World wars

World Wars Inhaltsverzeichnis

The World Wars ist ein sechsteiliges Fernseh-Doku-Drama, das die beiden Weltkriege sowie die Zwischenkriegszeit thematisiert. „The World Wars“ wurde am. "The World Wars" folgt den biografischen Stationen von Churchill, de Gaulle, Hitler, Mussolini, Patton, Stalin und anderen. Die Erfahrungen, die sie auf den. World Wars. Durchschnittswert: 8 ( Stimmen). Beschreibung. Reisse die Weltherrschaft an dich und kämpfe in Schlachten gegen feindliche Armeen. Many translated example sentences containing "two world wars" – German-​English dictionary and search engine for German translations. World Wars 1 ist ein Strategiespiel, das dem bekannten Brettspiel Risiko ähnelt. In der vorliegenden Spielversion wird ohne Aktionsarten auf einer.

world wars

Übersetzung im Kontext von „world wars“ in Englisch-Deutsch von Reverso Context: two world wars, between the world wars. World Wars. Durchschnittswert: 8 ( Stimmen). Beschreibung. Reisse die Weltherrschaft an dich und kämpfe in Schlachten gegen feindliche Armeen. Many translated example sentences containing "two world wars" – German-​English dictionary and search engine for German translations. Übersetzung im Kontext von „world wars“ in Englisch-Deutsch von Reverso Context: two world wars, between the world wars. Some of these memorials, like the National Submariners' Memorial, are dedicated to soldiers serving in the World Wars, while others serve as reminders to the. The World Wars - Wie zwei Kriege die Welt veränderten [2 DVDs] de John Ealer DVD Commandez cet article chez nk-stil.se

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The World War series (All musics) ~ Jacob Shea

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In October , Austria-Hungary precipitated the Bosnian crisis of — by officially annexing the former Ottoman territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina , which it had occupied since The Balkans came to be known as the " powder keg of Europe ".

The resulting Treaty of London further shrank the Ottoman Empire, creating an independent Albanian state while enlarging the territorial holdings of Bulgaria, Serbia, Montenegro , and Greece.

The political objective of the assassination was to break off Austria-Hungary's South Slav provinces, which Austria-Hungary had annexed from the Ottoman Empire, so they could be combined into a Yugoslavia.

Some nearby were injured by the blast, but Ferdinand's convoy carried on. The other assassins failed to act as the cars drove past them. About an hour later, when Ferdinand was returning from a visit at the Sarajevo Hospital with those wounded in the assassination attempt, the convoy took a wrong turn into a street where, by coincidence, Princip stood.

With a pistol, Princip shot and killed Ferdinand and his wife Sophie. Although they were reportedly not personally close, the Emperor Franz Joseph was profoundly shocked and upset.

The reaction among the people in Austria, however, was mild, almost indifferent. On Sunday and Monday 28 and 29 June , the crowds in Vienna listened to music and drank wine, as if nothing had happened.

The Austro-Hungarian authorities encouraged the subsequent anti-Serb riots in Sarajevo , in which Bosnian Croats and Bosniaks killed two Bosnian Serbs and damaged numerous Serb-owned buildings.

Austro-Hungarian authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina imprisoned and extradited approximately 5, prominent Serbs, to 2, of whom died in prison.

A further Serbs were sentenced to death. A predominantly Bosniak special militia known as the Schutzkorps was established and carried out the persecution of Serbs.

Austria-Hungary correctly believed that Serbian officials especially the officers of the Black Hand were involved in the plot to murder the Archduke, and wanted to finally end Serbian interference in Bosnia.

Serbia accepted all the terms of the ultimatum except for article six, which demanded that Austrian delegates be allowed in Serbia for the purpose of participation in the investigation into the assassination.

Finally, on 28 July , a month after the assassination, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia. German Chancellor Bethmann-Hollweg waited until the 31st for an appropriate response, when Germany declared Erklärung des Kriegszustandes , or "Statement on the war status".

When he refused, Germany issued an ultimatum demanding its mobilisation be stopped, and a commitment not to support Serbia.

Another was sent to France, asking her not to support Russia if it were to come to the defence of Serbia.

The German government issued demands to France that it remain neutral as they had to decide which deployment plan to implement, it being extremely difficult to change the deployment whilst it was underway.

Germany responded by mobilising its own reserves and implementing Aufmarsch II West. Yet Wilhelm insisted that the German army should not march into Luxembourg until he received a telegram sent by his cousin George V , who made it clear that there had been a misunderstanding.

Eventually the Kaiser told Moltke, "Now you can do what you want. The strategy of the Central Powers suffered from miscommunication.

Germany had promised to support Austria-Hungary's invasion of Serbia, but interpretations of what this meant differed.

Previously tested deployment plans had been replaced early in , but those had never been tested in exercises. Austro-Hungarian leaders believed Germany would cover its northern flank against Russia.

This confusion forced the Austro-Hungarian Army to divide its forces between the Russian and Serbian fronts. Over the next two weeks, Austrian attacks were thrown back with heavy losses, which marked the first major Allied victories of the war and dashed Austro-Hungarian hopes of a swift victory.

As a result, Austria had to keep sizeable forces on the Serbian front, weakening its efforts against Russia.

The plan was to quickly knock France out of the war, then redeploy to the East and do the same to Russia. Schlieffen deliberately kept the German left i.

As such, as the German Army increased in size in the years leading up to the war, he changed the allocation of forces between the German right and left wings from to Ultimately, Moltke's changes meant insufficient forces to achieve decisive success and thus unrealistic goals and timings.

The initial German advance in the West was very successful: by the end of August the Allied left, which included the British Expeditionary Force BEF , was in full retreat ; French casualties in the first month exceeded ,, including 27, killed on 22 August during the Battle of the Frontiers.

In , the Russian Stavka had agreed with the French to attack Germany within 15 days of mobilisation; this was unrealistic and the two Russian armies that entered East Prussia on 17 August did so without many of their support elements.

By the end of , German troops held strong defensive positions inside France, controlled the bulk of France's domestic coalfields and had inflicted , more casualties than it lost itself.

However, communications problems and questionable command decisions cost Germany the chance of a decisive outcome while it had failed to achieve the primary objective of avoiding a long, two-front war.

It will go on for a long time but lost it is already. Some of the first clashes of the war involved British, French, and German colonial forces in Africa.

On 10 August, German forces in South-West Africa attacked South Africa; sporadic and fierce fighting continued for the rest of the war.

Germany attempted to use Indian nationalism and pan-Islamism to its advantage, instigating uprisings in India , and sending a mission that urged Afghanistan to join the war on the side of Central Powers.

However, contrary to British fears of a revolt in India, the outbreak of the war saw an unprecedented outpouring of loyalty and goodwill towards Britain.

Gandhi and others. Military tactics developed before World War I failed to keep pace with advances in technology and had become obsolete.

These advances had allowed the creation of strong defensive systems, which out-of-date military tactics could not break through for most of the war.

Barbed wire was a significant hindrance to massed infantry advances, while artillery , vastly more lethal than in the s, coupled with machine guns , made crossing open ground extremely difficult.

In time, however, technology began to produce new offensive weapons, such as gas warfare and the tank.

After the First Battle of the Marne 5—12 September , Allied and German forces unsuccessfully tried to outflank each other, a series of manoeuvres later known as the " Race to the Sea ".

By the end of , the opposing forces were left confronting each other along an uninterrupted line of entrenched positions from Alsace to Belgium's North Sea coast.

Both sides tried to break the stalemate using scientific and technological advances. Several types of gas soon became widely used by both sides, and though it never proved a decisive, battle-winning weapon, poison gas became one of the most-feared and best-remembered horrors of the war.

However, their effectiveness would grow as the war progressed; the Allies built tanks in large numbers, whilst the Germans employed only a few of their own design, supplemented by captured Allied tanks.

Neither side proved able to deliver a decisive blow for the next two years. Throughout —17, the British Empire and France suffered more casualties than Germany, because of both the strategic and tactical stances chosen by the sides.

Strategically, while the Germans mounted only one major offensive, the Allies made several attempts to break through the German lines. In February the Germans attacked French defensive positions at the Battle of Verdun , lasting until December The Germans made initial gains, before French counter-attacks returned matters to near their starting point.

Casualties were greater for the French, but the Germans bled heavily as well, with anywhere from , [99] to , [] casualties suffered between the two combatants.

Verdun became a symbol of French determination and self-sacrifice. The opening day of the offensive 1 July was the bloodiest day in the history of the British Army , suffering 57, casualties, including 19, dead.

The entire Somme offensive cost the British Army some , casualties. The French suffered another estimated , casualties and the Germans an estimated , To maintain morale, wartime censors minimised early reports of widespread influenza illness and mortality in Germany, the United Kingdom, France, and the United States.

Protracted action at Verdun throughout , [] combined with the bloodletting at the Somme, brought the exhausted French army to the brink of collapse.

Futile attempts using frontal assault came at a high price for both the British and the French and led to the widespread French Army Mutinies , after the failure of the costly Nivelle Offensive of April—May The last large-scale offensive of this period was a British attack with French support at Passchendaele July—November This offensive opened with great promise for the Allies, before bogging down in the October mud.

Casualties, though disputed, were roughly equal, at some ,—, per side. The years of trench warfare on the Western front achieved no major exchanges of territory and, as a result, are often thought of as static and unchanging.

However, throughout this period, British, French, and German tactics constantly evolved to meet new battlefield challenges.

At the start of the war, the German Empire had cruisers scattered across the globe, some of which were subsequently used to attack Allied merchant shipping.

The British Royal Navy systematically hunted them down, though not without some embarrassment from its inability to protect Allied shipping.

Before the beginning of the war, it was widely understood that Britain held the position of strongest, most influential navy in the world.

Instead, this book made it to Germany and inspired its readers to try to over-power the British Royal Navy. Soon after the outbreak of hostilities, Britain began a naval blockade of Germany.

