History of War



World War II: Overview

World War II Statistics

Total military deaths: 22,000,000 to 30,000,000

Total civilian deaths due to military activity: 19,000,000
to 30,000,000

Total civilian deaths due to war-related famine and disease:
19,000,000 to 25,000,000

Total deaths: 60,000,000 to 85,000,000

Total Soviet deaths: 21,800,000 to 28,000,000

Total American deaths: 420,000

Total German deaths: 7,000,000 to 9,000,000

Estimated percentage of European Jewish population killed in the Holocaust:

Poltical Context

After the heavy reparation payments and border changes negotiated in the Treaty of Versailles, Germany was in an awful state after World War I.  Poverty, unemployment, and crime were massive problems in the 1920s for Germany. The opportunity and hope inspired by fervent Nazi nationalism combined with built-up blame and hatred towards the Jewish population, allowed the country united around Adolf Hitler.  Meanwhile, the Great Depression of the 30s devastated other Western powers’ economies just as Germany’s was picking up.  With concerted military development under Hitler’s rule, Nazi Germany was arming itself for an extended military campaign, basically from 1933-onward.

Japan on the other hand was already at war with China trying to take advantage of the discord that was present in Eastern Asia due to the Chinese Civil War.  Italy was also under the rule of a fascist state under Benito Mussolini, who had done a successful job uniting the country around the ideals of restoring Italy to its former glory of the Roman Empire.WWII paratroopers  These three countries, all trying to expand their own respective empires, formed the Axis alliance.  If Germany had kept its armistice agreement with the USSR and merely focused on conquering Western Europe, and defeating the British, there is a good chance the war could have had ended with a very different result.

The breaking of the pact with Europe along with the attack on Pearl Harbour were the two biggest mistakes of the Axis forces during the war. Once the Americans joined the British in the West against the Germans, and starting fighting the Japanese in the Pacific, the end of the war was inevitable, especially with the Soviets forcing the Germans into retreat in the East. Because of the atrocities of the Holocaust and their roles as the initial aggressors in World War II, the Germans and their Axis allies have been labelled as the villains by history, however, the relentless area bombing and fire-bombing campaigns executed by the Americans and British forces, as well as Joseph Stalin's brutal massacre of his own people during the war should not be forgotten either.


Nations Involved

Primary Allied Powers:

UK flag US Flag Soviet Flag Republic of China Flag
Great Britain United States Soviet Union Republic of China


Primary Axis Powers:

Nazi Germany flag Italian Flag Japanese flag
Nazi Germany Italy Japan



Key Players

Allied Leaders:

Churchill FDR Stalin Chiang_Kai-shek
Winston Churchill Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) Joseph Stalin Chiang Kai-shek
English Prime-Minister
(1940-1945, 1951-1955)
American President
Premier of the Soviet Union (1922-1952) President of the
Republic of China


Axis Leaders:

Hitler Mussolini Hirohito
Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hirohito
Fuhrer of Germany (1934-1945) Prime Minister of Italy
Emperor of Japan (1926-1989)