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World War II Main Facts

World War II, the name commonly given to the global conflict of 1939-1945. It was the greatest and most destructive war in history. Whereas military operations in World War I were conducted primarily on the European continent, World War II included gigantic struggles not only in Europe but in Asia, Africa, and the far-flung islands of the Pacific as well. More than 17 million members of the armed forces of the various belligerents perished during the conflict. Its conduct strained the economic capabilities of the major nations and left many countries on the edge of collapse.

The events leading to World War II, its military operations, diplomacy, statistical data, and results, are discussed under the following headings:

1.  The War in Brief

2.  Between World Wars

3.  Early Campaigns

4.  Fall of the Low Countries and France

5.  Recovery of France and Advance into Germany

6.  German Invasion of the USSR

7.  Balkan Campaigns

8.  Mediterranean Operations

9.  War in the Southern and Southwestern Pacific

10. War in the Central and Northern Pacific

11. War in Eastern Asia