The strategy proved effective, cutting off vital military and civilian supplies, although this blockade violated accepted international law codified by several international agreements of the past two centuries.

It was the only full-scale clash of battleships during the war, and one of the largest in history. The engagement was a stand off, as the Germans were outmanoeuvred by the larger British fleet, but managed to escape and inflicted more damage to the British fleet than they received.

Strategically, however, the British asserted their control of the sea, and the bulk of the German surface fleet remained confined to port for the duration of the war.

German U-boats attempted to cut the supply lines between North America and Britain. After the sinking of the passenger ship RMS Lusitania in , Germany promised not to target passenger liners, while Britain armed its merchant ships, placing them beyond the protection of the " cruiser rules ", which demanded warning and movement of crews to "a place of safety" a standard that lifeboats did not meet.

The U-boat threat lessened in , when merchant ships began travelling in convoys , escorted by destroyers. This tactic made it difficult for U-boats to find targets, which significantly lessened losses; after the hydrophone and depth charges were introduced, accompanying destroyers could attack a submerged submarine with some hope of success.

Convoys slowed the flow of supplies, since ships had to wait as convoys were assembled. The solution to the delays was an extensive program of building new freighters.

Troopships were too fast for the submarines and did not travel the North Atlantic in convoys. Faced with Russia in the east, Austria-Hungary could spare only one-third of its army to attack Serbia.

After suffering heavy losses, the Austrians briefly occupied the Serbian capital, Belgrade. A Serbian counter-attack in the Battle of Kolubara succeeded in driving them from the country by the end of For the first ten months of , Austria-Hungary used most of its military reserves to fight Italy.

German and Austro-Hungarian diplomats, however, scored a coup by persuading Bulgaria to join the attack on Serbia.

Montenegro allied itself with Serbia. Bulgaria declared war on Serbia on 12 October and joined in the attack by the Austro-Hungarian army under Mackensen's army of , that was already underway.

Serbia was conquered in a little more than a month, as the Central Powers, now including Bulgaria, sent in , troops total.

The Serbian army, fighting on two fronts and facing certain defeat, retreated into northern Albania.

The Serbs suffered defeat in the Battle of Kosovo. Montenegro covered the Serbian retreat towards the Adriatic coast in the Battle of Mojkovac in 6—7 January , but ultimately the Austrians also conquered Montenegro.

The surviving Serbian soldiers were evacuated by ship to Greece. In late , a Franco-British force landed at Salonica in Greece to offer assistance and to pressure its government to declare war against the Central Powers.

After intense negotiations and an armed confrontation in Athens between Allied and royalist forces an incident known as Noemvriana , the King of Greece resigned and his second son Alexander took his place; Greece officially joined the war on the side of the Allies in June The Macedonian front was initially mostly static.

French and Serbian forces retook limited areas of Macedonia by recapturing Bitola on 19 November following the costly Monastir Offensive , which brought stabilisation of the front.

Serbian and French troops finally made a breakthrough in September in the Vardar Offensive , after most of the German and Austro-Hungarian troops had been withdrawn.

The Bulgarians were defeated at the Battle of Dobro Pole , and by 25 September British and French troops had crossed the border into Bulgaria proper as the Bulgarian army collapsed.

Bulgaria capitulated four days later, on 29 September The disappearance of the Macedonian front meant that the road to Budapest and Vienna was now opened to Allied forces.

Hindenburg and Ludendorff concluded that the strategic and operational balance had now shifted decidedly against the Central Powers and, a day after the Bulgarian collapse, insisted on an immediate peace settlement.

As the conflict progressed, the Ottoman Empire took advantage of the European powers' preoccupation with the war and conducted large-scale ethnic cleansing of the indigenous Armenian , Greek , and Assyrian Christian populations, known as the Armenian Genocide , Greek Genocide , and Assyrian Genocide.

The British and French opened overseas fronts with the Gallipoli and Mesopotamian campaigns In Mesopotamia , by contrast, after the defeat of the British defenders in the Siege of Kut by the Ottomans —16 , British Imperial forces reorganised and captured Baghdad in March The British were aided in Mesopotamia by local Arab and Assyrian tribesmen, while the Ottomans employed local Kurdish and Turcoman tribes.

Russian armies generally had success in the Caucasus. Enver Pasha , supreme commander of the Ottoman armed forces, was ambitious and dreamed of re-conquering central Asia and areas that had been lost to Russia previously.

He was, however, a poor commander. The Ottomans and Germans were aided by Kurdish and Azeri forces, together with a large number of major Iranian tribes, such as the Qashqai , Tangistanis , Luristanis , and Khamseh , while the Russians and British had the support of Armenian and Assyrian forces.

The Persian Campaign was to last until and end in failure for the Ottomans and their allies. However, the Russian withdrawal from the war in led to Armenian and Assyrian forces, who had hitherto inflicted a series of defeats upon the forces of the Ottomans and their allies, being cut off from supply lines, outnumbered, outgunned and isolated, forcing them to fight and flee towards British lines in northern Mesopotamia.

General Yudenich , the Russian commander from to , drove the Turks out of most of the southern Caucasus with a string of victories.

Nicholas planned a railway from Russian Georgia to the conquered territories, so that fresh supplies could be brought up for a new offensive in However, in March February in the pre-revolutionary Russian calendar , the Tsar abdicated in the course of the February Revolution , and the Russian Caucasus Army began to fall apart.

Fakhri Pasha , the Ottoman commander of Medina , resisted for more than two and half years during the Siege of Medina before surrendering in January The Senussi tribe, along the border of Italian Libya and British Egypt, incited and armed by the Turks, waged a small-scale guerrilla war against Allied troops.

The British were forced to dispatch 12, troops to oppose them in the Senussi Campaign. Their rebellion was finally crushed in mid Total Allied casualties on the Ottoman fronts amounted , men.

Total Ottoman casualties were , , dead and , wounded. Rome had a secret pact with France, effectively nullifying its part in the Triple Alliance; [] Italy secretly agreed with France to remain neutral if the latter was attacked by Germany.

The Austro-Hungarian government began negotiations to secure Italian neutrality, offering the French colony of Tunisia in return.

The Allies made a counter-offer in which Italy would receive the Southern Tyrol , Austrian Littoral and territory on the Dalmatian coast after the defeat of Austria-Hungary.

This was formalised by the Treaty of London. Fifteen months later, Italy declared war on Germany. The Italians had numerical superiority, but this advantage was lost, not only because of the difficult terrain in which the fighting took place, but also because of the strategies and tactics employed.

On the Trentino front, the Austro-Hungarians took advantage of the mountainous terrain, which favoured the defender.

After an initial strategic retreat, the front remained largely unchanged, while Austrian Kaiserschützen and Standschützen engaged Italian Alpini in bitter hand-to-hand combat throughout the summer.

The Austro-Hungarians counterattacked in the Altopiano of Asiago , towards Verona and Padua, in the spring of Strafexpedition , but made little progress and were defeated by the Italians.

Of these eleven offensives, five were won by Italy, three remained inconclusive, and the other three were repelled by the Austro-Hungarians, who held the higher ground.

The Central Powers launched a crushing offensive on 26 October , spearheaded by the Germans, and achieved a victory at Caporetto Kobarid.

The new Italian chief of staff, Armando Diaz , ordered the Army to stop their retreat and defend the Monte Grappa summit, where fortified defenses were constructed; the Italians repelled the Austro-Hungarian and German Army, and stabilised the front at the Piave River.

Since the Italian Army had suffered heavy losses in the Battle of Caporetto, the Italian Government ordered conscription of the so-called ' 99 Boys Ragazzi del '99 : all males born in and prior, who were 18 years old or older.

In , the Austro-Hungarians failed to break through in a series of battles on the Piave and were finally decisively defeated in the Battle of Vittorio Veneto in October.

On the same day, the Armistice of Villa Giusti was signed. By mid-November , the Italian military occupied the entire former Austrian Littoral and had seized control of the portion of Dalmatia that had been guaranteed to Italy by the London Pact.

Romania had been allied with the Central Powers since When the war began, however, it declared its neutrality, arguing that because Austria-Hungary had itself declared war on Serbia, Romania was under no obligation to join the war.

In return, it received the Allies' formal sanction for Transylvania , Banat and other territories of Austria-Hungary to be annexed to Romania.

The action had large popular support. The Romanian offensive was initially successful in Transylvania, but a Central Powers counterattack by the drove them back.

In January , Romanian forces established control over Bessarabia as the Russian Army abandoned the province. Under the treaty, Romania was obliged to end the war with the Central Powers and make small territorial concessions to Austria-Hungary, ceding control of some passes in the Carpathian Mountains , and to grant oil concessions to Germany.

In exchange, the Central Powers recognised the sovereignty of Romania over Bessarabia. The treaty was renounced in October by the Alexandru Marghiloman government, and Romania nominally re-entered the war on 10 November against the Central Powers.

Russian plans for the start of the war called for simultaneous invasions of Austrian Galicia and East Prussia.

Although Russia's initial advance into Galicia was largely successful, it was driven back from East Prussia by Hindenburg and Ludendorff at the battles of Tannenberg and the Masurian Lakes in August and September Despite Russia's success in the June Brusilov Offensive against the Austrians in eastern Galicia, [] the offensive was undermined by the reluctance of other Russian generals to commit their forces to support the victory.

Allied and Russian forces were revived only briefly by Romania's entry into the war on 27 August, as Romania was rapidly defeated by a Central Powers offensive.

Meanwhile, unrest grew in Russia as the Tsar remained at the front. The increasingly incompetent rule of Empress Alexandra drew protests and resulted in the murder of her favourite, Rasputin , at the end of In March , demonstrations in Petrograd culminated in the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II and the appointment of a weak Provisional Government , which shared power with the Petrograd Soviet socialists.

