World War II consisted of the Allies and the Axis. Many countries took sides, eventually anyway. You see, it took a while for everyone to jump on board, considering WWI had just taken place a few decades prior to WWII. A total of 30 countries ended up taking sides, and the war lasted from 1939 until 1945.
If you thought WWI was bad in terms of fatalities, WWII is the unfortunate winner in this category. In fact, there is no other war that has resulted in more deaths. What likely comes to your mind first is the Holocaust. And on top of the troops that died from many different countries, there were also quite a few civilian deaths.
Two countries, in particular, China and the Soviet Union as it was known at the time, had quite a few civilian deaths. You’re also likely familiar with the fact that the only time a nuclear weapon has ever been used was during World War II.
The bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. World War I was known for trench warfare, civilian deaths and the onset of influenza. Yet all of that still didn’t add up to the casualties that were a result of World War II. Again, the Germans, Italians, and Japanese were allied together. But they were not part of the ‘Allies.’
They were three countries that helped make up the ‘Axis.’ US citizens are very familiar with Pearl Harbor, which occurred on Dec. 7th, 1941. This bombing happened two years after the war started, and it was what triggered the US to get fully involved in WWII.
The US wasn’t the only country hesitant to get involved as mentioned. WWI had really wreaked havoc on many nations, and on top of the casualties, monetary costs were enormous. It takes a lot of money to fight a war, especially the way wars were handled in those days.
The US certainly didn’t forget the attack on Pearl Harbor, and perhaps it is partly the reason they ended the war with an atom bomb drop on Hiroshima. In retrospect, it is a move that most Us citizens then and now have regretted. And many people all over the world hope that nuclear weapons will never be used in war again.
But there are also chemical weapons and other types of more modern weapons that have been developed in today’s world. These days, wars aren’t exactly fought the way they were in the 1940s. Countries are more strategical and less likely to declare war in general.
Do you know how World War II started? Most historians reference the fact that everything started with the invasion of Poland by Germany. While the alliances in World War II seem very similar, the world would be politically restructured in the years following the war.
Alliances would shift post World War II, and it would take years again for many countries to recover. Think as well about the Great Depression in between both World Wars. The world has never seen anything like this time in history, and everyone hopes we never do again.