.org/belligerents_in_the_second_world.htm (2016-02-11)
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  • A History of World War Two, World War Two Casualties
    reliability exist Statistical accounting broke down in both Allied and Axis nations when whole armies were surrendered or dispersed Guerrilla warfare changes in international boundaries and mass shifts in population vastly complicated postwar efforts to arrive at accurate figures even for the total dead from all causes Civilian deaths from land battles aerial bombardment political and racial executions war induced disease and famine and the sinking of ships probably exceeded battle casualties These civilian deaths are even more difficult to determine yet they must be counted in any comparative evaluation of national losses There are no reliable figures for the casualties of the Soviet Union and China the two countries in which casualties were undoubtedly greatest Mainly for this reason estimates of total dead in World War II vary anywhere from 35 000 000 to 60 000 000 a statistical difference of no small import Few have ventured even to try to calculate the total number of persons who were wounded or permanently disabled However inexact many of the figures their main import is clear The heaviest proportionate human losses occurred in eastern Europe where Poland lost perhaps 20 percent of its prewar population Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union around 10 percent German losses of which the greater proportion occurred on the Eastern Front were only slightly less severe The nations of western Europe however great their suffering from occupation escaped with manpower losses that were hardly comparable with those of World War I In East Asia the victims of famine and pestilence in China are to be numbered in the millions in addition to other millions of both soldiers and civilians who perished in battle and bombardment The Table contains what appear to be the best available statistics on armed forces casualties of all types resulting from battle of

    Original URL path: http://history-world.org/world_war_two_casualties.htm (2016-02-11)
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  • A History of World War Two, One-Half Century Of Crisis, 1914-1945
    the United States in contrast though vaguely supporting the Spanish republic could agree on no concrete action Only the Soviet Union sent effective government support and by 1939 the republican forces had been defeated In 1938 Hitler proclaimed a long sought union or Anschluss with Austria as a fellow German nation Western powers complained and denounced but did nothing In the same year Hitler marched into a German speaking part of Czechoslovakia War threatened but a conference at Munich convinced French and British leaders that Hitler might be satisfied with acquiescence Czechoslovakia was dismembered and the western Sudeten region was turned over to Germany as the British prime minister Neville Chamberlain duped by Hitler s apparent eagerness to compromise proclaimed that his appeasement had won peace in our time Our time turned out to be slightly over a year Emboldened by Western weakness in March 1939 Hitler took over all of Czechoslovakia and began to press Poland for territorial concessions He also concluded an agreement with the Soviet Union which was not ready for war with Germany and had despaired of Western resolve The Soviets also coveted parts of Poland the Baltic states and Finland for their own and when Hitler invaded Poland Russia launched its own war to undo the Versailles settlement Hitler attacked Poland on September 1 1939 not necessarily expecting general war but clearly prepared to risk it Britain and France now convinced that nothing short of war would stop the Nazis made their own declaration in response War had already broken out in China Japan continuing to press the ruling Chinese government lest it gain sufficient strength to threaten Japanese gains became involved in a skirmish with Chinese forces in the Beijing area in 1937 Fighting spread initially quite unplanned Most Japanese military leaders opposed more general war arguing that the nation s only interest was to defend Manchuria and Korea However influential figures on the General Staff held that China s armies should be decisively defeated to prevent trouble in the future This view prevailed and Japanese forces quickly occupied the cities and railroads of eastern China The Chinese army refused to give in and a stalemate resulted that lasted in effect until 1945 with neither side capable of major new advance In 1940 the two main areas of conflict Europe and the Pacific drew together when Germany and Italy already uneasy allies signed an agreement with Japan Japanese leaders had long admired Germany and welcomed Hitler s basic hostility to the Soviet Union and communism Full alliance was prevented by the Nazi Soviet agreement which briefly drove Japan to try to resolve disputes with the United States But the United States insisted that the Japanese evacuate China so full reconciliation was impossible Meanwhile early German successes in the European war and Japanese realization that expansion in the Pacific would pit them against the United States combined to argue for a more formal alliance A Tripartite Pact was signed by Germany Japan and Italy in September 1940 In fact Japan and Germany never collaborated closely Notably Japan refused to participate in Germany s ultimate war with the Soviet Union despite long standing opposition to Russian strength Nevertheless the union of the aggressor states however hollow in practice seemed to align the powers of the world between those on the attack and those legitimately on the defense a symbolism particularly influential for the United States As war broke out from 1937 to 1939 the powers most interested in preserving the status quo remained unprepared hopeful that war could be deflected by talk and concessions France and Britain continued to feel the debilitating effects of World War I and were not eager for another conflict Depression induced tensions made it difficult to agree on any active policy and political leftists and conservatives even disagreed over which was the greater enemy Germany or the Soviet Union The United States was less polarized but eager to maintain its policy of isolationism in order not to complicate the delicate process of constructing a new set of government programs to fight the depression Only by late 1938 did Western leaders begin to admit that war was likely launching some measures of military preparedness including army expansion and aircraft production Britain took the lead here and its efforts proved vital in allowing successful defense of the nation in the first stages of the war with Germany but the Western effort was too little and too late to stop war itself The Hindenburg went up in flames in Lyndhurst New Jersey May 6 1937 the disaster lessened hopes for the use of flying airships in warfare The Course Of The War Japan s Advance And Retreat The background to World War II made it obvious that war would be fought in two major centers the Pacific and the European regions the latter spilling over into North Africa and the Middle East The background also made it inevitable that the first years of the war would feature almost unremitting German and Japanese success against ill prepared opponents Only in 1942 and 1943 did the tide begin to change based on the fact that the powers that had been drawn into war were essentially more powerful economically and in population size than their ambitious taunters The bitter war in Asia pitting Japan against the United States with Britain in an important supporting role followed a fairly simple course of thrust and counterthrust Stalemated in China Japan used the outbreak of war in Europe as an occasion to turn its attention to other parts of Asia It seized Indochina from France s troops The alliance with Germany and Italy along with continued expansion in Southeast Asia as the Japanese attacked Malaya and Burma put the Japanese on a collision course with the United States which as a Pacific power was unwilling to allow Japan to become a predominant force in the Far East United States holdings in Hawaii and the Philippines plus American attempts to withhold