This arrangement led to confusion and chaos both at the front and at home. The army became increasingly ineffective. Following the Tsar's abdication, Vladimir Lenin —with the help of the German government—was ushered by train from Switzerland into Russia 16 April The Revolution of November was followed in December by an armistice and negotiations with Germany.

The treaty ceded vast territories, including Finland, the Baltic provinces , parts of Poland and Ukraine to the Central Powers. With the adoption of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, the Entente no longer existed.

The Allied powers led a small-scale invasion of Russia, partly to stop Germany from exploiting Russian resources, and to a lesser extent, to support the "Whites" as opposed to the "Reds" in the Russian Civil War.

The Czechoslovak Legion fought on the side of the Entente. Its goal was to win support for the independence of Czechoslovakia.

After this success, the number of Czechoslovak legionaries increased, as well as Czechoslovak military power.

In the Battle of Bakhmach , the Legion defeated the Germans and forced them to make a truce. In Russia, they were heavily involved in the Russian Civil War, siding with the Whites against the Bolsheviks , at times controlling most of the Trans-Siberian railway and conquering all the major cities of Siberia.

The presence of the Czechoslovak Legion near Yekaterinburg appears to have been one of the motivations for the Bolshevik execution of the Tsar and his family in July Legionaries arrived less than a week afterwards and captured the city.

Because Russia's European ports were not safe, the corps was evacuated by a long detour via the port of Vladivostok. The last transport was the American ship Heffron in September On 12 December , after ten brutal months of the Battle of Verdun and a successful offensive against Romania , Germany attempted to negotiate a peace with the Allies.

Soon after, the US president, Woodrow Wilson, attempted to intervene as a peacemaker, asking in a note for both sides to state their demands.

Lloyd George's War Cabinet considered the German offer to be a ploy to create divisions amongst the Allies. After initial outrage and much deliberation, they took Wilson's note as a separate effort, signalling that the United States was on the verge of entering the war against Germany following the "submarine outrages".

While the Allies debated a response to Wilson's offer, the Germans chose to rebuff it in favour of "a direct exchange of views". Learning of the German response, the Allied governments were free to make clear demands in their response of 14 January.

They sought restoration of damages, the evacuation of occupied territories, reparations for France, Russia and Romania, and a recognition of the principle of nationalities.

Events of proved decisive in ending the war, although their effects were not fully felt until The British naval blockade began to have a serious impact on Germany.

In response, in February , the German General Staff convinced Chancellor Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg to declare unrestricted submarine warfare, with the goal of starving Britain out of the war.

German planners estimated that unrestricted submarine warfare would cost Britain a monthly shipping loss of , tons. The General Staff acknowledged that the policy would almost certainly bring the United States into the conflict, but calculated that British shipping losses would be so high that they would be forced to sue for peace after five to six months, before American intervention could have an effect.

After July, the newly re-introduced convoy system became effective in reducing the U-boat threat. Britain was safe from starvation, while German industrial output fell, and the United States joined the war far earlier than Germany had anticipated.

On 3 May , during the Nivelle Offensive, the French 2nd Colonial Division, veterans of the Battle of Verdun, refused orders, arriving drunk and without their weapons.

Their officers lacked the means to punish an entire division, and harsh measures were not immediately implemented.

The French Army Mutinies eventually spread to a further 54 French divisions, and 20, men deserted. However, appeals to patriotism and duty, as well as mass arrests and trials, encouraged the soldiers to return to defend their trenches, although the French soldiers refused to participate in further offensive action.

Previously, British and French armies had operated under separate commands. In December, the Central Powers signed an armistice with Russia, thus freeing large numbers of German troops for use in the west.

With German reinforcements and new American troops pouring in, the outcome was to be decided on the Western Front.

The Central Powers knew that they could not win a protracted war, but they held high hopes for success based on a final quick offensive. Furthermore, both sides became increasingly fearful of social unrest and revolution in Europe.

Thus, both sides urgently sought a decisive victory. In , Emperor Charles I of Austria secretly attempted separate peace negotiations with Clemenceau, through his wife's brother Sixtus in Belgium as an intermediary, without the knowledge of Germany.

Italy opposed the proposals. When the negotiations failed, his attempt was revealed to Germany, resulting in a diplomatic catastrophe.

In early , the front line was extended and the Jordan Valley was occupied, following the First Transjordan and the Second Transjordan attacks by British Empire forces in March and April They were replaced by Indian Army units.

During several months of reorganisation and training of the summer, a number of attacks were carried out on sections of the Ottoman front line.

These pushed the front line north to more advantageous positions for the Entente in preparation for an attack and to acclimatise the newly arrived Indian Army infantry.

It was not until the middle of September that the integrated force was ready for large-scale operations. The reorganised Egyptian Expeditionary Force, with an additional mounted division, broke Ottoman forces at the Battle of Megiddo in September In two days the British and Indian infantry, supported by a creeping barrage, broke the Ottoman front line and captured the headquarters of the Eighth Army Ottoman Empire at Tulkarm , the continuous trench lines at Tabsor , Arara , and the Seventh Army Ottoman Empire headquarters at Nablus.

The Desert Mounted Corps rode through the break in the front line created by the infantry. Samakh and Tiberias on the Sea of Galilee were captured on the way northwards to Damascus.

The Armistice of Mudros , signed at the end of October, ended hostilities with the Ottoman Empire when fighting was continuing north of Aleppo.

At the outbreak of the war, the United States pursued a policy of non-intervention , avoiding conflict while trying to broker a peace.

Germany complied. Wilson unsuccessfully tried to mediate a settlement. However, he also repeatedly warned that the United States would not tolerate unrestricted submarine warfare, in violation of international law.

Former president Theodore Roosevelt denounced German acts as "piracy". In January , Germany decided to resume unrestricted submarine warfare, in the hopes of starving Britain into surrender.

Germany did this realising it would mean American entry. In return, the Germans would finance Mexico's war and help it recover the territories of Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona.

From there it made its way to President Wilson who released the Zimmermann note to the public, and Americans saw it as casus belli.

Wilson called on anti-war elements to end all wars, by winning this one and eliminating militarism from the globe.

He argued that the war was so important that the US had to have a voice in the peace conference.

The United States was never formally a member of the Allies but became a self-styled "Associated Power". The United States had a small army, but, after the passage of the Selective Service Act , it drafted 2.

German General Staff assumptions that it would be able to defeat the British and French forces before American troops reinforced them were proven incorrect.

Several regiments of US Marines were also dispatched to France. The British and French wanted American units used to reinforce their troops already on the battle lines and not waste scarce shipping on bringing over supplies.

General John J. As an exception, he did allow African-American combat regiments to be used in French divisions.

General Foch was appointed as supreme commander of the Allied forces. Haig, Petain, and Pershing retained tactical control of their respective armies; Foch assumed a co-ordinating rather than a directing role, and the British, French, and US commands operated largely independently.

General Foch pressed to use the arriving American troops as individual replacements, whereas Pershing still sought to field American units as an independent force.

These units were assigned to the depleted French and British Empire commands on 28 March Ludendorff drew up plans codenamed Operation Michael for the offensive on the Western Front.

The Spring Offensive sought to divide the British and French forces with a series of feints and advances. The German leadership hoped to end the war before significant US forces arrived.

The operation commenced on 21 March with an attack on British forces near Saint-Quentin. British and French trenches were penetrated using novel infiltration tactics , also named Hutier tactics after General Oskar von Hutier , by specially trained units called stormtroopers.

Previously, attacks had been characterised by long artillery bombardments and massed assaults. In the Spring Offensive of , however, Ludendorff used artillery only briefly and infiltrated small groups of infantry at weak points.

They attacked command and logistics areas and bypassed points of serious resistance. More heavily armed infantry then destroyed these isolated positions.

This German success relied greatly on the element of surprise. Many Germans thought victory was near. After heavy fighting, however, the offensive was halted.

Lacking tanks or motorised artillery , the Germans were unable to consolidate their gains. The problems of re-supply were also exacerbated by increasing distances that now stretched over terrain that was shell-torn and often impassable to traffic.

The Allies halted the drive after limited territorial gains by Germany. The resulting counter-attack, which started the Hundred Days Offensive , marked the first successful Allied offensive of the war.

By 20 July, the Germans had retreated across the Marne to their starting lines, [] having achieved little, and the German Army never regained the initiative.

German casualties between March and April were ,, including many highly trained stormtroopers. Meanwhile, Germany was falling apart at home.

Anti-war marches became frequent and morale in the army fell. Industrial output was half the levels.

In the late spring of , three new states were formed in the South Caucasus : the First Republic of Armenia , the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic , and the Democratic Republic of Georgia , which declared their independence from the Russian Empire.

Two other minor entities were established, the Centrocaspian Dictatorship and South West Caucasian Republic the former was liquidated by Azerbaijan in the autumn of and the latter by a joint Armenian-British task force in early With the withdrawal of the Russian armies from the Caucasus front in the winter of —18, the three major republics braced for an imminent Ottoman advance, which commenced in the early months of Solidarity was briefly maintained when the Transcaucasian Federative Republic was created in the spring of , but this collapsed in May, when the Georgians asked for and received protection from Germany and the Azerbaijanis concluded a treaty with the Ottoman Empire that was more akin to a military alliance.

Armenia was left to fend for itself and struggled for five months against the threat of a full-fledged occupation by the Ottoman Turks before defeating them at the Battle of Sardarabad.

The defenders displayed a marked collapse in morale, causing Ludendorff to refer to this day as the "Black Day of the German army".

Rather than continuing the Amiens battle past the point of initial success, as had been done so many times in the past, the Allies shifted attention elsewhere.

Allied leaders had now realised that to continue an attack after resistance had hardened was a waste of lives, and it was better to turn a line than to try to roll over it.

They began to undertake attacks in quick order to take advantage of successful advances on the flanks, then broke them off when each attack lost its initial impetus.

