Second World War
World War II, or the Second World War, was a global military clash lasting from 1939 to 1945 which involved most of the world's nations, including all of the huge powers, organised into two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. It was the most widespread war in history, with more than 100 million military personnel mobilised.

In a state of "total war," the major participants placed their complete economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities at the service of the war effort, erasing the difference between civilian and military resources. Marked by significant action against civilians, including the Holocaust and the only use of nuclear weapons in warfare, it was the deadliest clash in history. The war is generally accepted to have begun on 1 September 1939, with the invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany and following declarations of war on Germany by France and most of the countries of the British Empire and Commonwealth.

China and Japan were already at war by this date, whereas other countries that were not initially involved joined the war later in answer to events such as the German invasion of the Soviet Union and the Japanese attacks on the U.S. Pacific navy at Pearl Harbor and on British overseas colonies, which triggered declarations of war on Japan by the United States, the British Commonwealth, and the Netherlands. The war ended with the whole victory of the Allies over Germany and Japan in 1945.

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