    Original URL path: http://history-world.org/ww2crisis.htm (2016-02-11)
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  • A History of World War Two, The evacuation from Dunkirk
    the Germans could occupy Dunkirk Evacuation began on May 26 and became still more urgent the next day when the Belgians their right wing and their center broken by Trichinae s advance sued for an armistice On May 27 likewise bombing by the Luftwaffe put the harbour of Dunkirk out of use so that many of the thousands of men thronging the 10 mile stretch of beaches had to be ferried out to sea by petty craft pressed into service by the Royal Navy and manned largely by amateur seamen though the harbor s damaged breakwater still offered a practicable exit for the majority By June 4 when the operation came to an end 198 000 British and 140 000 French and Belgian troops had been saved but virtually all of their heavy equipment had to be abandoned and of the 41 destroyers participating six were sunk and 19 others damaged The men who were saved represented a considerable part of the experienced troops possessed by Great Britain and were an inestimable gain to the Allies The success of the near miraculous evacuation from Dunkirk was due on the one hand to fighter cover by the Royal Air Force from the English coast and on the other to Hitler s fatal order of May 24 halting Guderian That order had been made for several reasons chiefly Hermann Göring head of the Luftwaffe had mistakenly assured Hitler that his aircraft alone could destroy the Allied troops trapped on the beaches at Dunkirk and Hitler himself seems to have believed that Great Britain might accept peace terms more readily if its armies were not constrained into humiliating surrender Three days passed before Brauchitsch the German Army commander in chief was able to persuade Hitler to withdraw his orders and allow the German

    Original URL path: http://history-world.org/evacuation_from_dunkirk.htm (2016-02-11)
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  • Guadalcanal
    jungles The Japanese forces on the island reached a peak strength of 36 000 troops by October but they were unable to overwhelm the Americans defensive perimeter and retake the airfield Six separate naval battles were also fought in the area as the navies of both sides sought to land reinforcements By November the U S Navy was able to land reinforcements on Guadalcanal faster than were the Japanese and