The day after the Offensive began, Ludendorff said: "We cannot win the war any more, but we must not lose it either.

We have nearly reached the limit of our powers of resistance. The war must be ended. Austria and Hungary warned that they could continue the war only until December, and Ludendorff recommended immediate peace negotiations.

Prince Rupprecht warned Prince Max of Baden: "Our military situation has deteriorated so rapidly that I no longer believe we can hold out over the winter; it is even possible that a catastrophe will come earlier.

British and Dominion forces launched the next phase of the campaign with the Battle of Albert on 21 August.

From German accounts, "Each day was spent in bloody fighting against an ever and again on-storming enemy, and nights passed without sleep in retirements to new lines.

Faced with these advances, on 2 September the German Supreme Army Command issued orders to withdraw in the south to the Hindenburg Line.

This ceded without a fight the salient seized the previous April. The German High Command realised that the war was lost and made attempts to reach a satisfactory end.

On 14 September Austria sent a note to all belligerents and neutrals suggesting a meeting for peace talks on neutral soil, and on 15 September Germany made a peace offer to Belgium.

Both peace offers were rejected. In September the Allies advanced to the Hindenburg Line in the north and centre.

The Germans had now retreated to positions along or behind the Hindenburg Line. That same day, Supreme Army Command informed the leaders in Berlin that armistice talks were inevitable.

The following week, co-operating French and American units broke through in Champagne at the Battle of Blanc Mont Ridge , forcing the Germans off the commanding heights, and closing towards the Belgian frontier.

When Bulgaria signed a separate armistice on 29 September, Ludendorff, having been under great stress for months, suffered something similar to a breakdown.

It was evident that Germany could no longer mount a successful defence. The collapse of the Balkans meant that Germany was about to lose its main supplies of oil and food.

Its reserves had been used up, even as US troops kept arriving at the rate of 10, per day. News of Germany's impending military defeat spread throughout the German armed forces.

The threat of mutiny was rife. Admiral Reinhard Scheer and Ludendorff decided to launch a last attempt to restore the "valour" of the German Navy.

In northern Germany, the German Revolution of — began at the end of October Units of the German Navy refused to set sail for a last, large-scale operation in a war they believed to be as good as lost, initiating the uprising.

With the military faltering and with widespread loss of confidence in the Kaiser leading to his abdication and fleeing of the country, Germany moved towards surrender.

Negotiations with President Wilson began immediately, in the hope that he would offer better terms than the British and French.

Wilson demanded a constitutional monarchy and parliamentary control over the German military. The Kaiser, kings and other hereditary rulers all were removed from power and Wilhelm fled to exile in the Netherlands.

The collapse of the Central Powers came swiftly. Bulgaria was the first to sign an armistice, the Armistice of Salonica on 29 September On 24 October, the Italians began a push that rapidly recovered territory lost after the Battle of Caporetto.

This culminated in the Battle of Vittorio Veneto, which marked the end of the Austro-Hungarian Army as an effective fighting force.

The offensive also triggered the disintegration of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. During the last week of October, declarations of independence were made in Budapest, Prague, and Zagreb.

On 29 October, the imperial authorities asked Italy for an armistice, but the Italians continued advancing, reaching Trento, Udine, and Trieste.

The terms, arranged by telegraph with the Allied Authorities in Paris, were communicated to the Austrian commander and accepted.

Austria and Hungary signed separate armistices following the overthrow of the Habsburg Monarchy. In the following days the Italian Army occupied Innsbruck and all Tyrol with over 20, soldiers.

During the six hours between the signing of the armistice and its taking effect, opposing armies on the Western Front began to withdraw from their positions, but fighting continued along many areas of the front, as commanders wanted to capture territory before the war ended.

The occupation of the Rhineland took place following the Armistice. The occupying armies consisted of American, Belgian, British and French forces.

In November , the Allies had ample supplies of men and materiel to invade Germany. These factors enabled Hindenburg and other senior German leaders to spread the story that their armies had not really been defeated.

This resulted in the stab-in-the-back legend , [] [] which attributed Germany's defeat not to its inability to continue fighting even though up to a million soldiers were suffering from the flu pandemic and unfit to fight , but to the public's failure to respond to its "patriotic calling" and the supposed intentional sabotage of the war effort, particularly by Jews, Socialists, and Bolsheviks.

The Allies had much more potential wealth they could spend on the war. In the aftermath of the war, four empires disappeared: the German, Austro-Hungarian, Ottoman, and Russian.

Numerous nations regained their former independence, and new ones were created. Four dynasties, together with their ancillary aristocracies, fell as a result of the war: the Romanovs , the Hohenzollerns , the Habsburgs , and the Ottomans.

Belgium and Serbia were badly damaged, as was France, with 1. Germany and Russia were similarly affected.

A formal state of war between the two sides persisted for another seven months, until the signing of the Treaty of Versailles with Germany on 28 June However, the negotiation of the treaty with the Ottoman Empire was followed by strife, and a final peace treaty between the Allied Powers and the country that would shortly become the Republic of Turkey was not signed until 24 July , at Lausanne.

Some war memorials date the end of the war as being when the Versailles Treaty was signed in , which was when many of the troops serving abroad finally returned home; by contrast, most commemorations of the war's end concentrate on the armistice of 11 November Legally, the formal peace treaties were not complete until the last, the Treaty of Lausanne, was signed.

Under its terms, the Allied forces left Constantinople on 23 August After the war, the Paris Peace Conference imposed a series of peace treaties on the Central Powers officially ending the war.

The Treaty of Versailles dealt with Germany and, building on Wilson's 14th point , brought into being the League of Nations on 28 June The Central Powers had to acknowledge responsibility for "all the loss and damage to which the Allied and Associated Governments and their nationals have been subjected as a consequence of the war imposed upon them by" their aggression.

In the Treaty of Versailles, this statement was Article This article became known as the War Guilt clause as the majority of Germans felt humiliated and resentful.

German historian Hagen Schulze said the Treaty placed Germany "under legal sanctions, deprived of military power, economically ruined, and politically humiliated.

Active denial of war guilt in Germany and German resentment at both reparations and continued Allied occupation of the Rhineland made widespread revision of the meaning and memory of the war problematic.

The legend of the " stab in the back " and the wish to revise the "Versailles diktat", and the belief in an international threat aimed at the elimination of the German nation persisted at the heart of German politics.

Even a man of peace such as [ Gustav ] Stresemann publicly rejected German guilt. As for the Nazis, they waved the banners of domestic treason and international conspiracy in an attempt to galvanise the German nation into a spirit of revenge.

Like a Fascist Italy, Nazi Germany sought to redirect the memory of the war to the benefit of its own policies. Meanwhile, new nations liberated from German rule viewed the treaty as recognition of wrongs committed against small nations by much larger aggressive neighbours.

However, owing to economic difficulties and Germany being the only defeated power with an intact economy, the burden fell largely on Germany.

Austria-Hungary was partitioned into several successor states, including Austria, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and Yugoslavia , largely but not entirely along ethnic lines.

Transylvania was shifted from Hungary to Greater Romania. As a result of the Treaty of Trianon , 3. Between and , , Hungarians fled former Hungarian territories attached to Romania, Czechoslovakia, and Yugoslavia.

The Russian Empire, which had withdrawn from the war in after the October Revolution, lost much of its western frontier as the newly independent nations of Estonia , Finland , Latvia , Lithuania , and Poland were carved from it.

Romania took control of Bessarabia in April The Ottoman Empire disintegrated, with much of its Levant territory awarded to various Allied powers as protectorates.

The Turkish core in Anatolia was reorganised as the Republic of Turkey. This treaty was never ratified by the Sultan and was rejected by the Turkish National Movement , leading to the victorious Turkish War of Independence and the much less stringent Treaty of Lausanne.

Though by most countries had made peace treaties, Andorra was an exception. Andorra declared war on Germany in August At that time, it had an army of part-time military men, commanded by two officials.

Andorra had a very small population, so it never sent soldiers to the battlefield. Andorra was therefore not allowed to attend the Treaty of Versailles.

The country finally concluded a peace treaty with Germany in After years, Poland re-emerged as an independent country.

The Kingdom of Serbia and its dynasty, as a "minor Entente nation" and the country with the most casualties per capita, [] [] [] became the backbone of a new multinational state, the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes , later renamed Yugoslavia.

Czechoslovakia, combining the Kingdom of Bohemia with parts of the Kingdom of Hungary, became a new nation. In the British Empire, the war unleashed new forms of nationalism.

It was the first major war in which the newly established countries fought, and it was one of the first times that Australian troops fought as Australians, not just subjects of the British Crown.

After the Battle of Vimy Ridge, where the Canadian divisions fought together for the first time as a single corps, Canadians began to refer to their country as a nation "forged from fire".

Canada entered the war as a Dominion of the British Empire and remained so, although it emerged with a greater measure of independence. Lobbying by Chaim Weizmann and fear that American Jews would encourage the United States to support Germany culminated in the British government's Balfour Declaration of , endorsing creation of a Jewish homeland in Palestine.

These continue to be problematic in the 21st-century struggles for national identity. The prestige of Germany and German things in Latin America remained high after the war but did not recover to its pre-war levels.

Germany lost The Australian prime minister, Billy Hughes , wrote to the British prime minister, Lloyd George , "You have assured us that you cannot get better terms.

I much regret it, and hope even now that some way may be found of securing agreement for demanding reparation commensurate with the tremendous sacrifices made by the British Empire and her Allies.

Diseases flourished in the chaotic wartime conditions. In alone, louse-borne epidemic typhus killed , in Serbia.

The social disruption and widespread violence of the Russian Revolution of and the ensuing Russian Civil War sparked more than 2, pogroms in the former Russian Empire, mostly in Ukraine.

