World War II ranged from 1939 through 1945 and it involved every major world power. On one side were the Allies, including Great Britain, the United States, France and the Soviet Union. On the other side the Axis powers included Germany, Japan and Italy. This conflict resulted from the rise of totalitarian, militaristic regimes in Germany, Japan and Italy after World War I. Partly responsible were the humiliating peace treaties forced on Germany after World War I. The Great Depression of the 1930’s created world wide economic disorder and thus contributed to the war. During the 1930’s Japan was very aggressive in Asia and Italy, lead by Mussolini was invading Ethiopia. French and British appeasement of Hitler’s Nazi regime in Germany
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In late 1942 the Allies began to rally. In North Africa, British General Montgomery’s rout of Rommel at Alamein in October of 1942 and the landing of U.S. troops in Algeria resulted in an Allied victory in Africa. The Allies conquered Sicily in south Italy and Italy surrendered in 1943. In the Pacific, U.S. forces had won the naval battles of the Coral Sea and Midway, landed in Guadalcanal and began the island hopping strategy that by 1945 had won back the Philippines and where a striking force at Japan’s doorstep.
The German Surrender at Stalingrad in 1943 was followed by a Soviet offensive that by 1944 had taken Russian troops deep into Poland, Hungary and the Balkans. In the battle of the Atlantic, the German submarine fleet was virtually destroyed.
The final Allied campaign began with the invasion of Normandy, on the northwestern coast of France on June 6 1944 at 12:15 A.M. The invasion was code named “Operation Overlord”. This operation would come to be known as D-Day. D-Day is a military term designating the start date for launching an operation, but in modern history it is refers to the events of June 6, 1944.
Plans for this campaign began in 1943. In January 1944 U.S. General Dwight Eisenhower was appointed Supreme Commander of the Allied forces. Eisenhower began working with a group of high-level British and American leaders to execute Operation Overlord. Arriving in Britain on January 16, 1944