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World War II

World War II was fought between the Axis Powers (Germany, Italy, Japan) and the Allied Powers (Britain, United States, Soviet Union, France). Most of the countries in the world were involved in some way. It was the deadliest war in all of human history with around 70 million people killed.

When was it?

World War II started in 1939 when Germany invaded Poland. Great Britain and France responded by declaring war on Germany. The war in Europe ended with Germany's surrender on May 7, 1945. The war in the Pacific ended when Japan surrendered on September 2, 1945.

Where was it?

World War II started in Europe, but spread throughout the world. Much of the fighting took place in Europe and in Southeast Asia (Pacific).

Learn More

Check out these pages to learn about the events, battles, and people of World War II:


Go here to test your knowledge with a World War II crossword puzzle or word search.

For reference and further reading:
  • The Good Fight: How World War II was Won by Stephen E. Ambrose. 2001.
  • World Almanac Library of the Holocaust: Fighting Back by David Downing. 2006.
  • New Perspectives: Hiroshima and Nagasaki by R. G. Grant. 1998.
  • Days that Shook the World: D-Day June 6, 1944 by Sean Sheehan. 2003.
  • Events that Shaped the Century by the Editors of Time-Life Books with Richard B. Stolley. 1998.

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