In the aftermath of World War I, Greece fought against Turkish nationalists led by Mustafa Kemal , a war that eventually resulted in a massive population exchange between the two countries under the Treaty of Lausanne.

World War I began as a clash of 20th-century technology and 19th-century tactics , with the inevitably large ensuing casualties.

By the end of , however, the major armies, now numbering millions of men, had modernised and were making use of telephone, wireless communication , [] armoured cars , tanks , [] and aircraft.

Infantry formations were reorganised, so that man companies were no longer the main unit of manoeuvre; instead, squads of 10 or so men, under the command of a junior NCO, were favoured.

Artillery also underwent a revolution. In , cannons were positioned in the front line and fired directly at their targets.

By , indirect fire with guns as well as mortars and even machine guns was commonplace, using new techniques for spotting and ranging, notably aircraft and the often overlooked field telephone.

Germany was far ahead of the Allies in using heavy indirect fire. Much of the combat involved trench warfare, in which hundreds often died for each metre gained.

The Germans employed the Haber process of nitrogen fixation to provide their forces with a constant supply of gunpowder despite the British naval blockade.

The large number of head wounds caused by exploding shells and fragmentation forced the combatant nations to develop the modern steel helmet, led by the French, who introduced the Adrian helmet in It was quickly followed by the Brodie helmet , worn by British Imperial and US troops, and in by the distinctive German Stahlhelm , a design, with improvements, still in use today.

Quick, boys! Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light, As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

The widespread use of chemical warfare was a distinguishing feature of the conflict. Gases used included chlorine, mustard gas and phosgene.

Relatively few war casualties were caused by gas, [] as effective countermeasures to gas attacks were quickly created, such as gas masks.

The use of chemical warfare and small-scale strategic bombing as opposed to tactical bombing were both outlawed by the Hague Conventions of and , and both proved to be of limited effectiveness, [] though they captured the public imagination.

The most powerful land-based weapons were railway guns, weighing dozens of tons apiece. The British and the French sought a solution with the creation of the tank and mechanised warfare.

The British first tanks were used during the Battle of the Somme on 15 September Mechanical reliability was an issue, but the experiment proved its worth.

Meanwhile, the French introduced the first tanks with a rotating turret, the Renault FT , which became a decisive tool of the victory.

The conflict also saw the introduction of light automatic weapons and submachine guns , such as the Lewis Gun , the Browning Automatic Rifle , and the Bergmann MP Another new weapon, the flamethrower , was first used by the German army and later adopted by other forces.

Although not of high tactical value, the flamethrower was a powerful, demoralising weapon that caused terror on the battlefield.

Trench railways evolved to supply the enormous quantities of food, water, and ammunition required to support large numbers of soldiers in areas where conventional transportation systems had been destroyed.

On the Western Front neither side made impressive gains in the first three years of the war with attacks at Verdun, the Somme, Passchendaele, and Cambrai — the exception was Nivelle's Offensive in which the German defence gave ground while mauling the attackers so badly that there were mutinies in the French Army.

In the Germans smashed through the defence lines in three great attacks: Michael, on the Lys, and on the Aisne, which displayed the power of their new tactics.

The Allies struck back at Soissons , which showed the Germans that they must return to the defensive, and at Amiens; tanks played a prominent role in both these assaults, as they had the year before at Cambrai.

The areas in the East were larger. In a series of attacks along with the Bulgarians they occupied Serbia, Albania, Montenegro and most of Romania.

The Allies successes came later in Palestine , the beginning of the end for the Ottomans, in Macedonia, which drove the Bulgarians out of the war, and at Vittorio Veneto, the final blow for the Austro-Hungarians.

Germany deployed U-boats submarines after the war began. Alternating between restricted and unrestricted submarine warfare in the Atlantic, the Kaiserliche Marine employed them to deprive the British Isles of vital supplies.

The deaths of British merchant sailors and the seeming invulnerability of U-boats led to the development of depth charges , hydrophones passive sonar , , blimps, hunter-killer submarines HMS R-1 , , forward-throwing anti-submarine weapons , and dipping hydrophones the latter two both abandoned in Fixed-wing aircraft were first used militarily by the Italians in Libya on 23 October during the Italo-Turkish War for reconnaissance, soon followed by the dropping of grenades and aerial photography the next year.

By , their military utility was obvious. They were initially used for reconnaissance and ground attack. To shoot down enemy planes, anti-aircraft guns and fighter aircraft were developed.

Strategic bombers were created, principally by the Germans and British, though the former used Zeppelins as well.

Manned observation balloons , floating high above the trenches, were used as stationary reconnaissance platforms, reporting enemy movements and directing artillery.

Balloons commonly had a crew of two, equipped with parachutes , [] so that if there was an enemy air attack the crew could parachute to safety.

At the time, parachutes were too heavy to be used by pilots of aircraft with their marginal power output , and smaller versions were not developed until the end of the war; they were also opposed by the British leadership, who feared they might promote cowardice.

Recognised for their value as observation platforms, balloons were important targets for enemy aircraft. To defend them against air attack, they were heavily protected by antiaircraft guns and patrolled by friendly aircraft; to attack them, unusual weapons such as air-to-air rockets were tried.

Thus, the reconnaissance value of blimps and balloons contributed to the development of air-to-air combat between all types of aircraft, and to the trench stalemate, because it was impossible to move large numbers of troops undetected.

The Germans conducted air raids on England during and with airships, hoping to damage British morale and cause aircraft to be diverted from the front lines, and indeed the resulting panic led to the diversion of several squadrons of fighters from France.

All German survivors were summarily executed by Baralong ' s crew on the orders of Lieutenant Godfrey Herbert , the captain of the ship.

The shooting was reported to the media by American citizens who were on board the Nicosia , a British freighter loaded with war supplies, which was stopped by U just minutes before the incident.

On 24 September, Baralong destroyed U , which was in the process of sinking the cargo ship Urbino. According to Karl Goetz, the submarine's commander, Baralong continued to fly the US flag after firing on U and then rammed the lifeboat—carrying the German survivors—sinking it.

Only 24 of the medical personnel, patients, and crew survived. Survivors reported that the U-boat surfaced and ran down the lifeboats, machine-gunning survivors in the water.

The U-boat captain, Helmut Patzig , was charged with war crimes in Germany following the war, but escaped prosecution by going to the Free City of Danzig , beyond the jurisdiction of German courts.

After the war, the German government claimed that approximately , German civilians died from starvation and disease during the war because of the Allied blockade.

All food consigned to Germany through neutral ports was to be captured and all food consigned to Rotterdam was to be presumed consigned to Germany.

The German army was the first to successfully deploy chemical weapons during the Second Battle of Ypres 22 April — 25 May , after German scientists working under the direction of Fritz Haber at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute developed a method to weaponize chlorine.

The effect of poison gas was not limited to combatants. Civilians were at risk from the gases as winds blew the poison gases through their towns, and they rarely received warnings or alerts of potential danger.

In addition to absent warning systems, civilians often did not have access to effective gas masks.

An estimated ,—, civilian casualties were caused by chemical weapons during the conflict and tens of thousands more along with military personnel died from scarring of the lungs, skin damage, and cerebral damage in the years after the conflict ended.

Many commanders on both sides knew such weapons would cause major harm to civilians but nonetheless continued to use them.

British Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig wrote in his diary, "My officers and I were aware that such weapons would cause harm to women and children living in nearby towns, as strong winds were common in the battlefront.

However, because the weapon was to be directed against the enemy, none of us were overly concerned at all.

The war damaged chemistry's prestige in European societies, in particular the German variety.

The ethnic cleansing of the Ottoman Empire's Armenian population, including mass deportations and executions, during the final years of the Ottoman Empire is considered genocide.

The Armenians were intentionally marched to death and a number were attacked by Ottoman brigands. Other ethnic groups were similarly attacked by the Ottoman Empire during this period, including Assyrians and Greeks , and some scholars consider those events to be part of the same policy of extermination.

The German invaders treated any resistance—such as sabotaging rail lines—as illegal and immoral, and shot the offenders and burned buildings in retaliation.

In addition, they tended to suspect that most civilians were potential francs-tireurs guerrillas and, accordingly, took and sometimes killed hostages from among the civilian population.

The German army executed over 6, French and Belgian civilians between August and November , usually in near-random large-scale shootings of civilians ordered by junior German officers.

The German Army destroyed 15,—20, buildings—most famously the university library at Louvain —and generated a wave of refugees of over a million people.

Over half the German regiments in Belgium were involved in major incidents. British propaganda dramatising the Rape of Belgium attracted much attention in the United States, while Berlin said it was both lawful and necessary because of the threat of franc-tireurs like those in France in The British soldiers of the war were initially volunteers but increasingly were conscripted into service.

Surviving veterans, returning home, often found they could discuss their experiences only amongst themselves. Grouping together, they formed "veterans' associations" or "Legions".

A small number of personal accounts of American veterans have been collected by the Library of Congress Veterans History Project.

About eight million men surrendered and were held in POW camps during the war. All nations pledged to follow the Hague Conventions on fair treatment of prisoners of war , and the survival rate for POWs was generally much higher than that of combatants at the front.

At the siege of Maubeuge about 40, French soldiers surrendered, at the battle of Galicia Russians took about , to , Austrian captives, at the Brusilov Offensive about , to , Germans and Austrians surrendered to Russians, and at the Battle of Tannenberg 92, Russians surrendered.

When the besieged garrison of Kaunas surrendered in , some 20, Russians became prisoners, at the battle near Przasnysz February—March 14, Germans surrendered to Russians, and at the First Battle of the Marne about 12, Germans surrendered to the Allies.

Prisoners from the Allied armies totalled about 1. From the Central Powers about 3. Most were captured just before the Armistice.

The United States held 48, The most dangerous moment was the act of surrender, when helpless soldiers were sometimes gunned down.