    Original URL path: http://history-world.org/guadalcanal.htm (2016-02-11)
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  • A History of World War Two, Holocaust
    us for we were the children Whose dreams and lives were stolen away I stood there staring at all the bodies but they were not bodies just skeletons Tears were flowing from my eyes when suddenly a thin man wearing a stripped uniform laid his hand on my shoulder His face was thin and I wondered if he was really alive or just a vision I had conjured up When he spoke I noticed that there was no passion in his voice It was monotone never rising or lowering in its volume After what has happened here tears are not enough Tears will never be enough he said What words can better describe this event Let these pictures speak for themselves This should be sufficient enough to demonstrate this horrible event Holocaust Deaths Country Region Low Estimate High Estimate Germany 1938 Borders 125 000 130 000 Austria 58 0000 65 000 Belgium Luxembourg 24 700 29 000 Bulgaria 0 7 000 Czechoslovakia 245 000 277 000 France 64 000 83 000 Greece 58 000 65 000 Hungary Ukraine 300 000 402 000 Italy 7 500 8 000 Netherlands 101 800 106 000 Norway 677 760 Poland USSR 3 700 000

    Original URL path: http://history-world.org/holocaust.htm (2016-02-11)
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  • Imperial Surrender Broadcast by Emperor Hirohito of Japan
    to ensure Japan s self preservation and the stabilization of East Asia it being far from our thought either to infringe upon the sovereignty of other nations or to embark upon territorial aggrandizement But now the war has lasted for nearly four years Although the best has been done by everyone the gallant fighting of the military and naval forces the diligence and assiduity of our servants of the state and the devoted service of our hundred million people the war situation has developed not necessarily to Japan s advantage while the general trends of the world have all turned against her interests The enemy moreover has begun to employ a new most cruel bomb the power which to do damage is indeed incalculable taking toll of many innocent lives Should we continue to fight it would only result in the ultimate collapse and obliteration of the Japanese nation but would lead also to the total extinction of human civilization Such being the case how are we to save millions of our subjects or ourselves to atone before the hallowed spirits of our Imperial ancestors This is the reason we have ordered the acceptance of the provisions of the joint declaration of the Powers We cannot but express the deepest sense of regret to our allied nations of East Asia who have consistently cooperated with the Empire toward the emancipation of East Asia The thought of those officers and men who have fallen on the field of battle of those who have died at their posts of duty or those who have met with untimely death and of their bereaved families pains our heart night and day The welfare of the wounded and war victims and of those who have lost their homes and livelihood are objects of our profound

    Original URL path: http://history-world.org/imperial_surrender_broadcast_by_.htm (2016-02-11)
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  • While the campaign for the Philippines was still in progress
    was still 1 500 miles from Saipan to Tokyo a long flight even for the B 29s Strategic planners therefore fixed their attention on the little volcanic island of Iwo Jima in the Bonin Islands which lay about halfway between the Marianas and Japan If Iwo Jima could be eliminated as a Japanese base the island could then be immensely valuable as a base for U S fighter planes defending the big bombers The Japanese were determined to hold Iwo Jima As they had done on other Pacific islands they had created underground defenses there making the best possible use of natural caves and the rough rocky terrain The number of Japanese defenders on the island under command of Lieutenant General Kuribayashi Tadamichi was more than 20 000 Day after day before the actual landing the island was subjected to intense bombardment by naval guns by rockets and by air strikes using napalm bombs But the results fell far short of expectations The Japanese were so well protected that no amount of conventional bombing or shelling could knock them out U S Marines landed on Iwo Jima on Feb 19 1945 and encountered an obstinate resistance Meanwhile kamikaze counterattacks from the air sank the light carrier Bismarck Sea and damaged other ships and though the U S flag was planted on Mount Suribachi on February 23 the isle was not finally secured until March 16 Iwo Jima had cost the lives of 6 000 Marines as well as the lives of nearly all the Japanese defenders but in the next five months more than 2 000 B 29 bombers were able to land on it Meanwhile a new tactic had been found for the bombing of Japan from bases in the Marianas Instead of high altitude strikes in daylight which

    Original URL path: http://history-world.org/ww2iwojima.htm (2016-02-11)
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