A survivor said: "We were driven along like beasts; to drop out was to die. In Russia, when the prisoners from the Czech Legion of the Austro-Hungarian army were released in , they re-armed themselves and briefly became a military and diplomatic force during the Russian Civil War.

While the Allied prisoners of the Central Powers were quickly sent home at the end of active hostilities, the same treatment was not granted to Central Power prisoners of the Allies and Russia, many of whom served as forced labour , e.

Military and civilian observers from every major power closely followed the course of the war. Many were able to report on events from a perspective somewhat akin to modern " embedded " positions within the opposing land and naval forces.

In the Middle East, Arab nationalism soared in Ottoman territories in response to the rise of Turkish nationalism during the war, with Arab nationalist leaders advocating the creation of a pan-Arab state.

In , the Arab Revolt began in Ottoman-controlled territories of the Middle East in an effort to achieve independence.

Lawrence forged the Iyasu photo. A number of socialist parties initially supported the war when it began in August Italian nationalism was stirred by the outbreak of the war and was initially strongly supported by a variety of political factions.

One of the most prominent and popular Italian nationalist supporters of the war was Gabriele d'Annunzio , who promoted Italian irredentism and helped sway the Italian public to support intervention in the war.

Once war was declared, many socialists and trade unions backed their governments. In stark contrast to his predecessor , [] five days after his election he spoke of his determination to do what he could to bring peace.

Benedict XV found his abilities and unique position as a religious emissary of peace ignored by the belligerent powers.

The Treaty of London between Italy and the Triple Entente included secret provisions whereby the Allies agreed with Italy to ignore papal peace moves towards the Central Powers.

Consequently, the publication of Benedict's proposed seven-point Peace Note of August was roundly ignored by all parties except Austria-Hungary.

Head of the British Army, Lord Kitchener , was to review the cadets , but the imminence of the war prevented him.

General Horace Smith-Dorrien was sent instead. He surprised the two-or-three thousand cadets by declaring in the words of Donald Christopher Smith, a Bermudian cadet who was present ,.

In our ignorance I, and many of us, felt almost ashamed of a British General who uttered such depressing and unpatriotic sentiments, but during the next four years, those of us who survived the holocaust—probably not more than one-quarter of us—learned how right the General's prognosis was and how courageous he had been to utter it.

Many countries jailed those who spoke out against the conflict. In the US, the Espionage Act of and Sedition Act of made it a federal crime to oppose military recruitment or make any statements deemed "disloyal".

Publications at all critical of the government were removed from circulation by postal censors, [] and many served long prison sentences for statements of fact deemed unpatriotic.

A number of nationalists opposed intervention, particularly within states that the nationalists were hostile to.

Although the vast majority of Irish people consented to participate in the war in and , a minority of advanced Irish nationalists staunchly opposed taking part.

Irish nationalists and Marxists attempted to pursue Irish independence, culminating in the Easter Rising of , with Germany sending 20, rifles to Ireland to stir unrest in Britain.

Other opposition came from conscientious objectors —some socialist, some religious—who refused to fight.

In Britain, 16, people asked for conscientious objector status. Even after the war, in Britain many job advertisements were marked "No conscientious objectors need apply".

The Central Asian Revolt started in the summer of , when the Russian Empire government ended its exemption of Muslims from military service.

In , a series of French Army Mutinies led to dozens of soldiers being executed and many more imprisoned. On 1—4 May , about , workers and soldiers of Petrograd , and after them, the workers and soldiers of other Russian cities, led by the Bolsheviks, demonstrated under banners reading "Down with the war!

Almost 50 people including three Italian soldiers were killed and over people arrested. In September , Russian soldiers in France began questioning why they were fighting for the French at all and mutinied.

The German Revolution of led to the abdication of the Kaiser and German surrender. Conscription was common in most European countries.

However, it was controversial in English-speaking countries. It was especially unpopular among minority ethnic groups—especially the Irish Catholics in Ireland and Australia, [] and the French Catholics in Canada.

In Canada the issue produced a major political crisis that permanently alienated the Francophones.

It opened a political gap between French Canadians , who believed their true loyalty was to Canada and not to the British Empire, and members of the Anglophone majority, who saw the war as a duty to their British heritage.

Australia had a form of conscription at the outbreak of the war, as compulsory military training had been introduced in However, the Defence Act provided that unexempted males could be called upon only for home defence during times of war, not overseas service.

Prime Minister Billy Hughes wished to amend the legislation to require conscripts to serve overseas, and held two non-binding referendums — one in and one in — in order to secure public support.

Hughes and his supporters were expelled from the party, forming the National Labor Party and then the Nationalist Party. Despite the referendum results, the Nationalists won a landslide victory at the federal election.

In Britain, conscription resulted in the calling up of nearly every physically fit man in Britain—six of ten million eligible.

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The two nations then fought several battles, in Shanghai , Rehe and Hebei , until the Tanggu Truce was signed in Thereafter, Chinese volunteer forces continued the resistance to Japanese aggression in Manchuria , and Chahar and Suiyuan.

The war began with the invasion of the Ethiopian Empire also known as Abyssinia by the armed forces of the Kingdom of Italy Regno d'Italia , which was launched from Italian Somaliland and Eritrea.

Both Italy and Ethiopia were member nations, but the League did little when the former clearly violated Article X of the League's Covenant.

When civil war broke out in Spain, Hitler and Mussolini lent military support to the Nationalist rebels , led by General Francisco Franco.

Italy supported the Nationalists to a greater extent than the Nazis did: altogether Mussolini sent to Spain more than 70, ground troops and 6, aviation personnel, as well as about aircraft.

More than 30, foreign volunteers, known as the International Brigades , also fought against the Nationalists.

Both Germany and the Soviet Union used this proxy war as an opportunity to test in combat their most advanced weapons and tactics.

In July , Japan captured the former Chinese imperial capital of Peking after instigating the Marco Polo Bridge Incident , which culminated in the Japanese campaign to invade all of China.

The Japanese continued to push the Chinese forces back, capturing the capital Nanking in December After the fall of Nanking, tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of Chinese civilians and disarmed combatants were murdered by the Japanese.

In March , Nationalist Chinese forces won their first major victory at Taierzhuang but then the city of Xuzhou was taken by Japanese in May.

In the mid-to-late s, Japanese forces in Manchukuo had sporadic border clashes with the Soviet Union and Mongolia.

The Japanese doctrine of Hokushin-ron , which emphasised Japan's expansion northward, was favoured by the Imperial Army during this time.

With the Japanese defeat at Khalkin Gol in , the ongoing Second Sino-Japanese War [45] and ally Nazi Germany pursuing neutrality with the Soviets, this policy would prove difficult to maintain.

Japan and the Soviet Union eventually signed a Neutrality Pact in April , and Japan adopted the doctrine of Nanshin-ron , promoted by the Navy, which took its focus southward, eventually leading to its war with the United States and the Western Allies.

In Europe, Germany and Italy were becoming more aggressive. In March , Germany annexed Austria , again provoking little response from other European powers.

Soon the United Kingdom and France followed the appeasement policy of British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain and conceded this territory to Germany in the Munich Agreement , which was made against the wishes of the Czechoslovak government, in exchange for a promise of no further territorial demands.

Although all of Germany's stated demands had been satisfied by the agreement, privately Hitler was furious that British interference had prevented him from seizing all of Czechoslovakia in one operation.

In subsequent speeches Hitler attacked British and Jewish "war-mongers" and in January secretly ordered a major build-up of the German navy to challenge British naval supremacy.

In March , Germany invaded the remainder of Czechoslovakia and subsequently split it into the German Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia and a pro-German client state , the Slovak Republic.

Greatly alarmed and with Hitler making further demands on the Free City of Danzig , the United Kingdom and France guaranteed their support for Polish independence ; when Italy conquered Albania in April , the same guarantee was extended to Romania and Greece.

The situation reached a general crisis in late August as German troops continued to mobilise against the Polish border.

On 23 August, when tripartite negotiations about a military alliance between France, the United Kingdom and Soviet Union stalled, [56] the Soviet Union signed a non-aggression pact with Germany.

Immediately after that, Hitler ordered the attack to proceed on 26 August, but upon hearing that the United Kingdom had concluded a formal mutual assistance pact with Poland, and that Italy would maintain neutrality, he decided to delay it.

In response to British requests for direct negotiations to avoid war, Germany made demands on Poland, which only served as a pretext to worsen relations.

On 1 September , Germany invaded Poland after having staged several false flag border incidents as a pretext to initiate the attack.

The alliance provided no direct military support to Poland, outside of a cautious French probe into the Saarland.

On 8 September, German troops reached the suburbs of Warsaw. The Polish counter offensive to the west halted the German advance for several days, but it was outflanked and encircled by the Wehrmacht.

Remnants of the Polish army broke through to besieged Warsaw. On 17 September , after signing a cease-fire with Japan , the Soviets invaded Eastern Poland [67] under a pretext that the Polish state had ostensibly ceased to exist.

Despite the military defeat, Poland never surrendered; instead it formed the Polish government-in-exile and a clandestine state apparatus remained in occupied Poland.

Germany annexed the western and occupied the central part of Poland, and the Soviet Union annexed its eastern part; small shares of Polish territory were transferred to Lithuania and Slovakia.

On 6 October, Hitler made a public peace overture to the United Kingdom and France but said that the future of Poland was to be determined exclusively by Germany and the Soviet Union.

The proposal was rejected, [61] and Hitler ordered an immediate offensive against France, [71] which would be postponed until the spring of due to bad weather.

The Soviet Union forced the Baltic countries —Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, the states that were in the Soviet "sphere of influence" under the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact—to sign "mutual assistance pacts" that stipulated stationing Soviet troops in these countries.

Soon after, significant Soviet military contingents were moved there. Meanwhile, Nazi-Soviet political rapprochement and economic co-operation [81] [82] gradually stalled, [83] [84] and both states began preparations for war.

In April , Germany invaded Denmark and Norway to protect shipments of iron ore from Sweden , which the Allies were attempting to cut off.

On the same day, Germany launched an offensive against France. To circumvent the strong Maginot Line fortifications on the Franco-German border, Germany directed its attack at the neutral nations of Belgium , the Netherlands , and Luxembourg.

The United Kingdom was able to evacuate a significant number of Allied troops from the continent by early June, although abandoning almost all their equipment.

Eight days later France signed an armistice with Germany ; it was divided into German and Italian occupation zones , [95] and an unoccupied rump state under the Vichy Regime , which, though officially neutral, was generally aligned with Germany.

The Battle of Britain [97] began in early July with Luftwaffe attacks on shipping and harbours.

The German strategic bombing offensive intensified with night attacks on London and other cities in the Blitz , but failed to significantly disrupt the British war effort [98] and largely ended in May Using newly captured French ports, the German Navy enjoyed success against an over-extended Royal Navy , using U-boats against British shipping in the Atlantic.

In November , the United States was taking measures to assist China and the Western Allies, and amended the Neutrality Act to allow "cash and carry" purchases by the Allies.

The Tripartite Pact stipulated that any country, with the exception of the Soviet Union, which attacked any Axis Power would be forced to go to war against all three.

In late summer through early autumn Italy conquered British Somaliland and made an incursion into British-held Egypt. In October Italy attacked Greece , but the attack was repulsed with heavy Italian casualties; the campaign ended within months with minor territorial changes.

The Italian Navy also suffered significant defeats, with the Royal Navy putting three Italian battleships out of commission by a carrier attack at Taranto and neutralising several more warships at the Battle of Cape Matapan.

Italian defeats prompted Germany to deploy an expeditionary force to North Africa, and at the end of March Rommel 's Afrika Korps launched an offensive which drove back the Commonwealth forces.

By late March Bulgaria and Yugoslavia signed the Tripartite Pact ; however, the Yugoslav government was overthrown two days later by pro-British nationalists.

Germany responded with simultaneous invasions of both Yugoslavia and Greece , commencing on 6 April ; both nations were forced to surrender within the month.

In the Middle East, in May Commonwealth forces quashed an uprising in Iraq which had been supported by German aircraft from bases within Vichy-controlled Syria.

With the Soviets wary of mounting tensions with Germany and the Japanese planning to take advantage of the European War by seizing resource-rich European possessions in Southeast Asia , the two powers signed the Soviet—Japanese Neutrality Pact in April Hitler believed that the United Kingdom's refusal to end the war was based on the hope that the United States and the Soviet Union would enter the war against Germany sooner or later.

In November , negotiations took place to determine if the Soviet Union would join the Tripartite Pact.

The Soviets showed some interest but asked for concessions from Finland, Bulgaria, Turkey, and Japan that Germany considered unacceptable.

On 18 December , Hitler issued the directive to prepare for an invasion of the Soviet Union. They were joined shortly by Finland and Hungary.

Hitler's objectives were to eliminate the Soviet Union as a military power, exterminate Communism, generate Lebensraum "living space" [] by dispossessing the native population [] and guarantee access to the strategic resources needed to defeat Germany's remaining rivals.

Although the Red Army was preparing for strategic counter-offensives before the war, [] Barbarossa forced the Soviet supreme command to adopt a strategic defence.

During the summer, the Axis made significant gains into Soviet territory, inflicting immense losses in both personnel and materiel.

By mid-August, however, the German Army High Command decided to suspend the offensive of a considerably depleted Army Group Centre , and to divert the 2nd Panzer Group to reinforce troops advancing towards central Ukraine and Leningrad.

The diversion of three quarters of the Axis troops and the majority of their air forces from France and the central Mediterranean to the Eastern Front [] prompted the United Kingdom to reconsider its grand strategy.

By October Axis operational objectives in Ukraine and the Baltic region were achieved, with only the sieges of Leningrad [] and Sevastopol continuing.

The blitzkrieg phase of the war in Europe had ended. By early December, freshly mobilised reserves [] allowed the Soviets to achieve numerical parity with Axis troops.

In , the United States had renounced its trade treaty with Japan, and beginning with an aviation gasoline ban in July , Japan became subject to increasing economic pressure.

To increase pressure on China by blocking supply routes, and to better position Japanese forces in the event of a war with the Western powers, Japan invaded and occupied northern Indochina.

Chinese nationalist forces launched a large-scale counter-offensive in early In August, Chinese communists launched an offensive in Central China ; in retaliation, Japan instituted harsh measures in occupied areas to reduce human and material resources for the communists.

German successes in Europe encouraged Japan to increase pressure on European governments in Southeast Asia.

The Dutch government agreed to provide Japan some oil supplies from the Dutch East Indies , but negotiations for additional access to their resources ended in failure in June The United States, United Kingdom, and other Western governments reacted to this move with a freeze on Japanese assets and a total oil embargo.

Since early the United States and Japan had been engaged in negotiations in an attempt to improve their strained relations and end the war in China.

During these negotiations, Japan advanced a number of proposals which were dismissed by the Americans as inadequate. Frustrated at the lack of progress and feeling the pinch of the American—British—Dutch sanctions, Japan prepared for war.

On 20 November, a new government under Hideki Tojo presented an interim proposal as its final offer. It called for the end of American aid to China and for lifting the embargo on the supply of oil and other resources to Japan.

In exchange, Japan promised not to launch any attacks in Southeast Asia and to withdraw its forces from southern Indochina.

Japan planned to rapidly seize European colonies in Asia to create a large defensive perimeter stretching into the Central Pacific.

The Japanese would then be free to exploit the resources of Southeast Asia while exhausting the over-stretched Allies by fighting a defensive war.

These attacks led the United States , United Kingdom , China, Australia, and several other states to formally declare war on Japan, whereas the Soviet Union, being heavily involved in large-scale hostilities with European Axis countries, maintained its neutrality agreement with Japan.

On 1 January , the Allied Big Four [] —the Soviet Union, China, the United Kingdom and the United States—and 22 smaller or exiled governments issued the Declaration by United Nations , thereby affirming the Atlantic Charter , [] and agreeing not to sign a separate peace with the Axis powers.

During , Allied officials debated on the appropriate grand strategy to pursue. All agreed that defeating Germany was the primary objective.

The Americans favoured a straightforward, large-scale attack on Germany through France. The Soviets were also demanding a second front. The British, on the other hand, argued that military operations should target peripheral areas to wear out German strength, leading to increasing demoralisation, and bolster resistance forces.

Germany itself would be subject to a heavy bombing campaign. An offensive against Germany would then be launched primarily by Allied armour without using large-scale armies.

At the Casablanca Conference in early , the Allies reiterated the statements issued in the Declaration, and demanded the unconditional surrender of their enemies.

The British and Americans agreed to continue to press the initiative in the Mediterranean by invading Sicily to fully secure the Mediterranean supply routes.

By the end of April , Japan and its ally Thailand had almost fully conquered Burma , Malaya , the Dutch East Indies , Singapore , and Rabaul , inflicting severe losses on Allied troops and taking a large number of prisoners.

In early May , Japan initiated operations to capture Port Moresby by amphibious assault and thus sever communications and supply lines between the United States and Australia.

The planned invasion was thwarted when an Allied task force, centred on two American fleet carriers, fought Japanese naval forces to a draw in the Battle of the Coral Sea.

With its capacity for aggressive action greatly diminished as a result of the Midway battle, Japan chose to focus on a belated attempt to capture Port Moresby by an overland campaign in the Territory of Papua.

Both plans started in July, but by mid-September, the Battle for Guadalcanal took priority for the Japanese, and troops in New Guinea were ordered to withdraw from the Port Moresby area to the northern part of the island , where they faced Australian and United States troops in the Battle of Buna-Gona.

By the start of , the Japanese were defeated on the island and withdrew their troops. The first, an offensive into the Arakan region in late , went disastrously, forcing a retreat back to India by May Despite considerable losses, in early Germany and its allies stopped a major Soviet offensive in central and southern Russia, keeping most territorial gains they had achieved during the previous year.

The Soviets decided to make their stand at Stalingrad on the Volga. By mid-November, the Germans had nearly taken Stalingrad in bitter street fighting.

The Soviets began their second winter counter-offensive, starting with an encirclement of German forces at Stalingrad , [] and an assault on the Rzhev salient near Moscow , though the latter failed disastrously.

In mid-February, after the Soviet push had tapered off, the Germans launched another attack on Kharkov , creating a salient in their front line around the Soviet city of Kursk.

Exploiting poor American naval command decisions, the German navy ravaged Allied shipping off the American Atlantic coast. In August , the Allies succeeded in repelling a second attack against El Alamein [] and, at a high cost, managed to deliver desperately needed supplies to the besieged Malta.

In June the British and Americans began a strategic bombing campaign against Germany with a goal to disrupt the war economy, reduce morale, and " de-house " the civilian population.

After the Guadalcanal Campaign, the Allies initiated several operations against Japan in the Pacific. In the Soviet Union, both the Germans and the Soviets spent the spring and early summer of preparing for large offensives in central Russia.

Within a week, German forces had exhausted themselves against the Soviets' deeply echeloned and well-constructed defences, [] and for the first time in the war Hitler cancelled the operation before it had achieved tactical or operational success.

On 12 July , the Soviets launched their own counter-offensives , thereby dispelling any chance of German victory or even stalemate in the east.

The Western Allies fought through several lines until reaching the main German defensive line in mid-November. German operations in the Atlantic also suffered.

By May , as Allied counter-measures became increasingly effective , the resulting sizeable German submarine losses forced a temporary halt of the German Atlantic naval campaign.

From November , during the seven-week Battle of Changde , the Chinese forced Japan to fight a costly war of attrition, while awaiting Allied relief.

On 27 January , Soviet troops launched a major offensive that expelled German forces from the Leningrad region , thereby ending the most lethal siege in history.

This delay slowed subsequent Soviet operations in the Baltic Sea region. The Allies had mixed success in mainland Asia.

In March , the Japanese launched the first of two invasions, an operation against British positions in Assam, India , [] and soon besieged Commonwealth positions at Imphal and Kohima.

After reassigning several Allied divisions from Italy, they also attacked southern France. Paris was liberated on 25 August by the local resistance assisted by the Free French Forces , both led by General Charles de Gaulle , [] and the Western Allies continued to push back German forces in western Europe during the latter part of the year.

An attempt to advance into northern Germany spearheaded by a major airborne operation in the Netherlands failed. In Italy, Allied advance also slowed due to the last major German defensive line.

In northern Serbia , the Soviet Red Army , with limited support from Bulgarian forces, assisted the Partisans in a joint liberation of the capital city of Belgrade on 20 October.

A few days later, the Soviets launched a massive assault against German-occupied Hungary that lasted until the fall of Budapest in February In the Pacific, US forces continued to press back the Japanese perimeter.

In mid-June , they began their offensive against the Mariana and Palau islands , and decisively defeated Japanese forces in the Battle of the Philippine Sea.

These defeats led to the resignation of the Japanese Prime Minister, Hideki Tojo , and provided the United States with air bases to launch intensive heavy bomber attacks on the Japanese home islands.

In late October, American forces invaded the Filipino island of Leyte ; soon after, Allied naval forces scored another large victory in the Battle of Leyte Gulf , one of the largest naval battles in history.

On 16 December , Germany made a last attempt on the Western Front by using most of its remaining reserves to launch a massive counter-offensive in the Ardennes and along with the French-German border to split the Western Allies, encircle large portions of Western Allied troops and capture their primary supply port at Antwerp to prompt a political settlement.

They agreed on the occupation of post-war Germany, and on when the Soviet Union would join the war against Japan. In two weeks, the offensive had been repulsed, the Soviets advanced to Vienna , and captured the city.

In early April, Soviet troops captured Königsberg , while the Western Allies finally pushed forward in Italy and swept across western Germany capturing Hamburg and Nuremberg.

American and Soviet forces met at the Elbe river on 25 April, leaving several unoccupied pockets in southern Germany and around Berlin.

Soviet and Polish forces stormed and captured Berlin in late April. In Italy, German forces surrendered on 29 April.

On 30 April, the Reichstag was captured, signalling the military defeat of Nazi Germany, [] Berlin garrison surrendered on 2 May.

Several changes in leadership occurred during this period. Benito Mussolini was killed by Italian partisans on 28 April.

In the Pacific theatre, American forces accompanied by the forces of the Philippine Commonwealth advanced in the Philippines , clearing Leyte by the end of April They landed on Luzon in January and recaptured Manila in March.

Fighting continued on Luzon, Mindanao , and other islands of the Philippines until the end of the war. A devastating bombing raid on Tokyo of 9—10 March was the deadliest conventional bombing raid in history.

In May , Australian troops landed in Borneo , over-running the oilfields there. American naval and amphibious forces also moved towards Japan, taking Iwo Jima by March, and Okinawa by the end of June.

On 11 July, Allied leaders met in Potsdam, Germany. They confirmed earlier agreements about Germany, [] and the American, British and Chinese governments reiterated the demand for unconditional surrender of Japan, specifically stating that "the alternative for Japan is prompt and utter destruction".

The call for unconditional surrender was rejected by the Japanese government, which believed it would be capable of negotiating for more favourable surrender terms.

Between the two bombings, the Soviets, pursuant to the Yalta agreement, invaded Japanese-held Manchuria and quickly defeated the Kwantung Army , which was the largest Japanese fighting force.

The Allies established occupation administrations in Austria and Germany. The former became a neutral state, non-aligned with any political bloc.

The latter was divided into western and eastern occupation zones controlled by the Western Allies and the Soviet Union.

A denazification programme in Germany led to the prosecution of Nazi war criminals in the Nuremberg trials and the removal of ex-Nazis from power, although this policy moved towards amnesty and re-integration of ex-Nazis into West German society.

Germany lost a quarter of its pre-war territory. Among the eastern territories, Silesia , Neumark and most of Pomerania were taken over by Poland, [] and East Prussia was divided between Poland and the Soviet Union, followed by the expulsion to Germany of the nine million Germans from these provinces, [] [] as well as three million Germans from the Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia.

By the s, one-fifth of West Germans were refugees from the east. The Soviet Union also took over the Polish provinces east of the Curzon line , [] from which 2 million Poles were expelled ; [] [] north-east Romania, [] [] parts of eastern Finland, [] and the three Baltic states were incorporated into the Soviet Union.

In an effort to maintain world peace , [] the Allies formed the United Nations , which officially came into existence on 24 October , [] and adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in as a common standard for all member nations.

The alliance between the Western Allies and the Soviet Union had begun to deteriorate even before the war was over.

Germany had been de facto divided, and two independent states, the Federal Republic of Germany West Germany and the German Democratic Republic East Germany , [] were created within the borders of Allied and Soviet occupation zones.

The rest of Europe was also divided into Western and Soviet spheres of influence. Communist Yugoslavia conducted a fully independent policy , causing tension with the Soviet Union.

Separate republics emerged on both sides of the 38th parallel in , each claiming to be the legitimate government for all of Korea, which led ultimately to the Korean War.

In China, nationalist and communist forces resumed the civil war in June Communist forces were victorious and established the People's Republic of China on the mainland, while nationalist forces retreated to Taiwan in While European powers attempted to retain some or all of their colonial empires , their losses of prestige and resources during the war rendered this unsuccessful, leading to decolonisation.

The global economy suffered heavily from the war, although participating nations were affected differently.

The United States emerged much richer than any other nation, leading to a baby boom , and by its gross domestic product per person was much higher than that of any of the other powers, and it dominated the world economy.

Recovery began with the mid currency reform in Western Germany , and was sped up by the liberalisation of European economic policy that the Marshall Plan — both directly and indirectly caused.

The Soviet Union, despite enormous human and material losses, also experienced rapid increase in production in the immediate post-war era.

Estimates for the total number of casualties in the war vary, because many deaths went unrecorded.

General Yasuji Okamura implemented the policy in Heipei and Shantung. Axis forces employed biological and chemical weapons.

The Imperial Japanese Army used a variety of such weapons during its invasion and occupation of China see Unit [] [] and in early conflicts against the Soviets.

The Soviet Union was responsible for the Katyn massacre of 22, Polish officers, [] and the imprisonment or execution of thousands of political prisoners by the NKVD , along with mass civilian deportations to Siberia , in the Baltic states and eastern Poland annexed by the Red Army.

The Soviet Gulag became a de facto system of deadly camps during —43, when wartime privation and hunger caused numerous deaths of inmates, [] including foreign citizens of Poland and other countries occupied in —40 by the Soviet Union, as well as Axis POWs.

Japanese prisoner-of-war camps , many of which were used as labour camps, also had high death rates. About , of these Javanese labourers were sent to other Japanese-held areas in South East Asia, and only 52, were repatriated to Java.

In Europe, occupation came under two forms. In Western, Northern, and Central Europe France, Norway, Denmark, the Low Countries, and the annexed portions of Czechoslovakia Germany established economic policies through which it collected roughly In the East, the intended gains of Lebensraum were never attained as fluctuating front-lines and Soviet scorched earth policies denied resources to the German invaders.

In Asia, Japan termed nations under its occupation as being part of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere , essentially a Japanese hegemony which it claimed was for purposes of liberating colonised peoples.

In Europe, before the outbreak of the war, the Allies had significant advantages in both population and economics.

In , the Western Allies United Kingdom, France, Poland and the British Dominions had a 30 per cent larger population and a 30 per cent higher gross domestic product than the European Axis powers Germany and Italy ; if colonies are included, the Allies had more than a advantage in population and a nearly advantage in GDP.

The United States produced about two-thirds of all the munitions used by the Allies in WWII, including warships, transports, warplanes, artillery, tanks, trucks, and ammunition.

Additionally, neither Germany nor Japan planned to fight a protracted war, and had not equipped themselves to do so. Aircraft were used for reconnaissance , as fighters , bombers , and ground-support , and each role was advanced considerably.

Innovation included airlift the capability to quickly move limited high-priority supplies, equipment, and personnel ; [] and of strategic bombing the bombing of enemy industrial and population centres to destroy the enemy's ability to wage war.

The use of the jet aircraft was pioneered and, though late introduction meant it had little impact, it led to jets becoming standard in air forces worldwide.

Advances were made in nearly every aspect of naval warfare , most notably with aircraft carriers and submarines.

Although aeronautical warfare had relatively little success at the start of the war, actions at Taranto , Pearl Harbor , and the Coral Sea established the carrier as the dominant capital ship in place of the battleship.

The British focused development on anti-submarine weaponry and tactics, such as sonar and convoys, while Germany focused on improving its offensive capability, with designs such as the Type VII submarine and wolfpack tactics.

The tank , which had been used predominantly for infantry support in the First World War, had evolved into the primary weapon.

This, along with Germany's use of combined arms, were among the key elements of their highly successful blitzkrieg tactics across Poland and France.

Most major belligerents attempted to solve the problems of complexity and security involved in using large codebooks for cryptography by designing ciphering machines, the most well known being the German Enigma machine.

Notable examples were the Allied decryption of Japanese naval codes [] and British Ultra , a pioneering method for decoding Enigma benefiting from information given to the United Kingdom by the Polish Cipher Bureau , which had been decoding early versions of Enigma before the war.

Other technological and engineering feats achieved during, or as a result of, the war include the world's first programmable computers Z3 , Colossus , and ENIAC , guided missiles and modern rockets , the Manhattan Project 's development of nuclear weapons , operations research and the development of artificial harbours and oil pipelines under the English Channel.

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